Grasslands are excellent places for wildlife watching
especially for wild flowers and mammal spotting.
not try your hand at some nature spotting in the glorious summer meadows of the
orgy - gorge yourself on a feast of these beautiful blooms.|
are two great nature activities which you can take part in grassland areas:
* Orchid safari.
Badger is the largest land carnivore in the British Isles, with an estimated national
population of around 250,000.
Across Europe, Badger numbers have been declining,
although the British Isles remains one of the species strongholds.
are rarely seen, largely because they are secretive and predominantly nocturnal.
you can improve your chances of spotting this wonderful mammal by following our
Check out these Nature Calendar Badger watching locations before
planning your trip out:
Gilfach Nature Reserve
On previous series of Nature's Calendar
we also visited the following Badger locations:
Caerlaverock Reserve, Solway Firth
Falls of Clyde, Scotland
Kingcombe Meadows, Dorset
Many wildlife groups run Badger
watching sessions so why not book on one of their trips and get some top advice
from the experts?
your local Badger group
in Badger territory, here's a few helpful tips to ensure that you're close to
the Badger action.
But remember there's no substitute for patience, and
being in the right place at the right time!
Keep quiet, don't move too much or make any noise.
Watch out for Badger prints - they have five toes with big front claws. Good places
to look are along streams where you may find a crossing place with softer mud.
* Look out for
the Badgers' home - the unmistakable sett with its huge entrance - they are much
bigger than rabbit holes.
* Check for signs
that the sett is still active including leaves strewn outside the entrance.
Also look to see if the grass is worn away just outside the sett - that may indicate
where the young cubs come out to play near the sett.
Having found the sett, plan where you are going to sit to observe - if you're
slightly raised up, the Badgers are less likely to pick up your scent.
Check the prevailing wind as these creatures have a superb sense - sit where they
won't catch your scent.
* Wear neutral clothes
and be very quiet. Don't rustle your clothing or move around. Sit still, perhaps
next to a tree so you blend into the landscape.
Choose your time - Badgers tend to come out in the evening.
is little doubt that the Orchid is one of the superstars of Britain's flora.
group has been top of the plant pops ever since the Victorian naturalists obsessed
over them and made huge collections of both our native and many exotic species.
The South of England is one of the richest part of the British Isles for
Orchids due to its midl climate and chalk grasslands.
great place to go Orchid spotting featured on Nature's Calendar is Kent
Other great Orchid locations in Kent include:
Yockletts Bank - renowned for its Lady Orchids.
* Wye and Crundale Downs.
Sandwich Golf Course.
* Chappetts Copse near East Meon.
* Noar Hill near
Here are some top tips from the
Nature's Calendar team to make the most of your Orchid spotting experiences:
Early June is a great time to see the Orchids when they are in bloom.
Take a good flower identification guide with you. A magnifying glass can be helpful
if you want to see the flowers close up.
Look for a profusion of colour and use your sense of smell - a strong perfumed
odour is a good clue!
* Be careful where you're walking - keep to paths
and tracks to avoid trampling on the flowers.
And remember that old moniker
. take only photographs, leave only footprints.
are many great places to go Orchid spotting in the British Isles but the south
of England does tend to be something of a stronghold.
good locations include the following:
Murlough, Northern Ireland
Kingcombe Meadows, Dorset
* Martin Down National Nature Reserve, near Salisbury
* Fontmell Down, Dorset
* Whitenothe Undercliffe, Wiltshire.
Haven, East Sussex.
* Ditchling Beacon, Sussex Wildlife Trust.
Orchid photographs courtesy and
copyright of West Kent Downs Countryside Trust.