Dingwall Wildlife Explorers received funding from the National Lottery Awards for All scheme

Put some text here ...

Put some text here ...

Put some text here ...

Tuesday, 29 January 2008


First walk of the year takes place this Saturday 2nd February, meet at the Ferry at 10am, warm clothes etc...Hot Chocolate and cakes will be provided.

We also have a 'pick a piece of litter up' on Valentine's Day, more to follow, but there is a Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8018793927

Thursday, 13 September 2007


The meeting next Wednesday evening has been moved from the Baptist Church to the Church of Scotland Hall at the rear of the church on Castle Street. Please email or phone for directions.Contact Dave on 01349 867675.

Meeting starts at 6.30 to 8pm, Wednesday 19th September. All P4 upwards are welcome.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

2007/2008 Programme

Friday, 10 August 2007

Monday, 11 June 2007


The planned outing for the end of the month has moved dates due to school disco...it will now take place at 6pm this Thursday (14th) at Blackmuir Woods up by the side of the old Youth Hostel.
We will be joining in with the Woodcraft Folk, please come and help us look for all things woodland!!

Friday, 1 June 2007

Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)

In the garden pond

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Oystercatcher in Dingwall 6

Oystercatcher in Dingwall 6
Originally uploaded by dwex01

Oystercatcher in Dingwall 2

Oystercatcher in Dingwall 2
Originally uploaded by dwex01

Wabbit - Oryctolagus cuniculus

Wabbit - Oryctolagus cuniculus
Originally uploaded by dwex01

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Common Blackbird (Turdus merula)

Common Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Originally uploaded by dwex01
This is I think, is my best digiscoped image so far, the clarity is getting better.

Great diving beetle (Dytiscus marginalis)

Our garden pond has a good few of these wee beasties, ferocious as they are, they are part of the natural ecosystem.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Shelduck - Tadorna tadorna

Shelduck - Tadorna tadorna
Originally uploaded by dwex01.
Cromarty Firth at 200 yards with a Samsung NV3 attached to an Opticron ES 100 GA ED/45.

This is the Dwex equipment that we are using and hopefully we can begin to teach the children how to use this.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007


The harbour trip is now 5pm and not 3pm due to the school May Fair.

Dingwall Harbour – 3pm – Saturday 26th May

We will meet at 3pm in the car park at the very end of Ferry Road. We will then walk up the Conon along the shore, crossing the two level crossings at Pitglassie, avoiding any roads, and returning to the car park at 5.30pm.

You may have noticed that the indoor meetings have changed dates recently. This is for two reasons; firstly the large numbers attending in such a small space make it difficult to involve all the members. Secondly with the summer on the horizon we want to get outdoors much more. Therefore till the autumn we will be working on a one a month indoor and one a month outdoor meeting, with plenty of other meetings as indicated below…

The next indoor Wednesday meeting is 6th June at 3.15pm as normal. As we are beginning to log the wildlife in the adjacent woods we are planning some Friday evening walks around the woods. These will take place at 6.30pm on 18th and 25th May as well as June 1st. We will meet at the school and do a circular walk around Tulloch, concentrating on the woods adjacent to and above the school, and lasting about 1 hour. All ages welcome.

Please visit our images website at dwex.co.uk, some areas of the website are restricted to parents etc due to child protection policy, you will need to be enabled as a guest to view certain images containing the children, email me if you would like access.

We are currently short of helpers and as always we would welcome anyone willing to help.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Indoor Meeting

The next indoor Wednesday meeting is 9th May...thanks Dave

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Trip this Friday

As I sit here writing this it is pouring down...but all is not lost, the forecast for Friday is excellent, hot and sunny, so if you want to join us at the beach at Cromarty, then be at the school for 6pm. If you cannot make it to the school and want to go direct to Cromarty, will we be there for about 6.30-45pm. We will stay till approx 8-8.30, so bring a snack.

Hope to see you then...Dave


Thursday, 12 April 2007

Great Spotted Woodpecker

After much searching today I managed to get a fleeting glimpse of this Woodpecker as it was sat at the very top of a 40ft Sycamore tree...easy to hear, not so easy to see.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Lots of little lambs to see at the moment

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Bird in the Bush

Digiscoped image from near Alcaig, camera was Canon EOS400D on an Opticron 100GA ED.

Carrion Crow from approx 150 yards...

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Saturday 22nd March 2007

Next trip on Saturday 24th March…meet at the school at 3pm, or Marybank Hall at 3.20pm. Then we will drive the 20 miles to the area where the Golden Eagles normally nest. We should have telescopes, allowing everyone the chance to view the eagles, there should be chance to see other wildlife once at the spot. This trip will not include much walking, but warm clothing is still required as well as a bite to eat. We expect to return by 7.00pm, or earlier if poor light.

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

School Garden in Manchester

My sister has begun a wildlife/gardening group in the school in which she works, she also has a blog...PHSgarden


Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Updated Newsletter

The two walks we have had so far have proved a real success, the last walk down by the harbour being particularly good. The highlights were the Wigeon, Goldeneye, Teal and a Siskin. As you will see below the indoor programme is not as extensive as before, the reason behind this is due to the time of year. The next walk will be back to a Saturday, please bear with us as we find a day and time that works best for the outdoor meetings.

We are hoping that we will be able to get outdoors after school in the spring and summer, and save the indoors for the cold and dark of winter. For this reason we will be going to monthly indoor and monthly outdoor at present. We will pass a full diary in the next newsletter in two weeks. It is also hoped to do some trips further a field and get involved with various fairs around the town.

We have now secured some lottery funding; this will enable us to purchase equipment for the group, again, more of that later. We have installed a bird feeding station in the school and nest boxes in the field opposite the school.

It has been good to see parents involved with the walks, and we would welcome anyone who would like to come and help monthly with the indoor meetings. See either myself, Nicola Mackenzie, David MacLennan or Mr Mackenzie.

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Dingwall Community Website

We now have our own page on the Dingwall Community Website...here


Monday, 19 February 2007

February Walk

Dingwall Wildlife Explorers

Low Tide Walk

Dingwall Harbour/10.30 am/Sunday 25 February 2007

We will meet at 10.30am in the car park at the very end of Ferry Road (proceed in between the two houses and round into the car park). We will then walk up the Conon along the shore, then crossing the two level crossings at Pitglassie, avoiding any roads, and returning to the car park at 12.30am.

Please dress appropriately as it is likely that we will encounter wet and muddy ground. It is also possible that it will be cold being so close to the Firth, so plenty of layers recommended.

As the walk is 2 hours we will have a short break to have a snack, so please bring something tasty to eat (preferably chocolate covered!!)

All children must be dropped off and collected, and we encourage you to come along and join us.

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Jan/Feb News

It is planned to take our first outing on the afternoon of Sunday 28th January 2007…hooray!! Our first trip will be a short 90 minute excursion around the woods surrounding the field above the school, and we would like to invite you to walk with us.

We will walk from school, along Ross Place and down the path adjacent to Munro Place and into the woods. From there we will walk through the woods and up to the track that runs at the back of Tulloch Castle, from there through the castle grounds and down the drive turning back into Ross Place.

The walk will commence at 2.00pm at the school entrance, and finish at 3.30pm back at the school. Can all parents ensure that children are dropped off and collected if you are not joining us on the walk?

There is at this time of year the very real chance that the day will be cold and wet, therefore please make sure your child has enough warm and waterproof clothing if necessary on the day. The woods and adjacent fields are normally wet and muddy; please ensure that good boots or wellies are worn.

If your child has binoculars or digital camera then please bring them along, and please feel free to join in the walk with us.


Wed 17 Jan Nick Martin – Creepy Crawlies

Sun 28 Jan Walk in the Woods – Maggie’s Drive and Tulloch

Wed 31 Jan Jess Tomes - RSPB

Wed 14 Feb Indoor meeting

Sun 25 Feb Outdoor Walk

Wed 28 Feb Nick Martin – Snakes and Lizards

Wed 14 Mar Jess Tomes – RSPB

Wed 28 Mar Juliet Robinson - Squirrels

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Newts and Crossbills

A wildlife walk - Newts in January is unusual!


Thursday, 14 December 2006

Tawny Owl

Part of the Walk in the Woods video

Walk in the Woods

This was shot on a walk through the woods next to the school - our local patch, owl and raven and sheep etc

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Dwex Red Kite

Red Kite near primary School in Dingwall...YouTube and Google

Monday, 4 December 2006

Dwex News

Dingwall Wildlife Explorers

Due to the forthcoming Christmas parties today’s meeting will be the last one till January 17th. The planned meeting with Juliet Wilson (Squirrels) on the 20th December will now take place at a later date.

In the New Year we will be having some outdoor trips on a Saturday or possibly Sundays, as well as some talks from the RSPB.

We now have a bird table in the middle of the school in what will hopefully become the wildlife garden; we hope to start feeding the birds very soon.

So we hope you have a good Christmas and look forward to the coming year. It is worth noting that tomorrow (7th Dec) Lidl are selling Bresser 10x50 binoculars for £9.99, these are good binoculars that normally retail at £79.99. Also on offer are telescopes for £99.99, whilst expensive, these normally retail at £299.99 and this is a serious investment for anyone with a keen interest in wildlife (as well as astronomy). I am hoping to get a few for the group but expect these may go quickly.

Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year

David Lynch, Group Leader


Welcome to DWex

Dingwall Wildlife Explorers

The aim of this group is to allow children an additional opportunity to experience wildlife in our local area and to take an interest in their world.

Our area includes moorland, broad leaved woodland, pine forest, salt marsh, coastal estuary and farmland all within a few miles. The school premises where we currently meet is in the midst of private and local authority housing, the latter being subject to a recent dispersal order, the first in Scotland. This group sprang from a desire to see a long term sustainable activity for young people, initially 7-11 yr old.

There are no other groups of this kind within the local area, and as not all children have access to transport it is planned to make this a group that concentrates on its own local area. Our short term goal is to see a wildlife garden created in the school, this is being pursued through different areas of funding like the BBC ‘Breathing Spaces’ scheme. Long term we desire to see the placement of a wildlife watching hide in the area of the estuary, providing safe and protected for all the community, but this is long term.

Our immediate goal is to introduce children to the wildlife within their own locality. Due to high numbers (70 children currently on the register) we want to keep this close to the school to enable all children to attend, and hope that this group will encourage other community activities in the area. We also aim to allow the children the opportunity to bring forth ideas on sustainability and eco friendly practices, at home and at school.

There is no charge for the group and we intend to retain this feature for the duration of the group. Part of our aim is to introduce the children to wildlife that they would not normally notice, part of this requires observation equipment, and due to the nature of the land, the use of telescopes and binoculars would make this task possible.

We are also looking for the children to take wildlife pictures using a digital still and video cameras. Whilst some parents have access to photographic equipment, it would be sensible for us as a group to retain control over the images being produced. We will encourage image capturing of wildlife or general scenes of interest, including things like trees, fields, mountains and seashore etc, anything that has a feel for nature. We can then compile these images onto a single disk for further viewing, hence the need for laptop and projection equipment, enabling the children to explore their creative and artistic gifts.

Enclosed is our document pack, these policies enable us to function within a solid structure, with the children’s safety and enjoyment paramount to all we do. We currently meet on the premises of Dingwall Primary School and have been made most welcome by them, yet we are not a school group and we are open to all children within the area. Whilst we are not an affiliated RSPB group, we have sought and taken advice so far and have their full backing in our current format.

David J Lynch

Dingwall Wildlife Explorers

Group Leader

15 Chestnut Road


IV15 9UQ

email: micah78@micah78.plus.com



DWex Constitution

Dingwall Wildlife Explorers


  1. The Group will be called Dingwall Wildlife Explorers
  2. The aim of the group will be: 'To explore the flora, fauna and wildlife habitats of Dingwall and surrounding areas, raising awareness amongst the members of conservation and ecological issues.
  3. Membership of the Group will be open to anyone aged 7-11.
  4. The Group will hold regular, publicised open meetings, which any member will be entitled to attend.
  5. Such officers will be appointed as are required to administer the running of the Group including a chairperson, a treasurer and a secretary. Simple consensus at ordinary meetings can elect officers.
  6. Accounts will be kept by the treasurer, submitted to, and approved by an Annual General Meeting.
  7. The Group will set up a suitable banking account and will elect authorised signatories.
  8. The Group will work closely with Dingwall Primary School and the RSPB.
  9. This constitution may be altered by simple consensus amongst office bearers, leaders and helpers.
  10. All leaders and helpers in childcare positions will be required to apply for a basic disclosure. Childcare interpretation is per the Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003 (OPSI/HMSO) - Schedule 2 – the definition of child care positions.
  11. The group has taken and will continue to take all necessary steps to ensure that its meetings, events and socials are accessible to all, irrespective of any disability.
  12. The group has ensured and will continue to ensure that it complies with any relevant data protection legislation.
  13. The group believes that discrimination or harassment, direct or indirect, based on a person's gender, age, race, skin colour, nationality, religious belief, socio-economic background, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, family situation, domestic responsibilities or any other irrelevant distinction, is detrimental to the ethos of the group and wider society, and will not be tolerated.


DWex Child Protection Policy

Dingwall Wildlife Explorers

Child Protection Policy Statement.

Dingwall Wildlife Explorers is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children and young people. It recognises its responsibility to take all reasonable steps to promote safe practice and to protect children from harm, abuse and exploitation.

Volunteers will endeavour to work together to encourage the development of an ethos which embraces difference and diversity and respects the rights of children, young people and adults.

Dingwall Wildlife Explorers will:

  • ensure that all workers understand their legal and moral obligations to protect children and young people from harm, abuse and exploitation;

  • develop best practice in relation to the recruitment of all workers;

  • ensure that all workers understand their responsibility to work to the standards and procedures detailed in the organisation’s Code of Conduct, Code of Good Practice and the Child Protection Procedures;

  • ensure that all workers understand their obligations to report care or protection concerns about a child/young person, or a worker’s conduct towards a child/young person, to the organisation’s designated person for child protection;

  • ensure that all procedures relating to the conduct of workers are implemented in a consistent and equitable manner;

  • ensure that the designated person understands his/her responsibility to refer any child protection concerns to the statutory child protection agencies (i.e. Police and/or Social Work);

  • provide opportunities for all workers to develop their skills and knowledge particularly in relation to the care and protection of children and young people;

  • ensure that children and young people are enabled to express their ideas and views on a wide range of issues and will have access to the organisation’s Complaints Procedure;

  • ensure that parents/carers are encouraged to be involved in the work of the organisation and, when requested, have access to all guidelines and procedures;

  • endeavour to keep up-to-date with national developments relating to the care and protection of children and young people.


DWex Rehab of Offenders

Dingwall Wildlife Explorers

Recruitment of Ex Offender Policy

The purpose of this policy is to ensure consistent and fair practices are implemented for the recruitment of staff or volunteers who have a criminal record to paid/unpaid child care and Adults at Risk positions within Dingwall Wildlife Explorers.

Dingwall Wildlife Explorers undertakes to treat all applicants for positions within the organisation fairly and not to discriminate unfairly against the subject of a disclosure on the basis of conviction or other information revealed.

Having a criminal record will not necessarily de-bar an individual from working/volunteering in child care/adults at risk positions within this organisation. Only convictions or conviction information that is deemed relevant to the position applied for will result in an applicant not being granted the position.

This organisation implements a fair recruitment policy that ensures individuals have the opportunity to disclose any convictions or conviction information in a way that allows for a clear risk assessment to be carried out that will determine whether or not the conviction or conviction information is relevant to the position applied for.

To ensure the correct applicant is appointed and to enable [name of your organisation] to determine the relevance of any convictions or conviction information to positions applied for Dingwall Wildlife Explorers will use the following recruitment tools:

Application Form

Self-Declaration Form



Disclosure Certificate

As part of Dingwall Wildlife Explorers recruitment policy we request the appropriate level of Disclosure certificate at the final part of the recruitment stage, when a position has been offered.

Enhanced Disclosure certificates will only be sought for positions that are deemed to be exempted posts. An exempted post is one, which is detailed in the Exclusions and Exceptions (Scotland) Order 2003

Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, ex-offenders have the right not to reveal spent convictions. However, additional legislation (the Exclusions and Exceptions (Scotland) Act 2003) allows for employers to ask for an applicant to detail their full criminal record history.

One of the positions listed in the Exclusions and Exceptions (Scotland) Order 2003 is a child care position. The definition of a child care position is defined in Schedule 2 of the Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003 (PoCSA).

Applications for Child Care and Adults at Risk Positions

Where a position requires an Enhanced disclosure we make this clear on the application form, job advert, self-declaration form and any other information provided about the post.

All applicants are required to complete an application form, self-declaration form, interview and give details of 2 referees.

Self-Declaration Forms:

Self-Declaration Forms will be viewed by the Lead Signatory before interview to determine the relevance of any disclosed information to the position applied for.

When assessing the relevance of any convictions or conviction information the Lead Signatory will look at the following information:

Whether the conviction is relevant to the position being offered

The seriousness of the offence revealed.

The length of time since the offence took place

Whether the applicant has a pattern of offending behaviour

Whether the applicant’s circumstances have changed since offending took place

How the individual completed their sentence to move forward and stop the offending behaviour

Should the Lead Signatory decide that the information is relevant to the post the applicant will be deemed to have been unsuccessful and this information will be fed back to the applicant by letter.

For applicants who have disclosed convictions or conviction information that is not deemed to be relevant to the post an interview will take place.

At interview we will ensure that open, measured and relevant discussions can take place on the subject of any disclosed offences.

Failure to reveal information on the Self-Declaration Form or at interview that is directly relevant to the position sought will lead to the withdrawal of the offer of paid/unpaid work.

The appropriate level of Disclosure certificate will be accessed once the applicant has successfully completed the interview and the paid/unpaid position has been offered.

Should the returned Disclosure certificate disclose more offences, more serious offences or relevant non-conviction information than previously disclosed by the applicant this could lead to the withdrawal of offer of employment/volunteer post. This will be a decision for the Lead Signatory to make.

However should the Disclosure certificate for a Child Care position reveal that the applicant is Fully Listed on the Disqualified from Working with Children’s List under no circumstances will the applicant be offered or entitled to work/volunteer in a child care position for [name of your organisation]

All Disclosure Certificates accessed for successful applicants will be stored for a maximum of 6 months by the Lead Signatory as per our Dingwall Wildlife Explorers policy on storage, handling and retention policy.