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Day 10 was our last full day on the Isles of Scilly; the weather was glorious and everyone took the chance to finish off any things that needed to be collected. Over the past few days Nature Live host Ana Rita has been linking live to the Museum from the top of the bunker and today was our final event. With all of our responsibilities taken care of we could think about the past two weeks on the islands and how the trip has gone.

 

 

Mark and Tom wrap up the Scilly 2013 trip

 

I have loved being on the Isles of Scilly, we have been welcomed warmly by everyone we’ve encountered and, walking around the islands, the scenery is spectacular and the ocean an amazing mix of colours.

 

PIC 1 (Custom).JPGThe Scilly sea

 

I have loved the roadside shops that operate of a strict trust system, selling local produce ...

 

PIC 2 (Custom).JPGMrs Watt’s ‘Shop’

 

... and some more exotic goods ...

 

PIC 3 (Custom).JPGA lovely bunch?

 

We have eaten like kings, Vanessa being the chief chef, and I think every meal has included something foraged (usually by Mark), even if it is simply the humble, ubiquitous three-cornered leek.

 

PIC 4 (Custom).JPGGrows everywhere and gives a garlicky kick to anything you add it to!

 

Everyone is the team has been fantastic and despite sleeping 6 to a room, everyone has got on exceptionally well. For all their help and fun times, I’d like to especially thank my colleagues Ana Rita:

 

PIC 5 (Custom).JPGAna Rita Claro Rodrigues

 

And Tony (Grillmaster) Vinhas:

 

PIC 6 (Custom).JPG

Tony

 

It has been such an enjoyable trip as well as an educational one.

 

Finally, I would like to thank Mark Spencer for organising the trip and getting us all to the islands. Mark has been an excellent guide, fantastic company and reliable provider of foraged ingredients, and a brilliant team leader.

 

PIC 7 (Custom).JPGMark in his element

 

Spending time with Mark and the other scientists is an education in the natural world, it opens up and changes your view of what is living on the planet and I feel very fortunate to work at such an extraordinary place as the Natural History Museum.

 

Tom

 

PIC 8 (Custom).JPGGoodnight from the Isles of Scilly

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Our last day in the field arrived sunny and, with it, our last live-link to a Nature Live event in the Attenborough Studio. Mark Spencer, curator of botany and team leader of this field trip told us about why the Isles of Scilly are special for wildlife and why he wanted to bring curators of other specialities here to collect and enhance the Museum's collections.

 

Picture1.jpgAn example of the outstanding natural beauty of the Isles of Scilly

 

Of course, we also talked about very small flowers, the elm trees, and ate the three corned garlic live - all things that our readers might recognise by now. Scilly is also famous for farmed and wild flowers, Mark told us about both, and how the bulb farms are important not only to local people but also to other organisms. Wildlife thrives in these fields, and of course, our scientists have been collecting there, everything from insects to slugs.

 

picture 2.JPGLinking live to the Attenborough Studio at the Museum, with a audience of local people from St Mary's

 

As usual, we had an audience with us in Scilly, including a blub farmer. It was a pleasure to share our excitement at seeing the material collected already. They left us with a wave and a smile, looking forward to meeting the next scientists visiting the islands later on this year.

 

Ana Rita