Adventures in Nature
Have you ever wondered about the benefits of walking and cycling? I love cycling, but I don’t often stop to think about it. I do know that I feel calmer, happier and less stressed when cycling to work compared with sitting in my car in traffic jams! Walking and cycling are the perfect way to fit exercise into your daily routine, cheaper than the gym and replacing just one journey a week by active travel (walking or cycling) can reduce personal CO2 emissions and help to tackle the climate crisis.
The amount of land covered by gardens in the UK is over four and a half times that our our nature reserves. With urbanisation and intensive agriculture pushing nature to the margins, if we are lucky enough to have some outside space, we have an opportunity to really help the nature on our doorstep – and enjoy a beautiful garden too. Last month I blogged about how I create wildlife habitats in the garden. Now the gardening year is in full swing, I’m focusing on how planting can support the bees, butterflies and other pollinators and help stop their steady decline.
Sitting in the garden on a warm March day, I am watching a blue tit hop in and out of the nestbox that we fixed to a cherry tree; is it making a nest, or bringing food to a female already sitting on some eggs? Is it the same bird that inhabited the box last year, or is it one of the offspring that we saw take its first flight, now returning to raise some chicks of its own? Either way, it feels very special, because the nestbox was constructed by my husband and youngest daughter several years ago and has hosted at least one brood of blue tits every year since. There is something so rewarding that this small intervention is supporting the wildlife in our garden. In the face of urban development, the intensification of farming and climate change, gardens have become important refuges for many species of bird, insect, amphibian and mammal, providing habitats that may be absent elsewhere. Fortunately there are loads of things we can do to help out wildlife in our gardens and public parks. (more…)
Following our blog theme of a Year of Environmental Actions, I’m throwing my hat in the ring with engaging with the environment through volunteering and how people can get involved. In the last blog I wrote a lot about rivers, so you’d be safe in assuming I have a real interest in rivers and understand their importance. Which is why I have spent some time over the past couple months volunteering with Aire River Trust. This Bradford charity is working to improve the River Aire by regularly taking volunteer groups out to do work which helps reduce flooding, clear litter, create new habitats. I’ve only taken part in a few volunteering sessions, but I have already gained a sense of the scope of work that the Aire River Trust (and other river charities) undertake and how important it is for our waterways and ecosystems. (more…)
For this year’s blog we decided that following on from the COP 26 in October last year in Glasgow that we would focus on environmental actions that we can all take in our every day lives to do our bit towards reducing our impact on the environment. Whether that is increasing biodiversity in our gardens by planting flowers for pollinators, reducing our reliance on single use plastics or making more journeys by bike or on foot to reduce CO2 emissions. Each month we will focus on a different action. To begin the year, we’re starting off with doing our bit to reduce the amount of litter that is polluting the environment. (more…)