The uplifting role that wildlife plays in our lives has become more vital than ever. So, for my own sanity as much as anything, one hundred days ago I started keeping a daily diary of what I found around my garden. It really helped. Though today is the last day you can still join the community on the ‘Sussex Wildlife Trust Nature Table’ page.
Day One Hundred.
Haha. I actually did it! 100 days!
From before the Spring Equinox to past the Summer Solstice. 100 days of the diary, 100 days of wildlife in my garden and 100 days (or 0.55% of my life) confined to my cul-de-sac by a pandemic.
I could keep on writing them, there's certainly something new to write about everyday, but now seems like a good time to end this and move on. I'm also aware that some of you are getting concerned that I'm turning into some sort of weird recluse.
I guess the reason I haven't left the cul-de-sac in all this time is because I really haven't felt I needed to. There's been an entire world for me to discover right here on my doorstep.
For the last few years I've tried to make this small garden as wildlife friendly as possible. And it's an investment which has really paid off for me because the wildlife that lives here has helped me stay sane and focused in a world turned upside-down.
I hope I've highlighted the important role that back gardens can play in helping your local wildlife to survive. Maybe it has inspired some of you to make some wildlife-friendly improvements too, whether that's creating a small pond, making a bee hotel or perhaps considering turfing up your pointless mown lawn and turning it into a wildflower meadow. Let me know!
If I've learnt anything it's been how to appreciate the wildlife I have living around me and the endless fascination, wonder and joy it provides. I guess it's a bit like William Blake said in his poem in Auguries of Innocence
"To see a World in a Grain of Sand / And a Heaven in a Wild Flower"
Speaking of poems, yesterday I received this epic poem from Annabel in Henfield. If you ask me it's much better than anything William Blake ever wrote.
Right, well it's time for me to go. I've packed my binoculars, a map and few other essentials.
..and I'm emerging from my bungalow bunker and venturing out into the (almost) post-pandemic world.
We have all had to face new challenges over the past 100 days but the wildlife of Sussex is facing increasing challenges year on year and I fear this situation will only get worse as we all emerge from lockdown into a different era.
Sussex Wildlife Trust acts to protect the wildlife and the natural environment across Sussex and helps people of all ages discover, learn and act for nature
Our work is only made possible through the wonderful support of our members. If you aren't already a member it would be great if you would consider joining us.
You can join Sussex Wildlife Trust here.
Thank you for reading these daily diaries and for all your kind comments. I hope that, in some small way, they've helped you through the last 100 days too.
I'm taking a break for a bit but Sussex Wildlife Trust will be back running guided walks and events in the near future. So we'll meet again soon.
And, as a lot of you have asked, we'll try and put these diaries out in a book at some point.
Until then I've put together this short film of memories for you.
I guess in the future when someone asks me 'what did you do in the 'Great Pandemic of 2020' I'll say, "Well, I just stayed at home and I did this.."
The Corona Wildlife Diaries are archived here.