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Window Wildlife Photo Competition

Effect of Nature on Wellbeing

Environmental psychologists know that encounters with the natural world are beneficial for our health and wellbeing, and this idea is not new (remember your parents telling you to get outside because it’s good for you?).  Indeed, research suggests that exposure to nature boosts our mood and can reduce blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension resulting in reduced levels of stress. 

Psychologists studying the effects of nature on people found that even small glimpses of the natural world (nearby nature) can have a positive effect on wellbeing.  For example, even just the sight of a few trees viewed through a window, even though this may seem insignificant, can be a powerful way to improve wellbeing.  This means that even if you are currently self-isolating or in one of the vulnerable groups and not able to get out of the house, any nature you can view from your window can be really beneficial.  For example, viewing green space in the distance or even just stopping to watch the pigeons and other birds outside your window if you are in a more built up area. 

Window Wildlife Photo Competition

Last month the Sustainability Team and the Occupational Health Department teamed up to run the Window Wildlife competition, an activity aimed at getting us outdoors and interacting with nature. Loads of you got involved, sending in your photos to us on Instagram and via email, all entries can be viewed on Instagram @hudsustainability, and all email entries can be seen below.

Now, without any further ado lets announce the winner!

The winner of the email entries as judged by Tim Hosker, Acting Director of Estates and Facilities, was Anne-Marie McCullagh with this squirrel snap.   Tim loved seeing this squirrel taking a rest on the picnic table that Anne-Marie built- who has definitely had too much time on her hands during lockdown! 

Well done Anne-Marie!


Winner - Anne-Marie McCullagh (School of Education)

Anne-Marie gets lots of squirrels in the garden so made them a picnic bench to see if they would come and sit at it...and they did!


See all the other entries below...

Lindsey Botha (Computing and Library Services)

Lindsey was surprised to find this tiny baby snail having an adventure across her lounge window when she opened the curtains!  





Jayne Jefferies (Music, Humanities and Media)

Jayne sent in this photo of a deer that appeared in their garden a couple of weeks ago, no idea where it came from and she has only seen one previously about 15 years ago!




David Bray (Computing and Engineering)

A great way to encourage wildlife into your garden David has found is to introduce something as simple as a source of water – especially with the lack of rain recently. While David constructed a very small wildlife pond a couple of years ago, a birdbath made out of anything to hand will just be as welcome. If you can place it near some cover like a bush, so that the birds feel safe while taking a drink, it won’t be long before they find it.  David snapped this Blue Tit taking a drink and a bath at 8.30 in the morning.


 David also managed to snap this photo of his local Barn Owl bringing home the breakfast for its no doubt hungry chicks.





Kirsty Carver (Library)

Here is a bee on Kirsty's Forget-Me-Nots, and The Fly!!



Tracey Rushworth (Financial Services)

Sammy the Squirrel visits Tracey most days, both before and during lock down!




Bianca Sykes-Muskett (Occupational Health)

Bianca saw this chicken on an escape mission during one of her walks!




Clare Stevens (Financial Services)

Clare sent in this picture of pair of goldfinches who visit herfeeders every day.  She is also lucky enough to live very close to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, which is currently closed, but there is a public footpath over the lake. Clare has been watching a pair of swans on their nest for the past few weeks and here are proud mum and dad with their cygnets!




Mike Marn (Estates and Facilities)

Mike sent these pictures of these tiny ducklings.




Paul Heath (Estates and Facilities)

Paul sent a picture of this rabbit he spotted on one of his walks.




Ruth Scanlan (Art, Design and Architecture)

These bluebells are in the woods near Ruth's house, great for escaping at lunchtime on a busy day in the home office.




Colin Blair (Estates and Facilities)

Colin send these beautiful pictures of his garden.




Lucy Goulding (Estates and Facilities)

Lucy snapped this pic of a little bumble bee that was very busy on a flower in her garden.




Kirsty White - (Financial Services)

Kirsty spotted this handsome fella one of her lockdown walks!




Laura Williams (Library)

Another 5am wake up call from the local free roaming sheep. A regular occurrence outside Laura's house at the moment!



Chris Sentance (Computing and Engineering)

This is the nest box Chris can see from his home office window.  He has seen his local blue tits busy in and out of the nest box just behind his house over the past few weeks and then on Sunday he noticed a cheeky face peering out as the chicks were ready to fledge.  Although Chris never saw the youngsters leave the nest box by Monday there was no activity at all around the nest box and so there was a strange feeling of loss but joy that they had fledged!


The awards winner 2012, 13, 14, 15
University of the year 2013
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Athena Swan Bronze Award

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