I’m Karen, one half of FOLDE, seen here in my lockdown habitat, cat on hand, chatting to Amber over the garden fence. I moved to Dorset 13 years ago after having an epiphany on a beach in Greece (yes, really) and have never looked back. While my parents grew up in Dorset, they relocated to Hampshire for work so moving here felt like something of a homecoming.

 

After recurring struggles with stress-related depression, I discovered there was sanctuary to be found in getting outside, quite a revelation for someone who used to think the answers she sought were waiting in a shopping mall. Walking, on the Dorset coast in particular, gave me the tools to recalibrate and the corresponding connection with nature, which I had never actively sought before, helped me to make sense of my place in the world.

 

Regular walks are essential to my wellbeing, now supplemented by year-round sea-swimming, and I border on the evangelical about the therapeutic benefits of both.

 

My goal is to finish the South West Coast Path: 130 miles done last year... just the 500 to go!

I’m Amber, co-founder of FOLDE. You’ll usually find me slowly marveling along Pine Walk, staring into the tree canopies. It’s quite possibly my favourite spot in Shaftesbury, particularly in cow parsley season, and at FOLDE we are partial to a spot of blousy flowering.

 

I’ve been back in Dorset for 12 years, and feel that I’ve finally come home. I spent my childhood growing up in West Dorset in small villages, and the sense of community, nature and belonging has been a beacon to me through my adult years.

 

Travel has been a big part of my working life and while I’ve enjoyed the experiences, I’ve always yearned for the green hills and vales of Dorset. It’s what keeps me grounded and connected to the earth. It’s home to the footpaths I tread when I need time to think. And it helps me appreciate the seasons, and the changes that come with them.

 

Growing, blooming, hunkering down and resting – we’ll explore them at all at FOLDE…

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