Himalayan Balsam - the scourge of our rivers!

Centre for nature and green living

Tag: wildlife

Himalayan Balsam – the scourge of our rivers!

Every year in May we get a little obsessive about Himalayan balsam. For those who don’t know it, this is a highly invasive plant which has taken over river banks, becks and ditches across the country. Whether it’s the Ouse, the Foss or local becks like Tang Hall and Osbaldwick, you don’t have to go […]

Posted 20 August 2020 | Categories: Spotlight on... | Tags: Himalayan balsam, wildlife, york becks

Wildwatch April 2020

Wildlife at St Nicks has been flourishing this spring. Wildwatch volunteers would normally be meeting every week to record – and enjoy – this. Alas, this is impossible right now. However, several Wildwatchers have been able to visit individually and share their sightings with us all. And of course staff members continue to do essential […]

Posted 11 May 2020 | Categories: Spotlight on..., Wildwatch | Tags: apple, bee fly, Bird Cherry, blackbird, blackcap, Blackthorn, Brimstone, Bullfinch, Bumblebees, butterlies, Chiffchaff, Coal Tit, comma butterfly, cowslip, cuckoo bee, fritillary, gall, Goldfinch, Gorse Shieldbug, Grey Squirrel, Hawthorn, Hoverfly, kingfisher, ladybirds, mussel, nature, newt, orange tip, Otter, owl pellet, peacock, plant galls, plastic, Rabbit, robin, snail, solitary bees, Song Thrush, sparrowhawk, Speckled Wood, spring, tawny owl, Treecreeper, Violet, volunteer, wildlife, Wildwatch, willow warbler, wren, York

Wildwatch March 2020

New life sprung forth this March at St Nicks – as always. Despite inevitable difficulties, the Wildwatch team was still able to enjoy some great wildlife sightings. Wildwatch groups met as usual on the Wednesday mornings of the 4th and 11th of March – seventeen of us on the latter date. (What a long time ago this […]

Posted 17 April 2020 | Categories: Wildwatch | Tags: bee fly, bees, blackbird, Blackthorn, Brimstone, Bullfinch, Bumblebees, butterflies, Centipede, Ceriporia, Chiffchaff, Chionodoxa, coltsfoot, comma butterfly, cowslip, flowers, fox, fritillary, fungi, goldcrest, Goldfinch, Gorse Shieldbug, Great spotted woodpecker, Hoverfly, long-tailed tit, march, millipede, newt, Otter, owls, Primrose, robin, slugs, snails, Song Thrush, sparrowhawk, spiders, spring, tawny owl, Treecreeper, volunteer, volunteering, water vole, wildlife, Wildwatch, woodlice, wren, York

Spotlight on… Tawny Mining Bee and Bee Fly

The Tawny Mining Bee (Andrena fulva) and the Bee Fly (Bombylius major) have a story to tell. The first is a solitary bee while the second is not a bee but a fly impersonating one. Both can be seen on the reserve at St Nicks from April to June. The Bee Fly tries to stay as […]

Posted 14 April 2020 | Categories: Spotlight on..., Wildwatch | Tags: Andrena, bee, beefly, Bombylius, fly, solitary bee, spotlight, spring, wildlife, Wildwatch, York

Keeping connected to nature: even during lockdown

Hard times for us all. So many pressing concerns. Not least of these, for many of us, is the way in which our access to the natural world has suddenly become so constricted. Absence, it is said, makes the heart grow fonder. How true this seems now, regarding not just family and friends, but also […]

Posted 31 March 2020 | Categories: Ecotherapy, Opinion Piece, Wildwatch | Tags: blackbird, Bumblebee, butterfly, Celandine, Chiffchaff, coltsfoot, comma butterfly, cowslip, ecotherapy, Goldfinch, Hoverfly, kingfisher, Ladybird, magpie, Otter, poplar, robin, Shieldbug, volunteer, wildlife, wildlife gardening, Wildwatch, Woodlouse, York

How can I help wildlife thrive in my garden over winter?

Many of us would like to find ways to support our local wildlife, especially when the weather is cold. Here are some of our top tips. Shelter Let (some of) your garden grow wild and leave piles of leaves or long grass to provide shelter for animals and nesting spots for birds. Think about building […]

Posted 20 December 2019 | Categories: Back to Basics | Tags: bird feeders, birds, hedgehog, hedgehog homes, wildlife, wildlife gardening, winter

Developing York’s Green Corridors – and a big welcome to new volunteer Beki

By Jonathan Dent, St Nicks Natural Habitats Manager. We know that so-called “green corridors” are important. By connecting fragments of green space in the urban landscape, these corridors link access to habitats and reduce the isolation of wildlife populations, enabling plants and animals to flourish and improving biodiversity. They also provide benefits for humans by […]

Posted 4 December 2019 | Categories: Inspiration | Tags: conservation, dales, Grasslands, green corridors, Meadow Keepers, natural habitats, rivers, roe deer, volunteer, volunteering, water voles, wildlife

Love Letter to Heworth Holme

By St Nicks Volunteer, Tessa McClary   Look under a leaf, and you’ll spot a bright red ladybug. Dig under the carpet of grass, and you’ll see a worm inching its way through the mud. Watch the puddle next to the bund, until a golden frog lopes his way down to the water. If you […]

Posted 22 November 2019 | Categories: Volunteers' diary | Tags: nature, Scything, volunteering, wildlife

With a little help from our friends: St Nicks volunteers making a difference

Our hard working and hardy volunteers have been at it again, day and night, come rain or shine. Apart from our regular weekly sessions, we offer plenty of drop-in opportunities if you’d like to volunteer with us to look for wildlife or to help York to bloom and buzz. Here is a summary of recent […]

Posted 18 October 2019 | Categories: Stories, Volunteers' diary, Wildwatch | Tags: meadow, student action, volunteer, wildflowers, wildlife

Spotlight on… Tawny Owls

Our brilliant Meadow Keepers intern, Eithne Phillips, has written Octobers spotlight, giving us insight into the wonderful world of Tawny Owls. The Tawny Owl is one of Britain’s most familiar species of owl and has been heard throughout our forests, woodlands and parklands for thousands of years. Our relationship with owls has often been a […]

Posted 30 October 2018 | Categories: Spotlight on... | Tags: ecotherapy, tawny owl, wildlife, woodlands