Category: This and that


Björn Wickenberg

PhD Candidate at the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics, Lund University

Throughout the past year of working from home, I have gone for numerous morning, lunchtime and evening walks around my neighbourhood in the Eastern parts of Lund in Sweden. My neighbourhood has three dams for storing stormwater in the event of extreme rain. These help slow the water instead of overburdening the city’s underground water sewage system, which would increase the risk of flooding.

It was at one of these stormwater dams where I first made friends with a beautiful and majestic heron. Like other birds, the heron seems to have found its home here – and it moves between the three dams depending on the time of the day.

I once saw the heron catching a fish, like a better version of one of these TV shows about nature. This vivid image of the heron with the fish has stuck with me – maybe because I observed it directly with my own eyes.

I find myself returning to the image of the fish-catching heron and pondering on the fact that this bird and I depend on the same ecosystem. The heron for habitat and food, I for recreational purposes (like my pandemic-induced walks) and being saved from flooding. We are so separate, and yet connected.

Multifunctional spaces

These dams aren’t just a water management solution. When it’s cold, they freeze over and provide ice-skating facilities. As well as looking visually striking, they also provide ecosystems and a habitat for animals and wildlife to thrive in.

This kind of multifunctional infrastructure is becoming increasingly popular, with many cities adopting so-called “nature-based solutions” to not just solve environmental problems and safeguard biodiversity, but to also provide local people with recreation space.

In the Naturvation project, which looks at the potential of nature-based solutions to transform cities, nearly 1,000 examples from 100 cities have been collected.

One of my favourite examples is Melbourne’s Urban Forest Strategy, developed to adapt the city to climate change and to improve the wellbeing of people living there. The plan has seen the city increase the number of trees and green spaces.

It also involved setting up a database that maps all the trees in the city. Through this database, people have then been able to send e-mails to individual trees, as a way of connecting with and communicating their love for their favourite tree.

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Guest article by Timi Schmidt

March and April can be very unpredictable, but if you are a gardener or you just love to spend time in your garden or yard, you’ll probably be out the first second the weather gets warm!

While you’re trying to enjoy the spring sunshine, dead plants and leaves can not only look bad and spoil your view, but can also be unhealthy for your garden.

Some early spring cleanup tasks are a given during this time of year. If you want to make your garden pretty and healthy for this season, just follow the steps in the spring cleanup checklist, above.

When to Clean Up Your Garden

We are all excited for spring to come and enjoy our outdoor space but it’s best to wait with cleaning it up until the soil defrosts and starts to dry out a bit.

Soil compaction caused from walking on soil while it’s still wet can make it very difficult for plants to grow later. Until then, you can just start with taking stock of your tools and cleaning them up.

How to Spring Clean Your Garden

There are plenty of tasks to complete in the spring cleaning season, from removing winter mulch to pruning shrubs, but this checklist has got you covered. To make things easier, you can download and print it out so you can take it with you into your garden (you can also download by clicking the image above). 

There is no better feeling than ticking off all the tasks from the checklist and having a clean and healthy garden for the rest of the year.

Happy Spring Cleaning!

Last week I passed a local cemetery and spotted some white mushrooms in the grasslands, on closer inspection I could see these were a white species of waxcap. Waxcaps are rare mushrooms which are largely dependent on ancient grasslands or those which are stable, i.e. not regularly ploughed up or disturbed.

#FungiFriday: a grave situation — Daniel Greenwood

Christmas at Winterbourne Margaret Nettlefold’s household diary provides fascinating insights into middle class life in late-Victorian and early-Edwardian England.  She clearly gave careful thought to Christmas presents and cards, and listed everything in the diary.For example in 1904, Margaret gave a camera (referred to as a ‘Kodak’) to her husband John, a shell cabinet to…

What did the Nettlefolds do for Christmas? — Winterbourne House and Garden

I’m very pleased to feature this week a guest post by Paul Wood. Paul is the author of three books about trees in London: London’s Street Trees, London is a Forest and London Tree Walks, and he writes the blog thestreettree.com. London Tree Walks, published in October 2020, features a dozen walks around London from […]

Great estates: the changing role of trees in the municipal housing landscape — Municipal Dreams

This autumn a collaborative conservation effort began at Robin Hood’s Bay to restore the cliff slope grassland there. It will be followed up with a programme of enhancement management to maintain this important habitat and its species. You can read about it on the excellent Connecting for Nature Blog.

Collaborative approaches — The official blog for the North York Moors National Park

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year! At Jekka’s this also means it’s time to bring your herbs into the kitchen and use them to profusion. If herbs are the ‘high notes in the orchestra as the conductor makes the music swirl around the auditorium’, then at Christmas they are the “choir that…

Jekka’s Favourite 12 Herbs for Christmas — Jekka’s – Jekka’s Blogs “All About Herbs”

Here we are, Noah and I, starting out on one of our early morning fishing adventures. We make a beeline to a spot that still has a new feeling to it. Down the steep wooded bank we scuffle brushing branches aside to reach the water’s edge. It is still, quiet, and the summer sun is […]

A Chance Encounter — PlayGroundology

I’m delighted to feature the second of two new posts by Steven Robb. Steven also contributed an earlier post providing an overview of Edinburgh’s council housing from 1890 to 1945. He is Deputy Head of Casework for Historic Environment Scotland.  With qualifications in building surveying and urban conservation, he has a particular interest in early […]

Edinburgh’s 1919 Act Housing, Part II: ‘Healthy Houses for the People is the Best Public Health Insurance’ — Municipal Dreams

The Science of Sustainability The post The Science of Sustainability appeared first on Specifier Review – Architecture – Design – Innovation Kirsty Hammond Continue reading The Science of Sustainability at Specifier Review.

The Science of Sustainability — Specifier Review
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