We are delighted to contiinue our sponsorship of the New Forest Wildlife Camp for a third year. The Wild New Forest chose the newly renovated Cameron’s Cottage as its venue for camp which ran from Friday 22 October to the Sunday.

The Trust has sponsored this event since its inception and it was wonderful to welcome this energetic group of teenagers to the Franchises Lodge RSPB reserve in the northern New Forest.

It was a jam packed weekend for the campers. The activities included everything from nocturnal wildlife hunts to bird ringing demonstrations. The campers were also able to set moth traps and to see how camera traps are set to capture nocturnal activity.  The camera traps yielded video footage of Fallow Deer, Grey Squirrel and Wood Mouse.

The Saturday afternoon bio blitz competition showed just how rich the area is in flora and fauna; the three teams recorded between 130 and 150 species, with highlights including Raft Spider, Wood Cricket and Palmate Newt.

Trustee, Corinne Cruickshank paid a visit to the cottage on the Saturday to give the attendees an inspiring speech about Cameron’s legacy and the vision for Cameron’s Cottage.

Andy Page, Head Keeper at Forestry England, joined the group on the Sunday walk and was able to talk about wildlife and woodland management and reveal some of the rich history of the area.

By the end of the camp the attendees had recorded nearly 100 species of fungi, 45 species of bird, over 30 species of moth, and numerous invertebrates, plants, and trees. It was great to see the group sharing experiences and enjoying each other’s company after what has been a tough couple of years due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Lou checking the corrugated iron sheets for sheltering reptiles and amphibians

Lou checking the corrugated iron sheets for sheltering reptiles and amphibians

Huge thanks to Nigel Jones, Andy Page, Andrew Colenutt and Helen Schneider for leading the activities and to Anneka and Lou from RSPB for their assistance at Cameron’s Cottage. To read a full report on the weekend please visit the Wild New Forest website

Examining Flora and Fauna on the night walk

Bug hunting at night

Details of the 2022 camp will be published soon.