The Safari had the Young Uns helping to do some work in the work's garden humping and shifting some rocks which will become part of a new and interesting habitat in due course. Part of their 'reward' is to help remove the ecological nightmare that are the 3-spined Sticklebacks from the pond. We only got about 200 or so!!! But didn't get the Goldfish some nutter has put in - an ecological disaster in our small isolated pond...and they probably thought they were doing it and us a favour, after all a pond MUST have fish mustn't it! We are getting increasing pee'd off by the level of general ignorance about natural history and basic ecologic principles; these seriously need to be taught from an early age in school and probably should end up with the opportunity to do a GCSE (or whatever they'll be called in the future). How can anyone be expected to uhderstand environmnetal issues if they have no concept of ecological interactions or even know what is actually in their environment.
Case in point today the 'normal' news for the masses is full of potentially pregnant Giant Pandas - all cute n cuddly - but not a sniff of a mention of the imminent extinction in our own country of the no less beautiful Hen Harrier and how that has been caused by a multitude of factors not least of which is illegal killing on the orders of posh mega-rich people. Too hard a concept for them to get? Or is it because 99.9% of them haven't heard of the Hen Harrier - well it should be a fairly common British bird and so they should have done!
If you haven't already now would be a good time to sign the petition to make land owners legally responsible for the actions of their staff - well in all other industries they are so why not game shooting?????
Minor rant over on with the proper stuff. Here's a couple of the larger female Sticklebacks
We did a bit of 'weeding' in our wildflower garden which was absolutely buzzing with all manner of bees, hoverflies and other bugs. The sharp eyed Young Uns spied the underside of a small ladybird which turned out to be a black one with red spots and a Harlequin Ladybird at that, possibly the first for Blackpool, can't recall any others being mentioned at the mo. They also found another Deptford Pink, good job we weren't too over ambitious with the shears. Wonder how many - or more accurately how few - other sites around the country this year. Going to have to be careful to keep the population going in future years
On the other side of the path is an enormous thistle-like architectural ornamental plant which has been threatening to open its flowers for some time and finally it has much to the joy of the bees.Sandwich and Common Terns.
An early finish saw us down at the recycling plant disposing of some ancient poorly constructed wardrobes which are being replaced in our refurbishment. On the way back we have to pass the start of the North Blackpool Pond Trail where a couple of days ago a gigantic totem Frog had been installed that we just had to go and have a look.
Last night we were at the BEAT NatureWatch meeting where PT showed us some pictures of the wildflower meadow her volunteers had recently sown. We hadn't seen it yet and found it was well worth the short walk even though it is perhaps a little past its best.
Worryingly was another example of woeful general ignorance when two young totties walked past while we were crouched down taking the pics one said to the other in a hushed tone "why's that fella taking pictures of those weeds?" Where are we going with this level of general ignorance it really is quite frightening. We've become that conditioned to no nature were almost frightened by it, or weirded out by it, when it springs forth in from of our very eyes.Where to next? The small matter of the NBPT Bioblitz tomorrow to help with follewd by a National Moth Night event at another location, gonna be a long day!
In the meantime let us know who has no idea about the joys of the wildlife in your outback.