From butterfly spotting to barefoot yoga in the park, from listening to the dawn chorus to watching bats at dusk, connect with nature in Welwyn Hatfield this June.

Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust is encouraging residents to sign up for its annual '30 Days Wild' nature challenge, which is celebrating its tenth year.

30 Days Wild encourages individuals, families, schools, and businesses to connect with nature on a daily basis during what many argue is the best month for wildlife spotting.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Marsh Fritillary butterfly being photographed.Marsh Fritillary butterfly being photographed. (Image: Tom Hibbert)

Heidi Mansell, engagement manager at conservation charity Herts and Middlesex Trust, said: “This June promises to be a bumper 30 Days Wild as we celebrate 10 years of the UK’s biggest nature challenge, as well as the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust’s 60th anniversary year.

"We would love to see people of all ages and abilities participating and enjoying the health and wellbeing benefits of getting closer to nature."

This year's participants will receive a special 10th anniversary pack, targeted to their specific needs and designed to make their 30 days even more fun.

Over the past decade, millions of participants across the country have benefitted from countless acts of wildness, and it is hoped that even more people will take part this year with individuals and families, schools, businesses and care homes being encouraged to sign-up for specific participation packs.

Heidi said: "Everyone who signs up gets a useful pack full of great ideas to inspire them to do a small, wild thing every day during June and there are some great freebies too, including packets of seeds."

Back in 2014, the inaugural year of the challenge, 12,000 participants led the charge nationally, whilst over half a million people signed up to take part last year.

30 Days Wild has helped people to get outside, enjoy and connect with nature as part of their everyday lives — and there is scientific evidence that it has delivered many benefits for health and wellbeing.

A study found a significant increase in people's health, happiness, and connection to nature through participating in 30 Days Wild. People reported feeling more relaxed, reduced stress levels, and a greater motivation to protect wildlife which lasted long after the campaign ended.

On getting outside and enjoying nature, Heidi Mansell added: “June is a fantastic month to appreciate nature and the outdoors — there’s just so much to see at this time of year and hopefully we will get the weather to enjoy it too!

“In terms of some ideas, how about eating your breakfast outdoors, or setting a timer for one minute and listening to bird song? Simply watching the clouds from your window can provide a moment of peace and a connection with nature.

“The live Peregrine webcams at St Albans Cathedral and Watford’s YMCA building are available for everyone to get a bird's-eye view of chicks on the nest — if you haven’t tuned in already, why not take a look?

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Bee on marjoram.Bee on marjoram. (Image: Marcys Wehrle)

"Perhaps you could make a conscious effort to enjoy watching the bees and butterflies in your school grounds, garden, neighbourhood, or local park? Maybe take a nature-inspired selfie and send it to your mates?

“How about doing something community-minded such as putting on some gloves and picking up the litter in your street or workplace, organising a plant swap with your neighbours or colleagues in the office, or meeting up with them at dusk for bat watching?

"You could make your 30 Days Wild a social occasion and get together with colleagues, friends or family for a local stroll, taking in what blooms, moves or makes a noise as you go?

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Community gardening.Community gardening. (Image: Penny Dixie)

“If you have the flexibility to get down low, you could take a closer look at the cracks in the pavement and watch the busy critters who live beneath our feet!

"There’s just so much you can do to suit your own circumstances and it needn’t take much time or money. 

"I really can’t emphasise enough what you will get out of taking part and forging a deeper connection with our natural world."

To sign up to receive your free 30 Days Wild pack, visit

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Stocking Spring Wood.Stocking Spring Wood. (Image: Josh Kubale)


4 Welwyn Hatfield ideas for those looking to take part in 30 Days Wild

  1. Explore the Dragonfly Hotspot at Panshanger Park and see how many different species you can spot on the Dragonfly Trail there.
  2. Visit Lemsford Springs Nature Reserve — an old watercress bed — and enjoy the calm of this oasis in Lemsford village, where you’ll discover a mixture of shallow spring-fed lagoons, marsh, willow woodland, hedgerow and meadow.
  3. Seek out the shade at Stocking Springs Wood Nature Reserve, which is between Ayot St Lawrence and Ayot St Peter, and examine the gnarled and twisted trees that have been coppiced here. See how the light falls in the different areas.
  4. At the furthest end of Stanborough Lakes in Welwyn Garden City, you’ll find Stanborough Reedmarsh Nature Reserve — the third largest reedbed in Hertfordshire. Close your eyes and tune in to the sound of the warblers, which thrive in this habitat.


Welwyn Hatfield Times: Tree climbing during 30 Days WildTree climbing during 30 Days Wild (Image: Lee Wood)

Local resident Lee Wood and his daughter took part in 30 Days Wild last summer. 

He said: “We’ve always loved being outside, but the challenge of finding new things to do, new stories to tell on our return home (complete with grass stains and mud!) gives my daughter and I a togetherness in nature which we’d never swap.

"Summer is so much more when you embrace the world beyond the front garden and 30 Days Wild sets the stage for that.”

30 Days Wild has attracted support from a range of famous faces including TV presenters Monty Don, Liz Bonnin, Steve Backshall and Ellie Harrison.

The University of Derby conducted a five-year evaluation of 30 Days Wild participants from 2015-2020 and found that people reported they felt happier and healthier from taking part, with positive effects lasting for at least two months afterwards.