On most maps, roads take prominence. What if there were a map where the main roads were greyed out for a change? Wwhere the footpaths were in headline red? Safe crossings in bright yellow? The back alleys scribbles of purple? A web of ginnels, snickets, passages, paths, jiggers, chares and wynds and other passages to freedom? Here’s my Not-Car...
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Speak truth to powder

Posted by on April 4, 2016
The new Persil ad, the latest in their #dirtisgood theme, is without doubt, powerful. It draws on research that claims to show that one in two children in the UK age six to 11 spend less than an hour outside; the minimum UN guidelines for prisoners is two hours. The research apparently also found that one in 10 children in this age group never play outdoors....
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Proud moment!

Posted by on March 5, 2016
I finally handed over Companions of the Sewer Phoenix to Dave Nesham (on the right), who’s in charge of the outdoor volunteers at Rodley Nature Reserve. Dave says it’s far too smart to let them get their grubby fingers on it. So this version will go to the board. A spiral-bound version should be available soon in the visitor centre. I...
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Whole sections of dead-hedge washed away. Fish in the field. Dragonfly-pond liners flipped like pancakes, and decking scoured off the education pond. While a few wood mice somehow survived by sheltering under the mini-beast trapdoors, the poor harvest mice didn’t stand a chance, and the barn owl and kestrel will go hungry. But Rodley Nature Reserve...
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Rodley Nature Reserve Leeds Flooding

Posted by on December 27, 2015
27 Dec 2015
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Thursday 21 August: BEECHEY ISLAND 06.30 Boris wakes us up early to tell us there’s no need to wake up early. 09.30 Zodiacs to the desolate and history-soaked Beechey Island. It’s snowing, the bay is fog-thick. (Bizarrely, there are two yachts here already, supposedly doing a round-the-world trip but in reality stuck here, waiting for the...
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I loved interviewing Jim Brandenberg. The conversation covered everything from re-wildling, the politics of conservation, human fears of wild animals (eg wolves) to the healing power of nature, and for him, of nature photography – and of course his heady years as a National Geographic photographer. My article is up on the Natural History Unit’s...
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Narwhal at Milne Inlet: Charles Kinsey All over the bay, little patches of water bubble, and then we see the mottled backs lumping through the water. Stitch the lumps together in your imagination and you’ve got some kind of giant, multi-humped sea-caterpillar inching through the surf. And so, for the next hour and a half, in a calm, sheltered...
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Cow and Calf, Ilkley

Posted by on September 9, 2013
The Cow and Calf rocks offer a reliable good day out, a fantastic place for rock-scrambling, walking and stream-paddling, with stunning views over Ilkley. And (at last!) there are new and rather smart toilets near what used to be a tea-shack… now a proper cafe.  
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