Suffolk and Essex wildlife trusts urge natural joy in June

Youngsters meet some mini-beasts - 30 Days Wild will encourage others to do likewise. Picture: MATTH

Youngsters meet some mini-beasts - 30 Days Wild will encourage others to do likewise. Picture: MATTHEW ROBERTS/THE WILDLIFE TRUSTS - Credit: Archant

County charities support The Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild challenge

Ponds and their brilliant biodiversity will feature strongly in 30 Days Wild. Picture: MATTHEW ROBER

Ponds and their brilliant biodiversity will feature strongly in 30 Days Wild. Picture: MATTHEW ROBERTS/THE WILDLIFE TRUSTS - Credit: Archant

The county wildlife trusts of Suffolk and Essex are urging people to go wild - on every day in June.

Both counties can boast about their outstanding nature reserves and green spaces - from remote and wildlife-rich coastlines to urban oases in the most densely populated of areas - and the charities are encouraging young and old alike to connect with the nature that abounds in such places.

The county charities are supporting the national 30 Days Wild challenge - an annual celebration spearheaded by The Wildlife Trusts in which people are encouraged to do “something wild” on each day in June to help them connect with nature.

It is a concept that has inspired thousands of people in recent years, and it has grown annually since it began. In its inaugural year in 2015 12,400 people signed up, and the number doubled in 2016. Last year there were 49,000 signatories, including individuals, families, schools and businesses, with an estimated total participation by almost 255,000 people.

Wake up to nature and smell the blossoms - 30 Days Wild offers joyous encounters with nature. Pictur

Wake up to nature and smell the blossoms - 30 Days Wild offers joyous encounters with nature. Picture: MATTHEW ROBERTS/THE WILDLIFE TRUSTS - Credit: Archant


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In Essex alone, 1,600 individuals, schools and businesses participated across the county in 2017.

This June, with the event’s neighbourhood theme, the national umbrella organisation for county wildlife trusts says, thousands of people across the UK will be urged to “make their neighbourhoods wilder – to help wildlife, get communities sharing the joy of their local nature and feel happier and healthier while doing it.”

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Academics at the University of Derby have been monitoring the 30 Days Wild challenge since it started in 2015 - and they discovered that spending time in nature makes people feel better. They found that people’s perception of beauty in the natural world was a key ingredient to unlocking the benefits of wellbeing and happiness experienced by participants in the challenge.

Dr Miles Richardson, the university’s director of psychology, said: “Over the past three years we’ve repeatedly found that taking part in 30 Days Wild improves health, happiness, nature connection and conservation behaviours. Now we’ve discovered that engagement with the beauty of nature is part of that story.

Children run free in the wild - 30 Days Wild encourages everyone to do so. Picture: MATTHEW ROBERTS/

Children run free in the wild - 30 Days Wild encourages everyone to do so. Picture: MATTHEW ROBERTS/THE WILDLIFE TRUSTS - Credit: Archant

“Tuning-in to the everyday beauty of nature becomes part of a journey which connects us more deeply to the natural world. As people’s appreciation of natural beauty increases, so does their happiness. We respond to beauty - it restores us and balances our emotions. This, in turn, encourages people to do more to help wildlife and take action for nature.”

The latest set of results from the study of 30 Days Wild also confirms that the benefits of the challenge last well after the month has ended. There are indications that the beneficial impact of taking part could last an entire year.

Lucy McRobert, campaigns manager for The Wildlife Trusts added: “30 Days Wild is a lovely way to get closer to nature and marvel at the everyday wildlife that lives all around you. Sit quietly and enjoy watching dragonflies dance over a pond or take a moment to sow a window-box of wildflowers to help bees. Get together with your neighbours to create hedgehog highways or sow front-garden meadows along the length of your street. No matter how small the action, it all counts.”

Signatories to this June’s event will receive a free pack with a booklet of inspirational ideas for “Random Acts of Wildness”, a recipe for wild strawberry and thyme ice cream, wildflower seeded paper to sow, a wall chart to record wild activities and wild stickers. Special packs for schools with outdoor lesson plans are available together with a giant “Random Acts of Wildness” card. Businesses can also join in, with tailored download packs to “bring the wild to work”.

Free packs will be sent to the first 50,000 people who sign up and digital packs are also available via www.wildlifetrusts.org/30DaysWild

Both Suffolk and Essex wildlife trusts are planning close involvement in the challenge. More information can be found at suffolkwildlifetrust.org/30dayswild and essexwt.org.uk/30-Days-Wild

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