Lets talk about the Tyne Kittiwakes

If you live in the North East, doubtless you have noted the recent, and entirely justified, outcry surrounding the unfortunate deaths of a number of Kittiwakes (a globally threatened, predominately oceanic and entirely harmless species) caused by entrapment in bird deterrent netting erected on Newcastle's Quayside. The issue has been everywhere this week, highlighted by ...

Beauty amid death

As a nation, we have been conditioned to view our cemeteries as dark, macabre places. And, to a certain extent, they are - each and every one subtly different to the next, but all standing as everlasting memorials to the ephemeral nature of life, and the certainty of death. They are sombre places which, even ...

An exciting annoucement…

We're delighted to announce that @CommonByNature, founder & director of the fabulous @NewNature_Mag, has accepted an invitation to join #BSBIPublications Committee: https://t.co/3dLxZkDe44 https://t.co/3Kw6VwLZVT Great to have you on board James! @EyebrightChris @BSBIscience pic.twitter.com/UAtq8Ja2QW — BSBI (@BSBIbotany) 25 July 2018 I am thrilled to announce that yesterday, I received confirmation have I have been elected to ...

Butterflies on Box Hill, by Frances Jones

After weeks of hot, dry weather, the River Mole meandering gently through its wooded valley looked particularly welcoming. Dogs were splashing about in the water and willows dipped and danced in the breeze at the water's edge. We took the Stepping Stones across the river and headed up the path through the woods. Meadow Browns ...

New Nature: Issue 19

With Britain half-baked as a result of the recent heatwave, there has never been a better time to hunker down in a shady spot, surround yourself with nature, and flick through the latest edition of New Nature – the youth nature magazine. July is an exciting month in the naturalist’s calendar: butterflies and dragonflies are ...

Chris Packham’s UK Bioblitz comes to Newcastle

Have you heard of Chris Packham's UK Bioblitz?  If not, it's essentially a ten-day tour of 50 wildlife sites scattered across Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales, conducted in an effort to highlight the extent to which our nation's wildlife is under threat. With all data collected on the whirlwind tour being used to create ...

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 ...

Small Skipper

This year appears to have been a good one for the Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris). All around the local area at present, these energetic, golden, thimble-sized butterflies adorn roadside verges, roundabouts, parkland and wasteland: livening up walks in the city as they flit from bloom to bloom. Appearing to particularly favour the pale-purple flowers of  ...

Compassionate Conservation or admirable ignorance?

Compassionate Conservation is proposed as a "growing international movement that seeks to build the welfare of individual animals into conservation practice. Achieved by promoting change, acceptance and education to reduce intended or unintentional harm to wildlife". Its core principals are built around the assertation that, in our quest to conserve vulnerable species, humans should refrain ...

The Wildlife of Brompton Cemetery, by Frances Jones

Rising particularly early one morning and feeling it was a good time to get outdoors, I set off for Brompton Cemetery in West London. I have travelled past this cemetery many times on the bus but have only once visited, on a similarly warm summer's day when I took a book to a stone archway ...

Broad-bodied Chaser

A quick visit to Gosforth  Park Nature Reserve today came up trumps with my first ever Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa). Now, this is a relatively common species, doubtless familiar to many of you, but as someone only just beginning their journey into the frustrating, complicated but altogether fun realm of dragonflies, this individual gave cause ...

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