Training begins here
I’ve signed up to run the Oxford Half Marathon to raise money for BBOWT. A sudden panic takes hold. Will I be expected to run the 13.1 miles in a badger costume (the Wildlife Trust’s emblem)?
After a week of unseasonable rain, causing water to sit in places that were unseasonably dry all winter, it feels good to be out for a debut training run in the sun. I know it’s highly likely this good feeling will be challenged between now and crossing the finish line on 13th October.
On the lane leading from Chimney Meadows song birds from the hedgerows and skylarks in the adjacent fields perform a musical accompaniment. The roadside grasses have gone to seed and flop, heavy with rain. Vibrant red poppies, deep purple thistle heads and splashes of yellow clash spectacularly in the way only nature can get away with. Yellowhammers frequent this stretch of the lane. Like the skylark, their population has declined in recent years putting them on the UK conservation red list. The brightness of the males’ canary yellow head never fails to amaze.
BBOWT's conservation livestock is bred and raised at Chimney Meadows. This year we have three lambs being bottle-fed. I’m on the weekend shift and back in time to give them their breakfast. Raising funds for BBOWT has inspired me. As the lambs greedily guzzle down their milk, I reflect that there are so many accessible ways for people to support wildlife, whether it be fundraising, campaigning, volunteering, donating or taking care of their own outdoor patches.