30 Days Wild: It’s that time of year again!



I’m sure that some of my readers are already well aware of The Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild campaign that ran throughout the 30 days of June last year; maybe you blogged for it also? The campaign was actually the catalyst for me starting my Trails&Tails blog and you can read all about my daily activities from last June in the archives here. Particular highlights for me were; foraging for wild garlic and elderflower (back on the agenda for this weekend too!); Mum’s hedgehogsbat watching on campusmy first solo-led bee-themed Wildlife Watch session; Wildlife Trust courses such as Introduction to Wildflowers and Introduction to Beespractical conservation daysenvironmental education school visits growing my own fruit and veg and introducing my new neighbours to the gardenfinding my crow (which is now a beautiful skeleton and needs assembling!); keeping peacock caterpillars; and of course Walter the pigeon.

The theory goes that a period of 30 days is enough time to form (or change) a habit meaning that if you were to get outside and appreciate nature every day for 30 days, you would be more likely to continue after the 30 days had finished (I looked into this a bit more and you can read what I found out in the comments below if you’re interested). The campaign really gained momentum last year and in 2016 I imagine that it will be even bigger and better. Look out for special events going on in your area and with your local trust and be sure to check their website for plenty of ideas on how to take part in 30 Days Wild. The dedicated 30 Days Wild blogging team is made up of a great mix of people of all ages and all interests; you can read about the activities of my fellow blogger’s here. Don’t forget to use #30DaysWild on social media to share your fun and see what everyone else is doing!

Stay Wild!

All images subject to copyright. All opinions expressed on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent the view of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust for whom I volunteer, or any other organisation.

One thought on “30 Days Wild: It’s that time of year again!

  1. I was interested in where the idea of “30 Days” started and a quick search of the internet (and subsequent wikihole) told me that this theory probably stemmed from the observations that Dr Maxwell Maltz wrote about in his book Psycho-cybernetics in 1960. The plastic surgeon wrote that “many commonly observed phenomena tend to show that it requires a minimum of about 21 days for an old mental image to dissolve and a new one to jell” in reference to the patterns of behaviour he saw in patients with amputated limbs, facial reconstruction and in his personal life (Maltz, 1960). 21 days became 30 days in Morgan Spurlock’s 2005 reality TV series which put people in an unfamiliar situations and watched how they adapted in relation to different social issues over the period of a month. However, a 2010 study by Lally et. al. published in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that in a sample of 82 volunteers completing the Self-Report Habit Index (SRHI) the average time taken to develop automaticity of behaviour was 66 days with a range of 18-254 days (Lally et.al. 2010). It seems obvious that how quickly habits are formed will depend on many variable factors; personality, circumstances, and pleasure to name a few. To call being in nature a ‘habit’ seems almost absurd to me though. My whole idea of 30 Days Wild is about the experience of appreciating your surroundings and noticing things you might not have previously. Social psychologist John Bargh defined a habit as an automatic response: a behaviour that is efficient but uncontrollable, unintentional and/or lacks awareness (Bargh, 1994). This basically describes the complete opposite to how I feel about being outside! For me, surrounding myself in nature very much an intentional conscious decision! Plus I’m never efficient; wandering round and stopping every few metres to inspect a flower or invertebrate. It’s so important to be mindful and aware and I’ve written before about how I believe involvement in nature can bring you out of yourself and help you connect with others.

    Bargh, J. A. (1994). The four horsemen of automaticity: awareness, intention, efficiency, and control in social cognition. In R.S. Wyer, & T. K. Srull (Eds.), Handbook of social cognition: Vol 1 basic processes (pp. 1–40). Hove: Lawrence Erlbaun Associates Publishers

    Lally, P. et. al. (2010). How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. European Journal of Social Psychology. 40 (6) p.998–1009

    Maltz, M. (1994) Psycho-cybernetics. New York: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group


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