Why we should all go wild

Macclesfield Express - - WILDLIFE -

I KNOW I keep rat­tling on about how you need to get into the wild to see wildlife but I am prov­ing my­self right on my 30 Days Wild challenge.

I men­tioned the challenge a cou­ple of weeks ago.

The wildlife trusts are try­ing to get ev­ery­one to spend the month of June do­ing some­thing wild ev­ery day, no mat­ter how big or small.

My challenge has been to get to all of our 35 na­ture re­serves in the 30 days and so far I have man­aged well over a third of the sites.

Apart from the trav­el­ling (traf­fic jam in More­cambe, missing a turn­ing on the M6) it has ob­vi­ously been a treat see­ing the wide va­ri­ety of places that we man­age.

But the best thing about it has been the amaz­ing wildlife I have seen on my trav­els.

Get­ting close up to com­mon terns was a starter on the docks at Liver­pool, then I saw 10 lit­tle egrets (which look like white herons) on another re­serve at that end.

At Cu­tacre on the Wi­gan/Sal­ford bor­der I was treated to a reed bunt­ing singing his head off on top of a bul­rush.

And then I came across some rare large heath but­ter­flies in North Lan­cashire af­ter watch­ing nest­ing pere­grines on the cliffs at War­ton Crag.

Baby an­i­mals have been a ma­jor fac­tor in the challenge.

I was at an event when our red squir­rel of­fi­cer Rachel asked: “I have some baby squir­rels in the car.

“Do you want to see them?” What?! Of course I did. I was in­tro­duced to the or­phan, four-week-old red squir­rel, whose name is Nib­bles and, of course, she was gor­geous.

Rachel is hav­ing to feed her ev­ery four hours un­til she is strong enough to feed her­self.

Even­tu­ally she will be al­lowed into a soft es­cape pen and then re­leased back into the wild to help the red squir­rel pop­u­la­tion in Formby as it continues to spread out to­wards the east.

Nib­bles ac­tu­ally had a lucky es­cape as she was be­ing picked on by crows when she was found.

Poor thing, but she is in the very best of hands now.

While out and about I met tiny cygnets, goslings and duck­lings, all fol­low­ing mum and dad around and stay­ing well out of dan­ger.

Then there are lots of dam­sel­flies fly­ing around our re­serves in twos at the mo­ment, keep­ing warm in the sun and adding won­der­ful colour to ponds and lakes.

When peo­ple tell me that they have been out and not seen any wildlife, my only re­ac­tion is that they couldn’t have been look­ing very hard.

So get out­doors and ap­pre­ci­ate all crea­tures great and small.

To sup­port the work of the Wildlife Trust for Lan­cashire, Manch­ester and North Mersey­side text WILD09 with the amount you want to do­nate to 70070.

Alan Wright

●● Nib­bles gets a feed

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