Bumble came to us hand delivered in a soft swathe of white tissue paper, the shimmering green of the carapace of a Rose Chafer just glimmering through. This is what a magazine is meant to do: entice at first glance.
Soft to the touch, Bumble is completely recycled and printed with vegetable-based inks. A biannual magazine, it celebrates British wildlife and nature. It’s a proactive guide of our natural world, showcasing the makers and doers in our country. The land is not yet barren. In fact, it’s brimming with life, and Bumble makes a strident case for it.
As Megan Humphreys (editor, along with Rachael Nellist andJosef Shaw) says, ‘nature fulfils a deep-seated psychological need for connection and belonging.’ Throughout art and literature it is a constant haven, and so it is also in real life. A simple stroll in the woods, listening to birdsong, can be equally redemptive and restorative. Think of that wanderer in the trees and you have Bumble. It instils a similar sensation of peace and connection.
The topic of the environment is a hot one (pun intended), and often a frightening one, too. It seems like the weight of the world is on our shoulders, the magnitude of the task overwhelming. It can make us feel powerless, but Bumble gives quiet encouragement and hope. It covers accessible conservation areas and nature reserves, positive tasks within the wildlife and simply helps increase awareness to the inherent beauty of nature.
The countryside is revered in a down to earth way, focusing on what you can get involved with. Adventure All Ways encourages the exploration of the Yorkshire wilds with enticing zeal. Who would say no to swimming under a waterfall or gazing up at a starlit night sky? You can also learn how to press flowers, how to help hedgehogs and how to identify trees, birds and slow worms.
The unfussy typography and style gets to the point, and there are glimpses of pure photographic splendour, such as the velveteen grey seals of Donna Nook and the bizarre yet astounding 2000-year-old organisms captured by photographer Rachel Sussman.
Jackie Morris describes how the Oxford University Press Junior Dictionary is dropping words such as acorn, heron, conker and kingfisher, to which she remarks, ‘the culture in which we live which seems to give more importance to the urban than the wild.’ This strikes a chord with me because it is in this space of carelessness that disassociation becomes harmful. As we move further away from our natural origin, so that world becomes more foreign. When it is foreign, we become desensitised to its importance, and that’s how environments are demolished and allowed to disintegrate.Understanding is caring, and Bumble is well-versed in kindling this fire.
Small in size, Bumble is over all too quickly, but that’s the best being left wanting more. But whilst you wait, why not take a leaf from this magazine and have a bumble about in the great outdoors?