There’s an article in the Guardian today listing 20 ways to make your walks more interesting. Some of which i’m a bit ‘meh’ about, and some that i’m big in to.

Tracking and sign – i have these 2 pics on my phone (c/o the @rspb_love_nature ) as a little aide-memoire for prints which are especially visible now in the snow / mud. The chapter on ‘Ground’ in The Walkers Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs by @thenaturalnavigator is a valuable read.

I also really like the ‘Seek’ app by ‘iNaturalist’ as an ID tool and also a photo logbook of stuff seen.

The article also praises paper maps (as do i) however the @ordnancesurvey app is £30 (premium version) which will allow you to access every 1:50k and 1:25k map of GB (they’re about £12 per map on paper). Zoom in to the app and go and find what that thingy is near where you live. Learn by doing. You can also use the app for a huge range of other socially interactive stuff.

Have a wander round the @woodlandtrust website – they are an amazing free resource of ID sheets / games / activities for kids (and big kids).

I also ‘ask twitter’ if there’s something i have seen in nature that i don’t recognise or understand … generally speaking you’ll get friendly help and advice on there, also collate your own twitter feed of people who add to your knowledge of nature.

To learn about the weather (generally) and the forecast i use, follow, and watch all things @the_mwis.

I mention ‘how to connect with nature’ by Tristan Gooley – if you can find a copy it will change how you look at stuff outdoors and help it all make sense.

On the theme of learning by doing you can get a copy of the Collins guide to British Wildlife for a few quid on eBay. Carry it round and learn from it and you’ll also get stronger arms from the effort !!

Other stuff ? Lots of podcasts and websites. Have a look at the resources that @mike_raine_notes_from_the_hill has online. For variety also begin to read up on the flora and fauna of places you’d like to go to if we weren’t in lockdown … what grows and lives in your ideal getaway place ?

Lastly, trust the dark and go out in it, dusk and dawn are amazing times of the day to be out. 👀👂👃

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