What to do in Dorset this June for 30 Days Wild
PUBLISHED: 11:28 26 May 2017 | UPDATED: 11:28 26 May 2017
After moving from London to Dorset, Marcia Moody started to reconnect with nature and now she can't wait to take part in Dorset Wildlife Trust's 30 Days Wild in June
When I was little, I would touch a blade of grass to an electric fence near our house because I wanted to know what it felt like. I knew I shouldn’t touch the fence directly, but there’s that desire in all of us to experience things for ourselves in order to learn. We gain knowledge from books, websites and the people around us, but although watching a sunrise on screen is beautiful, it doesn’t compare to feeling the warmth on your face, and seeing the colour and light flood all around you. The most valuable, moving and memorable times in our lives are the ones we experience for ourselves, and I’ve realised that most of mine - big and small - are framed by nature.
Growing up in the countryside my childhood was a time of snowball fights, makeshift barbecues, pressing flowers, feeding hedgehogs, scanning the night sky for comets, and, er collecting snails so I could colour their shells with felt pens. Later, while on a post-university trip to Australia, I even experienced the hold-your-breath gentle splash and sighting of a duck-billed platypus.
Experiences like these deepened my love of the natural world in profound ways, and made me who I am, and while I worked all hours as a writer in London I lived for travel assignments that took me back to nature. One of my most memorable wild encounters was during a safari in South Africa. I watched as a lioness stalked towards me, her muzzle pale pink with blood from a recent kill; I could see the muscles rippling in her haunches, the mud on her fur and the scars on her face.
As we get older, life crowds in, and before you can say ‘fixed rate mortgage’ our minds are occupied with work, child-rearing and direct debits. In London, although I got to travel, I was packed into heaving tube carriages twice daily. Milling about with others who were all scowls, increasingly I didn’t like my day-to-day life.
So I followed my family to Dorset. The fresh air, open spaces and access to nature here is a bit of a revelation. I can breathe again! Already this year I’ve seen starling murmurations in January, explored Thorncombe Woods in February, went otter-spotting in March, admired fragrant carpets of bluebells in April, and in May I’ve been making an early start to listen to the dawn chorus. Having experienced such a wonderful array of local wildlife encounters, I can’t wait to get stuck into June!
30 Days Wild: What Will You Do?
For the past three years The Wildlife Trusts have encouraged people across the UK to get out in nature every day in June for 30 Days Wild. Sign up for your free pack at mywildlife.org.uk/30dayswild. Here are some ideas to help you get a little bit wilder in June:
• Eat outdoors or better still pack a picnic and go on an adventure in the Dorset coast and countryside.
• Join a local wildlife appreciation group or go on one of the many Dorset Wildlife Trust events that happen every month.
• Keep a sunset diary. Google the types of clouds you see to find out more.
• Take part in a nature survey like the Great Chesil Bioblitz (25 June).
• Plant seedbombs of nectar rich plants to attract birds, bees and butterflies to your window box, garden, park or school
• Take your camera outside and photograph nature. As soon as you start focussing, you notice so much more!
• Head to the coast for beginner-friendly kayaking, paddle-boarding or go rock pooling or eco crabbing at Kimmeridge.
• Explore Dorset’s ancient woodland, rolling countryside, coast, heaths and wetlands on one of DWT’s many guided nature walks.