Adventives and Invaders at Walker Riverside

A short round-up of a glorious Saturday morning spent botanising one of my favourite local sites. It is no secret that I am a big fan of the messy, post-industrial yet incredibly diverse riverside park at Walker. Visiting for a few years now, I’ve already amassed a fairly respectable plant list for the site yetContinue reading “Adventives and Invaders at Walker Riverside”

An Urban Flora of Newcastle – Mapping Wild Plants in the City

A short introduction to a personal passion project mapping the diverse and fascinating flora of Newcastle As many of you will know, I have a bit of fondness for Britain’s urban flora. I’m not sure why precisely, but for me, there’s something fascinating about how our plants adapt to artificial ecosystems and how species fromContinue reading “An Urban Flora of Newcastle – Mapping Wild Plants in the City”

Ladybirds along the Tyne – Elswick, Heaton, Havannah & Prudhoe

From the city carparks and cemeteries to chalk mounds at Prudhoe, it has been a fantastic fortnight for local ladybirds.

Spotted Marsh Ladybird, Coccidula scutellata, at Gosforth Nature Reserve

This week, I was delighted to record what appears to be the first Spotted Marsh Ladybird recorded in South Northumberland (VC67). Searching various local wetlands this year for Red Marsh Ladybird and Water Ladybird, one thing that has persisted at the back of my mind had been the possibility of finding the former’s far scarcerContinue reading “Spotted Marsh Ladybird, Coccidula scutellata, at Gosforth Nature Reserve”

A ladybird extravaganza – local recording in July

With visits to some of my favourite haunts and lots to see elsewhere, July has been a great month for ladybird recording.

Industrial orchids in Newcastle

A quick account of a fruitful few days spend admiring orchids in Newcastle, featuring Bee Orchids, helleborines and more!

Urban Botany on the Ouseburn

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of leading my first guided walk for Wild Intrigue, a fantastic ecotourism enterprise seeking to bring people in the North East closer to nature.

Bee Orchids at B&Q

Bee Orchids (Ophrys apifera) are like hen’s teeth in the North East. Sure, they’re fairly reliable at a few more calcareous sites in the near area (Silverlink, in particular) but by large, pop up sporadically in odd places. In any given year, I tend to only encounter a few away from my usual haunts –Continue reading “Bee Orchids at B&Q”

Exploring the scarcer ladybirds of Newcastle

While out and about in search of ladybirds this last few weeks, I have been lucky enough to stumble across a number of scarce and unusual species

The flora of Walker Riverside

Walker Riverside Park is a funny old place. Created in the 1980s, it sits atop former industrial land and boasts an intriguing mix of habitats, from grassland and woodland areas to salt-sprayed riverbanks.

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

A journey through the diverse and beautiful trees and shrubs of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. 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, mean that would beContinue reading “A journey through the unusual trees (and shrubs) of Newcastle”

The flora of 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,Continue reading “The flora of Iris Brickfield Park”