Along with donating, I wish to encourage readers to share these poems so that they can inspire everyone to explore the outdoors and discover their own passion for wildlife. At the end of the 52 weeks, I plan to compile the poems into a collection, with the intent to publish. All proceeds from the published collection will then go to the RSPB.
Why am I doing this?
Simple: As an autistic person, I'm often overwhelmed by daily life, and the only place where I truly feel I can relax and be myself is in nature - away from traffic and the scream of sirens, away from societal stresses and expectations, where I can connect with other forms of life and simply sit and be fascinated, without feeling judged.
For anyone who has ever stopped to watch a bird dart overhead, or has seen wild rabbits at play, or stood under the branches of an oak while soaking up the scent of the earth after it's been raining - I imagine you know that feeling of utter peace that rarely greets you otherwise.
So, it's only natural that I want to protect, and indeed, see flourish, the UK's wildlife. And because I struggle with working with other people, the more traditional forms of helping out (volunteering, attending events, giving talks etc) weren't an option for me.
That's why I chose to fundraise via writing. Writing is my passion, and when I realised that I could use it to help protect what I love most dearly, I knew I had to do it. Thus #52weeksofnaturepoetry was born.
I chose to fundraise for the RSPB specifically because they do such wonderful work in protecting and conserving the UK's wildlife. Not only this, but they're great at providing information on how to re-wild gardens and create wildlife habitats, along with other educational tools.
Recently, I actually became a member of the RSPB, and it's great reading about the work they're doing (and for those who are interested in how donations are spent, they provide detailed breakdowns in their Nature's Home magazine too, so you can be sure they're using it well). I also encourage you to check out their website too, as they have plenty of tools for identifying wildlife, particularly birds (this includes sound samples, which I find enormously helpful).
Thank you for reading my story, and I hope you'll take a moment to share this page and my poems with your friends, family, colleagues, teachers, students and anyone else you might think of. Let's help our wildlife stay wild!