When people and nature connect, good things happen.

The Covid pandemic has made us all appreciate the British countryside and the wildlife within it that little bit more.

Alison, the Forest Ranger at Forest Holidays Blackwood and Wilder Communities Champion, talks about how we can all give back to nature when it gives so much to us…

We are lucky in the UK to have many green spaces. Staying still for a while allows us to listen to what is around you and begin to appreciate it more. The birdsong in the breeze and the leaves rustling in the wind. It’s all so good for the mind and body. If you don't have your own garden, then I’d recommend heading to a local park or forest near you and taking the time to slow down and see what is around. 

forest bathing

Doing our bit

At Forest Holidays, we have a ranger on every location to help people to understand the environment and what we, as a company have done to encourage wildlife in the local area.  At Blackwood Forest we are part of the National Dormouse Monitoring Programme and our locations are home to many other species, such as the purple emperor butterfly, pine martens, flycatchers and turtle doves. We work closely with Forestry England, Forest and Land Scotland, and Wildlife Trusts to encourage, monitor and protect these species.

A few years ago, we took the top soil off of the grassy area at Blackwood to create a meadow from what was in the seed bank already. This can be achieved in even a small garden, which will encourage pollinators to an area of wildflowers. We have also put up 150 bat boxes to encourage the bat colony which are in an abandoned house at Blackwood Forest.  The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust undertook a survey last year and found that 28 of the boxes we put up are already occupied, which is fantastic news!  And this shows that if you provide a habitat, that wildlife species will use it.

dead wood and fungi

Let’s all help

Creating habitats and feeding stations for wildlife encourages birds and bugs to an area.  You can do this at home and there are some fantastic resources on the Trust’s website

If you’re not yet a member of the Wildlife Trust, then I recommend joining this great charity.  You get to read about current issues by receiving their magazine, can visit and learn more about their nature reserves and they have a series of events and activities you can book onto too.  Plus, being a member helps them continue doing wonderful things for wildlife in our two counties.

JOIN NOW before 31st January and you could be eligible for HALF PRICE membership.  T&Cs apply.