A spring walk among bluebells

Alice Johnson aLocated in the picturesque village of Stock, Swan Wood becomes awash with the lush violet display of bluebells from around April to June. Walking along the pathways into the woodland you can see the flecks of mauve colour appearing from around the tree trunks, as if someone was just adding colour to their painting. Walk a few more steps along the bare earth pathways and you will soon see the full canvas of delicate lavender blue dominating the woodland floor. The hornbeam coppice and birch trees are surrounded by this terrestrial flowering ocean; one of the greatest floral displays in the British calendar. Continue reading

The Approach of Spring

robinDespite the grey weather, the light is holding steadier into the evening while the birds seem to have gained a spritely energy, and many have begun to fill the air with their song. The robins who kept us entertained with their solos during the darker months when all other birds went quiet, now sing from the branches in the garden; a faint outline of their red breast visible on a small silhouette as they sing in the unclear light of the end of day. Several robins are visiting the garden at present. One flits onto its twiggy throne and surveys the area this little creature thinks of as its own; another arrives and they soon become twisted in a game of tag, in a less friendly way than when it is played by children, and their small bodies dart across the garden then vanish over the fence as the chase continues into another’s abode. Continue reading

A Woodland Wander

The mud and leaf matter had been well compacted on the ground by the feet of New Year walkers eager to burn off those Christmas calories. The wide paths cut deep through the woodland, which allowed access to the hordes of visiting families but reduced the wilderness feeling the woodland bestowed upon me. I wondered how these man-made rides affected the woodland’s functioning, as everywhere I turned there were different routes to choose. Families pushed their prams along the pathways while children ran around in the mud, with a look of great happiness on their faces. It was good for the families, but I wanted to escape, so I walked briskly past the chattering parents and giggling children and onwards into the woodland. The paths were still wide but I passed a tree with its roots that were exposed to the world – they twisted and turned as a stormy sea would. Continue reading

Why Attenborough Documentaries will always be needed

For nature lovers Attenborough documentaries are the pinnacle of conservation inspiration. They are however much more than that as they create a time when discussing wildlife and nature becomes the ‘hot’ topic and those who are in the minority for their love of the environment are now at the forefront of the discussion. Shouting about how amazing nature is suddenly becomes ‘cool’. Continue reading

An Afternoon at EWT Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve

The intertidal range at the reserve, created when the sea wall was breached, was a perfect place to watch gathering waders when the tide was rising. The grey clouds were congregating in the sky and the air was filled with the bitter breeze of winter, it was certainly a day for a thick coat, hat, scarf and two layers of gloves. Taking the path to the hide by the intertidal range led me through woodland and scrub, then onto fields, which were filled with skylarkspipits and finches. Continue reading

Concerns for the Environment Post Brexit

As soon as it was realised that Brexit was a reality, everyone started blaming everyone else. Politicians criticised each other, voters uttered pure disbelief and judgement on others and the well-known blond figurehead of the leave campaign Boris Johnson changed from being the leader of the revolution to the man who did this ‘terrible’ thing to our country. The reality became clear, no one really knew what they were voting for, lots of people had never even heard of the single market and just assumed that there were only two ‘simple’ options, to stay or to leave. Furthermore in the debates beforehand the environment was hardly mentioned, so a main question for conservationists now is ‘what will happen to our environment?’ In the uncertain future that is Brexit, key areas and conservation problems need to be addressed, as the goal of achieving healthy ecosystems where both business and wildlife can prosper is surely something everyone can agree on. Continue reading