Sunday, 22 May 2016

BBOWT Guest Blog: Why 30 Days Wild made us glow with excitement!

30 Days Wild is fast approaching, where the Wildlife Trust encourages everybody to do something wild every day for the month of June. BBOWT asked me to write a guest blog post reflecting on some of our adventures from last year and some of the things we're looking forward to this year.
You can read more about 30 Days Wild and sign up to take part (and receive a welcome pack) here.

You can read my guest post on the BBOWT blog here, or a copy of it is below.
Why 30 Days Wild made us glow with excitement!
Our senses heightened by the darkness, it felt like a thousand pairs of curious eyes were peering at us from every nook and cranny. We could see bats swooping above us, visible as they crossed through breaks in the tree cover. A fox barked its anguished scream nearby, making us freeze and hold our breath.
Seeking reassurance, my daughter slipped her hand into mine and we carried on through the woods and out onto the grass slope. We began our hunt, but even as our eyes became accustomed to the darkness we had to be careful not to trip over ant hills or fall down a rabbit hole.
We scoured the long grass, searching for a magical speck of green light. Eventually we found one, then another and another and our faces, quite literally, lit up with joy. We’d found our first female glow-worms attempting to attract a mate.
We took part in The Wildlife Trusts' 30 Days Wild challenge last June and our glow-worm hunt was an amazing way to spend an evening. All 30 days were an adventure in their own way and we relished the challenge to do something wild every day for a month.
Some days we strolled through a local nature reserve to see what treasures we could find, climbed trees in the woods or played in the stream. We were lucky enough to borrow a moth trap, so we set it up in the garden overnight. The next morning it felt like Christmas as we all got up early to open it, still in our pyjamas, to see what we’d caught.

Another day I surprised the children by collecting them from school and taking them straight to our local woods to have a go at pond dipping. What’s not to love about messing about in a muddy pond in wellies and your school uniform?

Often we just stayed at home and explored our back garden, hunting for bugs, observing the baby birds and their attentive parents or watching an orange tip butterfly lay her precious eggs. Many of our activities were unplanned and just seemed to happen as we went about our daily routine.

We had a competition to see who could spot the most birds on the walk to school, the children read their favourite books about wildlife to the dog and they had a lovely time racing snails at their school summer fair.

We kept our eyes open, enjoyed being outdoors and had no trouble finding something wild to do every day.

We’re looking forward to taking part in 30 Days Wild again this June, excited to see what Random Acts of Wildness we come up with. We’re hoping the red kites nesting in the back garden will manage to raise chicks this year. The eggs should hatch at the start of June, so we’ll be watching them closely.

We’re also planning to go on another glow-worm hunt and we’re sure to set up the moth trap again. Most of all we’re looking forward to lots of surprises and being part of something as special as 30 Days Wild. It’s easy, it’s fun and it will make you glow, so why not give it a go too.

You can read all about last year’s 30 Days Wild adventures, and see what we get up to this year, on the Bug Mad Girl blog.

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