One of the pleasures of my first month exploring the garden has been discovering how many good resources there are now available online.
This morning I was browsing the Field Studies Council website. This in itself is good and the FSC produces inexpensive identification guides to British flora and fauna. Many are laminated charts suitable for use in the field.
There are also links to free-to-download papers published by the Royal Entomological Society. These are typically old papers that still have relevance today.
Then I noticed a Twitter feed. I have never used Twitter but my eye was caught by the word ‘free’. It took me to the OPAL site. PAL describes itself thus:
The Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) network is a UK-wide citizen science initiative that allows you to get hands-on with nature, whatever your age, background or level of ability.
Some of the ID guides look excellent so again I downloaded a few. If this is what Twitter does I may have to subscribe.
There are also some excellent local natural history sites. Our own Hampshire Moths site is good. It however exclusively dedicated to moths. Not so Naturespot, which covers just about everything. It is dedicate to Leicestershire and Rutland (and is almost as good as Rutland Weekend Television used to be). It was here I started to explore trichoptera and ephemeroptera. I am sure there are many excellent sites out there. Please add them if you know of more.
My last recommendation today is iSpot, from the Open University. This describes itself as A friendly and free community helping to identify wildlife and share nature. I am indebted for this reference to my esteemed friend and eminent naturalist Fizz, ably aided and abetted by Colin, the Forest of Dean Rambler known as A Tramp in the Woods. Not only superbly written with gentle humour but also a great learning resource especially about wildflowers.