Wellbeing Week – Boost your wellbeing and protect nature with wildlife watching

The University Wellbeing Team wanted to give staff some helpful tips on how nature can help improve your mental health and wellbeing, even from the comfort of your own home.

With so many people at home or restricted by their movements, now is good time to try and connect with nature, whether that be in your garden (if you’re lucky enough to have one) or your local park on your daily walk or even from your armchair.

Inspired by the City Nature Challenge 2020, we want to help connect people with nature by encouraging them to share photos and videos of their local wildlife in whatever way they can.

There is an ever-growing body of evidence suggesting that nature is fantastic for our wellbeing, with the ability to lower blood pressure, improve our mood and help us to relax, while wildlife recording help authorities and organisations make informed conservation decisions that allow humans to coexist sustainably with the plants and animals in their neighbourhoods.

More and more people are finding enjoyment in nature at this time and it’s amazing what you can find in your garden or just outside your door. Balconies or windowsills can be filled with pots of wildflowers and herbs that bees and butterflies will love.

The University’s Ness Botanic Gardens provides a unique and fascinating garden experience whatever your knowledge and interests and there are many ways you can stay engaged with Ness from home, including following their YouTube channel full of content such as virtual tours of the gardens, exclusive archive footage and gardening tips!

Even if we can’t enjoy nature to its fullest right now, there’s still plenty to see and do so don’t forget to share your photos and videos of your gardens, plants and local wildlife. The University’s Sustainability team will be sharing their photos of nature and wildlife on their Twitter and Instagram page and we encourage you to join us by using the hashtags #LivUniNature #LivUniWellbeing

Competition time

Next week is Hedgehog Awareness Week (3rd May – 9th May) and to celebrate, The Hedgehog Friendly Campus Project Group have organised a fantastic competition, for any age group. Why not spend some time over the next few days, either with the family or on your own, creating something ‘hogtastic’. There are prizes to be won, such as gift vouchers and free family tickets to Ness Gardens. Full details can be found here, including how to submit photos of your work of art, baking or other craft.

The University has bronze accreditation as a Hedgehog Friendly Campus. The national scheme aims to raise awareness of the plight of hedgehog, while taking practical steps to improve habitats and circumstances for hedgehogs across university campuses. The Hedgehog Friendly Campus project is funded by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and runs nationally.