Monday
Oct132014

Here come the bees - or not!

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Beyond the Bees’ Knees – How Colony Collapse Disorder affects our food supply
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Sunday
Oct122014

Nature-watching in Europe: issue 4

The focus of the magazine is places to enjoy nature in Europe.  However, I’ve found that enjoyment of just being somewhere is enhanced when we understand something about the place and the organisms that live there. 

Looking for that kind of information can lead you on a journey that takes on a life of its own.  Looking at one research paper about bats led me to others, reminded me of my first real encounter with these enigmatic creatures, and then I wondered what bat organisations there might be in various countries.

Similarly, an article by Dragan Simic led me to the company he travelled with, then the Greek Ornithological Society, and on to the Cyclades Life project – many thanks to all the staff who helped me put that article together.

If you’d like to add links, or make suggestions for places to visit, please email us, and we’ll see what we can do.

Greece: Birding the Cyclades, & Yelkouan shearwaters

Bats: what kinds do we have in Europe & Bat organisations

England: Nature reserves in south Dorset

Floral Stories: What’s in a weed?

Portugal: Tejo Estuary for 70,000 birds

Rabbits: not all born to be wild

Woodpeckers: anything for a peanut

Italy: Hiking in the Gran Paradiso National Park

 

Available for the iPad only.

Single issue price £2.99, Monthly subscription £1.99

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Friday
Oct102014

Book review: Heritage Trees Wales

Author: Archie Miles

Publisher: Graffeg 2012

People come and people go, but trees seem to be there forever.  We plant trees in commemoration of somebody or something, expecting them to remain in the landscape long beyond our individual lives.  But how often have we wondered what tales a tree could tell?

Heritage Trees Wales attempts to tell us some of those tales.  It is an amazing odyssey through the country, looking at trees that are steeped in history, myth, legend or other cultural significance, and a few that are just plain old.  It’s a book to dip in and out of, for there are too many stories and snippets to assimilate in one go.

Today the book fell open at the page entitles “Charley Trees”.  What trees?  This article led me through the history of the Scots Pine in Wales, Scottish foresters, the Jacobite rebellion, sign-posts for travellers and ley-lines.  All that in a double-page spread that included two photos and a small map.  And there are seventy-four such articles.

This book isn’t about identifying trees, cultivation of trees, or anything remotely technical.  It is about people, places, time and landscapes: the elements of heritage.  These are trees for curious minds.

Do I have any gripes about the book?  Only that Pembrokeshire gets a measly two trees (plus a reference to the drowned forest at Amroth), and Anglesey doesn’t get a mention at all.  It is heavily weighted towards the borders and the south-east, but perhaps there really are more heritage trees there.

You’ll need to buy the book to find out about the Curley Oak, or the Weird Birches of Ty Uchaf, and which masculine “Old Lady” had stood through the reign of seventeen Kings and three Queens by 1813.

This review was originally written for Natur Cymru a quarterly magazine about nature and the environment in Wales.

It also appears in issue 3 of Nature-watching in Europe.

 

 

Friday
Oct102014

Nature-watching in Europe: issue 3

Romania: return of the Wisent

Lanzarote: a coastal hike

Finland: Saariselka in June

Czech Republic: Luhacovice – more than just a spa town

Research: Iberian frogs v introduced crayfish

Photography: 8 tips for photographing flowers

Book review: Heritage trees of Wales

Sweden: a report on the growth of ecotourism

Spain: news report about new marine protected areas

Switzerland: a week in the shadow of the Matterhorn

Available for the iPad only.

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Friday
Oct102014

Nature-watching in Europe: issue 2

Portugal: A day out at Ribeiro Frio, Madeira

Italy: Visit the Bosnian Pines in Pollino National Park

Floral Stories: There’s more to flowers than just a pretty face

France: Watching butterflies in la Brenne

Finland: The story of the forest

Scotland: Photographing Skye landscapes in the mist

Greece: An incredible shrinking safari on the Island of Crete

Research news: Just what did cause the death of the chamois?

Ireland: A week on the limestone pavement

 

Available for the iPad only.

Click on the here to subscribe on the Apple Newsstand