Free things are great. Getting that little extra, unexpected something always makes my day. Whether it's a free sample of something new in my veg box or a visit to a museum that turns out to be free when I was expecting to pay.
The best things in life are free and that includes a walk in the park, hearing a blackbird's song and watching the tide come in. Nature's full of fantastic free moments that make your day and lift your spirits. but who pays for nature?
Some of our taxes go to protecting nature but not that many of them. Some of us contribute to wildlife charities who save wild spaces for us to enjoy and for wildlife to thrive in but shouldn't we all be paying to look after nature? Everyone has a favourite wildlife moment whether it's seeing your first robin in the garden or discovering a group of fox cubs at dawn. The benefits that nature gives up are uncountable; fresh air, clean water, space to run and all those fantastic moments. The economic benefits are huge too; tourism, resources, and the health benefits from outside exercise which are even prescribed on the NHS.
We can't put a fixed value on our nature, because it's priceless, and it should be free for us all to enjoy but we should all be finding ways to pay for its protection too. Whether it's getting involved in volunteering projects, joining charities or lobbying politicians to make sure we put as much value on a strong environment as we do on a strong economy or a good education system.