We tend to sanitise and tame nature to such a degree in our parks and gardens that many people have forgotten just how ‘wild’ the wild really can be. But when we spend time in natural surroundings, it is important to think about how fragile we are as humans, and never underestimate the natural world. Nature can heal and nature can nature. But we should never forget that nature also has the power to do us harm.
Sadly, several people died over the weekend here in Scotland in lochs around the country. And this brings home just how vulnerable people can be when nature is not respected, or is underestimated. Scotland’s mountains and waters are stunningly beautiful – but can be dangerous too…
Of course, I often urge people to head out and enjoy the wonders of the natural world. But it is also important to be aware of certain dangers.
From extreme heat and wildfires… to swiftly changing conditions… to flooding and cold waters… to poisonous or allergenic plants…we should be sure to enjoy nature, but only ever in a safe and responsible way. Not only should be take steps to protect the natural environments around us – we should take steps to keep ourselves safe too.
Use common sense at all times and don’t forget how ‘wild’ natural surroundings can be – especially since we also have the impacts of global warming to contend with – such as increasingly extreme weather conditions, and even – for those in eastern North America -more potent poison ivy.
Natural dangers are a fact of life. We humans are far more vulnerable than we often think. So if you are heading out to enjoy nature this summer, please do be aware of your surroundings, and take sensible precautions.