Imagine for just one moment, you are taking a stroll down a country lane. It is early autumn. The sky is a beautiful clear blue and a light breeze ruffles your hair. Far above, you can hear the raspy wheeze of a pair of swallows. They fly so fast you can barely see them, darting and dashing through the sky.
Suddenly, a flash of bright orange eyes and jet black feathers brings you back to earth as an angry blackbird bursts out of a shrub in front of you. He lands on the branch of an ash tree and chatters noisily, scolding you for disturbing him.
After giving you a piece of his mind, he flies off in a flurry of feathers, the branch bouncing behind him. With each bounce, the tree rustles. Bunches of ash seeds, long and dangling, swish and swing back and forth. As they swish, a seed falls off and spirals down to earth.
Your eyes follow the spinning seed as it floats down to land gently on the grass. There, it joins its many companions – seeds, nuts, twigs, feathers and a variety of fallen leaves scattered on the ground. You identify ash, hornbeam, sycamore, field maple… Your eyes dart along the lane, looking for their trees. There is the sycamore; and over there, the maple.
Just then, your attention is caught by a bush full of scarlet berries. Hawthorn. A robin is watching you inquisitively from its branches. A smile lights your face as it flits closer, its bright eyes curious, its little head tilting towards you. You lift your hand, hoping it might come. But it decides to stay on the branches, before quickly flitting away. Your gaze lingers for a moment in the spot where it disappears, hoping it might return, before focusing on a cluster of red-stemmed, shiny black berries – elderberries!
Quickly, you skim the lane – rowan berries, damsons, wild raspberries, rose hips and blackberries. The makings of a wild berry feast. You cross over the lane and pluck a juicy blackberry. Its sweet, sun-warmed juiciness melting in your mouth. You smile a huge smile, your heart cheerful and brightened. Then you sigh in satisfaction – this is so nice…. before you realize… you have only walked about ten steps and the rest of the lane is still to come!
Everything you see is like a friend. You know their names, their personalities, their quirks and their uses. It makes your nature walks come to life and never be boring again.
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Next: Use our Nature Walk Search Tool to find a walk near you, check the four things you should consider before planning a nature walk or, explore some nature walk ideas.