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100 Acre Wood
Our natural habitat
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RHS publishes lists of pollinator-friendly wildflowers and plants at ...

RHS publishes lists of pollinator-friendly wildflowers and plants at ... | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Bees and other pollinating insects will benefit from a new guide produced by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).


Following last year’s very popular list of pollinator-friendly cultivated plants the charity is launching a follow-up list covering wild flowers useful as nectar and/or pollen sources for insects. Many of these native plants can be used in cultivated areas.

 

“Gardens are now increasingly recognised as important environments for maintaining biodiversity,” Jim Gardiner, RHS Director of Horticulture, said.


“By planting a broad diversity of plants gardeners can do a lot to encourage pollinating insects which, in turn, will bring in other forms of wildlife into their gardens such as birds and hedgehogs.”


The new wildflower list, which contains over 200 plants, breaks the list down to certain habitats that occur or can be created in gardens.

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Clover making a comeback - Chicago Tribune

Clover making a comeback - Chicago Tribune | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Proponents of organic lawn care are pushing to bring clover back to wide use as a lawn plant, mixed with more conventional turf grasses. They point to clover's benefits, which include its ability to withstand drought, thrive in poor soil and supply nitrogen to other plants.

 

In fact, clover is nature's way of healing soil that's nitrogen-deficient, Myers said. That's why it tends to move into areas with poor soil, often to the homeowner's chagrin.

 

That nitrogen-fixing ability can go a long way toward eliminating the need to fertilize, Tukey said. Say you had a lawn that was 5 percent clover. If you left your grass clippings on the lawn after you mowed, the clover and the clippings together would supply all the nitrogen your lawn needed once the lawn was established, he contended.

 

Clover supports imperiled bee populations, and it also helps vegetable gardeners by bringing bees to their yards, Tukey said.

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Julia Steiny: Let Kids Outside for Long-Lasting Learning | Education News

Julia Steiny: Let Kids Outside for Long-Lasting Learning | Education News | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

“We’ve come to believe that being outside is not good for children’s health.” Adults worry kids will catch cold, get sun-burned, bitten by a dog or tick, break a bone in an accident, become victims of “stranger danger,” or a thousand other adversities.

 

“We can try to protect kids from everything. But at what cost? Kids are spending up to 8 hours a day on digital media, contradicting their natural programming to learn the natural world.” Meaning: kids are hard-wired to become skilled at living in whatever bit of the eco-system is their home – the jungle, forest, seashore, desert. Human children evolved to thrive in nature, not in protected isolation like zoo animals. 


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'Stunted' pot plants cannot grow

'Stunted' pot plants cannot grow | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

 Plants grown in pots never reach their full potential, images of their roots show. A medical imaging technique called magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been used by researchers to capture plant pot root snapshots.

 

The pictures reveal that the roots "sense the size of the pot" and restrict the growth of the plant. The findings have been presented at the Society for Experimental Biology's annual meeting in Salzburg, Austria.

 

Within as little as two weeks of seeds being sown, the scientist explained, a plant's roots would stretch to the edge of the pot and then, "the trouble starts".

"When they reach the edge, they send some kind of signal to the shoots to say, 'there's a problem - stop growing'."

 

Each plant appeared to be trying to escape its pot; more than three quarters of the root system was in the outer half of the container.

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Grebes are nature's avian submarines - Daily News - Galveston County

Grebes are nature's avian submarines - Daily News - Galveston County | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
Daily News - Galveston CountyGrebes are nature's avian submarinesDaily News - Galveston CountyOne of the most primitive families of birds is the grebes which are found across most of the Earth.

 

They are superb divers, taking all their food under water with pointed bills. They are heavy enough to sink into the depths easily, and their large, reptilian lungs allow them to stay under water for several minutes. They are also the neatest of parents.

 

One neat thing about grebes is that they allow their young to sit on their mom’s or dad’s back and ride around the lake in virtual safety. There, they are out of reach from alligators, bass, snakes, hawks and other possible aquatic predators.

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Drawn to scale: Attracting reptiles to your garden

Drawn to scale: Attracting reptiles to your garden | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Regardless of whether you live on former reptile territory, it's worth making your garden a home to these wonderful animals – apart from their sheer beauty, they eat a wide range of "pests", including slugs. (Grass snakes do eat frogs and fish, but not usually enough to impact their populations.) If you know reptiles are living in the surrounding area, then there's no reason why they won't come into your garden if they can access it. All you need is a patch of long grass, a pond or a compost heap (a large, open one is better than a closed one), and suitable basking sites, such as a log pile, so they can warm themselves up in the sun.

 

Another thing you can do is lay a piece of old carpet or corrugated iron flat on the ground in a sunny spot, which slow worms and grass snakes will shelter under. It's not the prettiest way to attract wildlife to your garden, but it's a small price to pay for having these amazing creatures in your garden.

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Above the potting bench

Above the potting bench | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Another use for repurposed headboards.  "I want one for above my potting bench" - Sweet Pickins

 

See more refurbishing ideas here: http://goo.gl/9gcen


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Other Attractants, Birding Basics

Other Attractants, Birding Basics | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

To increase bird diversity in your backyard, enhance your property by adding a water source, a roost box (try building your own!), or a supply of nest material. As well as improving life for your local feeder birds, you'll increase the chances that species that normally don't visit feeders will set up home nearby.

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Saving childhoods in the forest

Saving childhoods in the forest | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

As the Save Childhood Movement is launched, outdoor educator Jo Ling on how learning from nature will help the cause. "Real learning is often muddy, windswept, chaotic and noisy - when did we become afraid of these things?"

 

Yesterday a new organisation was launched in the UK called theSave Childhood Movement - by a group of concerned early years specialists. Their aim – to improve the lot of British children who they say are unhappy and are having their childhoods eroded. 

 

Today's blogger is a former primary assistant head turned freelance outdoor educator who firmly believes children need to be able to learn from nature, not simply about it.

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How ants enlist emergency help

How ants enlist emergency help | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
Brazilian ants deploy emergency "chemical nets" to drag swarms of their nestmates into helping them carry large food items, a study shows.

 

Brazilian "big-headed" ants use chemical trails to drag others into helping them carry food, a study shows.

 

Researchers found that when an ant discovered food that was too large to carry, it immediately set off for the nest, laying a pungent chemical trail.

This almost instantly caused hundreds of other ants to rush in and help drag back the oversized snack.

 

The team thinks the species' "chemical breadcrumb trail" is the fastest and most accurate ever recorded.

 

The findings from this study are reported in the journal Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology.

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Car-free guide to the UK's national parks

Car-free guide to the UK's national parks | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
A host of new schemes – from bike buses to e-bikes for hire – means it is now easier than ever to explore Britain's national parks using public transport, says Laura Laker...

 

 

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Car-free guide to the UK's national parks (part two)

Car-free guide to the UK's national parks (part two) | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Britain's national parks may be in some of the most remote (and most beautiful) corners of the country but new schemes and excursions that make the most of public transport mean you don't need a car to explore them.

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Washout summer hits moths

Washout summer hits moths | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

 As National Insect Week begins, the RSPB and Butterfly Conservation say their monitoring reveals the number of moths and range of moth species has been especially low during April, May and June, with knock-on effects for other wildlife.

 

In the UK there are around 2,500 species of moth but it's estimated that the range of species being seen regularly in monitoring work over the last quarter has been down by as much as 25 per cent.

 

Many other creatures - bats, birds, lizards and hedgehogs among others - eat moths or their caterpillars, so low numbers means less available food for a variety of wildlife. It could also affect wild plants and crops, as moths are important pollinators.

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Bishop of Liverpool on protecting England's forests

Bishop of Liverpool on protecting England's forests | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Our forests and woods are nature's playground for the adventurous, museum for the curious, hospital for the stressed, cathedral for the spiritual, and a livelihood for the entrepreneur.

 

They are a microcosm of the cycle of life in which each and every part is dependent on the other ; forests and woods are the benefactor of all, purifying the air that we breathe and distilling the water of life.

 

In short, trees are for life.

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ENVIRONMENT: Brown widow spiders on the rise - North County Times

ENVIRONMENT: Brown widow spiders on the rise - North County Times | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Brown widow spiders, a non-native and less venomous cousin to black widows, have spread throughout Southern California in the last decade, and could be edging out their larger, more toxic relatives, say UC Riverside researchers in a recent study.

 

In a paper published Monday in the Journal of Medical Entomology, researchers say they studied the distribution of brown widow spiders throughout San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

 

"The brown widows have really taken over in urban areas," said study author Richard Vetter, an entomologist and research associate at UC Riverside. "They're very common on patio furniture and things we use regularly, and they outnumber black widows."

 

Brown widows are "pantropical" spiders, found throughout the Caribbean, South Pacific and Asia, Vetter said. The spiders originated in Africa, and were first recorded in Colombia in the 1840s, he said, adding that they may have been unintended imports of the slave trade.

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Attract wildlife with a bird bath

Attract wildlife with a bird bath | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Birds are fascinated by water. They’ll come to a fountain or pool and hop around the edge, staring and exploring, occasionally bending down for a quick sip.

 

Birds also love to dip and splash, but are fussy about where they bathe. From their point of view, the ideal bird bath is in a cat-free neighborhood, close to brushy shrubs where they can hide if they’re disturbed and feel protected as they dry. If you’ve put out a birdbath that goes unused, try moving it. When it’s in a suitable location, birds will find it soon and return regularly.

 

In hot weather, birds bathe daily, and you’ll have to refill the bath every morning or evening.


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How to Cat-Proof Your Computer [[INFOGRAPHIC]

How to Cat-Proof Your Computer [[INFOGRAPHIC] | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

There are 97.2% of cat owners who experience getting something deleted by their cat as it walks across the keyboard. The infographic from Surdoc.com shows the best ways to protect your computer from your cats and keep your files protected.


Source: https://www.surdoc.com/


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5 Tips for a harmonious garden

5 Tips for a harmonious garden | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

The RSPB has provided a series of tips to gardeners who want to make sure their outside space is as wildlife friendly as possible this summer. 


Adrian Thomas works for the RSPB and is the author of the book, Gardening for Wildlife. He said: “Making a few small tweaks and sticking to some simple rules is the best way to ensure your garden is in harmony with nature this summer.” 

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à la parisienne: Take a Peek: Our Potager, Garden, and Oasis

à la parisienne: Take a Peek: Our Potager, Garden, and Oasis | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

 If you enter through this gate, you will find a woman, wearing the ugliest sunny.yellow.rubber garden shoes you've ever seen, watering, weeding, harvesting, planting, picking, and swatting at ginormous mosquitos. If it's in the early morning hours, her face will be au natural, her hair will be in a messy French braid, and her outfit will most likely not even match--quelle horreur!


If you crane your neck to look beyond the over grown, mammoth tomato bushes, you will find a sweet little girl hunched over a raised bed feeding her toy alligator fragrant lavender buds and moist dirt.

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The A Bee C of Gardening - Gardening for wildlife - Homes for Wildlife - The RSPB Community

The A Bee C of Gardening - Gardening for wildlife - Homes for Wildlife - The RSPB Community | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Here is my 6-point plan to help all sorts of bees:

 

There are many types of garden flowers that are great for bees, but there are even more that are useless. So if you want to help bees, choose carefully.

 

Plant a range of bee-friendly plants that will give a sequence of flowers from February to November.

 

Don’t forget trees for bees. It is easy to be distracted by watching what bees are using at ground level, when some of the best plants for bees are above our heads.

 

Grow each flower en masse – bees like banquets rather than nibbles.

 

Bees like to feed in places that are sheltered, warm, and sunny

 

Don’t forget that bees need nest sites too. Different bees use different places, so try to provide a mix of undisturbed tussocky grass, warm banks of sandy soil, and soft mortar. Forget bumblebee boxes, but do try the ‘bundle of hollow cane’ type boxes.

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10 Fascinating Facts About Spiders

10 Fascinating Facts About Spiders | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

From jumping spiders to tarantulas, spiders all share certain traits. Some people love them, some people hate them. Regardless of where you stand on the subject, you'll find these 10 facts about spiders fascinating.

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CII, World Bank Group ink pact to save tiger - TwoCircles.net

CII, World Bank Group ink pact to save tiger - TwoCircles.net | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Washington : The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the World Bank Group have agreed to establish the India Wildlife Business Council (IWBC) to promote tiger and biodiversity conservation for sustainable development.

 

Tiger population has dwindled massively due to rapid industrialisation, habitat fragmentation, poaching and illegal trade, according to a CII statement. Barely 3,000 tigers remain in the wild today, confined to only seven percent of their historical geographic presence.

 

Beyond the tiger's iconic value as India's national animal, the conservation and protection of their habitat is important for maintaining biodiversity, which is the natural capital that has helped drive economic growth and prosperity in India, it added.

 

Conservation and sustainable development will also have a profound ripple effect on India's poverty alleviation, watershed protection, natural hazard regulation, food security and agricultural services, medicinal and recreation and tourism, the statement said.

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10 Ways to Guarantee You'll Get Mosquito Bites

10 Ways to Guarantee You'll Get Mosquito Bites | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Some people are real mosquito magnets. Why do some people seem to attract bloodthirsty mosquitoes from all over the neighborhood, while others can sit outside all evening without suffering a bite? These lucky people give off just the right combination of sights and smells. Mosquitoes use their senses to choose a favorite target in the crowd. Here are 10 ways to guarantee yourself lots of mosquito bites.

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Energy Bars, Now With Insects - San Francisco Restaurants and Dining - SFoodie

Energy Bars, Now With Insects - San Francisco Restaurants and Dining - SFoodie | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Salt Lake City inventor Pat Crowley and San Francisco resident Dan O'Neill have co-founded Chapul, the country's first company to tout energy bars made from insects high in protein, iron, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids.

 

Specifically, Chapul makes what it calls "the original cricket bar." Cricket flour is the not-so-secret ingredient in the two bars in the product line: Chaco (dates, peanuts, dark chocolate) and Thai (coconut, ginger, lime).

 

Crowley explains the key ingredient in the video: "A flour made from ground-up crickets." It might make for a rough start to scare people, but his ensuing plan on how he wants to contribute to national water conservation via this "efficient protein" is intriguing.

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Let’s Add a Little Dirt to Our Diet

Let’s Add a Little Dirt to Our Diet | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
There’s nothing wrong with a little good clean dirt in our food.

 

Increasing evidence suggests that the alarming rise in allergic and autoimmune disorders during the past few decades is at least partly attributable to our lack of exposure to microorganisms that once covered our food and us. As nature’s blanket, the potentially pathogenic and benign microorganisms associated with the dirt that once covered every aspect of our preindustrial day guaranteed a time-honored co-evolutionary process that established “normal” background levels and kept our bodies from overreacting to foreign bodies. This research suggests that reintroducing some of the organisms from the mud and water of our natural world would help avoid an overreaction of an otherwise healthy immune response that results in such chronic diseases as Type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis and a host of allergic disorders.

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