Garden Party

Spring has sunk into high summer. Days of hot sunshine and sneezes, the air thick with pollen and a rapidly expanding grasshopper orchestra. My time has been stretched. A new issue of Fallon’s Angler has been tied up and released, a sample chapter for a potential project picked at and almost certainly over-scrutinised. A newContinue reading “Garden Party”

The State of Nature

Today saw the publication of the latest State of Nature report – a ‘stock take’ of our wildlife made by over 50 of our conservation organisations. Unsurprisingly, the results do not make for pleasant reading. Well over half of our native species have declined since 1970 and one in ten are under threat from extinction.Continue reading “The State of Nature”

Smooth Operator

It seems quite incredible to consider that our rarest reptile, the smooth snake (Coronella austriaca)¬† was only recognised as a British species in 1859. A specimen caught six years earlier had been previously dismissed as a grass snake (or variant of) and it was a man called Dr J E Gray who got round toContinue reading “Smooth Operator”

New Colours

It would be lovely to slow time down in spring. So much can change in a day, while over the course of a week, an empty sky is suddenly thick with swallows, and the yellows of celandines and primroses have been swamped by the blues and purples of violets and bluebells. With the sun high,Continue reading “New Colours”

Waking Up…

Its been a slow start to spring. The weather has been reasonably settled but successive systems have channeled Arctic air from north, keeping¬† temperatures down and many of our migrants south of the Channel. Normally by now we would be seeing a steady stream of swallows, chats and warblers arriving on the south coast, yetContinue reading “Waking Up…”