A NEW group for women who like watching wildlife will be running two events on the Exe Estuary before and after Christmas.
The group was started by RSPB volunteer Ann Mitchell.
She said: "The Women's Wildlife Group was started in April this year in response to feedback from many women visiting the Exe estuary nature reserves, especially the birdwatching hide at Bowling Green.
"Women said they didn't always feel confident about asking experienced birdwatchers who used the hide regularly for information about the birds they could see as they didn't want to appear silly. The reaction to the group has been great – women who have come along have said they feel able to ask questions with confidence, like feeling part of a friendly group and really enjoy the wildlife – which is what it's all about. They also enjoy the socialising of a meal afterwards."
The first event before Christmas will be on Saturday, December 15 at the RSPB's Bowling Green Marsh Reserve in Topsham. Here the group is hoping to see some of the thousands of winter visitors on the Exe estuary – followed by lunch at The Globe Inn in Topsham.
Ann said: "We invite you to come and join us on this fantastic pre-Christmas event to see all the feathered visitors who are over-wintering here. There will be good views of ducks, such as teal and widgeon, as well as winter waders. Please bring binoculars if you have them and we will meet in the Holman Way Car Park. There will be an optional pub meal afterwards at The Globe Inn, Topsham, after the event for a pre-Christmas meal. There are open fires, locally sourced food and real ales from local breweries."
In the new year, on Monday, January 21, the group has organised a special dawn cruise on the estuary, which will depart from Topsham at 7am.
Ann added: "After seeing the estuary's wildlife come alive there will be a special breakfast to help everyone warm up."
The group is also planning to spread its wings with a trip to the Somerset Levels in January – date to be confirmed."
For full details visit http://www.rspb.org.uk/events/ or call 01392 432691.