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Curated by David Rowing
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UK Birds - Homepage

UK Birds - Homepage | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

This website tells you everything you need to know about birds that live here in the United Kingdom and other migrant birds that visit us throughout the four seasons.

All in one place, you can read up on the birds of Britain, as well as view stunning photographs of them and other wildlife on my gallery page.

From April to June, view the live updates of the next box, where Blue Tits nest and breed their young each year.

Browse through my regularly updated bird sightings, as well as those submitted by other keen birdwatchers.

As well as all this, there's plenty of information, for both you and the kids, on how to attract birds and wildlife to your gardening, including which feeders and food to put out for different birds, to making bird cakes and other great things to create!

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Garden tour: Chelsea was as fabulous as ever | Vancouver Sun

Garden tour: Chelsea was as fabulous as ever | Vancouver Sun | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

There is nothing like the Chelsea Flower Show. It is still the best garden show in the world. And this year, nothing changed – it was as fantastic as ever, althought there were a few disappointments, such as the rather low-key contribution from Sarah Price, who I expected (as did most other people) to win the best in show award for her garden. You can read my full report on Chelsea in the paper this Friday but here are a few pix to be going on with. 

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Working together to solve the plight of the short-haired bumblebee | Jessie Jowers

Working together to solve the plight of the short-haired bumblebee | Jessie Jowers | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

As the short-haired bumblebee (Bombus subterraneus) queens are released in Dungeness this week, it should be recognised that this project is already a huge local success story. The programme that has led to this reintroduction is run by Natural England, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and bee and wasp charity Hymettus, but really it is the story of a whole community of "bee guardians" coming together over many years, to steadily rebuild and preserve a habitat that will support these returning bees. ...

 

We have lost 97% of our wildflower meadows in the last 70 years. With a loss of habitat, Bombus subterraneus declined dramatically and the last bee was recorded in 1988. Subsequent searches were made to try and record Bombus subterraneus but to no avail and it was officially declared extinct in 2000.

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Discover the Secrets to Worms

Discover the Secrets to Worms | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Back in antiquity, Aristotle called them the “intestines of the Earth,” but it took several more centuries before earthworms were systematically studied — by Charles Darwin who wrote a whole book on the importance of worms in breaking down dead organic matter, enhancing soil structure, and maintaining soil aeration, drainage and fertility.

 

Darwin calculated that earthworms in the soil add about eleven tonnes of organic matter per acre (about 18 tonnes per hectare) each year; modern scientists believe that where worms abound they can move up to 250 tonnes per hectare per year.

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Dead trees, biodiversity, and the black-backed woodpecker - High Country News

Dead trees, biodiversity, and the black-backed woodpecker - High Country News | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

The ruins of scorched or beetle-killed forests may not seem like ecological havens. But myriad species depend on standing dead or dying trees, including the black-backed woodpecker, which haunts skeletal forests in the West, Alaska and Canada. Its ebony dorsal plumage blends in with the charred tree trunks on which the bird rummages for juicy wood-boring beetle grubs, its principle prey.

 

The beetles are also adapted to scorched forest habitat; some species, called "fire-chasers," can detect forest fires as far as 30 miles away, using specialized heat receptors. They arrive in droves, mate, and lay eggs under the burned trees' bark. When the larvae hatch, they freely chew away at the defenseless trees.

 

But fire suppression, thinning and salvage logging on federal lands may be destroying this unique snag habitat. Fewer than 1,000 pairs of black-backed woodpeckers persist in Oregon and California, and fewer than 500 in South Dakota's Black Hills. ...

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BPA In Your Garden? Maybe, If You Use These Gardening Products

BPA In Your Garden? Maybe, If You Use These Gardening Products | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
Wouldn't it just irk you more than a bunch of weeds to find out that the gardening products you use are dirtying up your organic garden with BPA, phthalates and lead?

 

What You Can Do

 

HealthyStuff.org suggests the following good practices for limiting your exposure to harmful chemicals in gardening products.

 

Read the labels: Avoid hoses with a California Prop 65 warning that says: "this product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects and other reproductive harm."

 

Buy hoses that are "drinking water safe" and "lead-free."

 

Let it run: Always let your hose run for a few seconds before using, as the water that's been sitting in the hose will have the highest levels of chemicals.

 

Avoid the sun: Store your hose in the shade. The heat from the sun can increase the leaching of chemicals from the PVC into the water.

 

Don't drink water from a hose: Unless you know for sure that your hose is drinking water safe, don't drink from it. Even low levels of lead may cause health problems.

 

Buy a PVC-free hose: Choose polyurethane or natural rubber hoses.

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Planting tomatoes upside down | Hydroponics Curacao

Planting tomatoes upside down | Hydroponics Curacao | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

 You will need:

 

1 large bucket- 5 gallon is good
potting soil with some manure added
a drill or knife for cutting the hole in the bottom


Steps:

 

Drill a hole in the center of the bottom of the bucket. The hole should be about 2″ in diameter.

 

Fill the bucket with potting soil mix. Cover with a lid or place a piece of cardboard over to serve as a lid.

 

Turn the bucket upside down, and plant one tomato seedling through the hole you’ve drilled in the bottom of your bucket.

 

Make sure to plant deeply. Water the entire bucket with a mix of water and organic fertilizer, and hang from a sturdy hook.

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Can Plants Smell Other Plants? Apparently They Can : NPR

Can Plants Smell Other Plants? Apparently They Can : NPR | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

"Plants smell," says botanist David Chamovitz. Yes, they give off odors, but that's not what Chamovitz means. He means plants can smell other plants. "Plants know when their fruit is ripe, when their [plant] neighbor has been cut by a gardener's shears, or when their neighbor is being eaten by a ravenous bug; they smell it," he writes in his new book, What a Plant Knows. They don't have noses or a nervous system, but they still have an olfactory sense, and they can differentiate. He says there's a vine that can smell the difference between a tomato and a stalk of wheat. It will choose one over the other, based on...smell! In a moment I'll show you how.


Via Seth Capo
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Chelsea flower show isn't as green as it appears

Chelsea flower show isn't as green as it appears | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
Donnachadh McCarthy: The world's best garden show presents nature in all its glory yet uses methods that harm the environment...

 

So is it an ecological monster or a fantastic show promoting the wonders of nature? The evidence sadly indicates it is more of the former. This was neatly summarised in Bob Sweet's response to the huge waste of lighting on the traders' stands: "I have no objection to it if it adds to the shopping experience. We are a consumer show".

 

This is simply not good enough. The RHS as the nation's leading horticultural institution, should be leading from the front. Britain's gardens are already suffering the damaging effects of the climate crisis. Let's hope next year's show will positively demonstrate the actual level of urgency required and begin the process of turning Chelsea from an environmentally-damaging consumerist monster into the leading eco-angel that our gardens desperately need.

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Slugs: what is the best method to control the 'slime wave'?

Slugs: what is the best method to control the 'slime wave'? | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

A mild winter and wet spring means slugs are likely to be on the rise this summer, but views about the best remedy vary. Debate has long raged about the most effective way to deter or kill slugs. After a mild winter and wet spring, the UK should brace itself for a "slime wave" this summer. ...

 

Personally, I try to take a fairly laissez-faire attitude to slugs these days. My days of rage and tears are behind me. I now force myself, for example, to accept that a percentage of my potatoes will be stolen from me by these piratical pests. I don't like it one little bit, but I prefer to enter this (yes, somewhat capitulatory) deal with them rather than continue with the angst, torment and, frankly, fruitless efforts to eradicate them. I still relish squashing the blighters when I find them hiding under a stone or clump of vegetation, but I know they - just like the Black Knight in theMonty Python and the Holy Grail – have death-defying qualities (or, more accurately, reproductive qualities) to which I have no proven remedy.

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Which birds sing first in the dawn chorus? - interactive

Which birds sing first in the dawn chorus? - interactive | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
Find out why bird species sing in a particular order during the dawn chorus...

 

Why do bird species sing in a particular order as the sun rises? The Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society, which run the Big Wildlife Garden competition, explain what you might hear and when. Click on the pictures below to find out.

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Where is the world's wildlife? Interactive map plots global species distributions

Where is the world's wildlife? Interactive map plots global species distributions | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
A collaborative project led by a team from the University of Colorado Boulder has set out to create an interactive map of the global distribution of every species of animal in the world.

 

A collaborative project led by a team from Yale and University of Colorado Boulder has set out to create an interactive map of the global distribution of every species of animal in the world. New data is being added every day, but the demo version is already impressively well-populated. The map's creators have kindly allowed us to showcase it on our site, so you can see for yourself just how comprehensive a picture it provides. To see the distribution of a particular species, simply type its name into the search box at the top left, select sources from which you want to view data and click "Map Selected Layers". Alternatively, right-click on any point of the world's surface to see a list of animals found there. Sources include the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, WWF and IUCN.

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wildsingapore news: Vietnam wetland gets international status

wildsingapore news: Vietnam wetland gets international status | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
A southern Vietnamese national park, which is home to the endangered Sarus crane, has entered the Ramsar list as a wetland of international importance. The official recognition for the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap ...

 

The 7,300-hectare park is one of the country's major bird reserves. It comprises nearly 3,000 hectares of melaleuca and is home to 231 bird species. “Tràm” is Vietnamese for melaleuca and “chim” means bird.

 

Experts from the Mekong Wetlands Biodiversity Program said 32 of the bird species need protecting, with 12 of them already finding a place in Vietnam's Red Book of threatened species.

 

The park also has more than 190 plant species, some of which provide a habitat for the food sources of the beautiful sarus crane (Grus antigone), which is facing global extinction.

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Stinging nettles benefit garden wildlife

Stinging nettles benefit garden wildlife | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
Nettles may not be admired for their beauty or scent, but they are valuable for wildlife and people, says the RSPB.

 

As well as being beneficial to wildlife, nettles have long running cultural significance, and can be of value to people too.

 

People have eaten them for centuries and they are a good source of calcium, magnesium and iron among other trace elements and vitamins. They can be used in many soups and stews instead of spinach.

 

Nettles have also been used to produce a fine fibre that can be used in clothing and string. The juice from their stems has been used to produce a permanent green dye and you can brew nettles to produce a plant food.

 

They can also be used in medicine, for example Native Americans used the fresh leaves to treat aches and pains, and European herbalists used the leaves in a similar fashion to treat gout and arthritis.

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Amazing Rooftop Garden Nestled Between Skyscrapers | Freshome

Amazing Rooftop Garden Nestled Between Skyscrapers | Freshome | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
After presenting 38 Garden Design Ideas post last week, today we ran across this high altitude garden hidden between the skyscrapers in Sydney, Australia.

 

... "Found on Design Rulz, this spectacular rooftop haven was designed by Secret Gardens and provides an unusual place of relaxation, far above the racket of the city. The landscaping process was focused on maximizing the vistas and creating a green oasis, 25 floors above the ground."

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Montessori-Inspired Gardening Unit and Flower, Plant & Garden ...

Montessori-Inspired Gardening Unit and Flower, Plant & Garden ... | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
There are lots of great Montessori-inspired printables and activities online for a gardening unit.

 

Spring and summer are great times to focus on gardening. I planted a flower garden with the children each spring when I had a Montessori school. The children always loved to see the flowers blooming when they returned to school at the end of the summer. With my own children, we didn’t live where we could have a garden. But you can see what we did in this post: Experiencing Nature and Growing Plants Outdoors without a Garden.

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Flip the bird: Great Tit sees the world from a different perspective after ... - Daily Mail

Flip the bird: Great Tit sees the world from a different perspective after ... - Daily Mail | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

It looks like something from a Monty Python sketch.

 

But in actual fact this rather odd picture of a Great Tit being weighed is part of a conservation programme on the Drummond Estate near Stirling in Scotland.


Researchers from the Blair Drummond Safari Park are monitoring native species of birds to find out how they change from one year to the next, and how long they survive for.

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Bumblebee lost to UK makes comeback on Dungeness shingle

Bumblebee lost to UK makes comeback on Dungeness shingle | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

With Natural England, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, and the charity Hymettus, which is dedicated to conserving bees, ants and wasps, Gammans has been working with farmers on Romney Marsh to build up habitats for plants, insects and birds, with broad strips of wild flowers along field edges or in awkward spots beyond the reach of modern farm machinery. Other farmers are being paid to manage grass for hay crops instead of cutting early and often for silage.

 

In many places, wild flowers have returned to the land spontaneously; in other places, seed was sown, or grass cut when the flowers were setting seed and spread out the same day on less fertile soil. The results have been remarkable: not just plants and insects, but birds and mammals, including hares, have increased their numbers.

 

"My farmers are brilliant," Gammans said. "In some cases they haven't formally joined agri-stewardship schemes, but they're just doing it. It's a return to a more traditional way, the way they remember farming was when they were children, and they've really gone for it."

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Plantwatch: The remarkable 'dent de lion' is becoming much more fierce

Plantwatch: The remarkable 'dent de lion' is becoming much more fierce | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

After nearly two months of torrential rains, the countryside is now as green as a billiard table, splashed with heaps of dazzling white hawthorn blossom. Trees are in full leaf and grasses are thick and lush, although their vigorous growth is shading out some of the smaller flowering plants, such as the early flowering orchids. But dandelion flowers have sprouted up in huge numbers, gorging themselves on the moisture as well as nutrients washed off farms and gardens.

 

The name dandelion comes from the French "dent de lion", meaning lion's tooth from the toothed edges to their leaves. And in a warning sign of the changing atmosphere, the leaves may be getting toothier as carbon dioxide levels increase, as well as making the plants grow taller, lusher and stronger.

 

Flowers such as dandelions also have a canny habit of closing up in the wet weather to protect their pollen from the rain. But now the sun is shining, the flowers are open and making a more dramatic display.

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Time to work some summer magic into your garden | Vancouver Sun

Time to work some summer magic into your garden | Vancouver Sun | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Here’s a look at six ways to inject a splash of colour and vitality into your garden for summer, as well as show off a little imagination and creativity.

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World Oceans Day

World Oceans Day | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Welcome to the international community’s online resource for World Oceans Day—our planet’s biggest celebration of the ocean, held every June 8th. This year, we encourage you to reach out to young people in your community and help inspire them for the 2012 theme Youth: the Next Wave for Change. The future of ocean conservation is in their hands! Explore this site for ideas, resources, and information about how you can get involved.

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Garden tour: Off to the Chelsea Flower Show | Vancouver Sun

Garden tour: Off to the Chelsea Flower Show | Vancouver Sun | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
London – Today, we go to the Chelsea Flower Show, the most famous garden show in the world.

 

I will be writing about the highlights for the Home & Garden section on June 1 but I can tell you that the buzz around town is that all the garden designers have pulled out the stops this year, it being the Queen’s special year.

 

Yesterday morning, we visited Hampton Court, which is always such a beautiful place to walk around with its 300-year-old clipped yew trees and fabulous formal gardens and magnificent hornbeam tunnel.

 

But today, it is Chelsea. I will be posting pictures and a short report here later.

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20 years of protecting Europe's natural heritage

20 years of protecting Europe's natural heritage | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
The Thames Estuary is one of the many important sites for nature benefiting from Euro support launched twenty years ago.

 

The Habitats Directive enshrined the Natura2000 network of internationally significant sites across Europe. Closer to home, this network provides a vital refuge for our native species across the Greater Thames, such as lapwing and redshank; and is home to some 300,000 winter migrant birds every year.

 

The Greater Thames area is a mix of industrial, urban, and green spaces, all providing valuable habitats in their own rights, and contributing to nature. Sadly, despite the success of the European action, species and places are facing ever greater threats from development and climate change.

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Peppermint Garden Bugs

Peppermint Garden Bugs | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Chase away those pesky bugs with bigger bugs! These environmentally friendly bugs double as lawn/garden decor & pest control all in one. They are not only constructed from recycled materials but also use natural aromatherapy insect repellant rather than dangerous chemical insecticides.  With these little critters  you can throw out that electric bug zapper & those toxic pollutants. They are simple, effective, and eco-clean!

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Climb every mountain: visualising the world's 50 highest peaks - Interactive graphic

Climb every mountain: visualising the world's 50 highest peaks - Interactive graphic | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
Data scientist Robert Mundigi has created a multi-faceted visualisation of the world's 50 highest peaks.

 

The interactive graphic, made using Tableau Public, features a clickable map of the summits, satellite images of each peak and figures for each mountain's prominence and overall elevation. In mountaineering terms, prominence is the vertical distance between a summit and the lowest contour line encircling it and no other peak. The different visualisation panels are interlinked, such that selecting a mountain on either the map or bar chart will result in its satellite image being displayed via the Google Maps panel. The image you see upon first loading the page is of Mauna Kea, a volcanic mountain on the island of Hawaii.

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