What does My Nature mean to you?
For me, my nature is everything I see when I am outside. Or, when I am inside looking out. The fields, the hills, the mountains, the sky, the wildlife, the flowers, the sea – especially the sea. It’s the weather, whatever it chooses to do, the colours, the sounds and the smells. It’s all the things around me when I am wandering, exploring, meandering along in the countryside. And it’s noticing when there is grass growing between concrete slabs, ivy growing up the side of abandoned buildings, or animals nesting on city buildings. All of it is My Nature.
My nature in Lincolnshire.
Apparently, strictly speaking, “nature” refers to anything in the physical world that is not human or human created: “The phenomena of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans or human creations.” So I reckon “everything I can see when I’m outside” isn’t a bad way to describe it.
It is MY NATURE because when I am there, when I am walking through the fields or woodland or across rolling hills, everything that I see is mine. All mine. In that moment, it belongs to me. And that makes it pretty special.
My nature in Lincoln. All that is mine!
But why bring this up? It’s actually because Merrell asked me if I wanted to try out their brand new women-specific walking shoes, the Siren Sport Q2 Gore-Tex. Naturally I said yes; there is nothing like a new pair of shoes to get me motivated to spend more time outside, and as a long-time fan of Merrell I was intrigued to see what they’ve done differently with these shoes that make them perfect for ladies. When they arrived they were branded with their #MyNature campaign, and included a load of other things to help me enjoy the outdoors more, too.
My Merrell Siren Sport Q2 walking shoes and a whole host of other goodies.
The My Nature campaign is about encouraging women to get outside and discover what they love about nature. The shoes are about helping women stay comfortable while doing that. Both incredibly important thing in my book, and definitely in keeping with what I’m trying to do with my own life this year. So you’ll forgive me for getting involved, I’m sure.
Since receiving the shoes I’ve naturally worn them a lot, and each time I lace them up I think about what I’m doing an how that helps me define what My Nature is for me. I’ve had them a little under a month and here’s where we’ve been…
Wearing the new Merrell Siren Sport Q2 shoes on a local trail.
For a wander around a lake on the outskirts of Lincoln on a Saturday morning while my car was having the summer tyres put back on the car after the seemingly long winter. I noticed my first cherry blossom of spring and chatted to a fisherman who had settled in for a full day on the bank. Was definitely a better use for an hour than sitting in a tyre shop waiting room watching people come and go.
For a spot of Gruffalo hunting at Sherwood Pines with my sister and two-year-old nephew. We stomped along the woodland trail and climbed over fallen logs, picked up sticks and pine cones, checked how stingy the nettles were and how scratchy the brambles were, pointed out squirrels and different types of tree and leaves. We sat on the grass and drank tea (and “purple juice”). And we found the Gruffalo. Of course.
Woodland trail at Sherwood Pines.
I spent an hour or so bird watching at a local nature reserve. It has been so noisy with the sound of gulls and geese and ducks and other things recently that it only seemed right to go and investigate a little closer. We walked around a lake and wandered into the bird hides dotted along the trail to see what we could see. I’m no birder and have no clue in reality, but it’s relaxing to watch birds fly and swim and dive and fight.
For a walk up to the local trig point. It might only be marked at 80 metres on the Ordnance Survey map, but it’s a nice little climb and a lovely way to find a bit of nature from my own front door. On a nice day, which it was, I can see right across the valley – the fields in Lincolnshire at this time of year are very colourful and definitely part of my nature.
Trig bagging in Lincolnshire – 80m.
For a walk around some rapeseed fields to capture some bright yellow photographs. Living in Lincolnshire My Nature is definitely bright yellow at the moment, and it smells very strongly of pollen! I recommend dosing up on antihistamines before you visit the county!
And for a family walk in the woodland area of a local nature reserve. We went “bear hunting” off the main path and through the silver birch trees, finding all kinds of tracks and holes and flora away from the relative business of the more popular trails. Sadly there were no actual bears, just various members of my family pretending, but you know, it kept things interesting.
Silver birch trees.
Not bad, huh? I might not have been on any massive day hikes or week long expeditions, but that’s not the point of My Nature or indeed GetOutside. It is simply about going out and spending time in the great outdoors. It is about lacing up a super comfortable pair of shoes and heading out from your own front door (or whichever door is your current barrier to the outside world), to breathe in some fresh air, get some natural light, see real colour and hear natural sounds.
And what about these new Merrells? Well they are just the ticket. Perfect for low level trails, dirt tracks, nature reserves and woodland paths. They are waterproof, have a grippy sole, are nicely cushioned under the foot, and seem to follow the strange shape of my “lady feet” very nicely (although I would advise going up half a size, I should have!). The Siren Sport Q2 are ideal for keeping by the front door or in the boot of the car so you are ready to get out and experience my nature at every opportunity.
Thanks very much to Merrell for my new Siren Sport Q2 Gore-Tex shoes, and for challenging me to define what “my nature” is.
So tell me…