First frost!

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The first frost of the autumn made this morning’s walk really magical; cold days can be just perfect for getting outdoors.  For lots of ideas for things to do in rain, wind, ice and snow look out for Going Wild’s “Wild Weather Book”.

Autumn wild times

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Enjoying autumn in Highland Perthshire; my half hour of wild time this morning included walking in the rain kicking bright yellow leaves as the river Lyon rushed past, and spotting a red squirrel dashing up a tree.  You never know what surprises might be in store when you escape outdoors!

 

 

LAUNCH OF PROJECT WILD THING AND THE WILD NETWORK

it’s time to re-wild our kids with more wild time!  The UK’s biggest ever campaign to reconnect children with nature and outdoor play is being launched today by the newly formed Wild Network, as it encourages the nation’s parents to swap some of their kids’ screen time for wild time.

Swapping thirty minutes of screen time for an extra half an hour of wild time every day would decrease children’s time in front of screens by ten per cent. This could help increase levels of physical activity, alertness and ultimately improve their well-being.

This new campaign is being launched on the back of an important and compelling new documentary film, ‘Project Wild Thing’, which is being shown at over fifty cinemas across the UK from the 25 October.   Three years in the making, ‘Project Wild Thing’ takes a funny and moving look at one of the most complex issues of the age – the increasingly fragile link between children and nature.  In a bid to get his daughter and son off the sofa and outdoors, filmmaker and father David Bond appoints himself as the Marketing Director for Nature.  He wants his brand – nature – to stand out from the crowd of brands competing for their attention, and works with branding and outdoor experts to develop and launch a campaign to get children outdoors and into nature – the ultimate, free, wonder-product.

The reasons why kids, whether they live in cities or the countryside, have become disconnected from nature and the outdoors are complex. “’Project Wild Thing’ isn’t some misty eyed nostalgia for the past; we need to make more space for wild time in children’s daily routine, freeing this generation of kids to have the sort of experiences that many of us took for granted.  “It’s all about finding wildness on your doorstep and discovering the sights, sounds and smells of nature, whether in a back garden, local park or green space at the end of the road. Spending time outdoors is hugely beneficial to children and young people. Research clearly shows that it improves their health, reduces stress and boosts wellbeing.”

Going Wild is delighted to be part of The Wild Network, which is made up of more than 370 organisations, large and small, is leading a campaign calling for more wild time for every child, every day. Members of the network include the National Trust, RSPB, Play England and the NHS Sustainable Development Unit.

Andy Simpson, Chair of the Wild Network, said: “The tragic truth is that kids have lost touch with nature and the outdoors in just one generation. New research published last week illustrates the scale of the challenge with only one in five (21 per cent) children aged eight to twelve years old having a connection with nature. An extra thirty minutes of wild time every day for all under 12-year olds in the UK would be the equivalent of just three months of their childhood spent outdoors.  We want parents to see what this magical wonder-product does for their kids’ development, independence and creativity, by giving wild time a go.”

The discussion about swapping screen time for wild time will continue on twitter via the feed @wearewildthing and using the hashtag #wildtime.

 

Just one in five chidren connected to nature

Are you connected to nature?

We at Going Wild are often asked what evidence there is for children becoming increasingly disconnected from nature and green spaces.  A recent study from the RSPB is the latest project to find that large numbers of children in Britain are missing out on the natural world. The three-year project found that only 21% of children aged 8-12 were “connected to nature”.

For more information see http://ow.ly/25pOmn.

 

The Big Wild Sleepout!

Big Wild Sleepout at Wytham Woods

This great event is one of 49 “sleepout” events happening all over the country and people can take part in their back garden to – see www.rspb.org.uk/events/details.aspx?id=tcm:9-348186

Saturday 10 August and Sunday 11 August

4.00pm Saturday to 11.00am Sunday

Price: Members: Adult £30/child £18 and Non members: Adult £38/child £22 (includes tasty BBQ from 6pm with optional extra cooked breakfast)

Booking essential

Date: Saturday 10 August

Start: 4 pm to pitch tents (optional 2pm guided walk if you want to see the woods in the daylight – this is open to the general public)

Finish: 10.30 – 11.00 am Sunday

Costs: Members: Adult £30/child £18 and Non members: Adult £38/child £22 (includes tasty BBQ from 6pm with optional extra cooked breakfast)

A unique opportunity for you and your family to camp out over night at Oxford University’s famous research woodland. Home to an amazing collection of wildlife this is your chance to sleepout in their home. The woods are normally only open to those with permits and we are delighted to  invite you to join us for your most memorable night of the school holidays!

Activities will include:

·         An evening badger watch and night time walk with bat detectors. We will be joined by experts from the university who will share with us the insights of these most studied badgers and a chance to peek into the lives of the bats.

·         We will run moth traps to find who else was flying around the woods

·         Follow a woodland trail and take part in activities to give you ideas about how to bring wildlife into your garden

·         A campfire will give us all the opportunity to share our wildlife stories and of course toast marshmallows!

Please note NO DOGS are allowed at this event.

Booking information: Through the Midlands Regional Office , Lucy Brown Tel: 01295 676443 bwsowytham@rspb.org.uk orlucy.brown@rspb.org.uk Participants will be asked to bring their own tea/coffee, mugs, plates and cutlery. Hot water and milk will be provided.

Participants will need to bring their own camping equipment (tent, sleeping bag, pegs, mallet, torch, sleeping mat, warm clothes, waterproofs) along with tea/coffee, mugs, plates and cutlery. Water (hot & cold) and milk will be provided for drinks. Please do not bring camping stoves.

We will also be offering the opportunity to learn bushcraft skills with www.wildernesspioneers.co.uk. You will be shown how to pitch tarps in the bushcraft area for your overnight stay. There will be a fire-making demo on Sunday morning. Tarps will be provided and you will join the main group for the evening meal. This activity has limited space so please request your spaces when you make your booking.

 

If you want to learn a little more about Wytham woods watch The Laboratory With Leaves video on Youtube.

Have you been enjoying the snow this weekend?

Much of the UK has been blanketed in snow this weekend and many people have not wanted to travel very far.  But this is a great opportunity to wrap up warm, get outside and have fun.  If you have warm waterproof gloves snow is great fun for modelling with; don’t stick to snowmen, see what else you can make, like this miniature snow cottage.  We would love to see pictures of any buildings, animals or other sculptures made of snow.