This month we are taking part in The Wildlife Trusts’ #30dayswild campaign! We took a trip to Cley Marshes Nature Reserve on the north Norfolk coast to meet with their Community Education Officer, Rachael Wright. We asked her all about the campaign, why it is so important and how you can get involved!
Tell us about Cley Marshes Nature Reserve:
It is Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s oldest and best known nature reserve and was purchased in 1926. The reserve includes an award-winning visitor centre, a gallery and a Wildlife Education Centre named in memory of the naturalist, Simon Aspinall.
We are well known for the birds on site. The shingle beach and saline lagoons, along with the grazing marsh and reed bed support large numbers of wintering and migrating wildfowl and waders, as well as bittern, marsh harrier and bearded tit.
[Image of Marsh Harrier, credit: Norfolk Wildlife Trust Website]
What does your role at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust involve?
I organise our events programme and exhibitions. We work with local community groups and I take school groups and other education visitors out on the reserve. The Cley Marshes provides school groups with great opportunities to explore both coastal and wetland habitats!
What’s your favourite thing about your role?
Working with school groups and inspiring the next generation to explore wildlife and have fun outdoors!
What is #30dayswild and how can people sign up?
30 Days Wild is a Wildlife Trust campaign aimed at getting people outside enjoying the living landscape. We encourage and support people to take a little bit of time every day to do something wild! People can sign up on their local Wildlife Trust website and will receive a digital support pack with ideas, inspiration and information on local events and places you can explore! You can share your wild adventures using the #30DaysWild hashtag.
What do you have planned for #30dayswild during June?
We have crafts and activities in our education centre throughout June and events on throughout the month. From nature walks to pond dipping there’s something for everyone, take a look on our website for events this June!
What is a Random Act of Wildness?
A Random Act of Wildness is about making time to connect with nature around you, or doing something small yourself to help nature. Random Acts of Wildness are all about experiencing, learning about and helping your local wildlife. They can be simple, small, fun and exciting too. You can use our ideas as inspiration or get creative and make up your own!
Why is getting out into nature so important?
It’s important to stay in touch with the natural world and appreciate all that nature does for us. It’s also incredibly important in our busy lives to take time to relax and exploring nature is a fantastic way to do that. A recent poll of 101 people in Norwich revealed that 90% of Norwich’s city-dwellers feel that nature is important to them but 86% of adults in Norwich don’t think that they spend enough time in nature.
What are the educational benefits of exploring nature?
Many people learn more effectively through hands on activities and nature provides so many great opportunities. Watching nature events creates memories that will last forever. Every subject taught in a classroom can be taught outside in a more fun and engaging way that will inspire children for a lifetime!
If you are visiting the centre this June, pick up your free Aqua Magnifier (while stocks last) and Learning Resources discount code!