Lockdown Life and Nature Update:

Hello there!

I am aware it’s been 4 months since my last post, but bloody hell what a few months it’s been! I hope that wherever you are you’re keeping safe and well. I won’t go on to say about how unprecedented the times that we are living through are etc, because I know we are all sick-to-death of reading the phrase in our emails…

I wanted to write this post to give an update on what I’ve been up to over lockdown. Firstly, due to the Coronavirus preventing me from carrying out the annual Thames fish surveys this year, I was instead tasked with creating a podcast by my manager. At first I thought “shit”, but after a few glasses of wine, I decided to give podcast hosting a go. I mean, why not? It’s not like I have a slightly dodgy lisp and sometimes sound like Michael Caine (I do.)

The result of a frantic May and June was Talk of the ThamesA shiny new podcast series where I interview key people from around the Thames Estuary discussing subjects ranging from wildlife migration, to archaeology and flood mitigation. My first guest was the absolute legend of a man, Chris Baines. Chris has a fabulous career in wildlife gardening, presenting, and nature conservation and he was brilliant fun to work with. I was so nervous working with Chris, an experienced presenter and wildlife communicator and then there was me… A bit of a knob who wouldn’t use my new binoculars until I had had a shower and made cup of tea so I could truly savour the moment…

If you are interested in all things Thames, please do check out the first three episodes that are available now on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and various other podcast directories:

I also have a fabulous line-up of future speakers, so it’s worth keeping an eye on this page!

Moving on to other news; During lockdown and when the exercise rules had been relaxed,  I really felt the need to spend as much time outdoors as possible (who didn’t?) I craved that anxiety release of lying in a grass field, swallows darting above me, the smell of wildflowers surrounding me and being totally at ease amongst nature. I know I’m not the only one who has suffered with anxiety over the past couple of months. There has been so much uncertainty and this has highlighted to everyone the importance of our green and blue natural spaces as a safe haven, a place to go to and spend time with wildlife.

If you’re in a more urban area, nature is still there. In the parks, in the trees lining the streets, in the empty rain-filled jam jar you left lying on the outside window sill. Taking pleasure in the smallest of critters can do such wonders for our mental health, if we only take the time to stop and look for it. For many, lockdown gave us that time.

Lastly; I have spent so much time on the allotment which since the beginning of lockdown has become my absolute pride and joy. I wanted to do my best to work with and garden alongside nature and subsequently implemented a small sunken pond and a bird feeding station. So far I’ve harvested carrots, curly kale, runner beans and not to mention Barry Marrilow!

I feel I’ve blabbered enough now and I’m aware you’re probably gagging for a cup of tea, so I will say my goodbye. Stay safe and enjoy the wildlife wherever you are!

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