How to enjoy nature and stay positive during the coronavirus pandemic

We have collated some of the different ways to enjoy and engage with nature whilst staying at home due to the coronavirus.

Blackbird (Turdus merula) having a bath

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:

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Kabir Kaul, an award-winning young conservationist, on “making the most of these uncertain times by enjoying the wildlife on our doorstep”:

Perhaps now is the time to (safely) undertake some wildlife gardening jobs?


Virtual escapes

Kaieteur Falls. © Megan Shersby
Kaieteur Falls. © Megan Shersby

Travel virtually around the UK and the world with guides from BBC Wildlife and BBC Countryfile.


Test your wildlife knowledge

We have a range of identification and general knowledge quizzes for you to try out, including crosswords from our magazine.


Podcasts

There’s plenty of amazing wildlife, nature and science podcasts to listen to. In our guide on how to listen to podcasts, we share a list of podcasts that you might be interested, including ones from our sister magazines BBC Countryfile and BBC Science Focus.


Hashtags / social media accounts

Some organisations and individuals have set up new hashtags or social media accounts as a way for people to share their wildlife sightings.

Wildlife From My Window

In 2015, Elizabeth Guntrip set up #WildlifeFromMyWindow with the BBC’s Springwatch, for people who are housebound due to illnesses and disabilities.

RSPB

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.


Livestreams

Watch wildlife livestreams

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.

Chris Packham

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.


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Main image: Blackbird. © Getty