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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Wildlife Gardening

The Wildlife Trust and the Royal Horticultural Society  produce a wildlife gardening newsletter to help us all make our gardens wildlife friendly. You can read the latest copy issued today at this link:

Here is an extract:

Things to spot


  • Keep an eye out for butterflies in your garden. Some will have come out early on – those that overwinter as adults, such as Peacock, Red Admiral and Comma butterflies. Now you can also see species such as Holly Blue, and Speckled Wood.
  • Keep an eye out for the fascinating stages as tadpoles turn intofrogs. Froglets are vulnerable when they switch from water breathers to air breathers. Make sure your pond has sloping sides so they can get out easily, and vegetation nearby so they can shelter.
  • With breeding season in full swing, small mammals such aswood mice and shrews will have young now. Although difficult to spot, one way to detect them is by leaving out a sand tray at a likely location and checking footprints next morning. Alternatively, try looking for burrow entrances, about the size of a 50p coin.
More about what to look out for this month

Thursday, May 23, 2013

May apple blossom in Somerset!!

Event Details

Watch Event: Orchard Trail

Saturday 25 May 13:00

Orchard Family Social Event at Playses Orchard Farm. Fun activities with prizes to take part in, including an ORCHARD TRAIL
Bring along your own picnic, sit amongst the apple trees and enjoy the delights of an orchard in full blossom.
This is a joint fundraising event with the Heart of the Levels and the Chard and Ilminster Area Groups. Free entry for regular Heart of the Levels Watch Club members. BRING YOUR FRIENDS AND HAVE SOME FUN! Open 1pm

If you are interested in joining our group please contact Rosemary on 07724 892079 or email

Friday, May 17, 2013

Field of Dreams, Barcroft Hall

Statement on the home page of their web site. 
Link shown below

Flowers Status: Field of Dreams 2013 is now closed   Grass Car Park Status: Closed
Due to adverse horticultural conditions the Field of Dreams will not be open for 2013 but please register for 2014 when we will have an even larger display and more facilities.
But still come and visit the village, enjoy the lovely shops, a great pub and a short walk! 

(Download Map Here)

Thursday, May 02, 2013

The Providential Principle

Here is a link to the latest George Monbiot article discussing the way our present Government deals with important matters impacting on the natural environment. Its all about the Precautionary Principle which I have considered to be a starting point for almost any serious action we take in life. But thats just being cautious  of course and many people dont  think that way!

The Providential Principle

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Posted: 01 May 2013 03:33 AM PDT
Amazingly, the UK government has not defined the precautionary principle and appears to have no idea what it is.

By George Monbiot, published on the Guardian’s website, 1st May 2013

Here’s something remarkable I stumbled across while researching my column on Monday, but did not have room to include. I hope you’ll agree that it is worth sharing.
I was trying to understand the context for the new chief scientist’s cavalier treatment of scientific evidence, in an article he wrote opposing a European ban on neonicotinoid pesticides. These are the toxins which, several studies suggest, could be partly responsible for the rapid decline in bees and other pollinators.
Just one month into the job, Sir Mark Walport has, I believe, disgraced himself: by misrepresenting the science, misinforming the public about risk and uncertainty and indulging in scaremongering and wild exaggeration in support of the government’s position. I believe he has seriously damaged his standing and that of the office he holds.
Among the many problems with the article he wrote was the way he defined the precautionary principle. Interpreting and upholding this principle is fundamental to the chief scientist’s role. Yet he doesn’t seem to understand what it means. Here’s what he said about it:
“This simple idea just means working out and balancing in advance all the risks and benefits of action or inaction, and to make a proportionate response.”
Oh yes? Here’s how the Rio Declaration, which the UK, with 171 other states, signed in 1992, defines it:
“Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.”
The difference is critical to an understanding of the government’s environmental responsibilities. As if to underline the fact that he hasn’t grasped it, Sir Mark used his article to do the opposite: he used a lack of full scientific certainty as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.
The precautionary principle, as defined by the Rio Declaration, has, in the words of the European Commission, “become a full-fledged and general principle of international law.”
In other words, it’s not something you would expect a chief scientist to make up as he goes along.
So the question that occurred to me was this. If the government’s chief scientist doesn’t know what the precautionary principle is, does the government know?