30DaysWild  –  Daily Blog June 2016

Wildlife Wonder is delighted to be an ambassador for 30DaysWild    Spending time outdoors is so important for our health, happiness, creativity and connection to the natural world.  Through June we will be getting wild every day with children, schools, community groups and adults, from Cornwall to London. Discovering butterflies and water voles, enjoying creative observation and photography, engaging thousands of people through Wildlife Wonder experiences from a Mid-Summer Night’s Dream to Insta-Wild meet-ups!  Enjoying and photographing the natural world from all angles, we will bring you a visual festival of community wildlife wonder and hopefully plenty of inspiration to get outside.

Join us, Join in with 30 Days Wild and do come back through June to see our daily photo  blog and what we’ve been up to.


30th June

A perfect end to 30DaysWild – wild activities in the woods with school group. Nature photography, wildflower and tree identification, den building and campfire cooking. Children so excited to be in the forest, delighted to discover orchids & dragonflies and united in their love of getting muddy!   Through June I’ve worked with many community &  adult group and 1500 children in schools. Inspired and fired by their enthusiasm I’m looking forward to a Wild July – do join me!

Shurd Dragon

Orchid   Orchid1





29th JUne

Just back from fab Wildlife Wonder day with Bristol school and received this card in the post from another school. Love my job!

Cardinside card

28th JUne

A truly inspiring second (and blue themed ) day with children of Dunalley Primary School exploring their school grounds. All the children were so engaged and observant, as is shown in their incredible photographs below (all by pupils age 6-11). Lovely feedback from children, and I overheard a group of girls discussing doing more nature photography when they got home.






27th JUne

An extravaganza of colour and wildlife for children exploring their Primary School grounds today. After an assembly with 350 children, we photographed the school’s wonderful grounds – on safari through amazing wildflower meadows, wildlife pond, green roofs, grassy margins, woodland glades and even bird hide! I can’t wait to go back tomorrow. All photos by pupils






26th JUne

Rhubarb fool – perfect for summer rain!

Rhubarb Fool

25th JUne

Family day enjoying summer rain and picking strawberries growing among garden wildflower meadow.

Summer Rain


24th JUne

The children of Meadowbrook Primary School were never going to let the rain spoil their British Wildlife Photography Award winners day. So when it poured down we sheltered under some trees, sang rain themed songs and got soaked! But between the showers the 60 children explored the meadow and river walk near their school, photographing the wonderful wildlife they discovered – swan families, skipper butterflies, orchids and six-spot burnet moths. Some of the children even found a moth emerging from its cocoon. We had a brilliant day, the children so engaged, observant and creative. MB 6SB5

Mb 6SB6

MB UP thin



23rd June

As a slowworm slithered very speedily between the children’s feet, one child declared ‘That isn’t a slowworm, its a fast worm!’ Just one of many wonderful moments during an inspiring (& tiring) day of Wildlife Wonder in Bristol with 120 school children, aged 6 – 8. Working with four classes through the day we explored the school’s green spaces. Sadly no photos of the fastworm – too quick!





22nd JUne

Another day of two halves – the morning showcasing Wildlife Wonder and outdoor learning to Headteachers from 80 schools at the Closing The Gap Conference in Gloucestershire.


Then afternoon wildlife wonder in Bristol school grounds with 60 pupils and after school club. Children discovered this amazing caterpillar – clearly mimicking a dead leaf.



21st June

A Midsummer Day’s Dream – two different wild adventures for me today. Exploring school grounds and just beyond with three classes, the children found Roman snails, wildflowers, butterflies and huge fungi. In the evening Gloucestershire Wildlife and I held a  #30DaysWild #InstaMeet at the exquisite Daneway Banks Trust – our group were treated to so swathes of orchids, glorious wildflowers, birdsong and deer, but the highlight, shortly before dusk, was discovering a sleeping colony of marbled white butterflies. Or was that a dream?

Marbled White

Roman Snail




20th JUne

Office day preparing for 12 Wildlife Wonder events during June – an exhibition at Headteachers conference, #30DaysWild InstaMeet with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and 10 school Wonder days!

Important to take a few moments outside with my kids to enjoy the riot of wild colour in our garden.

Fox And Cubs 2

19th JuNE

Superb turnout for our  Taunton Wildlife Watch group afternoon photography safari. More than 30 children and parents joined me to explore the town-edge meadows. Plenty of creative observation, innovative camera angles and wildlife wonder. Thanks to all who came.




18th JUNe

Just a quick snap of an amazing ‘whiskered’ moth I spotted today.

Moth Whisker

17th JUne

Thank you to everyone who came to our very first #30DaysWild #InstaWild meet-up at the amazing Woodberry Wetlands in Hackney, London – a wonderful evening of wildlife photography (with cameras both big , small & mobile phone) in a glorious setting. Huge thanks to everyone at Woodberry Wetlands, London Wildlife Trust, 30DaysWild and all  guests for making it such a special evening. Check out my twitter feed for images & feedback from the evening. I can’t wait for Tuesday’s InstaWild meet-up in Gloucestershire details here






16th JuNe

Exploring rain-soaked playground wildflower meadows with school children in Forest of Dean.  Dodging showers, the children discovered a vivid diversity of flower species, a few insects and a pair of mallard on their school pond. All photos by pupils (age5-11).

St Whites3

St Whites2

St White1

St Whites4

15th JUne

The wettest school Wildlife Wonder day ever – and yet the children still found fantastic wildlife discoveries in their central Bristol school playground.



And this evening I’ve been enjoying beautiful photography (in the dry) by pupils at the  Bristol Grammar School Wildlife Photographer of The Year Competition awards



14th June

I’ve noticed a few bits of rubbish in my local river recently, so today seemed like good day to immerse myself in a #2MinuteRiverClean. Actually more like 10 minutes (and yes very wet) but I pulled out of the river two disposable barbecues, a child’s play tunnel, half a frisbee, tin cans, plastic bottles & bags and yes even an old boot! Hopefully better for the river wildlife and one less bag of rubbish ending up in the sea.


13th JUne

Excited children for today’s afterschool photo safari along local river. So much wildlife wonder, discovery and fun walking in the stream.  But best was being asked at end if we can do it again next week.


Brit10a    BRit12



12th JUne

At the buzzing Festival of Nature today with Avon Wildlife Trust – talking about the wildlife wonder on our doorstep and tips on exploring nature with a camera (whether phone, compact or SLR). Great to see so many friends, from Bristol Nature Network and Bird Girl, to PTES and Mike Dilger. My kids especially loved the butterflies house and chatting to BBC’s Naomi Wilkinson and Zoologist Jess



An Adonis Blue butterfly wing photographed with  a mobile phone at the Festival of Nature


11th June

Wonderful day watching a dragonfly slowly emerge from its larval skin, after discovering the nymph on a leaf above our garden pond early this morning.


The following photos show the 8 hour process of the exuvia splitting open and the adult dragonfly emerging.  The continual rain drizzle delayed the 4-spotted chaser’s wings drying and eventual flight. Photos 2 & 3  show the resting stage during which the dragonfly’s legs hardening.

DRagon1    Dragon2

Dragon3    Dragon4

Dragon5    Dragon6

DRagon7    DRagon8


10th JUne

Pure delight, watching dippers this morning – this pair are incubating their second cutch of eggs.

Dipper June2



9th June

Enjoying a flying dragon spectacular today with PTES group on the Somerset Levels.  Every small patch of reeds in RSPB Ham Wall reserve was alive with masses of the 4-spotted chasers. The reserve must be home to hundreds of thousands of the dragonflies at the moment – maybe even million.


4 spot 2


8th June

Today I’ve been photographing nature on top of a disused railway bridge with children from Whitehall School. Enjoying such a unique location, Avon Wildlife Trust’s wonderful Royate Hill nature reserve is right in the heart of Bristol and just short walk from school. After an assembly to 250 children, we set off to explore and photograph the wildlife wonder on their doorsteps. In the gorgeous bridge-top wild flower meadows children discovered thick legged flower beetles, many species of bees, jays and singing chiffchaff, speckled wood and holly blue butterflies. All photos by children.






And then we ended the day with an after school nature photography club – so much wildlife wonder today!


7th JUne

Lunch break along my local the river – treated to gorgeous views of two water voles.


Vole June2





6th JUne

A vibrant day of Wildlife Wonder working with more than 200 children exploring and photographing the nature in their wonderful city school grounds. In the shadows and sunlight, the children discovered bees and butterflies, foxes, frogs and newts, wildflower meadows and woodland glades. All photos by pupils (age 5 -11)



Silver Birch

Poppy Bee


5th JUne

Returning home after a break, encouraged us to see the familiar with fresh eyes. An afternoon enjoying so much wildlife wonder in our garden pond.


4th JUne

Last morning enjoying the beach before the sea mists role in and we have to head home.



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