Another fascinating and enjoyable year is drawing to a close and it has been one of real extremes: remember the sizzling weather and drought conditions of the summer? Insects seem to do well and often became the talking point during my walks. If insects are doing well then it usually follows that breeding birds and bats also thrive: our bat walk at Winkworth Arboretum resulted in positive identification of 7 species – a record for the venue!
Speaking of Winkworth, I have forged stronger links with my friends at the National Trust and am now privileged to be running several events at Winkworth, Claremont and, soon, at Runnymead.
Foraging walks have gone well, as have the wild food sessions – but I did get caught out: the hot weather meant that all the Elderberries were more or less over-ripe before my scheduled “Elder Day” which was to both indulge in the incredible folklore around this plant, as well as make some of the traditional recipes which I have been relying on for years!! Never mind, I’ll try again in 2019!
Most of my “homework” over the winter will be finalising details on some “Therapy walks”. I mentioned in a newsletter a while back that I had an intensive year of training with “Way of Nature UK” and I will be drawing on this plus so many other experiences (including therapeutic and counselling work with young people) to offer some enjoyable and useful therapeutic walks and nature connection and wellbeing activities. Stay in touch with this one – by its very nature, it will be discreet and publicised very sensitively. I will post again in the new year.
Which brings me neatly on to the Winter Solstice, Yule, Christmas or whatever you celebrate!! Do please consider a JonnieTaylorWalks voucher for those who are so difficult to buy for! I have noticed a definite trend towards people choosing “themed” activities as opposed to straight nature walks – do consider birdsong or deer days; dawn chorus, dusk adventures or night time forays; and of course, there’s always the bushcraft, foraging and wildfood, charcoal making! Or I can help you with something absolutely bespoke such as a family camp adventure!