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 !
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Goodbye 2015, hello 2016


At the end of each year, since the start of my blog, I have written a post on New Year's Eve, looking back on the year. At the end of last year, I said that this year would not have been as good as last.-  it's not every year that your first book comes out, you get to present a copy to the Royal Family, and then do live TV on the BBC with Sir David Attenborough - but this year has had its good moments.

I always enjoy writing these posts, because it reminds me of the best parts of the year, and there was quite a lot this year ! This is what I have learned...

There is a lot of history in my village

This year was my villages 200th birthday ! To celebrate this, there was a street party in and the summer and a huge plaque was put on the side of the school. To do my part, I went out and found out about loads of the history of Braco. The first was the legend of the Roman tunnel, which I have known about for years. On the estate of the tunnel was Ardoch house, the biggest house on the estate. There was a murder there, which I wrote about here. And finally, I found pictures of my village from about 50 - 100 years ago, so I found where the photos were taken and took my own to show the difference.

You win some and lose some !

There were three competitions that I came runner up in the year ! The first was on the 16th on November. my book was shortlisted for the Royal Society's Young Persons Book Award. I traveled down to Cornwall for the awards ceremony, but I didn't win, but Robert Winston did. Then there was the Cairngorms Nature Wildlife Presenter, were we had to make a short 90 second video on your local wildlife. Congrats to James Miller, who did win ! The final was the BBC Wildlife Young Blogger Award, but well done to Zach in Yorkshire who did win ( his blog is here ) ! Although, I was shortlisted for the BBC Wildlife's 50 most influential conservationists.

Bone and wildlife highlights

My meenyun skull post was the most read post of the year. Also, the frog skeleton was really interesting because frogs are my favourite animals, and its cool to see the skeletal adaptations. Big thanks to Mr McDonough, who sent me a goat skull all of the way from Alaska. Finally, this year, with the aid of my trail camera, I was able to finally film some badgers ! We filmed them for three months, starting in May. Sadly, the wood that they lived in was cut down.

In the media

The year was pretty quiet (for me) until May, when I made the BBC's Wildlife Power list. Since then a lot happened, including being on BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio Scotland, Radio 4's Saturday Live show, CBBC Newsround and STV News, helping out the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum with a fundraising appeal. In August I gave a talk to Science and More at Gravesend; October, did a drop in session at the Wigtown Book Festival in September, and I was up at a book festival in Stornoway in October, and I was also in Scottish Field !

The numbers !

My blog was even more popular than last year !

In 2015, I had:

  • 258,538 visitors to my website (compared to 235,330 in 2014)
  • Visitors from six new countries, bringing the total to 216 different countries that have visited since I started.
  • 200 web comments (2265 in total)
  • 1,214 emails about Jake's Bones (compared to 1035 in 2014)
  • and I now have 2,158 Facebook fans (it was 1546 at the end of 2014)
  • and 1,319 followers on Twitter (it was only 1,102 a year ago)

And finally, a big Happy New Year to everyone ! I hope that 2016 brings a lot more new experiences!

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