“The World before Yesterday” Jared Diamond’s new book looks at how tribal cultures can teach us valuable lessons

Jared Diamond looks at the developed worlds’ increasing disconnection with the natural world and suggests we should learn valuable life lessons from traditional cultures.
Lessons such as making sure we understand and respect the environment and parenting skills where children are given the freedom to explore and get their own perspective on risk.  One example he sites is of African Pygmies; “If a child plays with a sharp knife and waves it around, so be it. They will cut themselves on some occasions, but society figures it is better for the child to learn the hard way early in life. They are allowed to make their own choices and follow their own interests.”  We believe this makes a lot of sense; it is vital we give our children real world adventures if we want them to develop into to balanced individuals that are able to think for themselves and make informed choices.
But do you have to go as far as giving a toddler a knife? A much less scary and simple approach in our opinion would be to start by making sure all our children have plenty of opportunities to immerse themselves in the natural world and have the freedom to just play!
If you need some inspiration, have a look at our new book “The Wild Weather Book” (published in March), which gives loads of fun practical suggestions on how to have fun outdoors when the weather is cold, wet or windy and you might be tempted to just stay indoors!
So why are you still sitting infront your computer reading this?  Equip your children with the survival skills they are going to need. Tog up warm, put on those wellies and head out for some fun.  Who knows you may also go a little way in ensuring the planet’s survival too!

Seeking out the wilderness in the city

Isn’t it crazy how we will often travel large distances to discover things we could have explored on our doorstep?

Right in the heart of the city, un-discovered by many, is a wild wood, a secret escape from city life, a place you can be transported into the magical world of nature.  Yesterday to research for our new book “Wild Cities”, we visited Magdalen wood, an ancient woodland in the heart of Oxford where artist Melanie Kingham (www.inija.co.uk) ran a workshop.

With the help of local children, friends of the wood and volunteers she created a wonderful seating area.  A wild place which blended perfectly into the environment, full of special wishes,  enticing people off the path into the ancient woodland to enjoy this unique place.








Why don’t you seek out the wilderness on your doorstep? Even if you are surrounded by buildings there is a wild world out there.  All you have to do is go and find it!

We would love to hear about your discoveries, e-mail us or leave a comment on this site, with photos please!

Funny faces!

Aston Rowant Nature Reserve hosted “Go Wild in the Chilterns” on Saturday the 4th August, a lovely outdoor event for families.  Going Wild was there making clay and stick creatures including funny faces – not that we could compete with Dan Barton’s wonderful giant wicker man!

Winners of the Wildlife Watch competition to create a stick monster

Wildlife Watch, the children’s wildlife club, held a competition in their Spring 2012 magazine in association with Going Wild.

Children were asked to design a stick creature; you can see the five winning entries on the Watch website here: http://www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/Create-your-own-stick-creature. Each of the winners will receive a copy of The Stick Book.  Congratulations to you all and we love the great stick creatures you have invented!


Tawny owl fluffy chick rescue mission….

Yesterday my daughter and I rounded a bend in the road and there standing infront of us looking at us with it’s huge angelic eyes was a fluffy tawny owl chick.  It must have fallen out of it’s nest onto the road and was looking a little dazed.

Neither of us were owl experts but we knew that we should not just pick the owl up and assume it is abandoned.  Many owl chicks are rescued un-necessarily by well meaning people such as ourselves when in fact if old enough and un-harmed by their fall,  are able to climb back up the tree using their talons and the help of their parents. This owl however was still pretty young and was in great danger as it was on the road, and in the time it took for us to park up safely and get out of the car a Red Kite (large bird of prey common to the chilterns) swooped down hoping for an easy dinner.  It was not going to survive for much longer!

Quickly my daughter took off her shirt and covered the baby owl which allowed her to bundle it into the car (she is much braver than me! I saw its talons!).  This owl was very lucky because Tiggywinkles wildlife hospital at Haddenham in Buckinghamshire, was only a short drive away and within minutes the baby tawny owl was delivered to expert volunteers who were able to administer fluids vital to its survival.  It has now joined a group of about 6 other rescued tawny owl babies and will be reared and then released back into the wild!

If you want to have a look at the wonderful work they are doing at Tiggywinkles go to www.tiggywinkles.com  The public are not able to view the owl babies but they do have a lot of long term residents such as Red Kites, badgers, foxes, and of course orphaned baby hedgehogs, plus a visitor centre and museum where you can learn about british wildlife care.  You can also donate or become a member and subscribe to their regular newsletters to hear about all their amazing work.

Where ever you live why don’t you go for a walk and see if you can see any birds nesting, look for the adult birds and watch them delivering food to their young.  Be very careful to watch at a distance so as not to disturb them.