A round up of the top stories as chosen by the CJS Team.
Monday 28 February
Countryside champions, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) have labelled the consultation process for High Speed 2 announced today [Monday] as a complete train wreck. The charity describes the consultation as a head-on collision between Government plans to develop national infrastructure and its proposals to give power back to people .
Ralph Smyth, Senior Transport Campaigner at CPRE, says: “The Government has been so focused on trying to catch up and overtake the French on High Speed Rail, that they have failed to ensure the public get their fair say.
The Government has today (Monday 28 February 2011) announced its preference for a phased transfer of state-owned waterways in England and Wales into the planned new waterway charity, with British Waterways’ canals and rivers moving in 2012 and the Environment Agency (EA) navigations moving in 2015. The decision is intended to ensure that sufficient funding can be found to enable the charity to take on the liabilities associated with the EA navigations from the start of the next Spending Review.
The decision is intended to ensure that sufficient funding can be found to enable the charity to take on the liabilities associated with the EA navigations from the start of the next Spending Review
Work will begin this week (2 March) to remove a highly invasive water plant from a loch of international importance for its wildlife.
The ecology of Loch Flemington near Nairn is under threat from invasion by the non-native aquatic plant New Zealand Pigmyweed.
The loch is designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA) and is an internationally important breeding site for Slavonian grebe and a range of other rare indigenous plants and animals. However, grebes have not bred there since 2001 and many of the loch's other inhabitants have suffered due to nutrient pollution and the non-native pigmyweed.
Tuesday 1 March
New ambitious plans to help build a stronger green government were announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman today (28/2/11).
The Mainstreaming Sustainable Development package will guarantee that Government policies have been ‘sustainability-proofed’ – by making sure they help to deliver sustainable economic growth, improve our quality of life and protect our natural environment now and for future generations.
Action to contain two serious tree diseases found in park in Scotland
- Forestry Commisison Scotland
- Forestry Commisison Scotland
Forestry Commission Scotland is working with West Dunbartonshire Council to remove dying trees from Balloch Castle Country Park.
Lawson’s cypress trees, yew trees and rhododendron at the park have been found to be infected by three different organisms from the Phytophthora family of pathogens. The fungus-like organisms cause plant diseases and two of them are quarantine organisms requiring statutory action to control them.
Roddie Burgess, Head of the Forestry Commission’s Plant Health Service, said,
“We were alerted to this in 2010 and we’ve been working with West Dunbartonshire Council to limit the spread of the two quarantine organisms, Phytophthora lateralis and Phytophthora ramorum.
“We will be carrying on with our own surveys in the area, but we’re also asking all local residents who might have species of cypress, larch or rhododendron on their properties to check them carefully for signs of dying foliage or bleeding cankers on the stems, and to report suspicious symptoms to us.”
The government says it is committed to the eradication of the ruddy duck in the UK
A cull of ruddy ducks in the UK has cut their numbers to just 120.
The government says about 4,400 of the birds were shot dead over the past five years.
Supporters of the cull, including the RSPB, say it is needed to protect other species from extinction. Opponents argue it is expensive and unnecessary.
The ruddy duck is originally from the United States, and came to the UK in the 1940s.
Experts say it has threatened the existence of the white-headed duck in Spain by interbreeding with it.
Figures released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) show that 1,365 of the birds were killed in 2008, with the number falling to 717 in 2009, and 386 last year.
Duck shooters from the Food and Environment Research Agency killed the birds under licences issued by government officials.
Squirrels are £20 million menace to homeowners says report in The
says report in The Telegraph
Squirrels have been blamed for causing more than £20 million of damage to homes in Britain, including gnawed roof beams and chewed wiring.
The animals are estimated to nest in up to 50,000 homes Photo: ALAMY
Pest controllers said householders should be “extra vigilant” over the next few weeks as the country’s female squirrels are about to give birth to litters of up to six babies a time.
Most insurance companies do not cover squirrel infestations. The animals are estimated to nest in up to 50,000 homes.
Squirrels normally take up residence in loft spaces and sheds over winter and can cause serious damage to properties.
Here today - here tomorrow? :
:Plantlife calls for action on next generation of plant invaders
Conservation charity Plantlife reveals the non-native plants most likely to be the next damaging invaders in our countryside in a new report launched today.
Most are on sale in garden and aquatics centres and are used in our gardens, ponds, aquaria and public spaces. Plantlife is calling for urgent action to be taken on plants assessed as having invasive potential should they escape ‘over the garden wall’, by conducting more detailed research to determine the level of threat they pose. For plants where the level of invasive threat is already evident, Plantlife is calling for better use of legislation to try and contain them.
The next invaders – the ‘ones to watch’
Plantlife’s new report ‘Here today, here tomorrow? Horizon scanning for invasive non-native plants’ (click here to download a copy) contains details of species that Plantlife believes are on the brink of becoming invasive in Britain but are not yet covered by legislation that could help to limit their spread. Invasive species already cause enormous problems to our native plants and wildlife, and cost the British economy around £1.7 billion every year.
CJS is not responsible for content of external sites. Details believed correct but given without prejudice.
Disclaimer: the views expressed in these news pages do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of CJS.