… New me?

No, I’m going to stay as I am because I feel it’s been going quite well thus far. New aims though? Yes, I’ll have a few of those for this year.

If you haven’t yet seen my recap of 2016 then please read that first.


So, what can I possibly do better this year? Well, for starters I was so enthralled in the world of flowers that I paid no attention to grasses, rushes and sedges. Having had a good look at my new book (Plants and HabitatsĀ by Ben Averis) I realise that grasses are great indicators of habitats and soil types. Therefore, I’ll be making sure to work on my grass ID in 2017, whilst improving my bryos and continuing with everything else.

Next up, seeings as it was a successful tactic in 2016, I’m going to take every opportunity I get. I applied for the Young Birders’ Training Course on the Isle of May, I applied for my internship with SNH, I took part in the New Year Plant Hunt, I applied to get on the ORCA marine mammal surveyors course, I applied to be the youth writer for BiOME Ecology, and the list goes on… I applied for lots of things, made them happen and got a lot of experience. So that’s what I’m going to do in 2017.

Above: Some unseen photos of what I got to do on the Isle of May, although I’m about to tweet that one with the GBBGs.


Educate myself. This is really relating to how much I know about the Scottish countryside. Sure, I know what’s there, I can see it, but I’d like to know more about what could (or should?) be there such as the habitats that would naturally occur, and I’d like to know why habitats exist where they do. That’s not to say I know nothing on the subject, but I’d like to know more.

For example, I visited Wolf Cleuch in the Moorfoot Hills on New Year’s Eve to see what habitat would have existed all over those hills back in ‘the day’, whenever that was. What I saw at first was incredibly depressing as I drove through the barren, biologically boring, burnt and bitten moorland, and then I became even more depressed to see that (what I thought was) Wolf Cleuch had declined in it’s healthiness since the piece of text I’d read had been written.

However, I’d gone into the wrong cleuch, and Wolf Cleuch was in much better condition. That said, it still wasn’t doing terribly well and was restricted to just the one wee cleuch, with a few birches and willows managing to spread out on to the neighbouring moorland.

Regarding that “PRIVATE” sign, so the Scottish Outdoor Access Code doesn’t apply on this land then? That’s not something you just decide, it’s against the legislation to be disallowing responsible access, and to be honest it’s just not very friendly.

Anyway… Hm… Other aims and targets for the coming year… There’s the obvious ones like “do well in my studies” or “get fit” but I’m going to focus on the ecology-related stuff because that’s why you’re here.

Well, to finish off, I’d like to continue reaching out to people, enthusing people, and raising awareness of our natural world. I was recently out with my mates who took quite an interest in what I was doing and were asking about the photos I upload to Facebook. That felt good.

So, to keep feeling good in 2017, I’m going to keep spreading my love of the natural world to you blog readers, my Twitter followers, Facebook friends, Flickr picture viewers, Instagram followers and all the people I meet non-virtually. And I hope you enjoy it!

To end this blog post, a compilation of photos of me remaining enthusiastic…


… New me?

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