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30 Days Wild challenge reaches new record!

Over 400,000 people went wild every day this June.

The Wildlife Trusts’ annual 30 Days Wild challenge was more popular than ever this year – 400,000 people carried out well over 10 million Random Acts of Wildness over the 30 days of June.

Throughout June, we challenge participants to do something wild and enjoy nature every single day. In response, people have been sharing their heart-warming stories, colourful photos and videos across social media channels; from wild yoga with Sheffield Street Trees to daily environmental adventures at local schools. As well as the 50,000 individual households who signed up for their free packs of ideas, wall chart, stickers and wildflower seeds, over 9,000 schools, 1,300 businesses and 570 care homes also took part nationally.

Kieron Turney, a teacher who leads the Nature Club at Handsworth Grange Community Sports College in Sheffield explained what pupils get out of it:

“This is the third year the school has taken part in 30 Days Wild and it’s such a great challenge. This year we have focused on how these activities have improved the pupil’s wellbeing and mental health. The kids have enjoyed different and innovative outdoor activities and had time away from their mobile phones too. Spending time outdoors, learning about nature and wildlife is so important for the next generation and it’s helped them feel refreshed, more focused and ready to return to more formal classes.”

Dr Amir Khan from Channel 5’s GPs Behind Closed Doors is an ambassador for The Wildlife Trusts and took part in the challenge for the first time this year. He described his experience:

“It’s been fantastic! I’ve loved the small, sometimes unexpected random acts that have inspired and will continue to inspire me every day – I’ve fed and watched the birds in the garden, I’ve noticed more nature while out running and taken breaks at lunchtime just to appreciate the world outside. I’ve truly felt the benefit to my physical and mental wellbeing and I think our wildlife has too.”

The Wildlife Trusts’ Head of Communications, Joanna Richards said:

“It’s been an extraordinarily wild month! We’ve loved seeing the creative and inventive activities of people taking part right across the UK – getting up close to bugs, butterflies and birds, rewilding a garden or making a daisy chain.  You don’t need to go far to appreciate wildlife and often the simplest interactions can bring us the most joy.”

Wildlife gardening in homes, care homes and schools was a popular activity, with people creating small ponds, building homes for bugs, sowing wildflowers, noticing the birds and insects that visited and pledging not to mow their lawns, to encourage more variety of wildlife to flourish.

Other Random Acts of Wildness included:

  • Waking up early to hear the dawn chorus at its best
  • Organising beach cleans and litter picks
  • Noticing a rainbow of flowers and trees growing in towns and countryside
  • Creating wild works of art from petals, leaves and feathers.
  • Care homes residents and carers have enjoyed planting pollinator-friendly blooms, making leaf art and creating wild playlists, with music inspired by nature.

Every year The Wildlife Trusts carry out a wildness quiz during 30 Days Wild.  Previous years’ results show that 30 Days Wild is unique in improving people’s perception of beauty in nature, and that noticing natural beauty makes people happier and want to care for it.*

* 30 Days Wild and the Relationships Between Engagement With Nature’s Beauty, Nature Connectedness and Well-Being by Miles Richardson and Kirsty McEwan was published September 2018. Online here

Sunbathing photo ©Westons Cider