The phrase ‘Flaming June’ is often bandied around at this time of year and is a particularly favourite of headline writers when predicting or postulating about the early summer weather.
Whilst the weather is rarely ‘flaming’ in June, the heat really is on in terms of wildlife with many wildflowers in full bloom, an abundance of colourful butterflies and activity all around in terms of birds nesting and rearing chicks, bees buzzing and bats taking advantage of the diversity of insects on the wing.
Whilst at some times of the year it’s easy to highlight the seasonal delights, June really is an amazing time of year with some much nature to see, hear, smell and savour. It’s month when you can enjoy the feeling of grass between your toes as you walk through a wildflower meadow or lay back and look skyward to be enthralled by the aerial acrobatics of swifts, swallows and martins.
If I was forced to pick a star of the month, it would be wildflowers. From the spectacle of drifts of ox-eye daisy along roadside verges, a display of green winged orchids in an ancient meadow or the sight of a humble bright yellow buttercup, the variety of shapes, sizes and colours is mind-boggling.
The nectar they provide heralds a flush of butterfly species, with common blue and meadow brown now seen alongside holly blue, brimtone, peacock and painted lady. Other insects, including bees and hoverflies, add to the sense that the landscape is buzzing with life and it can seem that there is wildlife to be seen at every turn.
This abundance of natural sights, sounds and smells, combined with the longest days of the year, make June a nature lover’s dream. This is a key reason The Wildlife Trusts choose the month for our annual 30 Days Wild Challenge. Don’t let the idea of a ‘challenge’ put you off, the challenge element is really just about staying involved for 30 days. The event itself is all about fun, celebration and taking time to enjoy and appreciate nature alongside family and friends. Last year over half a million people joined in, from families, individuals and couples to schools, care homes and businesses; and with lockdown restrictions now eased there couldn’t be a better time to get out into nature to take part.
30 Days Wild
As well as enjoying the nature in your garden or local park, why not use 30 Days Wild as a prompt to check out some of our nature reserves such as Dyscarr Wood at Worksop, Farndon Willow Holt and Besthorpe near Newark, or Idle Valley and Daneshill Lakes near Retford? Our café and shop at Idle Valley is back open seven days a week at Idle Valley and we’re also looking forward to hosting two benches as part of the Bassetlaw Book Bench Trail this summer.
We’ll be posting ideas and inspiration for 30 Days Wild on our Facebook pages throughout the month and if you’re quick there’s still time to sign up for a free 30 Days Wild pack at www.nottinghamshirewildlife.org. Don’t forget to share your wild pictures on social media during June alongside #30DaysWild.
Main image: Orange tip butterfly © Sean Brown