Spring, the very word is full of energy. We “spring” out of bed, we describe someone with lots of energy as “wound up like a spring”. So it’s not surprising that most of us feel a new lease of life as we come out of the long winter months.
For me, the first day of spring is more of a feeling than a set date. It’s a heightened sense of the natural world waking up around me. It is the first sight of a sparrow picking up dead grass and moss for its nest building, the gentle kiss of warmth from the strengthening sun on my face, the smell of daffodils as I walk through my garden and the sound of an early bee buzzing around. These simple pleasures remind me that I am part of and surrounded by nature all of the time. And it is now more important than ever that we all take the time to notice the natural world around us. With the UK’s wildlife in serious decline, we should not take for granted that these simple pleasures will be there in the future for us to enjoy.
A recent report produced by the National Trust, in partnership with the University of Derby, reported that people taking time to notice nature has benefits to both people and nature. The findings revealed that people who notice nature are more likely to feel happier and are also more likely to take action to care for our wildlife. This certainly rings true with me as I’m never happier than when I’m outside hearing the birds singing or spotting an elusive animal dart past.
Spending time with my Mum as she pointed out what this wildflower was, the best place to hunt for crabs or identifying the bird song I could hear definitely encouraged me to take action and has shaped my future career in conservation. But you don’t need to change your career path to play your part to help nature.
2020 is the 125th anniversary of the National Trust and as part of our celebrations, we are asking everybody to just take some time to notice nature. So go on…get outside and immerse yourself in the sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch of nature, whether it is on your apartment balcony, in your local park or at your favourite countryside spot.
Kate Martin is a Costal Officer for the National Trust