Living with the coronavirus pandemic has meant that many people have to stay closer to home, but one benefit is having more time to become aware of the natural world around us. From frogs in Cardiff to lichens in Brighton, UK readers have been sharing images and stories of their local flora and fauna.
‘I was in awe of her beauty’
I am an avid wildlife photographer and have been exploring my local area around Yateley, Sandhurst, and Blackwater during closing. I found Swan Lake park and was amazed at the wildlife around the lake. When I took the photo above, on February 13, it was the first time I had seen a Greylag goose and I was in awe of its beauty. I saw him start flapping his wings and fired. He looked happy, like he was dancing. Being able to discover wildlife near me has provided me with the necessary mental relaxation during the confinement. Devan Sharma, 42, sales manager, Blackwater, Hampshire
‘We have had more frogs than ever’
I took this photo of a frog in our garden pond in Fairwater, Cardiff, on February 22nd. This year it seems we have had more frogs than ever. Seeing wildlife always cheers me up and we are lucky to live on the outskirts of town with easy access to walks from the house. Chris Harrington, 61, retired, Cardiff, Wales
‘Great Britain has a great variety of bryophytes and lichens’
During the recent fall and winter shutdown, I really enjoyed discovering local mushrooms, mosses, and liverworts. Its enormous diversity of colors, shapes, and variety are fascinating and provide insight into the incredible complexity of the natural world. I took the photo of a maritime lichen (xanthoria parietina) on February 19th at Waterhall, Brighton.
Whenever I discover or become aware of something new to me in the natural world, it is always a great emotion, regardless of whether it is common or rare. So far I have not paid much attention to mosses, lichens and liverworts, but as a consequence of the confinement I am now discovering that wet Britain has a great variety of bryophytes and lichens. I also realize that if I look closer, there is a delightful new world of discovery to explore on my doorstep. Keith Wilson, 67, retired biologist, Brighton, East Sussex
‘The squirrel ran up and down a tree about five times’
The photo above was taken on February 15th in Stanley Park, Liverpool. During the confinement I have taken my camera with me on my daily walk and I can definitely say that photography has played a very important role in keeping me active and emotionally well.
Despite living in Liverpool my whole life and passing through Stanley Park hundreds of times on the way to Anfield [Liverpool FC’s home ground], this was my first real visit to the park. The squirrel ran up and down a tree about five times, each time taking a morsel of grass with it; I suppose he will build his drey. I love the photo because it was the first real sign for me that spring was on its way, and that no matter how long and dark our winter has been, there are some things that are a constant and the animal world carries on regardless. .
In fact, I was very excited because it reminded me that hopefully the end of restrictions and the possibility of getting people back to normal is on the way. Gillian Donagh, 61, social worker, Brighton-le-Sands, Merseyside
‘This creature was lurking among the flowerpots in the yard’
One night on February 20, while surveying the garden, my partner came across this creature lurking among the flower pots in the yard. He called me with my camera to take a look. It looked like a newt that was presumably looking for a new home, perhaps a pond. In the cold, the movement was quite slow and it was not that difficult to photograph. I’m not sure of the exact species, but I think it’s a smooth newt (lissotriton vulgaris). It was certainly very interesting and enjoyable to see, as I had never seen one in the garden before. Nick Thomas, 67, retired teacher, Milverton, Somerset
‘There are very few fences and little private land’
The New Forest National Park is a wonderful place to hike and explore as there are very few fences and little private land. I took the photo of a pony on February 27th. The land within the New Forest National Park is managed and maintained by the court of verderers. The Verderers employ agisters to tend the New Forest and the commoners’ animals. The commoners of the New Forest have the right to keep their animals on the land, and cows, donkeys, and (of course) ponies roam free. Chris Owen-Hughes, 28, civil engineer, Southampton, Hampshire
‘There have been some early surprises’
The recent sun has brought out quite a few ladybugs and I have seen several solitary bees. There are plenty of flowers too, with some early surprises like the fumitory and the common pea. I took the photo of a greater stitchwort star spot on February 28th in Salters Lane, Colyford. Fran Sinclair, East Devon
If you want to submit photos of wildlife in your local area taken in the last two weeks, you can do so by clicking here.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism