Alpines treasures in the Swiss Jura mountains

I was lucky last year to be able to attend the 6th Global Botanic Gardens Congress  organised by BGCI (the worldwide association of botanic gardens), possibly the best assembly of people interested in plants, whether they are scientists, gardeners, science journalists or education professionals. Held in Geneva, Switzerland, it took place over a week in June 2017,…

Borneo memories – Kinabatangan river

This blog post is going to feature a trip I made in 2010 to Borneo’s Kinabatangan river. What could prompt me to go so far down memory lane? The answer is a campaign launched on Twitter to save this Bornean biodiversity heaven from destruction. English naturalist & TV presenter Steve Backshall and his wife, Olympic champion rower Helen…

An island of flowers – Part 1: the streets of Funchal

This is the first post in a long series on the island of Madeira, where I went on holiday last month. With stunning landscapes and very interesting flora, I’m sure you will enjoy the trip! Located approximately 500 km off the African coast, and 1000 km south of continental Europe, Madeira is in fact a…

Rainbow colours

No, I’m not talking real rainbows…the rainfall over Surrey has been really low this month, and the sight of yellow lawns and falling leaves might well be a lasting one! I’m talking grasslands, chalk grasslands again, but this time a bit different from the ones found in Guildford. This is Sheepleas reserve, managed by Surrey…

Unexpected biodiversity : the cemetery episode

When you think of cemeteries, you usually think of sadness, gloominess and death. But cemeteries are also peaceful and quiet places, where plants and animals can thrive with little disturbance… I visited the Cimetière de Schaerbeek (which is one of the 19 municipalities of Brussels) with scientists from the AEF (a Belgian association which studies…

Jardin Botanique de Meise…mais où est le printemps?

En ce lundi tout gris, un petit tour au jardin botanique de Meise m’a permis d’observer l’avancée de la végétation après les grands froids des semaines passées. La flore hivernale nous offre ses jolis atouts : des perces-neiges (ici une variété aux extrémités des tépales verts, Galanthus nivalis var. scharlockii) au Cornouiller mâle (Cornus mas) qui porte ses…

The Cathedral forest

Today it is grey in Brussels, very grey….the perfect weather for a tour in the Forêt de Soignes. I know what you’re all thinking : a walk in the forest in winter? Cold, wet and nothing to see! I agree for the first and second comment, not for the latter! Although it’s not as colourful and…