My photo of the year, 2022

the nightingale in song

At the start of every year, I like to look back over my wildlife highlights of the year just gone. With the final release of Covid restrictions, it’s been a year in which I’ve achieved several personal wildlife goals. I’ve seen and photographed every British butterfly, damselfly, and dragonfly, as well as a third of the British list of birds.  I’ve taken 33,000 photographs, travelled uncounted miles, and seen 65 species that I’ve never seen before. So what should be

Continue Reading

The cop nobody has heard of

Beavers- engineering for free

A few weeks ago, COP27, the international conference on climate change, rolled to a close and barely anyone noticed. It didn’t start well, being billed as the cop that would make people keep the promises they had made at the last one,  and then failing in any meaningful way to achieve even that. As a writer I can admire fine-sounding words, but our planet needs a lot more. It needs action, and lots of it. So if that is the

Continue Reading

What can you do with the children on wet weekend?

harvest mouse nest search

Well, it was nice while it lasted, but Summer has definitely gone now, and the perennial challenge of entertaining bored children on a wet weekend has returned. But what if I said you could have an exciting day out with them that costs nothing? And how much better would that get if I said that you could do some science – some actual, honest-to-goodness science – while you were at it? Well, you can.    October 24th-30th is National Mammal

Continue Reading

Otter and cake: 20 minutes of perfection

otter mum and kitt

  There are moments in nature-watching when the world seems to contract around you. Your pulse raises, and your hands start to shake. Your  vision sharpens, as you focus intently on what’s in front of you and lose awareness of everything else. And if that sounds a lot like falling in love, it’s because it is. I’ve been following a family of otters on some local lakes for several years now. We have this on-off love affair: sometimes when I

Continue Reading

Beavers are protected at last. But for how long?

beaver

At last! Something to celebrate. From today, Saturday 1st October 2022, the Eurasian Beaver has finally gained protection in England. It has been added to the  Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017, legislation that now makes it illegal to: deliberately disturb a beaver – this includes any action likely to impair their ability to survive, breed or rear their young deliberately injure, capture or kill a beaver damage or destroy the breeding site or resting place of a beaver

Continue Reading

Finally, increased penalties for hare coursers

Brown hare

Regular readers will know that I love hares. A lot of people do. They have a long, often mystical, association with our countryside, being said to conjure spirits, turn into witches, and dance at the moon. The UK has three species – the brown hare, the mountain hare, and in Northern Ireland, (and one tiny part of Scotland) the Irish hare. I’ll be writing about Britain’s hare species in a future blog. To me, hares are the archetypal wild animals,

Continue Reading

Site Footer