St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

22 Jun

June 2015: Spotlight on … Ladybirds

Ladybirds are probably Britain’s best-loved insects. They are believed to be named after ‘Our Lady’ – the Virgin Mary – whose seven joys and seven sorrows are said to be depicted in our commonest native ladybird, the seven-spot. The 7-spot was also the most numerous at St Nicks until the arrival of the Harlequin. Ladybirds […]

05 Jun

Wildwatch: May 2015

Highlights Breeding evidence at St Nicks of a nationally endangered species; cold, windy May brought out quality rather than quantity of St Nicks invertebrates; a record number of this elusive summer visitor; white is the predominant colour at St Nicks. Weather Generally cool and breezy, although a sunny Wildwatch on the 13th brought out seven […]

07 May

Wildwatch: April 2015

Highlights: First sighting of this bird since 2013.. regular sightings of this endangered mammal.. babies rescued from the pond..Met Office says sunniest April since records began, but insect life slow to appear on cold and not-so-sunny Wednesdays at St Nicks. Weather: Variable conditions throughout the month, but with temperatures slowly rising from 7C on the […]

20 Apr

April 2015: Spotlight on … Dunnocks

The Dunnock (Prunella modularis) is a common bird at St Nicks. It’s also known as “Hedge Sparrow”, “Hedge Warbler” and “Hedge Accentor”. The latter is the most accurate of names, because the Dunnock is neither a “sparrow” or a “warbler”, but is a member of the Accentor family of birds. But most people call them “Dunnocks”! […]

09 Apr

Wildwatch: March 2015 Sightings

Highlights First summer bird visitor returns.. insects slow to awake in cold month but first hoverflies of the year seen, then a butterfly.. trees in flower! Weather Temperatures stayed around 7C on all four Wildwatch Wednesdays, but managed to creep up to 10C later on the 25th. Most days were sunny, or had sunny intervals, and […]

09 Apr

The Paperless Society – An Ecological Bargain?

St Nicks volunteer Aiden Heeley-Hill expands on his previous blog post to explore the implications of a paperless society and whether this shift really will reduce carbon emissions. In my last blog post, I outlined the benefits of switching from paper memos to digital emails as the best way of non-verbally communicating with colleagues. This […]

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 […]