Winter tree ID with the BSBI

This outing at a woodland near Ruthin had a slight bushcraft vibe, as we had a bonfire half way round made from logs harvested on site… this meant hot drinks were available as we pored over firs and spruces – definitely a good thing. Continue reading

Wirral and Cheshire Badger Group vaccination project 2014

It will come as no surprise to you that I don’t support the badger cull.  Not just because I’m an ecologist and animal lover.  But because all the evidence indicates that it has and will be totally ineffective in reducing TB in cattle, and could even make things worse.  Until there is improved vaccination and testing available for cattle, I will support badger vaccination as a way of managing TB risk and looking after one of our most iconic wild animals at the same time.  I am really proud that Wirral and Cheshire Badger Group have stepped up to offer badger vaccination services and am looking forward to helping any way I can. Continue reading

Preparing for the National Harvest Mouse Survey 2013/14

I missed out on the first year of this survey, but I’m all signed up and raring to go for the second year, which will be in November/December 2014.  Harvest mice are on the edge of their range in Cheshire, with most recent records for Great Britain being below the Severn-Humber line in the warm south-east of England.

Red records are post-2000, yellow are pre-1980 and orange are inbetween.

Red records are post-2000, yellow are pre-1980 and orange are inbetween.

So it’s particularly important that we search for harvest mice here and the National Harvest Mouse Survey provides the perfect opportunity to do that and be part of a major national effort at the same time.

Image taken from mammal society website Continue reading

British Bryological Society meeting, Shropshire

Usually on a bryological meeting, I wouldn’t expect to go very far.  Last time I went on an organised trip, even at our furthest point, I could have got back to the car park in less than five minutes… but this was different.  The meeting was organised by Mark, a runner, and you could tell, we were kept moving all day over all sorts of terrain – I wasn’t expecting to get a workout but I did and I feel slightly more hill fit for the experience ! Continue reading

Yellow-necked mouse survey, Cheshire (2014)

Cheshire Mammal Group have recently confirmed the presence of yellow-necked mouse at a second site in Cheshire after the species was discovered during dormouse monitoring at a site in the south of the county.  A yellow-necked mouse is basically a big wood mouse with a yellow collar on its underside and a really bad attitude… !  We set out on a rainy February afternoon to see whether we could find them at a third site, near Beeston. Continue reading