30 Days Wild – the UK’s biggest nature challenge – reveals people’s favourite ‘random acts of wildness’

On the eve of the UK’s most popular nature challenge, 30 Days Wild, a survey of last year’s participants reveals that listening to birdsong, exercising and eating outdoors, identifying and planting wildflowers, and going on a bug hunt, were people’s favourite ‘random acts of wildness’ last year.

30 Days Wild is a fun, annual event from The Wildlife Trusts, with more than a million participants to date. A record 650,000 people took part in 2020 alone. People are invited to sign-up and try one ‘random act of wildness’ every day, for 30 days in June. Fans join a supportive online community for inspiration, practical advice and wildlife-watching tips.

Top random acts of wildness

The Wildlife Trusts asked a 1,000 people who took part in 30 Days Wild in 2020 about their favourite random acts of wildness.  The top 10 most popular activities were:

  1. Listening to birdsong came top – 88%
  2. Exercising outdoors – 81%
  3. Eating or drinking outdoors – 79%
  4. Identifying wildflowers –  77%
  5. Planting wildflower seeds – 71%
  6. Going on a bug hunt –  59%
  7. Hugging or admiring a tree –  58%
  8. Making a wildlife home (birdbox, bee hotel) –  49%
  9. Going barefoot on the grass or earth –  49%
  10. Sketching, drawing or painting nature –  47%

New for this year – a Big Wild Breakfast to kickstart the 30 Days Wild challenge on Tuesday 1st June. Participants are urged to celebrate the first day of their wild month with a Big Wild Breakfast and see how much wildlife they can spot in just 30 minutes.

Sign-up for 30 Days Wild and you’ll receive a digital pack including:

  • a bundle of fun with a wallchart and 101 ideas to complete the challenge
  • top technical tips from wildlife webcam experts 
  • advice on recording your breakfast bio-blitz
  • a Big Wild Breakfast nature ‘bingo’ placemat
  • wildlife guides, how-to guides, an online quiz event and much more

Join 30 Days Wild and get a digital pack of fantastic ideas! There are also options for schools, care homes and businesses to take part. Thousands of people share their top tips and ideas via 30 Days Wild Facebook and Twitter.

In 2020, a five-year review of 30 Days Wild participants, run in conjunction with the University of Derby, found people reported they felt happier and healthier from taking part, with positive effects lasting for at least two months afterwards.

Craig Bennett, chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts, says:

“We’ll be getting outdoors for a Big Wild Breakfast in the garden on 1st June to kickstart our family’s own 30 Days Wild. If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that people need more nature in their lives and much more of it on their own doorstep.

“At The Wildlife Trusts, we believe there’s a huge public appetite for more connection to nature. We want to see neighbourhood nature everywhere for people to enjoy – from woodland walks to wilder community spaces, wide open meadows popping with wildflowers, lush roadside verges, wilder city parks, canal paths bursting with berries and birds, the air alive with the sound of insects once more and glorious nature-friendly gardens.

“People need easier access to vibrant, life-affirming wildness. 30 Days Wild provides a great reminder to explore more in June, to value what we’ve got, and to demand more action to restore nature close to where we live and work.”

Leanne Manchester, digital manager for The Wildlife Trusts, says:

30 Days Wild 2020 encouraged thousands of toes to wiggle in the grass, created a bumper crop of new ponds for wildlife and a bonanza of new bird boxes and bug hotels across the country too.

30 Days Wild has proved to be a win for wildlife, and a win for people too. We’d love everyone who joined in for 2020 to invite at least one friend along for the fun in 2021. It’s a simple challenge, a lovely, supportive online community and there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

“This year we’re also offering technical tips on setting up your own webcams at home, at school, or in the workplace. We saw a 2,000% increase in people visiting our Wildlife Trust webcam pages last year, so we’re thrilled to be offering first-hand insights from the experts as part of a live online event for 30 Days Wild this time around.”