When lockdown started in March and I found myself on furlough for 4 months I was determined to try and continue making a difference for nature even though I could not actively work or promote our fundraising. After spending some weeks in the garden planting, creating wildlife habitats and getting round to jobs left undone for years I was inspired by the campaign to display teddies in our windows to support key workers, build community spirit and give families on their 1 hour exercise something to spot. I have 2 large bay windows so, after a week of soft toy display, I realised I could express my love of nature by getting creative with bits of paper, scissors and sticky tape.
My efforts this year have celebrated each season as they arrived from the arrival of spring to our strange lockdown Christmas – with the anniversary of VE Day thrown in for good measure. I’m not convinced my conservation colleagues would approve of my non-native blue birds over the white cliffs (see photo below) but, my neighbours loved them. So positive was the reaction that we held a wonderful socially distanced VE day street party based around our front garden on VE Day.
We have templated and snipped hares for Easter, 2-storey bean stalks for summer and robins for Christmas. My partner has made silver birches and our disabled son drawn rainbows. Each new effort received lovely waves and smiles from passers-by as well as lots of neighbourhood social media conversations with neighbours I have never “met” before.
We live in a very diverse area of central Bedford and it has been amazing and really quite emotional to experience how community creativity has been boosted by a few bits of coloured paper. We feel we have made real connections across the local community and these small creative projects have led to bagpipe led Clap for Carers and a socially distanced carol concert that drew over a dozen family groups to sing together in the middle of the road on a chilly December night.
I am now hooked on my Wild Windows: here's my latest (below) which I think links nicely to Big Garden Birdwatch (29-31 January).
Here are some more ideas for connecting to nature during winter
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