A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Sloe berries

There seem to be many Sloe berries in the hedgerows this year. 
The berries resemble a small plum. They can be used for making jams and chutneys but are very sharp. Apparently they are less tart of picked after a frost but I usually find they have shrivelled by this time you can collect them now and freeze them.

Sunday, 8 October 2017


When sitting down for a picnic in the woods today we noticed some large insects flying around this tree stump. Looking more closely we saw that they were hornets flying in and out. Luckily they kept themselves to themselves although one seemed to be on guard and we noticed it attach another hornet who came too close.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Bat detecting

As the sun went down yesterday it was a perfect still evening for watching Bats flying around the local area.
We sat down at twilight and soon saw Common Pipistrelle bats flying overhead. Our bat detector helped us to identify them and later a Lesser Horseshoe Bat too.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Sweet Chestnut

Came across these lovely old Chestnut trees on an estate near Shipton Moyne whilst out walking last week. Must be hundreds of years old.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Sun and Showers

It is feeling like Autumn already as the rose bay willow herb starts to set seed beneath stormy looking skies.
We managed an early walk with some sunshine before the rain set in.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Crane Chicks

A pair of Cranes released in Somerset as part of the Crane Reintroduction Project have returned to Slimbridge WWT to breed and hatched two chicks this year. Lovely to see these birds living in the wild again.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Marbled White Butterfly

The uncut long grass of meadows near our home are alive with butterflies at the moment including the Marbled White pictured. We also saw large numbers of Meadow Brown, Ringlet and large Skipper although getting close enough for a good picture before they fly off is a challenge.

Friday, 9 June 2017


Over the years the species of birds visiting our feeders have changed.
Sadly gone are the once common Greenfinch but Bullfinch are welcome new visitors and this lovely pair are becoming regulars.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Bee Orchid

Yesterday we spent a lovely morning on Rodborough Common with our local RSPB group looking for butterflies. At present the common is covered with many different species of Orchids and other wild flowers. We were delighted to spot this amazing Bee Orchid in the limestone grassland, many Common Fragrant both in pink and white as well as Pyramid and Twayblade Orchids.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Wood garlic

Spring colours have been at the best this week. The wood garlic flowers carpet the woodland floor as the beech trees come into leaf. All too soon the leaf canopy will blot out the light and the woodland floor will die back.