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Try going wild about nature! #30dayswild

Written by Fiona

June 03 2016

My latest outdoors column for the Sunday Mail encourages people to “go wild about nature”. The Scottish Wildlife Trust is challenging people to go wild outdoors – and discover more wild things – for the benefit of their health. The #30dayswild initiative takes place in June but it can be extended throughout the summer holidays, or any time of the year, in fact. Read the full article here or below

June 5

Do something wild

What is it?: The Scottish Wildlife Trust is challenging people to go wild outdoors for the benefit of their health.

Tell me more: Scots are being called on to do as many wild things outdoors as they can in June.

The conservation organisation hopes people will “make room for nature in their lives and commit to simple and random acts of wildness”.

In doing so, people who enjoy more wild times are likelier to feel happier and healthier.

Nick Wright, SWT’s people and wildlife manager, said: “The great thing about nature is that you can find it anywhere, while taking the kids to school, walking the dog, or looking out the window on your commute.

“You can do wild things in your garden, local parks, in the countryside and at the beach, almost anywhere, urban and rural.

“And we know that by opening your senses to nature you can have a tangible positive impact on your health and well-being.”

Numerous studies have found a strong connection between people’s health and happiness and the natural environment.

Last year, researchers at the University of Derby examined the impact of 30 Days Wild.

It showed that the challenge can lead to a sustained increase in people’s happiness, health, connection to nature and positive environmental behaviours.

Two months after taking part in the initiative, the number of people reporting their health as excellent increased by more than 30 per cent.

How to be wilder: SWT has come up with a list of simple and random acts of wildness. Suggested ideas include:

  • Let it grow: Mark out a patch of lawn that you won’t mow and watch it fill with bugs and wildflowers.
  • Follow a bee: You’ll need to have sharp eyes and ears to keep up.
  • Sip in the wild: Enjoy your first tea or coffee of the day accompanied by sourwood honey and birdsong outside your front door or in the garden.
  • Attract moths: Make a night-time moth lure by soaking and hanging up a rope in warm red wine and sugar.
  • Help hedgehogs: Cut a hold in your fence to allow hedgehogs to travel through
  • Survey your local wildlife: Make a list of all the species you can see from your house window.
  • Go beachcombing: See what treasures you can find among the seaweed and sand at a local beach
  • Wild walk and talk: Invite a friend on a wild walk. You can chat while spotting wildlife as you walk.

Anything else to know?: Jamie Proudfoot was one of the many Scots who took part in the 30 Days Wild challenge in 2015.

The youth support worker from Helensburgh even extended his adventure into a year-long 365 Days Wild.

Jamie said: “The SWT challenge seemed like a terrific idea to engage mindfully with the outdoors and learn a little more about the amazing diversity that my little patch of Scotland had to offer.

“My daily experiences included bird watching and bat detecting, wild flowers and waterfalls.

“I was struck by how simple it was to turn every single day into a wild one.”

How do I take part?: It’s free and easy to take part, whatever your age or fitness levels.

Everyone who signs up to take part in the nature challenge will receive a pack full of encouragement, ideas and Random Acts of Wildness.

They will also be sent a wall chart to track progress and regular messages throughout the month to help make nature part of their lives.

The challenge is to keep a list of all the wild things you do and, if you want, to post them on social media with the hashtag #30DaysWild.

More info: www.scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/30dayswild/  or download a free app for iPhone and Android devices by searching for “30 Days Wild” in the App and Google Play Stores.

This is a great idea for keeping the kids busy through the long summer holidays.

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