Challenging Habitat Blog

Stillness and Silhouettes

I treasure the stillness and stark silhouettes of (slightly) drizzly autumn walks that offer the odd glint of sunrays and opening of blue sky.

Morning on the river

On the river before the rest of the household stirs. Reflections on a summer of sun and rain, new and old, labour and fruit, adventure and stability, whirlwind activity and calm. So many good things and experiences to… Read More


It’s lovely blackberry time in the Cornish hedges and it occurred to me: To get the sweetest fruit, you have to be patient, allow space and time to grow and ripen. Now and then you check and taste… Read More

Outdoor Daily III

Cornish daffodils of the finest sort: pretty, hardy, early and intoxicatingly scented!

Outdoor Daily III

Last day of January and heavy rain. I’m walking my dog. What is there to enjoy? First, I’m moving, breathing, my senses function. Second, there is beauty in detail: texture, colour, form. Just look!

Outdoor Daily III

A new dawn, a new Covid-19 lockdown across the country. On the Today programme (BBC Radio 4) this morning, the question arose how we stay positive in this mess, what lights us up in lockdown. For one of… Read More

Outdoor Daily II

Autumn brings into sharper focus that nature wastes nothing and the laws of thermodynamics. A fallen tree: Surface for epiphytesSubstrate for fungiFood for bacteriaHabitat for invertebrates Matter and energy. Life cycles. Upcycling. Recycling. Reuse. Circular economy. Nothing new… Read More

Outdoor Daily II

A damp November Sunday under COVID-19 lockdown in the UK. ‘Damp’ is one of those understatements I adopted while spending half my life in Cornwall: the rain showers are interrupted by brief spells of light rain. I am… Read More

Outdoor Daily II

I see mushroom risotto for dinner! I’ll add a little saffron and the colour will be golden instead of ‘mud’.

Outdoor Daily II

A long walk on Dartmoor with a friend. The perfect way to spend Fridays. Views of moor and valleys, farmland and out to sea at Dartmouth. Happiness!

Darwin200 day 24: science conference aboard Pelican!

This morning the science conference brings together all the projects we’ve been running aboard the Pelican of London. Find out more about our wind energy activities here Find out more about plankton on our voyage there:… Read More

Darwin200 day 17: under sail due South

The exhaust repair successfully completed, we’ve set sail as soon as leaving the dock and are cruising comfortably South at 5 – 6 knots, now powered by the wind. Sustainability in practice! We’ll pick up this theme with… Read More