Make nature part of new year’s promises

BACK TO NATURE Studies have found that spending time outdoors reduces stress levels '            Picture: Matthew Roberts
BACK TO NATURE Studies have found that spending time outdoors reduces stress levels ' Picture: Matthew Roberts

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Lianne de Mello, from Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, talks about new year’s resolutions

So many of our new year’s resolutions are pledges to get healthier, learn something new and to spend more time with family. Nature can help you keep these promises, and we at the wildlife trust are here to help you discover all that nature on your doorstep has to offer. Best of all, many activities are low cost or even free, and the benefits last.

Get healthy – we run a range of outdoor events and offer volunteering opportunities that are good for both nature and for you. Studies have found that spending just 15 minutes outside in nature is enough to improve your health, providing enough exercise to reduce stress levels.

An afternoon spent clearing scrub for wildlife or pulling up invasive plant species are great fun and just as good as any gym workout. Guided walks around trust reserves are an opportunity stretch those legs and fill your lungs with fresh air. Meanwhile less strenuous activities like gardening are also good for your wellbeing.

Spend more time with loved ones – busy parents sometimes need some inspiration and support to get their kids outdoors, and we provide lots of information about simple and low cost activities parents can do in their back gardens or beyond on our website.

We run regular monthly wildlife clubs across Hampshire, including in Southsea, helping kids get to spend time together in the wild.

They are led by trained and experienced volunteers and staff who have infectious enthusiasm for all things wild. Wildlife watch and tots aim to demonstrate the joy of nature and involve families in the experience of learning about wildlife. Activities include pond dipping, making bird feeders, shelter building and seashore safaris.

Learn something new – for those looking to expand their knowledge and find out more about the wildlife on their doorstep, we offer some great courses.

As well as learning something new, you can have a taste of some of the work that we do at the trust. Courses range from those for novices, through to professional training for advanced students.

This year’s courses include everything from identifying species such as birds and trees, to bushcraft and wildlife photography. Prices start at £30.

Whatever your new year’s resolution, make nature a part of it through the Wildlife Trust.

You can become a member of the Wildlife Trust from as little as £3.50 a month. For more information, visit hiwwt.org.uk.