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A breath of fresh air

A breath of fresh air

Wednesday 20 May 2020

A breath of fresh air

As lockdown restrictions ease, two local charities are encouraging us to get out into the Guernsey countryside and appreciate the wildlife, while reaping benefits for our mental health.

The Pollinator Project and Guernsey Mind have put together a leaflet, which has been delivered to every household in the island, explaining how people can connect with nature and garden with wildlife in mind.

The charities have also opened up a competition, challenging the population to design a Guernsey butterfly.

"Usually, at this time of year, we would be busy in schools and community groups giving presentations on the insects that can be found in Guernsey and helping to create 'pollinator patches' that provide food for emerging pollinating insects that are so vital to healthy ecosystems," said Pollinator Project Coordinator, Vanessa Crispini-Adams.

pollinator project

Pictured: The Pollinator Project would usually be working on 'pollinator patches' at this time of year.

"This year, our school focus was to be on the 19 species of butterfly that breed here in Guernsey and was a follow on from our hugely successful bumblebee schools campaign last year.

"Just as we were about to launch the campaign the covid-19 crisis hit and the schools closed. However, as this lockdown keeps demonstrating, we are lucky to live in such a close-knit community and within weeks suggestions of how the project could be resurrected and made bigger and better emerged, together with people offering to support us.

"With that support and the blessing from the Public Health team we have been able to open up our 2020 Guernsey Butterfly campaign to the whole community as a lockdown initiative and highlight the broader benefits of wildlife gardening for everybody's personal wellbeing.

"Friday 22 May is International Day of Biodiversity, which the Pollinator Project marks each year with an event. This year it coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week and it made perfect sense to team up with Guernsey Mind on this initiative as mental health has been an important consideration during lockdown."

butterfly competition

Pictured: The island has been tasked to design a Guernsey butterfly.

People of all ages are being encouraged to get involved in the butterfly competition before the end of June. The submissions will then be gathered together for a community art project later this year.

"This week’s National Mental Health Awareness theme is kindness," explained Louisa Mace from Guernsey Mind. "We wanted to focus on kindness to others but also kindness to ourselves.

"Self care does not always come easily but the benefits of allowing time to connect with nature are well known, as is doing something positive and creative. This lockdown initiative suggests nature based activities for inside and out, for individuals as well as families and hopefully provides something that everyone can engage with."

Guernsey Post is delivering leaflets to every household this week.

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