Go wild for a month

Dragonfly and cosmos flowers

Discover dragonflies, just one of the trust's events this month - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Encouraging us to appreciate and give back to nature each day this month, Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust's 30 Days Wild is a great way to reconnect with wildlife, writes Debbie Bigg 

30 Days Wild is a national event organised by The Wildlife Trusts, where participants are encouraged to do one wild thing each day throughout June. The event is the UK’s biggest nature challenge and last year more than 760,000 people took part nationwide.

Here in Hertfordshire, Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust has a host of events to celebrate our wild places and its wildlife, and is encouraging us all to play our part in protecting wildlife and helping safeguard threatened habitats. It’s also worth remembering how much we benefit from forging a relationship with nature - it’s proven to improve mood, relieve stress, and increase focus and productivity.  

Woman sitting in a meadow on a summer's day

Take time out to appreciate our green spaces - Credit: Matthew Roberts

Herts Wild Art  

Connecting with wildlife through art is one way you can go wild this June. Herts Wild Art is a community art engagement programme being delivered by Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and funded by Arts Council England. The programme, which launched in May and runs to the autumn, is encouraging people of all ages and abilities take part in drop-in sessions in a variety of locations to study and capture wildlife and wild habitats. All art materials are supplied free and participants are able to choose from a range of mediums.

Additionally, the trust is running bookable Herts Wild Art workshops with artist tuition and online tutorials. Participants can enter their artwork into Herts Wild Art competitions which are being published on the trust’s social media channels. 

Ride Wild Challenge  

Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust is planning an ambitious fundraising effort to visit 30 wild places across Hertfordshire and Middlesex in 30 hours, travelling by eBike. The Ride Wild Challenge takes place on June 29-30 and will see a single cyclist visit some of the best wild places in the region, covering a 71-mile route – from nature reserves to community projects and river projects to schools.

At each wild place the Ride Wild team will meet wildlife experts, volunteers and community groups to learn about the amazing wild places and the wildlife that it attracts. The rider for the challenge is Ben Marston of Tring's Puddingstone Distillery, makers of Campfire Gin. The eBike has been donated by Berkhamsted bike manufacturer, Estarli, who champion sustainable travel solutions.

The e20 eBike, worth over £1,200, will be raffled off to raise money for the trust. Six people will also win a bottle of Puddingstone’s Ultrasonic Gin. To find out about sponsoring the ride and tickets for the raffle, go to hertswildlifetrust.org.uk/ridewildchallenge 

Wild events

The trust has many events and activities to take part in across the month including a six mile hike round Aldbury, discovering a hedgehog sanctuary in Harpenden and dragonflies at King's Meads, a smartphone safari, and the Big Wild Weekend at Panshanger Park. These and more can be booked at hertswildlifetrust.org.uk/events 

We're going on a bug hunt

We're going on a bug hunt - Credit: Paul Harris

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But it doesn't have to be an organised event - a walk in the countryside, a family bug hunt, a bike ride like our Ride Wild Challenge, logging the birds in your garden - it all counts. By going wild in June, you will be helping to address the ecological and climate crisis. Even taking time to listen to the birds and the leaves on the breeze, or to watch a butterfly settle, could give space to think about what sort of wild future you'd like to see for our beautiful and varied county.