Monday, 04 July 2022

Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust

Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust

THE Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust is encouraging locals to join this year’s 30 Days Wild in June challenge to reconnect with nature and feel better as a result. The fun challenge is run by the trust, which invites people across the three counties to do one wild act a day, such as going for a walk in a park, feeding the birds or taking a picture of a sunset.

Sarah Godwin, from Wokingham, joined 30 Days Wild with her daughters, Stephanie and Rebecca, last year and for a month they chased bumblebees around bushes, walked barefoot through the grass, hunted for bats and drew pictures of flowers.

Now they are planning to take on the challenge again next month and are encouraging others to join them.

Sarah said: “The 30 Days Wild challenge gave us a chance to connect with nature on a daily basis and all the tasks were achievable and enjoyable.

“My children learned so much because there was a variety of activities, from a day out to reading a poem.

“Stephanie, my elder daughter, said her favourite task was painting the sunset and that nature makes her feel happy. Rebecca said she enjoyed walking barefoot on our grass and that nature is ‘lovely’.”

Daily wild acts can be as simple as having your lunch in the wild, paddling your feet in a stream, gazing at the clouds, or just reading a poem about the natural world.

Everyone who signs up gets a free pack bursting with wild ideas and fun activities to keep going through the whole month.

The challenge is co-ordinated locally by the trust and last year more than 4,000 people across the three counties signed up, including more than 675 schools, 35 care homes and 35 businesses.

Participants are encouraged to share pictures and videos of what they are doing on social media to inspire other people and the trust posts ideas online throughout the month.

Estelle Bailey, chief executive of the trust, said: “I know that getting closer to nature really does make me happier and healthier.

“We all need nature for clean water, food and fresh air and for our physical and mental health.

“Taking part in 30 Days Wild is a wonderful way to explore the natural world on your doorstep and to take action to help nature, too. So why not get in touch with your wild side and sign up for our nature challenge this year? It’s good for you, it’s good for wildlife and it’s brilliant fun.”

Some of last year’s most popular activities were watching wildlife, eating outdoors and planting wild seeds.

A survey of participants revealed that the coronavirus pandemic positively affected their appreciation of the natural world and that by connecting with nature, people were inspired to take action for the world around them.

Seventy-eight per cent of participants said the pandemic made them value nature more.

Eighty-eight per cent said they were very likely to make their garden more wildlife-friendly after participating in 30 Days Wild, or had already done so.

Seventy-four per cent said they had either already taken action to reduce their carbon footprint, or were very likely to after taking part in 30 Days Wild.

Sign up for this year’s challenge and get a free activity pack at
wildlifetrusts.org/30dayswild

Pete Hughes

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