Environmental and Animals Blog

Environmental and Animals Blog

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 …

Read More »

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 describe how the first modern European pesticides were discovered, marketed and produced on an industrial scale. …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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. …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

With our weather becoming increasingly volatile, we’ve had a lot more interest in our Climate Science course. We thought we’d explore some of the jobs you can do within this field if you were taking your studies further. Storm Chaser This is as epic (and dangerous) as it sounds. Someone who literally stays out in …

Read More »

Photograph by Aelwyn, Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.   The Wryneck (Jynx torquilla) is a kind of woodpecker. It looks a bit like a sparrow with a speckled belly like a hawk. It has an unusual habit of raising its crest, extending and twisting its neck around at odd angles like a cobra when it …

Read More »

Agriculture is a major part of what separates human society from its prehistoric past and has become a major influence on our daily lives. It's important that we evaluate existing structures in order to recognise their weaknesses so we can gain insight into potential solutions. In the case of agriculture we need to look at …

Read More »

Some people will tell you that humans have only ever had a negative impact on wildlife, but that’s not true. Even the environments which are created entirely for our benefit like houses, fields and rubbish tips can provide amazing opportunities for wild species. One example is the story of the barn owl (Tyto alba). Once …

Read More »

Scroll to Top