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September 2018

Autumn is definitely here - we've had some mild days, some wet days and

most definitely some blustery and wild days.

Enjoy our varied weather - you can feel most alive when you're out

in the elements, either getting soaked to your skin or blown clean off

your feet. As the Newcastleton wildlife group knows only too well, I almost never

cancel a session due to weather. Of course I keep the children safe,

so we will opt out of woodland activities during windy days and head onto

open moorland instead. In more than seven years I can only recall two occasions when we had to

cancel. The first was due to thunder and lightning and the second because

a chicken pox outbreak had claimed most of my members. The children are encouraged to arrive well equipped and have a great attitude, considering the weather challenges they have to face. When we discuss our

highs and lows they never gripe about our Scottish weather. In fact it's heart

warming when they say things like, 'I was nearly blown off my FEET, that's never happened before', or, 'I'm never out playing in the rain, I love it,' and my

favourite came when one lad told me that if it wasn't for wildlife club,

he'd be sitting in the house doing 'nowt'.

Each session is filled with activity, fun, challenges, exercise and fresh air, and

of course the all-important hot chocolate. We're so busy the weather just

isn't a issue.

As a group we've noticed an abundance of fungi everywhere, including places

we've never seen it before.

This is interesting for the children and we like to log our findings. Looking

in last year's log book, some species have appeared three weeks earlier this year. Perhaps the warm summer, then the rain that followed, provided the

perfect habitat for species to thrive. Things to look out for ●When walking through wooded areas, take a moment to look up. Strong winds can snap branches near the tops of trees and they can catch and hang on other branches. Be careful they don't fall on you.

●Hedgehogs may have had a second litter. If you see any very small hogs, they

will need help over winter, please contact me if you are worried or need advice.

●Fungi - how many species can you spot and identify? Remember some are

poisonous so be careful.

●Autumnal hues and trees changing colour. Look out for seeds, berries and nuts,

●Remember to report any grey squirrel sightings. Look up

SAVING RED SQUIRRELS SCOTLAND, or message me . THANK YOU. ●Don't forget to visit again next month when I hope to have some very exciting news to share...

Till then

Happy Wildlife Watching

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