Autumn is a time of transition for nature as tree leaves turn gold, fruits and berries ripen and birds migrate before the winter. Visits to the countryside can be at their most vibrant at this time of year and recent evidence has shown how valuable nature is to our happiness and well-being.

12edwing_c_margaret_hollandWe all know that beautiful scenery and wildlife can provide uplifting experiences. To learn more about this the Wildlife Trusts and the University of Derby measured the self-reported happiness of people taking part in a national month long challenge called ’30DaysWild’.

Participants were challenged to have a ‘wild experience’ every day for 30 days, even if this was just sitting in the garden listening to bird song. The study revealed a dramatic increase in happiness as people spent more time outside in nature.

“Intuitively we knew that nature was good for us as humans, but the results were beyond brilliant,” said Lucy McRobert, Nature Matters Campaigns Manager for The Wildlife Trusts.

In Lincolnshire we are fortunate to have many wonderful natural places, from coastal marshes in the east to chalk downland in the Lincolnshire Wolds, wild fenlands in the south and ancient Limewoods in the centre of the county. Each area is different but together they form a mosaic of Living Landscapes. For the Wildlife Trusts these Living Landscapes provide special places for wildlife to thrive and places that change constantly throughout the year as the seasons alter.

At this time of year autumn paints our Living Landscapes in vivid colours, enticing us to explore and engage with nature. Migrating birds, like fieldfare and redwing, can be seen in the hedgerows eating bright berries such as hawthorn and blackthorn, while woodland footpaths are carpeted in a golden glow of falling leaves. On the coast huge flocks of birds pass through the county on their great journeys, while in our gardens squirrels and hedgehogs are preparing for hibernation.

John Keats called autumn the ‘season of mists’ and if you’re up early it’s worth keeping an eye out for mist inversions in the valleys of the Wolds. These often occur in the morning when cool air has fallen into the valleys, creating a layer of otherworldly mist below the hill tops.

With the glow of autumn now upon us there are many uplifting experiences to be had exploring Lincolnshire’s beautiful landscapes and wildlife.

To learn more about Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust’s Living Landscapes visit: www.lincstrust.org.uk

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