St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

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, […]

19 Sep

September 2014: Spotlight on … Garden Spiders

The Garden Spider Araneus diadematus is probably the best-known member of the spider family, weaving a beautiful circular web and best seen in late summer and autumn. By no means the only abundant urban spider (it has also been found on remote seacliffs from Shetland to Cornwall) it is in our gardens and hedgerows that […]

02 Sep

Wildwatch: August 2014 Sightings

Highlights Pineapples, Lettuces and a lone Artichoke.. Butterflies disappoint, bugs abound, heaps of hoverflies, shieldbugs shine.. and what’s that “mouse” creeping up a tree? Weather A somewhat cooler August, but temperatures still reaching 20C. The Wildwatch Wednesdays enjoyed sunny intervals on all four days. Invertebrates Butterflies were very disappointing in number. Our August 7th blog […]

15 Aug

August 2014: Spotlight on… Oak Galls

In simple terms, a plant gall is the plant’s response to something that another organism does to it. The overall effect is a little bit like what your body does when a nettle stings it, but gall production is more complicated and still isn’t fully understood. There are hundreds of kinds of galls in Britain, […]

05 Aug

5 fantastic facts about butterflies

This week we’re celebrating all things butterfly by listing 5 facts you might not have known about this majestic metamorphic insect. We hope these facts will inspire you to take part in the Big Butterfly Count – a survey you can do in your own garden or local green space to help Butterfly Conservation keep […]