Saving England's most threatened species from extinction

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Guest Blogs

Arable Memories – Lost Flowers!

Not only have we lost the flowers … My mother who was born in 1924 was keen on wildflowers and had a wildflower book (a school prize for her ‘fieldwork’) in which she ticked off all the wildlflowers she had seen. Under her guidance I too became interested in wild plants from an early age,...

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Brome, Interrupted

Brome, Interrupted! Trying to conserve a species of grass doesn’t seem like a job at the most glamorous end of conservation. Interrupted brome (Bromus interruptus - not the most inventive of names) is an unassuming plant – not especially tall, it is a pleasant, mid-green colour and somewhat hairy. Its flowers are the same: green...

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The Chequered Skipper Flies Again!

The Chequered Skipper Flies Again! Seeing Chequered Skippers flying once again in their former English strongholds has been a dream of mine since I was a child. I grew up in Northamptonshire in a house that backed on to fields and while exploring the seemingly endless natural world beyond the back gate I developed a...

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Out for the Count – Field Cricket Flash Back!

Out for the Count – A Flashback to the Field Cricket Project this June!   Since joining the team at RSPB’s Farnham Heath reserve, I have been consistently amazed at the variety of heathland specialists that are on the site. I had heard of many of them prior to joining the team; Sand Lizards, Dartford...

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Dream of a Field Cricket

For an insect that spends almost all of its time underground, the Field Cricket has an elusive charisma, on account of its evocative 'song'. A unique event will celebrate this miniature sound-maker... Field Cricket (Gryllus campestris), female nymph. Sussex, UK. April. Photographed under license on white backround in the field.   In what is almost...

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Pasqueflowers

Legend has it that the Pasqueflower comes into bloom on Good Friday. Now these highly specialised plants and many other calcareous grassland species need our help if they are to rise again each year… Lying against the south-facing hillside with a mellow wind on my face, I’m supported by ninety metres of chalk. In the...

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Looking back at our model-making workshop…

Chris' sculptural workshops took place last week at a local school in Thetford which sits within the Brecklands area - home to our Shifting Sands project... So that was fun, hectic and very productive!   The sessions at the school went really well and the young students were brilliant, very patient and persevered with tricky...

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Preparations of a Sculptor

Given the microscopic scale of many of these Breckland species, and the difficulty in finding high-resolution images of them, it has me thinking about the thorny issue of the different ways in which we accurately record the natural world. Photography offers a so-called 'realistic' view of particular examples whilst traditional botanical illustrations present the most...

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Winter Stubble

On a frosty morning, in the strange “limbo” week between Christmas and New Year,  I extracted myself from the slumber of a cosy, over-stuffed and peaceful household and made the decision to blow away the cobwebs by taking a walk across my local chalk downs in Wiltshire. It’s a walk that’s renowned in the spring...

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The march of the Field Cricket

Having heard from Sir Sebastian Anstruther about the conservation of the UK’s only indigenous population of Field Crickets at Coates Common and Lord’s Piece on the Barlavington Estate in West Sussex, here is a blog from his neighbour, Ned Mersey, who manages the adjacent piece of land - Bignor Park. Through Back from the Brink...

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