Monthly Archives: November 2019

  • From small acorns ... how you can do your bit for National Tree Week

    It’s National Tree Week in the UK later this month, when people are encouraged to get out and enjoy the trees in their local green spaces - and do their bit to boost tree numbers by planting their own in their gardens or as part of a community project.

    National Tree Week is the biggest annual tree celebration in the UK and was first held in 1975 by the charity, The Tree Council, which still organises the event. This year, it’s on 23 November to 1 December.

    November to March is the best time to plant trees, because the wetter weather means they don’t need so much watering and they’ve got more chance of surviving and growing.

    So, which native trees should we be planting? Here are seven iconic trees that will bring colour and biodiversity benefits for years to come.

    English Oak - The mighty oak provides a wonderful home for insects and can live for hundreds of years.

    Alder - Another biodiversity powerhouse, attracting insects and birds, the alder is also a fast grower.

    Rowan - The Rowan’s leaves and bright red berries are a real treat for our birds and insects and they bring a welcome dash of colour, too.

    Silver birch - With its striking white bark, the silver birch is a real eye-catcher. It’s also fast-growing, so will make a rapid impact.

    Hawthorn - Providing wonderful white flowers in Spring and health-enhancing berries, the hawthorn is another native tree that’s much loved by insects and birds.

    Hazel - With their eye-catching ‘lamb’s tail’ catkins and supply of nutritious nuts, this is another tree that species such as dormice just love.

    Holly - A festive favourite with their red berries, holly trees provide excellent shelter for birds and hedgehogs. And they can live for up to 300 years.

    The UK has lost millions of trees in recent years and must now plant 1.5 billion trees by 2050 in order to reach the net zero emissions target. Your native tree might only seem like a very small start, but you know what they say about little acorns …

  • Say a few words for World Nursery Rhyme Week!

    Remember when you were little, and you’d learn reams of nursery rhymes off by heart and recite them all back, over and over again?

    Well, it seems that nursery rhymes are just as popular as ever - there’s even a World Nursery Rhyme Week which runs from 18-22 November.

    This got us reminiscing about our favourite nursery rhymes - and noticed just how many of them have a garden or nature theme. Like these super seven …

    Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush (origins - England, 1800s)

    Here we go round the mulberry bush
    The mulberry bush
    The mulberry bush
    Here we go round the mulberry bush
    On a cold and frosty morning.

    Lavender's Blue, Dilly, Dilly (England, 1600s)

    Lavender's blue, dilly, dilly
    Lavender's green
    When l am King, dilly, dilly
    You shall be Queen!

    Ring-a-ring o' Roses (England, probably late 1700s)

    Ring-a-ring o' roses,
    A pocket full of posies.
    Atishoo! Atishoo!
    We all fall down.

    Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary (England, 1700s)

    Mary, Mary, quite contrary
    How does your garden grow?
    With silver bells
    And cockle shells
    And pretty maids all in a row.

    Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue (England, 1700s)

    Roses are red,
    Violets are blue
    Sugar is sweet
    And so are you.

    Two Little Dickie Birds (England, 1700s)

    Two little dickie birds sitting on a wall
    One named Peter, one named Paul
    Fly away Peter! Fly away Paul!
    Come back Peter! Come back Paul!

    Sing a Song of Sixpence (England 1700s)

    Sing a song of sixpence a pocket full of rye
    Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.
    When the pie was opened the birds began to sing
    Oh wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the king?
    The king was in his counting house counting out his money
    The queen was in the parlour eating bread and honey.
    The maid was in the garden hanging out the clothes
    When down came a blackbird and pecked off her nose!

    Of course, one of the reasons that nursery rhymes have endured for centuries is because we pass them on to the next generation - and long may that tradition continue. They’re also educational, helping young children develop their language and numeracy skills. Two very good reasons why nursery rhymes have earned their world celebration week!

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