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How to connect with nature from home, looking out for birds, blossom, wildlife and wildflowers

Are you missing nature and the outdoors? You can still connect with nature at home, thanks to a plethora of online and social media campaigns, letting you see flowers bursting into bud, wildlife in their own habitats and birds flying free. Here are some to get involved with:

Bumblebee nectaring on pink cherry blossom Picture: National Trust/Rob Coleman
Bumblebee nectaring on pink cherry blossom Picture: National Trust/Rob Coleman

Blossom Watch

The National Trust is encouraging people to celebrate blossom as it bursts into life on trees across the county.

The conservation charity believes it is even more important as we treasure our scarce trips outdoors and need nature to boost our spirits.

The charity hopes #BlossomWatch will become an annual moment of celebration in nature’s calendar and wants to encourage people to enjoy blooming trees they can see from their windows or in their gardens and share their best images.

Only 6% of adults and 7% of children celebrate natural events such as the first day of spring, solstice or harvest, according to the trust’s recent research.

Crab apple blossom in the garden
Crab apple blossom in the garden

Andy Beer, nature expert at the trust, said: “At a time when people are being asked not to travel, blossom trees can be seen on city streets, in gardens and in public parks. There are many spectacular orchards across the nation – including those owned by the National Trust – but the awesome spectacle of blossom is on display in the neighbourhoods of many lucky people."

They also want to emulate Hanami, a big event in the Japanese calendar, associated with celebrating the arrival of spring, centred around flowering cherry trees, Sakura.

Share your pictures & tag the trust via @nationaltrust on Instagram and Twitter using #BlossomWatch and including where you live.

Breakfast Birdwatch

The RSPB wants us all to start our days birdwatching to reduce stress and anxiety.

The charity, which runs the Big Garden Birdwatch, is encouraging us to spend an hour watching birds with the #BreakfastBirdwatch.

Studies show that spending time in and connecting with nature can reduce stress and anxiety and be a source of relaxation. Though it is currently more difficult than ever to get outside, there is still wildlife on our doorsteps.

Look out for robins in the mornings Picture: RSPB/Chris Gomersal
Look out for robins in the mornings Picture: RSPB/Chris Gomersal

As the majority of us are working from home, many are beginning to notice birds in their garden that they might otherwise have missed, including a host of birds returning from warmer climates.

It runs from 8am to 9am each day. You can use the RSPB’s online Bird Identification Guide to see which birds you're looking at.

Becca Smith from the RSPB said: “Spring brings a buzz of activity from birds and other wildlife alike. As you sit at home, the sound of birds singing and the sight of nature coming to life after winter has a remarkable way of restoring calm.

"Sharing what you can see with others will hopefully help to bring us all a little closer in marvelling at the wonders of nature despite the circumstances.”

Whether you take part from your garden, or watch from a window, share your sightings using #BreakfastBirdwatch and follow the RSPB @natures_voice.

You might see a wren Picture: RSPB/John Bridges
You might see a wren Picture: RSPB/John Bridges

Wildflower Hour

An hour to appreciate wild flowers has been launched on Twitter.

The #wildflowerhour is every Sunday from 8pm to 9pm, and is a chance to learn new plant species from around your garden or those you see while on your walk. You can see all the pictures at @wildflower_hour and if you're posting on social media use #wildflowerhour for others to see them. There is also a podcast which can be found at http://apple.co/2Cipxfp

Look out for wildflowers
Look out for wildflowers

Everyday Wildlife

The Wildlife Trusts, which include Kent Wildlife Trust in Sandling, near Maidstone have launched a weekly wildlife programme on YouTube, and a new Wildlife Watch video will be released at 10am every Wednesday.

There will be practical outdoor advice to inspire us to do more for wildlife in gardens, balconies or window boxes and tips such as spotting bees, butterflies, bats and birds during your permitted local walk and keeping children entertained with nature-themed crafts.

The Wildlife Trusts want to encourage us all to enjoy nature Picture: David Tipling
The Wildlife Trusts want to encourage us all to enjoy nature Picture: David Tipling

Subjects you can learn about include: how to build a pond; how to identify insects in your garden; how to make a bug hotel and why birds sing and how to recognise their songs.

You can also see wildlife around the country with some 24 webcams from nests and locations around the UK and watch puffins in Alderney, peregrines in Nottingham, bats in Essex and ospreys on their nests. Keep an eye out for #EverydayWildlife across social media too. The YouTube channel will feature wildlife experts, home-schooling help and seasonal species to spot. Click here to view it.

Kent Wildlife Trust's guide to encouraging nature

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