It’s all gone a bit Pete Tong!!!

The memory card on this phone that is!
Been taking some snaps for a couple of days, just for the sole purpose of posting them on here for you, but it seems to have swallowed them and all i have left is empty files!!!
Firstly, in the last post i was saying about doing some squirrel conservation work. Well, on Thursday some of the volunteers from our little happy band joined forces with others from Slayley and coquetdale to be assesed in their trapping and handling skills. This is so that, we gain access to crown land, ie, forestry commision to trap greys and monitor reds

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This is a total departure from FC normality as in, for the first time in the history of the FC they are admitting they need conservation help and the only way forward is with volunteers like me.
The mornings assesment was really good, there was eight volunteers and five FC rangers, with two red squirrel rangers all sharing knowledge and skills. We hammered out the access “red tape” bullsh”t and got to find out about FC policy.
So after this we will be given permission to trap.

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Here’s one i set, left the corner of the trap showing so you could see how well it will be cammed up.
Living within the boundary of the forest, you get to know quite a few of the rangers, but our lad is new. Dan, a fresh faced young lad that seemed a little shy, soon have that out of him…
Onward… Thursday afternoon was spent on the usual round of check, move and reset mole traps for Lewis my friendly Mr farmer. On the way back to the landrover,  this hawthorn covered in lichen caught my eye..

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And on closer inspection, the lichen on the branches would make a great macro shot. Pity I did’nt have the DSLR with me..

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It would have made better use of the poor light..

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Speaking of poor light… THIS MORNING, Saturday, it was hello snow, my old friend…

In the half light of 6:20am the blueness of this is strange…

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Anyway, that’ll do for this evening, for tommorow the cloud factory beckons once more…

SUNDAY UPDATE..
Ha ha ha… Just read life at the end of the roads blog post… He posted this class picture taken this morning, a red deer buck with a great tit perched on it’s nose.. Classic… http://lifeattheendoftheroad.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/18.png

Red squirrel conservation

The Northumbrian

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more scribbles later…TTFN…Posted from WordPress for Android

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5 replies »

    • Well, if a farmer wishes to produce a crop of hay or silage from a hay meadow, the mole hill (soil) can be picked up and baled unknown to the tractor operator. This in turn will poison the crop and any ruminant animal that eats it.
      The other problem is grazing, a mole heap can be up to a meter square of bare earth, times that by a lot of hills and it’s a lot of none grassland. Once they are left to nature to take over, all that grows are thistles and weeds. Nothing against moles but, since the outbreak of foot and mouth in 2001 the land was inaccessible to the trapper, hence a massive population explosion. If you look at the fields in some areas, they’re ploughed to hell and back with the little velvet jacket miners..
      Some old pastures will never recover… Hope that explains a little…Steve..

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      • Hi Steve, yes, thank you –- I had not given it any thought before. We just get the occasional molehill on the allotments… but not often.
        Does the trapping mean you get to sew nice moleskin gloves to beat the Baltic blast? (The blast is not much reduced in the East Midlands – then you realise there’s not much protection between here and the Wash!)

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      • That would be nice,, could imagine it being a little fiddly to sew…
        Did you know, places like bowling greens and football pitches kill of all the ground worms to discourage moles..

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  1. My instinctive reaction is “That’s taking things a bit far!” – I maybe understand it on bowling greens but… the odd molehill might make some football games more interesting.

    Best send me some cleaned skins then and I’ll figure out the curing and making – could take a while though!

    All the best.

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