Rushden resident Rachel Dymott, who has been writing the online blog naturetableexplorer.com for the past 18 months, has been working on a project to publish a magazine based in the Nene Valley.
The blog enabled her to develop a community of people willing to contribute to the magazine, called Explorations, which launches next month in Rushden.
Retired teacher Rachel, who used to work at Isebrook School in Kettering, said: “I live in Rushden and explore the Nene Valley and its wildlife most days and enjoy discovering new things about our local habitats.
“I am trying to raise people’s awareness about natural history and to encourage people to explore more and especially to discover what is around them locally.
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“It started in Rushden and has spread out across the country and even further afield. It is an exciting new magazine.”
The success of the blog prompted Rachel to produce an accompanying newsletter, which has grown to a distribution of around 500 people.
It enabled her to build a network of contributors, with around 18 people either writing or submitting photographs for the inaugural edition of Explorations.
Five of Rachel’s friends from Rushden and Higham Ferrers have helped out with tasks such as proof reading and sub-editing.
The 52-year-old, who has a botany degree and worked as a botanical surveyor before going into teaching, added: “The magazine is focussed on the natural world, wildlife and the environment.
“People from all over Northamptonshire and the country have contributed brilliant articles and fantastic photos.
“The aim is to raise everyone’s awareness of the wonderful world we live in and become more connected with nature and to understand it more, so that we have a stake in protecting it for everyone.
“It’s aim is to encourage us to get outside and to explore more. A lot of people don’t realise they have such beautiful and astounding nature on their own doorsteps.
“The tone of the magazine is not stuffy or ‘preachy’. The message is ‘look what’s out there’.
“It would be fantastic to see as many people as possible become part of this project.”
Featured in the first edition are topics such as fossils, habitats, plants, otters and an article about damsel flies and dragon flies at Rushden Lakes,
The Nene Valley wetlands, an urban nature walk in Northampton, flora featured on rural verges off the A45 and a handy map of Rushden’s natural features are also included.
There is also an interview with Dr Hilary Ketchum, the palaeontology collections manager at Oxford University’s Museum of Natural History.
Explorations will make its debut at the Magazine Heaven shop at Rushden Lakes shopping centre on Saturday, July 13, from 11am.
There will be a stand outside the shop on the day with activities and information for all ages.
The magazine will cost £4.20 and will remain on sale at Magazine Heaven after the launch day.
A copy of the 52-page full colour, glossy magazine, including £1 for postage and packaging, can also be ordered by emailing Rachel at [email protected]
Rachel, who has previously given talks on nature to WI groups and schools in the area, is also planning to visit county shows this summer to raise awareness about the publication.
People will have the opportunity to contribute articles and pictures to issue two of Explorations by emailing Rachel.
The second edition is due to be released in December.