I’ve noticed the leaves on the trees are turning brown – it can only mean one thing………
Goodbye summer, hello autumn!
We camped in The New Forest for a few days and it’s just the most special place. It has a really unique habitat, with a vast range of plants and wildlife. There’s bracken, gorse and lowland heath; the ground is drier and sandy and it’s definitely a lot hotter than Manchester, the heath is different than our moorland heath. There’s nowhere in the country like it, where you can drive all the way by busy motorway and come straight off and “bang” you’re in the middle of ancient woodland.
We stayed at a Forestry Commission Campsite called Roundhill, where you are surrounded by trees, like pine, crab apple and silver birch. It made me wonder what jobs and tasks are involved in managing the landscape. I think I’d like to run a campsite in the New Forest it’s such a relaxing and calm place.
Camping in the New Forest is perfect for a nature nerd like me; there’s wild horses, donkeys and cows roaming through all the time. It’s always best to watch them at a distance and to never feed them – a cow told my mum to moooove out of the way and we watched some donkeys absolutely trash an empty open tent that must have had food left in it.
There’s a big pond near reception with the biggest carp in; me and my mate Jamie fed them most mornings with some bread. You never get bored in The New Forest – we made up a game called pine cone tennis and went for plenty of wildlife walks and bike rides.
The New Forest Reptile Centre
The New Forest Reptile Centre is a must if you are in the area. All you have to pay for is the car park and you can walk and enjoy a picnic there too. You can see all of Britain’s reptiles in one place; adders, grass snakes, smooth snakes, lizards, frogs and toads all displayed in separate open air netted pens living in their natural environment.
There’s some great bird feeders and info on birds such as goshawks. Check out the bleeding heart on this tree!
I visited Monkey World as a treat for my birthday, it was awesome. I was really happy with the welfare of the animals as they had a massive amount of space in their enclosures and loads of stuff to keep them stimulated and happy. Jethro is a saki monkey he was very friendly and apparently loved humans, but unfortunately not his mate. He kept sticking his tongue out.
The lemurs were very very boingy and kept jumping everywhere. The gibbons were really friendly with humans and very nosey, they came right up to the window. The orang-utans were hilarious and really showed off, swinging about, at one point they looked like they would fly out of their enclosure. The marmosets had this really high pitched squeal and were really cute and tiny.
There was a really clear message to all, which I respect – No primates for pets!
We also camped in Swanage at one of our favourite sites in Britain – Harman’s Cross Campsite – it’s just awesome. I said to the owners I would give it a mention on my blog – ‘cos it’s just fantastic – and they are really nice people.
The campsite is all about the sunsets and steam trains! Whilst we were there we watched a Perseid meteor shower, where shooting stars blast through the night sky like fireworks and then there was this giant orange moon one night – wicked.
We visited Studland, Kimmeridge and Swanage beach, where I went swimming in crashing waves and crabbing; we had a right laugh
We travelled to Swanage via the steam train that operates there. Check out the station – look at how much trouble they go to with the beautiful planting. In the evenings they put on a diesel service and one night I got to sit up front with the driver as he pointed out places to look for deer – we travelled up and down the line for over an hour – it was so cool.
Birds – the spotting of the holiday – a hobby!!, red kite, kestrel, siskin, greenfinch, goldfinch, grey wagtail, pied wagtail, meadow pippet, linnet, terns, common sandpiper, stonechat, white fronted geese, wheatear
Mammals – In the New Forest there’s loads of wild horses, donkeys and cows. There’s rabbits, fallow, sika and roe deer and bats.
Reptiles – lizard. We saw a buzzard catching (we think) a slow worm
Insects – brimstone, red admiral, fritillary and peacock butterflies, dragonflies, beetles and lots of ants creating humongous nests
Fish/marine – wrass, goby, blennie, mullet fry, edible and shore crabs
Since returning from holiday I’ve been to the Harry Potter Studio Tour with my RHS bestie, Alana.
It was absolutely brilliant and I loved The Great Hall, where the music filled the air and you felt like you were spending your first year at Hogwarts and were awaiting which house you would be in !
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
For my birthday my Grandma Barbara took me to see Charlie and The Chocolate Factory in London – it was fantastic and I’ve sung the songs ever since. The best bit was when Violet Beauregarde exploded and the music was just beautiful
A summer wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Chatsworth. This visit we parked at Calton Lees and walked down to the river, where I couldn’t resist going for a paddle. Water is mesmerising and it had me captivated for over 2 hours!
My Mum told me all about the work Capability Brown did at Chatsworth some 300 years ago; read all about it here. It’s really important to know about Capability Brown as I’ve got something really special coming up!!!!
I’ve started High School this week and although I was a bit nervous I was also really excited. It was great and I’ve already spoke to the Head of Year 7 about starting a gardening club.
I’m looking forward to Mossley Community Centre’s Horticulture Show on Sunday 18th September, where I’m the junior judge. I’ll be handing out awards for the wonkiest veg, tasting home-made sweets and choosing the best bugs-life photo! If you live nearby why don’t you enter too