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Exploring the survival instincts of insectsExploring the survival instincts of insects
10:22am Fri 29 Jul 05
Dennis Furnell explores nature and rural life The study of how insects and lesser organisms ensure their survival is fascinating.

How to enjoy birds in your gardenHow to enjoy birds in your garden
12:01pm Thu 14 Jul 05
One of the main features of an English spring is the dawn chorus, when birds stake their claim to a suitable territory in which to raise a family, but by July the countryside is much quieter.

Give our wild mammals a sporting chance of survivalGive our wild mammals a sporting chance of survival
12:35pm Thu 16 Jun 05
All too often, mainly because we have so little contact with them, we ignore the wild mammals that inhabit Britain's countryside.

Reducing squirrel numbers may help Reducing squirrel numbers may help
11:09am Thu 5 May 05
Dennis Furnell explores nature and rural life Many of the native species of birds are rearing young and one of the questions I'm most often asked is "Why are some baby birds almost as big as their parents?" The birds in question are usually blackbirds and robins, song thrushes or dunnocks, all species that nest in hedges and garden shrubs, particularly pyracantha and ivy.

Game birds and birds of prey can co-existGame birds and birds of prey can co-exist
1:44pm Thu 28 Apr 05
The bird breeding season is well under way; many are already sitting on eggs, and migrants from as far afield as China and Thailand are heading towards Britain to make the most of the longer day length and insect-filled meadows of the summer months.

Time for butterflies to flutter byTime for butterflies to flutter by
12:16pm Thu 28 Apr 05
In a week or so the first of the orange tip butterflies will be scurrying over the newly sprung garlic mustard and lady's smock.

Help the hedgehog stay happyHelp the hedgehog stay happy
10:51am Fri 15 Apr 05
Our resident hedgehog has just woken up after a nap lasting five months. It's only marginally correct to say it's our hedgehog; I found it last summer, a starving infant about three inches long in a sorry state, wandering along the gutter at the side of a busy road.

Deer have a spring in their stepDeer have a spring in their step
10:57am Thu 7 Apr 05
Spring is only a couple of weeks old, but you can feel the sense of newness in the air. Soon everything will be green and fresh. The hawthorn is unfurling its leaves. Honeysuckle, briony and wild dog rose are all trusting the first of their unfurling buds to the strengthening sunlight and, as if by magic, the woodland floor is changing hue from a rusty brown colour to brilliant green.

Sping is in the air as the froggies go-a- courting once againSping is in the air as the froggies go-a- courting once again
11:22am Thu 31 Mar 05
On a recent visit to the National Trust Forest at Ashridge in Hertfordshire I noticed that the pond by the monument car park was stuffed with spawn. It was a welcome sight. For years frogs and toads in the countryside have been in decline with many farm ponds and ditches being filled in.

Time to bring back the shrubsTime to bring back the shrubs
3:35pm Wed 23 Mar 05
THE wintry weather that bit hard at the beginning of the month coincided with the opening of the first blackthorn blossom.

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Christmas comes early for schools
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