Derby Professor’s research helps National Trust launch annual #BlossomWatch

Date posted: April 9, 2021
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Pink cherry blossoms on a tree

Research from the University of Derby is playing a key part in a new National Trust campaign launched to celebrate spring.

New research conducted with the National Trust by Professor Miles Richardson, who leads the University’s Nature Connectedness Research Group, and published in the International Journal of Wellbeing, shows that it’s not the amount of time that is spent in nature that makes the biggest difference, but rather that moments and simple activities can make a real difference to feelings of wellbeing.

With this spring likely to be the most anticipated in living memory, the trust is inviting people wherever they live to emulate Japan’s Hanami – the ancient tradition of viewing and celebrating blossom – with its #BlossomWatch campaign.

The conservation charity piloted #BlossomWatch last year when the country had just entered lockdown. With thousands capturing and sharing images of trees in bloom across social media platforms and four million views in the first two weeks, the National Trust is now making it an annual tradition, asking people to share the joy and hope that the sight of blush-tinted blooms will bring to help lift spirits and enable everyone to celebrate nature together.

A growing body of evidence suggests that moments each day spent noticing nature are vital for wellbeing and building a closer connection with nature, and further evidence also suggests that people derive many of the benefits from online engagement.

The trust is therefore asking people to celebrate blossom, to “turn social media pink, white and green” over the coming weeks, to mark one of nature’s greatest spectacles.

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