Everyone should have the opportunity to experience the joy of wildlife in their daily lives.
A coalition of leading nature, environment and mental health organisations has launched a campaign to help people connect with nature and boost their mental health during lockdown.
The campaign supports people longing to get out into fresh air by highlighting easy, fun ways to connect with nature from the comfort of your own home, even if it’s through a window.
The premise of the #VitaminN campaign is simple: everyone needs a daily dose of nature to keep us healthy and that’s increasingly important while we are all housebound. Campaign activities include the RSPB’s birdsong radio and the Wilderness Foundation’s Badger Cam.
Craig Bennett, newly appointed CEO of The Wildlife Trusts, said: “Everyone should have the opportunity to experience the joy of wildlife in their daily lives. Its impact on our health and wellbeing is well proven – with regular contact known to reduce stress, fatigue, anxiety and depression.
"Our bodies are meant to be active – and we’re meant to spend time connecting with nature! But, with the Government’s important advice at the moment to stay at home and restrict travel, it can be challenging to maintain this, at the risk of our wellbeing.
“That’s why we’ve come together with our partners to highlight easy, fun and unusual ways for us all to connect with nature and the wildlife on our doorstep.
"Whilst many people are likely to feel a bit stuck at home there are opportunities to make space for nature – whether it’s stopping for a moment to look out of the window and take notice of what’s around, watching wildlife activity on webcams or having some fun with daily indoor nature-themed challenges.
We’d love everyone to join us in rejoicing in our everyday wildlife – and help us to reach other people in their community who might benefit too!”
Dr Eleanor Ratcliffe, lecturer in environmental psychology at the University of Surrey, added: “A large number of scientific studies show that experience of nature can improve health and wellbeing, and especially recovery from everyday stress and fatigue.
“The current restrictions to movements outside the home mean it’s not as easy to visit our favourite parks and woodlands, but there are ways to connect with nature even from the safety of indoors. Just listening to birdsong from the window, or looking at a tree in the distance, can help people to feel happier and more relaxed.”
Participating organisations contributing resources as part of #VitaminN include RSPB, The Wildlife Trusts, National Trust, the Wilderness Foundation, Nature Friendly Farming Network, The Climate Coalition, Mental Health Collective and Jordans Cereals.
This article is based on a press release from the Vitamin N campaign.