Saving England's most threatened species from extinction

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Guest Blogs

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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Gems of 2018

When I tried to pick out one thing to focus on from my volunteering experiences with Gems in the Dunes over the last year, I found it was an impossible task!  Looking back over all the talks, walks, training, habitat management and surveys I have been involved in, I decided to showcase my favourite Sefton...

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The journey of a Cabinet of Curiosity…

The Shifting Sands project is based within the ‘broken lands’ of western East Anglia, a mysterious and uncertain zone whose unique species are under increasing threat of extinction. Their subtle, modest beauty is reflected not in picturesque rolling vistas but in the minutiae of small-scale, ground level life. I shall be exploring these wondrous plants...

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An Industrious Bird in a Post-Industrial Land

In the heart of a post-industrial landscape, a burnt-out car lies abandoned. A mixture of young deciduous trees cling to the side of a disused colliery railway embankment. Thick bramble, elder and hawthorn intertwine a mosaic of dense vegetation. This habitat doesn’t scream ‘rich wildlife haven’ but in the North of England, for one of...

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Breckland wildflowers…

Since the middle of last year I’ve been volunteering with Natural England on the Shifting Sands project. During the few months I have been doing my work experience, David (the Keystone Species officer) has been a fantastic (and patient) teacher of flora. My pleasure at correctly identifying plants I previously didn’t know is great; so...

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The Great English Juniper Revival?

Gin lovers rejoice this Christmas! For Juniper, our native aromatic shrub renowned for giving gin its distinctive fragrance, is showing signs of returning to the English countryside, almost 10 years after urgent conservation work began to bring it back from the brink of disappearing..   Despite being one of the first trees to colonise Britain...

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The diary of an artist

On the 9th of December, Amanda - our Back from the Brink Community Artist for the South-East led a beautiful event for our Colour in the Margins project, set in Kent. Our Community Art project is all about informing people of the rare and threatened wildlife, right on their doorstep - through creative processes. With...

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