Families are encouraged to join 30 Days Wild, the campaign by Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) to connect with nature every day in June, backed by the NHS.
Wildlife trusts across the UK have run the 30 Days Wild challenge every June for nearly a decade, encouraging people to take one wild act each day. This can be anything from watching wildlife from a window to listening to birdsong or taking a meal or drink outside.
For the first time the initiative has won the backing of the UK’s National Health Service. Liz Shearer, BBOWT’s community engagement director, said: “We are over the moon that the NHS has endorsed our challenge: we have always known that spending time in green spaces can have huge health benefits for many people, helping to lower heart rate and blood pressure and reduce anxiety, but now we have the official support of our fantastic health service. Try taking one tiny act to connect with nature and see what it does for you – you could change your life.”
Last year more than 500,000 people took part in 30 Days Wild, including more than 5,000 in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. Across the UK, 114,245 households, 11,740 schools, 898 care homes and 1,384 businesses joined in.
Anyone taking part can order a free activity pack, with different packs for families, individuals, businesses and schools containing activities, games and packets of wildflower seeds to sow. A survey of nearly 1,000 participants last year found that people’s favourite activities were watching wildlife and listening to birdsong (85%).
The NHS has decided to back 30 Days Wild as it celebrates its 75th anniversary celebrations this year. The Greener NHS programme at NHS England will showcase NHS gardens and green spaces that support biodiversity, improve air quality, and provide health benefits for staff and patients, both physically and mentally – across the NHS estate.