Friday, 12 August 2011

Stick insect surprise

The Poulner Lakes Wildlife Discovery event went well today - not overly busy, as it went a bit dead in the afternoon, but had a good turn out of wildlife explorers in the morning who delighted in the abundance of meadow invertebrates that could be caught in the sweepnets.

There were lots of responsible dog walkers using the site, many of whom enjoyed finding out a little bit more about the wildlife they walk past every day. Hopefully the less responsible dog walkers using the site will have also read our interpretation and learnt how dog mess in the countryside is not just unpleasant for children to play in and people to walk through, but how it also increases the soil nutrients and can affect the diversity of wildflowers. We (okay, mostly Michelle!) picked up bag after bag of the stuff today and disappointingly even had to pick up more part way through the day, despite there being a very obvious nature trail that people were following.

Aside from that rather unpleasant aspect to the day, we all enjoyed it and particularly watching a water stick insect shedding it's skin - in the photograph below you can see the bright yellow newly emerged insect with the discarded skin to the right:

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