It’s easy to re-connect our lives with nature in bite-sized chunks

PUBLISHED: 10:47 27 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:24 27 February 2020

A red kite  Picture: Andy Thompson

A red kite Picture: Andy Thompson


Enjoying nature doesn’t mean hours cooped up in a bird watching hide arguing about the identity of some brown feathered speck in some distant reed bed.

Geese fly by moonlight  Picture: Matthew UsherGeese fly by moonlight Picture: Matthew Usher

You don't need a telescope or a camera lens long enough to see into the middle of next week.

And you don't need to yomp around dressed like you're setting off up the north face of Annapurna. All you have to do is stop, look and listen now and then.

Yet more than six in 10 adults (62pc) rarely or never listen to bird song, according to a survey out today.

People who do regularly notice and connect with nature are far more likely to act to help tackle the crisis facing wildlife, a study published by the National Trust with the University of Derby has found.

Snettisham Beach at Sunset. Picture: Matthew Usher.Snettisham Beach at Sunset. Picture: Matthew Usher.

And being connected with nature, noticing natural phenomenon every day, is linked to higher well being, the research suggests.

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The trust is launching a year of activity including a new week-by-week guide to help people reforge a connection with the natural world.

It couldn't be simpler in Norfolk. Pull into a lay-by or gateway the next time you see a marsh harrier swooping over the fields or a red kite riding the wind, keeping station with flicks of its forked tail. Just spend a minute or two to marvel.

Even a modest pond can attract frogs to your garden   Picture: Chris BishopEven a modest pond can attract frogs to your garden Picture: Chris Bishop

Set your alarm half an hour before sunrise. Lie in bed with a coffee while you listen to the dawn chorus.

Plant lavender and watch the bees make a bee-line for its blue flowers all summer.

Look over the shady side of a bridge and fish spot. It's amazing what swims under our feet even in the centre of towns.

Dig a small pond and see the beneficial wildlife it brings to your garden or allotment such as frogs.

Prof Miles Richardson, from the University of Derby, said of the report: "In our analysis, we discovered that the kind of connection that makes the difference involves more than simply spending time outdoors - instead it's about actively tuning in to nature, regularly spending simple, bite-size moments relating to nature around you."

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