Fun with environmental learning in the Peak District

I have recently got back from the Mountain Training Association national conference which this year was in the Peak District. During the weekend there were a range of workshops to choose from and I was drawn towards the ‘Environmental Learning Made Easy’ session which was delivered by Jim Langley of Nature’s Work. This proved to be an excellent choice – which is why I want to share my experiences with you in my Countryside Blog. The workshop was aimed at introducing Learning Cards to help children to learn through outdoor activities. The fact that all of us who completed the … Continue reading Fun with environmental learning in the Peak District

Elephant Hawk-moth caterpillar on the trail

This wonderful caterpillar, measuring about 7 – 8 cm in length was spotted by Adam on our ‘White Peak Dales and Trails’ walk yesterday.  It was on the Tissington Trail and had probably been gorging on the Rosebay Willow-herb along the side of the trail before venturing out onto the path. It is an Elephant Hawk-moth caterpillar.  Notice the ‘eye’ spots towards its front end.  When these caterpillars feel threatened, they rear up at the front and due to the ‘eyes’ are sometimes mistaken for small snakes.  It is believed that birds that feed on caterpillars are wary of them when they rear … Continue reading Elephant Hawk-moth caterpillar on the trail

Undertakers of the beetle world!

This beautifully coloured beetle was spotted by Neal on our walk today on the lower slopes of Kinder Scout. It is a Sexton Beetle.  They are also known as Burying Beetles and get their name from their practice of digging a hole beneath small dead animals and birds then pulling the body down into the hole.  They then use the carcass as a source of food for their larvae. Continue reading Undertakers of the beetle world!

Fox Moth Caterpillars

Yesterday we ascended Kinder Scout from it’s North East side and the vegetation was covered with dozens of Fox Moth caterpillars.  We had to be careful to avoid treading on them.  These caterpillars enjoy sunbathing and I think yesterday they were making the most of the autumn sunshine. The Fox Moth lives on moorland and grassland, and the moth is a buff brown colour with two pale wavy stripes on each wing.  Continue reading Fox Moth Caterpillars

A wonderful walk!

Eyam Moor Every year the Peak District Tourist Board organise a two week long walking festival in the Peak District and today was our first walk in the 2011 festival.   On a beautiful sunny day we walked from Hathersage, over the stepping stones over the river Derwent where we saw some newly hatched ducklings.  Then up onto Offerton Moor and Smelting Hill, with a wealth of spring flowers to see on the way, including at lower levels bluebells, wood anemones, celandine, and wild primroses.  As we got higher onto the moorland, the bilberries were in flower along with cowberries and of course gorse … Continue reading A wonderful walk!