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Why does every churchyard have a Yew Tree?
Why does every churchyard have a Yew Tree?
The common or English yew tree (Taxus baccata) whilst native to Britain, is also found across much of Europe, western Asia and North Africa, but why does every Churchyard have a yew tree? The answer could be because of druid and pagan belief, cadavers, the longbow or perhaps protectionism. Druids The Druids used yew trees as places of gathering and often planted trees to form groves in...
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The Story of the Christmas Tree in Britain
The Story of the Christmas Tree in Britain
The winter solstice (also known as Yule) marks the shortest day and longest night of the year and typically falls on 21st December. Long before the advent of Christianity, the Celts, Gaels, Picts, Scots and other peoples of pagan Britain decorated their homes with wreaths made from evergreen plants including holly, mistletoe and yew as part of the winter solstice festival celebrations. Evergreen plants...
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Leaves & Fruit from a Neighbour's Tree
Leaves & Fruit from a Neighbour's Tree
It is the season of falling leaves and falling fruit but who is responsible for clearing up the leaves and what is to be done with the fruit from the neighbour’s tree? Leaves It is generally accepted that a leaf attached to a tree belongs to the owner of the tree, but when a leaf becomes detached from the tree, it becomes a free agent and when the leaf lands, it then belongs to whoever...
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The Tragedy of the Commons
The Tragedy of the Commons
Shared Environmental Resources The phrase ‘tragedy of the commons’ was first coined by the biologist Garrett Hardin in 1968. It describes how shared environmental resources are overused and eventually depleted. Hardin compared ‘shared resources’ to a ‘common grazing pasture’, whereby individuals with rights to the pasture graze as many animals as possible,...
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The Hedge Fund
The Hedge Fund
Hedgerows are one of Britain's most valuable habitats. They form important wildlife havens and highways, they form barriers and wind-breaks, they provide a refuge for songbirds and a home for voles, mice and shrews. Hedgerows are also a great source of wild food for us and this autumn is perhaps the most productive that hedgerows have been in a dozen years. The quality and quantity of hips and...
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