A brilliant wildlife blog from further west…

I’m often accused of being Kentist or Kentcentric. Maybe north-west-kentcentric. So in the interests of clearing my parochial name, I recommend this magnificent blog on local flora and fauna a bit further west along the North Downs. It’s called ND&B the author of which, Steve Gale, has dedicated years to observing what goes on in his ‘uber-patch’ in north-east Surrey and has racked up an astonishing list of species. On a sombre note, however, he is somewhat downcast about the future of wildlife and has documented a steep decline in bird, plant and invertebrate numbers over recent years. Gale’s writing and photography is of the highest order, and his work is an education for anyone interested in life outside.


Check out my Travels page

Every now and then I get to escape from Kent and London. This year I’ve been lucky enough to visit Switzerland and southern California.

Yes, I know there’s a billion travel bloggers out there, endless newspaper articles and TV shows making you feel that you are an impoverished provincial recluse, but I have a powerful desire to share with you what I’ve found, whether you think it’s remotely interesting or not.

I like taking photos too, so I’ll try to let the pictures do the talking. I’ve created a Travels page, with hopefully informative captions about interesting wildish places I’ve come across. Below is a shot from Joshua Tree national park.

Suddenly it’s autumn in the Darent Valley

Two weeks ago I did the Shoreham circular in 25C heat. Now, dodging showers amid sudden switches in temperature I’ve ventured out on the Shoreham-Eynsford walk ( 3), the Eynsford-Lullingstone (walk 12) and to the eastern valleys of Shoreham (walk 14).

It’s often the case that the sky can make landscape photography easy; with the weather we are having this mid-September, the clarity of air and development of interesting cloudscapes transmit atmosphere and steal the scene with drama. Enjoy this slideshow…

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Eynsford, Darent Valley, Downe winter photographs

Blowing my own trumpet rather (an odd expression for a saxophonist to use of course), I’m rather pleased with these two photos, particularly the top one, taken at about 3.45pm on the Eynsford walk (shoreham-to-eynsford and lullingstone). I was struck by the sky colours, the shapes of the trees and how the flint stones in the field stood out white, seeming almost luminescent. The second one was pointing further towards the recently set sun, hence the orange hues. Anyway, enough pretentious twaddle from me… hope you like them.

Eynsford Lullingstone flinty field, winter

Eynsford Lullingstone flinty field, winter

Eynsford, Lullingstone, Kent. Flinty field.

Eynsford, Lullingstone, Kent. Flinty field.

Update, January 10, 2017: I did some major tweaking in Photoshop on the first of the pictures below to improve detail in the foreground. Cheating, some would call it. It was taken near Downe House at about 3.45pm in early January 2017, as were the pictures beneath it (even though they appear lighter, they were actually taken a few minutes later).

Downe near point 3 in winter

Downe near point 3 in winter

Downe, Kent, England

Frosty hillside fields, Downe

Field next to Downe House

Field adjacent to Darwin’s house, Downe, January