Monday, 14 February 2022 10:48

My nature diary for Pollinator Project and River Douglas put on Instagram

Last week I entered a bit more of the modern world and started documenting on Instagram the Adlington Pollinator and Waterlife Project, beginning with a tribute to my late father Wally Ashcroft helping me plant a hedgerow a few days after his 82nd birthday, and looking at the hedge five years later as hazel catkins waft in the chill breeze displaying the promise of spring. 

pollinator instagram homepageIt will be largely a nature diary documenting the micro changes taking place through the seasons on the two acres of former intensive farmed winter wheat land, as it's being being transformed and rewilded into an insect nature reserve. Get the conditions for the plantlife and insects, and the rest will follow. It will also document what's happening in the nearby River Douglas too, and include a bit of humour sometimes and the occassional view of nature on trips away from this small patch of Lancashire.

Me and my wife Susanne initially bought and established the 2 acre Pollinator Project in 2015 next to our office to mark 21 years of our Environment Times publication, and later secured additional project grant from the Wildlife Trust's Lancashire Environmental Fund and support from The CK Group, AkzoNobel, Asda, Marks & Spencer and Kingfisher. Since then it has developed away from the ecological desert of modern intensive arable land into a successful wildflower meadow insect haven, a heritage orchard and outdoor nature teaching/wildlife survey area.

The project has also expanded as the Adlington Pollinator and Waterlife Project to take in the River Douglas which flows just one field away, and I joined the Douglas Catchment Partnership (@DouglasPilot) last year to involve himself and the project in citizen science, often joining in with the dedicated river monitoring from The Douglas Rivers Association (@River_Douglas_) and #lovemyriver at Groundwork in Wigan.

Take a look at the new Instagram site here: