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June 2016

I've been escaping outside at every given chance this month. There's just so much to see, to hear, to smell and to touch. As a family we have been anxiously watching the Great-Tit nest that sits right beside our front window. Both parents have exhausted themselves feeding the youngsters and keeping their nest clean. We felt so proud of them when we saw that five young Great-Tits had fledged a few days ago.

We have also been watching a Blackbird nest with three eggs and one is beginning to show signs of hatching. The nest is beautifully made right in the heart of a wild cherry tree.

My son Jake and I heard a real commotion high up in the Scots Pine beside our house - and we were delighted to witness a female Tree-creeper chattering to her young, encouraging them to climb the tree. They scampered about the limbs of the pine like little brown mice - what a wonderful find.

Many fields around our area and further afield are carpeted by buttercups this year. I suppose the wet and relatively mild winter gave them the perfect grounding to kickstart their growth.

Trees are looking healthy again and the Beech have finally pushed their wintered brown foliage out to allow this year's fresh green leaves to burst into life. Foxgloves are growing, tall and colourful and bees are frequent visitors.

This month our Wildlife Club has been all about 'Bio-Blitz'. If you haven't heard of this before - it's basically designed to get a record of local wildlife and insect life over a given period. We held out a large colourful parachute beneath a big oak tree, shook the branches and watched the mini-beasts gently falling into the material, ready to be identified and counted. We were amazed at the number and variety we found.

The children in the club love seeing the creatures up close and trying to figure out just what they have found. We had lots of Shield bugs, caterpillars, spiders and woodlouse to name just a few. Oh yes - plenty of midges joined in too!

What you can do in June:

* Do your own Bio-Blitz.

* Go for a walk and see if you can spot Foxgloves - specially designed for a fox's paws :)

* At night, listen out for Owls.

It's really important to respect wildlife - and here are a few ideas:

* Leave a spot in your garden to grow wild.

* Help to refresh hard-working bees by leaving out a plate with sugar and water.

* Leave nesting/feeding birds in peace and watch from a distance.

I'll see you again in July - but till then,

June is a lovely month

- embrace all that it has to offer.

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