The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly affected all of us, and one of those effects – having more time at home and spending more time outside to exercise – has led to a huge rise in the appreciation of our natural world.
According to research carried out by The National Trust:
- a third of UK adults say that they have become more interested in nature since the Covid-19 lockdowns began
- more than two thirds said that spending time noticing nature has made them feel happy
- and more than half say they plan to make a habit of spending time in nature ‘when things finally go back to normal’
During the first lockdown, the media was full of stories of wildlife ‘recolonising’ urban areas as our roads became silent and our cities became eerie ghost towns. Who can forget the extraordinary scene of a goose laying eggs in a flowerbed in the foyer of York station, for instance?!
As allotment holders, we are more fortunate than most in not just having our own outdoor space to exercise in (with allotment sites never out of bounds during any of the lockdowns), but also the ability to access a green space, full of wildlife of all sorts. This period is a good opportunity to appreciate that wildlife – and also a great time to enhance our plots to encourage more wildlife to visit.
With garden centres still open, why not buy – or build your own – birdtable? Put up garden feeders and put out trays of water too and soon you will be rewarded by a flurry of feathered flyers, who’ll brighten up your plot visits!
And, rather than burning wood and prunings, why not build an insect hotel with them? The RSPB gives some good tips on what materials you could use and how to build it.
The Covid-19 lockdowns have also led to a boom in sales of wildlife cameras – and night activated motion-sensor cameras in particular. A huge variety of these are now available online, with prices starting from as little as £30, so why not consider capturing some of your more elusive plot visitors on film?
Without doubt, the appreciation of our natural world has contributed to the health and wellbeing of millions of us during such a strange and difficult period – let’s make sure we continue to value its wonders when this is all over.
Post by Nick
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