New Archivist Kris Looks Forward to Hearing Your Stories

Hear how things are progressing with Nature’s Cure as we welcome NHSN’s new Project Archivist, Kris McKie.

Since January 2023, we’ve been delighted to collect and preserve stories of your connections with nature through Nature’s Cure in Times of Need: New Voices for North East Nature, a three-year National Lottery Heritage Fund-supported social history project.

We are working with diverse communities across the North East to better understand how time spent in nature has helped in times of need. We will also be looking to explore the long-term legacy of reconnection with nature and wild places as well as looking back into the archives to discover how enjoying nature helped people in other periods in the North East’s history, such as periods of industrial action, economic recessions, war and conflict. NHSN believes nature is for everybody, and it’s important that the North East Nature Archive represents the array of ways that different people across different communities engage with nature.

Being outside is everything. In the moments where I don’t know myself anymore, I make myself notice what’s going on around me. The leaves, the sounds and the life happening or the conserving of energy to grow again. Life and the purpose of it are everywhere, the buttercups on the day I lost someone, the birds in the background to a difficult conversation, the bees working when I feel like being still.

Project Contributor

How Can You Get Involved with Nature’s Cure?

We want to hear and collect stories of your connections with nature. From time spent in the garden, walks to a local park, or trips to the beach we want to find out what nature means to you, the places that are important to you, or how nature has helped through times of difficulty. If you would like to share a story or a picture of the nature that matters to you then click here.

If permission is given, stories collected through the project will be preserved in NHSN’s North East Nature Archive, a rich and unique collection of papers, images and artwork that document the natural environment of the North East of England, and people’s connections to it, over the last 200 years. Your stories and pictures will help bring the archive up to date and help our and future generations understand how people today connected with nature

Get in Touch

Interested in taking part in this project? Kris would love to hear from you. Please enter your details below and he will be in touch.

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Meet Our New Project Archivist

After collecting so many of your stories and launching a fantastic programme of community workshops, our Project Archivist, Kate Guariento left the project in August to take up an unmissable opportunity in their home town of Glasgow. Kate has handed over to our new Project Archivist, Kristopher McKie, who joined the NHSN team in September. Kris brings a wealth of experience in archives and community engagement and will continue working in partnership with communities across the North East to collect stories and find new ways of sharing the rich and valuable North East Nature Archive.

I’m very excited to be joining NHSN as Project Archivist for the Nature’s Cure in Time of Need: New Voices for North East Nature.

I’ve spent much of the last ten years managing the wonderful collection of archives and illustrations at Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books, housed at Newcastle City library. My time at Seven Stories has taught me a huge amount about the potential for archives to inspire creativity and reflection and help us to find new perspectives on our shared culture and society.

My passion for community engagement has led me to work with other groups and organisations in a freelance capacity to deliver projects that explore our shared and personal connections to places and the past. Among other projects, I worked with the homelessness charity Crisis and a community group of people with experience of homelessness to research and curate a city-wide exhibition on the history of homelessness in Newcastle.

I’m originally from Yorkshire, but – after stints in the South East, North West and Scotland – have been settled in Newcastle for the last 15 years. While I’d describe myself, at best, as an enthusiastic amateur when it comes to nature, the natural spaces and landscape of the North East have been immensely important to me and there are countless places around the region which instantly evoke all sorts of memories and feelings.

Kristopher McKie, NHSN Project Archivist