Sherborne Abbey, Dorset

We hadn’t planned to visit Sherborne during our time in Dorset back in the summer, but went there on impulse when we found ourselves in the vicinity. So annoyingly I hadn’t researched it in advance and didn’t read the guide book until weeks later. So I find I missed quite a few features I will have to seek out next time.

The first thing I noticed was that it is made of the same golden Hamstone as Minterne House, the place that brought us to the area and which I blogged about here.

The people of Sherborne seemed very friendly and as I was buying a guide book a man was looking heavenward and said, portentously: “The swifts have gone”. It sounded like the ravens leaving the Tower of London, but he explained that the migratory swifts of the abbey always head south to Africa around this time of year, within a day or two. This was August 16 and we had just missed them. Continue Reading »

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

Furniture that destroys forests


The CITES summit has cracked down on the illegal rosewood trade, says the Guardian…

Arboreal carnage in Georgia’s oldest city


The Daily Mail reports that Hurricane Matthew has wrecked Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia…

Continue Reading »


A few leaves on the oak tree are turning to autumn gold


The oak tree (Quercus robur) in the middle of Cardiff’s Thompson’s Park is at last tinged with autumn colours – although it’s still mostly green and you have to make an effort to find the golden leaves.

Now we are past the equinox and the daylight hours are getting shorter there is a distinct nip in the air. This has been particularly noticeable in the last fortnight as we have had cold easterly winds, unusual in South Wales. Continue Reading »


Leaves of horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) rusting in October 2016 in Cardiff’s Thompson’s Park


Here we are again with the monthly shout-out to all tree followers. If you are new to tree following, read all about it here.

The October tree-following link box is now closed, but at the bottom of this post you will find links to all the wonderful contributions we received this month…

Is it autumn (or “fall”) where you are yet? Here in Cardiff most trees are still totally green, although a few are starting to give up their leaves in a haphazard sort of way and drop them on the paths and pavements. Continue Reading »


A cormorant on Poole Park lake, Dorset

I love Poole in Dorset – and I remember visiting Poole Park as a child on holiday, but I hadn’t really given it a proper inspection until this summer.

We had fringed the southern bank of the lake on a walk from Baiter two years ago and you can see the blog post here: Poole Park: Beyond the silver tree.

But this time, starting from the same point in Baiter, we walked right around the other three sides of the lake that makes up the bulk of the park’s area (which is 110 acres or 45 hectares). A map may help us find our bearings… Continue Reading »


Astilbe and Primula sikkimensis, the Himalayan cowslip, beside the stream at Minterne Garden, Dorset

I recently wrote about Minterne House, half-way between Dorchester and Sherborne in Dorset, but the place’s main attraction is its woodland garden.

The U-shaped trail is just over a mile long and we went very early in the day, so we were alone to enjoy the tranquillity among the trees, which are mostly tall beeches, oaks and conifers around a chain of ponds and streams. Continue Reading »


A warning of what this post is about…

It’s that time of year when the wonderful orb-weaver spiders are growing to their plumpest and it’s just as well I consider them to be a separate class from house spiders, as I walk into their webs in the garden several times a week. House spiders and shed or garage spiders make me phobic, but garden spiders don’t.

This shadow on the curtain net was what greeted me one early morning as the sun was coming up. Luckily the spider was on the outside of the window, so it gave me a chance to take a really quite close look without risk of disturbing it. Continue Reading »