Eat / Gift / Grow / nature

5 Ways to Connect With Nature in Autumn

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The summer lends itself to getting outdoors. The sunshine, ice cream vans and festivals galore lure us outside to play.

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However, as the nights draw in, and the weather becomes less inviting to most, it can be easy to stay indoors.

Don’t let autumn bring a disconnect with nature. These activities will all give you an incentive to get outside; and help you stay in touch with outdoors, even when you’re stuck inside.

1 Make an Autumn Bouquet

Collect seed heads, twigs, feathers, pine cones and berries, and use times when you’re stuck inside to turn them into autumn bouquets. These ones were made with a glue gun, glitter and sequinned ribbon scraps, but you could simply arrange them in a jam jar.

Making bouquets is a great way to use up old bits of ribbon and fabric. Tailor your design to whatever you’ve got in your scraps box (or recycling bin). They’re ideal if you’re planning a winter wedding, want a simple gift or simply like the idea of brightening up your home.

2 Forage

Knowing the hedgerows are full of free food is a great incentive to get outside. Blackberries, apples, hips, haws, damsons and elderberries are just a few of the joys available – and there’s plenty to cook with them, as I’ve written about before.

3 Feed the Ducks

The ducks still get hungry when it’s cold outside so make sure you still feed them, and other birds. Don’t feed them bread as it’s bad for them (make autumn pudding with stale bread instead.) Use seeds or oatmeal to feed the ducks (or see the Canal and Rivers Trust guide to leftovers you can safely use).

4 Tend the Garden

If you have a garden, now is the time to reap the rewards of your growing and prepare it for the next season.

If not, get a seasonal salad leaves window box; or invest in some pots of herbs for the kitchen (and bath). Keeping growing throughout autumn and winter can brighten up the duller days.

5 Add Some Colour

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To be fair, the above was an accident thanks to an elderberry port explosion. However, it’s a lovely colour – and it’s far from the only natural dye available at this time of year.

Damsons, elderberries, walnut husks, beetroot, onion skins, turmeric, tea, coffee, and rose leaves are just a few of the things you can use to make dyes. Have a play –  but cover all surfaces first to avoid giving your kitchen an unwanted makeover.

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There’s still lots to experience outdoors so enjoy nature – and stock up on foraged food and natural crafting supplies for the days when you really can’t face leaving the house.

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