St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

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 […]

08 Jan

Trees (are) for Life, not just Christmas

Judging by the numerous window displays, few of us can imagine Christmas without a tree. Even just a spray-painted picture, for which I had to settle due to lack of space, seemed better than no tree (although the faint smell of paint wasn’t particularly festive). According to ITV news, 8 million Christmas trees are sold […]

01 Jan

Wildwatch: December 2013 Sightings

Weather: After a sunny start on 4th December, the remaining two Wednesdays were “damp but bearable”. And yes, we did have Christmas Day off, so there were only three Wildwatch Wednesdays in December! Observers: Five or six of us turned up on each of the three Wednesdays, with one being new to the group (welcome […]

21 Dec

December 2013: Spotlight on… Robin

                  (European) Robin Erithacus rubecula Perhaps the UK’s favourite bird, the Robin is familiar to most people, with its reddish throat and breast, and confiding manner. Its song is perhaps less familiar than its appearance. You can hear the song by clicking here. It might sound a […]

05 Dec

Wildwatch: November 2013 Sightings

  Weather In contrast to last month, the Wildwatch group was blessed with dry Wednesdays! November’s first Wildwatch meeting had overcast skies, but for the other three Wednesdays we enjoyed sunshine or, at least sunny intervals. Temperatures ranged from 3C to 11C. Observers There were fewer of us during November, compared with last month – between five […]

29 Nov

Share your inspiration

The future could be bright and green(er). In this section of our blog we will start featuring things, projects, people and organisations that inspire us in our attempts to help bring about the vision of York as a sustainable city. We want to start with the bigger picture to help guide local action. Climate change […]

20 Nov

November 2013: Spotlight on… Alder

  Alder Alnus glutinosa Alder is a native tree in the same family as Birch and Hazel. Although it will grow in dry conditions, it prefers damp places, where given enough room it can grow up to 25 metres high with a broad, roughly conical crown. Planted along rivers, its roots help to keep the […]

14 Nov

Woodland improvements over the winter months

In this new feature, our nature reserve manager Jonathan tells all about the next few months of work on the St Nicholas Fields nature reserve. As winter draws in and vegetation dies back, the main focus of the management of our nature reserve will change to our woodlands. Our young woodland areas are maturing well, […]