30 Days Wild – A Beginning in Belgium

June 1st is my birthday and, coincidentally, also marks the star of the Wildlife Trust’s 30 days wild campaign.

The concept of the campaign is simple. Challenge yourself to do something wild (nature-wise, not teenage rebellion style) every day for 30 days.

Sounds simple right?

Well, when you live and work in the heart of a major city, it’s not always that easy to get in touch with your ‘wild’ side. This year I decided to get take up the challenge and write about my progress

30 Days Wild

Days 1 – 3

A relatively easy start to the challenge as I was actually on holiday in Belgium…

We spent a lot of time outdoors whilst in Brussels (and Bruges) however I’d like to focus on one particular outing for this post.

Whilst working out way towards the Cinquantenaire (Belgium’s Arc de Triomphe) we found ourselves wandering through a series of small parks, one of which contained a lake, some beautiful swans and several Ostrich statues.  A little bit of googling later established that that the park was called Leopold Park and that the Ostrich statues were built as a reminder that the park was once a zoo before closing in 1900 (not in relation to the nearby European parliament building as some articles may lead you to believe).

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Arriving at the Arc, we found an environmental fair in the nearby park. Now, this wasn’t just your typical local fair, there were easily over 100 stands, each one focusing on a different aspect of nature or conservation. Recycling, plastic, renewable energy, local wildlife – you name it, it was there.

Whilst most of the information was in French, a language I have not quite continued to grasp after studying it at GSCE level, I was able to understand the basic theme on a few stalls.

One such stand allowed me to play a game matching pictures of feathers to their corresponding bird picture (10 out of 10 I’m pleased to say). The same stand was also giving away leaflets guides on identifying local species. I managed to pick up a reptile guide, however there were guides for butterflies, bees and fungi also available.

Brussels Reptile Guide

Further into the fair we found a stand showcasing the importance of bees, complete with video of the inner workings of a bee hive, and a renewable energy stand with free-standing bicycles.

Whilst my limited French may have hindered my learning capability at the fair, it certainly didn’t stop the awe I felt at seeing such a large scale environmental event. I truly believe more counties should hold events like this, to encourage public interest and involvement.

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