child reading nature book in park

Book Review: A Friend to Nature

There are many books that encourage children to take a deeper interest in the natural world around them. I was delighted to receive a particularly wonderful one through the post recently: 'A Friend to Nature: Activities and Inspiration to Connect with the Wild World' by Laura Knowles and Rebecca Gibbon. A Friend to Nature is …

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plastic rubbish in the ocean

What I’ve learnt from Plastic Free July

Every day, I'm horrified by the amount of plastic I throw in the bin. Since plastic was invented in the 60's, the world has produced over eight billion tonnes of the stuff. Around half of it is single-use plastic, such as drinking straws, drinks bottles, takeaway coffee cups and lids, food wrappers and other packaging. …

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dovesfoot cranesbill in field

My growing obsession with wildflowers

ComfreyFumitory of the WallBlack MedickGarlic MustardOxford RagwortCuckooflower What began as a wildflower awakening back in February has slowly blossomed into bit of an obsession. Now, I notice wildflowers wherever I go. More and more of them are becoming well known to me, usually just by their common names, but sometimes by their botanical ones too, …

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honey bees on a honeycomb in a hive

The trouble with beekeeping

I have always dreamt of keeping bees. On my good life wish list, it has ranked somewhere alongside tending an orchard, building a treehouse and creating a wildflower meadow for many years. Lately, I have been reading bedtime stories to my children from a book called Tales from the End Cottage, which has rekindled that …

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Six crafty recycling ideas for kids (no.5 is a bit bonkers)

In our house, we’re always keen to find quirky, new uses for worn out things and reduce the amount we put in the bin. And if recycling something involves a fun activity for a rainy day then so much the better. However, I'm not the most arty of mums, so I like to keep it …

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urban fox asleep on garden shed

How (not) to be a Bad Gardener Part 2

Lesson two: Don’t piss off the locals. I’m talking about the four-legged, bushy-tailed, red-furred, nocturnal, cunning kind. Upon moving in we discovered that a family of urban foxes was using our garden and its neighbouring ones as a ‘suite of rooms’. The south-facing garden with the wide, sunny lawn? The playroom. The overgrown garden full …

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