Here's the annual obligatory blue sky and blossom picture. It's that time of year again, Spring by any metric you choose, as astronomical Spring started on Monday with the vernal equinox, and some trees are already tinged with pink. Cherry blossom is in the news, not as you might have expected, from Japan, but from Birmingham and #blossomwatch is possibly the most wholesome place on twitter right now. The cherry trees in my local park aren't close to flowering yet but that's not stopping other trees striking up the overture.
Yesterday I was through in Edinburgh for the SCCAN (Scottish Communities Climate Action Network) Annual Gathering on the topic of "Re-imagining the Future". There was great representation from Lanarkshire including Climate Action Strathaven talking about their new bus service, a project lauded by everyone I spoke to. It was an opportunity to catch up with our Lanarkshire Network Coordinator, Gill who is organising the second Pan Lanarkshire Community & Climate Action Network meeting which is happening online on Monday 27th March from 6.30 to 8.30pm. If you're in Lanarkshire and would like to get involved, come along to hear two wonderful network members share their experiences about establishing community transport in their area, and take the opportunity to let us know what other resources would find helpful. Contact Gill (gillmd at sccan dot scot) to get the link to attend. If you can't wait for Monday and want to take some climate action, then Earth Hour is happening this Saturday 25th March at 8.30pm. Turn your lights off for an hour, and commit 60 minutes to doing something - anything - positive for our planet. Find out more and check out their suggestions of things you can do on their website.
If you've got more than an hour to commit, then why not get yourself down to Carluke this Sunday for the inaugural OneCAN Climate Conference. I'm excited to be running a workshop on nature connection. Over the last couple of weeks I've totally immersed myself in the 5 Pathways to Nature Connection, thinking about ways that I can encourage people to connect more. One of the best resources I've come across is from The Scouts who offer a range of activities taking from 10 minutes to an hour for each pathway. I think my favourite pathway, this week anyway, is Meaning, probably because we've just had the best nature based festival of the year in my opinion, the Spring Equinox. I've celebrated with extra daffodils in the house and some new essential oil to bring the outside in. One of the activities we'll be trying out at the conference is decorating wood cookies to celebrate Spring and invoke nature connection. We ran a lovely project with St Paul's Primary in Whitehill where the pupils designed their own wood cookies, prompting people to stop and take in the sights and sounds of nature in Backmuir Woods. Check out their designs here for some inspiration.
Finally a quick mention for the latest technique I've added to my nature connection basket thanks to a conversation I had with Vanessa from ParkBathe. They've introduced an exercise using a mirror called the worm's eye view; it's a perfect excuse to crawl around a park with a mirror checking out what you can see from ground level looking up; it has proved really popular with their participants - and with me. I hope the good people of Carluke are ready for this....