Wednesday, May 6, 2020

72 Seasons: how connecting to nature helps our mental health

 72 Seasons is part of our 'What's a Hill Worth?' project which seeks to understand the value our landscape provides to society, in this case, to our sense of well-being. 

Particularly during this time of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are finding that noticing nature, and especially the wonderful arrival of Spring life, can bring us joy and inspiration.

In this brief blog, the 72 Seasons co-ordinator Kirsty Rose-Parker reflects on the first few months of nature watching with participants, and how they have responded. You can see the rest of the article and the rest of the seasons here:

72 seasons is a year-long research project, to measure how being more connected to nature makes us feel. We do that through working with a team of volunteer seasonal seekers. We have planned a whole year where the seasons change every 4 or 5 days, originally inspired by the ancient natural calendar in Japan. Trying to notice the changes in nature, we are building a community around Pendle Hill who look a little bit closer, a little bit more often, even just from their gardens and windows as the world changes. 

Here we share the first results of the nature we have spotted, In 2020, we changed the season 'Winter' into 18 smaller seasons and asked our seasonal seekers to go out and about as much as they normally would, and see what they spotted.

The beautiful seasonal illustrations are by local artist, Cath Ford. Cath lives in Blackburn and she knows the nature we know. She is a very talented artist and we feel very lucky to be working with her.

Season; 1 - 4 January: The Earth is Unyielding 

Season; 5 - 9 January: Bare Branches are Stark

Originally we had planned that this season would be called 'Frost Adorns Bare Branches' but this was something our seasonal seekers disagreed with and so we chose a new season name to replace it, based on what our seekers saw. 

This image of bare branches was taken by
 Sam Root on 5th January 2020

This image of a misty Pendle Hill was taken by 
Stella Nuttall on 5th January 2020

For more of this blog head over to this site where you can also sign up to join the next phase.....