Category Archives: conservation

A Solway small-holding: an update

I last wrote about our small-holding in NW Cumbria in May 2018, shortly after we had planted our ‘Three-score-years-and ten’ wood, including a hedge and a couple of thickets, on one of our fields – for reasons explained in that … Continue reading

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Quicklime: Hot Mix

This blogpost is part of my ‘limestone lockdown’ project. For an Introduction to the project, and a guide to the growing list of related posts, see Limestone in the Lake District: an Introduction – and the ‘categories’ list in the … Continue reading

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Grazing and Growth on Rockcliffe Marsh

“At Rockcliffe [Marsh] it’s about the birds, it’s about the saltmarsh as a vegetation community; it’s about the geological interest in the development of saltmarshes. Many other saltmarshes have been enclosed and changed because of agricultural methods, but the Solway … Continue reading

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The acronyms’ stories: imagine.

‘Alphabet soup’: AONB, EMS, MPA, MCZ, NNR, SAC, SPA, SSSI – how many more of these acronyms for conservation designations can you recall? Do you know what they mean? (If you don’t – and not many people do – you … Continue reading

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SACs, SPAs, SSSIs on the Solway Firth: Learning to love the acronyms

“Think of [the list] as not so much an inventory as a catalogue leading to compelling and interacting stories.” [1] Conservation designations: their borders aren’t marked by posts or buoys, but they are marked by lines on maps, and by … Continue reading

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A Solway small-holding

Yesterday I stood leaning on the pitchfork by the glowing ash-pile, just looking around at the trees and the hedges and our sheep. Two weeks ago, on a blue, still morning, there had been a sound like a gun-shot from … Continue reading

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Tracking Triops, the elusive Tadpole Shrimp

In August, after the long weeks of cloudless blue skies, and heat that shimmered over the cracked mud of the merse, the rain came. The jet stream had looped into another orientation, and the rain fell day after day for … Continue reading

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Recording the Solway’s amazing nature: a guest post by Deborah Muscat

Why we need to pay attention to the other living species with whom we share this area, and identify and record them. My thanks to Deborah Muscat, Manager of the Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre based in Carlisle, for writing this … Continue reading

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The charisma of Corophium, the mud-shrimp

The level of the salty, sediment-laden water in the Upper Solway is dropping with the ebbing tide, turning increasingly brackish as the waters of the rivers Esk and Eden dominate. The edges of the saltmarshes stand proud above glistening mudflats … Continue reading

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What’s a clay dabbin?

“The first thing people do is stroke the walls – it’s tactile, there’s something about it that makes people want to touch it.” Alex Gibbons     On April 28th 2017 the first clay dabbins building to be constructed on … Continue reading

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