Go WILD this June
This can be very simple, like stopping what you are doing for five minutes and listening to bird song, planting some wildflowers in your garden, or visiting a local woodland. Alternatively, you might write to your MP, or newly elected local councillor, about the need for strong policies to protect wildlife. The important thing is to engage with nature and make doing so part of your everyday life.
This is the fifth year of the month-long nature campaign, and hundreds of thousands of people have already taken part. To encourage you, and help you to plan your month, a free activity pack is available from your local wildlife trust. (Details of all trusts here: https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/find-wildlife-trust.) The pack includes a wallchart, a calendar, an ideas booklet and a pack of wildflower seeds. Springwatch presenter Gillian Burke says ‘Try 30 random acts of wildness in 30 days! I’d love people to connect with the wildlife around them – I think lots of people don’t know how to do this, but this is the perfect way to start and discover how you can make a difference, where will your wild adventure take you?’’
Young and old can participate, as individuals, a family, a school class, or a social or workplace group. If your mobility is restricted you can take part at home or in your garden. Being part of the campaign will help both you and wildlife. Connecting with nature is known to improve our mental and physical health. Research conducted by the University of Derby shows that participants are healthier and happier through being closer to nature. Simply taking a walk in a woodland or park is good exercise and reduces stress levels. Wildlife will benefit for example if you are plant some wildflowers, or do not cut your lawn for the month.
Participating will also help your local wildlife trust in its work of standing up for, and protecting, nature where you live. The trusts look after thousands of nature reserves, help farmers and other landowners to benefit wildlife, and inspire people to take action for the natural world. They organise 30 Days Wild so that everyone can make a positive difference to their local environment.
By Peter Shirley