Magazine

152 Wild Things to Do

Author: Wildlife Trusts

Pub: Elliott and Thompson

Price: £12.99

The marketing blurb on the back of this book asks: ‘When did you last climb a tree? Pick some blackberries? Spot a bird of prey? Walk through woodland looking for wildflowers? Search for treasure on a beach?’ Apart from picking blackberries (which have been out of season for many months now), I have done all those things quite recently, so I figured I was not the target audience for this book. And perhaps I’m not – 152 Wild Things to Do seems geared toward young families and many of the 152 suggestions are things I do regularly and don’t need a guide to explain to me.

That being said, there are some activities in here that I wouldn’t know how to do on my own (and that I think sound awfully fun), like building a willow teepee or even a pond, and there are also places in here (some quite near my home) that I’ve never been and are now officially on my to-visit list. To me, this guide is most useful in this respect of signposting interesting places to explore – the 47 individual Wildlife Trusts all get their own sections, and the authors handily point out ideal locations for certain outdoor pursuits like exploring caves or wild orchards and witnessing starling swarms.

I’m not entirely sure where the 152 figure comes from, and at times it seems like the authors are running out of ideas – entries like ‘Watch sunset’, ‘Use binoculars’, and ‘Sit and do nothing’ have surely been included just to make up the numbers. What’s more, some of the proposed ‘things to do’ aren’t really things to do at all, but merely descriptions of habitats like parkland, grassland, meadowland, farmland, and many other sorts of land. These are places where wild things can be done, to be sure, but are not activities in themselves.

Nonetheless, with so many ideas packed into one book, everyone’s bound to be able to take inspiration for at least one outdoor adventure from this enjoyable read.