Saturday 25th March 2017: Tittesworth Treasure Hunt

  Wildlife Explorer families gathered for a Treasure Hunt in glorious spring sunshine at Tittesworth Water, a Severn Trent Water site near Leek in the Staffordshire Moorlands.  As well as the fabulous vista of the reservoir itself there were many incredible views of the nearby Roaches. Leaders had secreted clues in a series of natural locations, each identified with a cleverly rhyming riddle. Explorers hunted out the clues and, with only a few hints, found all of them.                     Finally the treasure itself was located, our very own Treasure(r), Tim Wilson, who treated everyone to a … Click here for more information…..

Monday 20th March 2017: A Minibeast Mystery

The March indoor meeting was focussed on the amazing world of minibeasts. Leader Martin explained the extraordinary process of metamorphosis and the incredible features of these tiny invertebrates. We watched a video of the life cycle of a bee seeing the amazing transformation from grub to adult. The craft element of the meeting was completing the undersea woven collages started at the previous meeting. The collages would soon be part of the Tegg’s Nose Country Park exhibition ‘Nature Connections’                                     Teenage RSPB Phoenix members also took part in a special session learning about the differences between native, introduced … Click here for more information…..

Sunday 26th February 2017: Water Management for Wildlife Work Party

Enthusiastic conservation volunteers from Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers joined Cheshire East Countryside Ranger Ed Pilkington on the Middlewood Way to help on a water management project to create and maintain important wildlife habitats.  Armed with a variety of tools the group raked drainage ditches clear of choking weed. Wooden planks were used to strengthen the banks and form dams so that areas with deeper water were created. The group were delighted to see that frogs were already gathering and spawning in some of the ditches, meaning that the improvements that were made would have an immediate effect providing safe places … Click here for more information…..

Monday 6th February 2017: Deep Blue Sea

Our indoor meeting for February took place on a night of pouring rain – appropriate for a meeting about lots of water! At the start of this very creative meeting Wildlife Explorers used their imagination to create a fabulous array of acrostic poems – all based on nature and wildlife. Leader Martin made sure he was wearing the correct safety equipment – a wet suit, fins and face mask! – to talk to the group about the different layers in the ocean. He explained how changes in light and importantly pressure alter the communities of organisms at different depths. The … Click here for more information…..

Tuesday 7th February 2017: Home Educators at Jodrell Bank

Volunteer Leaders from Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers helped to run a special bird-themed day for home educators at Jodrell Bank Arboretum.  The session focussed on taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch, The RSPB’s national citizen science project and the biggest wildlife survey in the world.    The group learned about the work of the RSPB, the methodology for the bird survey, how to identify some common wild birds and how to use binoculars safely. Armed with binoculars, telescopes and identification sheets families explored the Arboretum in gorgeous spring sunshine. After one hour the bird list comprised 18 species including … Click here for more information…..

Saturday 28th January 2017: Big Garden Birdwatch, West Park, Macclesfield

  The weather forecast did not bode well for our Big Garden Birdwatch at West Park in Macclesfield and when the leaders arrived to get setup we wondered if anyone would brave the cold wet weather. We should have had more faith as several brave Wildlife Explorer families joined soon after to take part in the worlds biggest wildlife survey. The Big Garden Birdwatch Survey has been running since 1979 and last year over 519,000 people took part counting 8,262,662 birds. The bank of 35 years worth of data helps us to monitor trends in numbers and understand how birds … Click here for more information…..

Monday 16th January 2017: Brilliant British Birds

The first meeting of 2017 – Brilliant British Birds – focussed on preparing Wildlife Explorers for The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch at the end of the month. (28-29th January).      The session started with members using their imaginations to design a bird that would be suited to living in Macclesfield (in the town or surrounding countryside). The result – a pleasing array of brightly plumaged birds ( most of which had waterproof properties!) The group considered how birdwatchers use their senses to identify birds by shape, colour and size and separate species by their different calls.  Then the children learned … Click here for more information…..

Monday 21st November 2016: Wildlife and the Weather

The final Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers meeting of 2016 took place at The Salvation Army Hall on Roe Street. Given the recent storms, fog and frost it was fitting that the theme for the session was ‘Wildlife and the Weather’. As well as considering the ways that wild creatures adapt to cope with extreme weather conditions the group also looked at the differences between short-term weather patterns and the longer-term issue of climate change. The children discussed the current and potential future impact of climate change on the natural world.  Explorers then suggested ways we can all help reduce our … Click here for more information…..

Sunday 4th December 2016: Tree Dressing and Silly Hat Competition

Each year Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers celebrate National Tree Week with a creative afternoon of Tree Dressing celebrating the cultural, historical and ecological importance of trees.  This year the group returned to the woodland at Tegg’s Nose Country Park to create a gallery of clay-based ephemeral artwork made entirely from natural materials. A crisp but sunny afternoon provided ideal conditions for families to get creative. Inspired by nature, mythology and the group’s current community project, The Macclesfield Big Bird Box Build, creations ranged from owls and hedgehogs to nestboxes and even an entire tree.  This year many of the young … Click here for more information…..

Saturday 5th November 2016: Fungi Walk and Leaf Fireworks

Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers enjoyed a very special session at the RSPB Coombes Valley reserve looking for all kinds of fungi . Fungi exist in virtually every habitat on earth and range from simple single-celled organisms to highly complex multi-cellular structures.  We are mainly familiar with the fruiting bodies of fungi that we refer to as mushrooms or toadstools, although these are usually supported by a much larger mycelium, the vegetative part of the fungus, a mass of interwoven filaments growing in the ground or through rotten wood. Leader Martin explained some details about the biology of fungi, how they … Click here for more information…..