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A round up of the top countryside, conservation, wildlife and forestry stories as chosen by the CJS Team.


Government urged to heed its own advisors - Mountaineering Council of Scotland 

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland has issued a joint letter and media briefing highlighting concerns over the Scottish Government’s approach to assessing planning applications for major wind farm developments.

The letter was signed by MCofS President Brian Linington, along with the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland, The Munro Society, The National Trust for Scotland, Ramblers Scotland and The Scottish Wild Land Group.

The letter highlights two particular developments where the Scottish Government has been perceived to disregard the submissions made by its own advisors and statutory consultees within Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

The letter, viewable here, opens by agreeing the need to reduce energy use and substitute renewable energy for the use of fossil fuels, but points to the public disquiet about proliferation of energy developments in Scotland’s wild land areas.

One of the cases highlighted is the approval by the Scottish Government of the colossal Stronelairg wind farm in the Monadhliath, despite objections from many different organisations, communities and individuals and against the views of its own expert advisers from SNH.  “It seems iniquitous to us that, having put in place a planning system which invites the expert views of statutory consultees, the Scottish Government too frequently ignores them if they prove inconvenient. At the very least, evidence of this calibre from SNH should trigger public inquiries.

In the case of the Stronelairg Wind Farm, on Garrogie Estate, the Scottish Government approved Scottish and Southern Energy’s plans to construct an industrial-scale wind farm in the middle of one of the country’s most important, unspoilt wild landscapes. At 35 square kilometres it will cover the same area as the city of Inverness and bounds a Special Area of Conservation, as well as the Cairngorms National Park.  Along with many community and public submissions against the development, both the Cairngorms National Park Authority and the Government’s own agency, SNH, objected to the proposals but were ignored. SNH had proposed to include Stronelairg in its register of Wild Land Areas, which would have afforded the location a measure of protection from development, but it was discovered through the Freedom of Information Act that that this was stymied before the map was finalised.

The MCofS, along with the other signatories of the letter, have argued that a wind farm of this size, in such a wild area, may set a precedent which may be exploited by developers, threatening more of the landscape and its ecosystems. Already there have been indications from SSE that they hope to establish infrastructure (not mentioned in the original planning application) – such pylons, roadways and connectors – that would cause yet more damage to the site and its surroundings.


Can a child’s life be changed by a school trip? ‘First ever’ research - Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust

Can a one-day school trip to a nature reserve lead to lasting improvements in a child’s values and attitude towards the natural world?

schoolchildren checking their net (WWT)The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) is pioneering research into the long-term effects on primary schoolchildren that visit their Wetland Centres. To our knowledge, it’s the first time the subject has been explored in this way.

The research will catch up with the children and teachers once they return to the classroom. Follow-up discussions and activities will draw out subtle changes over time. For example, how the children might remember the best bits of their day in a drawing, whether they did anything at home as result of the trip such as put up a bird feeder, and where and how long they play outdoors can indicate the values towards nature that are forming in their heads.

Schoolchildren checking their net (image: WWT)

Researchers will compare the approaches taken by different schools on similar visits, which will show, for example, whether children are more inspired by things they are shown or those they find for themselves.

WWT Learning Manager, Lucy Hellier said: “This is a pioneering piece of research that could have implications for all school trips to the great outdoors. Over the years we’ve welcomed more than two million school kids to our Wetland Centres. We see them enjoy themselves and we dream that we’ve inspired each one. Other studies have asked adults why they became interested in nature. We’re coming at it from a different angle and speaking to children directly to narrow down what it was about a single school trip that could turn it into a life-changing event. As far as we know, no one has ever tried that before.” 


Release of the latest Bat Crime Report 2013 - Bat Conservation Trust 

As a consequence of the historical declines in UK bat populations in the 20th century, bats and their roosts are protected by UK law. With the depletion of natural habitats in the UK, many bat species have resorted to using man-made structures as roosting sites, this includes houses, churches, barns and other buildings. This dependency makes them vulnerable to any redevelopment of buildings they inhabit, with damage and destruction of roosts, particularly maternity roosts, resulting in significant negative impacts on the local populations. Bats in the UK are most active between March and October. This coincides with peak building construction times, so it is unsurprising that most bat crime incidents reported to the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) occurs at this time.

As the latest Bat Crime report  shows, the overall number of bat crime allegations referred to police from BCT in 2013 was 121, down by 13 cases from 2012. The majority of these crimes were as a result of building development activity, with damage being caused to roosts identified as the most frequent offence. BCT’s Investigations Project works towards preventing bat crime, and during 2013 has been working closely with the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU). BCT provides the unit with intelligence relating to all incidents that are referred for investigation, which according to the NWCU Strategic Assessment 2013 “accounts for 68% (62 logs) of the overall intelligence count”.

The number of cases that result in prosecutions each year is not necessarily a useful indication of how well bat crime is handled. BCT are of the opinion that a far greater measure of success from a conservation viewpoint is to assess how well the legislation is being complied with, and how many bat crimes have been prevented. If this approach is accepted then 2013 must be considered to have been another successful year.

Despite receiving a large number of reports, the question remains as to whether these incidents are a true reflection of the level of crime occurring. For this reason it is vitally important that BCT continues to gather information that can be used to evidence levels of crime.


‘Stressed’ young bees could be the cause of colony collapse – Queen Mary University of London

Pressure on young bees to grow up too fast could be a major factor in explaining the disastrous declines in bee populations seen worldwide. 

Image: Queen Mary University of LondonResearchers have tracked the activity of bees forced to begin foraging earlier in their lives due to stress on their colonies and found that they collect less pollen and die earlier, accelerating the decline and collapse of their hives.

image: Queen Mary University of London

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is a major threat to bee colonies around the world and affects their ability to perform vital human food crop pollination. It has been a cause of urgent concern for scientists and farmers around the world for at least a decade but a specific cause for the phenomenon has yet to be conclusively identified.

Bees usually begin foraging when they are 2-3 weeks old but when bee colonies are stressed by disease, a lack of food, or other factors that kill off older bees, the younger bees start foraging at a younger age. Researchers attached radio trackers to thousands of bees and tracked their movement throughout their lives. They found that bees that started foraging younger completed less foraging flights than others and were more likely to die on their first flights.

The researchers, from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), Macquarie University in Sydney, Washington University in St Louis, and University of Sydney, used this information to model the impact on honey bee colonies.

They found that any stress leading to chronic forager death of the normally older bees led to an increasingly young foraging force. This younger foraging population lead to poorer performance and quicker deaths of foragers and dramatically accelerated the decline of the colony much like observations of CCD seen around the world.

C. J. Perry, E. Søvik, M. R. Myerscough & A. B. Barron. Rapid behavioral maturation accelerates failure of stressed honey bee colonies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1422089112

Read the paper here


Campaign for National Parks Mosaic Community Champions take to film to inspire ethnic minorities to visit Welsh National Parks – Campaign for National Parks

Community champions - working to bring more people from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) backgrounds to the National Parks - have been so inspired that they have created a series of You Tube videos.

The three year initiative, run by the Campaign for National Parks with the three National Park Authorities and the Youth Hostel Association, aims to build partnerships between the urban BME population, the voluntary sector and National Parks. Mosaic recruits and supports volunteer community champions, who learn about National Parks and introduce other members of their communities to them.

Final evaluation of the initiative suggests that Mosaic Wales has created 62 community champions and that more than 2,200 people from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds had visited the Parks - many for the first time.

Sarah Wilson, Mosaic Project Manager, said: "The Campaign for National Parks Mosaic champions are truly inspirational in the way they promote Welsh National Parks as places where you can enjoy the landscape and enhance health and well-being and community cohesion."

Dawn Archibald, who grew up in Guyana, South America, before moving to Wrexham, has been a Snowdonia Mosaic champion for the last 18 months: "It has been a truly wonderful experience and opened up a whole new world. I have done things that I never thought I would, such as climb Snowdon. It really pushed you to want to be healthy."

There is a full article about the Mosaic project in the just published CJS Focus on Volunteering Read it here


Study shows urban habitats provide haven for UK bees – University of Bristol

Urban environments might not seem the best habitat for pollinators at first glance but a new study, led by the University of Bristol, suggests that bees and other pollinating bugs actually thrive as well in towns and cities as they do in farms and nature reserves.

Study shows urban habitats provide haven for UK bees credit Nadine MitschunasBees, which play a vital role in pollinating some of the UK’s most important crops, have been declining in recent years

(credit: Nadine Mitschunas)

The study, published today (11 February) in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, has for the first time compared the suitability of different landscapes for pollinating insects across the UK.

Bees, which play a vital role in pollinating some of the UK’s most important crops, have been declining in recent years, but the effects of urbanisation on pollinating insects is poorly understood.

This new research, from the Universities of Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds and Reading in collaboration with the University of Cardiff, found that bee abundance did not differ between three studied landscapes (urban, farmland and nature reserves) but bee diversity was higher in urban areas than farmland.  They also found that while hoverfly abundance was higher in farmland and nature reserves than urban sites, overall pollinator diversity did not differ significantly.

Lead researcher Dr Katherine Baldock of the University of Bristol’s Cabot Institute and School of Biological Sciences said: “Bees are driven by the availability of food and suitable nesting sites. We found that there were equivalent numbers of bees in the three landscapes studied. In urban areas pollinators foraged on a wide variety of plant species, including many non-native garden plants, but visited a smaller proportion of the available plant species than those in other landscapes. This could be explained by the high diversity of plant species in urban areas.”

The team compared flower visiting pollinator communities in 36 sites in and around some of the UK’s largest towns and cities, recording a total of 7,412 insects visiting flowers.  In the study, 11 rare or scarce species were recorded, four of which were also found in urban habitats.

The findings have important implications for pollinator conservation as urban areas in the UK continue to increase in size.  The study concluded that ‘urban areas growing and improving their value for pollinators should be part of any national strategy to conserve and restore pollinators’.

Read the full report here


Urban pollinator study could benefit Edinburgh – Scottish Wildlife Trust

The Trust is commending research which could help Scotland’s capital become a safe haven for pollinators.

Two of the experts involved with the research, Professor Graham Stone and Damien Hicks are working with City of Edinburgh Council’s Parks and Greenspaces department to ensure these new findings are utilised for the Edinburgh Living Landscape project. Damien Hicks said: “Urban habitats have a unique and high diversity of plant resources. The ecological management and scientific research promoted by the Edinburgh Living Landscape project could set the bar for monitoring the urban environment.”

Head of Policy and Planning at Scottish Wildlife Trust, Dr Maggie Keegan, said:  “This study shows that urban green spaces are great for bees – and that if we play our cards right, we could turn Edinburgh into a safe haven for pollinators. Edinburgh Living Landscape hopes to demonstrate that by making small changes such as converting amenity grassland to wildflower meadows, tree planting and other wildlife-friendly measures, public parks can become important conservation areas for pollinators. This has an added benefit for Edinburgh’s citizens, as they get even more beautiful areas to enjoy in their local parks.”


Restoring Newborough’s sand dunes – Natural Resources Wales

Restoring Newborough's sand dunes image via Natural Resources WalesOver the last 60 years Newborough Warren on Anglesey has lost a staggering 94% of open, mobile sand dunes as they became over-grown with grass and trees. This destroyed the unique pioneer dune slacks necessary for the specialist and rare wildlife of the dunes to flourish. Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has already removed dead or stunted trees from two small areas behind the dunes.

Now it will begin the second phase of the project by removing vegetation from some dunes and cutting notches in the frontal dunes so that the sand can move about naturally in the wind. This will help rare plants and insects such as petalwort, sand wasps, mining bees and rare beetles that have been driven to the brink of extinction in the area.

After years of decline work has begun to help restore one of Wales’ finest sand dune systems.

(Image via Natural Resources Wales)

Graham Williams, Senior Reserve Manager at Natural Resources Wales said: “The site needs help because the stabilised dunes are not providing the right habitat for the species that live there. This work will allow the rare insects and plants to re-colonise the dunes and return them to naturally diverse and balanced habitats over the next couple of years. Naturally mobile sand dunes aren’t just good for nature, they provide a more dynamic coastal defence system which can adapt to storms and sea level change. They are also fantastic natural landscapes and great places for everyone to enjoy. Although the diggers used for the work may look heavy-handed, they will clear away the thick thatch of choking grasses and dark soil, to reveal bare sandy areas.”

In other work, tree thinning will begin shortly in the eastern corner of the forest to remove some conifer trees. These will be replaced next winter by NRW and the Red Squirrels Trust Wales with a variety of around 2,000 native trees which will be a better habitat for wildlife. This is in addition to the current work of Red Squirrels Trust Wales planting 1,600 hazel trees near the area of the dunes currently being refurbished.


Badger Vaccination, Castle Woods Nature Reserve, Carmarthenshire Year One Report (2014)

Report by Dr Lizzie Wilberforce, Conservation Manager, Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales

Download the report here (pdf)


Food and Environment Research Agency new £14.5m investment - Defra

Defra's ambitious science programme taken forward in £14.5 million joint venture with Capita and Newcastle University.

Capita and Newcastle University have been chosen to create a joint venture with Defra to help run Fera, the Food and Environment Research Agency as part of Defra’s ambitious science programme. The joint venture will unlock £14.5m of new investment. This is part of Defra’s ambitious science programme and recognition of the importance of cutting-edge research. The joint venture will expand the agency’s world-leading scientific capability and strengthen its role in food safety research. It will enable Fera to play an even greater role in helping to drive growth in our £100 billion agri-food industry. The venture includes the creation of a joint academic institute with Newcastle University aimed at advancing the understanding and application of science to practical agri-food problems.

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said: “This exciting investment allows Fera to grow its science capability, ensuring the security and quality of our food supply chain and keeping our plants and environment healthy. Fera’s continued ability to deliver cutting edge science will enhance its reputation and viability as an international centre of excellence that can compete abroad and attract further investment.”

Defra will maintain a strategic share of 25% in Fera, allowing it to continue to benefit from the agency’s scientific excellence, which plays a vital role in ensuring national plant health.

Fera Chief Executive Hilary Aldridge said: “I look forward to working with Capita and Newcastle University which will strengthen Fera’s existing scientific quality and international reputation. Capita brings a wealth of commercial experience, along with the investment needed to safeguard the long term future of Fera and the ability to grow our business, both to government and new commercial customers.”

Defra Chief Scientific Adviser Ian Boyd said: “Strong science is vital to the work that Defra carries out, ensuring that our food sector is world-leading, and protecting our country from animal and plant diseases. This decision will ensure that Fera remains a modern and innovative centre of scientific excellence.”

It is intended that Capita will take over the operation of Fera from 1st April.


Golden eagle numbers to be revealed by fourth national survey - RSPB

Golden Eagle via RSPB / Bill PatonOne of Scotland’s most iconic birds will be the subject of a fourth national survey to see how its population is faring. The six-month survey of golden eagles is co-funded by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the RSPB. Licensed surveyors RSPB Centre for Conservation Science in collaboration those from the Scottish Raptor Study Group will spend this time recording the number of these majestic birds, known for their spectacular undulating flight displays in spring.

Image: Bill Paton

All of the golden eagles in Great Britain are found in Scotland expect for a solitary male in the Lake District. Much of the population is in the west Highlands and islands of Scotland.

Long term monitoring has shown that although the golden eagle population has remained stable there is a variation in numbers across different areas. The most recent survey in 2003 revealed that the overall number of breeding pairs had increased, since 1992, by 20 to 442. However, there were declines of 24 per cent and 28 per cent in North Central and South Central Highlands respectively, since the first survey in 1982.

Dr Daniel Hayhow from the RSPB Centre for Conservation Science highlighted the need for the survey: “This national survey is really important to the conservation efforts for golden eagles. These birds don’t breed until they are four or five years old so having accurate numbers of breeding pairs will help us assess how the population is faring at the moment and in the future.”

Researchers are keen to find out whether conservation efforts over the last twelve years have led to an increase in breeding numbers across the country. The survey will cover all current known golden eagle hunting and nesting areas, called ‘home ranges’. Areas where golden eagles have previously inhabited will also be assessed to check for any signs of their return. 


Reports highlight concerns for Britain’s leaf beetles and stoneflies – Natural England

Latest research reveals many of our leaf beetles and stoneflies are on a ‘red list’ of species that are under threat of local extinction. Stonefly © David Pryce, Buglife (image via Natural England) 

The 2 new reports from the Species Status Project have been published by Natural England in collaboration with Buglife. They assess the conservation status of 2 groups of insects - leaf beetles (named after their habit of eating leaves) and stoneflies (aquatic species found in rivers and streams) – and classify them as either ‘vulnerable’, ‘endangered’ or ‘critically endangered’ .

Stonefly © David Pryce, Buglife (image via Natural England)

The review of leaf beetles found that out of the 283 species in the UK:

  • 3 have become extinct in Britain in the last 100 years
  • 7 are classified as critically endangered and possibly already extinct in Britain, as they have not been seen since 1950
  • 35 are placed on the new red list and considered either ‘critically endangered’, ‘endangered’ or ‘vulnerable’, and under threat of becoming extinct in Britain in the near future

Stoneflies fare slightly better. Out of 34 species found in Great Britain, one is now extinct, one is vulnerable to extinction, and another now joins the red list as a critically endangered species.

The 2 reports are the latest in a series to be published under the Species Status Project, which will help conservation organisations to target future action. The Species Status project is a new initiative that provides up-to-date assessments of the threat status of various species of insects using the internationally accepted guidelines developed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Both groups of insects are highly sensitive to their environment. Leaf beetles are often specific to certain plants in certain habitats. Stonefly larvae are particularly sensitive to organic pollution. They are regarded as excellent indicators of the natural environment and targeted action supported by both Natural England and the voluntary conservation sector is underway to try to prevent further declines in these species. The reports provide vital new evidence that will help focus resources on managing habitats in the best way to improve the conservation status of these overlooked but important insects.

The reviews can be found on Natural England’s publications catalogue:

NECR161 - A review of the scarce and threatened beetles of Great Britain: The leaf beetles and their allies; and

NECR174 - A review of the stoneflies (Plecoptera) of Great Britain


Scottish Charities petition Parliament for more National Parks

Two Scottish charities, the Scottish Campaign for National Parks (SCNP) and The Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland (APRS), have submitted a Petition to the Scottish Parliament, calling on it to urge the Scottish Government to prepare and implement a strategy to designate more National Parks in Scotland, including at least one Coastal and Marine National Park.

John Mayhew, Director of APRS, said: "Scotland’s landscapes rank amongst the best in the world, but we only have two National

Parks, the highest national accolade which can be given to any place. Scotland’s first two National Parks have achieved a great deal in their first decade, and they inspire pride and passion amongst local people and visitors. There are other outstanding landscapes in

Scotland worthy of National Park designation, and local and national public support for this.  More National Parks would generate many environmental, social and economic benefits. They would bring additional resources, strengthen Scotland’s international standing for environmental protection and support our crucial tourism industry. It is now time for the Scottish Government to prepare a strategy to designate more of Scotland’s land, coast and sea as National Parks."

Ross Anderson, Chairman of SCNP, said: "We have not taken this step lightly. The Scottish Parliament rightly asks people not to submit a Petition until they have taken substantial action to resolve their issues of concern.  

The Petition is open for signature until 13 March on the Scottish Parliament's website at:


Read the full statement here (pdf) 

The call was supported by the John Muir Trust.

A National Park Strategy for Scotland - John Muir Trust
The John Muir Trust is supporting a petition from the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland and the Scottish Campaign for National Parks to the Scottish Government asking the government to prepare and implement a strategy to designate more National Parks in Scotland.

The Trust has some concerns about the tensions between the duties of Scottish National Parks to promote sustainable development and protect the environment and also considers that there is scope for improvement in the Scottish Government’s operation of the two existing National Parks, so the creation of any future National Parks needs to consider how nature and landscapes could be further protected within the Parks.
The Trust looks forward to the Scottish Parliament’s consideration of this petition and would welcome the opportunity to submit evidence on the case for better protection for wild land. 


Bass Rock announced as the world's largest Northern gannet colony - Scottish Seabird Centre 

The Scottish Seabird Centre, East Lothian, announces that a count of Northern gannets undertaken by Stuart Murray, in conjunction with the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), has shown that the Bass Rock is now the world’s largest colony.

The Bass Rock is located 4km (2.5m) from North Berwick and the Northern gannet's scientific name (Morus bassanus) is derived from the Bass itself.

In 2014, independent counts made by Stuart Murray and Mike Harris (CEH), with advice from Maggie Sheddan, the senior Bass Rock guide for the Scottish Seabird Centre, found 75,000 apparently occupied sites (AOS). This is an increase of 24% since a similar count made by Stuart Murray in 2009.

Bass Rock announced as the world's largest Northern gannet colonyStuart Murray said: "The colony was photographed from the air on 23 June 2014. Conditions were excellent, with no wind and a high cover of thick cloud which obscured the sun, reducing the glare from all these startlingly white birds. The images were later viewed on computer screens for counting and each occupied site was blocked-out as it was counted.

"Interestingly, the most dramatic increase is between the old lighthouse keepers’ garden and the summit of the Rock. We counted around 10,000 sites in this area compared with 6,500 five years ago."

Bass Rock announced as the world's largest Northern gannet colony (Image: Scottish Seabird Centre)

Sarah Wanless, from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, said: "Our long-term research on North Sea seabirds aims to understand how species such as the gannet will cope with the rapid pace of environmental change. This is our fifth census of the Bass Rock in the last 30 years. It is particularly heartening to see them doing so well when so many other seabirds in Scotland appear to be in trouble, however, the Bass Rock is a small island and the gannets have now filled most of the available nesting habitat. The colony now has only very limited capacity for further increase.”

Tom Brock OBE, Chief Executive of the Scottish Seabird Centre, said: "Scotland is of international importance for seabirds and is home to over 60% of the world's population of Northern gannets. The figure of 75,000 sites is phenomenal especially when many apparently occupied sites will represent a breeding pair and their chick. I would expect that the total gannet population on the Bass in the breeding season will be well in excess of 150,000 birds. Every year the Bass Rock turns brilliant white with the sheer number of gannets crammed onto the Rock and not, as some people think, with their guano.

"While this is fantastic news we cannot ignore the fact that although gannet colonies are currently thriving other seabird species are not. This is a very complex issue however we know that gannets are able to travel further to forage for food - even as far as the coast of Norway.


Concern at u-turn on fracking protections in Infrastructure Bill - CPRE

On Thursday 12 February CPRE expressed disappointment that the Government has gone back on its previous commitment and chosen not to implement amendments ensuring greater safeguards on fracking in the Infrastructure Bill.

Two weeks ago the Government accepted a number of amendments, including those ruling out fracking in and under National Parks and requiring an environmental impact assessment. Peers in the House of Lords subsequently unpicked these and other safeguards by supporting the Government's weaker version, but it was hoped that the Government, at the insistence of MPs from across the House, would reinstate strong protections.

In a short debate in the Commons last night, these protections were not adopted, with ministers suggesting that it ‘might not be practical’ to ban fracking under as well as in all Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks 'without unduly constraining the industry'.
Nick Clack, senior energy campaigner at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), said: “The Government claimed last week to have introduced strong legal safeguards on fracking to protect the countryside and communities. Yesterday ministers undermined that claim and further eroded public confidence. It is both disappointing and concerning that the Government has chosen not to reinstate in legislation important controls such as the explicit requirement for an Environmental Impact Assessment, or the outright ban on fracking under National Parks and other protected areas they previously committed to. This calls into question the Government’s commitment to so-called world class fracking regulation." 


Children and communities across the UK to protect pollinating insects thanks to £1.4m Heritage Lottery Fund grant - Buglife

Learning through Landscapes’ Polli:Nation project enabling 260 schools help save the UK’s pollinators

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced support for the UK-wide biodiversity project - Polli:Nation, a programme which supports schools and communities in helping to protect the future of our seriously dwindling pollinating insect population. A grant of £1.4m has now been confirmed by HLF following the successful development of the project which will engage pupils, teachers and volunteers in 260 schools across the UK to transform school grounds and local community spaces into pollinator-friendly habitats. Children and young people will learn all about pollinators and make changes to their local environments to improve opportunities for these precious insects.

Vicky Kindemba, Buglife's Conservation Delivery Manager said "This project is a fantastic opportunity for school children to explore and learn about the amazing world of bees and other bugs; and getting their school buzzing by improving their own grounds".

Juno Hollyhock, the Executive Director of Learning through Landscapes explains, " Schools are at the heart of our communities and we hope through the Polli:Nation survey that children and adults alike will be inspired to make the changes needed to help our pollinating insects. We believe that this important and inspiring project will help children and young people to learn about the development of their natural environments, both in and out of their school grounds, teaching them that the changes we make to our surroundings can have a profound effect on critical issues such as our deteriorating habitats."

Learning through Landscapes has developed the Polli:Nation project along with other sector partners including The Field Studies Council, Buglife, Butterfly Conservation, OPAL Imperial College London, Stirling University, Bumblebee Conservation and The Conservation Volunteers. 


Scientific publications 

Hayward, Matt W. et al.  Ecologists need robust survey designs, sampling and analytical methods. Journal of Applied Ecology  DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12408


Robert W. Furnessa & Sarah Wanlessb  Quantifying the impact of offshore wind farms on Gannet populations: a strategic ringing project  Ringing & Migration Volume 29, Issue 2 DOI:10.1080/03078698.2014.995418


Patrick J. C. White , Phil Warren , Dave Baines  Habitat use by Black Grouse Tetrao tetrix in a mixed moorland-forest landscape in Scotland and implications for a national afforestation strategy. Bird Study

Vol. 62, Iss. 1, 2015 DOI: 10.1080/00063657.2014.1000261


Malcolm D. Burgess , Paul E. Bellamy , Simon Gillings , David G. Noble , Philip V. Grice , Greg J. Conway. The impact of changing habitat availability on population trends of woodland birds associated with early successional plantation woodland.  Bird Study Vol. 62, Iss. 1 DOI:10.1080/00063657.2014.998622


Citizen Science in Ecology & Conservation - Virtual Issue, Wiley Online Library 

A selection of recent papers across a number of Wiley journal where citizen science has played a big part in the final outcomes of the research in Ecology, Conservation and related fields. 


Sharps, Elwyn, Smart, Jennifer, Skov, Martin W., Garbutt, Angus & Hiddink, Jan G.  Light grazing of saltmarshes is a direct and indirect cause of nest failure in Common Redshank Tringa tetanus.  Ibis.  DOI: 10.1111/ibi.12249


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