Natural Talent blog

Esmee Fairbairn acknowledgement

August: Have snails, will travel

August: Have snails, will travel

Hiya!

Back again with more mollusc related goodness. It’s been a busy month, with lots of travelling and some exciting finds!

The legendary Mary Gillham

At the beginning of the month I headed off to the local records centre, SEWBReC as part of my exchange with their LEMUR+ trainee. Here I spent most of my time working on the Mary Gillham project. Dr Mary Gillham was a pioneering female naturalist, who spent most of her life educating people about nature and campaigning for nature conservation. After her death in 2013 she left a huge archive of materials to … Continue reading

May: filming, meadow surveys and hoverflies

May: filming, meadow surveys and hoverflies

Got started May off with a bang by doing something really exciting (and maybe a little scary) – getting interviewed by a film crew! This was orchestrated by Norton Priory Museum (located in Runcorn, Cheshire), which also happens to have lovely grounds and a beautifully maintained walled garden. They wanted to have a series of interviews with specialists in their field about all the different kinds of wildlife that you can find at the Norton Priory gardens. They were really keen to have someone talk about pollinators and the range of species which can be found in the gardens – so that’s where … Continue reading

Time Flies!

Time Flies!

As always this month has been hectic. Despite being away on holiday for two weeks, I have managed to pack in a lot in my work time this month!

A Focus on Nature Insect Workshop

I sit on the committee for A Focus on Nature a group that brings together people between the ages of 16 and 30 in Britain that have an interest in wildlife. I was asked to lead some workshops for other young naturalists at an insect weekend, based at the Old Sulehay Nature Reserve in Northamptonshire. My first workshop was on dead wood invertebrates, … Continue reading

Joyful July: Mollusc Madness Continues..

Joyful July: Mollusc Madness Continues..

This month has been an exciting one full of mollusc madness, with lots of time out and about in the field. I’ve now managed to complete sampling in two of my three Living Landscape areas, messed around in a boat, used a giant hoover for insects, learnt a lot about midge larvae(?!), philosophised about science and DNA, and hung out with other trainees.

Gwent Wildlife Trust ‘Living Landscape’: Usk to Wye. Sucking up snails!

In this area I decided to look at two reserves; Pentwyn Farm and Wyeswood Common. Both are very interesting reserves and very contrasting. Pentwyn Farm is a … Continue reading

Tantalising Tricky Taxonomy

Tantalising Tricky Taxonomy

Hello everyone,

This last month has flown by and I am now getting rather stuck into my two projects and am surrounded by pots of insects to sort and identify. I have been starting to learn how to identify some of the more tricky species groups of beetles, such as the rove beetles (Staphylinidae). I have also been using some different techniques at Blenheim Park such as bone traps, which are made up of chicken bones wrapped in grass cuttings. These are designed to replicate nests/ carrion in trees and attract dead wood dependant species, however they don’t seem to … Continue reading