THE WILDLIFE Trust is calling on nature lovers to take part in its 30 day challenge to become more connected with the outdoors.
The 30 Days Wild challenge has been launched as a poll of over 100 Coventry residents reveals city-dwellers have a strong affinity for nature and think it is important to help care for it – but struggle to get involved.
A high proportion of people also feel not enough is being done to ensure the places where most people live and work have thriving wildlife – with only 10 per cent having enjoyed a ‘wild’ place as part of their working day.
The wildlife challenge taking place this month encourages people to commit to ‘Random Acts of Wildness’ every day for 30 days.
More than 35,000 have pledged to do this so far including 3,000 schools and 1,000 businesses.
Anna Squires of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust said: “The data for Coventry is heart-warming in so many ways, as 87 per cent of respondents said nature was important to them, 84 per cent said they felt more relaxed in green spaces and 87 per cent said they knew where to go in Coventry to enjoy nature and wildlife.
“Coventry as a city is blessed with a lot of green space, there are small pocket parks, pools, woodlands, rivers and large formal parks. You aren’t ever very far from a green space, even in the heart of the city.”
Among those taking on this year’s challenge is Olympic gold medallist Amy Williams OBE.
She said: “I have always been passionate about wildlife and looking after the world we live in.
“30 Days Wild is perfect for me; it combines my love of being outdoors and staying active with my creative side, too – I can’t wait to get involved.”
Likewise, Dr Alice Roberts said: “Getting out in the natural world is good for the mind and body.
“Humans are meant to spend time in nature and be part of it – it’s how we evolved over thousands of years. And it’s not just for the weekend – it should be every single day.”
Academics at the University of Derby tracked the effects of participating in the challenge.
Their study found those who did the challenge felt happier, healthier and more connected to nature.
Dr Miles Richardson, director of psychology, said: “The impact of 30 Days Wild adds to the compelling argument for bringing nature into our everyday lives.
“Two months after taking part in 30 Days Wild, there was a 30 per cent increase in the number of people who reported their health as excellent.”