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Creative Kids: How to go on a nature hunt - in your own back garden

Experts say now is the perfect time for families to get outdoors and witness nature in all its resplendence, writes Kathy Donaghy

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Isobel Conachy enjoying playing outdoors. Photo: David Conachy

Isobel Conachy enjoying playing outdoors. Photo: David Conachy

Isobel Conachy enjoying playing outdoors. Photo: David Conachy

THE swallows arrived early this year. They swooped and dipped into our garden in a frenzy of enthusiasm bringing much needed joy to our lockdown and reminding us that when so much of life has paused, nature is celebrating.

Their arrival in the middle of last month coincides with one of the busiest periods of the year for wildlife. Nests are being built, chicks and being hatched, fox cubs are being born. And even though we can’t go very far at the minute, the swallows are also a reminder that we don’t have to leave our gardens to see nature up close and personal.

Rewild your garden

Natural history expert and author Juanita Browne, who has just published a new guide for people to help wildlife in their gardens, says while we can’t replicate natural habitats that have taken many thousands of years to evolve, we can try to replicate semi-natural ‘mini-versions’ that meet these needs. This can be done by leaving an area of your garden that mimics a woodland edge, a wildflower strip that mimics a meadow, or a section of native hedgerow or small pond.