Why we all went 30 Days Wild!
This month, Blueprint has joined thousands of people across the country to take part in the Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild initiative. Here, our Chief Executive Sam Veal talks about why we are supporting the campaign and how the two organisations share a common goal.
At Blueprint, we are genuinely passionate about people, place and planet. These aren’t buzz words for us – everything we do is geared towards creating neighbourhoods fit for the future on land that has often been neglected. A significant part of our approach is a focus on nature – brownfield sites often support greater natural diversity than greenfield land, working to sustain and enhance those habitats is one of our core measures of success.
Our work brings us into contact with some very talented third party experts and stakeholders, most recently Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust have given their input on a future project where they also introduced us to the 30 Days Wild initiative. The campaign aims to encourage people to reconnect with nature whilst doing a little bit of good for wildlife. The idea of integrating nature into our everyday lives is something that is at the very heart of what we do at Blueprint, and one of the reasons we were quick to sign up.
The emphasis on biodiversity clearly aligns with our core principles. Blueprint’s aim is to ensure that our developments are sustainable, well designed, kind on the environment and offer great places for people to enjoy, both now and in the future. By creating nature-rich neighbourhoods; designed with environmental sensitivity and green infrastructure at their heart, we can reconnect people with nature, create a healthier urban environment and encourage a greater respect and value for biodiversity. Exactly what the 30 Days Wild campaign is all about.
Protecting and encouraging the UK’s wildlife is not only good for the environment but benefits us too. We all know nature is good for us, but the importance of nature to both our physical and mental health has, for a long time, been overlooked. Thankfully, this is changing. A growing body of research is proving the powerful restorative and, indeed, preventative benefits of nature for us all – better physical and mental health, lower levels of stress, improved sleep and even greater life expectancy. Such research is demonstrating that even minimal exposure to nature, if frequent enough, can have a dramatic and transformative impact on our lives.
We’re all part of nature and nature needs to be part of our lives. As a team we strive to live and breathe our core values by using public transport, walking to walk and encouraging wildlife in our own gardens. But we all have busy lives and sometimes we need to remember to open our eyes and see the beauty we walk past every day, whether that is a fantastic park or a wild space awash with poppies under a tram bridge! Taking part in the 30 Days Wild campaign has given us the opportunity to remind ourselves how much nature means to our lives, and how it benefits us.
Over the last few weeks we’ve all made a conscious effort to engage with nature more, whether that’s simply going for a walk along the River Trent at our Trent Basin development; enjoying a picnic lunch in the churchyard opposite our office or adding bug hotels and bee friendly wildflowers to our gardens at home. Even small changes can make a difference and the experience has definitely had a positive effect on the whole team. We’re already looking at ways we can continue our 30 Days Wild adventure throughout the other 335 days of the year.