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10 activities to help you get closer to nature

We've pulled together activities, adventures and online tools to help you connect with nature no matter where you are

Published: 06/08/2020

In what has been an unsettling and uncertain few months, anything that can provide us with some calm, help us to gain perspective, or perk us up when we’re feeling down has to be a good thing.

Did you know that spending time in nature can do all that and more?

By nature we don’t mean you have to travel deep into a forest or head to one of the Western Isles’ isolated beaches. Nature can be found everywhere. The different birds that gather in your garden or local park, the native plants that grow along our coastlines, or even the formations of the clouds above us are all examples of nature around us.

For many of us during lockdown, we’ve taken more time than before to notice and enjoy nature around us. Nearly two-thirds of us reported* mental health benefits as a result of spending time in nature during lockdown. Nature is found to help people de-stress, relax and unwind as well as help us feel more energised and revitalised.

As we continue to move out of lockdown, it’s as important as ever we continue to do what we can to look after our mental health. We’ve created a list of ten things to help you immerse yourself in whatever nature you find around you.


Our partners Scottish Natural Heritage have launched a new campaign to help us ‘Make Space for Nature’. They’ve got loads of ideas to help you bring nature to your garden or balcony, or bring nature to your life by spending time outdoors learning and having fun.

Get Wild Inside with John Muir Trust

You don’t have to go far to connect with nature. Thanks to John Muir Trust’s ‘Wild Inside’ project. You can explore nature from the comfort of your own home.


Enjoy Summer Path Days

Explore our tips and ideas to discover hidden paths in your area, learn about your access rights, and find out what simple tasks you could do to help look after the condition of your local paths with our Summer Path Days campaign.


Help tackle #LockdownLitter

We’ve been upset by some images showing some of our beautiful spaces and places littered with rubbish. Our friends at Keep Scotland Beautiful have a new campaign for us all to help tackle lockdown litter.


Puffin spotting from your sofa

Tune into Visit Scotland’s wildlife webcams for up close and personal footage from some of Scotland’s nature hotspots.


Download a nature identification app

There are some great apps to help you record and identify nature around you. When we learn about the nature around us, it helps us to feel more connected to it. We’d recommend trying iNaturalist’s app Seek.


Let Edith Bowman talk you through your surroundings

On your next walk, tune into our Mind to Walk podcast, narrated by Edith Bowman. Edith talks to through a short walk to help you become more aware of your surroundings and make you feel at ease.


Escape to Loch Lomond with Lochdown

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park are bringing the National Park to you with their new campaign Lochdown. Find lots of fun, learning activities and plenty of stunning photos and videos to help you stay connected with nature.


Take part in the Big Butterfly Count

You’ve got until Sunday 9 August to take part in the Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count. Help them to assess the health of our environment by simply counting the number of butterflies you see.


Find your inner child with these fun outdoor activities for adults

Having fun outside is not just for kids! If you’re prepared to get a bit muddy, head off the beaten track and have a laugh, you’ll enjoy these outdoor activities from the Urban Wanderer.


*Findings from Scottish Natural Heritage's research on outdoor visits and engagement with nature during lockdown.