My name is Ellie Micklewright and I’m a 18 year-old naturalist with a particular passion for wildlife gardening. I wanted to inspire more young people to get involved with nature and therefore started a wildlife gardening club at my school from scratch. Following my work to start this club, fundraise and design projects, I was amazed to be awarded the RHS Young School Gardener of the Year 2018.
My love for nature was encouraged from a very early age, as I was fell-walking before I could run! I still love to hike and enjoy seeing moorland waders and birds of prey, when I’m out and about. But the significant turning point in my enthusiasm and involvement in nature occurred when I attended the BTO Bird Camps at Thetford in 2017 and 2018, which were sponsored by the Cameron Bespolka Trust. I was astonished by the commitment of the other young birders and the huge differences they were already making in the conservation world. The camps also opened my eyes to a world of opportunities, including moth trapping, bird ringing and so much more. I'm now excited to say that I'm a trainee bird ringer with the BTO and have my T permit and I can't wait to see where this take me!
The camps helped motivate and give me the confidence to transform the school environment through our wildlife gardening club but also to join the BTO's Youth Advisory Panel. On YAP we have created a youth engagement strategy, recruited regional Youth Representatives and launched an Equipment Donation scheme and Teacher Panel. This experience led me to then also join the management committee of the Shropshire Ornithological Society.
I fully support the work of the Cameron Bespolka Trust as I’ve have experienced first-hand the benefits that an involvement in nature can bring to young people, including myself and the students at my wildlife gardening club. It is especially important to support a love of nature in as young people as we are the potential conservationists of the future.
As a part of the amazing ambassador weekend at Cameron's Cottage in the New Forest we did a bioblitz on site.
For the bioblitz we split into two teams and tried to record as many species as we could possibly find. This included plants in the woodland, birds flying overhead, mammals in the long grass, amphibians in the lake and insects in the marsh. It was a truely immersive and captivating activity where we paid attention to every species we could spot and tried to identify each one.
Category: Cameron's Cottage
Rewilding has become a buzzword in the conservation sector, which is gaining momentum and scientific support year on year. It is an umbrella term which encompasses the reintroduction of absent species and the handing over of ecosystems to natural processes for the aim of ecological restoration.
The methodology is highly debated and still developing but recent projects have shown that rewilding has the potential to mitigate flooding, store carbon and reinvigorate the dynamism of food chains. …
These beautiful hand made wildlife boxes were donated very kindly from the Cameron Bespolka Trust and create more wildlife habitats in our school environment.
The bug box and bird house create much needed shelter for urban wildlife and can encourage more wildlife into our school garden, helping to engage students more with the surrounding natural world. We also hope they will create vital nesting sites which we will be able to monitor in the future as we see new life develop! …
I have been running, with the help from a few friends, a wildlife gardening club at my school for nearly two years, which is surprising to me. Not because that seems a long time, but because when you have to juggle exams, holidays and generally being a teenager, 2 years can really fly by.
I think it’s amazing how much we’ve achieved in this short space of time as a group and I’m hoping that through this blog I can inspire other students and teachers to start a gardening club …