A weekend of wildlife wonders

Up close and personal with Visions of Landscapes

On Saturday 15th April, artist Anita Burrows part of Higherford Mill Artists and I introduced some immersive walks in the beautiful Storey Gardens. This was in conjunction with the fantastic art exhibition, Visions of Landscapes, being held in The Storey. 

Half-hour walks were given throughout the day offering people a chance to see the garden in a whole new way: up close and personal. We used hand-held lenses to magnify plants, lichen, mosses and insects. This is a great way to mindfully immerse yourself even in a small space like the Storey Gardens.

With the glorious spring weather saw a whole host of insects and flowers and heard a surprisingly wide range of birds singing… and all of this in a small garden a stone’s throw from the city centre!

This is a garden which has been lovingly cared for by the wonderful volunteers of the Friends of the Storey Gardens (including the very knowledgeable Fiona who kindly chatted with us about many of the garden’s green inhabitants!), a real gem which gives plenty of space to nature.

Alpine strawberry magnified (c) Ros Jones
Tawny mining bee (c) Ros Jones
Hoverfly on white snake's head fritillary
Apple blossom in bud
Red tulip


Celebrating RSPB founder Emily Williamson & enjoying the natural sights in the park

Emily Williamson was born just a short distance from Williamson Park (no connection!) and was one of the founders of the then Society for the Protection of Birds, later given Royal charter to become the RSPB. This inspirational woman is one of a number of locals to be celebrated with a plaque. 

The local RSPB Lancaster group have done a wonderful job in achieving this, and the event to honour her was well attended, including speakers from the RSPB and her great-great niece (Professor Melissa Bateson) who, coincidentally, studies birds! 

Our walk followed the unveiling, starting in Fenham Carr and then finished up in the park. Spring was in full swing with lots of bird song (blackbirds, blue tits, great tits, coal tits, dunnocks, wrens, blackcaps, chiffchaffs, chaffinches, nuthatches, and many more), and plenty of leaves beginning to unfurl. This was a lovely, relaxing way to spend a Sunday afternoon in the spring.