Great Expectations

It’s Winter here. And with that comes many opportunities. So, instead of New Year’s Resolutions (and it’s a bit late for those now) what we thought is share with you the things we are looking forward to doing over the coming couple of months.
map and compass

PAUL – This year I would like to further develop my navigation skills and do some longer walks over open terrain. So far we have mainly concentrated on developing the core skills with navigation exercises around woodland, following a set route to easily identifiable points usually no more than a kilometre away at the most. This has been invaluable as a learning exercise but I would like to expand upon that.
badger sett

I would also like to improve my tracking ability, or rather, I would like to be able to better distinguish between different ‘signs’ I discover. I guess the ultimate goal of this is not only to better understand what has been there before, but to enable me to observe more wildlife. Top of that list would be to watch badgers as I have never seen a live badger in the wild.
snowy woods
Stephen – What I am looking to do over the coming year is build natural shelters, ones themed and associated with the time of year. Therefore, I’m hoping for a good flurry of snow so I can build a quinze. A quinze is a shelter made from compacted snow and then hollowed out.

Over the last year I’ve found myself getting more and more interested in nature photography, so getting some decent wildlife shots is also an aim.

Foraging is also is a perennial interest, and Winter is a good time for coastal foraging, but as the season comes to an end and Spring starts then early greens start coming out so I’d like to see what I can find and maybe start a database of what is available, and where, locally. This is also the time of year to hone one’s tree identification – without leaves it’s a chance to see what you know and what you don’t.
sweet chestnut

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