Like thousands of other individuals, families, organisations and workplaces around the country Cedar Court Dementia Care Home, and its sister residence Cedar Court Nursing Home in South Derbyshire took part in the Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild initiative. The aim of 30 Days Wild is a modest one; participants must choose one random act of wildness each day throughout June in an effort to engage with nature and rediscover the simple joys to be found in wild interactions. We are increasingly at the mercy of technology, and the Wildlife Trusts want to remind us that the great outdoors still offers enrichment, opportunities for adventure and, above all, fun. The staff and residents of both homes were up for the challenge, which they hoped would improve morale and mental wellbeing, and enhance life at Cedar Court.
The magical thing about 30 Days Wild is that gestures needn’t be grand or expensive. Over the course of those 30 days staff and residents at both Cedar Court homes spotted pheasants in the surrounding countryside, took turns to spend time gardening and enjoying the garden’s pond, appreciated flowers and the pollinators they attracted, breathed cool, fresh air in shadier spots and potted plants. Less able residents were taken into the garden area to see the plants, and most have access to views of the birds feeding at tables and window-mounted houses. These were activities that many of the residents enjoyed anyway, but a new appreciation for those pastimes was discovered; 30 Days Wild inspired mindfulness, and motivated staff and residents to think about why they like being outdoors so much.