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Nature lovers spring into action


Nature lovers spring into action

Listen to the birdsong on your morning commute or watch the woodland squirrels on your lunchbreak today and note down what you see for the first ever crowd-sourced nature diary.

In celebration of the first official day of spring, UK Research and Innovation’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is inviting nature lovers to write 150 words and take a photo today (20 March) to be part of a digital diary.

Entries could be the description of an early morning encounter with an urban fox, your lunch time view of some nest-making swans, or a territorial robin flying past on your way home.

Led by AHRC, researchers from the Land Lines research project examining the history of nature writing and supported by the National Trust, Natural England and the Field Studies Council, the digital diary encourages people across the UK to document their observations of wildlife, their favourite places and what spring means to them.

All of the diary entries, which can be up to 150 words, will be live curated from dawn to dusk, and could take the form of a poem or something about the symbolism or meaning of spring.

Upload your diary entry and any accompanying image to the AHRC website and share them on social media using the hashtag #springnaturediary

Writer Abi Andrews – whose debut novel The Word for Woman is Wilderness was published by Serpent’s Tail in Spring 2018 – will then select the entries from across the UK that best capture the arrival of spring for a specially produced ebook.

Dr Pippa Marland, part of the Land Lines research team, based at the University of Leeds, said: “The crowd-sourced spring diary will give nature lovers across the UK the chance to participate in an event that combines the best traditions of citizen science with the opportunity to produce their own nature writing. 

“It will offer a unique snapshot of the beginning of spring this year and mark an important moment in the history of nature writing in the UK.”

Further information

Read more on the AHRC website

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