We’ve all – naturally enough – been engrossed with keeping a close eye on our own wellbeing – and that of our families and friends – but there is a big service you can do to other inhabitants of the world around us by spending some of your enforced isolation looking around you.
The third annual global City Nature Challenge begins at the end of April and residents across Bath and North East Somerset are invited to spot wildlife from home and help the region keep the title of ‘top observers in Europe’.
Seeking volunteers at home in every neighbourhood, the free event by the Natural History Consortium asks people to spot wildlife from their windows, gardens and balconies and is ideal for something people can do at home during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Bristol and Bath city region currently holds the title for most observations in Europe and residents are asked to join the challenge between April 24 and 27 to help keep the top spot for the third straight year.
People can take part by downloading the free iNaturalist app and take photos of the plants, insects, animals, birds or fungi they spot from their windows or garden. No expert knowledge is needed and the app will help identify findings, or photos can be shared with the global community.
Matt Postles, Director of the annual Festival of Nature, said: “We know a lot about the mental and physical benefits of nature and the City Nature Challenge is a free, fun way for everyone to spend a few minutes each day getting to know the wildlife around where they live. All of the activities are safe for social distancing, and some don’t even involve going outside!”
Full details can be found at www.citynaturechallenge.org.uk and the challenge runs from April 24 to April 27. All sightings taken during this time will count towards the region’s international rankings.
Councillor Paul Crossley, cabinet member for Community Services, said: “Although we are living in an extraordinary time, it might be a chance for people to notice the natural world around them more than they normally do. The City Nature Challenge is a great example of something we can all do from home to celebrate the natural world and improve our wellbeing too.”
Other resources including a Working from Home challenge, a Homeschooling challenge, and mini-missions to do alone or with people you live with are also on the website.