St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

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 […]

04 Aug

Wildwatch: July 2014 Sightings

Highlights A plant re-discovered after a 3 year absence.. a “protective” hoverfly, new for St Nicks.. a bird up a tree (you don’t often find this water bird up a tree!).. more sightings of a endangered mammal. Weather A generally dry, warm month, with temperatures reaching 23C by the middle of the month. Plants The weekly […]

28 Jul

Annual report 2013-14 & looking forward

St Nicks’ AGM on 15th July 2014 wasn’t just an opportunity to enjoy our patron Anneliese Emmans Dean’s wonderful Buzzing performance but it was also a time to reflect on what St Nicks has achieved since its inception as a charity in 1997. Over the past two decades or so, we have turned a clay-capped […]

15 Jul

July 2014: Spotlight on… Shieldbugs

Shieldbugs are popular and readily identifiable insects found on the reserve at St Nicks, and can be seen in most months of the year. Unlike beetles, shieldbugs tend not to scuttle away when observed but will pose for photographs. They superficially resemble beetles but are actually part of the bug tribe. All insects are sometimes […]

06 Jul

Wildwatch: June 2014 Sightings

Highlights A Southern Hawker Dragonfly on the Butterfly Path, well away from water.. one of the most poisonous moths in Britain photographed.. another two sightings of an increasingly rare (for St Nicks) warbler.. loads more butterflies.. lots of juvenile birds.. and an increasingly rich flower meadow! Weather A very wet start to the month on the […]

17 Jun

June 2014: Spotlight on.. Buttercups

Buttercups Ranunculus sp. Hold one underneath somebody’s chin, and if it reflects a little patch of yellow on to their skin, it means they like butter. Has it ever failed to work? Once upon a time everybody could recognise a buttercup, and presumably everybody liked butter. There would have been a lot less of it […]

07 Jun

Wildwatch: May 2014 Sightings

Highlights Evidence of Water Voles breeding.. Sightings of Garden Warbler and Whitethroat.. Nine species of butterflies seen in the month.. First damselflies of the year seen. Weather Dry for the first three Wildwatch Wednesdays, with some sunshine, and temperatures rising to 23C on the 14th. The final Wednesday was very wet, which depressed sightings of birds and […]