With the much shorter, darker days of winter, there’s no better place to try your hand at being a ‘nature detective’ than in the wild parts of our Jersey National Park.
Following one of our normally expected wild and windy winter storms, a bracing beach walk along the sands of St Ouen’s Bay often bring about unusual finds such as egg cases, cuttlefish, goose barnacles and even the odd jellyfish.
St Catherine’s woods is another good place to start practising your detection skills on leaf identification, perhaps even on reporting on the activities of nut-gathering Red squirrels.
Also, armed with a relevant identification book, see how many surprising varieties of tree-hugging fungi you can find.
The west coast sand dunes (Les Blanches Banques) is another good place to investigate. Here you’ll be walking on squillions of tiny sand snails and, with luck, finding some edible Parasol mushrooms.
And whatever you do, don’t forget to pop into the National Trust’s Wetland Centre opposite Big Vern’s in St Ouen’s Bay. It’s an all-weather hub of information guaranteed to tell you everything you ever needed to know about the bay’s wildlife and history. Better still, count and identify as many bird species as you can that fly and dabble in and around the freshwater pond and reed-beds.
The weather might not always be at its best but getting to know the Park and making friends with its wild inhabitants is a great way to maximise wintertime enjoyment of the great outdoors.