Northumberland Nature | Life in Northumberland | History of Northumberland

Nature and Nurture

Grab your brightest sweater and wellington boots and join us on a little escape …

We want you to jump in the puddles Vicar of Dibley style not just avoid them!

It seems ironic that as we write this, we are on a laptop with the tv on in the background, devices pinging and surrounded by distractions.

What we should be doing is put pen and paper outdoors, sit down, switch off with only nature as the soundtrack (It’s just been a bit snowy!)

Even though getting back to nature is not a new concept, it’s now become apparent more than ever during the pandemic, just ‘how’ important it is for our mind, body and spirit.

Whereas before it was something we tried to fit in around ‘life’ it’s clear we now need to build it into our routine as often as possible.

Immersing ourselves in nature is a chance to re-evaluate what we want from life, what we can live without. After all it’s often the memories that we recall and not things.

“But just to keep alive is not enough. To live you must have sunshine and freedom, and a little flower to love”
Hans Christian Andersen

So, let’s Re-wild. Start by reducing your screen time; with home becoming the office, a class room, our cinema we need to make time to go for our daily exercise and the easiest option is to go for a walk. Whilst out in your local area don’t see it as getting from A to B, but take time to look up at the trees, maybe spot the starlings, leaves on the pathway or a cheeky Robin following you undercover on your stroll. The best part is, it’s free. Head into the garden or step onto your door step on a clear night and see if you can see Jupiter and Saturn, star constellations and the man in the moon.

We were lucky enough in 2019 to head to Chelsea Flower Show and see The Duchess of Cambridge’s Back to Nature garden. It reminded us of when we were growing up, and how the simplest of games like poo sticks or building a den filled us with joy.

We think that when you can return to stay with us you should embrace your inner child, give yourself permission to draw in the sand, play hide and seek in the dunes, (safely) wild swim in the sea or the rivers in the picturesque Northumberland National Park and enjoy forest bathing in our woodlands.

By taking our time in the outdoors we open up all our available senses. The smell of salt that means we’re nearing the coast, damp leaves that evoke thoughts of bonfires and Autumn days or just trigger a happy memory. Getting up early to watch the sunrise and hear the dawn chorus, or staying out to watch the sunsetting in all its glory.

There has been a lot of research around engaging more with the outdoors, in providing solace in the sometimes challenging and difficult times we’ve recently found ourselves, forming a deeper connection to the natural world around us. Seeing an improvement in mood, as well as thoughts that it may boost our immune system and benefit our physical and mental health, whilst releasing endorphins

Until you can join us back in Northumberland here are a few things you can try at home and some ideas for bringing the outdoors in:

Forage a few seasonal twigs and foliage whilst out on a walk, always be mindful of where you are picking from and ensure you’re not on any private land or picking any protected species.

Add Houseplants or British scented flowers to your interiors, green plants are thought to increase air purification and reduce stress levels. They look pretty great too.

Watch nature on the TV, whether it’s the legendary David Attenborough or Robson Greens adventuring around Northumberland.

Listen to podcasts about the great outdoors, close your eyes and allow yourself to be transported to a rugged coast, a mountainside or forest scene.

Practice some calming Yoga or just do some deep breathing, throw open the window and feel the breeze as you relax.

Treat yourself to books and publications about the wilderness, maybe the Japanese practice Shinrin-yoku (Forest Bathing) or the Nordic benefits of Hygge. How about nature spotting books great for kids, why not take it with you on your walk and see what you can spot, get them to create a collage at home about what they’ve seen.

Although it’s so important to reduce screen time, if you do use social media it’s good to follow some accounts with images of nature and the great outdoors in all its glory, a great window to the outdoors whilst we stay safe.

So even if you can’t be in the wilderness just yet, it shouldn’t stop you from Dreaming, Exploring, and Discovering nature from the comfort and safety of home….