Flora and fauna – the tree creeper
Jan14

Flora and fauna – the tree creeper

Tree creepers are not rare but you don’t see them very often. That’s partly because they’re usually silent but more due to their secretive creeping up the rough bark of trees in search of spiders and larvae of insects hidden in the fissures of the bark. A treecreepers beak is perfectly designed for this: a fine curved pair of tweezers. I saw one in the garden the other day climbing a larch tree so I was on the lookout when I saw this...

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Flora and fauna – the holly and the ivy
Dec22

Flora and fauna – the holly and the ivy

A favourite for our feathered friends Holly and ivy can be found all over our New Mills hedgerows and woodlands, some woudl even say it’s teh ivy that is holding New Mills together. Both plants are evergreen which led to beliefs that they were magical; in pagan times, they were used in winter festivals as a symbol of new life to come. Christian belief later linked the holly’s spikes to Jesus’ crown of thorns and the berries to...

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Flora and Fauna News
Dec02

Flora and Fauna News

November is a great month to look in the woodlands of New Mills for the tiny but rather beautiful Candlesnuff (or Candlestick) fungus. Dark at the bottom and white on top, it supposedly looks like a snuffed candle. It grows on decaying tree stumps and glows in the dark – though unfortunately at levels too low for human eyes. To begin with it forms small candle like forms, then as it grows it develops branch like structures-...

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Tree planting project under way.
Nov21

Tree planting project under way.

Big thanks to the Visit New Mills volunteers who are busy planting another 500 trees to replace the Ash die back victims in Mousley Bottom. The paint marking means end of the road for that tree. And our volunteers are also rewilding an area in Brookbottom with Native species: oak, hawthorn, blackthorn, silver birch, rowan and...

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Flora and fauna – by the pond
Aug15

Flora and fauna – by the pond

Came across this by the pond today; from a distance it looked small enough to be a damselfly but on closer inspection it became clear it was a dragonfly, the Common Darter.  At rest, dragonflies hold their four wings spread out, unlike the damsel which has them together over their back, like a butterfly. The dragonfly is a fabulous flier, backwards or forwards, out-manoeuvring any other insect as it hunts them down. Hoverflies, wasps,...

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Flora and fauna – no taming these
May01

Flora and fauna – no taming these

No taming these! I’m not expecting many ‘likes’ for this because we tend to shy away from small, fast, furry things with four legs but here goes.  This winter, for the first time, I sprinkled mealworms on the ground below the bird table; robins, blackbirds and thrushes love them. But the tasty morsels also attracted another visitor I wasn’t expecting: the shrew. There are three types in the U.K., common, pygmy and water shrews, the...

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