A YouGov poll, commissioned by the National Trust, has found that the vast majority of adults and children are concerned about the future of our environment and our connection to nature. However, we do not take enough time out of our day to stop and mindfully acknowledge nature: the birdsong, bees, butterflies, clouds, stars, sunrise, sunset, wildlife and other natural phenomena. According to the National Trust’s ‘Noticing Nature’ report, only 24% of adults said they spent time in nature to improve their happiness. Moreover, more than 50% of adults and children said they either rarely or never actively “tuned in” to their natural world.
Yet, the report also suggests that the more time people spend enjoying and acknowledging nature, the more likely they are to want to protect it. The protection of our natural world is of the utmost importance right now given the global climate threat. A spokesperson from the National Trust, Andy Beer, recognises that “small, everyday interventions in people’s lives can lead to real meaningful change that could add up to make a huge difference”. The organisation is now urging people to try and establish a connection with nature on a daily basis in order to improve their own wellbeing but also to protect the natural world.
The Noticing Nature report is the first in the National Trust’s ‘Everyone Needs Nature’ campaign – a 6-week series designed to increase interest in and connection to our natural world. The National Trust is predicted to lose around £200m this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with environmental projects and campaigns forced to cease. There are many personal benefits of engaging with nature, such as the improvement in both physical and mental health. But the National Trust want to encourage people to reap the collective benefits that come from actively experiencing nature and all it has to offer, such as diverse ecosystems thriving with wildlife and, ultimately, the restoration of our climate.
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