Wildlife resolutions for 2015

Small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)At the start of 2014, I decided to set myself a series of nature-related ‘challenges’ to help me get outside and see more wildlife over the year. You can read more on my blog ‘Nature Quest: discovering nature in 2014‘ or on the individual Nature Quest blogs listed on my wildlife posts page.

The challenges were really a series of ‘wildlife resolutions’ for the year ahead, and included species I particularly wanted to see, places I wanted to visit, seasonal spectacles I didn’t want to miss, and general ideas for ways to connect with nature.

Snowdrops Friendly woodpigeon, Slimbridge Dozens of wild birds coming in for a feed, Slimbridge

I didn’t have as much time as I wanted over the year to write about how the challenges went, but I did manage to report back on my experiences of watching winter wildfowl, listening to the dawn chorus and brushing up on my butterflies. Other successful challenges included spotting species such as nightingales, turtle doves, badgers, dormice and puffins, making sure I squelched in plenty of mud and swished through autumn leaves, starting on some new wildlife art, looking out for animal tracks and signs, and visiting some new reserves. I also went owl and bat watching, visited seabird colonies, canoed down a river, defied bad weather, went fossil hunting and learned some tree, wildflower and fungi ID.

Badger, Dorset Liz canoeing on the River Wye

Wildlife resolutions for 2015

So, it’s been a wildlife-packed year, though I still have a long list of things I want to see and do!

I’ve enjoyed setting myself some ‘wildlife goals’, and would like to challenge YOU to have a go in 2015. Why not set yourself some of your own nature-related challenges? Call them resolutions, challenges, goals or whatever you like – they could be anything from being a bit more environmentally friendly to getting outside more (also recommended for burning off the Christmas calories!), planning a visit to a particular reserve or setting yourself a full-scale mission to track down a rare species.

You could follow your local patch over the year, or perhaps use the next 12 months to turn your garden into a wildlife haven. And don’t forget to put the next national Garden Bioblitz in your diary for the 30th-31st May!

Buttercups and wildflowers in local patch Local patch in frost

Garden ponds Puffin with nest material

To help you out with making some New Year’s wildlife resolutions, I’ve put together a free downloadable ticklist that you are welcome to print out and fill in with your own ideas for 2015. I’d love to hear how you get on!

You can download the sheet here:

(Please note: you are welcome to download and modify these sheets, and to share them with others, but please don’t distribute them as your own and please do leave my name and website on them. Thanks!)

All that remains is to wish you all a happy, wildlife-filled 2015!

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