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New research reveals nature’s beauty increases happiness

30 Days Wild connect peoples with natural beauty

Northumberland Wildlife Trust

13 April 2018

The countdown has begun to The Wildlife Trusts’ annual nature challenge - 30 Days Wild which encourages people to do something wild every day for the month of June, and last year 250,000 people took part.

This June’s 30 Days Wild challenge from The Wildlife Trusts will encourage thousands of people across the UK to make their neighbourhoods wilder - to help wildlife and get communities sharing the joy of the wild.

Academics at the University of Derby who have monitored the challenge since it began in 2015 have discovered that spending time in nature makes us feel good. 30 Days Wild encourages people to notice nature on their doorsteps every single day and gives them a multitude of exciting and fun ways of doing it.

The University’s evaluation* of 30 Days Wild 2017 included new measures and reveals that people’s perception of beauty in the natural world is a key ingredient to unlocking the benefits of well-being and happiness experienced by participants in the challenge.

Dr Miles Richardson, Director of Psychology, University of Derby explains: “Over the past three years we’ve repeatedly found that taking part in 30 Days Wild improves health, happiness, nature connection and conservation behaviours. Now we have discovered that engagement with the beauty of nature is part of that story.

“Tuning-in to the everyday beauty of nature becomes part of a journey which connects us more deeply to the natural world. As people’s appreciation of natural beauty increases, so does their happiness. We respond to beauty - it restores us and balances our emotions. This, in turn, encourages people to do more to help wildlife and take action for nature.”

The latest set of results from the study of 30 Days Wild also confirms that the benefits of the challenge last well after the month has ended. There are indications that the beneficial impact of taking part could last an entire year.

Mike Pratt, Northumberland Wildlife Trust Chief Executive said: “Northumberland Wildlife Trust is urging everybody to do get behind 30 Days Wild which is a lovely way to get closer to nature and marvel at the everyday wildlife that lives all around you. Sit quietly and enjoy watching dragonflies dance over a pond or take a moment to sow a window box of wildflowers to help bees.

“Get together with your neighbours to create hedgehog highways or sow front-garden meadows along the length of your street. No matter how small the action, it all counts!”

Anybody interested in 30 Days Wild can register at www.wildlifetrusts.org/30DaysWild and receive a free pack with a booklet of inspirational ideas for Random Acts of Wildness, a recipe for wild strawberry and thyme ice cream, wildflower seeded paper to sow, a wall chart to record your activities and wild stickers.

There is also a 30 Days Wild app which is available at www.wildlifetrusts.org/30DaysWild/App

This year’s 30 Days Wild theme is all about helping wildlife in your neighbourhood and our pack has inspiring ideas for sharing the challenge locally. See great ways to green-up your street from carving hedgehog holes in fences to putting up bird and bat boxes and doing a local litter pick.

As part of the 30 Days Wild campaign, the first ever Big Wild Weekend of wildlife events will be held across the whole of the UK on the 16 - 17 June, and in this region, a series of events will be held at the wildlife charity’s Hauxley and Northumberlandia reserves. For more information visit: www.nwt.org.uk/whats-on