You may remember we brought you the news of The Wildlife Trusts’ annual challenge – 30 Days Wild – calling on everyone to go wild every day in June. The challenge has now begun and this year looks set to be bigger and wilder than ever – so far, more than 60,000 people, families, schools, businesses and care homes throughout the UK have signed up to receive a free pack of ideas and to take part.
30 Days Wild encourages everyone to enjoy nature in our neighbourhoods through daily Random Acts of Wildness: listening to bird song, gazing at butterflies, growing flowers for bees and making the most of our parks, gardens and school grounds. Evidence shows that taking part can also make us happier and healthier.
Additional to the tens of thousands of participants, many well-known faces such as Ellie Harrison, presenter of Countryfile and President of the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, James McVey of The Vamps and Dr Amir Khan from Channel 5’s GPs behind closed doors are supporting 30 Days Wild.
Lesley Davies, Chief Executive Officer at Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, is already looking forward: ‘June is one of our favourite months here at the Trust. 30 Days Wild is a much-loved challenge and it’s set to be an exciting month for everyone taking part. Taking time to experience a moment of nature every day, be it on our doorstep or during lunchtime at work, really does re-connect you with nature.’
The impact of taking part in 30 Days Wild has also been tracked by academics at the University of Derby. Their study found that people who did something ‘wild’ each day for a month felt happier, healthier and more connected to nature with added benefits for the natural world too.
Miles Richardson from the University of Derby said: ‘Our research looked at the impact of 30 Days Wild on 1000 people, two months after completing the challenge. All those taking part benefitted, feeling 30% healthier than when they started on average. People who reported a disconnect from nature and who spend less time outdoors showed the greatest improvement in happiness and pro-conservation behaviours.
‘At a time when poor mental health is on the rise and the decline of our wildlife show no sign of slowing down, 30 Days Wild demonstrates what a much-needed new relationship with nature might look like, for everyone, throughout the year.’
New challenge for care homes
This year 30 Days Wild is encouraging care homes to share the joy of nature with their residents. For the first time, there’s a specially tailored activity pack and over 350 care homes have so far signed up to take part. Among them is the Your Health Ltd group, which has ten care homes across England and trialled 30 Days Wild activities last year. The homes saw some remarkable benefits as a result of taking part, with residents experiencing less anxiety and fewer falls.
Sign-up to 30 Days Wild is still open, download a free pack! Over the next month, thousands of wonderful experiences will be shared on social media. Take a look at #30DaysWild @30DaysWild and see how daily connections with nature are inspiring people to enjoy the wild world around them wherever they live!
Image © Nick Upton