Category Archives: Ecology

Before and After

It is great to track changes in the wood, especially in relation to rhododendron clearance. Look at the two pictures below: the upper was taken a week ago (June 2020) and shows an oak in full leaf, plus oaks behind,

Before and After

It is great to track changes in the wood, especially in relation to rhododendron clearance. Look at the two pictures below: the upper was taken a week ago (June 2020) and shows an oak in full leaf, plus oaks behind,

Home patch

As a result of the Corvid-19 lockdown I am getting to know my home patch. I’ve been cycling to the glen immediately to the south, known as Clachaig. I remembered a small hazel wood there, tucked a couple of miles

Home patch

As a result of the Corvid-19 lockdown I am getting to know my home patch. I’ve been cycling to the glen immediately to the south, known as Clachaig. I remembered a small hazel wood there, tucked a couple of miles

Glen Orchy: Caledonian Pinewood Reserve

On our way back from Crianlarich Youth Hostel we paused in beautiful Glen Orchy, following in the footsteps of Steven and Carlisle, who – back in the 1950’s – alerted the world to one of Scotland’s unique ecosystems: the Caledonian Pinewoods. A

Glen Orchy: Caledonian Pinewood Reserve

On our way back from Crianlarich Youth Hostel we paused in beautiful Glen Orchy, following in the footsteps of Steven and Carlisle, who – back in the 1950’s – alerted the world to one of Scotland’s unique ecosystems: the Caledonian Pinewoods. A

Lower plants of the wet west

Lobaria pulmonaria, or lungwort, is a common lichen in Ferry Wood. It is one of many “lower” or non-flowering plants that flourish her in the wet, cool climate and indicate that we are in temperate rainforest. However, the Rhododendron ponticum

Lower plants of the wet west

Lobaria pulmonaria, or lungwort, is a common lichen in Ferry Wood. It is one of many “lower” or non-flowering plants that flourish her in the wet, cool climate and indicate that we are in temperate rainforest. However, the Rhododendron ponticum

Tree planting best practice

During the recent UK Election political parties threw themselves into a bidding war over who would plant the most trees in order to avoid Climate Catastrophe. In the race to grab headlines and outdo each other, the complexity of our

Tree planting best practice

During the recent UK Election political parties threw themselves into a bidding war over who would plant the most trees in order to avoid Climate Catastrophe. In the race to grab headlines and outdo each other, the complexity of our

Highland birchwood: are they cyclical?

Recently I was walking round Ferry Wood with a Swiss ecologist who works at the University of Ulster. He pointed  out areas to the north of the wood which exclusively consist of birch: birch of an even age. He explained

Highland birchwood: are they cyclical?

Recently I was walking round Ferry Wood with a Swiss ecologist who works at the University of Ulster. He pointed  out areas to the north of the wood which exclusively consist of birch: birch of an even age. He explained

Deer fence: monitoring vegetational change

A deer fence has gone up around and within Ferry Wood. For most of its length it follows the wood boundary, separating it from the surrounding pasture, but for a few hundred metres it runs through the wood itself. The

Deer fence: monitoring vegetational change

A deer fence has gone up around and within Ferry Wood. For most of its length it follows the wood boundary, separating it from the surrounding pasture, but for a few hundred metres it runs through the wood itself. The

Nature unchecked

I am always bowled over by the complexity of life forms in places where biodiversity is allowed to express itself. One of those places is Bishop Middleham quarry in Co. Durham. The quarry has been abandoned for 80 or so

Nature unchecked

I am always bowled over by the complexity of life forms in places where biodiversity is allowed to express itself. One of those places is Bishop Middleham quarry in Co. Durham. The quarry has been abandoned for 80 or so

More rewilding, less sitka

The Scottish Government has now recognised that there is a Climate Emergency. One of the ways it says it will respond is by the mass planting of trees. This intention is simplistic and speaks to an unhelpful attitude towards the

More rewilding, less sitka

The Scottish Government has now recognised that there is a Climate Emergency. One of the ways it says it will respond is by the mass planting of trees. This intention is simplistic and speaks to an unhelpful attitude towards the

Resilient Land: 4 key habitats

In previous posts I’ve explored four key habitats of my bioregion: Peatlands, Freshwater, Scrub and Celtic rainforest. Unfortunately they are far from flourishing at the moment, but if the situation were to change they would make a big contribution to

Resilient Land: 4 key habitats

In previous posts I’ve explored four key habitats of my bioregion: Peatlands, Freshwater, Scrub and Celtic rainforest. Unfortunately they are far from flourishing at the moment, but if the situation were to change they would make a big contribution to