A Quirky Day

Anthony Gormley’s modern sculpture, ‘Another Place’

Have a quirky family day out at Crosby’s non-bathing beach.

Be in awe with Anthony Gormley’s modern sculpture, ‘Another Place’, which consists of 100 cast iron, life-size figures standing along three kilometres of foreshore and stretching one kilometre out to sea. All of the figures were casts of the artist’s body and each figure looks out to sea and stares at the horizon as though in silent expectation.

According to Gormley, ‘Another Place’, with its cast-iron figures standing in the ebb and flow of the tide explores man’s relationship with nature. These marvellous figures, weighing 650 kilos, are well-worth visiting – and at sunset they look even more remarkable. But please remember, it is not a bathing beach and it has an area with soft sand and mud, and a risk of changing tides. Visitors should stay within 50 metres of the promenade at all tides and not attempt to walk out to the furthest figures.

It’s an interesting and unusual day out for all the family!

© Sefton Council

Find out more

Our Lovely Heritage

Old Sarum

Visit one of English Heritage’s sites this Summer!
Take in the vista of the Wiltshire countryside at Old Sarum, originally an Iron Age settlement which was occupied by the Romans, Normans and Saxons. It also once held a cathedral on the hilltop. Learn about the history of the site and how it would have looked over the 5,000 years it was occupied. Climb the mighty ramparts for views over the Wiltshire plains and imagine the once thriving town of Old Sarum!

©Copyright English Heritage Photo Library

www.english-heritage.org.uk

Bird World

Our Favourites - Bird World

With many of us distracted by our busy lifestyles, we rarely have time to look up and appreciate the beauty of the world around us. By venturing outside on a blustery spring day in the UK, you can spot a ‘wild’ variety of wildlife that is often overlooked and unappreciated. Notice the squirrels chasing each other up trees and birds collecting supplies to help build their nests!

Spring is here and garden birds are busy collecting the last of their nest materials as over the next few weeks they will be incubating their eggs and preparing for the challenge of raising young chicks!

This can be a difficult process for your garden birds as spring is known for its damp and somewhat dangerous weather to the species; birds must have built sturdy nests to protect themselves from the elements for all of their offspring to survive.

To help your garden birds have the best chance of survival once their chicks are hatched, why not provide your garden visitors with food and shelter supplies that are readily available to them for when they leave their nests late spring with their chicks! Berries are a great source of vitamins which are perfect for providing the new parents with the energy they need to look after their brood, also ensure there is a water source available in case of dry weather spells where water may be lacking.

Although the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is over, with 8,262,662 birds spotted overall, why not take a walk this weekend and discover what birds have taken up residence in your neighbourhood?

© Photo and content provided by Living With Birds

www.livingwithbirds.com

Flower Power

Flower Power

Whether you have a couple of acres in the countryside or a small back yard, you probably have room for a few flowers. A huge number of insects depend on flowers for nectar and pollen, so growing them in your garden – in borders, window boxes or pots – is a great way to attract a huge variety of insect visitors.

Pollinators such as bees, hover flies and butterflies are perhaps the best known of the flower-feeding insects, but even predatory insects like ladybirds will enjoy a feast of floral food if they can find one. Many flower-feeding insects have struggled in recent years, however, as wild-flowers have become less abundant in the countryside and exotic and highly cultivated varieties have become more common in our gardens. Whilst the latter may appear pleasing to the eye and hard to resist when browsing at your local garden centre, all too often they offer little or no accessible food for flower feeding insects.

Selecting and growing the ‘right’ insect-friendly flowers is therefore not only a great way to attract insects, but also a great way to help our declining pollinator populations. With gardens covering over 1 million hectares of Britain, they could represent a real haven for flower-feeding insects – especially if we all grow those plants with real ‘Flower Power’.

Top Tips and links that I like!

  • Choose the right plants. Where possible try to avoid planting hybrid cultivars, especially those with double flowers. These are often sterile, and therefore offer no food to nectar and pollen feeders. It’s also important to consider flowering season as our flower-feeding insects need nectar and pollen from early spring right through to late autumn.
  • Try to remember that different insects will make use of different types of flowers according to their size and shape and features such as tongue length. Including a range of different flowers should encourage a range of insects into your garden whilst also filling your space with an attractive variety of colourful blooms.
  • If space is really at a premium, consider including highly ‘generalist’ flowers that are good for a range of insects. Cornflower and other knapweeds, for example, have long flowering periods and make their nectar freely available to many insects.
  • Some garden centers may use plant labels that provide at least some of the necessary information to help you choose the right flowers. Don’t worry if yours doesn’t though as there is a lot of useful information that can be found online. The Bumblebee Conservation Trust, for example, provides details of all kinds of plants that are good for bees – as well as their flowering periods – on their gardening pages. You can also pick up some useful tips on the BBC’s wildlife gardening pages. I’d also recommend a visit to the ‘Wild About Gardens’ web page, as well as the Gardeners World page on wildlife friendly plants.

By Dave George, National Insect Week Advisor

© Copyright National Insect Week

www.nationalinsectweek.co.uk

Did you know?

Moon Jellyfish

The Moon Jellyfish is transparent and grows up to 40cm wide. It is shaped like an umbrella and has short hair-like tentacles around the edges, and four rings towards centre. They are mostly harmless to humans, though may sting sensitive skin.

Moon jellyfish are very common all around the UK, especially in sheltered waters in the west of Scotland. You can sometimes see large numbers of these jellies when our chilly seas begin to warm up, or cool down. When this happens, it is known as a jellyfish bloom.

© Copyright Jo Jamieson/MCS

www.mcsuk.org

Go Crabbing

Let's Go Crabbing

When can you go?
Any time of the year, but remember that you will not catch anything at low tide as crabs can only survive in some water. Always handle them gently and return them to their natural habitat before you go home.

What you will need:

  • a bucket
  • a crabbing line (string attached to a heavy stone and wound around a stick or a bought crabbing line)
  • a net (is optional but useful)
  • some bait (uncooked bacon or fish heads from a friendly fishmonger!)
  • wipes for cleaning hands
  • snacks or a picnic

Where to go
A public hard such as those at Emsworth, Bosham, or Itchenor or a pontoon (some are privately owned by sailing clubs). Make sure you don’t get in the way of other people. Or along the foreshore – crabs can be found under the rocks in more moist sand or mud (remember to remove and replace the rocks very carefully).

How to crab

  1. Half fill a bucket of water and put some of your bacon in it for the crabs that you have caught.
  2. Attach your bait to the string (remember to wash your hands after
    handling raw meat).
  3. Lower your line into the water (remembering to keep hold of one
    end) until it is slack or loose (this is when it has reached the bottom).
  4. Wait patiently.
  5. Bring up your line slowly and have your net ready to scoop up your
    crabs into the bucket. Watch them move around in the bucket and
    put your line back down again.
  6. If you do want to pick up the crabs, remember to handle them
    very carefully and pick them up from the back so that you do not get
    nipped by their very strong pincers.
  7. Finally, carefully return all your crabs to their original habitat.
Thank you to Chichester Harbour Conservancy for sharing this fun activity.

www.conservancy.co.uk