Tag Archives: butterflies

Sunday Sevens 22nd July.

Having had a whole week off ( oh yes! ) , I thought I would share some of what I have been up to, in the form of a Sunday Sevens. Sunday Sevensย is 7 ( or more) pictures from your week and was originally devised by Natalie atย Threads & Bobbins

Fun With Family. Last Sunday my brother stopped over, so we headed to our sisters and had an afternoon out at Beacon Fell Country Park, looking for all the sculptures on the trail. Woodpeckers, Owls, Hare and Dragonflies…to name but a few. You can read about a previous visit to the park here.

Before losing my sandals!

Sinking Sandals. Also this week my lovely friend Lou visited us on route to her graduation in Liverpool. Before dropping her off at Crosby Station ,we paid a visit to the Art installation Another Place at Crosby Beach. 100 Iron Men stand looking out to sea, over 3 miles of coastline.

Lou squelching her way over to one of the 100 Iron Men.

We were very stupid and decided to head out over the wet sand to examine one barnacled specimen. Don’t try this at home folks! Lou was fine, but I ended up losing my sandals to the squelchy Mersey mud. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I know it could have been a lot worse. :/ After that we stayed close to the promenade!

Big Butterfly Count. Heres something I was excited to join in with! Every Summer the Big Butterfly Count asks that you take 15 minutes of your time to sit and watch butterflies. ๐Ÿฆ‹ I decided to count the butterflies we saw whilst relaxing by the dunes at Crosby Beach. It was a great location as I spotted Peacocks, Tortoishells, Whites, Six-spotted Burnets, a Painted Lady and a Common Blue. Why not give the count a go and submit your results here.

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#walk1000miles. ย A riverside walk to a nearby village yesterday, brought my miles walked total for this year so far to 909 miles!ย  Think my swan friend here was impressed!ย  Hopefully I should hit 1000 miles in August and then my aim is to walk 1500 miles by the end of the year. That would be pretty awesome!

How are you? Any good plans for today ( Sunday) ?ย  Hoping to head to the coast again. Will try not to lose my sandals this time……

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Salthill Quarry Local Nature Reserve.

To ease my England V Sweden viewing angst, I thought I would write this post at the same time. Ha! I am a very nervy audience…

This morning I had a wander round one of my local town’s two Nature Reserves. Salthill Quarry has appeared on my blog a couple times, but as I haven’t visited for over twelve months, I thought I would drop by for a nosy. The Quarry is a designated SSSI because of its geological formations…but I was there for the flowers…and the butterflies. ๐Ÿ™‚

The 7.00 hectare Nature Reserve has grassland and woodland habitats. I was certainly glad of a little shade. The sun beat down as I looked for betony, orchids and scabious. Some of the land was dry and parched. Still no sign of approaching rain here in the North West.

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Roses on the way to the reserve.
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And a Painted Lady on Buddleia.
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Into the Woods.
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A Swallow-Tailed Moth ~ I think..
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Speckled Wood.
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Feeling parched.
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Hmmm Spray painter, if your going to do this , at least do a neat job! This is the Crinoid Seat that looks across to Pendle Hill.
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Lady’s Bedstraw.
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Orchids.
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Almost hidden ~ a blue damselfly.
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Marjoram.
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Scabious.
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Under the Umbels.
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Brown Ringlet.
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Harebell.
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Green Damselfly , maybe?
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Six-spotted Burnett Moth.

Feeling slightly calmer now. …

Thanks for accompanying me on a wander round Salthill Quarry Local Nature Reserve.

Flora, Fauna and a Festival in a Forest.

I haven’t just been spending my time yomping up hills recently. At the weekend Wil and I joined some friends at the annual Cloudspotting Festival in Gisburn Forest, a popular family-friendly Arts & Music festival, set in the heart of the beautiful Forest of Bowland in Lancashire.

As this year’s festival was actually on a smaller scale than usual, with two nights camping and one full day devoted to fun events for all the family plus some great Live Bands, it was called A Break In The Clouds. Being my first ever experience of Cloudspotting, I wasn’t sure what to expect!

Apart from the early evening midgie beasts ( we were in a forest after all) , I loved it. When I wasn’t participating in laughter yoga, noshing on yummy festival food, drinking cider in the Bitter Suite Bar, listening to storytelling by the campfire or dancing along to Sweet Baboo’s psychedelic floor- filling tunes, I was chasing butterflies in the surrounding wildflower meadows. ๐Ÿ˜

Our friends daughters ( aged 7 and 8 ) had a wonderful time too. There was plenty going on for kids including Forest School, The Highway Rat Trail and Interactive Theatre ‘ The Sorrowful Stag’ . What was lovely about ‘A Break In The Clouds’ was the chilled friendly vibe. It felt very safe and allowed the kids a rare degree of independence, that children don’t get to experience so much these days.

Here are a few images that myself and my friend Fiona took. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Cloudspotting Hen Harrier.
Wildflower Meadow.
Bronte & Lydia.
Festival Footwear.
Silver Y Moth.
The Sorrowful Stag.
The Sorrowful Stag.
Festival Food.
Common Spotted Orchids.
Holistic Therapy Trailer.
The Green Canteen.
Damselfly.
Small Skipper.
Forest Camp Fire.
Festival Thoughts Tree.
Headliners, Lancaster Band ~ The Lovely Eggs.
A Break In The Clouds. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Cloudspotting Festival is set to return in it’s fuller form in 2019. ๐Ÿ™‚

Are you off to any festivals this Summer?

A Cumbrian weekend of wanderings and wildlife.

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Chimney Sweeper Moth.

The recent weekend was spent gathered with family at Mums. She didn’t want a big celebration, just time spent together with children and grandchildren on her 70th Birthday. Country walks, playing games, visiting some lovely gardens, and a Birthday Cake. It was a happy couple of days!

Mum lives at the foot of Askham Fell near Penrith in Cumbria. Its a comparitively little explored part of The Lake District, but well worth a visit. On Saturday morning before my sister and niece and nephew arrived, Wil and I armed ourselves with a Askham Fell Marsh Kelpie Tale Trail Map, and headed for a walk up the fell.

There are various Tale Trail maps of different places in The Lake District, aimed at younger walkers ….and the young at heart. ๐Ÿ˜ The Marsh Kelpie is a fictional character that lives on the fell. We didn’t find him of course, but we did see lots of wildlife and a stone circle.

Skylark, Askham Fell.
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Small Heath Butterfly.
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A herd of ‘Wild’ Fell Ponies live on the Fell. This one with Wil is not very wild and shaped like a barrel. ๐Ÿ™‚
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Cockpit Stone Circle ~ once used by villagers for cock fighting.
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Linnet. ๐Ÿ™‚
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Pied Wagtail.
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Common Bistort on the road side. Mum knows this as ‘Sweaty Feet’ and if you smell it…..it does whiff a bit. : b

Its a good job my family are all wildlife lovers , as we also spent a lot of the weekend pouring over Mum’s Bird book, trying to identify the birds we saw. ๐Ÿ™‚ My sister and I forgot our phone chargers ( there’s not much of a signal or wifi anyway) , so it was nice to Id what we saw , the old-fashioned way.

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Siskin on Mum’s Bird feeders.
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Greater Spotted Woodpecker.
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Wil’s photo of a rather dapper Dipper on the River Lowther.

On Saturday afternoon we took Mum to Holehird Gardens near Windermere. She loves gardens and this one which is run by volunteers, is home to the Lakeland Horticultural Society. June is a good time to visit for the rhododendrons and blue Himalayan poppies.

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Blue Himalayan Poppies and Alliums.

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I’m not very well up on my garden flowers, but as you can see the beds were abundant with colour. ๐Ÿ™‚

On Sunday we visited somewhere closer to Askham. Acorn Bank gardens and Water Mill at nearby Temple Sowerby. The National Trust looks after the property and the manor house dates back to 1228, its first owners were the Knights Templar.

There is plenty to see at Acorn Bank. We walked along a forest trail to the working water mill, looked for frogs in the lily pond, found fairy doors, enjoyed the gardens, had a lovely brew and cake, browsed the second hand book shop and found Newtopia. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Fairy Door.
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A freaky green spider on Bistort…or Sweaty feet. Is this a Cucumber Spider?
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Imogen and Woody Woodpecker.
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Acorn Bank.
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Impressive Coat of Arms.
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Hop It !
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Looking for Newts!

There’s a pond full of Great Crested Newts in the Sunken Garden at Acorn Bank. We had plenty of fun trying to spot them!

Thanks for joining me on a fun family weekend…with lots of wildlife thrown in for good measure. x

Wildlife Moments in 2017.ย 

I thought I would post a few of my favourite wildlife photos that I have taken whilst out and about this year. There have been a few special moments! I finally managed to photograph a kingfisher  ( not once, but twice! ) and I was thrilled to spy a Green Woodpecker by the river Wharfe in Yorkshire.  A holiday on the Norfolk Coast proved an amazing experience for wildlife spotting and even a few days away in London gave me some photographic opportunities. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you enjoy my pictures.

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Small Blue Butterfly  , Old Hunstanton sand dunes.
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Pied Wagtail eating lunch , Brotherswater.
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Kingfisher perched above a rowing boat on the River Nidd in November.
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Foxgloves in Sandringham Country Park.
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Comeront , River Esk, Cumbria.
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Tawny Owl, Muncaster Castle.
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Sea Holly, Rossall Beach, Fleetwood.
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Nesting Fulmar  in the stripey cliffs of Hunstanton.
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Fallow Deer, Dalemain Estate, Cumbria.
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Grey Heron in Hyde Park, London in April.

 

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Moorhen in Hyde Park.
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Green Parakeet ( another London Park regular).
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Vallarean flowers amongst the beech huts, Old Hunstanton.
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Wild flowers on the banks of Ullswater.
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Kingfisher on the river Nidd.
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Sea Asters, Cromer.
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Six spotted burnet moth, Salthill Quarry Nature Reserve.
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Common and Grey Seals, Blakeney Point, Norfolk.
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Green Woodpecker next to the river Wharfe in the Dales.
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Pheasant in the Dales.

What wildlife have you enjoyed viewing in 2017?

 

Butterflies, Seabirds & Rock Pools.

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Large Tree Nymph Butterfly.

In my last blog post I was feeling all Autumnal , but then Summer made a reappearance on Sunday ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Happily we were put in charge of my niece and nephew for the day ….or was it the other way round !ย  Anyway we decided to head for the coast.ย  First we found ourselves atย Williamson Park ย on the outskirts of Lancaster.ย  With 54 acres of beautiful parkland , the impressive Ashton Memorial and far reaching views across Morecambe Bay, there’s certainly plenty to see.ย  But it was the Butterfly House and the Mini Beasts that the kids and I were interested in. Whilst Wil took Hugo for a walk , we got up close and personal with allsorts of cute creatures.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Tropical Blue Butterfly.

 

Common Garden Skink eating lunch.

The Butterfly House in Williamson Park is a former Palm House which resembles a tropical rainforest.ย  Indeed my camera lense started steaming up as soon as we entered!ย  Colourful butterflies flutter amongst the greenery and there are also various reptiles living here.ย  We were especially enamoured by the Common Garden Skink and a Chinese Water Dragon, who seemed a very friendly fellow.

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Chinese Water Dragon.

 

Meerkats.ย 

As well as The Butterfly House ,there is a Mini Beasts House, an Aviary and Meerkats, so plenty to keep the kids oooohing and ahhing for a little while. We also found an adventure playground, before meeting up with Wil and Hugo in The Pavilion Cafe. And we had to have a quick look in the gift shop too of course!

If only we had climbed up The Ashton memorial.ย  The views are apparently stunning from the first floor viewing gallery. That’s a definite for next time.ย  The memorial dominates the Lancaster skyline and was commissioned by Lord Ashton, as a tribute to his late wife.ย  Constructed mainly from Portland stone, with a copper dome, the structure was completed in 1909, and is now a popular venue for weddings and other events.ย  But now let’s head to Morecambe, whilst the sun is still shining. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Tropical flower.

 

 

 

 

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Ashton Memorial

Morecambe’s Seafront is home to theย Tern Projectย , an art trail that celebrates the varied birdlife and wildlife that make their home on the Lancashire Coast. Look out for poems and puzzles, jokes and riddles and lots of birdy sculptures.ย  Many can be found on the long stone jetty in front of the Midland Hotel, and along the promenade.

 

A Bird’s Eye View across the Bay.
Comerants.
Lapwing.
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Ringedย  plovers.
Magpie.
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Mythical Bird.

When I asked my niece and nephew what they enjoyed the most about our day out, the answer was rock pooling!ย  These two could spend hours looking for crabs and water snails. Simple pleasures eh. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Gone Crabbing !

Here’s hoping for some more summery days to lead us out of September. X

30 Days Wild ~ Days 26 to 30. A poem and a Nature Reserve Visit.

Here are my ‘Wild’ moments from the last few days of June. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Day 26 ~ Pressed Flowers make memories.  After resurrecting my old Travel journal ( it went by the wayside after I started blogging), I thought pressing a couple of local flowers from our Yorkshire Dales camping trip, would be  a nice way of remembering our time there.  I must get myself a flower press though. I just squished a field scabious and a common vetch ( both are numerous along the river Wharfe) between two pages of a book, I was reading at the time. Not very professional!

 

 

Day 27 ~  A Nature Inspired Poem. So here’s my attempt at writing a poem!  I have took inspiration from my recent trip to the Norfolk coast. We stayed in the seaside town of Hunstanton and visited nearby Holme, Wells and Blakeney Point.

Busy Bee , Stop!  Look up….. and rest.

Rust striped cliffs, where fulmars nest.

In rocky pools  limpets cling.

Oyster Catchers peck them clean.

Cinnabars and fluttering Blues.

Sea Holly amongst the dunes.

Bursts of pink wave in the breeze.

Seals play in blustery seas.

So stop…. and look….. and take in

the wild living  amongst us.

 

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Day 28 ~ Feeling Blue. Today was another dreary damp day, but instead of feeling blue, I made a slideshow of the colour blue in nature. These pictures are all from the past couple of months.  They include Scabious, Meadow Cranesbill, Viper’s Bugloss ( aka Sea Thistle), Blue Sky, Small Blue butterfly, Bluebells, Violet and blue in a Peacock Butterflies wing.

Day 29.  Update. Has #30dayswild been a success in our little back yard? Well , it’s a work in progress! The wildflower seeds I planted at the beginning of the month are definitely seedlings.Still waiting to find out what they will become. I have not counted any butterflies, though I have seen bees. It has rained every day since I put out the bee water dish. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Most successful is our little bird feeding station. We now  have bluetits and a Tree sparrow, as restaurant regulars. ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 30.  Visit a Nature Reserve. My last day of ‘Wild’ has been a success! This morning I took myself off to one of Clitheroe’s two Nature Reserves, on the edge of town. You can find them both by using The Wildlife Trust’s Nature Finder App. Salthill Quarry is half woodland and half disused quarry. The limestone grassland is a haven for wildflowers, and even on a drizzly day like today. it did not disappoint. Prepare for about a million photos….

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Any ideas? A ground spreading purple flower in the woodland.
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A snail amongst the bramble.
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Trees Canopy.
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Not sure of this birdie either.
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Agrimony. Used in Herbal medicine.
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How cute is this squirrel. ๐Ÿ™‚
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Self-Heal. Used by Medieval first- aiders for binding up wounds.
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Rosebay Willowherb. Also known as Fireweed.
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Vetch.
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There were lots of orchids. ๐Ÿ™‚
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Ringlet Butterfly. One of the few butterflies that are active in light showers.
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Goldfinch.
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A type of grass.
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Despite the weather,I did see quite a few bees.
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Creeping Cinquefoil.
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Pignut. Has edible roots.
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Scabious.
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Marjoram.  A striking culinary herb.
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Hawkweed and Betony in the background.
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Another Ringlet.
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Thrush.
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Ladybird on Meadow Sweet.

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My favourite spots of the day. But are they Six spotted Burnet Moths or Cinnabar Moths?  They did not move from their blades of grass.

So there you have it! Another #30dayswild ends. It has been a challenge this year, but also a lovely experience. I have taken more notice of insects.  I have visited  new places, as well as returned to some old favourites. I have tried to make the garden area more wild and will continue to do so. As usual The Wildlife Trusts have inspired me to stop, step back and take in , all the beautiful nature that surrounds me. ๐Ÿ™‚