Wild Verges Day 13 of 30 Days Wild

Spurred on by watching Springwatch last night I decided to take a walk down the country lane where I work and see if could see an orange tip butterfly or caterpillar.

I knew that garlic mustard (Also known as Jack-by-the-hedge) grew along the wild verges there but until last nights episode of Springwatch I didn’t know that both the orange tip butterfly and caterpillar feed on this plant. So off I went along the lane to see what I could find.

One thing I did notice was quite a bit of cuckoo spit clinging to grass stems.

I also saw this delightful little moth. Though I’m not sure what kind of moth it is, I am sure someone out there will inform me of it’s name.

Whilst walking I even caught a glimpse of a black fox in the far distance and a few rabbits scurrying into the hedges which was really exciting. Just wish I had got my binoculars with me.

Next I came to part of the verge where there are a lot of garlic mustard plants. A  great deal of them had already finished flowering and starting to form seed heads.

Walking a bit further I suddenly noticed on one of the seed head stems there was a thin green speckled caterpillar.

Yeapy…my quest was complete. It was the caterpillar of an orange tip butterfly.

Even though it was a very short walk down a country lane today, it is amazing what can be seen in such a short space of time if you look around.

 

 

 

BBC~Great Welsh Parks

 

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At the weekend on BBC Two Wales there was a nature program called Iolo’s Great Welsh Parks, in which I featured showing Iolo Williams places of badger activity in Wepre Park, North Wales.

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It’s quite a weird experience to see myself on the TV screen but it was fun to take part in the program and an experience I shall never forget.

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I was excited that they contacted me, and I asked if I could help out with a section on badgers in the park. I absolutely adore badgers and it was important to me that people watching could learn a bit more about badgers and see how fascinating they are instead of just hearing about bad things like culls and TB. They are such beautiful intelligent creatures and it saddens me greatly to think of what is happening to them at the moment without real reason. I hope that there will be a great many more signatures on the petition set up by Simon King to stop the badger cull and make the government see that the cull isn’t working and is having no affect. You will find the e-petition here if you wish to sign it.

I loved looking for badger activity but it was a strange experience being filmed and, I was so nervous working with Iolo Williams being such a huge fan of his. We looked at badger tracks, latrines and I even got to go on a badger watch with him. Wildlife cameras were also set up about the park in order to capture footage of badger activity. I got to watch through the footage with Iolo and he showed me what he called, a ‘moon walking badger’  This was infact a badger gathering bedding and shuffling backwards with it. Badgers are such clean animals and change their bedding more often than humans change their bed sheets I bet. (See video clip from BBC Website)

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Iolo and the film crew, were wonderful to work with and it was great fun to be a part of it. Its fascinating  to see the enormous amount of work that goes into making a show; from the research, visits, planning, filming, editing etc… Its amazing to see how it all comes together and I will never look at at TV program the same again.

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Working with naturalist Iolo Williams, inspired me to rush out and buy a wildlife camera and see what wildlife was in my own garden as well as encouraging me to learn about wildlife in the Welsh language.