Nature in a Frantic World

In such a frantic world in which we live today it is easy to become overwhelmed with modern day stresses. I have fallen victim many times to the demands of everyday life. Whenever I feel the need to escape I turn to nature. The Wolseley Centre in Stafford has always offered me so much comfort…

Fly Agaric and other Fungi

RSPB shops always have an array of field guides on sale. Birds usually take top spot in terms of ‘thickness of book,’ but I was surprised to see a field guide on fungi at twice the size! Inspired, we took a visit to Downs Banks in Staffordshire for our first fungi hunt. Fungi can often…

Pink-footed geese

Each season in the UK brings something new. As the nights are drawing in and the days are becoming colder I do feel a bit of sadness wash over me. I absolutely love spring and summer; chasing butterflies through meadows, checking underneath rocks for slow worms and other reptiles and watching swallows swirling over fields….

Leighton Moss

At times wildlife watching may require early starts, very early starts, but it is worth it. Of course when your alarm is blaring out at 3 o’clock in the morning on your day off it does not always seem that way. Leighton Moss holds so many special memories for me and it never fails to…

Black-necked grebe and Scaup

Westport Lake is a place I have visited for many, many years. Only a 5 minute drive from where I live in Staffordshire it offers a large lake with surrounding woodlands. It is home to mallard ducks, grebes, coots, moorhens and mute swans, but from time to time a rarer species is sometimes reported. On…

Hedgehog Encounter in School

Wildlife can turn up anywhere and work is no exception. I am very lucky to work as a Forest School leader in a Primary School, heightening my chances of seeing wildlife whilst at work. During an outdoor activity involving the use of fire steels and camp fires, our lesson was completely thrown out of the…

Red-backed Shrike

My first visit to The Spurn on the east coast was certainly not disappointing. A great place to visit during Autumn due to birds flying in on migration. It is no lie when I say the only people seen, not only on the nature reserves but walking through the streets too, were twitchers and birdwatchers….

The Smooth Snake

What I love the most about spring is the emergence of reptiles. Looking underneath stones, pieces of wood and discarded carpet is one of my favourite past times; I can liken it to opening a present on Christmas day as a child and anticipating what could be inside. Many only deliver hoards of ants scrambling…

Adonis Blue Butterfly

Wildlife field guides are great for identifying species out in the field. But sometimes seeing an animal in the flesh is a lot different to how it appears in a book. It may be smaller or more vibrant in colour than expected. I was wondering how easy it would be to distinguish an adonis blue…

The Clouded Yellow Butterfly

Pursuing butterflies is truly magical. A woodland ride is brought to life by their presence; they are the fairies of the forest. A woodland is cloaked in gloom on a cloudy day, then a shimmer of light breaks through highlighting everything missed in the darkness and the forest slowly comes to life. However, the truly…

Fossil Hunting

Visiting the Jurassic Coast has been on my to do list for quite some time. We visited the area of Charmouth in Dorset. A complete beginner I wasn’t sure how easy it was going to be to find a fossil. We checked for low tide times; between 1pm and 5pm and set out on our…

The Brown Hairstreak

For a long time the brown hairstreak has eluded us. We have visited Grafton Wood on a few occasions but either the weather was overcast or it was too early or late in the year. We just kept on missing these perfect opportunities. During our trip around Ireland in the Summer we had heard of…