St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

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 […]

17 Nov

10 reasons for switching to LED lighting

There are many good reasons why the inventors of blue light emitting diodes (LEDs) were awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize for physics. Since the invention in 1990s, blue LEDs have allowed the development or improvement of many everyday items such as smartphone and TV screens. Even more importantly, it’s been calculated that switching to LEDs […]

10 Nov

Wildwatch: October 2014 Sightings

Highlights: Late departures and early arrivals of birds.. A new botanist, new species for old, and the start of a moss survey.. Flies still flying in warm October, and at least three new insect records for St Nicks this month. Weather: Nationally, the 10th= warmest October since 1910! At St Nicks, the highest Wildwatch Wednesday temperatures […]

14 Oct

October 2014: Spotlight on… Long-tailed Tits

After the Robin, the Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus) is probably Britain’s favourite bird! Charismatically cute (!) this small bird is a frequent visitor to gardens – and to St Nicks! We possibly have between 3 – 5 breeding pairs on the reserve. Nest building starts in March, usually fairly low down in thick shrubs or brambles. […]

02 Oct

Wildwatch: September 2014 Sightings

Highlights: Three new plants & six new plant galls.. more “blue flashes” and sightings of the “tree mouse”.. spiders and harvestmen abound, and grasshoppers spring a surprise! Weather: Nationally, and locally, a very dry September, but with just enough rain to keep the two becks flowing. Temperatures on “Wildwatch Wednesdays” ranged from 12C to 20C, […]