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Wildlife Watch - May 2012

Is this Devon or is this the mediterranean?! During the holidays I always like to escape home to visit my family. My parents run an organic beef and sheep farm on the North Devon coast, with a strong interest in conservation and work with the community. One of the things they do is a ‘Wildlife Watch Group’ in conjunction with Devon Wildlife Trust. They meet roughly once a month and carry out activities such as pond dipping, bat watching or hedgehog house-making. All great fun, but I have to admit the event in May was one of my favourites, not least because of the perfect clear blue sky that soared over us all day. We went down to Westward Ho! (the only place in the world with a ! in the name) and had an afternoon of building sand sculptures, rockpooling and learning about petrified forest. The sand sculptures were very imaginative, I particularly liked Holly’s shark coming out of the sand and we managed to find a really big fish and some crabs in the rockpools. It was interesting to hear Barry explain that under the beautiful beach is a forest, hundreds of years old, which has been preserved and is nearly as hard as rock. Some of it is protruding from the sand and being worn away, and sometimes you can see leaves on the beach. If you’re ever in the North Devon area I’d definitely recommend a visit to Westward Ho! or see what the Wildlife Watch Group are up to.