Posted: Monday 28th November 2016 by DevonWildlifeWatch
The latest adventures of the wildlife watch group based in Slapton. This time some practical experience in Andrews Wood nature reserve...
We met at Andrew’s Wood car park. There were 17 children with mums and dads and 7 leaders, two of whom used to be Watch Group members. Jackie Gage was great. She pointed out the goldfinches and the Windhover – a Kestrel – hovering over the next field.
Jackie led us down Butterfly Clearing, where she, Jasper and Oliver were going to start the fire. From there, the rest of us used our maps to find Trolls’ Bridge. Here we looked down to a stream with mini-lakes and waterfalls, set in a deep gorge – the ‘Grand Canyon’. Our challenge was to wade, scramble and jump our way down the Grand Canyon, to meet a path about 200 metres downstream. The walls of the canyon were cloaked in ferns and mosses which, millions of years ago, had been the only sorts of plants on our planet. As we began scrambling down the canyon, a heavy hailstorm swept over us. For 10 exciting minutes we struggled down the canyon, until, at last, we met the path.
Following the path, we made our way back to Jackie. She and Oliver had managed to coax the fire to burn. Jackie explained that our job was to cut down small willow bushes, where they were threatening to cover the clearing, and put the twigs onto the fire. If we let all the willows grow they would choke out the flowers which attracted the butterflies. With loppers, we cut down lots of willow and put it on the fire.
Then Jackie and Oliver called us to gather round for a feast of roasted marsh-mallows and to look at the beautiful natural art that Fiona had made among the trees. There was a Green Man, with yellow hazel leaves for eyes, with red berries for the pupils and different lichens for his eyebrows and his beard. Finally, we all thanked Jackie and retraced our muddy footsteps at the end of yet another great Watch meeting.
The "next meeting is Saturday January 21st 10:30am - 12:30pm at the Start Bay Centre please contact Clare on firstname.lastname@example.org
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