Walk 4 Wildlife (c) Anne-Marie Randall

On Saturday 2nd July Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT) are holding their annual Walk 4 Wildlife at one of their newest nature reserves, Crickley Hill. It rounds off their month long #30DaysWild social media campaign encouraging people to get out and enjoy nature in their everyday lives.

Walk 4 Wildlife is a great event where members and friends get together to explore a part of our beautiful county, raise some money for GWT, and have a lot of fun in the process. Eveybody in the family, including the dog, is welcome at the event.

Crickley Hill, just off the Air Balloon roundabout on the A417, is a favourite place for locals who enjoy its stunning views, its wonderful walks, and the opportunity to barbecue in the woods.

But even if you know Crickley Hill well, joining in with Walk 4 Wildlife is well worth doing as it will help you get to know more about this well-loved and beautiful place. The very knowledgeable reserve managers will be on hand to share their in-depth knowledge of the interesting history and ecology of the reserve. It may be hard to believe now, but Crickley Hill was inhabited for thousands of years, providing as it did an ideal site to see invading marauders from all sides. These days you are more likely to see a great spotted woodpecker, or a birds nest orchid, or a rare fungi amongst the 500 species that can be found on the reserve. Walking around the site with someone who knows it well and can point out all its fascinating features, fauna and flora, is a very special experience.

The walk is a three and half mile circular route around the reserve. It will follow in the footsteps of naturalist and explorer, Edward Wilson, who loved this area. Wilson was chief of the scientific staff on Scott’s final expedition to the South Pole. Captain Scott said that Wilson had ‘opened his eyes to nature’, and it was Scott’s son, Peter, who went on to found Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust in 1961. So it seems fitting that Wilson should be remembered in this year’s Walk 4 Wildlife.

There will be all sorts of activities for everyone to enjoy after the walk including face painting and a bouncy castle for the kids. Wildlife experts will be on hand ready to answer your questions. And there is plenty of space to lie back and nap if the sun is shining, or to dance in a downpour if there are showers.

Improvements are being made to the facilities at Crickley Hill and the new cafe will be open later in July, but for now, take a picnic and drink, a hat if it’s sunny, and a waterproof if it’s rainy, and carry on making room for nature. To book your place visit www.walk4wildlife.co.uk

Membership of the Trust costs from just £2.50 a month. Join on-line www.gloucestershirewidlifetrust.co.uk or visit the Trust’s Conservation Centre at Robinswood Hill Country Park, Gloucester.

Gloucester News Centre – http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk

Walk for Wildlife this July by Kate | Gloucester News Centre - http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk/