I can’t remember a time I didn’t enjoy getting outdoors and experiencing all that the natural world has to offer. Growing up, my dad Michael would take me out exploring the rugged landscape of the Peak District: Mam Tor, Stanage Edge, Jacob’s Ladder and Dovedale were my childhood playground.
Now I’m a parent myself, I love nothing more than taking my three children on our own adventures. Getting outside has so many proven benefits – boosting immunity, elevating mood, increasing creativity and productivity, and even dampening anxiety.
While I’ve always known this, I experienced it for myself in recent years.
Following my breast cancer diagnosis in 2021 there were two things that really helped get me through:- one was the love and support of my family, and the other was time out in nature.
While recovering from a mastectomy, the Peak District was the first place I went, with my family for a proper walk.
I’m passionate about encouraging everyone to get outside – it’s why my sister, Gina, and I set up The Outdoor Guide, a free online resource to help make the outdoors accessible for everyone.
I want to spread awareness about the importance of nature in our lives.
It’s a sad fact that Britain is in the bottom 10 percent of countries globally for protecting wildlife. We can do more. We need to do more. Behind the scenes, the National Trust is doing an amazing job of protecting so many different habitats across the country.
Together with the RSPB and WWF, it’s encouraging everyone to “go wild once a week” for nature.
This could be planting pollinator-friendly plants in your garden or a window box, planting native trees in your local community or picking up at least three pieces of litter when you’re out.
We can all do something to help look after the natural world. People might think of nature as “something over there”, but it doesn’t have to be. Get out there and experience our incredible natural world.
It’s vital to everyone: for our physical health, the food we eat and our mental health.
It’s vital for our future.