Category Archives: wetlands

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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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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Snippets 12: In praise of Bowness Moss

Bowness Moss or Common is one of the South Solway Mosses National Nature Reserves, NNR. The near-pristine centre of this raised mire is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, SSSI;  it’s also a Special Area of Conservation, SAC. Acronyms are … Continue reading

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Snippets 10: stone stoops

Gateposts don’t normally attract our attention, so it is easy to miss the fact that many of the ‘posts’ supporting field gates on the Solway Plain are not posts at all, but are the traditional red sandstone pillars – known … Continue reading

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From ‘killing field’ to wetland and woods: Watchtree Nature Reserve, Cumbria

From the hill at Watchtree Nature Reserve you can look across to the upper reaches of the Solway Firth, the Borders and, to the East, the Northern Fells. It’s early February and the snow-coated top of Skiddaw is glistening  in … Continue reading

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