Whether it is a glimpse of a roe deer while walking the dog, or a hedgehog seen foraging in the garden, these small wildlife encounters are often the highlight of our day.
Usually we enjoy the moment and then share our experience with others. But what if we could take these encounters further by filming the wildlife living in the local area, and keeping the community and schools updated with what our furry neighbours are up to?
This is exactly what the Windows on Wildlife Project (WoW), based in Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park, has been doing for the last 15 months. Using a number of trail cameras dotted around a loch and in the woods this project, run by Project Officer Hayley Douglas, provides weekly updates on otters, badgers, foxes and a range of other animals and birds.
It’s not just the fascinating footage, which you can watch for yourself, on the project Facebook page www.facebook.com/WindowsonwildlifeatClydeMuirshiel or on the YouTube playlist www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL61Fcf_1kvrIht_GwS08jUpNvCNBHJ-iF which makes this project unique. Hayley works very closely with schools where she runs workshops where pupils learn about digital photography, particularly macro-photography.
The pupils research wildlife that has been caught on camera and are encouraged to use cameras as a form of biological recording. So far 80 of these workshops have been delivered with the next round due to start in the summer term. The project also delivers an event-packed programme which has included ‘Otter Spotter’ walks and ‘Badger Watches’ within the Regional Park. There has even been the opportunity for people to come along and enrol as a ‘wildlife spy’ where they learn about setting up the cameras as well as small mammal trapping and tracking.
Whether she’s following the dramas of life in the badger sett or organising schools it’s enough to keep Hayley busy, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. If you would like to find out more about the project you can either look at the links mentioned above or contact Hayley on firstname.lastname@example.org
The WoW project is jointly funded by LEADER Renfrewshire and the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the wider Semple Trail Heritage Project being delivered by Renfrewshire Council and Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park.
The project gratefully acknowledges the help of a dedicated number of volunteers who help to collect and edit the many hours of footage that has been gathered.