Head of Environment Holly Smith wants us to use the dedicated outdoors time we’ve been allowed in these unsettling times to appreciate the wonderful wildlife that we all too often take for granted.

It seems that after several weeks of storms and bitterly cold weather, we all grabbed the opportunity to get back into the great outdoors with both hands – just as it was deemed extremely unsafe to do so.

The spread of Coronavirus is like nothing we’ve ever seen in our lifetimes, and it seems that too many people dismissed it as an over-reaction as they carried on with their plans last weekend, with National Trust gardens and Snowdon seeing unprecedented crowds – presumably people realising what was to come and seizing what could be their last chance to make the most of it.

Looking after our health is vital, and with our mental health being every bit as important as our physical wellbeing, we need to try and stay as positive as possible, and that means focussing on what we have as opposed to what we don’t.

Now that we have very strict guidelines regarding the safety of ourselves and others, it’s imperative to follow it, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the nature that is quite literally on our doorstep; if anything, it might open our eyes to what we’ve been missing all along.

This gorgeous kingfisher was spotted by my neighbour Adam while walking by the River Don near Oughtibridge, and I’ve tasked the rest of my Team HL colleagues with sharing their wildlife at home experiences with us in the coming weeks.

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust has prepared a whole raft of content relating to finding nature on your doorstep, so while a lot of people will plug themselves into an iPod and check their distance on their Fitbits as they head out for their allocated hour of daily exercise, I’d like to suggest that you use your eyes and ears – listen to the birds, look at the skies, the waterways and the hedgerows as you walk, and see the animals, flora and fauna that live just outside.

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, make the most of the good weather we’re currently having – at least something is going our way – and get out there to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. If not, all the more reason to make those runs and walks around your area count.

If nothing else, seeing the Spring flowers and green shoots promising to bloom around you will remind you that better times lie ahead.

You’ll be amazed what you’ll see when you open your eyes.