For the first time this year, we created special 30 Days Wild packs for care homes. We were inspired by staff and residents who joined in challenge last year at Langwith Lodge Residential Home in Nether Langwith near Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, this is their story.
We had been looking forward to 30 Days Wild since our colleague signed us up. An avid wildlife fanatic and nature writer she was sure we’d enjoy paying closer attention to nature, embracing and welcoming the benefits that Random Acts of Wildness can bring. As we prepare to join 30 Days Wild for a second time, we couldn’t agree more with that sentiment, the benefits were huge!
We already knew a few of the benefits of spending time in nature. We’d looked into the research by the Wildlife Trusts and could see how time spent in nature improves mental health and wellbeing. Simply setting a foot outside our home is enough to raise our residents’ spirits, and we try to spend as much time outside as we can. We knew, too, that watching wildlife is a great mood booster, and that learning new skills will aid cognitive function in the elderly. None of us were quite prepared for how much fun we had though! Spending time with nature never felt like a chore at all, and we all felt lifted for paying closer attention to birds, insects and objects we’d found out and about.
Taking up the 30 Days Wild challenge, endeavoured to be wilder every day during June. Members of staff kept their eyes peeled for wildflowers, insects, birds and mammals on their way into work, and we fed the birds so that we could watch them flock to the home’s grounds.
Participating in 30 Days Wild doesn’t have to mean making grand gestures, but finding the wildness in the details. We made daisy chains, enjoyed flower arranging, created a fairy garden, ate outside, counted bees and dipped our toes into paddling pool, as well as feeling the cool grass between our toes.
We found eggs cracked beneath empty nests towards the end of spring and watched fish breaching the surface of the lake in search of tiny flies. Residents even found time for water fights amongst themselves, and read with patio doors flung open. We invited nature into our home at every turn, and the results astounded us.