7 ways to reconnect with nature this Mental Health Awareness Week

by ZSL on

During long lockdowns, millions of us turned to the great outdoors to get us through. And now that our Zoos have reopened, we know how important it's been for so many of you to explore our wild open spaces once again. 

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week (10 - 16 May) and the theme, quite fittingly for this year, is nature. So take a little time for yourself and enjoy all that our Zoos have to offer. After all, connecting with wildlife is what we’re all about...

1. Swim with our Humboldt penguins 

On land, penguins are known and loved for their clumsy waddles – but when it comes to swimming, they gracefully “fly” through the water. And it's surprisingly therapeutic to watch them. 


2. Journey through our beautiful Butterfly House and Aquarium

Take a few minutes to explore all that Whipsnade's Butterfly House and Aquarium have to offer, courtesy of keeper Alex. Our indoor exhibits at both Zoos are planned to reopen from 17 May, and we can't wait to welcome you back through the doors. 


3. Meet Tapon - underwater 

Have you ever seen a hippo underwater? This calming video of Whipsnade's pygmy hippo Tapon, filmed by keeper Mark, is just what you need to relax after a busy day. 


4. Immerse yourself in bird song 

Transport yourself to tropical climes with our beautiful birds in the Blackburn Pavilion, featuring the featuring the funkiest of pigeons, our Victoria crowned pigeons. We can't wait to welcome you back to explore our indoor areas on 17 May - this bird walk-through is one of our favourite spots to unwind in, so thanks to keeper Martin for sharing this with us. 


5. Say hello to our adorable new arrivals 

We've had a baby boom at Whipsnade and this short clip of some of our new arrivals is guaranteed to make you smile. We hope you'll be able to visit them soon!


6. Enjoy all that spring has to offer 

Our horticulture team has been busy making our Zoos beautiful, and presenter Sonya captured some of the gorgeous colours at London Zoo. Are you wanting to stretch those green fingers? Get some top tips


 7. Wind down with a Whipsnade sunset

Filmed by our keepers at the end of a beautiful day in January, this calming sunset vista is filmed from Whipsnade's highest point near the rhino paddock. We invite you to take a deep breath, remember the beauty on your doorstep and enjoy winding down with Whipsnade.

Join the discussion on how you’re connecting with nature by using the hashtags #ConnectWithNature #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek and make sure you tag us in to any of your Zoo posts - we love to see your photos! 

If you can't get to the Zoo but would still like to support us while you're outside enjoying nature, find out how you can get involved in the 5k May challenge for ZSL.

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