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JANUARY 2018

Hedgehogs and orchids

Wild London Lates

London Wildlife Trust is starting a series of evening talks or 'Wild London Lates'.  Each month, Trust experts will discuss diffferent topics, from orchids and hedgehogs to the history of London Wildlife Trust and the importance of protecting green spaces in London.

The first of these evenings has two parts... a live talk by ecologist Michael Waller and the second half featuring Emma Pooley.  Michael will be discussing the many different orchid species to be found around the capital.  He'll also be talking about 'The Ghost Orchid Project'.  Emma will be sharing her knowledge of hedgehogs and how anyone can help the Trust in its bid to track, and ultimately save the capital's hedgehogs. 

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I have an exhibition of my prints of orchids on show in the Coal House Cafe to compliment Michael's talk. Although none of my photographs were actually captured in London, they could have been and I hope that the prints will enable the visitors to the Coal House Cafe to see the beauty of these extraordinary plants close up.

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I really love to see the faces on these amazing flowers.  Some of them don't just have faces... they have whole bodies too!  I think the Bee orchid has to be an all time favourite of mine.  It's got a funny little laughing face and altogether, I think it looks like a hug in a flower.  So cute.  Nature is mind-bogglingly clever.

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And because Emma is talking about hedgehogs at Coal House Cafe, I've hung a couple of my favourite hedgehog pictures up too!  One of these comes from my work with the Royal Parks Hedgehog Heroes team and the other is from Walthamstow Wetlands.  I was out with members of London Bat Group on a mission to trap Nathusius Pipistrelle bats (under licence) as part of the national project and we heard a lot of rustling!  Hedgehogs aren't exactly stealthy creatures.  S/he was easily found!  We checked the hedgehog over to make sure that it was in good health and then released it.  It was great to watch it uncurl, and give me a solid stare before scuttling off into the bushes.

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