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Visit Thorley Wash Nature Reserve near Bishop’s Stortford as part of Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust 30 Days Wild challenge





From butterfly spotting and barefoot yoga in the park to listening to the dawn chorus and watching bats at dusk, Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust is inviting everyone to connect with nature in June.

The conservation charity is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its annual 30 Days Wild challenge next month as it promotes the health and wellbeing benefits of being in the great outdoors.

And Thorley Wash Nature Reserve, on the southern outskirts of Bishop’s Stortford, is one of the trust venues where individuals, families, schoolchildren, business people and care home residents are being encouraged to visit to carry out acts of wildness.

Thorley Wash Nature Reserve. Picture: Jenny Sherwen
Thorley Wash Nature Reserve. Picture: Jenny Sherwen

Signing up for the challenge gets you a useful pack full of great ideas to inspire you to do a small, wild thing every day during June.

A study found a significant increase in people’s health, happiness and connection to nature through participating in 30 Days Wild. People reported feeling more relaxed, reduced stress levels and a greater motivation to protect wildlife which lasted long after the campaign ended.

An organised midsummer stroll is taking place at Thorley Wash on Saturday June 22, from 10am to midday, for participants to enjoy the sights and sounds of the habitat.

Bee on marjoram. Picture: Marcys Wehrle
Bee on marjoram. Picture: Marcys Wehrle

You will learn about the reserve and enjoy the summer flowers, butterflies and birdsong as well as looking out for signs of water voles and may even catch sight of one.

You could head to a good vantage point on the River Stort and watch the dragonflies and damselflies chase past you in search of a mate.

Or why not visit Patmore Heath, near Little Hadham, and take a moment to appreciate the wonder of standing in this scarce habitat in the south-east of England and admire the different types of grasses and wildflowers.

“June is a fantastic month to appreciate nature and the outdoors,” said Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust engagement manager Heidi Mansell. “There’s just so much to see at this time of year and hopefully we will get the weather to enjoy it too.

Pond dipping. Picture: Lee Wood
Pond dipping. Picture: Lee Wood

“We would love to see people of all ages and abilities participating and enjoying the health and wellbeing benefits of getting closer to nature.

“In terms of some ideas, how about eating your breakfast outdoors or setting a timer for one minute and listening to bird song? Simply watching the clouds from your window can provide a moment of peace and a connection with nature.”

“There’s just so much you can do to suit your own circumstances and it needn’t take much time or money. I really can’t emphasise enough what you will get out of taking part and forging a deeper connection with our natural world.”

Stone painting. Picture: Lee Wood
Stone painting. Picture: Lee Wood

Visit wildlifetrusts.org/30DaysWild to receive your free 30 Days Wild pack and see www.hertswildlifetrust.org.uk/events/midsummer-stroll-thorley-22jun24 to sign up for the midsummer stroll at Thorley Wash.



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