Individuals can have meaningful experiences with iconic wildlife during holidays, but how important is experiencing ordinary wildlife near home? We investigated how wildlife shapes a bond with favourite local green places in the Netherlands. We conducted 13 walk-along interviews with participants of varying sociodemographics. Results show that experiences with ordinary wildlife can lead to three different types of place bonding. First, familiarity with ordinary wildlife can trigger (childhood) memories, leading to place identity and 'the localised self'. Second, increasing knowledge about wildlife leads to intentional wildlife encounters, accompanied by feelings of accomplishment and 'the internalised place'. Third, ordinary wildlife experiences provide feelings of 'embeddedness in Panta Rhei': they make individuals feel connected with the flows and cycles of nature and life. Thus, ordinary wildlife makes local green places special, as it facilitates connectedness with the world.
- Multisensory wildlife experiences
- place bonding
- urban society
- local green places
- everyday natural environment