Anybody for chips?

| Jun 7, 2009

Anybody for chips?

In national parks, gardens, woodlands and any other places where people frequently walk in natural settings, the pathways and places where they gather pose many problems to owners, managers and anybody who is concerned with the comfort and safety of the visitors and also ...

Swapping snow for a rain forest

| Apr 5, 2009

Swapping snow for a rain forest

Although there was very little snow this winter here where I live in the Nagano Prefecture hills, it was still good to have an excuse to get away from the cold, and the excuse this time was to present a prize for the writer ...

| Feb 1, 2009

Mucking about with horses

In Britain when I was a lad in the 1940s and ’50s, horses were still a common sight in the streets. Although horse-drawn carriages had pretty well vanished except for those used for ceremonial purposes, delivery wagons ladened with milk, coal and beer were ...

You can't beat country life

| Jan 4, 2009

You can't beat country life

I was down in Kyushu with some Japanese friends last year, just sipping a few drinks and chatting. The conversation turned to kabu and became very serious and somewhat gloomy. Quite honestly, I wasn’t really following it all, but I felt I had to ...

Oh, no: It's not a Christmas pud

| Dec 3, 2008

Oh, no: It's not a Christmas pud

The Christmas season may be grinding ever closer, and the creation in the photograph below is almost the right color and shape, but it’s most certainly not a Christmas pudding. Just now, the woods are carpeted with fallen leaves, and as there is a ...

'The proudest day of my life'

| Nov 5, 2008

'The proudest day of my life'

Apart from a few experimental trees, it is not our policy to grow non-native plants in our woodland trust here in the hills of Nagano Prefecture. However, when I first came to live in Kurohime (which is the name of the nearest station and ...

Helping a healthy river flow

| Oct 1, 2008

Helping a healthy river flow

My eldest daughter, Miwako, gave birth to twin girls in March of this year, raising the number of my grandchildren to five. So, when my busy schedule finally permitted, I recently nipped over to Vancouver to see them all and to help out Miwako ...

Thinking out of the box

| Sep 3, 2008

Thinking out of the box

Twenty something years ago, when we started to buy badly abused and neglected woodland here in the Nagano Prefecture hills, one of the problems that became very obvious was the lack of housing. Not for me, but for the woodland creatures. All the old ...

City gone wild

| Aug 6, 2008

City gone wild

In June this year I took a group of Japanese friends and members of our Afan Woodland Trust up here in the Nagano hills on a trip to Britain. We went on an All Nippon Airways tour designed for people with an interest in ...