Watching our feathered friends can have a positive impact on mental wellbeing. A peaceful and calming activity, birdwatching allows you to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, away from the complexities of everyday life. Combined with a walk, the fresh air and exercise can drastically improve your concentration, memory and mood.
All too aware of the effect that an activity like birdwatching can have on wellbeing, Dr Mike Wheeler from the School of Science and the Environment is working on a Green Impact Project with Project Assistant, Georgie Sherrard, which centres around encouraging more people to use birdwatching as a form of relaxation on campus. Mike has found birding to help his own mental health now for many years. Getting out in the fresh air and concentrating on the sights and sounds of bird life have been a constant source of therapy for him.
A new display board has been designed and will be installed in a specially-designated birding area behind the Edward Elgar building on St John’s Campus. The board provides information on twelve different bird species that are likely to be encountered on campus, and includes QR codes which direct you to a web page where you can listen to an audio recording of each bird’s song.
Dr Wheeler is also offering guided birdwatching walks around campus on the mornings of Wednesday 27th April and Thursday 28th April, at 8.30am. These walks are open to everyone – staff and students – and Dr Wheeler hopes to impart some of his extensive birding knowledge to as many people as possible. If you are interested in joining one of the walks, book your spot by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.