Grow / nature

Wild and Free

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Ever since I first got involved in, #30DaysWild, I’ve been excited by how much you can enjoy nature without spending any money. Wildlife initiatives abound offering free nature (and life) enhancing activities.

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Today, I received free seeds from Kew, after signing up for the Grow Wild initiative when I was at Latitude Festival (the seeds need to be planted in Autumn, hence the delay in their arrival.) You can get your own free seeds by signing up online.

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These tickets are  far from the only freebies available. The Wildlife Trusts has useful resources encouraging people to connect with nature: it’s well worth checking out their site (and downloading their app) for ideas for free days out with a difference. They’re also the organisation behind the incredibly succesful #30DaysWild Twitter campaign which resulted in over a million ‘random acts of wildness’ this year. Sign up next year and, if it’s anything like this year, you’ll get free stickers, cards and a poster featuring ideas for getting wild. Look out for the hashtag #31DaysWild on Twitter in October too, as some nature fans will be carrying on the wild spirit because they enjoyed #30DaysWild so much.

The RSPB is another active organisation with a site that features lots of ways to connect with nature. In the summer, its Wild Night Out campaign encouraged people to camp out in nature (and provided free glow-in-the-dark bunting, stickers and more wild suggestions). The Canal and Rivers Trust also offers some great nature guides: and earlier this year, I got a free pouch for bird seed from them. Finally, if trees are your passion, check out the Woodland Trust, who offer a free community tree pack.

Obviously, if you have the money, these are all great organisations to support; but it’s great that lack of money need not be a barrier to helping nature thrive – particularly given the recent State of Nature report.

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Of course, for the ultimate free bounty, there’s nature herself. Collect seed pods, dried flowers and berries to make an autumn bouquet; foraged fruit and nuts to create food and gifts; leaves for leaf-rubbing; teasels and pine cones for creating  hedgehogs and other animals; and apples and acorns for making dolls (with the help of a few pins and beads). Make sure you ‘give back’ to nature by planting wildflowers, feeding wildlife and litter-picking: it’s only fair.

If you’re on a tight budget, connecting with nature is a great way to enjoy yourself, relieve stress, improve health and add some luxury to your life. And you can feel even better about any freebies you get, knowing you’re helping save more than just money by spreading nature love.

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