Why I’m taking part in #30dayswild 2017

This will be my third year taking part in #30dayswild and blogging all about it.

Last year I completed 101 random acts of wildness during June and my passion for the wild has not stopped there. I’ve stayed wild all year long, trying to fit in some wild moments in every day.

Since last year’s challenge we’ve welcomed hedgehog visitors to our garden, a really delightful addition to our visiting wildlife and still exciting when they appear every evening, although they’ve now been visiting regularly for nearly a year with just a short gap for hibernation.

I’ve swum in the sea, camped in Devon woods, visited nature reserves, walked along the river, volunteered with the National Trust and a local conservation group, read lots of amazing nature writing, spent time getting to know Knepp Wildland Project in Sussex, spent New Year’s Day walking along a very wet South Devon beach, watched the fallow deer rut, listened to nightjars sing and watched the seasons change.

This year I’m challenging myself to walk 1000 miles, which has got me outdoors more, seeing tiny differences day to day and being much more aware of the seasons. I’m also trying to spot 200 different species of bird’s this year, and I’m learning a lot in the process.

In April we went on an amazing wildlife watching trip to Scotland, visiting the Rhins of Galloway, Loch Lomond, Mull, and the Cairngorms and Speyside. It was wonderful, we saw so many fabulous birds and animals, some of the highlights were picnicking with puffins on Lunga, watching eagles on Mull, an early morning start to see black grouse lekking, red squirrels, crossbills and so much more. It was a real trip of a lifetime.

After such a wild year I’m feeling much more in tune with nature and I’m learning all the time. But, I’m still stuck in an office most of the time, it’s easy to lose that connection. I know that when I’m feeling less connected to nature, when it’s been a run of grey days and I’ve lost the inclination to get outside, I feel worse.

Being inside all the time makes me feel lethargic, lacking in energy, uninspired and it affects every aspect of my life. Without that time outside, a lunchtime walk, a few minutes in the woods, I’m less productive at work, I’m snappier, so it affects my relationships, and I feel less like myself. Spending time in a green space or even losing myself in a book about the wild is the perfect antidote to everyday stress and anxieties.

#30dayswild is a chance to be inspired, to learn, to connect with likeminded people and to see what amazing wild places and wildlife people see and visit during the month. The last two years I have come out of the month brimming with energy and full of ideas.

I’m planning some wild crafting and will be sharing new wild facts that I learn during the month as well as my random acts of wildness. I have two exciting trips planned- a weekend away to Knepp Wildland Safaris in West Sussex, staying in a bell tent at the start of the month and exploring the rewilded estate. At the end of the month I have a week away on a National Trust working holiday, volunteering to carry out wildlife surveying at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire. And in between, who knows, lots of spontaneous wild times!

I can’t wait to see what everyone gets up to during June. I’ll be blogging about my own random acts of wildness on here, as well as sharing what I’m up to on twitter @scruffybum and on Instagram @whatnaomididnext It’s going to be an amazing month, strap in and enjoy a wild ride!

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