A kind winter thus far in the UK

What a difference a year makes. At this midway point through Meteorological winter 2016/17, the weather so far has been much kinder than last year. December 2015 was horrendously mild, bad for wildlife in that most things were out of sync, the natural world in the UK at least didn’t know whether it was coming or going.

 

It was also bad for farming at this stage last winter, crops and grass were growing vigorously, and diseases and pests were prevalent, meaning more chemical expenditure down the line for struggling farming communities. We need winters like those of former years to return occasionally to restore some balance.

 

cci_000005-edited

This one thus far has seen a very typical Temperature setup locally with a reasonable tally of Air frosts when skies cleared by night, although precipitation has been somewhat with December proving very dry when compared to the average as the image below states.

 

monthly-climatological-summary-for-december-2016
Personal Weather Station Monthly Climatological Summary for December 2016

 

As you’ll notice upon reading the above article from the Newbury Weekly News dated January 14th, 2016, phenology events, i.e., those signs from nature bore no resemblance to most years past, way before climate change processes steadfastly took a grip on things. The winter of 2016/17 thus far has been kinder to the farming community and consequently nature itself, as far as I am aware from what I’ve read and heard about in the press. Here’s to the rest of the winter, playing ball too then. I do feel for our European neighbours, though. January 2017, in particular, has so far seen brutal cold in a significant number of places as the following link to a recent BBC article indicates.

 

Icy weather in Europe causes more hardship and chaos

 

A couple of phenology events which need updating to my records database are the 1st instance of flowering Hazel catkins on the 15th January and 1st flowering Snowdrops around about the 13th January.

 

As ever, you can continue to access my Facebook updates by clicking on the Red Admiral butterfly icon below.

naturestimeline Education services – “A conservation professional sharing his personal perspective on breaking news stories from the world of nature alongside his own accounts from the field.”

and

 

Conservation “Young Guns” to look out for in 2016 – a cross-post from LinkedIn

As a fortysomething, I cannot claim to be a “Young Gun”, yet these guys and gals show maturity beyond their years. Find out more below.

 

Conservation “Young Guns” to look out for in 2016 by Tony Powell

 

 

I have replicated below as shown for those of you not on LinkedIn.

 

As a fortysomething, I cannot claim to be a “Young Gun”, yet these guys and gals show maturity beyond their years. The messages they promote via their Social Media channels should be listened to. They are the future.

So in no particular order, I bring you the following.

Ben Eagle and his “thinkingcountry” blog

This past year I especially liked his “Exploring the Ethics of Conservation and Farming” post and his reblog of Peter Cooper’s “One of the most depressing things about conservation? How Middle-class it all is.” blog.

James Common and his blog “common by nature”

 

A couple of my favourites of his were “A Summer on a Scottish Grouse Estate” and James’s “Personal blog, personal opinions.” posting.

Next up, Elliot Dowding with “Wildlife and Words”.

 

Do check out his Birding with John series, although I especially liked this 2015 blog post, “What does nature mean to me?“.

Now one of the aspiring young ladies by the name of Annabelle Southand her blog goes by the name of “Wild South”.

 

During 2015 I particularly liked her “WILD SOUTH’S SECOND FORAY INTO RETAIL” blog and her “SUMO DORMOUSE” post.

Another young lady you have to admire is Laura James and her “lauras ecology on the go” blog.

 

One of the 2015 highlights for me from her blog was “The Aliens are Coming!!!“.

Last but not least, I bring you Falko Buschke and “The Solitary Ecologist”.

My favourite from 2015 of his had to be the “Conservationists must realise that farmers are central to conserving nature” blog post.

I am well aware of a number of other contenders who are progressing up through the ranks via those fantastic research bodies and universities alike. However, suffice to say, I commend you all, as right now the conservation movement needs all the help it can get.

Kind Regards and Happy New Year, all the best wishes for 2016 and beyond.

 

Tony Powell

 

*For the record I am not currently affiliated with any of the persons mentioned above and are simply to be regarded as highly valued friends and connections.

 

naturestimeline Education services – “A conservation professional sharing his personal perspective on breaking news stories from the world of nature alongside his own accounts from the field.”

and