Mike Collins
His specialist area of interest includes nature, the outdoors and coast. He has worked for charities including Sustrans and the Soil Association.

Entries by Mike Collins

Sounds of Our Shores

(0) Comments | Posted June 25, 2015 | 7:00 AM

Close your eyes for a minute. Think of a favourite place on the coast. Tune into your memory sound bank and start to imagine the sounds that fill the airwaves. It could be the sounds from the days spent at the coast as a kid when the day felt like...

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A Coast Full of Memories

(0) Comments | Posted February 26, 2015 | 7:00 PM

Recently I came across some photos of me from when I was about three or four years old. Three pictures really stood out and they were all taken on the South Devon coast. They show me with my Mum and Dad and Gran who lived in Exeter - either building...

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Seeing Stonehenge in a New Light

(0) Comments | Posted September 18, 2014 | 6:03 AM

It's been a busy old time for Stonehenge. The stones are never short of publicity but the attention of the world has been on them in the last couple of weeks.

Credit: National Trust

First President Obama dropped in to...

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Great Big Stride Towards a Footpath Around the English Coast

(1) Comments | Posted September 5, 2014 | 12:59 PM

As a nation shaped by the coast and drawn to the sea the news, announced by the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, that a coastal footpath around the shores of England will be completed ten years early by 2020 represents one great big stride to opening up access...

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Heading for the Hillforts

(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 8:00 PM


Dorset is a county awash with hillforts. It tops the charts as the place to go to see some pretty amazing archaeological sites dating back thousands of years.

And Hambledon Hill in north Dorset is right up there. It's...

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Adapting to a Changing Coastline

(1) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 8:00 PM

Whenever I think about spending time at the seaside I'm transported down memory lane. The happy days spent as a child playing at Dawlish Warren in Devon, the wide open spaces of the Norfolk beaches or spending time at Lyme Regis with the kids.

Millions of us spend a fair...

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Keeping an Eye on Our Feathered Friends

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2014 | 4:08 PM

I'm no expert but the very wet and mild winter that we're having must be very confusing for our feathered friends. Their biological clocks will have started to tick early as they will be thinking that we're heading towards the first day of spring rather than being stuck still in...

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Parents and Presents for Their Kids

(0) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 7:00 PM

It's the age old question that parents have to face up to every year: will my kid(s) have enough presents to open on Christmas Day.

The pressure of trying to answer this question gets bigger as we get closer to the big day and the number of shopping days...

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Rationing Screen Time

(1) Comments | Posted November 12, 2013 | 8:42 AM

The last five years has seen a radical revolution in the way that we communicate. First we saw the arrival of the smartphone; which was followed by the tablet computer coming on to the scene.

Almost in the blink of an eye screen time has become a domineering factor in...

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Re-wilding the Nation's Kids

(1) Comments | Posted October 25, 2013 | 8:00 PM

I find it amazing to think that in just one generation the connection that children have had with nature for generations has changed so rapidly and fundamentally.

Without really noticing we've been heading towards the end of the traditional outdoors childhood. Something that many millions of adults took for granted...

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In Praise of Stone Skimming

(2) Comments | Posted May 3, 2013 | 8:00 PM

Whatever your age the sense of build up and anticipation is the same. You strive to do the best you can and find the best tools to help you reach your goal. The location and prevailing elements can have a major influence on whether you succeed or fail. If you're...

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Recognising the People Who Keep Our Green Places Special

(1) Comments | Posted January 11, 2013 | 7:00 PM

The profile of volunteering in the national consciousness has never, you could argue, been higher following the pivotal role that the 'gamesmakers' played in the Olympics and Paralympics. Their passion, commitment and the seemingly effortless ability to capture of the spirit of the Olympian ideal added something special to the...

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Why the White Cliffs of Dover Matter

(1) Comments | Posted November 7, 2012 | 7:00 PM

Every nation has special places that have become wrapped up in the national collective imagination. They have come to symbolise much more than just a stretch of coast, area of woodland or a muddy field. Like a national flag or a prominent figure that comes alive from the pages of...

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Letting Children Have a Natural Childhood

(3) Comments | Posted September 25, 2012 | 8:00 PM

There are times when we like to look back to a bygone age when everything was rosy in the garden. It seems that the onward march of progress has diminished the value of the things that we hold dear. And we worry about the impact that this is having on...

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Walking Your Way to Greatness... The Great British Walk

(3) Comments | Posted September 3, 2012 | 8:00 PM

Going on a walk allows us to take a step back from our daily routine. You can feel the wind in your face, the changing of the seasons, the excitement of coming across a beautiful building or the buzz from immersing yourself in a rich social history. We follow in...

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Octavia Hill: A Life for Our Time

(0) Comments | Posted August 13, 2012 | 5:10 AM

Sometimes you come across an historical figure and wonder why their life's work isn't that well known. It seems puzzling that for all of their amazing contributions they get little recognition among the public for the difference they made to people's lives in their time and our lives today.


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Why We Need to Protect Landmarks Like the White Cliffs of Dover

(11) Comments | Posted July 11, 2012 | 8:00 PM

It's a rare quality for one single place to have such a standing in a nations collective memory that it comes to symbolise the character and spirit of a country. The White Cliffs of Dover have served that function for countless generations and really do encapsulate that often over used word...

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