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


National Parks Protectors Fund Launch – UK National Parks

A new partnership between Clif Bar and the UK National Parks will fund a series of major conservation projects taking place across five of the National Parks in 2019, as well as supporting the environmental protection of the remaining ten parks.

Northumberland International Dark Sky Park, Barrowburn Cheviots at Sunset (c) Ian GlendinningNorthumberland International Dark Sky Park, Barrowburn Cheviots at Sunset (c) Ian Glendinning

The projects, funded by Clif Bar, range from the installation of a bug hotel bike rack in the Broads National Park, to woodland protection in the New Forest and an anti-light pollution programme in Northumberland National Park.

Clif Bar has a long history of supporting environmental projects in the USA and Canada, but this is the first time the company has lent its support in the UK.

The brand, which sells a range of energy bars to support active lifestyles, is committed to running a different kind of food company and is passionate about protecting the places in which it plays and to the communities in which it lives.

Clif Bar’s support will play a lead role in bolstering the environmental protection programmes of the UK National Parks, which cover 9% of the land area of Great Britain and sustain a huge level of vital habitats and wildlife. The funding will enable the establishment of the ‘National Parks Protectors Fund’ to support important conservation and environmental projects across UK National Parks. Clif Bar will also be donating a range of their energy bars to each National Park.

All 15 of the UK’s National Parks will benefit in 2019, with those not running a special project still receiving a smaller grant to support their choice of conservation work during the year.


The complex fate of Antarctic species in the face of a changing climate – University of Plymouth

Research by the University of Plymouth and the British Antarctic Survey examined how marine invertebrates were being impacted by reduced ocean oxygen

Professor John Spicer collecting intertidal amphipods from South Cove (photo credit: Simon Morley)Professor John Spicer collecting intertidal amphipods from South Cove

(photo credit: Simon Morley)

Oxygen concentrations in both the open ocean and coastal waters have declined by 2-5% since at least the middle of the 20th century.

This is one of the most important changes occurring in an ocean becoming increasingly modified by human activities, with raised water temperatures, carbon dioxide content and nutrient inputs.

Through this, humans are altering the abundances and distributions of marine species but the decline in oxygen could pose a new set of threats to marine life.

Writing in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, scientists present support for the theory that marine invertebrates with larger body size are generally more sensitive to reductions in oxygen than smaller animals, and so will be more sensitive to future global climate change.

It is widely believed that the occurrence of gigantic species in polar waters is made possible by the fact that there is more oxygen dissolved in ice cold water than in the warmer waters of temperate and tropic regions.

So as our ocean warms and oxygen decreases, it has been suggested that such oxygen limitation will have a greater effect on larger than smaller marine invertebrates and fish.


New road sign to improve road safety and protect animals – Department for Transport

Areas where accident rates are highest could benefit from a new sign which warns of hazards due to animals in the road.

Hundreds of people are injured every year in collisions involving animals in the road, according to the latest Department for Transport figures.

Image: Department for TransportIn 2017, 629 people were injured in accidents involving an animal in the road (excluding horses) and 4 people were killed.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has today (17 June 2019) unveiled a new traffic sign, featuring a hedgehog, which warns road users of hazards due to animals in the road ahead and could be placed in areas where accident rates are highest.

Image: Department for Transport

He is calling on local authorities and animal welfare groups to identify accident and wildlife hotspots where the sign should be located.

The road sign is also designed to reverse the decline in wildlife numbers, in particular, hedgehogs whose population in rural areas has halved since 2000.

Chris Grayling said: “We have some of the safest roads in the world but we are always looking at how we can make them safer. Motorcyclists and other vulnerable road users are particularly at risk. The new small mammal warning sign should help to reduce the number of people killed and injured, as well as helping our precious small wild mammal population to flourish.”

The small wildlife sign complements other warning signs already used on UK roads, filling a gap between warnings about smaller animals such as migratory toads and wildfowl, and large animals such as deer and livestock.

Jill Nelson, CEO at People’s Trust for Endangered Species, said: “At PTES roadkill has long been a concern, which is why we launched our Mammals on Roads survey. We have also joined forces with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society to deliver the Hedgehog Street campaign, meeting with Mr Grayling to express our concerns for hedgehogs on roads and elsewhere. We welcome this focus on road safety and protection for all small mammals.”


Nature fund announced: £1.8m given to biodiversity projects – Scottish Natural Heritage

14 projects across Scotland have been confirmed as the first recipients of Scottish Natural Heritage’s Biodiversity Challenge Fund, sharing a total of £1.8 million over a two-year period.  

The projects will take practical steps to improve natural habitats, safeguard plant and animal species and improve biodiversity.

Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment, Mairi Gougeon, looking for wading birds on Cramond shoreline, with SNH’s Head of Geodiversity and Biodiversity, Dr Kath Leys (SNH)Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment, Mairi Gougeon, looking for wading birds on Cramond shoreline, with SNH’s Head of Geodiversity and Biodiversity, Dr Kath Leys (SNH)

Biodiversity is all the different types of animals, plants and other organisms in our natural world. People know that climate change is a big issue but not as many know that nature – and biodiversity loss – is also a global and generational threat to human well-being. However, enhancing our nature is also recognised as being part of the solution to the climate emergency.

The funding will support large-scale projects that aim to deliver rapid change on the ground to help our most at-risk habitats and species, including mammals and birds, connect existing nature reserves and tackle non-native invasive species.

Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon visited a newly funded project - The Wild Line – in Edinburgh. The Wild Line is a strip of wilderness that edges the land and the sea which has become increasingly narrow due to urban development. To boost nature and resilience to climate change, a network of species rich wildflower meadows to provide habitats for pollinators will be created. On shore retrofitting artificial habitats will enhance sea defences and protect people and nature against sea level rises providing homes for intertidal species, and invasive species, which outcompete native ones, will be removed.

Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment Mairi Gougeon said: “I am delighted that, through the Biodiversity Challenge Fund, the Scottish Government and SNH can support these fantastic projects across the country to safeguard some of our most vulnerable species and habitats, and protect them from invasive species. Their success will play a crucial role in our efforts to improve nature and help Scotland meet its international biodiversity commitments.”


Bakkavör Alresford Salads Impacting Upper Itchen - Salmon & Trout Conservation

Sewage and pesticides from a salad washing factory owned by Bakkavör Group Plc may present a serious threat to aquatic invertebrate life on a highly protected English chalkstream.

The Environment Agency’s response to a formal notification of environmental damage made by S&TC in June 2018, pursuant to the Environmental Liability Directive, confirms the wild fish conservation charity’s fears: discharges from Bakkavör’s site at Alresford are threatening the fragile Upper Itchen and Alresford Pond.

Bakkavör is a leading supplier of fresh food and salads to UK supermarkets.

The EA’s wide-ranging investigation was prompted by the results of S&TC’s invertebrate sampling at a site immediately downstream of Bakkavör’s outflows.

The threat from these activities was highlighted by Joe Crowley on the BBC’s Countryfile Chalkstream Special.

The EA investigation firstly exposed a failing in the factory’s own sewage works. The sewage is now being tankered away and S&TC says discharges should not restart. The headwaters of a chalkstream is not the right place to dump sewage.

The EA investigations also exposed a potential pesticide threat. The EA has not been able to rule out damage caused by traces of pesticides present on the salad leaves used by Bakkavör and which are being subsequently washed into the Upper Itchen. The EA is now undertaking more monitoring work. S&TC will follow the results of this work closely.

The S&TC notification has highlighted a wider national issue, that of the EA being unable to look at the impact on wildlife from chronic, low level and cumulative exposure to combinations of different pesticides.  This is directly relevant, not just to salad washing but to agriculture in general. S&TC will continue to raise its scientific evidence at the highest levels within UK Government and the European Commission to influence the changes required to provide our chalkstreams and all rivers with proper protection.


Park scoops top honour at mental health awards – Northumberland National Park Authority

Northumberland National Park Authority has been recognised with a top honour for its outstanding approach to employee mental health and wellbeing.

Championed by staff across the organisation following the untimely death of a colleague’s wife, the Park’s innovative mental wellbeing programme has won the ‘Best Mental Health Awareness Initiative Award’ at the inaugural Conscious Employer Awards.

Founded by the not-for-profit group, Conscious Benefits, the Conscious Employer Awards celebrate companies of all shapes and sizes and the people behind them, recognising outstanding initiatives, best practice and world-class performances in the workplace.

The judges were incredibly impressed with the Park’s determination to turn a tragic situation into positive change through the implementation of a business-wide wellbeing strategy.

“Our mental wellbeing strategy has been carefully designed to create a long-term culture change across the Authority which will benefit employees for years to come, it isn’t a short-term fix,” said Mary Wallace, HR Officer at Northumberland National Park. “Our vision is to create an open and welcoming workplace environment where people are tuned-in to the emotions of their colleagues and feel like they can reach out for help if they need it. By sharing experiences and creating the space to talk freely, we hope to actively reduce the stigma around mental health.”


National Trust and National Lottery team up for Future Parks initiative – National Lottery Heritage Fund

Eight towns and cities have been selected to take part in Future Parks, an £11million initiative that aims to secure the future of our urban parks and green spaces.

It’s the first project of its kind in the UK and a pioneering partnership between the National Trust and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, with support from government.

Through a package of grants and expert guidance, Future Parks aims to tackle, head on, the growing financial challenges facing public parks, which is putting them at serious risk.

Local authorities and communities will be empowered to find innovative and sustainable ways to manage and fund parks and open spaces across entire towns and cities.

Managing parks differently

The desire and need to manage parks differently is clear. Eighty-one groups applied to be part of Future Parks, collectively asking for more than £60m for new plans.

The eight places, covering a population of five million people, were chosen for their ambitious and creative strategies to put green spaces right at the heart of local communities.   

The projects will:

  • make green spaces central to everyday community life
  • give the public a bigger role in how they are managed
  • ensure parks contribute more to the public’s mental and physical health
  • transform the way parks are funded to secure their futures

For instance, in Islington and Camden the councils will focus on using parks and green spaces to improve health and wellbeing by developing closer links to the NHS, health providers, doctors and health charities.


Boaty McBoatface’s debut outing sheds new light on the warming ocean abyss – University of Southampton

The first mission involving the autonomous submarine vehicle Autosub Long Range (better known as “Boaty McBoatface”) has for the first time shed light on a key process linking increasing Antarctic winds to rising sea temperatures. Data collected from the expedition, published today (Monday 17 June) in the scientific journal PNAS, will help climate scientists build more accurate predictions of the effects of climate change on rising sea levels.

Boaty McBoatface travelled 180km on the Southern Ocean bed (credit: Povl Abrahamsen, BAS)Boaty McBoatface travelled 180km on the Southern Ocean bed (credit: Povl Abrahamsen, BAS)

The research, which took place in April 2017, studied the changing temperatures at the bottom of the Southern Ocean.

During the three day mission, Boaty travelled 180 kilometres through mountainous underwater valleys measuring the temperature, saltiness and turbulence of the water at the bottom of the ocean. Using an echo sounder to navigate, Boaty successfully completed the perilous route, reaching depths of up to 4000 metres, to re-unite with the rest of the project team at the programmed rendezvous location where the sub was recovered and measurements collected along its route were downloaded.

In recent decades, winds blowing over the Southern Ocean have been getting stronger due to the hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica and increasing greenhouse gases. The data collected by Boaty, along with other ocean measurements collected from research vessel RRS James Clark Ross, have revealed a mechanism that enables these winds to increase turbulence deep in the Southern Ocean, causing warm water at mid depths to mix with cold, dense water in the abyss.

The resulting warming of the water on the sea bed is a significant contributor to rising sea levels. However, the mechanism uncovered by Boaty is not built into current models for predicting the impact of increasing global temperatures on our oceans.


UK river more polluted than Great Pacific Garbage Patch – Greenpeace

Hollywood film star Bonnie Wright joins scientists and campaigners to investigate plastic pollution in the river Wye. They are collecting macro and microplastic samples from three different points along the Wye using a filtering device called a manta net.

  • Every UK river tested by Greenpeace found to contain microplastics
  • River Mersey is proportionally more polluted than the Great Pacific Garbage patch
  • Government urged to introduce plastic reduction targets and create environmental watchdog in upcoming Environment Bill

The UK’s River Mersey contains proportionally more plastic pollution than the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an area recognised by scientists as one of the most plastic-polluted expanses of water on earth.

This was one of the findings of a new scientific study released today (June 19th)  by Greenpeace which reveals that every one of 13 UK rivers tested were contaminated with microplastics.

Greenpeace is urging the UK government to set legally-binding plastic reduction targets in the upcoming Environment Bill and to create an independent environmental watchdog with proper powers to enforce those targets.

Scientists and campaigners collected water samples in February and March at separate points along each of the 13 rivers, which were analysed by Greenpeace scientists at the University of Exeter using a cutting-edge infrared plastic detector called a fourier-transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR).

Access the report: Upstream: microplastics in UK rivers 


Public wants urgent political action on environment and climate change – The Wildlife Trusts

On Wednesday 26th June, thousands of people from across the country will visit Westminster for face-to-face meetings with their MP

  • Seven in 10 British people are demanding urgent political action to combat climate change and protect the natural environment
  • 71% want their local MP to support ambitious plans to protect the natural environment and tackle climate change
  • 81% of Brits think that tackling climate change and protecting the natural world are issues of concern for all generations

A clear majority (69%) of Brits want to see urgent political action to protect the natural environment and combat climate change, according to new research from The Climate Coalition and Greener UK. Against a backdrop of increasingly dire warnings of temperature rises and species extinction, seven in 10 (71%) also want their MP to support ambitious plans to tackle these twin challenges.

The research also highlights how the environment and climate change have become mainstream issues. Over three quarters (76%) of British people acknowledge that science shows a clear need for urgent action on climate change and the natural environment, while the vast majority (81%) of Brits see these issues as transcending generations, from children, to parents, and grandparents. 


Ampharete oculicirrata ©R.BarnichAll eyes on a new worm species – JNCC

There’s a worm at the bottom of the sea – and it’s been discovered off the Scottish coast by a team of scientists from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), Marine Scotland Science (MSS) and Thomson Environmental Consultants. But this isn’t an ordinary worm – the newcomer has a unique anatomy with its eyes in its head and in its bottom.  

Ampharete oculicirrata ©R.Barnich

This new species, now given the scientific name Ampharete oculicirrata, was collected by scientists from JNCC and MSS whilst surveying the West Shetland Shelf Marine Protected Area. The West Shetland Shelf MPA has been designated to protect a wide variety of important sand and gravel habitats and is equivalent in size to the Cairngorm National Park. The survey was the first to explore the animals within and on the seabed in this area and marks the beginning of a programme of long-term monitoring.

As part of this undertaking, sandy areas of previously unexplored seabed were targeted for detailed examination by the scientists on board the research vessel MRV Scotia. During the identification process back onshore it became apparent that a completely unknown species of worm was present.


New Forest National Park woodlands to benefit from £10k thanks to new partnership with Clif Bar - New Forest National Park Authority

UK National Parks and Clif Bar launch the National Parks Protectors Fund

The New Forest National Park Authority has received £10,000 to help make woodlands better for wildlife thanks to a new partnership with energy bar company Clif Bar.

The Working Woodlands project is one of five major conservation projects funded through the partnership with Clif Bar and the UK National Parks across five UK national parks.

All 15 of the UK’s National Parks will benefit in 2019, with those not running one of the five special projects still receiving a smaller grant to support their choice of conservation work during the year.

The Working Woodlands project aims to bring around 120 hectares of woodlands back into active management to improve biodiversity; make woodlands more resilient to unfavourable conditions such as disease; increase the amount of habitat available for many threatened and declining species; and train 150 people in woodland management skills.
The project will also increase public access to woodland, create a detailed record of the current state of unmanaged woodlands, and give advice, support and training to woodland owners.


Isle of Wight celebrates becoming a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve – UNESCO

Today marks a special day for the Isle of Wight as it joins the UK’s UNESCO network as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve to celebrate and promote a more harmonious and sustainable relationship between people and nature.

The Isle of Wight Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (IW Wight AONB) contains some of Britain’s finest landscapes.
UNESCO Biosphere Reserves are unique areas of environmental significance in which communities strive to work hand in hand, innovatively and responsibly to protect and support the local environment and the world we all live in. The Isle of Wight follows into the footsteps of the North Devon and Isle of Man Biosphere Reserves as England’s third and the UK’s seventh Biosphere Reserve.

The award was made by the United Nations Man and Biosphere Co-ordinating Council, who met in Paris on Wednesday 19 June. This year’s Mardi Gras in Ryde will be a celebration of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, with over 30 schools, community organisations and off Island carnival companies joining the New Carnival Company on June 29.


Rare hazel dormice reintroduced to Nottinghamshire woodland - People’s Trust for Endangered Species

This week, wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) in partnership with Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and Nottinghamshire Dormouse Group, are releasing 11 hazel dormice (Muscardinus avellanarius) into an undisclosed woodland location near Retford, in Nottinghamshire.

Despite being incredibly cute, these charismatic creatures are also critically endangered. PTES’ State of Britain’s Dormice 2016 report confirmed that hazel dormice not only went extinct from 17 English counties since the end of the 19th century, but that recent records reveal populations have probably fallen by a third since 2000. Loss of woodland and hedgerow habitat, as well as changes to traditional countryside management practices, are all factors which have caused this decline.

This further release of animals will bolster the existing reintroduced populations of hazel dormice already in the area by increasing genetic diversity and therefore helping the long-term survival of this endangered species. The 2019 release follows three previous reintroductions which took place in 2013, 2014 and 2015. These three woodlands are all owned by the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and are located within a 5-mile radius of each other.

Ian White, Dormouse & Training Officer at PTES explains: “This week’s release is the next phase of a wider landscape project, as this site was where we released 40 dormice. Over the last five years, we’ve reintroduced over 100 hazel dormice into this part of the county, in three different woodlands. By releasing more dormice again this year, we hope to achieve our aim of connecting the three separate populations and increasing the gene pool, consequently creating a dormouse stronghold in the region.”


Land Trust Awards 2019 - Who were the big winners? - The Land Trust

Frickley Country Park was the winner of Site of the Year and Health Site of the Year at the Land Trust’s annual awards ceremony.

Several Land Trust sites, rangers and volunteers have been recognised for outstanding achievements at the event which was held in Ellesmere Port.

Frickley Country Park in Yorkshire is a thriving site which has developed vastly over the years, transformed from a former colliery into a beautiful Country Park. The site attracted over 80,000 visitors last year and started a popular weekly parkrun event, which attracts hundreds of enthusiastic runners every Saturday morning.

There were 11 awards categories, which included Volunteer of the Year, Ranger of the Year, Most Improved site of the Year and Project of the year, which was voted for on the day.


Offshore renewable energy developers step in to help complete vital seabird count - JNCC

A group of offshore renewable energy companies has provided a much-needed financial boost to ‘Seabirds Count’, the fourth national census of the UK’s breeding seabird populations. Thanks to equal funding contributions from EDF Renewables (EDF Renewables), Moray Offshore Windfarm (West) Limited (Moray West), Red Rock Power Limited (Red Rock Power) and SSE Renewables, alongside support from government and conservation charities, the count is now set for completion in 2020.  

The census aims to make an accurate count of 25 species of seabirds – an estimated eight million birds when last counted at the turn of the century – across more than 10,000 sites in Britain and Ireland. Such a mammoth task is made possible through the hard work of dedicated volunteers and specialist surveyors, and charities and government nature conservation bodies operating under the guidance of the Seabird Monitoring Programme Partnership, coordinated by the JNCC.

Leach's storm petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa, flying low over sea, The Wirral, UK, September (image: Steve Round / rspb-images.com)Leach's storm petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa, flying low over sea, The Wirral, UK, September (image: Steve Round / rspb-images.com)  

Thanks to the contributions, survey work for this breeding season is now well underway, with teams of surveyors heading to some of the most remote, inaccessible and spectacular parts of Scotland, such as St Kilda. In addition to cliff-nesting seabird species such as black-legged kittiwake, they will also be counting rarer species such as European storm-petrels, Leach’s storm-petrels and Manx shearwaters. These are some of the most difficult seabirds to survey as they are nocturnal, and nest hidden in burrows and rock crevices. Specialist survey methods will be deployed by playing recordings of their calls and recording the number of responses received from the birds.


Two lots of new funding for Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust

Multi-million pound bee project gets green light from EU 

A new project that aims to reverse the declines of wild pollinators is set to receive a multi-million pound investment from the EU’s North Sea Region Interreg Programme.

BEESPOKE (Benefitting Ecosystems through Evaluation of food Supplies for Pollination to Open up Knowledge for End users) will look explore ways of increasing the levels of pollinators and crop pollination at local and landscape levels by providing land managers and policy makers with new expertise, tools and financial knowledge to create more sustainable and resilient agroecosystems.

With a total budget of £4.1 million pounds over a three-and-a-half-year period, the project brings together a wide range of partners, from policy makers to research institutes, to increase the diversity of insect pollinators and crop yields by 10%.  Scientists working on the project will develop bespoke seed mixes and habitat management guidelines to support the suite of pollinators required for 14 crop types across 72 demonstration sites.  Sites for each crop will showcase best management practices and training materials which will be developed for biodiversity monitoring and measuring pollination.

Project coordinator Professor John Holland, who is head of farmland ecology at the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), said: “We know that wild pollinators are declining because of loss in flower-rich habitats – and this needs changing. We will work closely with farmers to develop solutions that not only help the bees but will also improve their crop’s pollination.” 

Funding boost for vital grey partridge project

A European project that strives to increase the grey partridge population through high levels of biodiversity has received a three-year extension.

PARTRIDGE (Protecting the Area’s Resources Through Researched Innovative Demonstration of Good Examples) was formed in 2016 to determine a 30% increase in biodiversity at 10 European demonstration sites.

These sites provide new and improved methods for the long-term sustainable management of farmland ecosystems that can be applied to national agri-environment schemes across European borders.

Led by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), the project received funding from the North Sea Region Interreg Programme until 2020 – but has now been extended until 2023.

GWCT’s Dr Francis Buner, a senior conservation scientist who is head of PARTRIDGE, is delighted by the news.  He said: “The aim of PARTRIDGE to demonstrate a 30% increase in biodiversity at our 10 demonstration sites over a four-year period has been ambitious!  Our 7% implemented habitat measures needed two years to be installed and another year to grow to fulfil their full potential. This extension gives us more time to demonstrate that our measures work so our scientific research can be used to influence policy-makers on future agri-environment schemes.”


Rare birds eggs stolen from Norfolk beach - RSPB

The RSPB are assisting Norfolk Constabulary in an appeal for information into the theft of 7 clutches (nests) of little tern eggs in Winterton, North Norfolk. EU Life+ Little Tern Recovery Project volunteers and staff work shifts to monitor the terns throughout daylight hours, when the birds are most vulnerable to disturbance. However, in the early hours of the morning of Thursday 20 June RSPB little tern wardens discovered that up to 20 eggs had been illegally stolen from 7 clutches (nests). Human footprints were identified leading up to each nest.

Little tern at nest, wing stretching after incubating. (credit: Chris Gomersall / rspb-images.com)Little tern at nest, wing stretching after incubating. (credit: Chris Gomersall / rspb-images.com)

Little terns are one of the UK’s rarest breeding seabirds, having suffered serious declines over the past 25 years. In the 1980s there were 2,500 breeding pairs, this fell to less than 2,000 pairs in 2000, and it is now estimated that there are currently 1,500 pairs or less.

Fabian Harrison, from the RSPB, said: “With over half of the UK’s breeding little terns making a home in East Anglia this year, it is devastating that 7 clutches of little tern eggs have been illegally stolen from the Winterton colony in Norfolk. Little terns are one of our rarest breeding birds, travelling thousands of miles from their wintering grounds in Africa each summer to nest on our Norfolk coastline, as well as around the country. It is upsetting to see the hard work of these birds go to waste, as they will now have to re-lay and attempt to rear their chicks before the summer is over. We implore the public to stay vigilant and to report any suspicious behaviour to the Police immediately.”


Recognition for volunteer ranger’s 50 year service - Peak District National Park

A volunteer ranger has received recognition for 50 years of service to the Peak District National Park.

Chair of the National Park Authority Andrew McCloy said: “There are not many causes that can inspire a person to dedicate their spare time to over such a long period of their life, but I’m delighted to say that the Peak District National Park has, and it is a pleasure to be able to congratulate Margaret Anderson on her commitment to the UK’s first national park. Her fifty years of dedication are an inspiration to us all.”

Peak District National Park Authority chair Andrew McCloy presented volunteer ranger Margaret Anderson with a certificate in recognition of 50 years’ service.Peak District National Park Authority chair Andrew McCloy presented volunteer ranger Margaret Anderson with a certificate in recognition of 50 years’ service.

Margaret Anderson (72), from Sheffield, completed her training for the role of warden, as rangers were known then, in the summer of 1969. Her first patrol was on Sunday 3rd August at Langsett and, despite having to catch three buses to get there, was where she regularly undertook conservation patrols to help protect ground-nesting birds’ eggs from poachers.

Asked what attracted her to the role, Margaret said: “After leaving university, my mother was not happy about me going out walking by myself, so when I saw an advert in the Sheffield Star for a training course to become a warden I said to Mum, 'if I pass that would you accept I can go walking by myself?'

“I did pass and was offered the role, which I was happy to take as it got me out into the fresh air and gave me exercise. It helped me deal with work pressures as I could forget about clients and their problems.”


Scientific Publications 

Maria Bortot, Christian Agrillo, Aurore Avarguès-Weber, Angelo Bisazza, Maria Elena Miletto Petrazzini and Martin Giurfa  Honeybees use absolute rather than relative numerosity in number discrimination (open access) Biology Letters Volume 15, Issue 6 doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0138


David W. Redding, Alex L. Pigot, Ellie E. Dyer, Çağan H. Şekercioğlu, Salit Kark & Tim M. Blackburn Location-level processes drive the establishment of alien bird populations worldwide Nature (2019) doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1292-2


Ricardo Cavicchioli et al, Scientists’ warning to humanity: microorganisms and climate change (open access) Nature Reviews Microbiology doi.org/10.1038/s41579-019-0222-5


Emily Shepard; Emma-Louise Cole; Andrew Neate; Emmanouil Lempidakis; Andrew Ross Wind prevents cliff-breeding birds from accessing nests through loss of flight control (open access) eLife 2019;8:e43842 doi: 10.7554/eLife.43842


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