Are you participating in the UK’s biggest nature challenge?

This June, over 6,000 people across Hampshire and Isle of Wight have taken up the challenge to do something wild every day for a month. That’s around 180,000 random acts of wildness. Back for its sixth year, 30 Days Wild is more important than ever as we enjoy more of our local wildlife and realise the wellbeing benefits that immersing in nature can provide.

We see nature every day - plants in our gardens, squirrels scampering up trees and birds flying past our windows, but do we recognise nature? Throughout June, 30 Days Wild challenges us to do something wild every day. Do something quick like taking a picture of a flower or do something silly like making a mud pie or do something for wildlife like planting a tree. Marianne from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust said, ‘’The random acts of wildness reawaken one’s curiosity about the natural world, and the activities enhance creativity as you come up with new ways to go wild. It is those elements that make the nature of the challenge so much fun and so engaging.’’

People from all over Hampshire and Isle of Wight look forward to 30 Days Wild each year. Hampshire resident, Gemma Paul, has been doing 30 Days Wild for the past 3 years now and said ‘’30 days wild is a something we look forward to every year. We have so many wonderful moments and unforgettable experiences together. Our favourite parts are always the memorable close encounters with wildlife.’’

Each act of wildness inspires us to reconnect with nature, and research shows that 30 Days Wild works!

A recently published five-year review of 30 Days Wild participants reported that taking part in 30 Days Wild not only significantly increases people’s wellbeing and heightened sense of nature, but that these positive increases are sustained beyond the life of the challenge – for a minimum of two months after it is over. The people who benefit most are those who have a relatively weak connection with nature at the start.

30 Days Wild officially started on Monday 1st June but it’s designed so that anyone can start at any time! Winchester resident and coaching psychologist, Nicole Gabriel, says “30 Days Wild gives me a structure for connecting with nature in a better way. I don’t get too hung up if I miss a day, it’s more of a guide throughout the month and I don’t want it to become a chore.’’

Once you sign up on our website (hiwwt.org.uk/30-days-wild) you’ll get your free 30 Days Wild activity pack and can start going wild! 30 Days Wild is for everyone and is adaptable to be used by schools, businesses and care homes.

Nature Notes:

New survey reveals overwhelming support for a kinder, greener and wilder future for Hampshire and the Island

The lockdown has had a dramatic impact on people’s lifestyles and there are a number of behavioural changes that people are keen to maintain, according to new research with almost 600 local people by the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

More than two-thirds (68%) of respondents claim they will drive less than they did before, a similar proportion (69%) felt they would be more likely to help neighbours, and more than eight out of ten (82%) say they are more likely to buy from local businesses and farms.

The survey revealed an overwhelming appreciation of the importance of nature and local green spaces in lockdown. Almost everyone (97%) agreed that nature has been important for relieving stress during this difficult time, three quarters (75%) saying they would be more likely to spend time gardening than they did prior to the pandemic, and nearly nine out of ten (89%) wanting to spend more time in nature than before. Nearly the same amount (85%) claim they are more likely to help wildlife where they live.

Read more - hiwwt.org.uk/survey-reveals-support-for-wilder-future

Nature at home:

How to clean bird feeders and nestboxes

Taking care of your feeders, bird table and birdbath will reduce the chances of spreading diseases and helps keep backyard birds healthy.

When a large number of birds are attracted into an area to feed, the danger of disease increases. Prevention is always better than a cure and is the best thing you can do to help the birds.

You should aim to clean your feeders about once every two weeks, more often during times of heavy use, using warm soapy water or 5% disinfectant.

Nestboxes can also harbour parasites so it is good practice to take them down at the end of the season and give them a clean. Old nesting materials should be removed, and the box should be scalded with boiling water to kill any parasites.