City-dwellers want to get closer to nature

A new poll reveals urban residents love wildlife, but cannot get enough of it. 

Red Admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta) feeding on Ivy flowers (Hedera helix), Wiltshire garden, UK, April.

A red admiral butterfly © Nick Upton / 2020 Vision

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The Wildlife Trusts interviewed 2,400 people living in cities and found 89 per cent felt nature was important to them.

However, only 20 per cent of the urban residents said they were spending enough time connecting with the natural world.

“The poll clearly shows that nature means a lot to people living in cities,” said The Wildlife Trusts’ communications manager Lucy McRobert. “The fact that so many adults want to see more nature in their cities is a wake-up call to us all.”

When asked about their attitudes to, and experiences with wildlife, just 21 per cent of people said that the last ‘wow’ moment they had with nature was in their local city area.

And only 9 per cent of people had enjoyed a wild place as part of their working day in the last week.

The majority of adults thought it was important to help nature and wanted to see more of it in their cities.

Just over half of interviewees reported doing something to help wildlife in their own garden.

Blue tit on feeder with house in background

A blue tit feeding from a garden birdfeeder © Ben Hall / 2020 Vision

Essex University research, published in 2015, discovered that as well as improving physical health, nature can also reduce stress, improve mood and reduce social isolation.

The Wildlife Trusts 30 Days Wild campaign, which runs throughout June, has led to a sustained increase in connection to the natural world.

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Read more wildlife news stories in BBC Wildlife Magazine