St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

18 Jan

Wildwatch autumn 2018 (September-November)

Highlights The year’s butterfly showing continued to disappoint, but lots of bugs and hoverflies brighten up Wildwatch mornings… Unusual bird visitors included a Common Snipe and Water Rail… Two new plant gall records.   Weather Wildwatch days in September were disappointingly overcast and often windy, but brightened up for October which gave us a number […]

20 Dec

Spotlight on… Woodland structure: One year later

In January 2018, our Natural Habitats Manager, Jonathan, wrote a brilliant spotlight blog about the woodland structure, focusing on the understory. In this blog, Jonathan discussed the background of St Nicks woodland and talked about our plans for improvement as we launched our exciting new project; St Nicks community woodland, funded by the Postcode Local […]

19 Dec

In pursuit of an eco home: keeping warm

This post was originally written by our Outreach Officer Ivana Jakubkova for Your Local Link magazine column. It may be getting harder to avoid news about climate change and global warming (should be “weirding” really) but it is easy to feel helpless and underestimate what we as individuals can achieve. What doesn’t get reported enough […]

27 Nov

Spotlight on… Alder Buckthorn: Brimstone Bush

This month’s spotlight has been written by our incredibly knowledgeable Park Ranger, Sean Garvey, revealing revelations about native shrub species, Alder Buckthorn. Let me introduce you to one of St Nicks’ scarcest shrubs: Alder Buckthorn , Frangula alnus. It’s an unassuming plant that is easily overlooked; but it has a fascinating, and literally explosive, back-story. […]

14 Nov

Zero Waste – what, why, how?

On a personal level zero waste is a lifestyle choice where we aim to minimise the amount of waste we produce. This means making conscious decisions on where we spend our money and being aware of the lifecycle of the items we consume. This results in less landfill waste, less recycling generated and no mindless […]

30 Oct

Spotlight on… Tawny Owls

Our brilliant Meadow Keepers intern, Eithne Phillips, has written Octobers spotlight, giving us insight into the wonderful world of Tawny Owls. The Tawny Owl is one of Britain’s most familiar species of owl and has been heard throughout our forests, woodlands and parklands for thousands of years. Our relationship with owls has often been a […]

29 Oct

Wildwatch summer 2018 (June-August)

Highlights An early winter visitor…20 new invertebrate species recorded…a great summer for hoverflies.   Weather Except for one warm sunny day in June, indifferent and cloudy (though dry) weather greeted most Wildwatch mornings until mid-July, after which Britain’s long hot summer dominated our Wednesday walks until the last two meetings of August which were duller. […]

28 Sep

Spotlight on… Orchards

Written by Maria Gill, our Volunteer Co-ordinator, drawing on information from Traditional Orchards: A guide to wildlife and management Change is afoot here at St Nicks as temperatures begin to cool and autumn moves in. Nights are getting longer and sunshine is becoming soft and hazy. Plants and animals alike are beginning to make preparations […]

30 Aug

Spotlight on…Thistles

28 species in the Collins Flower Guide have the word “thistle” in their name. They are all members of the large and often confusing family of Asteraceae.[1] Sixteen of them are classed as true thistles, and at least ten of these are native species. For the purposes of this spotlight, we’re going to concentrate on […]

08 Aug

Wildwatch Spring 2018 (March-May)

Highlights Greenfinches bounce back… eight new invertebrates…tiny member of the Rose family. Weather Wildwatch weather at St Nicks from the beginning of March to the end of May reflected the national picture, with both plant life and insect emergence held back by the cold late start of Spring. In March early frosts were followed by […]