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Shannon Quinney’s 30 Days Wild Blog post

Thursday 17th May

Shannon Quinney’s 30 Days Wild Blog post

Last year, like many other people, I made sure my June got off to a wild start, by taking part in the famous ’30 Days Wild’ created by The Wildlife Trusts. My mind was packed full of exciting nature packed activities, however my resilience shortly disappeared and my 30 days wild had turned into more of a 7 days wild (I am not proud of this). However, from this experience I have learnt that planning was my downfall as well as not using my imagination to the best of its ability! Nature can be found in almost every part of our lives, so ’30 days wild’ in June is a great opportunity to appreciate the little things! If you’re thinking “This is exactly what happened to me”, don’t fear! It can seem hard at first but hopefully this will help you to plan ahead and make sure you have the best 30 days wild ever!

Being a student, the timing of 30 days wild does not work in my favour! However, I plan to change this by using nature as a release from all my (hopefully) hard work and revision during the exam period. If weather permits (a phrase drilled into the British dialect), I hope to revise outdoors, however, knowing my luck I will only become increasingly distracted by the buzzing of bees or the song of nearby birds. Connecting with nature is a lot more enjoyable than revision (what isn’t), however getting a balance between work/relaxation is key! I know I could definitely enjoy a ‘nap in nature’ after some hard work, however if you do this please remember to use sun protection! And of course I do not suggest sleeping outside in the rain, but an outside shower could prove a great alarm clock for an overlong nap!

I often spend my free time out and about in nature, taking photographs of the wildlife. One of my favourite sites being Attenborough Nature Reserve. Something as simple as taking a photo of nature every day is a great example of 30 days wild. Whether that be taking a photo from the window of your delayed train on your commute home from work, or the view from your library (most of what I will probably be doing). Also, what I love about photos is the opportunity to remember something forever (or until your phone insists the storage is full). An encounter with nature may brighten up a really dreadful day at the office or a troublesome day with the kids, and positively change your outlook for the rest of the week.

Another idea that I will attempt is making a wild meal by harvesting my own lunch. I will be using vegetables grown in my grandad’s allotment, rather than supermarket supplies! Not only is this using fresh home grown produce, it is also cutting down on plastic waste, a real day done wild! This can then be followed by a ‘Wild cocktail’ (maybe better for accompanying dinner rather than lunch!) using the flavour from Elderflowers.  Don’t forget to provide lunch for the guests – the guests being your garden birds! They will be grateful for seeds and fruit. Have you got the paddling pool out for the kids? Give the birds their own version, supplying a bird bath in the summer months is a great way to connect with nature and let the children watch the birds when they are out.

June is not the only month, you can appreciate nature! This May, I want to do something that I have never done before but have always wanted to – experience the Dawn Chorus at Attenborough Nature Reserve. The biggest thing that has previously put me off is the time – 5am. That being the starting time, not even the time I have to leave the comfort of my own bed! The thought of listening to the birds of Attenborough has always seemed like an amazing opportunity, and I hope that this time, I will get out of bed (after setting about 10 alarms on my phone).

After my exams, I will be returning to my family home where I hope to get the rest of my family involved (This includes 4 children aged 5-14 so I think I need some good luck here, or shall I say my mum needs the luck!). From last year, I have found that taking part in the event is much easier with friends/family, making sure none of you give up (I clearly need to choose my wild friends more wisely next time). I’ve also just discovered the 30 Days Wild Facebook page group which is full of likeminded people and is sure to give you ideas on activities. Join the group and share your own random acts of wildness.

I hope my experience will fill you with excitement to get signed up for the wildest month you have ever had! Sign up now for your free inspirational pack including seeded paper to grow your own wildflowers.

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