Team Nature Squad

Late last year along with some others I formed a group called ‘A Planet Fit for Nature’. Our team consists of conservationists, writers, bloggers and photographers but overall we are all nature loving individuals.

Over the last 40 years Earth has lost half of its wildlife and we believe not enough is done to make people aware of this and the worries of this terrifying drop, but mainly the fact that not enough is done in schools. I can relate to this as throughout my school life the most I’ve ever learnt about the natural world has been a lesson about the basic elements of the food chain and I agree that it is necessary that more needs to be done. Even though I was taught about the food chain, I was never taught about the importance of the food chain and how without it there would be no life on earth. Which is the way we’re heading by eliminating different species from our natural world.

We believe that if schools educate children in a stand alone lesson on the curriculum about these issues and teach them about all that resides in the Natural Kingdom then our wildlife may stand a chance. Plant a seed now and it will grow. Here is a petition which has been set up to get the natural world and conversation on the National Curriculum – http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/70401

The purpose of the group is to raise awareness of the on goings in the Natural World, to unite people to speak out against matters like animal cruelty, poaching and hunting. Along with this, as I said, we want to educate where we can as prevention is key!

To get involved you can join us on Facebook by clicking here or on Twitter by clicking here.

In the last week we have also launched a competition with some fantastic prizes. The competition is open to families and you can find out more about it on our Facebook page and on the poster below.

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Save our Badgers!

A few months back I heard about a Wildlife Festival and Badger March which would be taking place in the centre of Birmingham, as Birmingham isn’t far from where I live I was eager to attend.

We arrived in Birmingham just before 10am and made our way to Centenary Square which was about ten minutes from the train station. When we got there all the stalls were set up and the speakers for the day were getting ready. By about 11am it was in full swing and it was great to see so many people who cared so passionately about saving not only British wildlife but wildlife from around the World. All the talks were fantastic and they were very inspiring, I can’t pick a favorite one as they were all so good and about very important subjects, from animal therapy and depression to stopping the cull and wildlife crimes. There was even some singing involved!

At 1.30pm the Badger March began. I was quite close the front and as I looked back it was so brilliant to see so many people on the march. Everyone made a great effort as there was lots of fantastic costumes, signs, banners and hats too. It was also great to see some other young people joining in. The march went down into the very centre of Birmingham then back to Centenary Square, as they shouted ‘Save our Badgers, Stop the Cull!’.

Once the march was back to Centenary Square Dominic Dyer, CEO Badger Trust, gave a very impassioned talk followed by many more speakers until about 4.30 when the day of talks finished with Charlie Moores from Birders against Wildlife Crime.

On Saturday all the speakers, stalls and people that went along all expressed a very important message about how we need to protect and care for our wildlife and I was very proud to be a part of that.

Here are some of the photos from the day.

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‘Be a Zoologist’ workshop at BRLSI

A few weeks back I was contacted by the zoologist, Dr Emily Joachim asking if I could help out and give a talk at a workshop that she’d be running at Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution. Emily is a zoologist that specialises in British Owls (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/legacy/natureuk/2011/05/-normal-0-false-false.shtml). The aim of the workshop she was running was to enthuse the children which attended and show how they could become a conservationist/zoologist now. As part of the workshop there was owl pellet dissections so they could learn how to clean, prepare and identify the skulls and there was skulls for them to identify with keys. Along with this I gave a short talk about how they can get out, monitor, record and explore the outdoors.

The building where the workshops took place was in the centre of Bath so I was up very early that morning as I had a 2 hour train journey ahead. The day went very well and I really enjoyed myself. I was really impressed by how knowledgeable the children were and how they could identify all of the species that I spoke about and showed photos of.  They also seemed very enthusiastic and interested in the activities they did which was fantastic to see.

Here are some photos from the day, kind permission of BRLSI

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unnamed (1) Drawing the skulls that they identified.

unnamed (5)Myself helping with the pellet dissection

unnamed (3)Identifying skulls.

unnamed (6)Myself giving a talk

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Urban murmuration

On my way home last night, after a family day out, I spotted a small starling murmuration just round the corner from where I live. As soon as I got back I ran upstairs, with my camera of course, and looked out the window in hope of spotting the murmuration. To my delight I could still see it and I had the opportunity to film it with my camera. As it was just getting dark and I was a bit shaky as I was so excited I didn’t get the best film but you can see the film I got below. I’m hoping to go along and stand closer to where the murmuration is another night and hopefully get some better film.

It was so interesting and fascinating to watch. They all seemed to know what they were doing and their timing was perfect. An even bigger bonus was being able to watch it from the comfort of my own home, which shows that wildlife is everywhere! So I’m sure there is one not too far from where you live, and it’s worth going out and keeping your eye out for one in the evening as it is really intriguing to watch.

Here’s the video I got.