Half term. Children on the lose. Cue some Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff action.
This week we wheeled our Bugbarrow to St David’s shopping centre, smack bang in the middle of Cardiff.
Full of slugs, mud, snails, woodlice and leaves our Bugbarrow captured the attention of so many children and their parents who downed shopping bags and joined us to hunt for creepy crawlies instead. Lots of squeals and squeaks popped out as children spent some quality time with nature in an otherwise low nature zone.
Through our Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff project we want to encourage children to spend more time with nature, and to help make this happen we’re keen to go where the children are. On this occasion it was Cardiff’s main shopping centre, visited everyday by hundreds of thousands of people.
As well as a barrow of bugs, we took pop-up trees and instant grass, baskets full of logs, cones, leaves and natural objects and let children do the rest; building and exploring the objects they found, with one little customer happily hanging all the cones she found in the basket on our pop-up trees. Perfect!
Children also made themselves at home on our picnic blanket to build their own bug homes and followed our picture trail to spot the minibeasts that might move in.
Whilst the children (in true bug style) were busy, our day at St David’s had extra sparkle with three new RSPB members signing up and several primary school teachers ready to sign up their class for a Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff school session, which we’re delivering for free as part of the project.
And after a busy day in the shops, we’re off to do it all again at the Norwegian Church in Cardiff Bay, on Halloween. Eeek!
For more information about our free Giving Nature a Home in School sessions, check this blog too.
Halloween is here!! and it so happens to be the best time of year to see some of Britain’s biggest spiders. With so many benefits to nature and your garden, it’s time to start to embrace our eight-legged friends rather than be running scared.
There are some 650 species of spider in Britain totaling more than 750 million spiders crawling around our homes, gardens and countryside. Luckily, some of the frequently seen spiders are actually quite distinctive and are at their biggest right now, which means larger and more obvious webs – perfect for Halloween.
Venture into your garden and it’s more than likely you’ll come across the appropriately named garden spider. With a distinctive white ‘cross’ marking on their back, they help us by trapping or grabbing millions of insects each year, many of which are pests to crops and us. The females will have grown particularly large this time of year and create magnificent orb webs slung between vegetation.
Other creepers that may be lurking behind the fireplace, under the sofa or in the bath include the giant house spider, its smaller cousin the house spider, and the spider that you’d have seen hanging upside down in its web in the upper corner of your rooms; the daddy long-legs spider. These spiders are wonderfully effective predators. Although no threat to us, they consume around 700,000 tonnes of invertebrates every year, which is a colossal amount of food.
To find out more about how you can give spiders a home go to www.rspb.org.uk/home
The story of illegal persecution of birds of prey in Wales continues as the latest RSPB’s Birdcrime report released yesterday reveals. The RSPB Investigations Unit received reports of 46 incidents of wild bird crime occurring in 2013 in Wales, which accounted for 9% of the UK incidents reported in Birdcrime 2013.
Across the UK, Wales had the fifth highest number of bird crime incidents in 2013, with Northern England, at the top with 113 acts of bird crime reported. Numbers of incidents in Powys accounted for nearly half of the reported acts in Wales (see note 1). There were 22 reported incidents of bird of prey persecution across Wales. The species which occurred most frequently in the confirmed persecution incidents was buzzard with 10 victims then red Kites with seven victims.
A non-bird of prey incident includes two dead ravens found in a field in Anglesey. Results confirmed that the ravens were poisoned with pesticide fenthion – a substance used in sheep dip. However, an illegal use of this was established.
To read more about this report please visit www.rspb.org.uk/wales