From the Guardian: Hedgehog wins UK natural emblem poll

It is a prickly character with a voracious appetite, has a passion for gardens, and now the hedgehog has been chosen as the best natural emblem for the British nation.

Although I haven’t seen any at Orchard Park myself, there are reports of hedgehogs at the Circus/Chariot Way/Central Avenue junction area.

See how to help hedgehogs here:

Hedgehog home under a tree

Hedgehog home under a tree

iSpot – quality, free assistance for anyone to trying to identify a plant, animal, fungus or lichen…

From their website: iSpot is a website aimed at helping anyone identify anything in nature.

Once you’ve registered, you can add an observation to the website and suggest an identification yourself or see if anyone else can identify it for you.

You can also help others by adding an identification to an existing observation, which you may like to do as your knowledge grows. Your reputation on the site will grow as people agree with you identifications.

You may also like to visit our forums which offer lively debate around observations and other more general topics.

Here’s a video that gives some more information about how iSpot’s friendly community helps you learn about wildlife.

Click on the link above and have a look at the video.

OP summer fair wildlife activities



Thanks to everyone who came to the wildlife activities at the summer fair. All of the bird boxes have been constructed and gone off to a variety of gardens, and a number of insect homes were made from recycled materials. It was great that several children were really interested in local birds and took the opportunity to look through ‘Bob the Birdman’s’ scope and binoculars, the best spot of the day was a sparrow hawk.

Cuckoo spit


I came across this earlier today on the corner of Chieftain Way. I bet a lot of people call it ‘Cuckoo spit’ but don’t realise what it is. Well I found a website which can tell you all about it, and even has the same name!

As well as explaining all about the white frothy mass, the website also has lots of other interesting info on UK wildlife.

Minibeasts, a fun filled Friday morning for all


The Orchard Park Wildlife Project ran a successful ‘minibeast’ session at the Community Centre on Friday for a group of homeschool children. The children learned how to use a key to identify groups of invertebrates. Everyone found their own creepy crawly or two, and the drizzle didn’t dampen spirits. We hope to have another session with different activities in the next couple of months.

Thanks to everyone who came along, and to Carol Inskipp for running the session. Carol and I were delighted with our flowers and biscuits, an unexpected treat.