Yesterday afternoon I headed to the National Memorial Aboretum as it was the monthly meeting for the Widlife Watch group, of which I’m a leader of. I gave a talk to this group over a year ago now and since then I go along to the monthly session to help out. Yesterdays activity was pond dipping. Even though I’m one of the leaders I was still very excited about this as it’s great fun and I knew the kids would enjoy it too.
As well as the regulars that turn up for the session, today we were also joined by about 20 Scouts who were eager to have a go at pond dipping. None of them had done it before so they were very excited. As we walked down they were all sharing their wildlife stories and asking plenty of questions which was firing up their enthusiasm even more.
Once down at the pond, that has recently been created here especially for pond dipping, we filled the trays with water and they all got to work with the nets. Straight away they caught species like newts, tadpoles, diving beetles, pond skaters, dragonfly nymphs and many more. This was quite surprising as the pond here was only created last year but already it was beaming with life.
They were all really interested in what they caught, and so was I! It was really great to see these youngons doing what so many others should be doing, which is enjoying nature. They were all full of life afterwards and looking forward to the next time they could do it.
Here are a few photos that I took.
At the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas I am a junior leader for the Wildlife Watch group and a few months back I was asked to give a short talk as part of one of the sessions. When I did my talk, yesterday, it went very well and I thoroughly enjoyed giving the talk as they were a great audience. My talk was all about my wildlife experiences from 2014.
The group meets once a month on a Saturday afternoon and they do a whole array of different activities from pond dipping to mammal trapping. The Arboretum is teaming with wildlife and before my talk I took a short 30 minute walk around, here’s some photos that I got.
Once a month I go to a local Wildlife Watch meeting at the National Memorial Arboretum. As I’m quite a bit older then the other kids I act more as a leader within the group. Yesterdays session was about all about various mammals which are present at the Arboretum. A local mammal expert, Derek Crawley, set 39 traps out the night before then we went to collect them during the session and to see what mammals had been trapped over night.
Yesterday the trapping was to show the children a close up of different species but this method is often used to monitor the numbers of various mammals. The traps were set up at roughly ten feet apart beneath an unused grassy area. When we found a trap which was closed we opened it up to see what had been caught. We then examined the mammal, looked to see if it was male or female then let it go. It was brilliant to see the species close up. We managed to catch seven wood mice, a bank vole and a field vole. Here are some photos I took.
Something else I found out yesterday was the mammal tracking phone app. This is to record different mammals in the UK so more can be found out about whereabouts they are and numbers. You can follow this link to download the app for your apple or android phone – http://www.brc.ac.uk/mammal_tracker/
A wood mice that escaped down a sleeve!
The children having a real hands on experience with one of the voles that was caught.