Mother’s love of nature restored after life changing accident

Press release
Published : 11 Sep 2018

This summer National Trust Wales has introduced six outdoor and well-being ambassadors to encourage more people to connect with nature – including a mother from Crickhowell, who used nature to heal following a life changing accident.

Isla grew up in nature with her wild hearted mother near Crickhowell. At the age of 16, Isla was involved in a motorbike accident in which she nearly lost her leg. 

Whilst waiting for her operation, a simple photograph stapled to the ceiling of an alpine landscape, helped relax her– a comfort that she has never forgotten.

Isla was left bed bound for more than a year, watching the seasons change outside her window. With walking still a difficulty, Isla took to her bike to return outdoors. At 28, she moved back to the Brecon Beacons where she is now sharing her love of nature with her eight-year-old daughter Mia.

Isla has shared her story as part of National Trust Wales’ campaign, fronted by rugby star Jamie Roberts to get more people spending time outdoors. She and her daughter were chosen as part of a search by National Trust to find nature and outdoor ambassadors with special stories around Wales earlier this year.

Isla, whose home looks out over the Black Mountains, said: “Hay Bluff is a beautiful wild space with incredible views and rich wildlife. It’s my peaceful kingdom. When the going is tough, in a short while I can be up at the top feeling alive and content, even if it’s just for that moment.

“Not only has nature healed my body, but it is continues to be a large part of my life. Mia and I are always outdoors exploring, relaxing and capturing special moments. There are so many green spaces around the UK, right there, outside your door. Put on a pair of boots and get out there to spend a moment in nature.”

Meeting Jamie at Hay Bluff in the Black Mountains, a favoured area for Isla and Mia, they exchanged fond memories of the Welsh beauty spot and how the mountains continue to be a place of respite for them both.

National Trust’s Outdoor and Well-being ambassador, Jamie Roberts, said: “It has been really interesting to meet each of the ambassadors and hear how nature plays such a distinct role in their lives. I hope they now inspire people of every ability and circumstance to spend more time enjoying the benefits the outdoors brings."

Find out more about National Trust Wales’ ambassadors and for inspiration on how to make the most of the great Welsh outdoors.