A few weeks ago I gave an assembly at my daughter’s school. On a few occasions I have spoken to rooms full of journalists and at conferences but nothing made me as nervous as a room full of primary school children.
What if I didn’t know the answer to their questions? Fortunately I was giving an assembly about 30 Days Wild and, fortunately, I was joined by Liz Carney from The Wildlife Trusts who did have all the answers to the children’s questions! They were very enthusiastic to hear about the wonders of nature and to get outside, just as I remember my daughter Emma was, around this time last year.
In case you don't know what 30 Days Wild is, it's The Wildlife Trusts' initiative to get people to “bring a little nature into their lives” during the month of June, by doing one wild thing everyday - no matter how big or small. Last year Emma and I took part and saw it as an opportunity to spend time outdoors with Emma in a way that she might engage with more readily than being dragged along for a "boring" long walk.
I wanted to introduce her to a few micro-adventures and to help her connect with nature and the outdoors. Selfishly I suppose, I wanted her to connect with the kind of things that I love and have been beneficial to my mental and physical wellbeing.
"I've become a bit evangelical about it and I'm glad my daughter’s school signed up"
The end result went beyond my wildest dreams. Emma absolutely loved taking part in 30 Days Wild. It is not an overstatement to say that I saw her grow in confidence over the month. We shared lots of amazing experiences from wild-camping, paddling on the river, "playing" with creepy crawlies to watching snakes and making videos of our adventures.
It was a great learning experience. Emma learnt a lot about nature and showed a genuine interest in the environment, but she also learnt a lot about herself, as did her father.
I have since become a little evangelical about 30 Days Wild and I am really glad my daughter’s school signed up to take part; I hope helping to inspire another generation as to the benefits of looking after our natural world.
We are just 10 days away from 30 Days Wild 2018, now so if you want to join in and undertake some Random Acts of Wildness click below to find out more!