Category Archives: Cambridge

Ermine Moth – Nine Wells

Ermine moths are usually white or pale grey with many dark speckles, hence the name.  The larvae make spectacular and ghostly communal web like nests for protection, allowing them to gorge on trees, sometimes stripping them bare.  The trees may … Continue reading

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Attenborough Building

Yesterday afternoon I visited The Attenborough Building – ‘a conservation Campus like no other’ – as part of the Open Cambridge Programme.  It was good to see the clean, elegant lines of the Dowson/Arup building revealed after an environmentally sensitive … Continue reading

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Murray Edwards Art

Adventurous visitors to Cambridge become urban explorers and discover that the City has much more to offer than the bustling centre and its ring of ancient colleges.  Those who climb the unenticing Castle Hill will be rewarded by the artscape … Continue reading

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Beechwoods Regeneration

Natural regeneration of woodland is the process by which dying trees are replaced by new ones growing from seeds that fall and germinate in situ.  Over much of the last two to three hundred years foresters have restocked and created … Continue reading

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Skin Deep

Sir Thomas Overbury included the line, ‘All the carnall beauty of my wife is but skin-deep’ in his poem ‘A Wife’, written in 1613.  From it we have the proverb ‘Beauty is only skin deep’.  Bark is the layer covering … Continue reading

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Beechwoods Slug

If really felt like late summer in the Beechwoods this morning – bright sun, but a chill wind that sent a surf-like susurrus through the treetops. Big mushrooms with scaly biscuit coloured caps sprouting through the open ground under the … Continue reading

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Car Futures

Computer controlled self-driving cars are being touted as the future for motoring.  Well, just maybe, though it has the ring of one of those mistaken ‘Tomorrow’s World’ promises about it.  Will it be safer, or at least as safe as … Continue reading

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Beechwoods Origins

I went to the Cambridgeshire Collection today to see if old OS maps of the Beechwoods give any clues as to why it has its distinctive shape.  The map for 1903 shows the familiar modern shape for the woods established … Continue reading

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Beechwoods Block?

I walked in the Beechwoods early this morning.  The sky was heavily overcast, lending the woods a flat, sombre, in places gloomy, air.  The play of light and shade that characterises the woods on good summer days was gone.  I … Continue reading

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Beechwoods Moment

I often hear people talk about ‘living in the moment’.  I’m not quite sure what that means, but it does seem foolish to both ignore the lessons of past experience and fail to plan for a rewarding future.  Better to … Continue reading

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Beechwoods – Road Less Travelled

Three of the most quoted lines in poetry are: ‘Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – / I took the one less travelled by, / And that has made all the difference.’, from Robert Frost’s ‘The Road Not … Continue reading

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Beechwood Variations

If I sit here and try to imagine The Beechwoods, indeed a beech wood, the image is of smooth, grey bare-trunked trees rising up from a ground of mast, leaf litter and a few herby plants, broken here and there … Continue reading

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Street Photography – Two Views

Earlier this week I spent an hour with David Runnacles drinking coffee and looking through his latest Cambridge street photography.  David has a very distinctive style.  His slices of street life are inhabited by lots of people, usually in close … Continue reading

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Beechwoods in Leaf 2

On the 1st May I commented on the variable behaviour of the trees coming into leaf.  This picture from around then shows an extreme case of a dense crown on one tree amid an almost bare tracery of branches on … Continue reading

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Mismanaged Destination

I spent a large part of my professional life studying the impact of tourism on historic towns and promoting destination management.  In the blessing v blight debate I was inclined to the former and promoted value over volume.  Walking around … Continue reading

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