A pal of mine Jane wrote a great piece recently in which she talks about the smell of ivy flowers making her think about ivy bees. I’m not sure if it’s good or bad that I haven’t yet seen ivy bees in Sydenham Hill Wood. The nature jury’s out on what this fairly new arrival […]

I’m hiding behind an ancient oak tree. It’s all gone very quiet. Then I hear a low grunt and when I peek round, five metres away on the other side of the trunk a red deer stag is carefully lowering himself into the bracken. He sits gasping for breath in the October sun. A few […]

The leaves haven’t really changed yet but this avenue of poplars is lit gold in the midday sun. A tram flashes past on the park boundary head of me, which triggers a feeling that I’m truanting. Clutching onto summer, my current policy is to stop working whenever the sun comes out and to get outside […]

It certainly feels like autumn today even if the leaves haven’t really turned yet. In a few weeks I expect social media channels will be wallpapered with photos of autumn trees and vibrant fungi. In the meantime, there is autumn colour to be found today in an unexpected place. A Smooth Sowthistle plant on our […]

I was delighted to have the opportunity to write for the Gazette which is one of the many benefits of SLBI membership (more info here). It’s a great organisation and I’m sure the article will lead to helpful advice, support and botanical camaraderie. Here’s the article.

There are few plants in flower in the woods this morning apart from Ivy. I find some Wood Sedge alongside the rail bed which still have fruits so spend a bit of time getting some clearer photos than I’ve managed earlier in the year. I wander down the railway track to the old tunnel mouth […]

On one boundary of Dulwich Wood is a Cherry Laurel hedge separating it from a quiet cul-de-sac and on the outside of the hedge is a strip of grass verge. At the edge of this verge a tiny yellow flower has appeared this week. I’m pretty sure this is Trailing St John’s-wort Hypericum humifusum which […]

My summer of citizen science nature projects and why I think all nature lovers should get involved…

Each year it feels like the oaks are slow to get growing but then everything speeds up. Leaf growth, herbivores, predation all ramp up throughout the growing season until by the start of September the leaves are looking tired and in some cases well galled. These Cherry Galls, the work of a wasp Cynips quercusfolii, […]

The scramble of Traveller’s Joy, Brambles and Hop plants is getting a bit out of hand. In the chill air after a downpour I stay a while to remember the things I’ve seen in this clearing this year so far in a wave of nostalgia. I’ve been keeping an eye out for some Hop flowers […]