Category Archives: conservation

The acronyms’ stories: imagine.

‘Alphabet soup’: AONB, EMS, MPA, MCZ, NNR, SAC, SPA, SSSI – how many more of these acronyms for conservation designations can you recall? Do you know what they mean? (If you don’t – and not many people do – you … Continue reading

Posted in conservation, Marine Conservation Zone, mud-shrimps, peat, bogs and moors, saltmarshes, wetlands | Tagged ,

SACs, SPAs, SSSIs on the Solway Firth: Learning to love the acronyms

“Think of [the list] as not so much an inventory as a catalogue leading to compelling and interacting stories.” [1] Conservation designations: their borders aren’t marked by posts or buoys, but they are marked by lines on maps, and by … Continue reading

Posted in conservation, Marine Conservation Zone, mudflats, peat, bogs and moors, saltmarshes, wetlands | Tagged , , ,

A Solway small-holding

Yesterday I stood leaning on the pitchfork by the glowing ash-pile, just looking around at the trees and the hedges and our sheep. Two weeks ago, on a blue, still morning, there had been a sound like a gun-shot from … Continue reading

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Tracking Triops, the elusive Tadpole Shrimp

In August, after the long weeks of cloudless blue skies, and heat that shimmered over the cracked mud of the merse, the rain came. The jet stream had looped into another orientation, and the rain fell day after day for … Continue reading

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Recording the Solway’s amazing nature: a guest post by Deborah Muscat

Why we need to pay attention to the other living species with whom we share this area, and identify and record them. My thanks to Deborah Muscat, Manager of the Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre based in Carlisle, for writing this … Continue reading

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What’s a clay dabbin?

“The first thing people do is stroke the walls – it’s tactile, there’s something about it that makes people want to touch it.” Alex Gibbons     On April 28th 2017 the first clay dabbins building to be constructed on … Continue reading

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Snippets 12: In praise of Bowness Moss

Bowness Moss or Common is one of the South Solway Mosses National Nature Reserves, NNR. The near-pristine centre of this raised mire is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, SSSI;  it’s also a Special Area of Conservation, SAC. Acronyms are … Continue reading

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From ‘killing field’ to wetland and woods: Watchtree Nature Reserve, Cumbria

From the hill at Watchtree Nature Reserve you can look across to the upper reaches of the Solway Firth, the Borders and, to the East, the Northern Fells. It’s early February and the snow-coated top of Skiddaw is glistening  in … Continue reading

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Snippets 6: ” ‘Tis the voice of the lobster’ I heard him declare…”

Cumbria isn’t just about the National Park and Herdwick sheep, but even on the Solway coast, it sometimes helps to have ‘Lake District’ in your title. The Lake District Coast Aquarium at Maryport is a little gem of an aquarium … Continue reading

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The haaf-netters’ lament

NOTE: UPDATE (JULY 27th) AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST   “It’s one of the last wildernesses in the country, the Solway Firth. And I think haaf-netting is probably the best excuse to go and stand out in that wilderness” … Continue reading

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