Firstly, thanks for following along, reading this blog, coming along to our events - and hopefully being encouraged to get outside. There would have been little point doing it without you! So, I thought I'd write a wee summary of what we have achieved since November when we launched the Get Outdoors Lanarkshire website and the Winter Project.
This website has received nearly 2000 visitors since then, and nearly 100 people have signed up to receive email updates from us. If you've not signed up, please fill out the form on the home page. We’ve got nearly 500 followers on facebook and 200 on twitter. The first part of the project was our Nature Advent(ure) Calendar with 24 videos, made by 23 different groups encouraging people to undertake a different nature related activity every day in the run up to Christmas, from a yoga pose to photography. Although those videos have a clear winter branding (I promise I am working to remove the annoying sleigh bells from them), they're mostly relevant at any time of year, and you can check them all out on the playlist here.
On Christmas Day we launched the 12 Days of Nature with our lockdown performance from the Stonehouse Male Voice Choir. Apart from a note to self, that anything that involves worrying about things being launched on Christmas Day is a bad idea, this has actually been our most popular video so far. As well as being online this was supported by paper materials: over 400 leaflets and 50 posters were distributed in the run up to Christmas with the help of our partner organisations. You can still download the leaflet on the 12 Days tab on the website. Again, the activities are relevant for any time of year.
An additional part of the winter project has been to work with groups that might not usually offer nature connection as part of their support to their participants, and suggest ways they can do this. So we've met with various groups about Wild Wellbeing, photography, nature writing and art. We've already shared the Bazooka Arts videos on the therapeutic benefits of art and nature, which has enabled groups to offer a printmaking session to their own participants. I can report that it is really fun and you should have a go!!! We will have some more resources like this to share soon. I must also mention our fabulous book club event with Healthy n Happy where we read The Secret Garden and have a great time discussing it. I'd like a nature book club to become a regular feature!
In addition to this we have hosted 12 zoom nature connection sessions for the general public reaching over 200 individuals on a variety of topics from nature photography to mindfulness to an awareness raising session on the benefits of our peatlands. We've also added to our nature connection video library on YouTube.
We're really grateful to NatureScot for funding this project, and we're excited about where we will go from here! I can't confirm anything for definite just now, but Green Health Week is coming up from 8th to 18th May and we will certainly be celebrating in one way or another, so keep on reading, and do get on our mailing list if you want to be kept up to date.