Going 'flipping' wild in Wiltshire

'Pancake day' marked the beginning of the new block of activities for our West and North Wiltshire Wellbeing group – and what a day it was, experiencing in one day almost everything the programme has to offer from a nice nature walk to practical work and a warming cuppa in good company.

All in a day's work

The weather couldn't have been nicer as we arrived at Roundway Orchard in Devizes on what was the last day of the meteorological winter. It was a bright and sunny morning, if a little chilly, so there was no better way to start the day's activities than with a walk around nearby Drew's Pond Nature Reserve to warm ourselves up.

There we were greeted by a late display of snowdrops adorning the slopes of the reserve, and the clusters of yellow flowers crowning the Cornelian cherry trees dotted along the path. Those with keen eyes spotted the tiny anemone-like red flowers on hazel which had started to emerge, and which later in the year will develop and mature into hazelnuts, as well as a buzzard soaring overhead probably looking for its next meal.

Following the stroll it was time for a biscuit and a cuppa before getting down to the business of the day which was clearing the branches that had been pruned in previous weeks and with them creating new wood piles to make suitable habitats for insects and small mammals. In the meantime, staff members Chelsie and Gina built a makeshift stove and got the fire going to cook pancakes in time for lunch with the homemade mixture Chelsie had prepared earlier.

It was while we were having our lunch and enjoying the pancakes that the heavens opened; however, there was no danger of the downpour dampening the group's spirits, though the same cannot be said for our sandwiches and said pancakes! Standing around in the rain, with our hoods up, there were still smiles all round as we all simply enjoyed the moment and each other's company.

The rain did not last for long and after our break for lunch and our delicious pancakes we finished the day's activity with a walk to a nearby area where Chelsie set up three cameras outside badger setts.

Caught on camera!

The following day Chelsie and Gina went back to see if the cameras had recorded any activity, and we are delighted to reveal that they did! The exciting footage was shared with the group the following week.

The aim of the Wellbeing Programme is to improve people's mental wellbeing. If you feel you would benefit from joining the programme, or know someone who might benefit, do get in touch with us on 01380 736098 or email wellbeing@wiltshirewildlife.org.