Category: Environmental and Animals Blog

plant based foods on a grey table - veganuary
Environmental and Animals Blog

Did you forget to make a resolution for 2023? Perhaps you simply felt this time you’d just not bother; only now nearly at the end of January when everyone else is failing in their earnest efforts to do better you feel you really should have one had one? Well, you could still have a few

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A hibernation helper holds a hedgehog - How to Help Hibernating Animals in Your Garden
Environmental and Animals Blog

As winter sets upon us all, we withdraw into our homes to seek shelter from the bitter cold.  The wildlife outside our windows is also rarely fond of the cooling climb and seeks shelter of its own. While those that can (typically Birds) leave, those that can’t have to make do with the frosty season

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Egg shortage of 2022
Environmental and Animals Blog

As decades go, the 2020’s are not off to a good start.  Between the pestilence of the pandemic and war in Ukraine, we’re not even a third of the way into the decade before we can scratch two horsemen off our apocalypse bingo card.  Now, not even a day in 2023 and a third pale

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COP 27 – What it is and why it matters
Environmental and Animals Blog

COP 27 – What it is and why it matters COP 27 [1] stands for “Conference of Parties” with this occasion being the 27th time the event has occurred.  The non-descriptive abbreviation aside, COP 27 is a climate summit organized by the United Nations to be attended by representatives from up to 200 countries around

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Education

The world is in dire need of more conservationists. Is it a well paid profession? No. Is it difficult to get paid work? Yes. Are those working in conservation or ecology some of the most experienced, highly qualified workforce out there? Yes. If you're reading this and you still get a little thrill of excitement

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A Career in Horticulture (General Horticulture)

So far in this series, we have looked at the pesticides used today, the pesticides banned since World War II, and the first industrial chemical pesticides. In this final post, I want to tell a less well-known story: how pest control functioned before the modern period, especially in medieval and early modern Europe. Chemical pesticides

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Environmental and Animals Blog

In previous posts, I told the story of today’s controversial pesticides, and then went back to describe the pesticides famously banned since World War II like DDT, dieldrin, the organophosphates and the neonics. In this post, I’m going to explain how the first modern European pesticides were discovered, marketed and produced on an industrial scale.

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Environmental and Animals Blog

Introduction In the middle of the twentieth century the public view of pesticides was very positive (Mart, 2015, pp. 11–30). These chemicals were seen as holding the potential to cure world hunger and make agriculture more profitable. Efficient insecticides in particular were seen offering a revolution in agricultural practice, and could also be used to

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A Career in Horticulture (General Horticulture)

Pesticides, herbicides and fungicides (generally considered together as ‘pesticides’ or informally as ‘chemicals’) have a long and controversial history. On the one hand, we need them to keep towns and streets pest-free to 21st century standards, and they also have an often-overlooked, vital environmental function in protecting our National Parks from invasive species like Rhododendron.

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A Career in Horticulture (General Horticulture)

Rhododendron is a very popular genus of shrubs for gardens due to its clusters of flowers, which can cover the surface of the shrub, most often in spring. They are generally evergreen (except the deciduous Azaleas) and the individual flowers are concave (tubular, funnel, trumpet or saucer shaped) with long filaments (unlike flatter Hydrangeas). They

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Environmental and Animals Blog

Sophia McDonald, a wildlife tour guide in Scotland, took an Ornithology course with us over the last few months and recently completed the course with flying colours! She tells us a little bit about her course experience and what she has gained from the qualificaiton. To me birds are endlessly fascinating and I wanted to

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A Career in Horticulture (General Horticulture)

The areas of pollination, self and cross pollination, frequently occur across many topics in horticulture so we thought we'd explain how this works. We recommend reading this in conjunction with 'F1 Hybrids and Other Hybrid Matters' and 'The Importance of Pollination for Top Crop and Fruit Breeders'. What is Pollination? Pollination is said to have

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Environmental and Animals Blog

If you are currently studying a horticulture course with us, we’ve compiled a list of sites we think are a great help. In no particular order of preference:   The RHS The RHS website is so full of information, you can spend countless hours on this site browsing plant advice, gardening advice and even purchasing seeds for

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Environmental and Animals Blog

The angel shark (Squatina squatina) is a flattened kind of shark which looks a bit like a sting ray. It usually grows to about 1.8 m long (about as long as a human is tall) and it lives in sandy and muddy areas. It specialises in ambushing fish at night while buried on the seafloor

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A Time for Counsellors

The Covid pandemic was unique for counsellors in our shared lived history.  There has been no other event that has been so bluntly experienced by almost every human alive. The shared trauma of our experiences is something that will leave its mark for years if not decades to come. But for the children and young

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Veganuary

Did you forget to make a resolution for 2023? Perhaps you simply felt this time you’d just not bother; only now nearly at the end of January when everyone else is failing in their earnest efforts to do better you feel you really should have one had one? Well, you could still have a few

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Uh Oh, It’s Blue Monday Again!

Christmas is long gone and over.  The New Year is rapidly disappearing in the rearview mirror and we’re not even halfway through winter. On top of that, the cost of the festive season is being felt on waistlines and wallets while new years resolutions are already falling like dominos.  Yes, it’s that time of year

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5 courses to boost your New Year’s resolutions

The beginning of a new year is a fresh chance to take lives in fresh directions.  Sometimes it’s something we’ve been thinking of for some time, but on other occasions, a spur-of-the-moment decision can lead to a profound change and opportunities we could never have imagined.  Here are a few suggestions for directions to consider

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