Reflections on the Basingstoke Canal

Basingstoke: a much-maligned town thought of as urban and boring by many. Canal: a stretch of water thought by many to be full of shopping trolleys and dead dogs. If you believe the above, then putting the words together shouldn't offer much hope of a rural idyll. You'd be wrong. Quite the opposite, in fact, as I hope to describe. The Basingstoke Canal was built in the late18th Century, connecting what was then a small market town with the much older Wey Navigation near its j

Giving a little back to nature, and getting even more back in turn

Last autumn, I started volunteering for Surrey Wildlife Trust. For years, I've been wandering the commons and woods which SWT manage in my area, so when I became free to do so, it seemed like a good idea to give a little back. What really happened, is that I got so much more back myself, from the experience of meeting like-minded folk, learning more about nature and wildlife conservation, and enjoying working in the great outdoors. I'm not sure what I expected when I turned u