identification

Get to know your eight-legged lodgers this autumn

They are useful pest controllers and like to share our homes, but many of us cannot identify different species of these eight-legged lodgers.

Spiders start to appear in our houses more frequently at this time of year, as some species – including the aptly-named House Spider (Tegenaria) – leave their webs in search of a mate.

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About lichens and mosses in orchards

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Orchards – groups of trees cultivated to produce food – have a long history in the British Isles, which may stretch back as far as the Neolithic period.

The recognition of traditional orchards as biodiversity hotspots led to the creation of a Habitat Action Plan for orchards in 2007, and they are of increasing interest to scientists.

Lichens on an apple tree

New micro-moth guide published

A free identification guide to some of the smaller moths found in the British Isles has been published.

From Adelidae to Ypsolophidae, nearly 50 micro-moth families are included in the guide, produced by the Garden Moth Scheme (GMS) and OPAL West Midlands.

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A bird that sounds like rocks, and more...

Last Wednesday it felt more like December than May, but a group of 10 people braved the icy wind and we went for a walk along the Pocklington Canal, East Yorkshire, for an OPAL course called "Look Listen and Learn". This course was led by bird expert John Wint from the Yorkshire Naturalists Union and he made sure that we did lots of listening, looking and learning. My favourite part of the course was hearing a sedge warbler.

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Ever wanted to know what type of moth, snail, plant, bird, insect....that is?

Hopefully the training courses I'm organising at venues across Yorkshire and the Humber this summer will help you to identify the plants and animals that live in your local area. The courses are most suited to beginners, i.e. people who have had little or no experience identifying species.

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