– Where to enjoy wildlife across Cambridgeshire –
As the warmth of summer grips the county of Cambridgeshire, it is the perfect time to spend time exploring and playing in the great outdoors.
Here are 10 very different outdoor adventures for the whole family to enjoy. Each one has been selected by the New Life on the Old West team and their project partners – we’d love to hear if you enjoy them as much as we do.
- Join in with the Great Butterfly Count run by the Butterfly Conservation Society. Between Friday 15th July and Sunday 7th August choose a place to spot butterflies and moths. Watch for 15 minutes then record which species you see on the special App from the Apple Store or Google Play.
- Visit Kingfishers Bridge Nature Reserve for their open weekend 16-17th July. Sited near to Wicken Fen, you will be amazed by the wildlife you can spot! Will you be able to find the reserve’s grazing Asian Water Buffalo?
- Ditch the bed and sleep outdoors. Lie awake and listen to the wildlife that prefers the nighttime. You’ll experience many wonderful new things that you would not have noticed from indoors – and could even see a bat swirling above you or spot a shooting star! Choose to sleep under the stars, in a tent or even on a trampoline!
- Visit Wicken Fen to see the dragonflies. It is one of the best places in the UK to see up to 24 different species including the Emperor and the Red Eyed damselfly. On a warm summer’s day these colourful insects can be seen performing their aerobatic flying displays along the waterways and ditches.
- Join us at one of our Open For Nature days on Friday 29th July in Rampton or Wednesday 10th August in Over. Each event is packed full of information and activities about the wildlife in our area. Talk to wildlife experts from a number of conservation societies and meet characters from the past who will share stories about how they helped (or hindered) the countryside around us.
- Take a stroll around a Cambridgeshire village. Visit Over, Rampton, Wicken, Aldreth or Little Thetford to explore the wildlife living in these villages. Use our handy walking guides for details – and don’t forget to visit the local shops and hostelries for sustenance!
- Get creative with the nature around you. Collect leaves, dip in paint and make your own masterpiece. What other natural materials make great prints? If you don’t want to get messy simply lay out your materials to make a collage or string them together to make a necklace or crown.
- Learn some knots and build a raft! It can be as big or as small as you like! Twigs make a great base: lash these together and float a leaf or stone down the river or on a bowl of water in your back garden. Whilst you are playing with water, think about leaving a shallow bowl of water available for thirsty birds and mammals. Remember to add a flat rock or simple platform to the bowl to allow smaller mammals to get in and out of the bowl safely.
- Conduct a 10-minute pollinator survey in your garden or local green space. Use sticks or rope to create a 50x50cm square. Watch this for 10 minutes and record the number of insects which land on a target flower such as lavender, white clover, knapweed or buddleia. Visit the UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme website for videos, further instructions and a PDF to help you identify pollinators. Remember to fill in their survey too!
- Capture the essence of Summer. We love seeing your photos of the Cambridgeshire countryside! Share them with us using the hashtag #newlifeoldwest or email them to us at email@example.com. Remember to keep any eye out for our next photo competition!
We hope that you all have fun together whilst learning more about the flora and fauna found on our doorstep. Enjoy spending time in nature.