St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

24 Mar

March 2015: Spotlight on… Coltsfoot

Coltsfoot Tussilago farfara One of the earliest wild flowers of spring, Coltsfoot is very easy to identify. It’s a member of the Asteraceae or Composite family, and the bright yellow flowers look a bit like miniature Dandelions, to which they are related. Each flower grows on its own separate stem, but unlike Dandelions the stems […]

09 Mar

Wildwatch: February 2015 Sightings

Highlights Snowdrops everywhere.. Water skulker and Tree “mouse” return.. a February shieldbug first, and a semaphoring fly! Weather Snow showers greeted us on the 4th, with a chilly 1C. But during the month, temperatures slowly rose and we had bright days on the 18th and 25th. Birds Last month’s statement that the December Water Rail […]

18 Feb

February 2015: Spotlight on… Creatures found under logs and stones

Ground level at St Nicks reserve offers a sheltered home for many creatures, particularly in the leaf litter or under stones, bricks and decaying logs. Over the past year the Wildwatch group has spent a little time exploring this hidden world, whose inhabitants include worms, slugs, snails, woodlice, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, ground beetles and various […]

03 Feb

Wildwatch: January 2015 Sightings

Highlights A secretive dweller in the Pond – and CCTV catches a “first” for St Nicks! Weather A dull and drizzly start to the first Wildwatch of the year, but it got colder and clearer later in the month. There was a scattering of snow on the 14th. Birds We searched unsuccessfully for the Water […]

29 Jan

Top 8 tips for a more sustainable office life

Our Park Ranger Intern Aiden Heeley-Hill shares his tips for a more sustainable office. With the beginning of every year come questions about life improvement and New Year’s Resolutions. How many of us have vowed to get fitter, stop smoking or go on that voyage of a lifetime? Perhaps it’s time to consider not just […]

16 Jan

January 2015: Spotlight on… Wrens

The Wren – which has the intriguing scientific name of Troglodytes troglodytes – is a common bird at St Nicks, although it is heard more often than it is seen. The Wren is Britain’s third smallest breeding bird, after Goldcrest and Firecrest (sharing 1st= place). For such a small bird, just 9 – 10 cm […]

06 Jan

Wildwatch: December 2014 Sightings

Highlights: A skulking bird was a first for the reserve.. unexpected winter insect sightings, while a world of other creatures are found hiding under logs and stones.. and 15 species of flower still out! Weather: Temperatures ranged from 1C at the beginning and end of the month up to 12C on the 17th. All the Wildwatch […]

16 Dec

December 2014: Spotlight on… Ivy

Its distinctive lobed leaves make Ivy (Hedera helix) one of the most recognisable plants at St Nicks, but there isn’t actually very much of it on the reserve – yet. We’re starting to find young plants here and there, but to see mature specimens you need to take an often muddy little side track from […]

04 Dec

Wildwatch: November 2014 Sightings

Highlights: Prolific fungi, fox & cubs (!), scarce visitor to the Environment Centre plus a new pair of birds, and lots of little creatures skulking under logs and stones. Weather: Temperatures ranged from a minimum of 7C to a max of 11C. Mainly cloudy on Wildwatch Wednesdays, but a sunny day on the 5th and rain […]

21 Nov

November 2014: Spotlight on… Magpies

The Magpie (Pica pica), a member of the crow family, will be a familiar bird to almost everyone who wanders around St Nicks. Noisy, large and strikingly marked with a long tail, they are easy birds to see and identify. There are probably 3 – 5 pairs of Magpies breeding at St Nicks, although no formal […]