Friday, 29 February 2008
Thursday, 28 February 2008
Wednesday, 27 February 2008
Tuesday, 26 February 2008
Monday, 25 February 2008
Earwigs vary in size from 1/2-1" in length, they are brown to black in color. Species may be winged or wingless. Only a few species are good fliers. The body terminates in a pair of forceps. These forceps or pincers are the earwig's most distinctive characteristic. The forceps are used in capturing prey and mating. Earwigs are omnivorous, feeding on a variety of food. They will eat live or dead insects as well as live or decaying vegetation.
Earwigs are nocturnal. During the day they will be found in moist shady places, under wood piles, stones, boards, compost piles, flower beds, and other secluded locations. When earwigs migrate indoors, they hide in cracks and crevices around the floor and other locations. They may be found in potted plants and cut flowers
Sunday, 24 February 2008
Now you might be forgiven for thinking that Lee is a bit of a firebug.. but he's not.. burning the Heather is an important job. In Scotland, heather burning is referred to as Muirburn and in the south-west of England it is called Swaling but it means the same.
The burning of heather is an important management and conservation tool, it improves the condition of moorland. Without burning, heather can become rank and has little interest to moorland birds or grazing livestock. In many areas, the management of moorland for grouse provides an example of how burning improves the productivity of moorland areas for sporting, conservation and farming interests.
On a lighter note, Tom's misses Jane is first in the queue when it comes to having your very own Lady Chatterley's Lover. Jane said he dose not need those flames behind him to look hot.... ha! what Lee should be worried about is that Tom agreed.. ha!.
Friday, 22 February 2008
Thursday, 21 February 2008
Wednesday, 20 February 2008
One of the tools of the trade, a trusty Land Rover. Notice the rail above the cab, and the lamp. These would be put to good use when out at night culling the local fox population. Look at that snow as well... I would think that Lee and men like him are out in all weathers doing this job. They will be working from dawn till dusk at this time of the year, and then out at night again lamping. Then in the early hours the phone might ring and someone as spotted a poacher, he can't just rollover and deal with it in the morning.. I should think Lee and others like him certainly earn their corn.
Tuesday, 19 February 2008
Highlands. Moorland environments provide a perfect habitat with an abundance of short, pioneer heather for feeding, and longer more mature heather for shelter and protection from predators. Highest densities of mountain hares are found on moors managed for grouse where the burning produces different aged stands of heather ideal for both hares and grouse.
The diet of mountain hare is variable depending on the available vegetation. If possible the Hares will feed on grasses during the summer and switch to a heather-dominated diet during winter. Other vegetation that features in their diet are rushes, sedges, blueberry, gorse, the bark and low twigs from trees.
The mountain hare is not a managed game species, but at times large numbers are shot. Lee tells me this cull was needed as the hares were doing so well on the local moors he managers and numbers had swelled in the last two seasons. This amount might seem large until you think of the acreage involved. A mountain Hare can also eat a third in a day of what a moorland sheep can. More from Lee the Game Keeper tomorrow.
Monday, 18 February 2008
From an early age Lee was interest in nature and wildlife, when the chance came to follow up this interest he jumped at the chance and I don't think he as looked back since.
These are some of the views Lee sees one a daily basis while going about his job as a game keeper . To many, a Gamekeeper is someone who is an indiscriminate destroyer of wildlife, providing sport for a privileged few. In fact the case of the modern gamekeeper, could be not be further from the truth. Lee grew up with a great knowledge of nature and wildlife and now he living the dream. I have a few pictures to show which Lee as kindly sent me... some do show the outcome of a hunt/cull but I'll post them again with an explanation of the whys and whyfors.
Sunday, 17 February 2008
Saturday, 16 February 2008
Friday, 15 February 2008
Thursday, 14 February 2008
Wednesday, 13 February 2008
Our native Mountain or Blue hare is smaller than the introduced brown hare, it as a more rounded shape and without a black upper surface on the tail. Mountain hares also have shorter ears and legs than the brown hare. In summer, they have grey/black coats, and in winter they are partly, or completely white as the two above. These moult twice a year - in late autumn, and again in the spring when they lose their winter coat.
The red grouse is a medium-sized game bird. It has a plump body with a short tail and a tiny hook tipped bill. It is reddish-brown, its legs and feet are covered in pale feathers. These birds breed in the moorlands and are resident all year round. The best place to see this bird is on upland heather moors, when it suddenly rockets up from the heather when disturbed to fly off with fast-whirring wingbeats.
Tuesday, 12 February 2008
Peter as not done all of this route yet, but plans are being made for him and others to do it this year. It's a 270-mile walk that will take him from the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire along the Pennine ridge through to the Yorkshire Dales, up into Northumberland, and then across the Cheviots, setting him down in the Scottish Borders..
This stone pathway below is part of the Pennine way footpath