Early Summer Newsletter 2016

As I write this there is hail hammering down but I have been lucky with the weather for my activities so far! The diary is filling steadily and there are masses of forageable plants around!

The south Downs expedition was, as always, most pleasureable: views are always spectacular and the navigation and terrain interesting but not too taxing.

I enjoyed a short “Yes” meet-up down on the Hamble in the delightful yacht “Exeat of Lymington”. The marina was full of bird life including Little Egret which still, to my mind, look like vagrant visitors to these shores! I had a good conversation with some photographers who had some incredible footage of kingfishers. They explained that they loved photography but actually knew very little about birds!! I wasted no time giving them a business card as I can really help them with this! Are you a photographer who would like a little support from the natural history perspective? I’m actually planning a photographic trip to record the Fallow rut in Late September/early October so do please contact me if interested!

I revamped my “Bird Song” talk and delivered to a local gardening club. The talk went down really well and made me resolve to do them more often – do you belong to a club or organisation who would be interested in a talk?

I’ve had a very welcome “run” (no pun!) of walks which have been purchase as gifts and I’m really pleased that they are popular. I try hard to make them “bespoke” and am finding that the most popular combination is a wildlife orientated ramble with some birdsong and forageing thrown in, as well as a break for some bushcraft and the opportunity to cook a simple light meal over the flames! It’s certainly a unique gift and a “first time” for so many!!

I’m very excited to announce that I can now take bookings for our charcoal camps! Myself and Richard from “Lightwoods” have been perfecting this weekend offer for a couple of years now: demonstrating the tree (mostly old Poplar and sick Ash)-to-charcoal process and more besides including campcraft; firecraft; open fire cooking; artists’ charcoal and woodland management! It’s exhausting and a bit filthy but great fun!!

Coming up: more birthday gifts! Also I will be leading the National Trust’s dawn walk at Winkworth Arboretum on 1st May; I’m also leading walks at this year’s Wildheart Festival in Sussex – these will focus on “Connecting with nature via birdsong” – a subject close to my heart! I have two expeditions planned – a weekend over the North Downs and then a long weekend over the Malverns; an event hike on the 23rd July will visit the Countryside Crafts day in Haslemere; then a Crayfish day with Explorer’s Connect on 6th August. All that said, there are plenty of opportunities for more evening activities and the odd weekend available too, so please get in touch!! As I sign off, I’m packing my rucsac for another hike – this time I’d like to end up hearing my beloved Nightingales – wish me luck!!

Please make sure that you are signed up for my newsletter in that sidebar to the right! Talk soon!

Jonnie