We are not short of trees to hug where we live!
The sides of this valley are covered in trees and the wonderful thing about living here is that there are paths winding through all of them.
I've been winding my way through the woodlands of Hebden Bridge since I moved here twenty odd years ago and those trees have looked after me.
Among them I have calmed my busy mind, had ideas, solved problems, talked about big dreams with friends and just felt much better.
They have bestowed me with their treasures.
My lockdown was ok because of the trees. I got out everyday in that fresh green spring weather and digested everything that was going on in the world. But I felt cautious about sharing my images on Instagram etc because there were SO many people stuck inside without access to green space and I didn't want to rub it in but I shared a little hoping it might have an uplifting effect.
Recently I read a book called The Nature Fix - why nature makes us happier, healthier and more creative by Florence Williams and it gave me lots of insight into me what is actually going on in our body and brain when we are out in nature. (I'm not going list the ways... just read the book, it's incredible). It also highlighted the difference in peoples lives and health when they don't have access to nature - by this I mean not even access to a single tree or anything green out of their window.
It talked about studies that reflected positive effects on brain waves by just looking at pictures of nature so I realised that the photos I posted during lockdown absolutely were of service :)
It got me thinking about people who had no access to nature on a daily basis. You don't even have to conciously be noticing nature for it to be having a positive effect. What about people in cities? There tend to be more trees and green spaces in wealthier neighbourhoods. What about the poorer marginalised areas? I was wondering if there were any organisations planting trees in these areas and introducing inner city kids to nature when I found out about the work of Trees For Cities.
They work to improve lives by planting trees in cities. One school I read about had the Hammersmith flyover at the bottom of the playground and consequently the second worst pollution records in the UK! The planted a little wood in the playground and lowered the pollution levels by 50%. The kids loved it and can now form a relationship with nature that may not have been fostered otherwise. We need more projects like this.
And when you've done that go and find a tree. You don't have to hug it but do give it a well earned nod x