Friday, 29 April 2011

Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 - To be Scrapped!

If you care for our Wildlife, Countryside and environment then I implore you to sign the petition to help stop "our Government" from scrapping The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Its hard to believe that once again "our Government" is trying to take steps to damage our fragile environment. I can't imagine living in a civilised Country, which has no protection for its wildlife. This Act is the highest form of protection our wildlife has and by removing it, it will open the door to death and destruction!

For instance, we have wildlife in decline throughout the country, like the dormouse, water vole, great crested newt and the adder, to name just a few. We / they need this Act for their ongoing protection and also for the thousands of people who spend countless hours and work very hard protecting and creating endangered habitats.
Have they lost sight of what really matters? Do they not care that one day we will all be living in concrete jungles, choking on the smog filled environment we have created? It is time once again to open their eyes and show them that we do care and we will not bow down to their idiotic idealists!

They tried to sell off our forests and failed due to public condemnation and we should feel proud that we stopped them in their tracks (for now). But once again, I ask you all to stand up and be counted as this issue is just as serious.

Please click the link below and sign the petition.


Also, send a email to your local MP, asking him to clarify what proposals have been made and that you are strongly against them.

Write to Them

Thanks for your support!


Monday, 25 April 2011

Adder Survey Project & Some Ladies!

It was heavy and the only way of carrying it without making 3 trips back to the car was to balance it on my head! Thankfully I had a friend, willing to suffer a bruised scalp to help!
I selected a spot, which has been a hot spot for adders over the years, but like most locations it has seen a sharp decline in their numbers over the last few years. Hopefully this will give them a safe place to bask and help their numbers grow. One benefit of using artificial refuge like corrugated tin is that it absorbs and holds the heat, so the snakes will be able to bask for longer, especially if it is raining.
Another bonus is that the snakes may be able to put off hibernation for a few weeks and ever emerge from hibernation earlier if they know they have a safe, warm location.

It may take a while for the snakes to get used to it and feel safe using it, but Rome wasn't built in a day, so fingers crossed.
Sorry about the close up shots, but I only had the big lens with me - had enough to carry on my head!

However, I did bump into this girl - a juvenile female adder at a different location and although she was a little grumpy, she did pose for a couple of snaps.

I moved around to get a nice back-lit image of her, before I left her to bask in peace!

The old saying "It's the one you don't see that gets ya!" and I just spotted her in time, but if you go walking in their garden, you need eyes in the back of your head!
Again, when I left her she was happily taking in the morning sun.


Friday, 22 April 2011

Recent Article

Here is a link to a recent article I have written for the on-line magazine "Landscape Juice", regarding the adder.

Click Here to read the article.


Thursday, 21 April 2011

Male Adder!

Here is a nice male adder, which has recently sloughed (shed his skin). He was in a gorse bush and it was quite tough to get close, but I managed it without disturbing him. This is where a long lens comes in handy, even if it is very hard hand holding with gorse spines sticking in every part of your body!
The trick is to creep up on them, very slowly and very quietly! Ignore the spiders running over your face, don't jump if you are bitten by something, or spiked by a spine or bramble and don't make eye contact as they will always win!

Piece of cake - Not!


Saturday, 16 April 2011

Worrying Times!

As you have most probably heard on the radio or seen on the TV, our native adder is in trouble!
National statistics have shown that adder numbers are dropping throughout the country and the Forest of Dean is one area for concern.
I have been surveying for NARRS from day one (2007) and I have also been monitoring my snake locations for more than 20 years.
During one visit to one of my hot spots back in April 2005 I found 18 snakes in approx 1 hour. I visited he same area at the same time this year and found just one grass snake and no adders! Very disturbing!
However, I did find these two females at a spot, which has not been fruitful over the years and hopefully there will be a few fella's around soon.

No close up's today as they were tucked under a small tree and gorse bush and if I had pushed to get close it would have disturbed them.