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Exploring Nature in Your Office Lunch Break

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Posted: Wednesday 5th July 2017 by WildBlog

By Matt Collis, My Wild City Officer

How do you spend a lunch hour? I would argue that for most people, avoiding being desk bound, and eating last night’s leftovers as you plough through yesterday’s to-do list is considered a victory. Even for those who do tear themselves away from the four walls of the office, many won’t venture much beyond a pre-packed sandwich whilst sitting on the groomed grass of a local park, and that only happens on sunny days!

For me my lunch break is exactly that - a break. It’s a time to switch my focus away from work and explore my surroundings. I never go far and am lucky enough to be within minutes of natural respite in the form of Brandon Hill. With its wildflower meadow, assortment of ponds and small woodland, it doesn’t take much effort to immerse myself in wilder surroundings. 

Not everyone is lucky enough to have such a natural retreat right next to the office but despite that, nature and escapism can be found much closer than you think. In fact, surrounding every office is a playground of opportunities to explore. As concrete and barren as it may
look, it will be filled with colourful and dynamic wild creatures. You just need to look.

To prove the point, all through June I’ve been leading lunchtime wildlife walks around the business hub of Temple Quay. Situated next to Temple Meads Station in the heart of Bristol, you could easily ignore this spot, assuming it would be empty of nature and uninteresting. But you’d be wrong. 

Every Wednesday lunchtime, employees of local businesses have joined me to explore these spaces, spending their lunch hour immersed in the local wildlife surrounding their offices. Never venturing more than a few hundred metres, we’ve seen some spectacular stuff; the bright yellow of grey wagtails, scarlet tiger moths, comma butterflies, funnel-web spiders, edible wildflowers, opportunistic street weeds and avian royalty - peregrine falcons!

We didn’t use specialist equipment, just our eyes and ears. Leaving no wall crevice unexplored, noting every unfamiliar looking plant, embracing every sweet bird song in the air, and looking closely at the trees most people simply glaze past, we found nature ever present.

This was how we found our amazing creatures, observed the nature around us and how we spent our lunch hour. So, my challenge to you is to discover what you can during your next lunch break. If you want to let us know you can email us or if you use Twitter you can tag us @avonwt and use the hashtag #mywildcity. We’d love to hear about what you’ve discovered.

Thank you to Peoples Postcode Lottery who have funded our series of lunchtime Net-Walks through June. Find out about our events through the summer here

Image credits
Butterfly: Richard Bowler, Falcon: Gillian Day


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