John Muir Discovery Award Round Up

17 October 2020

In my last two blog posts I have mentioned that I have been getting involved in the John Muir Discovery award and I wanted to share a round up of what I have been up to. I've thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it and there's so much I have learnt already and things that I will continue to do after the award. 

I discovered a new wild place close to home that I had never known about before. Over the years I have been busy visiting places across the country but during the pandemic I have taken the time to explore places closer to home. Visiting Willington Wetlands made me see even more that you don't have to travel far to see wildlife and this was proven when I saw a kingfisher and a whooper swan on the same day when I was exploring the nature reserve. Through discovering and exploring I learnt about sand and gravel pits and how important they are for wetland wildlife as these flooded areas create a habitat for many different species. I learnt more about reedbeds, shingle and grass islands that provide a home for wetland birds and how they provide a breeding ground for them. It's been a lot of fun to find out more about this wild place. 

During my conservation part of the award I have been involved in some practical volunteering with my local community. I was out walking one day down my local nature trail and spotted a lady working on the wildflower meadow and woodland area of the trail and asked her if she volunteered there. She was ever so grateful to have someone else join up for volunteering work and I have been putting time aside most days in the week to help out with digging up weeds, removing any invasive plant species, building up the stumpery area for the wildlife and planting bulbs for spring. 

I've just finished my second week of volunteering with the team, planting trees in the woodland area, planting bulbs for spring, keeping plants to provide nectar for the bees, butterflies and other insects and completing the clearing of the southbound end triangle of the shaded area. Whilst this volunteering has been mainly as part of my award activity, it's become something that I would love to get involved in more often whenever I can as it's been very enjoyable. It's been nice to spend some free time outdoors, helping the community and working in nature. We've had some rainy days and days where the sun has been bright which is lovely to see shining through the autumn trees. It's also nice to hear the chorus of robins singing in the trees whilst I've been working. 

Continuing thinning out the southbound end triangle

Planting the daffodil bulbs for spring

Woodland area where we've planted new trees

There can always be something to do for the nature and wildlife, whether that be in our own gardens, at schools and workplaces or in the local community. I've thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the John Muir Discovery award and I am sure at some point I will look to progress to the next award level!

John Muir Award

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