Monday, 26 November 2012

Interpretation Board Archive

An archive of my interpretation boards can be seen on my Facebook business page, along with detail and previews of recent and forthcoming projects.  Use this link to have a look - JBEI Interpretation Board Archive

A Coventry Way Association

ACWA IB along the Kenilworth Greenway, National Cycle Route 52

On revisiting existing interpretation projects to document in the JBEI archive*, I sadly discovered that Cyril Bean had died earlier this year.

I had the pleasure of working with Cyril to produce interpretation panels for A Coventry Way in 2003, a 40 mile Long Distance Path that took Cyril and The Coventry Way Association some 20 years to establish. The Coventry Way circles the city, providing local links that encourage us to easily and safely explore the wonderful countryside that is literally on our doorstep.

The route is now published on Ordnance Survey maps but in addition the Way also provides us with a variety of smaller circular walks, catering for all levels of walkers from casual to the seriously enthusiastic. Twenty one circular walks are published in this fabulous book that describes and illustrates each route, with fascinating detail of local history and wildlife.

ACWA book available to buy

Coventry Way founder and hiker Cyril Bean dies aged 82 - Coventry News - News from @covtelegraph

*JBEI Interpretation Board Archive

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Welches Meadow

Welches Meadow LNR
Radford Road, Leamington Spa
OS Grid Ref: SP 325 657

Newly installed interpretation panel next to the River Leam bridge on Willes Road, Leamington Spa.;postID=1623220070796927341 


Kenilworth Common Reptiles

Preview of featured illustration from forthcoming Kenilworth Common interpretation project

Lacerta vivipara / Zootoca vivipara - the Common Lizard, also known as the Viviparous Lizard, viviparous meaning the female incubates the eggs inside her body and gives birth to live young.

Look for them on top of logs, sun basking in spring and autumn on open ground. You need a keen eye, they’re small and fast. Hibernates in burrows under logs and rocks in the cold, usually emerging in April. The external ears without flappy bits, blunt head and tail are adapted for a snug fit away from the elements and predators, a vital ability if you’re poikilothermic. They’ve been on the planet longer than snakes.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Kenilworth Common

Kenilworth Common LNR
Common Lane, Kenilworth
OS Grid Ref: SP 297 730

One of my locals!

Neolithic lowland heath, imperial gravel pits, mountain bikes, reptiles, glow worms and recreation.

The Common lays on ancient ground but the trees are relatively young and only started to grow just over a century ago. We see them today reclaiming The Odibarnes, a once large area of open lowland heath with common grazing. Like so many of our remaining historic habitats, it is man-made. Created by land cleared and exhausted through exploitation of woodland resources and over grazing, impoverished and abandoned by the early agriculture of Neolithic man.

As a child the common was playground, all mysterious nuns and nature. Divinity and imagination inspired fantasy scenarios involving quests to find the scared yet elusive serpent, to begat magical powers. My tracking skills at the time were fairly poor so I never did get to see the elusive adder and to this day, remain a mere ordinary mortal.

The original interpretation boards on the reserve are over 20 years old. It's odd how things turn out, I remember seeing them in storage at Brandon Marsh when I was a conservation trainee. Then, I had no idea it would me who has the great pleasure of replacing them with updated versions. The design and artwork is complete and will soon be going to press, installation is due by the end of 2012.

One of the original boards soon to be replaced