30 Days Wild: Week One

To celebrate the great outdoors and the importance of nature, I’m taking part in the Wildlife Trusts’ latest campaign 30 Days Wild! It’s a fantastic way to get everyone outside every day, to do something wild and feel the benefits of a life closer to nature. I’ll be posting four weekly summaries throughout June to share my wild ideas. You can still join in by registering here!

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On the last weekend of May I stumbled upon a brave patch of wild garlic in the woods, struggling on between wilting towers of bobbing bluebells. To capture that perfect spring smell of woodland garlic, I decided to make my own wild pesto! I chopped a few basil leaves, organic pine nuts and a hunk of Cornish Quartz, my favourite cheddar full of crunchy salt crystals. I then added glugs of hazelnut oil and olive oil, and mashed it together into a glorious green mess.

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I’m lucky enough to live within a National Park, which means I see wonderful wildlife every day! But there’s still so much around the country that I can’t spot from way down south, so the growing number of live cameras available online are fantastic. It was pouring with rain today, so I spent the morning with a hot cup of coffee watching this osprey on her nest at Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve in Cumbria!


With all the horrid news about bumblebee declines and pollinator problems, there’s nothing I love more than planting wildflower seeds. It’s such a quick, easy way to help wildlife and make your surroundings more beautiful! Somebody came into work today with two boxes of ‘Simply Scatter’ seeds, so there wasn’t even any need to rake the soil. And as it’s been raining so heartily over the last few days, the ground was well up for it. I planted them around the borders of our beehive area, rather hastily jogging around the hives as the bees like getting stuck in my hair. The mix contains calendula, borage, delphinium, adonis, achillea and lupin.

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The nature of my job means I am constantly surrounded by wildlife and farm animals, all of which have wonderful, inquisitive personalities. This little Manx Laoghtan lamb is called Juliet, and when her mother gave birth to her and her twin sister, only one of her udders was working and we had to start bottle-feeding Juliet several times a day. Two months on she is now chubby and healthy, but as I have been her main source of food, she sort of thinks I’m her mama… This means I have full access to lamb hugs, which is the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon!


There’s a massive patch of brambles at the top of our sheep field, and it’s always brimming with bees, beetles and butterflies going about their days. I decided to have a look and see what I could find… After I accidentally scared a bunny into the woods, I identified several species of bumblebee, a green hairstreak butterfly and a garden chafer beetle. I also got stung by a nettle, but you can’t pick and choose with nature – you have to love it all!


What a wonderful weekend! I’ve been house/dogsitting for a friend in a village near my town, and the surrounding countryside is absolutely stunning. Molly and I went for a four mile walk through two different nature reserves: the Buriton Chalk Pits and Coulters Dean. The latter is managed by the Hampshire Wildlife Trust and was completely brimming with wildflowers!


To bring my week to an end, I decided to try and identify a wildflower. I’m pretty good with birds and mammals, but I have lots to learn about insects and plants! These are growing on one of the banks at the farm between comfrey and numerous stinging nettles. I have consulted the wise and glorious internet, and I think I’ve identified it as white campion (Silene latifolia). If anyone knows any better, please let me know!


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