Category Archives: grasslands

All flesh is grass

Are we just slaves to a few members of the grass family – the gramineae? Is there something in these grasses that, like the common parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which elicits an increase in risky behaviour after infection, causes people to … Continue reading

Posted in grass, grasslands, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ten Years of Blogging

Ten years feels a bit like a significant anniversary – and a long time. Perhaps the last ten years feels longer than many decades have, given what has happened (and is about to happen) over that period. Ten years ago … Continue reading

Posted in blogging, grasslands | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

Another wildlife-rich grassland planted with trees

Following last week’s post about tree planting on a very species-rich grassland in Cumbria, organised by the Woodland Trust, I’ve been contacted with another story of a similar nature, in Cheshire. This time it’s a piece of lowland acid grassland … Continue reading

Posted in grasslands, semi-natural, tree planting, Woodland Trust | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Chronicle of a Grassland Saved

For those of us of a certain age, The Milky Bar Kid was part of our childhood. A boy, dressed as a cowboy, implored us to eat white chocolate  – which was not particularly popular back then. By coincidence one … Continue reading

Posted in 2019 general election, grasslands, tree planting, Valuable Grasslands Inventory, Woodland Trust | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Natural England uses its legal powers to protect our best grasslands

  This Natural England press release has just been published:  Some of the country’s rarest and most threatened fungi will be better protected after Natural England announced the notification of two Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). 2019 marks the … Continue reading

Posted in grasslands, Natural England, SSSis, waxcap grasslands | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Dorset Chalk downland damage: Natural England respond.

        Following yesterday’s story about the damage to chalk downland in Dorset, I’ve been contacted by Natural England and I thought it would be useful to let you know what they have said. I approached the EIA … Continue reading

Posted in chalk downland, farming, grasslands | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Rampisham Down: We Won!

            Regular readers will recall the story of Rampisham Down and the plan to build a solar farm on a nationally important grassland Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). I have written about this case … Continue reading

Posted in grasslands, Rampisham Down, Solar Farms | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

The Answer Lies in the Soil

As Arthur Fallowfield, the farmer character in the legendary Radio 4 comedy series’ Beyond our Ken and Round the Horne, would have said, “The arnswer loies in the soil”. I read with interest and increasing disbelief, an article by George … Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, carbon storage, George Monbiot, grasslands, grazing, uplands | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

National Meadow Day

It’s National Meadow Day. I hadn’t noticed until today when I saw this piece on the BBC Earth website. The piece kindly references a report I wrote for Plantlife and the Wildlife Trusts about meadows back in 2002, called “Green … Continue reading

Posted in grasslands, meadows | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

half-baked ONS mix up their semi-natural with the semi-improved

The Office for National Statistics has produced some infographics to celebrate World Environment Day. This has left the BBC statistics editor somewhat bemused.  As the UK’s natural capital was calculated to be worth £1.5 trillion in 2011 (I expect it’s … Continue reading

Posted in grasslands, ONS, statistics | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment