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Homing: from Africa to Scotland

Posted by on Jun 27, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

We moved to our first home together (non-floating kind) last autumn 2019. It took 12 hours from Devon to reach the West Coast of Scotland. For our winged visitors, it took months. A steady passage of: chiffchaffs, sand martins, willow warblers, cuckoos, swallows, black caps, grass-hopper warblers, spotted flycatchers, sedge warblers, even an osprey, homed in on us (or close by) from March to early May. One of the African migrants- a cuckoo feeding on caterpillars in the nettle beds below. Many of these voyages weigh little more than a couple of dried teabags . Yet they had flown...

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Endangered Species

Posted by on Jun 23, 2020 in Big Toe Blog, Conservation, Farming | 0 comments

Endangered species are animals or plants or any life form (from fungi (eg mushrooms) to bacteria (tiny living cells)) that are at risk of dying out or becoming extinct (lost from our planet). What animals can you think of that are extinct? Illustration from mentalfloss.com You might think of animals like dinosaurs, dodos, wooly mammoths or saber-tooth tigers. How many others can you think of and what can you find out about them? The enormous Steller’s Sea Cow is extinct. Illustration by Pieter Arend Fokens from reddit.com Animals and other life forms did not just become...

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Hedgehogs

Posted by on Jun 18, 2020 in Conservation, Mammals, Wildlife Moment Of The Week | 0 comments

A sick hedgehog joined our growing menagerie on Wednesday. I haven’t seen one close up for years, only a few unfortunate squashed individuals on the doorstep. It was the archetypal ‘Mrs Tiggywinkle’ with sparkling eyes and a wet snuffling nose. Well that was on day two, on day two it looked totally dejected. It quickly rolled into a ball when we picked it up, displaying it’s wonderful anti-predation tactic. This evolutionary behaviour is ingenious, but doesn’t outwit a car. Being given this sick hedgerow sparked a home-school project with our...

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Let’s Make the World Wild

Posted by on Jun 11, 2020 in Conservacion Patagonica, Conservation, Farming | 0 comments

While running the length of South America, we spoke to two amazing people, Kris and the late Doug Tompkins. Over the last twenty years they had conserved over two million acres of wilderness (more than any other private individuals in the world) in Chile and Argentina. Their motive, they said, was simply “To pay our rent for living on this planet.’ We ran through two of their parks, which they have since bequeathed to the Chilean government as fully functioning, restored and re-wilded national parks; Parque Pumalin and Parque Patagonia. The parks are breath-taking natural...

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Saving Orangutans

Posted by on Apr 30, 2020 in Big Toe Blog, Conservation | 0 comments

Asian rainforests in countries like Malaysia and Indonesia are being chopped down and burnt so that palm oil can be grown instead. This story book shows what happens when palm oil plantations replace rainforest This is a big problem. Those rainforests are ancient; some of the oldest rainforests on the planet. They are home to incredible tree species and plants. These trees and plants in turn support all kinds of amazing animals such as butterflies the size of plates, orangutans, rafflesia flowers, clouded leopards, rhinoceros hornbills, Sumatran tigers, Sumatran rhinoceros and Bornean...

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