A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds

Friday 21 December 2018

Winter Solstice

The Winter Solstice is here and tonight is longest of the year but Spring is coming soon and the Hazel catkins are already out in the woods.

Tuesday 13 November 2018

 There is still some spectacular autumn colour about in the sunny weather as the beech and oak trees hang on to the last of their leaves.

Autumn into winter

Could be springtime with this bright green tree and planted fields against a stormy sky.
We were walking near Westonbirt in sunshine yesterday but later we drove him me through a snow storm.

Monday 10 September 2018

Hornet's Nest

Spotted this lovely Hornet's Nest in the woods looking  like an abstract work of art!

Thursday 30 August 2018

Fallow Deer

The antlers of the fallow deer are now fully developed and most of the soft velvet covering has been shed with a little remaining on this buck.
Antlers will be shed at the end of winter and grow again next year.
Males are starting to mix with females and sparing with each other in preparation for the rut in September.
This herd in Dyrham park are easy to get close to and well worth a visit.

Friday 3 August 2018

Wheat Harvest

Summer rolls on and harvesting of winter wheat has begun and the combine harvesters have been busy as this field in Nympsfield shows.

Wednesday 20 June 2018

Mid Summer Orchids

We visited Selsley common, near Stroud today where we found many different wild orchids including this Bee orchid. These remarkable flowers mimic the appearance of a bee on the flower and produces a scent similar to a female bee to encourage a male to land when pollen is deposited on it's back. 

Saturday 19 May 2018

Duke of Burgundy

The Duke of Burgundy butterfly is the only European species of the Riodinidae family which is more prevalent in tropical regions. This small butterfly usually flies in May and early June and we were fortunate to see around 12 on Rodborough Common.
Numbers have much reduced over recent years but the back from the brink project hopes to conserve the species

Tuesday 15 May 2018

Wild Garlic and Cow Parsley

Cow parsley and wild garlic have turned the verges white. Growth has been rapid over the past few days of warm weather.

Sunday 13 May 2018

Well Dressing

The tradition of well dressing normally happens in the Peak District but is also carried out in the Gloucestershire village of Bisley.
School children carry floral displays through the village on Ascension  day to decorate the springs near the church.

Monday 23 April 2018

Purple Toothwort

We spotted these amazing flowers during a weekend walk around the Newark Park NT garden. We didn't know what they were. A quick bit of research and we found that it is Purple Toothwort.
The leafless flowers of this parasitic plant growing on an old moss covered log as you can see here.

Wednesday 18 April 2018

Roe Deer

The woods are looking more springlike with the first bluebells flowering but as the leaves are not out yet it is still easy to spot the roe deer feeding.

Sunday 8 April 2018

Spring Flowers

The weather may not seem very springlike but wood anemones primroses celandine and blackthorn in the  woods and hedges show that spring is here.

Thursday 29 March 2018

Wild Garlic Soup

Spring is definitely pushing up in our woodland. Time to look out my recipe whilst the leaves are tender. It's an easy lunchtime soup thats delicious!

Wednesday 31 January 2018


Tonight's Supermoon made a fine sight rising over Coaley Wood this evening

Thursday 11 January 2018


Modern farming has brought a drastic reduction in the UK breeding population of Lapwings but overwintering birds can still give us the spectacle of a sky full of Lapwings.