Enjoy a natural tonic for your health and well being

Lockdown has now been in place since Monday 23 March and it doesn’t get any easier does it?
Red kite - Andy Rouse/2020VISION

Red kite. Image by: Andy Rouse/2020VISION.

For those with mental health issues, life is particularly tough; although everyone seems to be feeling the stresses and strains of being shut up together with their families, or forced into living alone in isolation.

For me, most of the positive experiences have come from our natural surroundings. From watching my two year old granddaughter running wild down a wonderfully hilly public footpath in a field near our house to spotting a red kite on three separate occasions flying near Hexham, and once soaring over our house - something of a rarity in the Tyne Valley thanks to the continuing persecution of birds of prey.

Add to this list, catching sight of a stoat running crazily among a small group of rabbits in a field off the High Yarridge Road desperately trying to lock onto one of them. In addition, getting ridiculously excited about new shoots appearing in a vegetable patch in the hope that we could finally grow some of our own food. Finally, patiently trying to get my granddaughter to match the different birds on the bird feeders to the pictures my daughter had printed out, in order to learn the names of sparrows, blue tits, pigeons and blackbirds. All this, whilst at the same time going through the ‘trauma’ of potty training.

I hope all people have the chance to allow nature to comfort and distract them during this difficult time. But also, that those people who have re-discovered nature by walking in the open spaces in towns, or enjoying more time in their garden, or starting regular walking in the countryside, continue to value this natural world once the lockdown is eased.

And, with any luck, some of them will reinforce any newly discovered interest in nature by becoming a member of Northumberland Wildlife Trust. Why not visit www.nwt.org.uk/membership and show your support at this time?