The end of the year for the 100 elms, Ulmus ‘New Horizon’, in Cardiff’s Pontcanna Fields – with next year’s buds waiting…


It’s time to say goodbye to the avenue of 100 disease-resistant elms, Ulmus ‘New Horizon’ in Cardiff’s Pontcanna Fields.

I visited for the last time on Christmas Day, when the trees were more or less the same as when I first chose them to follow just under a year ago.

Next month I will choose a new tree for 2018, but here I will look back with fondness on the year of the 100 elms… Continue Reading »


Your dream tree could be waiting for you – I couldn’t resist using Photoshop to mess around with this image of a twisted pine tree taken on Christmas Day in Cardiff’s Blackweir Fields


The tree-following link box has now closed for another month. To explore everyone’s updates, please go straight to the bottom of this post.

In the northern hemisphere the trees are still resting at the moment, so it’s not too late to choose one to follow. If you are someone who is thinking of following a tree for the first time, read all about the idea here and join us in February.

I can’t believe this will be my fifth year of tree following. In 2014 I followed a hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), in 2015 an empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa), in 2016 an oak (Quercus robur) and in 2017 a row of 100 elms (Ulmus ‘New Horizon’) Continue Reading »


Argentine red shoveler (Anas platalea) with an itch

I didn’t have many days off over Christmas and New Year and the weather was mostly wet and windy, but we did manage to visit the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust’s Llanelli Wetland Centre this week, on a day that was quite dry but with a cold wind.

We have been there many times before, as we are WWT members, so many of the birds seem like old friends… Continue Reading »

Here is my final selection of tree news articles from around the world in 2017. Click on each of the pictures if you would like to read the full stories.

Yolka – from pagan origins to Soviet celebrations


Hannah Weber in the Calvert Journal tells the story of Russia’s New Year Tree…

Hello Wood builds festive trees


Budapest-based architectural firm Hello Wood has continued its annual tradition of constructing wooden Christmas trees, this year expanding the programme with five trees in European cities, reports ArchDaily – with some lovely images…

Continue Reading »


A general view of Cardiff Bay with the Water Tower fountain feature in front of the Wales Millennium Centre

One of the delights of working in Cardiff Bay is the proximity of so many wonderful sights to enjoy during the lunch-hour. For nearby is Mermaid Quay, at the heart of the “vibrant” development surrounding the 500-acre freshwater lake created by the building of the Cardiff Barrage, opened (or closed) in 1999 to impound the tidal waters of the rivers Taff and Ely. Continue Reading »


This was one of the RSPB Christmas cards I sent out this year – it’s Twilight’s Keeper by Dawn Maciocia. Click on the image to go to the RSPB website…

After a hectic few weeks in my new job at County Hall and spending all my spare time writing Christmas cards and letters, it’s time to sit back and admire all the cards we have received this year. Here are just a few of the charity-card designs that caught my eye. As usual, click on the image to go to the source. Continue Reading »


Some of the 100 elms (Ulmus ‘New Horizon’) in Pontcanna Fields, Cardiff


My tree following has not been totally successful this month. On Sunday, November 26, I was passing by and noticed that the 100 elms (Ulmus ‘New Horizon’) in Cardiff’s Pontcanna Fields were a lovely orange colour at last. It was a grey day but I thought I should catch the colour while I had the chance, so I snapped these pictures.

I had hoped to return last Sunday, expecting to see the trees almost bare, but I didn’t get out of the house, as it was snowing – and not in a good, picturesque way, but in a dank, slushy way. Continue Reading »