Been finding yourself feeling down at the state of the world? Well, you’re in luck. There’s a local company looking to make things better. Or, more precisely, GOOD. Make Good is a social enterprise dedicated to empowering change through environmental consultancy, immersive workshops, and imaginative projects. Committed to fostering positive change, they aim to promote environmental and social good. Through their wild workshops and projects, they strive to spark joy and foster community resilience, believing that creative, nature-based endeavours can shift cultural mindsets. Their goal is to forge a path toward a brighter future and a renewed bond with our living planet.

Meet the Team 

Rowan Henthorn is a marine scientist, ocean advocate and environmental communicator, dedicated to learning from, and protecting the natural world. She primarily works on projects relating to ocean health, including blue carbon and plastic pollution, but is also passionate about nature connection and holistic sustainability. With experience working across the globe, Rowan has witnessed both the breath-taking beauty of the ocean and the devastating effects of human activities. Recognising the vital importance of spending time in nature and re-establishing our relationship with the land and sea, she founded Make Good to catalyse positive change in this direction.

Lydia Riddell has always believed that presenting the beauty of the planet and enabling people to recognize its importance from a place of love, rather than fear. She fosters a deep-rooted connection based on respect and awe that lasts. Working as an arboriculturist and with a love of trees and all things green, running workshops with Rowan allows Lydia to keep her creative flare alight and form genuine connections whilst showing people the magic of the natural world. 

What are the hidden gems of the Isle of Man that most tourists don’t know about?

Lydia: Where to begin! The beauty of the Isle of Man is the diversity of the landscape. For a relatively small island, it allows for an abundance of secret serene spots tucked away. I love Tholtan hunting around Tholt-y-will and Sulby valley- there are so many hidden waterfalls and amazing viewpoints of the rolling valley hills. Down south, I love meandering around Santon Gorge with its ancient and gnarled oaks and hawthorns before heading down to the beach for a swim, picnic, and to explore the surrounding caves.       

Rowan: Our coastline is pretty magical, I love the variety, down Scarlet it feels a bit like you’re on another planet, and then there’s the incredible dunes up in the north. And the coastal flowers! Especially at this time of year, all pinks, yellows and whites contrasting against the sparkling blue of the sea. I walked from Cronk ny Arrey Laa to Peel a couple of weeks ago and I was just so blown away by its beauty. 

If you were a mushroom, what type would you be? 

Lydia: I’m a big fungi fan- I find them fascinating, and once you start looking for them you notice they’re everywhere! They’re one of nature’s best treasure hunts. I’d probably liken myself to Parrot Waxcap… I can often be found dressed in funky colours and also lying around on grassland!

What’s your favourite part of a Make Good workshop? 

Rowan: I love the start, because inevitably we have been running around like crazy things to get everything ready and it can be a bit stressful, but then everyone arrives and the workshop starts and it just creates this magical feeling. It’s hard to explain, but it’s a wonderful mixture of anticipation, calm, and togetherness! And I love the end of a workshop because it’s amazing to see everyone having enjoyed themselves and connected as a group. I always feel so restored at the end of a workshop. 

Lydia: I love the moments where we allow people to go and explore their surroundings by themselves. It's so moving to see people take the time to connect with the world around them before coming back to the group and sharing the things they’ve found or seen. Often, we’re so busy that we don't allow ourselves the time to just stop and look, and I always find it fascinating to see what different people notice and are drawn to. 

What’s your favourite way to enjoy nature? 

Lydia: I slow it right down and allow myself the time to amble through glens and woodlands. I think the raw beauty of our planet can more often be found in small hidden corners rather than in the big sweeping views. Diving into hedgerows and taking the time out to zone in on little patches of wilderness allows me to disconnect from my thoughts and reconnect to the natural world around me. It's incredibly inspiring to observe and honour the intricacies and intertwining of nature. 

Rowan: For me, spending time in the sea just takes me away from any stress, worries or anxiety. I feel totally present bobbing around in the underwater world, watching fish and seals glide by, anemones and seaweeds swaying in the currents, there is no other place like it! I can’t quite say I get the same feeling from sailing, being a complete novice has given me some very stressful experiences, but nothing beats the feeling of the boat moving across the water with the power of the wind. 

When did you first feel connected to nature?

Rowan: I think we are all born with an innate connection to nature, because fundamentally we are part of nature. I was so lucky as a child to be completely immersed in the outdoors, whether that was camping, snorkelling or scrambling round the coastline playing ‘house’ in caves and coves. I think we have a tendency to lose that connection over time, because modern life takes us away from spending time outside, exploring, and being curious. I think I first realised how important maintaining that connection is when I sailed across the Pacific. It helped me realise that access and connection to the rest of nature is what I need to live a happy, fulfilled life. 

Lydia: When I was younger, I vividly remember spending hours looking into rock pools and recognising that, to some of the creatures and plants living there, that small rock pool was their whole perfect world. I think those are my earliest memories of feeling that sense of awe and appreciation for our planet. After childhood, it wasn't until my early 20s, having gone to university and returned to the island, that I realised just how much I wanted to give back to the planet, and that I could find a career that allowed me to do so. I haven't looked back since.