OUTDOORS GREAT: The Fauna Fetchers team, sisters Sophie and Bridget Thomson, are passionate about wildlife and the environment.
OUTDOORS GREAT: The Fauna Fetchers team, sisters Sophie and Bridget Thomson, are passionate about wildlife and the environment. Marc Stapelberg

Fauna Fetchers go adventuring again

TO KICK off a book giveaway and celebrate the 75th anniversary of Famous Five Go Adventuring Again, by Enid Blyton, The Northern Star spoke with the Northern River's own adventurers, the Fauna Fetchers.

Growing up on five acres on the outskirts of Ballina meant twin sisters Bridget and Sophie Thomson "pretty much lived outside”.

From spending hours on the trampoline, trying to "make the kookaburras laugh” to "making camps among the banana trees”, the twins behind Fauna Fetchers have learnt what's important in their life from creating their own outdoor adventures.

"We were never into computer games or PlayStations ... we just preferred being outdoors,” Bridget said.

Halfway through university Bridget enrolled in a snake-handling course.

"I always wanted to go and be the catcher and the rescuer, I didn't want to be in the vet clinic. From a young age Sophie was training our little dogs and she grew a passion to be a dog trainer,” Bridget said.

"Because we lived on acreage we would have to do our chores outside like gardening on the weekends.”

Bridget said the outdoors held "the basics of life”.

Here, she said, you gained commonsense.

"If you get out and enjoy the outside world, get air in your lungs and enjoy the other lifeforms that are out there and observe things like what they do for feeding and where they are going, you are learning basic forms of living,” she said. "I think it's a really good form of learning. For example, if I step on this rock that's slippery (then) I am going to slip, (so) maybe I shouldn't do it - it teaches us coordination and strength.”

Just this week Bridget was called to a residential property in Ballina to remove a lace monitor from a tree. On a weekly basis she handles snakes and other reptiles in a professional manner.

Bridget and Sophie landed back home recently after time at Uluru where they were learning more about the TV documentary scene.

"That's one of our big goals this year as the Fauna Fetchers. At the moment we are making our own home documentaries but Totally Wild has been interested in a few of them,” Bridget said.

"We want to let these kids know the world that's around them so they get the inspiration to go out and see it for themselves.”

They will also be working to introduce new aspects to their shows, including wombats, birds and dingoes.

When Sophie was younger she was going for a bike ride with her dog when she encountered a big wild boar.

"You get to learn how to deal with circumstances under pressure,” she said. "We've had so many adventures where we have come away with injuries like mud in the eyes or broken arms but you get to learn how to deal with those problems and how to try stay calm.

"It's great relationship- building with friends, that's why Bridget and I are on the same wavelength.”

ENID BLYTON CLASSICS

Here are the 15 books to collect:

February 4 The Famous Five on a Treasure Island + Collector's Case (Sunday Telegraph)

February 5 The Enchanted Wood (The Northern Star)

February 6 The Twins at St Clare's (The Northern Star)

February 7 The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage (The Northern Star)

February 8 Naughty Amelia Jane (The Northern Star)

February 9 The Children on the Cherry Tree Farm (The Northern Star)

February 10 The Secret Seven (The Northern Star)

February 11 Five Go Adventuring Again (Sunday Telegraph)

February 12 Holiday Adventures (The Northern Star)

February 13 Brer Rabbit Short Stories (The Northern Star)

February 14 Malory Towers First Term (The Northern Star)

February 15 The O'Sullivan Twins at St Clare's (The Northern Star)

February 16 Secret Seven Adventure (The Northern Star)

February 17 The Naughtiest Girl in the School (The Northern Star)

February 18 The Adventures of the Wishing Chair (Sunday Telegraph)

For more information, head to www.enidblytoncollection.com.au



RAIN DANCE: Kids boogie to bust the drought

premium_icon RAIN DANCE: Kids boogie to bust the drought

‘Raindance’ singer Sara Storer dropped in to help lift their spirits

Rain helps fireys, but more needed

Rain helps fireys, but more needed

THE much-needed rain is a mixed blessing on the fireground, with cloudy conditions...

‘Absolutely fantastic’: Surf lifesavers’ impressive victory

premium_icon ‘Absolutely fantastic’: Surf lifesavers’ impressive victory

THE Far North Coast surf lifesaving team has won the country titles for the seventh...