The world is changing. Here in the UK we are being asked to stay at home, to work from home, and to minimise our movement and travel down to the necessities. We are being asked this to ease pressure on the NHS, to stop the spread of the virus and to save lives.
It’s a strange new world, and we wanted to see if we could understand how people are coping. Well, as you all know, we measure wellbeing regularly. So we did a small survey in our local area, Barnoldswick and nearby to see how people are doing.
Week 2 includes a few more further flung people, as people have shared the survey to friends and family across the UK. This was updated on Friday 3rd April. On Friday 10th April, we added the Week 3 and on Friday 8th May we carried out Week 7 analysis.
Here are the results.
- 16% of everyone have been asked to stay at home for 12 weeks, 84% have not
- Week 2: 12% of everyone have been asked to stay at home for 12 weeks, 88% have not
- Week 3: 21% of everyone have been asked to stay at home for 12 weeks, 79% have not
- Week 7: 10% of everyone have been asked to stay at home for 12 weeks, 90% have not
This means that our week three audience includes more people shielding than the other weeks.
- 5% work in the NHS, and a further 11% had close friends or family who worked for the NHS
- Week 2: 5% work in the NHS, and a further 10% had close friends or family who worked for the NHS
- Week 3: 5% work in the NHS, and a further 13% had close friends or family who worked for the NHS
- Week 7 : 8% work in the NHS, and a further 10% had close friends or family who worked for the NHS
- 23% were considered key workers and continued to work, and a further 45% had close friends and family members who were continuing to work
- Week 2: 23% were considered key workers and continued to work, and a further 38% had close friends and family members who were continuing to work. This could mean more people are off work ill at the moment.
- Week 3: 20% were considered key workers and continued to work, and a further 36% had close friends and family members who were continuing to work. This probably does mean more people are off work ill at the moment.
- Week 7: 33% were considered key workers and continued to work, and a further 37% had close friends and family members who were continuing to work.
- The average score was 6, but there was a huge range of answers here. 20% were very concerned, scoring 10/10 for anxiety.
- Week 2: The average score was 6, but there was a huge range of answers here. There has been a small fall to 17% were very concerned, scoring 10/10 for anxiety.
- Week 3: The average score remains 6, but there was a huge range of answers here. There has been a bigger fall to 10% were very concerned, scoring 10/10 for anxiety, possibly people are getting used to a new ‘normal’.
- Week 7: The average score has now fallen to a 5. There has been a slight increase as 13% feel very concerned, scoring 10/10 for anxiety. The fall overall means as a whole we are feeling less anxious than we were.
- The average score was 7 with 36% of people feeling very anxious and scoring 10/10.
- Week 2: The average score was 7 with a larger fall of 21% of people feeling very anxious and scoring 10/10.
- Week 3: The average score fell to 6 with a larger fall of 10% of people feeling very anxious and scoring 10/10. Please note these were not all the same people who felt anxious for themselves and their family. This is a strong indication that people are coping better in week 3 than in week 1 and 2.
- Week 7: The average score remained a 6 with 12% of people feeling very anxious and scoring 10/10.
The average Warwick-Edinburgh Score was 44.8. That is MUCH lower than we would normally expect. The average England score here is usually around 51. The NHS states that anything under 40 is indicative of mental health issues and we had 23% of respondents score under 40.
Week 2: Our wellbeing scores are plummeting…
Week 2: The average Warwick-Edinburgh Score was 41.9. That is MUCH lower than we would normally expect and a significant fall in wellbeing. The average England score here is usually around 51. The NHS states that anything under 40 is indicative of mental health issues and we had 38% of respondents score under 40.
Week 3: Our wellbeing scores are creeping up slowly…
Week 3: The average Warwick-Edinburgh Score was 42.5. That is MUCH lower than we would normally expect and a significant fall in wellbeing. The average England score here is usually around 51. The NHS states that anything under 40 is indicative of mental health issues and we had 41% of respondents score under 40, which is an increase since Week 2 and a large increase since Week 1.
Week 7: Our wellbeing scores are static..
Week 7: The average Warwick-Edinburgh Score was still 42.5. That is still MUCH lower than we would normally expect and a significant fall in wellbeing. The average England score here is usually around 51. The NHS states that anything under 40 is indicative of mental health issues and we had 37% of respondents score under 40. This may indicate that wellbeing is not going to change much until life changes.
Food and Shopping – 66% were somewhat or very concerned
- Week 2: Food and Shopping – 54% were somewhat or very concerned, a fall in concern levels
- Week 3: Food and Shopping – 59% were somewhat or very concerned, a rise in concern levels
- Week 7: Food and Shopping – 58% were somewhat or very concerned,showing a static concern level
Health – 77% were somewhat or very concerned
- Week 2: Health – 73% were somewhat or very concerned, a fall in concern levels
- Week 3: Health – 74% were somewhat or very concerned, a small rise in concern levels
- Week 7: Health – 72% were somewhat or very concerned, a small fall in concern levels
Money – 50% were somewhat or very concerned
- Week 2: Money – 63% were somewhat or very concerned, a rise in concern levels
- Week 3: Money – 56% were somewhat or very concerned, a large fall in concern levels
- Week 7: Money – 50% were somewhat or very concerned, a fall in concern levels
People had visited their GP on average 1.11 times in the last three months and on average take 1.55 types of medication every day.
Week 2: People had visited their GP on average 0.76 times in the last three months and on average take 1.15 types of medication every day. Both of these numbers have fallen.
Week 3: People had visited their GP on average 0.72 times in the last three months and on average take 0.94 types of medication every day. Both of these numbers have continued to fall.Week 7: People had visited their GP on average 0.51 times in the last three months and on average take 0.88 types of medication every day. Both of these numbers have continued to fall.
- Exercised on 1 day usually; 7% Week 2: 8% Week 3: 8% Week 7: 3%
- Exercised on 2 days usually; 14% Week 2: 12% Week 3: 12% Week 7: 18%
- Exercised on 3 days usually; 23% Week 2: 27% Week 3: 18% Week 7: 13%
- Exercised on 4 days usually; 7% Week 2: 4% Week 3: 12% Week 7: 23%
- Exercised on 5 days usually; 16% Week 2: 15% Week 3: 11% Week 7: 8%
- Exercised on 6 days usually; 5% Week 2: 2% Week 3: 3% Week 7: 3%
- Exercised on 7 days usually; 16% Week 2: 21% Week 3: 28% Week 7: 18%
People are feeling more lonely in Week 2, although this eases slightly in Week 3.
Loneliness has remained fairly static between week 4 and week 7.
- 44% were working from home and 31% were at home without work
- 29% were caring for children or other adults
- 5% were at home and feeling ill
- 80% were female and 20% male
- 100% were White British
- 11% were aged under 30, 64% aged between 30 and 60 and 25% were over 60 years old
- 61% were not disabled, 32% were limited a little and 7% limited a lot
- 56% were working from home and 32% were at home without work
- 44% were caring for children or other adults
- 4% were at home and feeling ill
- 87% were female and 13% male
- 100% were White British
- 6% were aged under 30, 80% aged between 30 and 60 and 14% were over 60 years old
- 88% were not disabled, 12% were limited a little and 0% limited a lot
- 29% were working from home and 43% were at home without work
- 38% were caring for children or other adults
- 4% were at home and feeling ill and a further 4% were caring for children or other adults who were feeling ill
- 88% were female and 12% male
- 97% were White British and 3% were from a Black or Minority Ethnic background
- 11% were aged under 30, 65% aged between 30 and 60 and 24% were over 60 years old
- 71% were not disabled, 16% were limited a little and 11% limited a lot, with a further 3% preferring not to say
- 45% were working from home and 39% were at home without work
- 43% were caring for children or other adults
- 4% were at home and feeling ill but no one was caring for children or other adults who were feeling ill
- 82% were female and 17% male, and 2% preferred not to say
- 95% were White British and 3% were from a Black or Minority Ethnic background, while 2% preferred not to say
- 10% were aged under 30, 78% aged between 30 and 60 and 12% were over 60 years old
- 66% were not disabled, 5% were limited a little and 29% limited a lot,
How are we coping?
In Week 3 56% had been using new ways to connect with technology and 42% were using technology the same as they normally would. Possibly a lot of the learning for new technologies happened in Week 2, and it was now part of people’s ‘normality’. In Week 7 66% had been using new ways to connect with technology and 34% were using technology the same as they normally would. These have increased again, showing how many people are still adapting to a new world.
- Daily walk with dogs. Read books. Stay in contact with family and friends. Try to find positives
- Trying not to think to much about it
- You tube, walking, videos
- Walking in the fresh air , watching comedy on tv
- Gardening, reading books, trying to limit social media and news
- Cycling, walking, crafts, gardening, cooking, face timing friends and family
- Listen to music.
- Positive mental attitude. I look at the huge opportunities the future presents
- Playing games, talking to my grandma over her yard wall
- I’ve been looking at new hobbies.
- Reading, crafting,
- Walking the dog. Video links to the gym. Trying to eat well.
- The whole thing is irritating me as I’m trying to juggle being made redundant and selling my house right now!
- Enjoying nature
- Documentaries, Cpd, Cooking from scratch
- Enjoying the sunshine in the yard. Making things at home. Playing games
- Reading, gardening, cleaning, tv, jigsaw puzzles,
- Decorating reading and walking
- chatting to family and friends. started doing some crafts. cleaning
- Organising/Spring Cleaning Indoor Recreational Activities
- PE with Joe Wicks, Video Calling friends and making plans, gardening and planning to grow food, gratitude and positive thinking
- Creating family WhatsApp groups. Speaking more to people when safe to. Checking in on elderly parents
- Ringing family and friends. Walking alone most days. Spring cleaning. Gardening
- Keep busy.
Gardening is certainly a popular answer!
Week 2 answers:
- After I planned for the worse case scenario I am now trying to enjoy some down time
- Exercise when i can but rare opportunity as 3 disabled kids at home to entertain.
- Set up a new online shop , filming art tutorials, cooking
- Daily exercise as usual
- Trying to stay away from the news, exercise daily & keep in touch with friends family & colleagues
- Meditation, focusing on work, spending time with the kids, watching telly, going for runs, walking, starting a journal
- Walking to get fresh air Trying to eat healthier
- Routines; Daily workouts work / Admin throughout the day, Watching a netflix series with my girlfriend in the evening Xbox Friday night drinks in the flat with my girlfriend
- spending time with the children and doing conditioning exercises with Max Whitlock online
- Crochet essays tv walks
- Video calling Baking Cleaning Organising Walking
- Nothing as I have the virus
- Focusing on cheering other people up to take my mind off own problems
- Walking each day
- Exercise indoors, walks outside when I can. Talking to friends and family often. Reading, watching tv and films that cheer me up.
- Getting outside –
- Gardening / hard landscaping the garden
- Exercise, Gardening, Gratitude, Jigsaw
- Landscape gardening. Playing board games.
- One day at a time no plans
- Looking after my horses
- Have fun at home. Keep in contact with people.
- Baking and reading
- Jobs ,gardening , rtf
- Reading, exercise videos and doing arts and crafts with my children
- Walk each day
- Joe Wick’s PE
- Exercise every day. Cook nice things
- Daily walk with family
- Continue working, checking in on neighbours, family and friends, maintaining routine with my children, continuing physical activity
- Knitting, watching box sets, cleaning
In Week 3, we asked some questions about hope. People on the whole think the shutdown will last about 12 weeks. That would mean these measures continuing to the 15th June.
Finally we asked about hope for the future. On average, where 10 was very hopeful and 0 was no hope, people scored a 6. 10% of people were full of hope scoring 10/10 on this question.
In Week 7 we asked again about hope. On average, where 10 was very hopeful and 0 was no hope, people scored a 6 again. A slight fall, as only 8% of people were full of hope scoring 10/10 on this question.
The picture is now quite static. We have learned an awful lot about our wellbeing during this time. Let’s end this project on a positive as we share what people have been up to, to stay cheerful over the last 7 weeks.
- Walking each day with family Eating proper meals Getting enough sleep
- My name is David Whipp. I am all I need to stay cheerful and healthy. My cheese and onion pies will sustain me for eternity. I am the law! (I kept this in, all our local Barnoldswick people will understand this, if you don’t – it’s a joke!)
- same as usual
- Working. Enjoying the extra free time.
- Just carrying on as near to usual as possible sticking to the new rules and hoping we’ll be free soon
- Trying to be positive and only be around positive people. I feel guilty when I go out alone to exercise as I generally spend 2>4 hours out as I’m alone
- Continued to work as normal, exercise regularly and keeping in touch with family and friends
- Helping others where safe and possible
- Trying my hardest to be positive trying to not think I am on my own. I ve tried to cycle to and from work to boost my mood I think most for me is having a positive outlook and think it’s not forever.
- Making things for charity. Sitting by my front door to get some sunshine when possible as I can’t get outdoors.
- Decorating Baking Doing activities with the children Daily walks
- Nature, laughing, thinking
- Gardening, painting, beekeeping, crosswords, reading,baking.
- Sorting my life out
- Jigsaws and Family Tree
- Walking and eating better
- Working, baking, gardening, tidying, DIY
- Exercise, cooking nice things, online shopping, gardening
- Baking, Reading, Listening to music, Keeping in touch with friends and family
- Focusing on work. Taking exercise. Connecting with friends & family. Meditation & keeping a journal.
- Puzzles, Netflix, Baking, Calls with friends and family, crafts
- get outside and enjoy the area we live in
- Walking more than normal, making the weekend different by having treats and playing games online with friends. Arranging times to video call friends.
- Focus on work. Weekends are hard to deal with
- Enjoying the garden, going for a daily walk with family,
- Jigsaw puzzle. Family quizzes by phone
- Nothing particularly hence why I’m not cheerful and my health is not the best and the worry does not help
- Nothing specific
- Trying to keep busy with diy projects but I’ve lost the will now.
- Walking and gardening.
- Speaking on facebook, telephone
- PE with Joe Wicks
- nothing been to busy looking after 2 disabled children
- Drinking alcohol more FaceTime Calling friends, family, work colleague Being outside in open space-which we are lucky to live in a house with lots of outdoor space
- Walking my dogs
- I run a small bird rescue so keeps my mind occupied
- Baking, eating fresh food
- Not a lot
- weight lifting
- Joe Wicks exercise every day,crochet headbands for hospitals, baking, trying to master my iPad to do some online sales as shop is closed in Skipton
- Colouring housework playing games Zumba
- Baking, watching TV, music, hot tub, walks,drinking and eating
- DIY and gardening
- Gardening Reading
- Just getting on with it
- Paint furniture
- Working and drinking
Any queries about this work, drop us an email at email@example.com
18 reasons to love Winter; a creative evaluation of wellbeing
72 seasons is a year-long research project, designed by Kirsty Rose Parker (founder & director of The Evaluator), to measure how being more connected to nature makes us feel. We do that through working with a team of volunteer seasonal seekers. We have planned a whole year – 2020 – where the seasons change every 4 or 5 days, originally inspired by the ancient natural calendar in Japan.
Our seasonal seekers agree to complete health and wellbeing research surveys and then they start their adventure. Trying to notice the changes in nature, we are building a community around Pendle Hill who look a little bit closer, a little bit more often, even just from their gardens and windows as the world changes. We had never heard of Coronavirus when this project began on 1st January 2020; but despite the changes in our daily lives and massive upheavals in our wellbeing, nature soldiers on, and so do we.
Here we share the results of the nature we have spotted. 180 people began this journey with us, a few have left and a few have since joined. We are a community that ebbs and flows, and people can choose how involved they get.
In 2020, we changed the season ‘Winter’ into 18 smaller seasons and asked our seasonal seekers to go out and about as much as they normally would, and see what they spotted.
The beautiful seasonal illustrations are by local artist, Cath Ford. You can check more of her work out here. Cath lives in Blackburn and she knows the nature we know. She is a very talented artist and we feel very lucky to be working with her.
Season; 1 – 4 January: The Earth is Unyielding
Season; 10 – 14 January: The First Snowdrops Emerge
Season; 15 – 19 January: The Robin Calls
Season; 20 – 24 January: Frost Crackles Underfoot
Season; 25 – 29 January: The Earth hides in Grey Mist
Originally we were going to call this season ‘The Earth is White’ but very little white was found by our seekers. One explorer shared a little tiny bit of white earth, and another spotted some white, but overall there wasn’t much white to be found.
We only keep a season if more than 50% agree with it. Our seasonal seekers complete short surveys throughout the project and we ask them if they have noticed a season or not. We occasionally ask them other questions too.
When we change a season we look for what people are sharing and telling us and then rename it. It was clear people were sharing images of mist.
In the image above, Pendle Hill is hidden by the mist! That is actually quite common around here. If you can’t see Pendle, you know the weather isn’t great. It’s also what the famous book by Robert Neil is named after; ‘Mist over Pendle’ is a dramatic retelling of the events of 1612 which led to the Pendle Witches being tried for witchcraft at Lancaster Castle, culminating in 10 lives lost.
It was about this point where people began to start sharing many more nature images. Kirsty Rose Parker explains, “I was feeling a bit worried about the project as so many of the first seasons seemed wrong. Even though everyone agreed it was a really mild January, it was difficult to trust the process at that time. However, looking back, so many seasons being incorrect right at the start seems to have given our nature seekers confidence to take part more and be more vocal.”
Not just vocal, but visual too! People were really taking time to look around, to notice the finer details in nature and to share those images with a like-minded, local audience.
People also started to look out for previous seasons and to notice that things were early or late, sometimes missing. Here one of our seasonal seekers had remembered the snowdrop season from earlier in the month.
And another remember the season about Robins and shared an image after spotting one. One person told us, “it has encouraged me to keep my own nature diary of all the things I see”
Season; 30 January – 3 February: Morning Grass Glistens
And, talking of remembering previous seasons, Cathy Dobney spotted some white. we really loved the subtlety of this image!
We had planned to call this season ‘Spider Webs Glisten’, and Cath Ford had drawn a lovely image. We will try and work this into a future season, in Autumn. Sam’s image above was one of the few webs spotted, so we changed this season too.
Season; 4 – 7 February: Spring Winds Shake Raindrops
Season; 8 – 13 February: The Curlew Calls
Season; 14 – 18 February: Spring Is In The Air
One of our seasonal seekers noticed a meeting of herons and shared a photograph on St Valentine’s Day; maybe love was in the air? Another seeker told us that she always felt that herons were a good omen, and we found out collectively that a group of herons is a ‘siege’. It was lovely to see the group really starting to bond.
Season; 19 – 23 February: The Earth Becomes Damp
At this point in the year, Storm Ciara was recent and people across the UK were flooded. Storm Dennis finished on the first day of this mini season. There was so much rain, it was literally torrential. It was a sad time.
But, nature comforts. Here a seasonal seeker shared a photograph, possibly thinking of ‘white’ but another seeker commented, “Oh how pretty that looks. Like a Christmas Card.”
Season; 24 – 28 February: Haze First Covers the Sky
Unsurprisingly it proved quite tricky to get photographs of haze. Luckily, one of our plucky seekers managed it.
Season; 1 – 5 March: Plants Show Their First Buds
We really love this image from Cath. They are all special, but there is something about this one. This season is also where the natural world and the weather seemed to start changing into something more hopeful. Maybe that is why?
Another seasonal seeker took a nice picture of redcurrent buds on the 4th March, as we had shared a blurry version! It really was starting to feel like we are all in this together.
People were starting to share their feelings more about nature. One seasonal seeker told us, “Ooh spring makes me feel so happy!”, as they shared an image of wild garlic emerging in Townley park.
It is nice when a season is correct and everyone spots it. Then there is a feeling, a certainty, that this is right. It’s hard to explain. It is linked to a feel of community. This quote by Alan Bennett helps to explain it…
“The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – that you’d thought special, particular to you. And here it is, set down by someone else, a person you’ve never met, maybe even someone long dead. And, it’s as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.”
While organising permissions for these photographs, we noticed how many of our names are plant or nature related – surnames like root, earthup, rose, for example. We wondered if having a natural surname means genetically you are more likely to enjoy nature? Or possibly just more predisposed to notice more nature? Or maybe you are always likely to have this many nature names in any selection of people? We haven’t asked for personal details in this project, so it’s not a tangent we can go and follow!
Season; 6 – 10 March: Hibernating Creatures Open Their Doors.
After just explaining how important it was that the project was open widely, this season does seem to require access to a garden. However, although hedgehogs might be quite famous hibernators, bumblebees, some butterflies, ladybirds, bats, and slow worms are all creatures commonly found in the UK that hibernate.
We managed to find a bee that did look like it had just woken up. It spent about twenty minutes sat on the dandelion warming up before flying away. Another seasonal seeker explained, “that will be a Bumble Queen. They sometimes sunbathe to warm up before they can fly.”
Season; 11 – 15 March: The Butterbur Flowers.
Butterburs do look quite strange and alien when they flower, and can be seen in wild grounds but particularly near canals and streams. Cath Ford, our artist was thrilled to get to draw a butterbur!
Season; 16 – 20 March: The Magnolia Blooms
People often have Magnolias in front gardens and they are quite distinctive and easy to spot, regardless of whether you own a magnolia or not. They are scented, so worth sniffing if you see one.
Our seasonal seekers responded well to this one, as Tammie began Magnolia watch on the 18th March. This season is possibly a little early, but the majority of people agreed with it, so we have kept it.
At this moment in time, the world began to slow down for Coronavirus, but it was a good time to spot wildlife. Our seasonal seekers shared some really lovely wildlife images.
We also are very pleased that this project can all be done from home, and that it continues to run and to provide solace in difficult times. Many people know that nature continues and provides comfort, but paying attention to the subtle changes we hope will help wellbeing for everyone taking part.
Season; 21 – 25 March: The Sparrow Builds Her Nest
It has been such a comfort to have a group to talk to about nature, to share our daily walks with, to keep working for (although here at The Evaluator we can work 100% from home, so we are doing).
When we first planned this project, we had thought it would impact on people’s wellbeing, but had not envisaged just how much it would impact on our own – or how our wellbeing would be collectively challenged during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Season; 26 – 30 March: The First Cherry Blossoms
And that brings us to the end of Winter. The 72 seasons continue; they will throughout the whole of 2020. It seems fitting to end on Cherry Blossom, as the Japanese season of
Sakura is famous across the whole world, and it was the ancient natural Japanese calendar which inspired the whole project.