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Approach of autumn

It's that time of year that seems to be both busy and quiet simultaneously. People enjoying the last few days of the school holidays, other people enjoying the end of the school holidays, signifying the time to finally take some leave. Out of office messages, overloaded inboxes, new season planning. There's a lot going on. Through it all, summer is slowly evolving into autumn. I found my first brown conkers on Wednesday; I had to turn the light on to read at 9pm last night; I walked down the street in a whirlwind of golden leaves this morning. This picture might be predominantly asphalt but nature is all around us if we make an effort to look for it.

I've been making the most of some quieter days at work to catch up with important reading from the world of nature connection and outdoor activity. Perhaps if you have some time, you'll also find these of interest.

Firstly, nature connection guru Miles Richardson's latest blog was an informative and heart warming read in many ways. Titled "Finding a Friend in Nature" it looks at how relationships between people can mirror the relationships people have with nature. It highlights why simple contact with nature is not necessarily enough for people to be connected with nature. I'm sure we all have experiences where contact with certain individuals doesn't result in a relationship with them!!!! The blog post about the research is fascinating and illuminating, and there is a link to the full paper. Even though I think I'm fairly connected with nature, I've been focusing on being a real friend to my favourite tree in the park ever since reading it.

As I'm not allowed to forget at work, not everyone likes walking, and of course not everyone is able to walk; so for those of you who like to read about walking instead, I came across this great list of books that fit this category. I won't admit to how many of these I already own, but I have vowed to get my TBR (to be read) pile to a less dangerous height before I buy or borrow any more. A quick browse around the website did lead me to several other fascinating sources of ideas for nature related books that piqued my interest; 12 tentacular books about octopuses for example; shockingly I've only read two of their non-fiction suggestions and had recently added another, Many Things Under a Rock by David Scheel to the list on the back of this article in The Guardian; there are also lists about pilgrimages, winter and elephants. It seems that LibroManiacs is aptly named.

The Wildlife Trusts are currently running a survey to find out what people in the UK really think about nature and how we, as a society, should protect it. Results will also help The Wildlife Trusts to hold the government to account over its environmental policies and priorities. You can take part in the survey here. Also new from The Wildlife Trusts is this great report on green health and how green health prescribing can save the NHS significant amounts of money. It's great to see them being quoted as saying "Nature is an essential part of health and social care" because that's what we believe, and we want to support even more people in Lanarkshire to experience better health through nature connection and outdoor activity. One of the projects that is highlighted is Feed the Birds, a befriending scheme in Shropshire that benefits both humans and birds, bringing nature to people who are unable to get outside much.

That's a lot of reading for one blog post, so I'll leave it there this week. Don't forget to get outside if you can, even if it's just to sit in the sunshine and read this!

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