Mid-winter might not seem to be the best time of year to encourage people to get into nature but actually it’s the best season to get started.
Despite the record mild temperatures that we’ve had in the last few months, the gradual lengthening of daylight hours is a sign to the natural world to start getting busy.
With less happening you can start to hone your wildlife watching skills. It’s worth taking the time to get to know some species rather than trying to learn everything.
I’ve got into nature in a big way in the last decade, partly through work and also having a family. I’m no naturalist or ecologist but it’s amazing what you can learn by looking or listening. Importantly I think that I have never got hung up about my lack of ID skills and just enjoyed nature for its pure wonder and ability to amaze.
Taking the time to notice nature every day is really important. It’s pretty fundamental for us all to have that connection to the natural world for our well-being and also so that we can understand what is happening to wildlife.
Doing everything in bite sized chunks is a good way to get started. Set yourself a nature task every week or maybe start jotting down what you see. You can read around particular subjects but sometimes there is no substitute for just getting out there.
The commute to work can be a handy way of introducing yourself to nature, whether you walk, cycling, drive or use public transport. Nature is all around us waiting to be discovered. And if you use the same route everyday you’ll start to get use to the things that you see or hear.
In the coming weeks things will start to flower (if they haven’t already) and the dawn chorus will begin to crank up in volume. As winter slowly turns into spring there will be lots more to see and hear.
My view is that you need to get to know nature on your terms: don’t get hung up on trying to know everything at once, just enjoy it and have fun.
Nature always has an ability to surprise and amaze us and getting a fix of nature every day is a fantastic way to enrich our lives.