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©National Trust/Juliet Turner

The National Trust: Everyone Needs Nature

The past few weeks have been a difficult time for everyone, with most of us not able to get outside as much as we’d like, or to explore the beautiful landscapes that can help lift our spirits. However, for some people life in lockdown has provided an opportunity to slow down and perhaps take more time to reconnect with nature. 

 

Sharing our world with nature means if you look close enough, you can find it anywhere. From that spot next to the kitchen window where you get to eavesdrop on the birds’ morning natter, to the jungles waiting to be discovered between the deep caverns of paving slabs. And if you’re one of the people who has begun to notice nature on your doorstep, then you may have also felt the benefits.

 

Research that our partners at the National Trust have carried out with the University of Derby has shown that not only do adults with a strong connection to nature feel healthier, but ‘nature connectedness’ is also strongly linked to lower levels of depression and anxiety. What’s more, we know that if people fall in love with nature they'll be more likely to look after it, so if you haven’t reconnected with nature yet, now is the perfect time to start noticing the beauty of the world around you.

Take it step-by-step

Reconnecting with nature doesn’t need to mean big changes, and especially at the moment, when we all need to stay local as much as possible, there are many ways you can boost your connection with the natural world from your doorstep, whether you’ve got 20 seconds, 20 minutes or more. The Trust’s research has shown that 79% of adults infrequently or never smelled wild flowers, and 62% either infrequently or never listened to birdsong, so how about making a conscious effort to stop and try these when you’re next on a walk? And if you need some more simple steps, why not download the National Trust’s guide to ‘rewilding your life’?

Birdwatching at home

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©National Trust Images/John Millar

As the days warm up, opening your window on an early morning can bring the freshness of the season into your home. When you take a moment to listen, you'll begin to notice different calls of birds enjoying the bluer skies with you. Birdsong is a sign that native species have returned to our gardens and streets, telling us that sunnier days are on their way.

 

Read the Trust’s top tips for birdwatching at home here.

Make a promise for nature

What better way to reconnect with nature than to make a promise to help protect it, and join in with thousands of others who are making a promise for nature this year? From building a bug hotel in your garden to reducing your carbon footprint around the home, the Trust are inviting you to make simple promises to help nature and wildlife thrive. Whether it's a small change like switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs, a lifestyle switch-up like resolving to reduce your food miles or taking on a project like making a bird box, there are lots of ways to get involved. Find more inspiration for your promises for nature here.

Want to do more to help care for nature?

We’ve seen that everyone needs nature, beauty and green spaces now more than ever. But nature needs looking after in order to protect it for future generations to enjoy. For 125 years, the National Trust has been working hard to protect some of the UK's best-loved natural environments, with support from their members, donors, volunteers, staff, and partners like us. But their income has dropped sharply due to the coronavirus crisis. As a charity, they rely on donations to continue caring for the landscapes we love. So, if you’d like to do more to help look after special places, please consider donating what you can, so people and nature can thrive.