The small ways we can connect with nature in Cheshire
PUBLISHED: 00:00 14 May 2020
Take time to explore the wonders of nature this summer, says Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s Rachel Bradshaw.
It’s no secret that spending time in nature makes us happier and healthier. Whether you smell a wildflower, listen to birdsong or taste wild blackberries, nature enhances all our senses. That’s why all the Wildlife Trusts want you to take part in 30 Days Wild and do something wild every day for 30 days this June. We may be in lockdown or self-isolation, but there are still small ways we can connect with nature and spend 30 days that will help you let nature into your life.
Being connected with nature is about feeling close to the wider natural world. A relationship that helps us feel good – that taps into our emotions. Emotions aren’t just feelings; they are linked to our bodies – our nervous system, heart and brain. As different emotions come and go, they shape what we do and motivate us. Regulating emotions is a very important and almost constant function of human life. Our ability to keep our emotions regulated is important for wellbeing.
By asking people to make room for nature every day for 30 days and share their experiences with others, people report feeling significantly healthier and happier, not just for a short amount of time, but months after our challenge. Taking part leads to a sustained increase in connection to nature, bringing the associated benefits to happiness, health, and pro-nature behaviours. That’s great news for wildlife, and great news for human beings.
Thousands across the UK took part last year, from urban jungles to mountain tops, the islands, highlands and more. Even in the busiest city centres, people of all ages were finding a little patch of the wild and encouraging it to thrive.
For Cheshire’s Toby Welton, his 30 Days Wild meant tuning into things he may not have recognised before.
“One of the things that I did last year was going to my local park and smelling all of the different types of flowers,” he says. “I also collected feathers, leaves, sticks, moss, acorns and other things and made my very own wildlife picture.
“One of my favourite things last year was going to London. I went to Hyde Park and collected fallen twigs and branches and made a stick house. Other amazing things you can do are going on a nature walk and listening to all of the different types of wildlife around you. Or sit quietly in your back garden to see if any wildlife comes to visit.
“By doing 30 Days Wild you will learn more about the wildlife that lives around you so you can start caring more about nature than you have before.
“If we all did a little bit more it would really help a lot.”
We want families, adults and teenagers to really tune into the nature around them this month. Try putting down that technology for a whole day, or at least a couple of hours, to tune into nature. If you would like to take part in 30 Days Wild this year, you can sign up via our website at cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk