FEEL happier, healthier and help your local wildlife – all in just 30 days
The Wildlife Trusts’ ‘30 Days Wild’ challenge encourages everyone to get outside and do something wild, every day in June.
Over 55,000 people, schools and workplaces across the country have already signed up to 30 Days Wild, which starts on Friday June 1st.
In its fourth year, research shows that taking part in 30 Days Wild improves health and happiness and encourages people to do something to help wildlife.
Over 1,500 people in Essex are planning on getting outside and doing something wild, for all 30 days in June. And they’re not alone, more than 55,000 individuals, schools and workplaces have signed up to take the ’30 Days Wild’ challenge this year.
30 Days Wild encourages people to notice nature on their doorstep every single day and gives them a multitude of exciting and fun ways of doing it. Celebrity naturalists, TV presenters and authors are also backing The Wildlife Trusts’ national nature challenge:
Kate Humble, TV presenter, wildlife, nature and science programmes says:
“I have got a challenge, I want you – throughout the month of June – to go outside every day! That’s 30 whole days going outside. Why wouldn’t you? Just go wild in June!” (*See notes for further celebrities)
New research shows that 30 Days Wild is unique in improving people’s perception of beauty in nature, and that noticing natural beauty makes people happier and want to care for it. (**See notes for research)
Emily McParland, Communications Officer at Essex Wildlife Trust, says: “We’re not spending enough time in nature and this can be really damaging to both our physical and mental wellbeing. June is the perfect time to reconnect with the wild outdoors; the birds are singing, the sun is shining and our landscape erupts in colour. No matter what wild activity you decide to do, it all counts.”
Sign-up to 30 Days Wild and you’ll receive 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 and a wall chart to record your activities and wild stickers. There are also special packs to download for schools with outdoor lessons and business packs to bring the ‘wild’ to work.
To help you get started, Essex Wildlife Trust’s Visitor Centres have a whole month of wild events and activities planned. Here are some wild activities for the first week of June to get involved with:
Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, Colchester
Fri 1 June: Go Wild! Tackle the orienteering course and toast marshmallows. All ages welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. Advance booking essential; £6 donation requested. 10.30am-midday, 1.00pm-2.30pm.
Sat 2 June: A Hootingly good show. Join the Imperial Bird of Prey Academy for a talk about owls, a great opportunity to see these majestic birds up close. Advance booking essential on 01206 738172; £8 donation adult per adult, £6 per child. 11.30am-1.00pm, 3.30pm-5.00pm.
Sat 2 June: An evening with Soul Kitchen. A fun evening of soul, disco and two-tone classics with Soul Kitchen, East Anglia’s ultimate party band. Advance booking essential on 01206 738172; £11 donation adult per adult, £9 per child. 8.00pm-11.00pm.
Sun 3 June: The Annual Wildlife and Country Fair. Join us for a day of conservation stalls, craft stalls, food stands, pond dipping, arena displays and lots more. There will be a BBQ and other food available on the day and fun for all the family. Donation £2 per adult, £1 per child, 10.00am-4.00pm.
Abbotts Hall Farm, Colchester
Sat 2 June: The Great Garden Cake Bake. The beautiful gardens of Essex Wildlife Trust’s main offices will be opened, join us for a cream tea for just £3.50 per person anytime between midday-4.00pm. Eloise Durrant from The Gourmet Cupcake Company and Channel 4’s Extreme Cakemakers will be doing special cake decoration demonstrations at 12.30pm and 2.00pm, each lasting 45 minutes. Advance booking on 01621 862960.
Mon 4 June: Nature Tots under 5s group. Join the weekly under 5’s group as they explore outside – looking for creepy crawlies, building dens, balancing on ropes, getting messy in the mud kitchen, flying through the trees on our rope swing and enjoying marshmallows on the fire. Advance booking on 01621 862960, £7 donation per child.
Tues 5 June: Adult course on Understanding Heathland Management. Learn about the management techniques used to maintain heathland environments, with the afternoon spent at Tiptree Heath to study evidence of different techniques of management and a chance to carry out a survey on typical heath flora. Advance booking essential on 01621 862960, £20 donation per adult.
Bedfords Park Visitor Centre, Havering-Atte-Bower
Fri 1 June: Follow the Gingerbread Tales. Follow an adventure at your own pace throughout the forest, can you find the gingerbread man? Head back to the centre to create your own craft to take home. Ages 3+ welcome, advance booking essential on 01708 748646; £6 donation requested per child. 11.00am-12.00pm.
Belfairs Woodland Centre, Leigh-on-Sea
Sat 2 June: Mission X. Love science, love space? Calling all 7-12 year olds, astronaut training is commencing, with space and science experiments, activities, crafts and games. Supported by the UK Space Agency. Advance booking essential on 01702 477467; £5 donation per child. 10.00am-12.00pm.
Mon 4 June: Weekly Wild Beach. Join the seashore based wildlife day at Chalkwell Beach. Explore the seashore in all weathers with lots of fun and fabulous things to make and take home. Advance booking essential on 01702 477467; £8 donation per child. 10.00am-12.30pm.
Thu 7 June: Nature Tots under 5s group. Bring your children to the pre-school club for a day of nature, wildlife, arts, crafts, stories and games with outdoor time in the woodlands. Advance booking essential on 01702 477467; £6 donation per child, £4 per sibling. 10.00am-12.00pm.
Fingringhoe Wick Visitor Centre, Colchester
Fri 1 June: Nature Tots under 5s group. Bring your children to get messy, make some noise and enjoy being outside in the woodland. Advance booking essential on 01206 729678; £6 donation per child. 10.00am-12.00pm.
Fri 1 June: Family Wildlife Walk. Join us for a wander on the reserve, using binoculars to identify some of the many species that live here. Advance booking essential on 01206 729678; £5 donation per family.
Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre, Billericay
Fri 1 June: Wild Evening Out. Enjoy an evening on the reserve learning about nocturnal wildlife, including bat detecting, small mammal trapping and pond dipping. Booking on 01268 711001; £6 donation per child. 8.00pm-10.00pm.
Sat 2 June: Adult course on Tracking and Field Signs. Turn wildlife detective and learn how to spot the tell-tale signs of illusive wildlife in a variety of habitats then practice on a nature reserve. Advance booking essential on 01621 862960; £25 donation per adult. 10.00am-1.30pm.
Sun 3 June: Dinosaur Family Trail. Follow the dinosaur footprints around the nature reserve to find hidden dinosaurs and solve the clues. No need to book; trail sheets £2 donation from the visitor Centre. 10.00am-4.00pm.
Sun 3 June: Willow Weaving Workshop. Learn how to make a woven base with large petals mounted onto a cane that will act as a bird feeder, holder for fat balls or to hold fleece for nesting birds. Advance booking on 01268 711001; £45 donation per adult. 10.00am-4.00pm.
Ingrebourne Valley Visitor Centre, Hornchurch Country Park
Fri 1 June: Outdoor Survival. Build a waterproof den and learn the techniques of lighting a fire, then cook marshmallows on an open fire. Suitable for ages 5+, advance booking essential on 01708 520364; £6 donation per child. 1.00pm-2.00pm and 2.30pm-3.30pm.
Sat 2 June: Military History Day. Learn about Hornchurch Country Park, there will be a BBQ, wine bar, 1940s band, exhibitions, the 10th Essex Regiment Display, local artists and stalls and children’s crafts. There will also be a guided walk 11.00am-1.00pm, advance booking on 01708 520364.
Langdon Visitor Centre, Basildon
Fri 1 June: Go Wild! Random acts of nature are all along the trail, no need to book, £3 donation per child, 10.00am-12.00pm and 1.00pm-4.00pm.
Wed 6 June: Nature Tots under 5’s group. Join a fun morning of indoor and outdoor activities for pre-schoolers. Suitable for 18 months up, advance booking on 01268 419103; £6 donation per child, £4 for additional siblings. 10.00am-12.00pm.
The Naze Centre, Walton-on-the-Naze
Fri 1 June: Dinosaur trail and crafts. Take part in our dinosaur crafts, trail and volcano making. This is a self-led activity session with our education rangers on hand to help. Advance booking on 01255 679379; £4 donation per child. 10.00am-12.00pm and 1.00pm-3.00pm.
Sat 2 June: 1940s Weekend. Join the nostalgia with a Home Guard Display including military vehicles, a military camp and a presentation with David Bye. There will also be a history walk with Peter Appleton, a swing dance demonstration and The Hunnies will sing songs from the 40s. Suggested donation £5.
Thorndon Countryside Centre, Brentwood
Fri 1 June: Birds of Prey Evening. Join the Imperial Birds of Prey group who will be bring a selection of their birds to the centre, including flying demonstrations and an opportunity to get up close to these wonderful birds. Advance booking on 01277 232944, £6 donation per adult, £4 donation per child. 7.30pm-9.00pm.