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A Commute in Nature

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Posted: Thursday 15th June 2017 by WildBlog

By Nicole Daw, People and Wildlife Officer

We are mid-way through June, the longest day is on the horizon and I am starting to feel my 30 Days Wild efforts getting under my skin. I have a relatively nature-focused day job with Avon Wildlife Trust, but it’s easy to forget about my own everyday nature experiences as I switch out of work mode.

So, throughout June I’ve been trying to notice more as I commute. Often this ‘dead’ time can feel like a waste of the day as we attempt to travel from A to B. I either cycle or walk with my dog into work and as a result am very aware of the weather! Just taking note of how the sun feels on your face, or how only one side of you is wet as the wind blows rain sideways is a way to connect with nature.

But there is much more going on out there. On my June commutes I have watched herring gulls playing in gusts of wind, taken delight in the sun shining through bright green leaves glistening with rain drops and I followed a common carder bee around Brandon Hill Park.

Last Saturday along with Zoe from East Bristol Kidical Mass, I led families on a Wild Cycle along the River Avon from Lawrence Hill. As we began our journey we were cheered on by stunning red poppies dancing in the breeze and attracting a variety of pollinators. In less than half an hour we had left the city behind us as we dodged muddy puddles on the shared-use path.

We stopped for a break next to an elder tree in full bloom and after sniffing the flowers one child exclaimed, “It smells like honey!” Our next nature stop was at a bat cave used in the winter by lesser horseshoe bats. Although empty at this time of year, peering into the gloom to see the bat boxes inside gave me a great opportunity to talk to the group about our wonderful bat species and what a great job of eating midges they do.

At our mid-point picnic spot the nature spotting didn’t stop and we found lots of different snails hiding in the meadow. Even the youngest children were fascinated by the variety of shell shapes and colours and how the snails eye-stalks moved and retracted as we inspected them.

It’s easy to forget that nature surrounds us all year round but at this time of year it doesn’t take long to spot something interesting growing, crawling, scampering or flying by. Stop to look inside a flower and it is likely there will be a little invertebrate in there. You might spot a red-tailed bumblebee, a fat-legged beetle, or an earwig busily going about their business and pollinating as they go.

The #30DaysWild challenge has given me a prompt to think a little differently, and challenge myself as I go about my daily routine. It is a phrase often said but perhaps not always heard - sometimes it really is about the journey, not the destination.

It’s not too late to join in with #30DaysWild and start noticing the nature on your daily journeys – go to More information on the Kidical Mass cycle rides is on their Facebook page.

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