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
Heartened by the award of the first £1,000 for the NRF, the meadow diversity improvement charity that we’ve set up, we have ‘pressed the green button’ on our plans to have a display at the trial site on July 2, which is National Meadows Day. (National Meadows Day is a specific event, part of the Magnificent Meadows initiative being run by Plantlife and its partner organisations). Continue reading
In my last post I mentioned that we were reviewing our initial trial design, to take on board comments that have been made. These have covered a number of issues.
The first of these is the use of slug pellets. Continue reading
Well, this visit was different. In truth, it wasn’t really a Track a Tree trip at all, but I was there and so thought I’d take some readings. It was the reason for being there that was the different bit: I was in the company of minor celebrity! Apparently. Continue reading
One undoubted benefit of using social media is that you find out about more stuff than you otherwise would. And so it was that a recent post on the Woodland Trust blog revealed a new citizen science project called Track a Tree. It sounded right up my street, and so it was that yesterday I found myself delving into parts of Hillhouse Wood that I rarely disturb. This is how I got on. Continue reading
In the odd moment I get when not counting the vast profits we’re making from the Naturetale app, or planning where to buy the next of my country retreats, I volunteer for the Friends of Hillhouse Wood. On the basis that everyone else ‘took a step back’, I have found myself leading wildlife walks around the wood. Last Saturday I led a new one for us. Continue reading
In my spare time (ha ha) I am involved with the management of a local wood. This is owned by The Woodland Trust, but has a group of local volunteers who do much of the practical work. A highlight of the wood is its display of Bluebells (it featured in The Times’ recent list of ten great woods to visit), and each spring we organise guided walks to show people what the wood has to offer. Since the recent sad demise of local wildlife expert Joe Firmin I have stepped in as a very inadequate replacement. I used some of the information we’ve collated for the app to add a little extra interest to what I was able to tell people.
This is my report of the walk … Continue reading