5 ways to get outside, and into nature this summer

Izzy Fry, age 15

@izzyfryphotography 

Being out in nature and greenspaces is scientifically proven to be beneficial for both our physical and mental health.

Being out in the ‘wild’ or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear and stress and increases happy feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to you physical wellbeing, reducing heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension and the production of stress hormones.

So why don’t you get outside and connect with nature – it will be good for your physical and mental health! Here are my top 5 ideas to get you outside in nature this summer!

MAKE A SOLITARY BEE HOUSE – I absolutely love making these bee hotels and all you need is a slice of wood and a drill! Drill multiple holes into the slice of wood (but be careful you don’t go the whole way through!) Solitary bees will use these holes to lay their eggs in – you will know when one has made it it’s home as it cover up the front!

STARGAZING – sleeping out under the stars is a great experience! Grab a blanket, find a cosy spot to lie down in and look up! The longer you gaze the more stars you’ll discover – you can use the app star walk to find the names of the stars your sleeping underneath!

WILD SWIMMING – wild swimming is such a fun way to connect with nature and be outside! Find a little river or lake (make sure you have permission) and go for a paddle or swim! There are so many benefits of the cold water – it boosts brain power, relives stress and its very meditative!

PLANT A WILDFLOWER MEADOW – wildflowers benefit lots of wildlife from bees and butterflies to mammals and birds; and they are also fun to make for us! Choose a suitable area in your garden – it needs to be somewhere open and sunny. Choose your wildflower seeds, some good mixes can include poppies, cowslips and ox-eye daisies (you can harvest the seeds yourself or buy a mix online!) Dig or rake the soil and sprinkle the seeds, water every few days and watch the flowers grow!

PHOTOGRAPHY – get outside with a camera or even a phone and photograph nature. From bees on flowers and birds on feeders to the tops of trees and landscapes. Photography is a great way to capture the beauty of nature and wildlife.