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Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane?

Walking out to my field last week, I spotted a glowing white bird perched on a fencepost. The first Wheatear of the year – a lovely male with fresh plumage lit up by the low winter sunlight.  Migration season is now upon us, and plenty of people will be rushing out to their back gardens […]

Did Frogger Reach the Other Side?

In the mid 1990s, I owned a used BBC Micro computer. With its command line green on black text interface, and simple pixel art graphics, it was my gaming pride and joy for many years. Frogger was a firm favourite – the basic game where you hop across a busy road through moving traffic as […]

How AI Will Change Ecology

In February 2024, I witnessed something remarkable. On an obscure video development page, a collection of clips were released which heralded the dawn of a new era in ecology.  In one, the camera flies through a California gold rush town, as horses flicker occasionally into and out of existence. In another, we watch from a […]

Finding the Wild in Scruffy Urban Sprawl

There’s something in our national psyche which means we can’t help but tidy up. And it’s not just Britain – humans in general have an obsession with open, ‘clean’ spaces. In contrast, you’ll usually find the most biodiversity in those scruffy patches which haven’t had much love. Biodiversity in Unexpected Places There’s a spot like […]

Returning Water to the Earth

Over the past century, the sands of the Sahara desert have been creeping ever-southwards, but now we’ve found an ancient method for resisting the spread.  It’s important to recognise that this desert is a habitat with its own merits, and the dust storms originating here affect air temperatures and deposit minerals across Europe and the […]