The People’s Walk For Wildlife

I’ll be taking part in Chris Packham’s ‘The People’s Walk for Wildlife’ not only for the Badgers being killed as I write this, the declining Hedgehogs, the Water Voles losing their habitat or all the other mammals, birds, insects and plants that are struggling to survive as our human population grows. I’ll be walking to celebrate the passion of the people who care and for a time when people and nature can live together.

Please join us on 22nd September in Hyde Park

See you there!

https://www.chrispackham.co.uk/the-peoples-walk-for-wildlife

In the meantime check out the accounts of these brilliant people involved in the film.

@JamesNaturalist .   @BeccasButterfli    @Howlingflames1  @BellaLack   @MyaBambrick1 .@nerdboy386 @naturalistdara .  and Lucy c/o@BlackLabrador10

As well as the young people mentioned above there are a great number of others doing amazing work. (Not in any particular order)

Give them a look and a follow

@GeorgiaLocock   @BirdgirlUK   @Kaulofthewilduk  

@StockwellBilly   @NatureBoyJack11 .@lillyspickup .@GreenFGeorge .

@NoahWal01 .@stonechat_42 . @BeetleboyJacob  @Sam_Washy . 

@molly02carter .@PocketPalsApp .@emilygilford @Daniconnor1995 . 

@avonbirder . @SorrelLyall  @GretaThunberg .@WildeAboutBirds 

@Alexbirder1 . @ArjunDutta3101 @OceansFriend1  @cianbirder

@rivercolours @MelanieGbones . @Earlywormbirder @TobyWarbler  

@AlexNaturalist @Fabian_Harrison . @EcoBittern  @HarryKing152001

Apologises if I’ve missed anyone

 

 

Posted in Animals, Badgers, Blogging, Citizen science, Environment, Every child wild, London, mammals, nature, Uncategorized, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The geese return.

This week it’s back to school for me. It’s my GCSE year so expect less blogging as my exams get closer and close.

Autumn is definitely on its way, it was dark by just after 8pm last night and the mornings are colder.

One sign that Autumn is coming on my Local Patch is the geese return. Each morning and evening they fly low over my house.

In the evening they settle in the nearby fields where they chatter amongst themselves as the sun sets.

I’ll know Autumn has truly arrived once the Redwings and Fieldfares start arriving and the Swallows have left..

IMG_7798

 

 

Posted in Animals, Autumn, birds, Blogging, Local patch, nature, outdoors, Oxfordshire, photography, Uncategorized, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Squares in the field

Over the past few months as the crops have grown in the nearby fields I’ve noticed that there are squares of crops missing.

These squares are around 4 x 4 metres and each field of wheat has around 3 squares in it. We have been trying to guess what they could be, yesterday I finally found out. They are Skylark plots.

The whole document from Defra is here Skylark plots but these are the main points.

  • To help Skylarks access nesting sites during Spring and Summer
  • To increase Skylark numbers
  • To prevent Skylarks being disturbed by putting plots away from tramlines
  • To promote Skylark territories

After doing a bit of reading I’ve found there are also Lapwing plots.

For those who want to do further reading there is more information here Conservation evidence

There has always been quite a few Skylarks on my local patch, and hopefully with my local farmer adding these Skylark plots in, their number will increase.

Field with skylark plotsSkylark plotIMG_7713

 

 

Posted in Animals, birds, Blogging, Environment, Local patch, nature, Oxfordshire, Rural life, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Interesting morning at O.U.M.N.H

This morning I was invited to Oxford University Museum of Natural History to talk to a summer school group about wildlife, blogging and photography. As this is one of my favourite places in Oxford I couldn’t refuse.

OUMNH

Talking about my blogging and photography

Shortly after talking to the group of young people we were joined by Zoe, an entomologist, who gave us all a really fascinating guide on the importance of collecting and recording insects. Followed by how you mount and label them.

How to pin a beetle

Larger specimens are pinned, with the legs and head showing for easier identification.

Mounting beetles using glue

Mounting beetles using glue

Smaller specimens are glued either on a flat card or mounted so you can see the underparts more clearly.

learning about labelling insects

Some insects the summer school group collected

It was fantastic to see some insects that the summer school group had collected the previous day, now mounted and labelled with their names added as the collector.

Even more fantastic to hear was that one of the insects caught hadn’t been collected by the museum since 1870.

After this, and while the summer school group were off doing other things, I got a private tour of behind the scenes at the museum. One of the highlights was to see a Dodo bone.

Dodo bone

Dodo bone

Next I was shown the actual room where The Great Debate took place.  The debate was held at OUMNH on 30th June 1860, between Thomas Huxley who was on the side of Charles Darwin’s concept of evolution by natural selection with Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford who argued the idea of biblical creation.

Darren, Head of Life Collections, was very kind to spend time showing me some of the insect collects from the past including a tray of Charles Darwin’s insects, as well as teaching me about Irecord a modern way of recording and sharing information of species between ecologists, scientists, experts and enthusiasts, but it was interesting to hear that although with the use of modern technology there is still an important place to have a specimen of the actual insect in a museum or lab to study close up for id and research.

Charles Darwin’s collection of insects

Posted in Animals, Blogging, Citizen science, Environment, insects, Museum, nature, Oxfordshire, photography, science, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Snorkelling at Bembridge

One of my favourite parts of our visit to the Isle of Wight was snorkelling at Bembridge.

Filming underwater opens up a whole new world of creatures, including crabs, juvenile Ballan wrasse, sea anemones and multitudes of other tiny fish.

The juvenile Ballan wrasse perfectly blend in with the seagrass and were easy to miss as they swam amongst the swaying grass.

As the tide comes in velvet and shore crabs scuttle along the sea bottom feeding on dead animal and plant matter brought in by the influx of water.

Thank you to  my mum for being my dive buddy.

Snorkelling

 

 

DSCF1821

DSCF1816

DSCF1844-001

DSCF1846

DSCF1834

Posted in Blogging, coast, nature, outdoors, photography, Uk nature, Uncategorized, Underwater, Wildlife, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Rockpooling – Isle of Wight

I’ve just come back from a spending a few days on the Isle of Wight. On one of the days we went rockpooling with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

The session was held at Bembridge beach. As the tide went out ledges of stone and rock pools were clearly visible.

Tables, buckets and empty milk cartons were readily available for the 50 of more people who had turned up to learn about what creatures are exposed by the receding tide.

The milk cartons were cut in half and used as scoops as nets can sometimes damage the tiny fish and animals.

Very quickly the buckets were being filled up ready for identification by the Wildlife Trust staff.

Rockpools are pools of water that are left behind when the tide goes out, they can be a very challenging environment for the creatures that inhabit them. In summer these pools can become very warm and the oxygen levels can drop dangerously before the next high tide. Often predator and prey can be trapped together in a game of deadly hide and seek until either the predator out smarts the prey or the incoming tide allows escape.

Crabs, sea urchins, Shanny’s, anemones, prawns, srimps and various winkles were all looked at before being released back in to the water.

Once everyone started to go back up the beach for ice cream or a swim we stayed to watch the birds return including three Little Egrets who fished amongst the seaweed on one of the ledges.

 

Posted in Animals, Blogging, Camping, coast, Environment, nature, outdoors, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Glow worms

On the first day of the holiday my family sat down and made a list of things we would like to do over the summer. Some of the ideas were things such as catching up with people we haven’t seen for a while, or visiting particular places, but one of the ideas on the list was to trying a find a glow worm.

We thought we would have a better chance with somebody who knew what they were doing so we signed up on a guide walk by Robin Scagell who by pure chance was running an evening in Oxfordshire the very next day.

Arriving at the site just after 9pm the group walked along the track to the bottom of a hill where we were shown photos on an ipad of what we would be looking for. It was the female glow worm that we were in search of, she is a medium sized beetle that has no wings and gives out a green glow around the hours of 10pm to midnight, during June and July.

After listen to the talk on glow worms, the group of us spread out in search of a small green light on a very large hillside but by the end of the evening 3 glow worms had been spotted.

Glow worms are generally found on chalk grassland, similar to the one we were on, but also in gardens, woodland rides, heathland and railway embankments.

The female uses its glow to attract a mate who will fly low over the area looking for this green light. Once the female has mated, she stops glowing, lays eggs and then dies.

Glow worm 3

Glow worm

Glow worm 2

Glow worm 3

Posted in Animals, Blogging, creepy crawlies, Environment, insects, nature, outdoors, Oxfordshire, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments