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07.05.15 TROUBLE FOR TRUMPETS: a conversation with Peter Cross


I went to meet the illustrator of a much-loved and treasured book from my childhood, Peter Cross. Peter’s drawings capture the back-garden, natural-world with exquisite, precise and entertaining botanical detail. During my recent correspondence with him, Peter noted that his garden was in fact his greatest work, and kindly agreed to discuss both his artwork and his outdoor influences with me at his home in Surrey. From the perspective of both gardener and nature enthusiast, it was a great privilege to meet the man behind this unique book.

recording/music: Matt Collins

Peter’s website

NO MORE GREEN REINDEER: the place for myth


Trailer: my search for the UK’s illusive ‘big cats’.


17.03.16 LONDON BATS: hanging around with Cindy Blaney

Bat 3

Last autumn I spent a day with Cindy Blaney, a warden at Highgate Wood in North London, as she surveyed the resident bat population. Cindy is employed by the City of London, caring for, documenting and conserving the wood, which amazingly for London, can be traced back to a form of ancient woodland. Each year Cindy conducts a bat census, recording species and numbers, and I was fortunate enough to tag along. It was very cool to get up so close to the bats, typically such illusive creatures, which we found huddled in nest boxes, settling in for the winter.

recording/music: Matt Collins



We’re fortunate enough to have a handful of resident nuthatches in the garden, most likely due to its close proximity with Richmond Park. For me, hearing their whistle-like calls overhead is one of the most invigorating sounds of the new season.

recording/music/image: Matt Collins



There’s an aquatic bird of mystery that’s been testing the patience of even the most devoted bird watchers of London. With the permission and assistance of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust at Barnes Wetland Centre, I asked a handful of enthusiasts what it was they were looking for..

recording/music: Matt Collins, image: Roo Lewis

Barnes Wetland Centre website

10.11.14 INNER TEMPLE GARDENS: The Long Border

Long Border, Inner Temple

I went to meet Andrea Brunsendorf, Head Gardener at the Inner Temple in central London. We discussed her now infamous long border and how she manages to keep it looking so interesting right the way through the year.

recording/image/music: Matt Collins

Inner Temple Garden website