Tag: tree

Durham Dales Centre, Stanhope and the Fossil Tree

Nestled in the heart of the Weardale, The Durham Dales, is the small market town of Stanhope. This is a wonderful spot to discover more about the Durham Dales or to venture from on foot, or as the gateway to more dales adventures. In fact it was from here I did one of my favourite short walks last year with much history and amazing views. As you enter the town you will see the church not too far from the Durham Dales Centre, but the churchyard is home to more than the usual, it has a magical example of...

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Discovering Tropical Rainforests

Forests in the tropics can be considered ‘biodiversity hotspots’.  As well as supporting a vast array of vegetation, they provide shelter and nourishment for a wealth of wildlife.   Depending on the area of land covered, forests can even affect the local and regional climate – cooling and refreshing the tropical atmosphere. Rainforests have a clearly identifiable structure – and each vertical layer has a distinctly different type of vegetation and wildlife associated with it.  The ‘bushy’ leafy tree level of the forest is known as the ‘canopy’.  This is where birds and primates predominantly live.  Occasionally huge trees pierce...

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A Walk on the Wild Side…. In London’s Southwark Woods

I recently visited a pocket of London that remains wonderfully ‘wild’. A ‘secret’ woodland that delights local people and visitors alike. Locals have named them Southwark Woods – referring to an area of trees, wildflower lanes and common ground where nature has taken hold around Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries in Honour Oak, London. For a city where beautiful parks are usually kept neatly under control; this woodland has been left to grow ‘untamed’ around an old cemetery, untouched for many, many years. Here there are no manicured lawns or structured floral borders; this is a wild place –...

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Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve

In previous posts I’ve shown you my experience at Bodega Bay and the Harbor Seals at Goat Rock Beach. Now it’s time for me to head inland; crossing Russian River on my way to Guerneville and the Armstrong Redwoods, State Natural Reserve. The Redwoods, Sequoia sempervirens, covers an area of 805 acres, so I was only going to manage to see a small part of it today. I started walking just after 3pm and was totally awestruck by their enormity, getting neck ache trying to see their canopies. The tallest tree in the park is The Parson Jones Tree,...

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Mashpi – The remarkable story of the saving of a rainforest

In a previous article I described Mashpi Biodiversity Reserve in Ecuador.  It showed you just some of the remarkable, diverse and unique nature here. It is part of the Chocó rainforest that runs North from Ecuador through Columbia and into Panama. In this article, part 2 you could say,  I want to tell you of the remarkable story of how the Mashpi Reserve came to be saved from the loggers. 95% of the Chocó in Ecuador has been destroyed but the story of Mashpi’s rescue from the loggers is an up lifting conservation story and gives one hope for the future...

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The Ankerwycke Yew – One of Britain’s Oldest Trees

Standing quietly in a water-meadow on the flood plain of the River Thames, is a very special ancient tree. This evergreen giant is a survivor – a lone tree that has borne witness to countless generations. It is the oldest known tree on National Trust land. This is the Ankerwycke Yew. Beneath a veil of dark, shaggy needles; is a colossal, colourful trunk. The girth exceeds 9 meters (over 29 ½ feet!) While its exact age is unknown, estimates have placed it between 2000 and 2500 years old. But this iconic yew is significant not just because of its...

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