Nearly Wild are passionate and experienced practical ‘doers’. Set up by Steve and Irene Evison, each with over 35 years’ experience from around the world, working in natural resource management, organisational development and community development.
They have also developed and run a number of successful businesses, including Nearly Wild Camping (a member owned wilder camping co-operative, www.nearlywildcamping.org) and others (see below). Through Nearly Wild, they deliver very practical support to those working to develop an economy which works better for nature and wildlife, and therefore also for the people running the businesses and the people buying their products and service.
Nearly Wild is a resource of practical advice, mentoring / coaching and training, facilitated by Steve Evison. The mission is to build real practical support for innovators, decision makers, businesses and positive activists to make a positive impact on nature and the natural world.
Steve has been variously refered to as a positive disrupter, critical friend, innovative practitioner, ecopreneur and reflective practioner. Maybe he is all of those things. Basically he is good at helping people think differently, reflect on what they are doing and how, and finding real practical ways to have a positive impact on nature. As one of our clients commented, “I always feel so energised after a discussion with those two [Steve & Irene] and they always come up with so many exciting, practical ideas“.
Using these skills, and over 40 years of practical experience, Steve now provides support to others as a mentor, coach, trainer and / or direct to projects or organisations keen to review what they do for nature and how.
The Nearly Wild ‘family’
Nearly Wild was founded by Steve and Irene Evison, following many years working in environmental land management, nature based business and community development work.
Their expertise is built on practical experience built up over more than 40 years in the UK and overseas. This includes extended periods living and working in remote areas, including Alaska and Tanzania.
In 1997, after 14 years working in the UK and overseas in practical natural resource management, Steve established and ran a ‘living geography’ consultancy, Resources for Change. Through this both Steve and Irene continued to build experience, knowledge and networks. They transfered the company into employee-ownership after the first 10 years, though they both continued twork in the team (Steve as CEO) for a further 10 years. Both Steve and Irene still occasionally work with R4C as associate consultants.
In 2010, Irene and Steve took on a derelict smallholding on the England-Wales border, which they now run as a small eco-location, Underhill Farm (www.underhillfarm.org). Building on their own experience at Underhill, they also established Nearly Wild Camping (www.nearlywildcamping.org), a national member-owned co-op linking a network of wilder camping locations across Britain (and even a few overseas). The organisation helps members of all backgrounds to leave the boundaries of campsites and discover their own bit of wild, whilst learning from local hosts about wildlife, the countryside and landscape.
Both Irene and Steve are keen aritists and Irene has also established Nearly Wild Weaving (www.nearlywildweaving.org), which she now runs with a friend, Anna Wetherall. This does practical community engagement projects using weaving to engage communities with nature; art projects and artist field trips; and has developed into an international forum for sharing and learning about tapestry weaving with a stong lean towards weaving nature and the natural world.
Why call it Nearly Wild?
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.