I was so thrilled when Niellah at gal-dem agreed to give this story a home. Originally pitched before the pandemic, I finally photographed and interviewed two incredible women – Gillian Burke and Cherelle Harding – in the spring of 2022.
Being comfortable and connected to nature is a privilege in itself. It requires you to have the time and space to explore, to have access to the outdoors and perhaps a way of affirming what you’re seeing, smelling and touching. Biologist Gillian Burke grew up in close proximity to nature while Cherelle Harding, the founder of the walking group Steppers, discovered the outdoors as a young adult. Both have found immense joy and energy from the countryside and describe their journey into the wild and some of the ways others can join them. This piece seeks to celebrate the joy and peace that can be found in the outdoors.