One of the things I have learned about being self-employed (and I am still working on getting better at implementing it!) is that creating your own structure is vital. One way of doing this is by goal setting. My office walls are increasingly covered with A1 sheets of paper with various ‘to do’ tasks and goals to achieve. For me, this is necessary if I am to get anything done. It also doesn’t take much for it to break down. Of course there will be days when the structure cannot work as neatly as others, especially as no two days are really the same and, with the farm especially, my days will vary a lot depending on the season.
In an increasingly busy life one of the things that can suffer is taking time to experience and appreciate wildlife. However, I find that those moments are often the most memorable. Firmly sticking in my mind for example are the first time I went badger watching as a child with my dad, the first time I saw a red squirrel (relatively recently on Brownsea Island) and taking the time to watch wading birds on the mudflats near to where I live or, at this time of year, to shut your eyes and listen to the distinctive calling of the Brent Geese overhead, moving from one winter cereal field to the next.
So, with this in mind, what do I hope to do and see wildlife wise and where do I want to visit in 2019?
- Walk a stretch of the Essex coast where I haven’t previously been.
- Take one morning each month to count birds on the farm (and improve bird ID knowledge as a result!)
- Start a species list (As a fan of lists, I should have started this years ago, but better late than never).
- Visit Earsham Wetland Centre and hopefully see an otter or two.
- Visit Wallasea Island
- Create more dead wood piles on the farm and in my garden
- Buy another bird feeder for the garden and feed through the winter.
- Go for a night walk in a wood (maybe with an infra red light)
- Head to Somerset for Starling murmuration
- Visit at least 5 nature reserves that I haven’t been to before
- Visit a beach that I haven’t been to before
- Visit a woodland that I haven’t been to before
- Make a bee hotel for solitary bees
- Visit Elmley National Nature Reserve
I’m sure there will be many more wild adventures this year and this list is certainly not exhaustive, but if I manage all of that it will have been a very good year.
Do let me know in the comments below what your ‘wild’ aspirations are for 2019.