How to get involved with 30 Days Wild in Cheshire
PUBLISHED: 00:00 30 May 2016
© Kathryn Edwards Photography
Can you do something wild every day for 30 days in June, asks Gemma Sproston of Cheshire Wildlife Trust
The UK’s leading nature challenge is back for 2016 and Cheshire Wildlife Trust wants you to take part. Spending time in nature makes us happier and healthier. Whether you smell a wildflower, listen to birdsong or taste wild blackberries, nature enhances all our senses. That’s why all The Wildlife Trusts want you to take part in 30 Days Wild and do something wild every day for 30 days this June – 30 ‘Random Acts of Wildness’ that will help you let nature into your life.
We had a feeling that spending time in nature regularly would lead to people feeling happier, healthier and more connected to wildlife and wild places. But we wanted to prove this. We worked with the University of Derby to measure how ‘wild’ people were before they started 30 Days Wild, again when they’d just finished, and again two months later. We also measured their health and wellbeing. The results were amazing.
By asking people to make room for nature, every day for 30 days and share their experiences with others, people reported feeling significantly healthier and happier not just for a short amount of time, but months after the challenge had finished. Taking part led to a sustained increase in connection to nature, bringing the associated benefits to happiness, health, and pro-nature behaviours. That’s great news for wildlife, and great news for people.
Thousands of people took part last year from across the UK, from urban jungles to mountain tops; the islands, highlands and more. Even in the busiest city centres, people of all ages were finding a little patch of the wild and encouraging it to thrive.
We want adults to dance in the rain and make cheeky cocktails with natural ingredients, like elderflowers. Children and families can make wild works of art; go star-gazing or put down their technology for a whole day to tune into nature. Even people at work can find time for wildlife, by taking meetings outside in the sun and transforming work spaces into wildlife habitats.
But don’t take our word for it, here’s what a couple of people who took part last year had to say about the experience.
‘It really did focus you on fitting the outdoors into your usual daily routines,’ said 14-year-old Findlay Wilde. ‘I was really impressed by the encouragement the Cheshire Wildlife Trust gave and all the ideas they offered to people every day, ensuring that lots of people really got behind the idea. What I loved the most though was the way it encouraged families to enjoy nature together, enabling them to see things through each other’s eyes. As more and more generations become disengaged from nature, the Wildlife Trusts found a great way to pull everyone back together and simply enjoy the most basic, free and endless variety of entertainment the natural world gives us.’
And Steph Bossons, 24, said: ‘Taking part in 30 Days Wild made me appreciate some of the smaller things that I see and do every day much more because I was looking at them in a different light. One of my favourite things was listening to the little blue tits chirping for more food – I love watching them in our garden every year. However, my favourite experience had to be when I went out surveying for dormice and I got to see my first one.’
There lots of events lined up this June where you can flex your wild muscles. Here’s what’s on offer. To book, go online to cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk.
Open Farm Sunday
Sunday, June 5, 11am-4pm, Bickley Hall Farm, Bickley, Malpas, SY14 8EF
The gates to Bickley Hall Farm will be thrown open to the public as we take part in the LEAF’s (Linking Environment and Farming) national Open Farm Sunday event. Soak up the sights, sounds and scenery of our Trust’s 210-acre headquarters and discover more about the world of wildlife-friendly farming and conservation. Admission is free. Booking not necessary.
Delamere Wildlife Hunt
Sunday, June 19, 10am-1pm, Barnsbridge car park, Delamere Forest
This 5km guided walk around the meres and mosses of Delamere will uncover some of the special wildlife that live in these incredible habitats. Booking essential.
Cost: £5 adults/£3 children
Open Gardens for Wildlife: Fieldcrest
Sunday, June 19, 11am-4.30pm, Fieldcrest, Thornton Common Road, Thornton Hough, Wirral, CH63 0LT
This beautiful established garden opens to the public in support of Cheshire Wildlife Trust. Enjoy the abundance of wildlife friendly plants for birds and butterflies. Local wildlife and flower artist, Lesley Bowden, will also be in residence sketching the garden and offering advice to budding artists. Booking not necessary.
Cost: £4 per person, free to under 16s.
Workshop: Art on a Mossland
Wednesday, June 22, 10am-2.30pm, Barnsbridge car park, Ashton Road, Delamere, Forest Park, WA6 6NB
Calling all budding artists. Come and spend a day painting or sketching in Delamere, capturing the wonder of wildlife on paper at these beautiful mossland restoration sites with local artist Adele Owen. Please bring along art materials.
Cost: £25. Booking essential.
Delamere Evening Café Walk
Thursday, June 23, 7-9pm, Linmere Visitor Centre overflow car park, Delamere Forest, CW8 2JD
Take a stroll around Delamere’s best examples of meres and mosses, learn how they were formed and how Cheshire Wildlife Trust and the Forestry Commission are working together to restore these unique and fascinating wetlands. Round up the evening with a drink and cake at Delamere café.
Cost: £5 adults/£3 children. Booking essential.
Workshop: Photography on a Mossland
Friday, June 24, 10am-2.30pm, Delamere, Barnsbridge Car Park, Ashton Road, Delamere Forest Park, Cheshire, WA6 6NB
For all you budding photographers out there. Come and spend learning about wildlife photography with professional photographer and wildlife enthusiast Ron Thomas. Please bring along your own camera.
Cost: £25. Booking essential.
Workshop: Wild Art Dragonfly Craft
Saturday, June 25, 11am-2.30pm, Delamere, Barnsbridge Car Park, Delamere Forest, WA6 6NB
Come along for a day making oversized dragonflies and butterflies from willow and colourful paper. Hang your creatures in the forest as a temporary outdoor exhibition to celebrate the reintroduction of the rare white-faced darter dragonfly.
Cost: £3 for children. Booking essential.
Share your 30 Days Wild with CWT on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using #30DaysWild.
For more ideas go to www.mywildlife.org.uk/30dayswild