When I was a child, my family owned a house in Scotland, it was, literally, almost on the beach and I spent whole days on that stony beach, poking about, fascinated by the world of shoreline things. The tide hardly ever came in beyond about a hundred yards from the house and the beach was deeply shelved, the part nearest to the house was full of plants, birds, insects and interesting, pretty shells and stones –  and detritus washed up from the sea. It was all completely fascinating and I am so grateful to have had those years of discovery, in a time before TV and digital ruled the English world. My grandfather taught me the names of everything that we saw in Scotland. His interest and encouragement gave me a start for the way I now work.

I found rockpools with their small fish, crabs and sea anemones endlessly interesting, the patterns made by sea life on the rocks, the weeds and the barnacles, the granite, slate and other stones, all their forms so different. The natural world is so endlessly interesting and beautiful, whole miniature worlds exist, microscopic worlds exist. I cannot imagine not being delighted by what lies on the ground, in the trees and in the air.

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