Chequer schnapps update

In my recent post about the Wild Service tree and it's elusive fruits, I reproduced an English translation of a German recipe for Wild Service vodka, or Chequer schnapps as I now prefer to call it. I came across Patrick Roper's English version (and his very illuminating Sorbus blog) after I had found the German... Continue Reading →

Berried Treasure: the Wild Service Tree

Around my neck of the woods there are many fine Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) and Whitebeam (Sorbus aria) street trees now super-abundantly laden with ripe, red berries and leaves beginning to take on autumnal hues. With these local fruity indicators appearing, it was time, I thought, to go on my annual quest for chequers, the semi-mythical... Continue Reading →

Sycamores in the British landscape

Soon after I first became interested in plants and conservation I became aware of the concept of native and non-native species. I grew up in Dover, a port town where xenophobic attitudes are paradoxically ingrained in a population who perceive themselves to be on the frontline of an unfinished European war and are ever ready... Continue Reading →

Upper Teesdale adventure

I have been on a sojourn to the North and spent several days in The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Sandwiched between the Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland National Parks, it attracts far fewer visitors than its glamorous neighbours. That said, the Glorious 12th having just passed, the area was thrumming with Land Rovers... Continue Reading →

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