COUNTRY OF THE MONTH
Our theme of the month is nature. Despite the brief set-back, summer is very close now and it’s time to get outdoors, enjoy time in the garden, walk in the woods, discover wildlife, or dust down your bicycle for spin.
This month we would like to mention Mental Health Awareness Week (14th to 20th). Depression, anxiety and stress are on the increase, and particularly affects young people; rates of depression and anxiety among teenagers have increased 70% in the past 25 years. The health benefits of being closer to nature are well-known, and deeper connection with the natural world are vital to our physical and mental health. In Robert McFarlane’s ground-breaking book The Lost Words, he laments that many words relating to nature such as “catkin”, “conker”, “wren” “lark” and “kingfisher” have been removed from the Oxford Junior Dictionary while others, like “broadband” and “chatroom” have been introduced.
It is also Hedgehog Awareness Week from the 6th to 12th May in 2018. This iconic British animal which has inspired several endearing characters in childrens books, is critically endangered and need your help! This sad decline is attributed to a combination of factors such as modern farming methods, climate change and an increase in traffic on the roads. Estimates put the hedgehog population in the British Isles at less than a million, compared with 30 million in the 1950s. There are ways you can help – link www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk