The first flowers, every year, are the hazel catkins in the copse next to the picnic place. Such a welcome sight.

Header image by DKG


Tardigrades have been found everywhere in Earth’s biosphere, from the highest mountaintops to the deepest sea  and from tropical rainforests to the Antarctic. There are sure to be some, somewhere, in the reserve’s ponds, going quietly about their business.

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No post today because there is a technical hitch that I don’t seem to be able to fix. Sorry.

Little egret

Clive Knight has spotted a little egret in Village Green this week. There is a nesting colony in the woods between Trowbridge and Bradford on Avon and egrets regularly visit the reserve, particularly at this time of year as they make their way back from their winter travels for the breeding season.

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Blackbird song

Early though it may be, male blackbirds are already tuning up ready for the spring. These are birds that were hatched last year. Inexperienced and without established territories, they have a lot of songs to sing and battles to win if they are going to breed this year.

Common blackbird song recorded by Beatrix Saadi-Varchmin (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Winter cress

Winter cress (Barbarea vulgaris) is another of the wildflowers first identified and recorded in the reserve by Country Recorder Richard Aisbitt when he visited last summer. It isn’t a rare species or even particularly unusual; it’s just one of those plants that are so commonplace that nobody bothers to look at it or ask what it is.

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Too many dogs spoil the…

by David Feather

Recently, a commercial dog-walker in Surrey was killed by the dogs she was walking. According to The Times, she had eight dogs, including a Leonberger (a large and heavy breed originating from Germany). The story appears to be that one of the large dogs attacked another walker’s small dog. The lady owner picked her dog up and was bitten by the attacker. It looks as though the dog walker tried to control the situation but the large dog went for her and then the other dogs joined in. The details are still emerging.

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