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INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

The countryside has always been close to our founder's heart. Natalie is continually inspired by the wilderness, whether it be taking time out from her busy work life to enjoy the fresh countryside air to getting colour and design inspiration from the landscapes and the sheer beauty of the wilderness.

In order for us to achieve our goals and remain empowered women, we must not forget the #WILDwomen in us, sometimes we need to escape the hustle and bustle of our busy lives and take time out to come back to nature. It is widely known that the outdoors has a positive effect on our mental health, it’s good for our soul and helps us feel alive.

To celebrate International Women’s Day we asked 14 of our #WILDwomen their favourite ways to enjoy the WILD and the ways in which the WILD helps empower them to be the successful women they are. These fearless women are mothers, entrepreneurs, city women, presenters, editors, bloggers and all have a common love for the WILD. They are our #WILDwomen.

Julie Montague

Julie Montague

Yoga teacher, nutritionist and mindfulness guru

What’s your favourite way(s) to enjoy the British WILD?

My new favourite mindful activity is Forest Bathing! It began in Japan as a way of reconnecting to nature and has the power to clear one’s mind.

In what way(s) does the WILD empower you?

Out in the country, the wild - I use all 5 senses touching the tress, looking at their colours and patterns and breathing deeply before lying down under trees and looking up and through the branches. Forest bathing helps to bring me back to the present moment, to my breath, to create space between thoughts and allow me to just truly BE.

Kate Slesinger

Publishing Director, Tatler and Vanity Fair

What’s your favourite way(s) to enjoy the British WILD?

Growing up in Richmond, we spent a great deal of time in Richmond Park, which has remained my favourite place to enjoy the British WILD. It's rugged and unkempt, in a way that - for example - Hyde Park is not. Every weekend, I get in a couple of 8-mile walks with my husband and our Norwegian Buhund (think medium husky) Pepper. Our route takes us up a steepish hill, down past the Pen Ponds (where we have to put Pepper on the lead as she upsets the swans), across scrubby bracken towards the outer perimeter of the Park and then back to our starting-point. There's ice and mud in winter and blackberries in summer: wearing the right kit is essential and heels are definitely a no-no. It's not the South Downs or the New Forest, but it feels as close to that as you can get, only 8 miles from Mayfair. Sometimes I join the runners in the Park, and on occasion I've roller-skied there. Our three daughters ride there and my husband sometimes plays golf in the Park. The 2,300 acres are a magnificent gift to have on your doorstep and I never get tired of it.

In what way(s) does the WILD empower you?

In my professional life at Vogue House, I spend a lot of time in dresses and heels, trotting out to meetings with clients on Bond Street or at chic lunches in Mayfair. I really love distinguishing my personal life from this urban professional existence by dressing down in trousers teamed with pretty blouses and layered with cosy knitwear. Being outdoors and feeling that I can connect with nature in some way is essential when I'm not in the office. It keeps me balanced and grounded, and reminds me of what my priorities are. I read somewhere that living in cities can reduce your lifespan by 4 years. Though I call myself a city-dweller, I need that weekend injection of fresh air and outdoor exercise that the British WILD offers, to clear my mind and my lungs and set me up for the week ahead.

Kate Slesinger
Emma Rutland

Emma Rutland

Duchess of Rutland

What’s your favourite way(s) to enjoy the British WILD?

I like going for long rides on my horse, Ella Bella.

In what way(s) does the WILD empower you?

I find being out in the countryside very grounding. Whenever I am with nature it’s like a personal daily meditation, refreshing and calming.

Sara Quaglia

Founder of www.saraandcatherinestales.com

What’s your favourite way(s) to enjoy the British WILD?

For me, it has to be a long walk in the open countryside followed by a cozy pub lunch: I just love the warm fuzzy feeling that you get while enjoying a flavoursome Sunday roast.

In what way(s) does the WILD empower you?

In many ways: I get so much inspiration from being out there and I always try to get the outdoors inside: I can’t resist a bunch of wild flowers and love to scatter branches around the house in vases! I think that breathing fresh countryside air helps me to achieve a sense of peace and quiet that makes me feel free. I absolutely need a break from the city every now and then to recharge my batteries!

Sara Quaglia
Marigay McKee

Marigay McKee

Managing Partner at Fernbrook Capital Management LLC

What’s your favourite way(s) to enjoy the British WILD?

When I'm in the UK there's no better place than a weekend in the Cotswolds with best friends! Dog walks, village shops, Daylesford, Chipping Norton and Stow-on-the-Wold have my heart and remind me of the natural beauty of England. Being at one in the countryside in a green field brings balance to my life and resets my stress clock. Back to nature is key for calm.

In what way(s) does the WILD empower you?

The Wild is an escape from reality and an escape from busy sidewalks and office towers that is daily life in New York. Really Wild always makes me feel great as it's British fabrics and yarns of the best quality and they fit me well with comfort and Brit country style. Obsessed with the Harris Tweeds, the Scottish sweaters and the corduroys and of course the boots which I can live in whether in the Cotswolds or Hamptons. When I'm in London I have to go to Sloane Square to see the new cashmere shades the new coats and there's always a hat or a wool cape I'm lusting after.

Clare Haggas

Founder of Clare Haggas Fine Art & Designs

What’s your favourite way(s) to enjoy the British WILD?

Being in the wild makes me who I am, if you cut me in half I would have it running through the middle of me. From my early morning walks with my four dogs, to standing waist high in Scottish rivers chasing the elusive Atlantic salmon, I embrace the call of the wild every day. It invigorates me, inspires me and motivates me. Without the beauty of the british wild I would not function as I do, and therefore not be who I am.

In what way(s) does the WILD empower you?

The Wild, is the forefront of my personal life and my business life. It sets me up for the day, to enable me to be inspired for my art and my creativity. I am surrounded by pheasants, partridge, deer, hare and our native birds, walking amongst them allows me to transfer their beauty on to canvas, and then later in to silk. I am truly blessed.

When I am at one with the wild mostly whilst fly fishing, it’s here that I find my happy place. This is where I relax, where I switch off, it’s just me, the elements and the wild. I literally stand in the river and watch my worries flow away, it’s something so unique to me and allows me to have time out and come back invigorated and ready to take on a new challenge.

I believe that my success in my business is purely down to the inspiration I get from our British countryside. I know that my passion for it is evident in my work thus creating vibrant and energetic pieces that are so powerful I literally inject my own gratitude and passion into them.

Clare Haggas
Hattie West

Hattie West

Top 25 London Lifestyle Influencer & Former Vogue + Tatler copywriter

What’s your favourite way(s) to enjoy the British WILD?

I’m out with my dog Luna everyday and it makes my heart feel full seeing her so happy - though my son Kit has recently learnt to walk so rather than whizzing along with a buggy we’re now moving at a snail’s pace...

In what way(s) does the WILD empower you?

We made the move to the country last year - seeing big skies and open spaces everyday is so liberating and, combined with some sunshine (bring on spring), can definitely unlock my mind get ideas flowing freely. It’s also very important to me as a mother that my son grows up outdoors as much as possible - playing sport, building dens in the woods and enjoying barefoot summers.

Jo Wimble-Groves

Tech Entrepreneur. Mother. Writer. Speaker. Storyteller.

What’s your favourite way(s) to enjoy the British WILD?

I’m a country girl through and through. Ever since was a child, I have loved the great outdoors. Country walks has become a spiritual and physical breather for me. The British WILD does wonders for my brain, which I often find difficult to switch off. Walking outside, even on colder days helps me to reset my mind and remind myself to pause from any worries I have. It has now become a ritual I have instilled in my own family.

In what way(s) does the WILD empower you?

In today’s busy world, getting outdoors in the wild is a great way to escape daily pressures. Spending time outdoors not only helps to keep me to be active and feel strong but clears my mind from the demands of work. Through nature, I can restore my focus, empowerment and gain clarity of thought. In fact, some of my best ideas are created during time in the wild when my mind is clear. In summary, I believe that being outdoors allows women to nourish themselves without distraction which is vital for our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

Jo Wimble-Groves
Deborah Lister

Deborah Lister

Visual merchandiser and Holistic therapist

What’s your favourite way(s) to enjoy the British WILD?

I’m a country girl, through and through, having grown up with ponies and dogs, I’ve always loved getting out into the wilds. I’m lucky enough to live in a rural area of forests, mountains and lochs and there’s nothing I love more than getting out into those wild areas with my two Labradors and my Boston Terrier and walking. I’m a mad keen photographer and I love to capture the raw beauty of Scotland in my work, it’s rare that I don’t have my camera equipment with me on our hikes!

In what way(s) does the WILD empower you?

Being out on the hills gives me freedom and being in the forest brings a deep calm to me, I liken it to meditation and I completely understand the concept of forest-bathing. Being amongst the trees really grounds me and clears my mind. I truly believe that being a #WILDwoman is essential for my mental and physical health.

Jeanette Aurdal Nieman

Owner and Designer of The Oak & Rope Company

What’s your favourite way(s) to enjoy the British WILD?

Having grown up on the west coast of Norway, it was hard for me to really see the WILD in the British countryside when I arrived 25 years ago. I still go for more runs than walks. Our workshop and home is in an area of outstanding beauty, with lots of footpaths all the way down to the cliffs and beaches of Kent.

I am not very good with circular walks, ideally there should be a destination. In Norway, that would normally be a peak, but the seaside works well for me in England, swimming on Christmas Day being the highlight! I am very lucky to be able to walk to work across a couple of fields, satisfying my need for a purpose and destination...

In what way(s) does the WILD empower you?

A dip in the sea or a brisk walk in winter weather calms a busy mind. I love looking at how the trees change through the seasons. On my walk to work I walk past some majestic oak trees, and I feel humbled when I think about how long they have been there and the events that have happened around them. It puts everything in perspective.

It was also on one of my runs many years ago, when I came across an overgrown milestone showing the distance to Canterbury and London I started reflecting on the distances to my parents in Norway and my sister who lived in Melbourne at the time. It resulted in the design of one of our best sellers today, our mileposts for the garden or destination doorstops for your house, showing the distances to your favourite destinations.

Jeanette Aurdal Nieman
Sarah Rodrigues

Sarah Rodrigues

Freelance Journalist & founder of www.sarahrodrigues.co.uk/

What’s your favourite way(s) to enjoy the British WILD?

If not alone, then with someone who feels similarly about time outdoors. I love long walks and climbing, and vast empty spaces and desolate beachscapes. Bad weather is almost a bonus - there's something so blood-tinglingly epic about braving the elements!

In what way(s) does the WILD empower you?

I always come back to myself, not only mentally, but physically. My many 'mirror mirror' imperfections fade into insignificance in the face of my health, strength, ability and, above all, my gratitude for those things and for the opportunity to explore a world that's so variable, exhilarating and just plain beautiful. The WILD is one of the few places where I am, simultaneously, both calmed and impassioned.

Tabitha Willett

TV Personality, Fashion Influencer & Mother

What’s your favourite way(s) to enjoy the British WILD?

My favourite way to enjoy the British wild is usually surrounded by nature. I am a city girl but the local park that I go to with my daughter and dog has a secret hidden allotment that is so well kept! There are beehives and a rose garden and fresh strawberries. It's always very serene and I come here to think and slow down when the city gets on top of me.

In what way(s) does the WILD empower you?

The wild recharges me. As though my battery is running low. On my way to my mothers house - She lives in Hambleden, the most charming village between Henley and Marlow - I always open the car window to get the fresh air! It is also the space that gives me perspective. I always go back to London with a really open mind. It's my meditation.

Tabitha Willett
Jemima Cadbury

Jemima Cadbury

Memberships at Annabels & Founder of Bee Bazaar

What’s your favourite way(s) to enjoy the British WILD?

If I could spend every weekend enjoying long walks at home in Oxfordshire with family, friends & the dogs I would be a very happy clam! The best kind are those cold, crisp and beautifully blue days where we end up piling into our village pub with the dogs in tow & cosying up in front of a roaring fire!

In what way(s) does the WILD empower you?

This has always been a huge part of family life, and the best time to really catch-up, relax & reset after a busy week. My father describes these weekends at home as a way of ‘re-potting’ by taking time out to come back to nature .. and I honestly couldn’t think of a lovelier way of putting it!

Coral Mason

Marketing Manager and Founder of http://www.stripeycoral.com/

What’s your favourite way(s) to enjoy the British WILD?

My favourite way to enjoy the British WILD is being near the sea especially in Salcombe. And a walk along its beautiful coastline helps me reconnect with nature.

In what way(s) does the WILD empower you?

There is inspiration at every turn in South Devon from the sight of the big skies to the crashing of the winter waves on quiet shores.

Coral Mason