Hedgehog numbers in the UK are estimated to have dropped by 95% since the 1950s. Hedgehog expert Hugh is fighting to save the nation’s best loved animal. His petition for ‘hedgehog highways’ to be installed in all new housing developments has over 800,000 signatures - and thanks to this public pressure major developers are now starting to include them.
But Hugh wants the Government to make it law to help hedgehogs across the country survive. Will you sign his petition to keep the pressure up? Go to the petition to add your voice
If you've not yet signed up for Izzy's blog, I can only warmly recommend it. Her most recent post about ringing birds on Martin Down has some absolutely magical photos. All the birds look completely happy! a tribute to the expertise of the ringers.
Do go to mynatureandphotographyblog.wordpress.com/ and enjoy a regular boost to morale.
The Vapourer moth's and the Knotgrass moth's caterpillars are quite similar. The moths are pretty small but seen here actually quite handsome. All grist to the learning mill.
I've realised that August into September are really good months for wild flowers. I always expect the Spring to be best but am usually disappointed - except this year's orchids were really gorgeous.
Debbie Carter's been out walking on Battlesbury Hill - on the edge of the Plain, near Warminster. You'll need to get close to appreciate this amount of detail, but it never ceases to amaze me how exquisitely constructed flowers are, often to suit a particular kind of bee.
Horseshoe vetch is an essential plant for the Chalkhill and Adonis Blue butterflies as their caterpillars feed solely on it; it is also used by the Dingy Skipper.
Dick Budden's patch down by the Nadder provides a wealth of interest - flowers, butterflies, caterpillars - and now, a visiting bat. It was 'grounded', but left to its own devices it flew off, unlike a swift with similarly long wings which wouldn't be able to do so. We reported earlier on the healthy bat population along our Nadder River - this site is further downstream but it would seem also has a good number.
This is a Common Pipistrelle - though not so common on the ground. If you should find one in your house, probably on a wall or curtain, don't panic - leave it be till the evening and then just turn all the lights off and open the window, and it'll be gone.
That video I posted commenting, 'I've never seen anything like it,' was just the start. Here's a lovely one quite possibly including mine, of house martins having a final guzzle of the insects at Portland Bill before they set off across the seas, mountains, deserts and forests.
Thank you to all our members for supporting our first indoor meeting on 17 September - we are now full to our COVID-safe capacity so:
If you would still like to come, please do email email@example.com, as we may establish a waiting list
If you find you are unable after all to attend, please email firstname.lastname@example.org as well!
Dick will contact everyone who has registered with a 'joining instruction' reminder just before the meeting.
The last Field Trip of the season will be an Invertebrate Survey on the River Nadder, and we are very happy indeed to say that our Autumn/Winter series of indoor talks is also getting back under way with another watery topic, 'Things we can do for wildlife in the streams and rivers of Wessex'. Please go to Field Trips and Talks pages for details.
'Prince, Tom Waits and a prisoner ant pop up in a fascinating book about how fungi form our world.' writes reviewer Tom Kerridge.
It so happens that Abby's wonderful bird photos are shortly to be replaced with fungi - just to remind us that this is the time to look down rather than up for nature's wonders, like this bracket fungus on a tree on the Ackling Dyke near the Vitrell Gate. If you have a photo of fungi you'd like to share, do send them to email@example.com and go to our Reading List page for other ideas for the fireside.
Details of the next event for this group, a photography 'walk on the wild side' on Sunday, 13 September, are now on the Young TNHS page.
The new page banner pic is of course Abby Eaton's of the Hobby - seems appropriate for what's supposed to be fast news!
If it's not me, Elizabeth Forbes, website editor (keen but ignorant), I'll say so.