During this difficult time, we are all struggling to get our daily dose of nature. We want to help everyone enjoy wildlife and connect with the wild places around them.
Our #WildAtHome project aims to help bring you closer to wildlife in the safety of your home. Each week we'll be sharing loads of ideas and inspiration on how to stay wild whilst remaining safe at home. We'll also be putting lots of resources and information here on this page as well as setting you a weekly art/craft challenge! Most importantly, we want you to share your #WildAtHome experiences with us, so please do make sure you're following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or contact us via e-mail and let us know what you've been up to, show us your pictures or photos and tell us how you've been keeping wild.
Your Nature Diary
To help you get the most of of your #WildAtHome adventures, we 've created a Nature Diary for you to download. Simply print off your new Nature Diary and use it to write down your observations, draw or paint your discoveries or log all the wildlife you see. It is your very own Nature Diary and you can use it any way you want, as long as you make it wild!
Wildlife Memory Game
Get to know our British Wildlife and train your brain in a fun way with our Wildlife Memory Game. Can you match the images with a fun fact to win. Download and print the template below.
Week 10 - the wildlife we love to hate
Just like most of us have a favourite animal or flower - some even have a fungi preference - there's some wildlife that always gets the short end of the stick in this popularity contest. Sure, technically, we love all wildlife, but then, spiders are really creepy. And magpies are just evil! Not to mention those aggressive wasps!
This is why this week, we're shining the spotlight onto our wildlife underdogs, the ones that usually don't get a lot of love. Knowing the facts about them might just turn your disdain into appreciation!
Find all downloads and resources here.
In search for underdogs
Normally, a buzzing bee gets more attention than a wasp, a beautiful blackbird is more photographed than a wood pigeon and no one screaks 'ewwww' when seeing a beautiful butterfly. This week, however, we'd like you to focus on the less popular wildlife. Do you notice the iridescent blue of a magpie? The intricate webs of a spider? The great service that earthworms do to keep our soil healthy?
Learn to love
Many of us have a particular animal that we don't like or that we fear. Unjustly, in most cases, as this disdain is often based on misinformation. Here's a little exercise to help you learn to love.
Download and print the template, draw or describe an animal you really don't like, think about why you don't like it and then think about what part this animal plays in our world and why your fear or hate may be unfounded.
Maybe you'll find that this animal is actually really interesting and it might turn your dislike into appreciation.
Arts & Crafts Challenge
We've been enjoying glorious sunshine recently. Did you know that a light-filled patio makes the perfect stage for a shadow theatre? All you need for this fun activity is a printer, thick paper or cardboard and sticks. Just print our wildlife silhouette templates, cut out the shapes of badger, hedgehog and their friends and fix them to a stick. Next up, your own wildlife story - a drama or a comedy? It's up to you!
Wildlife myths busted
Some wildlife is more popular than others, which is often based on alleged characteristics or 'urban legends'. This is why we're busting the myths to defend our wildlife underdogs.
Daily contact with nature is linked to better health, reduced levels of chronic stress, reductions in obesity and improved concentration. In difficult times, being in nature can be our remedy and improve our mental health. We want to help you stay healthy and happy and we will provide mindfulness exercises and well-being activities to help ease your mind and focus on the positive things around us.
5 ways to well-being
Go outside for a walk or explore your nearest wild patch
With people, share your wildlife experiences, virtually or over the phone.
Do something positive to help your garden or local wild patch
Of the everyday wildness on your doorstep
Try something new outside
People & Wildlife Officer Heidi normally runs Wild Wellbeing Walks in Harpenden. Here she provides us with simple activities you can do to be more mindful and help your mind relax and focus on more positive thoughts.
Activity: Build a mini kingdom
Here are a few ideas you can do depending on how much time you can spare:
If you have five minutes or less
- Open your window or step outside
Get up, move around and breathe some fresh air - even if it's just for a minute or less.
Close your eyes and listen to the sounds of what’s going on outside. Yes, you’ll probably hear some human noises, but we’re part of nature too, and with less traffic and aeroplanes about now is the time to hear more wildlife.
If you have 10 minutes or more
- Try some meditation
There are some great nature soundscapes available on all the usual music streaming apps
- Go hunting for fractals
A fractal is a self-repeating pattern of a shape that varies in scale, such as a group of fungi, flower petals or a close-up of a leaf. I had a look in my garden this morning and I found many. According to research, the human eye is fractal-shaped so when we look at things which are also fractal-shaped, our eyes can lock on to them and it’s a lot more pleasing than looking at the man-made things around our homes.
If you have more time
- Be creative!
Make a painting or drawing of something you've seen, write a poem or make a collage from natural materials - the possibilities are endless. Why not take part in our arts & crafts challenge and make a twig raft this week?
- "Today's colour is..."
Choose a different colour every day and let this colour define the way you discover nature - pick blue and notice the forget-me-nots or dandelions when you choose yellow.
Shinrin Yoku, also known as forest bathing, is an ancient Japanese method of relaxation. Simply put, it is a relaxing walk through the woods. The only difference is that rather than walking for exercise, you take the time to really focus on the natural world around you such as birdsong echoing from the canopy or the rays of sunlight catching the leaves. If you live near a woodland, why not try forest bathing on your next walk?