The Wildlife Trusts’ annual nature challenge 30 Days Wild encourages people to do something wild every day for the month of June. According to the charity, more than 250,000 people took part in 2017, doing activities such as wild camping, nature walks, wildlife spotting and gardening.
A recent study also found that connecting with nature daily is good for health and wellbeing.
Get your free 30 Days Wild pack
Sign-up to 30 Days Wild and you’ll get a free pack with a booklet of inspirational ideas for Random Acts of Wildness, a recipe for wild strawberry and thyme ice cream, wildflower seeded paper to sow, a wall chart to record your activities and wild stickers. There are special packs for schools with outdoor lesson plans and giant Random Acts of Wildness cards. Business can join in too, with tailored download packs to bring the ‘wild’ to work.
You may have plenty of your own wild ideas, but here is a selection of 30 easy ways to connect with nature
Head to your local park and see how many birds you can spot/Credit: Getty images
Grab your binoculars and see how many different species of birds you can spot. This could be done in your local park, garden or if time allows, nature reserves are an ideal setting to test your bird spotting skills.
2. Explore Britain’s coastline or waterways by kayak or canoe
Head down to the sea or a river and try your hand at canoeing or kayaking. It’s a great way to exercise and can help you destress and reconnect with nature. You can do it on any stretch of water, but you can’t beat paddling along your local coastline.
Head down to your nearest stretch of water and jump into a canoe or kayak/Credit: Getty images
Get back to nature with a beautiful countryside walk. Walking is a great way to clear your head and explore your local landscape. With blooming flowers and buzzing wildlife, Spring is the perfect season to take a long walk in the countryside.
For more walking inspiration, check out our walking section
Observe your surroundings and see how many different types of flowers you can spot. You can do this in your garden, local park or if you have any nearby, country gardens are a great place to learn about local history and spot vibrant flowers.
With Spring comes beautiful yellow daffodils/Credit: Getty images
Shhh! You may have to be quiet, but try to spot some wildlife such as foxes and badgers. Try and learn more about the creatures that share your local area. Wildlife can be found just about everywhere, but most animals live in local forests and woodland.
Badgers have lived in the UK for over 250,000 years/Credit: Getty images
The British countryside is full of food you can safely and legally forage – provided you know what to look for. From pungent wild garlic in spring to elderflower and juicy blackberries, why not see what you can find. Searching for your next meal in the countryside will not only fill your belly, but will also increase your connection with the land. You could also try a foraging course.
N.B. Always be sure you can positively identify any plant before you pick it, and never eat anything you are unsure of. Make sure you leave plenty for wildlife (and other foragers!).
Wild Garlic is also known as Bear Leek and is mostly found in woodland and river banks/Credit: Getty images
7. Get on your bike
Pump up your tyres and peddle through the countryside. Cycling is a great way to reconnect with nature and get off the beaten track. Take a ride on a local cycle path, or if you’re a bit more ambitious, take a bikepacking trip across the country.
The countryside is home to many cycling paths with beautiful scenery/Credit: Getty images
8. Come on in, the water’s lovely! Go for a wild swim this summer
One a warm summer’s day, it doesn’t get much better than taking a dip in the sea, lake or river. If you live in a big city, don’t be put off as there are many wild swimming spots near London.
Wild swimming has grown in popularity in recent years/Credit: Getty images
9. Sleep under the stars
Pitch a tent and spend an evening beneath a starry night-sky. Wild camping allows you to escape the constant buzz of modern life and get back to basics. While not legal in some parts of the country, there are a number of smaller campsites in secluded locations, where you simply pitch up and savour the tranquility.
Grab your tent and sleeping back and embark on a wild-camping trip/Credit: Getty images
10. Ride a horse
There are many ways to explore the countryside, but horse riding is a fun way to explore – especially when it involves galloping across a sandy beach. Many stables offer beginner riding lessons or cross country rides, so why not give horse riding a go?
Explore the countryside atop a beautiful horse/Credit: Getty images
11. Gaze at the night sky
Cast your eyes to the skies and see how many different constellations you can see. Gaze at the stars from your back garden, or, for a really memorable experience, head to one of Britain’s national parks for stunning starry skies.
There are few more captivating sights than a starry night-time sky/Credit: Getty images
12. Fish for you supper
Cast your rod and reel in a catch in a lake or river. You may not always catch something, but the serene surroundings will certainly make up for it. Britain is home to many traditional, idyllic fishing villages.
Grab your fishing rod and cast it out at your nearest stretch of water/Credit: Getty images
It is common knowledge that any meal eaten outdoors tastes better. Try your hand at cooking outdoors over a roaring fire. Summer is the perfect season to gather family and friends for a beach barbecue. You could even cook a meal using something you’ve caught in the wild.
Impress family and friends by learning how to cook over an open-fire/Credit: Getty images
Try and catch a glimpse of those fluttering wings and see how many different kinds of butterflies you can spot. You can head down to your local park, or you can make your garden butterfly-friendly and they can visit you.
Britain inhabits over 60 species of colourful butterflies/Credit: Getty images
15. Capture the moment
Try and snap your best picture of the outdoors, whether it be of wildlife or a landscape. Not sure where to start? Enrol on a photography course that will show you how to snap that perfect countryside shot. If you’d like to share your photos to feature as our ‘Photo of the Day, simply email email@example.com or tag your image using #photooftheday on our social media channels.
Cherish your countryside adventures with high-quality photographs/Credit: Getty images
You don’t need to be a professional artist to try sketching your favourite scenery. Drawing is a fantastic way to examine the local landscape and take your mind off the day-to-day stresses of normal life. Sketching feathers is a great starting point for novices.
Nature has inspired amazing art for centuries/Credit: Getty images
Take a stroll through the forest and examine the trees to see how many different types you can find. You might be surprised to find the number of different kinds in your local woodland. You may even see one of Britain’s fascinating, famous trees.
Get to grips with Britain’s trees, they shape the country’s landscape/Credit: Getty images
Track down a maze near you and zig zag your way through it. Navigate through hedges and avoid dead-ends to find the elusive centre.
Get lost in a maze and try to navigate your way to the centre/Credit: Getty images
Drift through the country’s charming canals aboard a narrowboat. Observe the wildlife and surroundings whilst drifting down the stream. Occasionally step off and try some of Britain’s best riverside pubs.
There are few better ways to explore the country than by riverboat/Credit: Getty images
If you’re feeling brave, take a walk through Britain’s most haunted places. Discover the fascinating history behind these ghostly spots. Whether there’s any truth to these stories is up you, take a walk through your local forest or a haunted castle and make your mind up for yourself.
Britain is filled with places with creepy backstories/Credit: Getty images
21. Stone balancing
Create a natural stone tower that washes away with the tide/Credit: Getty
“In nature there is no such thing as imperfect balance”, says stone balancing pioneer Adrian Grey. The art is simple: Head into the countryside, find some stones and then stack them one on top of the other. The stone piles look beautiful against a natural backdrop, but it’s the process of building the structures that brings most joy. Plunge your hands into a gurgling river, its water cold around your arms, and pull a stone from the bed. Assess its shape and feel its weight, then position it on another. Even the smallest creations will bring you closer to nature.
22. Cliff jumping and coasteering
Love the feeling of an adrenaline rush? Dive in and take things to a whole new level with some cliff diving and coasteering. Scramble along the cliff edges and then test your head for heights by springing off the cliff edge and free-falling into the ocean. There are a number of excellent outdoor centres across the UK which run courses, so why not give it a go?
Feeling really brave? You can even go cliff camping, which involves sleeping in the wild in a portaledge tent!
Have a go at cliff diving if you’re feeling brave/Credit: Getty images
Want to get up close and personal with farm animals? Take your family on a farm stay and learn about the animals and their life on the farm. You might even get a chance to meet some new-born lambs.
Take a trip to a farm stay in Spring to see newborn lambs/Credit: Getty images
24. Take a bark rubbing
Use charcoal or crayon to take a bark rubbing/Credit: Getty
One of the most effective ways to understand the incredible diversity of nature is to do a bark rubbing. Pick a tree, hold a piece of paper against its bark and rub it with a soft pencil, pastel or piece of charcoal. Observe your rubbing, taking note of the various shapes and questioning their existence. You needn’t know the answers – simply thinking about the physiognomy of your subject matter will increase your connection with it.
Discover more ways to be present in nature with our A to Z of Mindfulness.
Enjoy hiking, the countryside and treasure hunting? This might be the hobby for you. Download the free app and find one of many secret geocaches hidden in the countryside. Read our guide on how to go geocaching and start hunting.
Download the app and start hunting geocaches today/Credit: Getty images
Visit the countryside that inspired your favourite literary novels such as Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice. Put yourself in the shoes of your favourite characters and immerse yourself in their fictional world. Are you mad for Shakespeare? Discover where the Bard set his most most acclaimed plays.
Read your favourite novel in the place where it’s set/Credit: Getty images
27. Go rockpooling
Discover the abundance of wildlife that lurks in the shallows/Credit: Getty
Rockpooling is a fantastic activity that people of all ages can enjoy. Summer is a great time to explore rockpools along the coast. Leaning over the small pools of water that form on the rocky shoreline, you can find a huge range of creatures that you might otherwise never know were there
Let nature inspire you and write a poem about your favourite countryside spot. Consider your senses and the way the surroundings are impacting them. Try to channel these feelings into a poem, it’s a really creative way to express your love for the countryside. If you’re struggling for inspiration, take a walk through some of Britain’s best poetry walks.
Get creative and write a poem about your favourite locations/Credit: Getty images
Get up early and experience sunrise, then watch it set later that evening. Wherever you are, set your alarm clocks early in June to see the Summer Solstice, Stonehenge isn’t the only place to see it.
Marvel at the beauty of the countryside at sunrise and sunset/Credit: Getty images
Visit a local farm that grows its own fruit and spend the day picking some of nature’s goodness. Take the fruit home and use it to make jams, cakes or something else that’s equally as delicious. There are plenty of strawberry farms where you can pick your own juicy berries.
Strawberries are a delicious summertime treat/Credit: Getty image
Contributors: Charlie House, Kelsey Rees, Danny Graham and Carys Matthews
Main image: Getty