At the June meeting of Enderby U3A we were privileged to welcome eminent wildlife photographer Barbara Meyer. This passionate conservationist has spent many years taking photos of endangered species around the world but had recently set herself a one year challenge – to seek out and study wildlife in a specific area of England. With the help of various conservationists she set up her cameras in Sherwood Forest. This legendary Nottinghamshire forest at one time covered the entire area from Worksop to Nottingham but over the years urban development has decimated and fragmented the forest into smaller areas but nevertheless it is still home to 900 oak trees that are over 600 years old!
During her year Barbara managed to photograph several species of deer and many birds that were supplied with abundant hair to feather their nests. The inevitable grey squirrels put in plenty of appearances, but most interesting of all was her intensive study of badgers. These gentle sociable creatures are nocturnal. They live together in setts keeping their home and themselves very clean, and like to sleep on bedding of leaves which they clear out every day. Barbara also found that they live in harmony with foxes with some of these wily animals choosing to sleep in abandoned badger setts.
All wildlife has natural predators but sadly their greatest threat is humans. From irresponsible dog walkers to discarded litter, life can be perilous for them and although her year of study has ended Barbara now spends time giving talks to groups to encourage everyone to preserve our heritage.
If you read our regular updates in The Journal you might have noted that our regular meetings on the third Wednesday of each month cover a diverse range of subjects, literally something for everyone. If you are interested in finding out more you can visit our website at www.u3asites.org.uk/enderby