How to bring more nature into your day and take part in 30 Days Wild

Whether you go for a wildlife walk, forage for your supper or simply sit by a river, do something wild each day this June to celebrate 30 Days Wild. To help you get started, here’s our pick of 30 easy ideas to help you connect with nature each day.

The Common blue butterfly, Polyommatus icarus

Please ensure that if you do any of the below activities that all government coronavirus social distancing rules are followed. To stay up-to-date with the latest government guidance, visit: gov.uk

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Find out how to take part in the Wildlife Trusts ’30 Days Wild’ campaign and find wild inspiration with our pick of 30 easy ways to connect with nature.

What is 30 Days wild?

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 2019, doing activities such as wild camping, nature walks, wildlife spotting and gardening.

How to take part in 30 Days Wild

Sign-up to 30 Days Wild and you’ll get a free pack with a booklet of inspirational ideas, a wall chart to record your activities and wild stickers. Share your wild moment on social media using the hashtag #30DaysWild.

There are also 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.

Our round-up of 30 easy ways to connect with nature and have a wild experience.

 Try birdwatching from your garden window

Boy bird watching Getty
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 from your window.

RSPB

The RSPB has set up the #BreakfastBirdwatch, a daily hour on weekdays between 8-9am where supporters and the wider public can share photos and videos of their garden birds. There will also be different species and themes to focus on, such as drawing and poetry.

The Self-Isolating Bird Club

TV presenter, author and naturalist Chris Packham has set up The Self-Isolating Bird Club on Twitter and Facebook, so that birdwatchers can share their local sightings virtually.


Listen to birdsong and try to identify each species

Stonechat bird
Stonechat birds are found more widely in winter and have short robin-like tails/Credit: Getty

In Britain we are blessed with an incredible variety of beautiful bird song in spring. It’s mostly the male birds that sing and they do this to demonstrate how fit and healthy they are to potential mates and also tell rival males that they have secured a territory so “keep off”.


Learn how to identify coastal flowers

Cornish coastal scenery at Porthmeor Cove near Zennor, UK Getty
Cornish coastal scenery at Porthmeor Cove near Zennor/Credit: Getty
Getty

Get to know the pretty summer blooms found on our coasts, cliffs, dunes and shores with our expert guide to coastal flowers found in the UK.


Go for a walk in the countryside

Couple walking on cliff path
Walking the coastal path (Getty)

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.


Take a virtual escape to the countryside

Roseberry Topping
Rosebery Topping ©Getty
Getty

Not everyone has access to the countryside or may be shielding at home. To help, we’ve started a new Virtual Escapes series to help you enjoy the outdoors from the comfort of your home and provide a bit of inspiration for future trips.

In the first in the series, experience the sights and sounds of spring in the countryside with our stay-at-home guide to the most beautiful hills in the UK.


Try flower spotting

Flower spotting Getty
With Spring comes beautiful yellow daffodils/Credit: Getty images

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 (when they safely reopen) are a great place to learn about local history and spot vibrant flowers.


Watch wildlife in your garden or local area

Badger Getty
Badgers have lived in the UK for over 250,000 years/Credit: Getty images
With spring underway and warmer temperatures, there’s more wildlife to see in your garden, or locally during your daily exercise. See how many different species you can spot and enjoy seeing spring wildlife come to life.

Watch wildlife webcams

Water vole. © WildlifeKate
Water vole. © WildlifeKate

Watch livestreams of wildlife around the UK and Ireland, thanks to the work of conservationists. Enjoy views of nesting birds and the hatching of their chicks, plus feeding mammals such as badgers and squirrels.


Record your local wildlife

Female birdwater ©Getty
Contribute to science by recording your local wildlife/Credit:Getty

Recording the wildlife you spot in your garden or local area can help improve your wildlife knowledge, provide useful data for conservationists and be a very satisfying hobby.

Learning to record the wildlife you see and hear in the natural world can help conservationists build a bigger picture of how species are faring in your part of the country.

Why not become a wildlife recorder and help add to what we already know? You just need to remember to keep note of what you see in your garden, local park or just from your kitchen window.

How to record your local wildlife


Forage in your local area

Woman foraging for elderflower
Just take a few flowerheads per elder tree – leave some to develop into berries. (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, also known as ramson or bear's garlic grows in abundance in many German forests in springtime.

Make elderflower cordial

Elderflower cordial in bottle
Make a refreshing summer drink – simply add water to dilute/Credit: Getty

Lacy white elderflower heads dot the emerald hedgerows of Britain at this time of the year. Elderflowers are the last of the great tree flower displays of the year. The umbrellas of dense, tiny white flowers send out an alluring sweet smell that can be captured in drinks such as cordial and champagne.


Go for a bike ride

Adult male and boy cyclists Getty
The countryside is home to many cycling paths with beautiful scenery/Credit: Getty images

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 and after coronavirus restrictions have been lifted you could even take a bikepacking trip across the country.

bikerideGettyImages-160014480-28329-f685f58

Go for a wild swim

Girl jumping into a river Getty
Wild swimming has grown in popularity in recent years/Credit: Getty images

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.


Sleep under the stars – camp in your back garden

Father and son looking outside tent in garden at dusk shining torch into the distance.
Father and son looking outside tent in garden at dusk shining torch into the distance.

Pitch a tent and spend an evening beneath a starry night-sky. Although it is not possible to visit campsites or wild camp at the moment, why not pitch a tent in your back garden or even in your home for a small taste of adventure.

When coronavirus restrictions are eased 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.

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Get crafty – create nature inspired arts and crafts

girl drawing a rainbow her desk
Children will love creating a nature inspired rainbow to hang in the window/Credit: Getty

Help the wildlife in your garden

Young girl watering sunflowers in garden
Sunflowers are fun and quick to grow making them an ideal gardening project for children/Credit: Getty

Summer is nearly here and with the recent warmer temperatures, there’s more wildlife to see in your garden, or locally during your daily exercise. See how many different species you can spot and learn how you can make your garden more wildlife-friendly with our guides below.


Gaze at the night sky

Stargazing
There are few more captivating sights than a starry night-time sky/Credit: Getty images
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.

Improve your nature identification skills

Sunlight though trees in the New Forest
Learn how to identify different tree species/Getty Images

Learn how to identify local plants, insects and wildlife in your local area. You could create a journal to track your findings.


Cook or eat a meal outdoors

Fergus Collins enjoys a picnic in an Abergavenny field with a view of the town behind him
Editor Fergus find the perfect picnic spot/Credit: Getty
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 for a garden barbecue. You could even cook a meal using something you’ve caught in the wild or simply enjoy a meal or picnic sat outdoors.

Listen to podcasts

Woman in headphones listening music in nature and at the mountain (intentional pale color style)
Escape to the countryside with a podcast!/Credit: Getty

Make the most of your extra spare time to listen to some of the interesting wildlife, nature and science podcasts freely available You can listen to podcasts anywhere so why not make it a wilder experience by listening outdoors. This handy BBC Wildlife Magazine guide, explains how to listen to podcasts.

Don’t forget to tune into the BBCCountryfile Magazine ‘plodcast’

In each episode of the BBC Countryfile Magazine podcast, we go on a great escape into beautiful landscapes where we look for great wildlife, explore curious historic sites, meet interesting rural people and discuss the big issues affecting the countryside.

Catch up on each season and enjoy a countryside escape

The podcast is available on AcastiTunesApple Podcasts and most major podcast apps


Try butterfly surveying

Butterfly-spotting-93911169-7cae56a
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.

Capture the moment

Woman photographing view, standing on north shore of East Loch Tarbet, North Harris, Outer Hebrides, Scotland
Capture the moment by taking shots of wildlife or the landscape/Credit: Getty
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 photos@countryfile.com or tag your image using #photooftheday on our social media channels.

Sketch the landscape

Sketching outdoors Getty
Nature has inspired amazing art for centuries/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.

Join the Countryfile Art Club

Seagull on rock Countryfile
Take inspiration from the Countryfile Archies/Credit: BBC Images

Calling all budding artists – join the Countryfile Art Club and celebrate the British countryside through art and the Countryfile archive. Plus learn how to improve your artistic skills with tips and tricks from professional artists.


Learn how to identify trees

Trees-surveying-661760402-63f9060
Get to grips with Britain’s trees, they shape the country’s landscape/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.


Take a bark rubbing

600-09013880© Raimund Linke Model Release: No Property Release: No Moss covered ground and tree trunks in a conifer forest with the sun shining through the trees at Loch Awe in Argyll and Bute in Scotland

Moss covered ground and tree trunks in a conifer forest with the sun shining through the trees at Loch Awe in Argyll and Bute in Scotland (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.

Many trees have distinctive bark patterns, which you can use to identify them, even when they have no leaves. Get to know the various patterns by making bark rubbings – they’re great fun and can be done at any time of year.


 Geocaching

Geocache
Geocaching is a fun way to explore the outdoors/Credit: Getty

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.


Learn how to identify animal droppings

Hedgehog in daytime
Create a safe space for hedgehogs in your garden by offering a home/Credit: Getty

Droppings or scats can tell us a lot about which animals have been visiting our gardens, parks and countryside, including hedgehogs, foxes and badgers. Discoverwildlife.com’s expert guide to animal droppings or scats explains how to identify which animal species it comes from and what information it contains about the health of the animal.


Experience a sunrise and sunset

Summer sunset from Sutton Bank in North Yorkshire
Summer sunset from Sutton Bank in North Yorkshire/Credit: Getty
Alamy

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.


Catch up on the best nature programmes

Chris packham, Gillian Burke and Iolo Williams in woodland
Programme Name: Springwatch team, Iolo Williams, Gillian Burke, Chris Packham – (C) BBC
BBC

Although watching TV might not seem a particularly wild activity, due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions we are all having to spend more time at home. Learn more about nature and find a bit of much-needed escapism with our round-up of the best countryside TV, film and radio.

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