GO WILD IN JUNE!
By Ann Evans. Twitter: https://twitter.com/annevansauthor
Go Wild for 30 Days is the invitation from Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. Ann Evans finds out what it’s all about.
The Wildlife Trust is hoping to connect everyone with the natural beauty that’s all around us. Throughout the 30 days of June they are challenging people to do something wild every day.
This June’s 30 Days Wild challenge from The Wildlife Trusts will encourage thousands of people across the UK to make their neighbourhoods wilder – to help wildlife and get communities sharing the joy of the wild. They point out that getting involved encourages people to notice nature on their doorsteps every single day and gives them a multitude of exciting and fun ways of doing it.
30 Days Wild began in 2015 and has grown year on year. In 2017 250,000 people took part. Since then research has revealed the 30 Days Wild challenge improves people’s perception of beauty in nature and that noticing natural beauty makes people happier and want to care for it.
The University of Derby’s evaluation of 30 Days Wild 2017 found that our perception of natural beauty is a key ingredient to unlocking the benefits of well-being and happiness experienced by participants in the challenge.
Dr Miles Richardson, Director of Psychology, University of Derby explains: “Over the past three years we’ve repeatedly found that taking part in 30 Days Wild improves health, happiness, nature connection and conservation behaviours. Now we’ve discovered that engagement with the beauty of nature is part of that story.
“Tuning-in to the everyday beauty of nature becomes part of a journey which connects us more deeply to the natural world. As people’s appreciation of natural beauty increases, so does their happiness. We respond to beauty – it restores us and balances our emotions. This, in turn, encourages people to do more to help wildlife and take action for nature.”
The latest set of results from the study of 30 Days Wild also confirms that the benefits of the challenge last well after the month has ended. There are indications that the beneficial impact of taking part could last an entire year.
Lucy McRobert, Campaigns Manager for The Wildlife Trusts said: “30 Days Wild is a lovely way to get closer to nature and marvel at the everyday wildlife that lives all around you. Sit quietly and enjoy watching dragonflies dance over a pond or take a moment to sow a window-box of wildflowers to help bees. Get together with your neighbours to create hedgehog highways or sow front-garden meadows along the length of your street. No matter how small the action, it all counts!”
This year’s theme is all about helping wildlife in your neighbourhood and the pack has inspiring ideas for sharing the challenge locally. See great ways to green-up your street – from carving hedgehog holes in fences to putting up bird and bat boxes and doing a local litter pick.
Head over to the Wildlife Trusts’ website and sign up for 30 Days Wild to receive a booklet of inspirational ideas for Random Acts of Wildness, a recipe for wild strawberry and thyme ice cream, wildflower seeded paper to sow, a wall chart to record your activities and wild stickers. There are special packs for schools with outdoor lesson plans and giant Random Acts of Wildness cards. Business can join in too, with tailored download packs to bring the ‘wild’ to work.
Stars are also backing the challenge. TV Presenters Kate Humble and Gillian Burke and chart-topping James McVey from the Vamps have all put their weight behind the campaign to reconnect people with wildlife in a fun and inspirational way. Here’s what they say:
Kate Humble: “I have got a challenge, I want you – throughout the month of June – to go outside every day. That’s 30 whole days going outside. Why wouldn’t you? Just go wild in June!”
Gillian Burke: “Try 30 Random Acts of Wildness in 30 Days! I’d love people to connect with the wildlife around them – I think lots of people don’t know how to do it… this is the perfect way to start and discover how you can make a difference. Where will your wild adventure take you? I might dance in a downpour!”
James McVey: “I’m supporting The Wildlife Trusts’ national challenge of spending 30 Days Wild – every day in June they are asking you guys to do something wild. Now – that could be going camping somewhere if you’ve never been camping, it could be doing an off-road trail, climbing a massive hill that you’ve always wanted to do but never done – but it could also be something as simple as recycling if you’ve never recycled before or buying a reusable water bottle.”
Nick Baker: Ever since I was a small boy I’ve been fascinated by wildlife and the natural world. It’s so important for us all to have regular contact with nature – I know it makes me feel happier and healthier. Taking the 30 Days Wild challenge is a brilliant way to reconnect with your own wild side – so why not get out and go wild this June?”
This year The Wildlife Trust is also launching the first ever Big Wild Weekend of wildlife events on the 16th – 17th June across the UK. In Warwickshire they are hosting their Wildfest at Nelson’s Wharf on Saturday 16th June to celebrate reaching half way through the challenge.
Visit the Wildlife trust’s website for your local event and to sign up to take part. https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/