Review: WakaWaka Power+ and Light

I recently went on holiday for a week to the New Forest – not everso far, I’ll admit, but for me, that counts as an overseas trip. We stayed at Sandy Balls holiday park (yes really) on the western edge of the National Park, right by the Avon river valley.

Knowing I was going to be staying in a holiday park, and likely to be doing some walking in a more rural place than I normally hang out, I took with me a couple of new bits of kit that I’ve recently acquired. The WakaWaka charger and light are solar-powered devices, one is a combo of phone charger and LED torch, and the other is just a torch. I left behind my normal 10000mAh charging brick and took these two relatively light gadgets instead. Continue reading Review: WakaWaka Power+ and Light

Review: Hi-Tec Trek Plus Activity Tracker

These days I’m out and about a bit, so I got myself a fitness tracker from Hi Tec to see how that worked. I had a rival tracker last year for a while (Misfit Shine), but eventually gave up with it, as it wouldn’t communicate with my phone in any meaningful way. So with a new year, I decided to make a new start – and strapped on the Hi-Tec Trek Plus Activity Tracker.

The wearables market is a crowded one, with a whole load of different companies vying for the attention – and the money – of those comfortable, techie middle-class folk who like to imagine exercise is downloadable. Now I’m not a great one for exercise for its own sake – but I do sometimes get to do some exercise in the course of my work. And I don’t just mean pushing that heavy, heavy mouse around. I was interested to see how the Activity Tracker dealt with that.

It’s now been two months, so it’s time for me to report back.

Continue reading Review: Hi-Tec Trek Plus Activity Tracker

The Ranger re-booted

I’m hoping to spend a lot more time out patrolling the countryside this year, and so I have been on the lookout for a new pair of boots. And given the wet winter we have had, I’ve been looking quite hard at the Hi-Tec waterproof range. So these last few weeks I’ve been testing out a nice new pair of Hi-Tec Altitude Pro walking boots. Are they just stylish weekend hiker-clogs; or reliable workhorses? My old plates have been finding out. Continue reading The Ranger re-booted

Wildlife and Countryside Quiz of 2009

Here’s a challenge for you – have you been paying attention to the UK wildlife and countryside news this year? Review your knowledge with the Ranger’s quick quiz of the year – then come back and tell us how you did!

Of course, it would be easy to find the answers using Google, but you won’t have so much fun if you do. The quiz is hosted elsewhere on Naturenet – this blog doesn’t lend itself to quiz-type pages. But do come back afterwards, and tell us how you did, and your wildlife highlights of 2009.

British Wildlife Photography Awards: Follow up

What a great night! I promised an update and here it is. Naturenet was very pleased to be invited to the BWPA awards ceremony, where The Ranger used Twitter to report live from Hoopers gallery, Clerkenwell, where it was all happening.

Matt Chatfield, Nick Baker and Ross Hoddinot at the BWPA

Matt Chatfield of Naturenet chats to host Nick Baker and overall winner Ross Hoddinot in front of the winning entry at the BWPA 2009

Continue reading British Wildlife Photography Awards: Follow up

British Wildlife Photography Awards: Category Winners

The Ranger is reporting the winners from the BWPA ceremony at Hoopers Gallery, London. There are some remarkable pictures here, really wonderful stuff. But of course there can only be so many awards given, and one overall winner. We’ve got access to those top images courtesy of BWPA. So read on to enjoy the cream of British wildlife photography right here on Naturenet.

British Wildlife Photography Awards

Continue reading British Wildlife Photography Awards: Category Winners

British Wildlife Photography Awards

The BWPA ceremony is this Wednesday and Naturenet will be there! We’ve been invited along to see the awards presented, and maybe even do some live tweeting or blogging from the auditorium.

British Wildlife Photography Awards

So keep your eyes on Naturenet if you’re interested to see what’s going on. Plus, the Ranger wants to know, did any readers enter the competition? Or were you tempted, but decided not to? What do you think of the BWPA so far – and what should they do next year? Come on, you can tell us. Leave your comment below – and if we get a few photos to show perhaps I might do a follow-up post of Naturenet readers’ BWPA entries, or non-entries.

Red Squirrel (c) all rights reserved Nick Bradley

Isle of Wight Walking Festival Competition

Yay! We’ve got some freebies to give away to one lucky Ranger’s Blog reader. It’s nearly time for the Isle of Wight Walking Festival – now officially the UK’s largest walking festival. From May 9th to the 24th there are over 300 walks to choose from – and much of the festival is absolutely free. There’s even one walk with The Virtual Ranger himself, in person, and not surprisingly it’s got a hi-tech theme. So yes, I’m absolutely going to say it’s great because I’m in it.

Isle of Wight Walking Festival goodies

The nice people at the Isle of Wight Council have given us this goodie bag to give to the lucky winner of our Twitter competition. You get a T-shirt, some badges, some leaflets, a nice yellow lightweight rucksack (not in the picture) and the highlight, a special edition Walking Festival 1:25000 OS map of the Isle of Wight. Find out how to enter – for free – after the jump. Continue reading Isle of Wight Walking Festival Competition

The Channel Creature?

The Ranger has been sent a link to a campaigning organisation called the ‘Association of Maritime Research’. They’re a newly-formed association who are reporting on what they claim is a ‘large fast-moving object’ in the English Channel.

The Channel Creature?

There’s even a video showing the thing allegedly zooming along. Frankly, it’s all a bit mysterious – and a little look at the Association of Maritime Research looks, well, a bit fishy. Continue reading The Channel Creature?

British Wildlife Photography Awards now open!

We’re pretty excited about the new British Wildlife Photography Awards, and the award scheme is now open for entries.

British Wildlife Photography Awards

Between now and 31st July 2009 it’s your chance to get into the inaugural year of what looks like it could become the definitive UK wildlife photo comp. Now there is no shortage of such competitions, so what makes this one different – if anything? Continue reading British Wildlife Photography Awards now open!