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…..

Monday 21st January 2019:Looking Out For Our Garden Birds

The first meeting of 2019 was designed to prepare everyone for the biggest event in the RSPB’s year – the Big Garden Birdwatch. Leader Helen devised a fabulous craft – a garden bird collage featuring some feathered favourites – a blue tit and a robin. Children used postage stamps to make the bird’s plumage to great effect. After a quick talk about the importance of the garden birdwatch in monitoring bird populations (which also featured a light sabre and Leader Susan’s incredible transformation into Queen Elizabeth II) it was time for some practical birdwatching. Trainee Junior Leader Natasha took on … Click here for more information…..

Monday 21st January 2019: Rainow Primary

Our first Big School Birdwatch of 2019 took place at Rainow Primary School. As usual Year 3 split into two groups to count the birds, taking it in turns to take part in the indoor and outdoor part of the survey. The outdoor group used binoculars to spot birds in the school wood and around the grounds, taking care to look around the edges of playing fields in the trees and bushes. The most exciting spots of the morning had to be a song thrush and a treecreeper, looking for food whilst moving carefully up the trunk of tree. The … 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…..

Monday 15th October 2018:Autumn Leaves – Trees Through the Year

A seasonal indoor meeting – The meeting kicked off with identifying tree leaves using a variety of resources – posters, ID charts and identification books. After a quick introduction about how and why leaves change colour in autumn everyone got hands-on with some real ones with a leaf litter sieving activity. Tiny invertebrates were then collected in bug pots and examined using a USB microscope with images projected on the big screen to give incredible detail on both anatomy and behaviour. Specimens collected included centipede, devil’s coach horse, money spider, slug, springtail and harvestman. All of the minibeasts were returned … Click here for more information…..

Saturday 13th October 2018: Nature Needs You Welly Walk – West Park, Macclesfield

  For the first time Wildlife Explorers joined forces with Macclesfield Town Council to run our annual ‘Nature Needs You’ event in conjunction with ‘Welly Walk’ at West Park. The morning started with unpromising weather – high winds and threatening rain – but everyone worked hard to get the gazebo and all of our equipment in place.   It wasn’t long before the visitors started arriving. The team rans lots of hands-on activities – all with a ‘helping nature’ theme. As well as making bird nestboxes, bee homes and wildflower seedbombs, children made bird food and planted native tree seeds. … Click here for more information…..

Monday 17th September 2018:Tides – Life at the Water’s Edge

The first indoor session kicked off with ‘Tides – Life at the Water’s Edge’ a reminder for some of summer holidays spent by the coast! Abercrombie organised a fascinating shell quiz for the joining activity. Explorers learned lots about the variety of shells and how to spot the odd one out! Leader Martin explained how and why we get tides and then discussed some of the challenges for the creatures living in the intertidal zone. Our craft for the session was strandline printing – recreating an intertidal zone in art, complete with seaweed, flotsam and jetsam on the strandline, using … Click here for more information…..