Walking the Tyne: Wylam to Prudhoe

A sunny Friday off work recently provided the perfect chance to explore yet another stretch of River Tyne. Starting out from Wylam, and slight detour found me heading first for the small Northumberland Wildlife Trust reserve at Close House Riverside. An intersting little site, widely known for its myriad rare plants but also a prettyContinue reading “Walking the Tyne: Wylam to Prudhoe”

North Shields: brownfield bliss

I’ll admit it, I have a strange fascinating with brownfield sites. Not just because some of these places – spoil heaps, forgotten corners and abandoned urban land – often have an interesting back story, but because wildlife often thrives on these forsaken spaces. Indeed, whereas today it is possible to walk for miles in areasContinue reading “North Shields: brownfield bliss”

Wildlife on the River Coquet: Rothbury to Thropton

With the sun shining and temperatures topping twenty degrees, last weekend we opted for a visit to somewhere a little different. Arriving at Rothbury just shy of 10.00 am, and setting off on would turn out to be a delightful six-mile walk West along the River Coquet, it was the botanical diversity of the riversideContinue reading “Wildlife on the River Coquet: Rothbury to Thropton”

Exploring the North East’s solitary bees (part 2)

Prior to the current warm spell, the weather recently had been nothing short of diabolical and as a result, insects were been few and far between. A few urban walks and the odd jaunt further afield were the best I could manage throughout April and early May. That said, since my last update, I haveContinue reading “Exploring the North East’s solitary bees (part 2)”

Exploring the North East’s solitary bees (part 1)

The last few weeks have seen countless bee species emerging across the North East. The annual appearance of these colourful invertebrates providing the ideal opportunity to reacquaint myself with the common and abundant species found close to home but also, as restrictions ease, to set out in search of a few new and exciting species.Continue reading “Exploring the North East’s solitary bees (part 1)”

Wildlife recording on the street – looking back at 2020

When lockdown dawned in 2020 and naturalists across the country were forced to redirect their wildlife-watching close to home, I set myself a challenge: to find and record as many species as possible on and around my Newcastle street. Birds, bees and butterflies; mammals and molluscs, everything and anything counted. An easy task, or soContinue reading “Wildlife recording on the street – looking back at 2020”

Where to watch wildlife in the North East: Silverlink Biodiversity Park

In a new series of articles, we’ll be taking a look at the best places to watch wildlife in  North East England. By no means comprehensive but hopefully informative, these posts are intended to provide inspiration on where to visit in the North East to observe and enjoy nature, as well as detailing some ofContinue reading “Where to watch wildlife in the North East: Silverlink Biodiversity Park”

Exploring the Fascinating Flora of Lindisfarne

I have visited the Holy Island of Lindisfarne many times to admire the sites birdlife, chase rarities and even seek out insects, but never to appreciate its diverse and interesting flora. Lindisfarne is well known as an excellent site for those interested in botany, it’s unspoilt beaches, sprawling dune slacks, fields and expansive areas ofContinue reading “Exploring the Fascinating Flora of Lindisfarne”

Wonderful Wildflowers at Bishop Middleham Quarry

A Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Durham Wildlife Trust nature reserve encompassing a disused magnesian limestone quarry, I have read about Bishop Middleham Quarry for years. People, it seems, visit the site from far and wide to experience the fantastic flora on offer here. As well as for an abundance of colourful insects.Continue reading “Wonderful Wildflowers at Bishop Middleham Quarry”

The Pound Wood ‘Fritillary Site’ – a place for butterflies and a great deal more, by Ross Gardner

The Essex Wildlife Trust’s Pound Wood, like so many ancient woods, is a special place and for different reasons.  It is special for being somewhere for the people of this busy and built-up part of Essex to establish, or indeed re-establish those close and valuable connections with the natural world, something so important, not onlyContinue reading “The Pound Wood ‘Fritillary Site’ – a place for butterflies and a great deal more, by Ross Gardner”

Eye-catching Invertebrates at Gosforth Nature Reserve

Owing to a diverse mosaic of habitats, including plentiful dead wood, Gosforth Nature Reserve is a fantastic place at which to indulge a fascination for the North East’s smaller wildlife. This Rhinocerous Beetle (Sinodendron cylindricum) was, without doubt, the star of the show last week. A first for me, this glossy, cylindrical beetle (a male)Continue reading “Eye-catching Invertebrates at Gosforth Nature Reserve”

Chasing Urban Orchids

Few wildflowers capture the imagination quite like our orchids. They’re beautiful, of course, but also sufficiently scarce to provide a little jolt of excitement whenever you happen across one. They are also the only group of plants – to the best of my knowledge – that manages to unite all natural history enthusiasts, whether theyContinue reading “Chasing Urban Orchids”