Somerset Wildlife Trust is pleased to present the return of 30 Days Wild – the Wildlife Trusts annual challenge for us all to do something wild and nature based every day in June. Whether it’s on a reserve, in your local green space or park or in your own back garden – Somerset Wildlife Trust wants to you put a bit of wild back into your life and make a lasting connection to nature for your own health and wellbeing. To help you get stuck in, you can apply for the brilliant (and free!) 30 Days Wild pack, download the phone app or go online for some ideas and inspiration. Visit the website for more information:

Planting wildlife-friendly plants. Photo: Katrina Martin, 2020VISION

People will be encouraged to enjoy the nature on their doorstep, as well as the ‘great outdoors’, with inspiring ‘Random Acts of Wildness’: practical, fun and quirky ideas for connecting with the wild around us. Spend an evening star gazing, build a bughouse, become a stream sleuth, enjoy mindfulness in a meadow, or even sit in the garden, sipping a G&T and watch butterflies! People can spend a few minutes, or a few hours each day enjoying nature – how they do it is up to them.

And it’s official – a daily dose of nature, even in bite size chunks, is good for you.

Photo: Katrina Martin, 2020VISION

Nature and Wellbeing Manager, Jolyon Chesworth from Somerset Wildlife Trust had this to say: “People connecting with nature is more important now than ever before as worrying declines in our physical and mental health are reported on a regular basis; only 20% of children get the recommended levels of exercise, and rates of depression amongst teenagers have increased by 70%. Adults don’t fare any better. However, realising that we are a part of the natural world and embracing it could help reverse these trends. The best thing is that nature is all around us and it’s free!”

The impact of taking part in 30 Days Wild has been tracked by academics at the University of Derby. Their study* found that people who did something ‘wild’ each day for a month, felt happier, healthier and more connected to nature. From walking barefoot in the park to feeding garden birds, all sorts of activities proved positive for people – with added benefits for the natural world too.

Photo: Matthew Roberts

Dr Miles Richardson, Director of Psychology, who led the study, said:

“The impact of 30 Days Wild adds to the compelling argument for bringing nature into our everyday lives. Two months after taking part in 30 Days Wild, there was a 30 per cent increase in the number of people who reported their health as excellent. Last year’s results also show people’s happiness continued to improve after 30 Days Wild ended, which illustrates its sustained impact. This is important as it is happiness and connecting with nature that influence improvements in health. Our study also shows that those who benefitted most were younger adults and those who weren’t ‘nature lovers’.”

This year 30 Days Wild is revelling in the glory of traditional meadows which bloom with wildflowers throughout June. ‘Unimproved’ pastures and meadows with their characteristic wealth of wild plants and animals are rare and fragmented – occupying just 5% of the area that they occupied in 1945. The Wildlife Trusts care for many – and they can be visited and enjoyed.

Photo: Matthew Roberts

Apply for a free 30 Days Wild pack, download the phone app or look online for those inspirational Random Acts of Wildness. 30 Days Wild packs include a packet of wildflower seeds, activity sheets, a calendar to record adventures, stickers, and a poster.  Schools will get a large deck of ‘Random Acts of Wildness’ cards for inspiring ideas. Sign up from mid-April and share the fun of #30DaysWild on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Wildlife Trusts across the UK will be running wild events for all the family throughout June.