Saturday 7th October 2017: Nature Needs You

Every year the Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers run a family outreach event at a local countryside site.  This ’Nature Needs You’ event is all about giving families a chance to give nature a home and support the wildlife in their neighbourhood / back garden a hand! This year’s event was in partnership with the National Trust at Hare Hill in Alderley Edge. The site is a tranquil woodland garden surrounded by parkland, once part of  Charles Brocklehurst’s estate. We have worked with Hare Hill before on the Macclesfield Big Bird Box Build and they have Kindly hosted our ‘Dawn Chorus and Barbecue Breakfast’ event for … Click here for more information…..

Saturday 4th November 2017: Meadow Conservation Work Party

Wildlife Explorers met at RSPB Coombes Valley Nature Reserve armed with gardening gloves and spades. After a short drive to the newly acquired Bellpit Meadow they were ready to begin as morning of conservation work creating a new hedgerow. Paul Bennett, the Coombes Valley Warden showed everyone how to plant using a technique called slit planting and Leader Martin explained how to use tools safely. Bare root and cell grown plants were used from a mixture of native hedgerow species including hawthorn, hazel, field maple, dogwood and crab apple. The weather stayed dry for the whole session and a large … Click here for more information…..

Monday 16th October 2017: Alien Invaders

Wildlife Explorers welcomed a special guest to the October Indoor Meeting, Sal Potts from BEACON. BEACON (Bollin Environmental Action and Conservation) is a group of people working towards controlling and eradicating invasive non-native species (INNS) within the Bollin catchment, which includes all the tributaries, meres, brooks and streams connected to the River Bollin such as the River Dean and Mobberley Brook. The meeting started with Explorers designing an amazing array of feathers. Some chose feathers from real bird species, others used their imagination to create amazing, colourful designs. Sal then talked about the work of BEACON. She explained what invasive … Click here for more information…..

2nd October 2017: – Gordon Buchanan at Buxton Opera House

Leaders and RSPB Phoenix members joined a packed Buxton Opera House for ‘Animal Families and Me’, a talk by Gordon Buchanan. The acclaimed television wildlife cameraman and presenter of many popular BBC wildlife series shared some of his amazing experiences with some of the world’s most incredible animals. As well as incredible tales of his travels to some of the most remote parts of the world , Buchanan used his own film footage and photography to illustrate how his ‘up close and personal’ style allowed him insights into the behaviour of some of our planet’s most iconic species. The audience … Click here for more information…..

Monday 18th September 2017:The Sun – The Solar System and the Source of Life

The first indoor meeting of the new Wildlife Explorers season focussed on the source of energy for all life – the Sun. Children began the evening by selecting a planet from our solar system and designing an extra-terrestrial creature with special adaptations to live successfully in conditions there. The group learned about the importance of the sun and the way that energy is transferred through food chains and food webs. To help us understand how the earth relates to our neighbours in the solar system we listened to a song about the eight planets and older explorers had the treat … Click here for more information…..

Sunday 17th September 2017: Jodrell Bank Working Party

    As part of our ongoing partnership with Jodrell Bank the Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers came together this September for a working party in the Arboretum. The day was grey and overcast but the group were raring to go as usual particularly since Becky, Head of Gardens and Interpretation,  was offering to carry most of the tools and equipment to site in her handy buggy. Tools and equipment were prepared and loaded and transported to site ready to work at one of the arboretum’s bird hides. Loppers, shear, secateurs were all necessary for us to work to clear vegetation from … Click here for more information…..

Monday 4th September 2017: Teggs Nose Farm Pond Survey

Leaders and RSPB Phoenix members visited Tegg’s Nose Farm to conduct a second annual pond survey. This was a fantastic opportunity for the group to learn about the variety of aquatic minibeasts and how to identify them to family level.               Leader David Wilson who has just started his MSc studies on River Science was on hand to help with identification and sampling techniques. (He couldn’t wait to don some waders and get into the pond in search of aquatic invertebrates!)                We kept separate lists for the two main ponds. Unfortunately, due to the dry weather over the … Click here for more information…..

7th-9th July 2017: Bluedot Festival

Volunteers from Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers took part in an unforgettable weekend at Jodrell Bank’s Bluedot Festival 2017. The weekend was an incredible mix of music, science, culture and arts. Based in the Planet Field, the Wildlife Explorers stall featured lots of hands-on activities to engage and inspire families. The Feely boxes were a big hit (despite the odd scream when fingers made contact with the jelly slugs!) and everyone enjoyed matching creatures to their man-made wildlife homes. The skull collection was fascinating for visitors of all ages – an incredible opportunity to compare and contrast the skeletal adaptations of … Click here for more information…..

Monday 15th May 2017: The Sounds of Nature

The penultimate meeting of the season was dedicated to ‘The Sounds of Nature’. At the start of the meeting Explorers designed CD covers for a Wildlife Sounds Greatest Hits CD after selecting their favourite sounds for a wild soundtrack. Birdsong was very popular but lots of other animal noises featured too.      We learned that animals use sound to communicate for lots of different reasons. Sound can be used to make contact with others of the same species, advertise for a mate, beg for food from a parent, act as a warning or declare territory.  The sound quiz was … Click here for more information…..

Saturday 17th June : The Macclesfield Big Bird Box Build Big Bird Race

  Unlike most Wildlife Explorer meetings our last outdoor meeting of the 2016/17 season required some special equipment: sun hats and suntan cream. It was a glorious, sunny day and very, very hot Armed with binoculars, bird books and a couple of birdwatching experts we walked along the River Bollin looking and listening for the largest number of bird species possible. We were hopeful of seeing dipper and even kingfisher and although they didn’t feature on our final bird list we did see a really good selection of different species and had great views of grey heron sunbathing with their … Click here for more information…..