30 Days Wild 2017 - Blog 2
So far I’ve managed to combine it with wildlife spotting quite well, though I have to force myself not to stop too often to see things or take in a view as a cheeky excuse for a rest! On one occasion I actually ended up running alongside a hare, for a short distance. Out of nowhere it burst out of the hedge just in front of me and for a few seconds I caught it up and I was, perhaps for the first and only time in my life, actually running as fast as a hare. It was unimpressed and accelerated off at a right angle under a gate.
Last night, I was running a quiet back lane on Druridge Bay and a little owl flew towards me and overhead. Other times this month already I have seen barn owl and many other birds while running, my loud gasping for breath and heavy footfall is not a deterrent to watching wildlife it seems. Now and again I do have to pause and look though. When a roebuck crossed a field near the track I got out my lightweight binoculars and saw it had ‘dreadlocks’, actually felt-like protective velvet being shed from its shiny white new antlers, something you don’t see every day.
The other thing I enjoy about running is how you get a real feel for how hedgerows line up the countryside, as you meander between and beside them through the landscape. It is these linear mini woodlands that sew the place together. I am surprised how any hedgerows are still intact and how open and bereft of structure areas feel, where they have been removed. I will be encouraging the Trust to think of new ways of increasing hedgerow coverage and protecting those that exist, they are such a vital part of our wildlife network.
Phew, time for a rest, what’s that over there?