The purpose of this blog is primarily to promote interest in my local natural environment, Sussex, and to promote conservation and environmental-friendly nature engagement. It is also a reminder for me of enjoyable nature days out; a resource that enables me to savour past positive experiences when the going gets tough. Most posts are about one-day nature journeys; although some posts are about environmental issues, nature and art, or nature and wellbeing. In nature journey posts, I describe briefly how I got to the destination by public transport. There is a separate page, 'Public Transport', that gives details of how to get to nature sites by public transport in Sussex.
I am an amateur naturalist; interested in the relationship between the ecology of local landscapes; conservation strategy; environmental policy; philosophy; art and well-being. My main interests are birds, insects and wild flowers of Sussex. I am particuIarly interested in river and estuary environments in Sussex. I am predominantly a "patch" naturalist who visits specific locations repeatedly, in an attempt to understand, from lived experience, the relationships between the flora and fauna in particular locations, and how those environments change through the seasons, and how they are effected by global warming and land use. The sites I visit regularly in Sussex are Pagham Harbour, the Arun Valley, the Adur Estuary, the lower Ouse Valley, Cuckmere Haven, Pett Level and Rye Harbour.
I take record shots. I do not aim to take great photographs; although I am always pleased to get a good photo.
I do not have a car, and I travel mostly by train and bus. I live in Brighton, so most of my journeys into nature are in East or West Sussex
I hope you find my posts enjoyable, and I hope they extend your enthusiasm for and knowledge of the natural world; and hopefully they may provide suggestions for walks that you could undertake, reached by public transport
I enter significant observations of insects onto iRecord, the online recording portal of the Biological Records Centre (BRC), part of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), which monitors and models environmental change. Anyone can put any species on iRecord; and they will verify the identification.
I am a volunteer with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust's Shorthaired Bumblebee Reintroduction Project and I survey bumblebees with them at Dungeness and Rye Harbour every two weeks (March-October). This data is submitted to the Biological Records Centre. I am a member of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, BugLife, the British Naturalists Association and the British Entomological and Natural History Society.
I am a keen amateur ornithologist and I do many bird focussed walks. Significant sightings I enter on the British Trust for Ornithology's Bird BirdTrack; the main database of bird diversity and abundance in the UK. I am a member of the RSPB, the Shoreham and District Ornithology Society, the Sussex Wildlife Trust, the Sussex Ornithological Society, the British Trust for Ornithology, WaderQuest and BirdLife International (The World Bird Club)
I do my best to ensure that none of my photographs harm animals in any way. I try to take photographs of animals showing their natural behaviours in their typical habitats. I keep at a distance (except with insect photography) so that I do not effect the behaviour of the animals that I am photographing. I do not bait animals to attract them (except in my back garden bird feeders), nor do I set up shots in any way. I do not use flash photography, due to the potential damage to the retinas of animals, and the impact of flash photography on animal behaviours in their environment; although I use diffuse LED lighting (a lighting ring) to support closeup macro photography of insects (taken with an Olympus Tough TG-6)
I am a Quaker (I attend Brighton Local Quaker Meeting and I a member of the West Sussex Local Quaker Meeting).
I am a volunteer for Speak Out Brighton and Hove (advocacy for adults with learning disabilities) and Citizen's Advice in Lewes
Before retiring I was a teacher and local authority service manager (special educational needs and disabilities).
I have a degree in Music (BMus, University of Sheffield) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE, Bulmershe College of Higher Education, University of Reading). I have masters degrees in the History of Art (MA, University of Sussex) and Applied Positive Psychology (MSc, University of East London).
All of the photos on my website are my own (unless otherwise stated). and were taken with the following:
- a Nikon Coolpix P950 bridge camera (83x zoom lens; equiv. 24-2000mm)
- a Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 mirrorless four-thirds camera with a Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 8-18mm f/2.8-4 ASPH zoom lens and a Panasonic Lecia DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm f/4-6.3 ASPH Power O.I.S. zoom lens
- a Google Pixel 5 Smart Phone with dual camera (wide and ultra wide) - an Olympus Tough TG-6, a compact camera with variable macro system, with Microscope
This website is entirely non-commercial; I do not sell anything. The purpose of this website is to provide an opportunity to share my writing on nature, conservation, philosophy and psychology.
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