Dobbies Garden Centres has teamed up with UK wildlife charity, Butterfly Conservation, on the launch of its Nurture for Nature campaign, in a bid to encourage people to look after themselves by looking after the natural world this spring.
Nurture for Nature is centred around building a natural world which supports butterflies and moths. As well as being important, pollinators, butterflies and moths also form vital parts of the complex ecosystems which support the birds and mammals who populate the countryside. With their continuing decline a serious worry for local wildlife as a whole, the campaign will encourage ways in which people can help boost their numbers.
Marcus Eyles, horticultural director at Dobbies and the official partner for Nurture for Nature, said: “Dobbies is committed to communicating the importance of supporting garden wildlife, health and wellbeing, sustainable practices and environmentally-friendly products. We are proud to support Butterfly Conservation with this important campaign and hope people of all ages gain valuable insight from the advice and recommendations we share over the coming weeks.”
An increasing number of people have rediscovered nature during the UK lockdowns, which in turn has been hugely beneficial for mental health. Research undertaken at the University of Cumbria, involving more than 700 participants, has shown that helping butterflies can improve our own mental health, with 83% of people surveyed noting that they took the time to notice pollinators during last spring’s lockdown.
Just a short amount of time spent in the natural world can alleviate stress and help people feel happier and more energised. Butterfly Conservation has also noted that spending time watching butterflies and moths in flight can be a wonderful and calming experience.
Dr Amir Khan, Butterfly Conservation ambassador, said: “As we head into spring again, we must remember how our increased connectedness with nature during the warmer months of last year really helped us. Like a butterfly that exists as a tiny egg over winter, the promise of spring has been with us during the winter months, and now it’s back there’s plenty we can do to feel inspired by and part of the wildlife around us.”
Research also showed that the spring lockdown of 2020 created an increased desire to spend more time outdoors where possible. The number of respondents who reported spending more than one-and-a-half hours per day in nature rose from 27% before lockdown to 45% during the lockdown. In addition, 67% of respondents reported actively speaking about nature to friends and family more often during lockdown, while 83% of respondents had specifically taken time to notice butterflies and/or bees.
In light of this data, Butterfly Conservation is urging people to look after their own corners of the natural world to encourage nature to thrive and, in turn, continue to comfort and inspire us.
Dr Kate Dent, director of engagement at Butterfly Conservation said: “As spring finally arrives we can all do our little bit towards helping butterflies, wherever we live, in the knowledge that it’s helping our mental health too. Whether it’s caring for herb seedlings in a window box, planting wildflowers in your garden or learning afresh how to breathe and feel the gift of nature in our local green spaces.”