Battling the skies (geddit?)

The plaintive tale of Britain’s last remaining greater mouse-eared bat, as told by Patrick Barkham in The Guardian last year, is one that will tug on even the most resistant of heart strings. Every winter for the last 16 or so years, this solitary male has returned to the same dank railway tunnel in West…

Floats like a butterfly

I am a huge fan of the American novelist Barbara Kingsolver who effortlessly melds natural science and fiction in visionary novels like Unsheltered. In Flight Behaviour, the mysterious apparition of mass kaleidoscopes of orange monarch butterflies choosing to overwinter in the cool climes of the Appalachians instead of the warm south conjures up the omnipresent…

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…