Environment

Environment

A Bumper Harvest of Autumnal Fruitfulness at Lewis Cottage

While many of us are wondering what to do with the apples in our gardens, at Lewis Cottage they are dealing with a bumper crop of some more unusual fruits - mulberries, figs, quinces and medlars. In the second of his blogs one of the creators of this special Mid Devon garden, Richard Orton, shares some ideas on how to use these fruits, a recipe for mulberry jelly and some tips on growing figs. He also shares his list of garden jobs for the autumn.
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Have You Ever Seen an Otter?

A few weeks after his first blog on otters was published on this site, ecologist Paul Chanin was delighted to receive an email from a reader. Not only because it proved that he had at least one reader but also because she had just seen otters on a tributary of the Creedy. Since then he has had a couple of other records of otters seen in the catchment this year, something that would have been unheard of when he first came to the area in the 1980s.
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Gardening Tips for October –  a Time for Composting and Clearing Up. 

We’re well and truly into autumn now and winter is just around the corner. Most of the fun jobs are over, but local expert Andy Colquhoun suggests there are still some new things you can do to spice up your gardening. 
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Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer at Lewis Cottage 

Lewis Cottage is a hidden gem of a garden buried in glorious countryside, between the Mid Devon villages of Colerooke and Spreyton. Twenty years ago Richard Orton and his friends Michael and Penny Pell took over an overgrown one acre woodland garden and, inspired by the styles of Beth Chatto and Gertrude Jekyll, they have expanded it into beautiful informal gardens combining relaxed planting schemes and formal borders with woodland areas dedicated to attracting wildlife. The gardens are open every year to visitors under the National Garden Scheme. In the first of his blogs, Richard reports on the unexpected success of their tropical border.
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Gardening Tips For September 

September is a busy time in the garden, with seeds, fruit and vegetables to harvest. It is also a time to start preparing for next year, says local gardening expert Andy Colquhoun.
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Will Beavers Return To The Creedy?

The first beavers to live wild in England for centuries are to be allowed to remain on the River Otter in East Devon after a five-year reintroduction trial. Ecologist Paul Chanin reports on the Crediton link to this recent government announcement, the environmental benefits and challenges of beavers and the prospects of them returning to the River Creedy. 
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Thinking Globally, Acting Locally - Introducing Sustainable Crediton

Sustainable Crediton is a voluntary group working to help local people lead more sustainable lifestyles. SusCred member John Craythorne explains how the group has both a global and local perspective.
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Gardening Tips For August   -  Sit Back And Enjoy!

August is the time to take a well-earned break from the last few months of planting, cutting, digging, watering and to enjoy the fruits of your hard work, literally. Eat your crops as they come out before you miss them, says gardening expert Andy Colquhoun. But there are still a few jobs to do…...
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Dragons In The Pond

It’s been a bumper year for dragonflies and local ecologist Paul Chanin has been observing and photographing them in his garden. In this report, he explains how to tell a dragon from a damselfly and gives us a fascinating insight into the habits and lifecycle of these remarkable insects.
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Gardening Tips for July

The main tasks for this month are deadheading, watering and weeding, says gardening expert Andy Colquhoun. He also offers some advice on how to remove the dreaded ground elder without using toxic weedkiller.