Wildlife Trust staff in lockdown

I asked my colleagues at the Trust how they’ve been connecting with nature. Here’s what some of them have been up to in their own spaces:

Wildlife is waking, temperatures are rising and days are lengthening. The frosted veil has lifted and spring is progressing in stuttering starts. COVID-19 has forced many of us to adjust our usual daily routines tremendously. Despite this, we still have plenty of opportunities to connect with nature. Time spent connecting with nature is important for our health and wellbeing.

I’ve noticed an influx of neighbours tending to their gardens to build connections with local wildlife. Our gardens provide a unique one-of-a-kind space. If you don’t have a garden, connecting with nature could be something as simple as opening your window and listening to melodic birdsong. Get to know routines of your local wildlife.

I asked my colleagues at the Trust how they’ve been connecting with nature. Here’s what some of them have been up to in their own spaces:

Jo Iddenden has been busy sowing seeds. This was the progress over a 6-day period:

Susan Simmonds has been renovating a neglected water feature in her garden and working on turning it into a wildlife pond. She discovered a deep hole filled with sludge, which she cleared out. She is working on making the hole safer for wildlife by putting in some large rocks to create safe access for the shallow area. Her plan is to fill it with rainwater and place some native pond plants around it.

David Rumble has been digging a pond. He has some wildflower plugs ready to go around it including: red campion, meadow buttercup and ragged robin. He has also wonderfully spotted a pair of stock doves nesting in his recently pollarded hollow weeping willow.

Bee house

Martin De Retuerto has been involving his children. He found some old pieces of timber/wood and they worked together by drilling various different sized holes to create a solitary bee house. He has hung it in a sunny place to attract residents.

Bee hotel

Tara Puttock has also been encouraging bees into her garden through creating a ‘bee hotel.’ If you want to try this at home, all you’ll need is a clean tin and some inner roll from toilet or kitchen roll. Cut the inner roles into rectangles that are the same length as the tin and 3cm across, roll each rectangle into tubes about the width of a pencil. Pierce two holes in the tin and feed wire or string to make a handle. Line the tin with the cardboard rolls then position in the garden and wait for the new arrivals!

Fern

Clive Chatters noticed his fern unravelling. In New Zealand this symbol is called Koru, it symbolises new life, growth, strength and peace. Comforting during these strange and unpredicted times.

What wildlife have staff been noticing so far?

I’ve had many reports of butterflies, including: Orange Tip, Peacock, Holly Blue, Large White, Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshells.

What have you been noticing? Let us know by taking part in our citizen science programme, “How Wild are we?