Wild at Home

Wild At Home

The Wild At Home project was initiated during the Coronavirus lockdown, when we were all struggling to get our daily dose of nature. The aim was to help everyone enjoy wildlife and connect with the wild places around them.

During the toughest restrictions in April, May and June, we have shared weekly inspiration, ideas and activities on how to stay wild whilst remaining safe at home. Just like the Coronavirus will most likely be a part of our lives for a while, the Wild At Home project is here to stay. This is why we're keeping all resources, templates and downloads available for you to enjoy and discover, regardless of any Coronavirus or other restrictions.

Feel free to share your #WildAtHome experiences with us, follow us on TwitterFacebook  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.

Wild At Home - Nature Diary

Your Nature Diary

To help you get the most of of your Wild At Home 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!

Download 

Wildlife Memory game in the grass

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.

Download

14 weeks Wild At Home - a look back

On 23 March, the country comes to a standstill. Lockdown. We are told to stay at home as much as possible. Going out for the sake of being outside, immersed in nature, is not deemed essential and we shall not drive anywhere to exercise. For many, this means not being able to access their favourite wild patch, at a time when they need it the most. 

For the Trust, this means cancelling all our events, volunteer work parties and more. All of a sudden, we are not able to bring people to wildlife anymore, to engage them with the natural world, to spark a passion for the environment. This is when Wild At Home is formed. Starting on 30 March, the campaign provides a weekly wildlife fix straight to people’s inboxes. From marvellous mammals and wonderful wildflowers to underdogs and wildlife without borders, the weekly themes revolve around how people can explore and take action for wildlife, be creatively inspired with arts and crafts challenges as well as tutorials, learn mindfulness with nature and much more.

The feedback we have received for this campaign was overwhelmingly positive. For many, it turns out, it was not just a weekly email but a lifeline to stay connected with wildlife within their own four walls.

A lot of time has passed since then. Much has changed since the country went on full lockdown and luckily, we can visit our favourite wild patch again, meet other people for a walk in the woods and discover nature far from home. Wild At Home was exactly what we needed at a very difficult time and it has served its purpose. 

A message from Bertie the Badger

Bertie the Badger has been getting involved in Wild At Home, too! Do you remember the Yoga session? Or when Bertie went birdwatching? Here's a message from Bertie for you:

Explore

With Wild At Home, we wanted to provide a space for exploration, learning, creativity and fun, with a focus particularly on the wildlife on your doorstep and immediate neighbourhood – and there is plenty, whether you live in an urban area (the whole of week 11 was dedicated to City Dwellers!) or a village. We have lots of spotter sheets available to provide handy identification help for daily exercise walks.

Find spotter sheets 

Create

Arts & Crafts Challenge

During the lockdown, many people found solace in the arts and crafts, the same is true for engaging with nature. Our arts and crafts challenges asked you to make birds’ nests, draw your favourite minibeasts, write a nature poem or even bake something nature inspired. We received so many submissions from big or small, with beautiful drawings, delicious-looking hedgehog cookies and flower origami. 

Learn

Wildlife TEDtalks

Adopting the concept of TEDtalks, our Wildlife TEDtalks focussed on a particular subject revolving around the weekly theme to give you insight into lesser known aspects of our fascinating wildlife. 

Watch them again

In our weekly blog posts, you could read up on recommendations for nature books or ID apps, gardening tips, wildlife identification aids and much more. 

Read them again

Wildlife Quiz

Which urban creature are you? How much do you know about Hertfordshire's waterways? Where do our animals go on holiday?

These and more were the themes of our weekly wildlife quiz - a fun way to test your knowledge and learn more about wildlife - one of Wild At Home's most popular features. Go ahead and find out how much you really know about wildlife!

Wild At Home - Mindfulness

Ox-eye dasies (c) Josh Kubale

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

Be Active
Go outside for a walk or explore your nearest wild patch

Connect
With people, share your wildlife experiences, virtually or over the phone.

Give
Do something positive to help your garden or local wild patch 

Take Notice
Of the everyday wildness on your doorstep

Learn
Try something new outside

Wellbeing Activities

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: Sit

Activity: Camera

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.
  • Listen
    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.

Forest Bathing

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?

Nature and mental health infographic
Wild At Home - Wildlife Matters & Leaflets

Blue tit (c) Andy Rouse/2020VISION

Wild At Home - download

Wildlife Memory Game

Wild At Home - Videos and blogs

Barn owl (c) Jon Hawkins Surrey Hills Photography

TEDtalks & workshops

Bats

Bees

Bluebells in Gobions Wood

Butterflies

Chalk Rivers

Dragonflies & Damselflies

Masters of Disguise

Reptiles & Amphibians

Spring birds

Stargazing

Trees

Wildflowers

Wild plants

Learn to draw

Learn to draw birds with Martin Gibbons

Blogs

Enjoying #WildAtHome?

If Wild at Home has (re)ignited your love for nature, please help support wildlife with a donation to the Trust. We are working hard across Hertfordshire and Middlesex to care for wild places so that wildlife and people can thrive together.
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