You might have thought that this period of social-distancing was bad timing for a new group to start. Actually it’s worked to our advantage!
Our Nature Appreciation group was set up for those U3A members who enjoy the outdoor life but prefer to walk at a more leisurely pace and enjoy the scenery, sounds and sights of nature. The plan was to have morning walks every other week that would last 2.5-3 hours with a distance not exceeding five kilometres. Obviously that would depend on how sparse or concentrated the ‘nature’ is found at the location! Notes will be taken and a summary of findings produced in a “nature” report.
The first meeting was meant to take place this week. We can’t all meet up but me and my wife went out to do some reconnoitring for future events. It’s amazing what you can experience if you walk slowly and quietly. I compiled a short report of our first outing and emailed it to our new group. As a result, five of the group have already emailed their routes and observations to others. We’re off to a good start in a very difficult social environment as we get our allowed daily exercise.
We have two members not on email but I’m collating all reports into a compendium which can be printed off and posted, probably once a month.
Furthermore, there is no reason why people who might not be able or want to leave the house can’t do observations through their windows. It will be more limited in variety than walking about outdoors but could be aided by bird-feeders. Compact cameras or binoculars can be helpful in finding and identifying birdlife.
I think it’s really positive that we’re finding a way to keep it going. For many, this could be a time of boredom, especially for those living alone without any such communication and encouragement to ‘get out and observe.’ The encouraging response also augers well for when we can go out on our walks as a group.
Photo: Butterfly by Hugh Munro