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:

Finding the badgers


For a long time, whenever anyone asked what wildlife lived near me, I always used to say that there were no badgers nearby.  Even though I had often seen badgers dead by the motorway, about 15 miles south of here, I always assumed that there weren't any nearby.

I had asked the local gamekeepers, all of whom denied seeing anything nearby, and I had kept my eyes open but never saw anything even close.  Even after I found the dead badger about a mile from my house, I didn't get much further. It was only in the last few months that I decided to take a closer look...and this is what I found !

Two big BBC appearances


As you'll know from my last three posts, I had a pretty busy week with doing media things last week. It began with being included on the BBC Wildlife Magazine power list, and I was featured in all sorts of newspapers because of that, then my book was shortlisted for the Royal Society Young People's Book Award, which brought more publicity as well.

During the week I got two calls, one from BBC Radio Scotland in Glasgow, and one from the BBC Breakfast programme in Manchester. I was happy to agree to both, and this is week's post about what it was like to be behind the scenes there !

My brilliant news, part three....


Okay, this has been one of the busiest weeks I can remember...I'm even in The Times today (Scottish edition and website)....and to end it, tomorrow (Sunday) morning I'll be on the sofa at the BBC Breakfast studio in Manchester, talking about bone collecting, being on the BBC Wildlife Power List, and about how it feels to have my book shortlisted for the Royal Society Young Person's Book Award !

I'm pretty excited about that. I'll be tweeting while I am down in England (a small country to the south of Scotland) and next week I'll be blogging about what that was like as well as what it was like behind the scenes with my interview with Kaye Adams on BBC Radio Scotland earlier this week ! 

My brilliant news part two...


This seems to be the week where everything is happening. I've known about this news for a few weeks, but it had to be kept quiet until it was officially announced !

Anyway - I am SO proud that my book has been shortlisted as one of the six contenders in the running for the 2015 Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize, awarded annually to the best science book for children aged up to 14. (That is, books aimed at people up to 14, not written by them, although mine is both)

The winning book will be chosen by groups of young people from over 100 schools and youth groups across the UK, and will be announced at a dinner in London in November. It's a huge achievement just to be on the shortlist, and it shows how amazing my editor Jo Bourne and publisher Octopus are. Here's the full shortlist.... and I have one more bit of great news this week, and I will announce that in the next few days !

My brilliant news, part one....


Sooo....it's been a busy week !

I did say last week that I had some news to announce: I'm in the BBC Wildlife Magazine's "Power List" of the most influential conservationists. I'm ranked at #40, which is a bit of a surprise since I'm not even one of the top 40 most influential people even in my own house, but thank you to everyone at  BBC Wildlife Magazine for including me, and for the panel of experts for choosing me as well ! And a big congratulations to the other brilliant teenagers Findlay Wilde and Georgia Locock who are on the list - they are both amazing naturalists and bloggers.

I'm appearing tomorrow (Thursday) on BBC Radio Scotland to talk about this with Kaye Adams at 11.30am, which I'm really looking forward to. My second bit of news probably won't be announced until a bit later in the week, possibly even at the weekend. But here's some of the news coverage from this week !

One simple change that could save animals' lives


This is going to be a bit of a busy week for me blogging, because I've got an announcement tomorrow (some of you might know what it's going to be about) and more news on Thursday (bet you don't know that one, though).

Anyway - I thought I would take the opportunity of tomorrow's news to write about something that has been bothering me for a while - something that kills animals, and that could be easily fixed with one small change. And here it is....

The mystery of red/blue 57


I've written before about the odd things I find in the countryside when I'm searching for bones, like 150 year old pottery, old poison bottles or metal propellors and cow hooves.  This week's post is about finding something that will be obvious to some, but will need explaining to others.

These two tags were up on a part of the estate near my village, up close to the castle. It's partly woodland, partly scrub clearings and partly an old fishing lake, and it's petty much unexplored and deserted. More importantly, there are a few red deer down here, as well as roe deer. But when I found these numbered tags, there weren't any deer to be seen - but there was another mystery to be solved.

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