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Two weeks in the life of a new starter!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

My first two weeks working for Thomson as a Graduate Ecologist have genuinely exceeded my expectations. The hands-on approach to our inductions has made the whole experience thoroughly enjoyable. Right from the very start, we were warmly welcomed into the office. Everyone has been so friendly and happy to help us find our feet, which has made settling in to our new roles easy and stress-free. Read More

The Nathusius’ pipistrelle

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

In the British Isles, Nathusius’ pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus nathusii) is relatively rare but widely distributed. It can be found throughout Europe as far east as the border with Turkey, west towards Northern Spain and north towards Finland. Nathusius’ pipistrelle was first seen on the Shetland Isles in 1940 and then later in Ireland in 1996 when a single bat was found grounded in Belfast. The species was initially thought of as a vagrant species with no fixed abode. By 1991, the species was defined as a migrant winter visitor. Mating of this species was later confirmed and three maternity colonies were discovered between 1997 and 2001 in Lincolnshire and Northern Ireland.  Read More

Small changes can make a big difference

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

I read an article recently about a 40% drop in the number of plastic bags on beaches compared with 2015, attributed to the introduction of the 5p charge on plastic bags. It’s funny how such a small charge can make such a big difference. People were initially outraged by the introduction, but they now accept this change and have changed their habits as a result.  Read More

Keeping a close eye on groundwater

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Whilst we all are hoping to see those long balmy sunny days and evenings arrive soon, there are concerns about the wish for a scorching summer.  Read More

Volunteer required?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The birds are singing, the bees are out and about, and this morning I saw my first slug searching for the newly sprouted greens in my garden. This can only mean one thing – the season has kicked in.  Read More

Otters, the basics

Monday, March 06, 2017

With growing numbers of otters in the UK the chance of coming across one of these fascinating creatures has never been better. The Eurasian otter (lutra lutra) is a wide-ranging member of the mustelid family and is present throughout Europe, including the UK, large parts of Asia and northern Africa.  Read More

Can development ever be good for nature?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

I confess that in my younger days I was an idealist, believing that all development had to be stopped to save the world. Now, much longer in tooth, and wiser (I hope), I realise that a considerably more pragmatic approach is required. I am still passionate about nature and wildlife but recognise that new housing is needed to accommodate the UK’s ever growing population and along with that comes the associated new infrastructure – bigger roads and faster rail.  Read More

The Large Blue Butterfly makes a comeback

Thursday, February 16, 2017

A rare and enigmatic species, the large blue butterfly is one of two insects to be awarded European Protected Species status in the UK. The large blue has always been elusive, and even disappeared from UK shores in the late 1970s. However, the species was successfully reintroduced in a number of sites in south-west England and it is steadily increasing as reported in The State of the UK’s Butterfly 2015 report, published by the charity Butterfly Conservation. Read More

An unlikely ally

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

In the constant battle of survival that dominates the natural world an unlikely ally has come to the aid of the red squirrel - the pine marten. Pine martens are native to the UK and most of Europe, hunting both on the ground and in the trees. However, due to extensive woodland clearance and human persecution, the range of the pine marten has been dramatically reduced. Apart from small populations in Wales and northern England, the Scottish Highlands is their last real stronghold in the UK.  Read More