Dr M was today totally bowled over and utterly charmed by a truly massive Cork Oak (Quercus suber) at Standish Hospital, in Gloucestershire.
Dr M’s students have returned from the vacation and spent the first week of the new term on the New Year Plant Hunt in which they and Dr M found 38 species in flower on the University of Reading campus! This week Dr M set his students a plant ID test of vascular plants and bryophytes. This was a formative test which is a
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Dr M is particularly fond of the University of Reading campus which extends over 123 ha of grassland, open water and woodland. Known as Whiteknights Park, it is home to over 400 species of native plants and many more planted and naturalised and is an ideal setting for Dr M’s teaching of plant identification and vegetation survey methods.
Spring came late this year, jostling with glorious summer (while it lasted). Now, as temperatures drop and nights draw in, autumn makes its way centre-stage. Summer’s legacy of sunshine (recall the heatwave?) seems rather fruitful in our countryside and a host of blackberries has now given way to a myriad acorns (2013 is looking like a mast year for oaks), haws (Hawthorn berries) and
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