Challenging Habitat Blog

Devon Great Consols Mine

I’ve recently reported on the risk associated with recreational activities or working on an abandoned copper and arsenic mine in the Tamar Valley, UK. Read these posts at ‘Challenging Habitat‘ and ‘Arsenic Health Risk at UK World Heritage… Read More

Outdoor Daily

What beautifully delicate white flowers! Fit for a bridal bouquet, if it wasn’t for the toxicity of its sap. This is the flower of Heracleum sphondylium, Hogweed. Roots, stems, leaves and flowers – all toxic and related to… Read More

Challenging Habitat

Let me take you to an excursion to the origin of this blog: I started writing about my thoughts on mining and its legacy in the UK and beyond. I wrote about the soils contaminated by metal mining… Read More

To the River

In 2008, the Environment Agency wrote “Abandoned mines are one of the most significant pollution threats in Britain” (EA, 2008). This pollution threat to fresh, ground and coastal waters arises from thousands of discharges of mine waters in England, Wales… Read More

Metal mine waste tailings dam in Nova Scotia, Canada

‘Toxic’ Places

Following on from writing about mining waste as a challenging habitat for plants (see ‘First Arrivals‘), I want to provide you with the means to make sense of the contamination present in the historic metal mining landscape in Southwest… Read More

First Arrivals

  If epiphytes were people, we would call them clever strategists. I guess this holds true for any organism that manages to occupy a hostile corner, but I am fascinated by life forms that grow on toxic substrates. In this… Read More

Challenging Soils

What makes plants thrive? The obvious answer is light, water and ‘good soil’. Light is not likely to be a limiting factor on most mine sites, as there is little growing that could provide too much shade. However,… Read More