Art In Your Park

The University of Nottingham’s Park campus is currently playing host to the Art In Your Park exhibition, with art works dotted around the campus. This week, on a walk round the lake on campus, I came across a few of the exhibits. The exhibition is supposed to explore ‘the enduring bond between nature and culture’, but I thought it was interesting the way nature (and possible people) were interacting with the art works, with parts falling off or being blown around by the wind. It certainly added some interest to my usual lunchtime walk! Continue readingArt In Your Park

How being less afraid has made me a better writer

I want to write about my year of being less afraid and how it has helped me become a better writer, but it is hard to write about fear. It is hard because fear is so close to the bone. When you start writing about fear you also run the risk of sounding like a self-help book. But I suppose that is a line all writers have to tread. The best writing is not just written, but felt, and that brings with it the possibility of clichés. Continue readingHow being less afraid has made me a better writer

Urban nature safari in Nottingham

safari_intro-630x359The Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust recently held an Urban Safari – a 7.5km guided walk around some of Nottingham’s many urban nature spots, including parks, wastelands, woods and a city farm.

It was a really enjoyable day out – it was a great opportunity to see some parts of Nottingham I probably wouldn’t have visited otherwise and to discover just how much nature there is in the city, as well as meeting some lovely people.

I wrote a piece for Wildlife in the City about the Urban Safari. If you live in or near Nottingham, read it, download the map and: Go on an Urban Safari! 

Continue readingUrban nature safari in Nottingham

Nostalgia and new beginnings

Image by Lee J Haywood
Image by Lee J Haywood

Autumn might be the season for impending hibernation, but it is also about new beginnings. It is the start of a new term at the university and the campus is packed full of students, holding maps and reassuring pieces of paper. My sister also just started university, so I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic for my own university days. It hardly seems believable that seven years have passed since I started at St Andrews. But then it hardly seems believable that I’ve been in Nottingham for a year. Continue readingNostalgia and new beginnings

Colwick Country Park

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Yesterday was the first day of autumn. For the last few weeks it’s certainly felt as though autumn is approaching. The temperatures have been dropping and the leaves have been turning. But on Sunday I woke to a clear, bright blue sky and it felt as though summer was making one last go of it. A warm sunny day is always an imperative to get out on my bike and that was exactly what I did. Continue readingColwick Country Park

A windy afternoon at Attenborough

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I like this time of year. I like the dying days of summer and the shortening hours of light. It felt especially autumnal today, with big blustery skies and a coat-cold wind blowing.

I decided to spend the afternoon at Attenborough. I haven’t been for a while now and all through those intervening weeks I’ve felt its pull. I’ve been imagining those paths and waterways and cycling along them in my mind. Continue readingA windy afternoon at Attenborough

The Greylag Goose

Image by putneymark
Image by putneymark

The clear blue sky and sunshine demand that I leave the house and when I get on my bike I find myself peddling downhill, towards the railway tracks that divide the city from the watery world of the River and the Nature Reserve. It is a steampunk world of flooded gravel pits and made-up land. All watched over by the cooling towers of the coal-fired power station that belch out invented clouds. It is a world stripped bare, cut open and constantly filling back up again. Continue readingThe Greylag Goose

Visitation from a sparrowhawk

Image by Meneer Zjeroen
Image by Meneer Zjeroen

There is a tree right outside my office at work and someone in the office above me has bird feeders on their window ledge that drop feed down on to my window ledge. This means I usually have a lot of birds right outside my window (and inside it too if I leave it open too wide!). With all the birds around there’s usually a lot of twittering and cooing going on, which is why I looked up from my desk today, wondering why it was so quiet outside. Immediately I saw the reason for the silence – a sparrowhawk.

Continue readingVisitation from a sparrowhawk