30 days wild- a look back at Week 2 and the benefits of the 30dayswild challenge

We’re now almost half way through our 30 days wild challenge. We’ve had a busy week at work, but have found time to fit in wild moments and to start a project to mark our 30dayswild challenge. I’ve been taking a closer look at the Wildlife Trust’s suggestions for 101 Random Acts of Wildness, and we’ve ticked some of them off the list this week.

A peaceful spot to meditate
A peaceful spot to meditate

Day 8– “meditate in a wild place” I spent my lunchtime in The Dell at Braywick Park, meditating in a quiet corner, listening to the bird song all around me.

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Day 9– we had an upsetting day today with our neighbour putting up spikes on her fence to deter the birds, a reminder that sometimes it is not easy being green. We relaxed and calmed down with some wild colouring. I have a positive update to this situation- although I fear that this particular neighbour is a lost cause, we noticed that another neighbour has a newly installed bird box on their house, adding to the wildlife friendliness of the street.

Venus and Saturn are just visible in the sky
Venus and Saturn are just visible in the sky

Day 10– “inhale a wild scent” and “admire the setting sun” We spent the late evening in the garden taking in the scents of the plants around us, the honeysuckle smells particularly wonderful at dusk, a rich, sweet fragrance. The sunset was beautiful, and we were able to spot Venus and Saturn in the night sky, as the sun sank below the horizon. “Challenge yourself to learn”, today we also started using the ispiny app to learn more bird songs. I’m already starting to notice different birds singing around me.

Poppies growing on a sand pile in the depot
Poppies growing on a sand pile in the depot

Day 11– “Discover urban wildness” today I took time on my lunchtime walk to notice the wildness in suburbia, from poppies growing on the sand pile in the depot where I work to the bindweed curling round the hedge at the local supermarket, wildness has a foothold.

A honeybee
A honeybee

Day 12– Today I took a closer look at bees, thanks to a tiny honey bee that expired in our garden. We also received our membership pack from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust with lots of information to help us give more support to bees.

Plant borage for bees
Plant borage for bees

Day 13– “Grow borage for bees” Finally the hunt for borage was over, and we’re now growing borage for bees in the garden. I also had the chance to see some native and more exotic birds of prey up close, while helping to run the Bracknell Show, a community event organised by Bracknell Forest Lions Club, which I am a member of.

The nest is ready
The nest is ready

Day 14– We built a bumblebee nest, inspired by a Springwatch SOS and started a project in our garden to mark our 30dayswild challenge. I think our project counts as “restore a place for wildlife”, we’re removing about half of our lawn and planting pollinator friendly plants to provide more interest and support for bees, butterflies and other insects.

I am really enjoying the challenge of 30dayswild. My husband and I were already very interested in nature and conservation, in fact we met volunteering for the National Trust, carrying out maintenance on the south west coast path at Golden Cap. We’ve volunteered together for the National Trust with our local volunteer group and on working holidays and with Surrey Wildlife Trust on Chobham Common (although not as often as we’d like to!). We love to walk and get outside at weekends, and felt like we were already pretty connected with the natural world. However, sometimes in the week, there was a disconnect from how we were living at the weekend. It’s so easy to drive to and from work on autopilot, spend the day in the office in front of a screen and then in the evening, chores done, collapse on the sofa in the front of the TV.

This month, this hasn’t been the case, the TV has still been on (we couldn’t miss Springwatch!), but even then, it’s been TV that we’ve engaged with, that has inspired us to act, to want to get out there and experience nature in different ways. We’ve spent more time outside, the warm weather and long evenings have helped with this of course, but I’ve also spent more lunchtimes out of doors, swapping lunch at my desk for time in the park.

I’m finding that being jointly involved in the challenge with my husband has brought us closer together in this shared endeavour, connecting in a different way. We’re talking lots about how we can improve the garden for the wild creatures that visit us, letting each other know about the things we’ve seen, and how that’s made us feel, discussing facts we’ve picked up and articles we’ve read. We’re spending more meaningful time together, not just in front of the TV, phones in hand, glancing between screens, but outdoors, appreciating our garden and wildlife and sharing the enjoyment with each other.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the challenge. It’s been great to see what other people have been up to on Facebook and through reading some of the wonderful blogs that are being posted.

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