30 Days Wild: Idea 24-nighttime stroll

Getting outside in the dark for a wild hunt can be interesting. Even walking or sitting out in a familiar space such as your garden can reveal different visitors to the daytime.

The back of my garden has a path and behind ours is a mass of ivy and brambles. During the nighttime, this becomes alive with moths with this being a perfect combination for them.

Every so often we are lucky enough to get bats and hedgehogs visiting. The mere nearby by does offer evenings for bat watches. Bat conservation trust has a list of local groups for if you fancy getting out and seeing more. The Barn owl trust may be able to give you more information

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For younger children, the National Trust has a nighttime adventure book. Many of the ideas are obvious but still a nice bunch of ideas. It’s about to be re-released in a new edition. I’m not sure if it has changed or just a new cover.

30 Days Wild: Idea 23-Eat outside

Well, the 30 Days app suggested eating outside so let’s examine why eating outside is good for you. It has been suggested that eating outside can make the food taste better, concentration improves, eating in the sunlight can improve vitamin D and increase your immune system. I don’t know how much truth there is any of this but eating outside certainly feels like an event. Whether it’s a BBQ or a picnic these are events that can be remembered for a long time. It creates a chance for bonding as a family or just a break on yourself.

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30 Days Wild: Idea 22-Get closer to the grass

Previous years I’ve walked barefoot on the grass but as Alice doesn’t like going barefoot very much we’ve just looked today at getting closer to the ground. While she might not like going barefoot she is quite happy rolling it and sniffing it.

Grass has many potential benefits. It can improve air quality by capturing carbon and it acts as a pollution filter. Areas of grass stay cooler than many hard surfaces. Then there are the mental benefits of green spaces. Green spaces can lower blood pressure and help mental well-being. Well worth celebrating and getting a bit closer with to connect with.

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30 Days Wild: Idea 21-Wildflower hunt

Through taking part in 30 days wild in previous days I was switched onto the Wildflower Hour. This has helped develop my knowledge of wildflowers and their names. While for many people this might not seem that significant. What’s in a name? But it does matter. If we can’t name plants, insects, birds we can’t monitor their decline. Without figures we can’t gain support for protecting species. That said I mainly just enjoy taking pleasure in the seasonal shifts from one flower to the next. Paying attention to the flowers and insects around us helps to cultivate mindfullness and improve piece of mind.

Getting out on even a short walk can find a good number of species. On just a short 100m stretch along the seafront I found a good variety of wildflowers along the grass bank.

The umbels of cow parsley out in large drifts.

Pretty little geranium/cranesbill seeding on the upper levels of the slope.

A battered dog rose attracting the pollen beetles.

A few patches of mallow.

Lots of snails out.

Further back from the seafront in a ditch there were a few yellow flag irises.

Reading the wildflower hour posts has helped improve my knowledge but a field guide is useful. I have a couple but it’s the wildflower key I go back to the most. A jewelers loupe was recomended when I started looking at IDing. it isn’t really necessary for most but it is interesting taking a closer look at the structure of plants.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my little wander. What can you find?

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30 Days Wild: Idea 20-Logpile house

Today looking at another quick project to attract more nature to your garden. Building a log pile house. Log piles attract a whole host of insects and depending on the size they can home mammals, amphibians and reptiles. Deadwood brings in many beetles, woodlice and worms in the soil underneath. From there you get networks of spiders hunting over the pile. Over winter the pile can provide hibernation space for a number of pollinators. If there are gaps at the bottom frogs will rest in the cool shade of your pile. If you can manage larger woodpiles it may attract hedgehogs coming to eat the beetles and other treats or to find a hibernation spot.

Mine is only a small pile made from a bought bag of logs. Alternatively, you can gradually gather wood from your own prunings or gathering some on walks.

For teachers with school gardens, a log pile proves useful when you come to do your minibeast hunting as it almost guarantees you will find something. Even just a few logs left out a couple of days will attract life. Then when you pick it up and look under the kids can enjoy seeing the bugs scatter. Then you don’t spend a fruitless hour with a class spotting nothing.

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30 Days Wild: Idea 19-Hedgehog feeder

I have a wooden hedgehog home but I don’t like to put food in where I want the hedgehogs to settle. My hedgehog feeding station isn’t particularly swish. It’s a homemade effort but it does the job effectively. I bought a cheap plastic storage box, sawed a hole in and taped around the rough edges. The bricks on the top are to stop the cats getting in. It might not look amazing but it does the job. Hedgehogs have used it and it gives them a safe place I can put food and water. Apart from being rather pleasant animals, they are great at eating slugs. I use the trail camera to track them but every so often I’m lucky and go out at night and see one.

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30 days of wild: Idea 18-Listen to birdsong

With the break in the rain, the birds are back out in force. The dusk chorus has been singing away and it was a joy to listen to.  Taking a few minutes to sit and listen to birdsong is a simple pleasure but a very enjoyable one. Earlier in the year, the RSPB put birdsong in the chart with let nature sing. If for some reason you are unable to get outside or to a spot you can hear birdsong through this track and it gives a donation to the RSPB.

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While it is nice to hear the songs I’ve been working on tuning into the bird’s songs to be able to identify through their sound. The RSPB has a new book and CD set out to help identify birdsong. Earlier in the year, I was gifted this lovely set that gives details of each bird then has tracks it plays through a built-in speaker.

For a free option, the long-running BBC Tweet of the day gives you a way to gradually build your knowledge. There is a massive back catalogue of episodes to listen to all for free. With many people following this blog for my gardening content you may enjoy Monty Don on the return of the swallows.

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