A slightly crazy cycle to university

For 2 years now, I’ve had a conservation master’s degree on the cards. And then earlier this year, feeling more settled about the idea and with a fair amount of fieldwork experience gained in those years, I committed to it. The only thing that really remained was getting there. The course, an MSc in Conservation and Biodiversity, is run by the University of Exeter at … Continue reading A slightly crazy cycle to university

Day 7 – Life in an eco-village

Yawning and stretching, we slowly stirred awake. Sleepily gazing about us, we absorbed all the warm comfortable details of what was modestly called ‘the loft’. With a pool table and a cycling machine, which Eileen, our host, jokingly said had been brought in just for our arrival ‘In case you need a bit more practice you know’. It all felt quite surreal. After basking a … Continue reading Day 7 – Life in an eco-village

Day 4 – The wild coast

Just after noon, we packed our kit and hit the road again, leaving the warm comfort of Saint Setanta’s home. We also parted ways with the Saint himself, who was needed that night to play bass in a Galway pub. Thankfully, we were not without extra moral support for the day’s cycle. After some persuasion, along the lines of ‘Ahhh gwan lad’, Cuán (Setanta’s brother … Continue reading Day 4 – The wild coast

Day 2 – Into the boglands

It isn’t often that a night in a tent is too hot. But it was lovely to stumble, somewhat groggily, out into the strong sunshine where the 15th century monastery and willow-fringed loch were glowing in the morning light. We started the day slowly and lazily, catching extra rest in the sun whilst Oscar finished off the first day’s blog post. After a hearty breakfast … Continue reading Day 2 – Into the boglands

Pre-cycle thoughts: our updated route

‘The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”. I don’t quite agree with this. Yes, it might sometimes be true that the most well-thought out visions fail only from a lack of knowledge or tenacity. But I think it is more often the case that the plans weren’t drawn up perfectly in the first instance. Of course, this makes sense: it is … Continue reading Pre-cycle thoughts: our updated route

What are we doing?

From August 5th-12th, myself and Oscar are cycling over 300 miles through the west of Ireland to raise money and awareness for forest restoration. We are raising money for the following groups: Moyhill Farm – Hometree charity Cloughjordan community farm – Educational greenhouse Kukula – Tree Hugs agroforestry project To see our fundraising page, click here. Why are we doing this? A planet with fewer … Continue reading What are we doing?

The Danube at Journey’s End

After many hours of driving from our home in Armenis, we (my good self, Danne, Astarte and Sebastian) arrived at Tulcea: a small but thriving city on the banks of the river Danube. From here, in less than half an hour, we would begin kayaking downstream, firstly steering our way past the heavy barges stacked with containers and the cruise boats blaring traditional Romanian music … Continue reading The Danube at Journey’s End

Can bison fly?

Over a month has passed since we returned home from our visit to Vanatori-Neamt National Park. And much has changed. The hazy summer days and hot nights, enlivened with butterflies dancing and crickets screaming, have long since faded away. Cold winds have blow in and the forest is no longer green but golden; dropping its leaves with the fruit of the fruit trees onto the … Continue reading Can bison fly?

‘Shooting’ bison

I hope you’ll forgive the dramatic title; the shots described herein do not involve bullets.. A few days ago, I described how we went in search for the bison to study their behaviour but were largely greeted with fleeing backsides and trees waving in response to our efforts. As such, the day after we changed tactic, finding the bison but then waiting for them to … Continue reading ‘Shooting’ bison

Lunch with the bison

We had been tracking the bison for almost an hour; pursuing their footprints through the mud and retracing our steps where their tracks run out into nothingness and leaves. Signs of them were everywhere: from debarked trees stems to huge pits where these land-loving equivalents of hippos wallowed in the hot dust.   And then we heard them: a low growling moan long before we … Continue reading Lunch with the bison