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'This is a beautiful, beautiful book, and I can't recommend it enough.' Sue Perkins
Emma Mitchell has suffered with depression - or as she calls it, 'the grey slug' - for twenty-five years. In 2003, she moved from the city to the edge of the Cambridgeshire Fens and began to take walks in the countryside around her new home, photographing, collecting and drawing as she went. Each walk lifted her mood, proving to be as medicinal as any talking therapy or pharmaceutical.
In Emma's hand-illustrated diary, she takes us with her as she follows the paths and trails around her cottage and further afield, sharing her nature finds and tracking the lives of local flora and fauna over the course of a year. Reflecting on how these encounters impact her mood, Emma's moving and candid account of her own struggles is a powerful testament to how reconnecting with nature may offer some answers to today's mental health epidemic. While charting her own seasonal highs and lows, she also explains the science behind such changes, calling on new research into such areas as forest bathing and the ways in which our bodies and minds respond to plants and wildlife when we venture outdoors.
Written with Emma's characteristic wit and frankness, and filled with her beautiful drawings, paintings and photography, this is a truly unique book for anyone who has ever felt drawn to nature and wondered about its influence over us.
Emma Mitchell is a popular naturalist, designer-maker and illustrator. She has a monthly column in BBC Countryfile magazine and is one of the Guardian's Country Diarists. Her first book, Making Winter, was published to outstanding praise. She has also featured on the BBC's Countryfile and Radio 4's Woman's Hour, and has written for a number of publications, including Country Living, Breathe and Mollie Makes. In 2019 Emma will contribute to an anthology of nature writing by female authors called Women on Nature, edited by Katharine Norbury.
Emma lives on the edge of the Fens in Eastern England with her husband, two daughters and Annie their lurcher. She records her daily nature finds with photographs and illustrations on her Instagram (@silverpebble2), which has over 100,000 followers.