New poll reveals that Norwich’s city-dwellers love nature but don’t get enough of it


Thursday 01 June, 2017


30 Days Wild challenge from Norfolk Wildlife Trust helps people enjoy nature every day

A new poll of 101 people living in Norwich reveals that city-dwellers have a strong affinity for nature and think that it’s important to help care for it.  But the poll also highlights a conflict: while city-dwellers feel that nature is important to them, they find it hard to connect with it as much as they’d like to and a high proportion of people want to see more nature in cities.

The survey comes at a time when we have stronger evidence than ever before that nature is good for us and makes us happy.* However, people feel increasingly disconnected from nature and not enough is being done to ensure that the places where most people actually live and work – our cities – have thriving wildlife.

The poll reveals:
•    90% of Norwich’s city-dwellers feel that nature is important to them but 86% of adults in Norwich don’t think that they spend enough time in nature

•    Just 19% said that the last ‘wow’ moment they had with nature was in their local city area – while 59% of people’s most recent special moments with nature came from elsewhere, such as television, holidays and visits to the countryside. Only 11% have enjoyed a wild place as part of their working day in the last week

•    94% of adults think it’s important to help nature - 52% report doing something in their garden to help it - and 85% of adults want to see more nature in Norwich

The poll results are released as The Wildlife Trusts launch their 30 Days Wild challenge running throughout June, encouraging people to commit Random Acts of Wildness – daily connections with nature – every day for thirty days. More than 35,000 have pledged to do this so far including 3,000 schools and 1,000 businesses.

David North, Head of People and Wildlife at Norfolk Wildlife Trust says: “The poll clearly shows how much nature means to people living in cities and especially in Norwich.  People love nature so much that a very high proportion say they are doing something to help care for it. The fact that so many adults want to see more nature in their cities is a wake-up call to us all.

“It’s a shame that only a fifth of city-dwellers have experienced a special moment where they were amazed by wildlife they’d seen or heard in their local area recently; the beauty of wild plants and sounds of bees buzzing and birdsong should be available to us all. Those ‘wow’ wildlife moments are all around us and 30 Days Wild is the perfect way to help you do that.”  

The Wildlife Trusts are urging everyone to take part in our 30 Days Wild challenge and have ‘wow’ moments every day during June.   Discover the urban jungle - spot gorgeous goldfinches or ferns growing out of walls! Take action for nature by planting a mini-meadow in a windowbox or create a container pond!

David continues: “The poll found that very few of us enjoy wild places at lunchtime. With the pressure on at work, it’s easy to get stuck behind your desk. 30 Days Wild has lots of ideas for helping make nature part of your work life, as well as at home: less screen time, more green time!”

Among those taking the 30 Days Wild challenge this year are:

Dr Alice Roberts, Academic, writer and broadcaster, says:
“Getting out in the natural world is good for the mind and body. Humans are meant to spend time in nature and be part of it – it’s how we evolved over thousands of years. And it's not just for the weekend – it should be every single day. Immerse yourself in nature this June with 30 Days Wild!"

The impact of taking part in 30 Days Wild has been tracked by academics at the University of Derby. Their study* found that people who did something ‘wild’ each day for a month, felt happier, healthier and more connected to nature, with added benefits for the natural world too.

Dr Miles Richardson, Director of Psychology, who led the study, said:  
“The impact of 30 Days Wild adds to the compelling argument for bringing nature into our everyday lives. Two months after taking part in 30 Days Wild, there was a 30 per cent increase in the number of people who reported their health as excellent. Last year’s results also show people’s happiness continued to improve after 30 Days Wild ended, which illustrates its sustained impact. This is important as it is happiness and connecting with nature that influence improvements in health.  Our study also shows that those who benefitted most were younger adults and those who weren’t ‘nature lovers’.”

More on the poll results which was undertaken by YouGov here:

-    90% of adults in Norwich think that nature is important to them. They enjoy spending time in wild places (92%) and tend to feel relaxed in areas of wildlife/wild places (94%)
-    86% of adults in Norwich didn’t think that they spent enough time in nature
-    19% said their last ‘wow’ moment (a moment when they were amazed by something they had seen or heard) with nature was in their local city area in Norwich, with 59% of people recalling ‘wow’ moments about nature coming from television (19%), whilst on holiday (18%) and from visits to the countryside (19%)
-    67% have stopped and noticed nature in the past week; 52% have watched wildlife near to their home or in their garden; 47% have stopped and listened to birdsong; 35% of people have visited an area of nature in the past week
-    11% have enjoyed a wild place as part of their working day in the last week, either near to their workplace or in their lunchbreak, and 18% of adults said they had experienced none of these things in the past week
-    85% of adults want to see more nature in their local area in Norwich
-    52% report doing something in their garden to help nature, whether that’s growing plants and flowers that insects can thrive on (41%); feeding the birds (35%); putting up nest boxes (23%) or having a pond (7%). 15% report not doing anything at all.
-    94% of adults think it’s important to help nature, but just 24% think that they’re doing everything that they can. 71% want to do more, but for various reasons are struggling, for example 8% can’t find the time and 10% simply don’t know what they can do.

Take the 30 Days Wild Nature Challenge
•    Can you go wild every day for a whole month?  Take the 30 Days Wild nature challenge this June with The Wildlife Trusts.

•    Spend a few minutes, or a few hours each day enjoying nature on your doorstep - how you do it is up to you. Get a free 30 Days Wild pack - activities, wildflower seeds, chart, stickers (or download a pack without seeds).  Schools can download specially tailored packs to support teachers, including outdoor lesson plans for literacy and numeracy, activity sheets and a large pack of Random Act of Wildness cards.     

•    Kick-start your challenge at NWT Cley Marshes on 1 June 2017 11am – 4pm
30 Days Wild Day One – there are nature inspired activities running all day in the Simon Aspinall Wildlife Education Centre and on the reserve. Come and join us for bird watching, pond dipping and bug hunting. Learning resources will be here and are giving away free aqua magnifiers (first come first-served basis). We will also have loads of ideas to inspire you for the next 29 days.

-ENDS-
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