TV wildlife champions and superfans back UK’s biggest nature challenge – 30 Days Wild

TV wildlife champions and superfans back UK’s biggest nature challenge – 30 Days Wild

Wildlife adventurer Steve Backshall, zoologist presenter Liz Bonnin, and TV GP Dr Amir Khan back the UK’s favourite nature challenge, 30 Days Wild, in June.

TV stars and superfans are calling on the nation to enjoy the benefits of daily contact with nature this June by taking part in the UK’s most popular annual nature challenge, 30 Days Wild, from The Wildlife Trusts. 

A record estimated 650,000 people took part in 30 Days Wild in 2020 – its most successful year since launching in 2015. Evidence shows that 30 Days Wild is proven to boost your mood, health, and sense of connection to nature.

30 Days Wild participants are provided with ideas, wallcharts and activity sheets that give everyone easy ways of doing a ‘random act of wildness’ every day for 30 days during June. Popular activities include listening to birdsong, taking wildlife photographs and star-gazing.

This year, the challenge kicks off with a nationwide outdoor event on Tuesday 1 June: a Big Wild Breakfast. People can download a free breakfast placemat, designed as a wildlife spotting guide, and record the nature they see in 30 minutes outdoors over cereal, toast or tea. 

Hand holding a Big Wild Breakfast placemat up against a tree in the sunshine. The placemat has tips for spotting wildlife

Surveys show that taking part in 30 Days Wild not only significantly increases people’s wellbeing and heightened sense of nature, but that these positive increases are sustained beyond the life of the challenge – months after it is over.  

Steve Backshall, naturalist, explorer and president of his local Wildlife Trust, says:

“30 Days Wild from The Wildlife Trusts is the perfect reminder to get outdoors every day and have fun! You can be a backyard explorer, or a neighbourhood naturalist, and take action for wildlife in your own patch. Or you can simply relax and enjoy your breakfast outdoors! As a dad with three young children, my typical breakfast time is a lot messier than it used to be. With the Big Wild Breakfast, I’ll be taking a welcome break from frantic routines and clean-up duty to spend 30 minutes of quality time outdoors with the kids instead. Whether it’s fantastic flowers, bright beetles, butterflies, the feel of the wind on their faces, or grass under their feet - they’ll be captivated by the adventure of it, come rain or shine.”

Liz Bonnin, science and nature broadcaster, and President of The Wildlife Trusts, says:

“Citizen science whilst having your breakfast - what a perfect way to start your day! Big Wild Breakfast takes place on the first day of the UK's favourite nature challenge – 30 Days Wild - a chance to carry out your very own mini bio-blitz in the company of your local wildlife. I'm excited to see how creative people will be with their choice of breakfast-time nature spots and the special wildlife encounters they'll share with our 30 Days Wild social media community. Coffees and cameras at the ready!”

A female sparrowhawk sitting on a garden fence

Female sparrowhawk by Amy Lewis

Dr Amir Khan, GP, TV presenter and ambassador for The Wildlife Trusts says:

“Join many thousands of other people and me for The Big Wild Breakfast on 1 June! What an incredibly positive way to start the day! Take 30 minutes to appreciate some calm, and a truly gorgeous summer month, outside in the still morning light. 

“Waking up with wildlife is something I personally appreciate every day, but if you've never tried it before you'll be amazed what is up and about in the mornings. You could see a fox, a deer or a rabbit, or hear baby birds' first calls from a nest. Start the month wild at breakfast and carry on for 30 Days Wild in this inspiring challenge from The Wildlife Trusts in June. It's so good for us to connect with nature and the outdoors. We've never needed these moments more.”

Shigufta, in her 50s, is CEO of a domestic abuse charity, has a regular slot on BBC Radio Lancashire and lives in Blackburn. It was Dr Amir Khan who first inspired Shigufta to try 30 Days Wild, and now, she uses the challenge to connect with like-minded people on social media and share her enthusiasm for nature. Ideas for ‘random acts of wildness’ also helped her charity to support families with some distraction in difficult times.

“I follow Dr Khan on Twitter and I saw his Instagram posts about 30 Days Wild too," Shigufta smiles. “It was doctor’s orders really.”

Since she was a child, Shigufta has enjoyed wildlife and nature. A keen gardener, she now enjoys taking photographs of the ever-changing cycle of plants, visiting birds and other wildlife and sharing them on Twitter.

“The combination of a spending more time in my garden, plus taking a photograph every day? That was perfect for me.”

Sign up for 30 Days Wild 2021 - the UK's biggest nature challenge

Register to take part in 30 Days Wild and get a FREE: 

  • Big Wild Breakfast nature ‘bingo’ placemat to download.
  • Bundle of educational and fun resources.
  • Top technical tips from wildlife webcam experts.
  • Details on how to record your breakfast bio-blitz nature spots.
  • Wildlife guides, how-to guides, a fun quiz event and much more.

Take part in 30 Days Wild