Sunshine for the soul: 30 Days Wild benefits health and wellbeing
Wednesday 12th April 2017
30 Days Wild - Devon Wildlife Trust
This June, it’s all about nature - for everybody, everywhere, every day with The Wildlife Trusts’ annual challenge: 30 Days Wild.
People in Devon will be encouraged to enjoy the nature on their doorstep, as well as the ‘great outdoors’, with inspiring ‘Random Acts of Wildness’: practical, fun and quirky ideas for connecting with the wild around us. Spend an evening star gazing, build a bughouse, become a stream sleuth, enjoy mindfulness in a meadow, or even sit in the garden, sipping a G&T and watch butterflies! People can spend a few minutes, or a few hours each day enjoying nature - how they do it is up to them.
A daily dose of nature is good for you
And it’s official - a daily dose of nature, even in bite size chunks, is good for you.
The impact of taking part in 30 Days Wild has been tracked by academics at the University of Derby. Their study* found that people who did something ‘wild’ each day for a month, felt happier, healthier and more connected to nature. From walking barefoot in the park to feeding garden birds, all sorts of activities proved positive for people – with added benefits for the natural world too.
Dr Miles Richardson, Director of Psychology, who led the study, said:
“The impact of 30 Days Wild adds to the compelling argument for bringing nature into our everyday lives. Two months after taking part in 30 Days Wild, there was a 30 per cent increase in the number of people who reported their health as excellent. Last year’s results also show people’s happiness continued to improve after 30 Days Wild ended, which illustrates its sustained impact. This is important as it is happiness and connecting with nature that influence improvements in health. Our study also shows that those who benefitted most were younger adults and those who weren’t ‘nature lovers’.”
This year 30 Days Wild is revelling in the glory of traditional meadows which bloom with wildflowers throughout June. 'Unimproved' pastures and meadows with their characteristic wealth of wild plants and animals are rare and fragmented – occupying just 5% of the area that they occupied in 1945. Devon Wildlife Trust care for many wildflower meadows across the county, including Bellever Moor and Meadows nature reserve on Dartmoor and Dunsdon nature reserve in North Devon.
Apply for a free 30 Days Wild pack
Apply for a free 30 Days Wild pack, download the phone app or look online for those inspirational Random Acts of Wildness. 30 Days Wild packs include a packet of wildflower seeds, activity sheets, a calendar to record adventures, stickers, and a poster. Schools will get a large deck of ‘Random Acts of Wildness’ cards for inspiring ideas. Sign up from mid-April and share the fun of #30DaysWild on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Wildlife Trusts across the UK will be running wild events for all the family throughout June.
Thousands of people carried out 1.8 million Random Acts of Wildness during 30 Days Wild in 2016. That’s 1.8 million precious moments that brought people closer to nature and enhanced their lives. The Wildlife Trusts aim to double that number this year – and hope that the connections people make with the wild around them will ensure that it is better protected for the future too.
Rosie Workman, from Devon Wildlife Trust, said: “Last year, thousands of people across our region took up the challenge to go wild for 30 days. People went for walks and had picnics in wild places, families created wild works of art, went bug hunting and created homes for wildlife in their gardens. Even those at work made the effort to have outdoor meetings and wild lunches.”
Devon Wildlife Trust is asking everyone to do something wild every day from 1 – 30 June. Whether you take time out to simply smell a wildflower, listen to birdsong, explore a local wild place or leave a part of your garden to grow wild for a month. It’s all about making nature part of your life for 30 days - and it’s
30 Days Wild in Devon is kindly supported by South West Water.
Join DWT at a 30 Days Wild event
Devon Wildlife Trust is kicking off its 30 Days Wild with a special family fun day at Mincinglake Valley Park in Exeter, during half term week on Thursday 1 June.
DWT’s Rosie Workman said: “Our family fun day at Mincinglake Valley Park is the perfect way to start your 30 Days Wild. The event is free and people can drop in any time between 10am and 3pm. We will be challenging visitors to complete 10 Random Acts of Wildness in one day! From bug hunting and creating wild art to wildlife trails and scribbling a poem – it promises to be a wild beginning to June.
“We’re also hosting a second family fun day on Father’s Day, Sunday 18 June, at Ludwell Valley Park – the perfect event for Dad and the kids to get out and get wild in their local park. To end the month, we’re inviting the public to our wildlife garden open day at our very own Cricklepit Mill where families can take park in wildlife trails, bug hunting, wild craft and even buy wildlife friendly plants to take home.”
The Mincinglake and Ludwell events are kindly supported by South West Water.
For more details on events in June visit www.devonwildlifetrust.org/whats-on