Today marks the start of The Wildlife Trusts’ annual nature challenge, 30 Days Wild. The ask? To complete 30 random acts of wildness, one for every day in June.
Now in its sixth consecutive year, the UK’s biggest nature challenge feels more relevant than ever in 2020, as our locked down lives prompt a renewed appreciation for the natural world.
It has been reported that as a nation, we are more connected to nature than ever before. This was recently highlighted by research from our client Jordans, as part of their ‘Leave It Wild’ campaign, which found that almost three quarters of us feel closer to nature as a result of the lockdown, and over half want to learn how to increase wildlife in our gardens.
The health benefits of spending time outdoors were also highlighted by the #VitaminN campaign we launched in April. Getting a daily dose of nature can improve our physical and mental health and hasten our recovery from everyday stresses and strains.
Dr Amir Khan, GP and Ambassador for The Wildlife Trusts, comments:
“In the current nature and climate emergency, we’re seeing more people affected by eco-anxiety – feeling overwhelmed by the damage to our environment and not knowing what to do to help. This, along with other stresses, aren’t good for us. But with 30 Days Wild from the Wildlife Trusts, you can incorporate some simple nature-based activities into your daily life and feel the benefit. These activities can lower blood pressure, take our minds away from our day-to-day concerns and help us relax, as well as providing simple ways to help wildlife.”
As well as being good for our health, studies show that when people feel connected to nature, they are more likely to care for it. Encouraging a society that cares for their environment is integral to fighting the biodiversity crisis we’re currently facing in the UK, now one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world.
Isabella Tree, author of the bestselling book Wilding, said:
“During lockdown we’ve seen people connect with nature in ways we haven’t seen before. Suddenly there’s been the time to stop and listen – without the distractions of traffic and planes. Everyone is talking about birdsongs. We’ve recognised what a lifeline nature is in times of crisis. Now I think we’re beginning to realise the need to let nature back into our normal lives again.”
The Wildlife Trusts have factored lockdown restrictions into their campaign planning and made sure there’s plenty of inspiration for more vulnerable members of the community who may not be able to get out and about at the moment.
Dom Higgins, head of health and education at The Wildlife Trusts, explains:
Our lives have been changed by coronavirus and this is giving people a reason to reflect on our relationship with nature, the way we live our lives and how we spend our free time. Precious moments outside on a daily walk help us to relax and feel happier. Even watching wildlife from a window, or on a webcam, connects us to that sense of being a part of nature, not apart from it.
Our top five random acts of wildness:
1. Early bird
Take part in RSPB’s daily Breakfast Birdwatch between 8-9am on weekdays to sort your swallows from your swifts.
2. Sow some seeds
Do your bit to boost biodiversity and sow some wildflower seeds in your garden or window box.
3. Butterfly buff
Expand your nature know-how by studying the next butterfly to cross your path and then looking it up on the Butterfly Conservation website.
4. Mindful walk
Set a mindfulness challenge for your daily walk – count the pollinators you pass, walk barefoot in the grass, or search out different types of leaves.
5. Nature yoga
Give your downward dog a rest and try a range of new wildlife themed yoga poses, including the fox, the snail and the heron.
Need more inspiration? Find out what some of the famous faces supporting the campaign are planning in this article from The Guardian.
So far, over 100,000 individuals, families, schools, care homes and businesses have signed up to take part in 30 Days Wild – including us. The Greenhouse team will be doing at least one wild thing a day throughout the whole of June, starting today with a mindful nature walk inspired by our friends at the Wilderness Foundation.
What will you do today, to celebrate nature?
Sign up here to receive a digital action pack and remember to share your random acts of wildness on social and tag #30DaysWild.