Posted 6th Apr 2016
New research carried out has revealed that people who do something 'wild' every day for a month will end up with a changed attitude to nature and get an increased physical and mental well being, new research has revealed
An impact study was carried out by the University of Derby and stands at the UK's first ever month-long nature challenge, run by The Wildlife Trusts in June 2015. It revealed that participants benefitted from increased happiness, health, connection to nature and positive environmental behaviours, such as feeding the birds or growing flowers for bees.
Head of Psychology at the University of Derby, Dr Miles Richardson, who conducted the study, said: "Two months after taking part in 30 Days Wild, the number of people reporting their health as excellent increased by over 30%. And that improvement in health was influenced by the improvements in happiness and connection with nature."
"The impact of 30 Days Wild adds to the compelling argument for bringing nature into our everyday lives. Our grand challenges, such as health and declining biodiversity, require large-scale interventions and the evaluation of 30 Days Wild provides good evidence that time in, and a connection with nature can bring sustained benefits to public health, reducing demands on our health services, while also improving pro-nature behaviours. Even in urban areas, nature can provide a simple solution to complex problems."
The experiment had more than 18,500 taking part in the 30 Days Wild challenge, committing around 300,000 Random Acts of Wildness - this was the different ways to connect, experience and take action for nature - throughout June 2015.
Lucy McRobert, The Wildlife Trusts' Nature Matters campaigns manager, said: "Last year, thousands of people undertook Random Acts of Wildness everywhere, from the centre of London to the Outer Hebrides. People let their lawns grow wild, adults danced in the rain and made nature cocktails while families created wild works of art, went star-gazing and created homes for wildlife in their gardens. Even people at work found time for wildlife, by taking meetings outside in the sun and transforming work spaces into wildlife habitats. The results of our study show that taking part in 30 Days Wild makes people happier, healthier and more connected to nature in the long-term."
McRoberts went on to say: "Importantly it also showed that by looking out for nature on a regular basis people became more likely to care about and protect it – and that’s what we’re all about. We’re here to inspire everyone again - every day throughout June. Whatever their age, wherever they live, we want everyone to feel they can take part and join thousands of others making nature part of their life."
The campaign is set for a return this June, where The Wildlife Trust will be asking everyone to do something wild each day from 1 - 30 June. Even something as simple as smelling a wildflower, letting part of your garden grow wild or exploring a local place counts. Following the success it enjoyed last year, the Trust is now aiming to inspire people to carry out one million Random Acts of Wildness, and are listing 101 fun and intriguing ideas online to get you started. You can sign up from today here.
Image courtesy of Amy Lewis