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Posts Tagged ‘wildlife project’

All of our family are passionate about wildlife and have been watching  Springwatch avidly over the last 3 weeks, on one of their programmes they were encouraging people to take part in a survey to monitor the Hedgehog population by putting food in a friendly ‘trap’ this reminded me of the project that myself and Thomas did in February to detect whether we had mice in the greenhouse.

Most winters mice take up residence in my greenhouse there are many potential nesting places amongst the empty compost bags, fleeces and plant pots/seed trays, one year I even found a nest in the middle of a large ball of string it was very cute, although I love all creatures great and small mice can be very messy and smelly, they are definitely not toilet trained and have been known to nibble my young seedlings, so during the school holidays for a bit of fun we made a Mouse detector.

How to make a Mouse Detector

What you will need

  • A Plastic Pipe (minimum 30cm long, 7cm diameter)
  • or a Cardboard box (minimum base size 30cm x 20cm)
  • or an open ended narrow Wood Tunnel – see picture below (if you know somebody handy in DIY)
  • White paper
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Poster paint (non-toxic)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Tasty snacks – Peanut Butter/Chocolate/Bird Seed Mixture

mammal detector 1

How to make your detector

  1. Thomas’s dad made a wood tunnel using off-cuts and with a removable top (although this is not necessary) it measured approx. 40 x 15 x 15cm externally.
  2. Cut your white paper to fit in the bottom of your detector.
  3. If you are using a cardboard box cut two small holes at opposite sides of the box at ground level.
  4. Cut two small pieces of greaseproof paper to fit across your openings at least 4cm deep and glue or staple down.
  5. Mix your poster paint with an equal amount of vegetable oil and brush generously onto the greaseproof paper.
  6. Place your tasty snacks in the centre of the sheet of paper.
  7. If you are using a plastic pipe or wood tunnel staple the greaseproof pieces at either ends of your paper, apply your paint, put your snacks in the centre of the sheet and slide carefully into the pipe/tunnel.
  8. Place your traps at the bottom of a wall, fence or hedge before you go to bed at night, any visitors tempted by the food will walk through the paint and leave their footprints on your paper, we found that it is a good idea to place sheets of paper on the outside of your trap (if the ground is flat) as the mice will walk through the paint again before leaving, use a cardboard box on dry evenings or inside a greenhouse/shed/outbuilding as they are not waterproof.

Mouse prints

We indeed did have mice, they were nesting in some old bird boxes that were being stored in the greenhouse I temporarily blocked the holes up with some old socks whilst I moved the bird boxes complete with mice to a corner of my allotment, unfortunately my kindness has back fired I think that the hungry mice have been helping themselves to my newly sown peas as very few have germinated!

Have fun and love your environment

Gill

 

 

 

 

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Here at Gardening With Children, we care deeply about our environment as well as our wildlife, and during the winter months I have had such fun with my own children watching the birds in our garden.  

Try Gourmet Robin Food in your garden and give this favourite bird a real treat

The children’s sheer delight as the drama of the bird world unfolds…  The blue tits and great tits swapping and changing on the nut feeders, the blackbirds exploring the ground, the cautious wren hopping amongst the flower pots and the swooping in of the starlings – a boisterous mob of tear aways coming in and causing chaos… and that’s all in a few minutes!  

The Niyger Bird Feeder is great for all sorts of seed feeding birds

 …And yesterday I shared a joke with Jemima as we watched a pied wagtail perched on the wall.  As it teetered and bobbed, wagging its tail to keep balance we soon saw where it got it’s name!! 

Birds need our help more than ever at this time of year and we have also been feeding the birds at school.  This provides a fantastic learning experience for the children, and handy feeders such as the Discovery Seed Feeder and the Window Bird Feeder can be placed where the children can see so much of the action from inside the classroom. 

 

We also love the Handing Bird Table  and the Ground Bird Table.  Both are priced at just £13.95 and are made from FSC wood.  Bird tables are important in any garden.  They reduce the risk of hygiene problems, can be easily cleaned and they keep pets out of reach.  They are also perfect for gardens where space is limited. 

 

The full range of wildlife products, from for Hedgehog Food to Peanut Cakes and beautiful Birch Nesting Boxes, are all available at www.recycleworks.co.uk

 

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