Boosted by the glorious summer sunshine, Surrey Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild challenge was a record breaking year.
The challenge saw more Surrey residents than ever before taking part, with a 40 per cent increase on last year. Thousands of Surrey residents, employees and more than 50,000 school children got involved and pledged to connect to nature every day in June.
People were drawn to the water in the hot weather, to the River Wey to see acrobatic damselflies and dragonflies, created wildlife ponds at home and tried pond dipping at Bay Pond in Godstone.
Others watched amazing sunsets over Chobham Common or badgers and foxes feasting on wild strawberries and cherries in the garden at night fall or listened to the churring of Nightjars on an evening walk at the Ash Ranges.
Dawnay School in Bookham learnt bushcraft skills on a forest school course, Sutton High junior school loved their school trip to discover ‘minibeasts galore’ and Ripley Court enjoyed seeing the world from a bugs eye at Surrey Wildlife Trust’s education centre at Nower Wood, near Leatherhead.
Charlotte Magowan, marketing and communications manager for Surrey Wildlife Trust, said: ‘There is nothing more important to us than inspiring future generations to have a passion for nature and that is what 30 Days Wild is all about. This love for nature and desire to protect it starts when we are children; As Sir David Attenborough said: “No one will protect what they don’t care about; and no one will care about what they have never experienced”’.
Naturalists and TV presenters, like Kate Humble and Nick Baker, who are passionate advocates of enjoying the great outdoors, backed Surrey Wildlife Trusts’ nature challenge. And new research from the University of Derby showed taking part in the challenge improves health, happiness and conservation behaviour.
As part of its corporate citizen programme, Fidelity International, the asset management and investment company and corporate sponsor of Surrey Wildlife Trust, took part in 30 Days Wild.
Susie Brierley, a manager at Fidelity International, said: ‘In our Lower Kingswood, Tadworth, location we ran guided lunchtime walks, from 20 minutes to an hour, to show even with little time employees can still explore nature. The woodland walks, where staff met our head gardener to hear how he manages the woodland, protected trees, historical sites and sculpture trail were popular.’
Families wishing to stay wild after doing the challenge are being offered a free Nick Baker Worm World if they sign up to become a member by the end of July