St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

28 May

Feed the bees that feed us

According to Buglife, one out of every three mouthfuls of our food depends on insect pollination. It is estimated that 84% of EU crops (valued at £12.6 billion per year) and 80% of wildflowers rely on it. Without this invaluable service we wouldn’t be able to enjoy a lot of the great food we now […]

20 May

May 2014: Spotlight on.. Blackcap

Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla This small bird (wingspan 20 cm – 8 inches) is a spring and summer visitor to St Nicks. It’s not the easiest bird to see (or photograph!) because it often sings in deep cover, in the centre of a bush or small tree. It is best seen in early spring, before there […]

13 May

Wildwatch: April 2014 sightings

Weather: Mainly cloudy on all five Wildwatch days, except for sunshine on the 23rd. As expected, temperatures started to rise throughout the month, starting off with 4C to 6C on the 2nd, and up to 15C on the 30th. Observers: Generally smaller numbers than in recent months, but we still had to split into two […]

31 Mar

Wildwatch: March 2014 sightings

Weather: A warmer patch mid-month was sandwiched between a cooler start and end to the month. Fortunately, we managed to stay dry on all four of the Wildwatch walks! A fairly dry month, so the water level in both becks started to drop, exposing muddy banks. Observers: Once again, numbers on the walks were in […]

16 Mar

March 2014: Spotlight on.. Brimstone Butterfly

              Brimstone Butterfly Gonepteryx rhamni This lovely butterfly, sometimes the earliest of the year to be seen, brings a splash of yellow to match our spring daffodils, and while Yorkshire is at the northern edge of the Brimstone’s British range it still puts up a good show in most […]

03 Mar

Wildwatch: February 2014 Sightings

  Weather: in a wet and relatively mild month, Wednesday mornings were mainly cold and dry, though very muddy. Water in the becks was high early in the month, but kept below flood level. Observers: numbers have remained high, sometimes running to three groups. Birds: the previous month’s high bird counts continued, with a maximum […]

25 Feb

Some ‘rubbish’ inspiration 1

As you may know, rubbish is close to St Nicks’ heart, and feet – what with the site having been a rubbish tip in the past, and the charity currently running a kerbside recycling scheme which uses pedal-powered tricycles. We often get asked what to do with certain types of waste and often wonder for […]

14 Feb

February 2014: Spotlight on… Bullfinch

                  Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula So good that the ornithologists named it twice! Bullfinch is possibly the most iconic St Nicks bird. Seen throughout the year, this colourful finch is easily identified by call, in flight and perched. Their call is a quiet, but distinctive single note: listen […]

03 Feb

Wildwatch: January 2014 sightings

Weather: Generally, the weather gave us grey and cloudy days on all five of the Wildwatch Wednesdays (yes, Kaye and Ian turned up on New Year’s Day!). Temperatures ranged from 2C up to 10C, with occasional light to moderate breezes. We managed to stay dry on most Wednesdays, but heavy rain at other times raised […]

16 Jan

January 2014: Spotlight on… Gorse

Gorse Ulex europaeus With its dense branches of fearsome spines, Gorse is an unlikely relation of domestic peas and beans. Look more closely at its flowers, and you’ll see a clear similarity to Sweet Peas. On a warm day, the scent is just as good, with notes of vanilla and coconut. The seeds are the […]