Spend more time out of doors in south Lincolnshire

Kingfisher. Photo: Don Davis.
Kingfisher. Photo: Don Davis.

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They are found in a wide variety of habitats including woods, heaths, farmland and even the most urban of gardens as long as there’s a few shrubs or a bit of ivy to hide behind.

Surprisingly, for such a common and widespread bird, there is one place where you won’t find the wren: the Oxford Junior Dictionary.

The wren, along with kingfisher, cygnet, heron, raven, thrush and starling, has been culled from the junior dictionary to make room for new words. As well as the loss of birds, more than a dozen wildflowers have gone including buttercup and, what many consider to be our national flower, the bluebell.

What is most worrying about the loss of so many birds and wildflowers from the junior dictionary is that it feels like nature is being removed from the fabric of society.

Nature is as fundamental to the health of our planet and to our own health and wellbeing as words are to language. Access to natural green spaces for fresh air, exercise and quiet contemplation has benefits for both physical and mental health.

Individuals with easy access to nature are three times more likely to participate in physical activity and 40 per cent less likely to become overweight or obese.

Nature near home is particularly important for children but sadly children, like many adults, are spending little time outdoors and hours and hours indoors looking at a screen. Fewer than one in ten children regularly play in wild places compared to almost half a generation ago.

What can we do about it? How about at the start of 2015 we all make a resolution to reduce the amount of time we spend in front of a screen and spend more time outdoors? It shouldn’t be difficult.