2014 – a year in review

As it’s almost 2015 I thought I would do a blog looking back on 2014. This year has been very exciting for me. I’ve met lots of great new people, been to some great places and once again witnessed and recorded the natural world. Below is a video I have put together which shows some of my favorite and most interesting moments.

Thank you for all of your support and I wish you all the best for 2015. Hopefully next year will be just as good and maybe better! More importantly though, I hope it is a good year for wildlife.



Merry Christmas all!

I would like to wish all my blog viewers a very merry Christmas and I hope you all enjoy your day. I hope you’ve all had some lovely gifts too. I’ve got my first DSLR camera which I am looking forward to using.

My Christmas wish

My only Christmas wish for this year though is not for lots of presents or money but to help save our natural world. The natural world is a very important place to me and it always has been for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are walking with my Granddad or getting home from school and feeding the birds that visited the garden. Unfortunately though over past years lots of problems have occurred.  There are four principal causes of damage: habitat degradation, over-exploitation, pollution (particularly global climate change) and the introduction of invasive non-native species. The State of Nature report found that 60% of our UK species we know about are in decline. Habitats are becoming more fragmented and their condition is worsening to the extent that only 37% of the best sites are in good condition. These are just two of the worrying statistics about the alarming drop in our UK nature. From here though, at the moment, things aren’t looking too good for the future as only 1 in 10 children regularly play in wild places, compared to almost half, a generation ago. Without more young people growing an interest in the natural world and fulfilling a career in years to come the state of conservation will be lower and these statistics could decrease more and more.

Wildlife crime is also a big problem. It takes place throughout the UK and one of the main reasons for this is that members of the public don’t realise that what they’ve seen is against the law and therefore don’t report it.


My wish this Christmas is for everybody of all ages to realise and understand how precious and wonderful the natural world is so we can preserve it for future years. There are many different campaigns to help do this which you can find by looking at some of my recent blog posts.

Christmas foxes.

Over the past few weeks I have been filming some foxes on one of my local patches, here’s some of the best footage from this week.

If you watch this clip carefully you’ll see a fox entering from the left hand side then another fox comes and pounces on it. They then stay in an unusual position until the clip is over. The position shows that they are asserting dominance.


Stopping wildlife crime.

A few months back I was invited to a wildlife and countryside protection meeting by my local police force, Staffordshire Police, after emailing them about a campaign set up by BAWC (Birds against Wildlife Crime) and The Wildoutside. They have annual meetings where different organisations will attend from around the county. These organisations included Staffordshire Badger Trust, West Midlands Hedgehog rescue, Staffordshire County Council, National Farmers Union, The Forestry Commission and a few more. Even though some of the organisations might have different ideas and thoughts about the natural world, at the meeting the only thing that we all wanted to do was help prevent wildlife crime.

I knew nothing about the prevention of wildlife crime in my area until I went to the meeting. I was so pleased to see that they take protecting wildlife so seriously in my county. Everyone there had a good understanding of the natural world and the crimes we discussed varied from fish poaching to fly tipping and disturbance at badgers setts. At the end I got the opportunity to speak to some individuals which was very interesting and I was also invited to go along to the Staffordshire Badger Trusts vaccination scheme when it started up next year which I was very pleased about. I would like to thank the Staffordshire Police for inviting me to the meeting and I’m looking forward to the next one.

Even though what the Staffordshire police and organisations it’s in partnership with do is fantastic, wildlife crime still goes on in my county and throughout the UK. One of the main reasons for this is that members of the public don’t realise that what they’ve seen is against the law and therefore don’t report it. To make sure this doesn’t carry on and people do understand what to look for, how it happens and why it happens we need to make them aware and that’s were a campaign called Wildlife Crime Aware comes in.

Wildlife Crime Aware was originally founded by The Wildoutside  but are now partnered with BAWC (Birds Against Wildlife Crime). The Wildoutside is a group that encourage people to get out and about to see the natural world then share their findings. BAWC is an independent campaign group that’s aim is to fight back against wildlife crime. Together they work together as different organisations with a common goal to stop wildlife crime and inform the public. This change in public awareness and opinion will give them more eyes in the field and lead to political changes and a positive change.

To find out more about how you can help stop wildlife crime and identify it yourself here are some links with some more information:

Wildlife Crime Aware Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/wildlifecrimeaware

The Wildoutside website – http://thewildoutside.com/

Birds against Wildlife Crime (BAWC) website – http://birdersagainst.org/

Please help make a difference as our wildlife is in quite serious trouble at the moment and the reason for this is because of human beings. We need to work together and fight against wildlife crime so that in years to come the wildlife that makes up our landscapes can thrive again. There are obviously other problems that are putting wildlife at risk but wildlife crime is a big one.

One individual species that you can help fight for and protect is the Hen Harrier. In the past 60 years grouse shooting (driven grouse shooting) interests have persecuted the Hen Harrier to such an extent that it is almost extinct. In 2013 only 2 pairs nested in England. Lots of great work has been done, especially recently, to help save these birds and fight for them. For example the keen work of a fellow young wildlife enthusiast and conservationist, Findlay Wilde, who build his very own Hen Harrier to help raise awareness for them. You can read all about it by clicking on his blog here – http://wildeaboutbirds.blogspot.co.uk/

You can also help our Hen Harriers by signing this petition set up by Mark Avery to ban driven grouse shooting – http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/65627

Please help stop and prevent wildlife crimes.


Saturday night foxes.

For the last few weeks I’ve been filming some foxes with my trail camera not far from where I live. I’ve visited the area for as long as I can remember and it is undoubtedly one of the places that started of my passion for the natural world.

When we first set the camera up we didn’t get anything but we didn’t give up there and the next time we set the camera up we filmed a fox then the time after that we filmed two different foxes. They seemed to be in perfect condition and I’m looking forward to see what footage we can get in the Spring. Here’s the footage from last weekend.