We might all live different lives, but for the last few weeks, we’ve been brought together by the strange, shared experiences of lockdown. Things have been very difficult, and many have found it overwhelming at times. But there have been positives too, as the restrictions have forced us all to slow down, and really notice the world around us...

Time to reflect

Our gardens and greenspaces have become more important than ever, places of solace and comfort that take us away from the stress of the daily news. We’re hearing birdsong in the silent streets, being amazed by the sight of badgers or deer on our daily walks, and noticing wildflowers emerging from uncut verges. We’re also using our cars less, cooking meals from scratch, and saving our leftovers, so that we don’t need to make unnecessary trips to the supermarket.  

These lockdown experiences might be unique to each of us, but together, they tell an incredible story of resilience and hope. Many of us are now questioning whether we want to rush back to the world as it was before, or whether we want to do more to keep the new connections we’ve made with nature, and perhaps even transform our lives.    

Here are some lockdown reflections from RSPB staff all around the UK. 

 Martin Harper – Director of Global Conservation 

“During lockdown, apart from being with my family, the thing that really kept me going was my one hour of exercise. Only being allowed out once a day meant I made sure I made the time to get my fix of Vitamin N(ature). 

“What’s been really encouraging for me has been the number of people who are starting to reconnect with nature over the last few months. Lockdown has reminded us that there is a second NHS on which we also rely – the Natural Health Service. I hope that in the future those who’ve rediscovered nature stay connected and join the fight to save it.” 

Isobel Mercer – Senior Policy Officer RSPB Scotland 

“The lockdown has completely changed the way we shop and think about food especially as we’re trying to only shop once a week. When you turn up to the supermarket and things are just not available, like flour, it makes you think twice about where produce comes from. Another issue that’s come to my mind is food waste. When you’re eating three meals at home, you’re a lot more aware of what you’re chucking in the bin. 

“I’d say my three key takeaways have been: I want to limit my food waste as much as I can; support local businesses as much as I can; and source food that’s been grown in a way which is good for nature and people.” 

 Karl Stevens, Head of Engagement RSPB Scotland: 

“I live alone, and I’d be lying if I said the past couple of months have been easy. There have been times when it’s felt incredibly lonely. However, one of the things that’s really warmed my cockles has been seeing how people have come together during this crisis. I think it’s bringing out some of the best of humanity. 

“If we’ve learnt one thing as we emerge from lockdown, it’s that there is a lot more that connects us than separates us. I know it sounds naff but it’s true. We can use those things to bring us together. We can create these grassroots community groups where we all help each other really quickly and really efficiently and they just make people feel good.” 

 Erica Mason, Policy Officer RSPB Scotland: 

“I often think how lucky my family is to have a house with a garden. I think about the people who are in small flats who aren’t able to go outside except for their exercise, and who don’t have greenspaces nearby. More than ever I think I understand how important it is, how essential it is, that we all have access to nature. Nature should be integrated into our towns and cities so that species and habitats are a part of our everyday lives.”  

 Vicky Turnbull – Reserves Team, RSPB Scotland: 

I have to admit that I’ve enjoyed some aspects of the lockdown, like not commuting, and not having to talk to many people. I’ve also had the rare experience of seeing some of our reserves almost empty when I visit to carry out checks. Ive found myself taking in more of my surroundings, instead of picking up litter or thinking about path maintenance. I’ve also been able to appreciate how quickly spring seemed to arrive this year and tune in to the birdcalls more than usual.  

Home working the rest of the time has also helped me to appreciate where I live. I’ve discovered new walks from my house and found that, despite the unsettling times, people I pass in the street are actually friendlier than ever before. In some ways I think I’m going to be sad when the lockdown comes to an end. 

 Beth Markey – England Communications Team 

“The unfamiliar and somewhat turbulent nature of lockdown has been unsettling, and many of us, myself included, have turned to nature to help us through. From the blackbirds singing at dawn, to nests packed full of chirping chicks, the world’s cyclical manner reminds us that lockdown too is temporary. In the meantime, I’ve been using my free time to appreciate the beauty and diversity on my doorstep. Although I don’t have much of a garden, I do have a tree-lined driveway packed full of birds. Now, as we return back to normal, it’s crucial that we remember just how important nature is to us and give it the attention it deserves."

Join us!

Last summer, The Climate Coalition (TCC) ran a mass lobby of the UK Government that was attended by around 12,000 people and nearly 200 MPs, called 'The Time is Now'. It broke records and was widely covered by the media

This year, we need to show that our passion for a more nature-rich future has not gone away, albeit making it appropriate for our current reality. And so, to bring home the need for a green recovery to MPs (one that puts nature and climate at the forefront of decisions), on Tuesday 30 June, TCC is running a virtual mass lobby and we need as a many people as possible to attend to ensure the UK Government listens. Will you join us? Watch the video below for more details: