So for the whole month of June we have been doing a 30 days wild challenge from the Sussex Wildlife Trust. It was quite simple really. Get out each day and spend some time in the wild. This didn’t have to be in the countryside, it was about noticing the wildlife around you in the town or city as well.
The thinking behind it was that spending a bit of time each day with nature makes you feel a bit happier and healthier. The University of Derby and the Wildlife Trusts have been working on some research together to try and support this idea. We had to fill in a ‘wild’ questionnaire before we started and we came out pretty high, as 90% wild. This wasn’t much of a surprise but actually taking a bit more time to think about our ‘random acts of wildness’ was great fun. The kids got really involved too, partially helped by the pack that the Sussex Wildlife Trust sent out to get us started (it had stickers and a chart – can’t really go wrong!).
Anyway I posted all our random acts of wildness on my social media channels, with some interesting facts about the things we found (@the_life_scientifique on Instagram is probably the best to view them all on), but thought I should record a few of our family favourites on here:
Rainbow Squares This was an idea from the Sussex Wildlife Trust to find something each day that was a different colour of the rainbow. As you can image these mostly ended up being flowers but the kids really enjoyed going on hunts to find the different colours. It also meant we spend a bit of time working out what colour indigo and violet really were!
Growing wildflowers Again another helping hand here from the Wildlife Trust as they sent out a packet of wildflower seeds with the starter pack but M couldn’t wait to plant them. She also spent a lot of time “just checking on my wildflower seeds!”. Ours were just planted in a pot on our balcony and am delighted to say are beginning to grow, despite my fears that they may have been slightly over loved (and watered!) to start with.
Bees, bees, bees We have a lot of love for our little fuzzy friends already as my dad keeps bees. However the kids spent a lot of time watching bees buzzing around flowers and also pretending to be them, much to the delight of a group of people at Nyman’s! A particular highlight for M though was spotting the pollen baskets on the bee’s legs.
Following ants Another one the kids loved even more than I thought they would, especially A. We did lots of our ant watching on little walls around the streets where we live. We followed them to an apple core, up a tree and even up M’s sleeve (she was delighted!)
Things we found: newt tadpoles, bones on the beach, aphids, a green moth, a bird’s egg, fungi, an orchid (that wasn’t very rare!), seeds that were like snow, caterpillars, and a red bug.
Other things we loved: cloud watching, lying under trees, picnics, exploring woods, smelling flowers, splashing in puddles, country walks, playing in mud, and paddling in the sea.
I would highly recommend getting a little bit more ‘wild’ in your life and trying to spend a bit more time each day with nature, even if it’s only for 5 minutes. It is amazing what you might discover…