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What an amazing colourful Autumn we had, it's such a shame though that the Alder trees all over the site don't change to a pretty colour. New Hill is the best part of the site to be on during the Autumn as it is lacking in Alder trees, but Field Maple and a few others provided some stunning colours. The wind has blown most of the leaves away now and the site is starting to take on its winter look. This should help me get some photos as you can see more clearly into the woodland. I recently saw a Tawny ow…

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Summer has been its usual busy self with many wildlife sightings including the Hobby, House Martins and a Little Owl. Unfortunately I was not quick enough or near enough to get any good photos ofthese, but it wasn't from lack oftrying. The Hobby is a summer visitor and I watched it swoop over the lake at New Hill and take a coot chick from the water, thought it was bad enough for them that the Herons wait there for a snack. I have also seen a pair of Buzzards many times around the Press House area,I am wond…

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At last some much needed warm sunshine has arrived after a bit of a stutter. The warmth seems to produce plenty of insect activity just at the right time when the birds need to feed their chicks. This makes it a bit difficult for me to get photos because they never stay in one spot long enough or maybe I'm just too slow. I was quick enough to get this Black cap recently though. There has been a fox that keeps making an appearance when the land train or army truck drives past. It s usually in the same ar…

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Spring has arrived early this year and the Mills daffodil display is almost in full bloom. Some recent mornings have been frosty and you can see the effects on the daffs making them wilt, but by afternoon they're upright again. Many birds have been singing out their territory songs already, getting confused by the mild winter and no doubt pairing up and finding suitable nesting places. One of my favourite trees has been blooming for most of the winter. I took this photo of it at the end of January. The h…

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With Autumn ending and now going in to winter, it has been mild so far and although winter can be cold and the place looks bleak, wildlife is still very active. I have seen a change in the Buzzard'srange of territory, coming much further down to the south end of the site. There are quite a lot of pigeons around Queens Mead which might be easy pickings for a Buzzard. I have constantly missed photo opportunities, but managed to get this photo the other day. The deer have finished rutting and will now conce…

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The summer months at the Mills have been full of wildlife activity as usual. We had several large honey bee swarms over a period of a few weeks and we kept a close eye on their locations as they were near the areas where our visitors arrive. The honey bees have had a hive in one of our buildings for some years, but I noticed the other day that it has become a wasp nest, so this will mean that every bee has vacated which would explain the amount of swarms this year. This photo is one of the swarms gathered o…

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Powder

Jul 23, 2015

Category: News

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Powder – an exhibition of photographs by Sarah Deane Powder explores the structures and archaeology that remain after 300 years of gunpowder and explosives manufacture at The Royal Gunpowder Mills. Sarah Deane grew up in rural West of Ireland and moved to London in 1998.  She works as a volunteer at The Royal Gunpowder Mills’ archive and is currently studying for a BA Hons degree in Photography. Speaking about her project, Sarah said:  “The landscape is the silent witness that fortifies histories, main…

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With Spring just around the corner much of the wildlife will be feeling some relief as their food supply will start to increase. During the winter months the Mills will supply haylage and a special dry formula food to help the deer. Some fruit and vegetables are gratefully received by them too. The haylage will soon become a comfy bed instead of food once the grass starts growing again. We had a young swan arrive on one of our small ponds in late November and we all kept an eye on her to make sure she wa…

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Things are constantly changing at the Mills with the different seasons. Now that winter isn't far away birds are migrating such as the Swallow and Reed Warbler. Swans and geese are constantly on the move and regularly fly over the Mills to different feeding grounds. Most cygnets have been left by their parents to fend for themselves and I have heard stories of the cygnets landing in all sorts of places on their first flight.               Dragonflies have been abundant at New Hill and along our wa…

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With the spring now over and summer under way the wildlife on site will slow it's pace a little as food should be plentiful. The hot weather has ensured a feast of insects for this years fledglings and I've seen Swallows flying over the water at New Hill catching insects on the wing. This year our resident Swans laid 6 eggs, but only two hatched. The two cygnets look very healthy and survival should be in their favour as the parents have less to keep watch over. Just the other day a Swan had lost it's b…

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