The Wildlife Trusts’ annual nature challenge 30 Days Wild encourages people to do something wild every day for the month of June. According to the charity, more than 250,000 people took part in 2017, doing activities such as wild camping, nature walks, wildlife spotting and gardening.
Get your free 30 Days Wild pack
Sign-up to 30 Days Wild and you’ll get a free pack with a booklet of inspirational ideas for Random Acts of Wildness, a recipe for wild strawberry and thyme ice cream, wildflower seeded paper to sow, a wall chart to record your activities and wild stickers. There are special packs for schools with outdoor lesson plans and giant Random Acts of Wildness cards. Business can join in too, with tailored download packs to bring the ‘wild’ to work.
You may have plenty of your own wild ideas, but here is a selection of 30 easy ways to connect with nature
Grab your binoculars and see how many different species of birds you can spot. This could be done in your local park, garden or if time allows, nature reserves are an ideal setting to test your bird spotting skills.
2. Explore Britain's coastline or waterways by kayak or canoe
Head down to the sea or a river and try your hand at canoeing or kayaking. It's a great way to exercise and can help you destress and reconnect with nature. You can do it on any stretch of water, but you can't beat paddling along your local coastline.
Get back to nature with a beautiful countryside walk. Walking is a great way to clear your head and explore your local landscape. With blooming flowers and buzzing wildlife, Spring is the perfect season to take a long walk in the countryside.
For more walking inspiration, check out our walking section
4. Try flower spotting
Observe your surroundings and see how many different types of flowers you can spot. You can do this in your garden, local park or if you have any nearby, country gardens are a great place to learn about local history and spot vibrant flowers.
5. Go wildlife spotting
Shhh! You may have to be quiet, but try to spot some wildlife such as foxes and badgers. Try and learn more about the creatures that share your local area. Wildlife can be found just about everywhere, but most animals live in local forests and woodland.
The British countryside is full of food you can safely and legally forage - provided you know what to look for. From pungent wild garlic in spring to elderflower and juicy blackberries, why not see what you can find. Searching for your next meal in the countryside will not only fill your belly, but will also increase your connection with the land. You could also try a foraging course.
N.B. Always be sure you can positively identify any plant before you pick it, and never eat anything you are unsure of. Make sure you leave plenty for wildlife (and other foragers!).
- Wild garlic guide: where to find, how to cook it and recipe ideas
- Blackberry guide: where to find, how to cook and recipe ideas
- How to make your own hedgerow booze
7. Get on your bike
Pump up your tyres and peddle through the countryside. Cycling is a great way to reconnect with nature and get off the beaten track. Take a ride on a local cycle path, or if you're a bit more ambitious, take a bikepacking trip across the country.
- A guide to bikepacking: how to get started, essential gear and best routes for off-road cycling
- Cycling in Britain: the best places to ride, how to ride safely and where to ride this autumn
8. Come on in, the water's lovely! Go for a wild swim this summer
One a warm summer's day, it doesn't get much better than taking a dip in the sea, lake or river. If you live in a big city, don't be put off as there are many wild swimming spots near London.
- Wild swimming in Britain: the best places to swim, water safety and how to get started
- Britain's top 10 wild swimming spots
9. Sleep under the stars
Pitch a tent and spend an evening beneath a starry night-sky. Wild camping allows you to escape the constant buzz of modern life and get back to basics. While not legal in some parts of the country, there are a number of smaller campsites in secluded locations, where you simply pitch up and savour the tranquility.
- A beginner's guide to wild camping
- 10 great places to wild camp in Britain
- Five of the best tiny campsites in Britain
10. Ride a horse
There are many ways to explore the countryside, but horse riding is a fun way to explore – especially when it involves galloping across a sandy beach. Many stables offer beginner riding lessons or cross country rides, so why not give horse riding a go?
11. Gaze at the night sky
Cast your eyes to the skies and see how many different constellations you can see. Gaze at the stars from your back garden, or, for a really memorable experience, head to one of Britain's national parks for stunning starry skies.
12. Fish for you supper
Cast your rod and reel in a catch in a lake or river. You may not always catch something, but the serene surroundings will certainly make up for it. Britain is home to many traditional, idyllic fishing villages.
13. Cook outdoors
It is common knowledge that any meal eaten outdoors tastes better. Try your hand at cooking outdoors over a roaring fire. Summer is the perfect season to gather family and friends for a beach barbecue. You could even cook a meal using something you've caught in the wild.
Try and catch a glimpse of those fluttering wings and see how many different kinds of butterflies you can spot. You can head down to your local park, or you can make your garden butterfly-friendly and they can visit you.
15. Capture the moment
Try and snap your best picture of the outdoors, whether it be of wildlife or a landscape. Not sure where to start? Enrol on a photography course that will show you how to snap that perfect countryside shot. If you'd like to share your photos to feature as our 'Photo of the Day, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org or tag your image using #photooftheday on our social media channels.
You don't need to be a professional artist to try sketching your favourite scenery. Drawing is a fantastic way to examine the local landscape and take your mind off the day-to-day stresses of normal life. Sketching feathers is a great starting point for novices.
Take a stroll through the forest and examine the trees to see how many different types you can find. You might be surprised to find the number of different kinds in your local woodland. You may even see one of Britain's fascinating, famous trees.
Track down a maze near you and zig zag your way through it. Navigate through hedges and avoid dead-ends to find the elusive centre.
19. Take a canal boat trip
Drift through the country's charming canals aboard a narrowboat. Observe the wildlife and surroundings whilst drifting down the stream. Occasionally step off and try some of Britain's best riverside pubs.
20. Take a haunted walk – if you dare!
If you're feeling brave, take a walk through Britain's most haunted places. Discover the fascinating history behind these ghostly spots. Whether there's any truth to these stories is up you, take a walk through your local forest or a haunted castle and make your mind up for yourself.
21. Stone balancing
“In nature there is no such thing as imperfect balance”, says stone balancing pioneer Adrian Grey. The art is simple: Head into the countryside, find some stones and then stack them one on top of the other. The stone piles look beautiful against a natural backdrop, but it’s the process of building the structures that brings most joy. Plunge your hands into a gurgling river, its water cold around your arms, and pull a stone from the bed. Assess its shape and feel its weight, then position it on another. Even the smallest creations will bring you closer to nature.
22. Cliff jumping and coasteering
Love the feeling of an adrenaline rush? Dive in and take things to a whole new level with some cliff diving and coasteering. Scramble along the cliff edges and then test your head for heights by springing off the cliff edge and free-falling into the ocean. There are a number of excellent outdoor centres across the UK which run courses, so why not give it a go?
Feeling really brave? You can even go cliff camping, which involves sleeping in the wild in a portaledge tent!
23. Enjoy a farm stay
Want to get up close and personal with farm animals? Take your family on a farm stay and learn about the animals and their life on the farm. You might even get a chance to meet some new-born lambs.
24. Take a bark rubbing
One of the most effective ways to understand the incredible diversity of nature is to do a bark rubbing. Pick a tree, hold a piece of paper against its bark and rub it with a soft pencil, pastel or piece of charcoal. Observe your rubbing, taking note of the various shapes and questioning their existence. You needn’t know the answers – simply thinking about the physiognomy of your subject matter will increase your connection with it.
Discover more ways to be present in nature with our A to Z of Mindfulness.
Enjoy hiking, the countryside and treasure hunting? This might be the hobby for you. Download the free app and find one of many secret geocaches hidden in the countryside. Read our guide on how to go geocaching and start hunting.
Visit the countryside that inspired your favourite literary novels such as Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice. Put yourself in the shoes of your favourite characters and immerse yourself in their fictional world. Are you mad for Shakespeare? Discover where the Bard set his most most acclaimed plays.
27. Go rockpooling
Rockpooling is a fantastic activity that people of all ages can enjoy. Summer is a great time to explore rockpools along the coast. Leaning over the small pools of water that form on the rocky shoreline, you can find a huge range of creatures that you might otherwise never know were there
Let nature inspire you and write a poem about your favourite countryside spot. Consider your senses and the way the surroundings are impacting them. Try to channel these feelings into a poem, it's a really creative way to express your love for the countryside. If you're struggling for inspiration, take a walk through some of Britain's best poetry walks.
Get up early and experience sunrise, then watch it set later that evening. Wherever you are, set your alarm clocks early in June to see the Summer Solstice, Stonehenge isn't the only place to see it.
Visit a local farm that grows its own fruit and spend the day picking some of nature's goodness. Take the fruit home and use it to make jams, cakes or something else that's equally as delicious. There are plenty of strawberry farms where you can pick your own juicy berries.
Contributors: Charlie House, Kelsey Rees, Danny Graham and Carys Matthews
Main image: Getty
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