Crazy few days

Sunday saw the first hedgehog day in Witney Oxfordshire, organised by Hugh Warwick. A day where people came together to celebrate all things hedgehog and spread the word on how you can make the place you live hedgehog friendly.

It was a great chance for me to meet up again with Kyra and Sophie from Hedgehog Friendly Town

They had brought along their Biodiversity Tumble tower which shows quite clearly that our whole ecosystem can come crashing down at anytime if we carry on taking important pieces away.

Please take a moment to check out the fantastic work Kyra and Sophie do.

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Straight after the Hedgehog day finished, we dashed over to Abingdon to the Wilderland Festival.

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The festival is the UK’s first touring wildlife film festival. Tour dates

The evening comprised of a series of short films put together and hosted by zoologist filmmakers Dan O’Neill and Isaac Rice. Most of the films highlighted the struggles that our wildlife faces and were quite hard hitting at times.

The films included A place for Penguins, Person of the Forest, Flamboyant, Blood Island, Big Booom, Keeper of the Call, A Voice above Nature, Living with Snow Leopards and Spirit of the Mountains.

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Monday morning was an exciting and early start for me.

I had been invited to spend the day with the crew on set, while they filmed some of Ben Garrod’s new series.

I’m at the beginning of a Media and editing course, and the day gave me a great insight in to the job roles of each person involved and how filming is put together.

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Finally, back home, last night I visited a local Cub Scout group and gave them a talk about discovering their local patch.

They are participating in the Scout’s  ‘A Million Hands’ programme, working towards achieving their Community Impact Staged Activity Badge.

As they are concentrating on ‘Protecting our environment’ theme we plants some conkers and acorns, while talking about the problems with plastics and peat.

I was really impressed by how much they already knew and how hard they have been working.

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Posted in Animals, Blogging, Environment, Hedgehogs, Local patch, nature, Oxfordshire, plastic waste, Uk nature, Uncategorized, Wildlife Rescue | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fallow deer behaviour

As Autumn arrives the activity of the Fallow deer increases and the gathering in of the harvest makes them more visible.

After noticing a few signs and seeing a couple of glimpses of a herd of female fallow deer, I did a bit of detective work, following trails, prints, droppings and the trees the male had marked.

After a few days of moving trail cameras around in different areas, I came across a regular meeting place for both the male and female Fallows, known this time of year as a rutting stand.

Male Fallow deer

The adult male Fallow deer has marked certain trees by fraying the bark and scent marking with his sub-orbital scent glands, he also urinates on parts of the ground and scrapes the mud away with his hooves. This is done as the rutting season commences. Two particular young trees have been thrashed, which you can see in the photos above.

You can clearly see his ‘Adam’s Apple’ in this clip.

 

Not long after the adult male deer scent marked the ground and nearby trees, this young male comes to carefully check things out.

 

A few hours later another young male Fallow deer does the same.

 

As dawn breaks the adult male returns

 

Finally the herd of around 8 to 10 females with their young pass by. Generally the dominant doe will be leading the herd. The does will have been attracted by the activity and signs the male creates.

 

 

The rutting season peaks in October and last around 7 to 10 days

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Get Your Boots On is now available from the publisher (The fastest way to get it) by clicking this link Dived Up

Or you can ask for it in your local book shop or order online from Amazon UK

Posted in Animals, Blogging, Books, Bushnell, Environment, Get Your Boots On, Local patch, mammals, nature, outdoors, photography, Stay Wild, trail camera, Uk nature, Uncategorized, Wildlife photography, Woodland | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Red Rebels In Oxford

Dressed from head to toe in blood red clothing and veils, the slow moving, mime artists with emotionless faces, often seen around the Extinction Rebellion demonstrations are now commonly known as The Red Rebels.

They are accompanied by supporters handing out leaflets and newspapers explaining the message behind the art, to draw attention to issues of ecological and climate emergency.

It was explained to passers-by that one of the messages was the figures wear red to symbolise the blood of all the animals which have been affected by climate change in the past and will be in the future.

As the group worked their way through ancient buildings of learning and past modern buildings selling fast fashion they were greeted by mixed reactions.

There were nods and smiles of support, but also mumbles of annoyance.

Some people stopped and asked for explanations, while others plainly didn’t want to be educated.

 

Posted in Blogging, Climate, Climate strike, Environment, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Competition Time

It is three months today since Get Your Boots On was released, to celebrate this over on Twitter and Facebook I’m hosting a competition

Twitter

Facebook

#Competition time!

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I will be sending out a FREE signed copy of Get Your Boots On to one lucky winner who RT’s and follows on Twitter  or likes and shares on Facebook between today and Sunday 6th October 2019 at 7pm.

Simply, comment, telling me what your favourite animal is and why.

On Sunday evening I will be randomly picking a lucky winner.

Don’t worry if you’re not on Twitter or Facebook, if you tell me what your favourite animal is and why in the comment section of this blog you will also be entered.

Terms and conditions

  1. Open to UK residents only
  2. No multiply entries
  3. The winner will be notified accordingly, you will be asked for your address for posting reasons only.
  4. No cash alternative for any prizes will be offered.

 

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Posted in Books, Competition, Environment, Get Your Boots On, Local patch, mammals, nature, outdoors, photography, Stay Wild, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Winter Sleep – Book review

With the Starlings gathering on the wires, the harvest over and the evenings getting darker earlier, winter is not far away, here on my local patch.

Winter sleep by Alex Morss and Sean Taylor is a great way to help young readers discover what happens to the creatures on their local patch when the weather turns cold.

Through the story of a Grandmother and a child who watch and learn about animals and insects all summer, they glimpse in to the world of hibernation as winter arrives.

Once the story ends, the back of the book is full of facts about hibernating wildlife and what you can do to help them

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Posted in Animals, Blogging, Books, Environment, Local patch, nature, Uncategorized, winter | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Conkers

Conkers have always been a part of my childhood. In primary school I remember being shown how to put string through the conker so we could spend the whole of break and lunch playing ‘Conkers’.

However within the last week the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)
now classified the Horse Chestnut on the ‘vulnerable’ to extinction list in Europe.

Horse Chestnut trees are declining because of disease and the rise of an invasive moth. Young saplings only survive three to five years before they are killed by the leaf-miner moth. Mature trees aren’t as susceptible.

CONKER is one of the words in Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris’s book ‘The Lost Words’ with a beautiful poem to go with it.

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A huge Horse Chestnut tree watches over my local badger sett. Stick, Arrow, Pirate and the rest of the clan forage under the shelter of its branches.

I noticed that quite a few of the conkers had been eaten. Although they are poisonous to humans and dogs, deer and squirrel eat them. I’m presuming by the way these were peeled that they were eaten by a squirrel.

I couldn’t make it down to London today to Chris Packham’s #HS2NoThankYou peaceful protest, so I collected a few conkers to plant in pots in my own garden. I’ve been doing this with acorns for a number of years and now have roughly 30 oak saplings ranging from a few centimetres to over a metre tall. I’m hoping that in a couple of years my oak saplings will be joined by some Horse chestnut ones (if they survive).

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Get Your Boots On is now available from the publisher (The fastest way to get it) by clicking this link https://divedup.com/shop/get-your-boots-on/

Or you can ask for it in your local book shop or order online from Amazon UK

Posted in Autumn, Blogging, Environment, Local patch, nature, The Lost Words, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Woodland | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Climate Strike Oxford September 2019

The 20th September saw the biggest Climate strike in Oxford so far.

5,000 people joined in solidarity an estimated 4 million people around the world.

From Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe and USA, from cities, towns, villages and individuals, people came out to show their support, they held their banners high and asked for a change in the system.

I hope the photos and film clip communicate some of the passion and feelings of the day.

 

Posted in Climate, Climate strike, Environment, Fridays4future, Get Your Boots On, Oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments