Sunday, 6 December 2015

Bewdley's Bursting Banks

Though slightly overdue as the water levels are slowly decreasing now, Bewdley's flood defence barriers have been up again! Last week locals were issued weather warnings, following expected heavy weather in the Welsh hills. (Note: the source of the River Severn is situated  in Cambrian Mountains)

Water levels were noted to start rising on Tuesday 1st December, and the barriers were swiftly constructed the following day. The entirety of the defence system was not put up, only the barriers alongside Severnside North, where the pavement sits lower. Large debris such as logs and a few whole trees have been seen to be floating down with the fast current.

With water levels now dropping again, and pavements beginning to emerge from the murky depths of the Severn, it looks like another successful intervention from the Environment Agency. Quick thinking and very effective communication to the people bewdley helped to save many homes and businesses, with very little disturbance.

Here's to next years events! (Don't get me wrong, a flooding like this has been catastrophic to homes in Bewdley, but with new defences in place, we all feel much safer! And anyways, businesses in Bewdley that rely on tourists, its events like this catch people's attention!)

The view down Severnside South, the blue on the other side are temporary barriers to protect homes and roads.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

“The Only Thing That Satisfies the Soul is Passionate Life.”

Right now my whole life is consumed by passion and ambition. 
Days are flying away with me. 
I wake up with pure excitement and drive to get closer and closer to my goals.

I have set myself some targets: 

  1. Blog More! (obvious I know seeing as this page is practically growing cobwebs at the moment, so sorry!!!) 
  2. Apply to University - CHECK! 
  3. Complete my vocational qualifications with top marks - pending 
  4. Pray I land a new job opportunity as a Woodland Trust writer!! 
Right so the only difference between a wish and a goal is an actual plan! (although time consuming and tricky, there are undoubtedly high in reward) 

I mean, how often do you get to make what you love both your hobby and potentially your job!? (The answer is pretty often if you work hard and find the opportunities you're looking for!) 

To be honest, this post was a bit pointless, it was just another approach to apologising for being rubbish at blogging. (See bullet point 1 and previous post for further details!) But I just wanted to let the odd people who do check this out that I am working hard, just behind the scenes. 

Maybe I should just commit to a regular day that I'll post?
Yeah - I'm going to do that. 
Okay so every Monday evening (London Time) they'll be a new post to see!
(Oh man I've committed to that now!!)
Okay Bye!
Have a picture I took the other day! (also pointless but beautiful!)

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Blogger Awards!

I think I win for worst blogger of the year award! I mean I've been missing almost 2 months, I hope you weren't all worried about me ....

So here are my lists of excuses for you:

  1. I've been focusing a lot on my coursework at the moment because I left it all last minute (Standard) 
  2. I have made the decision  to apply to study Geography at the University of Worcester, so I have been busy on my application!
  3. Summer has all of a sudden disappeared and I was not mentally prepared for the seasonal change. (A very poor excuse I know) 
So, there you go, read them and weep, that's all I could come up with to make up for my complete inability to work on my blog. 

Tomorrow's a new day though right? 

I will be posting more often I promise! 

The Wilderness Warrior

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Devil's Spittleful (Revisited) and Burlish Top

Gosh, it's been two weeks since I last posted, I hadn't realised how quickly time was passing! So here is my apology to those few that have been checking this space most days. I am sorry but also thank-you! (I like to pretend I'm not actually just talking to myself over here, ha!)

I haven't really been out and about much recently, work has been super busy and the recent autumnal change in the weather has had me snuggled under the duvet.  But, I suppose I should just put my big girls pants on and get outside, seeing as that's where all the adventures happen.

Right, so where have I been in the last 17 days...

Well, firstly I have revisited Devil's Spittleful Nature Reserve (with much better weather this time!) and then followed on to Burlish Top before going home.

As a result of more favourable weather I was able to truly appreciate the landscape and beauty of the heathland habitat. I also managed to find a few caches that I was unable to on the last trip (hoorah!)
Devil's Spittleful Nature Reserve 

View from the top of Devil's Spittleful Rock 

 I then went onto Burlish Top Nature Reserve, which consists of lowland heath, oak and birch woodland and acidic grassland. There are various easy access trails
 spreading across the reserve. There were around 6 caches within the trails, 2 of which I was unable to find that day.
Lowland Heath habitat of Burlish Top 

Lowland Heath habitat of Burlish Top 

Common Red Clover 
Hoverfly - any idea on plant species? 
Bombus Hortorium amidst a flowering Himalayan Balsam 
Speckled Wood Butterfly

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Severn Valley Country Park

This is the place that made me fall in love with nature.
I became encompassed with beauty and life, I would go a wandering for hours on end, lunch packed and trails to follow and explore.
The Severn Valley Country Park is a 120+ Acre park of absolute habitat heaven. Built upon the ruin of a 400 year old coal mine, the park is made up of a variety of woodland, river banks, orchids, wild flower meadows, ponds and grassland. All of these habitats are passionately looked after my a team of rangers and dedicated volunteers, a group that has now been running since the Park's opening, back in 1992.

With such a vast variety of well kept habitats it is no surprise that the variety of wildlife and plant-life is vast too. Precious Bee Orchids and vibrant King Fishers all make this park their home. The river banks are bursting with life, colourful Common Darters and resting Moorhens. The woodlands enchanting, Tawny Owls sleeping and an all matter of Tits going about their business!(Hur hur)

This is an absolute gem located in the Midlands that I really do think you should go and visit

You can check out there webpage here.)

I began enjoying the park around 12 years ago, and I became an official volunteer at the park when I was about 18. And I can safely say that I have enjoyed every minute of it, okay well maybe not the Ragwort pulling. I have had the pleasure of meeting so many truly beautiful and kind people, and the opportunity to help look after the place I love. And it has definitely made me realise that this is what I want to do, I want to submerse myself in the natural world, learn everything I can to help better my understanding. Because our country parks and reserves are such precious things, and we really need to look after them, now and for the future.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Devil's Spittleful

If I could sum up today's walk in one word it would definitely be: RAIN. I set out at midday and I was soaked through by one o'clock. It was today that I rigorously questioned whether or not I was crazy, or just really stupid. (the answer I settled on was both)

So I set about on finding the 'Devious Devil' series of Caches, starting adjacent to the West Midlands Safari Park. Taking a wooded path behind the Safari Park's fencing was quite exciting, although I couldn't see any baby kangaroos through the chain-link. I found these caches pretty easy to find, which I was very thankful of because the miserable weather was quickly turning my mood sour! For each log that I found and signed, there had been two other names signed on this very same day. Although I didn't come across a single soul whilst I was out.

I came home with 7 Finds, and 3 DNFs, although I didn't log any of these as I know I didn't do a thorough look, so I will be going back soon to have a proper rummage! I also didn't go up to the top of Devil's Spittle Rock, I really just wanted to keep trudging along to get home. But I will be sure to go back very soon. (When it isn't raining hopefully!) But either way, the surrounding nature reserve was a beautiful sight, even in the gloomy settings. I can't wait to go back and take my time there.
Calluna - Common Heather

I have given myself a little research project (don't you just love the word project!) Anyway, I want to educate myself of Heathland habitats before I go back. So I can truly understand and appreciate the habitat when I am there, and this is something I would like to do before I go to any new area. I want to learn, not just observe. I think it would also be pretty cool to share these findings as maybe 'Idiots Guides' mhmm, that'd be pretty cool!

Devils's Spittleful Nature Reserve 
A few things I learnt from today's Geocaching adventure: 
  1. I really need to buy a small first aid kit, just in case!
  2. I really need to bring a small hand towel, signing logs with wet hands is not ideal!
  3. I should buy a pair of weatherproof gloves. 
  4. My iPhone doesn't do great in the rain ... (shocker) 

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Geocaching Trio

On Sunday (16th August 2015) I met up with two complete strangers.  Being pretty new to Geocaching I'd only really ever gone alone, or gone with friends I had introduced to it. And here I was, approaching a stranger I didn't know, to check if he was in the fact the man I had agreed to meet. Having introduced ourselves, we chatted whilst we waited for the third and final Cacher. One thing became very apparent: Geocachers are inherently incapable of finding each other. Eventually we found the third and final Geocacher.

We followed the riverside footpath from Bewdley to Stourport, then crossed the river and walked back along the other side. And boy, the weather was absolutely gorgeous! Around 15 caches found with ease (perks of walking with experts eh!) with just one DNF :(

It was definately a lovely experience, to be able to share the day with two lovely people, who both loved to do this same thing! And they also kindly answered all my lame newbie questions, so I am now slightly more knowledgeable now. 

I am now planning a short day trip for this Sunday, hopefully to pick up another 15 odd Caches, and I am also planning a two night solo camp over at Arley to pick up quite a few! (Just hoping I can get everything I need before the summer season dissipates!) Has anyone got any camping tips they could pass on? 

Monday, 10 August 2015

The Importance of Binoculars

Pyronia Tithonus - Gatekeeper Butterlfy 
This is becoming a regular thing, myself apologising whole heartedly for not posting for sooooo long. So here I am again, now that life in my new house is all settled, determined to keep this blog going! (Promise!)

Today my lovely friend Sarah  joined me in Bewdley before she jets off to Canada for a whole year!! So we decided on a stroll along the river, having persuaded her to try out some Geocaching! We ended up finding four caches in total, and I think she may be hooked! A good day in my book. We also had a very good day wildlife wise too, although both annoyed we brought no binoculars with us!
A Dopping of Female Goosanders 
We spotted a butterfly on the vegetation alongside the river bank, snapped a picture and carried on. Having come home we were able to identify it as the Gatekeeper Butterfly. We almost settled on identifying it as the Small Heath Butterfly, until we noticed the number of white dots on the wing! (Gatekeepers have two not one!)
Sarah also spied a Kingfisher darting into the shrubbery on the other side of the river, but after waiting silently for some time, we decided to walk on.
I also spotted a dopping of female Goosanders on the river, a bird I had no seen before, so that was exciting, but gutted having no binoculars!
I promise to post again very soon!
If you'd like check out my instagram to see what I'm up to!

The Wilderness Warrior

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Hitting The Trails

Already I am half way through my holiday- why does it go so quick!? Me and the old man have spent the last few days hitting the trails near Galashiels. We went rambling in the 'New Wood' (Or rather, the wood my Dad had no idea was there for the last 12 years!) Where earlier  in the year he had spotted some wild Deer, however no luck for us - just a very startled Hare. Nevertheless the area was beautiful, and in true scottish style, it was pretty steep! We were looking for a camping spot to try out, but with the steep gradient and rocky coverage we found no place suitable for the two of us to camp. However, we did find a wood pile, one that belonged to another Bush crafter.  My Father has been studying the Bushcraft pool of knowledge intensely, and to his knowledge he expected the pile was put together for the puroose of fire wood, with most of it stacked off the wet ground and  some peices perched upright to keep dry. Although the quantity of menacing cob webs fortells a bushcrafter that never came back for it!

As for yesterday - for the 30 Days Wild Challenge I wanted to learn a new skill. So I learnt how to make a fire, pretty useful I' d say, and it wasnt even that difficult!  Started off by making 'Feather Sticks' and then igniting Birch bark shavings  with a Ferro Rod.

And today we hit the trails again! It was just a short walk to find some Geocaches, and all were found!  (Unlike all the others we've been trying to find) No complaints either with sunny weather with the odd shower and views to die for! We even spotted the rump of a startled deer, but it was too quick and we spotted nothing else.

Not too sure what tomorrow brings, but no doubt it will be wild!

All the best,
The Wilderness Warrior

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Gelert Walking Boots Review

First and foremost I would like to say that I am in no way sponsored or iffiliated with Gelert in any way. These are just the boots that I am currently using and wish to inform my readers off of my own personal experience!

Now I will say, I only ordered these boots because they were the cheapest decent looking (gotta look good ya'know) boots that I could find. For the last four years I have been wearing a trusty brand of Regatta, which, don't get me wrong, served my very well! But just a week before going off on holiday to Scotland I spotted a wee hole in the outerseam. A disaster. So I need some new boots, and I needed them fast. 

So here I am with a pair of Gelert walking boots. And I'm impressed! For you dear readers I have put these boots through thick and thin! And they have held pretty darn well! They lasted through a tough 10 mile hike, enduring dirt and mud. There is absolutely no visible damage to the boots at all, just some dry mud to clean off! Although there is a down side, I found these boots to be very painful around the ankles as a result of friction. With the constant varying gradient of the walk, with many steep inclines the material around the ankles, which does well to support the ankle, does begin to rub. Now I suppose I should have used thicker socks, or that they were not 'worn in' enough, I am just merely passing on my experience, information that some may find useful! (Or not, who knows!) 

But either way, I am very impressed! They have kept my feet dry whilst trekking through streams, even when the water submerged past the tounge (impressed!) They have supported my ankles whilst rambling on uneven dirt and rocks. So I suggest you take a look and give them a go! 

All the best, 
The Wilderneas Warrior

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

The Three Bretherens

So what a day yesterday was! Never have I ever walked so far, and so tough, that I have been left in this much agony! 

But heck, it was a darn good walk! Me and the old man decides to head for The Three Bretheren, to which there was a lovely cache situated at the summit of. Except this time round we decided to go the long way. And it was hard. And now I am sat, over 24 hours later, still resting a very, very agonising hip pain. (Oh the joys!) I am just hoping and praying that the pain subsides so that I can do more walks this holiday. But that ten miler almost killed me!

But I knew the view from the top was going to be worth - and I wasn't wrong. 
I am still slowly but surely ticking off the odd bits on the 30 Days Wild Challenge. But please, if you really want to see what I am up to on a daily basis then please check out my;
TWITTER: @WildWarriorBlog
INSTAGRAM: @taylamayisabellex
Stay wild! 
All my love, 
The Wilderness Warrior

Saturday, 20 June 2015

The Scottish Borders

So I am I holiday! So hooray for some well earnt free time! Like every year I am spending my holiday in Scotland, as I have done for the last 12 years. It really is my home away from home!

To make up for my utter disgrace of an effort with the 30 Days Wild Challenge, me and my dear old man are going to cross as many things off the list as we can! And yes, expect photos and updates! 

Check out the Twitter account to follow the blog so you can keep updated no matter where you are! (@WildWarriorBlog)


Monday, 15 June 2015

Home Sweet Home

My absolute sincerest apologies for my disappearance! All I can say is that it all happened very quickly! I fledged the nest! I am now a fully qualified adult! (so they say!) And seeing as the new place currently has no internet it is safe to say that it has been a pretty long week!
I am rather saddened that I haven't been able to keep up with the 30 Days Wild Challenge, but I have been out exploring my new area! I have moved into a lovely 17th Century House along the riverside in the town of Bewdley, Worcestershire.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Random Acts of Kindness

So here it is, my list of some of the random acts of kindness I am going to try to accomplish this June!

  1. Make a bug hotel
  2. Plant some bee friendly plants 
  3. Learn a new skill 
  4. Visit somewhere new
  5. Do a nature sketch
  6. Go pond dipping
  7. Watch the sunrise
  8. Hug a tree 
  9. Follow a bee 
  10. Introduce a friend to nature 
  11. Create a nature Pinterest board 
  12. Go stargazing 
  13. Learn some facts 
  14. Make a bird feeder 
  15. Make a paracord spider 
  16. Take a friend Geocaching 
  17. Scribble a poem 
  18. Make a boat 
  19. Lunch in the wild 
  20. Feel the grass under your feet 
  21. Hush in a hide
  22. Investigate tracks 
  23. Note sightings 
  24. Buy a wild magazine 
  25. Dance in the rain 
  26. Tweet for the wild 
  27. .....
  28. ......
  29. ......
  30. .....
Have you guys got anymore ideas for me to fill in the last four? It would be much appreciated!!

All the best, 
The Wilderness Warrior 

Monday, 1 June 2015

30 Days Wild: Day One

So it's been a pretty soggy start to the 30 Days Wild Challenge!

What have you guys been up to?

Today I was meeting an old friend for lunch, so we went for a waterlogged walk around the town of Bridgnorth. Taking a moment to appreciate the local wild that is has to offer, and the breathtaking sea of green that historic towns are surrounded by.

So today I set myself the challenge of 'Introducing a friend to nature' because if you love something, you should share it!

But I will admit there is nothing better than getting home, jumping out of sodden clothes and putting the kettle on!

All the best,
The Wilderness Warrior

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Ready Set Go!

As you may have heard (at least I hope you have!) the 30 Days Wild Challenge starts tomorrow! The Wildlife Trust is challenging you to do something wild every day for a whole month! Are you ready to take on the challenge? Please check out my post here for the introductory post I wrote.

I just wanted to take a moment to remind you that this is happening! And I dare you to take the challenge!

You can sign up right HERE!
And you can check out the video HERE!

Oh, and did I mention that this is the first ever 30 Days Wild challenge? Well yeah, it is! And I am so looking forward to taking part in this! (Honestly, so much excitement!) Not only am I doing something wild every day for June, but I will also be blogging the experience as an official blogger with The Wildlife Trust!!! So please, whether you're already a nature geek, or if you just want an opportunity to include the outdoors into your daily life, then I urge you to sign up and get started!

All my love,
The Wilderness Warrior

Thursday, 28 May 2015

The Art of Geocaching

You'll never forget your first one. The pounding in your chest as you spot it. The moment of euphoria as the realisation hits you. Your first find.

And yes, it is that thrilling.

Geocaching is an activity that is sweeping the nation, engrossing it's players into a global game of treasure hunt. Warning: yes, it is addictive. So please, read on with caution.

Essentially, players follow set co-ordinates on a GPS unit, which will take you to a location in which a Cache is hidden.And that's the easy part. Many caches involve working out a rhyme, riddle or clue to find the caches specific whereabouts, and some range from large trunks to tiny pots (and don't even get me start on micro-caches!)

There are approximately 2.5 Million of these little buggers hidden worldwide, and counting.

To help you, I have searched and accumulated a list of key terms to help you better understand:

 Geocache - a hidden container, that will contain a log book for searchers to find, but may also contains other goodies! (read on for more information!)

Swag - these are trade items that are left in caches for other player, I have heard that the rule here is that if you wish to take an item, then you must swap if with an item of equal or greater value. (Pretty exciting huh?)

Travel Bug - These are trackable items that players can add to caches, in the hope that other players will take it, and drop it in another cache, letting it explore the world!

If you're looking for ways to be creative and have fun outdoors, then I really would give Geocaching a shot! You are guaranteed to explore and stumble upon new places and brand new adventures.

Take a look! 

All the best explorers!
The Wilderness Warrior 

Sunday, 24 May 2015

30 Days Wild.

Now I'm all about Random Acts of Kindness! But what about Random Acts of Wilderness? Hell Yeah! Now that is something I could get behind, and I did!

Want to know what I'm rambling about? Then go check out 30 Days Wild, it is a challenge set up by the The Wildlife Trust. Essentially, it challenges you to get outdoors and do something in nature for all 30 days of June. (So don't worry, you've got 7 days to get yourself together!)

It can be something as simple as taking a quick walk and listening to the birds, or as adventurous as volunteering your day to help conserve a reserve near you!

I've accepted the challenge, and I will be blogging about it, as well as posting about my experiences on my instagram! (Which you may feel free to follow!)

If you are participating, please spread the word to family and friends, and share the adventures!

Calling All Nature Geeks!

Everyone's got a passion. Sometimes it takes a little while to figure it out. But everyone does, eventually. And I am happy to say that my passion is nature. Being wildly in love with the outdoors is my thing.

So I am calling all nature geeks, keep doing your thing! Keep encouraging your family and friends to get out and fall in love with nature. Keep rambling the wild to learn all that there is. Keep being passionate.

For what reason I have set up an begun this blog, I do not really know. Perhaps, out there, a fellow nature geek will find me, and even wilder still, may find my ramblings and adventures of interest. So to that I write! And explore. And photograph. And I walk, and share with you lovely people the absolute joy, beauty and necessity that is the natural world we find ourselves in.

If you would like to find out more about myself, the geek behind the words, then please feel free to see my 'The Writer' page.

I shall try to post regularly and interestingly, and I very much look forward to hearing from my fellow nature geeks!

All the best,
The Wilderness Warrior