A plant list for Iris Brickfield Park

Iris Brickfield Park sits fairly close to our home in Heaton, Newcastle, and as such, has been a mainstay of our local walks during the pandemic. Fairly small, at least when compared to Newcastle’s other parks, and managed by Urban Green, it provides a lifeline to many people living in the local area: dog walkers, joggers,…

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 port…

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 interesting…

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. Departing…

How to grow Henbane

With its large, hairy, lobed leaves and bell-shaped ivory blooms, each sporting a understated but beautiful purple centre, it is an undeniably attractive plant

A trip into the wildlife garden

Much as it did for great many people, I suspect, lockdown led to an increasing focus on gardening in our household. The focus for us being to transform our little urban yard into something appealing, for both wildlife and ourselves. I wrote about our mini-rewilding efforts a little last year (here) but realising that I…

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 areas…

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…

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 it’s 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 of…

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….