BBC News reports data has confirmed what many suspected: nature and green spaces have been a big comfort during lockdown. More than 40% of people say nature, wildlife and visiting local green spaces have been even more important to their wellbeing since the coronavirus restrictions began.
The percentages have remained stable throughout the pandemic, according to the government’s advisor for the natural environment, Natural England. And the trend could persist.
The Guardian reports living with the coronavirus pandemic has meant many can’t travel far, with one benefit being more time to take notice of the natural world closer to home. From seals to bees, readers have been sharing pictures and stories of their local animals, flora and fauna.
Oxford Mail reports Oxford artist Diana Bell has made contact with a team of researchers from Oxford and Cambridge universities who are studying whether people have reacted to nature in a different way during lockdowns.
Ms Bell has been drawing or painting from nature every day since the first lockdown began last March. Garden Ecologies by Professor Jamie Lorimer and his research team aims to understand how human to nature relationships have been affected and whether an interest in nature sparked during the lockdowns will persist.
Remember to check out FNW’s Lockdown Nature Photo Gallery, and if you’ve been enjoying nature as part of your lockdown experience, add your photos to the gallery by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Portsmouth News reports animals face being hunted, beaten and mutilated during the second coronavirus lockdown, a charity fears. The RSPCA is concerned that as the United Kingdom goes into another lockdown, people’s search for entertainment could lead to animals being harmed.
It comes after intentional harm and illegal activity towards animals spiked during the first Covid-19 lockdown. In Hampshire, there have been 28 instances of intentional harm this year, with 58 animal-related offences overall.
The Telegraph reports the coronavirus crisis has forced most of us to stay at home, and those of us with gardens are making hay while the sun shines. So, with so much extra time at home, why don’t we all do a bit more for wildlife? If you’ve been meaning to make a hedgehog house or a bee hotel, dig a pond or plant a wild flower meadow, there’s never been a better time. Get your children involved and teach them and yourself to identify bees and recognise birdsong.
BBC News reports with far more people unable to work, or working from home, many have been inspired to explore nature in their neighbourhood as they refocus on their immediate surroundings. A wealth of studies have demonstrated the positive effects of the natural world on our mental health. Connecting with nature can help us feel happier and more energised, with an increased sense of meaning and purpose, as well as making tasks seem more manageable. [Article includes tips for experiencing nature].
The Guardian reports on two stories about the changes we’re seeing to wildlife as a result of Covid-19 lockdown. Check out at least one of these stories if only to see the unusual, but beautiful sight in their photo of a herd of fallow deer graze on the lawns of a housing estate in east London (sorry FNW don’t have permissions to copy it here).
The first reports deer roam city streets and hedgehogs can safely cross roads… but a radical policy shift is needed to protect wildlife in future, say campaigners. Britain’s wildlife may be thriving during the current lockdown but its long-term future is looking bleak, according to leading conservation organisations. Nikki Williams, head of campaigns at the Wildlife Trusts, said: “The current crisis means nature is losing out, because many organisations are having to scale back important work caring for special places, which they usually do with the vital help of thousands of volunteers.”
The other reports empty streets and skies let the birds be heard and leave animals free to roam as well as allowing scientists to examine how humans change urban biodiversity.