A survey this week shows that more than two-thirds of people feel they have been closer to nature during the coronavirus pandemic.

The report, part of a YouGov poll for the National Trust, said 63% felt closer to nature during lockdown while a third said their interest in the natural world had grown. Just over 60% thought spending time either watching nature from their window or being outdoors had improved their mood.

Certainly nature has seemed a lot louder during lockdown. Those lucky enough to be able to stroll down a country lane for their daily exercise may have noticed that without traffic noise to silence them, they could clearly hear the bleating of lambs, the occasional contented moo of a cow.

The birds absolutely didn’t hold back, warbling at the top of their little voices to proclaim the joys of spring. Chris Packham must have been in his element.


I’ve always been a huge believer in the positive feelings that interacting with animals bring, whether it’s watching a cheeky squirrel raid the bird feeder or curling up with the cat. The horses drive me mad at times but in reality they keep me sane.

Nature seems to have become a little bolder, more assertive during lockdown. Disappointingly, unlike Llandudno, Brighouse didn’t have an influx of goats wandering the town centre did but we did have a family of Canada geese take up residence in our field, parading their adorable offspring and leaving a frightful mess on the track.

In the garden, the robins, blackbirds and blue tits have become accustomed to sharing their space with humans using it as an outdoor office.

So as we take tentative steps towards whatever will end up passing for normal, will we begin to tune out from the soundtrack of the natural world? Will we notice if traffic noise once again blots out the birdsong and silences the lambs?

We’re lucky that our Faith office is literally yards from a glorious park, reached by a country lane with a bridge over the beck. We have squirrels in the car park and the stream is a favourite with the local duck population.

Sure, it might not be easy to retain that link with nature once the kids are back at school and we’re back in the 9-5 routine. But research such as this gives us hope that some at least will have found a lasting connection with nature, a new reason to care what happens to our planet, to protect our countryside and the creatures we are lucky enough to share it with.

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