Category: Northumberland

A paradise of parched grasses

Walking at Weetslade Country Park this past weekend, the rolling grasslands of the former colliery site appeared almost Mediterranean. Parched grasses, sapped by what seems like an eternity of vigorous sunlight, appearing yellowed, dry and lifeless. The vista laid out before me more like a sight from the South of Spain, or Portugal than one ...

Hairstreaks in the morning sun

Traversing the dappled woodland of Gosforth Park Nature Reserve earlier today, I had only one thing in mind: hairstreaks. Purple hairstreaks, to be precicse, Neozephyrus quercus, a remarkable, handsome butterfly that spends the majority of its time high in the canopy. Feasting on honeydew in close proximity to the species larval food plant, oak. Unlike most ...

Cuddy ducks, clowns and stench of guano

Britain's seabird colonies represent a spectacle like no other: bustling, raucous municipalities where a multitude of species congregate to form a single, far larger, living being. An avian city, cramped and lively, which moves and reacts as one when presented with danger, or opportunity - similar in many ways to the concrete jungles so many ...

Nature Notes #2

  Spring has sprung, at long last. And all about my local area, the sapphire blooms of English bluebell mingle with the garish, Simpson-yellow of lesser¬†celandine and the pristine white of flowering wood anemone. The air encompassing them ripe with the stench of ramsons carried on the breeze and nearby waterways - the ponds, streams ...

Northumberland’s Wild Interior

Uncharacteristically, I haven't managed many far-flung ventures of late - the combined result of some drastic life changes, a busy schedule and the build-up of myriad more menial tasks. This, of course, has frustrated me to no end, boiling over with a snap decision this past Saturday to drop everything and travel outwards: inland to ...