Days may be getting shorter and nights colder but November is a perfect time to go snail hunting. This month I have more surveys lined up plus I’ve been doing the rounds to a few universities chatting about TCV, Buglife and the projects I’ve been involved in. This month finally brought SNOW to the Stirling office, a highlight in itself, at least for the 10 minutes it lasted…the Christmas countdown is on!
Life in a Shell // Snail Diary:
Hello! After weeks (maybe months) of radio silence some of the snails are breeding again. We’ve had 4 egg masses appear in the tubs over the past week or so. Below you can see 8 snails just about ready to hatch out. Watch this spare for more updates on the new juveniles!
H I G H L I G H T S
The mud snail team had another successful school visit to St Machans Primary in Lennoxtown where we dropped off our third tank of snails. The class were really excited to find out about their new neighbours and we had a great time demonstrating just how easy it is to look after the little guys. Hopefully they’ll have some newly hatched snails after Christmas to add to the captive rearing programme.
Stirling Green and Blue Space
A lovely highlight from this month was speaking at the Green and Blue Space’s Food Huddle evening at Stirling University. A few of my TCV colleagues and I went along to speak about our various projects and the benefits of volunteering and to recruit for some events we have happening in the next few months. The Food Huddle is a weekly event at the University where everyone brings a dish to share. You are encouraged to get creative by making food that is at least vegetarian – but vegan and gluten-free dishes are encouraged too. Every week there is a different topic to discuss on an environmental theme with guest speakers following. The food was delicious and we had some great conservation afterwards. It’s a great idea for any university or organisation!
Woodcraft Folk in the community
Project plans for my personal Drama and Nature Integration project in Glasgow have been underway with taster sessions at the Southside Woodcraft Folk weekly meetings. The group provides activities with an environmental and eco-friendly theme each Wednesday night and I am hoping to work with the children of all ages on a nature performance once my project is given the go-ahead. For now we are getting to know each other and each week I have been offering activities on a drama and performance or wildlife theme. We would like to include refugees in the local area in both the weekly session for the group itself and I would like the broader Southside project to work with refugees in a number of ways in the South Glasgow area. To start thinking about this, we took part in writing a ‘letter fae a local’ for organisation Refuweegee who provide welcome packs containing – essential items, a little bit of Glasgow with ‘Glasgow Welcome’ items from People Make Glasgow umbrellas through to Tunnocks teacakes, and a personalised welcome letter in each.
Glasgow University Zoology Society
I guess this was the month of presentations as I was lucky enough to be able to speak to the Glasgow University ZooSoc at their weekly meeting this month as well. My talk covered the benefits of volunteering in relation to the conservation job market, the work of TCV and an update on the Marvellous Mud Snails project. I was recruiting again for volunteers to help with the Great Pond Dig, when we come to create new habitat for the snails, for events assistants and anyone who would like to volunteer at the Buglife Scotland office. I was promoting the great wee Scottish Invertebrate Update which I compile each month with news, events, talks, free workshops, volunteering and job opportunities for those interested in entomology or conservation in Scotland. You can sign up here!
Afterwards there was much-welcomed cheese and wine in the wonderful Zoology collection at the Huntarian Museum in the University. A small but fascinating natural history collection from the larger museum. Definitely worth a visit with free entry and open to the public 9am-5pm.
Until next time…
Be sure to follow what I’m up to on Twitter, and check out TCV Natural Talent for an update on my fellow trainees.
Thanks to the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation for funding this brilliant programme. Find out more about them here.
Also to Buglife Scotland for hosting my placement. Keep up with all the amazing work they are doing and support the small things!