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Showing posts from 2019

Autumn Adventures on the High Weald

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I've been visiting a wonderful forest and sandstone rock formation in East Sussex since late August. As I already pay for unlimited bus travel, getting here doesn't cost me any extra. I would love to visit this site during June and July, but the days are so long, I would have to camp overnight, which is of course an option next year! Climate change is causing the UK to experience the same weather patterns for weeks or months.  We enjoyed fine, settled weather until late September.  Spells of heavy rain, strong winds and overcast skies blighted the period from late September to 11th November, when the project finished. You will see an abrupt transition between seasons, due to a long gap. I spent half of my annual leave watching torrential rain cascading down my street, leaving just five fine days in which to capture the fall before everything shuts down for the winter. The wet, damp conditions during October 2019 provided great stimulus for wild mushrooms.

Brighton - Global Climate Strike - September 20th 2019

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Bright perky young people, far more intelligent than adults, gathered in their thousands on Hove Lawns and across the globe today, to demand action from world leaders over the climate emergency. Business-as-usual greenhouse emissions will mean these young people will reach old age in a world on average between 4 °C  - 5 °C hotter than 1850 levels. Since this is a projected average, many landmasses away from coastlines will be experience higher temperatures . Parts of Africa will become uninhabitable. The climate of southern Europe will be more like north Africa today. The Amazon rainforest is expected become a dusty savannah. Rising sea levels will inundate Pacific islands. Scientists expect the arctic to be ice free in summer between 2030 and 2050, while droughts, wildfires and floods are set to ravage North America, Europe and Australia. It is feared that methane gas from melting tundra will drive positive feedback loops, hindering our ability to control dangerous global heating.

The Sussex Butterfly Safari

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For my 2020 butterfly safari, click here . Welcome to my summer butterfly project for 2019. I've spent two months visiting sites in East and West Sussex, often travelling via train and my electric bike, without which some sites would be out of reach. The Knepp Estate rewilding project is a good seven miles along narrow country lanes from the railway station, but I am there in just 25 minutes. Poor weather over weeks 2 - 3 in June killed many Purple Emperors at the chrysalis stage, while dry July weather meant few visited the ground. I spent 3 days waiting and waiting, when my time could have been spent on less elusive species. Should I try the Purple Emperor again, I will pitch my tent somewhere on a wet night and search for grounded Emperors feeding on the moist surface. The challenge is that summer rainfall in the UK now falls in torrential downpours, killing numbers of the prone, tree-top dwelling Emperors.   Both visitors and locals in the area surrounding the Knepp Esta