5 ways Londoners can reconnect with nature
Updated: Feb 28, 2021
I read an article lately titled "Reconnecting with nature, triggers more eco-actions" https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-51110546
Very simplistic view but it makes total sense. Why would people choose to look after something they are not connected with?
When I started London Bushcraft seven years ago, my aim was exactly that, to "Reconnect people with nature". My hope was that it would give people a sense of wonder and well-being and this has given me another reason why this is so important with such an urgent need to take care of our planet.
Even in a busy city such as London, I do feel very connected with nature in my daily life. Here's ways that I connect with nature living in London:
I love getting around London by bicycle. The following three pictures were taken in a
single day in February on a journey from East London to just north of Oxford street. In that one day, I saw; a beautiful sunrise, noticed spring was early, saw this amazing bed of violets by the canal and noted the ebb and flow of the River Lee tide as I passed it.
Not confident to cycle? If you live, work or study in London you can access free cycle training to become more confident in general or on the roads. Check out free cycle training with your Borough or you can also contact Cycle Confident as they cover the cycle training for most Boroughs in London. https://www.cycleconfident.com/
When you start learning about the food you can eat that grows wild, you will realise the abundance of edible plants that are all around you. I find great satisfaction in watching the spring greens emerge from winter, then watching the flowers bloom and the bees get their fill before the anticipation of waiting the for the fruit to appear. Observing these cycles in nature and watching when plants are ready to forage, makes me feel tuned into the seasons. Too nervous to go it alone; book a group course!
See our blog for lots of foraging ideas: https://www.londonbushcraft.com/blog
3.) Grow herbs in your garden and eat your weeds
I love growing herbs in my garden that take very little care as I let them grow wild. My favourites are mint, lemon balm, chard, wild rocket and most recently I have discovered the amazing flavour of sweet violet which makes a fabulous substitute for parsley. Find out which weeds you can eat and instead of spraying nasty chemicals, eat them. My favourite weed to eat is dandelion leaves. It is super healthy and grows all year round.
4.) Check out your local green spaces
This is my favourite green space closest to me. It's a cemetery and nature reserve in East London. This place is a reminder to me about the interplay between humans and nature. This first picture was taken at night as I listened to the subtle sounds of the forest, I could hear the hum of traffic in the background. As the hectic city life continued on the outside on the fence I felt at one with nature in this little oasis as I watched the first star appear in the night sky.
5.) Join a course
Learning skills that are long forgotten in our fast pace modern society helps to slow us down and refocus our minds on what is actually important. From half day events to two day Wilderness retreats, at London Bushcraft we have a range of courses for individuals or group bookings.
"Reconnecting with nature, triggers more eco-actions" https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-51110546