As of February 2016, after 416 posts, and over six and a half years of blogging, I'm taking a break.
I've explained why here. There's plenty of past posts to read, though - hope you enjoy them !
Looking for a brilliant present for a young naturalist ? Buy my book ! Available from Amazon UK,
Amazon US and worldwide but buy from a local bookshop if you can.
Archived posts: The following articles are from the month or year requested:

Goodbye 2014, hello 2015 !


At the end of each year I have been blogging I have written a post about how the year went, things I have learned or what I am looking forward to for the next year. It's good to take some time out to look at the year, see what I have achieved and sometimes what I would have done differently.

It's also interesting looking back at these, because never in my wildest dreams would I have expected a year like 2013, in which I have achieved far more than I could have imagined. Read on to see what lessons I have learned this year !

Happy Christmas everyone !


Happy Christmas ! There is not much snow here at the moment but there is some forecast for later today. This pic was taken at a hidden pond in the Pheasant Woods when we had snow a few weeks ago.

I am hoping to get archery lessons next year, so that will be my main present. I'm hoping to get out on walks a bit, and do some more exploring, and to check my trail camera (I got footage of a goldcrest yesterday). I hope you all have a nice Christmas and you get what you want ! I'll post again on New Year's Eve with my round-up of my year.

PS. This is also my 350th blog post ! That's pretty amazing. Here's to the next 350 !

The 19-year, 1,700 mile mystery


One of the things that I have learned while being a bone collector is how much you can sometimes learn about an animals life even from a single bone. You can tell if it died old (bones get slightly lighter in old age, and extra fusion occurs) or young, if it was healthy or if it had any injuries, and sometimes whether it was male or female (sometimes from the size or muscle attachments).

I had to put these skills to the test last week when me and my friend Jacob found a very unusual bone a 150 year old ice house. I have blogged about finding cool bones here but none quite as interesting as the one I found last week - or with as much information about the animal they came from !

Guest post: The body on the beach !


I hardly ever do guest posts here, but when Sophie Bagshaw told me this story, I thought it was definitely worth a post ! Sophie is 17 and is a brilliant naturalist and birdwatcher, and we met up over the summer when we both accidentally discovered we were on holiday and about 50 yards from each other ! Anyway, here's her story ! - Jake.

A couple of Sundays ago, me and my mum went on our usual trip to Cockerham, part of the coastline in the North West of England, and my favourite place ever. I have found many a treasures washed up in the shore, but I never expected to find what I did that day !

The One Show, and meeting Sir David


As most of you will know, this has been quite an amazing week for me, because a film I shot with Ben Garrod at Bristol Museum earlier this year was being shown on BBC1's The One Show - and not only that, but also I was invited down to the studio to appear live on the sofa with Sir David Attenborough !

I know a lot of my readers are outside the UK, so it's worth saying that The One Show is a very big show over here: it goes out live from Broadcasting House in London at 7pm on BBC1 every weekday, and is watched by about 5.2million people (or about the whole population of Scotland !) The One Show had made all my travel arrangements for me, so this is how my day went !

Filming a bone mystery for The One Show


BBC presenter Ben Garrod and I had been talking for a while about maybe doing something together, and earlier this year we finally got the chance with a piece being shown on tonight's The One Show (BBC1 at 7pm !)....AND.... I'm going to be live in the studio  with Sir David Attenborough (one of my heroes !) to discuss the clip  !

I love bone mysteries, and the one in Bristol was a brilliant one. During WW2, Bristol Museum was bombed, and when the damage was being cleaned up, bones were just thrown together in whatever box came to hand. Now, 70 years later, one of these boxes were being opened by curator Bonnie Griffin, and Ben and I were on hand to work out what was in there !

Look out for me on The One Show tonight !


Okay, so a MASSIVE announcement ! Watch The One Show on BBC1 at 7pm tonight (Monday) to see me, bone expert Ben Garrod and curator Bonnie Griffin investigating an 70-year old bone mystery at Bristol Museum. And I'll be in the studio live afterwards to talk about bones with the amazing Sir David Attenborough !

I'm travelling down from Scotland to BBC Broadcasting House in London for the live show, but I'll be tweeting as I travel. At 7pm there will be a blog post here about the behind the scenes filming, and later in the week I'll blog about what it was like at the One Show studio meeting Sir David.

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