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  • Blog Post: A worthwhile year

    The Christmas dinner leftovers have been eaten and the overflowing recycling box collected, drawing a line under the festive excesses. Last year, my youngest daughter still played with the empty cardboard boxes her presents had arrived in. At one point this year she did hurl into the air the corn...
  • Blog Post: What happens now?

    The election's passed and we'll have new faces in the Commons . Maybe we'll have other new visitors too, once the four eggs being incubated by peregrine falcons Beattie and Busby hatch... hopefully any moment now. The peregrines you can see on our pere-cam are the pair that use the Palace...
  • Blog Post: Icing on the cake

    You may have noticed that it's unseasonably cold? This is the point where we traditionally urge everyone to put out extra food and fresh water for birds. I'm not one to break traditions so I'll urge you to do just that . I would also like to invite you to drink in the spectacle of winter...
  • Blog Post: Sowing seeds for a greener London

    Have you ever stared at the side profile of City Hall? For years now I've wanted to stick a sparrow's head on it's teardrop shape, as it it would make a wonderful giant sparrow. A monumental nod to the cockney sparra's brave and chirpy character and its similarity to the London...
  • Blog Post: City crewcut – Countryside plaits, weaves and extensions

    George Osborne obviously sees the countryside as feminine and cities as masculine, as he's delivered a sugar and spice budget for farmers and and a snips, snails and puppy dogs tails budget for wildlife loving Londoners. After much campaigning and lobbying by the RSPB and others, he halted the...
  • Blog Post: Blackberry love

    I've almost filled the freezer with this year's blackberries . Big juicy ones plucked from brambly hedges in Ye Olde Hackney town. Now I know what you're thinking. How dare I deprive the poor birds of all that deep velvety berry goodness. Well, I'll make sure I make up for...
  • Blog Post: Clackety clack, lets have some chat

    There's a rail-line at the bottom of my garden. I welcome the comforting rumble of trains carrying people to and from Liverpool Street. I also welcome the wildlife roaming the embankment; and the blankets of spring bluebells; the birds turning their heads as trains approach; and the cloaking canopies...
  • Blog Post: He's a jolly good fallow

    If you commute in and out of London, at some point in your life you'll no doubt feel stuck in a rut; the same old, same old. But 'tis the rutting season, so Bushy Park and other open spaces are echoing to the bellow of frisky deer . The warm weather of late has helped stir the deep emotions...
  • Blog Post: Animal lover

    My daughters laugh at me. Openly. I've checked my flies and they're closed; there's no spinach stuck between my teeth and no one drew a moustache on me whilst I dozed in my chair. So, I was forced to ask, 'what's so funny?' It's when I start to talk about nature and...
  • Blog Post: City breaks

    A study of bird numbers, used to reflect the health of our environment, has revealed a north and south divide; with birds doing better in the north than they are in the south. It's a huge generalisation, but it does paint a fairly desperate picture, and that's where we are. Politicians and...
  • Blog Post: George Osborne's Autumn Speech

    Two of the many great things about London are the River Thames and the large number of open spaces you can escape to, spaces where you can cycle, fish, run, play, walk your dog, watch the world go by or simply rage against the machine. Much of London's infrastructure, from its sewers right through...
  • Blog Post: London! Not top of the BoP gun crime list

    For a change, London is NOT the centre of gun crime... as far as Birds of Prey [BoP] are concerned. Our magnificent falcons and hawks can continue to visit, safe in the knowledge that they're unlikely to become victims of prejudice. The RSPB's 20th annual Birdcrime report recorded 384 cases...
  • Blog Post: Do you say 'fall' or 'autumn'?

    Autumn has fallen. Not with the gentle floating of a golden-brown leaf settling gently on the ground, but the subtlety of a lead pipe delivered by a cold-blooded thug. With a resounding thwump, leaves have carpeted the ground overnight, falling only slightly faster than the temperature. Not that I'm...
  • Blog Post: Pickled think

    The successful development of the Thames Estuary is our birthright. That was the assertion of the Rt Hon Eric Pickles, above, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. The Banner behind him reads 'Greater Thames' and he was speaking at the official launch of our Futurescape...
  • Blog Post: EC Rider

    You are looking so good! Ladies and gentlemen. Let's ride. Thank you to everyone who wrote to EC President Jose Manuel Barroso. 11,500 people took time out let him and his EC colleagues know what they thought about plans to cut environmental funding from the Common Agriculture Policy, revealed...
  • Blog Post: Muddy Waters

    My daughter's 'music' homework was all about the blues. She just wouldn't believe me when I said the godfather of the blues is a gravelly voiced chap called Muddy Waters . "What sort of name is that," she asked. "It's as sensible and clear as most," I responded...
  • Blog Post: Bearing gifts of random kindness

    I reckon I could power the national grid if Icould capture the energy from my constant shivering. Still. I can always turn-up the heating, chuck another log on the fire or pull on another of my Mum's knitted jumpers. Blue tits , sparrows , starlings (pictured) and robins don't share that luxury...
  • Blog Post: Jailbirds, bankers - let's Par-Tay!

    Frazzled. Everyone's frazzled and it's not just the air temperature. Defra's been frazzled by proposals to control buzzards around country estates where people pay to shoot pheasants. Suggestions included capturing buzzards and destroying nests around the estates. Eviction and imprisonment...
  • Blog Post: Hidden corners

    I love living in London. Just when you think you know a place, someone comes along and blows your notions out of the water. I've been introduced to an amazing new space in Dalston, the Eastern Curve Garden . Anyone who knows the Dalston Peace Mural can find the entrance to this little green, wedge...
  • Blog Post: Moth eaten? Bring on the tits!

    A blazing start to October will this week turn to a more traditional autumnal month , with forecasters predicting snow in the UK before Christmas - yes it's just a couple of months away! So, it's time to put away the shorts and crop-tops and dig out the woolies and hats with ear-flaps. If...
  • Blog Post: What's out there? You tell us.

    Leaving Hackney Town Hall after talking about improving protection for the borough's special places and species I happened to look-up as I cycled towards the traffic lights. In the sky, visible between the bulk of the Hackney Empire and an old bank building on the other side of the street, were...
  • Blog Post: Thomas and the trackside habitation

    It was a beautiful morning in the city of Sondon but the Fat Controller was not happy. "My really useful engine is in the wrong place and its all the fault of those nasty conservationists." He harumphed, stamped his foot and clenched his fists. The previous day, Thomas, a cheeky, fussy little...
  • Blog Post: J'Thames

    It's awesome. Standing on Southwark Bridge as I was the other day, looking over the edge in to the river. The sheer volume and movement of water is astounding and mesmerizing. Is the Thames London's greatest but most ignored asset? It's a muddy emerald of a river that used to be the Capital's...
  • Blog Post: Grass is greener and chocolate's yummy

    Rural Britain is devoid of colour as traditional hay meadows vanish. A new report claims 97% of rural Britain's fields of buttercups, sorrel and clover with a variety of grasses have gone... and you know, I'm in full agreement. Consumer demand and mechanisation of farming gave us the ability...
  • Blog Post: Londoners unite and demand a healthier countryside for your money

    If you're going out with mates this evening and everyone's having a great time, stop it dead by saying the following out loud: "Today marks the fifth anniversary of laws preventing people from paving over front gardens without planning permission". Life and soul of the party you...