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A Year of Helping out at Wildlife Watch

Wildlife Watch leader Liz talks about her experiences helping out with her local Wildlife Watch group!


I’ve been helping out with a Wildlife Watch group for over a year now and to be honest I think I’ve had as much fun and learnt as much as the Watchers. Throughout the year we’ve had moth sessions, bat walks, Himalayan balsam bashing, bird box making, a talk on marine wildlife and lots more.


One of my favourite sessions I’ve been to so far was pond-dipping. Unfortunately nobody caught a newt but someone did catch a huge dragonfly larvae, which became the star attraction. We also caught water lice, pond skaters, water boatmen, ramshorn snails, great pond snails and the larvae of various flies and beetles - certainly a wider range than I was expecting.


Another great day was spent exploring a nature reserve where there were loads of tiny frogs and toads (one person ended up with a frog going in their pocket!), damselflies and emerging dragonflies. We also saw grasshoppers, leafhoppers, a large blue and black beetle that bit the person who picked it up, and some huge leeches - about half an arm long!


I also ran a session about a year ago that was a huge success (I’ve been asked to run it again at the start of next year); a game where the Watchers completed challenges off a list to earn points, and the team with the most points at the end won. This does involve a lot of preparation but it’s definitely worth it when you see the smiles on everyone’s faces.


Through helping with Wildlife Watch I have learnt a lot (though some of the kids have been members five years or more and their knowledge certainly trumps mine on a lot of occasions!) and I would definitely recommend helping out to anyone who gets too old for Watch but can't let go, wants to go into environmental education as a career, or simply loves nature to bits like I do!


To read more of Liz's blogs, take a look at her blog here!  Feel inspired to get involved with your local Wildlife Watch group? Look for your local Watch group here