Wildflower walks are a way to escape from city life and find peace in the natural world, says Jen Chillingsworth
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Whenever life feels too busy or stressful, I find myself retreating into nature. I head to the wildflower meadow in our local park to immerse myself in the lush foliage and to observe the wildlife.
This is my opportunity to shut off the noise of the city, to still the racing thoughts in my mind and to ultimately press reset.
I switch off my phone and meander down paths that lead off the beaten track.
There is a little background noise – the hum of traffic, children shrieking with laughter, the distant roar of a plane taking off yet as I head deeper into the woods I can hear only birdsong and the buzz of happy bees going about their business.
My quiet, happy place is among the wildflowers. I’ve been teaching myself more about them – both where and when they grow and I make observations in my field notes book. I gather little posies to take home to press. I’m transfixed by their simple beauty and their ability to provide a natural ecosystem for our wildlife.
I find as I walk through the meadow that I’m breathing more slowly, becoming more focused as I watch the pollinators forage on thistles and umbellifers.
I look underneath and watch a ladybird feast on a lunch of aphids, a butterfly land elegantly upon a thistle and out of the corner of my eye I see two blackbirds hop in and out of the grassy area searching for worms.
Looking down there are hidden treasures – the delicate blue shades of field forget-me-nots, the creeping violet flower head of prunella vulgaris (selfheal) and small clumps of red clover.
At eye level, swathes of meadowsweet blow gently in the breeze. My mind is still and I am fully present in this moment.
A wildflower walk is good for the soul.
Bring wildflowers into your life
- Plant your own mini wildflower garden with these tips from Sarah Raven
- Visit a local nature reserve or park and spend time observing the plants and flowers
- Take a photowalk in the countryside
- Bring a sketchpad and some pencils or watercolour paints with you and sketch what you see
- Test yourself and see how many plant varieties you can identify