Earth and sky, wood and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of more than we can ever learn from books.JOHN LUBBOCK

In the light of this thought, a question that comes to mind is that how are nature trails going to help us and why do we need them?

Precisely and simply put in a nut shell, it is going outside, observing, enjoying and appreciating nature for all its beauties and mysteries that it holds in store for us. A “Nature Trail” doesn’t only help us in appreciating nature but also helps improve our observation skills, understand our environment better and makes us realize the importance of being part a of this ecosystem.

Like thousands of other forests in our country and the world, the forests in Karnataka are also facing threat from garbage. And it is time we start enacting to conserve them for a healthy and sustainable living as well as preserve their unmatched beauty.

An adventurous team from Earth5R, Bangalore conducted one such nature trail on 13 September 2015 at Bannerghatta Biological Park. It was combined with a clean-up drive where they successfully imparted the need to embrace nature and to keep it clean. The team included Adrain Samuel D’costa, Aquib Ahmed, Sheha Mondal, Fatema Udaipurwala, Sri Niketh Raghu, Himanshu and Ismail Syed.

The team started the trail at 9 am as they started entering into the quieter patches of the forest. One of the primary aims of the nature trail was to collect any garbage on their way to keep the serenity of the forest and also to set an example to the masses in order to motivate them to carry out the same.

The garbage that was mainly found comprised of petty picnic items like tetra packs, plastic covers and leftover cloth materials. During the trail, diverse information was given and shared regarding the flora and fauna, within the group.

During the trail, they came across a forest official, Nataraj who claimed to be patrolling the forest for around 15 years. The forest official was interviewed and asked about his experience of working this close with nature and it was learnt that he was a wildlife enthusiast.

He explained the various dangers the forest posed to people who went out of boundaries and how his life was always in danger because of his encounters smugglers and thugs. Natraj expressed neglect of the government in posting more forest officials in the area as  reason for the danger and lack of upkeep of the forests.

The team managed to collect 4 bags of garbage and safely disposed it in a garbage processing unit. They also wrote a letter to the forest local authorities on the need for more forest officials to which the department replied that the situation was being looked after and thanked them for their concern. As a news of delight, the team was happy to know about the forest official’s prompt help to guide the future nature walk.

-Reported by Syed Ismail, edited by Pragya Lodha.