This week I've been on Bird Watching magazine, which is based outside Peterborough. I had a wonderful time...as I have always said, wildlife enthusiasts are the nicest people in the world. The small team on Bird Watching were welcoming, wry and full of knowledge. I got to write a piece about wildlife friendly farming- looking at places like the RSPB site Hope Farm. They've added more grass, wildflowers, hedges and lark plots (bare patches of earth for ground nesting birds). It was interesting how similar wildlife gardening is to wildlife farming, really both are just about small changes and using one's common sense.
Friday, 31 July 2009
Saturday, 18 July 2009
I have done something bad for a greater good...
The nursery that I've been working at for the last few weeks recently got in some Indian stick insects for the pre-schoolers to admire. Needless to say, not only were the children not bothered, but neither was anyone else. I came in to find them in an unsuitable cage, full of poo, with two of the insects lying dead at the bottom. The cage was bone-dry and the leaves inside were brittle and curled. The trouble is, that none of the plants they will eat (bramble, hawthorn, roses, privet) grow anywhere near the nursery, so feeding them had become a hassle for the staff.
I couldn't stand to leave them there, so I offered to take them home and clean them out. Here's the bad bit, I lied, and told the nursery they had died. But I just couldn't have brought them back.
Since then they have been happily munching fresh, damp leaves, and most have perked up.
The only other drama was when one escaped, and although he was recovered, the shock of the outside world seems to have killed him. This is a big shame, but at least the other three have happy little insect lives ahead of them....
Sunday, 5 July 2009
Since being back in Cambridge (end of May) I've seen more wildlife than I saw in three years in Liverpool. A young, greyish fox darted into a hedgerow on Long Road as I drove to work. The undersides of a heron's wings outside my window. Starlings still inhabiting the gutter (an article starring them to appear in Bird Watching magazine) as chatty and burbly as ever. Outside the Smee of swifts having their evening meals. The cat inside, all eyes.