Inspiration from Major Lawrence Johnston

After going to the beautiful Yorkshire wedding of my little cousin Lucy to Gordon Stewart last weekend, we decided to break up a long journey home with a stop at the National Trust’s Hidcote gardens.

There is nothing like a large productive kitchen garden to really boost your enthusiasm. We we got home it was gone eight on Sunday evening, but I still got out and did a good hour of work on our little plot!


The Bat Man at Lacock

For Katrina’s birthday last year she requested that I take her bat watching. What seemed a slightly odd idea turned out to be really good fun, and this year we decided to go back and to take our friends with us.

This is why Adam, Nat, Paul, Alex, Barrie, Hen, Katrina and I could be seen sat staring at gargoyles mouths waiting for the sun to set in Lacock last night.


Thanks to the National Trust ‘bat man’ we learnt that there are 18 different species of bat in Britain. We learnt all about the tiny Pipistrelle bat (which can fit in a matchbox) and about the bigger Daubenton which catches its food over water. We also learnt how to use a bat detector to pick up the high pitched calls of both species.

Once the sun set and the bats started leaving Lacock Abbey through the gargoyles mouths the bat watchers started counting in earnest. In total there were 1025 Pipistrelle bats and a couple of Daubentons too – a huge improvement on last years’ 325!