I started work on the My Wild City project in 2019 during the development year of the project. My work is all about helping as many people as possible in these eight places to discover and connect to nature on their doorstep. I love getting to know the different spaces through the seasons and working with so many active, creative and inspiring people in these places is amazing.”
By working closely with local organisations such as the Northern Slopes Initiative, theatre and arts group Brave Bold Drama and Ambition Lawrence Weston, and passionate individuals we are helping to develop strong community networks that know about and champion their local wildlife. Through these networks we are helping more people, from different backgrounds, and of different ages to explore nature. From fun family sessions to foraging forays, dawn chorus walks and species surveys, wellbeing walks and more creative and unusual ways of interacting with the natural world.
Outdoor spaces have become even more important to most of us living in the city over the past year. Although My Wild City paused for most of 2020 through the first lockdown, we were encouraged by the fact that more and more people were finding value and solace in the green areas near to their homes. Since our return in August, we’ve heard many stories about people discovering their local wildlife site for the first time or exploring new parts. One of the comments I hear most often is “I’ve lived here for so long and didn’t even know this place was here!”
While My Wild City has been on hold our practical volunteering group the Wild City Action Team (known locally as the Wild Cats) have been climbing the walls without their usual Tuesday workdays on site. Fortunately, in October we did manage to run three successful foraging walks with foraging expert Martin from GoForage. People loved learning how to create healthy soups or fantastic cocktails from the free, wild foods around them. Our series of How to Be an Explorer family fun events also went down a treat, despite the half term rains. Children had a great time jumping in puddles, discovering their spirit animal and becoming intrepid wild explorers.
Although winter is drawing in, and this is set to be a particularly challenging one, these green spaces offer the perfect antidote to the winter blues. Get wrapped up, take a flask of something warm and head out for free, mood and immunity boosting walks in nature. It’s proven, spending time in nature makes us happier, healthier humans!
All the My Wild City sites are open 24hrs a day, 365 days per year, and the eight sites are wonderfully diverse. Spread across the city each has something special to offer, from ancient woodlands to old orchards laden with apples, meandering streams in hidden valleys to high hills with views across Bristol and out to sea. If you're around Bristol, why not explore your local one, or hop on your bike and explore all eight?