Under the excellent supervision of Tracy Standish, this group meets every last Sunday of the month at their Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve in Ringwood, on the edge of the New Forest. Sessions include practical conservation and habitat management, species surveys and monitoring, learning from local wildlife expert(s) and more. Our hope is that over the next 4 years, this group will grow and offer exciting new opportunities which amongst other things, will include a summer school, traineeships and accredited learning programmes.
We were delighted to have recently received an award of Highly Recommended in the Young People category by the CPRE (The Campaign to Protect Rural England). This award recognises schemes which celebrate a beautiful, diverse and living countryside that everyone can value and enjoy.
You can read about what The Young Naturalists have been doing every month by going to Blashford Lakes blog
At the end of April the Young Naturalists were joined by Paul from Strong Island Media, who had come along to take photos and film them during a session. As a result they managed to fit in a wide range of activities to showcase what they get up to and in the process enjoyed a very varied day!
It seems like a long time ago now, but mid-March we headed with our Young Naturalists to the Purbecks, to hopefully explore and discover some different habitats and visit some new places. Unfortunately the weather was partly against us, and whilst I had hoped the snow from the start of the month would not return, it unfortunately did and cut our weekend short. A weekend away at the start of the year before many of the group became focussed on exams and revision had seemed a good idea at the time!
After meeting at Blashford on the Friday night, we headed over to Brenscombe Outdoor Centre just outside Corfe Castle which was to be our base for the weekend. On Saturday morning we were up bright and early and drove the short distance from the centre to the chain ferry, crossing the entrance to Poole Harbour for the ferry to Brownsea Island.
Watch the video to learn more about this group who meet every last Sunday of the month.
Follow this link for details of the dawn chorus session
For more information contact Tracy Standish on 01425 472760 or email Tracy.Standish@hiwwt.org.uk
At the end of November the Young Naturalists headed back to the Countryside Education Trust‘s Home Farm in Beaulieu for another two night residential. With a few different people to their last visit in May, they had plans to re-visit some of the activities and places they enjoyed earlier in the year, whilst also doing something a little bit different. Here’s what they got up to…
Eleven of Young Naturalists made twelve very fine bird boxes to replace some of the older ones on the reserve that have seen better days. Volunteer Geoff very kindly sourced some offcuts of timber and pre-made the kits for the session, leaving the group with the task of putting them together and numbering them, so they could be identified later on and monitored. I’m not sure what they enjoyed the most, the opportunity to use power tools or the opportunity to have a go at pyrography to put their stamp on their creation.
The Young Naturalists participated in the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and Hampshire Ornithological Society “Bird Trail” at Blashford Lakes. Before starting the trail, the group watched a bird ringing demonstration and visited Liberty’s Owl, Raptor and Reptile Centre‘s static display of birds. Once on the trail they managed to spot 47 different bird species. On heading back to the Centre and handing in their sightings sheet, the Young Naturalists were delighted to discover their bird spotting efforts had paid off and they had come second in the competition.
On 4th June 2017, twelve Young Naturalists joined us for a trip to Martin Down National Nature Reserve, one of the largest areas of uninterrupted chalk downland in Britain. Jointly owned and managed by Natural England and Hampshire Country Council, the reserve is home to a fantastic variety of plants and animals associated with chalk downland and scrub habitats.
Click on the links below to find out more about the exciting activities the Young Naturalist group got up to during their residential weekend in Beaulieu.