In the run up to #30dayswild in June, I’m sharing a series of blog posts on ideas for wild things to do during the month. There are lots of wild things you can do without even leaving your home, and I’ve got ideas for things you can do inside and out, whether you have a garden or not.
I’ll start with the things you can do inside. While we can hope for blue skies and sunshine for the entirety of June, the likelihood is that there will be some grey days, or some days when it’s just not feasible to get outside for whatever reason.
Read a wild book (this one could be done outside too!).
This can be a book to read yourself or a bedtime story for the kids. Some of my favourite wild books that I’ve read in the last few months have been the Wildlife Trust’s Seasonal anthologies of nature writing. I was given the set for Christmas and have been reading them seasonally, I’m looking forward to getting into the Summer anthology during #30dayswild. There are lots of beautiful, descriptive, awe inspiring books to get lost in, here’s a short list of some I recommend:
Wild bedtime stories include:
Owl Babies– Martin Waddell
The Very Hungry Caterpillar– Eric Carle
Watch a wild webcam.
Lots of fantastic conservation projects have webcams running so that you can follow the fortunes of the animals and particularly birds living there. I’ve been checking in on the webcams of the Dyfi Osprey Project for several years, following the story of Glesni and Monty as they arrive back from Africa each year and raise their chicks. Springwatch started this week and there are webcams to watch on their site, always exciting to see what is happening in between the programmes. Simon King has a range of webcams running from Somerset, to watch animals including bats, badgers and much more.
Watching television doesn’t seem to fit very well with this challenge, but I always find watching Springwatch inspiring and enlightening. During the last two years of #30dayswild I’ve multitasked and watched Springwatch while blogging about the challenge.
Take a wild quiz- look up nature facts online or in a book and quiz your family with them, or search online, there are lots of quizzes to be found to test your knowledge of wildlife.
Learn something new- look through a bird or plant ID book and learn how to identify a new species, read about a favourite animal or plant, read a wild magazine to expand your knowledge of the natural world.
It’s easier to get wild outside at home if you have a garden, but some of these ideas would work even if you haven’t. I lived in flats or shared houses for a long time, with no garden, and still grew bee friendly plants in window boxes, watched birds from my window, added a bee box to a window sill and fed the birds from a window mounted feeder. Cloud watching from a window works well too, in fact, if you’re high up in a flat you get an even better view!
Plant seeds for bees and plants for pollinators
The more you have in the garden to attract bees and other pollinators, the more life there will be. This could be a windowbox, hanging basket or pot full of pollinator friendly flowers or a full border bursting with life.
Let your lawn grow wild
Leave part of your lawn to grow wild- you’ll be surprised what grows. I have a variety of wildflowers growing in just one strip of longer grass, with bees buzzing on them and insects crawling between the stems.
Feed your garden wildlife
From birds to butterflies and mammal life too, your garden wildlife will appreciate extra food. One of my favourite things to do is to watch the birds visiting the garden, and since last summer, we have had hedgehogs visiting the garden. We put out food and water for them every night and have been able to watch them feed just outside our back door. It feels like a huge privilege to be part of a wild creatures life in some small way.
Follow and ID a bee
Look out for bees and follow them to see which plants they like, then see if you can ID what type of bee it is. Working out what type of bee it is and the differences between them can open up more of what is happening in your area to you- we have honey bees visiting, which made us think there must be hives nearby and by keeping a look out, we’ve worked out where they are. We also have several different types of bumble bees too.
Build a pond
Adding a pond to the garden will attract more wildlife, including drogonflies and amphibians, and doesn’t take long. Even a small bucket pond will add valuable wildlife habitat. Check out this Springwatch SOS for details of how to add one to your garden.
Leave water for wild creatures
Wild creatures need water, especially in warm weather- a bird bath, a bowl of water left out for noctural wildlife, or a bowl of water and stones to provide water for bees. These all add interest to the garden for us humans and a vital resource for our garden wildlife.
Dance in the rain
After a hot day when the rain starts to fall, there is little more pleasant than dancing in the rain, even if it is only briefly. You’ll feel wild, a bit silly and childish, but it’s fantastic! Take in a deep breath, smell the petrichor, a sharp tang as raindrops fall to the warm earth.
Watch the clouds
Look up, look at the clouds forming, remember childhood days looking at shapes in the clouds and imagining what they might be, or learn some cloud types and how to identify them or what they mean in terms of the weather ahead. I’ve long been a member of the Cloud Appreciation Society and love to watch the clouds.
Provide homes for nature
A pond will provide homes for nature, add bird boxes too, leave the grass long, add a bee lodge, a bug hotel, bat boxes, your garden can be a home to lots of creatures, and it’s great to make our homes a bit wild.
Make your garden wildlife friendly
If you want your garden to be wild, avoid slug pellets, pesticides and other chemical nasties. Leave gaps in your fences to let wildlife in, hedgehogs roam a long way and need small gaps to get between and into gardens. Avoid leaving out netting that wild animals can get caught in and check before your strim or trim to make sure you won’t harm a toad or hedgehog or disturb nesting birds.
What ideas do you have to go wild at home? I’d love to hear what you are planning to get up to during June to go wild.