With the UK government announcing that people should stay home aside for a few exceptions, such as one daily exercise or shopping for essentials, it may seem like there’s no way to connect with nature. But here we round up a few of the ways you can still engage with and learn about wildlife, whether it’s in your garden or virtually.
Wildlife in your garden
With spring underway and warmer temperatures, there’s more wildlife to see in your garden, or locally during your daily exercise:
Kabir Kaul, an award-winning young conservationist, on “making the most of these uncertain times by enjoying the wildlife on our doorstep”:
Today I saw Buzzards, Blackcaps and my first Comma butterflies of the year, all from my garden! Even when we are isolating at home, we can still enjoy and appreciate the wildlife on our doorstep. (Watch the Robin-shaped feeder for an unexpected visitor!) pic.twitter.com/TaTIe3eQQZ
The RSPB has set up the #BreakfastBirdwatch, a daily hour on weekdays between 8-9am where supporters and the wider public can share photos and videos of their garden birds. There will also be different species and themes to focus on, such as drawing and poetry.
The Self-Isolating Bird Club
TV presenter, author and naturalist Chris Packham has set up The Self-Isolating Bird Club on Twitter and Facebook, so that birdwatchers can share their local sightings virtually.
Natural History Museum
On Fridays, the Natural History Museum is running the #NatureDrawingClub on Twitter, which began with the theme of ‘birds’ on World Sparrow Day.
In a time when we all need something to bring us together, we're starting an #NatureDrawingClub – running every friday!
There are lots of webcams of wild animals around the world, and we’ve searched high and low in order to create an extensive list of them.
From Eurasian eagle owls and and golden eagles in Latvia, to white-bellied sea-eagles and northern albatrosses in Australia, to bald eagles and manatees in the USA, there’s plenty to watch from the comfort of your own home.
Alongside the Self-Isolating Bird Club, Chris Packham is hosting daily livestreams with his step-daughter Megan McCubbin in the New Forest. They often include special guests, and sometimes Chris’ poodles.
For those with an interest in punk music, Chris Packham is also sharing #punkrockmidnight.
Earth LIVE Lessons
Conservationist and TV presenter Lizzie Daly has set up daily 20 minute educational live lessons on her YouTube channel about science or nature over March/April, with the videos available to watch afterwards. Presenters so far include Chris Packham, Megan McCubbin, Gillian Burke and Bella Lack.
Please note that external videos may contain ads:
For Fox Sake wildlife quiz
Science communicator Sophie Pavelle is hosting a weekly wildlife quiz at 8pm on Wednesdays on her Instagram account. (Guidance note: this quiz is suitable for over 18s)
Skype A Scientist
Set up previously by Dr Sarah McAnulty and Dr David Jenkins, Skype A Scientist normally matches classrooms with scientists for Q&A sessions. However, due to the new coronavirus, Skype A Scientist is now open to more families to join in on live sessions via Zoom.