Documenting my nature journey, and perhaps inspiring yours.
In 2014, I moved close to Peartree Green (left) and started to walk there regularly. I got involved with the Friends group, joined the committee in 2016 and became active in encouraging others to enjoy our local nature reserve. Helping at events like bug hunts, I saw first-hand how much children enjoyed connecting with nature. I became a volunteer with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, helping out at a Forest School programme in autumn 2019. I then trained as a Forest School Assistant, and decided to change career paths.
I think dandelions are often overlooked as they’re so common – and of course seen as a weed in gardens. But it’s precisely because they’re so common, and can be seen for much of the year, that they’re a great place to start if you want to get children interested in nature. Dandelion clocks are great fun and the splash of yellow petals on a grey chilly day brings a smile to my face. The flower is vital for bees when not much else is out, and we humans can eat the leaves and make a coffee substitute from the root. Recently I even found someone who makes dandelion jam!