Voices from the Floodplain: a poem

This free verse poem is composed from the words of many floodplain farmers who took part in interviews and questionnaires as part of my Hay Days PhD research project into the management of floodplain meadows for sustainable farming. Arranged and read by me, Vicky Bowskill, and presented along with a montage of images from projectContinue reading “Voices from the Floodplain: a poem”

Book review: Meadow, the intimate bond between people, place and plants

Author: Iain Parkinson. Photography: Jim HoldenKew Publishing (5 May 2022)ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1842467476, ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1842467473 This book is truly a delight – and I’m not just saying that as I have the privilege of being included in it’s pages, perched atop a bale of sweet meadow hay! I was just aContinue reading “Book review: Meadow, the intimate bond between people, place and plants”

Of hares and harebells

Hares and harebells are both iconic species of our meadows that are inextricably linked with our agricultural heritage and our cultural landscape. One of my favourite meadow mammals is the European brown hare (Lepus europaeus). Over the centuries we’ve woven a rich mythology around this enigmatic creature and it’s always enchanting to see them onContinue reading “Of hares and harebells”

Contemplating dandelions

This month I’ve been thinking about dandelions. April has brought with it plenty of sunshine and cheerful dandelions have popped up pretty much everywhere. I have to admire this tenacious little plant. Often dismissed as a weed, it’s a thriving ecological and medicinal powerhouse. One of the first flowers to come out in spring, itsContinue reading “Contemplating dandelions”

Mapping your science stories

This blog was first posted by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) here. Everything happens somewhere in time and space, and a sense of place can provide important context when communicating your environmental stories. There are many types of map; which one you choose to use can affect how influential your communicationContinue reading “Mapping your science stories”

Working with seasonal growth on floodplain meadows

This blog first appeared on the Floodplain Meadows Partnership website here. Our traditional floodplain hay meadows are a haven for biodiversity, but they are also part of our agricultural landscape and depend on the annual cycle of haymaking and aftermath grazing to maintain their value. These meadows show characteristic seasonal patterns of growth and floweringContinue reading “Working with seasonal growth on floodplain meadows”

Webinar: Science Communication for Ecologists and Environmental Managers

This webinar was created in collaboration with my former colleagues at the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Managers. It formed part of my CENTA work placement and was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. You can find a recording of the webinar below and a pdf of the slides with hyperlinks to all the resources here.Continue reading “Webinar: Science Communication for Ecologists and Environmental Managers”

Hung, Drawn and Quartered: a meadow season

Here endeth the second field season of my PhD, researching some fabulous floodplain meadows in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. I was fortunate to be able to complete a full field season this year after being curtailed by lockdowns in 2020. This year my research has been hung, drawn and quartered, which wasn’t nearly as painful asContinue reading “Hung, Drawn and Quartered: a meadow season”

Burnet and Blue

Burnet: A most precious herb, the continual use of it preserves the body in health and the spirit in vigour. Culpeper Great burnet (Sanguisorba officianalis) is a stately denizen of our floodplain meadows – a larger cousin to the more diminutive salad burnet (Sanguisorba minor) that you might find in upland calcareous grasslands or asContinue reading “Burnet and Blue”

Forever Meadow: a Poem

I’m delighted that this poem was selected as a finalist in the Floodplain Meadows Partnership Arts Competition 2021 and will be appearing in their 2022 calendar alongside some other fantasitc meadow-inspired artworks. This poem celebrates the full story of floodplain meadows, showing the importance of flooding and haymaking to the natural bounty that lives inContinue reading “Forever Meadow: a Poem”