“No one will protect what they don’t care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced.”
– David Attenborough
What is nature journaling?
Nature journaling is simply the act of keeping a journal that has a strong, but not necessarily exclusive, focus on nature. There are no rules about how to keep a nature journal, what it should look like, and what materials you might use.
Keeping a nature journal is a personal expression of your relationship to nature and can take the form of a naturalist’s records, a poetry notebook, a written journal, a scrapbook, a photo album, an artist’s sketchbook, and many more.
All and any styles are valid and there is no need to feel constrained to any one style, you might keep a range of different journals or try something new every year.
Sharing your nature journal is optional, but there is great joy to be had from releasing your creations into the community too. Try searching for #naturejournal on Instagram or “Nature Journaling” on YouTube. There are also many great books to help you start nature journaling and provide inspiration.
Some titles are included in my free Getting Started Nature Journaling guide, available when you sign up to my mailing list below.
Why did I start my first nature journal?
I started my first nature journal in 2016, shortly after moving to the coast in Devon, UK to begin a new freelance lifestyle. For the past few years, I had lived in an urban part of the UK, though I grew up in nature in a village and I missed that lifestyle.
Initially I didn’t know that “nature journaling” was a real thing, I was just copying the idea of “The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady” by Edith Holden, which I had long admired since my grandmother gifted me a copy.
Fast forward six years and I have tried nature journaling in a great variety of different ways and styles, and have found that nature journaling has taught me the names of plants, the habits of birds, and has brought me closer to the seasonal cycles.
I walk more, swim more, draw more, and know more, all thanks to nature journaling! Plus, I have come into contact with a community of generous-spirited like-minded nature journaling individuals through social media.
The next stage of my life is all about sharing nature journaling with others, to inspire others into this beautiful practice and help them to really see the wild around them and within themselves.
How to get started yourself?
All you need to start nature journaling is a simple pencil and sketchbook and a bit of time to spend outside.
If you are too ambitious at the startin terms of materials or intended volume of work, you might get overwhelmed and stop. So start simple but regular, even a few minutes with pencil and paper a few times a week can be enough to begin a habit that will be with you for a lifetime.
Nature journaling can be any combination of sketches, lists, writing, numbers and tallies, and found materials. Let it evolve with you and take inspiration from other journalers in the online community but don’t be intimidated or feel the need to copy them. Trust yourself to find an approach that suits you.
Free nature journaling resources
Sign up to my newsletter to receive my free PDF with recommendations for getting started.
Interact with me
Please find below all the other ways you can interact with me for more nature journaling material and inspiration.
To help support my work, join me on Patreon for tutorials, extended and bonus videos from my YouTube channel, a monthly blog, journal pages,and more.
My patrons are my closest community and help me to keep providing free nature journaling content. Becoming a patron is ideal if you want to show your support with a small amount each month in exchange for extra content from me.
Join me on Instagram to keep up with my work, see my works in progress, watch live streams, and more. New posts most days.
Workshops & Talks
Online workshop schedule is coming soon. Please sign up to my newsletter for early notification of these upcoming events.
Please contact me if you would like to book me to teach nature journaling or give a nature journaling talk to your group. I will travel with expenses covered, email me to discuss.
2023 In-Person Schedule
Nature Journaling Workshops at Umborne Bridge Studio, Colyton, Devon, EX24 6LU
Saturday 18th February, 10–12.30pm – £25 – Catkins, celandine, and primroses: the coming of spring in the hedgerow. Nature journaling walk (weather permitting) followed by painting session in the studio with Derwent Inktense pencils. Materials included.
Saturday 22nd April, 10–12.30pm – £25 – Spring by the river. Nature journaling walk along the River Coly, no studio session this time (as long as the weather behaves), we will be out enjoying what spring has to offer along the river walk. Materials included.
Saturday 22nd July, 10–12.30pm – £25 – Bird sketching. Learn to sketch fast-moving real birds. We’ll start with a sketching session in the studio to learn the skill we need then head out to watch the swifts and martins over the town and river. Materials included.
Saturday 19th August, 10–12.30pm – £25 – Summer on the river walk. Nature journaling walk along the River Coly, no studio session this time (as long as the weather behaves), we will be out enjoying what spring has to offer along the river walk. Materials included.
Saturday 21st October, 10–12.30pm – £25 – Fungi painting. Studio painting session from fungi samples and photographs using Derwent Inktense pencils. Materials included.
Saturday 9th December, 10–12.30pm – £25 – Festive foliage. Studio painting session using Derwent Inktense pencils. Materials included.
Nature Journaling Course at Lyme Regis Museum, Bridge Street, Dorset, DT7 3QA
Tuesday 17th January to Tuesday 28th March (weekly except half term week), 13:45–15.45 – £120 for 10 weeks (payment options available), all materials included. Details via the link below.
Nature Journaling Workshops at The Coastal Craft Collective, 10 Marine Place, Seaton, Devon, EX12 2QL
Saturday 18th March, 10–12.30pm – £25 – How to Keep a Nature Journal. Nature journaling walk on the beach (weather permitting) followed by painting session in the workshop space with Derwent Inktense pencils. Materials included.
Thursday 30th March, 10–12.30pm – £25 – How to Keep a Nature Journal. Nature journaling walk on the beach (weather permitting) followed by painting session in the workshop space with Derwent Inktense pencils. Materials included.
Find out more and book here: https://coastalcraftcollective.co.uk/products/how-to-start-a-nature-journal-18-3-30-3
Nature Journaling Talk and Workshop at Sidmouth Biodiversity Week
Talk: Tuesday 6th June, FREE, details TBA
Workshop: Saturday 10th June, £20 for 2 hours materials included, details TBA
Booking information to come.