Natural Conversations.

Walking up the side of an ancient gorge, after an hour we reach the cascade, where water tumbles into a narrow deep plunge pool. Sizing up the jump, my eyes are drawn to a perfect circle of Ferns. Circle of Ferns 1

It is here that the seeds of thought, which I will try to explain, were first sown. It was an invitation to acknowledge the Natural Conversation. With their strong stems standing tall, untouched by man, working together to get more water than they would do alone, in perfect Fibonacci synchronicity.

george 2
Next to them was a tiny pool carved into the rock, no bigger than a goose egg. Inside damp moss, tiny stones and some invisible activity. Without knowing why or how a thought impressed itself at the front of my mind, “the meaning of life is in here”. In perfect symmetry and serenity I realised there were forces at work that I was only just beginning to notice. With this logged, I grabbed two mighty trunks and propelled myself clear of the ledge… as I too plunged into the pool below. Underlining a moment that will live for in me for eternity.


What is important is not where or when this happened, rather how do we learn to speak this language and what use is it in todays world? To survive, our ancestors needed to speak it fluently, but many have now forgotten or not ever learnt it. Indeed the conversation has been altered to become a scrap for money. Where…”Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like” Will Rodgers. I believe the Natural Conversation is something we cannot afford to loose, and are preprogrammed to speak. Through observation, trial & error and communication we can easily teach ourselves. You can see evidence of it in the rolling tides, the cloudy skies, the colour of the leaves & trees. Hear it in the roar of the wind & tweeting of the birds. Taste it the nectar of the Bees.

Greenland sunset 4

(Photo supplied by Daragh Muldowney

Approaching the outdoors with the right mind is vital. The attitude we bring outdoors must be different to indoors. Where we are warm, safe, in control, clean and masters of our territory. When we step into an area where nature is dominant, be humble, curious, playful and respectful. We are not separate from nature, we are part of it. We have not mastered it, we operate with its realms and by it’s ever changing laws. We are not the centre of the universe, but we can perceive it. It is my strong conviction that we as humans are the conscious wing of nature. The internet is a place to compile this information and the limitless space around us, our inspiration.

Limitless space 5

Following the encounter with the ferns, my life choices took me down many extraordinary rivers. Subsequently here is a thought to consider: A river always gives 100% of what it’s got. It finds the quickest way to the sea. Many obstacles will get in it’s way, many passengers will use it, they do not last forever. The rivers fill in flood, empty in drought, change through the seasons, carve landscapes and give life, but they always give it all and never loose sight of their goal.

River 6

My approach to life has changed because of this observation. So I encourage you to go out as soon as possible; to look, then watch, as you begin to see, finally speak, the Natural Conversation. If you want to start speaking Natural Conversation, join our Camp Craft on the 3rd of March 2015 to learn crafts and many more things in the woods.


By Dougal Fleming


Ski 7I was born and raised in Lewes by Sue & Alistair Fleming. Unable to find my challenge, stimulation or inspiration through academia, I had to wait to become a kayak, climbing & hiking instructor before I stared learning anything interesting. So began my path towards the wilderness which subsequently took me to live and integrate into small mountainous communities, in; Ireland, Ecuador, Chile, France, Italy, Belize and passing through many more places using my skis, kayak, bicycle & legs. There was no template, no plan, just riding the current of fate, living in the hands of destiny, and trying as much as possible, to pay it forward.

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Upon return to my home, it is time to put roots in, and create Rewild Adventure. By guiding tours of the South Downs on bikes, in the woods and in Kayaks. The plan is to guide people back to the wilderness from civilisation. The idea is that by raising our heart rate and adrenaline we will reach a place where learning becomes less structured and more memorable.