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Nature’s Calendar : 19


If you would like to get involved there’s plenty of help and guidance on the website about common species and what exactly to look for to get you started. It is even possible to see your records on the ‘live tracking maps’, along with those from others, illustrating how the seasons sweep across the country.


Many of the sightings recordable on the form can be spotted outside in your garden, but if you fancy a change of scenery, why not visit your local wood and print off a spotter sheet to take with you? It’s great fun to do alone or with the family and a fantastic motivator for getting outdoors. To fi nd the perfect site, the Woodland Trust’s website www.VisitWoods.org.uk allows you to fi nd the nearest publicly accessible wood simply by entering your postcode. All recorders are most welcome and even a single sighting is of scientifi c value, so please take part.


What Nature’s Calendar Recorders Say ...


Brian Edwards, Gravesend: ‘This is a call to everyone who likes to ramble, hike, bird watch or simply enjoy wildlife and has a little time to spare to help the Woodland Trust record data for the Nature’s Calendar project. (It costs nothing! And that’s pretty unusual these days.) I have been recording spring and autumn events where I live since 2005. These events track nature’s progress through the seasons, ie, the fi rst swallow seen, the fi rst bluebell blooming, the fi rst ripe fruit on a horse chestnut tree, etc. All this is done within a six mile radius of my home and the data are input from my home computer. ‘Why do I do this? As a nature lover I enjoy observing the changing of the seasons and noting the surprising differences from year to year. It has made me more aware of my surroundings and more observant. I’m proud to be part of something which could benefi t my grandchildren and subsequent generations to understand the effects of climate change and the resultant impact on the world around us. ‘Why not look at the Woodland Trust’s website today to learn more about this project?’


Fieldfare


To join in the survey, visit www.naturescalendar.org.uk


August 2013 Vol 95 No 8


Jennifer Mundy, Exeter: ‘I’ve been recording with the Trust for nearly six years. I came across Nature’s Calendar purely by accident and I’m so glad I did. I record because I think nature is very important, it is a barometer of the health of the planet, and to fi nd out how climate change is progressing.


There are lots of things I like about recording. It brings me in touch with nature’s wonderful creatures. It’s my piece of helping the awareness of nature and it helps the planet and its wildlife. My favourite things to look for are birds, trees, plants and butterfl ies. Usually I record the day I see the event. If not, I catch up soon after during the day or evening. I try to record online on a regular basis. I think people should be made aware of how studying wildlife can bring so much joy and happiness. Of course nature isn’t perfect, but we need to learn all the time how to look after the planet and its wildlife. For me, recording is being at one with nature – recognising that nature is out there and how vital it is. A walk in a wood is a wonderful experience and looking for nature’s signs of spring or autumn makes it even better. What a miserable world it would be without trees, wildlife and fl owers.’


Top Spots for August:


• Flowering plants: ivy fi rst fl owering. • Birds: swallow last recorded, swift last recorded, fi eldfare arriving, redwing arriving.


• Trees: oak fi rst tinting, sycamore fi rst tinting, horse chestnut leaves falling.


• Shrubs: elder tinting, bramble tinting, holly fi rst ripe fruit.


Volunteer with the Woodland Trust


If you are interested in other volunteering opportunities at the Woodland Trust, there is a wide range to select from across the UK, including desk-based research, practical tasks in our woods plus the new internship scheme which offers excellent training and experience in the conservation sector. To fi nd out more visit: www.


woodlandtrust.org. uk/volunteering ¤


Kate Lewthwaite, Nature’s


Calendar Project Manager, is based in the Learning Team at the Trust. She has worked on a range of educational materials for all ages and currently manages the Nature’s Calendar project. This year Kate is also working on a new citizen science project helping the public record tree diseases.


www.bee-craft.com


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