A RECORD number of around 430,000 people are, so far, set to participate in The Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild challenge which begins on Monday (June 1) – and more than 1,100 care homes have registered to take part, twice as many as last year.
That includes 3,554 people and 78 care homes in Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside, which is a record for the region.
30 Days Wild is the UK’s biggest nature challenge and encourages everyone to do something that connects them to nature every single day during the month of June. Recent research shows that taking part in 30 Days Wild not only significantly increases people’s happiness, health and sense of nature – but that these positive increases are sustained beyond the life of the challenge – for a minimum of two months after it is over. The people who benefit most are those who have a relatively weak connection with nature at the start.
The Wildlife Trusts provide free online activity packs to help participants of all ages find new, easy ways of noticing nature – even while social distancing. Special resources are available for care home residents to help them enjoy their grounds; these were developed after a Derbyshire care home group discovered significant benefits when their residents’ lives included more time outdoors, looking at and talking about nature and wildlife. Another pack has been created to help elderly people explore their wild side from the comfort of their own homes.
Anne Selby, chief executive of the Lancashire Wildlife Trust said: “Care homes across the region have been affected by the Coronavirus and residents and staff must feel isolated from the rest of the community. Hopefully, taking part in 30 Days Wild will be something that will give them a sense of being involved while enjoying the amazing wild creatures and beautiful plants that early summer offers.
“Activities will improve their physical and mental well-being at a time that has caused major disruptions in their lives. And we must salute the care home staff members who have seen this as an opportunity to raise spirits.”
Leanne Manchester, Communications Manager of The Wildlife Trusts, added: “30 Days Wild is fun for all ages and we provide ideas and activities for people whatever their circumstances – for individuals, families, schools and businesses. Last year we experimented with an activity pack for care homes and we were really delighted that a large number were interested. So many of us are seeking solace in nature during the pandemic but even we were surprised – and thrilled – that double the number of care homes have signed up to do 30 Days Wild this June.
“We have also developed a new guide to going wild for people supporting elderly relatives at home – to help them experience the wild, even if they’re stuck indoors. 30 Days Wild helps people get closer to nature and enjoy the small, everyday things.”
Sign-up at www.wildlifetrusts.org/30DaysWild