Emma Mitchell's richly illustrated and evocative diary records her nature finds over the course of a year and shows how being in the wild benefits our mental and physical wellbeing.
Emma Mitchell doesn't want to beat around the hawthorn bush, she suffers with depression, and has done for twenty-five years. In 2009, the stresses of a city job became too much and she decided to move her family into a cottage in the Cambridgeshire Fens. She swapped days in the office for walks in the wood. There she began to get better. And better. Her encounters with nature proving to be as medicinal as any therapy or drug.
In Emma's hand-illustrated diary, she takes us with her as she stomps the paths and trails around her home 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, she explains the science behind such changes, calling on new research into forest bathing and our innate urge to be among leafy, furred and feathered things.
Filled with Emma's beautiful drawings, paintings and photography, this is a book for those who want to bring a little piece of the outdoors with them, whether you struggle with low mood or just love discovering more about the natural world.
Emma Mitchell is a designer-maker, naturalist and illustrator who has written for the Guardian, Mollie Makes and Standard Issue magazine. In 2011 she began a project on her blog silverpebble, encouraging readers to use creative, cosy and cake-based ways to prevent winter from becoming three months of incessant greyness. In the winter of 2015/16 so many people joined in with the project that it trended on Twitter several times.
Making Winter, a creative survival guide for the colder months is her first book and each of the projects and recipes is designed to boost mood on dreary days. Emma is passionate about the potential of both craft and contact with nature for combatting depression.
Emma lives on the edge of the Fens in Eastern England with her husband, two daughters and two guinea pigs. She records her daily nature finds with photographs and illustrations on her Instagram and Twitter accounts. Emma invented the Comic Relief Crafternoon project which has raised significant amounts for brilliant causes through the UK's love of craft. Her yarn stash is enormous, she owns a sizeable collection of fossilised twigs and she is very fond of weasels.
"A beautiful book that explores the seasons in elegant prose accompanied by Mitchell's charming illustrations. It's a diary of nature, but also of how it can heal."
– The Sunday Telegraph
"Honest, melancholic, joyous, thankful and illuminating in ever-shifting and subtle measure."
"A delightful almanac [...] Here we have not only precise, detailed writing but also gorgeous illustrations, painting and photographs. Mitchell shares her knowledge and skills generously. Highly recommend."
– BBC Countryfile Magazine
"Emma Mitchell's excellent The Wild Remedy [...] elaborate[s] stylishly the link between mental health and the ability to open ourselves up in open space."
– The Guardian
"A torch-bearer of light and colour in an often dark world. A stand-alone work of art."
– Joe Harkness, Resurgence and Ecologist Magazine
"Be inspired by Emma's reflections on the healing power of wildlife."
– Top Santé Magazine
"The Wild Remedy is both a paean to the countryside, and a rallying call for better approaches to mental health. It's a thoughtful tale, supported by Mitchell's scientific research, and the evocative descriptions of her hedgerow finds."
– The English Garden
"A beautiful year-long ramble through the paths and trails around Emma's cottage and further afield."
– Soul & Spirit Magazine
"Deeply moving [...] this powerful book reminds us that nature is everywhere, and solace can even come from a tree at the side of the road."
– Sunday Business Post
"Emma Mitchell is a gifted writer. This book is well researched, knowledgeable and readable. The book itself is beautiful. Almost a work of art."
– Birdwatch Magazine