Fluttering time

Mornings are getting mistier, evenings are getting colder, a sign that we are slowly but surely heading towards the autumn months. 2 weeks ago though, the scenery was still very summery in the local Newlands Corner reserve, a few steps South of Guildford. Fruits are starting to appear in hedges and shrubby areas. Edible ones…

Of grasses and orchids

The area around Guildford is mostly made of chalk grasslands, which are just looking marvellous at this time of the year. Here are some pictures of a quick walk I did in a small reserve overlooking Guildford, Merrow Downs which is also home to Guildford Golf Club. As the name states, this is above all a…

Riverside walk

After a heathland Bioblitz, it’s time for a change of scene with a walk in Guildford’s Riverside Park (sounds posh, doesn’t it! :D) , a lovely nature reserve maintained by the local borough. The 80 hectare park is made of four different habitats : meadow, wetland, woodland and open water, with the river Wey weaving through it. While…

How much biodiversity on a roadside?

I have been obsessed by roadbanks and escarpments since travelling to South-East Asia. Walking in the rainforest, you can’t help but be amazed by the diversity of plants, invertebrates, birds, and mosses living on these slopes. Here in Mount Kinabalu, Borneo, this ranged from blue spikemosses like this Selaginella uncinata, to jewel orchids with iridescent leaf veins (Anoectochilus…

Heathland awakening

Last week-end was warm and sunny, a good opportunity for a walk in a heathland reserve a few miles away from Guildford. Whitmoor Common is a huge -183 hectares- reserve maintained by Surrey Wildlife Trust, which comprises moor, dry heathland, bracken, birch and pine woodland, a small stream and a large pond. Gorse (Ulex europaeus)…

Waiting for spring…

March had all well begun, with lovely days of sunshine and soothing temperatures. In the gardens, crocuses, snowdrops and daffodils were blossoming, and birds singing loudly. But it was too good to last – Spring is supposed to be here, and yet, it’s snowing and freezing again… This is a little walk in the local nature…

A pool of mystery…

Some say it is a sacred site that was used by druid for ritual offerings. Some say the famous author Agatha Christie visited the surroundings during her mysterious 11-day disappearance in 1926. Some say the ghost of a drowned maiden still haunts the lake nowadays… One thing’s for sure : it casts a spell on…

Berry Times!

Autumn is often regarded as a dull and depressing season, with falling leaves, dying plants and short, rainy days. But it’s also a season of colours, gorgeous harvests, and nature preparing itself for a few months’ sleep! Last week-end, we headed to Newlands Corner, a nature reserve located just a few minutes from Guildford. I…

Mothing…night creatures revealed

Despite many entomology courses and practicals, I have never found moths particularly attractive.  So when I read about a mothing event in Guildford’s Pewley Down reserve, just 5 minutes from where I live, I thought : why not? This might be interesting. Maybe I should start by explaining what moths are! 1) Many people think…

Chalky Guildford

Having settled comfortably in my new town, I decided to have a look at the (wonderfully made) website of Surrey Wildlife Trust, which manages dozens of nature reserves in the county, to find walk ideas in the area. The first reserve we decided to visit, located on the South-Eastern boundaries of Guildford town is called…

Wisley Gardens, a plant heaven

As some of you might know, I recently moved to the UK, and now live in a lovely town called Guildford. About 10 km from Guildford lies the second most visited English Garden, Wisley, which is maintained by the Royal Horticultural Society. Covering around 100 hectares, it’s a lovely place, with many different features…I haven’t…