Actor Martin Shaw teams up with ornithologists to support well-being and mental health; encouraging us to "stop and watch"
18 May 2020 | No. 2020-18
Actor Martin Shaw, known for his roles in The Professionals, Judge John Deed and Inspector George Gently, has teamed up with the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) to promote the value of connecting with nature through mindful birdwatching, as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.
The well-being benefits of connecting with nature are now better recognised than ever before, with a growing body of scientific evidence demonstrating the positive effects on health and well-being that come from interacting with the natural world. Some GPs now prescribe birdwatching and other outdoor activities to help treat stress and other conditions.
Mindfulness has similarly been proved to support our mental well-being… so what if we combine the benefits of nature and birdwatching with mindfulness?
Actor Martin Shaw, working with the BTO, has done just that and produced a downloadable podcast, Stop to Watch – A time to be with nature. The podcast guides listeners through a mindfulness approach that can be used to let the stresses of the day melt away while you focus on birds.
Deb Lee of the BTO said, “We should not underestimate the healing power of taking time out to be with nature, particularly during these very strange and stressful times. Spending time with nature doesn’t have to take you to a nature reserve; it can be experienced from home – listening to the sounds, feeling the wind, or the sun. It is about focussing on what is around us and experiencing the wonder of it.”
The podcast is being launched as part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2020, which runs from 18–May.
The Stop to Watch podcast is free and can be downloaded from www.bto.org/podcast
(BTO Media Manager)
Email: press [at] bto.org ()
Images are available for use alongside this News Release.
Please contact images [at] bto.org quoting reference 2020-18
Notes to editors
The BTO is the UK's leading bird research charity. A growing membership and up to 60,000 volunteer birdwatchers contribute to the BTO's surveys, collecting information that underpins conservation action in the UK. The BTO maintains a staff of 100 at its offices in Thetford, Stirling, Bangor (Wales) and Belfast (Northern Ireland), who analyse and publicise the results of surveys and projects. The BTO's work is funded by BTO supporters, government, trusts, industry and conservation organisations. www.bto.org
Mental Health Awareness Week is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, and takes place from 18-24 May 2020. This year the theme is kindness.
Migration blog (14th May - 20th May)
Birdtrack organiser Scott Mayson and media manager Paul Stancliffe reveal what species have been on the move during the last week and what we can expect over the weekend and into next week.
Widening BTO's appeal
Andy Clements, BTO's Chief Executive, looks at how BTO can engage new audiences.