30 Days Wild: Week 1 from Foxglove & Bee

During 30 Days Wild, we plan to share with you some of the great blogs we've seen pop up during the challenge from people across the UK. We hope their experiences will help to inspire you to connect with nature in new ways. This blog is from Charlotte Dufferwiel's fabulous nature blog, Foxglove and Bee.

Hello everyone.

Monday the 1st of June saw the start of the Wildlife Trust’s annual 30 days wild challenge. Now this really isn’t a difficult programme to get involved with. You don’t have to do anything extravagant to show how wild you can get! And lets face it, in these circumstances, you can’t do anything extravagant at all. Things you and your family and friends can do include:

  • Stand quiet for a moment and listen to the birds singing
  • Paint a wildflower
  • Feed the birds
  • Tree bark rubbings
  • Minibeast hunt

So for the first time, I signed up and received my e-pack full of ideas and resources (especially for kiddies (or the young at heart!) and set out to complete my first week of the #30dayswild challenge. Here’s how I got on.

Charlotte Dufferwiel

Charlotte Dufferwiel

Monday 1st June.

Hoorah!! It’s the first day of June (pinch and a punch and all that!)! 

It is therefore now the official start of 30 Days Wild. My social media is buzzing with the good vibrations of everyone taking steps to reconnect to nature and give nature a helping hand and the respect and appreciation it deserves.

The weather is beautiful. Bright, sunny and warm. Definitely sandal and pottering in the garden weather. But what can I do as one of my acts of wildness? I could do something really cool and flashy and impress everyone on social media?? Hmm, I’m not too sure about that! 

I know! I’ll take my sandals off and walk bare feet on the soft warm grass. 

Instant act of wildness. And what could be better than just talking a couple of minutes to walk on the grass, let your feet breathe and be unconstrained!

Tuesday 2nd June.

For day 2 of the 30 Days Wild challenge I decided to keep it nice and easy. Simple, easily achievable things, I find make me feel more productive, so I am more likely to tackle the bigger projects.

So todays challenge is to collect my selection of nature themed books, so I can make a start reading the books about nature that I purchased quite a while a go and be re-inspired by the authors.

The books I included are:

  1. Wilding by Isabella Tree.
  2. Secret Network of Nature by Peter Wohlleben
  3. ReWild by Nick Baker.

Wednesday 3rd June.

We’re now 2 days into the 30 Days Wild challenge and today I’m not feeling too great. 

I woke up feeling a bit low, so I am going to spend some time in the garden and just listen. Listening to birdsong for me is like mindfulness. I find it so relaxing and grounding. Not to mention calming and reassuring. 

So I made myself a cup of tea in my favourite Emma Bridgewater mug, got a KitKat and sat for 10 minutes or so and just enjoyed the symphony of birdsong around me.

Not a hard task really is it?!

Thursday 4th June.

Feeling a bit brighter today, just taking things easy, but nature is definitely helping. I know that many people have been turning to nature to help them through the difficult times throughout lockdown.

Today, to mark the 4th day of the 30 Days Wild challenge I shall be pressing flowers.

It is really easy to do. All you need are:

  • A few flowers or leaves you like the shape of.  Try to stick to flowers that can lay flat rather than bunch up.
  • Kitchen roll or baking parchment 
  • Heavy books

Lay the leaves and flowers between 2 sheets of kitchen roll in the position you want, carefully lay the top layer of paper over the top, not displacing your arrangement.

Place on a hard surface and pile heavy books on top and leave for approx. 2 weeks, but it depends on what you have picked. You can check every now and again to see how they are coming along.

Friday 5th June.

Good morning!

Today I have decided that for day 5 of 30 Days Wild, I shall be baking!

I have decided that I will be making my Ginger, cranberry and orange flapjacks using Jordans granola. 

I have made this before – I will leave the recipe here. But it is an excellent way to combine delicious bakes with helping nature, as farmers who work with Jordans donate 10% of their land to wildlife, with the help of the Wildlife Trusts.

Saturday 6th June.

Today I shall be feeding the birds. With a lot of new fledglings in the garden and the starling ‘pirates’ taking over the bird feeders, you need to keep a constant eye on your feeders to make sure they are all receiving the correct nutritional supplementation. 

Since the very beginning of lockdown, I have been tuning into Nick Baker’s Instagram lives. They are wonderful – if you can please join in and spread the word. In his lives he mentioned the company he is ambassador for; Jacobi Jayne; Living with Birds.

They provide high quality, highly suitable food for birds and hedgehogs. As well as this they also stock bird feeders, accessories, nest boxes and gifts.

We purchased the highly recommended Chunky Dumplings (worth it just for the name), Flutter Butter and a big bag of robin seed mix.

Also remember it is important to leave out water for birds, mammals and insects in your garden too.

And a handy tip, especially for this time of year is to soak any dried mealworms you put out for the birds. This makes them easier to eat for nestlings and fledglings. Just pop them in some water the night before.

Sunday 7th June.

So we have come to the end of the first week of the Wildlife Trusts 30 Days Wild challenge.

Today I am going to make sure that I support pollinators in our garden.

A while back I scattered some wildflower seeds and some PTES seed balls from Seedball. And with the hot and dry weather we had during May, I had to make sure they were suitably watered and well tended. I am pleased to announce that they have now germinated.

So my 7th act of wildness this week is to maintain and plant more plants that the pollinators adore!

 

Let me know if you get involved. You can still sign up and enjoy what the 30 Days Wild challenge has to offer. 

See you over on my blog next week for a round up of week two!

Charlotte 

xoxo

Charlotte Dufferwiel Foxglove & Bee

Charlotte Dufferwiel is a 24 year old Zoologist from the Durham who is keen to promote conservation of UK Wildlife, and is also interested in how connecting to nature improves our wellbeing and mental health. She runs a blog called Foxglove and Bee (www.fox-glove-and-bee.com) where she documents all things relating to nature, wildlife and wellbeing. Charlotte is currently hoping to enter into the Science Communication sector.