Go 30 Days Wild for Long-term Health Benefits
A local wildlife charity is urging people to sign up for 30 wild acts or experiences during the month of June to see their engagement with nature repaid through long-term health benefits.
Herts and Middlesex Trust are shining a light on 30 Days Wild – the biggest nature challenge in the UK and the positive impact that taking part in the month-long event is proven to have on wellbeing, as well as the natural world. Participants are invited to sign up to do something wild every day in June, thus building a connection with the beauty and wonder of nature. It could be watching the Peregrine Falcons at St Albans Cathedral one day, following Panshanger Park’s Dragonfly Trail another, or simply stepping outside to listen to the dawn chorus, at its prime this time of the year.
Over a five-year period, a research project conducted by the University of Derby revealed significant benefits for those taking part in 30 Days Wild:
- The daily activity made people significantly happier, particularly those who started with a relatively weak connection to nature.
- The challenge boosted the health of participants by an average of 30%.
- Increases in people’s health and happiness were still felt two months after the challenge was over.
- The more connected to nature people feel, the more they will do something to help to protect it – behaviours that benefit wildlife, habitats and communities.
Last year, half a million people signed up for 30 Days Wild – and this year it is hoped even more people will reap the benefits. With weekly themes to take inspiration from, Sensory Nature, Move in Nature, Discover Nature, Help Nature and Connect Nature, there are limitless ways for people of all ages and experience to enjoy the challenge.
Heidi Carruthers, Engagement Manager at Hertfordshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trust said: ‘Summer is a great time to get outdoors and connect with nature, to enjoy the great variety of wildlife that we have locally and the fabulous wild places on our doorstep. As well as helping to make us feel good, taking part in this challenge can also help us to see some of the things that we can do to look after the natural world.’
One of The Wildlife Trusts’ most famous supporters, Sir David Attenborough said: ‘The Wildlife Trusts are giving countless people the chance to experience wildlife in their everyday lives. It is moving to see the delight on the face of a six year old looking at a pond skater or caddis fly larva.’
You can find out more about the challenge and how to sign up for a FREE 30 Days Wild pack, including resources for individuals, schools, businesses and care homes at www.hertswildlifetrust.org.uk/30-days-wild.
Image: Wild Marsh Fritillary and photographer © Tom Hibbert