Here be dragons…

I’ve been fortunate over the last few months to be able to spend some time watching and photographing dragonflies down at my local nature reserve, Wolverhampton’s Smestow Valley. The reserve is well served with potential breeding sites for these enigmatic and beautiful insects, with three suitable ponds, a canal and several brooks. Invariably I have … More Here be dragons…

Snowdonia Ambassador

I am delighted to have been awarded the ‘Llysgennad Eryri Ambassador’ gold award for 2021. Participants in the ambassador scheme gain an enhanced knowledge of Snowdonia National Park’s special cultural, historical and natural qualities. As an ambassador I am pleased to be able to play an important role in enriching the Snowdonia visitor experience!

Back in business!

A combination of recent lockdown relaxations and a decent weather forecast proved much too hard to resist and we headed back to Wales for a long overdue walk in the hills. In the spirit of social distancing we headed for the unaccountably perma-quiet Cambrian Mountains of mid-Wales. Crowning glory of the range, and one of … More Back in business!

Brown Clee

Despite being the tallest hill in Shropshire, Brown Clee (540m/1770ft) receives a fraction of the visitors of its showier neighbours further west. Visit the Long Mynd or Stiperstones on any weekend and you’ll be sharing the well-trodden paths with plenty of other people, all out enjoying the fresh air. Perhaps it’s the lack of obvious … More Brown Clee

Walking for Wildlife!

Few of us can have failed to notice recent headlines proclaiming the ongoing loss of the UK’s flora and fauna. The State of Nature report 2019 paints a bleak picture: 15% of our species face extinction. Since 1970, 41% of species studied have declined and 133 species have already been lost from the UK. The … More Walking for Wildlife!

“Burning the candle at both ends”

Soft rush (Juncus effusus) will be familiar to many hill-goers. This unassuming, clump-forming plant is frequently overlooked and often actively avoided, growing as it does in wet places. However this wasn’t always the case: The word ‘rush’ stems from the much earlier ‘rezg’, meaning to plait, braid or weave and hints at the plant’s usefulness … More “Burning the candle at both ends”

B’ham & Black Country Wildlife Trust ‘Wild Day of Action’

To support the Government’s Year of Green Action Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust are organising lots of Wild Action Days where you can get involved to make your neighbourhood a wildlife haven. A team of experts and volunteers will be on hand to help you sample practical conservation activities, make nature crafts or join walks … More B’ham & Black Country Wildlife Trust ‘Wild Day of Action’

The Mountains of Macedonia

My article on the Mountains of Macedonia from the Autumn 2018 edition of the Mountain Training publication, “The Professional Mountaineer”: Ask people their favourite European walking destinations and it’s unlikely Macedonia will receive a single mention. Yet this sparsely populated Balkans republic has much to offer the adventurous hill walker. Innumerable peaks rise to over … More The Mountains of Macedonia

Pumlumon – from summit to source

Pumlumon (pronounced “Pimlimon”, meaning ‘five peaks’ and often anglicised to “Plynlimon”) dominates the wild, empty uplands of mid-Wales. Its windswept summit, Pen Pumlumon Fawr (752m/2467ft) is the highest point in the Cambrian Mountains, while its flanks give rise to three major rivers; the Rheidol, the Wye and the Severn (the UK’s longest river at 220 … More Pumlumon – from summit to source

Introduction to Navigation – Shropshire Hills

A one day introductory course on navigation by map and compass, for those seeking to be more independent in the UK’s hills and mountains. Set in the glorious surroundings of the Shropshire Hills, this course is ideal for anyone with little or no prior navigational experience. If you are a more experienced navigator, we will … More Introduction to Navigation – Shropshire Hills