Our 30 Days Wild June 2018 by The Rackley Family, Nottingham

The Rackley family from Nottingham are ready and eagerly waiting for the 30 Days Wild sign up to open this year!

Here's how they spent their June in 2018 - what a blast! Get ready for 30 Days Wild in June 2019...

Nicola (mum)

I love the sense of togetherness that 30 days wild generates. We can be one huge wild community sharing our surprising and wild finds on twitter or Facebook. It’s a great chance to connect with each other and spread good news. You can also find out some really cool stuff. I spotted a bird’s nest on a wall while walking around the lake at Highfields Park – I wasn’t sure which bird might have made it, so I asked the nature detectives of instagram – probably long-tailed tit!

Long tailed tit bird nest, Highfield Park Nottingham

I grew up in the countryside in West Yorkshire. My playground was the muddy woods, valleys and the heathered moors around a little village close to Haworth.  I’ve always wanted a bit of that wildness to reach my kids, but living under two miles from the city centre of Nottingham means we find our day to day wild in other ways. Sharing 30 Days Wild as a family makes us all appreciate even the tiniest discoveries and joys of nature in our city. Often unexpected, when you might be carrying out the most mundane of chores, nature has its way of reminding us of its presence. Hearing the squeals of the swifts, delighting in their aerial acrobatics, as I hang out the washing in the morning has me gazing upwards into the blue. It never fails to raise my spirits.

Ivy clad wooden red door

Finding wild experiences among our suburban streets brings me lots of happiness. I love sharing these moments with my family, and I’m convinced of the feelgood feedback loop it generates in promoting emotional wellbeing. From the pink surprise of a poppy, unexpectedly tall and elegant among the pavement cracks, to the discovery of an old wooden door in a wall while walking my girl to her piano lesson on a warm summer evening. Split with age, its faded red painted timbers were tattooed with ivy; we wondered what wild secrets might greet us beyond the door? 

 

We’ll be getting happily 30 days wild again this June – how about you?

Matt (Dad)

Unlike Nicola, I grew up in the city, but with parents who knew the value of a connection to nature I already had the habit of sneaking the odd peek at the natural world. Be it foxes at the end of the garden, frogspawn in the pond or a glimpse of a Southern Hawker dragonfly (probably blown off course, I’m guessing), you can’t beat an ad hoc interaction with local flora and fauna. Polar bears and big cats are all very well, but a close-up look at a millipede under a plant pot in the garden, and the red-in-tooth-and-claw battle between blackbird and worm provide far more accessible lessons in living alongside mother nature.

30 days wild was a great opportunity to strengthen these links, a nudge to engage more with the green, the feathered and the furry. The Woodside Festival was a highlight, with a side trip of going to meet the cattle accompanied by the farmer who managed the land an extra bonus.

Pond dipping's always fun (water scorpions!), growing sunflowers from seeds is fab for both the casual plant lover and a child (or parent) who likes something a bit more competitive (whose is going to be tallest?), and a visit to a lake to feed ducklings never gets old (while you're there, take a close look at a coot's feet: weirdness!). And I'll never forget reading a bedtime story sat outside the kids' tent in the garden for the wild(ish) sleep-out; songbirds as a backing track to Roald Dahl really can't be beat.

Will (age 11)

I was walking back from the Wildside festival on a very muddy and dirty path, it was starting to get dark, when I nearly stepped on a very small baby frog. It blended in with the path perfectly and it looked tiny next to my feet. I bent down to pick it up but it was really fast and it took about two minutes (two minutes of being called by my mum) to get it into my hands. Once in my hands, I carried it over to the lake next to the path and released it into the water – frog rescue! Hopefully that frog will avoid the human boots and make it through to his next summer.

In 30 days wild me and my sister also camped in our garden. As it was in June our flowers and plants were in full bloom and the honeysuckle was smelling really strong. It felt really different going to sleep outside instead of inside because we could hear all the birds and the bees instead of the quietness in our rooms. My favourite part was when our cat – called Pretzel – went inside the cover of the outside bit of the tent and kept trying to get into it. Despite waking up in the morning to a really achy back it was lots of fun!

Camping in the back garden!

Flo (age 8)

Finding moths

I was walking along our road after school and I saw that the bush we go past every day was covered in all the stages of ladybirds! The yellow eggs, the larva, the pupa and the actual ladybirds! I was so fascinated that I took a leaf of eggs home, I put them in my habitat tank, then I watched them in their different stages of evolution

Another day, I saw a little silvery moth stumbling around our garden! And then I discovered it couldn’t fly (its wings hadn’t formed properly), so I put some leaves in a nice see-through pot and carefully put the moth in the pot and fed it every day on ripe fruit and nectar, and also took it out for a wander around the garden while looking out for my cats, pretzel and kiwi It liked climbing on my hands too. It really isn’t 30 days wild for me, it’s more like every day wild! (I also once had a vapourer moth land right on my cap one time...!)

It's now time for you to plan your random acts of wildness so sign up here for your free pack of inspirational ideas and wildflower seeds!