July Newsletter 4 2022: New Horticultural Horizons Approach!

Waiting List Ready for the Revised RHS Syllabus Courses!

WAITING LIST

Level 2 Certificate – Revised RHS Syllabus starting from September 2022

The RHS is releasing amended versions of their Level 2 Certificate in September 2022 and we are waiting for the new syllabus.

The Level 3 Certificate will be available in September 2023.

In the meantime, you can register your interest in either of these two qualifications and be placed on our WAITING LIST, where you will be informed of the start dates and course details.

You only need to email us at: [email protected] and request that you would like to be added to the waiting list – place in the subject box “RHS Waiting List”.

We will then advise you by email, about start dates as to when the new amended syllabus becomes available in September.

If you need to speak with one of our Course Advisors for more clarification, please call +44 (0)1227 789 649

Learn and prepare your future today with an approved RHS distance learning course from ADL.

Become one of the many ADL worldwide graduates, who have gone on to become established horticulturists and gardeners.

To qualify for the RHS Level 2 or Level 3 Theory certificates, you will need to pass four unit exams per certificate. Exams are held in February and June of each year. Registration is required 3 months before these dates.

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Pay in Full and Receive a Discount!

The Falkland Islands: Beautiful Wildlife

Last year I had the good fortune to visit the Falkland Islands. The islands are a remote South Atlantic archipelago with unspoilt cliff-lined coasts exposed to wild winds, and forlorn rugged heathlands strewn with boulders and the remnants of war. Their hundreds of islands and islets are home to sheep farms, and diverse shores with abundant birdlife. It was quite inspiring to be in such open and free terrain and it quite re- ignited my curiosity as an ecologist.

The vast majority of the two- thousand or so population are cosseted in small tin huts in the capital, Stanley. A small minority live in what they call ‘camp’ from the Spanish for field. So the population density is something like you would see in Iceland. Stanley is quaint and lazy, with vibrantly painted roofs, small vegetable cultivation in polytunnels, and an array of scuttled shipwrecks lying in the natural harbour which is Port Stanley. From where we were camped, Stanley was an hour away over unforgiving roads.


Some of the farmsteads have meat hooks outside the main building, which look a bit grizzly. But with so many sheep around it makes sense not to cull and freeze them (costing energy when you are off grid). Hungry? Just nip outside for a fresh one! No wonder there are no burger bars in Falkland. Who would bother to travel all the way to Stanley for an imitation- burger when you can have the pure grass fed home grown version.

Given that I visited the Falklands during the UK winter (Antarctic summer), the sun was fierce, in the thin ozone of the South Pole. And the weather fronts are capricious and quite short- lived. In this climate nature ekes out a precarious existence. There are no trees in the Falklands (too windy & exposed) so wooden structures are virtually absent apart from the occasional piece of reclaimed wood from a shipwreck, or deliberately imported timber. Stanley has the occasional introduced tree, but plantations are out of the question, even in hollows or mountainsides.

During our stay, we drove down to a desolate peninsular called Cape Dolphin for a few days of wild camping, which was an epic trek over endless pot holes and scree- ridden slopes to be rewarded by a bog- swamp off road experience to rival an African safari expedition. There we saw sea lions in an impressive breeding colony, and a host of Patagonian coastal heath species which I photographed avidly until I ran out of battery power.

On several occasions, I also got to swim with wild Commerson’s dolphins, who seemed only too keen to swim up into the shallow sandy coves with crystal clear water. I also came eye to eye with broody Gentoo penguins and their chicks. The whole experience far exceeded my hopes and imagination.

The delicate ecology and wildlife of the Falkland Islands illustrates very well the impact of human activity on the environment, with many species having come under threat owing to poor management of the ecological resource over generations. Now the tide is turning, with efforts being made to preserve and protect vulnerable wildlife. If you are interested in working with nature conservation, ADL have courses in Conservation & Environmental Management and Ecology to help you achieve this.

References

The Falkland Islands & Their Natural History- Ian J Strange

Wildlife of The Falkland Islands & South Georgia- Ian J Strange

Plants of The Falkland Islands- Ali Liddle (Falklands Conservation).

Photo Credits: Andy Patterson

How to be food-crisis proof

If your local supermarket closed down, where would you do your food shop? Most of us would say, ‘The next supermarket closest to me!’ What if supermarkets no longer supplied what you were looking for? What if you went to every supermarket and none of them had what you wanted? This has been the case with many shoppers this year as terrible weather in the south of Spain and Italy, the main suppliers for many of our out-of-season vegetables, drastically reduced the supply of courgettes, lettuce and broccoli.

There seems to be a new crisis for specific crops every now and then. Often, unreliable weather is the cause; other times, simple economic and political interference. Either way, these fluctuations in price and supply highlight how oblivious we, as consumers, can be about where our food actually comes from. It also exposes how delicate our global food network really is. And, most worryingly, becomes further evidence of the devastating effects global warming is having on our agriculture.

So, how does a savvy consumer become food crisis-proof in this day and age? Here are a few simple tips.

Keep informed

How and what we eat is important. Food is a resource that is finite and should be distributed properly. How that food is produced and how we consume it deserves attention, and in these days of free information, it has never been easier to keep up to date with agricultural news. A quick search online comes up with many sites that can give you news on agriculture, and empowered with information; it’s possible to plan what and how much to buy.

Source your food locally

This means ditching your weekly supermarket shop and instead seeking out local farmers’ markets, farm shops and nurseries. It doesn’t have to be a car trip either; plenty of companies around the UK specialise in Veg boxes which marries the benefits of local produce with modern convenience by putting the freshest, local (and often organic) produce right at your doorstep.

Grow your own

You don’t need to have 20 acres of land to sustainably grow your own food. It’s possible, even in the smallest space, to dedicate a little of it to growing your own food, even if it’s a pot to grow your own herbs in. There is plenty of advice out there on how to begin growing your own food.

Perhaps it’s time we all started considering how we can make ourselves food crisis proof. If it’s lack of knowledge that stops you from picking up a trowel, a short course in homegrowing may be all you need to get your started on your self-sufficiency journey!

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