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Read by Dave and Charley

Alderney Watch have a blonde hedgehog for their logo

Alderney Watch have a blonde hedgehog for their logo

WATCH is the junior part of the Wildlife Trusts where young aspiring ecologists can begin learning about and surveying the natural world.  In Alderney St Anne’s School pupils are all group members of Watch and their interests go far beyond gannets & puffins, important though these are to LIVE.  Here are some of the things four of them contribute to Watch.

I'm Harry.  We rescued a garden near the school, which had become a jungle, and turned it into a wildlife conservation area.

Harry and the team plan what to do in their rescued garden

Harry and the team plan what to do in their rescued garden

We cut back brambles, planted wild flowers, laid down paths, made bird boxes and put them up (three had families of great tits in, this year.)   We have created a brilliant pond, and one of my jobs was to plant kingcups in it.  I got stuck and they had to pull me out – but the flowers were really good!

The new wildlife pond in the 'Jubilee Garden'

Harry and his friends go pond dipping in the new wildlife pond in the 'Jubilee Garden'

Henry showing the group a corn snake

Henry showing the group a corn snake

I'm Henry and I have been with the Wildlife Trust for seven years.   I have lots of interests.   I have ringed live birds and dissected dead gannets, and have detected bats and tagged blonde hedgehogs.  I have run a moth trap for five years and caught some very rare ones.  I'm a keen photographer and have kept a record of what I do.

Henry has also given talks on wildlife to the Alderney Society

Henry has also given talks on wildlife to the Alderney Society

I'm Joe and I’ve been with the Wildlife Trust almost as long as Henry.  Because I am keen on running I have probably seen as much of ‘wild Alderney’ as anyone of my age.  The photo shows that my brothers and I are also keen on football...  I am an enthusiastic writer and people tell me I'm good at it (it’s not for me to say!) but Alderney is a very spectacular island and a good setting for creepy stories.

Joe and his brothers outside their home for the World Cup - another keen interest of Joe along with wildlife

Joe and his brothers outside their home for the World Cup - another keen interest of Joe along with wildlife

I’m Deborah and I am interested in everything to do with wildlife in our island.  I designed Milly's Wood, the children’s part of the new Community Woodland, which is being created to replace the trees destroyed in World War II during the German Occupation.

Deborah, in the pink boots, helps with planting our Community Woodland

Deborah, in the pink boots, helps with planting our Community Woodland

I’m the editor of our newsletter, Watch Out!   Harry, Henry and Joe help me do it.

Deborah and her brother Jack have just helped rescue a gannet...

Deborah and her brother Jack have just helped rescue a gannet...

...which needed rescuing due to fishing line being caught on its legs!

...which needed rescuing due to fishing line being caught on its legs!

We all think being part of a Watch group is amazing and brings us great experience of working with wildlife. If you like what you read and would like to do similar things yourself, why not contact your local Wildlife Trust to see if they have a Watch group you can join.

ECOLOGIST'S UPDATE

On the 12th June the Alderney Wildlife Trust had a very exciting day. After years of trying we finally got permission to land a team of surveyors on a small islet called Casquets that lies Northwest of Alderney; much further out than Burhou, or even Ortac, it took us an hour to get to but once we arrived the views were amazing.

Casquets and its lighthouse

Casquets and its lighthouse

We took over a team consisting of specialists in of ornithology (birds), entomology (insects), botany (plants) and marine life to do a full survey of everything on the island.

Mel doing an intertidal survey on Casquets

Mel doing an intertidal survey on Casquets

There were seals, peregrines, moths, plants, butterflies and seabirds all around us and it was very exciting for us to finally record what lives on Casquets. It was such an interesting survey to finally be doing that a crew from the BBC with The One Show came over to film us doing the work.

Film crew on Casquets

Film crew on Casquets

So keep an eye out in mid-September for the Casquets survey to be shown on TV, including footage of some of the surveys we were doing and the species we found. But until then we are working hard to record all our data and identify all our samples as a reference point for any future trips back to Casquets.

Cristina is identifying the insect samples

Cristina is identifying the insect samples