What, or more specifically, who is a naturalist? The word makes you think of old men in checkered shirts, oily skin hats and green padded coats, and to some degree this is still true. Many of those you will meet at places such as ‘Birdfair’ will fit this description. Ever increasingly however there are ‘young folk’ entering the field, raised on a diet of David Attenbourgh and ever increasing environmental awareness. But for all the environmental courses springing up, there is nothing quite like getting out into the field, getting dirt under your nails and twigs in your hair and experiencing wildlife for yourself. ‘In the field’ does not necessarily mean some far flung corner of the world, clinging onto side of a volcano or trekking though tangled jungle. The field can be your own garden, a local park or heath-land. Some of the best amature naturalists I know have one particular spot they come back to all year round. This return visiting means that you can become a specialist in you patch, knowing all there is to know about it, from where Robbins nest to special plants that only come out a few days of the year.
This is my blog about trying to learn more about the natural world, both visiting my local area and finding new ones as I travel.