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Be sure to check with organisers before going.
After working in universities for 30 years as a biomedical scientist, I took early retirement in 2009 and moved to Devon. I am Emeritus Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Reading and writing is now my principal occupation. I write about science and about nature with a particular focus on how science fits in to society.
When the Lockdown travel restrictions were eased just over a month ago, we took the opportunity to venture further afield for our exercise walks. So, towards the end of May, we drove up to Two Bridges, high on Dartmoor, for Read more »
This year sees the 250th anniversary of the birth of the English romantic poet William Wordsworth. One of his most famous poems, Daffodils was inspired by an extensive drift of the flowers he encountered growing along the shores of Ullswater Read more »
It was the video that clinched it! I’d read the reports of starlings gathering in their thousands at sunset over Chesil Beach but when I saw the video of their murmuration and the liquid patterns they carve in the sky, Read more »
Midwinter fire ceremonies were once very popular in the UK, especially in rural communities. People gathered around the hearth in a noisy, joyous celebration, with the fire bringing light into the darkness of winter. These ceremonies probably have a pagan Read more »
Towards the end of July, I visited the Maer, a nature reserve situated at the eastern end of the promenade in Exmouth. With its sand dunes and sandy grassland, the Maer is a remnant of a much larger dune system Read more »
Nearly 180 years ago, about three miles west of Lyme Regis, a huge chunk of the East Devon coast split off to form a plateau separated from the mainland by a deep, dry ravine. This was the largest movement of Read more »
The Cirl Bunting is an attractive songbird once found throughout the southern half of the UK. Its numbers declined precipitously in the second half of the 20th century following changes in farming practice and, by the late 1980s, it was Read more »
Blizzards, strong winds, drifting snow, bitter cold – that was the story in early March last year when the “Beast from the East” collided with storm Emma bringing extreme weather and disruption to life across large parts of the UK. Read more »
Last summer, on one of the hottest days of the year, I joined a walk led by Nick Gray of the Dorset Wildlife Trust through some traditionally managed meadows in Dorset’s western Vale. We found fields filled with lush grasses, Read more »
The greatest global killer since the Black Death As the First World War staggered towards its bloody conclusion 100 years ago this month leaving 17 million dead, the war-worn world suffered a second catastrophe. A lethal influenza pandemic swept the Read more »