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. Academics at the University of Derby who have monitored the challenge since it began in 2015 have discovered that spending time in nature makes us feel good. 30 Days Wild encourages people to notice nature on their doorsteps every single day and gives them a multitude of exciting and fun ways of doing it.
The University of Derby’s evaluation* of 30 Days Wild 2017 included new measures and reveals that people’s perception of beauty in the natural world is a key ingredient to unlocking the benefits of wellbeing 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!”
Sign up to 30 Days Wild and you’ll get a free pack with 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.
The 30 Days Wild 2018 neighbourhood theme is all about helping wildlife in your neighbourhood and our 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.
And the first ever Big Wild Weekend takes place on June 16 and 17. It’s a new ingredient for 2018 to mark the middle of the 30 Days Wild challenge. Wildlife Trusts across the UK will hold special events – there are over 100 events taking place – including night safaris, wild festivals, seashore safaris, bioblitzes, mammal tracking, bushcraft, family nature nights, big wild picnics, wild river dips and much more…
Nick Upton - bird feeder checking
Matthew Roberts - Rock pool fishing (home page slider image)
30 Days Wild fact file:
• 2015: 30 Days Wild challenge was started by The Wildlife Trusts; 12,400 people signed up
• 2016: 25,000 people signed up including individuals, families, schools and businesses
• 2017: 49,000 people signed up including individuals, families, schools and businesses – estimated 254,960 participants.
30 Days Wild sign-up packs and phone app:
• Sign-up to take part in 30 Days Wild here: wildlifetrusts.org
• Free packs will be sent to the first 50,000 people who sign up - you can also get a digital pack wildlifetrusts.org
• Phone app - Digital delivery of daily ideas and Random Acts of Wildness here www.wildlifetrusts.org/30DaysWild/App