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OutdoorsWest map extract

Browse maps of the OutdoorsWest area, showing paths for walking, cycling, horse riding and more. More

Outdoors fun for kids

Two children walking in a field

If you're planning to take kids out for a bit of healthy exercise, or want some help in keeping them interested on a walk or bike ride, start here! More

New Routes Added!

Two Tunnels view

Two Tunnels Greenway is open and we've added more routes across the OutdoorsWest area! More

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Get outside and listen to the birdsong to fight the winter blues

Dec 22

After the winter solstace, the evenings will now start to get lighter. But, start fighting the winter blues now by getting outside and listening to birdsong.

So say the National Trust, the Surrey Wildlife Trust and Scientists at the University of Sussex, who have started a three year study to investigate the exact psychological benefits of birdsong.

There's scientific evidence about the benefits of the outdoors to people's physical and mental health, but this is new research into a very specific area. Eleanor Ratcliffe, who will be carrying out the research at University of Surrey, said: "A great deal of anecdotal evidence suggests that we respond positively to birdsong. However, currently there is a lack of scientific research on the psychological effects of listening to birds. She explains in this video.

So, our advice - get out in our area and listen out for the sounds of nature. And if you want to start to identify what you're hearing, start here on the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds - the RSPB's Bird Identifier website, complete with recordings of bird song.

Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)