Go wild every day this June with Surrey Wildlife Trust
PUBLISHED: 10:13 10 June 2016 | UPDATED: 18:13 10 June 2016
Aimee Clarke, SWT
Surrey Wildlife Trust is encouraging everyone to embrace their wild side this June, by doing something wild every day for a month - and there's a free pack available to get you started
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine May 2016
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With new housing developments springing up around the county quicker than daisies just lately, it has perhaps never been more important to protect and engage with our wild spaces – which is why, here at Surrey Life, we are delighted to be supporting an exciting initiative by the national Wildlife Trusts.
In short, they are encouraging everyone from schools and businesses to individual families to do something wild every day for a month as part of their 30 Days Wild campaign. Dubbed ‘random acts of wildness’, these can be anything from taking a walk in the woods to brewing a dandelion tea to planting bee-friendly blooms.
And here in our county, our friends at Surrey Wildlife Trust, who write a monthly column for us in Surrey Life, say they are very much looking forward to this important event – and hope that many people locally will decide to take part.
“We are really excited about this initiative, which will hopefully see people across Surrey engaging with nature through ‘random acts of wildness’,” says Surrey Wildlife Trust’s Charlotte Magowan. “These can take a few seconds, a few minutes, or a whole day.
“The key thing is to get involved and hopefully, as part of that, to discover and enjoy some of our wonderful wild spaces across the county.”
Into the wild
One of 47 individual Wildlife Trusts across the country, Surrey Wildlife Trust is a registered charity concerned solely with the conservation of wildlife in Surrey. In our county alone, they manage more than 80 reserves, have more than 30,000 members and each year engage with more than 15,000 children and young people.
Now they hope that this month-long event will inspire even more people, both young and old, to enjoy the diverse landscapes across our county, which include heathlands, meadows, ancient woodlands, wetlands and grassland, and learn about the creatures that inhabit them.
“Taking part in the 30 Days Wild event is a great way to feel happier, healthier and more connected to nature this June,” continues Charlotte. “Whether you smell a wildflower, listen to birdsong or simply taste some wild blackberries, nature enhances all of our senses.
“Interestingly, when we ran the event in 2015, the Wildlife Trusts worked with the University of Derby to evaluate its impact. They found that making room for nature every day made people feel significantly better for months afterwards.”
And the good news is, getting involved couldn’t be easier. To sign up for a free 30 Days Wild pack, simply go online and visit wildlifetrusts.org/30DaysWild. Inside, you’ll receive a colourful wallchart to record your wild adventures; ‘random acts of wildness’ cards with bite-size bits of wild inspiration; a beautiful badge and funky stickers to show your love for the wild; and practical hints and tips on finding your ‘wild life’ with Surrey Wildlife Trust.
Plus, to be entered into an exclusive prize draw, enter the code LIFE1 on the website and you could win a midweek or weekend break for you and your family to Center Parcs (*see the website for full terms and conditions).
“Last year, thousands of people joined in, whether they lived in town centres or deep in the countryside,” adds Charlotte. “Adults danced in the rain and concocted cheeky cocktails out of elderflowers. Children and families made wild works of art, went stargazing or put down their technology for a whole day to tune into nature. And people at work held meetings outside and transformed neglected corners into wildlife habitats.”
So, wherever you live in the county, and whether young or old, there has never been a better time to let nature into your life by engaging with the county’s wild spaces; we’ll see you there!
• To find out more or download your free 30 Days Wild pack, visit wildlifetrusts.org/30DaysWild. There are also special packs for schools – so kids can go wild too. For more information on Surrey Wildlife Trust and how to become a member, see surreywildlifetrust.org
• To learn more about the wildlife in our county, and where to spot it, be sure to read Surrey Wildlife Trust’s pages in Surrey Life each month – and for a glimpse inside the area’s leading wildlife hospital, check out our Surrey Naturally column too. Never miss out, by subscribing to Surrey Life today!
Random acts of wildness in Surrey...
The Wildlife Trusts want to inspire people to carry out one million ‘random acts of wildness’ this June – little ways to connect with, experience and take action for nature. Here are a few suggestions of things that you might like to try…
• Enjoy your first cuppa of the day outside
• Go on a commuter safari – how many types of wildlife can you spot on the way to work?
• Take off your shoes and feel the grass beneath your toes
• Watch a wild webcam at lunchtime to peek at ospreys, peregrines and other rare wildlife
• Start your own compost heap
• Inhale a wild scent – a flower, plant or leaf
• Mark out a square metre in your garden and watch it grow wild
• Record birdsong, crickets or bees and set it as your ringtone
• Build a hedgehog highway by cutting a hole at the bottom of your garden fence
• Admire the setting sun – find a view to the west and enjoy the colours
Spread the word! Share your own ‘random acts of wildness’ for 30 Days Wild on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using the hash-tag #30DaysWild
More for Surrey's nature lovers...
• Sir David Attenborough on world wildlife conservation, the green belt and Richmond life
• Surrey Wildlife Trust has a monthly column in Surrey Life magazine
• Actress Virginia McKenna on 30 years of Born Free and the battle to save the Surrey Hills
• British Wildlife Centre, near Lingfield - a wild day out in Surrey
• The new WWF headquarters in Woking: one of the UK’s greenest buildings and a new Surrey attraction
• Nicholas Owen meets Wildlife Aid’s Simon Cowell
• Discover how the Shalford-based David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation is helping to protect the world’s endangered species