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Late Flowers and Autumn Berries

Late Flowers and Autumn Berries

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The raw power of the high seas at Scarborough

Amazing to experience wild nature even on a day that wasn’t stormy:

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Woodland heritage & archaeology under threat

This is my latest work on the above topic and is available free to download for 50 days only!!




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Autumn fungi

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Grey squirrel kittens emerge

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Autumn colours – from TITO Magazine

Ian Rotherham Nature_Autumn Colours

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A Tribute to the late Patrick Harding

A Tribute to the late Patrick Harding

Sadly I just heard that Patrick Harding (Dr C. Patrick Harding) had passed away at the age of just 75 years. From the late 1970s, Patrick was based in Sheffield University’s Division of Continuing Adult Education on Wilkinson Street in Sheffield. From there he delivered his own portfolio of natural history courses with day schools, evening classes and both weekend and summer schools. He quickly gathered a devoted following many of whom attended his classes for decades. He also assembled a remarkable array of local lecturers from the university and the then polytechnic together with experts from the local natural history and ornithological groups to deliver an ever-increasing programme of activities. At one time, I think we had the most exciting and diverse programme of natural history courses anywhere in the country. This was what we called in the day, ‘liberal studies’ and it was hugely successful.

On taking early retirement, Patrick took up a lecturing career outside of academia, and whilst he always avoided ‘academic’ writing pursued a parallel career of poplar natural history authorship – with some considerable success.

Through his unique blend of enthusiasm and his 1960s / 1970s ‘style’ [see below] Patrick introduced many people to different ways of viewing and experiencing the natural world. He also gave many would-be lecturers a first valuable step on the rung of the ladder of teaching and tutoring.

My first meeting with Patrick is deeply imprinted on my memory, and was on one of the very staid and serious corridors of the then Department of Botany at the University of Sheffield. It was a sunny day and shafts of bright sunshine cut across the corridor’s dusty atmosphere like shards of glass. Then out of the sunshine and dust appeared a figure, at first barely visible and rather like a figure from the Bible. Dressed in a long, flowing kaftan, with long, dark locks of hair and a long beard, both suffused with henna, and wearing open-toed sandals, with an effusive greeting typical of the man, this was my first meeting with Patrick. This you must understand was not the run-of-the-mill Department of Botany lecturer. He had a big influence on many people and will be greatly missed.

Our thoughts go out to his wife Jean and his children Martin and Bryony.     

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Oh Deer – police in Bootle shoot white Fallow Buck – not good!

Attached is an article from The Guardian newspaper about a male (buck) Fallow Deer.

This was loose on the local high street and against advice from the RSPCA, the animal was shot and killed.

This is not good for our urban deer! Surely it could have been sedated and released away from the town????!

Did they really have to kill it?

Does this set a precedent for other urbanising deer populations? Shoot on sight??

I recall some years ago we had an escaped flock of sheep run down our local (very busy) main road during rush hour. Did we shoot them? No!

This seems a real shame and a rather poor example of humanity.


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Osprey over the Moss Valley

Situated just south of where I live – and a nice record:

I have had osprey over my garden in Norton and previously in nearby Charnock.

Also seen them over the River Derwent at Chatsworth.

They do migrate through the region.

Osprey in flight (Pandion haliaetus) (Print #10503311). Cards
Not taken in the Moss Valley!!
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Autumn’s Colourful Spectacular

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