I HAVE been to two different courses and a conference these last few weeks, all run by Cofnod, our North Wales local biological records centre.

Here is where we should all send our wildlife sightings, from flowers to birds and even slugs and woodlice - you can even get a mobile phone app from their website now that enables you to just click a photo while you are out in the garden or walking the dog and send to them.

The satellite will provide the exact location for them and they can help you identify what you have snapped.

You might not think much of studying slugs and woodlice!

But, actually, they are really interesting.

I learnt, for example, that slugs evolved from snails (I would have thought it would be the other way round) and some slugs still have a vestigial shell as a hard patch on their back or like a cuttle-fish bone inside the body.

Not all of them eat our garden plants- most of them only feed on already dead and rotting material - that is why you will find them in the compost heap, along with woodlice.

They break down pieces of plant too big for the worms so that the smaller creatures can work on it.

Without all these recycling animals, fungi and bacteria we would never have nutrients replenished in the soil to feed next year's growth, and we would also be up to our ears in unbroken down dead plant material!

Woodlice are crustaceans, the same family as prawns, crabs and lobsters, but woodlice are the only crustaceans which seem to have made it onto land.

Some of them still have gills left on their underside that are used to breathe, which is why they have to live in damp places.

There are only 40 species of them native to Britain, also known as Slaters or some called Pill-bugs because they can roll into a ball.

They don’t do any damage to your plants, but are very useful in recycling dead material.

They look like tiny Trilobites - the Cambrian fossils I studied as a geology student, but apparently they are not descended from them.

So take a look at some of our tiny soil creatures – they are as important as pollinating insects, in their way!

I have just taken over as county recorder for butterflies in Flintshire and Denbighshire, so you can email me or ring with ID questions via 01352 711198 or Jan@7wells.org

And please come to the ‘Halkyn Mountain – A Living landscape’ talk by Saul Burton on November 26 (7pm).

This will take place in Rhes y Cae village Hall.

It is being held in association with the Halkyn Mountain Nature Conservation Group.