Saved by birds:

Bird watch­ing is not just a hobby for Joe Hark­ness. It’s a rev­e­la­tion, a cause and a cure, writes Rowan Man­tell

EDP Norfolk - - Inside -

Joe Hark­ness tells his re­mark­able story

Abuz­zard saved Joe Hark­ness’ life. He was bat­tling ob­ses­sive com­pul­sive dis­or­der, anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion when he saw the bird soar­ing over a Nor­folk field and was mes­merised by its beauty. It was a life-chang­ing mo­ment. For the past four years bird­watch­ing has been a vi­tal part of Joe’s re­cov­ery. He calls it Bird Ther­apy and it has led to him meet­ing David At­ten­bor­ough, record­ing three bird­song Tweets

of the Day for Ra­dio 4 and has in­spired a blog and a book.

“I came to re­alise that other peo­ple felt the won­der of our wild birds too,” said Joe.

“I’d had prob­lems with al­co­hol and drug abuse. I was given a lot of treat­ment, anti-de­pres­sant medicine, which I still take now at a re­duced dose.

“Coun­selling was en­light­en­ing and mind­ful­ness def­i­nitely grounded me, but noth­ing came close to na­ture, par­tic­u­larly birds.

It be­gan with a walk with his girl­friend, now his wife.

“I had to get out of the house. All I was do­ing was jig­saws,” he

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.