RSPB Scotland’s Allie McGregor shares how they discovered a love for their local greenspaces in the past few weeks. You can share your stories from lockdown with us using #MyWorldNow.

Love for the local #MyWorldNow

I don’t usually consider myself an outdoorsy person, despite how much I enjoy being outdoors. It was only when I became unable to access the outdoors in the ways that I am used to that I realised how important it is for me to be in them, especially in spring and summer.

I had so often considered the outdoors, and nature particularly, to be something far away that I wasn't experiencing every day. Living in a city and without a garden I viewed my time in nature as occasional trips to a nature reserve or something I spent time doing when family visited and we travelled to more remote areas. I hadn't appreciated how often I got my dose of nature through little things like spotting birds on the way to work, walks around the office at lunchtime, or hanging out in the park for lunch after a weekend shopping trip in town. For a long time I was almost totally oblivious to some of the amazing greenspaces that are almost on my doorstep.

wildflower patch

Now that my day-to-day life has shifted and trips around the country with my family are a distant memory I have been challenging myself to explore my local area more and I am delighted at just how special it is. Depending on how far I feel up to walking at the end of a busy day (and how hard it might be raining) I can go to parks, woodlands, and even castle grounds. If I'm feeling even more ambitious I can head to the beach or walk along the river. 

While I had always been aware of some of these places and had spent a little time in some of them before, I tended to instead favour hopping on the bus a bit further afield and making a day of it.

view out over the city from a hill with trees in foreground

I am grateful that I have now discovered a new appreciation for the area I live in and the nature and wildlife that is weaved throughout it. While there are aspects of having a garden, or a balcony, that I still envy, I know I am incredibly lucky to live in a city where there is greenspace and to live in a part of that city where I can reach it quite easily. For many people this isn't the case. While I still face some barriers to accessing nature, many people face many more and lockdown has highlighted this more than ever.

I have discovered a love for my local spaces during lockdown and I hope to continue to build that appreciation even as lockdown is easing. What are you taking away from lockdown as it eases? I would love to know.