I am delighted to announce that I have successfully complete the 30 Days Wild Challenge, which was held throughout June 2019. The Wildlife Trusts have run this UK-wide event for five years now. Their aim is to inspire people to do something wild every day for 30 days, whether for a few seconds or a few hours. An estimated 400,000 people have taken part this year, including 800 people in my local area of Newcastle, Northumberland and North Yorkshire.
I signed up for the event through Northumberland Wildlife Trust and promptly received my starter pack in the post. The ‘101 Random Acts of Wildness’ leaflet was particularly useful for providing inspiring ideas, some of which were included on my wild wall planner. I have proudly worn my stickers to promote the event and to simply enjoy the beautiful designs – you’re never too old to get excited about stickers apparently!
Some plans haven’t gone smoothly. The EcoNorth Team Picnic (with bare feet optional but encouraged) was sadly derailed by stormy weather and I suffered my first tick bite whilst out rambling in North Yorkshire.
Taking part in the event has been a lot of fun. I have visited new places and made discoveries I would otherwise have missed. Being more focused on nature has also had a positive impact on my well being. The way forward is definitely more fresh air and wildlife with less concrete and IT devices.
My top five favourite wild experiences include:
- Walking the Pilgrim’s Way, barefoot across the rather slippery mudflats, from Beal to Holy Island.
- Establishing a wild area in the corner of my garden, using resources from the ground around EcoNorth’s office in Cramlington such as leaves, pine cones and twigs, recently cut grass, a sprinkling of berries and a couple of feathers.
- Coming across a still bloody and rather wobbly newborn calf learning to stand, whilst rambling from Hole of Horcum to Thornton le Dale via Bridlestones.
- Spotting a mouse munching on a leaf in the undergrowth during a lunchtime stroll.
- Planting beautifully scented lavender to attract bees into my garden.
Whilst participating in this challenge, I have been inspired to think about my own impact on the world around me.
One of my more practical wild acts was to litter pick in Cramlington. This was very easy to accomplish as there was so much rubbish left lying, particularly plastic. However, it was disheartening to see so much mess and potential harm to wildlife. I am now committed to reducing my own use of plastic, as well as conducting regular litter picking sessions in my local area. If anyone would like to join me, please feel free to contact me.
Don’t worry if you missed out. There’s always next year to get involved. In fact, why not simply go wild right now?