Walking with Nature aims to make it easier for people to enjoy and appreciate the natural environment all around them, by tuning into sights, sounds and scents.
Throughout February and March, we'll explore bird song, forests, weather and share activities and knowledge on how best to connect with nature.
Walking with Nature will also look at micro volunteering and encourage small acts of kindness such as moving a branch blocking a path, or saying a friendly ‘hello’ to a passerby.
This campaign comes as a UK-wide study shows happiness and life satisfaction are at their lowest levels since the start of the pandemic last March (1).
It also builds on a NatureScot report which found more people reported health and wellbeing benefits from time spent outdoors connecting with nature during Covid restrictions (2).
70% indicated that outdoor visits and engagement with nature between August and September helped them to de-stress, relax and unwind, an increase from 63% in March to May.
Ian Findlay CBE, our Chief Officer said
All too often when people go out walking they are still attached to their phone and forget to take in the surroundings that we are graced with in Scotland.
We hope this campaign will help people unwind and begin to enjoy the small and simple things in life, like spotting a wild animal, hearing a new noise or just generally feeling relaxed when out in the fresh air.
We believe that by encouraging people to walk everyday they will experience many positive physical, social and mental health benefits and in turn we will move forward from this pandemic as a healthier, greener, safer and happier nation.
Caroline Fyfe, NatureScot’s Strategic Paths and Funding Officer said: “Our research has found that more people are visiting the outdoors and engaging with nature so it’s great to see the Walking with Nature campaign encouraging people to build on that connection.
“The simple and fun activities are things we can all do, wherever we live. Tuning into nature while out walking and giving a few minutes of time to improve the local walking environment can make a huge difference, not only to personal mental and physical health but also to local communities.
“At NatureScot we want to support people to take the next step on their journey to caring for nature and experiencing all the benefits that can bring. For those inspired by Walking in Nature, we’ve lots more tips to help people Make Space for Nature in their lives.”
Referenced survey links: