Friday, August 22, 2014

National Insect Day

Hi Sea Fans!

I'm not only getting to see marine life while I'm here in the UK, I'm getting to see some land animals and freshwater life!!

I went with Bella to the Lewes Railway Land Nature Reserve to help with a National Insect Day Event. 
It’s called ‘railway land’ because the land was once part of the railway sidings next to the river. When fewer goods were transported by rail, the sidings were not needed any more. The land was going to be built on but it was rescued and turned into a nature reserve with woodland, ponds, ditches and other habitats. Bella works here at the reserve for part of the time. 

For a while we sat by the Winterbourne stream, 
which is quite low in the summer but the level is much higher in the winter. As we sat and looked up the stream a mother Mallard duck swam past with its chicks.

We had work to do, so we moved on to the peaceful pond in the wood
Leighside pond. 
where we would catch some pond animals and then take them back to the centre. 
Examining our catch.
Bella said we could help Steve show people the pond animals through a microscope that was attached to a lap top and a projector.  The focus was to be on ponds as many of the animals that live in ponds are insects or insect larva. 
Great diving beetle larva.
We did catch a few other animals to show including a stickleback fish.  

Bella said that there were eels in the pond and when they were adults they would swim out to the ocean to lay their eggs.

Inside the centre we helped Steve demonstrate the live animals, people had lots of questions. 
Steve explained that many of the animals were insects that breathe air. Some of the animals had breathing tubes which they use like a snorkel at the surface of the pond. Some have gills like fish and others take a bubble of air down with them to use like an aqua-lung (SCUBA diving gear).

People could also see Bella’s display about how freshwater is the most important substance on the planet. The display showed how it is important in nature but also how we all use water and how some people waste it. Bella has also been finding out about parts of the world where drinking water is scarce and people have to walk a long way just for a little water (hmmm...good timing that a South African should visit.  In Africa, there are soooooooooooo many people who don't have running water and they walk miles to get a bucket of water which is used for cooking, bathing and washing).

Bella will soon be travelling to the Amazon Rainforest to find out about this amazing place and also how water is important there too.   I wonder if there's a chance that I could go to the Amazon one day...hmmmmmm.

Thanks so much Bella and Steve, I had fun.

Have a great weekend Sea Fans!
Chat soon.

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