Thursday, 9 October 2014

Relocation, Relocation, Relocation

Around this time of year crops are harvested and meadows are cut. For those former residents of arable fields and grasslands who have been lucky enough to escape the whirling blades it is time to move home.

It is not unusual therefore, during early Autumn, for mini invasions of resourceful little rodents to relocate into more human habitats - the Hanson Centre Building has proved no exception.

Staff first noticed the tiny calling cards of our new visitors a few weeks ago and as much as they enjoy being close to nature there are of course limits. One thing was sure however, if at all possible, the removal process should be painless for all concerned.

Having had a modicum of success using the Longworth traps (a humane trap for catching and releasing small mammals unharmed) earlier this year, I volunteered to help.

Over the course of a week I set traps at various points around the centre building each evening and checked them first thing the next morning. Bait was a combination of bird seed and a fresh piece of apple to ensure there was a supply of moisture readily available.

Anyone seen Kirsty and Phil?

Over the week I caught 7 wood mice all of which were taken a good way from the Centre before being released into the wild. I am pleased to report all appeared very healthy and full of beans (well seed I suppose) when released.

I carried on trapping until I had a completely blank couple of nights which suggested that for now evictions are complete - although I am sure we may need to periodically repeat the exercise.


Sunday, 5 October 2014

October Saturday Special


Saturday Open Day, 18th October

  10am - 4pm

 Want to know what's in the ponds at HESC?

 Come along and find out at a pond-dipping session!

 10.30am, 2.00pm

 £1.50 per person       £3 per family

Second-hand books, hand-made crafts and cards,

refreshments, toilets.


HESC Education staff Steph Kimsey and James Walsh will lead the sessions.   
We'll bring samples back to the lab where with the help of Steph and James (and microscopes and reference books) we'll identify what we find.      Never pond-dipped before? You'll love it!
If it's not your thing, then just come along and enjoy the Reserve and the facilities.
You might see foxes, muntjac deer and barn owls, and Autumn bird migration is underway - we never know which species are going to call in to feed and rest before flying out again, or perhaps stay for the winter....

And if you can't make Saturday18th October, we'll be here on Sunday 19th, too....
See you soon!