Monthly Archives: January 2016

I am the subject of a research project into citizen scientists. My mind has been probed!

I recently had the pleasure of a morning in the company of Dr. Ria Dunkley.  Ria is a post-doc researcher at the Sustainable Places Research Institute, part of Cardiff University.  Ria has noticed that a) ‘Citizen Science’ is all the rage and, b) no one actually knows why people volunteer to do it.  So she’s set up a research project to find out.  And I was one of her first victims – sorry, subjects. Continue reading

More stories that flowers flowering in January have to tell

Following on from my previous post, here are some more flowers that can be seen in January and have stories to tell.

Butterbur roots were powdered and used to remove skin blemishes.  They were also used to treat asthma, colds, coughs, fever and the plague.  Modern trials have suggested that it may be effective against migraines.  Butterbur leaves are so large that they were supposedly used as both umbrellas and sun shades.  They were also used to wrap butter, for storage.  It was also used as a fuel.  Children used to use the hollow stems as horns or trumpets, giving rise to the country name “Bogs Horns”. Continue reading

Stories that flowers flowering in January have to tell

A surprisingly large number of flowers will flower in January, as the BSBI’s New Year Flower Hunt has demonstrated.  Some are well known, such as the Snowdrop, some are obscure, such as the Yellow star of Bethlehem, some are early season specialists, such as Winter aconite, while some are just plain greedy – in that they flower just about all the time, such as Yarrow.  But they all have some kind of story to tell… Continue reading

The Naturetale Restoration Foundation is ‘out of the blocks’

Regular readers of this blog (hi Mum!) will have read about the charity that we are trying to establish.  The purpose of this is to run a long term trial to identify better ways to establish particular species of meadow flowers which have so far proved resistant to existing approaches.  If we can do this it will improve the ability of conservation organisations to increase the biodiversity of wild flower meadows.  And that means more beauty, insects, birds and mammals for us to enjoy.

What greater purpose could there be in life?! Continue reading