A journey through the unusual trees (and shrubs) of Newcastle

I’m rubbish at tree identification, and shrubs too for that matter. There, I said it. While I can separate the more familiar British species, your oaks, birches and common maples, anything beyond that has traditionally gone straight over my head. Not so useful in the city where planting and landscaping, both historic and recent, meanContinue reading “A journey through the unusual trees (and shrubs) of Newcastle”

Ladybird recording in Newcastle

Keen to further explore Newcastle’s ladybirds as part of the North East Ladybird Spot, last weekend I set off for two local sites that I seldom visit. The first, Newcastle’s Great Park, a new suburb of the city located four miles from the city centre, and the second, the well-known Havannah Nature Reserve near Dinnington.Continue reading “Ladybird recording in Newcastle”

Bees, butterflies and botany at Lesbury

Beginning a week of annual leave, a fortnight past, I hopped on the train keen to explore surrounds of Lesbury in North Northumberland. Arriving at Alnmouth station and taking the short walk North to where the circular walk begins beside the River Aln, a roadside field rife with Common Knapweed provided an interesting first portContinue reading “Bees, butterflies and botany at Lesbury”

Botany on the coast: Alnmouth to Boulmer

A few weeks past, a Saturday free of commitments provided a rare opportunity for a trip North. Opting for a walk on the Northumberland coast, on this occasion we headed for Alnmouth, intending to walk a few miles up the shoreline towards Boulmer, recording as we went. Arriving at Alnmouth train station, it was interestingContinue reading “Botany on the coast: Alnmouth to Boulmer”

Wildlife at Walker Riverside

Of all of the places I regularly visit in Newcastle, Walker riverside has to be my favourite. Owing to a mix of abdanonment and neglect, it just about the most diverse local site I know of for plants and insects

Bees and botany at Newbiggin

A short while ago, a sunny Saturday afternoon provided the perfect opportunity for a June venture to the Northumberland coast. Deciding against sites we visit frequently, it was decided that we would head to Newbiggin for a closer look at the plants and insects that abound along a stretch of coastline we seldom visit. DepartingContinue reading “Bees and botany at Newbiggin”

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)”

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”