30 Days Wild is back for another year! The Wildlife Trusts’ annual nature challenge; one random wild act a day, for a whole month, kicking off on the 1st of June. The last five years of 30 Days Wild have really helped demonstrate the benefits of getting closer to nature, for health, wellbeing and for the natural world itself. It’s a challenge with something for everyone, from those of us just dipping our toes into nature for the first time, to those that spend every spare moment immersed in the wildness around them.
We could share lots of stats about how a daily dose of nature makes us happier, or more likely to help wildlife. But we think a better way to showcase the magic of 30 Days Wild is by sharing stories from the people that take part. Here are the experiences of just two of the 380,000 people that went wild last June. Neither Jamie nor Gemma were new to 30 Days Wild, but for them each year’s challenge is as exciting as their first.
Jamie has enjoyed taking part in 30 Days Wild every year since 2015 and does his best to stay wild the whole year round. But despite this constant connection to nature, he still finds 30 Days Wild a helpful way to refresh his relationship with the wild world around him.
“I often take advantage of 30 Days Wild to try new activities, learn something new and inspire others,” Jamie says. “In previous years I have enjoyed activities large and small, from feeding hedgehogs to following slugs, and although some of my wild days took me further afield, it's astonishing how much wildlife you can find to enjoy locally.”
For Jamie, the greatest random acts of wildness are those shared with others. “The best of my 30 Days Wild were spent leading youth groups on activities such as woodland safaris, building habitats for creatures and pond dipping for mini-beasts, or introducing visitors to the wildlife of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in my role as volunteer ranger. There's nothing better than seeing the curiosity and wonder in a young person when they hold a frog for the first time, knowing that you might have sparked an interest in nature that will last a lifetime.
“That's the thing I love most about 30 Days Wild - the opportunity to share my passion for nature with others, whether that's family, friends, colleagues or getting people hooked through social media. As a psychology graduate, I understand deeply the restorative effects of nature and the outdoors. For me personally, the mental and physical benefits that contact with nature brings are clear and have supported me through stressful and difficult periods.”
Obviously, this year things are a little different, with new challenges to the ways we can connect with nature. “I'll be keeping closer to home than ever,” Jamie says, “and will dedicate my 30 Days Wild towards making my garden as wildlife-friendly as possible. I'm looking forward to trying out some Wildlife Trust activities and seeing what habitats I can create to attract wildlife into my garden.
“I'm especially looking forward to making some small ponds, and feeders to see what birds I can attract. You really don’t have to go far to enjoy your own little patch of wildness, and I can't wait to see how others get involved.
“John Muir said, ‘in every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks’, and 30 Days Wild offers a brilliant introduction, or reminder, for people of all ages and backgrounds, that connecting with nature in a mindful and caring way is good for mind and body.”