Tag Archives: Track a Tree

Trackatree Wood anemones chart 4 April 2017

The Wood anemones in Hillhouse wood vary markedly in when they flower, according to my TrackaTree data

I my last post I explained how I decided to chart the data I’ve been collecting for the TrackaTree phenology project, so see if it has any interesting stories to tell. I wanted to look at the variation within the same species between the years, and also to see there was any variation in the relative timing of the different species between years.  Continue reading

165 Bluebell cropped

In which I decide to see if the data I’ve been collecting for the TrackaTree phenology project actually tells us anything

The thought recently struck me that the data I’ve been collecting in Hillhouse Wood for the TrackaTree phenology project might enable me to look for any noteworthy differences between years. (Phenology is the study of how the timings of the seasons are affected by variations in weather.  Continue reading

Both budburst and the first Chiffchaff in Hillhouse wood – Spring in getting into its stride

Fieldwork for the Track a tree phenology project is now providing me with plenty of excuses to pay frequent visits to Hillhouse wood.  The warm weather over the last few days will drive bud burst, so I need to ensure that I don’t miss it.  On 10 March bud burst was visible on parts of my Hazel coppice, so I knew that this would progress rapidly.  Sure enough, my visit on 13 March revealed that buds were now bursting on all parts of the stool. Continue reading

‘Spring’ is off and running in Hillhouse wood, as far as the TrackaTree project is concerned

On my first Trackatree visit of 2017 to Hillhouse wood last week I reported that the leaf buds on my Hazel were already showing green through the leaf scales.  So, having had a couple of warmer days this week, I thought that there was a good chance that bud burst would have started by now.   Continue reading

165 Bluebell cropped

The Track a Tree phenology project continues for a third year in Hillhouse wood

As keen readers of this blog, and my Mum, will know, for the last two years I have done field work for this project.  This involves visiting some specific trees (four in my case) more or less weekly throughout the spring to record data about what is happening.  ‘Happening’ stuff involves the stage of bud burst and leaf break, and the numbers of specific species of flower that are showing underneath the tree.  By capturing this data at different sites in the UK, the project enables differences in the timing of ‘Spring’ to be rigorously identified across the country and between years.  It ran for two years to support a PhD project at the University of Edinburgh, and I’ve been glad to hear that it is continuing for a third year, at least, even though Christine has gained her qualification. Continue reading

An unanticipated downside of Citizen Science – it can make you hate nature (a little bit)

So this is my third year as a volunteer recorder for the most excellent and worthy TrackaTree phenology project, which uses volunteers to collect data to be analysed by scientists.  It seems to operate at just the right level of data collection demand to suit me – rigorous enough to be meaningful without being overbearing in what you have to record and submit.

But everything has a downside somewhere, and these are not always obvious at the start. Continue reading

The world of Hillhouse wood is getting weirder

On Thursday (24 March) I popped down to the wood to see if the numbers of flowers out around my TrackaTree trees had changed at all, now that the nights are getting less cold.  They had not, but elsewhere in the wood the Wood anemones are starting to come out, with smaller numbers of Lesser celandines.  This is what we would expect to see at about this time of year.

04 Lesser celandine cropped    06 Wood anemone

Continue reading

The TrackaTree phenology project is up and running again in Hillhouse Wood

So – the wind has veered to the north, wintery squalls are scudding across the sky, and thus the obvious thing to do is a Trackatree field visit to see how Spring is getting on.  And I can report, with no little excitement, that things are stirring in the TrackaTree parts of Hillhouse Wood.  Continue reading

El Ninjo, Trackatree, and the agonies of a pincer movement

So, thanks to El Ninjo, this winter (so called) is proving to be an odd one indeed.  Our daffodils have been in flower for two weeks (normal time is first / second week in March), Twitter is awash with images of Snowdrops, and on Sunday Richard Jefferson and I saw our first Primroses (actually, Richard spotted them – I’d marched straight past; probably talking).  All of which means I’m feeling TrackaTree pressure even earlier than normal. Continue reading

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