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On meeting John Handley

I know exactly where I first met John Handley… but I had to reach for “the view from out here” pamphlet to find out when… John led a wildflower walk, organised by Shropshire Wildlife Trust, through Bridgnorth cemetery – spring of 2009. It is a wonderful cemetery, dating from 1850, a sandstone area that has […]

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Writing on Grey Squirrels

by John Handley, November 2015 We’ve just been scolded by an indignant squirrel. It’s October and the days are noticeably shorter and my daily amble with Sidbury, a loping Labrador cross Collie, is broken by his confusion as the rabbit he thought he was chasing dashes up the trunk of an oak tree, along a […]

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Podcast on Grey Squirrels

Welcome! Here is a podcast on Grey Squirrels: John Handley tells us some facts about the grey squirrel for the Maligned Species project. Here – to inspire you to observe, read about, and write poems about grey squirrels and other maligned species of the UK. Do you know how common they are? And how they […]

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On meeting Matthew Oates

Despite a drizzly overcast day, I am beaming, when Matthew Oates arrives for this podcast recording in Cheltenham, immediately after he has been at an event at Cheltenham Literature Festival 2015, based on his book “In Pursuit of Butterflies”. Matthew has been extraordinarily kind to me over the past 5 years, after he heard that […]

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Writing on Stinging Nettles

Tall Nettles Matthew Oates, autumn 2015 – on Stinging Nettles, with a poem from Edward Thomas Be Nice to Nettles Week came and went, having stung no one into action. A highly successful ruderal dicotyledonous plant forming monospecific stands by rhizome spread… The stinging nettle is, after all, the most abundant broad-leaved plant in the […]

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Podcast on Stinging Nettles

Welcome! Here is a podcast on Stinging Nettles: Matthew Oates tells us in what way Stinging Nettles and Man are similar, as well as many fascinating facts about how their stings actually work, and what benefits from their presence – we hope you enjoy it   and click here to find more podcasts, writing, and details about […]

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On meeting Brett Westwood

Visiting naturalist Brett Westwood, and walking with him round the block, in Stourbridge, West Midlands I had met Brett once before – when he had very kindly travelled up to Morville in Shropshire to listen to poetry and see some art in Morville Church, hosted by Katherine Swift, author of The Morville Hours: at the […]

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Writing on Spiders, from Brett Westwood

7/10/2015 DIADEMS AND DEW: GARDEN SPIDERS After a week of high pressure, this morning the garden is drenched in October rain and the full extent of the takeover is there to see, picked out in glistening droplets. Every bush is festooned with the sagging geometry of webs, stretched out of shape by their dewy burden, […]

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Podcast on spiders, by Brett Westwood

Welcome! Here is a podcast on Spiders: Brett Westwood tells us why we find spiders in the bath, as well as many fascinating facts about these eight-legged creatures – we hope you enjoy it Part of the Maligned Species project: a free online resource involving both ecologists and poets – the aim is to encourage poetry-writing on […]

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