Rhiannon Shutler 

Rhiannon Shutler

Autor, Illustrator and Conservationist

Rhiannon is a busy person; along with raising two children, she is currently working two jobs and somehow finds time to write books and poems in her spare time. The natural world has always been an important theme in her life, she is often seen taking home abandoned small animals to look after until they are strong enough to release back into the wild. Her career has taken a similar path; working with rescue centres around Dorset and further afield in Vietnam and Australia too.

“I like to write when the mood takes me,” she says, “talking about why I write and what it has done to help me through tough times”.  Her most recent published book “The Ghost of Make-Believe” is a fantasy centred on acceptance and belonging set in Swanage and was written while her father was ill with cancer. She says she likes to do something that actually makes people think and gives an ecological message. This message has been inherited by her two children also; they absolutely adore animals and have a healthy respect for wildlife and empathy for the natural world.

Find the Book

Rhiannon is getting ready for another “Find The Book” event this Sunday, she will be hiding two personally crafted book boxes somewhere in Swanage and is encouraging people to go out and find them, “I always tell everyone that they're always hidden in safe accessible places, so no one should be trying to go somewhere that's not safe” and this isn’t the first time she as hidden her book boxes in Swanage; “Last time I hid four book boxes, I monitored the Facebook page just to see what people were doing and gave hints when people were having trouble finding them. last time they were all found on the same day. Interestingly, the last one found was at Sandpit Field right after I posted a riddle on Facebook; “I’ve got a pit in my stomach and the beach at my feet.”  A lady found it because she knew that it was in memory of my dad, she knew it had to be where he used to operate the swing boats during the summers.”

So, what's inspiring her to do this again? “I love my childhood stomping grounds,” she says, “ I have a soft spot for Purbeck and a lot of families got in touch after the last event to say that they had a lovely day out looking with their kids. It was great to hear that even though they didn't find a box, they still had a nice day.”

What are we lightly to find in these book boxes? Well one of them is inspired by the current plight of the Albatross and you can find more information in the slideshow below that Rhiannon has made. Inside the other, is a poem about a Crow and the experience a person has with this animal, “It’s about a relationship with nature, and allowing it to take its course rather than just sort of taking over” she explains.

Book Boxes

The Big Picture

Rhiannon’s message is one of gratitude; “If we all start seeing ourselves as guests in the natural world, it is a privilege to enjoy what nature has to offer, we will all have so much more to enjoy in the future. Today's Earth, as many people know, needs a lot of crisis management in how things are run. It's weird because even though we are often the problem, we are also the first to complain when things go wrong.” 

When talking about solutions she explains that a change in attitude is necessary; “As guests, we need a different mindset; instead of blaming nature itself when it doesn't fit, we need to take a step back and see how we are possibly the difficult customer that always leaves before paying. Maybe it's about time we started recognising that nature knows what it's doing and we are the ones who need to 'check in' to nature and listen to the rules during our stay. We can't keep taking and expect nature to restock, we are effectively making the natural world bankrupt, and the crazy thing is it keeps us alive.”

The next “Find the book” starts this Sunday 21/11/2021 visit https://www.facebook.com/daydreamersbook for updates throughout the day.

Interviewed by Dean Storer - Nov 2021
Part of the Why we love Purbeck series, local Residents tell us what Purbeck means to them.

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