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No. 48 Keep a nature diary

Child's comments in the log-book in the bird hide on Brownsea Island, Dorset
Child's comments in the log-book in the bird hide on Brownsea Island | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Keep a record of your amazing adventures in nature, capturing your memories of the animals and plants you’ve seen. It’s no. 48 on our list of ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

Record your adventures

January is a great time to begin a diary, but you can start at any point in the year. Decide how you’ll record your experiences of nature: will you use words, pictures, sounds or a mixture of everything? You could even write a poem or a story about your adventures.

Find yourself a diary, a scrapbook, or a sound recorder – and get started. Make a note of all the things you’ve seen and done in nature, whether it’s a picnic in the wild, rolling down a huge hill or getting to know a wild animal. Which activity did you enjoy the most?

You could even set yourself a target for the number of new animals you’d like to see this year. Count them up at the end of the year – how did you do?

Track the seasons

Keeping a diary is a brilliant way of recording changes in nature. You can track the seasons by going back to your favourite wild spot at different times in the year and making a note of the colour of the leaves, the sounds you hear and the wildlife you see.

Write down when and where you see different plants and animals and share your findings with a local wildlife group. Your information could help experts monitor and protect the wildlife near you.

You could also keep a weather journal and complete three more ‘50 things’ activities at the same time: go cloud watching, get up for the sunrise and watch the sunset.

Get arty

Could your nature diary take the form of a picture book or a slideshow? Take photos of your adventures and findings and, at the end of the year, show them to your friends and family. If you’re feeling extra creative, you might like to record some wild sounds on a microphone and play them in the background of the slideshow.

You could even draw what you’ve seen using coloured pencils or create a collage using fallen leaves. Get arty and see where your nature diary takes you.

Two girls exploring the woodland trails at Quarry Bank Mill, Cheshire

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