After what has been a very busy summer at Quack Snacks HQ, we took the late August Bank Holiday off to enjoy a little downtime with a good book. Our book of choice was 365 Days Wild by Lucy McRobert.
We have no connection to the author, publisher or the Wildlife Trusts and we paid for it with our own money, so what follows is our honest appraisal as book buyers.
365 Days Wild is a wonderful book! There, we’ve said it, if you don’t want to read any further, just go ahead and buy your own copy, we’re sure you’ll love it.
If however you’re wondering why it’s so wonderful, well, although as you might guess from the title and cover, it’s a book containing 365 activities to experience and engage with the natural world around us every day of the year, we think it’s far more than a series of activities.
Restoring your sense of wonder
The book reads throughout as if the author is beckoning you in to discover a magical treasure chest, from which rainbows leap when opened, showering you with gold coins. Only what you’re actually going to discover is of more value than any amount of gold coins.
It’s a sense of wonder that you might associate more with childhood and children, but this isn’t just a book of “things to do outdoors with children”, it’s for those of all ages and the author seems keen for us all to rediscover our own sense of wonder and joy at what is all around us.
If you’ve ever been to one of those discount book stores and picked up a book that read like a random author was just going through the motions having been told to write on a particular topic, this will read like a breath of fresh air. The author’s passion and enthusiasm for the topic at hand is infectious. It *will* make you wonder what’s all around you.
A new outlook on life
This isn’t just a things to keep you or your children occupied book, it’s a changing your mindset and outlook book.
There’s a growing body of evidence that getting outdoors amongst the natural world is good for our mental and physical well being. Where as it may not be logistically or financially feasible to be accessing nature reserves, forests, the coast, etc, on a regular basis, this book shows you can gain some of those benefits from just looking out of the window or looking beyond your phone screen on the journey to work or school.
Clouds in the sky, trees in the street, the birds and bees that fly all around you that you may not have taken too much notice of before. They all have the potential to provide little beams of light and joy to our lives, if only you stop and take notice. This book will help you take notice.
At the time of writing this review in the garden, there are robins, blue tits, magpies and wood pigeons swooping in and out of the garden. The bees are buzzing and the butterflies fluttering, with a tiny mouse home-making in the garden wall. We were even treated to a fly-past of what seemed like a giant dragonfly. We’re definitely adding “just taking a look around the garden” to our nature relaxation list – along with going to feed the ducks of course!
It would however be the cherry on top of the icing on top of the cake if future editions could be printed in the UK, rather than China. A UK written book about UK wildlife should ideally be as locally sourced as the words within.
365 Days Wild by Lucy McRobert is available now from book retailers small and large.