Peo­ple urged to dis­cover ‘mys­te­ri­ous’ crea­tures

The Oban Times - - Outdoors -

THE RSPB Scot­land is urg­ing peo­ple to dis­cover the ‘mys­te­ri­ous’ crea­tures on their doorstep by tak­ing up the Wild Chal­lenge this sum­mer.

Wild Chal­lenge is an awards scheme for schools and fam­i­lies. There are 24 ac­tiv­i­ties over two cat­e­gories – Help Na­ture and Ex­pe­ri­ence Na­ture.

Peo­ple will re­ceive ei­ther a bronze, sil­ver or gold award de­pend­ing on how many are com­pleted.

A sur­vey of al­most 15,000 wildlife en­thu­si­asts showed that hedge­hogs one of the most pop­u­lar crea­tures, be­ing spot­ted in 57 per cent of Scot­tish gar­dens or out­door spa­ces.

One of the rarest – great crested newts – were only spot­ted by two per cent.

James Sil­vey, from RSPB Scot­land, said: ‘Gar­dens and out­door spa­ces are of­ten where we have our first ex­pe­ri­ence with na­ture, such as black­birds singing from fences or foxes dash­ing past. Un­for­tu­nately, such gar­den wildlife and the sounds and sights it cre­ates are be­com­ing less and less fa­mil­iar for many peo­ple.

‘There are lots of ways that we can make our out­door spa­ces great homes for na­ture where wildlife can thrive.

‘From mak­ing feed­ers for your gar­den birds to build­ing a cosy home for a hedge­hog, or sim­ply let­ting the grass grow to pro­vide an im­por­tant refuge for in­ver­te­brates – sim­ple steps like this can make a big dif­fer­ence to lo­cal wildlife.’

To learn more about the RSPB Wild Chal­lenge and to see how to get in­volved, vis­itwww.rspb. wild­chal­lenge.

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