Part of BBC Learning’s Summer of Wildlife – 6 & 7 July
The BBC Tees team are teaming up with RSPB Saltholme to encourage more people to get outside and discover just how much wildlife there is in the local area.
The wildlife reserve and discovery park, near Middlesbrough, is hosting an event, which will include plenty of activities to get families and individuals closer to nature and will provide opportunities to see all kinds of wildlife on the reserve. On Saturday 6 July, Adrian Pitches from BBC 1 Look North, will be giving a series of illustrated talks about the variety of wildlife filming he has done for regional BBC TV’. On Sunday 7, BBC Tees will be broadcasting a live radio show from the event.
Liz Morgan, marketing officer at Saltholme said: “The reserve is buzzing with life at the moment. Visitors will be able to enjoy the antics of our many different birds as they rush around raising their families, and there are butterflies fluttering around in our wildlife garden, dragonflies emerging from our ponds, and seals lazing about nearby on Greatham Creek.
“Families will have the opportunity to get closer to some of these creatures; especially those found lurking in our ponds, by using one of our pond dipping kits. We want to show people how we are giving nature a home here at Saltholme and hopefully inspire them to go home and make space for nature in their own gardens.”
There will also be a sheep-y theme to the weekend’s celebrations as Saltholme’s sheep will be getting their annual haircut. Sheep are a vital part of Saltholme’s land management team.
Dave Braithwaite, Site Manager at Saltholme, said: “Our sheep play an essential role in helping to create habitats for other wildlife on the reserve. By grazing, they help to keep our grassland habitats just right for all kinds of plants and animals to flourish.
“Certain species like Lapwing and Redshank will only nest here if the grass is short enough. These birds have chicks on the reserve at the moment and if visitors are lucky enough they might be able to catch a glimpse of them.”
The Durham Guild of Spinners weavers and dyers will also be attending to demonstrate how fleeces are then turned into wool. Through craft activities and trails, visitors can find out how wool and fleece are used by both people and wildlife.
Saltholme are running a sheep craft competition in conjunction with the event. For the chance to win some great wildlife experiences and some BBC prizes, children can enter the competition by downloading an instruction pack from www.rspb.org.uk/saltholme.
The sheep shearing event and all related activities will run from 10am – 5pm over the weekend. The event is likely to be very popular, so it is recommended that visitors arrive early in the day to ensure space on each activity and so that you can enjoy a full day of fun!
Entry to the reserve will be FREE during the event. There will be a small fee (£2) for certain activities e.g. crafts. RSPB members can take part in all activities for free!
RSPB Saltholme is just one of many local and national wildlife organisations who are running entertaining events and amazing activities across the country to support the BBC’s Summer of Wildlife.
Summer of Wildlife is a season of BBC wildlife programmes co-commissioned by BBC Learning accompanied by fun events, online activities and learning resources. Programmes include Springwatch, and new to Daytime, Springwatch in the Afternoon, along with Wild for CBBC, Britain’s Big Wildlife Revival and The Burrowers plus many more special programmes across BBC TV, Radio and Online.
People can take part in citizen science projects; complete wildlife challenges; watch unique footage on the website and learn tips and techniques to discover wildlife; join in live discussions online and via Twitter and Facebook; download the Summer of Wildlife Handbook (also available at this event) and send in their own photographs of UK wildlife.
For more information on this event, and to find out how to enter the sheepy craft competition, visit www.rspb.org.uk/saltholme or call 01642 546625. To learn more about how to get involved in the Summer of Wildlife and find local events being run by partner wildlife organisations go to bbc.co.uk/summerofwildlife.