Steve Backshall goes wild for 30-day nature challenge
Taking part in 30 days of close encounters with the natural world not only helps us to connect with and value nature, but it is also proven to improve our mental health and wellbeing.*
Every year, thousands of people in Surrey sign up to do a ‘random act of wildness’ every day in June. Popular activities include listening to birdsong, building a bug home, taking wildlife photos or sowing wildflower seeds. This year the Trust is encouraging everyone to have a Big Wild Breakfast outdoors on 1st June and see how much wildlife they can spot in just 30 minutes in a breakfast bio-blitz.
Over the past year, many people have taken solace in nature, whether going for a walk or watching and listening to the birds in the garden. People have benefitted from spending more time outside and 30 Days Wild can help to keep that connection alive as we return to school, work and going out more again.
Anyone can join in with this enjoyable challenge and there are packs available for different groups. Packs for individuals and families who sign-up to 30 Days Wild, will receive FREE resources and activities to try including:
- Big Wild Breakfast nature ‘bingo’ placemat to download
- Bundle of educational and fun resources
- Top technical tips from wildlife webcam experts
- Details on how to record your breakfast bio-blitz nature spots
- Wildlife guides, how-to guides, a fun quiz event and much more.
There are also special packs for businesses, care homes and schools, to help organisations engage with nature on their doorstep and take care of the mental health and wellbeing of staff, residents and pupils. There is a real buzz on social media too, with thousands of people sharing their experiences, such as, planting for pollinators or adding a splash of water to gardens for hedgehogs and birds to drink. There will be daily top tips and inspiration via the #30DaysWild Facebook and Twitter channels too.
Charlotte Magowan, marketing and communications manager at Surrey Wildlife Trust, said: “Getting closer to nature has never been more important. By sharing and exploring the wonders of wildlife, we appreciate nature’s benefits and are more likely to protect it in the future. The pandemic has shown us all that a healthy natural world is essential for the physical and mental health of people too.
‘The soothing sensory experience of being in nature daily has a calming effect, where people feel less anxious. Sharing the scents, sounds, beautiful sights and textures in nature, can also make people feel closer and more connected to one another. So it’s perfect for staff, school children and care home residents to take part in, and research shows the health benefits of 30 Days Wild reach far beyond June.”
Steve Backshall, who developed his passion for nature and wildlife as a boy when he lived on a small farm in Surrey, is now president of the neighbouring Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT). He is also featured in the Trust’s promotional video on social media. Steve said: “Please get involved with 30 Days Wild. It could be as simple as learning a new birdsong or turning part of your garden into a wildflower meadow. This is going to be a random act of marvellousness!”
Sign up for 30Days Wild and get your FREE family, business, care home or school pack! There is also a free 30 Days Wild smartphone app, which generates random ideas to try for the challenge, such as, pen a wild poem, make a wild facemask, take a nap in nature or dip your toes into a stream or river.