St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

Category: Back to Basics

The Secret To Our Successful Seed Sowing

When trying to improve plant diversity at St Nicks, we have three main techniques. One is through management alone, second is starting afresh with bare soil, and the third is by sowing into existing habitat. On the meadow and other habitats at St Nicks we do all three methods. 1. Management Just managing our habitats […]

Posted 22 October 2020 | Categories: Back to Basics, Inspiration | Tags: meadow, seed sowing, wildflowers

Time to reap: why we use scythes and collect seeds

The scything season is now in full swing and we’ve been cutting grassland areas at St Nicks, Millennium Fields and Heworth Holme (you can read our volunteer Tessa’s beautiful love letter to find out more about this special site). We use Austrian scythes to cut grass because it is more sympathetic to the wildlife than […]

Posted 20 August 2020 | Categories: Back to Basics | Tags: grassland, pollinators, scythe shop, Scything, seed, wildflowers

What is zero carbon?

I hate to admit that when I first heard the term, I was confused. Carbon is the main building block of life so how could you go to zero? However, I quickly learned that it’s a shorthand for net zero carbon emissions. That may sound straightforward enough but how do you get to zero when […]

Posted 23 July 2020 | Categories: Back to Basics, One Planet Living | Tags: climate emergency, energy efficiency, one planet living, retrofitting, UN Paris Agreement, wellbeing, zero carbon, Zero Carbon Britain

Back To Basics – How to Recycle

The key factor to bear in mind when sorting your waste is to check locally what you are able to put into your recycling bin. Many people assume the system is obvious, or the same as their previous address. Sometimes what you can recycle at the kerbside does change, hopefully your local authority will inform […]

Posted 25 June 2020 | Categories: Back to Basics, Waste and recycling | Tags: contamination, directory, instructions, principles, recycling, Reduce, reuse, upcycle, waste

River Health Surveys – a quick guide

While many of our community based natural habitats projects are on hold, we have been able to restart some ecological survey work such as the plant monitoring Maria has been doing on the nature reserve. Thanks to funding from City of York Council we have also been conducting surveys on Osbaldwick Beck to gather as much baseline information as possible before proposed engineering projects take place […]

Posted 4 June 2020 | Categories: Back to Basics | Tags: fauna, flora, invertebrates, kick sampling, river health, river survey

Ecotherapy – Connecting to Nature

This is the first in a series of blogs about Ecotherapy – a method of promoting good mental health and physical wellbeing through outdoor activity in the natural environment. With the current situation in the world, many people have been seeing and feeling the benefits of being in nature and rediscovering or fully appreciating their […]

Posted 13 May 2020 | Categories: Back to Basics, Ecotherapy, Inspiration | Tags: appreciate, Bearing Fruit, breathe, bring nature in, connect to nature, ecotherapy, fauna, flora, lockdown, mental health, nature, outdoors, senses, sunset, take time, walk, York

Back to Basics: The Waste Hierarchy

You may have heard people discuss the 3 Rs or the 5 Rs. The 3 Rs are typically Reduce, Reuse, Recycle whilst the 5 Rs are Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recovery and Rot. Each of these things refers to the waste hierarchy. The waste hierarchy is a list of processes to tackle waste, starting with the […]

Posted 28 February 2020 | Categories: Back to Basics, Waste and recycling | Tags: recycle, recycling, Reduce, reuse, rot, waste, waste hierarchy, york recycles, zero waste

How can I help wildlife thrive in my garden over winter?

Many of us would like to find ways to support our local wildlife, especially when the weather is cold. Here are some of our top tips. Shelter Let (some of) your garden grow wild and leave piles of leaves or long grass to provide shelter for animals and nesting spots for birds. Think about building […]

Posted 20 December 2019 | Categories: Back to Basics | Tags: bird feeders, birds, hedgehog, hedgehog homes, wildlife, wildlife gardening, winter