It’s almost June – my favourite month of the year because, yes, the EMAs and exams finally end but also because the UK goes WILD!
What is 30 Days Wild?
30 Days Wild is a month-long challenge, led by The Wildlife Trusts that happens every June (2022 marks its eighth year!).
The idea is to get everyone connecting with nature through daily 'Random Acts of Wildness' – everything from spotting the birds in your garden or watching a wild web cam from your sofa. Getting more people connected to nature not only helps our environment and local wildlife but also helps us too! The charity linked up with a research group at the University of Derby over the last five years to find out the impact engaging with the challenge had on participants and their results show a lasting impact on both health and happiness of the participants with the positive effects of taking part lasting several months after the challenge was completed.
How can I get involved?
Anyone can get involved and design their own nature activities. You don’t need to be living rurally to be involved – I joined in from a city centre flat with no outdoor space in 2020 – it’s all about tailoring the challenge to you and your local wild spaces.
To get started you can order a postal or digital pack online. Packs are available for individuals families, school groups, work places and care homes. Individual and family postal packs even include a free pack of wildflower seeds.
New for 2022 – you also receive a link where you can also set up a digital calendar to plan and log your Random Acts of Wildness with the opportunity to gain digital badges for taking part.
Where can I find WILD ideas?
When you sign up The Wildlife Trusts send you a selection of ‘wild ideas’ that you might like to try throughout June. These are some of my personal favourite ‘Random Acts of Wildness’ from the last few years…
Eat Your Breakfast Outdoors
This is the ultimate way to start off a month of wildness – simply taking your breakfast outdoors or even by an open window and taking the time to observe the plants and animals you see. It's the perfect start to a summer day.
Take a Rainbow Walk
Take a local stroll and record with your camera the different colours you observe in the nature around you. I didn't quite manage a full rainbow in last year's attempt but I did twin this activity with picking up a milkshake from my local farm.
Create a Piece of Nature Art
You don't always have to go outside to get closer to nature. I attended a live painting class with Art Sippers and the Natural History Museum on YouTube during 30DaysWild in 2020 and created this painting. You can still follow this acrylic tutorial online here.
Exercise Outdoors/Try Out A Nature Podcast
I'm a born and bred Yorkshire Dales girl and at the time I was living in the middle of a Midlands city, unable to travel much due to the pandemic and with only the local park for solace. One of my favourite things to do was to go to the park and listen to a podcast that connected me with nature – trekking through a city centre park but listening to Clare Balding walking me through Eyam in the Peak District.
Learning About Nature
I created this mind map on my iPad notes on a particularly rainy day during #30Dayswild last year. I love seeing the bats local to me at night and decided to take some time out to learn more about them. I was so surprised to find out that bats make up 1 in 4 UK mammals!
Another great way to explore wildlife in the UK is to check out the wildlife cameras via the Wildlife Trusts website here.
Nowadays, there are loads of fantastic apps to make use of outdoors too. I love the iNaturalist identification app and if I do a local litter pick I like to add it to the Planet Patrol app.
Another fab thing about #30DaysWild is during the month of June, local Wildlife Trusts ramp up their events. Some events like the Big Wild Quiz and campout are negotiated online but local groups often have something on offer too. A few years ago I attended an outdoor yoga session and even went bat spotting with a local wildlife group at a local churchyard.
See what's on online/near you here.
Sharing Your Wild
One of the best things about the challenge is the uptake it gets online every year and the wonderful community it generates. The charity has a year round Facebook group where people share their nature finds and this group really springs to life in June with everyone sharing their 'Random Acts of Wildness' – it's a great place to get a few ideas. The community can also be readily found by searching the hashtag #30DaysWild on Instagram and Twitter. I'll be sharing mine throughout June online but I'll make sure to pop back to The Hoot throughout and let you know what I've been up to…though as it stands it might be a fair amount of outdoor Maths revision!
Wishing you all a WILD June!