As a society we are in unprecedented times, none of us have been in this situation before or exposed to the challenges and threats it poses. As a society we must all play our part and following government guidance is key in defeating this pandemic. However, restrictions on our daily life and being in “lockdown” pose a number of challenges for us all but in particular the impact on our mental wellbeing. The fact that we are restricted in what we can do will impact us all. Not being able to see family, friends, work colleagues and carry out our normal lives is stressful. We are affected by this in different ways and we all have our own ways of dealing with this, but what options may be available to us to help combat these stressful times?
The benefits of engaging with the environment are widely recognised, being outdoors reduces stress. Connecting with and being exposed to nature helps greatly with mental wellbeing. The Trust have been developing programmes promoting this for some time. Be it Woodland therapy, Forest School or new initiatives through our Wilder strategy, the Trust have been leading the way. Given the current situation all of our programmes and events are on hold so the Trust is adapting its engagement and promoting www.hiwwt.org.uk/how-wild-are-we a citizen science based approach promoting local wildlife. In line with our Wilder strategy and urban engagement, this programme has multiple strands and anyone can get involved. No matter where you live this is an interactive way of looking for and recording wildlife by looking through your window. If you are fortunate enough to have a garden there are other surveys that can also be carried out and ideas for encouraging wildlife.