Week 2 of #30DaysWild -

Ali North

It's week 2 of #30dayswild and our Hedgehog Officer Ali shares her random acts of wildness!

Day 8 - today I decided to pack my thermos, cafetière and a small stash of Scots Pine needles to enjoy some tea with a view! I cycled to Pipers vale (a local nature reserve in Ipswich) and found a lovely old oak to sit beneath. I brewed up my tea, sat back against the tree and enjoyed the river view, the bird song and the sound of the wind rustling through the oak leaves. Where's your favourite wild place to relax? 

Needle tea

Day 9 - I packed my sketchpad, snacks and a towel and headed to one of my favourite spots on the river Stour. I enjoyed dipping my toes in the cold water whilst admiring the beautiful demoiselles fluttering around and mayflies dancing up and down around me.    Mayflies are unique amongst insects in having 2 adult winged stages in life. They were one of the first winged insects, with fossilized mayflies dating back over 300 million years! 

For Day 10 I had a lunch time trip around the office garden to see what I could find. It had been quite a wet morning so I was surprised to see lots of bumblebees still out and about gathering nectar. Why not take a quick break from the office to take a wander - start looking for wildlife and you will begin to see more and more around you!

Day 11 - my evening run turned into an accidental stag beetle survey! Whilst running through Bourne Park reed beds I started coming across the remains of male stags; clearly a nearby bird had taken a fancy to them. The adult life of a stag beetle is short but males will spend this time flying around at dusk in search of mates, whilst females search for rotting wood in which to lay her eggs. The antlers of the males are over sized mandibles and are used in courtship displays and to fight off other males, but offer little protection to predators with sharp bills! I logged my sightings non the less to contribute to the #GreatStagHunt by People's Trust for Endangered Species. You can add your sightings to their website, here.

Stag beetles

Day 12 -another wet day but I decided to grab my rain jacket and go for a wander. It was very therapeutic hearing the rain pattering on my hood and birds singing around me.

Day 13 -  Moss appreciation! Today I had a hunt around the garden in search of mosses. Mosses and liverworts are classified as bryophytes, and there are over 1,000 species in the UK! They are often found growing on trees, rock or bare ground and provide important habitat for a whole host of invertebrates, amphibians and fungi. They can also hold an incredible amount of water - head out on a rainy day to see how spongy they are! How many different kinds can you spot?

Day 14 - today I've been taking part in Gardenwatch! This is a citizen science survey launched by Springwatch, BTO and Open University, and is all about trying to quantify the importance of our gardens for wildlife. I took part in the Worm Detective mission, which is helping determine how much food resource there is available for our garden wildlife. I enjoyed getting a little muddy and managed to find a total of 24 worms in my small patch! You can get involved here.