Blog Post: Get Ready for a Wild Challenge

Well, in this time where we are all adjusting to working and learning from home, there are fantastic opportunities to re-engage with nature. Whether that is in your garden, what you can see from your window or even what you see in your allotted daily exercise time. I have appreciated the wildlife in my garden more than ever before, taking more time to notice the pair of blackbirds in my garden that not only come for the tit bits dropped from the bird table but also to collect nesting materials. I've also been taking part in #BreakfastBirdwatch which is a great way to start the day and we'd really like to know what you are seeing in you're gardens, there's variety everywhere. There has also been lots of butterflies flitting around, such as small tortoiseshell and red admiral. Check out our Twitter and let us know what you've seen @RSPB_Ribble or Facebook page @RSPBRibbleEstuary. The learning team here at the Ribble and at Leighton Moss have been checking out the Wild Challenge activities and we will share our experiences doing them here on our blog pages. this one is from Jayne one of the Learning Assistants at Leighton Moss, who has decided to undertake the "Let it Grow" challenge with her daughter. For further information about Wild Challenge check out our page here. Jo Let it grow, let it grow… So spring has sprung and whilst we are at home trying to find things to keep ourselves and our children occupied, it’s a great opportunity to give RSPB Wild Challenge activities a try. Sign up now at www.rspb.org.uk/wildchallenge. Don’t feel that just because you don’t have children that this blog and the activities aren’t for you, whatever your age you can experience and help nature in your own garden, from your window or whilst out on your daily exercise walk (whilst observing social distancing guidance) There are many studies that show that time in nature can improve our mental and physical wellbeing, which we all need right now. Over the coming weeks we will be sharing activities you can have a go at, giving you some top tips about Giving Nature a Home at home and generally helping to lift your spirits. Last night I saw a message from my local council in South Lakeland that our green bin collections would cease for the moment to allow them to concentrate on refuse and recycling. Therefore the first Wild Challenge activity my daughter and I are going to do is probably the easiest of all…Let it grow. The clue is in the title, let a small part or all of your lawn grow and let it go wild. www.rspb.org.uk/fun-and-learning/for-families/family-wild-challenge/activities/let-it-grow/ The long grass will be great for insect life and you can keep a weekly photo diary to show how long and wild your very own mini jungle gets. If you decide to go for it and let your whole lawn grow then maybe you could mow a path through it, or create a maze, the possibilities are only limited by your creativity! So what can you do now to prepare to let it grow… Decide on the area of lawn that you are going to let go wild. Make signs and maybe put up a string fence or similar to let other family members know what you’re doing and remind them not to mow it whilst it’s growing. Take the first picture for your diary, measure the length of the grass today on day 1 and decide when you are going to take the next picture and measure it again, weekly is probably best. Then let it grow! Hopefully this sunny spring weather continues and you can have a go at this or other wild challenges. There will be more from us over the coming weeks so watch out, we will try and include challenges that can be done indoors too or adapted for a window sill or yard. To finish a quote from Rachel Carson the author of the book Silent Spring: “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” Jayne Buchanan Learning and Visitor Assistant Main photo tile Grahame Madge RSPB-Images