The power of empty places

grey-haired mining bee peers fom its nest hole

Recently,I stood next to a small patch of scrubby grassland. Roughly triangular in shape, bounded on each side by footpaths worn by countless walkers boots, it measured perhaps ten feet across with the rotting remains of a small tree, now reduced to just a few moss-covered logs in the the middle.   Anyone, including me, would have glanced at it quickly, seen a tangle of leaflitter and nettles and passed by. But yesterday I was looking for a bee. I’m trying

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Finally, some good news

white admiral

Ravensroost wood, Wiltshire. For all the effort that I put into it, I can never get successional flowering to work in my garden. Yet here in the woodland, it happens automagically; not just seasonally, but from year to year as well. This time last year, it was the hemp agrimonies that dominated, their clusters of pink-purple flowers festooned with nectaring hoverflies and the occasional white-letter hairstreak butterfly dropping in from the wych elms behind. This year, the hemp agrimony is

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