The UK’s biggest nature challenge, 30 Days Wild, – which lasts for the whole of June – is on course for a record-breaking year following an unprecedented number of people signing up to take part so far.
Last year, more than 760,000 took part in the challenge, which encourages people to do something wild every day throughout June. 30 Days Wild is being supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
Popular activities include wildlife-watching, breakfasting outdoors each day, and listening to birdsong. 30 Days Wild fans interpret the challenge in different ways – from planting for pollinators to taking on sporting challenges to raise money for The Wildlife Trusts. Treasured moments from the challenge include:
- The participant who posted packets of wildflower seeds to their neighbours
- The person who woke up at 5am every day to catch the sunrise and dawn chorus
- The enthusiast who crocheted a blanket with 30 wildlife species – one square a day
Actor and presenter Cel Spellman (above) is backing 30 Days Wild this June, citing the health and wellbeing benefits of spending time in nature. An ambassador for The Wildlife Trusts, he says:
“30 Days Wild is a brilliant way to explore and develop our relationship with nature and to enjoy new experiences outdoors. Not just that, the benefits that time in nature has for our physical and mental health are quite amazing. I can’t wait to get involved this year, and I hope that people of all ages and backgrounds do the same. It’s good for the soul and good for nature.”
A survey of 2021 participants revealed that taking part in 30 Days Wild improved people’s relationship with nature and inspired them to take action.
- 88% said they were very likely to make their garden more wildlife-friendly after participating in 30 Days Wild
- 74% said they had either already taken action to reduce their carbon footprint, or were very likely to after taking part in 30 Days Wild
30 Days Wild is for people of all ages and from all backgrounds, with families, schoolchildren and care home residents all taking part. They include:
- Nisha Parmar from Northamptonshire who takes part in 30 Days Wild every year with her daughter. Nisha enjoys wildlife photography and regularly posts photos of wildlife throughout June.
- Alison Loudon from Coatbridge near Glasgow who first took part during lockdown in 2020. Her appreciation for nature has flourished, and she has since made bug hotels, planted wildflowers, and learnt how to identify species with her children.
- Six-year-old Atiya and mum Ayesha from London, who have taken part in 30 Days Wild for several years. Atiya, an environmental engineer, enjoys posting films online of Ayesha exploring their garden and doing small acts for nature like building bug hotels and creating a mini pond.
A five-year review of 30 Days Wild participants, run in conjunction with the University of Derby, found that people reported they felt happier and healthier from taking part, with positive effects lasting for at least two months afterwards.
A summary of the evaluations of the participants of 30 Days Wild 2016 and 2017 can be found here.
30 Days Wild: Development and Evaluation of a Large-Scale Nature Engagement Campaign to Improve Well-Being by Miles Richardson, Adam Cormack, Lucy McRobert, Ralph Underhill was published in February 2016. You can find it online here.
Sign up to take part in 30 Day Wild and receive free inspiration at: wildlifetrusts.org/30dayswild
Main image credit: Tom & Evie Photography