A record number of around 430,000 people are, so far, set to participate in The Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild challenge which begins on Monday 1st June – and over 1100 care homes have registered to take part, twice as many as last year.
30 Days Wild is the UK’s biggest nature challenge and encourages everyone to do something that connects them to nature every single day during the month of June. Recent research* shows that taking part in 30 Days Wild not only significantly increases people’s happiness, health and sense of nature – but that these positive increases are sustained beyond the life of the challenge – for a minimum of two months after it is over. The people who benefit most are those who have a relatively weak connection with nature at the start.
The Wildlife Trusts provide free online activity packs to help participants of all ages find new, easy ways of noticing nature – even while social distancing. Special resources are available for care home residents to help them enjoy their grounds; these were developed after a Derbyshire care home group discovered significant benefits when their residents’ lives included more time outdoors, looking at and talking about nature and wildlife. Another pack has been created to help elderly people explore their wild side from the comfort of their own homes.
Louise Baker of Your Health Limited says:
"The benefits of 30 Days Wild have been far-reaching for our staff and residents and have lasted well beyond June. Residents have been reminded of their own wild childhoods, reminiscing and telling stories of summers gone by. The sensory benefits of nature, of soothing scents and textures, have really inspired us too. Staff and residents can engage in meaningful conversations and feel much closer to one another. We have also noticed that residents are less inclined to anxiety when they're engaged with nature; nature has a habit of calming the soul and does wonders for residents' mental wellbeing.
“We're taking part in 30 Days Wild for our third consecutive year and cannot wait to get stuck into the amazing activities we have planned. Last year was particularly wild, as residents planted, puddle-jumped, cloud-spotted and bird-watched. Staff and residents had picnics and threw seedballs, created wild art and made bird feeders. This year we have even more ideas, which will span a whole month of wildness.
“We are thrilled that so many care homes are joining us this year, and cannot wait to hear about their adventures. 30 Days Wild inspires us all to take notice of what is around us, to slow down and quite literally smell the flowers. Residents in care homes are often prone to feelings of loneliness and isolation, however many people may surround them. By engaging with nature, residents are connected to one another, with mutual enjoyment and wonder. They're also reminded of so many memories, which may be jogged by certain sounds, scents and textures. 30 Days Wild is a fabulous excuse to get outside and experience the fresh air – it’s too good to pass up!"
Leanne Manchester, Communications Manager of The Wildlife Trusts, says:
“30 Days Wild is fun for all ages and we provide ideas and activities for people whatever their circumstances – for individuals, families, schools and businesses. Last year we experimented with an activity pack for care homes and we were really delighted that a large number were interested. So many of us are seeking solace in nature during the pandemic but even we were surprised – and thrilled – that double the number of care homes have signed up to do 30 Days Wild this June.
“We have also developed a new guide to going wild for people supporting elderly relatives at home – to help them experience the wild, even if they’re stuck indoors. 30 Days Wild helps people get closer to nature and enjoy the small, everyday things.”
Sign-up, download the inspiration and get ready to share your daily #30DaysWild now! www.wildlifetrusts.org/30DaysWild
*Recent research: The Wildlife Trusts and University of Derby evaluated the benefits of daily nature contact with 1,000 people over five years of 30 Days Wild – the findings are online here.
Images are available for use with this story from this DROPBOX. All images are for one-off use only in connection with this story and The Wildlife Trusts. All photographers must be credited please. The dropbox contains a range of activity materials including the care home pack and an additional ‘going wild’ guide designed for people who want to help elderly relatives get involved at home.
- Kirsty Paterson firstname.lastname@example.org 01636 670019
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Participants 2020 estimates:
We estimate that, so far, 427,131 people are set to participate. This is a conservative estimate and we expect this number to rise over the next few days. It is based on:
- Individuals/families: 101,779 people (based on 78,292 sign-ups at 1.3/household)
- Schools: 266,192 people (based on 10,045 school class sign-ups with average of 26.5 kids per primary school class)
- Care homes: 41,883 people (based on 1,157 care homes with average of 36.2 per care home, using data from CQC)
- Businesses: 17,277 people (based on 574 businesses with 30.1 employees, average from 2017 30DW survey with participants)
Over a million people have taken part in 30 Days Wild since it started in 2015
The number of people participating in 30 Days Wild grew to over 400,000 in 2019. Many people now look forward to taking part in 30 Days Wild every year – so we have serial 30 Days Wild groupies! We have worked out that over a million people have taken the challenge so far. (We took the number of sign ups that have registered for more than one year (17,903) and worked that out as a percentage of all sign ups (238,500). It’s about 7.5%. And 7.5% of all total participants over the five years is about 85,000. So total number of participants, minus 85,000 = 1,010,590.)
30 Days Wild has attracted well-known supporters: TV presenters Ellie Harrison, Monty Don and Dr Amir Khan, The Vamps’ James McVey, fitness blogger Zanna van Dijk, and Birdgirl – Mya-Rose Craig, have lent their support to The Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild challenge – please see quotes in the Editors’ notes of this release.
The Wildlife Trusts
The Wildlife Trusts believe that people need nature and it needs us. We are here to make the world wilder and to make nature part of everyone’s lives. We are a grassroots movement of 46 charities with more than 850,000 members and 38,000 volunteers. No matter where you are in the UK, there is a Wildlife Trust inspiring people and saving, protecting and standing up for the natural world. With the support of our members, we care for and restore special places for nature on land and run marine conservation projects and collect vital data on the state of our seas. Every Wildlife Trust works within its local community to inspire people to create a wilder future – from advising thousands of landowners on how to manage their land to benefit wildlife, to connecting hundreds of thousands of school children with nature every year. wildlifetrusts.org