Showing posts from January, 2017

A visiting student from Virginia asks -

Q1 What do you think are the biggest benefits of teaching and using traditional woodland management techniques in city parks?
A1. The essence of a Ranger’s role is to engage the community at large with the aim of encouraging more people to use parks and green spaces. Therefore a range of themes, topics and activities are employed to meet the broad interests and diverse nature of the public, involving people of all ages, abilities, ethnicities etc. 
The ‘woodland’ theme seems to have universal appeal and is steeped in history, ecology, science, spirituality, mythology and culturally, much more.
So generally we can assume people want to learn something new, make something using natural resources and have an involvement in their local green space, so that a few basic skills, some knowledge and a morsel of understanding related to ecological principles allows people to feel good about themselves and enables them to share these good feelings, acquired skills and gained knowledge with…

Wildlife connections - "Modern life is such that it can be hard to see beyond the present"

(Rob Cowen - Common Ground)
Rob Cowan's early words in 'Common Ground' resonate with many of us as we struggle to come to terms with 'life's meaning'. We are provoked to read on in search of 'the way' forward, an answer maybe or a coping mechanism; 'Common Ground' encourages us to observe the detail around us and to connect with our local green space.
The map of Edge-land at the beginning of the book provides a simplified snapshot of space around Bilton in Yorkshire, but it could be anywhere, a somewhat timeless image that almost everyone can imagine and one that virtually anyone can draw, no scale or perspective required.  Modern life is an ordeal, and so it was last year and last decade, last century and beyond; life and survival have always been an ordeal, the present is everything, the future a luxury and the past? well, nostalgic for one, and many prominent men and women have very different things to say about the past - 
""Every pas…


10.00am January sunburst across the meadow at Cannon Hill. Deep midwinter and mid morning beams stirring the undergrowth.

Here I briefly sunbathed with a squirrel as a male Sparrowhawk glides through in hunting mode. The crows stir.

Perhaps it's a youngster as little else seems concerned.

Brockley Grove was once a garden area, between the 1940's and 70's, now it is overgrown and lush, providing good and largely undisturbed cover. 

Badgers abound and the sett is prominent.

Here we hear and see bullfinches abundant together with a variety of other woodland species. 

Today's list included - 
BullfinchBlackbirdNuthatchGreat Spotted WoodpeckerStock DoveMagpieCrowBlue Tit

Dead Wood - from one blog to another

"the TCV Citizen Science team have been working to produce The Dead Good Deadwood Survey!"

Check this link for an article on dead wood and its benefits to the ecosystem

Dead Wood TCV

Highbury Park today - Woodland Wednesday, and Nature Improvement Areas

Over the next few weeks until mid March there will be opportunities to engage with like minded volunteers, interact with nature and contribute to the management of both woodland and grassland, as well as exercising mind and body during Woodland Wednesdays at Highbury Park.

Today we continued coppicing, mostly hazel, and opening up the woodland canopy to allow much needed light to reach the lower levels; our efforts are designed to diversify the woodland plantation, adding layers with new regenerating growth in spring and added wildflowers thanks to Eco Park and NIA.

A rather worrying observation led to a discussion regarding the level of bark stripping on 25 year old oaks.

It seems that squirrels attack oaks and strip the bark, particularly on trees between the age of 10 and 40 years, and in many cases stripping the bark to ground level, as in this situation at Highbury. The results are not good and difficult to explain in ecological terms, but some accounts suggest occurances are gre…

The Cannon Hill Meadow and signs of spring elsewhere

Signs of spring are upon us, hoorah, at least, if not spring, as it's clearly mid winter, we have signs of rebirth, new beginnings, new life, natural occurrings etc.
"Phenology is the study of the timing of natural events in relation to weather and climate." for more information, check the link below - In the midst of winter with arctic conditions forecast and many species yearning the warmer months ahead, we might gain meagre solace, desiring the coming spring, as we witness plants, such as Winter Flowering Cherry, other Prunus species, snowdrops and camelia, to name a few, already in flower.
Over the next few weeks we can expect many changes in the wild, providing us with hopeful signs, positive thoughts and optimism for the year ahead.