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Nature Connections 18 - Tree Exercises, Star Gazing & Bug Hotels


Going for a walk every day is great for your health, both physically and mentally but it can become a bit tedious if you are always following the same route. Try adding some interest and challenge to your walk today by trying out the tree exercises below.


Out and About – Tree exercises

To boost the exercise you are getting today on your daily walk, why not try some of these tree exercises? In a park, time yourself running between two trees. How many times can you run between them in one minute? Challenge yourself to beat your own score. Lean against the trunk of a tree to practice push-ups. Try and do 2 sets of 10 push ups. See how high up the trunk you can reach whilst jumping. Don’t forget to hug your tree aferwards (and wash your hands when you get home!).

In the garden – star gazing 


Stars are best viewed in the dark so this activity is for once the sun has gone down. Go into your garden on a dark night with a blanket to lie down on or, try turning off all the lights in your house and opening your windows to look up at the sky. Pick a side of the house with the least light pollution from street lamps.

The stars are brightest on a clear night, when the moon is thin, so check out the size of the moon over a week or so and decide when is best to spot the stars.

Activity

1. Look up at the night sky and let your eyes adjust to the darkness

2. What can you see?

3. Can you see the moon? If it is full you might be able to see the craters on it’s surface

4. Can you see any moving lights? These could be satelites or the International Space Station

5. You could download a star constellation app which will help you to identify which star patterns (called constellations) you can see in the sky above you.

6. Some of the stars you can see might actually be planets, you can try to tell the difference by looking whether the light is twinkling or not, if it twinkles, it’s likely a star.

7. Can you spot the brightest star in the sky?

Staying at home – make a bug hotel

You can make a bee hotel using a toilet roll, elder wood, tent pegs, bamboo and hollow old cow parsley or nettle stems. Using secateurs or loppers cut some 10cm lengths of elder. Use a tent peg to push out the soft pith inside. Add 10cm lengths of  old, dry nettle or cow parsley stems and bundle together and stuff tightly inside the loo roll. Tie string around it to hang in a tree or place at the base of a tree. Check in a few days to see if any insects have taken up home. To make it more fun (and possibly more appealing to the insects!) why not decorate the loo roll with picture, patterns or windows and doors to invite the residents inside? 



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