Britons report ‘massive boost’ in nature connection since pandemic started, as #BlossomWatch gets underway - National Trust

Cherry blossom at Grey's Court in Oxfordshire. Credit Hugh Mothersole
Cherry blossom at Grey's Court in Oxfordshire. Credit Hugh Mothersole

With this spring likely to be the most anticipated in living memory, the National Trust is inviting people wherever they live to emulate Japan’s Hanami – the ancient tradition of viewing and celebrating blossom - with its #BlossomWatch campaign.

The conservation charity piloted #BlossomWatch last year when the country had just entered lockdown. And, with thousands capturing and sharing images of trees in bloom across social media platforms, and four million views in the first two weeks, the Trust is now making it an annual tradition, asking people to share the joy and hope that the sight of blush-tinted blooms will bring to help lift spirits and enable everyone to celebrate nature together.

A growing body of evidence suggests that moments each day noticing nature are vital for wellbeing and building a closer connection with nature, and further evidence also suggests that people derive many of the benefits from online engagement. Therefore, the Trust is asking people to celebrate blossom, to ‘turn social media pink, white and green’ over the coming weeks, to mark one of ‘nature’s greatest spectacles’.

Findings in a recent YouGov poll, commissioned by the National Trust, revealed that over a third (36 per cent) of adults said that compared to the first lockdown, that they were more aware of the changing seasons. And, nearly half (49 per cent) of adults said they have found this lockdown harder than the first, giving a heightened sense of anticipation for this coming spring.

Nature and time outdoors has continued to be the salvation for many during the recent lockdown, despite it being winter. Over two thirds (67 per cent) of all adults either agreed or strongly agreed that spending time noticing nature around them has made them feel happier in this current lockdown – with 72 per cent of females and 62 per cent of males finding this to be the case, with the younger adult age groups finding the most benefit (72 per cent and 71 per cent of 18-24 and 25-34 year olds, respectively).

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