Discovering wildlife in other places

Alan Wright

I was schmoozing at a conference in Nottingham yesterday, meeting up with lovely colleagues from around the country who are also 30 Days Wilding.

The University of Nottingham’s Jubilee campus is a great place to study, with buildings amongst lakes and trees.

During the first tea break, a heron landed in the lake right next to us and I had to interrupt a conversation as it took off later in the day.

I also gasped as a swallow took on some liquid, dipping low over the water then setting off to hunt for food. Wildlife are in desperate need of water in these hot days of summer.

We discussed working in partnerships, engaging with non-nature lovers and the post-Brexit environment, which was really upbeat. There were Wildlife Trusts, Buglife, RSPB, Canal and River Trust, Woodland Trust and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

But the best bit was listening to a group of passionate young people, who are making a mark in the natural world.

Isla Hodgson, Associate Director of A Focus on Nature, said: “The majority of young people do not need engaging nature, they are not disinterested. They are passionate about the environment.”

However, she said that the majority of young naturalists are held back because they are not given opportunities to make a difference.

It was pointed out that a 92-year-old, the brilliant David Attenborough is the embodiment of hope for both young and old. Where are the opportunities for young people to step into his shoes and become leaders in the Environmental Revolution?

You do realise that your involvement in 30 Days Wild might just be the start of this popular uprising? Around 85 per cent of people involved in this year’s challenge are not members of the Wildlife Trusts, so we are reaching the parts that our attempts have failed to reach so far.

We can capture the imaginations of the younger children who are involved in 30 Days Wild so they continue to be interested in nature. Then they may grow up to take advantage of opportunities that will become available in the future.

Let’s hope so. Let’s hope the work we are all doing will continue with passionate young people.