Summer Wildlife Adventures with #CAVWChallenge

Keep kids occupied this holiday

Filed under News
Date posted: Friday, 30 June 2017

Get stuck in to the Clyde and Avon Valley Wildlife Campaign to keep the kids occupied during the summer holidays, and for some fun and free woodland adventures.

Offering prizes for completion of a wildlife spotting checklist as well as a 500 Words creative writing competition, the campaign offers hours of FREE fun for children.

The campaign focuses on one species per month -  the intriguing candlesnuff fungus in July and the pipistrelle bat for August.

The unmistakable candlesnuff fungus, species of the month for July. Image copyright Morag Mackinnon
The unmistakable candlesnuff fungus, species of the month for July. Image copyright Morag Mackinnon

The unmistakable white or greyish, antler-like candlesnuff, grows 2 – 5 cm high and can be found on stumps and fallen branches in woodlands throughout the year. Keep your eyes peeled for logs at the edges of paths around the Clyde Valley Woodlands National Nature Reserve (NNR) and the Clyde Walkway.

Try heading out a bit later in the evening to catch sight of the nocturnal pipistrelle bat. As the sun goes down, look out for pipistrelles in woodland clearings or swooping out from their roosts in buildings and trees.

The campaign runs for the duration of 2017, offering the chance for children to find out more about local wildlife, visit local nature reserves, take part in wildlife spotting events and help contribute to the iRecord wildlife database.

Pipistrelle bat, species of the month for August. Image copyright Hugh Clark
Pipistrelle bat, species of the month for August. Image copyright Hugh Clark

Two competitions are taking place under the campaign which can be entered by children ages 12 and under, listed below:

The Clyde and Avon Valley Wildlife Challenge #CAVWChallenge:

Download and complete the 12 species checklist to be awarded a certificate and entered into a special prize draw.  Join in with wildlife spotting events as listed below, download your own spotting guides and enter your findings to iRecord at www.brc.ac.uk/irecord/join/clyde-and-avon-valley-wildlife-challenge. Downloads are available at www.clydeandavonvalley.org. Join in the conversation on social media using #CAVWChallenge. 

The Clyde and Avon Valley 500 Words Competition:

Open to children ages 5 - 9 and 10 – 12, children are invited to pick one of the 12 species as listed below, to write a fictional story or poem about in under 500 words. Each entrant will be awarded with a certificate and be entered into a special prize draw. Entries will be judged on originality, plot, characterisation, language and enjoyment by a panel of expert judges: CA Hope (author of the New Lanark trilogy), the Lanark Writers Group and South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture. Download the 500 Words Competition full guidelines and submission form under 'Related Resources'.

The #CAVWChallenge spotting events for July – September are as follows:

  • Badger Watches at Scottish Wildlife Trust Falls of Clyde, Saturdays 1 & 22 July, 12 Aug, 7-10pm. Book at www.scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/events. £10 per adult / £5 per child
  • Hedgehog House Workshops at Scottish Wildlife Trust Falls of Clyde, Saturdays 8 July, 6 Aug, 10:30am – 12 noon and 1 – 2:30pm. Book at www.scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/events. £15 per entry
  • Family Badger Watches at Scottish Wildlife Trust Falls of Clyde, Saturdays 8 July, 9 Aug, 7-10pm. Book at www.scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/events. £10 per adult / £5 per child
  • Family Woodland Adventures at Scottish Wildlife Trust Falls of Clyde, Sunday 9 July, 1-3pm. Book at www.scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk. £10 per child
  • The World of Wildflowers at RSPB Baron’s Haugh, Motherwell, Saturday 15 July, 2 - 4pm. Book at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. £4 adults / £2 children / RSPB members FREE
  • Pollinator Patrol at RSPB Baron’s Haugh, Motherwell, Wednesday 26 July, 1 - 3pm. Book at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. £4 adults / £2 children / RSPB members FREE
  • Stream Guddling at RSPB Baron’s Haugh, Motherwell, Wednesday 9 Aug, 10:30am – 12:30pm. Book at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. £4 adults / £2 children / RSPB members FREE
  • Creatures of the Night at RSPB Baron’s Haugh, Motherwell, Friday 11 Aug, 8:30 – 10:30pm. Book at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. £4 adults / £2 children / RSPB members FREE
  • FREE Mauldslie Sunset Survey – Bat Conservation Trust, Friday 18 August, 8:15-9:30pm. Book at www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/slc-ranger-service-11103433750
  • FREE Dragonflies and damselflies at Greenhead Moss, Sunday 10 September, 12 noon-3pm. Book via the North Lanarkshire Countryside Rangers team on 01698 402 090

The campaign focusses on one species per month that can be found throughout the year in local woodlands such as Chatelherault Country Park, RSPB Scotland Baron’s Haugh, Dalzell Estate and Scottish Wildlife Trust Falls of Clyde. The species for the full calendar year are goosander, otter, great spotted woodpecker, kingfisher, badger, blue tailed damselfly, pipistrelle bat, candlesnuff fungus, comma butterfly, nuthatch, roe deer and salmon.

Comma butterfly, species of the month for September. Image copyright Tam Stewart
Comma butterfly, species of the month for September. Image copyright Tam Stewart

The Clyde and Avon Valley is home to a fascinating array of wildlife. The area is home to the Clyde Valley National Nature Reserve (NNR), one of the ecologically richest areas of Scotland, as well as other spectacular woodlands. The woodlands are often hidden in dramatic river gorges, creating ribbons of wild land that lace the local landscape where nature thrives.

“We are challenging you to discover some fascinating wildlife and experience the amazing landscapes in the Clyde and Avon valley.” says Chris Waltho, South Lanarkshire Council Countryside and Greenspace.

He continues, “Why not get out and about to learn more about these wonderful species from experts, by joining one of these events. Your sightings can also add more to local wildlife knowledge by reporting them to iRecord through your phone or laptop. The prizes offered are an extra bonus!”

Full details of the events, click here.

The Clyde and Avon Valley Wildlife Challenge and 500 Words Competition must be entered by Sunday 31 December 2017. The campaign is a partnership project between Heritage Lottery Fund and Lanarkshire LEADER supported Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership, North Lanarkshire Council, RSPB Baron's Haugh, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Wildlife Trust Falls of Clyde and South Lanarkshire Countryside Rangers. Find out the full details for the campaign here.

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