garden ponds garden pools garden wildlife natural pest control Shropshire South Shropshire wildlife Winter Gardening

Young naturalists visit Avocet

We recently hosted a visit to our garden by students from our local school, who came to look at how we garden with wildlife in mind, how we attract wildlife of all sorts and create a balanced ecosystem. We all had a great time!

We began by looking at our live moth trap that had been in operation overnight. We studied the wide variety of moths that inhabit our garden overnight and slowly released them after encouraging each student to let a moth or two sit on their hands. Our overnight trapping was most successful with hundreds caught, with dozens of different species from the smallest micro moth up to our largest hawk moth. All were successfully released unharmed.


This Poplar Hawk Moth took a real liking to this young lady and stayed on her face for the whole visit. She even named him Steve!


We then enjoyed giving a guided tour of our patch, starting in the front garden and slowly moving through the whole patch, looking for plants that attract wild and identifying why and seeking out wildlife habitats and home made features.


A quick pond dip and the students were delighted to meet one of our frogs, a really impressive large one.

We then moved into the front garden and began a tour of our plot when we pointed out how we attract wildlife to our garden, highlighting plants that attract pollinators and all our home-made features, such as insect hotels and bird boxes. There was then time for a break when we all enjoyed tea, coffee and some of Jude’s home-made cakes. This was followed by a quiet time when the students explored the garden on their own and recorded what they had experienced in words and drawings.


The group had target pollinator species to find and several were found and identified during the morning including this Marmalade Hoverfly, in its orange and black striped pyjamas.

All too soon it was time for the group to leave us and wander down the road to board their coach, with a request to come again. We enjoyed the big waves we received as the bus drove off.



By greenbenchramblings

A retired primary school head teacher, I now spend much of my time gardening in our quarter acre plot in rural Shropshire south of Shrewsbury. I share my garden with Jude my wife a newly retired teacher , eight assorted chickens and a plethora of wildlife. Jude does all the heavy work as I have a damaged spine and right leg. We also garden on an allotment nearby. We are interested in all things related to gardens, green issues and wildlife.

6 replies on “Young naturalists visit Avocet”

We will never forget opening your moth trap a few years ago. All of these amazing creatures which are so finely camouflaged we probably walk pass many every day but wouldn’t know. It should be part of every child’s education .

Comments are closed.