Wildlife escape on my doorstep

It's amazing what nature you can discover on your doorstep! Millie shares her favourite place and how it helps her in lockdown.

Hi, my name is Millie and I am 12 years old. I live in a house on an estate surrounded by lots of other houses. Near my house there is something really good for me and for nature – a big field, a small wood and a huge disused quarry that is now a nature reserve. You probably wouldn’t expect to see all of this in the middle of lots of houses, but we can walk to it from my house.  

Woods

People like to play football and have picnics on the field and there is a cool woodland next to it where I like to climb the trees. There is also a big slope in the centre of the woods that I like to run down and when it snows it is a great place to go sledging. 

If you look and listen carefully you can see and hear lots of wildlife. There are birds that are easy to see and hear in the trees and if you look really closely you can see birds' nests. I like to watch the birds fly into the trees and sing. On the floor there are lots and lots of small bugs and insects that you can't see unless you really look. I like to lift the branches and stones to see what you can see underneath. There are snails, slugs, spiders, woodlice, worms and lots more. Apart from the slugs and snails, the bugs are really fast and run away under another stone or branch. I like to watch them. 

Cow parsley

I love the fact that all of these birds and insects live together in the woods and I can see them. I have even seen squirrels there too. There are also lots of flowers to see. You can see different flowers at different times of the year so every time I go there it is like being there for the first time. The field leads to a beautiful disused quarry, that is now a nature reserve, where people walk their dogs and go to pick berries to eat. On the plants in the quarry, you can see spider's webs that turn to ice in the winter and in summer there are ladybirds and butterflies. There is also a nice view from on top of the hill of a red dirt cliff. In lockdown, I like to go here, to explore the wildlife and wander around thinking. It makes me feel happy and not worried any more. 

Exploring

I like going there as my garden isn’t very big and there are no trees or anything to keep me entertained, and you can’t see as much wildlife. The field, woods and quarry are massive and there are so many places that you can explore and so much wildlife that you can see!