Mike Collier: Street flowers – Urban Survivors of the Priviledged Land forms part of the North East’s Av Festival.  I took part in Sunday  morning’s walk, kicking off at Sunderlands glass centre at 7.30am or was it 6.30am?

Driving through thick fog to get there, the morning felt ominous and yet once past the Angel of the North, it turned into a beautiful hazy morning.

Keith Bowey

Keith Bowey lead the walk alongside Mike Collier and enlightened participants with his amazing knowledge of the local flora and fauna, often closely connected with local industry such as the Jackdaws house in the crevices of ex-lime kilns or what about the Oxford Ragwort spread from Oxford as a result of the development of the railways.

Also discussed and looked at in more detail was the Ivy growing very near the Glass Centre and Red Dead Nettle growing in clumps here and there.  I was particularly intrigued by the story connected to migrating Fieldfare’s and Redwings feasting on the abundant berries provided by the Ivy and spread the seeds as far away as Scandinavia!

My favorite is blackthorn, shown here in full bloom before the leaves have even begun to appear, also better know as providing Sloe’s in Autumn.

There is plenty more happening as part of Av worth checking out the website for more details.


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