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Nature and the Environment

hadrians wall

Wildlife On The Wall

On 13 March 2010 I was one of 1000 volunteers selected to help light one of 500 beacons which, at every 250m intervals along its 84 mile route, truly illuminated Hadrian’s walls’ position in the Tyne Valley. It marked the 1600th anniversary of the end of Roman rule in Britain too. It was a very memorable event for many and being so close to it… Read More »Wildlife On The Wall

Kingfisher1_JoshuaCopping (1)

Walking the Nature Line

I’m walking the line, the line connecting the Northumberland hills to the estuary, along the bank of the Tyne. I’m just near Stocksfield, it’s early morning and a cold bright day. The sun is glancing off the ripples across the water and the willows and the occasional alder buckthorn have burst into blossom, like white and yellow candyfloss. For once there is no wind and… Read More »Walking the Nature Line

Whittle Dene. Image by Duncan Hutt.

Wild Tyne Tales

It’s a while since I’ve written for Tyne Valley Express about the Tyne Valley, so before putting words to pc, I went to seek guidance from NWT’s long serving Vice President and former RSPB Northern Director, Ian Armstrong, who is a long term Tyne Valley resident and has observed the landscape and wildlife here for decades. I was seeking oversight and insight of where to… Read More »Wild Tyne Tales

tyne valley express long and short of it

Long & Short of it

May was ‘No Mow May’ – so how did it go?  Well for those who did participate, I hope you have stuck it out well into June because most of the flowers haven’t yet burst into bloom. May was such a chilly month that we are significantly behind an average year but even if it were a more typical year, May is still a little… Read More »Long & Short of it


Wildlife Gardening

With spring on its way and Easter coming up many of us will turn to our gardens. For some it’s the start of an annual battle to maintain some semblance of order; for others a carefully choreographed year of management to produce the perfect show of flowers or prize winning vegetables.  Around 25 years ago this time of year coincided with an annual campaign to… Read More »Wildlife Gardening


Wild Fungi

If spring is about flowers, summer is butterflies and insects then surely autumn is fungi.  Now that the damp autumn days are very much upon us so the fungi are springing up.  We tend to associate fungi with woodlands and decay but there is so much more to them.  Some of our smallest and brightest fungi are species of unimproved grasslands, waxcaps can be bright… Read More »Wild Fungi


The Holy Ghost

This story begins at twilight on the cobbled streets of Hexham Christmas Eve 2018. A crescent moon hung above the Abbey which was draped in silver fairy lights as I, along with the last of the Christmas shoppers made my way amongst the low hum of anticipation. Everything was perfect. Well at least I thought it was, I had forgotten a Christmas card for my… Read More »The Holy Ghost

tyne valley express painted lady butterfly

Recording Nature

One of the greatest pleasures of the natural world is that there is always so much to find out; it’s also one of the biggest frustrations.  For those starting out the mountain can seem enormous as you try to get to grips with the difference between a small tortoiseshell and painted lady butterfly, or between a chaffinch and bullfinch.  For those with many years behind… Read More »Recording Nature


No lockdown for Nature

If there is one thing that has come out of the last few months it has been the chance to rediscover my own patch.  Now I accept that I am lucky to live in a small village, with open countryside all around, and many did not have that luxury, but, watching the spring turn slowly into summer while spending most of that time within a… Read More »No lockdown for Nature