National Trust's BlossomWatch campaign to help boost wellbeing is back

Bethan Rose Jenkins
·3-min read
Photo credit: NT Images and John Miller
Photo credit: NT Images and John Miller

From Good Housekeeping

The National Trust has launched its second annual BlossomWatch campaign following the success of last year’s movement, during the first lockdown.

The previous campaign saw thousands of individuals across the nation sharing photos of trees blossoming on social media with the hashtag #BlossomWatch.

Building on the popularity of the initial scheme, The National Trust has decided to make it an annual event. Once again, it is asking Britons to share their own images online, in a bid to help boost mental wellbeing during a trying third lockdown.

A YouGov poll commissioned by the National Trust, found that over two thirds of adults believed noticing nature around them made them feel happier. But don't worry, we don’t need to spend long periods of time outdoors to feel the benefits.

Professor Miles Richardson of the University of Derby conducted research into wellbeing and nature for the campaign.

He found that engaging with nature (for instance, smelling wildflowers), has more of a positive impact on our mental health and wellbeing than simply being around it for long periods. That's good news for those of us with limited time available to get outdoors.

Photo credit: Catherine Hayburn
Photo credit: Catherine Hayburn

Professor Richardson concluded that even, “spending a few moments looking at and enjoying blossom can have a surprising impact on feelings of wellbeing.”

To get involved with the campaign and see if it has a positive impact on your own wellbeing, all you need to do is look for blossom beginning to bloom in your area and post a picture on social media using #BlossomWatch. Already, there are a wealth of beautiful images beginning to spring up online.

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Last year, the inspiring images were viewed more than four million times and there were entries from all over the nation. This time, The National Trust is also launching a special map, which will track sightings of blossom across the country.

The Trust’s plant conservation specialist, Simon Toomer, offered advice on what to look out for as the season changes. “Hedgerow blossom typically kicks off the season with the tiny white, frothy blackthorn flowers crisscrossing the countryside," he said.

Next, “magnolias start to unfurl and the many varieties of delicately coloured fruit tree blossom take it in turns to bloom – from plum and damson to cherry and apple.”

Photo credit: Kathryn Dowd
Photo credit: Kathryn Dowd

The blossom life cycle then reaches its finale in May with the blooming of white hawthorn flowers.

For those in more urban areas, blossom is likely to be less abundant than more rural areas, which is something the National Trust is working towards changing.

Last month, the organisation announced plans to plant dozens of blossom circles over the next five years to add more green in built up areas such as towns and cities.

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