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


Public to have say on new National Parks - Defra

A call for evidence is inviting views from the public on the future of our National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Photo credit: North York Moors National Park AuthorityPhoto credit: North York Moors National Park Authority

For the first time in nearly 70 years, the public will have their say on how the country’s most cherished landscapes can be enhanced for future generations.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove and writer Julian Glover are today (20 October) inviting views on how England’s 10 National Parks and 34 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) meet the nation’s needs in the 21st century and whether there is scope for the current network to expand.

With more than half the population living within half an hour of a National Park or AONB – and over two million people calling these landscapes home – a call for evidence will explore how access can be improved and communities better supported – alongside which parts of the country could benefit from greater protection.

The public will also have input on whether housing and transport in protected landscapes could be improved, the role they play in our cultural heritage, and how these iconic areas can boost habitats for wildlife.

The evidence will form part of the recently-launched review into protected landscapes – led by Julian Glover – which is ensuring our National Parks and AONBs can be fit for the 21st century.



Government review calls for evidence to inform the future of National Parks – Campaign for National Parks urges solutions to big challenges

Campaign for National Parks has welcomed the Government’s call for evidence for the review of England’s designated landscapes, which was launched today [Saturday 20 October]. The review, which will report 70 years after the 1949 Act that established National Parks, looks at all aspects of England’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB’s).

Julian Glover, who recently addressed Campaign for National Parks’ annual parliamentary reception, is leading the review. In his speech he noted that “we’ve done well but we can do even better” and called for “interesting and bold ideas” in response to the challenges facing National Parks. 


Heritage Lottery Fund and National Trust join forces to save our precious parks – Heritage Lottery Fund

Open for Expressions of Interest: £10million ‘Future Parks Accelerator’ initiative to secure future of urban parks and green spaces

The National Lottery funding body, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), and the National Trust have joined forces to find and back ambitious and sustainable solutions to protect and enhance public parks and green spaces.

The Future Parks Accelerator (FPA) is a UK-wide £10m strategic initiative to enable up to eight local authorities and communities to develop and implement bold and innovative funding and management solutions for all their green spaces across their place, against a challenging backdrop of financial uncertainty.

The FPA will support places to grow the contribution parks make to civic life whilst becoming financially sustainable. It will involve discovering how parks and green spaces could be better used, managed and funded to serve community needs and aspirations now and over the next generation.

With grant funding and support from a team of experts, the places chosen to be FPA pioneers will work as a cohort to catalyse and share innovation, learn rapidly together and build their capacity to lead for ambitious change both in their place and to benefit the rest of the UK.  It will encourage new partnerships whilst supporting the role of local authorities as vital owners, funders and co-managers of green spaces. It will promote an holistic approach, ensuring that all parks and green spaces in an area are protected and enhanced to deliver quality and fair access to green spaces for free for everyone.


Albatross-eating mice responsible for two million fewer seabird chicks on UK island each year – RSPB

Tristan albatross (RSPB)

Tristan albatross (RSPB)

  • Introduced house mice on the UK Overseas Territory of Gough Island in the South Atlantic are killing seabirds at greater levels than feared resulting in at least two million fewer seabird chicks each year
  • Without action, the Tristan albatross is likely to be one of the next UK birds to go globally extinct
  • Plans are underway to save this and other species. The RSPB confirms plan to eradicate the mice in 2020, in one of the most ambitious projects of its kind ever attempted.

New research shows that mice are eating seabird chicks at an alarming rate, resulting in two million fewer seabird eggs and chicks on a single UK island each year and putting some seabird species at the risk of extinction.

The study, supported by the RSPB, found that the number of chicks and eggs surviving on Gough is much lower than it would be if mice were absent. This environmental catastrophe threatens albatrosses and petrels with extinction.

Mice were accidentally introduced by sailors to the remote Gough Island during the 19th century. Now, over 100 years later mice have colonised the entire island, and evolved to be 50% larger than the average house mouse. They have learned to eat the eggs and chicks of the island’s once abundant birds.


Large mammals for a better climate - Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Restoring populations of large mammals in the wild does not only revitalise the flora and fauna. It can also help in mitigating climate change, for example by increasing the capture of carbon by ecosystems. This is the conclusion of ecologists representing several universities, including Utrecht University, in a synthesis of existing studies. The researchers published their results in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

During the first half of the twentieth century, the number of wildebeest in the Serengeti plummeted to an all-time low as a result of widespread rinderpest. From 1960 the wildebeest population began to increase once more, and their grazing and trampling led to increased soil productivity and a reduced incidence of savanna wildfires. An American study showed that the effect of this was so strong that the return of the wildebeest resulted in the area turning into a CO2 sink. Where the vast plains had once been a source of CO2 emissions, the area now absorbs more CO2 than it emits, so much so that it offsets a great deal of East Africa's annual fossil fuel carbon emissions.

Large animals disperse large seeds

"Another striking example is the role of megafauna in the dispersal of seeds from tropical hardwoods", explains Associate Prof Joris Cromsigt, ecologist at Utrecht University and SLU and first author of the publication. "The harder the wood of a tree, the more carbon the tree captures. But the harder the wood, the larger the seed, and the greater the tree's dependence on megafauna for seed dispersal. Recent research shows that the loss of large mammals could be responsible for a 10% reduction in carbon capture in tropical forests in certain parts of the world. The restoration and conservation of tropical forests is one of the frequently mentioned strategies for combating global warming, and it seems that rewilding of the tropical forests can significantly increase the effectiveness of this restoration."


Microplastics detected in humans for the first time – Medical University of Vienna

In a pilot study conducted by the Federal Environment Agency and the Medical University of Vienna, microplastics in the human stool was discovered for the first time – in all of the eight international participants. Bettina Liebmann from the Federal Environment Agency and Philipp Schwabl from the Medical University of Vienna have succeeded in proving this. The results are presented today (23 October) at the International UEG Gastroenterology Congress in Vienna and form the basis for further investigations on a larger scale.

The participants in the study, five women and three men aged 33-65, live in Finland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Italy, Poland, Russia, Japan and Austria. They kept a nutrition diary for one week and then gave a stool sample. All participants consumed plastic-packed food or beverages from PET bottles, the majority of them consumed fish or seafood, and no one fed exclusively on vegetarian food. 
The experts from the Federal Environment Agency analysed the participants’ stool in the laboratory with regard to ten of the most widely used plastics in the world. In all eight persons, microplastics was detected in the stool, on average 20 microplastics particles per 10 grams of stool. “In our laboratory, we were able to detect nine different types of plastics ranging in size from 50 to 500 micrometres,” explains Bettina Liebmann, the expert at the Federal Environment Agency responsible for microplastics analyses. PP (polypropylene) and PET (polyethylene terephthalate) was most frequently found in the samples. 


Beavers’ impact on biodiversity revealed – University of Stirling

Beaver-built ponds are far more biodiverse than other wetlands, new research from the University of Stirling has revealed.

The study, published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, surveyed aquatic plants and beetles in 20 wetlands in central and southern Sweden – 10 created by beavers, and 10 that were not.

The team, from Stirling’s Faculty of Natural Sciences, found 33 per cent more plant species and 26 per cent more beetles in the beaver-created wetlands.

Professor Nigel Willby, who worked on the research with Dr Alan Law, explained: “We found that the wetland types were very different to each other, with small-scale disturbances by the beavers – such as tree cutting and plant grazing – creating a complex, mosaic-like environment. This significantly benefits biodiversity – with a third more plant species and a quarter more beetles. These findings highlight the importance of pond creation by beavers in rewilding our landscapes, and for sustaining aquatic biodiversity – even in areas that are naturally rich in other wetlands. Put simply: anyone can build a pond – but if you want a really great pond, ask a beaver.”

Beavers are the only animals that can engineer the environment that they live in – using sticks to build dams, behind which ponds form. Beavers do this to raise water levels to avoid predators, such as wolves and bears: however, other animals also benefit from their work.”

Professor Willby continued: “Many organisms benefit from the ponds that form behind beaver dams – including mammals, amphibians, ducks, insects and plants – and this has earned beavers the tag of ‘ecosystem engineers’. Partly to exploit this natural, free ecosystem, beavers have been widely reintroduced to their native range across the northern hemisphere – with the Eurasian beaver introduced to more than 25 countries throughout Europe. This research justifies the reasons why beavers have been reintroduced; they create unique habitats that massively benefit local wildlife. Humans are not capable of replicating this.”

The study, Rewilding wetlands: beaver as agents of within-habitat heterogeneity and the responses of contrasting biota, was a collaboration between Stirling, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the Aquatic Coleoptera Conservation Trust.


Urban trees could be answer to hot office block woes – Forest Research

Office workers feeling the heat could benefit from the planting of nearby trees, a new study by the University of Reading and Forest Research has found.

The paper in Urban Forestry and Urban Greening has found that air-conditioned buildings saved energy when they had trees in close proximity, through the precooling and humidification of the air by trees in a process called evapotranspiration.

Using the new approach to measuring trees’ effect on urban cooling, the team examined the effect of trees in the case study area of inner London and observed that air-conditioning unit energy consumption fell by between 1.3% and 13%. This corresponds to an estimated annual saving of between £2.1 million and £22 million.

Dr Stefan Smith, Lecturer in Energy Systems in the Built Environment at the University of Reading, said: “We were surprised to see the extent to which the trees affected energy consumption in air conditioning units. We designed the study to take away less reliable measures of how trees cool the urban environment. Large trees were particularly significant in their cooling effects according to the paper, even without consideration for the cooling effect that shading provides. We also found that some small and medium stature trees also had strong cooling effects, and these species offer the potential to create evaporative cooling in locations without sufficient space for a large tree canopy.”

Co-author Dr Kieron Doick, Head of the Urban Forest Research Group at Forest Research, said: “This work adds to the suite of urban tree benefits that we can already value. We know that trees remove airborne pollutants, sequester carbon dioxide and intercept stormwater, and we can value these services. Trees also contribute to human wellbeing, though we cannot yet value this benefit. Quantification and valuation of the ecosystem services provided by urban trees is important as it can help make the case for protecting tree planting and maintenance budgets and to integrate building climate change resilience into cities.”


Local businesses invited to join National Park’s ‘Visit, Give, Protect’ community – South Downs National Park Authority

Image: South Downs NPAA new scheme bringing local businesses together to encourage customers who love the South Downs National Park to make donations to support it is being launched after the success of a pilot by Deans Place Hotel in Alfriston.

Image: South Downs NPA

Since May 2018 Deans Place Hotel have asked guests to add an optional donation of £2 onto their bill as part of the South Downs National Park Trust’s ‘Visit, Give, Protect’ pilot. They have found that guests are happy to support the landscapes that they are visiting and have already raised an impressive £1,394 for the new charity.

James Dopson from Deans Place Hotel, said: “We know our visitors care about the National Park’s special landscapes and we’re proud to show them that we do too. With just a £2 voluntary donation from each booking we can help to make a lasting difference to the environment, wildlife and communities of the South Downs.”

The Trust are now inviting more local traders to join the Visit, Give, Protect community of South Downs businesses who are placing the National Park at the heart of what they do and showing they support the landscapes that attract their visitors.


Plastic Oceans: MEPs back EU ban on throwaway plastics by 2021 - European Parliament

  • single-use cutlery, cotton buds, straws and stirrers to be banned from 2021
  • MEPs added oxo-plastics and certain polystyrenes
  • plastics where no alternatives available to be reduced by at least 25% by 2025
  • measures against cigarette filters and lost fishing gear

Single-use plastic items such as plates, cutlery, straws, balloon sticks or cotton buds, will be banned in the EU under plans adopted on Wednesday.

These products, which make up over 70% of marine litter, will be banned from the EU market from 2021, under draft plans approved by Parliament.

MEPs added to this list of plastics banned from the EU market from 2021: products made of oxo-degradable plastics, such as bags or packaging and fast-food containers made of expanded polystyrene.

National reduction targets for other non-banned plastics

The consumption of several other items, for which no alternative exists, will have to be reduced by member states by least 25% by 2025. This includes single-use burger boxes, sandwich boxes or food containers for fruits, vegetables, desserts or ice creams. Member states will draft national plans to encourage the use of products suitable for multiple use, as well as re-using and recycling.

Other plastics, such as beverage bottles, will have to be collected separately and recycled at a rate of 90% by 2025.


Birds startled by moving sticks - University of Exeter

Do animals - like humans - divide the world into things that move and things that don’t? Are they surprised if an apparently inanimate object jumps to life?

Yes - according to scientists at the universities of Exeter and Cambridge.

The researchers tested how jackdaws responded to moving birds, moving snakes and moving sticks – and found they were most cautious of the moving sticks.

The study, using remote-controlled objects placed in jackdaws’ nests, will help scientists understand how birds perceive potential threats.

“Although as humans we see the divide between animate an inanimate objects as an intuitive one, we’ve had very little evidence that wild animals also see the world this way,” said lead author Dr Alison Greggor, formerly of the University of Cambridge and now at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. “Laboratory studies have shown that human infants and a few other species discriminate between animate and inanimate objects. This ability is assumed to have evolved to support social interactions, but its role for wild animals has never been examined. Our work extends the potential function of this ability beyond the social realm. It might therefore be a more common ability than previously thought.”

By placing remote-controlled objects in jackdaws’ nests, the researchers tested how the birds assessed possible threats to their offspring.

Read the paper:  Alison L. Greggor, Guillam E. McIvor, Nicola S. Clayton, Alex Thornton Wild jackdaws are wary of objects that violate expectations of animacy R. Soc. open sci. 2018 5 181070; DOI: 10.1098/rsos.181070


Ground-breaking project gets green light - RSPB

Major project to safeguard Orkney’s internationally important native wildlife wins National Lottery and LIFE support

An ambitious project to safeguard Orkney’s world-renowned and internationally important native wildlife has been given the go ahead after receiving support from the National Lottery and the EU’s LIFE programme, it was announced today.

The Orkney Native Wildlife Project, a partnership between RSPB Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), and Orkney Islands Council, is set to be the largest project of its kind in the world. It aims to safeguard the unique and internationally important native wildlife of Orkney now and into the future by addressing the threat it faces from an invasive non-native predator: the stoat.

Thanks to National Lottery players, £3.5 million has been awarded, through a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to protect Orkney’s iconic wildlife upon which the county’s thriving wildlife tourism industry relies. The ambitious five-year project has also received funding of £2.6 million from LIFE (LIFE17 NAT/UK/000557 – Orkney Native WildLIFE).

Orkney is home to internationally important populations of wildlife. Despite the combined land area of Orkney’s 70 islands accounting for less than 1% of the UK, the islands are home to nearly a fifth of the UK’s breeding hen harriers, nationally and internationally important numbers of seabirds and are one of the few places in the UK in which waders such as curlews are still a common breeding species.


Michael Gove announces new funding to protect bees - Defra

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has today (25 October) launched a £60,000 fund to develop and test pollinator habitat mapping – identifying where new habitats will provide the greatest benefit for bees and other pollinators.

This will help to boost the number of pollinator-friendly landscapes and protect the health of our bees, wasps, beetles, butterflies, moths and hoverflies, as set out in the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan.

(image: Defra)These species are critical to our countryside and the food industry through the work they do to pollinate plants and crops. 

(image: Defra)

The project will involve partnering with organisations such as Natural England, Buglife, The Wildlife Trusts and other bodies working on habitat mapping and the conservation of pollinators.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “Bees and other pollinators are vital contributors to the beauty of our landscapes, our economy and our £100 billion food industry. Today’s announcement to fund pollinator mapping shows our clear commitment to help these wonderful creatures to thrive by creating wildflower rich areas around our towns and countryside. Ben Bradley MP has run a brilliant campaign to better protect our pollinators and to leave our environment in a better state for future generations. He deserves all our thanks.”

The government is also announcing today investment in two projects to create pollinator-friendly landscapes:

  • The Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s “West Country Buzz” project in North Devon which seeks to grow a partnership of land managers, farmers and NGOs to improve and connect habitats for bees.
  • The Martin Down farmer “Super Cluster” in Hampshire, led by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, farmers and landowners. This will provide training and advice to enable three farmer clusters to protect and enhance wildlife, including pollinators.

Reaction: Great news for pollinators - Buglife

Buglife welcomes the funding promised by the Environment Secretary as a great first step towards securing the future of our precious pollinators. Coupled with the ban on neonicotinoids this is real affirmative action in the battle to arrest the decline of bees and other pollinators and preserve the buzz of life.

Public support for the Private Member’s Bill, the Protection of Pollinators Bill, has helped gain some major concessions from government who today announced the creation of a £60,000 fund to complete the mapping of pollinator habitat across England leading to the Bill being withdrawn.

Once mapping is completed more resource will clearly be needed to deliver the on-the-ground change required to turn the mapped lines into landscapes full of wildflowers for pollinators. But today is a great day for our pollinators


Greater diversity enhances public interest in marine habitats - University of Plymouth

The study by Swansea University and the University of Plymouth used simulated rockpools to assess characteristics which increased interest

Greater animal biodiversity can lead to heightened human interest in marine habitats, according to research published in Scientific Reports. The study, by scientists at Swansea University and the University of Plymouth, used simulated rockpools to assess whether there were particular characteristics which enhanced public interest.

In an online test completed by more than 600 people, the results showed images in which animals were present generated more than double the interest than those without. Researchers say the findings strengthen arguments that maintaining and protecting biodiversity may be an important element of human wellbeing and environmental education.

Dr Tom Fairchild, from Swansea’s College of Science, was the study’s lead author. He said: “We expected that communities that included more, obviously different, animal species would be more interesting, as they would contain a greater diversity of body shapes, colours or behaviours. But rather than a single animal being particularly interesting, we found that scenes with more, and increasingly different animals, were more interesting to the people that we asked. This is significant as it is a clear indication that people will engage more and gain educational value from areas that are more ‘biodiverse’, further strengthening the growing calls to protect and restore our native biodiversity.”

Despite the importance of interest in determining how we view and interact with the world, little is presently known about what drives humans’ interest in nature.


Vanishing Gardens and Landscapes threaten UK Future - The Royal Horticultural Society

For the first time a report by Oxford Economics for the Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable Group reveals the significant value of the UK’s ornamental horticulture and landscape industries. In light of its economic importance, the industry contends that it isn’t being taken seriously by Government for the immense benefits it delivers.

£24.2 billion is the total GDP footprint of the UK’s ornamental horticulture industries in 2017.

Whilst parks, gardens and green spaces provide a £131 billion aggregate boost to Britain’s house prices as part of the appeal of nature, homes being built without private gardens are on the rise. Predictions show that gardens are getting smaller and nearly a quarter of new homes don’t have gardens at all. In 2020 one million more homes won’t have a private garden compared to 1995.

Some 568,700 jobs were supported by the industry in 2017, amounting to 1.6 percent of total UK employment, yet horticulture is hardly referenced in the national curriculum or promoted as a valued career path.

Despite ornamental horticulture generating £5.4 billion in revenue for HM Government in 2017, the industry has been largely ignored and receives little direct support or fiscal incentives. Yet it delivers exceptional public value in terms of the environmental benefit it provides to the nation.

Access the report here


Oxford-Cambridge Arc puts Birmingham sized area of countryside at risk – CPRE

27,000 hectares of farmland and woodland threatened by Oxford-Cambridge Arc, according to CPRE analysis.

Image: CPREImage: CPRE

The Government is set to accept a recommendation from the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), this Monday (29 October), to build 1 million new homes between Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge. This would result in an area of countryside greater than the size of Birmingham being lost to development, an analysis by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has found.

In September, the Government announced its preferred corridor for a new expressway that would run between Oxford and Cambridge, as part of a new development proposal, coined the ‘Oxford-Cambridge Arc’. The NIC, who are backing the scheme, recommend building 1 million new houses in the Arc by 2050, in order to ‘boost economic growth’.

The Government is due to respond to the NIC’s recommendations on Monday, alongside the Autumn Budget, despite no formal public consultation, environmental assessment or parliamentary enquiry about whether this major development project is advisable or desirable having taken place.

Once accepted however, the recommendations will have a force in planning policy roughly equivalent to the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).


The Wildlife Trusts welcome publication of the Fisheries Bill and its focus on environment and sustainability – The Wildlife Trusts

A healthy and prosperous fishing industry relies on an equally healthy and thriving marine environment. Today’s announcement of a new Fisheries Bill, a key part of the legal Brexit jigsaw, includes important commitments to ensuring a joined-up approach to future management of fisheries and marine conservation.

The new legislation includes commitments to eliminating over-fishing, looking at the wider impacts of fishing on the marine environment and basing all decision making on sound science.  It also renews the Government’s commitment to tackling the question of discards, where perfectly good fish are thrown back into the sea.

Joan Edwards, Director of Living Seas for the Wildlife Trusts said “It is important as we leave the EU that all opportunities are taken to put future fisheries management on a sound environmental footing.  The strong commitment to reducing the environmental impacts of fishing we have seen in today’s Fisheries Bill will not only be good for the marine environment, it will also help ensure the that fishing industry has more secure future.”


Growing noise in the ocean can cause dolphins to change their calls – University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Helen Bailey and her assistant Leila Fouda studied underwater ambient noise levels and whistle calls by bottlenose dolphins in the western North Atlantic, which experiences relatively high levels of vessel traffic between shipping lanes and recreational boaters off the coast of Dolphins (Helen Bailey)Maryland. Acoustic recordings were collected using hydrophones deployed to the bottom of the ocean in the leased Wind Energy Area, approximately 20 miles off the coast.

Dolphins (Helen Bailey)

They found that increases in ship noise resulted in high dolphin whistle frequencies and a reduction in whistle complexity, an acoustic feature associated with individual identification. “The simplification of these whistles could reduce the information in these acoustic signals and make it more difficult for dolphins to communicate,” Fouda said.

Dolphins are social animals, and they produce calls for many different reasons. They talk to each other to stay together as a group, they whistle when they feed, and they even call out their names when different groups of dolphins meet.

“These whistles are really important,” Bailey said. “Nobody wants to live in a noisy neighborhood. If you have these chronic noise levels, what does this mean to the population?”

Normally dolphin calls have a complex sound pattern with rises and falls in the pitch and frequency in their whistles. The researchers found that ambient noise had a significant effect on the whistle characteristics. Bailey and her team analyzed the duration, start and end frequencies, presence of harmonics, and inflection points. With background noise, such as the low frequency chug-chugging of a ship’s engine, their usually complex whistle signatures flatlined.


How people power can track alien species – study – Anglia Ruskin University

Research highlights role of citizen scientists in mapping spread of invasive ladybird

Image: Anglia Ruskin UniversityNew research published in the Nature journal Scientific Data shows how the public can play a vital role in helping to track invasive species. 

Image: Anglia Ruskin University
The journal has published data from the UK Ladybird Survey which shows how the harlequin ladybird, which is a species native to Asia, has spread across the country.
The harlequin ladybird was introduced to mainland Europe in the 1980s to control aphids.  It was first reported in the UK in 2003 and is now outcompeting a number of smaller native ladybird species.
The new open access study maps 48,510 observations of the harlequin ladybird, submitted by the general public, spanning over a decade.  Spreading at over 60 miles per year during the early stage of invasion, the observations show that harlequins are now widespread through England and Wales and increasingly being reported in the south of Scotland. 
There have been few attempts to monitor the spread of invasive alien species systematically from the onset of the invasion process but the model used by the online UK Ladybird Survey, led by academics from Anglia Ruskin University and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, shows the important role that citizen science can play. 


Current approach to protecting England’s coastal communities from flooding and erosion not fit for purpose as the climate changes – Committee on Climate Change

A new, long-term approach to coastal management in England is urgently needed given the expected impacts of climate change, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) says.

Climate change will almost certainly cause sea levels around the UK to increase by 1 metre or more at some point in the future, and this could happen as early as 2100 – within the lifetimes of today’s children.

In a new report, ‘Managing the coast in a changing climate’, the Committee finds that coastal communities, infrastructure and landscapes in England are already under significant pressure from flooding and erosion. These threats will increase in the future.

As a result, some coastal communities and infrastructure are unlikely to be viable in their current form. This problem is not currently being confronted with the required urgency or openness, the Committee’s report shows.

Long-term action to adapt England’s coasts to climate change in a sustainable way is possible and could deliver multiple benefits. However, the Committee finds that plans for the coast are not realistic about the implications of climate change, and are not backed up with funding or legislation.


Scientific publications

Whiteley, N. M. et al Sensitivity to near-future CO2 conditions in marine crabs depends on their compensatory capacities for salinity change. Nature - Scientific Reports volume 8, Article number: 15639 (2018) (Open Access)


Claireau, F. Bas, Y., Puechmaille Sébastien, J., Julien, J-F., Allegrini, B. & Kerbiriou, C. (2018) Bat overpasses: an insufficient solution to restore habitat connectivity across roads. Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13288


Fernández-Bellon, D., Wilson, M. W., Irwin, S. & O’Halloran, J. (2018) Effects of development of wind energy and associated changes in land use on bird densities in upland areas. Conservation Biology. DOI: 10.1111/cobi.13239


Zijlema, W. L. et al (2018) Active commuting through natural environments is associated with better mental health: Results from the PHENOTYPE project. Environment International. DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2018.10.002


Pauleit, S. et al (2018) Advancing Urban Green Infrastructure in Europe: outcomes and reflections from the GREEN SURGE project. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. DOI: 10.1016/j.ufug.2018.10.006


Sonja C. Ludwig, Aly McCluskie, Paula Keane, Catherine Barlow, Richard M. Francksen, Damian Bubb, Staffan Roos, Nicholas J. Aebischer & David Baines Diversionary feeding and nestling diet of Hen Harriers Circus cyaneus, Bird Study, DOI: 10.1080/00063657.2018.1519524


Seward, A. et al (2018) Metapopulation dynamics of roseate terns: Sources, sinks and implications for conservation management decisions. Journal of Animal Ecology DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12904 (open access)


Radford, S. L., Senn, J. & Kienast, F. (2018) Indicator-based assessment of wilderness quality in mountain landscapes. Ecological Indicators. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2018.09.054 (open access)

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