Category Archives: Ecology

New Paradigm for West Scotland – Part 2

Fenton’s strategy for the uplands of West Scotland is a wilderness one: freeing up natural systems to evolve without interference. He is concerned about how sitka plantations here are freely seeding into open moorland, changing the natural ecology. He is

New Paradigm for West Scotland – Part 2

Fenton’s strategy for the uplands of West Scotland is a wilderness one: freeing up natural systems to evolve without interference. He is concerned about how sitka plantations here are freely seeding into open moorland, changing the natural ecology. He is

New Paradigm for West Scotland – 1

The next couple of posts are based on the work of James Fenton, an ecologist living in the Oban area who has worked in the Antarctic and the Falklands as well as the Scottish Highlands. In a paper called: “Towards

New Paradigm for West Scotland – 1

The next couple of posts are based on the work of James Fenton, an ecologist living in the Oban area who has worked in the Antarctic and the Falklands as well as the Scottish Highlands. In a paper called: “Towards

Wheel of Life – Part 2

Fleming then produces a hexagonal diagram that creates an additional two phases: the Release phase is followed by “Break-up”, while exploitation is followed by “Reconnection and Growth”, which then leads into the conservation phase. He defines the period of greatest

Wheel of Life – Part 2

Fleming then produces a hexagonal diagram that creates an additional two phases: the Release phase is followed by “Break-up”, while exploitation is followed by “Reconnection and Growth”, which then leads into the conservation phase. He defines the period of greatest

The Wheel of Life – 1

All systems go through various phases or stages. I first came across the cycle of exploitation-conservation-release-reorganisation- in the field of ecology where it is known as the cycle of succession), but then came across it again in the work of

The Wheel of Life – 1

All systems go through various phases or stages. I first came across the cycle of exploitation-conservation-release-reorganisation- in the field of ecology where it is known as the cycle of succession), but then came across it again in the work of

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