Connecting with Everyday Nature
Research shows that young people, especially those living in urban environments, are spending less time outdoors and are 'disconnecting’ from nature. Feeling connected to nature improves our mental and physical health and wellbeing and doesn’t need to involve travel or money. Look around the area you live and notice the ‘everyday nature’ around you whether it be a tree on the street, an area of vacant land or even a dandelion pushing through the cracks in the pavement.
We’d like to share some of our top tips for getting you and your kids to spend more time in urban nature. Remember to stay safe and let us know how you get on!
When you need to walk somewhere, see if you can walk through a green space rather than roadside. Is there a canal towpath near you or footpath through a park? There are loads of 'green corridors’ through Stoke-on-Trent, Some are more hidden than others so take your time and explore the ones where you live.
Go with friends. Always go with friends or a group so that you can keep safe and have more fun! Can you walk to or from school and encourage your kids to spend time outside with their friends?
Take your time and notice nature around you. When you’re not in a rush take a little longer to walk, explore and pay attention to the environment around you. Listen to birds, feel the grass, look up at the trees. Breathe.
Take photographs. Use your smartphone or a camera to capture things you or your kids find interesting. Let the kids take some photos too, you might be surprised to see what they choose to capture and it’s a great conversation starter.
Pick wildflowers and forage for blackberries. Wild grasses, flowers and common weeds can look just as pretty as a formal bouquet. As long as they are not part of a formal garden then encourage children to collect a piece of nature to take home with them. In August, brambles with ripe blackberries are very common in urban areas and there's not much better than a homemade apple and blackberry crumble with blackberries you've picked yourself. Watch out for blackberry thorns and nettles and always check that you know what you’ve picked before you eat it. Check on Google if you’re not sure and if you’re still uncertain then leave it for the birds!
Just get outside! Everyday nature is all around us, even in spaces that seem really built up with lots of concrete. It's one of the special things about nature, it always finds a way back to reclaim it's place.
Come with us on our next Urban Adventure! We have plenty of opportunities coming up this year and a brilliant festival planned for the summer. If you want us to keep you updated then sign up to our newsletter below.