- Beside the Seaside
- Camping Fun
- Community Farms and Small Holdings
- Environmental Education and Wildlife
- Sailing Adventures
- Channel Islands
- Cumbria and the Lake District
- East Anglia
- Mainland Scotland
- Mid Wales
- North East
- North Wales and Anglesey
- North West
- Northern Ireland
- Republic of Ireland
- Scottish Highlands and Islands
- Shetland Islands
- South East
- South Wales
- South West
About Me & Mine
Ieuan and Melanie 35, Harris 2 and Gilby 6 days old. For our autistic son Harris, the countryside is a place of freedom for running, exploring and discovering, come rain or shine. We wrap up and head out whatever the weather with our two dogs by our sides. Any adventure involving nature, fresh air and preferably some mud and we couldn't be happier.
Favourite place in the world:
Chanonry Point, the Black Isle, Scotland. Watch the biggest bottle-nosed dolphins in the world, wild, literally metres from your feet.
Favourite things to do outdoors:
We love to explore the wild areas of Britain from the Highlands of Scotland to the Norfolk coast. Rock pooling, bug hunting, bird ringing, scavenger hunts, puddle jumping, riding bikes, if it takes us outdoors we'll try it.
There's loads to do at the Forestry Commission's High Lodge Forest Centre during the summer months – it’s an excellent place to visit all year-round but during the summer they add a number of extra activities in to the mix. For the adventurous there is combat paint balling and a very cool survival skills course.
It’s been quite a summer here in Norfolk - the kind of summer where you are really glad of some good, lightweight waterproofs because the weather has been so unpredictable. We were delighted to receive our Spotty Otter gear but thought we may not have any use for it until the autumn - how wrong we've been.
Well it’s been a while but it’s been worth the wait, the two nests we were watching in the garden finally produced the goods. You may have seen that we posted a couple of teaser questions a while back so its time to put you out of your misery. The eye we showed was indeed the eye of a wood pigeon, the whole bird shown in all its glory below.
Well after the sad failure of our song thrush nest (see previous post) we were delighted to discover another nest nearer the house. This one is another beautiful construction of twigs, leaves and moss and some bits of old rubbish. There is no mud lining to the cup and there are quite a few bits of plastic weaved into it....currently contains four beautiful eggs, any ideas?
Is this "one of the 50 most fabulous things to do in the world" as the Observer apparently claimed? Well if you've got children from 2 years up then yes it probably is. This place is an absolutely fantastic forest adventure playground based on the designs of local author Tom Blofeld. He's written several children’s books and the park is based around the themes of these books.
The perfect pushchair or buggy is one of those items that every new parent is bound to spend lots of time searching for. We all secretly (or not so secretly!) check out each others buggies, noting whether it has 3 wheels or 4, what colour, what brand, does it have a tray, a hood, does it reverse etc etc - there are just so many different varieties out there it can be completely overwhelming to choose.
Its bad news to start from the garden I'm afraid, we've been giving the song thrush nest a wide berth over the past week or so as we await the new arrivals but just a few days ago while we sat in the garden enjoying the sun we noticed that it was all very quiet around the nest. We were used to seeing the female dashing off every now and again, particularly in the scorching weather we've been having here in East Anglia.
Over the last couple of weeks we've been keeping a close eye on the garden to see if we can spot any birds nesting in there. It’s quite an old garden with lots of bushes, shrubs and a few old trees. Last year we had collared doves and wood pigeons nesting so we were hoping for something a bit more exciting this year.
We’ve had quite a few days out in Thetford forest recently – it’s England’s largest lowland forest, a great place for walking the dogs and generally poking around. Over the past couple of weeks the weather has been unusually warm and this seems to have had quite a dramatic effect on some of the more slithery residents of the forest.
It’s finally that time of year when the flowers are starting to bloom and some of our birds have started their courtship singing. We’ve been busy closer to home recently putting up some bird nesting boxes in the garden. We’ve put up one with a round hole for blue tits and another open fronted box for Robins or Blackbirds.
We finally gave in to Ieuan’s nagging last weekend and took a trip to nearby Oxburgh Hall. His motive for visiting was fish – yes, apparently the moat has some cracking eels in it and one or two monster pike and although Ieuan doesn’t fish he does love looking at fish. So off we went on a beautiful day last Sunday.