The brightening days can bring renewed inspiration – a feeling that ‘things will be different’. If you like the idea of getting fitter, relaxing more, making a difference to the world or just trying something new, nature is here for you. Here are five things you can try this weekend.
Flowers and plants are an essential part of the ecosystem. You can plant (native) wildflowers to encourage pollinators and butterflies. You can plant salad leaves or fruit and vegetables to save food miles (and money). You can plant a whole garden and create habitats for all manner of creatures. Or you can just plant something that brightens up your day with a splash of colour.
If you’re on a budget, ask a friend with a garden for cuttings to start growing – and you can save money at seed swapping events such as Seedy Sunday (5th Feb, Brighton).
Pots and planters can often be found in skips. You can also recycle everything from coffee cups to old cans as planters. The biggest cost is the compost, if you don’t have outdoor space, but even that has come down in price a lot, and can now be found in many discount stores.
Growing something feels satisfying – and helps you keep track of the passage of time.
Feed the Birds
I’m a little obsessed with this at the moment as it’s cold and the birds are hungry, but wherever you are, there are sure to be hungry birds too.
Get some birdseed, oats or other bird safe food (different birds like different things so check what your local birds will find tastiest) and spend some time feeding them. To me, their gratitude is palpable, and it’s a lovely way to see the birds closer up.
Feeding the birds is a great way to use lingering leftovers too. Make a fat ball by pouring fat over oats, cheese, cake, dried fruit and nuts (not salted) then pouring the mix into a can (Put string through the centre when it’s warm for ease of hanging up).
If that’s too much effort, just keep a bird feed jar that you put all suitable leftovers into. Store it with small bags so that it’s easy to grab some bird feed whenever you go out and your local birds will love you.
The skies can be beautiful on even the greyest days. Every day has its moments, whether sunrise, sunset, a rainbow or rolling clouds with dramatic glints. The more you look up, the better your chance of catching these moments.
Go on a Nature Walk
You don’t need to head deep into the countryside to enjoy a nature walk. Just look out for wildlife and plants as you go about your day.
Collect feathers and twigs that you find for crafting, take photos or just enjoy the beauty that surrounds you – if only you look closely enough.
Try Some Citizen Science
From plant watching to slug tracking, bird counts to pollinator watching, citizen science projects abound that allow you to use your spare time in nature to help make scientific discoveries. Many of these only require and hour or two, and by getting involved, you can be part of something bigger than yourself.
Get outside this weekend and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the natural joy to be found, if you open your eyes to it.