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Nature a la Carte

So we’ve had the aperitif and the starter, the initial burst of Spring followed by the excitement of life breaking out across our natural world (a bit wet this year though bringing on an exuberance of life and colour). Now it’s the main course, with new life already on the wing or discovering its place in the waterways, the fields, the hedgerows.

Second or third broods are waiting in their nests and burrows and nature’s myriad colours are coming to their full glory. Just now it’s the Purples exploding: Knapweed, thistles, Burdock, Red Clover, Purple Loosestrife and many more are all out around this time.

Dessert, of course, follows inexorably. Already the Nightingales, Nightjars and adult Cuckoos are heading south, with the rest of our summer visitors building up reserves for their mass departure in September.

Enjoy it all while you can! Take time to stand still and revel in it. Visit some of our local still wild places – our own Harris Woodbridge Reserve, Battlemead, the National Trust Commons, the Bisham and neighbouring woods. And learn more on one of our WildCookham walks (see the links below).

And there are specific things to do – with lots of them just the thing to keep holiday children engaged. There are still a plenty of weeks left in the year for anyone wishing to start garden moth surveying (contact us at to find out how). More than half our butterfly species are still on the wing (explore Maidenhead Thicket for them) and it’s one of the best times of the year to create a garden pond ready for next season (lots of online advice and videos). And don’t forget the wild fruits in the countryside: don’t let those blackberries go to waste.

And, while you get out and about, realise we are losing it too rapidly. 15% of all UK species of life are under threat of extinction. Many more have suffered catastrophic declines – up to 95% in recent decades. We know who has caused it, so, as we enjoy the wonders of nature around us this summer, pause to think about how we can change our behaviours to ensure that our grandchildren can enjoy it too.

WildCookham’s Facebook page is a great place to see our local wildlife - and to add your own images, discoveries and questions. And see upcoming events on our website and on Meetup.

And, if you get this in time, don't forget to register for your Wild About Gardens Award - before 31st July .

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