For my Social Media presence (especially my Instagram and Twitter), being an openly gay Broadcaster and a Nature Conservation advocate, I have been nominated for a Diversity Award as a Positive LGBTQ+ Role Model.
A few years ago and around May last year; I visited the Frankley Beeches woodland. I noticed it was being ill-managed and not really being cared for.
I have grown up with this remarkable wood, as my local landmark for 30 years (my entire life), and despite it looking lovely on the outside, it unfortunately is not the same on the inside!
Research concluded that it is the National Trust that haven’t been doing (their job) anything with it for years, and Bromsgrove District Council cannot have cared much either…
When I visited it last, it was in much need of restoration & conservation, within the wood there are dead & damaged trees, plus rubbish & disturbed soil from its careless visitors. The anthropogenic effect on the woodland is very much the same to this day!
I recently did a Tweet, tagging in those who it concerns and may care about the Frankley Beeches, and yesterday (01.09.2020) I visited there and made this video:
Today (02.09.2020) the National Trust in the Midlands got back to me on Twitter:
“…thank you for raising your concerns with us. I’m pleased to hear that you have seen a difference to the site. Unfortunately, like many places, we only have a small team who can complete essential tasks right now but we will make sure to take on your feedback when we update the conservation management plan. We did not put in place the plastic tree guards, but I have let the team at Clent Hills know that they are now littered around…”
So it’s the Clent Team who (are to blame) haven’t been doing anything for years, until fairly recently 🤔 I am pleased they finally replied to me, as a few years ago, I emailed them and was ignored!
Sorry to hear of their small team, thus causing neglect and negative knock-on effects to much cherished places…
Six years ago it was a similar mild and wet December, I happened to be looking on Twitter when I saw a tweet announcing that there was a large flock of Waxwings, at the Midlands best garden centre, Webbs of Wychbold in north Worcestershire.
It had been several years since the last irruption of Waxwings and it wasn’t a bird many people had seen, I had never seen any before and so like many people from all over the West Midlands region (and maybe further afield), I descended on Webbs of Wychbold.
Of course I took my trusty video camera along with me, it would have been madness not to get footage of these beautiful birds! Journalists at the local BBC Studios in Birmingham got wind of ‘something going on’ and so I decided to inform them of what it was and sent them a copy of the video I made (below).
BBC Birmingham loved my video, so I met up with Environment Correspondent, Dr David Gregory-Kumar and his lovely producer and cameraman, to be part of a news package on the Waxwing irruption (below).
Today I found out the collective noun for Waxwings is a museum or an earful. 😆
The weather has been inclement again, and I was off to the N.E.C later as a member of Press, to report on BBC Gardeners’ World Live. So I opted to write a wild poem; I was happy there was a break in between showers, because I was able to get out into my partner’s garden to recite my poem.
If you saw my last entry in June, then you know I spent a week in the amazing Lake District! This post is for the last 4 days of 30 Days Wild/June. For those who don’t know – I stayed in a place called Little Langdale with 4 of my friends, who are some of the best people and I’m truly thankful for knowing them 😀 I’m sharing with you iPhone pictures of my wild-and-natural highlights.
We looked and ambled around one of our nearest towns, Ambleside – before heading to our home for the week! It had all the shops we would need 🙂
We had to walk up a pathway to get to our Little Langdale cottage, we had our very own tarn and everything! 😀
We awoke to a downpour… Despite the rain we decided to explore and visit our tarn first! 🙂 Later we found out tarn meant something completely different to our friend Mary (the redheaded lass), in Barnsley it means town! 😛
On the way over to our very local lake, we came across a variety of nature. My friend Scott (the blonde chap) is excellent at spotting small members of the animal kingdom, and allowing me time to document his finds! 🙂
We didn’t quite expect to find our selves in boggy conditions, and couldn’t make it down to the Little Langdale Tarn! So we decided to change course, move away from the tarn and get our exploration of Little Langdale underway!
We were getting closer to a known part of Little Langdale, Slater’s Bridge! Which relatively, is a short walk from High Hallgarth.
We passed over Slater’s Bridge.
We’ve walked a fair distance now 🙂
We’ve walked over Slater’s Bridge again, for another walk! 🙂
Derwentwater is near Keswick. It was funny feeling like I was in a film and then disembarking to a recently arrived Film Crew! They were setting up for a remake of Swallows and Amazons, I hear it’s a BBC Films production.
I chose the mystery location for yesterdays’ video, because I grew up a short walk away from it and was inspired by an episode of Countryfile where Anita Rani showcases rural Bradford 😛 Incase you’ve not seen the video, I’ll not ruin the ‘surprise’ with naming it. It’s where I cut my teeth as a child and naturalist, so to speak and over the years I’ve seen loads of wildlife there, a few firsts, which includes the time I saw my first Weasel as a child! Yesterday my friend Gary and I observed a Kestrel and Jay up there.
In the second shot of the intro to my video, I’m on the top of Rubery Hill/Cock Hill, with the Frankley countryside and suburb in the background, there are more great views from up there; the Lickey Hills, Rubery and Bromsgrove in the distance – plus the country park I reveal in my video 😉
When we were filming near Frankley Beeches wood, we heard and saw a beautiful male Yellowhammer – it’s the second time I’ve seen one in Frankley, (I’ve mainly distantly heard their song now and again) so I decided to record and feature this Yellowhammers’ song as the soundtrack for the video. We could also hear the beautiful song of the Skylark in the distance, down near Lower Hill Farm. On New Street, near the Greenbelt just before Frankley Hill Lane (which leads up to the Frankley Beeches Wood) I saw a partly Leucistic male Blackbird collecting worms, I almost mistook it for a Ring Ouzel!