1st January 2022 and at 14ºC in North West England it’s been unseasonably mild – more like Easter Sunday than New Year’s Day. I won’t deny that this made our trip to the allotment to repatriate the Christmas tree all the more pleasant. However, I don’t need to be a climate scientist to appreciate that over the course of my 45 year lifetime the UK climate has palpably changed. The long, cold winters of my childhood are a distant memory and anomalous weather such as this is becoming ever more ‘normal’. If all that meant was a few more Spring-like days to bring relief from the bleak mid-winter I’m sure none of us would complain. We have known for some time though that the effects of global warming will become ever more profound and damaging.Continue reading
May 2020 was another gloriously sunny month meaning the Spring of 2020 has been amazingly dry. Although it has meant a lot of watering in the garden, the weather has taken the edge off the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic with its various restrictions. I take part in a monthly photography challenge run by Jane Burkinshaw of Love Your Lens, where we post images related to particular a theme to a Facebook group for friendly critique. The theme for May was ‘nature’ and as such quite a lot of my photos of the garden this month were of birds and bugs and other beasts besides. I make no apology for this as an objective has been to attract more wildlife into our little patch and I’ve been delighted by the number of birds we have had visiting. It also gave me reason to practice a bit more with my macro lens.Continue reading
One of my (not very subtly requested) presents for Christmas 2019 was ‘The Garden Jungle or Gardening to Save the Planet‘ by Dave Goulson which has now become the first book I have read in 2020. The author is a Professor of Biology at the University of Sussex but don’t let that put you off: this is certainly not a dry scientific treatise. It is instead a heartfelt plea for us all to engage with and appreciate the fascinating eco-system existing right under our noses in our own gardens. Yes, we all love an Attenborough documentary showing us the wonders of the natural world in often remote and exotic locations, but what about the fauna outside the back door?Continue reading
Although I have always enjoyed watching the wildlife that visits our small urban garden, my efforts in terms of deliberately choosing to include particular features for its benefit has, to date, been fairly erratic. Having followed Kate Bradbury on social media for a while, I was keen to get hold of her new book, Wildlife Gardening for everyone and everything. This a short review for the interest of those who would like to find out more about gardening for wildlife. Continue reading
I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling utterly demoralised by the frequent news stories on the continued degradation of the natural world. From the shocking levels of plastic pollution in our seas to the now obvious signs of climate change, and industrial scale destruction of habitats, it’s hard to avoid feeling hopeless about the planet’s current and future state. While it is clear that addressing these issues will require major policy changes on the part of governments and a shift in culture from big business I do believe that individuals can also make a difference by becoming more engaged and changing their own habits.