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A trip to Paris

I had a great few days in Paris at the end of 2015, hosted by cousin Susan Grieg (many thanks Sue).  My objective in this set of images was to capture the unique character of the city in a bright and ‘punchy’ form.

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Posted 1 year, 9 months ago at 6:55 pm. Add a comment

A hot and dry place

1DB_1937Southern Matabeleland in Zimbabwe is the driest part of the country.  In the communal lands dry land farming fails 2 out of three years.  I spent 4 days in Matabeleland in June 2013 assessing projects for possible funding.  Small dams with simple irrigation schemes give communities the opportunity to provide food and some cash for their families.  This is not charity – it is people exercising their right to control their own resources.

 

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Posted 4 years, 3 months ago at 7:01 am. Add a comment

Chalk grasslands

I am very fortunate to live on the North Downs in Surrey, England where we have within our neighbourhood woodlands and a small pocket of chalk grassland.  I only recently discovered the significance of chalk grassland through a community group formed in the Dome Hill neighbourhood of Caterham.  All the property owners clubbed together to buy a stretch of grassland to avoid it being bought by developers and it turns out that this is a fairly unique parcel of chalk grassland which we are now preserving.

Why are Chalk Grasslands so special?

Chalk grasslands develop on shallow lime-rich soils, overlaying chalk rocks. Most of England was once covered by woodlands, but the Downs (in the south-east of England) were cleared by ancient people to graze animals, mainly sheep.  This created an open landscape with few trees and shrubs, and species-rich grassland.  It is one of the richest plant communities where up to 50 species of plant can be found in a square metre.  The UK has about half of the world’s chalk grasslands.  A wide variety of insects and wildlife can also be found here – some of the  plants and animals are totally dependent on chalk grassland and cannot survive anywhere else. For further information visit the Old Surrey Downs web site.

I spent a couple of hours in a small section of our little parcel of grassland on Saturday 9 June 2012 with my camera and here are some of the results:-

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Posted 5 years, 4 months ago at 3:39 pm. Add a comment