Need some help to stick to your new year’s resolutions? Want to try something new? Want to get outdoors more and not sure where to start? While it might be tempting to wait until spring to start venturing outside, with the winter solstice behind us the days are getting longer and there is plenty to see and do!
New year bird list
This January, take on the challenge to get outside and spend time in nature every day.
Whether you're an aspiring athlete or more of an ambler, getting outside and getting moving is good for the mind and the body. Spending time in nature can help us feel more calm and relaxed as well as giving us an opportunity to exercise and socialise safely (subject to government guidelines - please check the gov.uk website for the latest advice).
We are so lucky in Frodsham to have lots of green spaces on our doorstep. Check out our green space map! Here are some ideas to help you get out, get moving and get back to nature…
- grab a notebook and binoculars if you have them, and keep your eyes and ears open while you're out walking. If you don't know your sparrows from your starlings, then have a look at the RSPB website
for an introduction to bird identification. You could even take part in some citizen science and record what you see via BirdTrack
Visit all our green spaces
- get your cardio in by walking, running or cycling to all our green spaces. Depending on your fitness level you might want to do one each day and work up to the one that's furthest away, or you might want to do it in one and find your favourite route around! Track your progress on an app like Strava or Map My Fitness.
- find a rock, paint a rock, put the rock back for someone else to find! Hide the rocks near footpaths for the best chance of being found. When you find a rock, take a picture and share it on the Frodsham Rocks Facebook group
or use #frodshamrocks on Twitter and Instagram.
Castle Park Tree Trail
- if you've walked round Castle Park then you've probably seen the posts and plaques near some of the trees. The tree trail was created by the Frodsham Tree Group, a former sub-committee of Frodsham Town Council. They put together this guide
to the trees that can be found along the trail. You could make a note of what they look like in winter and come back each season to see how they change through the year.
Create your own tree trail
- Pick your favourite trees and create your own map of them. Use this twig spotter sheet
from the Woodland Trust to help identify trees without leaves.
- use the iNaturalist website
or download the smartphone app to identify the nature you find while you're exploring our green spaces. You can join in challenges, help other people identify their findings and all the while you will be contributing data for biodiversity research.
Winter wonderland photo
- while we often think of winter as being pretty bleak, the landscape can be spectacular with a covering of frost, fog or occasionally snow. You don't need anyhing more than a smartphone to capture something special. We'd love to see your Frodsham scenes!
- another way of getting out and exploring, Geocaching is like a big treasure hunt. You need to create a free account
to find nearby Geocaches and then you use your GPS on your smartphone or other device to navigate there. Once you've found it, sign the log book or check in online.
- sketch or paint, write a poem, take a tree bark rubbing... The sights, sounds and sensations from the natural world can be a wonderful source of inspiration, whatever your age or experience.
First signs of spring
- look out for flowering snowdrops, bluebell shoots, wild garlic, lesser celandine leaves and even butterflies on warmer days. Listen out for woodpeckers drumming, marking out their territory ahead of the breeding season. Even though it's probably still best to wear your big coat out, spring isn't too far away!
Start a nature journal
- keep track of your adventures while fostering a sense of curiosity and mindfulness, which are great ways to improve your wellbeing. Each day record where you've been, what you've seen and how it made you feel.
Let us know how you get on by tagging us on social media @frodshamroots, use #dailynature or get in touch by email.
Don't forget to follow the Countryside Code
while you're out exploring:
- Respect other people - visitors as well as the people who live nearby
- Protect the environment - take rubbish home and keep dogs under control
- Enjoy the outdoors - plan ahead, be prepared, follow signs