Wednesday, 16 August 2017

What time will A Level results be released and when does UCAS update?

Pupils can find out whether they've been accepted into their choice of university

from getreading - Reading & Berkshire News

How to get careers advice after picking up your A Level results

Independent careers advice to students will be available across Reading throughout August and on A-level results day

from getreading - Reading & Berkshire News

Himalayan Balsam

What's this beautiful plant? If you've come across a drift of pink and white helmet-shaped flowers on a riverbank somewhere, bees buzzing happily in and out of those many blossoms, then you might think you've found the loveliest wild flower ever.

You haven't.

This is Impatiens glandulifera, Himalayan Balsam, which is indeed a beautiful plant. But it's also a nasty invasive alien plant which is doing a great deal of destruction to our native flowers. It spreads via its exploding seeds (which are cool, but also bad. Sorry) and can completely swamp all other native plants in an area. It also leaves river banks vulnerable to erosion because it dies back completely in the winter, thus leaving the soil exposed. In short, it's beautiful but bad.

If you see it, the best thing to do is to record it through the PlantTracker app, and, if you can, pull some of it up. Many local wildlife groups have action days to try to remove as much of this plant as possible, so do have a look out for those too.

Sorry to burst your bubble of happiness. But we are #wildflowerhour and we want to celebrate lovely wild flowers, not sneakily beautiful plants that escaped from gardens and are smothering the wild flowers.



from #wildflowerhour

Giveaways and entertainment planned for The Lexicon Bracknell grand opening

The new £240 million town centre will open in September

from getreading - Reading & Berkshire News

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Wonderful weeds

So many people have been in touch to say that the #wildflowerhour challenges are making them look for more flowers, learn about plants they’d overlooked, and focus on the beauty of every day rather than the humdrum aspects.

So this week, we’re encouraging you to focus on the real everyday beauty: ‘weeds’. Now, we all know that a weed is just a plant in a place where it isn’t wanted, and for botanists, there are very few places where plants aren’t wanted. So as you go about your days, look at the cracks in the pavements, the untended flower beds, the wasteland and the gutters to see what you can find in bloom. Weeds might annoy philistines, but they bring great joy to plant hunters.

As ever, it’s easy to take part. Just post what you’ve found in bloom this week in Britain and Ireland either in our Facebook group or on Twitter using the hashtag #wildflowerhour.

Here are some ideas from the past few months to get you going:

from #wildflowerhour

Wildlife flowers

What a lot of joy this week’s challenge brought. Every week’s challenge does, but it was so splendid to see so many flowers covered in happy bees and bugs. And that’s because wild flowers don’t just give us joy: they give critters joy, and life too. So well done for finding so many.

Here are some highlights:

And here are all your beautiful buzzing tweets and Facebook posts:

from #wildflowerhour

August wild flower blogs

We don’t just share our wild flower photos in the #wildflowerhour community – we share our blogs too. Each month, we have a link-up where anyone who has written about their wild flower finds can add their posts. Just use the link up below.

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from #wildflowerhour