Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Question 26b: What's your Relationship to Nature?

Projektvecka 18: Jag plockar lingon i en Småländsk skog
Project week 18:
I'm picking lingonberries in a forest in Småland

A second home. Euphoric feelings. A living piece of art. Nature meant a lot to most Swenglish participants. But quite a few people mentioned that they didn't spend enough time in nature. Especially people in England. 
A playground
Several people said they felt unwell if they didn't go out in nature once a week. People who lived in the countryside or the outskirts of a town had in many cases chosen to do so because of nature. Peace and quiet were important to them. Something that's harder to achieve in a big city. A person in Stockholm said:
"When I was younger nature was just there, I climbed trees... Once I asked my mum what made her happy and she said: 'When I hear a bird sing or see a beautiful flower'. I didn't get it then. Now I can appreciate nature in a different way, at the time it was just some kind of playground. But I've never been the type who brings my basket for picking mushrooms, wearing good clothes and stuff, that's not really me."  

Post nature
Some people who lived in Brighton counted the sea as their nature. There were also the ones who had a different view of nature. This is the voice of a Brightonian:
"I'm post nature. I'm not especially a fan of nature documentaries, I can take it or leave it. I quite like cats and dogs, but who doesn't? I go to cities rather than the countryside."

That people in England spent less time in nature didn't come as a surprise. Even when I lived in Stockholm I was never far from a forest. No one in England mentioned activities like picking berries and mushrooms.

This study is by no means scientific, the answers are based on interviewing 15 people in England and 15 people in Sweden, aged 22-59. Look out for the next question: What do you waste money on?