Blog written by: Izzy Fry
Due to Covid-19 most of us are in quarantine or lockdown, however there are still lots of activities to keep you occupied and connected to nature.
No matter where you live or how old or young you are, there is so much to see and explore right on your doorstep! On your daily exercise, see if you can spot any bees or butterflies. If you have a garden, find what birds come to visit. If you have a wall or fence see what minibeasts are crawling around. No matter where you are, there will always be wildlife and nature somewhere to be found!
There are lots of nature-based activities to do, some of my favorites are:
MAKING A BUG HOUSE
To make a bug house or hotel you will need a range of materials. Such as: bricks, flower pots, bamboo sticks, dried grass cuttings, tubes, logs, pipes, stones, dry leaves, straw, hay, twigs and anything accessible to you in your garden. Pile up all of the materials you have available making a base and working upwards. This will be a great space for bugs and insects to hibernate over winter. You might get bugs such as: centipedes, beetles, woodlouse, moths, snails, spiders and ladybirds. It is a great way to attract them into your garden!
BUILD A DEN AND CAMPFIRE
Although this might not be accessible to all, building dens and campfires in the woods is a great way of having fun in nature. Using large sticks build a den structure, with big leaves over the top for camouflage. Then dig a pit in the floor (away from the den so it doesn’t catch fire) and fill with firewood. Cook your meal over the fire and eat it in the den - using logs for seats!
WATCH SOME WILDLIFE WEBCAMS
Wildlife and nature webcams are a great way of viewing animals and birds without disturbing them. There are lots of webcams available, some of my favorites are: CJ Wildlife - where you can watch Tawny, Barn and Little owls as well as Peregrine falcons, Kestrels and many more. The Wildlife Trusts - where you can have a look in a Bat box, Osprey nest, Puffin colony. And the Birds of Poole Harbour - where you can watch different birds feeding and birds out on the shore. Check out these amazing 24/7 webcams and watch wildlife up close!
MAKE A BIRD FEEDER
To make your own bird feeder you will need an empty coconut half or mould, one block of lard, bird seed and peanut butter. Melt the lard and peanut butter. Once fully melted, mix together and pour in the bird seed. Then pour into a coconut half or mould and set in the fridge for around 2 hours. Put out for the birds and watch them feed! Blue tits, Robins, Greater Spotted Woodpeckers and Nuthatches absolutely love this high-calorie meal.
GO ON A MINI BEAST HUNT
Spring is truly here now and so the warmer weather will bring lots of mini beasts to our gardens! Can you find: butterflies basking in the sun, a bee looking for nectar or a snail in a damp and shaded space?
The natural world continues when the rest of the world comes to a halt. Birds start building their nests; lambing is well underway and young hares begin to bound around the meadows. Bees and butterflies start to emerge; wildflowers begin to grow, and tadpoles fill the shallows of ponds.
Despite the current circumstances, there are still so many ways to stay connected to nature and get out into the open.