The appreciation of the natural world around us is something that
interests many people, whether they live in the towns and cities or the
This interest may be a fairly casual one, observing
wild flowers, trees and birds when walking or cycling,
or be part of more organised nature study
of some kind.
The range of possible
aspects of the natural world that can be of interest is wide, covering
insects and water life, small mammals and different mushrooms and
toadstools, as well as the more obvious birds and wild flowers.
For more information on the possibilities, consult the specialist organisations
For some people, the
interest in the natural world is part of a wider concern about conservation
and the current state of the natural environment.
British Association of Nature Conservationists
British Entomological and Natural History Society 0118 9321402
British Naturalists' Association 01920 830527
Royal Society for Nature Conservation/Wildlife Trusts www.wildlifetrust.org.uk/
British Ornithologists' Union Online www.bou.org.uk/
Interbird net on-line www.birder.co.uk/main.html
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds www.rspb.org.uk/
Field Studies Council www.field-studies-council.org/
The Wild Flower Page www.habitat.org.uk/wildflwr.htm
Butterfly Conservation News
Find a local nature study group
or club covering the areas that interest you (see organisations above).
Take a class or course at your local
adult education centre. See if your local group offers
introductory sessions or events.
Consult books or magazines
on different types of nature study.
Check in your local library/paper,
local nature reserve or education centre for more information.
Skills and people
Anyone, whatever their age or sex, can develop an
interest in nature hobbies, and no special knowledge is needed to start
looking at and learning about the natural world.
Much of the study side of nature hobbies can be done at home on your
own, and it is also possible to learn and appreciate much from the natural
life that surrounds the home, even in towns and cities.
But many people
also like to leave home to observe natural life in other locations.
And they can get stimulus and social contact from belonging to a group
of like minded enthusiasts.
This can be a local group which
organises trips and events on a more or less regular basis, or a one off
group sharing a special weekend or holiday trip.
Equipment or clothing
There is no really essential equipment or clothing for nature hobbies,
though guides of different kinds help with identification. Notebooks
may be useful to record what you find or see.
watchers often have binoculars, while those going regularly on field trips
may want to have special weatherproof clothing (see rambling).
A place or facilities
No special facilities are needed to observe the world around us, but,
for visits to special sites and countryside, transport is required.
This may be organised by any group to which you belong.