Wellbeing

Social Sum Up – 31st May

Female Stag Beetle

Thanks for joining us on our social media this week. Here’s a sum up of all the things we have been discovering, making and chatting about… 

Up Close with a Stag Beetle

All about stag beetles – get up close

A closer look at the features of a live female #stag beetle. Find out about where they live, what they look like and what you can do to help this #scare #beetle to survive and thrive. Half way through we switch to a #macro lens to see the features up very close.Find out more about stag beetles and join in with the Great Stag Beetle Hunt at https://ptes.org/campaigns/stag-beetles-2/

Posted by Really Wild Education on Tuesday, 26 May 2020

A closer look at the features of a live female stag beetle. Find out about where they live, what they look like and what you can do to help this nationally scare beetle to survive and thrive. Half way through we switch to a macro lens to see the features up very close. Find out more about stag beetles and join in with the Great Stag Beetle Hunt at The People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES)

  • Latin name Lucanus cervus
  • 3-7 years as a larva that eats only decaying wood underground. They are great in the garden as they don’t attack living plants or timber. They can grow up to 110mm long!
  • Adult beetles can’t eat and don’t live long. They are usually seen between May and August.
  • The males have mandibles shaped like antlers – hence the name Stag Beetle.
  • Males can fly about 500m but females rarely move more than 20m from where they emerge.
  • Extinct in some European countries!

Youtube on fire

Check out our latest video on foraging for and making fires. There’s a lot more skill to it than you might think!


Shelter from sun or rain

Posted by Really Wild Education on Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Steve shows you how to put up a simple shelter using a tarp, 8 tent pegs, paracord (or string), a small stick and a tree. Steve uses four knots in this video…

  • Evenk Hitch or Siberian Hitch
  • Clove Hitch
  • Monkey fist tension knot or No 4 knot.
  • Overhand knot

Have you put up a shelter? We’d love to see them. Send in your photos or add them to the comments on the video.


Staying Grounded in Time of Uncertainty

Sam has just written a great blog post on staying grounded and helping our wellbeing during this uncertain time. Check out his easy to try activities to find joy in the simple things in life: eat a meal mindfully, connect with the natural world, get creative.

Sam is our Really Wild Psychotherapist and has been a great help to both the team and all of our customers during lockdown. Drop us a message if you’d like a chat.


Plant Profile – Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum)

Image may contain: plant, outdoor and nature

Sam set a challenge to identify this plant… he was a bit mean and didn’t include the flowers! Well done to Mhairi Hughes for guessing correctly.

  • Herb Robert is a member of the geranium family which all have a distinctive strong smell (some say it’s horrid, others like it!), when the leaves and stems are crushed. This scent is said to keep insects away – just rub on the skin.
  • Small Pink Flowers (8-12mm) with 5 petals, 10 stamen and 5 stigmas, divided leaves (6cm) and reddened stems. For more images see The Wildflower Finder Website.
  • Often called Crane’s Bill due to the shape of the developing seed pods: the pods have an explosive catapult mechanism which widely disperses the seeds.
  • Mainly used as a medicinal – good for reducing inflammation, antispetic, nosebleeds, used for diarrhea (it contains geraniin) and prevent kidney stones/ gall stones. Flowers, leaves and roots can all be used in teas and fresh in salads.
  • You can pick and chose between historical folks who it is said to honour: Saint Robert of Molesme, an 11th-century herbalist, abbot, and founder of the Cistercian order; Robin Goodfellow, pseudonym for the forest sprite “Puck” or the bandit Robin Hood.
  • It is a nectar and food source for many invertebrates including: barred carpet moth, bees, hoverflies and the wood white butterfly. All of them have long mouth parts to reach the nectar. If you are interested in finding out more about food source plants for butterflies you can find a big list on the UK Butterflies site.

WILD 2020 – Rescheduled for 21st to 24th September 2020

Really Wild Home Education Gathering Group Photo. Lots of children from all walks of life coming together at the Wild Festival to share their skills and have great fun in the sun.

If you’d like to run a workshop or have any ideas for socially distanced games, please get in touch.

Our Home Education Festival has been rescheduled for September, once WoWo Campsite is open again. There will be a few adjustments to support social distancing measures. We will be posting up more information about classes and workshops. Leas will be organising the timetable, you can also email her on joysignbton@yahoo.co.uk. In the discussion on the facebook event post – we will answer any questions you may have.

We can’t wait to see you all soon. In the meantime we hope you enjoy the sunshine and discovering new things outdoors each day.

Staying Grounded in Times of Uncertainty

Many of us have, until recently, been living life in the fast lane with our foot pressed firmly on the accelerator, our gaze fixed on some desired distant destination. Quite often our minds are either living in the past or cast far into some future hope, dream, or worry. We sometimes forget to enjoy the journey and stop to take in a breath-taking vista or notice the changing scenery as we pass by. How often do we notice the visceral experiences that our 5 senses bless us with? Do we see them as mere pleasantries, superfluous to one’s utmost benevolent strivings? Truthfully, they are vital instruments in building our own reality and teach us about the world and our place in it.

It’s easy to understand why we sometimes ignore our senses and live in our heads with the complexity of 21st Century life. Our brains have never had so much information to consume. Constant information is now flowing from various channels and we seem to have become incessant consumers of it. With a pursuit such as this and a failure to live presently our minds can easily become disconnected from our moment to moment physiological experiences.

How often do we notice the way our heart beat increases in rate when we feel anxious, or how relaxed we are when we consciously take a moment to fill our lungs with fresh air? These seemingly simple and insignificant phenomenon are what help maintain a connection with our experiential reality.

Life has dealt us all a curve ball with current circumstances and, with almost everything shut down, maybe we have a little more time to be still and enjoy a diary that is not booked up for months in advance. We have an opportunity to think differently about our lives and the course we could take. As we evaluate and assimilate these new ideas and objectives for our lives moving forward let us include goals for our wellbeing and mental health as a high priority.

It is often said that joy can be found in the simple things of life so here are a few suggestions or conscious challenges that can help you stay grounded in your experiential reality and improve wellbeing:

Eat a meal mindfully

Who doesn’t like to eat? I have yet to meet someone that doesn’t, however do we give full attention to this mostly enjoyable experience? Go ahead and try eating with your full attention. Turn off all distractions and sit comfortably at a dinner table. Observe the colours of your food and how it looks. How does your body respond to what you see? Eat the food and notice what sensations and flavours you experience. Try closing your eyes and see if that changes anything.

Connect with the natural world

Many of us are now enjoying walks in the countryside or getting out to a local park for fresh air and social distancing. It is well established by research the benefits that nature has on our health and wellbeing. Go for a walk by yourself in the woods or some natural environment. Consciously breathe in and out deeply and rhythmically as you go. Notice any smells or noises that your nose and ears bring to your attention. You may hear the sound of the wind brushing through the leaves in the tree or the sound of a myriad of birds singing their joyful songs or simply the sound of your body walking on the earth. Count how many colours you observe. Stop to look at the detail and structure of a flower or plant. What thoughts come to your head while you are walking?

Get creative

When engaged in a creative process it is difficult to be worried or anxious about anything else. Whether you love to draw, paint, sing, dance, crochet, play sport, complete a puzzle, write poetry or any other activity; you may find that it serves as a great way to escape or soothe feelings of anxiety and worry. Whatever you choose to do, give your full attention to it. Be spontaneous leaving behind any expectations of yourself and let your curiosity guide you.

You may want to keep a diary to record your observations and experiences. You will find that through practice of these exercises the detail will become richer and more meaningful.

If these suggestions don’t suit your needs then come up with something that works for you. Pick an activity of daily living which you take for granted or consider to be menial and live the experience fully, being mindful of any thoughts that come to you. Observe those thoughts and judgements and let them pass.

Ultimately, each of us are responsible for taking care of ourselves. To become more useful to others we first have to replenish our own resources. At Really Wild we understand the importance of the relationship between our environment and our personal development. We teach people to become observant and knowledgeable to the resources around them. When equipped with the right knowledge and skills an individual will feel confident in any environment.

Confidence is a huge contributor to wellbeing and those who tap into this state of mind regularly find that they are pushing the boundaries of their existence (or in other words they grow)! When we grow life becomes meaningful. When life is meaningful, we have purpose and when you have purpose you find joy.

Sam Ambrose
BA Hons Person-Centred Psychotherapist