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Nature has helped people through lockdown, UK survey suggests

By Emily Beament
More than two-thirds of people feel spending time noticing nature around them makes them feel happy, a UK survey has suggested.

Polling reveals that 63% of people believe they have come a lot or a little closer to nature during the pandemic lockdown, while a third report their interest in the natural world has grown.

The YouGov poll for the National Trust suggests 68% feel that noticing nature around them makes them happy and 61% think spending time in the natural world or watching from their window has helped their mood.

Over half of the more than 2,100 people quizzed (55%) plan to spend as much time in nature once things go back to “normal” after the pandemic.

The National Trust released the results of the survey ahead of the weekend’s summer solstice, when the conservation charity is encouraging people to make the most of the longest day by noticing and enjoying the moment.

People can experience dawn or sunset in their garden or local green space or notice the wildlife and flowers active at dawn or dusk in their garden or local park, the charity suggests.

The National Trust launched a “noticing nature” report with the University of Derby in February which suggests even simple, everyday acts of noticing nature result in a connection to nature that is linked to greater wellbeing.

Andy Beer from the National Trust said: “Although we suspected that nature was providing the nation some level of comfort during these distressing and unprecedented times, we wanted to get a better understanding of how it was helping people through this period.

“The results tell us that people have found spending time in nature or seeing nature has had a positive effect on their mood, and hopefully therefore, helped their mental wellbeing.

“Mounting evidence shows that everyday connections with nature has a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing.

“The fact that people are recognising so fully how nature has helped them during the crisis can only be a good thing for people, nature and wildlife.”

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