Wednesday 13th February 2019: King’s School Junior Division

One of our favourite School Birdwatches takes place each year at Victoria Park. Our morning birdwatching with students from the King’s School Junior Division was bright and sunny (if a bit on the cool side) and everyone was treated to a great selection of bird species. Three groups of children from Year 3 and Year 4 walked over to the park and used the bandstand as a perfect base for watching the birds. There was a huge enthusiasm as students got to grips with using binoculars to watch the blue tits and great tits high in the trees and count … Click here for more information…..

Sunday 10th February 2019: Signs of Wildlife Treasure Hunt – Poynton Coppice

Despite a soggy start to the day lots of Wildlife Explorer families gathered at Poynton Coppice for a ‘Signs of Wildlife’ Treasure Hunt. As well as brilliantly rhymed wildlife-themed clues (honestly!) – families had to complete a series of challenges on the way round the treasure trail including listing the birds we heard singing, determining the tree species on site from looking at their buds and identifying lichen. Family members of all ages took on searching out the clues and completing the challenges with great gusto. Admittedly there was one tiny glitch with the clues – Tina and Susan had … Click here for more information…..

Wednesday 6th February 2019: Ivy Bank Primary

Leaders visited Ivy Bank Primary School in Macclesfield for a rearranged Big School Birdwatch. The first date was cancelled due to snow and ice – luckily the weather was dry and mild for the new session. It was decided that we would run two sessions each with two full classes (sixty children in total). We started in the classroom with an introduction to the Top 10 garden birds, some background on the survey and its methodology plus some safety tips for using binoculars. Everyone was really surprised that such large groups of children were able to birdwatch outside so successfully. … Click here for more information…..

Monday 28th January 2019: Terra Nova Reception and Nursery Classes

Leaders Mark, Abercrombie, Susan and Tina visited Terra Nova for a cold but very sunny morning completing the Big School Birdwatch. After learning a little bit about about garden birds – how to identify some of them and what they sound like – children wrapped up warm with hats and scarves to head out on a birdwatching walk around the school grounds. The school regularly feeds the birds (although they have recently been competing with local squirrels for the best treats!) and a soon as the groups were outside we could hear birds singing. The best views during the morning … Click here for more information…..

Saturday 26th January 2019: Big Garden Birdwatch – West Park, Macclesfield

Wildlife Explorers were lucky with the weather for their 2019 Big Garden Birdwatch (last year there was torrential rain!). Keen families of birdwatchers gathered near the café in West Park armed with binoculars and bird ID sheets. After a quick recap of the Top 10 garden birds for Cheshire in 2018 and some safety tips for using binoculars we set off to look and listen for the birds in the park. With so many eager birdwatchers it wasn’t surprising that we spotted a good range of species, however, we did manage to see some really special birds. We got excellent … Click here for more information…..

Tuesday 22nd January 2019: Puss Bank Primary

Our morning at Puss Bank saw volunteers and enthusiastic pupils coping with a wide range of weather conditions. As well as snow showers, sleet and cold temperatures there were also moments of bright sunshine and some mist! The morning started with an assembly (indoors!) where we learned about some of the birds that we might see. Volunteer Leaders were really impressed by the bird identification skills on show as robin, blackbird, blue tit, house sparrow and starling were all identified with ease. After a quick talk on using binoculars safely it was time to venture outside in the wintry conditions. … Click here for more information…..

Sunday 2nd December 2018: Tree Dressing and Silly Hat Competition

Every year Wildlife Explorers head into the woods at the end of National Tree week to celebrate trees and their importance to wildlife, people and our culture. Trees are decorated with a mix of natural materials. Budding artists took inspiration from the festive season, the natural world, mythology and popular culture. All the materials used are biodegradable and leave minimal impact on the environment as they weather and degrade. This year’s tree dressers were extremely fortunate, enjoying a couple of hours of dry mild weather in what was otherwise a very wet weekend, perfect conditions for working outdoors with clay. … Click here for more information…..

Monday 19th November 2018:Nature’s Superheroes – Wildlife Super Powers

Our temporary home for the December Indoor meeting was Parkroyal school. We made the most of the lovely surroundings and access to the hall for our session on Nature’s Superheroes. To start off with everyone collated a booklet of nature puzzles and colouring.Leader Martin explained how some incredible creatures use ‘super powers’ to help them survive. We learned about the speed of cheetahs and peregrine falcons, the visual acuity of Buzzards, the strength of dung beetles and the design skills of decorator crabs! Martin also explained the arsenal of defensive and attack weapons of the box jelly and leopard sea … Click here for more information…..

Saturday 10th November 2018: Conservation Work – RSPB Coombes Valley

Wildlife Explorers headed to RSPB Coombes Valley Nature Reserve for a morning of practical conservation work in Bellpit Meadow, a short drive from the Visitor Centre. The weather gods looked kindly upon the group and we benefitted from yet another dry outdoor session, despite a dubious forecast earlier in the week. The first task was to plant around 100 hawthorn saplings around the edge of the meadow using a slit planting technique. Warden Paul Bennett demonstrated and then explained how to use the tools correctly.  As well as raking up bramble and nettle that had been cut earlier in the … Click here for more information…..

Sunday 21st October 2018: Walking with Red Deer – Lyme Park

It’s normally only possible to rouse Wildlife Explorers before dawn once a year – for the annual Dawn Chorus Walk, but the chance of an early morning walk at NT Lyme Park to observe the red deer rut was impossible to resist. Wrapped up warm, families gathered at the main car park before sunrise armed with torches and binoculars.   Ranger Craig gave us an introduction to the history of Lyme Park, the deer herds on the site and the behaviour of red deer during the rut. At we set out at the start of the walk we could hear … Click here for more information…..