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My love of nature.

Sally Whitham-Shaw
Sally Whitham-Shaw

From a very early age I was encouraged to be out-of-doors with my siblings and cousins. We spent a lot of time at my Granny and Grandpa’s house, and their garden led into woodland where we used to play.

We used to make dens out of bracken and play at being cowboys and Indians. I was fascinated even then with nature; the trees; the plants; the birds; the flowers; and the smell of everything, that deep, heavy, earthy scent.

I used to hide in an old tree, it was probably an oak, and to me it felt enormous. There was a hollow, and being very small, I could tuck myself into its trunk and nobody could see me. It felt very safe. I loved it.

I would sit there for what seemed like hours, just taking in the whole feeling of being at one with nature. That feeling stays with me and although I’m not small enough now to hide in trees, I love to sit by them and roam the countryside and woodlands that surround my home.

I can also walk up to the crags, where the countryside feels wild, almost desolate. This is ‘Heathcliff’ or ‘Darcy’ countryside, and you can stand out on the huge outcrops of rock and see for miles. You feel as if you’re on the top of the world and it’s a countryside that evokes huge emotions and passion.

Whatever the weather, it touches me. It makes me feel alive, a part of something great and magical, and it moves me to write music.