The World Outdoors: Boost your Vitamin N intake with nature activites

I was reading recently about research done at the University of Exeter in England on the links between people’s health and bird watching in the natural world.Dr. Daniel Cox concluded that “experiences of nature provide many mental-health benefits, particularly for people living in urban areas.” Abundance of birds was one of the important characteristics that was controlled for.

Naturalists in the state of Victoria in Australia recognized this years ago and the concept gained traction quickly in the spring of 2010 at a “Healthy Parks Healthy People” congress. Their movement is now worldwide.

From the U.S. National Parks Service to Finland and from South Korea to Scotland, the take-up has been impressive. Ontario Parks started promoting Healthy Parks Healthy People in 2015.

Sarah McMichael, a coordinator with Ontario Parks, said that Healthy Parks Healthy People continues to showcase the important role that healthy green space plays in human health across the province: “We promote time in the outdoors as a means to a healthier lifestyle.”

“Ontario parks are the place for you to get outside and get your dose of nature!” she explained. “In honour of HPHP, we are opening our doors and offering free day-use at all provincial parks on Friday, July 20. It’s a great opportunity to bring your friends and family out to a provincial park and enjoy one of the many outdoor activities at Ontario Parks, whether it’s hiking, cycling, swimming, paddling, or birding.”

Dozens of parks have planned special programming for July 20. It is also just a good opportunity to explore a new park or a local provincial park on your own. Last week by the Gideon Dr. entrance to Komoka Provincial Park I did well with grassland species including grasshopper sparrow and Eastern meadowlark.

Whether you visit a provincial park, a conservation area, or a municipal Environmentally Significant Area, the point is to enjoy all of the benefits of the world outdoors [ . . . ]

 

Continue at LONDON FREE PRESS: The World Outdoors: Boost your Vitamin N intake with nature activites | The London Free Press

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Join the binoculars-wielding army in the name of citizen science, says John Ingham

ONE of the joys of being a father is being able to drive your family to distraction. Few habits annoy mine more than me using my mobile phone to jot down the birds I see and hear on walks and then send the data to the British Trust for Ornithology’s BirdTrack  [ . . . ]

Source: Join the binoculars-wielding army in the name of citizen science, says John Ingham

RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch is back for 2018

EAGLE-EYED bird lovers are being encouraged to scour the skies for a huge bird watching survey. 

Last year, more than 1,300 children and teachers in Greater Manchester took part in the Birdwatch.

The starling was the most common visitor and half of schools spotted one during their watch, with more than 70 different species recorded.

Emma Reed, RSPB Education, Families and Youth manager in Northern England said: “Taking part in Big Schools Birdwatch uses just one lesson or lunchtime so it’s really fun and simple to set up, and it works for all ages.

“Sadly, children today are spending less time outside in nature, which means they are missing out on the positive impact it has on their physical health, emotional well-being and their education.

“The Birdwatch is the perfect chance for them to experience nature first-hand, make exciting discoveries, and the results help provide our scientists with valuable information, so the children are helping to make a real difference for wildlife.” [ . . . ]

Source: RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch is back for 2018

As Britain’s birdlife takes flight, skies of my youth are changing for ever

Birds that were once rare visitors to Britain are becoming a regular sight in England, but in Scotland, Arctic species are likely to vanish

Even though almost half a century has passed, I can still recall in vivid detail the events of a hot, sunny afternoon in August 1970. My mother and I were visiting Brownsea Island, off the Dorset coast. We entered a dark hide, opened the window and looked out across the lagoon. And there – shining like a beacon – was a Persil-white apparition: my first little egret.

Back then, this ghostly member of the heron family was a very rare visitor to Britain. Nowadays, little egrets are so numerous that we hardly give them a second glance. On my local patch, the Avalon Marshes in the heart of Somerset, I have seen up to 60 in a single feeding flock. And, according to the magazine British Birds, there are now more than 1,000 breeding pairs, as far north as the Scottish border [ . . . ] More at: As Britain’s birdlife takes flight, skies of my youth are changing for ever