The Wildlife Trusts’ annual nature challenge 30 Days Wild encourages people to do something wild every day for the month of June. 250,000 people took part in 2017 and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is encouraging everyone to sign up for this year’s challenge!
This year’s theme is all about helping wildlife in your neighbourhood. The 30 Days Wild pack has inspiring ideas for sharing the challenge locally, including great ways to green-up your street - from carving hedgehog holes in fences to doing a local litter pick.
Caroline Thorogood, Director of Operations for West and South Yorkshire says: “30 Days Wild is a great way to get closer to nature and marvel at the everyday wildlife that lives all around you. Observe the birds in your garden, or 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 towards doing something wild every day!
“You could also visit your local nature reserve to immerse yourself in nature – June is a great time to see puffins at Flamborough Head, or head down to Potteric Carr in Doncaster and keep an eye out for grass snakes across the reserve!”
New research on link between natural beauty and happiness
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.
New: first ever Big Wild Weekend!
The first ever Big Wild Weekend is taking place 16th – 17th June! It’s a new ingredient for 2018 to mark the middle of the 30 Days Wild challenge. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust sites are holding free special events on this weekend, including Potteric Carr nature reserve in Doncaster, the Living Seas Centre at Flamborough, Staveley Nature Reserve near Harrogate and the Discovery Centre at Spurn National Nature Reserve. More information will follow but keep an eye out on www.ywt.org.uk for more information.
30 Days Wild pack
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.