Post Archive 2016

Cones: Douglas fir, Western hemlock, coast redwood Discover the New Forest – ‘We’re going on a cone hunt’ December 30, 2016 - Cones make a beautiful addition to Christmas wreathes and decorations but often go unnoticed, hanging high in trees, out of reach until they fall to the ground.  Commonly called pine cones, there are in fact many kinds of cones that grow on different cone bearing trees called conifers. A short walk along the Tall Trees […]
Use a mirror to discover how a tree might look to a bird Winter Trees November 27, 2016 - The New Forest’s woodlands become different places in the winter. Leaves fall from deciduous trees, in a myriad of autumn colours, to reveal bare branches and twigs with pointy buds. Suddenly leafless, this is the best time to study the shapes and silhouettes of trees; the ancient oaks look bent and wrinkled whilst silver birch […]
Use clay as another alternative for making footprints Animal tracks and signs November 5, 2016 - It’s been a wonderful season for wild food foraging. Harvesting reminds us that we are part of nature and the importance of taking only what you need. Many animals are also busy collecting and eating this bounty of autumn foods to prepare for the winter ahead. As many mammals are nocturnal or very secretive now […]
Leaf Cat Nature inspired autumn land art September 30, 2016 - Autumn is my favourite time of the year to be outdoors exploring the New Forest; foraging for juicy blackberries, collecting fallen crab apples and enjoying the season’s changing colours. It’s also a wonderful time to create some amazing land art – all you need are leaves and a creative imagination. Land art is fun and […]
This ‘Old Lady’ visited our sugar trap. Moth Mania August 31, 2016 - Moths are fab – not drab! They are as brightly coloured and patterned as their day-flying relatives, and come in all shapes and sizes. With an amazing 2,500 different types of moths, compared to 58 different butterflies in the UK, looking for moths and experiencing their world at night is a magical and wonderful way […]
Collect moulted feathers for identification or simply for their varied beauty Focus on feathers July 28, 2016 - Feathers are unique to birds. Strong, yet light and flexible, a single feather is a thing of great beauty. From July until late summer is a good time to look for feathers when adult birds are moulting: a process of shedding old feathers and growing new ones. Not surprisingly many birds are looking a bit […]
Close encounters - dragonfly emergence Close encounters with dragonflies June 29, 2016 - Did you know the New Forest is one of the best places in the UK to spot a dragonfly?  Of the 36 species which exist in this county, an amazing 74% of them can be found here. June and early July is the wonderful time to observe dragonflies as they emerge from their larval cases […]
Set your feet free and be tickled by a daisy A Walk in the Wild May 29, 2016 - Join in with The Wildlife Trusts #30DaysWild and challenge yourself to do something wild every day this June. Here are some of my favourite ‘rewilding’ experiences to help you explore and reconnect with the wild places of the New Forest. And your local wild space – whether it’s an allotment or back garden – can […]
'Merlin' - a rescued hedgehog checking out a hogitat house Hedgehog Hogitats April 30, 2016 - Hedgehogs are one of our most iconic British mammals and the worrying decline in numbers could mean that these snuffling spiny hogs might become a rare sight in the future. The plight of our hedgehogs and how people can help is an excellent study to introduce to children the concept of wildlife conservation and hands-on […]
'Bugnapping'- making a pitfall trap Minibeasts and bughunting March 30, 2016 - Learning to observe and record wildlife is vital for understanding the natural world and conservation. Wildlife is all around us so it’s important to focus, to start with, on one group of animals or plants, and on a local patch – a garden, school grounds or woodland. For beginner groups invertebrates or ‘minibeasts’ offer many […]
Mud sculpture hedgehog Marvellous mud art February 28, 2016 - Mud, mud glorious mud! Most people see mud as something to avoid, but it offers lots of creative potential for the outdoor learning practitioner: it’s free, easy to use, safe to handle and can be found pretty much anywhere. So, having found a nice muddy patch, how can you use it to create some artwork? […]
A travel journal - exploring and learning about new trees Drawing from nature – nature journals January 29, 2016 - Creating a nature journal or field guide can be a richly rewarding experience. It is the perfect way to develop and record an understanding of the natural world around you by using observation, reflection, drawing and creative writing.  Traditionally, nature study journals were more of a scientific way to record observations, but they can also […]