Nearly Wild Exploration was founded by Steve and Irene Evison, following many years working in environmental and community development work. Their expertise is built on practical experience in the UK and extended periods working overseas including Alaska and Tanzania. In 1997, they established and have successfully run a ‘living geography’ consultancy, Resources for Change which continues to work around the UK and internationally. More recently they set up Nearly Wild Camping. Since 2010, they have owned and managed a smallholding and eco-location on the England-Wales border.
Nearly Wild Camping is a part of the Nearly Wild ‘family’. This aims to establish a network of wild camping locations across Britain and overseas. Nearly Wild Camping enables people of all backgrounds to leave the boundaries of traditional campsites behind and to discover their own bit of wild whilst learning from local hosts about ‘their’ countryside and landscape. This gives that extra support and reassurance for those who are not confident enough to just go and wild camp or who want more from camping than just a place to sleep.
SO WHAT IS Nearly Wild Exploration?
We live on a fascinating planet, where we have shaped nature and it has shaped us. We believe that individuals, families, businesses and others that embrace this build their chances for well-being, success and happiness.
Our vision is to build nature back into people’s everyday lives, strengthening the connections between people and the natural world.
Nearly Wild Exploration provides a virtual marketplace of organisations, businesses, places, activities and events, experiences and adventures focussing on people and nature, so that there is a single online source of information. If you want to get out and about locally or when you’re away, the Nearly Wild Exploration portal will give you lots of ideas. If you’re a business or organisation, you can put up a listing to describe what you offer, so that you can reach a national – or even international – audience.
We’re thinking about people and nature in the widest sense, such as mountain biking in heritage landscapes, canoeing with wildlife; learning eco-technologies; building with recycled materials; learning country crafts and how they shaped the countryside; getting out adventuring and travel; finding out how to identify the birds in your garden or the plants in your local country park….. anything and everything about nature …. near and far, urban and rural, wild and not so wild.… .
We want to be able to support people on a journey of exploration of the natural world around them, whether very local to home and as part of their everyday lives, or whether something much further afield and very different to their usual experiences. Through the Nearly Wild Exploration portal, we are providing a directory that shows just how much is out there for them, where it is, and what exactly is on offer. But the information portal is only part of the picture; we are also offering services directly that we hope will help people in their journey of exploration of the natural world in other ways, such as personal development training based on ecological principles.
At the same time, we want to be able to support and promote the individuals, businesses and organisations which are out there doing great things to provide experiences, activities, products and services related to the natural world. First and foremost, this support and promotion is about providing a means to publicise what they are doing, so that even more people know about them and buy or use their services – this is the Nearly Wild Exploration portal. We know how important it is for these providers to be able to be commercially viable if they are to continue their work. But there’s more to it than the publicity alone, so Nearly Wild Exploration is also there to offer other forms of support, so that we contribute to strengthening the sector as a whole, and also individual businesses and organisations.
Based on our experience elsewhere, we know how important it is to have evidence on which to base organisational and business decisions, so we will be offering a research and insights service, for example helping you to understand more about people’s attitudes and perceptions about being out and about in nature. We know that learning about what works is also really important, so we will be offering opportunities to meet and share experiences and learning with your peers. And the final piece in this part of the jigsaw is about strengthening networks and relationships, with Nearly Wild Exploration helping you to find new and different ways of working that make for stronger businesses and organisations which deliver even better and more interesting ways for people to engage with nature.
WHY CALL IT Nearly Wild Exploration?
We live in a fascinating world, and whilst we may not realise it, everything links back to nature. People are part of the natural world and it is part of us. We have changed the natural world and it has changed us. In truth we are part of the ecological system and nothing is really truly ‘wild’ or ‘natural’, it is in fact semi- natural or, as we like to call it, Nearly Wild.