#30dayswild with The Wildlife Trust

There’s something about getting out and about in nature that really makes me happy and content. Whether it’s standing in the garden watching a bat fly about in the evening or seeing a spoonbill for the very first time at a nature reserve, it’s an easy reminder of the awesomeness around us and a great stress reliever. It’s so easy to caught up in every day life and forget the amazing natural world that’s around us, whether you’re heading out into the countryside for a ramble or simply walking into town alongside a hedge. I’m a firm believer in the power of nature as a stress reliever too. As soon as I’m out walking Poppy, whether it’s about town or out into the wilds of Oxfordshire, I can instantly feel myself feeling happier.

This is why I’m supporting The Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild throughout the month of June. The whole point of it is that for 30 days, you get reacquainted with nature, in whatever way you can, whether it’s watching a bee collecting pollen from a flower in your garden or heading out on a coastal walk & try your hand a bit of bird watching. Once you start exploring nature, you start to be more aware of it around you all the time, rather than something you choose to go and visit. You also become more aware of your impact on nature and what you can do to give it a helping hand.

Ducklings Blue butterfly Swans and sygnets wisteria Tar Lakes Witney Cow Parsley

You can sign up to 30 Days Wild here and get your hands on one of their packs to help you do something wild everyday for a month. You can also get inspiration from their app, which you can download here. If you’re in or near Oxford, you can get involved in the Oxford Festival of Nature or head out on the Wildlife Trail, something which I’m definitely going to be doing. You can also follow some of the bloggers who have signed up, including moi. Find out who has got involved here. Make sure you follow the #30dayswild hashtag on most social media platforms to see what amazing random acts of nature people are getting involved in. I’ll be posting about on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest & Instagram as well as documenting the wildest of my days here.

30 Days Wild

Prints for the bedroom

So we’ve almost finished redecorating the bedroom. It’s very nearly done, just a few little bits and pieces to add. Thank god. It feels like we’ve been doing it for ever, which is almost true and why we put it off for so long. In its previous incarnation as a hideous space, we only had one picture on the wall and it doesn’t really go with the new decor. (Plus Phil isn’t keen, so it’ll have to go in my room!) We need some prints on the wall. While this terrifies me, as it’ll mean putting holes in my beautiful newly plastered walls, they are pretty bare. I am like a magpie when it comes to pictures, without really thinking of the space they’re going into or the colours or just get anything remotely coastal so thought I should do a bit of research beforehand. Plus it was a good distraction from the hideousness that is Eurovision *rolls eyes*. All the prints can be found on Not on the High Street (love that site) and are a bit of a mixture.

Prints for the home

1. Seaside Ahoy! 2. White Elephant 3. Fox print
4. Naps are always a good idea 5. Bees of Britain 6. Blame it on the weatherman
7. Dog print 8. Hip Hip Hooray 9. Wonderful whales of the world

[Images courtesy of respective sources]

I could buy all of these and more! They aren’t all blue and they aren’t all to do with coast, which is progress for me! I love the dog print, obviously, but think the whale and bee prints are also gorgeous. Even if we go with other prints for the bedroom, I would definitely like one or two (or all of them. Too much?!) for my home office.

Be an #Agentforchange on World Fair Trade Day

I’ve written many times before about why I buy fair trade products wherever possible and the importance of consumers demanding fair trade products from brands. Today I’m asking you once again to consider buying fair trade and for you to become an #agentforchange. Today is World Fair Trade Day so why not find out more about it…

The World Fair Trade Organisation state that:

Fair Trade is an agent for change. It is a tangible solution to poverty eradication, a good tool for sustainable development, and most of all Fair Trade promotes social justice.

The fact that brands and manufacturers are still not ensuring workers are paid fairly, have safe working conditions or don’t worry about using child labour, shows that governments are not doing enough. It is up to us, the consumer, to demand that they do more. You can become a doer! By simply spending your money on fair trade products and with fair trade companies, your actions speak volumes. It says that you demand an end to exploitation, poverty and climate change that has an impact on the world’s most vulnerable populations. Find out more in this vide by People Tree:

By being Fair Trade producers, it enable farmers and their communities to access money to help the local area, whether it’s by building schools, paying for a doctor or improving infrastructure. That’s pretty cool in my book. And if I can help people do that simply by shopping slightly differently, then I’m okay with that. Take a look at some of my favourite Fair Trade People Tree outfits below.

People Tree Spring 2016

Alexis shirt dress in grey £85 || Double circle necklace in silver £26 || Simple boat neck top in peach £32   || Ripley pencil skirt in blue multi £58 ||
Logan Tee in white £30 || Striped scarf in blue £38 || Clara chino trousers in navy £85 ||

Whaddya think? Can you be an #agentforchange? Take a look at the People Tree website and see if anything there catches your eye. See what they say about #slowfashion and don’t forget, you can always get 10% off with the code CCH10.

#agentforchange Badge

[Image source]

Dog walks in Oxford – Iffley Meadows

While the weather on Bank Holiday Monday wasn’t exactly what we all wanted, it was lovely having the extra day off. I’d been nagging at Phil for ages to go for a lovely walk somewhere but between the weather and redecorating the bedroom, we hadn’t been anywhere for ages, with the exception of Stowe Gardens the day before. We planned to head out early, taking a breakfast of marmite sandwiches and a Thermos full of tea to eat somewhere. The main reason we went to Iffley Meadows is because of the fritillaries. There aren’t many times where flooding can be a good thing, but at Iffley Meadows, where the ground was still very wet (wellington boots were essential), the damp conditions mean the fritillaries thrive there. And thriving they were!

Snakehead fritillary at Iffley meadows Snakehead fritillary at BBOWT Iffley Meadows BBOWT Iffley Meadows Light purple snakehead fritillary White snakehead fritillary There were a few different ones but they were all lovely and I took about a million pictures. I can’t believe we haven’t been before, especially as we’ve driven right past it loads of times. The fritillaries were coming to the end of their season, but I’m so glad we went to see them. We didn’t just see the fritillaries, but we also saw what we think was a badger paw print in the mud and we heard loads of birds, including a cuckoo, reed warblers and a grass hopper warbler.

Muddy Iffley Meadows Badger print Snakehead fritillary Poppydog at Iffley Meadows Purple snakehead fritillary Poppy loved it there as there were so many different smells for her to enjoy. She was so tired when we got back home! She didn’t mind walking through muddy water as it meant she could smell lots more things.

We walked back along the Thames, as we wanted to have breakfast at Iffley Lock. It was lovely. The sun came out and we’d headed out quite early so it was still pretty quiet. Poppy wasn’t overly keen on the ducks flying about (she’s got a real thing about them at the moment) but apart from that, it was pretty idyllic. It’s well worth visiting Iffley Meadows, even when the fritillaries are out of season, as it’s a wonderful little spot. But make sure you go back when they’re in season. Just make sure you wear your wellies!

The Walk: There are some paths around the meadows from where other people have walked, just be careful not to get trapped by water, as we did!
Cost: Completely free, so why not join BBOWT to help them look after this beautiful place?!
Car Park: There’s no car park, but we parked just the other side of Donnington Bridge. Just make sure you check for areas that are permit parking only.
Refreshments: We took our own but there are lots of places to eat in East Oxford.
Toilets: Nope. Don’t forget to pack your She Wee!