Sunday, 14 January 2018

Post 480 - Looking back & forward

Hey everyone, Post 480 today and I can't believe it was the end of November when I last wrote a post! Apart from Christmas I don't know what took up my time in December but during the holidays I started a big job that has been a long time coming - sorting out all the photos I take! I've been organising them so I can find them more easily.
Saw this beautiful Eastern Black Redstart a few times.
A really lovely bird and very willing to pose!

So to get back into the swing of things again I thought I'd have a little look back at 2017 and let you know a few of the things I plan to do in 2018. Most of the pics today are some of my favourite finds of 2017.

Well I've got lots of people to thank for some wonderful opportunities in 2017. I got to do quite a bit of writing and guest blogging for people. Guest blogs included Rewilding Europe, the BTO, New Nature, the  Wild Watch and Our Bright Future - thanks for these opportunities!

I was great to find the Duke of Burgundy up on t' moors
It was also a year when I got to do a couple talks and got to conferences and events to spread the nature word. Thanks to The Wild Watch for letting me speak at your launch event and to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trusts Tomorrows Natural Leaders for a big talking slot at their Youth Summit. It was also great to attend Yorkshire Naturalists Union annual conference to display my photos and to provide some insights into helping engage young people. I also got to write a follow up article for this in their magazine The Naturalist which was great and I got some lovely feedback from this.

The most writing I've done for anyone was this last year for New Nature magazine. Thanks very much to James and the team for this opportunity - I've never been called a stalwart before :-)
Made sure I got back to see these beauties this year,
the 'Jewel of York' - the Tansy Beetle

One of the most exciting  developments last year was to be the youth patron for a new project - The Wild Watch - a great project in Nidderdale that will have some big benefits for the areas nature! It's been great working with this project and learning new things like river surveying. Really looking forward to getting involved in this years activities!

A big thank you also has to go to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust for their continued support and helping with this year's calendar. I also enjoyed helping out First News with a 'party political broadcast' putting over a young person's view during the general election.

I was really lucky to get great views of this Cuckoo in
my local forest.
I was also honoured last year to be awarded the North York Moors National Park Trust Young Ranger Award. I met the Lord Lieutenant to receive that and it came with an award that will help me visit another national park this year so I'm busy planning that.

One of the final highlights of the year was a trip to London and the Natural History Museum - a big thank you to Erica for making this the most memorable visit yet!

So on to 2018. I've been wondering what to do. I'm still wondering but I've take some inspiration from the last blog I did last year for Our Bright Future. I wrote about a lot of practical ways young people can make a difference for nature, so I'm going to put some of this into action again!
A botanical highlight was finding a patch of May Lily

I did a lot less campaigning last year whilst waiting to see what the Government would do for nature after Brexit. Since the 25 year environment plan has been released there's been a lot of people talking about how it needs to be backed up with an Act and policies. Well I noticed my MP Rishi Sunak had got a Cabinet job in the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government so I decided it was a good time to write and ask him if he could do anything to introduce policies to make new housing developments better for wildlife. I'll let you know what he says!

I've got some more fundraising ideas that I'm working on but they're not really arranged fully so more on those when they are.

Today's haul - impressed the beach
was so clean :-)
I'm going to do my bit on plastic pollution. Our family is quite good with recycling but when we look at what's in the boxes when they're put out there's still quite a few things we could try not to use in the first place. We're trying really hard as a family to reduce our use of single-use plastic. I'm still litter picking, I'll pop dropped bottles and cans I see on my way to school in the bin and when I get to the beach like we did today I'm still doing #2minbeachcleans - well they last as long as we're out. I was really pleased that today at Saltburn it was quite hard to find much plastic.

Well that's a start for 2018. There will be a lot more to come. Please look out on my twitter, facebook and instagram - I'll be trying to share photos regularly from my newly organised collection (I'll try daily but I know what that involves :-)

Hope you enjoyed,