‘ we need nature and nature needs us’
With our current world turned on its head, what we all need right now is a pick-me-up and a purpose. So with the Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild challenge beginning next week , this might be just what we all needed. To get involved, you do not need to be an expert on wildlife, an environmental warrior or have lots of time on your hands, just up for a challenge. So I wanted to take a moment to introduce this month-long challenge and provide you with a little inspiration, to help you get into the spirit for all things 30 Days Wild!
30 Days Wild
In 2015, the Wildlife Trusts, a grassroots movement of 46 independent charities sharing the same vision across Britain, created their first annual nature challenge: 30 Days Wild. Over the last five years, the one-month long event (1st-30th June) has considerably increased in popularity, with more than a million people now having taken part. At present, with greater emphasis being placed on how nature can help us through these tough times, the Wildlife Trusts hope that this year could be their biggest year yet!
The goal overall for 30 Days Wild is to bring people closer to nature, gain new skills and knowledge, and make a positive difference for wildlife, its conservation and future generations. It also has some amazing benefits for people too. Through a 5 year review by the University of Derby, it was found that involvement in 30 Days Wild led to increases in people’s connectedness to nature, health, happiness, and pro-nature behaviour, during and after the month. This is such a great result which shows the power of going wild.
Getting involved in 30 Days Wild is easy and a bit of fun, with something for everyone. The aim is to try and do one wild act a day (known as a Random Act of Wildness) for the whole month of June. Acts may last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, but your month is totally shaped by you! For more information and inspiration, go to the Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild action page, sign up and get a free downloadable digital pack. Then I look forward to you sharing what you get up to and inspiring others whilst you do so!
30 Random Acts of Wildness for 30 Days Wild
- Bake a nature-themed cake – It could be butterfly cakes, a cake made from natural ingredients or a cake shaped like a hedgehog. Whatever you choose to make, it is sure to be tasty though
- Make a wildlife diary – By making a record of what you see day-to-day or on specific trips, you will be able to track what exciting things you have seen and observe if changes take place over a period of time
- Forest bathing – This ancient Japanese process of relaxation, refers to taking in a forest through your senses, savouring the sights, sounds, smells and feeling of the forest around you. Through spending a little time being calm and quiet amongst the trees, it is a great way to de-stress, pause and refresh
- Exercise out in nature – For example a walk, bike ride or on horseback
- Look for signs of wildlife – Looking for the signs animals leave behind, such as fur or droppings, is a great way to discover what lives near you. For some help on animal footprints, check out my How to… Identify Animal Footprints guide on my blog now
- Listen out for bird song – Though identifying bird song can often feel really tough, when you get one right however simple, it feels really rewarding. There are now lots of handy guides online that will help you to get started
- Plant some wildflower seeds – Why not plant some seeds, ready-made native mixes are great for this, and grow some flowers to provide a food source for the butterflies and bees
- Go on a minibeast hunt in your local green space – An adventure such as this can be made more fun and interesting by making your own sweep net or pooter beforehand to take along with you
- Make a home for wildlife – Whether this be a pond, hedgehog house, insect hotel, bird box, or bat box, making a home for wildlife is a great way to bring nature to you. Check out my How to…Make Your Own Bee Hotel post for some inspiration and to help you make your very own bee hotel.
- Go stargazing – Stargazing can be done anywhere from a window, your garden or a local green space. The best way though, is to find a place where you can lie down, look up at the sky and see what you can see
- Go for a wild walk – Take some time out of your busy day, such as with a furry friend, and head outdoors. You could explore your local woods, find a place you have not been before or walk to your nearest lake or river
- Do a mini litter pick or beach clean – Choose an area in need of some care, and spend some time, however long you choose, completing a clean up. Stay safe though!
- Identify wildflowers – A great way to connect with the natural world day-to-day is to be more mindful and pick out the wildflowers that you can recognise, such as in a hedge or woodland. For some help, check out my blog’s handy How to… Identify Woodland Flowers and How to… Identify Hedgerow Plants guides
- Join your local Wildlife Trust – For more information on how to do this, head over to the main Wildlife Trusts website
- Sit and watch a sunrise or sunset – Consider the weather conditions before you head out, to ensure you see the best sunrise or sunset possible during those Golden Hours. For example, high cloud cover, low humidity and low wind make for the best conditions
- Eat outside under the sky – Take a meal or picnic outside, enjoy the world around you, and see what you can see whilst you eat
- Camera trapping – Camera trapping is another great way to monitor what animals live in your local area and can be highly addictive! For some guidance, check out my blog post on How to… Use and Make the Most of a Camera Trap
- Leave a wild corner in your garden – Why not attract more wildlife to your garden by dedicating a corner for them. You could let the plants grow up, leave dead wood, plant flowers for the insects, or put up a bird feeder. The choice is all yours!
- Admire a wild view – Take some time out of your day to stop, step back, and really take in your surroundings. This way you can really appreciate the wonder of the natural world around you
- Donate to a wildlife cause or charity – Select a cause or charity of your choice, such as the Wildlife Trusts, and donate as little or as much as you like, to try and help make a difference
- Sketch something from nature – Unleash your inner artist, take inspiration from what you can see around you in the natural world, and see what you can create!
- Have a plastic-free day – You could choose to change just one item, such as start using a reusable drinks bottle or use less bath products in plastic packaging, or you could even go completely plastic-free for a whole day
- Explore an urban wilderness – If this is safe for you to do so, why not go on a wild adventure to see the wildlife that calls your urban area home. From wildflowers growing in the cracks of the pavement to deer living in green spaces, urban areas are full of life!
- Watch a wild webcam – Other people’s online webcams are a great way to get up close and personal with some wildlife you would not usually get the opportunity to. Some great websites include the Springwatch live cameras and the Wildlife Trust webcams
- Read a wild book, poem or blog – Whilst we cannot go on trips to see further afield wildlife and wild landscapes at the moment, a great way to spark your imagination is to read a wild book, poem or blog. Some great wild books I suggest are David Attenborough’s Adventures of a Young Naturalist or Helen Macdonald’s H is for Hawk, or for a blog suggestion, why not check out my wild adventures!
- Write to your local MP on a wild issue – Writing to an MP is a great way to bring an issue that you are passionate about to their attention. It is their job to listen to what you care about, so they want to hear from you
- Make bird food – Making homemade bird food is a fun and easy activity to do with lots of different ideas out there, from pine cone feeders to crumbly pastry maggots
- Do a mini bio-blitz – Pick a manageable area, such as your garden, and see how many species of animals and plants you can identify within a set amount of time. You will be able to test your ID skills, whilst getting outdoors and maybe discovering some unexpected species
- Make a nature table – Nature tables are a great way to lay out and show off what you have found on your wild adventures, for example feathers, skulls or even fossils
- Take a step to reduce your carbon footprint – Now is as important a time as ever to think about the impact we are having on our environment. Why not try and do something now to make a difference, by making small changes to your own life, such as walk or cycle more or cut down on your water usage. For some more inspiration, check out my How to… Help The Planet One Small Step At A Time post.
To see what I get up to during the month, check out my Twitter page: @laura_tuke