Wildlife adventure ideas for children and families

  • I have just re-joined this community after a gap of about 10 years so sorry, just seen your post.

    What a brilliant idea. I will look up your videos.

    I always enjoy pond dipping, there are an amazing number of little critters in a pond! My great-nieces love to do this when they visit in summer and they can learn such a lot. I would think it would be fairly straightforward to film....please bear in mind I have no experience with making a video so may be writing rubbish here. :-D

    I was so chuffed to "discover" caddisfly larva in my own pond before i knew the species existed. I knew very little about pond creatures when we dug it 20 years ago. One summer, on a completely still, sunny day, I was sitting watching the pond and I saw this little stick or stem which seemed to be moving under its own steam. I thought I was seeing things but after studying it carefully for quite a while, decided i was not delusional. Eventually I saw a little wiggly worm on the end of it. Anyway, to my great satisfaction, I looked it up and found it was caddisfly larva.

    We also have great diving beetles and I saw them mating once. The larvae are large, fearsome-looking beasts, with big, biting jaws: they look a bit like pale brown, underwater Devil's Coach Horses. I found one of the larva on the path by the pond where the cat was sniffing round it and tapping it with her paw. I assume she flicked it out of the pond onto the path. This insect actually appeared to be 'standing up' to the cat, very impressive. I put it safely back in the pond although I didn't like them eating my tadpoles..

    I used to rescue most of the frogspawn and raised the tadpoles in tanks, feeding them boiled lettuce. One year I released over 300 small frogs around the pond. We have newts but sadly no frogs this year. I also once fed a poor young heron. It was starving one harsh winter and I spotted it feebly tapping the ice covering the pond. I only had tinned sardines but put them out and within minutes, the heron returned and gobbled it up. For the next couple of weeks I left white De-frosted fish out for it and it came every day.

    Sorry for babbling on but ponds are fantastic.