First Wild Sherston weekend welcomed by sunshine

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: TV presenter Miranda Krestovnikoff with Phil Dampier from the RSPB, Scrumpy the barn owl and organiser Geoff Carss TV presenter Miranda Krestovnikoff with Phil Dampier from the RSPB, Scrumpy the barn owl and organiser Geoff Carss

Mother nature brought along the sunshine as families celebrated all that the natural world has to offer as part of the first Wild Sherston event at the weekend.

From the bat walk and snail racing to clay crafts and numerous talks on animals and their habitats, the event near Malmesbury offered plenty for all the family and nature enthusiasts alike.

Organiser Geoff Carss said: “We had sublime weather; you couldn’t have wished for any better.

“It was a really good weekend.

“A lot of people went to alot of time and trouble, from the parents to the societies and it was fantastic.”

Among the speakers and guests attending was TV presenter and RSPB president Miranda Krestovnikoff and BBC Radio Four science correspondent Kelvin Boot.

Children in particular were taught about the vast array of butterflies, bats, bees and birds on our ‘doorstep’ helping to boost their enthusiasm for the great outdoors.

Mr Carss highlighted how he came about the idea for the event after hearing about the Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD).

“NDD is about children not getting out and about enough so they become distracted and disruptive at school and so I thought we needed to do something about it,” he added.

“We had so many children there and the parents really got stuck in.

“One of the most popular things was the snail racing.”

Oak and Furrows Rescue Centre, Wiltshire Ornithological Society, Avon Bat Group and Bristol Avon Rivers Trust were among those represented throughout the event.

For children there were also nature trails, face painting, a bouncy castle, a photographic competition and the chance to meet some animals.

It is not yet clear whether the event will run again but Mr Carss said that they were able to take alot from the day.

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“Some interesting things that came out of it, for example, is that there are a few things we can do with the river to improve the habitat for the animals, that sort of thing,” he said.

Nest boxes provided for the elderly and those unable to leave their homes to put was also an idea after it was trialled locally and proved a huge success.

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