Sunday Supplement #3

Sunday Supplement is an occasional round up of the virtual and real here at VP Gardens. I'd like it to be a weekly event just like the best bits and reviews you get in the Sunday papers, but I'm not promising ;)

If there are problems with loading the above video, then do try this link instead.

Web Watch

The National Trust chose yesterday's AGM to launch their Outdoor Nation campaign. They ask why we as a nation seem to have lost touch with the natural world and aim to get us in tune with it again. They've also realised that most people are aware of their ownership of historic houses, but aren't so aware of the countryside and coast under their stewardship. The campaign aims to redress that balance too. As a National Trust member (and former volunteer at their HQ in Swindon), this is a campaign I wholeheartedly endorse.

Trending Topic

There's been quite a bit of coverage in the news this week on how foraging, particularly for edible fungi is affecting the ecology of our woodlands. The problem is mainly arising in the area around London and other southern counties, where fungi are being collected for commercial gain.

I was mulling this particular issue just after writing my Food Yards Foraging piece and updated it recently with this BBC article which gives guidance on what is and isn't acceptable. Foraging for personal use is fine, but for commercial gain is stealing. However, gatherers need to be aware of their local bye-laws, such as those already in place for Epping Forest, as they may have a total ban. NB foraging on Sites of Special Scientific Interest is illegal.

A non-trending topic I have to tell you about is this week's almost unnoticed UN meeting in Nagoya where an international agreement was made to halve the loss of the world's habitats by 2020. At last some good news in the International Year of Biodiversity.

Link Love
In a week when Threadspider and I have been scratching our heads over where yet another wheelie bin (for plastic and cardboard collection) is going to fit in our gardens, I've been reacquainting myself with Leave Only Footprints. This blog has been on my blogroll pretty much from the word go and documents Polythene Pam's experience of gradually giving up plastic. If I can follow her lead, perhaps we won't need that extra bin!

Blog ActionIt's my third Blogaversary in a couple of days time :)

Comment of the Week: New reader Janet of Plantaliscious left a comment on last week's Trending Topic highlighting this week's revelations re the proposed Forestry Commission sell-off:

... just found out that our Esteemed Government wants to sell of our forests... Lots of articles, including Guardian, and a campaign to stop this happening at 38 Degrees.

The campaign's had lots of news coverage and a-twittering and has 30,000 signatures in less than a week. Impressive. @Savebritforests is worth following for campaign updates if you're on Twitter. An interesting article in yesterday's Telegraph asks whether the sell-off is viable. It's worth a timely letter to your MP asking that very question...

Keyword Search of Note: is Welcome and thanks for your visit - a message which I hope comes over loud and clear when you come a-calling :)

Back to Reality:

The fat lady's sung as far as my Dahlias are concerned with last Sunday night's frost finally laying them low. I've been tucking them up for the winter as usual this week with their duvet.

Time Out
I'm reading Stipple, Wink & Gusset, an entertaining book about how and why some people's surnames have entered the English language.

The video is a snippet I shot of our rehearsal of last Sunday's flash mob in Bristol. Luckily the day was sunny so we could sing outside in Portland Square as our group was too large for the rehearsal space at the amazing Circomedia. You may recognise some of the first lot of singers as they were our tutors from the Czech Republic holiday. The voice you hear at the end is me!

This time last year I was Smashing Pumpkins, and 2 years ago I was showing off my shed.


  1. frost hasn't visited,yet, but today i will bring in the last of the mugwort.

  2. I read about the woodlands sell off through one of my regular reads

    Can't say I'm surprised, but annoyed that part of a national asset is being sold off for short-term gain.

  3. Petoskystone - we've gone back to very mild weather now - late 60s forecast for later in the week!

    Damo - the Telegraph link questions whether it's actually viable. Been looked at before and dropped. Such are the howls of protest over this proposal, the govt are now saying they'll put clauses in any deal to protect public interest. I believe this will make it very unattractive to any commercial organisation. Charities such as The Woodland Trust and the National Trust have laready said they can't afford it even if the land was given to them free.

    It'll be interesting to see what actually happens.

  4. Thank you VP, your blog is a very friendly and encouraging place to be. I'd missed the Guardian article on losing touch with the outdoors. I grew up cycling around the countryside with my friends, building dens etc, I find it so depressing that so few kids nowadays get that kind of freedom, and so few adults manage to connect with "outdoors". For me it is as essential as breathing. I love the fact that my sister-in-law is constantly encouraging her sons to get out and get dirty. I fear we are raising a generation that won't care if the forests get sold off.

  5. Janet - awww thanks. One of the best things to make me smile up at the allotment is seeing the family groups all getting muddy together!


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