If you’re stuck in your home during lockdown, it’s an excellent opportunity to reconnect to nature. If you’re fortunate, you’ll have access to an outdoor space. The majority of 90% of all homes across the UK have one. If you don’t have one, there’s probably some kind of park close by.
Gardens and parks are an incredible resource for biodiversity. They’re also great locations to sit and contemplate the natural world. Begin with birds. In the world, about one to five percent of all species of birds are found in urban areas. They’re the first step to an enchanted universe of natural history marvels. Spend some time sitting in a quiet spot, observing, and discovering.
About 50% of UK households feed birds at one time or another and spend about 250 million pounds per year doing this. This isn’t just for blue tits or robins, either. In Reading, We found that about 20 percent of households have lured the red kites to their gardens by offering the promise in the form of meat and the bird of prey, which was once nearly extinct at the center of British household life.
Are you planning to visit an area with a garden? A red kite flying in full flight. Erni/Shutterstock
We all know the names of species that are common to us, but how do we stop there? Citizen scientists who collect data are frequently the mainstay of research. The birds that are observed in the backyard have revealed the hidden lives of birds in the garden, as well as providing plenty of opportunities for new naturalists in the city to conduct the same thing for hedgehogs, butterflies, toads, and frogs.
Examine any wet patches and ponds for toads and frogs. Paul Steven/Shutterstock
Spring and nature are in full bloom.
The early spring months are an ideal time to begin. Chiffchaffs are one of those who arrive first in the spring to the UK. They have come from southern Europe, and the peak migration season is about to begin. The first butterflies have appeared. The sulfur-yellow Brimstone is the one that’s easier to spot since it wanders around the gardens, whereas queen bumblebees are busy in nest building. Dawn choruses are forming, and the low morning activity signifies that blackbird, great tit, and robin songs are easier to hear. Doves with collars and wood pigeons are gathering nesting material, and blue tits are scouring nest boxes.
Read more: Coronavirus: what the lockdown could mean for urban wildlife.
If you can get out, why not tend your garden so that it benefits wildlife? A report published in 2017 suggested that gardening helped reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. Recent research indicated that for every £1 spent on promoting contact with nature for people suffering from mental health issues, there was a social return valued at almost £7. An interest in nature pays dividends.
However, it’s not only adults who can benefit from being immersed in the natural world. People of younger ages are more distant from nature. There was a study from 2002 that found that children can recognize more Pokemon than native wildlife. Children who feel more connected with nature are more content. Create an interest in the natural world among children and teach with them.
It’s the perfect opportunity to meet the people who visit your garden. Nadya Eugene/Shutterstock
There are a myriad of things we could be asking ourselves to gain a better understanding of how we interact with the natural world. Do our pets enjoy the sun, or are they hunting? Which are home sparrows, and why aren’t they more widespread? How can we help to bring them back? What effects do urban noises have on bird songs?
Keep working – some of the most insightful knowledge about animal behavior has been gained from watching birds in the garden. British biologist David Lack’s groundbreaking 1940s research on Robins demonstrated that their territorial aggression could be provoked by a golf ball-sized lump that is red. Nick Davies’ research on dunnocks (an often omitted garden bird) at Cambridge University’s Botanic Garden has revealed their complex relationship, where anything is possible, from monogamy to polyandry, polygyny, and even monogamy. There is a lot to learn from the bird species we usually ignore.
We are increasingly experiencing our natural surroundings through glass, with a dim. Research after research encourages the psychological and physical benefits of being in touch with nature. It is a good idea to look at the sky. Be present and be in touch with a different rhythm of life. Breathe. In this lockdown, you will be prescribed the dosage of nature every day, as necessary.