Paul Evans nature writer, 

Guardian Country Diarist, playwright, poet, 

broadcaster & environmental journalist 

Paul Evans Nature writer
What's New 

Highlights Jan 2016 

goldcrest, small enough to fly through the circle made by thumb and forefinger and sounding like distant bleeps of radio static, worries about in a tree. Grey squirrels, cidered-up on crab-apple windfalls, swagger across the usually dangerous ground. Blackbirds and robins abandon attempts to throw notes of song into the fog and instead pick at the air with dark-humoured commentary. New leaves of cow parsley are small and lacy on the verge, and something scuttles among them.... Read more at 

Sheep_Fleece_on_wire_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera

Wool on the wire that feeds on fog Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 25 January 2017

Fence_post_commonland_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera

The tiny world in a rotten post top Guardian Country Diary, Wenlock Edge 11 Jan 2017

Fungus_growing_in_Shrewsbury_cemetery_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera_

Toadstools in a Shrewsbury graveyard Guardian Country Diary Shrewsbury 4 Jan 2017

The writer and broadcaster Paul Evans traces a family line back through Shropshire's seams of coal. Chawtermaster Peake is the collier ancestor who hewed coal from Coalbrookdale, birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. Paul evokes Peake's Wood Pit near the Wrekin as it is today, abandoned in the 1970s, after having been scraped out by opencast mining. Nature is now reclaiming the site, but Paul reflects on the irony of the climate change that ended the Carboniferous period when the coal measures were laid down, contrasting it with the changes being experienced today as we enter the Anthropocene.

 

This is the third of this week's series of essays in which writers reflect on how locations that matter to them are shaped by the underlying geology. Paul Evans, who lives in and writes about Shropshire, contributes to the Country Diary in The Guardian. His latest book is 'Field Notes from the Edge'.

 

 

Producer: Mark Smalley.

Listen again  

Book Review 

Jim Perrin Reviews Field Notes From The Edge in 

Jim Perrin is an accomplished writer and award-winning author. He is best known as a Guardian Country Diaries.  Jim's contribution to broadcasting, newspapers and climbing magazines has been to provide travel, mountaineering, environmental and Obituary articles. 

He is the author of many books his most recent include The Hills of Wales (2016), Gomer Press, Shipton and Tilman: The Great Decade of Himalayan Exploration (2013), Hutchinson, A Snow Goose, and other utopian fictions" (2013), Cinnamon Press.  

Jim is the recipient of the Boardman Tasker Prize, Wales Tourist Board Wales in Print Award 2002, VisitAmerica Travel Writer of the Year, 2000, and as a joint winner (alongside Andy Cave's Learning to Breathe) for The Villain (2005), a biography of Don Whillans.

As a rock climber, Jim developed new climbing routes in North Wales and the coastal cliffs of Pembrokeshire; he also made solo ascents of some challenging established climbing routes.

Found Stories

Project aims to grow a 'city of trees'

The Curative Harp by Virginia Astley

'....three million trees - one for every man, woman and child - in Greater Manchester over the next 25 years.

 

The City of Trees project is working with researchers from the University of Manchester in an experiment to see how trees can help reduce surface water flooding in built up areas and clean up storm water.

 

As well as studies showing links between green spaces in urban areas and human wellbeing, there was also research highlighting a positive effect of trees in urban retail areas.....'

Read more at  ....

Eco-therapy: The Walking and Talking Cure

'Urbanisation and today’s “digital” lifestyle promotes stress and a sense of alienation. Does nature hold the key to our inner peace and development?

 

Jasper wondered what was happening to him. It had been quite some time since he felt like his usual self. Ever since he had been promoted from managing director of a small-town bank branch, to a role in Treasury at its London head office, his mental state hadn’t been the same. He was anxious and restless. He missed his old country house, his daily walks with his dog in the woods, and being surrounded by nature. In London he was lucky if he managed a short walk in the nearest park, a subway’s stop away. And even then this only served to make his nostalgia for the woods more poignant.

 

His current state of mind was affecting his motivation and quality of work. He found it a challenge to maintain focus; he made mistakes and was often in a foul mood. In fact, Jasper was seriously questioning whether he would be able to hold onto his job...'

 

Buy book .....

 

Indigenous traditional knowledge revival helps conserve great apes

 

Today, many scientists believe that preserving Africa’s last great apes may depend not only on good science, but also on another kind of knowledge — that of the indigenous people who have lived side-by-side with great apes for many centuries.

 

Read more at ....

Standing stones © Maria Nunzia @Varvera
Photograph © Maria Nunzia @Varvera

Is Conservation Research Happening in the Right Places?

 

Biodiversity is important for all manner of reasons. Perhaps most of all, biodiversity matters because it ensures we have robust ecosystems that can withstand everything from forest fires to human encroachment. Basically, the more species you have, the more resilient life on our planet will be in the face of disaster. But our understanding of global biodiversity is limited, according to a report out today in PLoS Biology — and unfortunately the places with the greatest biodiversity are also the least studied.

Read more at ....

Photograph © Maria Nunzia @Varvera

Urban Bird Feeding: Connecting People with Nature

Recent research in households from urban towns in southern England explores attitudes and actions towards garden bird feeding. Findings indicated those people who fed birds regularly felt more relaxed and connected to nature when they watched garden birds and perceived bird feeding was beneficial to bird welfare. Feeding birds may be an expression of a wider orientation towards nature. Feelings of being relaxed and connected to nature were the strongest drivers. As urban expansion continues both to threaten species conservation and to change peoples’ relationship with the natural world, feeding birds may provide a valuable tool for engaging people with nature to the benefit of both people and conservation.

Read more at ....

Photograph © Maria Nunzia @Varvera

Found Stories

Project aims to grow a 'city of trees'

The Curative Harp by Virginia Astley

'....three million trees - one for every man, woman and child - in Greater Manchester over the next 25 years.

 

The City of Trees project is working with researchers from the University of Manchester in an experiment to see how trees can help reduce surface water flooding in built up areas and clean up storm water.

 

As well as studies showing links between green spaces in urban areas and human wellbeing, there was also research highlighting a positive effect of trees in urban retail areas.....'

Read more at  ....

Eco-therapy: The Walking and Talking Cure

'Urbanisation and today’s “digital” lifestyle promotes stress and a sense of alienation. Does nature hold the key to our inner peace and development?

 

Jasper wondered what was happening to him. It had been quite some time since he felt like his usual self. Ever since he had been promoted from managing director of a small-town bank branch, to a role in Treasury at its London head office, his mental state hadn’t been the same. He was anxious and restless. He missed his old country house, his daily walks with his dog in the woods, and being surrounded by nature. In London he was lucky if he managed a short walk in the nearest park, a subway’s stop away. And even then this only served to make his nostalgia for the woods more poignant.

 

His current state of mind was affecting his motivation and quality of work. He found it a challenge to maintain focus; he made mistakes and was often in a foul mood. In fact, Jasper was seriously questioning whether he would be able to hold onto his job...'

 

Buy book .....

 

Indigenous traditional knowledge revival helps conserve great apes

 

Today, many scientists believe that preserving Africa’s last great apes may depend not only on good science, but also on another kind of knowledge — that of the indigenous people who have lived side-by-side with great apes for many centuries.

 

Read more at ....

Standing stones © Maria Nunzia @Varvera
Photograph © Maria Nunzia @Varvera

Is Conservation Research Happening in the Right Places?

 

Biodiversity is important for all manner of reasons. Perhaps most of all, biodiversity matters because it ensures we have robust ecosystems that can withstand everything from forest fires to human encroachment. Basically, the more species you have, the more resilient life on our planet will be in the face of disaster. But our understanding of global biodiversity is limited, according to a report out today in PLoS Biology — and unfortunately the places with the greatest biodiversity are also the least studied.

Read more at ....

Photograph © Maria Nunzia @Varvera

Urban Bird Feeding: Connecting People with Nature

Recent research in households from urban towns in southern England explores attitudes and actions towards garden bird feeding. Findings indicated those people who fed birds regularly felt more relaxed and connected to nature when they watched garden birds and perceived bird feeding was beneficial to bird welfare. Feeding birds may be an expression of a wider orientation towards nature. Feelings of being relaxed and connected to nature were the strongest drivers. As urban expansion continues both to threaten species conservation and to change peoples’ relationship with the natural world, feeding birds may provide a valuable tool for engaging people with nature to the benefit of both people and conservation.

Read more at ....

Photograph © Maria Nunzia @Varvera
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