I’ve got a brand new combine harvester…

…Actually I don’t, but I do have some new combine harvester images which I thought I’d share this week. It is a rather different subject to my usual wildlife photos but I always love watching the harvest, it reminds me of my childhood.     These images are from the fields around our house. My husband and I were watching from the end of the garden as a team of three combine harvesters and three accompanying tractors with trailers worked into the night to make the most of the weather. From our point of view they had picked the best time for it – the sunset intensified to a glorious glow.         This afternoon as I write the team are back, having baled the straw yesterday, they are now collecting the enormous bales with fancy self-loading trailers. In […]

Nature Blogging

If you read my blog regularly, you will know that once a month I invite a guest to write a piece about their interests and passions. I have been privileged to have support and encouragement from a wide range of of guests, and I hope that you have enjoyed their input too. In return, I too have written a couple of guest blog posts for others and thought I would take this opportunity to share them with you.   The first was for James Common about Orchids:     More recently I have written for another James, the Grantham Ecologist, about Dragons and Damsels:     I hope that you will enjoy my guest posts on their blogs, but that you will also take a moment to look at their writing too – it is wonderful to share a love of […]

Magical Meadows

Last week’s wonderful guest post about the creation of a wood-meadow by Lin Hawthorne inspired me to revisit a local and rather magical meadow. I thought I would share with you a few of the reasons why, for me, it is such a special spot. Let me start by describing it. By comparison to Lin’s lovely space, it is a much smaller plot for starters at under two acres. It is a vaguely almond shaped field which lies alongside a railway line. On the one side it is bounded by the embankment which is covered in low growing trees and shrubs, while the other is contained by a mixed hedgerow backing on to a country lane. It is wetter at one end than the other and there are a profusion of ant hills dotted throughout the space. Rabbits are frequently seen diving […]

A Wood-meadow in every Parish? Lin Hawthorne imagines…

The Three Hagges wood-meadow project began in 2012, with two aims: The creation of a new ecosystem with the aim of restoring lost biodiversity to an arable landscape, and the creation of future ancient woodland. The motivation was a need to address the losses that are by now familiar to many of us: 97% lowland meadows, a similar percentage of coppiced ancient woodland, and many, many miles of mixed and ancient hedgerows. Along with them – these systems in which our native plants form the base of an ecological pyramid – we have seen declines of many invertebrates, including multiple pollinating species that depend on them for pollen, nectar and hosts for their young. And with those, the decline of songbirds that feed their young on the larvae of said invertebrates, and so on up the chain. Most of these declines have […]