Earth Education UK

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Friday, 9 October 2015

Treat yourself. Get out into nature this Autumn.

As we start seeing the first signs of Autumn, with fruits in the hedgerows and the leaves of trees changing colour, I am reminded   to get myself out there into the natural world and to renew my contact. There is a growing body of compelling research evidence that direct contact with nature helps improve physical, mental and emotional well being, something we earth educators have always believed and known intuitively. It is good to have it confirmed!

Having spent the last 45 years helping young people to engage with the natural world ( 30 of those years as an earth educator) I find myself sometimes too busy with the garden, local projects, organising events and using modern technology. I must get out more and just be. Surround myself with nature. Sit and drink it all in. Yes, find myself a magic spot!  One is never too old to have a magic spot.

IEE has created many vehicles to help others to engage with nature. These are designed to work with groups of various ages, with us earth educators facilitating the activity. Spend a few moments considering how you might use these activities for yourself. Magic spots clearly work as a solitary activity (with no need to lower that veil of silence to ensure that we do not talk!). How about taking a walk and using some of those earthwalk activities on ourselves? perhaps no props are needed. Peep through a spyglass made using a clenched fist, pause to smell some crushed leaves or fruits, Close your eyes and listen to nature's symphony around you,Stroke some moss and tree bark. Open up your senses.  By all means use some simple props if they help recreate the magic of an earthwalk for you.

. How about a viewing party to watch the sun setting, leaves falling from a favourite tree, stars and moon in a clear night sky? Treat yourself to a glass of plum wine while doing so. Create a piece of natural art - just for you - nobody else! Read up on some of the solitary experiences and journeys described in Acclimatizing.

Share this Autumn with others.  If you have no group of learners that you can take out to share the wonders and beauties of autumn, take your family, a partner, a good friend, a neighbour on a sharing walk. Or have a few moments of indulgence by treating yourself alone (except you will not be alone - you will be surrounded by fellow creatures, large and small).

We spend so much time crafting and creating magical learning experiences for groups of learners, making props, piloting and organising programmes. Give yourself a pat on the back, a treat, a reward. Make some time to get outside for yourself. Fill your boots!

1 comment:

  1. Ta John
    I love the smells and sounds this time of year. A timely nudge to remember to enjoy them! Best wishes, Mark


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