Actor Martin Shaw teams up with ornithologists to support well-being and mental health; encouraging us to “stop and watch”

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Robin by Gray Images

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 18–24th May.

The Stop to Watch podcast is free and can be downloaded from www.bto.org/podcast

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