Wild At Home 2.0
As we're finding ourselves in another lockdown, our Wild At Home project is more relevant than ever. Let us help you enjoy wildlife and connect with the wild places around you throughout autumn and winter.
In the next couple of weeks, we'll be adding more inspiration for seasonal and festive activities to this page, in addition to all templates and downloads we've collected since March, for you to enjoy and discover in your own time.
Feel free to share your #WildAtHome experiences with us, follow 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 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?