Sunday, February 21st 2016
At this time of year plans for Eco Club are finalised. Thoughts turn to the changing seasons. Common Frogs come first followed by the Common Toads. Will they be there or will they have gone? We might see the spawn though and talk of where they live during the summer.
Conifer trees grow their new needles and are so soft in comparison to the older ones, great for the children to touch.
Spring flowers are always high on the list and Bluebells are interesting as they flower first along Risedale Beck.
Slightly later the moor turns blue.
As summer progresses so butterflies are on the wing. Weather forecasts are scrutinised, with fingers crossed for a warm day so that some will make an appearance. Brimstone butterflies are often only seen as a blur as they flit through the vegetation.
Over the years, with careful habitat management the moor has changed from rough pasture to a flower meadow and with the introduction of Yellow Rattle further improvements continue. The children can be taken there early in the summer to look for Yellow Rattle, and later to listen to it 'rattle'
When the Water Voles were released in 2007 and again in 2009, they were seen regularly, now we see more signs of them than actual sightings. Latrines and feeding stations can be looked for and their foot prints in the mink rafts.
Exciting this year will be the changes that occur in our new scrape on the moor, possibly to be called Plovers Pool. Each month we will visit this area and photograph what is happening.
All we need now is good weather for the flora and fauna to co-operate and be where we want them to be when we want them to be! If they are not, no worries, as there is always plenty to look at and new things for the children to discover.
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