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Sunshine for the soul: 30 Days Wild benefits health and wellbeing

ByEmily

May 17, 2017

This June, it’s all about nature – for everybody, everywhere, every day with The Wildlife Trusts’ annual challenge: 30 Days Wild

 

People 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.

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. The Wildlife Trusts care for many – and they can be visited and enjoyed.

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 now at http://www.teeswildlife.org/what-we-do/inspiring-people-to-take-action-for-nature/30-days-wild/ 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.

Steve Ashton, Tees Valley Wildlife Trusts’ People and Wildlife Manager says:

“Why not take the opportunity to visit one of the Trust’s Nature reserves as part of #30DaysWild or join in one of our many events – more details can be found at www.teeswildlife.org. We would also like to see what you get up to, so share you pictures using #teeswildlife and #30DaysWild so get out there and do something WILD.”

Lucy McRobert at The Wildlife Trusts says:

“Last year thousands of people carried out 1.8 million Random Acts of Wildness during 30 Days Wild. 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 we hope that the connections people make with the wild around them will ensure that it is better protected for the future too.”

By Emily