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84% of you told us that lockdown gave you the opportunity to further connect with wildlife

The results of a recent ‘Wild in Lockdown’ survey by Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust showed that lockdown gave people the opportunity to further connect with wildlife. The Trust received some wonderful stories with many of you enjoying activities such as; daily walks in local green spaces, bird watching, wildlife gardening, talking to children about wildlife and completing DIY projects such as building hedgehogs homes, insect hotels and creating mini ponds.

Connecting with wildlife provided a much needed boost to health and wellbeing during lockdown and many of you shared your wild in lockdown memories – here are some of the Trust’s favourite stories you shared.

“This was a very special, memorable spring.  I walked for an hour a day locally and each day saw different things to make me feel glad and privileged to live where I do on the edge of Sheffield, bordering the Derbyshire countryside.  It re-enforced the knowledge and feeling that we need to return in a massive way to connecting with nature, re-wilding and protecting it. We need to pave the way for a new kind of living that puts this at its centre.” Deborah

 “Seeing the birds in my garden every day, I’m working from home and have had more time to spend in my garden. I made a wildlife pond and a bug hotel.” Sharon 

“Watching fox cubs playing in our garden; spotting a reed bunting on the rocky shore of a moorland reservoir near us; hearing masses of willow warblers; spotting a family of mergansers…adults and 12 or more chicks on the River Rother; spotting flowers on a walk down Coombs Dale, Derbyshire; and above everything else, the arrival of the swifts.” David

“Taking the children on daily walks and noticing the nature and wildlife around us – the changes in season have taken us through blooms of daffodils, bluebells and elderflowers to name but a few. The children can now name common wildflowers and plants that we see on a daily basis. It’s not only been great for our mental well-being but also connected us as a family. They have discovered the simple pleasures of playing with sticks and attempting to skim stones.” Rebecca

“Seeing a sparrow hawk hunting then landing on a lamp post near my home.” Kevin

It is clear from the survey results that wildlife was vitally important to many during lockdown and it gave people an escape from the worries of the Coronavirus pandemic. It allowed people to take the time to notice and appreciate the small wonders of nature on their doorstep; noticing the cheery daffodils of spring and carpets of bluebells in summer, and simply enjoying the wildlife all around us. The survey results also highlighted that the majority of you want to continue your wild ways as we move out of lockdown;

 

“To walk much more often in local parks and woodlands. To be more aware of the changing seasons.” Alison

“Re-wilding my garden. Sewing wild flower seeds and keeping the grass in most of it long.  Creating a pond, hedgehog house and avoiding all harmful chemicals that can upset the ecosystem. Actively campaigning for a green, fairer, kinder new deal for all living things on our planet.” Deborah

“More appreciation for the relatively unsung greenspaces of Sheffield rather than always travelling further afield.” Sarah

“I already have been planting plants for wildlife and I have a pond. I will continue to get my daughter in the garden to look for wildlife which she didn’t do before.” Susan

It is important that now as we move out of national lockdown we must not forget the importance of wildlife and how much it was there for us when we needed it; it was a classroom for our children, an escape on our daily walks and a boost of happiness to ease our worries.

Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust are asking you not to forget and as part of the #ForgetMeNot campaign ask you to consider the below actions to say thank you to your local wildlife.

  1. Keep discovering the wonders of your local area. We have 15 nature reserves across Sheffield and Rotherham for you to explore and discover the local wildlife you love. https://www.wildsheffield.com/discover/nature-reserves/
  2. Keep up the amazing work you did in lockdown or start making your garden more wildlife friendly now. Take the pledge to take action for insects and you will receive a FREE wildlife gardening guide. https://www.wildsheffield.com/campaign/afi/
  3. Join us and become a member of the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, you will be joining a community of like-minded people striving to protect wildlife and its habitats across our area. And, to remember your wild lockdown, we are offering a lockdown photo frame as a keepsake when you become a member of the Trust throughout autumn. https://www.wildsheffield.com/become-a-member/
  4. Help us to better understand wildlife trends across our area. We want to know what wildlife you are spotting in your garden and local green spaces. Add you sightings to our easy and quick recordings system. All species (birds, insects, animals, flowers, plants and all wildlife) common and rare welcome. https://www.wildsheffield.com/wildlife/wildlife-conservation/more-data-for-nature/sightings/
  5. Get your hands dirty with some practical conservation. Our volunteers are back! We have started working on our nature reserves again. If you are interested in working outdoors with the land management team, please email volunteering@wildsheffield.com.

 

© People connecting with nature -David Bocking
Blackbird – Nicolas Watts