A regular column by Rachel Shaw of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.
The sun is shining and outside in the garden, birds are singing. In early spring, hearing the strong and strident song of birds is uplifting. When we stop and think, we all know that nature is good for us but all too often we don’t stop and think. Our lives are packed; busy rushing from one place to the next; when we do stop, it’s all too easy to slump on the sofa in front of the TV.
Nationally, the Wildlife Trusts have launched a new campaign encouraging us all to stop and think. To stop for a minute to reflect on what wildlife means to us and think about how to make wildlife part of our everyday lives. The campaign is called My Wild Life and people across the UK are taking part and sharing their stories. Our connections with wildlife and the natural world are multiple and varied, unique and shared. Maybe it’s an escape from the office, a place for sharing family time, an outdoor gym, a retreat from the modern digital world, an adventure of new discoveries, inspiration for art or poetry.
You can share your Wild Life and what nature means to you on www.mywildlife.org.uk or by using #MyWildLife in social media. Sir David Attenborough has already shared his. Sir David has travelled the world in search of wildlife but it’s in London where he lives where he can watch stag beetles flying in his garden and marvel at ancient trees in London’s parks. The wildlife in his neighbourhood is an essential part of his wild life. Sir David, The Wildlife Trusts’ president emeritus, said: “Contact with nature should not be the preserve of the privileged. It is critical to the personal development of our children.
“People turn to nature in moments of joy and in moments of sadness. We are part of the natural world: we depend on it for the air we breathe and the food we eat.”
Wildlife is all around us; we don’t have to go somewhere special to see it. Just as Sir David appreciates the wildlife in London’s parks, we can all find wildlife to appreciate and enjoy in our neighbourhoods. On my short lunchtime walk today I spotted brimstone, small tortoiseshell and peacock butterflies, all enjoying spring sunshine, and one of my favourite birds, the wren.
Today, spare a few moments to notice nature. Look out for those welcome signs of spring: butterflies and bumblebees; for the colours and shapes in nature or the micro-forests of mosses growing on a town wall; and listen to the birds singing. Try to make time for nature every day.