Are you ready for 30 Days Wild?

This year it will be Tess’ very first 30 Days Wild. While GWT’s Communications Manager is definitely not a wildlife expert like most of the team (she spends most of her days emailing colleagues pictures of insects and birds and asking WHAT’S THIS?), she’s starting to think that doing something wild every day during June might actually be easier than you think… 

Doorstep observations 

Do one wild thing EVERY DAY for 30 DAYS? Are you having a laugh? I can barely keep on top of whether it’s recycling or rubbish collection each week, or remember to eat my 5 a day what with all of the lockdown baking going on, let alone schedule in a wild moment every. single. day for June.  

I have been enjoying eating my lunch on the front step of our terraced house though. We don’t have a back garden, so the rather overgrown patch at the front is my only wildlife sanctuary while working from home, and a nice sunbathing spot at about 1pm. It’s right next to the wheelie bin but hey, you can’t have everything! 

I’ve let the hedge grow pretty wild and there are all sorts of rustlings and twitterings coming from inside. I’ve also spotted a colony of ants that have made their home near to the bottom front step; watching them work together to carry things sometimes 100 times bigger than themselves is endlessly fascinating. I wonder what it’s like inside their nest? Moria from Lord of the Rings? Or squeezing through tiny tunnels like that one time I went caving? (Never again). Do they have huge rooms filled with crisp crumbs and other bits of dropped picnic? Do they ever sleep? 

You might be pretty wild without realising it… 

Our street is pretty quiet now, so I often close my eyes for a moment and soak in just being outside. I can smell the roses that have somehow managed to survive my terrible care. And is it just me or do the birds seem to be louder than ever this year? Or maybe we’re just noticing them more without all the traffic? Either way, I can now pretty confidently identify a great tit and a blackbird. I’ve also marvelled at the changing colours of the blossom tree across the road: from clouds of pink to lush green leaves. I’ve never noticed that tree before. 

There’s also this plant that runs riot by the front step – field forget-me-not I think - and I’ve let it go wherever it wants because the bees just LOVE it! They make me feel completely unproductive as I scroll on my phone and they zip from flower to flower, systematically visiting every one before moving onto the next plant. I’ve even spotted a bee fly which looks like a miniature hummingbird and hovers in front of the flowers with its long proboscis – something I have never seen before. 

But hold on – spending a moment in nature, following an insect, listening for wildlife sounds, having a go at ID-ing bird songs, gardening (or lack of!) with wildlife in mind – these are all some of the ‘Random Acts of Wildness’ we’ll be promoting throughout June for 30 Days Wild.  

Well, score! That’s five just in one lunchtime. 

Flower

I’m too busy for 30 Days Wild…right? Wrong!  

But still, I can’t be making extra time for 30 Days Wild, I want to make sure I spend as much time as possible outside. I love walking to my nearest park and marvelling at all the different trees that grow there (my favourite is a willow that drapes elegantly over the path and dangles the tips of its branches in the pond), I often take pictures of them and post them onto my Instagram page.  

I spend a lot of my time painting these trees in the evenings, or painting the rolling Cotswold hills if we go for a walk somewhere further afield. Bringing the colours of the countryside we’re so lucky to be surrounded by in Gloucestershire, into my home is something that makes me feel connected to nature even from my house in the middle of town. I can almost smell the hot, dusty wheat field on the page. 

And actually – going for a walk, seeing how many different types of tree you can spot, taking photos of nature and doing some wild painting, are another four things to tick off on the way to 30 Days Wild.  

You get to decide how wild you want to be 

The beauty of 30 Days Wild is that your ‘Random Acts of Wildness’ can be whatever you want them to be, as long as you’re connecting with nature and wildlife in some way. Some of them might be things, like me, that you’re already doing and you can just build on that while discovering a few new ones along the way. 

What’s even more good news is that studies have shown that people who take part in the UK’s biggest wildlife challenge saw their nature connectedness grow by 56%! The health of participants was boosted by 30% and many went on to have a wild July, August and September! 

OK, fine. I’m definitely taking on the challenge. ‘Random Acts of Wildness’ seem like something I’m already making time for, but 30 Days Wild could give me that extra push to get even closer to nature and the wildlife around me. I could learn to ID my third bird song or make a detailed study of an insect – I’ve never painted a bug before.  

I’m going to download a free pack right now and post some of my wild actions online to help keep me motivated and see what other people have been doing for inspiration, using the hashtag #30dayswild. There’s still time to sign up and have your wildest June ever! I’ll be keeping an eye out for all of your posts on GWT’s social channels, be sure to tag us @gloswildlife