Developing Nature Awareness

Welcome to Developing Nature Awareness. I am so glad you decided to join us and I hope you’re ready! Over the next few days, your action steps are: to read and complete the exercises given in each level; to really focus on and pay attention to your senses; to tune into and become aware of Nature; and to try to connect with what you hear, smell, feel and see

Each activity involves some field work – either a nature walk or a sit spot. So, find somewhere safe, calm and easily accessible you can get to every day. Try to think about what you notice; the significance of what you notice; and how it feels – and makes you feel. Then, reflect on these feelings in your workbook.

Awakening your senses

Introduction

The purpose of today’s activity is to start acclimatising your senses to begin noticing and interacting with Nature. Often, we think of vision as our most important nature awareness sense. Afterall, there is so much going on in Nature. It is beautiful, magical and awe-inspiring. But, for today, we are going to close our eyes and instead focus on our least-thought-of sense – touch.

Your action steps

  • Relax and take a beautiful breath in, then out
  • Shrug and relax your shoulders and put on a beautiful smile
  • Close your eyes
  • Feel the air upon your skin

Your field work

Feel the air surrounding you. Feel it hugging you – the breezes, sunshine, snow or raindrops.

  • What can you feel?
  • How does it feel?
  • How does it make you feel?

Really pay attention to the sensations you experience, then note your thoughts and feelings down in your workbook.

Introduction

The purpose of today’s activity is to focus your attention on another of our rarely-thought-about senses. In fact, two of our rarely-thought-of senses in relation to Nature connection. Your sense of taste and your sense of smell. Because, whether it is wild flowers, herbs, cut grass or rain-dampened earth, there is something deeply satisfying about the smell of Nature.

Your action steps

  • Relax and take a beautiful breath in, then out
  • Shrug and relax your shoulders and put on a beautiful smile
  • Close your eyes
  • Take a deep breath in
  • Slightly part your lips

Your field work

Feel the air inside your nose and rushing over your tongue – notice the air, the scents, the currents.

  • How does it smell?
  • How does it taste?
  • What does it make you think of and feel?

Really pay attention to the tastes and smells you experience. Then note your thoughts and feelings down in the workbook.

Introduction

The purpose of today’s activity is to begin tuning in your ears to awaken your sense of hearing. Because, even in seemingly peaceful places, there is often much to hear – wind, water, trees, grasses, birds, insects and even animals. As well as sounds of human activity.

Your action steps

  • Begin by breathing a deep breath in and out
  • Shrug your shoulders
  • Smile!
  • Close your eyes again
  • Focus on your ears

Your field work

Listen to the sounds around you – near sounds and distant sounds in all the different direction.

  • What can you hear?
  • Can you identify everything you hear?
  • How do they make you feel?

Really pay attention to everything you hear. Then, note your feelings down in the workbook.

Introduction

The purpose of today’s activity is to begin tuning in your ears to awaken your sense of sight. Because, often, even though we think we are walking around with our eyes open, once we really begin to pay attention and look, we realise just how much we do not see.

Your action steps

  • Start by taking a big breath in and out
  • Shrug and roll your shoulders
  • Smile a beautiful smile
  • This time, keep your eyes wide open

Your field work

Look carefully around you – up, down and all around. Notice movement, colours, the play of sunlight and shadows.

  • What do you notice?
  • What can you see?
  • How are things moving – and why are they moving?
  • How does observing nature make you feel?

Really pay attention to your environment. Then, reflect on your feelings in the workbook.

Tuning in to Nature

Introduction

The purpose of today’s activity is to begin focusing your attention onto and noticing trees. Because, trees are much more than ‘green blobs on sticks!’ In fact, they are an entire world more than that – literally. Each tree will have its own network of insects, birds, animals, fungi, lichens, moss and other forms of life both supporting it and dependent upon it – without which, neither they nor it would survive.

Your action steps

  • Begin by warming up your senses – shrug, relax and smile
  • Feel, smell, listen and look around you
  • Find a tree, then stand back and observe it
  • Move in closer and notice its details

Your field work

Look carefully at the tree – up and down and all around. Pay attention to its shapes, colours, textures, sounds and smells.

  • What do you notice?
  • Does it make any sound?
  • How does the bark feel?
  • Does the have a particular smell?

Really pay attention to all the little details. Then, reflect on your feelings in the workbook.

Introduction

The purpose of today’s activity is to begin focusing your attention onto and noticing plants. Because, we are surrounded daily by so many plants – wild plants, planted plants, showy plants, inconspicuous plants… wherever you look, you are sure to find some. So, it is nice to start tuning in and actually get to know them.

Your action steps

  • Begin by warming up your senses – shrug, relax and smile
  • Feel, smell, listen and look around you
  • Find a plant, then stand back and observe it
  • Then, move in closer and notice its details

Your field work

Look carefully at the plant – its size, shape colour, personality and health. Smell its flowers and notice its little details.

  • What can you notice?
  • What impression does it give you?
  • Does it look healthy?
  • How does observing this plant make you feel?

Really pay attention to and think about what you can smell and see. Then, reflect on your feelings in the workbook.

Introduction

The purpose of today’s activity is to begin focusing your attention onto and noticing birds. Whether they are seagulls, blackbirds, jackdaws, sparrows or crows, there are many birds of all shapes and sizes gracing our parks, countrysides, waterways and skies. So, why not start to meet them.

Get started

  • Begin by warming up your senses – shrug, relax and smile
  • Feel, smell, listen and look around you
  • Then start tuning in your eyes and ears to notice your local birds

Tune in

Look and listen carefully all around you.

  • Can you hear any birds?
  • Can you see any birds?
  • What are they doing?

Really pay attention to your surroundings – in the trees, on rooftops, in gardens, on ponds or rivers. Then, reflect on your thoughts and findings in the workbook.

Introduction

The purpose of today’s activity is to begin focusing on and paying attention to the world of insects and bugs around you. Because, whether they are spiders, butterflies, moths, worms, slugs, flies or ladybirds, there are millions of insects of all shapes and sizes living around and beside us.

Your action steps

  • Begin by warming up your senses – shrug, relax and smile
  • Feel, smell, listen and look around you
  • Then start tuning in your eyes and ears to notice any insects

Your field work

Look carefully around you – up, down and all around. Notice movement, colours, the play of sunlight and shadows.

  • Can you see any insects?
  • Can you hear any insects?
  • What are they doing?

Really pay attention to the air above you, on the ground below your feet, along the plants or tree line. Then, reflect on your thoughts and findings in the workbook.

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