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


Hen Harriers Return to Mar Lodge Estate - National Trust for Scotland 

A hen harrier chick was satellite tagged today at the National Trust for Scotland’s Mar Lodge Estate, following the first successful breeding attempt on the estate by this iconic raptor species in several decades. Four chicks were produced in total and one of these has been tagged as part of the RSPB’s Hen Harrier LIFE project.

Harrier with Tag Fitted (Image by Shaila Rao, via NTS media)Harrier with Tag Fitted (Image by Shaila Rao, via NTS media)

David Frew, Property Manager at Mar Lodge Estate said “It is fantastic news and really exciting to see these birds returning to the estate for the first time in living memory. We have worked hard to create an environment where raptors can thrive, and it is great to see that our approach to management is paying off. The estate is heavily used by visitors to the Cairngorms and we work hard to balance conservation, field sports and visitor access and enjoyment. The presence of raptors, and particularly the return of hen harriers demonstrates that these objectives can all be balanced given the right conditions. It is tremendously exciting to see these birds here once again.”

Will Boyd-Wallis, Head of Land Management and Conservation for the CNPA said, “It is fantastic news that the hen harrier has returned to breed on Mar Lodge Estate after many decades of absence.  We very much hope that the careful management undertaken by the National Trust for Scotland alongside other estates in the East Cairngorms Moorland Partnership and in the wider National Park will lead to many more pairs successfully returning to the area.  It is also very good that through the LIFE fund, one of the chicks has been satellite tagged.  We will watch its progress with great interest and hope to learn more about its movements and habits in the months ahead.”


Fly tipping threatens conservation work at Frays Farm Meadows nature reserve in Denham - London Wildlife Trust

Staff from London Wildlife Trust found their way into Frays Farm Meadows blocked by a mountain of illegally dumped rubbish on Thursday (14/7) morning. The works entrance to the nature reserve, accessible from a slip road on the A40, was completely blocked by several truckloads of waste.

Illegal fly-tipping at Frays Farm Meadows. Image by Nathan NelsonIllegal fly-tipping at Frays Farm Meadows. Image by Nathan Nelson

Despite being next to the busy A40, Frays Farm Meadows is an important nature reserve, home to endangered water voles, barn owls, slow worms and a colony of glow-worms. The reserve is so important for wildlife that is most of it is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, one of only 37 such sites in the entire Greater London region. 

Staff from London Wildlife Trust are working to clear a route through the rubbish and Highways England has said they will help remove the discarded waste. According to the Trust, it is fortunate that the dumped waste is only blocking a work access route and will not directly affect the wildlife or visitors’ enjoyment of the site.

Simon Hawkins, the Trust’s conservation officer for west London said: “This is very serious episode of flying tipping - it's not a couple of bags of garden rubbish out of the back of someone's car, but truckloads of sub soil, rubble, fencing panels, car batteries, large empty blue drums of cleaning fluid and what looks like the contents of a house. It's taken up staff time clearing it back so the farmer can get access to the cattle, and could have cost London Wildlife Trust a lot of money to remove. Fortunately Highways England have said they will remove the rubbish because it's blocking their access to the A40 viaduct.'”


Future of public parks inquiry launched - Communities and Local Government Committee consultation

The Communities and Local Government Committee launches an inquiry into public parks to examine the impact of reduced local authority budgets on these open spaces and consider concerns that their existence is under threat.

Public parks inquiry

The Committee looks at how parks should be supported now and in the future. This includes studying alternative management and funding models, such as a mutual or a trust.

The Committee invites submission of written evidence to its website on the following issues:

  • Who uses parks and open spaces, how often and for what
  • The contribution of parks to the health and well-being of communities
  • The impact of reductions in local authority budgets on parks
  • What the administrative status of parks should be in light of declining local authority resources for non-statutory services
  • How new and existing parks can best be supported
  • What additional or alternative funding is available and what scope is there for local authorities to generate revenue from park users
  • What the advantages and disadvantages are of other management models, such as privatisation, outsourcing or mutualisation

The Committee would be grateful to receive written submissions by 30 September 2016.

Send a written submission via the public parks inquiry page

More information: Inquiry: Public parks and Communities and Local Government Committee


New WWT report: PM and Environment Secretary urged to plan ahead – Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

Children learning how wetlands help to reduce flooding, pollution and drought (WWT)Children learning how wetlands help to reduce flooding, pollution and drought (WWT)

Families and businesses will be worse off if a Government manifesto commitment to the environment falls due to Brexit, says the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT).

The Government’s proposed “25 year plan for the environment” has been postponed following the EU Referendum, having already been watered down from a Government UK-wide plan to just a Defra departmental plan for England.

The plan was supposed to reduce annual costs of environmental damage to businesses and households, by improving our environment. Estimates of these costs for the UK include £15-20 billion from air pollution and £1.4 billion from flood damage alone. much of which is met by our insurance premiums. Water pollution can add up to 17% to water customer’s bills. Water companies in England and Wales spend at least £129m per year to clean farm pollution from our water. Meanwhile the farmers themselves incur an extra £180 million per year in growing costs due to industrial chemicals in the air.

WWT report published today urges the Government to deliver its promise of a 25 year plan, and also to make itself accountable to Parliament through an annual budget statement on the value of the environment, alongside the value of the economy. In order to fund environmental improvements, the report cites the Norwegian approach, where companies who deplete the nation’s natural wealth have to pay towards renewing it through a ‘sovereign wealth’ fund.


Summers are getting wetter, soils are less acidic and plant species richness is increasing, according to long-term environmental studies at ECN sites - UK Environmental Change Network

Changes in air pollution and weather patterns have had marked effects on the UK’s terrestrial environment over the past 20 years. This is the main conclusion drawn from assessments of data from several of the UK’s longest running environmental research sites that comprise the UK Environmental Change Network (or ECN), presented in a new Special Issue of the journal Ecological Indicators.

The special issues includes papers on changes in weather, atmospheric deposition, vegetation, invertebrates and soils at ECN sites [Photo © Forest Research]The special issues includes papers on changes in weather, atmospheric deposition, vegetation, invertebrates and soils at ECN sites [Photo © Forest Research]

While UK air temperatures have risen significantly since the onset of industrialisation (in line with the expected consequences of global warming), air temperatures at ECN sites showed little net change over the specific 1993-2012 period studied. Nevertheless nearly all of the twelve ECN sites experienced marked increases in the amount of summer rainfall, while the frequency and intensity of rainfall also increased.

The effect of large recent reductions in acidic emissions from power stations and heavy industry can be seen in substantial reductions in the atmospheric deposition of sulphur and acidity to all ECN sites. This in turn has stimulated a gradual but widespread reduction in the acidity of non-agricultural soils. Conversely, atmospheric concentrations of ammonia, that is produced primarily from agricultural sources and can have an undesirable fertilising effect on sensitive plant species, showed relatively little change across the network over the monitoring period.

The findings are published in Sier, A and Monteith, D. (eds). 2016. Assessing ecosystem resilience through Long Term Ecosystem Research: observations from the first twenty years of the UK Environmental Change Network. Ecological Indicators 68, 1-156


Do bees have accents? – Cardiff University

Pupils from Llanishen Fach Primary School in Cardiff learn more about Cardiff University’s bee projects in partnership with Julian Rees, Project Manager with Pollen8 Cymru. (Cardiff University)Pupils from Llanishen Fach Primary School in Cardiff learn more about Cardiff University’s bee projects in partnership with Julian Rees, Project Manager with Pollen8 Cymru. (Cardiff University)

A team from Cardiff University hopes to discover whether bees in Wales have regional accents.

The scientists are appealing for recorded sounds from the summer hives of an estimated 3,235 beekeepers from Holyhead to Chepstow.

By collecting photo and video images of bees near plants, the researchers from the School of Pharmacy hope to work out which types of vegetation provide the best source of nectar for honey production in the hive.

The School is currently installing a remote monitoring system to a hive on the roof of Cardiff University’s pharmacy building.

The device will allow the pharmacists to listen to the sounds the School’s own bees make and record factors such as temperature and humidity.

Les Baillie, Professor of Microbiology, said: “It is thought the sound a hive makes may be influenced by the health of the bees and whether they are about to swarm. Initially, we are hoping beekeepers across Wales will send us sound, video, and photo files of bees around their hives so we can build a picture of summer - the sound of buzzing bees, traffic, etc. Plotting these differences could ultimately help us in our bid to find out which plants help bees the most. Gathering photos, video and sound files will help us understand where gaps lie, and will help put plants in the right places to make bees more productive.”


Cuckoo declines linked to different migration routes to Africa - BTO

When the BTO began ground-breaking Cuckoo tracking research in 2011, we had very little idea where these birds spent the winter or how they got there. Our latest research not only reveals this information, but also shows that Cuckoos’ use of autumn migration routes helps explain population declines.

Cuckoo migration, infographic by Nigel Hawtin via BTOCuckoo migration, infographic by Nigel Hawtin via BTO

Like many migrant birds, the Cuckoo is in long-term decline as a breeding bird in Britain, and has been on the Red List of Birds of Conservation Concern since 2009. The breeding behaviour of the Cuckoo has been very well-studied, but until recently, knowledge of this species’ migratory and wintering behaviour was very limited. In 2011, a BTO team, led by Chris Hewson, set out to change this, using satellite-tags to track the movements of male Cuckoos breeding in East Anglia. This study has since been extended to track males from several other sites across Britain. This work has not only revealed details of Cuckoos’ migration timings and wintering grounds, but has also showed “our” breeding birds take one of two routes south to Africa after breeding. Crucially, differential rates of mortality have been found on these routes, which strongly correlate with breeding population trends.

The study included information from 42 male Cuckoos tagged at nine different breeding locations in England, Scotland and Wales, and tracked over 56 autumn migrations between 2011 and 2014. Birds either migrated southwest via Spain and Morocco (the ‘west route’) or southeast via Italy or the Balkans (the ‘east route’) before converging in the Congo basin of central Africa. Birds taking the west route left eight days later on average than those taking the east route. Interestingly, birds on the west route were more likely to die before completing the Sahara crossing, even though their route was 12% shorter to this point, demonstrating route-specific costs of migration for the first time. There was no difference in survival during the rest of their southward migrations, or during their return northward journeys to the breeding grounds. The differences in survival were correlated with breeding population changes assessed via two independent datasets – from bird Atlases in 1988-1991 and 2007-2011, and from the annual BTO/JNCC/RSPB Breeding Bird Survey. The strong relationships found provide the first direct evidence that conditions encountered during migration can have an impact on breeding populations.

Access the paper: Hewson, C.M., Thorup, K., Pearce-Higgins, J.W. & Atkinson, P.W. 2016  Population decline is linked to migration route in the Common Cuckoo, a long-distance nocturnally-migrating bird. Nature Communications.  DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12296.


Blashford Lakes nature reserve celebrates 20th birthday - Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust 

From industrial gravel pits to much-loved wildlife haven in two decades

Lapwing at Blashford Lakes nature reserve © Ian Cameron ReidLapwing at Blashford Lakes nature reserve © Ian Cameron Reid

A much-loved Wildlife Trust nature reserve is celebrating its 20th birthday this month. Blashford Lakes nature reserve near Ringwood, draws some 18,000 visitors from as far and wide as Somerset and the Midlands to enjoy the wealth of wildlife that both call it home year round, and pass through on migration.

With the support of New Forest District Council and the reserve’s landowners, Wessex Water and Bournemouth Water, ambitious plans to turn disused gravel pits into a wildlife haven took shape in the early 1990s. The Wildlife Trust opened the reserve’s gates in July 1996.

Since then, several dedicated staff, with the support of hundreds of volunteers and generous funding from partners and supporters, have together transformed the site into a popular wildlife destination in Hampshire.

Today it’s home to a variety of habitats including freshwater lakes and rivers, woodland and grassland – and thanks to the good management, wildlife such as otter, deer, and even magnificent osprey can be seen there.


RSPB Scotland statement on offshore windfarm judicial review decision - RSPB

It was with great reluctance in January 2015 that RSPB Scotland took the last resort decision to challenge Scottish Ministers’ consents for four large offshore windfarms in the outer firths of the Forth and Tay. RSPB Scotland had been working with the project developers and Scottish Ministers for several years to try and reduce the harm to seabirds. Unfortunately, consents were granted when thousands of gannets, puffins, kittiwakes and other seabirds from iconic internationally protected wildlife sites like the Bass Rock and the Isle of May were predicted to be killed every year. The Government’s statutory nature conservation advisors, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, had also raised significant concerns about the windfarms. In these circumstances, RSPB Scotland could not just stand by and let such devastating impacts on Scotland’s wildlife happen without making a stand. Regrettably, legal action was our only option.

Lloyd Austin, Head of Conservation Policy at RSPB Scotland: “Today’s judgments are complex and we will therefore need some time to fully consider their implications, however, RSPB Scotland is encouraged by the decisions of the Court, which have recognised the huge risks from these four offshore windfarms on Scotland’s internationally important areas for seabirds. Although RSPB Scotland’s decision to take legal action was the right one it is very regrettable that such significant time and effort was needed to reverse the decisions which put so much of Scotland’s wildlife at risk. This case demonstrates the critical importance of clear and effective environmental regulation that is properly implemented, as well as the importance of access to justice for NGOs and citizens to be able to ask the courts to scrutinise public decisions. RSPB Scotland is now keen to work with all parties to ensure we focus efforts on delivering much needed renewable energy in a way that does not threaten Scotland’s internationally important wildlife."


A vole new world - Northumberland Wildlife Trust 

‘Restoring Ratty,’ an ambitious five year partnership project aimed at the reintroduction of water voles to the Kielder area of Northumberland is now set to start, and it has all been made possible by National Lottery players and a grant of £421,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Water vole, photo Jamie Hall, via Northumberland Wildlife Trust Water vole, photo Jamie Hall, via Northumberland Wildlife Trust

The project will establish a sustainable population of water voles within Kielder Water and Forest Park (KWFP), on the upper catchment tributaries of the Kielder Burn and North Tyne above Kielder Reservoir; to achieve this, a team of volunteers and conservationists will carry out a programme of captive breeding and reintroduction of voles to areas with suitable wetland habitat where there is an absence of its main enemy, American mink.  The project will start later this month with the recruitment of a project officer and surveys in the North Pennines from which water voles may be taken to establish a captive breeding population to begin reintroduction. Engagement with local communities, volunteers, visitors and wider landowners will be key to establishing a long term future for the water voles and there will be many opportunities for people of all ages to get involved in the project.

By the end of the five year project, the team hopes there will be well established water vole colonies at Kielder with the additional hope that this much loved mammal will continue to live in this area in the future.  The forthcoming work builds on three years of detailed planning and year-round mink surveys, made possible by thousands of hours of trained volunteer effort, all of which have indicated that Kielder is now a great place for water voles.

Graham Holyoak, Project Manager for Tyne Rivers Trust which successfully led the first phase of the project to establish a predator free environment for water voles says: “Volunteers gathered over 1000 records with no sighting of mink, which is the water vole’s main predator, so we are confident that the habitat is now ready for the re-introduction of water voles to begin.”


Helping the natural world in the East of England - Heritage Lottery Fund

More than £50,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has been announced today, to help people across the East of England unearth the fascinating range of undiscovered natural heritage in the county.

Projects in Bedfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex will provide training in woodland management, develop volunteers' natural heritage skills and improve the biodiversity of a community wildlife garden, reconnecting people of all ages with the natural heritage on their doorsteps. Volunteers and local people will be at the heart of all four projects. 

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF East of England, said: “These four latest projects vary in size and location but what they all have in common is a celebration of the region’s wealth of beautiful woodlands, gardens and wildlife. It’s thanks to National Lottery players that we can continue to raise awareness of such biodiversity and help local people protect it for future generations.”

The four projects are:

The Bedfordshire Old Warden Pear: Shuttleworth College has been awarded £8,400 to explore the heritage of the local culinary Warden Pear, believed to have first been grown at the Cistercian abbey near the village of Old Warden in Bedfordshire in the 14th century.

Green Fingers: The Green Light Trust have been awarded £29,000 to deliver training in traditional woodland management skills to support the recovery of two historically significant woodlands in Suffolk

Gardening for Wildlife Workshops: Trust Links Ltd have been awarded £10,000 to provide natural heritage skills training for 50 vulnerable adults, and to build upon previous HLF investment in the Growing Together community garden in Westcliff, Southend, to improve the biodiversity and help the local community to learn about the natural world on their doorstep.

Reawakening the Ludham Dragon: Withy Arts have been awarded a grant of £6,900 to enable artists with learning difficulties to learn about the heritage of St Benet’s Abbey, and develop basketry skills to produce an interpretation of the story of the Ludham Dragon, an integral part of local folklore.


Longest section of England Coast Path opens in Middlesbrough - Natural England 

Natural England today (21/7) opens the latest stretch of England Coast Path in Middlesbrough, bringing an economic boost to the region. 

England Coast Path at Staithes © Andrew Best / Natural EnglandEngland Coast Path at Staithes © Andrew Best / Natural England

Sixty eight miles of sign posted National Trail will give walkers new and improved access and connect the urban heartland of Teesside to its open coast.

The continuous route starts at Filey Brigg and passes north through the popular resorts of Scarborough and Whitby, Saltburn and Redcar, providing stunning views of the North York Moors and coastline. It follows much of the well-known coastal section of Cleveland Way National Trail with improvements to the route.

Natural England is currently establishing a 2,700-mile path around the entire English coastline by 2020 and work is already under way on 60 per cent of the route. When completed, it will be the longest continuous coastal walking route in the world. It will also become a National Trail – the nation’s finest and most popular long-distance paths.

Natural England’s Chief Executive, James Cross, said: "It’s an honour to open this section of coast path near my home town in Teesside. This route showcases the diversity of our coastline, from the views over the expansive North York Moors and the winding streets of postcard-perfect villages to our industrial heritage, and diverse wildlife all year round. We want people to enjoy exploring all of this coast, using a high-quality, well-signposted route."

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs also today confirmed that an additional 8 mile section between Newport Bridge and North Gare - which links the previously open 34 miles of coast path in Durham with the new section opening today – has also been approved and is expected to formally open next year. Walkers will then be able to enjoy 110 miles of continuous England Coast Path from Filey Brigg to South Bents.


Hertfordshire’s birds, bees and butterflies get boost from new countryside coalition - Hertfordshire Wildlife Trust

Thrift Farm in Royston (image: Hertfordshire Wildlife Trust)Thrift Farm in Royston (image: Hertfordshire Wildlife Trust)

The Wildlife Trusts and LEAF create unique model for nature-friendly farming across 44,500 acres, as part of new Jordans Farm Partnership.

This summer, eight progressive arable farms in Hertfordshire are embarking on a new model for sustainable farming and will maintain nature-friendly corridors on farmland which, if placed end to end with the other 34 farms taking part around the country, would reach from Land’s End to John O’Groats - as part of a new partnership to enhance the natural environment and support farming communities.

The new and unique collaboration - involving The Wildlife Trusts, Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF) and Jordans - will promote sustainable farming practice - and address rural development issues through The Prince’s Countryside Fund. Known as the Jordans Farm Partnership, it will create a new model for UK farm sustainability and set high standards for nature-friendly farming.

This summer, all 42 farms across the UK which supply grain to breakfast cereal brand Jordans, will undertake a wide variety of measures to protect water and soil, building on their longstanding commitment to support wildlife on at least 10% of their land. Together, the farms in the partnership manage over 44,500 acres of land. Ten percent of this area will continue to be managed to provide food for farmland birds, pollen and nectar for bees, butterflies and pollinating insects; sustaining landscape-scale wildlife corridors with dedicated habitats, such as ponds and hedgerow highways, for species of significance in the local area. 


Illegal bird traps discovered on Deeside grouse moor - RSPB Scotland

RSPB Scotland has appealed for information following the discovery of illegally-set spring traps in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. The conservation organisation has commended the actions of two members of the public who alerted it to a distressed bird caught in a trap they came across while out walking but is disappointed that, as with many wildlife crimes, the perpetrators are yet to be identified.

While walking down the northern slopes of Geallaig Hill, a few miles north west of Ballater, on 27th June 2016 two members of the public saw a common gull floundering on the ground. As they approached the distressed bird, they saw that it had been caught by the legs in two traps, later identified as illegally-set spring traps.

These traps were hidden beside a dead rabbit that had been used as bait. The gull appeared to them to be severely injured and was bleeding profusely. The walkers contacted the RSPB Scotland Investigations team, and the incident was immediately reported to the Scottish SPCA and Police Scotland. A Scottish SPCA inspector quickly attended the scene, and having carefully released the gull, found that it had two broken legs. These injuries were so extensive that the bird had to be euthanized.

A follow-up search of the area a few days later, carried out by Wildlife Crime Officers from Police Scotland, assisted by investigations staff from the Scottish SPCA and RSPB Scotland found no further victims of these traps. However, clear evidence was found that eight similar traps had been deployed, attached to stakes and baited with dead rabbits, in a line stretching two hundred metres across the moor.  It was also evident that these traps had been removed very recently. Nearby, three dead common gull chicks, close to fledging age, were found.

Police Scotland officers later spoke to a number of people involved in the management of the land on which the traps were found, but the identity of who had set the traps could not be established. If anyone has any information that may assist in establishing the perpetrators of these crimes, RSPB Scotland is encouraging them to contact Police Scotland by dialling 101 or the Scottish SPCA on 03000 999 999.

Scottish Gamekeepers Association Statement

A Spokesman for The Scottish Gamekeepers Association said: “This is the first we, as an organisation, have heard about this so we will take time to make the appropriate inquiries. The SGA is an organisation which advocates best practice and condemns wildlife crime.”


You’ve been Attenborough’d! - Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust

Sir David Attenborough saying hello to surprised WWT member Lizzie Guntrip.This is the moment naturalist and wildlife presenter Sir David Attenborough surprised WWT member Lizzie Guntrip by saying hello on a visit to London Wetland Centre.

(image: WWT)

David was at the wetland centre in Barnes to launch the 2016 Big Butterfly Count, a nationwide survey of butterfly numbers. But while he was there he took time to meet some of WWT’s most valued people: its members, volunteers and staff.

Lizzie, from Sutton in Surrey, said:  “I never thought I would get the chance to meet Sir David so that was truly incredible. It was an awesome surprise – a real dream come true.”

Next, David met WWT volunteer David Cowmeadow. The two Davids spent quite a while talking. David A was amazed and impressed that David C has given his time and efforts to WWT for 12 years, arriving at 6.50am sharp every morning. And all due to the satisfaction of working with dedicated people and being part of an organisation which values the natural world as much as he does.

Finally David A was interviewed on camera about the Big Butterfly Count, which is being support by our wetland centres around the country. WWT Marketing Assistant Maria Zuckschwert had never conducted an interview before so was starting right at the top, but she took it in her stride and conducted a brilliant and professional interview.

You can see a clip of the interview on the WWT website here.


Wildlife of West Canvey Marsh to get new homes as part of £250k Thames Estuary wetland project - RSPB

Work to improve and create 59 hectares of new wildlife habitat is about to begin on the RSPB’s West Canvey Marsh nature reserve as part of a £250k WREN-funded wetland project in the Thames Estuary, with diggers due to break ground later this month.

The improved area of the reserve will form part of a ‘green corridor’ spanning the north and south shores of the Thames Estuary, which will see the creation and restoration of more than 80 hectares of coastal and floodplain grazing marsh – an area equivalent to more than 100 football pitches.  Coastal and floodplain grazing marsh is a wildlife rich and rare habitat. In the UK it supports internationally important numbers of wintering wildfowl, as well as important breeding populations of wading birds, and other species, such as water vole, great crested newt and scarce emerald damselfly.

At West Canvey Marsh, excavators will be used to dig new pools and channels in the reserve’s grassland, which will provide muddy edges for waders such as snipe, lapwing and redshank to feed in and wetter ditches for water voles. The soil generated will be used to build bunds around the excavated area to retain water, creating a new wetland wildlife habitat.

Natalie Holt, Senior Sites Manager for the RSPB South Essex reserves, said: “We are really excited to see the diggers arrive. It will be great to see our part of this fantastic project coming to life, knowing that we’re helping make more places where nature can thrive. It’s not just about the wildlife though. Green space is really important for the people who live here too and West Canvey Marsh is the largest such space on Canvey Island, so we want to make sure people can get the maximum benefits and enjoyment from it. The work we are doing will give visitors new opportunities to have up-close encounters with wildlife, which is so valuable in today’s world, where finding the time and space to get out and enjoy nature seems to be more and more difficult.”


Scientific Publications

Green, Rhys E. & Pain, Deborah J.  Possible effects of ingested lead gunshot on populations of ducks wintering in the UK.  Ibis DOI: 10.1111/ibi.12400


Blackburn, L., Epanchin-Niell, R., Thompson, A. and Liebhold, A. (2016), Predicting costs of alien species surveillance across varying transportation networks. J Appl Ecol. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12754 


Clare H. Benton, Richard J. Delahay, Andrew Robertson, Robbie A. McDonald, Alastair J. Wilson, Terry A. Burke, Dave Hodgson. Blood thicker than water: kinship, disease prevalence and group size drive divergent patterns of infection risk in a social mammal. Proceedings of the Royal Society: biological sciences DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2016.0798


Mikko Kuussaari, Susu Rytteri, Risto K. Heikkinen, Janne Heliölä, Peter von Bagh. Weather explains high annual variation in butterfly dispersal. Proceedings of the Royal Society: biological sciences

.DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2016.0413


Vilija Snieškienė, Ligita Baležentienė, Antanina Stankevičienė, Urban salt contamination impact on tree health and the prevalence of fungi agent in cities of the central Lithuania, Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, Volume 19, 1 September 2016, Pages 13-19, ISSN 1618-8667, DOI: 10.1016/j.ufug.2016.05.015.



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