Next time you are near a pond, make sure you have a look for some caddisfly larvae. They are not difficult to find; many construct fantastic protective armour around their bodies, using debris and bits of vegetation. There are around 200 species of caddisfly (of the order Trichoptera) in the UK and presence of larvae … Continue reading Miniature Monday: Caddisfly Larvae
Burying beetles or sexton beetles (sexton being an old English word for gravedigger) are an unusual family of beetles consisting of several similar looking species. The scientific name ‘Nicrophorus’ is also thought to originate from the greek ‘necro’ meaning dead body. They are one of my favourite UK insects and being attracted to light, I … Continue reading Miniature Monday: Sexton Beetles
Recently, I had the misfortune of coming across a poorly informed, shockingly ignorant and frankly irresponsible piece of writing. More disappointingly, it was penned by a Scottish ecologist and published in a national newspaper. I felt that I should write something to address some of the points and claims made by its author. The article focussed … Continue reading Irresponsible Journalism
You’ve probably noticed that beavers have been in the spotlight of late and have received lots of well-earned media attention. Our Scottish beavers were finally granted legal protection in 2016 and numerous beaver projects are now cropping up across the rest of the UK, hoping for the same outcome. This is fantastic to witness and … Continue reading Bringing Back Beavers
One of the (few) perks of my job is that staff are allowed to create an allotment on a disused piece of land in the grounds. I say allotment - mine is in fact 3m x 2.5m, so really quite little. However it's surprising what can be made to fit in such a small place. I chose … Continue reading Micro Allotmenting
I'm normally an advocate for species lacking in media attention. The small things that people ignore; or the slimy things that some find scary. This week however, I happened to spend an afternoon with the charismatic poster species for Scottish conservation - the red squirrel. And yes I have to admit...they were very cute. Up until … Continue reading Bushy Tailed and Bouncing Back
It seems I have a lot of catching up to do with my blogging (It's been a busy summer) and so I thought I'd at least make a start by writing about my birthday last month. Better late than never?... This year, my birthday happened to fall on a volunteer day run by my local … Continue reading The Birthday Caterpillar
Urban wildlife watching can be just as exciting as in the countryside - you just need to do some exploring!
This year I've been attending conservation work parties organised by The John Muir Trust in the Cairngorm National Park. JMT is a Scottish charity dedicated to protecting and enhancing our wild places. We carry out a variety of tasks, such as putting up deer fencing to protect young trees from being over-grazed. We've also removed gorse and … Continue reading Volunteering with The John Muir Trust
One of the absolute best ways to attract wildlife into your garden is to introduce water. It doesn't need to be a lot either, even the smallest of ponds will allow an increase in biodiversity. When I was six and I asked for a pond I was handed a small plastic washing up basin (yes … Continue reading Your garden needs a pond!