Flora and fauna – almost bobbing along

Since the middle of October our garden has been home for a one-footed robin; two legs but one foot, and I’ve no idea how it lost the other. It gets chucked mealworms and crumbs of cheddar from time to time and seems to do well on them, but does struggle perching, preferring to rest itself …

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The diving Goosander – flora and fauna

An exciting yet reasonably regukar visitor to New Mills the Goosander is a medium-sized duck and a member of a group called the ‘sawbills’ because of their long, narrow bills with saw-like ‘teeth’ which are excellent for gripping fish, especially the brown trout found in the River Goyt. This long sleek, streamlined bird, is perfectly …

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Flora and fauna – the Guelder rose

The Guelder Rose has a lacy, romantic looking creamy white flower with multiple little clusters of tiny flowers in the centre and a surrounding edge of larger five petalled flowers. Its delicate white appearance makes it easy to see why it inspired a traditional wedding song in Russia. Also known as dogberry, it has bunches of …

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Flora and fauna – Bird Cherry

The midpoint of the Sett Valley trail is a perfect place to stop and savour the delights of the beautiful Bird  Cherry tree. A tree that loves to grow near water, there are several dotted around here in the wet woodland  and by the stream bank.  A particularly lovely one lies in the field by the public footpath leading up to Hayfield Road. At the moment these trees are covered in clusters of creamy blossom which have a powerful scent of almonds.  Eventually the tree will develop black berries. Like most plants it had a range of uses in the past: its bark was once used to ward off the plague and its berries to dye wool. PC

Flora and fauna – something in the air

Something in the air  You’ll have seen them hanging in the breeze above motorway verges, precisely adjusting wings, body and tail so as to keep the head dead still, like it was pinned to the background. The lovely old name for the kestrel is the ‘windhover’.  Our most abundant bird of prey, the bread and …

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