Give nature a helping hand

Give nature a helping hand

Forest Holidays


Nature's all around us, but when do we really make time to sit and take it all in? When you step into the forest and discover your very own Forest Feeling, that's the feeling scientists have shown we need more of! It helps us to feel better in our mental and physical health, and as a thank you to nature, we want to care for and protect it more. We all benefit!


  • Nature Connection handbook

    Nature Connection handbook

    Scientists at the University of Derby have made a brilliant handbook on why and how we can connect with nature. You can read it here, and start sharing some of the brilliant things inside with everyone you know.

    Read the nature trail handbook

  • Make a bug hotel

    Make a bug hotel

    Build an insect habitat at home! Follow our steps and pick up some top tips on how to build a 5 star hotel for minibeasts. 

    Read how to build a bug hotel

The five stepping stones

Follow our five stepping stones to feel closer to nature! If you make sure you follow these whenever you’re out and about in nature, you’ll feel the benefits of being surrounded by wildlife.






What else can you do to get closer to nature...

No Mow May

Be a little less 'tidy' and keep the lawnmower in the shed for a bit longer. You could try mowing a path through the garden, or creating a little picnic spot amongst the longer grass to give some variety for wildlife. This will encourage flowers like daisies, which prefer shorter grass. 

Record the difference this makes to your garden and become a citizen scientist! Use iNaturalist to identify the species of plants that have popped up in a square patch at the end of May.

Make a wildflower seed bomb

It's a fun way to spread seeds and you can watch for what wildflowers explode from your bomb once they begin to take root. 

  1. Mix 10 handfuls of soil to one handful of flour.
  2. Slowly add water and mix together until it feels sticky, a bit like dough. 
  3. Roll your 'dough' into a golf-ball size. 
  4. Fill a tray with wildflower seeds. Roll the balls around to cover them in seeds. Leave them somewhere dry for a day or two. 

Now they're ready to throw in your garden!

Visit your local nature reserve

Visit your local nature reserve

Find out what's near you. The Wildlife Trust and RSPB have lots of reserves open to the public - get exploring!



Create a mini pond at home

Ponds are a brilliant feeding ground for birds, hedgehogs and bats. You can easily make a small pond in your garden using a washing-up-bowl, a large plant pot, or a disused sink.

  1. Choose a spot that gets some light, but not full sunlight all day. Dig a small hole, pop your bowl or pot in. You can also leave the bowl on the ground if you don't want to dig a hole. 
  2. Add some stones, bark, gravel and other bits into and around the pond, to create slopes and grips to help creatures get in and out. 
  3. Fill your pond bowl with rainwater - then keep a look out for who's having a quick dip!

Build a compost heap

Creating your own compost heap means you don't need to buy as much compost, especially compost containing peat. It's also a great natural way to add lots of nutrients into soil, helping plants and flowers to grow. The more we can do naturally, the less we need to use chemicals. 

A compost heap also creates an additional habitat for creatures like hedgehogs, beetles, toads, bats and birds. Slow-worms and small mammals also love a compost heap. You might even spot grass snakes wriggling about! Even better, some of these visitors help to keep pesky plant eaters away, as they love to munch on them. Another way to avoid using chemicals and making sure your garden thrives!

Invite the birds to stay

The best way to welcome birds into your garden is to make a place for them to nest and feed. The RSPB have created a handy guide to building a bird box - follow their steps and enjoy your new garden visitors. 

Everyone loves cake, even birds! Make them a treat to give them energy - especially when it's cold. Create your own recipe using whatever you've got lying around in the kitchen. Why not try: 

  • Dried fruits softened with water
  • Crumbled cheese
  • Food leftovers
  • Breadcrumbs and peanuts

Just avoid uncooked rice, as it's bad for their bellies.

How to make your bird cake

  1. Combine all your ingredients in a bowl then add some softened lard or dripping
  2. Mix together into a firm paste. Get your hands in there and make a mess!
  3. Pierce the bottom of the clean yoghurt pot (or alternative container) and push some string through
  4. Knot securely on the inside of your pot so that it hangs upside down like a bell
  5. Fill with the mixture and hang outside
  6. Spot what birds come to enjoy your cake!

Have you tried the Merlin Bird ID app? 

Download and use it in your garden, or whenever you're outside, and let it listen to birds - it'll pick up the birdsong and tell you which birds are nearby. Merlin can also identify birds from photos, if you can get close enough to them!