The first seven days of 30 Days Wild have flown by! And it’s been a hectic one for me with most of it spent away from home which has certainly made it more challenging to plan in wild acts. But I just about managed some wildness everyday even if some of it was a tad adhoc or accidental! So here’s what I got up to.
I was down in Wales at the quaint town of Hay-On-Wye for the beginning of 30 Days Wild. I was working at the wonderful Hay Festival. As it’s a literary festival with plenty of focus on nature I was a very happy bunny. On the stall I showed lots of children how to hand craft dragonflies out of pipe cleaners and cellophane wings. I must have made hundreds! Although I’m not the biggest fan of children, it was wonderful getting them engaged with nature. The Hay Festival is made by its talks and I managed to attend a talk on the ‘human side of climate change’ featuring CEOs of Good Energy and Friends of the Earth. They discussed the importance of using personal human stories to create engagement in the issues surrounding climate change. It was fascinating and certainly relevant when it comes to personal engagement with nature just as 30 Days Wild is encouraging this month.
Second day of working at the Hay Festival. But today I got to give out free trees to members of the public which is always so much fun. The joy in people’s faces when we say they are free and talking to them about the trees they care about always helps to restore my faith in people. Everyone loves nature on some level even if it’s just taking a tree home to plant. Over my lunch break, I explored the Festival’s book shop that features books from the authors visiting the festival that year. I found the stunningly illustrated nature books Crow Country by Mark Cocker and The Running Sky by Tim Dee. They have been added to my ‘books I must read’ list!
I was briefly back home for work before heading off to Suffolk in the evening. Before I packed to go I watered my potted trees and wildflowers and filled my bird feeders. I’m so happy now that I’m finally attracting wildlife to the garden. The best so far was, a couple of weeks ago, was a pair of blue tits, one fed the other from my feeder, it was amazing.
Wedding day! My boyfriend’s cousin’s wedding that is. We had to stay in his parent’s caravan so we woke up to birds serenading us. Deep in the Suffolk countryside, we were surrounded by wildlife (and farm animals!). After breakfast, my boyfriend showed me a horse chestnut tree that he had planted as a conker when he was a small boy. It’s now a good sized tree! I love the idea that you can plant a tree and through it you are leaving a legacy that can long outlast you. The wedding itself was nature themed, with wellies full of flowers, the reception held outside and our place names were made from paper with seeds in that could be planted with pretty little RSPB badges pinned to them. I’m keen to find out what seeds I have in mine when I plant it.
The weather remained glorious on the Sunday so we chilled out sunbathing in the sun to birdsong once again. And does holding a chicken and stroking a turkey count as an act of wildness? I’ve certainly never stroked a turkey before! We also walked through a meadow with the family dogs looking at Elm trees (which are special because so many died from Dutch Elm Disease), and barn owl boxes. We didn’t spot any of the barn owls though sadly!
Back in Peterborough (and civilisation boo), we headed down to a mini lake at Hampton Hargate, near where the boyfriend lives. We know there is a swan nest there and the swan pair have already got used to us. So we decided to check on the eggs and see how they are doing. We were also on the look out for the Arctic Tern we’d seen fishing there last week but a no show from him. We arrived to find both the swans had left the nest with no visible egg, which was a little concerning, but it looked like the eggs had been covered over. It did mean we could get a little closer than usual. As we stepped closer a toad appeared from the mud and hopped away! We spotted lots of house martins, grasshoppers and damselflies too as we wandered through the long grass.
Today I sat out in the work garden surrounded by birch trees to eat my lunch. I also looked up wild holiday plans for later this summer. We plan to go camping in Cornwall and I am so excited to be back in my favourite place! And when I first began writing this blog this evening, my housemate suddenly exclaimed at all the bees that were on a bush in our garden. So I got out my Great Bee Count app to record them. Though there were so many I could only guess at the numbers!
So a great first week! I look forward to getting more stuck in with the Wildlife Trust’s 101 Random Acts of Wildness in the next few days now I have more time to plan.