TOP TIPS for connecting to nature!

Nicola Chester’s top tips for getting yourself and your family closer to nature:

What worked for Nicola as a child
• Spend some time just being outdoors no pressure because you’re not ‘doing’ anything.
• Gardening, walking a dog, photography, collecting – finding a new way.
• Find new ways! Raise butterflies and tadpoles.
• Keep a diary of what you see.
• There’s nothing like the buzz of discovering something for yourself. You don’t have to know stuff, you just have to enquire, be curious, and wonder with them.
What works for Nicolas’ children
• Enthuse about it, get excited, show some passion, wherever you are.
• Stop at places and let them do what they like. Take a flask, take a book.
• Let them research things in their own way back home. Discover them through multi-media – bring the modern world right into it. Blogging, websites. They’ll love to feel part of a club.
• Feel the weather and the seasons and make doing things a seasonal tradition.
• Find things out together.


Nicola Chester, RSPB Birds Spring 2013

How connected to nature are you?

“I NEVER TOOK IT FOR GRANTED, but nature was always in my life: I loved it, need it and it defined me. Somehow it made a connection with everything else.

As a child, we walked a lot. Not having a car, my mother was resourceful and independent and could find her way home from anywhere. Having a dog ensured good, long walks were a necessity whatever the weather and we did simple things: we played in the fields, in the river, build dens and came home in time for tea. Nature was part of me, not something separate to be sought out. But we had time on our hands.

Our parents had more freedom than us, and we had more freedom than our children. And that’s not down to a fear of what might happen to them: we lead far busier lives, there are more distractions and no time to get bored. We see the world through a screen, darkly, and it can isolate and insulate us from nature.

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