Wildlife Charity Spells Out Ideas and Benefits for Going 30 Days Wild

Aldbury Nowers (c) Josh Kubale

From butterfly spotting to barefoot yoga in the park, from listening to the dawn chorus, to watching bats at dusk, Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust is inviting everyone in Dacorum to take part in 30 Days Wild and connect with nature, this June.

Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust are encouraging participants to sign up for its annual 30 Days Wild nature challenge, which celebrates its tenth year in June.

Over the past decade, millions of participants have benefitted from countless acts of wildness, and it is hoped that even more people will take part this year with individuals and families, schools, businesses and care homes being encouraged to sign-up for specific participation packs. Back in 2014, the inaugural year of the challenge, nationally, 12,000 participants led the charge, whilst over half a million people signed up to take part last year. 30 Days Wild has helped people to get outside, enjoy and connect with nature as part of their every-day lives – and there is scientific evidence that it has delivered many benefits for health and wellbeing.

A study found a significant increase in people’s health, happiness, and connection to nature through participating in 30 Days Wild. People reported feeling more relaxed, reduced stress levels, and a greater motivation to protect wildlife which lasted long after the campaign ended.

Heidi Mansell, Engagement Manager at Herts and Middlesex Trust says: ‘This June promises to be a bumper 30 Days Wild as we celebrate 10 years of the UK’s biggest nature challenge, as well as the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust’s 60th anniversary year. We would love to see people of all ages and abilities participating and enjoying the health and wellbeing benefits of getting closer to nature. Everyone who signs up gets a useful pack full of great ideas to inspire them to do a small, wild thing every day during June and there are some great freebies too, including packets of seeds.

‘June is a fantastic month to appreciate nature and the outdoors – there’s just so much to see at this time of year and hopefully we will get the weather to enjoy it too!

‘In terms of some ideas, how about eating your breakfast outdoors, or setting a timer for one minute and listening to bird song? Simply watching the clouds from your window can provide a moment of peace and a connection with nature.

‘The live Peregrine webcams at St Albans Cathedral and Watford’s YMCA building are available for everyone to get a birds-eye view of chicks on the nest – if you haven’t tuned in already, why not take a look? Perhaps you could make a conscious effort to enjoy watching the bees and butterflies in your school grounds, garden, neighbourhood, or local park? Maybe take a nature-inspired selfie and send it to your mates?

‘How about doing something community-minded such as putting on some gloves and picking up the litter in your street or workplace, organising a plant swap with your neighbours or colleagues in the office, or meeting up with them at dusk for bat watching? You could make your 30 Days Wild a social occasion and get together with colleagues, friends or family for a local stroll, taking in what blooms, moves or makes a noise as you go?

‘If you have the flexibility to get down low, you could take a closer look at the cracks in the pavement and watch the busy critters who live beneath our feet! There’s just so much you can do to suit your own circumstances and it needn’t take much time or money – I really can’t emphasise enough what you will get out of taking part and forging a deeper connection with our natural world.’

Local ideas for those looking to take part in 30 Days Wild include:

  • Take a trip to Aldbury Nowers Nature Reserve in Tring and immerse yourself in this meadow full of wildflowers, whilst watching the many bees and butterflies enjoying them too!
  • See if you can spot a Common Lizard in the log piles at the top of the slopes at Alpine Meadow Nature Reserve, in Berkhamsted.
  • Simply watch the ripples on the water at Tring Reservoirs and take a moment to be mindful of them.
  • Explore Long Deans Nature Reserve on the outskirts of Hemel Hempstead and watch the Kestrels, Buzzards and Red Kites that soar overhead.

Local resident Lee Wood and his daughter took part in 30 Days Wild in 2023, he says: ‘We’ve always loved being outside, but the challenge of finding new things to do, new stories to tell on our return home (complete with grass stains and mud!) gives my daughter and I a togetherness in nature which we’d never swap. Summer is so much more when you embrace the world beyond the front garden and 30 Days Wild sets the stage for that.’

30 Days Wild encourages individuals, families, schools, and businesses to connect with nature on a daily basis during what many argue is the best month for wildlife spotting. This year’s participants will receive a special 10th anniversary pack, targeted to their specific needs and designed to make their 30 days even more fun.

To sign up to receive your free 30 Days Wild pack, please visit wildlifetrusts.org/30DaysWild.

Image: Aldbury Nowers © Josh Kubale