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JUNE 2019

Well this certainly hasn't been a typical June. Most of it has been cold and windy and having to advise my kids to take their winter coats to school has been unbelievable.

However, even though it's been a bit on the chilly side, June has been an exciting and busy month for me. Quite some time ago I booked tickets to see wildlife film-maker Gordon Buchanan do a talk in Melrose as part of the Borders book festival. I have

never been to the event before, so I invited my friend Sharron along and we got

there early to give us time to wander about and soak up the atmosphere. We were both instantly drawn to the friendliness and extremely well organised

event. Staff were so helpful. Gordon talked for an hour and was full of stories about

the animals he has spent time with, showing footage from his film work. I especially

loved his time with a wolf family and the relationships that developed from curious

wild wolves.

Afterwards there was a chance to meet Gordon and buy a signed print from a variety

of animals. Everyone seemed to know where to go for this except us, but we spotted Gordon so decided to just pop over to say hello.

It’s always a worry when you meet someone who inspires you and is a bit of a hero,

but Gordon certainly did not disappoint. In his talk he had stressed the importance

of youngsters learning about wildlife and nature and the need to respect it. He also spoke about the need for policies on single-use plastic to change and said this should

be taught from an early age. He loved hearing about our Newcastleton Wildlife club

and was delighted to hear that the Scottish wildlife trust were due to present our

group with the winner of the National Best wildlife group in Britain. I invited him to come and visit us any time.

Sharron and I said thank you and went to choose prints, then had a very long wait

to have them signed by Gordon, who greeted us like old friends when we finally got

to the top of the queue.

Friday 14th June was my next biggy for the month as Scottish Wildlife Trust came

to the Newcastleton Wildlife Club to present us with a certificate and trophy for

being the the best wildlife group of the year for 2018. This is a NATIONAL award

and there are more than 300 wildlife groups in the UK, so this really puts

Copshaw Holm on the map.

The judges commented on our commitment to wildlife in our area, the way we embrace the elements, and our continued conservation work. I'm the founder

and main leader of the group but I have very strong support in the form of my

right-hand woman Sharron Harkness supported by Skye Webster, Abigail Anderson

and Mhairi Herd also act as leader assistants when they can. This club is so lucky

to have such a strong team and amazing group of children.

I'm truly super proud of all the members.

The following day, saw me heading back to Melrose Book Festival, this time

with my daughter Amber to hear Michaela Strachan talk on her life with Springwatch. Once again we were treated to a fantastic hour long talk with

clips from the highly popular Springwatch show. Amber and I were fixed on

her every word.

We discovered Michaela would be leaving straight away after the talk as she

didn’t have a book to sign. This was a great disappointment as Amber and I

really wanted to meet her to tell her about our club's success as I know she’s

very aware of the SWT wildlife watch groups. We told a staff member this

and she sent the manager to talk to us so we told her about the wildlife club

as well.

Wait here,’ she said.

Amber and I waited.

The Manager returned. ‘Michaela wants to meet you. She will see you straight

after her talk.’

Amber and I couldn't believe it! Michaela was everything I hoped for, bubbly,

friendly and so interested in our wildlife club and the things we get up to.

Amber adored her, and I loved listening to Michaela and Amber chatting,

it was a wonderful experience, so, huge thanks to the staff who went out

their way to make our day even more special. What a month!

Things to look out for: ● Red squirrels ( we've had one visiting our garden again) ● Grey squirrels or reds - please report any sightings to

Saving Scotland's Red Squirrels ● Stunning wild flowers helping to save our bees ● Litter. I don’t care who dropped it, just lift it and bin it,

keep Newcastleton looking tidy and help our wildlife stay safe. ● ENJOY the now lovely weather Happy wildlife watching xx

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