While we speed headlong throughout July and careering into the summer holidays (yay!), it’s time for the final installment of my attempt at #30dayswild. While my attempt might have been a little lackluster, I have really enjoyed seeing the different experiences of others on social media. The pictures people took brightened my day and helped to inspire my own attempts at getting into nature. Some people seemed to be able to find aspects of nature so easily and take immense pictures! These are my final few shots from June, plus a few from the first few days of July, including some great ones from a lovely walk we had at Chimney Meadows.
Taking part in #30dayswild was a good reminder for me to make sure that I make time for nature. I feel so much better when I’m in a field or by the coast, away from everything, spotting anything from devil coach horse beetles to common blue butterflies to deers jumping across the field. It’s so important to make time for nature and get out there in the fresh air, even if it’s just to see Poppydog paddling in a stream!
If you’ve been following me on social media, then you will have seen an increase of posts about the great outdoors. That’s because I’m taking part in The Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild. You can find out more about it in this post here. So far it’s been so easy to do, as the weather has been pretty decent and it’s been the half term holidays. We’ve done some epic dog walks in a bid to enjoy the best nature Oxfordshire has to offer. So far, it hasn’t disappointed! Take a look.
Apart from a walk in Oxford, all the other pictures are from Abingdon. It’s fascinating to see wildlife all around you, whether you’re looking for it or not. We also did the Oxford Wildlife Trail on Sunday, which was fascinating and took me to parts of Oxford I never knew were there. I recommended it to a friend at work too and she said she loved it, as it showed some of the best parts of Oxford, without the rubbish shopping bit in the middle! On Saturday, I planted up some sweet peas in the garden and just stood and watched. There were bees buzzing around, birds swooping onto the bird feeder, little bugs exploring the flowers in the garden and Poppydog keeping on cat watch, which is a good thing as the local cat/pest took a baby starling last week. Annoyingly, the cat doesn’t wear a bell on it’s collar so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to keep any eye out for it so we can protect the birds!
I’m hoping to see some more butterflies, wild flowers and birds over the next few weeks. If you’ve got any tips of great places to see them, let me know.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!