A Focus on Nature's 12 Days Wild Campaign: Why I'm Grateful For Nature

January 04, 2021

As youth nature network A Focus on Nature's (AFON) Yorkshire regional representative, I was asked to take part in the Wildlife Trust's #12DaysWild campaign, running from December 25th to January 5th 2021, but with an AFON twist - explaining why I had been grateful for nature this year.

I decided to illustrate 12 British animals which have impacted me this year, and made me very grateful to have nature on my doorstep, whether that's at university or at home.

You can view the 12 drawings for this campaign below, along with the brief explanations about why I chose each subject.

Day 1: Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) One of the highlights of this year has been seeing Goldcrests, both at home and at university. They always cheer me up, and are one of the reasons I am grateful for nature.

Day 2: Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) At university last term, a Grey Squirrel frequently visited my window and fed on the Rosehips outside. It always made my morning to see it there, especially throughout the second lockdown.

Day 3: White-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lucorum) It’s been brilliant seeing so many bees around this year, including in the roses just outside my window! They also provide a valuable pollination service, and are one of the reasons I’m grateful for nature.

Day 4: Juvenile Wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) Specifically the one we found on the outskirts of Oxford, that I made a short film about, which you can watch here. Needless to say, seeing such a beautiful creature, which has inspired my work, made me very grateful for nature!

Day 5: Coal Tit (Periparus ater) One of our commonest garden birds, both at home and at university - it always brings a smile to my face seeing these sweet birds.

Day 6: Ring-necked Parakeet (Psittacula krameri) There are parakeets in the university parks, and it always brightens my day to see them.

Day 7: Robin (Erithacus rubecula) There are lots of garden birds on our feeders at the moment, inspiring this sketch of a snowy Robin. 

Day 8: Goosander (Mergus merganser) At the start of the first lockdown this year, I saw a family of Goosanders most days, and it was lovely to watch the chicks grow up. It really took my mind off the stress from the outside world.

Day 9: Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) This year I was lucky enough to follow a family of Roe Deer, the mother had two fawns in the summer, and it was magical watching them grow up! I’ve even seen the three of them recently this winter.

Day 10: Goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis) I’ve seen lots of charms of goldfinches this year, and their “twinkling” calls always makes me smile!

Day 11: Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) Earlier this year I was following a family of Kingfishers, and it was magical to see them so close!

Day 12: Fieldfares (Turdus pilaris) I’ve been watching a large flock of Fieldfares feasting on hawthorn berries over the last week, which has been really wonderful!