Toad patrol at Moore Nature Reserve (2015)

The rangers at Moore Nature Reserve are dedicated types and every year put in the effort of leading toad patrols on the road which runs through the reserve.  In a “good” year, hundreds of toads have been rescued and deposited safely at their breeding ponds.  Before the toad patrols were introduced, dozens of toads were getting run over :(

It’s a short season and I was only able to join in on one night because of other commitments, but I’m pleased to say I helped rescue about 15 toads – and one smooth newt – and met some lovely people also helping out.

Plus, any excuse to wear head to toe hi viz:


I really feel I have mastered the traditional duck face posture here (!)

If you would like to join in next year or find out about wildlife events at Moore Nature Reserve, check out their Facebook page or contact them using the details on their website.

Bryologising at Montgomery Castle with Border Bryo Group

Time for my annual pilgrimage to Border Bryo Group !  They run meetings throughout the winter but somehow I only ever seem to make it to one a year – it’s living at the “wrong end” of Cheshire that makes it just that little bit too far to go.  This time the meeting in Montgomery coincided with our wedding anniversary, so provided an optimal excuse for a weekend away complete with slap up dinners etc.  And bryophytes. Obviously.

mossy tree bole

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Warrington Plant Group moss day at Woolston Eyes

A rainy start for our visit to Woolston Eyes bed no. 3 didn’t deter four moss enthusiasts (and Paul!) from having a splendid day out. We repaired to the hide with some hastily grabbed specimens and got the book out to see whether we had found anything interesting….
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Repeat badger survey for Year 2 vaccination site, Cheshire (2015)

Wirral and Cheshire Badger Group are looking forward to vaccinating again this year at the same sites we did last year.  Why go back to the same places again?  We hope to keep catching and vaccinating badgers at the same sites for five consecutive years, so that we have done our best to give herd immunity to the social groups living in our target areas.

This time around, the only badger signs on the part of the target site I was sent to were badger footprints around a cattle trough.  But there were plenty of them!  A veritable badger motorway:

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Ecological appraisal, Wrexham, North Wales (2015)

I’ll admit that I was confused when I saw the site plan for this project.  Not much vegetation visible on the aerial photo – just a bit of urban infill on hardstanding.  Why ask for an ecological appraisal?mossy hardstanding Continue reading