Wildlife Migrations

If one of the first signs of summer is the swallows arriving, then seeing them line up on the telegraph wires before heading off is one of the signs that summer is over, and it’s time to sweep the chimneys and fill up the log shed. Over the last few weeks, my local Facebook groups…

Blackberries

Millennia before foraging became trendy, Neolithic people were gathering blackberries, and we haven’t stopped since. For most of the year, brambles are an inconvenience; tough, thorny and very quick to spread, they are a headache for gardeners, but for a few weeks they redeem themselves with fat, delicious blackberries. Wildlife takes full advantage of this…

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

With two keen photographers in the family, the chance to see the world-famous Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition right on our doorstep was too good to miss. A few years ago we went up to London to see it at the Natural History Museum, which was great but quite an effort, so this time…

Wild Hops

This seems to be a phenomenal year for wild fruit; the blackberries are in perfect condition, and the hawthorn bushes are red with berries in some place. One thing that seems to have really enjoyed the beautifully warm summer is the wild hops, which surround us in the hedgerows, and have invaded our garden this…

Delphi, Meteora & Central Greece

Five years ago, my husband and I and our two children (then 7 & 9) did a road trip around the Peloponnese, hiring a car and staying in guest houses, visiting ancient sites such as Olympia, Mycenae, Mystra and Athens. It was such a brilliant holiday that we vowed to do it again, so we’ve…

Hazel

At this time of year more than any other, I can be guaranteed to always have a pair of loppers in the car, just in case I pass the perfect hazel hedge. Last year’s garden arches have just succumbed to the winter gales and become kindling, so I’m looking for new poles for this year’s…

Langdon Hill Walk

Sometimes you want an energetic stomp, but sometimes you just want a gentle saunter, and today being that day, we put the dog in the back of the car and headed to Langdon Hill in Morcombelake. Easily accessible just off the A35 and halfway between Lyme Regis and Bridport, it’s a nice walk if you’re…

The Jurassic Coast

Ever since I was little I’ve loved going to the beach, and growing up near the Dorset Coast we were spoilt for choice. Our beach of choice was St Oswalds Bay, next to Durdle Door, as you can swim out to the rocks, and Durdle Door itself is spectacular. We also loved the sandy beaches…

Unsung Heroes

At this time of year, and quite rightly so, the queen of the countryside is the bluebell. There really is nothing quite like an English bluebell wood in full bloom – a wide carpet of bright, rich purple-blue blooms, especially when seen against fresh new green leaves and blue skies, is a sight to behold….