Whether it’s a walk in the local park, bike rides along the river or just spending a few quiet minutes sitting outside, many of us have discovered a new connection with nature over the past few months. 

For one of our customers this bond with nature is nothing new. Mark has lived in London for 30 years and has been a Catalyst resident for the last 18 years. He’s always been passionate about the local wildlife, but a life changing event 9 years ago strengthened that bond further.  

After an illness left him wheelchair bound and confined to his home, Mark’s garden became even more special to him. He even got his own regular visitor a fox – who he named Oscar. 

Lots of foxes have visited my garden over the years. There have been so many that I started to document their visitsI even put together a family tree of all the different litters. 

‘Their visits are very special to me. They give me strength and make me feel betterHuman’s get so much help and support, but wildlife is really on its own. It makes you realise how lucky you are, even when youre feeling down. 

The foxes take my mind off the pain, like a medicine or tonic. If you’re feeling like things are going wrong in your life, just slow yourself down and take in the nature and wildlife around you. You’ll be surprised what you can learn. I feel very lucky to have this bond with the foxes who visit my garden.

In 2019, the BBC show Springwatch included Mark’s story in a section dedicated to the healing power of nature.

At the start of lockdown, they revisited Mark’s story, as it became clear how many of us were turning to nature to sooth us through this unprecedented time.

The message from Mark and his foxes is simple, but something that many of us forget. When things aren’t going quite as planned, just slow down and take stock of what is happening around you. We won’t get all the answers straight away, but we might find a little peace and magic – just like Mark.

Watch the full Springwatch episode that features Mark’s story.

We’re here to help you

Your health and wellbeing is important to us. There are lots of ways that we can support you, such as connecting you with local services offering practical and emotional advice and support. 

If youa friend or neighbour needs a little extra support please get in touch today.

Read more residents’ and communities stories on our stories