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Discovering dormice

Monday, January 16, 2017

The third weekend in November marked the last dormouse nestbox checks of the year for the National Dormouse Monitoring Programme (NDMP). As the nights drew in and the frosts appeared, dormice, along with many other animals, started to hibernate. The NDMP will begin again in March with a spring clean of the nesting boxes.  Read More

Capturing my imagination

Thursday, December 15, 2016

I like being connected to the news. Most days I listen on my way into work and on my way home, and am attentive to all of the analysis and opinions. However, my interest in this connection has waned. I can feel the anger in the world weighing me down, letting the negativity seep through my mind. The darkness from our surroundings compounds this effect and I feel a little depressed about what the future holds.  Read More

Beavers are back

Monday, November 28, 2016

Last week the Scottish Government formally announced that the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) is to be officially recognised as a native species 400 years after being hunted to extinction.  Read More

Watching briefs should not be left until the last minute!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Watching briefs are an integral aspect of ecology site work and should be planned for in advance to ensure that ecologists with the necessary competencies will be available. For example, an ecologist with a great crested newt licence, or a bat licence, may be needed.  Read More

Winter singing of blackcaps

Friday, October 21, 2016

In a recent (October 2016) edition of British Birds a letter was published discussing winter singing by blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) in Britain and Ireland (Greenwood, 2016). Blackcaps are relatively large warblers with beautiful and complex songs. These songs sometimes include mimicry of other species and there is much individual variation, and in fact an old dialect name for the species was northern nightingale.  Read More

Badgers - the basics!

Friday, October 07, 2016

Forever immortalised within popular literature such as Wind in the Willows and The Animals of Farthing Wood, the badger (Meles meles) is a highly social mammal, and one of the largest members of the Mustelid family. In celebration of National Badger Day on the 6th October 2016 this article will provide a brief overview of the ecology of badgers and their legal protection.  Read More

Barn owl recommendations

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Like most wild birds, the barn owl is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (WCA) 1981, as amended. This makes it an offence to kill, injure or take a barn owl; take, damage or destroy the nest while that nest is in use or being built; and to take or destroy an egg.  Read More

Bat detectors - one of our favourite bits of kit!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

In 1790 an Italian scientist named Lazzaro Spallanzi was intrigued by the ability of bats to forage for insects at night. In an attempt to understand how they performed this remarkable feat he undertook several experiments. He found that blindfolded the bats flew unimpaired, but when they had their ears plugged they would fly into objects which they would otherwise have avoided. Since the bats appeared to be flying in silence, he could not understand why hearing was playing such an important role in their navigation. Read More

World Snake Day - July 16th

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

July 16th was World Snake Day! While snakes are threatened by many of the same issues that affect a range of wildlife - habitat loss and fragmentation, road mortality, climate change and disease - persecution and negative attitudes toward snakes may be the biggest barrier to their conservation. To celebrate World Snake Day, read on for a few facts about Great Britain’s native scaly friends..... Read More

Let's celebrate our National Parks!

Friday, July 29, 2016

I’ve had a long-standing relationship with National Parks around the world, having spent most of my summer holidays as a child, and now as an adult, camping and hill-walking in them. Next week is National Parks week and it’s made me think about what they mean to the environment and the people using them. Read More