My Early Nature Connection; Home, Play and Special Mentors

My Early Nature Connection; Home, Play and Special Mentors

Guest post by Ginny Battson.

Most of my life has involved nature as my adventure. I ask myself why. My connection with non-human lives has been a constant ember within me, aside only during a period of traumatic bereavement, another story. I acknowledge this bond was securely founded in early childhood.

I think it came in two main parts.

Firstly, I was fortunate to live, play and imagine among nature with effortless ease, growing up in a particularly biodiverse corner of North Herefordshire. It was a hamlet of a few houses dotted around a hill, but mostly of woods, streams, tracks and open common land. Read more

Connecting With Nature Through Places

Connecting With Nature Through Places

Guest post by John Aitchison

From a presentation given for New Networks for Nature’s ‘Nature Matters’ event in Stamford, England, November 2015

For more than twenty years I have lived by the sea in Scotland. My children have grown up with otters as their neighbours and, more recently, with re-introduced white tailed eagles too. They’re as pleased to see them as when they bump into their friends, which is just as it should be. It’s a place we feel we belong.

To walk on that shoreline is to play back some of our own history: one rock makes me smile at the memory of a picnic we had there, when my daughter found a long heron’s feather and put it in her hair. In another place I stand again where I once did at midnight, after heavy snow, entranced by the full moon that lit up the land as far as I could see. Read more

Jo’s Mini Meadow 6 – Bring the Magic of the Wool Carder Bee and Leafcutter Bee Into Your Life and Your Garden

Jo’s Mini Meadow 6 – Bring the Magic of the Wool Carder Bee and Leafcutter Bee Into Your Life and Your Garden

I am amazed to discover there are over 270 bee species in Britain and Ireland and that bumblebees and honey bees only account for about one tenth of that figure. The wool carder and the leafcutter bees belong to the Megachile (leaf-cutting bee) group.

Both the wool-carder and the leafcutter are solitary bees. They nest in walls, as well as in dead wood and bee hotels provided by us. Wool carder bees also nest in hollow stems whereas leafcutters will occasionally use soil, twigs and the hollow stems of brambles. They are impressive engineers, magical to watch and this year my dream of seeing a wool carder bee came true. Read more

Jo’s Mini Meadow 5 – New Arrivals in the Orchard Meadow and a Mini Meadow Surprise

Jo’s Mini Meadow 5 – New Arrivals in the Orchard Meadow and a Mini Meadow Surprise

The new orchard meadow has been a constant source of delight, awe and wonder from my very own kitchen window this spring and summer. With growing joy, I watched the plants beginning to flower that set seed last year. Their pollen and nectar attracted many solitary bees and bumblebees, including the fascinating Wool-carder Bee for the first time. Read more

Jo’s Mini Meadow 4 – Experience Untouched Landscapes by Sowing Wildflower Meadows and Leaving Nature in Charge

Jo’s Mini Meadow 4 – Experience Untouched Landscapes by Sowing Wildflower Meadows and Leaving Nature in Charge

“In the middle ages, a lawn was more like a meadow; it was a flowery mead, bursting with perfumed wildflowers and herbs and grasses.” John Lewis-Stempel

The beauty of a wildflower meadow is that it is constantly in a state of change. Nature teaches me to be patient: to wait and see what happens each year. Read more

Jo’s Mini Meadow 3 – How Does Nature Come to be Regarded as Kith and Kin?

Jo’s Mini Meadow 3 – How Does Nature Come to be Regarded as Kith and Kin?

On seeing soft pink apple blossoms in my mini orchard meadow open in warm spring sunshine, I am dreamily taken back to memories of my childhood.

Jo Cartmell
© 2015 Jo Cartmell

It was an idyllic, nature connected childhood which started as soon as I was able to walk, as you can see by the muddy fingerprints on my beautiful white dress which had doubtless been spotless when my mother had put it on me that morning. I was constantly playing with the mud, or sitting in the garden playing with woodlice, or watching butterflies and other wildlife that I found there. You can see that I was outdoors a great deal by my very tanned face! When I was about 5 years old, my father showed me a butterfly chrysalis in the garden shed and I was fascinated. Read more