Even those of us who already knew what an amazing place Ebbor Gorge is were thrilled by the walks put on by Natural England at their open day in October. Apart from the wildlife and spectacular scenery of this ‘Cheddar Gorge in miniature’ right on our doorstep, the caves and rock shelters give insight into our prehistoric past.
Dr Danielle Schreve has been excavating a cave in the gorge that is proving to be one of the most important records of the British Ice Age, finding a mammal record from arctic lemming to giant bear, with a continuous record through the late Ice Age that is unrivalled in Britain. She is on the point of discovering evidence of our earliest ancestors. The scandal is that this important work depends on grants and runs on a shoe string, literally just three or four thousand pounds for a whole season. Next year’s excavation is under threat unless she can find a benefactor. If anyone out there knows of an organisation, or individual, who would like their name associated with such important work I can put you in touch. My email is
Feed the Birds!
Wildlife Hints: So many of us get a wonderful boost from seeing wild birds in our gardens, and now is the time of year, with shorted foraging hours and less natural food, when birds become much more dependent on us.
Put out a variety of food, for seed and insect eaters - not white bread! Space it out so that the more aggressive ones don’t take it all. Clean your bird table and bird bath as often as you can – there are some nasty avian diseases going around and whole bird populations can be locally wiped out by just one infected bird. (I use just boing water and a scrubbing brush). Only put out sufficient for the day and clear any excess before dark - even if you are fascinated by nocturnal small mammals your neighbours may not!
Lastly: Birds will become accustomed to feeding in your garden, and if the supply suddenly vanishes – when you are away for a short Christmas break for instance - they will be in a desperate situation. Arrange for someone to carry on feeding while you are away.
Good Bird watching!