Saturday 8th October 2016: Nature Needs You

Young visitors flocked to the annual ‘Nature Needs You’ event organised by  Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers at Tegg’s Nose Country Park. The event showcased a wide range of different activities all aimed at helping garden wildlife through the cold months ahead. With different bird foods and bird feeders to make, wildflower and native seed planting and the construction of homes for solitary bees, there was something for everyone. The group also offered some natural crafts and fun activities like balloon modelling and a Wildlife Explorer Trail around the park.   Visiting families had lots of fun taking positive action to … Click here for more information…..

Monday 17th October 2016: The Kingdom of the Fungi

Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers met in October to discover more about ‘The Kingdom of the Fungi’. The session started with children creating a giant fly agaric collage – each white spot on the red cap of the fungus featuring an environmentally -themed wish for the future composed by each child.   All the Explorers also made little fungi treasure pots to take home, decorated to look like the most exotic toadstools!                Children dissected different types of mushroom to learn more about the structure of the different families of fungi and Leader Martin also demonstrated beautifully how the iconic … Click here for more information…..

Monday 19th September 2016: Natural Athletes – Record Breaking Wildlife

The new Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers season started with a meeting inspired by a summer of Olympic sporting successes. The Natural Athletes meeting focussed on Record Breaking wildlife from around the world.  From the fastest land mammal, the cheetah, to the speediest bird of prey, the peregrine falcon the group learned about some incredible feats of strength and agility. The meeting started with an ingenious  graphic wildlife quiz. Various birds, butterflies and mammals were represented by a combination of shapes and colours. Wildlife Explorers relished the challenge and got far more answers correct than the Leaders did! Leader Martin introduced … Click here for more information…..

Sunday 25th September 2016: Jodrell Bank Working Party

Building on a successful work party last year, volunteers from Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers once again joined staff from the Jodrell Bank Arboretum to work on the restoration of a wildlife pond.              The team worked hard to clear the banks of regrowth following the large-scale removal of nettles, brambles and saplings that took place last year around pond, whilst staff members began the second stage of dredging the pond . The project is designed to improve the pond as a wildlife habitat in the longer term and will also contribute to the provision of a nature education resource … Click here for more information…..

Monday 20th June 2016: Lin Townsley Award

The end of our 2015-16 season saw several of our members receive awards for attendance throughout the year. This year also saw a very special award given for the very first time. The Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers’ ‘Lin Townsley Award for Young Person’s Contribution to Nature Conservation’ was awarded to Kat Mayer who has attended the group for many years as a Wildlife Explorer, Phoenix member, Junior Leader and now Assistant Leader. Lin Townsley started the YOC group in Macclesfield 30 years ago and ran the group for 12 years and in 1998 received a print of an avocet as … Click here for more information…..

Monday 20th June 2016: End of Year Party

The end of our 2015-16 season seems to have arrived much too quickly. The season incorporated lots of special events to celebrate 30 years of the group and the End of Year Party was no exception. It started with a fun nature quiz. There were lots of games, silly hats, so much laughter and even a bit of dancing to Nellie the Elephant.           There were lots of Attendance Awards and one very special award made to Leader Kat who will be off to University in Aberystwyth in the Autumn to study Ecology. She received the very first ‘Lin … Click here for more information…..

Friday 29th July 2016: Tegg’s Nose Farm Pond Dip

Wildlife Explorers held a special training event for Phoenix, Leaders and budding Junior Leaders at Tegg’s Nose Farm. Despite a forecast for good weather we were treated to heavy rain showers but this didn’t seem to bother anyone for  such an engaging session. Land Manager Phil explained a bit about the water management at the Farm and the way the ponds and swales feeds into each other. The group then conducted an OPAL water survey looking at how clear the water was, the pH and which creatures we living in the main pond. We found a range of different invertebrates … Click here for more information…..

Saturday 16th July 2016: 30th Birthday Celebration Picnic

Wildlife Explorers had planned a special 30th anniversary event and celebration picnic at Tegg’s Nose Country Park , however, unseasonably wet weather meant the morning of the picnic began with heavy rain and very low cloud. The decision was taken to cancel the prepared bug hunt and stream dip and get on with the most important part of the meeting – eating cake. Leader Susan had baked a fantastic (and delicious) chocolate orange cake, beautifully iced in honour of our celebrations. By coincidence Junior Leader Adam was also celebrating his 17th Birthday – an excuse for a chorus of ‘Happy … Click here for more information…..

Macclesfield Big Bird Box Build Monitoring at Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s Site Danes Moss

  Volunteers from Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorer’s project The Macclesfield Big Bird Box Box Build revisited Danes Moss as part of the ongoing monitoring of the nest boxes sited there earlier this year.        Everyone was delighted to observe some of the breeding success facilitated by the new boxes. Ringers from South Manchester Ringing group were on hand to ring a family of six pied flycatchers   in one box and a family of six blue tits were observed  in another. Nests where families of tits had already fledged were also recorded. Although specialised boxes erected specifically for willow … Click here for more information…..

May 2016: Macclesfield Big Bird Box Build – Victoria Park

Volunteer Leaders from Wildlife Explorers visited Victoria Park as part of the Macclesfield Big Bird Box Build. The park already had a Tawny Owl box and a couple of tit nest boxes, but there were plenty of sites to add additional nestboxes. The boxes were built by volunteers at a public events and painted at Lime Walk Assessment and Rehabilitation Unit in Macclesfield. Specialist nestboxes for treecreepers were also sited carefully with the hope that these boxes will be used during the next breeding season. The project is funded by a mix of public donations, a crowdfunding campaign and a … Click here for more information…..

June 2016: Phoenix Event – World Worm Charming Championships

Two teams from Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers joined a host of Worm charmers from around the globe as they battled it out in the 37th World Worm Charming Championships in Nantwich. The trophy stayed in Willlaston this year as Hope Smith, a year 5 pupil at Willaston Primary Academy, was victorious coaxing an incredible 272 worms from the ground in 30 minutes. Hope won the Championship Trophy, following in her sister Sophie’s footsteps, who won back in 2009 with a world record 567 worms.                                      The two Wildlife Explorer teams had more modest hauls of worms. Plots were inspected by … Click here for more information…..

May 2016: Congleton First Cubs and Beavers

Leaders from Wildlife Explorers ran ‘Saving Nature’ sessions for Congleton First Beaver and Cub  Scouts. After making fabulous bird crafts featuring endangered and iconic bird species, the scouts considered the complex questions facing all conservationists: What are the benefits of Nature? What are the threats to Nature? What can we do to help and make a difference?   The children split into groups to discuss individual questions and had lots of interesting discussions with Leaders before presenting their conclusions. We learned about a whole host of creatures that are endangered but don’t often feature in conservation campaigns to save nature … Click here for more information…..

May 2016: Quinta Reserve Forest School

A group of volunteers from The Macclesfield Big Bird Box Build attending the Cheshire Wildlife Trust Quinta Reserve Forest School Open Day to make nestboxes with children from a visiting school. The reserve is adjacent to another CWT site, Swettenham Meadows, which will benefit from a selection of Big Bird Box Build nestboxes. It was wonderful making nestboxes so close to the setting where they will be installed when they are completed.  Children had lots of fun making the boxes and even had to be dragged away from the workbenches for hot chocolate!    The President of Cheshire Wildlife Trust, … Click here for more information…..

Sunday 15th May 2016: Heathland Conservation

A group of volunteers from Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers, armed with gardening gloves, trowels and forks, set to work helping with conservation management at Lindow Common in Wilsmslow.                         Lindow Common SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) features one of the world’s most threatened habitats – lowland heath. The site is actively managed to ensure that the surrounding trees do not encroach, preserving an abundance of specialised plants – round-leaved sundew, bog rosemary, bog asphodel, cranberry and bogbean.  Wildlife Explorers worked hard removing tree and shrub seedlings from designated … Click here for more information…..

Sparrow Park Regeneration Project

Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers have been busy helping to transform one of the few green spaces in the Centre of Macclesfield into a haven for urban wildlife. Located behind the Town Hall on Bunker Hill, Sparrow Park offers incredible views across the town and out towards the Peak District. Cheshire East Council have been co-ordinating the regeneration of this historic park to offer the public a welcoming space to relax and enjoy as well as providing improved opportunities for nature. A selection of nestboxes for different bird species were constructed by Wildlife Explorers as part of The Macclesfield Big Bird Box … Click here for more information…..

Monday 16th May 2016: Saving Nature

After making fabulous bird crafts featuring endangered and iconic bird species, our May meeting began in earnest.      Explorers considered the complex questions facing all conservationists: What are the benefits of Nature? What are the threats to Nature? What can we do to help and make a difference?   Lead by our younger Leaders and Junior Leaders   there were some really interesting discussions amongst the Wildlife Explorers and some very comprehensive lists of answers. The group then learned about a range of creatures that are endangered but don’t often feature in campaigns to save nature as they are reagarded … Click here for more information…..

Monday 18th April 2016: The Microscopic World

The April indoor meeting for the Wildlife Explorer and Phoenix groups was focused on “The Microscopic World” and was jam packed of fun activities to highlight the fascinating natural world that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Junior Leader Kat got the meeting off to a start with her excellent quiz where members were tasked with identifying some close-up shots of some familiar and un-familiar animals including birds, butterflies and reptiles   Next Leader Martin presented the groups with some fantastic award winning video footage which allowed us to see into the microscopic world in amazing detail. Leader Tina’s … Click here for more information…..

Saturday 30th April – Dawn Chorus and Barbecue Breakfast

After an unseasonally cold, wet and even snowy April you could be forgiven for thinking the last thing on the mind of a Wildlife Explorer Leader would be to set the alarm for 4.30am. However, when the end of April also coincides with the celebration of International Dawn Chorus Day the alarms are set, warm clothes are donned and with binoculars  at the ready  Leaders head out in to the countryside at the crack of Dawn. It is a wonderful time of year to make the most of listening and looking for wild birds . There are still only sparse … Click here for more information…..

Monday 21st March 2016: Spring is Sprung

Wildlife Explorers celebrated the changing seasons at their ‘Spring is Sprung’ sessions. Explorers demonstrated their knowledge of natural changes and signs of spring silently by drawing pictures for their friends to guess. As the first migrant birds are appearing now Explorers were challenged to sort pictures of them in the order of their arrival in the UK (very much more difficult that it sounds – especially as Leader Martin added some ‘red herrings’ ). Spring is also a time when trees come into bud and new plants begin to emerge as seeds germinate from the warming soil. Explorers got creative … Click here for more information…..

Saturday 19th March 2016: Celebration Planting

The 30th Anniversary celebrations for Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers continued with a special event where volunteers from the group and Food4Macc worked together on a planting project at Heritage Walk in the centre of town. The children had chosen a selection of pollinator-friendly plants by voting at an earlier indoor meeting and set about planting them with great enthusiasm.                               The hard-working team also successfully refurbished two hibernation hotels – specially constructed invertebrate habitats – that will provide plenty of safe havens for overwintering creepy crawlies. … Click here for more information…..