Taken from Lynne’s weekly column ‘Green Scene’ for the Western Mail. 26th November 2016
One Foot Forward, One Back
Something I can confirm after spending a day filming a piece with the Countryfile team (see pic with presenter Helen Skelton), about my barefoot run across Wales, a fortnight ago only to be told last week that it didn’t fit in.
Never mind, it’ll be great to see the team in the Brecon Beacons on Sunday evening as they investigate the dark skies, mountain biking in Merthyr, fishing in the canal at Llangattock and sheep trekking in Crai – bare cloven hooves, just no bare feet!
Raw to Go
I am a big fan of eating well for maximum energy and optimum health and similarly think it is as important for Yogi, my dog, to do the same. I was shocked to read about all the ‘rubbish’ included in most of the dog food and particularly dog biscuits – coloured biscuits have the most additives and are responsible for a lot of behavioural and skin complaints – so spent some time researching the best alternatives for my ‘best friend’. As a result she has been on a raw meat diet for the last 12 months and has never been so well and healthy.
I have been reminded of the benefits as a result of recommending the change to a friend whose dog was suffering with arthritis. After just a month on raw food, her dog has improved hugely – something she attributes to the diet.
I get Yogi’s food from Raw to Go in Abergavenny, who deliver but there are other outlets too. You can find out more at www.rawtogo.co.uk as the website has some great information to enable you to make your own decision. Or call 01873 268086 for some friendly advice.
And for those who know, yes I am a vegan and no, I don’t have any qualms about feeding Yogi raw meat – she is a carnivore – although she also enjoys a mix of raw carrots and broccoli stems too.
Keep on Track
I’m not to keen on the snow from a professional or gardening point of view but one of the things I love to do is use it to identify animal tracks. Walking Yogi up on the mountain last weekend, as well as the expected sheep tracks, and bird prints we also found some rabbit prints (see photo). These are identifiable from the longer hind feet at the front of the pattern with the smaller fore paws at the back.
Squirrels footprints are often mistaken for bears – honestly – as the block of four prints look like a single bear paw. It’s fascinating and sure enough, you can get an app for it – www.naturetracking.com/itrack-wildlife – which has over 800 different track photographs on it as well as 120 skull photographs.
The website ‘Nature Tracking’ also has fabulous photos and is a great alternative for the less techie amongst us and they have ‘snow photos’ of the five most likely animal prints you’ll find in your garden.
Not Just for Christmas
I thought I would offer a few ideas for Christmas presents over the next few weeks – they’ll be a little unusual and quirky – ideal for those people who ‘have everything’! This week’s suggestion is ‘The Gift of Life’ or adopting an orphan animal.
Fostering an orphaned elephant, giraffe or rhino makes a fabulous and original Christmas gift for friends, family and loved ones, whilst also offering hope for an animal that has lost its mother, all too often as a result of human actions. All orphans available for fostering are in the care of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, meaning your fostering gift will allow them to provide the specialist care they need. To find out more visit www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org.
World Wide Fund for Nature also offers membership and adoption schemes, as do various Dog, Horse and Donkey Rescue Centres. Give this as a present and you’ll be giving twice.