Bank Holiday Walking

It seems to be an unwritten meteorological tradition in the United Kingdom that bank holidays should occur at times of barometric uncertainty. 'Sunshine and showers'is often the declaration from the weather presenter or the MET office. We invariably set off on our 'days out' with clothes for all weathers, ready for anything it can throw … Continue reading Bank Holiday Walking


Earth Day, freedom of thought and 2 billion acts of green

As I write this post a host of world leaders are signing the Paris Climate Agreement in New York. By signing the agreement they commit their country to work towards limiting temperature rises of a maximum of 2 degrees celsius, compared to 1990 levels, and their governments must submit detailed plans as to how they … Continue reading Earth Day, freedom of thought and 2 billion acts of green

Thanks for telling us your position NFU but it won’t influence how I vote

After a long debate earlier this week the National Farmers Union council voted overwhelmingly to support the campaign to remain within the European Union. The following resolution was agreed: “The NFU Council resolves that on the balance of existing evidence available to us at present, the interests of farmers are best served by our continuing … Continue reading Thanks for telling us your position NFU but it won’t influence how I vote

The contrasts of Spring

Although it feels somewhat difficult to believe at the moment, as I peer out through the closed window at the garden currently enjoying the latest downpour, with the wind blowing leaves all about the place, Spring is here. To be astronomically precise it actually began in the northern hemisphere on Sunday March 20th - the vernal equinox. … Continue reading The contrasts of Spring

Are conservationists hopelessly opposed to everything?

This is a refreshingly brave post, written by James Common, on the subject of collaboration and understanding of nuance when it comes to achieving conservation aims in the 21st century. The thinking behind it goes to the root of what I am trying to achieve in this blog - to suggest that we need to … Continue reading Are conservationists hopelessly opposed to everything?

Visiting the Knepp Estate: A Lesson in Rewilding

Transitional, innovative, exciting, restorative, unique, both agriculturally and economically sensical and questionable concurrently and all in all, a little bit mad! The rewilding project at the Knepp Castle Estate in Sussex, spearheaded by estate owner Charlie Burrell and his superb team, is all of these things and more. My visit yesterday, the first time I … Continue reading Visiting the Knepp Estate: A Lesson in Rewilding

Our Place in Time and the Subtleties of Changing Landscapes

Bordering the north eastern most part of our farm at Walton Hall, Walton-on-the-Naze lies an area of low lying land, owned by the District Council and protected from regular flooding by the natural, rapidly eroding cliff. This small section of eroding cliff face also protects a water treatment works which serves thousands of local people, … Continue reading Our Place in Time and the Subtleties of Changing Landscapes

The historic decline of the Grey Partridge

A super, fully referenced, post here from a favourite blogger of mine, James Common, exploring the decline of the Grey Partridge (Perdix perdix) in the UK. I was fortunate to see a couple running across a stubble field the other day when I was out for a walk here in Essex but it is certainly an ever rarer sight today for the reasons James explains in this post. As James suggests, I encourage you to get involved and take part in the GWCT’s Partridge Count Scheme. Together, we can do our bit to help this species survive and hopefully (eventually) thrive in the future.

James Common

Living where I do, secluded in a reasonably rural area of Northumberland, Grey Partridge (Perdix perdix) are still, thankfully, rather abundant. Indeed, many an evening stroll is accompanied by the guttural croaks of amorous male partridge and any venture into nearby farmland carries the risk of a mini-heart attack, induced by erupting covey’s vacating their grassy abodes. Up here in the North, you would be forgiven for assuming that this species is actually doing rather well – they are certainly easy enough to come by, all be it with a little effort. The fact of the matter remains however that the Grey Partridge, once one of our commonest and most widespread game birds, has declined massively. The history of this charismatic farmland denizen an overtly solemn one and the future of this much loved species, still undecided.


Historic declines 

The Grey Partridge was once the most widespread and…

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An exploration of two contrasting landscapes: Exmoor and the Essex Marsh

Last Wednesday I visited the National Trust's Holnicote Estate on the northern edge of Exmoor.  From moorland to woodland and fertile farmland to shingle beaches, Holnicote provides a canvas of immense diversity of both landscape and character.  As I sat having my lunch overlooking the Bristol Channel I thought about the links this place has had with other … Continue reading An exploration of two contrasting landscapes: Exmoor and the Essex Marsh