Reimagining progress: what we can learn about ‘lean thinking’ from indigenous communities
Here’s a living example of a ‘lean’ economy (outlined by David Fleming in our last blog post), and how you can help to preserve it. The ‘unlean’ economy is encroaching onto the territory of the Kichwa and Sapara communities in the Ecuadorean Amazon, in the form of large oil corporations, and will destroy their communities, as… Continue reading Reimagining progress: what we can learn about ‘lean thinking’ from indigenous communities Read more
Low-impact & the city 4: front gardens – concrete or plants?
My partner’s mother lives in Hounslow, under the Heathrow flight path and next to a dual carriageway. But she has filled her front and back garden with flowers, trees, bushes and vegetables. When she visits, she often brings pears, plums, spinach, tomatoes or flowers from her garden. Read more
Nature in September – what to look out for
When it comes to nature in September, this month is a melancholy time of year for anyone who loves swallows. Through the summer I enjoy seeing them and the local house martins, swooping and diving around my house and garden, drinking from the pond or sitting on our electricity wires, twittering and preening. Read more
Nature in August – what to look out for
As someone who used to work in university research, it is deeply ingrained in my nature to observe and record what I see, and also, when necessary, to count things (I once spent six years counting weed seedlings). Read more
New Lowimpact.org publication: a knitting and textiles tour of Scotland by folding bicycle
Lowimpact.org has a new publication, about a 57-year-old (sorry Janet) woman’s decision to leave her home in Ayrshire and take a grand tour of Scotland on a Brompton folding bicycle, visiting and giving workshops for textile groups along the way. Read more
Nature in July – what to look out for
The ponds in the garden have been rather disappointing so far this year in terms of the numbers of dragonflies we have seen. There have been very few individuals of only a small handful of the larger species – nothing like the usual numbers that we see at this time of year. Read more
How to leave the city and regain a connection with the land
Many city people yearn to be involved with the land hands-on—and to do so on a long-term basis. But leaving the city for good is too big a step for most people; they need to keep a stake in the city for work or social reasons. Read more
Nature in June – what to look out for
Around now I begin to see Speckled Wood and Wall Brown butterflies feeding in the borders or on the buttercups in the cut grass, and by the third week of June, Meadow Browns in the wildflower meadow, with Ringlets joining them in early July. Read more
Nature in May – what to look out for
Living in a cool and slightly windswept location in the South Shropshire Hills means that the arrival of migrant birds or the appearance of the first spring butterflies occurs a little later here than it does in counties further south and east. Read more
Ageing: rejecting cosmetic surgery and embracing the crone
When I sit in a coffee shop people-watching other older women, I am often drawn to two main types. First there is the older woman keen to retain an image of youth to whom ageing successfully is to be seen to be as young as possible for as long as possible by whatever means. Read more
What are we supposed to teach children about nature nowadays, without frightening them?
My little boy Alfred, just turned 6, pays close attention to what he hears. Sometimes this means that we need to be very careful in case he remembers something and then blurts it out in front of just the wrong person. It’s already clear that he’d make an awful spy. Read more
Will nature deal with our crop and garden pests if we don’t intervene or use poisons?
It’s been cold, really cold. For a while I thought it was just that my new garden is on a very exposed site, and until the windbreaks really get going I’m going to have to put up with a late start to the season. Read more
3 million front gardens have been completely paved since 2005. Let’s try to reverse this trend.
The RHS 2015 Greening Grey Britain Report reveals that three times as many front gardens are paved over compared to ten years ago, a total increase of 15 square miles of ‘grey’, and that plant cover in front gardens has decreased by as much as 15%. Read more
Is hanging out in nature therapeutic?
As the founder of Nature Therapy CIC I am often asked ‘exactly what is nature therapy?’ Having studied the subject for a Doctorate and travelled extensively across the UK, Europe and the USA to research how nature is used to improve human wellbeing, I am sometimes at a loss to give a short answer. Read more
Are we forgetting what pristine nature looks like?
Singing about the environment, Joni Mitchell reminded us “that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”; maybe the truth is that very quickly after things are gone they are forgotten, not only lost, but unmissed Read more