Has the idea of doing a nature walk always excited and inspired you… but then you lose confidence and deflate when it comes to actually doing and planning one – because you are not really sure what you are doing? Then this page is for you!
A nature walk is a fun, enjoyable, educational adventure undertaken somewhere in the great outdoors.
It is different from just a normal walk in that you make a conscious decision to keep your eyes, ears, nose, mind and imagination open during the walk. In short, you are willing and ready to take in all that the great outdoors has to offer you.
A walk where dad is grumpy, mum has had enough, the dog is whining and the kids are fighting is NOT a nature walk. No one will learn anything and they will certainly not return home happy, energised and rearing to do it again.
So, keep it fun and right from the very start, get everyone involved.
Walking in nature, even for a short duration, has a number of positive benefits. It helps you to:
In short, immersing yourself in nature, nourishes your body, your mind and your spirit – all at the same time!
Remember, the main purpose of a nature walk, is to connect with and immerse yourself in nature.
So, whether you are walking in the city or in the wilderness, the basic principles remain the same:
What does nature mean to you? Trees, birds, animals, weather, terrain? As you walk, start to notice all these things – consciously focus on and become aware of them. Understand how they make up the world around you – and that you are walking in that same world.
Do not focus on whatever passes your eyes, but use all of your senses to identify the world around you. What can you hear? What can you feel? What can you smell? Perhaps you can hear distant swallows or running water, smell rain-damp earth or feel a warm, summer breeze.
On you walk, there are many things to look for:
Use each thing you see as a possible clue to other things you might find.
For example, if you spot a buddleia bush, you are sure to find butterflies nearby. If there are lots of berry-bearing trees, keep your ears open for bird song. If you are walking on soft, sandy soil, keep an eye out for rabbit droppings. When you start spotting droppings, look out for their burrows – or if you are lucky, the rabbits themselves.
You can do a perfectly good nature walk with nothing more than an open mind and a willingness to notice everything around you. But of course, what else you need will be location specific.
A walk through your neighborhood or city park only requires you to remember your house keys, while a longer stroll or strenuous hike requires:
Meanwhile, for a remote, multi-day wilderness adventure you might well need:
Whatever the length, duration and location of your walk, you can also take:
A question commonly asked by those new to nature walking, is, how do I find a nature walk near me?
The short answer is, you can find a nature walk anywhere:
In addition, these sites are always very useful.