I expect that you’ve all been getting stressed, waiting for a progress update on the meadow establishment trial that we started running last Autumn. I had expected to be faced with the challenge of finding an interesting way to write around ‘not a lot’, but in actuality I do have something to report. Unfortunately, however, it concerns ‘progress’ in a backwards direction. Continue reading
One of my projects this spring has been to set up a small area of ‘meadow’ in our garden – in other words, remove the mower. This is an area of about two square metres down the side of the house, where nothing grows very well and ‘no one’ (meaning my less than impressed wife) goes much.
My original plan was to leave it and see what happens – what wonderful meadow flowers would move in through the magic of nature. However my botanist friend Richard came to stay a few weeks ago and kyboshed that one. Continue reading
So there was Richard Jefferson pottering about at Smardale Gill near Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria the other day and what should he come across but this. Continue reading
Long term readers of this blog (what do you mean? – of course there are!) may recall that the botanical guru behind the Naturetale app is Dr. Richard Jefferson, otherwise known as my old school mate ‘Jeffo’. His speciality is species rich lowland wild flower meadows. He has a particular interest in how to re-establish meadows, the great proportion of which have been lost as agriculture has become more intensive and more arable. Continue reading
In Part 1 of this series I outlined our view of what a meadow is, which is a flower rich grassland on neutral soil that is cut for hay and then grazed later in the season. In this post I’m going to say a little about the flora of hay meadows and meadow seed mixes. Continue reading
Last Saturday we went to a National Nature Reserve called Castor Hanglands, to the west of Peterborough. It’s an area of ancient woodland, pasture and scrub, surrounded by ecologically desolate arable land. It’s a mystery as to how the Hanglands avoided the same fate, but thank goodness it did. Continue reading
Dr. Jeffo, the botanical brains behind the Naturetale app, graced us with his presence this last weekend. As always we had a trip out to ‘do nature’. The idea was to visit Chafford Hundred, and a couple of other places in the vicinity. Chafford Hundred is ‘best’ known as a large housing development next to Lakeland shopping centre, Thurrock. However inconveniently for the developers the area had previously been used to quarry chalk. Continue reading
I’ve just spent the last three days meeting people at the 2013 Bird Fair. The original intention was to meet visitors, chat to them about the app, and give a flyer to those who were interested in the app. Continue reading
Fatally unable to do things by halves, I was never going to be able to resist the implicit invitation from Plantlife to survey both a path and a plot. Continue reading
Two years ago, before I’d dreamt up the Naturetale app, I paid little attention to flowers and considered them a bit boring. This was largely because they didn’t move or do much – unlike birds. Of course, it’s difficult to develop a product if you know little about its subject matter. So over the last two years I’ve learnt quite a lot – including the realisation that plants are (or at least can be) interesting.