Welcome to Richard Clarke's website.

Having been a secondary school history teacher for 36 years and prison tutor for three I now focus on developing my interest in landscape history and on fostering an interest in others as a speaker, tutor, writer, guide and researcher (house and church).

I am available for consultation in areas such as:
  • Illustrated talks;
  • Presentations;
  • Guiding;
  • Articles;
  • Research.
Recent Posts
The Illustrated Natural History of Selborne 5 (5/08/’20)
The Illustrated Natural History of Selborne 5 (5/08/’20)

Researching the biographies of Rev. Gilbert White’s two main correspondents provides an interesting insight into the methodical studies of late 18th century intellectuals – the two main correspondents being Thomas Pennant (1726 – 1798)... [more]

The Illustrated Natural History of Selborne 4 (4/08/’20)
The Illustrated Natural History of Selborne 4 (4/08/’20)

Throughout the Rev. White’s lettersĀ  are recorded moments when he shot birds, indeed it might seem sometimes as if he carried his gun on all his walks. To the mind of the modern conservationist... [more]

The Illustrated Natural History of Selborne 3 (3/08/2020).
The Illustrated Natural History of Selborne 3 (3/08/2020).

An undated letter (probably 1775/’76) on p. 100 of the above book has added to it the colour plate shown above. To see a sparrow-hawk take its prey is a fearful sight, the final... [more]

The Illustrated Natural History of Selborne 2 (3/08/2020).
The Illustrated Natural History of Selborne 2 (3/08/2020).

The Rev. Gilbert White (see previous blog), being a keen gardener and observer of farming practices as he walked around his parish as well as being an ornithologist, wrote that harvest bugs (s.p.b.) gathered... [more]

2nd August, 2020 The Illustrated Natural History of Selborne.
2nd August, 2020 The Illustrated Natural History of Selborne.

(Sorry for the ‘break in service’ – personal issues). If swifts, swallows and martins rely on winged insects, or more correctly insects on the wing, then this seems to be a niche food source... [more]

27th July, 2020  Flies.
27th July, 2020 Flies.

The picture above shows a species of fly called Voria ruralis and was scanned from a website titled ‘Nature Spot, recording wildlife of Leicestershire and Rutland’. The v.r. may be seen in flower meadows... [more]