This month isn't just Walktober, it is also Brocktober, Scottish Badgers' celebration of all things badger. If you're reading this the day it comes out then you're not too late to sign up for their annual conference which is taking place online on Saturday 9th October, where you can learn everything from how to prevent crime against badgers to what nature friendly farming means. There are also lots of resources on their website if you want to learn more about badgers in Scotland, including the Earn Your Stripes online training programme.
To coincide with National Badger Day on 6th October, they also launched a new resource to help the public champion badgers. How to be a Badger Champion provides information, ideas and resources to help people champion badgers in a way that works for them. Also their twitter feed is a great source of live badger action, gathered from their trail cameras. Most of us will not be lucky enough to see a badger in real life, so it's great to see this footage and get an idea about how these amazing animals live. Additionally, you can learn what signs to look out for in case you think there may be badgers living in your neighbourhood.
Sadly the only thing the trail cam in my garden has ever picked up is a solitary fox and a lot of cats. I live in hope for seeing a hedgehog one day. My daily walks are a great source of connecting with nature and this week I have found a wee lawn that is a hotbed of fungi activity. I'm in no way even an amateur mycologist but with my trusty iNaturalist app on my phone I have been able to identify a few species which I have found really exciting. I guess it feeds perfectly into the "keep learning" element of the 5 ways to wellbeing; the Wildlife Trusts have some great information about how they are easily applicable to nature.
The 5 ways to wellbeing all contribute to supporting good mental health, and Sunday is World Mental Health Day. The slogan for this year's campaign is: mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality. Nature connection helps improve the quality of life for people living with mental ill health but also brings significant benefits to all adults. Part of our mission here at Lanarkshire Green Health Partnership is to promote nature connection to help support people's health.
So don't forget about #walktober. We're posting daily prompts on our website and social media suggesting different reasons you might want to get out and about on foot. Day 8 and we've not yet run out of ideas of yet; we're enjoying getting our daily badge on the Go Jauntly challenge too. The walks that I logged last week were a total of 240 minutes and apparently that saved 4kg of carbon emissions by walking instead of driving, and every little bit helps. As we move towards COP26 in Glasgow we're going to be hearing even more about how to reduce our reliance on carbon. We also know from research that people who are more connected to nature are more likely to behave in a nature-friendly way. So, as you go out on foot, check out the nature all around you, from the sky to the snails, and good luck with seeing a badger.