This weekend I have been staying at Cameron’s Cottage in the New Forest on a Wild New Forest camp and I have had so much fun!
On the Saturday, we were up early checking the moth traps we had set the night before, and spent a bit of time identifying and photographing all of the different species we had caught!
Then we went for a nice long wander through the forest stopping and looking at the hundreds of different species of fungi that we found! Some of my favourites were Porcelains, White Saddle, Oysterlings and of course Fly Agarics!
In the afternoon, we went down to a lake and a meadow where we had a BioBlitz competition! My team recorded 134 species in an hour including many fungi species, a few birds, a toad, a few different trees and some insects! It was really fun to learn more about the different species 🍄🦆
In the afternoon, we went on another fungi hunt in a different part of the forest and found lots more species including Dark Saddle, Amethyst Deciever and Puffballs – the variety that we found is just incredible!
We spent the evening playing Bird Bingo and SOS card game which was actually created by Jackson a 15 year old who was also on the camp!
The next morning we were up early again checking moth traps before listening to a brilliant talk about Pine Martins in the New Forest and the data and camera trap footage looks really promising!
Then we set off on a walk up and around the moor guided by Andy Page, the head keeper for New Forest management for the Forestry Commission. It was really interesting to learn about the habitat management going on in the forest and all of the reasons behind it.
On our walk we saw lots of lovely birds including big flocks of Redwing going over, Dartford Warblers and Stonechats but the biggest highlight was seeing three Goshawks!!!
And of course we also saw lots more fungi including Nail Fungus, Honey fungus and Holly Parachute!
I had such an incredible weekend meeting new like minded people and exploring more of the New Forest! A big thank you to the Cameron Bespolka Trust and Wild New Forest for making this all happen! 💚