Monday, 27 December 2010

Twas the week before Christmas

What a busy week it was, a real mixture of jobs needed doing before we took a day off for Christmas.
Drivers eye view of timber being unloaded.


Timber needed gathering from small stacks into one large one so that it is ready for collection by a lorry.
There were also a few log orders to cut and deliver.


There was also a bit of felling to do, the only down side to this job is getting a load of snow down your neck as the tree falls and deposits its accumulations.


Saw my first Woodcock of the season on the Edge today, have usually seen quite a few by now, found a dead Wren on Christmas day another victim of the cold weather. Hopefully this partial thaw that has taken place today will offer a chance for wildlife to bulid up fat reserves before the next really cold snap. Please remember to put food out, particularly for the birds. Apples and sultanas are great scattered on the ground for Thrushes, as are porridge oats. Peanuts and seed in feeders will cater for Tits, Finches, Woodpeckers and Nuthatches. 


Tuesday, 21 December 2010

More Nordic Walking

Following the success of the recent 'Introduction to Nordic Walking' event, we are holding further sessions on Saturday 12th February. The event is aimed at people who haven't tried Nordic Walking before, giving them a taster of the benefits of this low impact, high calorie burning activity. For more information about the benefits of Nordic Walking look here.
There are two sessions available at 10am and 1pm, the sessions include, individual fitting of poles, instruction by qualified instructors and a 1 hour walk along Wenlock Edge.
There is a cost of just £6 per person and this includes pole hire, booking is essential.
e-mail chris.dunkerley@nationaltrust.org.uk to book.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Winners and losers

Whilst working today i disturbed a pair of Buzzards feeding on the carcass of a Badger, the badger was not near a road (so wasn't hit by a car) and so has presumably become a victim of the cold weather. Digging for worms and other bugs must be tough with the frozen ground covered in several inches of snow.
I tried to take some photos, couldn't get very close so had to try and do it through my binoculars, bad photos are becoming common on this blog unfortunately. I think though that a bad photo is sometimes better than no photo...just!
Interestingly a Robin also had a bit of a peck at the carcass, i didn't realise that they did this, maybe they don't normally but times are just so hard that they have to just take what they can.
I thought that the sheep might welcome some hay, it will give them a break from digging through the snow to get the grass beneath.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Winter in the woods

We have had plenty of snow in the last few days on Wenlock Edge, it looks supurb, carpeting the woodland floor and adorning the branches of trees and shrubs. There are currently wonderful conditions for walking and with temperatures dropping significantly overnight it looks like the snow will be around for a while.

Whilst this weather can be enjoyed by us its worth remembering that life becomes much harder for birds and other wildlife. Whilst wandering about today i came accross a dead Great Tit that appeared to have succumbed to the Wintery weather, there was no damage to the bird which i would have expected to see if it had been attacked by a Sparrowhawk. Please remember to feed the birds in the garden especially at this time of year. Peanuts are good for woodpeckers, nuthatches and tits, black sunflower seed is good for tits and nijer seed is prefered by finches. Each of these types of seed can be dispensed from specific feeders available at pet shops and hardware stores.
A Tawny Owl was also spotted today and a rather grainy photo was taken, the photographer apologises for the poor quality.

Other birds seen this week include,
Great Spotted Woodpecker,               Buzzard,
Nuthatch,                                            Marsh Tit,
Fieldfare,                                            Blue Tit,
Redwing,                                             Dunnock
Raven,                                                 Wren,
Sparrowhawk,

Also spotted,
Stoat,
Fox,
Fallow Deer.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Nordic Walking event

On Saturday 11th December we organised 2 'Introduction to Nordic Walking' sessions on Wenlock Edge, the second session was added due to the high level of demand.
Fortunately most of the ice, that had made walking on many of the footpaths and the car park treacherous had melted just in time. At about 4 degrees the conditions were just about perfect for a 4 mile walk along the edge.
After everyone had been individually fitted with the correct size poles we were given some very interesting information about the benefits of Nordic Walking and about the correct technique to use by our instructors Martin and Sue.
Getting to grips with the basics whilst not looking at all silly!




Next we all walked around the car park several times as different elements of the technique were introduced bit by bit.







Striding out in the woods




Once we all seemed to have grasped the basics we set off into the woods for a 4 mile walk over mixed terrain so that we could get a real feel for how efficient the technique is. Most people if not all could appreciate how the poles helped on the uphill sections, spreading the load throughout the upper body rather than just depending on the legs to do the work.









even going downhill burns more calories
As we walked people were given advice about their technique by Martin and Sue and we were given more information about how Nordic Walking can help peoples health including, reducing the risk of Osteoporosis, assisting with weight loss as well as toning the body. There are many more benefits that are too numerous to mention here but it is worth mentioning that it burns 20% more calories than walking without poles, so if your anything like the groups that gave it a go on Saturday means that you can treat yourself to a slightly larger piece of cake at the end of the walk! 
We are currently planning another Introduction session in early February, watch this space for the details which should be known in the next few days.








Question and answer session at the end