Over the past few years 1st June for me has marked the start of The Wildlife Trust’s ‘30 Days Wild‘ campaign. A project aimed at highlighting the benefits of spending time with nature and therefore encouraging more people to appreciate and protect the natural world around us.
I have always been passionate about protecting our environment and for the past three years have aimed to live more and more in harmony with nature… but there’s always more to do, more to learn, more to notice… and this month gives me an opportunity to check-in with old Mother Earth and make sure I’m still walking the right path!
If you’ve not come across ’30 Days Wild’ I would urge you to check out the website – it’s not about huge gestures… more like incorporating a few moments of random wildness into your everyday life. Perhaps you could eat your lunch outside and listen to the birds; Notice a spider making a web on your windowsill and watch it for a few seconds; Take off your shoes and feel the earth under your feet…
We, on the other hand have kicked off June (coincidentally) with a whole weekend of random wildness! We’ve had an amazing weekend camping with friends and discovered natural beauty literally on our doorstep.
Greensprings Caravan Park is tucked away on the outskirts of Barnsley, and after following a dirt track for about half a mile can be found in a small clearing with woods on either side and surrounding farmland.
It borders onto the southernmost end of Stainborough Park, home of Wentworth Castle Gardens which is soon to be reopened by the National Trust. The parkland – still accessible via public footpaths – has been somewhat neglected for the past few years but I couldn’t resist going for an explore through the long grasses and overgrown avenues. I was last here about ten years ago when volunteers had just completed replanting Broom Royd Wood. Then the little white tubes that housed a variety of saplings seemed to go on and on for miles… seeing them again now all grown up, with the sun setting in the distance, verges thick with cow parsley and purple vetch, and rabbits popping out of the undergrowth; was truly magical.
Day two was filled with den building, climbing trees and doing bark rubbings… a walk through woodlands full of rogue rhododendrons and huge copper beech trees. We found the entrance to some kind of stone arched tunnel and speculated over its original purpose. We cooked on an open fire and played musical instruments into the evening.
Granted, my days are often filled in a similar fashion but I don’t think I’d ever have enough of it. Nature, for me, provides endless entertainment and I’m totally at peace listening to the chatter of birds or trees blowing in the wind, noticing the smell of fresh blossoms or falling rain. There’s always something new to discover or experience… alongside an opportunity to rest the mind, body and soul… the health benefits of spending time outdoors have been known for centuries but we so often take these things for granted. ‘30 Days Wild’ is about remembering and reconnecting with the natural world, giving the planet a bit of love and appreciation!
If you’d like to follow my wild journey throughout the rest of June, feel free to pop over to Twitter for daily updates.
Until next time…