NHS backs Norfolk Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild this June  go wild for wellbeing

NHS backs Norfolk Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild this June  

UK’s biggest nature challenge is proven to boost health and wellbeing  

Norfolk Wildlife Trust and the Greener NHS programme at NHS England are encouraging people to go wild for wellbeing this June by participating in the UK’s biggest nature challenge, 30 Days Wild.  

The month-long initiative invites people of all ages to connect with nature in an easy and accessible way every single day throughout the month of June.  

Spending time in nature is proven to benefit people’s mental and physical health. Evidence shows that people who connect with nature every day are more resilient, experience reduced social isolation and loneliness, and have better all-round health and happiness.  

As part of the 75th Birthday celebrations the Greener NHS programme at NHS England is partnering with The Wildlife Trusts to shine a light on the great work of colleagues from across the NHS who have created, maintain, and make the best use of green spaces for the benefit of patients, staff and the environment.   

Dr Amir Khan, NHS doctor and vice-president of The Wildlife Trusts, says:   

“Being in and around nature is so important for our health and happiness, whether that’s exercising outdoors, breakfasting in the garden, or lying in the park and enjoying the birds. I am delighted the NHS is encouraging people to get outside this June. Taking time each day to pause and purposefully observe and enjoy nature can do wonders for our wellbeing, while motivating us to do our bit to help wildlife. I urge people right across the British Isles to get involved in 30 Days Wild this year!”  

Dr Nick Watts, Chief Sustainability Officer, NHS England, says:  

“The NHS was founded to provide high-quality care for all, now, and for future generations. We are joining 30 Days Wild to celebrate the hard work and commitment of NHS staff, past and present who have created and cared for green spaces and gardens in hospitals, GP surgeries, outpatient facilities and across our NHS estate. These spaces improve health, aid patient recovery and support staff wellbeing, while improving biodiversity and air quality. We’d like to encourage all NHS organisations,staff and volunteers to get involved and make the most of your green spaces for 30 Days Wild.”  

A survey of nearly 1,000 participants in 30 Days Wild last year has found that people’s favourite activities were:   

Watching wildlife, over 90% of people  
Listening to birdsong (85%)  
Taking a meal or drink outside (81%)  

Other popular ‘acts of wildness’ were planting wildflowers (76%), exercising outdoors (71%), identifying wildflowers (70%) and visiting somewhere wild (65%). 

The 2022 survey has also revealed:  

Over 74% of people said 30 Days Wild improved their mental health  
Over 76% of people said 30 Days Wild improved their relationship with nature  
Over 81% of people said 30 Days Wild motivated them to do more to protect nature  

Research by The Wildlife Trusts and University of Derby in 2020 revealed that people’s health improved by 30% after taking part in 30 Days Wild. Over three million people have taken part in 30 Days Wild since it began in 2015.  

This year’s 30 Days Wild challenge explores a different theme each week to help people connect with the natural world and achieve the 30-day target. The themes are:  

Look, touch and smell  
Move in nature  
Discover nature  
Helping nature  
Connect with nature 

Louisa Barnard, Norfolk Wildlife Trust Engagement Officer, explains: “These themes will help guide you, your family and friends through the challenge. They may inspire you to tune into the sound of bird life, visit your closest Norfolk Wildlife Trust Reserve, build a den, discover an unexplored country lane or local park, make time to build a bug hotel or start a diary of your day-to-day wildlife sightings. 

“Whatever you choose to do, it’s all about reconnecting with the wildlife on your doorstep, and creating the habit of doing this in a small way every single day. Many of us lead very busy lives, and this challenge invites us to consider our place in nature, how we can help it and how it helps us.” 

To mark the half-way point of the challenge, Norfolk Wildlife Trust is offering free entry to their Cley Marshes nature reserve for everyone during the weekend of 17 – 18 June (note 1). 

NHS backs Norfolk Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild this June  

30 Days Wild activity packs include a wild bee poster along with seeds and other materials to inspire you to do something wild every day throughout June. There is also a 30 Days Wild session planner specially designed for teachers to use in class. 

Register at www.wildlifetrusts.org/30dayswild

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