Author Archives: stephenlongster

Mothy Mayhem

Many moths and butterflies have boom and bust years. It’s one of the things that makes assessing population trends so difficult as it can take decades to assess the long term trend in some species.  For example, Marsh Fritillaries – … Continue reading

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Guerrilla Botany

Apart from a brief visit to Loch Lomond NNR to carry out essential safety checks I haven’t been to a National Nature Reserve for nearly two months. Like many people my world has grown a bit smaller. However, on my … Continue reading

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Invasive Non-native Species week (postponed)

INNS or Invasive Non-native Species are in normal times what we on the NNRs spend, probably more time dealing with, than any other problem. This week May 18th-24th was supposed to be INNS week but due to an unforeseen virus … Continue reading

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Tea on the bog

Labrador Tea Ledum groenlandicum is not a beverage for retrievers but a plant; specifically, a member of the Erica family which is a relation of the Heaths and Rhododendron. Ellen wrote an excellent article on the origins of Labrador Tea … Continue reading

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Willow Coppicing

This week we have mostly been cutting willows. At the entrance to Flanders Moss near the car park there is a program of rotationally coppicing the willows (and as I found out after everyone had gone home; the Birch). The … Continue reading

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Beaver Time

A couple of weeks ago, on another endless quest to control Himalayan balsam from Loch Lomond, Blyth Walker, our summer placement student spotted something which I thought was just another broken Willow branch. However, we stopped and had a better … Continue reading

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The tower is open!

A couple of weeks ago the reserve staff became concerned with some of the decking, which was looking quite worn and had become partially rotten. Deciding it was better to be ‘safe than sorry’ the assessment was to close the … Continue reading

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An Early Morning On The Marsh

One of the nicer tasks on Loch Lomond (among many) is the Breeding Bird Survey. It involves walking around the marshes at a gentle pace looking and listening for birds early in the morning during the months of April, May … Continue reading

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A Trip in Time.

  Bogs are possibly the finest repository for information of what’s been happening in the environment for the last few thousand years. The nature of raised bogs is they are acidic and oxygen poor; this makes the perfect pickle recipe … Continue reading

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Skunks in the Wood

As part of the control of INNS (Invasive Non-native Species) we are tackling one of the lesser known INNS. The American Skunk Cabbage AKA Swamp Lantern Lysichiton americanus is not the most attractively named species: it’s in the Arum (lily) family part … Continue reading

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