#30DaysWild across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight

lion mask © Gemma paul

We've just completed the UK's biggest national challenge ever this year, #30DaysWild! Over 22,000 people from across our two counties took part this year and here are some of their highlights.

Thank you for taking part in #30DaysWild!

A record number of people from Hampshire and Isle of Wight participated in #30DaysWild this year. Here's just a little snapshot of what you all got up to!

Gemma from Southampton

''This year we got caught in a thunderstorm and danced in the rain, gently held butterflies and moths, shrieked with excitement at scuttling crabs, climbed trees and built dens, went pond dipping, looked for wildflowers, helped with citizen science projects, made homes for wildlife, experimented with botanical dyes, joined in with the Big Wild Weekend camp out and quietly watched hedgehogs moving round our garden at night.

Being on lock down during the pandemic has really made me appreciate the importance of green and natural spaces in our lives. Being able to connect with nature is so important for our physical and mental wellbeing and many studies have shown that spending time outdoors in nature helps lower levels of  anxiety, stress and depression in both adults and children.

30 days wild for me personally is very much about encouraging others to enjoy and care about nature, it’s about raising awareness and passing on knowledge, promoting conservation and supporting our local nature reserves and wildlife charities, not just for 30 days wild but as something we embrace as part of our daily lives all year round.''

Read Gemma's full experience of #30DaysWild, here.

Mathilde from Portsmouth

"Participating in 30 Days Wild is always something very enjoyable, and has been even more this year, as being outdoors was much needed after these challenging past months. The highlight of this month was the fact that for the first time, I took the 30 days wild challenge with our class bubble at school (I work as a teaching assistant). It was a joy to pick a random activity and complete our challenge in the garden together on a daily basis: from sketching a tree to identifying a wildflower, picking litter to whistling with grass, we all had great fun and learnt so much about nature around us. We all enjoyed it so much that we decided to continue until the end of term!"

Simon from Whitchurch

Rachel from Winchester

"Because of lockdown and without a car I have not been able to get to my favourite orchid sites this year, but the wild flowers of my local bridleways around LIttleton and Crawley have been a constant delight, and as soon as Winnall Moors was open I was able to resume my regular ‘round’ as volunteer warden. To see the river and the flowers of the flood meadows again was a tonic for the soul!"

Janette from Isle of Wight

Last year, Janette decided to give up mowing her lawn to create a mini wildflower meadow. You can read all about it in her blog, here. During 30 Days Wild, Janette kept an eye on her meadow and sent us this update of how it's getting on.

Jan Stroud's meadow - one year on

Mini Meadow © Jan Stroud

Nigel from Hampshire

We have at welcomed back hedgehogs to our garden thanks to holes in fences and nightly food provided. Other highlights have included seeing mullein caterpillars on the buddlea and ravens in the village!

Wendy from Eastleigh

''My lowlight was that my MP, Paul Holmes, didn't meet up with a group of us on Tuesday 30th June for the mass lobby. The time is now for a green recovery. My highlight has been this walk I took round Lakeside country park in Eastleigh.

Here's a photo mash up I made of it.''

Collage of 30 Days Wild activities

© Wendy Waghorn

Natalie and Emma from Winchester

"We have had such a great month enjoying the outdoors! The simple things are definitely the best - the stunning wild flowers, butterflies, birds and insects and watching things change, develop and grow in our garden and beyond. It would be a challenge to choose our Top 10, but highlights have been:

  • discovering a wren's nest in the roof of our workshop at the bottom of the garden
  • a fantastic walk at Danebury Hill Fort with so many different wild flowers, Exmoor ponies, Highland cows, wild raspberries and strawberries
  • rescuing a cheeper (a young red-legged partridge) that couldn't keep up with its Mum (!)
  • spotting various butterflies in the New Forest
  • seeing red kites fly above us... "

Thank you to everyone who sent in their photos and experiences - it's been so wonderful to see them! Only 335-t days to go until #30DaysWild 2021.... unless anyone wants to do #365DaysWild?