A 30 Days Wild to Remember

A 30 Days Wild to Remember

(c) George Cook

Finally, the verges are bursting into colour and the swifts have returned to our skies – and so has the Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild! The largest nature challenge in the UK is back, when everyone is invited to do something ‘wild’ every single day. From sitting outside and enjoying a cup of tea in the garden, to visiting a nature reserve or planting some wildflowers – just do anything outdoors in nature that you fancy.

I was lucky enough to start my 30 Days Wild on holiday in Cornwall, where I experienced a ‘moment of wildness’ that I can honestly say I’ll carry with me forever.

My girlfriend and I booked tickets for a sea safari from Padstow, hoping to add some new seabirds to our 2021 bird list. As the boat sped out of the Camel Estuary, I held my camera close to my chest and kept my eyes scanning out across the vast expanse of blue. Gannets, guillemots, razorbills and even puffins quickly joined our safari but, about an hour into the trip, the real magic started. A fin was spotted just to the right of the boat and the engine was turned off. Everyone held their breath as we desperately searched the waves, hoping for another glimpse. Just as I began to think I had missed the only brief sighting we were to have, two more fins emerged ahead of the boat. And then another!

Soon we were enjoying one of the best wildlife experiences of my life. A pod of common dolphins surrounded the boat, gliding beneath us, swimming in our wake and throwing themselves out of the water all around us. Children and adults alike were clapping and gasping in amazement as we watched these incredible animals, who were clearly enjoying themselves enormously. Sharing magical wildlife encounters like this with others inspires such a mix of emotions such as excitement, joy, amazement, and gratitude. We all realised how fortunate we were to experience a moment like that. When safely back on shore, I was thrilled to see I had managed to capture some great images of the morning. A few other passengers and I compared notes, excitedly reliving the incredible moment we had all shared.

Not every wild moment can be like that one, but nevertheless I treasure each one, and this year I’ve decided to set myself a genuine challenge for my 30 Days Wild.  Last year I was drawn to try outdoor swimming in my local rivers after having a second surgery on my right knee, because I became interested in the health benefits of cold-water immersion. So, I’ve pledged to swim in the outdoors every day until the end of June, with the sponsorship money I raise going towards supporting the Avon Wildlife Trust’s vital youth work, launched by the Our Bright Future Project. It feels good to be using my experiences to support a cause – but just as importantly, I’m loving the daily opportunity it gives me to connect with nature. 

If you’re inspired by my adventures on and in the water, why not get involved?  Our 30 Days Wild webpage is full of exciting ideas of ‘Random acts of Wildness’ for you to try for the rest of the month to make your life a bit more wild. For you, it may be a dolphin safari, or a wild swim, or it could simply be a walk in the park, but by trying something wild every day during June for 30 Days Wild, you are opening yourself up to having some amazing wildlife moments for yourself.