I’m a proud Essex boy, although if you spoke to me without knowing anything about me beforehand, you might not be able to guess this. Similarly, if you rely on the stereotypical imagery espoused in popular culture, you might not believe me when I say that Essex is a bright jewel when it comes to wildlife spectacles. Its coast, the longest of any county in England, is a particularly special place and this time of year it is awash with the sights and sounds of birds that have migrated from the north and east. However, increasingly-densely populated and facing pressure from housing development, pollution, transport links and industrial activity and with London on its doorstep, Essex has grown less and less wild over the years. [Read More]
Winter isn’t always seen as the most comfortable time to watch wildlife, but if you can steady your binoculars in trembling hands before the sun prematurely sets at 4 o’clock, birding in the coldest months of the year can prove the most rewarding. Although many species have migrated – quite rightly in my opinion – to Europe or Africa in order to escape the falling temperatures, others fleeing the even colder northern climes of Scandinavia and the High Arctic gather here in their thousands, producing some of our most interesting and beloved species. [Read More]
Conservation of the Northern Brown Argus in Holyrood Park
Gracefully gliding across the sea of rock rose, a little butterfly has found the perfect place to rest. On a steep south-facing slope, basking in the heat of the mid-day sun, life seems like it couldn’t be any better for this beautiful northern brown argus. I pause to watch this idyllic scene, noticing other winged marvels like grayling, red admirals and cinnabar moths joining the party. Dwarfed by these other fliers, the northern brown argus is unfazed, investigating the buttery petals of the rock rose. [Read More]
Meet the Conservation Groups with a Vision for Moor Trees
I happen to live on the doorstep of one of Britain’s most southerly national parks. Dartmoor National Park is moorland resting on Britain’s largest granite outcrop and stretching across 954 km2 (368 sq mi). Once heavily forested it is now predominantly treeless, aside from some isolated ancient woodland and coniferous forestry, and carpeted in thick blanket bog.
The south east of Dorset is home to the Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch conurbation, the biggest population centre in the county. This urban environment is home to many people, but in between all the buildings, roads and humans, wildlife can still be found.
Over the past couple of years, the work being done to conserve wildlife on the Burry Inlet has increased dramatically. The Inlet itself is sandwiched between Carmarthenshire and West Glamorgan with each side now doing vital work. The majority of the work has been done via grants from wildlife organisations or through strategically funding these projects. WWT Llanelli has also played a great part on the Carmarthenshire side having altered a lot of the reserve to suit certain species of birds and mammals that are currently visiting the site. [Read More]
One cold November morning, a group of young Yorkshire Wildlife Trust volunteers found themselves crammed into a van on their way to begin work on a natural flood management project in Leeds. Our goal was to reinforce the banks of the river Aire through the process of willow spiling. [Read More]
Want To Generate Support For Conservation? Let Kids Play Outside!
I can’t remember when I first fell in love with the outdoors. One of my most vivid memories from primary school is rummaging for insects under the hedge at the back of the school playing field during a science lesson when I was 8. An earwig ended up crawling into a classmate’s shoe while he tried to manoeuvre it into a jar, which caused great amusement. I remember wishing that every lesson was like this. [Read More]