Woburn Sands Allotments under threat

Woburn Sands Allotments under threat

The EWR threat vs allotment community value My plot, a personal perspective Wildlife at the Woburn Sands and District Sands Allotments References The EWR threat vs allotment community value There are plans to rebuild a railway line (East West Rail, EWR) between Oxford and Cambridge which would increase the number of trains on the existing … Continue reading

My allotment and Covid-19

My allotment and Covid-19

In 2019 I got an allotment plot – well, half a plot. My space is about 8 m by 20 m and one of about 180 plots on a gentle slope on the edge of town. It was part bare, part brambles and I thoroughly enjoyed growing vegetables bought as seedlings on half the half … Continue reading

Recording (good) pandemic activities

Recording (good) pandemic activities

2020-21 is a period few will forget: so much upheaval in so many ways, too many lives lost and sickness and hardships endured because of the covid-19 pandemic. Huge and widespread changes in behaviour were needed and the size of areas we could move in was much reduced. For me it’s been a year of … Continue reading

Tautonyms and UK lockdown #3 bird and mammal log

Tautonyms and UK lockdown #3 bird and mammal log

The Latin names of some species are tautonyms, that is, the genus and species name are the same. For example, the tiny Eurasian wren is known as Troglodytes troglodytes (troglodyte means ‘cave-dweller’ and wrens have a tendency to forage in dark crevices). A third lockdown period was announced in the UK from 6 January until … Continue reading

Star quality at Soapbox Science MK 2018

Star quality at Soapbox Science MK 2018

Originally posted on MK Soapbox Science:
Soapbox Science Milton Keynes 2018 – twelve clever, captivating speakers shared new science with a new audience in Centre:MK on Saturday. Their engaging, interactive presentations, delivered from their soapboxes on topics across physics, geology, agriculture, astrobiology and waste management, attracted and held the attention of about 1200 visitors. Simone Weber, from…

Birthday scribbles

Birthday scribbles

For my twenty-first birthday, my parents gave me a gum tree seedling.  It was a young  Eucalyptus rossii and we planted it in the their front garden.  It was only about 50cm high.  The species was significant because I had conducted a high school project on this species, or rather on the moth larvae that … Continue reading

GSA 2017

GSA 2017

Last week I attended the Geological ­­Society of America’s 2017 meeting in Seattle with 6,500+ other delegates. I was an invited speaker for the ‘The Role of Silica in the Earth System: From Organisms to Global Biogeochemical Cycles’ session. Two synthesis talks (an excellent presentation by Dr Elizabeth Tower on The role of silica as … Continue reading

Raiding the stationary cupboard for online teaching

Raiding the stationary cupboard for online teaching

Each May I’m involved in live broadcasts, across three evenings, from a field with a ridge and furrow system on The Open University campus.  We take students from S206 (Environmental Science) through the process of a field investigation and these fieldcasts are designed to both increase student confidence in field science and to give students unable access to other fieldwork opportunities … Continue reading