TV wildlife champions and superfans back UK’s biggest nature challenge – 30 Days Wild

TV wildlife champions and superfans back UK’s biggest nature challenge – 30 Days Wild

Wildlife adventurer Steve Backshall, zoologist presenter Liz Bonnin, and TV GP Dr Amir Khan, back the UK’s favourite nature challenge – 30 Days Wild – in June.

TV stars and superfans are calling on the nation to enjoy the benefits of daily contact with nature this June by taking part in the UK’s most popular annual nature challenge, 30 Days Wild, from The Wildlife Trusts. Surveys show that taking part in 30 Days Wild not only significantly increases people’s wellbeing and heightened sense of nature – but that these positive increases are sustained beyond the life of the challenge – months after it is over.

30 Days Wild participants are provided with ideas, wallcharts and activity sheets that give everyone easy ways of doing a ‘random act of wildness’ every day for 30 days during June. Popular activities include listening to birdsong, taking wildlife photographs and star-gazing.

This year, the challenge kicks off with a nationwide outdoor event on Tuesday 1st June: a Big Wild Breakfast. People can download a free breakfast placemat, designed as a wildlife spotting guide, and record the nature they see in 30 minutes outdoors over cereal, toast or tea.

Big Wild Breakfast 2021

Steve Backshall, naturalist, explorer and president of his local Wildlife Trust, says:

“30 Days Wild from The Wildlife Trusts is the perfect reminder to get outdoors every day and have fun! You can be a backyard explorer, or a neighbourhood naturalist, and take action for wildlife in your own patch. Or you can simply relax and enjoy your breakfast outdoors! As a dad with three young children, my typical breakfast time is a lot messier than it used to be.

With the Big Wild Breakfast, I’ll be taking a welcome break from frantic routines and clean-up duty to spend 30 minutes of quality time outdoors with the kids instead. Whether it’s fantastic flowers, bright beetles, butterflies, the feel of the wind on their faces, or grass under their feet - they’ll be captivated by the adventure of it, come rain or shine.”

Liz Bonnin, science and nature broadcaster, and President of The Wildlife Trusts, says:

“Citizen science whilst having your breakfast - what a perfect way to start your day! Big Wild Breakfast takes place on the first day of the UK's favourite nature challenge – 30 Days Wild - a chance to carry out your very own mini bio-blitz in the company of your local wildlife. I'm excited to see how creative people will be with their choice of breakfast-time nature spots and the special wildlife encounters they'll share with our 30 Days Wild social media community. Coffees and cameras at the ready!”

Dr Amir Khan, GP, TV presenter and ambassador for The Wildlife Trusts says:

“Join many thousands of other people and me for The Big Wild Breakfast on 1st June! What an incredibly positive way to start the day! Take 30 minutes to appreciate some calm, and a truly gorgeous summer month, outside in the still morning light. Waking up with wildlife is something I personally appreciate every day, but if you've never tried it before you'll be amazed what is up and about in the mornings. You could see a fox, a deer or a rabbit, or hear baby birds' first calls from a nest. Start the month wild at breakfast and carry on for 30 Days Wild in this inspiring challenge from The Wildlife Trusts in June. It's so good for us to connect with nature and the outdoors. We've never needed these moments more.”

Superfans, called ‘wilders’, have come forward to volunteer their personal stories and inspire others on their 30 Days Wild journey in June.

Lee is a graphic designer in his 40s, from St Albans in Hertfordshire

Lee is father to seven-year old Eleanor. He is a graphic designer, working from home, and lives in St Albans, Hertfordshire. He loves to pack in as much daily wildness as he can with his daughter. In 30 Days Wild he found all the tools he needed to help build the foundation for a healthier, happier childhood. He is passionate about the benefits of the Wildlife Trusts’ challenge. They have taken part together for four years. Referring to 2020, he said: “It’s no exaggeration to say that 30 Days Wild saved summer; it really did.” Lee and his daughter enjoy the simple things best.; watching the sun go down, paddling in the river, walking barefoot through dewy grass in the morning, looking at the clouds. “It really is about the simple stuff in life. It feels like an adventure though and the kids get that”.

Nicole is a coaching psychologist, in her 50s, living in Winchester, Hampshire

Nicole lives in Winchester with her husband and teenage son. After training in psychology and working in corporate HR management for more than 20 years, she now works as a coaching psychologist and

includes nature and outdoors in her 1:1 and group sessions. Nicole believes our disconnect from nature is contributing to the increasing levels of stress so many people feel. She loved 30 Days Wild so much she decided to study some short courses in ecology. “30 Days Wild gives me a structure for connecting with nature in a better way,” says Nicole. “I don’t get too hung up if I miss a day, it’s more of a guide throughout the month and I don’t want it to become a chore.”

Shigufta, in her 50s, is CEO of a charity and lives in Blackburn, Lancashire

Shigufta is CEO of a domestic abuse charity and was inspired to try 30 Days Wild from The Wildlife Trusts thanks to popular TV doctor, Dr Amir Khan. She has a slot on her local BBC radio station. She used the challenge to connect with like-minded people on social media and share her enthusiasm for nature. Ideas for ‘random acts of wildness’ also helped her charity to support families with some distraction in difficult times. “I follow Dr Khan on Twitter and I saw his Instagram posts about 30 Days Wild too.” she smiles, “It was doctor’s orders really.” Since she was a child, Shigufta has enjoyed wildlife and nature. A keen gardener, she now enjoys taking photographs of the ever-changing cycle of plants, visiting birds and other wildlife. “The combination of a spending more time in my garden, plus taking a photograph every day? That was perfect for me.”

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