Ladybird, ladybird

Not having a garden, it had never occurred to me that you can buy live ladybirds and get them posted to you! Around £16 for 25 native British adult ladybirds with food included in case you’re interested. Ready for immediate release to the garden to ward off all those pesky aphids attacking your prize roses….

Nature’s medicine chest

“Try nettle tea,” said the functional medicine practitioner I’ve been seeing. Er, why on earth would I want to do that, I thought? But, when I investigated a bit further, it seems that early civilisations used it for all sorts of ailments from reducing swelling caused by arthritis to relieving muscle aches and aiding kidney…

Man versus bird

Despite often thought of as bringers of good fortune, it’s been an unlucky time of late for birds in this country. What with the furore first over licences to kill thousands of endangered birds and then over the netting of trees and hedgerows to prevent our feathered friends from nesting. Hard times if you’re a…

Soil’s super hero

I don’t know about you but worms are not generally something I tend to give a second thought. Until the other day when my brother pointed out a seagull doing what looked like a nifty tap dance but was actually the gull drumming the ground to fool unsuspecting worms below into thinking that it was…

Poems that the earth writes upon the sky

When it comes to trees, passions can run high. Just think of the outcry last year when Sheffield residents realised that the city council had chopped down more than 5000 street trees in the previous five years, with another 12,000 set to go over the next 20 years. Many were perfectly healthy with decades still…

Hare today, gone tomorrow?

The number of brown hares in the UK is thought to have dropped by as much as 80% over the past hundred years, meaning that there are now less than a million of one of our best loved mammals. Which makes reports that both myxomatosis and the deadly rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) may have crossed…

Has spring sprung already?

I saw the first of this year’s daffodils, often a herald of spring, a little over two weeks ago. Er in January? On last week’s Winterwatch a cameraman had captured a woodpecker drumming in the Cairngorms – behaviour more usually associated with the vernal season when the woodpecker is looking for territory (or a mate!)….