This year I have been delighted to have been involved with the #30DaysWild challenge. Run by The Wildlife Trusts, the idea is that every day throughout June you do one wild thing. This could be as simple as watching the clouds pass by overhead, to growing flowers, to surveying the birds that visit your garden or local park.
Before starting I completed a short questionnaire which considered how aware and close to nature I was. My awareness was high but my connection was mid-range, and this was something that I wanted to concentrate on through the month.
The 1st of June came and I started making a real effort to stop and notice things more. Seemingly simple things like listening to the rustle of the wind in the leaves, hearing bird song all around us, observing daisies which unfurl during the course of a day. I took a real interest not only in the natural world around me, but also in the photos and observations of others taking part. I turned to books, natural history programmes, pod casts, C.D.s, news articles and magazines to learn more. I tried to absorb the life all around us and think more clearly about my role in looking after it.
Coincidentally, June has been a big month for our garden. We said goodbye to a skip load of concrete and decorative stones, and welcomed 50 square meters of turf, some mini bark chip, and wide borders for more plant life. Our wildflower area is blossoming, with flower after flower coming through. Our bird table is stable and is replenished frequently with fresh seed and suet pellets. We have a low level water bowl and will invest in a tall bird bath as the plants grow, to keep our feathered friends safe from ground predators. Our bug hotel is nearly full with bark, twigs, stones, dry leaves and straw. A new addition at the far end of the garden is a water butt, and in time I hope that it will be joined by a compost bin of some description.
Away from the back garden we have had other successes. Our three windowsill strawberry plants are happily producing delicious fruit, as are our six tomato plants which are enjoying their sunny position on our balcony. The grass on our front garden is growing well from seed, there is a ground level water bowl for any passing creatures in need of a drink, and we have carefully tended our front borders which are full of colour and have attracted many butterflies. I have shown our boys how to use their wildlife and bird books to identify different species. These have proved useful on family excursions too.
All in all, I consider that we have had a very successful month in bringing ourselves closer to nature and feeling more connected. I am delighted that this has proved to be an activity that all members of our family have enjoyed, and I hope that this is the foundation for continuing a lifelong positive relationship with our wonderful natural world.