Half-Penny: a woodland ablaze

Upon my latest visit to Half-Penny, it was not that birds that, as usual, occupied my undivided attention. Despite both the local Kingfishers and Dippers performing admirably. Nor was it the sites mammalian inhabitants, despite a Red Squirrel putting on a mighty fine show as it collected hazelnuts from the riparian shrubbery. No, today itContinue reading “Half-Penny: a woodland ablaze”

Half-Penny: how things have changed

To those familiar with this blog, you will know that I owe my passion for nature almost entirely to my Grandmother. The lady who first introduced me to the joys of a life outdoors and who, through no end of weekend adventures, provided my first insight into the world of trees, birds, bugs and bees.Continue reading “Half-Penny: how things have changed”

Half-Penny: signs of the seasons

Traversing the sunny (yet surprisingly cold) depths of Half-Penny this morning, one thing struck me above all else: the bounty of Autumnal fruit. This year, each and every fruit-bearing shrub appears laden with berries, much more so that usual. The stand of Blackthorn that grows, spindly and unkempt, by the entrance to the wood aboundsContinue reading “Half-Penny: signs of the seasons”

Half-Penny: aliens and interlopers

There are many words used to describe species which, through human intervention, have found themselves existing far outside of their historic, natural range. Terms such as invasives, aliens, invasive aliens and nonindigenous species are quite familiar; while a glance at social media often reveals myriad more unflattering phrases: pest, nuisance, menace, vermin – I particularly loatheContinue reading “Half-Penny: aliens and interlopers”

Half-Penny: by the riverside

Today I thought I would try something different and, forgoing the urge to travel in search of nature, opted for a more relaxed approach to observation. Choosing to simply sit, watch and wait in a setting that, more so than any other, has enthused me since childhood: the Half-Penny Wood. It was the river which heldContinue reading “Half-Penny: by the riverside”

An interesting record…

I love moth trapping. I adore the expectant thrill that abounds when venturing into the unknown each morning; as I carefully remove egg boxes and examine the various colourful critters disguised beneath. Mothing, for me, is addictive, exhilarating even – each morning bringing some different; whether in the form of a new species, a recordContinue reading “An interesting record…”

Three Peaks for Curlew – Success!

I am delighted to announce that yesterday, following an exhausting day of trekking in the Yorkshire Dales, myself, Sacha Elliot and Tiffany Francis (otherwise known as the Curlew Crusaders) concluded our three peaks for Curlew challenge. Hooray! Taking in the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside (in my opinion, the worst of the three) and Ingleborough, we completed the twenty-six-mile hikeContinue reading “Three Peaks for Curlew – Success!”

Adventures in the sea air

This past week has been one of a distinctly salty theme, with each one of my sporadic outings over the past few days connected, in some way, to the coast. All things included -spectacular wildlife, tantalising rarities and some intriguing, conservation-themed visits – it has been a jolly good one, providing a welcome reprieve fromContinue reading “Adventures in the sea air”

Adventures in the night garden

There is something quite exhilarating about spending time outdoors by night – each sound, each rustle in the shrubbery and splash in the water indicative of hidden treasures lying just out of sight amid the gloom. Watching wildlife by night is intoxicating, plain and simple, and recently, has become somewhat of a hobby of mine.Continue reading “Adventures in the night garden”

Seeking Lepidoptera

In need of some respite from dissertation work and keen to spend as much time as possible outside in the glorious weather, yesterday was dedicated, wholly, to surveying Lepidoptera. Daylight hours spent chasing butterflies as I attempted to survey a few new sites for this year’s Big Butterfly Count and night, moth trapping in theContinue reading “Seeking Lepidoptera”

Wild respite

In dire need of a break from thesis writing, yesterday I set off for Druridge Bay in search of a little wild respite. The proceeding three hours, mercifully, filled with no end of fantastic wildlife – just what the doctor ordered to cure my current mood. Starting off at Cresswell Pond and the highlight hereContinue reading “Wild respite”

Rewilding my urban garden

Like any self-respecting nature lover, the idea of wildlife gardening has always appealed to me. By nature, I want to do my bit to provide wildlife with a home and in doing so, conserve the various critters with whom I share my local area. A noble idea that many, thankfully, commit to, though one thatContinue reading “Rewilding my urban garden”