• Exploring the moors, come hail or shine!

    I don't know about you, but for me the brief glimpse of summer we had this weekend came as a seriously welcome respite from the seemingly never-ending winter! Just last week, the children of Haltwhistle Lower Community Campus had to deal with four seasons in one day including icy winds and actual hail and sleet up on the moors at Geltsdale.

    Despite the cold, the sun did manage to break through the clouds for brief…

    • 28 May 2013
  • Harriers and hailstones 2

    I saw lots of hailstones on the fell yesterday but not many harriers. No harriers in fact. In fact I’ve not seen a harrier all year.

    Now I should point out that I am not on the hill every day like Mick (Bowland Assistant Warden) but even Mick hasn't seen many. If this were a typical year (prior to 2012) I would be seeing harriers (plural) every time I go on the fell.

    Sadly, as the weeks tick by we are having to face…

    • 24 May 2013
  • Family fun at Newton Rigg

    It's Monday morning and I'm recovering from a fun, if slightly damp and muddy Sunday at Newton Rigg College's Countryside Day, near Penrith. There was plenty to see and do from all aspects of the countryside from den building to tractor rides, clay pigeon shooting to wildlife gardening, and I was there with an RSPB stall and my trusty hen harrier games and craft activities! A great opportunity to talk to a wide…

    • 13 May 2013
  • Ferocious predators

    Not many harriers about in Bowland I’m afraid to say but there were plenty of these around on the spring bank holiday 'In search of sky dancers' walk.


    This is the sun loving green tiger beetle or Cincindela campestris, which tells you something about the weather we enjoyed on the walk!

    I’d not seen one before coming to Bowland. Clearly I’d not been looking in the right places as they’re pretty common…

    • 9 May 2013
  • New Scottish initiative to record harriers

    The Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW) Scotland, have launched the Heads up for Harriers scheme - their own version of the Hen Harrier Hotline - and are appealing for members of the public to send in their sightings of hen harriers across Scotland. They have said:

    As the Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime (PAW Scotland) we want to stop all crime against wildlife. We are particularly determined…

    • 3 May 2013
  • Hopes

    Two months into my summer contract helping to monitor hen harriers on the Geltsdale reserve, it is hard to imagine a more enjoyable way to spend my working hours. With winter’s icy grip on the uplands loosened and spring struggling through, there is always something to admire. Early morning starts reveal the bubbling spectacle of black grouse strutting their stuff; shrill golden plover mark slow progress across rough…

    • 1 May 2013