The Wildlife Trust’s #30DaysWild campaign is probably my favourite conservation campaign going. It’s so important that people appreciate and love nature, after all, it’s this connection that will enthuse everyone to save it! I tend to already spend a lot of my time in the great outdoors, but I love this campaign because it pushes me to get out even more, even if I feel like I don’t have time. There’s always time to squeeze some nature into your day!
There’s lots of ways to have random acts of wildness, purely to enjoy wildlife and the environment, or to help it at the same time! Did you take part in the 30 Days Wild Challenge? It’s not too late if not, why not pick a month and have ago yourself?
Day 1: For the first day of the challenge I had a very busy day in the wildlife area of the Suffolk Show, talking all things hedgehog! I managed to wiz round the trail and visit some of the cool animals Ipswich Wildlife Ranger David had brought along, including a lovely stag beetle, the first I’d ever seen!
Day 2: I decided to go in search of water voles! After work off I went and was rewarded by a very close encounter of a water vole munching on some vegetation around 1m away from me!
Day 3: This weekend I was heading to the Peak District on a rock climbing trip. I spent the evening star gazing whilst bivvying on a boulder overlooking the hills of Derbyshire (a bivvy is a water proof sleeve for your sleeping bag, so that you can sleep with your head fully out to appreciate the sky at night – glorious!)
Day 4: A beautiful sunrise from the bivvy boulder before starting the day!
Day 5: My garden is very wild! I decided to spend some time identifying the wildflowers in it. I was amazed by how many I found once I started looking, lots with such lovely and colourful flowers.
Day 6: A quick stop off at Bourne Park after work to wander around and, of course, climb a tree!
Day 7: A new Ipswich park for me at lunch time – a quick wander round Alexandra Park, admiring the water front view from the hill and watching a lovely flock of long tailed tits.
Day 8: Today I checked hedgehog footprint tunnels with Sidegate Primary wildlife ambassadors and inspected lots of bugs during a bug hunt! After work I headed to a new park in Ipswich (Gippeswyk park) and admired some lovely trees including a wonderous weeping willow billowing in the breeze.
Day 9: This morning I was up bright and early to check my garden moth trap. I always find this incredibly exciting as I never know what species I might find!
Day 10: I chased some very noisy oystercatchers down the estuary on a nice sunny walk, cooling my feet in the river and reading my book on the river beach! That evening I headed to our Big Wildlife Count Night Safari, admired whizzing bats, beautiful moths and lots of tiny toadlets before slinging my hammock up in a tree for the night.
Day 11: Today was an early start to check the mammal traps and footprint tunnels as part of our Big Wildlife Count at Kiln Meadow. Unfortunately no mammals in the traps, but we did get some small rodent footprint in our of our tunnels! Later we emptied the moth traps (some beautiful moths including a lovely buff tip) and headed out on a reptile walk where we were rewarded with tonnes of grass snakes, some slow worms and a lizard!
Day 12: A quick trip to my favourite river beach to admire the Orwell river views.
Day 13: I downloaded the Bee App for the Great British Bee Count and started uploading records after a lunch time survey in the office garden. I spotted red tailed bumblebees, carder bees and white-tailed bumblebee species.
Day 14. Today was a busy day of work before heading on a long old drive to North Wales for a holiday in the mountains! We didn’t arrive until late, so the days wild activity involved putting up a tent in the dark before admiring some MASSIVE slugs that were covering the outdoor sinks.
Day 15: A scramble up Tryfan mountain, admiring the mountainous views and finding unexpected wildlife, like a frog sitting on a rock. Some rock climbing in a nearby nature reserve created some very exciting encounters with Hummingbird Hawkmoths!
Day 16. A second ascent of Tryfan to try a new scramble route and a bivvy on a lovely mossy ledge near the base of the mountain, an evening spent admiring the mountainous views and atmospheric clouds billowing in as darkness fell!
Day 17. More mountain admiration as we spent the day scrambling the southern horseshoe ridgeline around the quieter peaks of Snowdonia.
Day 18. A lovely sea swim followed by some rock climbing, where I happened across a feral pigeon nest in a rock crevice up a cliff, containing two rather plump chicks!
Day 19. My first time in a bee suit as I was invited to check some bee hives. It was rather sweltering in the heat, but brilliant seeing all of the honey bees at work, and we even spotted the queens!
Day 20. This morning a baby starling came hurtling into the conservatory, flapping full pelt at the window to get out! I caught (quickly admired him up close!) then released it into the garden!
Day 21. Summer Solstice! I hadn’t made any plans for the solstice, so decided to camp out in the garden and admire the stars for the night!
Day 22. This morning I awoke in my sleeping bag lying amongst the long long grass in my garden! Another gloriously sunny day!
Day 23. I decided to join a Woodbridge Wildlife Group guided walk in blaxhall common to look for nightjars and glow worms. Unfortunately no glow worms found, but we did hear lots of mechanical churring from the nightjars, and saw one fly across the heath!
Day 24. An exploration of the Ipswich river footpath out of town. Here I found lots of urban wildlife, including these great cinnabar and drinker moth caterpillars.
Day 25. Today Team Hedgehog walked the Orwell 25 – a 25 mile walk along the Orwell Estuary, to raise awareness and funds for hedgehogs! We saw lots of house martins, a lesser stag beetle, heard turtle doves and I learnt how to identify two plants, Hare’s-foot Clover and Dittander.
Day 26. I was too achey to walk too far for todays random act of wildness, so I decided to admire the lovely blue sky and have a go at identifying the different cloud formations.
Day 27. Today I had a quick rummage around the garden and found lots of garden spider nests full of spiderlings, one in the grass with webbing wrapped round lots of grass and clover, and two in our lavender bush.
Day 28. A garden night safari! Out I went with my bat detector and torch to see what I could find. Unfortunately no bats seen (or heard), but I did find some cool spiders (that didn’t like the light), a large garden snail, and lots of micro moths amongst the long grass.
Day 29. After a day in the office I was heading to London to attend the People’s Trust for Endangered Species 40th birthday celebrations, so I had a quick trip to Hyde Park before the event. It was packed full of people, but it didn’t take long to find a wilder spot with longer grass and some lovely trees, including a lovely weeping beech tree!
Day 30. Today I headed to a nearby chalk pit to look for glow worms, and managed to find two glowing females! Beautiful!
June is now over, but I know that I’ll continue to have random acts of wildness! If you’d like to get involved, there are loads of great tips on the Wildlife Trusts website, here.