You might have thought that this period of social-distancing might have meant that no new U3A interest groups were starting up but that’s not true. Penicuik and District U3A in Scotland is a good example - their new Nature Appreciation group has gone ahead as planned. Group coordinator Hugh Munro explains how they have included members who are both digitally connected and those who are not.
Hugh said, “Our Nature Appreciation group was set up for those U3A members who enjoy the outdoor life but prefer to walk at a more leisurely pace and enjoy the scenery, sounds and sights of nature. The plan was to have morning walks – not exceeding five kilometres - every other week, lasting up to 3 hours. Notes would be taken and a summary of findings produced in a “nature” report.
We couldn’t go ahead as planned with the first meeting in the current times. My wife and I went out to do some reconnoitring for future events. It’s amazing what you can experience if you walk slowly and quietly. I compiled a short report of our first outing and emailed it to our new group. As a result, five of the group have already emailed their routes and observations to others. We have two members not on email but I’m collating all reports into a compendium which can be printed off and posted, probably once a month.
Furthermore, there is no reason why people who might not be able or want to leave the house can’t do observations through their windows. It will be more limited in variety than walking about outdoors but could be aided by bird-feeders.
Compact cameras or binoculars can be helpful in finding and identifying birdlife. I think it’s really positive that we’re finding a way to keep our it going.
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