The first sighting of a butterfly in spring lifts the soul. A sign of warmer and brighter days ahead, the butterfly is often seen as a symbol of hope, recovery, and new beginnings.
Simply being outdoors and connecting with nature has been found to be good for our physical, mental, and emotional health. Studies have shown that time spent in nature can also be an antidote for stress. It can lower blood pressure and stress hormone levels, as well as enhance immune system function, reduce anxiety, and improve our moods. Even simple activities involving nature, such as smelling a wildflower or caring for a houseplant, have been found to make us feel good.
Through our 'Social Butterflies' project we have created a Year Planner of feel-good activity ideas that aim to be both beneficial to you and to butterflies and moths. Each activity is linked to at least one of the 5 ways to wellbeing as promoted by the NHS:
- Be active
- Take notice
With three ideas per month there is something for everyone whether you have a few minutes or a few hours to spare. Further resources and guides to help you with the activities can be found towards the bottom of this webpage.
Download your copy of the planner
Don't worry if you can't complete them all; many of the activities can be done at any time of the year so feel free to choose what suits you and your situation best.
Activity Guides and Further Resources
Follow the links below for step by step guides and more information about the activities mentioned on the planner.
Wild Writing and Nature Poetry
Published author and poet Rebecca Gethin shares her tips for getting started with wild writing.
Photowalking: Nature Through Your Lens
See our guide to photowalking and photographing butterflies.
Make a Wire Butterfly
Craft yourself calm with this beautiful wire butterfly tutorial.
Gardening for Butterflies in Small Spaces
Download our guide or visit our gardening pages for lots of advice on how to make your outdoor space a haven for butterflies and moths.
Download your free 'Butterflies for Hope' mindful colouring sheet.
Find out more about our practical conservation 'work parties' - what to expect and how to get involved.
These self-led resources have been created as part of our 'Social Butterflies' project which was awarded funds by the Postcode Local Trust, a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. The project has helped us develop new partnerships with health trusts, provide training for staff and volunteers, and create resources focused on nature connection and wellbeing.