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Countryside Jobs Service Professional - The leading monthly for countryside staff across the UK

Published on the second Thursday every month – 8 February 2018

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Noteworthy this month: 

Two big news stories from defra: the launch of the Government's vision for a greener future, plus reactions and world-leading microbead ban comes into effect. [more]

Cairngorms National Park Wildlife Identification at Speyside Wildlife 12 month course, starting 24 March 2018 [more]

And 48 adverts for vacancies plus 15 page training calendar of events and courses in April and details of the latest updates to the Training Directory [here]. 

Seasonal Rangers from May till July   

Location: Finlaystone Country Estate, Langbank, PA146TJ 

Mon to Fri, 40 hours per week (some weekend work may be required) 

Salary 14.5K to 15K pa depending on Experience. 

Finlaystone Estate is based by the Clyde near Langbank and is open to the public who enjoy the woodlands, play areas, formal gardens and tea room. A lot of school groups visit in the summer and many events are laid on for visitors. Two seasonal rangers are required to help during the busy summer season. 

  • To carry out various ranger activities under the guidance of the Head Ranger and the owners of Finlaystone Estate to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience and friendly welcome for visitors.
  • To assist in delivering Finlaystone’s education programme to school children. 
  • To assist in the maintenance of visitor facilities and undertake regular patrols of woodland trails.

Applicants will ideally have had similar prior experience, enjoy working with children and be capable of strimming and other similar work. 

Please send current CV  and a covering letter to arthur@finlaystone.com.

Logo: Cairngorms National Park AuthorityTomintoul & Glenlivet Landscape Partnership: Land Management Officer

Salary: £28,770 - 34,633 (Pro-rata) (Band D) plus excellent benefits such as flexitime, generous annual leave and a defined pension scheme to name just a few

Contract: Fixed term to 9th October 2020

Working Hours: 22.5 hours per week (Job Share)

Location: Tomintoul

We have an exciting opportunity for a Land Management Officer to join our Tomintoul & Glenlivet Landscape Partnership Team.

The Tomintoul & Glenlivet Landscape Partnership is a Heritage Lottery Funded project comprising 21 Partner organisations. The Partnership includes public land-owners and agencies, charitable membership organisation, community interest groups, local businesses, schools and a learning centre. Collectively these Partners are committed to delivering the 20 individual projects that comprise the Landscape Conservation Action Plan (LCAP). The project will finish in September 2020.

A staff team and a range of local groups and volunteers will deliver and monitor the projects which have been identified and developed in the LCAP.

You will be based in Tomintoul and work flexibly as part of a small team. You will have specific responsibility for delivery of land based, natural heritage projects in the TGLP scheme and will also support other staff members where necessary. These projects include undertaking field visits and working with farmers on habitat improvements, particularly for wading birds; water quality and riparian improvements; footpath projects and working with local volunteers on smaller scale conservation projects. Site visits to farms, rivers and other outdoor locations will be required.

Cairngorms National Park is more than just an idyllic place to work, we also offer many benefits such as; a great place to work, cycle to work scheme, childcare vouchers, generous annual leave allowance, flexitime and a very competitive pension scheme.  Our Grantown on Spey headquarters is within easy reach of Aviemore and Inverness.

The National Park Authority is committed to equality of opportunity and we welcome applicants from all sectors of society.  If you are an applicant with disabilities who meets the essential requirements of the post, we will interview you.

Logo: Lottery FundedIf you would like the opportunity to work for an organisation that is focused on protecting and enhancing this National Park then please download the job description and application pack below.  If you require more information, or if you require any adjustments to be made to the application process due to disability please contact us on 01479 873535 or email: recruitment@cairngorms.co.uk

Please note, we do not accept Curriculum Vitae (CV). Applications can be emailed to recruitment@cairngorms.co.uk or posted to CNPA, 14 The Square, Grantown-on-Spey, PH26 3HG

The closing date for applications is 12pm on Friday 16th February 2018, late applications will not be accepted.

Logo: ECOSAVarious Summer Field Surveyor Roles 

Each year, ECOSA relies on a pool of skilled surveyors to help deliver our busy project schedule. 

We are looking to fill a variety of roles this summer, such as assisting us with dusk and dawn bat survey work, and ongoing projects requiring both survey work and translocation of a variety of protected species including reptiles, great crested newt and hazel dormouse. 

We are also looking for suitable candidates for our 2018 spring/summer work placement scheme. 

If you have a keen interest in ecology and are looking to gain valuable experience in this field, or are already an experienced freelance ecological subcontractor, we would love to hear from you. 

Full training from experienced ecologists will be provided. We look for a high standard of work and competence in producing clear and thorough results. Project work is generally based around our offices in Hampshire and Gloucestershire and the surrounding counties, therefore own transport and a full driving licence is essential. 

For more details about opportunities with ECOSA and how to apply, please visit our website.   

logo: RSPBSenior Fundraising Officer

Location: Cardiff

Starting Salary: £22,073 - £23,912 per annum

Basis: Full Time. Maternity cover contract – up to 1 year 

Closing Date: 20 February 2018

Interview Date: 1 March 2018 

Do you have a passion for the environment, drive and enthusiasm needed to raise funds to support our conservation mission, helping the RSPB to give nature a home?  

This is an exciting opportunity to join our successful Project Fundraising Team and to make a difference for nature here in Wales. As Senior Fundraising Officer, you will be working closely with colleagues across the country and beyond, to raise funds from institutional fundraising sources (Lottery, Landfill, statutory, trusts and business) and private donors.  

You will be part of a team developing projects and approaches, and responsible for compiling high quality applications to secure income for our fantastic portfolio of work. This includes pioneering conservation projects, nature reserves visitor facilities, people engagement and schemes to empower people to save nature.  

As an effective communicator with excellent written skills, you will be adept at creating persuasive applications and will demonstrate strong relationship-building skills.  

We are ideally looking for someone with an established track record in grant/donor fundraising or equivalent in marketing, business and management skills.  

We offer a range of staff benefits, a strong commitment to staff development and diverse work across our stunning and nature-rich country.      

For further information and to download an application pack, please visit our website  

logo: RSPBMembership Development Officer

Location – Lancashire and Cumbria

Salary – Starting at £17,276 to £18,716 per annum

Basis – Full time, Permanent 

Closing date – 26 February 2018

Interview date – TBC 

Are you a friendly, focused individual who loves nature and wildlife? Confident to work in a busy and vibrant environment and have worked successfully to targets? Perhaps you are looking for a new challenge? Want to play your part in helping to save nature for future generations? 

This is an exciting opportunity to work for the RSPB. From Kingfishers to Gannets, Otters to Highland Cattle and Black Grouse to Hen Harriers the richly diverse habitats on our North-West nature reserves are home to them all.  

Nature is in big trouble, but we've got big plans to save it, can you help us? 

The successful candidate will become part of the RSPB Lancashire and Cumbria membership team. This role will involve working on our fantastic RSPB Date with Natures helping the public view Peregrines and Ospreys. The role will also include working across a wide variety of offsite venues/locations, enthusing, inspiring and recruiting new RSPB members. Full training and support will be given to the successful candidate and a valid driving license is essential. 

Applicants should be comfortable in loading and unloading vehicles, happy to work weekends, bank holidays and when required work unsociable hours. A full driving licence is required. 

If you have a passion for saving nature and want to inspire others to do the same please get in touch we look forward to hearing from you.

This is a rolling vacancy, please send in your application promptly if interested. 

For further information and to download an information pack, please visit our website 

logo: RSPBCommunity Engagement Officer

Location – Northern England

Salary – Starting at £17,276 to £18,716 per annum pro-rata

Basis – Part time, Fixed term – February 2018 to April 2019 

Closing date – 18 February 2018

Interview date – 26 February 2018 

We are looking for a self-motivated, inspirational person to engage with schools and communities about hen harriers, across northern England and the Scottish borders, as part of the Hen Harrier LIFE Project. You will work with primary and secondary schools, game keeping colleges, local community groups, and landowners to raise awareness of the habitat, ecology and threats to the hen harrier as well as the measures to protect these amazing, but declining birds of prey. Using your excellent communication and interpersonal skills you will develop and lead educational activities including primary school workshops and field trips, deliver talks to local community groups, engage people at county shows and game fairs, update social media, and represent the RSPB at key events. The work crosses a diverse geographic area and you will network with other projects and organisations, and recruit and manage a team of volunteers to support the delivery of this important project.
The RSPB is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. This post is subject to the appropriate safeguarding checks upon appointment

For further information and to download an information pack, please visit our website

Logo: Land of the FannsLand of the Fanns Finance & Administration Officer  

Location: Thames Chase Forest Centre, Upminster, RM14 3NS

Salary: £11,000 per annum with £1,000 bonus payable on successful completion of fixed term

Basis: Part-time fixed term contract (March 2018 to March 2022) 

Closing Date: 26th February 2018

Interview Date: 7th March 2018 

The Land of the Fanns Landscape Partnership secured £1.3million from the Heritage Lottery Fund to deliver a 5 year, £2.4m programme to discover, celebrate and restore one of the last remaining landscapes of London as it once was. Located on the edge of east London and south-west Essex this exciting project builds on the landscape regeneration story of Thames Chase Community Forest established in 1990. 

As part of the Land of the Fanns team, the role of the Finance & Admin Officer is key to the success of the Land of the Fanns. Through delivery of 26 individual projects, the Land of the Fanns Scheme aims to develop a renewed understanding and appreciation of the local landscape, revealing its hidden treasures of natural, geological, built and archaeological heritage to a wider audience. Our ultimate goal is that our partners and communities will be better placed to champion it long after the scheme ends. 

If you think you would like to play a part in taking this innovative scheme forward, then we look forward to receiving your application. Please submit a CV and covering letter, which should reflect the person specification in the application pack, to enquiries@thameschase.org.uk 

For further information and to download an application pack, please click here  

Logo: Forestry Commission EnglandWorks Supervisor

Kielder North Beat


Key work areas:

Work with the Forester to plan and manage the beat team work programme ensuring high quality work, effective communication and team working.

Supervise FM and H&M Standing Sales contracts to ensure progress of programmes are met in a safe, efficient and sustainable manner by proactively attending to site and operational needs.

Assist beat forester in operational data collection for restock, beat up and clearfell. 

For more details and application form click here  (Job ref: 1571351)

No recruitment agencies please.

Closing Date 18th February 2018 


Land Use Field Surveyor (Temporary – Full-time 40hrs/wk – March/April until September 2018) 

JBA Consulting have been appointed by Eurostat to carry out LUCAS throughout the UK and Ireland in 2018. The purpose of LUCAS is to collect data on land cover / land use and agri-environmental data by the field observation of thousands of survey points (15,000 in the UK and Ireland).  All the observations will be recorded via the use of our own field data collection system GISmapp, with information then being input into the LUCAS Data Management Tool software for quality control and processing. The survey will also incorporate specialist modules of soil sampling of one in ten points, and a test module of a grassland survey of a few selected points. 

JBA are therefore looking to recruit an adequate number of qualified (minimum a secondary degree or equivalent) surveyors for the field survey during the Spring / Summer of 2018.  You must have an education in geography, environmental sciences, biology, agriculture or another relevant field.  We are looking for suitable staff located throughout the UK and Ireland.  Employment will start between March and April 2018, with full training being provided, and will finish in September 2018.    

Field Surveyor Essential Requirements:   ●   Suitably qualified, as described above   ●   Ability to work/stay away from home when required   ●   Ability to work alone, safely and on own initiative   ●   Previous field work experience   ●   Familiarity with computers and web based applications   ●   Sufficiently fit and healthy to undertake fieldwork for up to 8 hours a day   ●   Valid licence for driving a private vehicle in the UK and/or Ireland 

The field survey season will be from mid-March in England and Wales, mid-April in Scotland and beginning of May in Ireland. Each survey will run through to September 2018. Each surveyor will undergo a one-week training course in one of the following location: Cranfield, Edinburgh or Limerick, prior to starting the actual field survey campaign.  

A key factor is that there will be considerable amounts of lone working, in some cases in remote areas.  To ensure surveyor safety during work, careful risk assessments and safe systems of work will be prepared and must be followed. Appropriate equipment will be provided to assist in surveyor’s safety.

The field survey will involve considerable amounts of driving.  Surveyors will be supplied with a hired vehicle and reimbursed fuel costs directly, but they must be an experienced driver, with at least one year’s driving experience. 

Surveyors will initially be based at home, and will work in their general local area, but working / staying away from home will be required as the survey progresses.  The survey involves entire coverage of both the UK and Ireland, and therefore all corners of the UK and Ireland need to be visited.  

For further information or an informal discussion about this position please contact Robbie Cowan on 0131 319 2940 or robbie.cowan@jbaconsulting.com .  Application forms must be downloaded from our website.   

No Agencies. 

Logo: Eastleigh Borough CouncilCountryside Officer
Grade 6
£23,361 - £25,305 (pending review)
Full time 37 hours – some weekend working maybe required
We are seeking an enthusiastic individual to join the Service Delivery Directorate within the Direct Services Unit to assist in the provision and delivery of high quality natural green spaces across the Borough including our Country Parks. You will be involved in the day-to-day maintenance of these spaces, ensuring compliance with all legislation, grant schemes and health and safety, as well as internal policies and procedures.
You must have a good level of education, including a qualification in an environmental subject and also hold relevant certificates in land maintenance and use of hand and power tools. You should have practical experience in nature conservation and land management including team leadership and experience of developing and managing volunteers, as well as a good knowledge of relevant legislation and working practices. It is essential that you have the ability to undertake land maintenance work including the use of power and hand tools and have a sound understanding of health and safety. Understanding of land, habitat and wildlife management is also essential.
Within your role, you will provide advice and guidance to visitors and colleagues on countryside matters and assist with events and educational activities. As part of ensuring the provision of high quality, natural green spaces, you will maintain and develop the sites to enable their safe and appropriate use by the community. Ensuring continuous improvement, you will identify any problems and issues relating to the use and management of the sites and implement solutions. You will administer stewardship grant schemes and organise works required to support these claims. You will project manage small scale improvement projects on the countryside sites, ensuring approvals are secured, control of financial resources and supervision of contractors.
If you are excited by this opportunity and feel you have the skills, experience and attitude we are looking for we would love to hear from you. At Eastleigh, we are committed to supporting and developing all our staff and creating a culture that is inclusive, innovative and enjoyable. We offer a good range of benefits and facilities, including local government pension scheme, 24 days annual leave and a range of wellbeing facilities or access to discounted schemes.
Please refer to the job description for further information on this role or contact Rachel Hardy, Countryside Manager on 023 8068 3797.
To apply please visit www.hampshirejobs.org.uk
Closing Date: Tuesday 27 February 2018
Interview Date: To be confirmed

logo: RSPBSenior Site Manager

Location: Forsinard, Sutherland, North Scotland

Starting Salary: £34,643 to £37,530 per annum

Basis: Full time – permanent position 

Closing Date: 22 February 2018

Interview Date: 7 March 2018 

Do you want to lead the delivery of landscape scale change on our largest nature reserve? Do you want to lead our work on the  UK’s largest peatland and live in a beautiful part of the Scottish Highlands? If so, this is your dream job! 

We are looking for a Senior Site Manager to lead and develop an established team of staff at our Flows Reserve in North Scotland. Your work will focus on leading the team to deliver the habitat management work on an £11 million society major project as well as the day to day management of our 21,000+ha nature reserve, including visitor centre, infrastructure and new field centre. You will also be part of the wider regional manager's team and help make North Scotland an even better place to work. 

You will need a proven track record of strong people management skills, knowledge and experience of forestry management and ideally peatland ecosystems. Knowledge and experience of budgets is essential and you must be able to prioritise and deliver complex workloads. 

Please note that while the full salary range is £34,643 - £46,190 the successful candidate will be appointed in line with the principles of our pay policy.  A relocation package may be available. 

For further information and to download an application pack, please visit our website  

Logo: Surrey Wildlife TrustSeasonal Environmental Birthday Party/Events Tutor 

£50 per half day session / £200 per weekend

(2 hour party x 2 per day plus admin & preparation/clear up)

Saturdays and Sundays (daytime) during April to July, September to October 

Are you passionate about wildlife and love the idea of working outside with children?   

Then our new post with our Outdoor Learning team could be for you!  We are looking for an enthusiastic birthday party tutor to work out of our beautiful private woodland nature reserve in Leatherhead delivering our programme of birthday parties and some family events.   

This is a weekend only post but will initially require training during the week at a mutually agreeable time.  The position is subject to checking by the Disclosure Barring Service at the enhanced level. The successful candidate must have access to their own transport as the site is not accessible by public transport. 

Applications to work on a job share (e.g alternate weekends or one day a weekend) will be considered. 

If you have some teaching and/or Forest Schools experience plus a broad knowledge of natural history, please refer to the full job profile on our website and complete an application form.   

Closing Date for Applications Thursday 1st March 2018 (by noon); Interviews on Thursday 8th March:

Applications should be sent to Louise Shorthose, Outdoor Learning Manager, Surrey Wildlife Trust, Nower Wood Educational Nature Reserve, Mill Way, Leatherhead KT228QA. 

Email: louise.shorthose@surreywt.org.uk

Logo: Surrey Wildlife Trust Ecology ServicesAre you an experienced ecologist with a passion for the provision of high quality ecological expertise?

If so, you could be just the person we need to join our established and successful SWT Ecology Services    


Full time, Permanent, £22,000-£25,000 dependent on experience 

We are seeking a motivated individual to join our established SWT Ecology Services team and contribute to the ongoing delivery of high quality ecological advice.   

Educated to degree level, with a passion for wildlife conservation, you will be enthusiastic and well organised.  The successful applicant will be an experienced ecologist and holder of at least one European Protected Species survey licence (level 1 bat class survey licence will be viewed favourably) plus project management experience as there will be an expectation to independently manage projects.  You will need to be well organised and passionate about biodiversity enhancement and committed to providing ecological advice that supports the aims and objectives of Surrey Wildlife Trust.  

Surrey Wildlife Trust is dedicated to protecting Surrey’s wildlife.  SWT Ecology Services specialises in biodiversity protection, botanical and protected species surveys and habitat management plans.  We have been providing expert advice to developers, local authorities, private landowners, corporates and conservation organisations for over 20 years.  As a Wildlife Trust Consultancy we are committed to The Wildlife Trust’s vision for landscape scale biodiversity conservation and the provision of local expertise.

This role will require flexibility and involves travel between survey sites.  A full UK driving licence is necessary  

For an Application Form and full job profile, please see our website. If you have any questions, please contact Gabbie Graham, MD of SWT Ecology Services gabrielle.graham@Surreywt.org.uk  01483 795440. 

The deadline for applications is 5pm Wednesday 28th February 2018, with interviews likely to be held during the week beginning 5th March 2018. 

Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT) is a registered charity no. 208123, and a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 645176. We are the only organization concerned solely with the conservation of all forms of wildlife in Surrey. Further information can be found on our website www.surreywildlifetrust.org  

Logo: Outdoor Access Trust for ScotlandTrainee Upland Path Workers x 8 

Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland – The Mountains and The People Project  

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park 

Paid national minimum wage – Full time – Fixed term 6 month contract starting 23rd April. 

Do you have what it takes to become a custodian of Scotland’s most iconic mountains?   This is an exciting opportunity for enthusiastic, motivated individuals to join The Mountains and The People project, on a practical work based training programme within the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. 

Over 6 months you will learn the techniques of upland path construction, maintenance and landscape restoration, through practical skills training and work placements, whilst working towards a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) Level 2 in Environmental Conservation.  You will also receive accredited training in first aid and manual handling leading. 

To register your interest email: training@themountainsandthepeople.org.uk  

To download the job description and application form, click here   

Closing date: 12 noon on Friday 23 February 2018. 

Interviews will take place on Tuesday 13, Wednesday 14 and Thursday 15 March 2018. 

Take a look at our training video to hear about experiences of our previous Cairngorms trainee upland path workers here 

Logo: Abbas Ecology Ltd Bat Ecologist 

Starting salary £25,000 

Abbas Ecology Ltd needs a keen motivated individual to support our growing business from the 1st April. The bat ecologist will be able to carry out a full programme of bat assessments, appropriate bat survey work and preparation of Bat Mitigation Licenses. We are looking for a confident self-starter who can quickly organise a programme of work for themselves and involve other Abbas Ecology staff and sub-contractors where necessary. 

Applicants will be expected to have/be able to :    ●   A bat survey license (level 1/CL17) but applicants with a level 2 license will be given preference   ●   Access to a car; this role involves driving throughout Dorset and neighbouring counties.     ●   Work mainly from home.      ●   Work some unsociable hours – mainly during dawn and dusk bat emergence surveys.     ●   A flexible attitude and an enthusiastic approach   ●   Excellent report writing and communication skills

The applicant will need to be able to understand Wildlife Legislation and planning protocol. Good liaison skills with clients and relevant organisations is essential. 

A good rate of pay is offered along with 5 weeks paid holiday per annum. Appropriate level of membership of CIEEM will be funded, there is a training budget associated with this post and payment contributions to Abbas Ecology company pensions scheme can be made. 

Contact 01305 889855/info@abbasecology.co.uk for more information and an application form. Applicants will be requested to submit an example of their prepared reports.  

Closing Date for applicants is Monday 26th February. Interviews will be held on the week starting 5th March 2018 

Logo: Sefton CouncilEcology Team Leader, Merseyside Environmental Advisory Service.
Full Time: Permanent,
Sefton Council, Bootle, Merseyside,

Salary: £37,306 - £40,057,
Introducing ourselves:
This is a rare and exciting opportunity to join the management team within our established service (www.meas.org.uk). We are seeking a highly experienced and technically excellent ecology professional with a track record in delivering ecology advice on local and strategic planning policy and development management matters.

Working within the Liverpool City Region for our established joint advisory service you will be at the forefront of protecting our natural assets and creating opportunities to enhance biodiversity. Within the context of a thriving and growing City Region economy you will have a pivotal role in advocating for some of the highest quality coast, countryside and green infrastructure in the UK. We have a wealth of Natura 2000 and Local Sites within our area and work in partnership with our customers and stakeholders. 

Job requirements:
We are looking for an exceptional Team Leader to head up our growing Ecology Team at MEAS which includes five experienced Ecologists and the Local Record Centre Manager. Your leadership, coaching and management skills will be highly developed and will help expand our customer base and grow the potential of you and the service. Vision and decisiveness will help realise our ambitions. At times your ability to carefully balance the needs of the economy and housing with our nature conservation and biodiversity responsibilities will demand your highly developed communication and negotiating skills.
As a well-rounded manager you will join our small management team and apply your insight and experience to our developing business. A proven ability to build trust and manage customer relationships is essential. MEAS is currently going through a business transformation as our main local authority customers respond to change across the City Region. You will therefore have an important role in advising the Director and will be expected to represent the service with a range of strategic partners.
You will be an expert in wildlife and conservation legislation, policy and practice and adept at assimilating data and applying it to the decision making process.
In return we offer a permanent senior and high profile position. Commensurate with this is a highly competitive salary, casual car users’ allowance and generous Local Government pension scheme as an employee of Sefton Council. We also operate flexible and agile working.
Full details available here  

For an application form and further details visit our websites at www.sefton.gov.uk  and www.meas.org.uk .
Completed forms can be emailed to recruitment@sefton.gov.uk  or deliver it in person to the Transactional HR Team, 1st Floor, St Peter’s House, Balliol Road, Bootle, L20 3AB. Note that we cannot accept applications via links to cloud storage sites, and do not accept CVs in place of an application form. If you have any questions about your application, please contact the recruitment hotline on 0345 140 0845.
Closing date for receipt of completed applications: Monday 26 February 2018.
Interviews will take place Thursday 15 March 2018 (preferred date) and Tuesday 13 March 2018 (reserve date). 

Previous applicants do not need to re-apply 

logo: RSPBCommunity Involvement Ranger                                         

Location - Derbyshire

Salary - Starting at £19,602 to £21,236 per annum

Basis - Full time, Permanent 

Closing date - 5 March 2018

Interview date - 20 March 2018 

The Eastern and Burbage Moors, 14 square miles of stunning upland habitat in the Peak District National Park, is just a stone's throw from the city of Sheffield and looked after by the Eastern Moors Partnership, a joint initiative between the RSPB and the National Trust. Home to an abundance of wildlife, teeming with fascinating cultural history and enjoyed by thousands of people, the Eastern and Burbage Moors is a landscape cherished by local people and visitors from afar. 
The Community Involvement Ranger will fit seamlessly within the dedicated, dynamic Eastern Moors team, who strive to celebrate, protect and enhance the Eastern and Burbage Moors for people and wildlife, whilst remaining true to the site's unique spirit. At the heart of the management of the Eastern and Burbage Moors are the volunteers who dedicate their time, enthusiasm, experience and expertise to look after the public access site. The Community Involvement Ranger will harness the existing volunteering support whilst inspiring more people from a range of ages and backgrounds, to become guardians of the moors. Through inspiring activities, events and initiatives the Community Involvement Ranger will create opportunities for people to connect with and take action for nature. They will fuel intrigue, inspire a sense of ownership and responsibility and enable people to become involved in looking after the moors and wider landscape. The Community Involvement Ranger will take pride in the appearance and functionality of the visitor facilities and infrastructure, keeping the area clean, tidy and accessible.
The RSPB is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. This post is subject to the appropriate safeguarding checks upon appointment

For further information and to download an information pack, please visit our website

logo: RSPBSenior Administrator

Location: Dungess Reserve, Kent.

Starting Salary: £17,276 to £18,716 per annum pro rata

Basis: 22.5 hours per week – permanent contract. 

Closing Date: 19 February 2018

Interview Date: 5 March 2018 

Do you have a passion for wildlife? Do you want to help protect one of the UK's most unique places for nature? We are currently looking for a Senior Administrator to join our team at the RSPB's Dungeness and Lydden Valley nature reserves.  

Dungeness is the RSPB's oldest nature reserve and boasts a wealth of wildlife, from scarce breeding birds to rare bumblebees and plants. Dungeness is home to a broad range of habitats from wet grassland, reedbed and artificial pits through to the unique habitats associated with the vast areas of internationally important shingle. Dungeness is also one of the RSPB's key visitor destinations in South East England, providing a first class visitor experience.  

In contrast, Lydden Valley is a new reserve still in development, which when complete will boast expansive wetland habitats and will form a significant wildlife hotspot in east Kent.  

We are looking for an enthusiastic and confident Senior Administrator to join our busy team. Your duties will be varied and will include maintaining the building and offices at Dungeness, and will provide comprehensive business / operational support facilitating delivery of work programmes, and an effective working environment. You will have an extensive knowledge of Microsoft Office applications and an excellent knowledge of budget management, and will manage the day-to-day procurement of goods and services, including selecting appropriate suppliers and contractors. We expect you to deliver a high level of customer service, have excellent organisational skills, and ability to use your own initiative. You will have the ability to negotiate and develop creative solutions to problems and prioritise competing objectives whilst remaining calm under pressure. Excellent communication skills are a must, as is being able to work as an integral part of a busy team. 

If you think you have the skills and experience needed, along with a genuine passion for wildlife and conservation in the UK, then we look forward to receiving your application.    

For further information and to download an application pack, please visit our website

Logo: Devon Wildlife Trust Devon Wildlife Trust  

Education Officer (South Devon Wildlife Champions)

Salary: £21,218 (60% pro rata) plus 5% pension

Closing date: Sunday 18 February  

Are you passionate about nature, enthusiastic about technology and have a desire to share that passion with children?  

We are seeking a creative and inspiring Education Officer to deliver the South Devon Wildlife Champions project. You will plan and deliver an inspiring range of outdoor, environmental and STEM learning experiences to schools across South Devon. You will have excellent people skills and be able to create and deliver sessions to primary school children.  Your fascination with the natural world will be infectious enabling children to reconnect with their local environments in meaningful and long-lasting ways, using science and technology to make a measurable difference.  

This is a part-time (22.5 hours per week), three-year fixed term appointment based at the Start Bay Centre, Slapton, Devon.  

For further details and to request an application pack directly please email jobapps@devonwildlifetrust.org or telephone 01392 279244.  

You can download an application pack here   

Logo: Caring for God’s AcreCaring for God’s Acre (CfGA), the national charity that promotes the conservation of churchyards and burial grounds, seeks to appoint the following new posts for an exciting new Heritage Lottery Funded project, The Beautiful Burial Ground

Project Manager

Salary: £28,485 per annum pro rata.   Contract: 4 days a week (29.6 hours) fixed term contract until end April 2022.
Location: Craven Arms, Shropshire.

To ensure the delivery of the Beautiful Burial Ground Project is within time, budget and scope.  This role includes line managing the rest of the project team - Data Officer, Community Coordinator and Administrator.

The post-holder will work to inspire and support local, regional and national partners to undertake surveying of biodiversity, built heritage and social history and produce records that will enter into the project’s database system. The role will involve developing recording advice and resources, writing and overseeing the website content, documenting and publicising exemplar sites.
Data Manager

Salary: £25,951 per annum pro rata.   Contract: 4 days per week (29.6 hours), fixed term contract until end April 2022.
Location: Craven Arms, Shropshire.
The role will involve working with the National Biodiversity Network Trust (NBN) to produce a customised view of the national species database, the NBN Atlas, which will present biological records known to come from burial grounds. Work with consultants to develop and ensure the smooth functioning of summaries to be created and passed to more than one external website in a way that highlights the key data, to provide local context and provide links to the full detail. The role will involve working closely with built and natural heritage recording groups to obtain historical data and encourage recording. It will also require developing creative ways to ensure the raw data is summarised for the public in a novel way.

Community Coordinator

Salary: £23,398 per annum pro rata.   Contract: 4 days per week (29.6 hours), fixed term contract until end April 2022.
Location: Craven Arms, Shropshire.

The main purpose of the post is to organise the outreach activities of the project. This will include engaging with local community groups by providing advice, support and funding for volunteer training events, and activities for under-represented groups, across England and Wales. The post-holder will also organise, manage and deliver a programme of volunteer training events and activities for under-represented groups within Herefordshire and Shropshire. Along with organising 2 national events as part of the Year of the Burial Ground, the post holder will also assist with the production of support materials such as bookmarks, toolkits and short films.

Logo: Heritage Lottery FundAn information pack is available for the 3 posts on the Caring for God’s Acre website and via e-mail.

The office base is in Craven Arms, Shropshire.

Applications to be made with full c.v. and contact details of two referees: info@cfga.org.uk

01588 673041. 

Closing date Sunday 25th February.


Senior Policy Officer – Agriculture & Environment 

Scottish Land & Estates has an exciting vacancy for someone seeking a rewarding career at the forefront of rural policy development in Scotland. In the context of Brexit, the next few years will be extremely important in shaping the future of rural policy. Join our team and help make a positive contribution.   

SLE is a membership organisation that represents the interests of rural land owners and land-based businesses across Scotland. The Senior Policy Officer will be required to represent the members of SLE in relation to some of the key strategic policy issues for the rural sector. With a focus on the agricultural policy area (including environmental policy relating to farming), this will involve considerable engagement with a wide range of stakeholders as well as representational and lobbying activity. A key part of the job will be identifying strategic opportunities and working to engage in the policy development process.  

A salary commensurate with experience will be offered alongside a generous holiday entitlement and a contributory pension. 

For further details please see www.scottishlandandestates.co.uk , email info@scottishlandandestates.co.uk or telephone 0131 653 5400. 

Closing date: 2nd March 2018. Applicants are asked to send a detailed CV and covering letter explaining why they are applying for the post and detailing evidence of how they meet the person specification.

Logo: Wales Environment LinkPolicy Officer at Wales Environment Link: 

Wales Environment Link (WEL) is a network of 29 diverse NGOs with environmental, countryside and heritage interests, most of which have an all-Wales focus.  

As an umbrella body WEL represents the shared interests of its member organisations. Its role is to support the many exciting and varied environmental organisations working in Wales to help them achieve their collective aims. WEL does this by facilitating collaborative working amongst its members and with like-minded partner organisations; and by presenting their joint positions on issues to government and key decision makers in Wales.  

Policy Officer 

Location:                      Baltic House, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff 

Position type:               Full time contract (maternity cover) until end of March 2019

Salary scale:                £26,663 – £29,000 

This is an excellent opportunity for someone with a good background in both coordinating and motivating groups and developing policy. The ideal candidate will be personable and diligent with the tenacity to progress difficult discussions between WEL members in order to achieve mutual decisions. The post holder will work closely with the WEL Working Groups to develop WEL statements and consultation responses in an efficient and effective manner. You will gain an in-depth understanding of the public sector in Wales and be responsible for organising suitable events and opportunities to advocate agreed WEL policy positions to decision makers in Wales. 

As one of the main points of contact for our Working Group Chairs, other group members and Welsh Government Officials you will be a confident, self-motivated, approachable, organised and meticulous coordinator and an extremely effective communicator with a demonstrable enthusiasm for the work of environmental campaigning organisations.  


Full job descriptions, person specifications and job application forms can be downloaded here. Alternatively they may be requested by email: karen@waleslink.org or phone: 029 2049 7509.  

Closing date:    Monday 19th February (9.00am)

Interviews:         Cardiff, week commencing 26th February or 5th March 

Logo: Yorkshire Wildlife TrustRiver Wiske Project Officer (Maternity cover to April 2019) – 3 days per week

£25000 p.a.  Pro rata plus up to 9% employer pension contribution 

Do you Love Yorkshire, Love Wildlife? Are you as committed as we are to creating a Yorkshire rich in wildlife for everyone? We are one of the UK’s fastest growing environmental organisations and seek to appoint a Project Officer to work on the River Wiske. 

The River Wiske Project Officer will deliver YWT’s Living Landscapes vision primarily in the Vale of Mowbray area of the Region. This will be done through a busy programme of works which maintain and enhance Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s nature reserve. The post holder will also help to deliver Living Landscape projects across North Yorkshire working with external partners and local communities and as part of a team with other staff, volunteers and trainees. 

As well as being passionate and enthusiastic about our mission to secure Living Landscapes and Living Seas, you will have hands-on experience of land management for nature conservation, experience of working with volunteers and community groups as well as a good understanding of relevant legislation in relation to land management. You will have excellent communication skills with a keen team working approach and the ability to work under your own initiative as appropriate. 

See www.ywt.org.uk for more details or ring the office for an application pack: 01904 659570 or e-mail info@ywt.org.uk 

Please note we don’t accept CVs 

Application closing date: 9 am on Monday 26 February 2018; interviews: Tuesday 13 March 2018 

YWT Company 409650; Charity no. 210807. 

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is an equal opportunities employer 

Logo: Wildlife Trust BCNNene Valley Land Adviser

Full Time: 37.5hrs per week for 3 years

Location: Northampton

Salary: £23,000 - £23,500 per annum   

The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire is looking for an enthusiastic Land Adviser to deliver the Farming for the Future project an exciting partnership project delivered by The Wildlife Trust (WT) and River Nene Regional Park (RNRP), as part of the Nenescape HLF Landscape Partnership. 

We are looking for a land adviser who will deliver land management advice to farmers within the Nene Valley, including guidance on Countryside Stewardship. The adviser will organise training and events and work with local landowners and volunteers to restore meadow and wetland habitats and deliver small improvements to farm infrastructure and land management methods through a small grants scheme both to benefit water quality and the surrounding environment. The land adviser will also work closely with the WT Living Landscape Manager and RNRP Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer to deliver projects complimentary to Nenescape in the Nene Valley including Local Sites work. 

Closing Date: 18th February 2018 @midnight        Interview date: 28th February 2018

For more information and to apply, please visit; http://www.wildlifebcn.org/jobs

Logo: Warwickshire Wildlife TrustWarwickshire Wildlife Trust

Hedgehog Officer (12 months from April 2018)

Full-time 35 hours/week

2a (£15,300- £21,420) 

The Role

We are looking for a dynamic individual to join our hedgehog conservation team to deliver the Hedgehog Improvement Area (HIA) during 2018/19. This innovative approach to community-based conservation aims to bolster local hedgehog populations in Rugby and Solihull through habitat improvements, ecological survey work and community engagement. Funded by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) the project will run under two geographically focussed HIAs and share aims in empowering local people and organisations to take action to make positive differences for their local hedgehog populations. 

We are looking for someone with excellent community engagement skills, a confident public speaker who can inspire people of all ages to help this species and influence real change at a local level. Therefore the right candidate will have experience in ecological surveying and delivering a wide-range of habitat/conservation improvement works that will benefit the project area. 

Join a supportive and friendly team and make a difference. 

How to apply

For more information visit: www.warwickshirewildlifetrust.org.uk

Closing Date:  5 p.m. on Thursday 15th of February 2018

Interview Date:  Friday 2nd March 2018

Logo: Essex Wildlife TrustRanger

Langdon Nature Reserve


37.5 hours per week

Starting salary £22,246 per annum rising to £22,746 per annum upon successful completion of probation 

Essex Wildlife Trust is the county’s leading conservation charity.  It has more than 37,000 members, manages and protects over 8,400 acres of land on 87 nature reserves and 2 nature parks and runs 11 visitor centres. The aim of Essex Wildlife Trust is to Protect Wildlife for the Future and for the People of Essex.  

We have an exciting opportunity at Langdon Nature Reserve and Visitor Centre. The successful applicant will work 37.5 hours per week across 7 days 

Responsibilities include:   ●   Co-ordinate and oversee reserve management of 460 acres of Nature Reserve.   ●   Play an active part of the Visitor Centre Team supporting their delivery.   ●   Managing a strong team of volunteers to ensure reserves tasks are completed to a high standard.   ●   Ensuring safe working practices at all times.   ●   Ensure our visitors are engaged with the wildlife of the site, through delivery of a varied programme of events and walks.   ●   Provide an inspiring site for visitors, enabling them to connect with nature and the natural environment.   ●   Maintaining a robust programme of species monitoring and surveying to inform the site management.

Are you someone wishing to make a difference to the wildlife in Essex, with great organisational skills?  Are you an engaging individual with a passion for habitat management, able to communicate well with people about EWT’s work?  

If the answer is yes, then this could be the role for you. 

Closing date: 19th February 2018, 9am

Interview date: 1st March 2018

For more information email: jobs@essexwt.org.uk or tel: 01621 862960 or www.essexwt.org.uk  

Protecting Wildlife for the Future and for the People of Essex

logo: RSPBArea Conservation Manager

Location - Denby Dale Office, Huddersfield

Salary - Starting at £29,507 to £31,966 per annum

Basis - Full time, Permanent 

Closing date - 15 February 2018

Interview date - 5 March 2018 

Are you passionate about saving nature and a great advocate for sustainable, innovative land and marine management? 

We are looking for a dynamic and knowledgable person to lead delivery of our conservation programme in the Peak District, Yorkshire and Humber areas. 

Challenges and opportunities in this amazing part of Northern England are immense; they include coastal management on the Humber estuary, marine protected areas, site protection for a suite of internationally important sites and priority species including twite and curlew; supporting the recovery of birds of prey in our iconic upland areas such as the Peak District; advisory work for land managers and seeking innovative ways support nature friendly farming and there are significant opportunities for wetland habitat restoration. 

You will lead a high performing team in proactively addressing issues and developing exciting opportunities as well as promoting nature conservation objectives to statutory and other bodies. You will understand and promote an integrated partnership approach to conservation delivery, act as an inclusive advocate for supporting others to call for change and have the ability to communicate at all levels. 

This is an exciting role in an amazing part of England, nature needs a new champion - if you think it could be you then please get in touch. 

For further information and to download an information pack, please visit our website 

Logo: Yorkshire Wildlife Trust People and Wildlife Assistant – 28 hours per week 

Based in Skipton 

£19000 p.a. plus up to 9% employer pension contribution 

Would you like to combine your passion for the environment with your ability to engage and inspire people? Can you play a part in creating a Yorkshire rich in wildlife for everyone? 

We are a dynamic and expanding nature conservation organisation and are seeking to appoint a People and Wildlife Assistant to support the work we do in the North Yorkshire. This is a great opportunity for the right person to make a meaningful and lasting difference to both people and wildlife. 

You will be highly motivated with the ability to work as part of a diverse and talented team with the confidence to work under your own initiative. You will have experience of working with volunteers and the commitment to continue to grow your knowledge and understanding of the natural world. In addition you will hold a full driving license as many of our sites aren’t accessible on public transport. 

See www.ywt.org.uk for more details or ring the office for an application pack: 01904 659570 or e-mail info@ywt.org.uk 

Please note we don’t accept CVs 

Application closing deadline: 9 am on Friday 16 February 2018

Interview date: Monday 26 February 2018 

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is an equal opportunities employer 

YWT Company 409650; Charity no. 210807

Logo: The National Forest CompanyCharnwood Forest Development Manager 

Salary range £34,840 to £40,200 

Do you have the skills and experience to shape a multi-million pound scheme to engage people in the landscape of Charnwood Forest? Having recently been successful in its Round 1 bid to Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) Landscape Partnership Scheme, the Charnwood Forest Regional Park partnership is now seeking a team to lead an 18-month Development Phase starting in April.  

Charnwood Forest is England’s unexpected uplands. Literally erupting from a volcano 600 million years ago, Charnwood rises in the north west corner of Leicestershire. Its geology underpins the landscape, the lives and the heritage of the area, and has created nationally and internationally significant natural and human history on the doorsteps of diverse communities between Leicester, Loughborough and Coalville. But development growth, visitor pressures and heritage loss mean that it is under increasing pressure. If we don’t act soon, the things that make Charnwood so special will be lost. 

The £3.9 million Charnwood Forest Landscape Partnership Scheme seeks to prevent this by helping those who live in Charnwood and those who visit, to explore its landscape further, to better understand its importance and to participate in its long-term management and protection. 

The National Forest Company is leading the bid on behalf of the wider partnership of organisations and individuals that make up the Charnwood Forest Regional Park. 

As Development Manager, you will lead the development of the bid and the Landscape Conservation Action Plan that will form the core of the submission. You will be responsible for co-ordinating the work of a wide range of partners to take the concepts and ideas put forward in the Round 1 submission into fully-costed, deliverable projects. You will also produce the detailed Landscape Conservation Action Plan that will inform the five-year delivery of the Landscape Partnership Scheme. 

You will be someone with the vision and enthusiasm to draw together the rich and varied heritage of Charnwood Forest into a coherent delivery plan that engages and excites delivery partners, local residents and visitors alike. You will work with a wide range of partners who bring different skills and knowledge to the table. You will have excellent written and verbal communication skills to raise the profile of this important landscape and the project management skills put in place the foundations that will allow it to flourish in to the future. 

For an informal chat about the role, please contact Sam Lattaway, Head of Landscape, Biodiversity & Recreation on 01283 551211.

The Appointment 

Role: This post is a full-time, fixed-term contract to the end of September 2019. The salary range is £34,840 to £40,200. 

Closing date for applications: Midday, Friday 16th February 2018 

Interviews: We will be interviewing for the Development Manager post in the week commencing 26th February 2018.  

Please visit our website for further information

logo: RSPBRetail Assistant

Location: Newport Wetlands, Wales

Starting Salary: £14,625 - £15,213 per annum pro rata

Basis: 15 hours per week – permanent role 

Closing Date: 23 February 2018

Interview Date: 9 March 2018 

Would you like to work in stunning surroundings for one of the UKs leading environmental charities, then come and join our highly motivated team at Newport Wetlands.  

You will be based at the visitor centre, assisting the team in achieving its retail objectives. You need to be enthusiastic, numerate and have excellent customer care skills. If you have had experience in retail and sales then that's even better. 

Flexibility is essential, as you will work on a rota, which includes weekends and Bank Holidays. You will enjoy an excellent working environment based at this beautiful nature reserve. 

For further information and to download an application pack, please visit our website 

Assistant Ecologist 

An excellent opportunity is available for a motivated, organised graduate ecologist within a forward thinking, busy consultancy practice.  This seasonal position will provide a really good grounding in ecological consultancy. 

The company is based in a spacious new office set within the Northumbrian countryside.  Joining a well-established and friendly team, the right candidate will get a wide range of field and consultancy based experience.  The company undertakes work for wide-ranging development and infrastructure schemes, mainly within the north east of England.  

Work will include:   ●   Protected species surveys, particularly bat and newt work   ●   Assisting directors and associated directors with a wide range of public inquiry and consultancy work   ●   Report drafting, bat call analysis and GIS mapping    ●   Day to day organisational and administrative tasks.   

Applicants must have a good degree in a relevant subject, have experience with GIS, good communication skills and be able to work under pressure during the busy survey season.  Driving licence essential and own car a significant advantage.  Potential for a two year appointment for the right applicant providing the opportunity for winter travel or research abroad. £17,000 p.a. paid overtime, pension and holidays.  

Please send application form (available at www.e3ecology.co.uk) and CV to mary.martin@e3ecology.co.uk.   

Deadline 15th February 2018. 

E3 Ecology Ltd is a specialist ecological consultancy based in Northumberland.  An Experienced Arborist is required to take over and expand the existing arboricultural side of the business. The successful candidate will be expected to deliver consultancy services quickly, efficiently and to a high standard.  The company is based in new, purpose built office in stunning countryside, just a few miles from the attractive market town of Hexham.  

Specific skills required:

  • Tree surveys, using British Standard 5837:2012, and associated reports including Tree Constraint Plans, Arboricultural Impact Assessments, Tree Protection Plans, and Arboricultural Method Statements.
  • Providing guidance on arboricultural issues to both clients and professional colleagues in a clear and simple manner.
  • AutoCAD for drafting TCAs and TPPs
  • Excellent communication skills, in particular the ability to write concise technical reports, advise clients and supervise work on site.
  • Appropriate qualifications and memberships

Beneficial additional skills:    ●   Trained tree climber    ●   Bat survey   ●   Interest in ecology 

Competitive salary and benefits package including paid overtime, profit share, pension, training budget and use of pool cars and the potential to become more involved in ecological surveys. 

Please contact mary.martin@e3ecology.co.uk for an application form or for more information. 

Logo: The Bathurst EstateForestry Worker 

An opportunity to join a small Rural Estate team of foresters and estate maintenance workers on the Bathurst Estate in Gloucestershire. 

The Estate is looking for a flexible individual to work on forestry tasks, including thinning, firewood, compartment management and general estate landscape work as part of a small team within one of the most attractive and valuable wooded landscapes in Gloucestershire, with an emphasis on conservation and sustainable continuous cover forestry. 

The role is ideal for those seeking to develop their forestry skills and appropriate training towards chainsaw certification will be provided, although a desire to hold or work towards membership of the Institute of Chartered Foresters or another relevant professional body is also anticipated. 

Competitive starting salary dependent on experience and paid holiday.
Accommodation, overtime and weekend work available.
To apply or for more details please send an up-to-date CV with a cover letter to tom.short@carterjonas.co.uk

Logo: Knighton Countryside Management LtdGeneral Workers and Chainsaw Operators

Immediate Start 

Knighton Countryside Management Ltd is based at Piddlehinton, Dorchester & undertakes a range of ecological & environmental contracting. We have opportunities for suitably qualified Chainsaw Operators and General Site Operatives for fencing, vegetation clearance, & ecological contracting, to work on jobs across southern England and Wales. 

A driving licence is essential. This position will require a high percentage of working away from Monday to Friday, with overnight accommodation and an allowance offered. Salary is dependent on experience.  

Temporary entry level position but permanent jobs and career progression available for suitable candidates. CSCS cards an advantage, but assistance can be offered in acquiring a card. 

Email: office@knightoncountryside.com or call 01305 848881

logo: RSPBVisitor Experience Assistant

Location: Newport Wetlands, Wales.

Starting Salary: £14,625 - £15,213 per annum pro rata

Basis: 22.5 hours per week – permament role 

Closing Date: 23 February 2018

Interview Date: 13 March 2018 

Would you like to work in stunning surroundings for one of the UKs leading environmental charities, then come and join our highly motivated and enthusiastic team at Newport Wetlands and help to deliver an exemplar customer experience whilst maximising financial and moral support for the RSPB. 

You will be based at the Visitor Centre on the Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve helping to manage the overall visitor experience from arrival to departure whilst enthusing and inspiring the public.

Assisting in all areas of the visitor experience, you will be enthusiastic, have excellent customer care skills and some experience in a visitor focused environment. 

Flexibility is essential, as you will work on a rota, which includes weekends and Bank Holidays. You will enjoy an excellent working environment based at this beautiful nature reserve. 

For further information and to download an application pack, please visit our website  

Logo: Noah’s Ark Zoo FarmFencer and Grounds Maintenance Person

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm

Permanent Role

Salary: £18,500 - 19,500  

We’re looking for an enthusiastic and committed person to join our Grounds maintenance team at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, an award-winning and popular animal park close to Bristol.  

You will be a team player and will enjoy the responsibility of working as part of a flexible and skilled grounds team in order to maintain our 120 acres of rural countryside to a high standard. Within this, you will also take a lead role in the design, installation and maintenance of the unique fencing that we have here.  

You will have at least three years’ experience in agricultural fencing and grounds maintenance and will be experienced in the use of chainsaws. A driving licence is required, ideally including trailer towing (B+E). Experience in timber building construction is also desirable.  

You will have the ability to thoroughly plan and execute a project and ideally have a natural passion for wildlife, conservation and sustainability. In return we can offer you a wide variety of work and opportunities to learn new skills in a thriving visitor attraction which is a leader in sustainable tourism.  

Regular Saturday work and Bank Holiday cover is a requirement for this role.  

You will be happy to work in a family enterprise with active Christian faith and values at its core. 

Please note that we will not accept applications from those seeking animal care related employment for this role.  

To apply: Please visit www.noahsarkzoofarm.co.uk/jobs where you will be able to download an application form and job description.

Closing date for applications:       20th February 2018

Interviews will be held:                  27th February 2018 


Logo: Surrey Wildlife TrustProject Manager - Surrey Biodiversity Information Centre  

c £26,000 pa (dependant on skills and experience) 

Surrey Biodiversity Information Centre has an exciting new role available for a committed individual, with a passion for biological recording, to support the development of the record centre to the next level. 

A relevant environmental qualification is essential together with a professional background in nature conservation plus knowledge and experience of the work of a local environmental records centre.  

For full job profile and application form, please see our website 

Closing Date midday Friday 23rd February 2018, interviews Friday 9th March 2018. 

Logo: Maldon District CouncilParks and Countryside Team Supervisor

Directorate: Customers and Community Directorate

Vacancy type: Permanent full time

Salary: £28,118 – £32,444 (subject to a April pay increase)

Closing date: Monday the 19th February 2018

Post Number MDC001466 


Maldon District Council is looking for a Team Supervisor for the Parks & Countryside service. This service provides a grounds maintenance service to the Council’s own 25 Parks and open spaces, cemeteries, and tree estate, plus other contracted work sites including sports pitches, roadside verges and play sites. 

Applicants will need strong people management skills and experience in leading & motivating a grounds maintenance/practical operations based team.  Leading by example, you will be setting & maintaining a high quality standard for your own and the team’s work, requiring you to be self-motivated, reliable, conscientious, and capable of working individually or as part of a team. 

Operational management experience in work planning and directing a range of horticultural and grounds maintenance staff, functions & machinery is essential; preferably gained in a similar Parks/outdoor environment. 

You will be required to work on a flexible rota system with hours varying between 29 hours a week in the winter months and 46 hours a week in the summer. 

Successful candidates will need to demonstrate flexibility in working patterns as late evening, weekend and Bank Holiday work will all be required. 

A full clean driving license is essential. 

About this role

The successful candidate will supervise and work as part of a team maintaining the parks, open spaces and road verges throughout the district to a high standard. 

This is a highly visible role and there will be regular contact with the public, sports clubs, contractors,  concession holders and other interested parties. 

For an informal discussion about this position

For further information about the role please download and read the job description or please contact Matt Wilson, Countryside & Coast Manager, Tel: 01621 876275. 

To apply

Complete the application form online. CVs will not be accepted. Guidance notes for applicants and further documents are available on the website.

Please click here  

In addition to a competitive salary you will be entitled to participate in the Local Government Pension Scheme, cycle to work scheme, salary sacrifice car lease scheme and will benefit from free parking. You can also receive assistance with child care, discounted local gym membership and payment of one annual professional fee (if applicable). You will also have access to a range of work/life balance policies. 

Maldon District Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of vulnerable groups including children, young people and adults and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. Disclosure and Barring checks will be undertaken according to the responsibilities of the role.  

We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds, culture and experience. Applicants will be considered regardless of race, sex, disability or marital status.

Logo: Waverley Borough CouncilCountryside Ranger

37 Hours, South West Surrey

Starting salary – £24,945 per annum 


Working as part of the Parks and Countryside team, you will plan and implement a range of projects and work activities that protect and conserve countryside sites; ranging from conservation management, work planning and delivery, monitoring of works and assisting in the delivery of the Councils tree risk policy.   

Personal attributes

Demonstrate a wide experience of the countryside; delivery of Higher Level Stewardship Agreements, managing Sites of Special Scientific Interest, project management and tree hazard inspections.  Essential requirements for this post are listed in the person specification of the job description. 

Working as a team you will manage sites across the borough, developing and promoting; community projects, volunteer groups and also provide weekend duty ranger cover at Frensham Pond as part of a rota.  Additionally, you will provide supervision for; seasonal rangers and an apprentice ranger, when required. 

This post is a full time role. However, all applications will be considered. 

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact David Olliver, Head Ranger on 01483 523422. 

We do not accept CVs without a completed application form. Strictly no agencies please. 

To apply click here  

Closing date for applications: 9:00am Monday 12 February 2018.

Interview date: Tuesday 20 February 2018.

Please note we do not accept applications after the time given on the advert.

Logo: South West Coast Path AssociationSouth West Coast Path National Trail Officer 

We are looking for an experienced countryside professional to coordinate the practical management of the South West Coast Path National Trail – the UK’s premier walking trail.  

You will also provide associated technical advice and support to the partnership of organisations and others involved in the management and promotion of the South West Coast Path  

In this role you will be working with rangers and volunteers to monitor the condition of the Path, identify where improvements are needed, and work with colleagues within the SWCP Association to help secure funding and manage grants. You will be a key member of the team championing the trail. 

The key skills you’d need are experience in managing public rights of way, project management, and good people skills.  

Hours: 37.5 hours/ week.

Salary: £32,500 + travel 

To find out more visit www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/jobs

Logo: OpenSpaceSenior Ecologist 


Based on the edge of the Lake Distract, in a beautiful rural location, OpenSpace is a friendly, well-established, highly regarded and innovative environmental consultancy, specialising in ecology, habitat restoration and management.  We are dedicated to providing our clients with exceptional service working on projects across a diverse spectrum. 

Our Ecology team are highly skilled and dedicated individuals providing services to a wide range of clients, particularly developers, government agencies, utility companies, renewable energy, rural industries, and private individuals. To meet the demands of a growing business we are looking for an experienced Senior Ecologist to join our team.   


The successful candidate will be required to co-ordinate, lead, plan and deliver on our wildlife species surveying programme, particularly bat work from enquiry, through to invoicing. Work includes European Protected Species Consultancy, Protected species surveys, Species Mitigation, Mitigation Plans, EPS Licence Applications, Ecological Impact Assessments and Appropriate Assessments.  The role also offers hands on species surveys including Preliminary Ecological Appraisals, Scoping Surveys, mammal, amphibian, reptile, bird and invertebrate surveys.  

The role will also include supporting the habitat Senior Ecologist on larger multi-task projects and assist general habitat surveys. We work as a close team often sharing tasks and working together to meet project deadlines with the transfer of skills and sharing of knowledge. 

The successful candidate will also be required to develop and sustain client relationships and respond to new opportunities to generate work. 

Person Specifications 

  • Ecological, environmental or conservation qualification (NVQ, HND, Degree or equivalent)
  • Full Driving Licence – candidate currently driving and fit to drive
  • Hold one or more protected Species Licence’s (Bat licence preferable)
  • A minimum of 3 years’ ecological experience.
  • Experience in undertaking EPS Licence Applications and Species Mitigation Plans.
  • Excellent report writing and oral communication skills.
  • The candidate to hold or be eligible to apply for full CIEEM Membership.
  • Have a pro-active, forward thinking attitude, capable of working to tight timeframes when needed

The successful candidate must be prepared to be flexible over travel and hours, especially during spring/summer survey season, on occasion they will be required to work away from home as the project requires. 

In return we can offer a competitive salary, TOIL scheme, excellent training and career development, Contributory pension scheme, childcare vouchers, free parking, paid membership to professional body, yearly % increase plus performance related bonus. 

For an application form and more information please email Andrea at arook@openspacegb.com

Logo: Cairngorms National Park AuthorityAre you looking for a unique challenge to work in one of the most amazing places in the world? 

The Cairngorms National Park is one of the country’s most spectacular landscapes. Renowned for its mountains, it has at its centre a montane plateau higher than 1000m, it also has extensive native pine forests, extensive moorland and a rich and diverse cultural landscape along its straths and glens. With its strong local music scene, some fantastic locally produced food and drink and it’s abundance of outdoor pursuits the Cairngorms National Park is a very special place to live and work. 

Job Title: East Cairngorms Moorland Partnership Officer

Salary: £28,770 - 34,633 (Pro-rata) (Band D) plus excellent benefits such as flexitime, generous annual leave and a defined pension scheme to name just a few

Contract: Fixed term for 2 years

Working Hours: Monday - Friday; 22.5 hours per week

Location: Office base is either Ballater or Grantown on Spey, but extensive travel in the East of the CNP will be required 

We have an exciting opportunity for an East Cairngorms Moorland Partnership Officer to join our Land Management Team. 

The East Cairngorms Moorland Partnership (ECMP) has been initiated by the Cairngorms National Park Authority and six estates in the East of the Cairngorms National Park (amounting to over 130,000 ha). The purpose of the role is to work with the six estates to facilitate woodland and scrub expansion; peatland restoration; raptor and other priority species conservation; and landscape enhancement.  Further information can be found in the ECMP Statement of Purpose (copy available on ECMP Officer job vacancy page (www.cairngorms.co.uk) or by request on the contact details below). 

Cairngorms National Park is more than just an idyllic place to work, we also offer many benefits such as; a great place to work, cycle to work scheme, childcare vouchers, generous annual leave allowance, flexitime and a very competitive pension scheme.  Our Grantown on Spey headquarters is within easy reach of Aviemore and Inverness. 

The National Park Authority is committed to equality of opportunity and we welcome applicants from all sectors of society.  If you are an applicant with disabilities who meets the essential requirements of the post, we will interview you. 

If you would like the opportunity to work for an organisation that is focused on protecting and enhancing this National Park then please download the job description and application pack below.  If you require more information, or if you require any adjustments to be made to the application process due to disability please contact us on 01479 873535 or email: recruitment@cairngorms.co.uk

Please note, we do not accept Curriculum Vitae (CV). Applications can be emailed to recruitment@cairngorms.co.uk or posted to CNPA, 14 The Square, Grantown-on-Spey, PH26 3HG 

The closing date for applications is 12pm on Friday 23rd February 2018, late applications will not be accepted. 

Logo: Natural EnglandFreshwater Lead Adviser 

Cumbria is home to some of the richest, wildest and most remote areas of natural beauty in England. We host more legally protected sites and landscapes than any other English county. The iconic landscape of the Lake District has just been awarded World Heritage status but Cumbria extends well beyond, and includes the English Solway Coast, the extensive North Pennine uplands and the Borderlands. Our residents, visitors and wildlife enjoy a wide range of habitats from the sea and coast, to rivers, lakes, bogs, meadows and fells. 

We are seeking two Lead Advisers with experience in freshwater habitats and catchment management. The roles will include providing advice on the management and restoration of freshwater habitats in Cumbria, delivering protected sites casework advice and working with a team of freshwater advisers to develop and deliver innovative projects to improve freshwater habitats in Cumbria. 

For further information and to apply, please click here    

Logo: B H Sporting LtdLand Management Assistant Required - Perth                                                                                       

B H Sporting is a fast growing and dynamic business specialising in the management of sporting estates across Scotland and England.  We currently have a vacancy for an assistant to work in our busy Land Agency Department reporting to the Director, while getting involved in all aspects of Estate Management and working as part of a larger team.  

The ideal applicant will have:  

   ●   Strong organisational and IT skills    ●   Excellent administrative skills and the ability to support the day to day land Agency workload    ●   Thorough, methodical approach to work    ●   Can-do and hands-on attitude    ●   Ability to work unsupervised and as part of a team    ●   An interest and understanding in the workings of Estates and the rural economy    ●   Willingness to learn and be part of a busy department and office   ●   Ability to juggle several tasks at once      ●   A working knowledge of land management would be an advantage but is not essential.

This is a great opportunity for the right candidate to kick start their career in the industry, with opportunities for progression.     

A full driving license is essential, overnight stays will also be required on occasion.

We are offering a competitive salary commensurate with experience for the right candidate. 

To apply, please send a CV & covering letter to verity.ashley@bhsporting.co.uk or for a confidential discussion, please call 01738 472 110. 

logo: RSPBArea Conservation Manager

Location - Lancashire

Salary - Starting at £29,507 to £31,966 per annum

Basis - Full time, Permanent 

Closing date - 26 February 2018

Interview date - 20 March 2018 

Are you passionate about saving nature and a great advocate for innovative land, species and marine management and great with people?  

We are looking for a dynamic and knowledgeable person to lead our wider countryside conservation programme in North West England. Challenges and opportunities in this multi-cultural and highly diverse part of Northern England are immense; coastal management on the Ribble estuary and Morecambe Bay, site protection for a suite of internationally important landscapes and species including hen harriers and curlew in the Forest of Bowland, as well as other priority species such as red squirrel and willow tit not to mention a whole host of other important wildlife.

You will lead a high performing team in addressing these issues directly as well as promoting nature conservation objectives to statutory and voluntary conservation organisations as well as businesses. You will understand and promote an integrated partnership approach to conservation delivery, act as an inclusive advocate for building the conservation movement and have the ability to communicate at all levels.

This is an exciting role in an amazing part of England, nature needs a new champion - if you think it could be you then please get in touch.

For further information and to download an information pack, please visit our website  

Logo: SLR Consulting LimitedECoW/Terrestrial Ecologist, Stirling.

Full time, fixed term contract (12 months)

Competitive basic salary, excellent benefits 

The SLR ecology team is seeking an ECoW/ terrestrial ecologist to join on an initial 12 month fixed term contract to oversee works at a large scale access track project through forestry at a site near Pitlochry. The role will also include survey work on a range of other projects throughout Scotland.  

Applications are sought from ecologists with experience of the role of Ecological Clerk of Works for large scale engineering projects and with strong field skills including surveys for Scottish protected species, birds and habitats. The successful candidate would be joining an employee owned, highly successful, international multi-disciplinary consultancy with an established ecological presence in the UK. 

The role will be based in SLR’s Stirling office. 

Main Duties And Responsibilities

  • To act as ecological clerk of works for a large scale access track construction project through forestry near Pitlochry in Perthshire.
  • To undertake protected species surveys and monitoring on the site as required ahead of any works and in accordance with the requirements of the species protection plan and habitat management plan.
  • To give training and presentations to engineering staff where required.
  • To produce all the required logs and reporting.
  • To also take part in surveys and reporting for a range of other projects where required.

Suitable candidates should be able to demonstrate:

  • Demonstrable ecological clerk of works and ecological consulting experience including surveying/working with protected species and all associated data management and report preparation.
  • Experience within a range of sectors including residential/mixed use, infrastructure, minerals and waste, and energy.
  • Relevant degree level qualification plus appropriate level of membership of CIEEM or equivalent
  • Full driving license 

Interested parties are requested to send a CV and covering letter to UKCareers@slrconsulting.com or apply via SLR website

Logo: Lambourne End CentreFarm Instructor

Salary £18,000 per annum 

Lambourne End Centre are looking for a Farm Instructor to deliver land based education and vocational programmes for young people. 

The Centre is a fantastic 54 acre site in south west Essex which is full of opportunity.  The Centre’s scenic location in a rural setting, yet on the doorstep of East London’s urban fringe creates a unique resource. The Centre boasts residential accommodation and training facilities, outdoor adventure activities, a garden project and a working farm with dedicated environmental areas.  These are used to generate a wide range of programmes which promote and deliver personal development opportunities for young people, especially those at risk or struggling in traditional mainstream environments. All the programmes are designed to encourage team building, problem solving and communication skills, as well as build confidence and raise aspirations. 

Suitable candidates should have:  

  • A commitment towards helping young people, who may have challenging behaviour, to achieve their potential through working with animals
  • Relevant experience or qualifications in working with a variety of farm livestock including horses.
  • Experience of working with a range of young people delivering vocational training, and an interest in gardening and learning outside the classroom

The post is based on a 35 hour week, but will involve flexible working.   

Due to the nature of the work, the post will be subject to an enhanced DBS check. 

To request an application pack, please contact Carolan Casey on 020 8500 3047 extension 221, or via email: carolan.casey@lambourne-end.org.uk - please note that CVs will not be accepted in application for this position.  The application pack is also available on the Lambourne End website    

The closing date for applications is Friday 23rd February at 5pm, and interviews for shortlisted candidates will be held on Wednesday 7th March 2018. 

For more information about the Centre and the activities it runs please see our website www.lambourne-end.org.uk or phone 020 8500 3047. 

Registered charity number 1105063 ?  Company Number 05067695  

Logo: Ecology SolutionsSeasonal Field Surveyors 

With offices in the Cotswolds and Hertfordshire, Ecology Solutions is a leading consultancy with an extensive range of expertise, specialising in ecology planning solutions for numerous, diverse high profile clients within both the public and private sectors nationwide. 

Both offices are seeking to recruit Seasonal Field Surveyors to be involved in protected species survey and translocation work in various locations across the UK. Basic knowledge of these fauna is advantageous, although full training will be provided. Use of own car is essential, as is a willingness to travel long distances, work evenings and occasional weekends and stay away from home overnight for the majority of the week.  

Initially we are looking for surveyors to start during mid to late March, but are also recruiting for surveyors to start later in the season during May to June. Work will be available until September/October in accordance with the needs of the business. Please clearly state in your application when you are available to start and where you are based. 

You will receive a competitive salary plus expenses, to include a subsistence allowance, mileage costs and accommodation at bed and breakfast establishments when an overnight stay is required.

Please forward a copy of your CV together with a covering letter by email no later than Monday 19th February to:  kitty.cook@ecologysolutions.co.uk if you wish to be considered by our Worcestershire office or east@ecologysolutions.co.uk for our Hertfordshire office 

Kindly state in your email whether you have sent applications to both offices. 

Initial telephone interviews will take place after the deadline.  

CSCS card holder desirable.  

Sorry, we are unable to take telephone enquiries regarding the role. 

No agencies please.

Recruitment adverts elsewhere with CJS:

Volunteers: 46 adverts for voluntary posts added this month  see all of these online at: http://www.countryside-jobs.com/vols

During the past month CJS Weekly has included 209 job adverts, 163 were for paid posts.  To see these you have to subscribe, find out how here.

Surveys, Fieldwork and Citizen Science  is another growing section, see details here, recent additions are below.

Free advertising is available on all these pages except CJS Online, contact us for more details.

Surveys and Fieldwork: additions in January

Many conservation organisations appeal for volunteer surveyors to record and submit local sightings for a national wildlife survey.

Taking part in any of these surveys will give you useful experience and also help to extend the scientific knowledge of a species, so vital for appropriate conservation management. Some include training in survey techniques and some may even pay expenses. 



OPENER invites YOU to shape environmental research

OPENER is a new initiative, which is looking for new ways in which the public can contribute to scientific research on the major environmental challenges facing the planet. OPENER would like members of the public to get in touch, join the mailing list and participate in their local community practice. http://c-js.co.uk/2E2RVXk



Regional Otter Survey

The University of Birmingham and The Canal & River Trust are organising a regional otter survey of the canals in the Birmingham and Black Country. We are looking for volunteers free on either or both weekends of 3/4th and 10/11th February. Please contact Hannah Bristow hbristow96@gmail.com


If you are interested in helping with any of the surveys please contact the person or see the website listed.

Please see the full listings online at: http://www.countryside-jobs.com/workdays/surveys 

CJS Focus

CJS Focus on Volunteering in association with the National Trust will be published on Monday. (here)

Watch out for updates across the website and our social media streams.

Included in full in next month's edition of CJS Professional.



Heriot-Watt launches Year of the Sea – Heriot-Watt University

In 2018 Heriot-Watt is celebrating the Year of the Sea, a calendar of engagement that will span schools, the public, academia, industry Scapa Flow (Heriot-Watt)collaborators, funders and policy makers. 

Scapa Flow (Heriot-Watt)

Heriot-Watt’s research often makes waves, and in 2018 we’ll be focusing on demystifying the depths of the oceans, finding ways to get more energy from the sea, examining the smallest sea creatures to the largest ocean systems, and engineering new ways to work with our seas, oceans and rivers. 

Scapa Flow mircroplastic levels match industrial UK waters

As part of the university’s Year of the Sea, Heriot-Watt University is calling for a nationwide effort to establish a baseline for microplastics in UK waters.

Sediment samples from the beaches around Scapa Flow have a similar level of microplastics to the industrialised, highly populated Clyde and Firth of Forth, research from Heriot-Watt University shows. 

Scientists from Heriot-Watt and Orkney Islands Council took over 100 sediment samples from 13 locations around the Scapa Flow, and compared them to samples from the Clyde and Firth of Forth. The results showed that microplastics were present in all 13 samples taken from Scapa Flow, despite its remoteness and Orkney’s small population.

Orkney Island Council will now routinely test for microplastics during its annual sandy shore monitoring programme, and Heriot-Watt University will provide analysis. 

Dr Mark Hartl, associate professor of marine biology at Heriot-Watt University, is calling for a nationwide effort to establish a baseline for microplastics in UK waters, as part of the university’s Year of the Sea. 

Dr Mark Hartl said: “Heriot-Watt has named 2018 as our Year of the Sea, and these are  surprising results to begin our research and engagement programme with. 


Government news, announcements and policy plus reaction 

Government's vision for a greener future launched - Defra

Today (Thursday 11 Jan) the government has published its 25 Year Environment Plan.

A pledge to eliminate avoidable waste, introduce new safeguards for wildlife and connect more children with nature are among the ambitious plans for a greener future outlined by Prime Minister Theresa May and Environment Secretary Michael Gove today.

In a major speech today, the Prime Minister has launched the government’s landmark 25 Year Environment Plan, setting out how we will improve the environment over a generation by creating richer habitats for wildlife, improving air and water quality and curbing the scourge of plastic in the world’s oceans.

(image: Defra)“A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment” sets out how over the next quarter of a century the government will:

  • Crackdown on plastics by eliminating all avoidable plastic waste through extending the 5p plastic bag charge to small retailers, removing consumer single use plastics from the government estate, supporting the water industry to significantly increase water fountains and working with retailers on introducing plastic-free supermarket aisles.
  • Help wildlife thrive by creating 500,000 hectares of new habitat for endangered species, supporting farmers to turn fields into meadows and other habitats, replenishing depleted soils and providing £5.7 million to kick-start a [new Northern Forest] (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-northern-forest-gets-government-backing).
  • Be a world leader in environmental protection by investigating the feasibility of an anti-poaching taskforce to tackle the illegal wildlife trade, committing overseas aid to help developing nations combat plastic waste, and extending the UK’s network of marine protected areas
  • Deliver a Green Brexit by consulting on a new environmental watchdog to hold government to account for environmental standards, and setting out a new approach to agriculture and fisheries management
  • Seek to embed a ‘net environmental gain’ principle so development delivers environmental improvements locally and nationally, enabling housing development without increasing overall burdens on developers
  • Connect people with nature by creating ‘nature friendly schools’ and reviewing National Parks to see how they can improve and whether the network should be extended.

In a world-first, the 25 Year Environment Plan also sets out how we will use a natural capital approach to help us see the additional benefits – whether that is improved health and wellbeing, or national prosperity – in every part our environment, helping improve and direct decision making, and guiding new development.

Reactions from CPRE, Wildlife Trusts (via Lancashire Wildlife Trust) and Buglife

Response: CPRE reaction to 25-year Environment Plan - CPRE

CPRE is delighted at the Government’s commitment to improving the environment shown in the 25-year plan launched today.

But it warned that to Government needs to follow up its vision with actions to make sure we use resources better, from plastics to land, if its vision is to be delivered.

Belinda Gordon, Head of Government and Rural Affairs at the Campaign to Protect Rural England said:

“The introduction of a 25-year Environment Plan is a fantastic commitment to long-term investment in the health, protection and enhancement of our countryside. We are delighted to see the Government taking measures to improve our National Parks, Green Belts and wider landscapes.

“However, despite the Government’s best intentions, we are concerned that the plan does not adequately address the growing development pressures on England’s countryside. England’s land is a finite resource – it is vital that we ensure we have a planning system that ensure the best use of land, while protecting our landscape and the wider natural environment. We look forward to working with the Government to make sure our planning system delivers what our communities and environment need.”


Reaction: Trusts chief Stephanie give cautious welcome to green plan - Lancashire Wildlife Trust

Prime Minister Theresa May has recognised the importance of the environment and young people in her speech today but will her Government be able to these follow these fine words with actions?

Commenting on the speech on the environment and the publication of the 25 Year Plan today, Stephanie Hilborne OBE, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts, said: “The PM’s speech shows that, at last, a Government is seeing how much the environment means to people, not least young people.  There are fantastic words and ambitions for land and sea that raise the spirits - but the lack of legal underpinning is a fundamental flaw. What is the point of gently urging the horticulture sector to phase out the use of peat, when for decades it has been plundering the beautiful moors and mosses of the UK and now of Eastern Europe? What hope can we draw from a promise to return wildlife to our land when there could be a change of mood in a few weeks, or months’ time?  There must be an ambitious Environment Act in the next Parliament or all this is simply the Government saying what the voluntary sector has been saying for a long time. It needs to act.  It's good to hear that this new plan is, in theory, meant to work across Government departments. In practice though, there is no commitment from the Ministry of Housing that planning permissions will be granted only if there is high quality green infrastructure included, or from the Department of Health to implement green prescribing across the nation. A Nature Recovery Network is certainly essential but it must be in law, and work across urban and rural areas.  Unless more Government leadership is shown, our wildlife will continue to decline and with it our mental health as even more people become isolated from the benefits of day to day contact with nature."


Reaction: 25 Year Environment Plan promises meadows for bees – Buglife

Buglife welcomes the great intentions of the Government’s new 25 Year Environment Plan, particularly in relation to restoring pollinator populations, and urges the Government to bring forward the enabling legislation before BREXIT. 

The 25-Year Environment Plan, launched today by the Prime Minister, is a broad and considered agenda to address many of the key issues that are currently causing environmental harm.   

The plan commits not only to stop environmental degradation but to reverse it, recognising that we must value wildlife “for in its own right” as well as its economic importance and acknowledging that a new approach is needed “to agriculture, land use and fisheries which puts the environment first.”

For the bugs and bees the most significant commitment in the Plan is to restore wildflower habitats and a ‘Nature Recovery Network’ involving 500,000 hectares of additional wildlife habitat.  Such a programme could help fill Britain’s B-Lines with wildflower meadows.

Matt Shardlow, CEO of Buglife said: “The destruction of 97% of wildflower meadows has left our countryside bereft; it is fantastic news that there will be a serious national mission to restore meadows to the countryside.  It is essential for the survival of bees and other insects that we rebuild a functioning network of wildflower corridors across the UK”.


Other Government news

New Countryside Stewardship Offers open for applications - Defra

New Countryside Stewardship Offers introduced to help more farmers and land managers protect wildlife and enhance the environment

The Countryside Stewardship scheme has opened for farmers and land managers to request 2018 application packs today (15 January).

Four simpler, and quicker to apply for, offers are being introduced this year to complement the existing Higher Tier and Mid Tier offers and open up the scheme to even more farmers and land managers. Unlike existing offers, all landowners who make a valid application for any of the four new packages will be guaranteed funding though the scheme.

This application window is an opportunity for farmers new to Countryside Stewardship (CS), or those coming out of previous stewardship agreements, to sign up for an agreement that will be guaranteed for its lifetime, to protect wildlife, boost biodiversity and deliver environmental benefits for their local communities.

Earlier this month, Environment Secretary Michael Gove outlined government plans to replace existing farm subsidies outside the EU with a new system of public money for public goods. Ahead of this, the new CSoffers are an opportunity for even more farmers to establish positive environmental practices on their land and prepare for the future.


Environment Agency launches consultation to give communities more say in how rivers are managed

A consultation which aims to give communities and local organisations more say in the ways in which rivers are managed and maintained, has been launched today (15th January).

The Environment Agency is considering proposals to transfer ‘flood risk management activities’ on a number of stretches of watercourses to internal drainage boards (IDBs), lead local flood authorities (LLFAs) and district councils. This will only happen where the watercourses have a low level of flood risk, are not associated with major rivers or major city centres and where the local community supports the change.

A transfer would mean that IDBs, LLFAs and district councils can take on more responsibility for their local flood risk, where appropriate – by carrying out activities such as maintenance or giving permission to carry out works.

The Environment Agency has been working with partners to consider proposals to ‘re-designate’ sections of watercourses in a number of locations. The watercourses will be re-designated from what is currently known as a ‘main river’ to an ‘ordinary watercourse’ – a change referred to as ‘de-maining’.


Plastics and marine litter

World-leading microbeads ban takes effect - Defra

Today (Tuesday 9 Jan) the government's ban on microbeads in cosmetics and personal care products comes takes effect.

A ban on the manufacture of products containing microbeads has come into force today – a landmark step in the introduction of one of the world’s toughest bans on these harmful pieces of plastic.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey has announced that manufacturers of cosmetics and personal care products will no longer be able to add tiny pieces of plastic known as ‘microbeads’ to rinse-off products such as face scrubs, toothpastes and shower gels.

These damaging beads can cause serious harm to marine life, but the UK’s ban – praised by campaigners as one of the toughest in the world – will help to stop billions of microbeads ending up in the ocean every year. Alongside the success of the government’s 5p plastic bag charge – which has taken nine billion bags out of circulation – the ban puts the UK at the forefront of international efforts to crack down on plastic pollution.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: “The world’s seas and oceans are some of our most valuable natural assets and I am determined we act now to tackle the plastic that devastates our precious marine life.”


Tackling marine litter - Scottish Government

Proposal to ban the manufacture and sale of plastic cotton buds.

Plans to introduce legislation to ban the manufacture and sale of plastic stemmed cotton buds have been announced by Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham.

The proposals will be put to public consultation and would position Scotland as the first country in the UK to legislate against these environmentally damaging items.

Plastic cotton buds are consistently listed in the top ten forms of beach litter in surveys by the Marine Conservation Society and Scottish environmental charity Fidra has been working with industry to promote biodegradable alternatives. 

Announcing the Scottish Government’s latest move to tackle the main sources of marine plastic pollution, Ms Cunningham said:

“Banning plastic cotton buds would be a clear sign of our ambition to address marine plastics and demonstrate further leadership on this issue. Despite various campaigns, people are continuing to flush litter down their toilets. This has to stop.

“Scotland’s sewerage infrastructure collects and treats some 945 million litres of wastewater each day. These systems are not designed to remove small plastic items such as plastic buds which can kill marine animals and birds that swallow them.

“These products are completely unnecessary as biodegradable alternatives are readily available. The need for action is clear and I would encourage everyone with an interest in safeguarding our natural environment  to take part in the consultation when it opens.”


It’s time to put a freeze on plastics - Iceland

IImage: Icelandceland has taken the bold decision to remove plastic packaging from its own label products by 2023 for one simple reason: because we care. I’m a keen surfer so I may be more aware than most of all the plastic detritus in the sea – but we’ve pretty much all watched or at least heard about Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planetseries, and seen the sort of damage plastic waste is doing to the oceans. Insidiously, it is also breaking down into small particles that are being consumed by marine life and re-entering the human food chain through fish and seafood. The consequences could ultimately be catastrophic for humanity as a whole, and as the father of young children I want to do everything I can to protect their future.

Image: Iceland

Just consider the facts. Every bit of plastic ever produced still exists, unless it has been incinerated, and more of it has been produced in the twenty-first century so far than in the whole of the last one. We’re dumping a truckload of it into the sea every minute, and it is going to stay there for hundreds of years. It’s crazy, and it has got to stop.

Clearly someone needs to act – so why not us?

Response from Greenpeace


Arboriculture, trees & woodland

Plans unveiled for 50 million tree new Northern Forest – Woodland Trust

Map showing how the new Northern Forest will span the width of the country, from Liverpool to Hull (Woodland Trust) Map showing how the new Northern Forest will span the width of the country, from Liverpool to Hull (Woodland Trust) 

The Woodland Trust and The Community Forest Trust plan to create an exciting new Northern Forest that will comprise over 50 million trees over 25 years and will stretch from Liverpool across to Hull with the M62 as its spine, has received Government backing this morning.

The project will embrace the major cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Chester and Hull as well as major towns across the north. It will deliver major environmental, social and economic benefits that complement the significant growth, investment and new infrastructure that is planned for the north of England.

The Northern Forest will both accelerate the creation of new woodland and support sustainable management of existing woods right across the area. Many more trees, woods and forests will deliver a better environment for all by: improving air quality in our towns and cities; mitigating flood risk in key catchments; supporting the rural economy through tourism, recreation and timber production; connecting people with nature; and helping to deliver improvements to health and wellbeing through welcoming and accessible local green spaces.

With a population in excess of 13m that is expected to rise by 9% over the next 20 years and with woodland cover at just 7.6%, below the UK average of 13%, and far below the EU average of 44%, the North of England is ripe to reap the benefits of such a project.

Tree planting rates are dramatically low with tree planting in 2016 being only 700 hectares against the Government’s target of 5000 hectares a year; there is a need for drastic change.

Response: Extend post Brexit incentives to existing woodlands - Royal Forestry Society

The Royal Forestry Society (RFS) has welcomed Environment Secretary Michael Gove's plans post Brexit to incentivise farmers who enhance the natural environment, including planting trees but warns incentives must also include bringing existing woods back into management as well as to planting new woods.


Ancient forest project wins royal approval - Natural Resources Wales

A major project to rejuvenate Wales’ largest ancient woodland has won a prestigious award.

The project – a joint initiative between Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and the Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw) – will make Wentwood forest near Newport an even better place for people, wildlife and the local economy. 

This will create a network of forest conservation projects across the Commonwealth conserving indigenous forests for future generations and helping to address climate change. 

Now it has been accredited under the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC) initiative. QCC projects must demonstrate sustainable forest conservation practices and encourage local people to help manage the project where possible. 

Wentwood forest’s location close to Newport means it is an important community woodland enjoyed by people for recreation, is a haven for wildlife and a sustainably managed source of timber.  NRW and the Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw) will work with stakeholders and the local community to explore opportunities that will generate more well-being benefits.   

Wentwood forest near Newport (image: NRW)These could include for example recreational activities such as horse-riding & cycling, improving access, and using Wentwood as an open space to improve people’s mental health and well-being. 

Wentwood forest near Newport (image: NRW)

Wentwood has a long history of conifer planting dating back to the 1800s. 

It is now a combination of commercial conifer forest and ancient native woodland. 

The challenge now is to restore Wentwood to a more natural state, gradually removing the conifers and converting it back to native broadleaves.  

This will recreate, enhance and then conserve a native woodland supporting a range of species and ecosystem services. 

The project at Wentwood is exceptional because it is one of the largest examples of its type Britain, and the largest in Wales, covering 1,000 hectares. 


Yorkshire Water announces pledge for one million trees for Yorkshire

Yorkshire Water has today (30 January) made an ambitious pledge to plant one million trees across its land in Yorkshire over the next ten years in a bid to reduce flood risk, offset carbon emissions and support the creation of a Northern Forest.

Image: Yorkshire WaterImage: Yorkshire Water

Richard Flint, Yorkshire Water’s Chief Executive, made the pledge this morning (Wednesday 31st January) at Gorpley reservoir near Todmorden, where the company is already working with volunteers from the local community to plant up to two hundred thousand trees as part of a pilot Natural Flood Management scheme.

The work at Gorpley is part of an initiative to help slow the flow of water during flood events like the devastating floods of Boxing Day 2015, which had a massive impact on the Calder Valley. The planting of two hundred thousand trees at Gorpley was originally due to take ten years, but as part of today’s announcement Yorkshire Water has also pledged to dramatically accelerate this scheme by aiming to plant all the trees over the next two years.

Yorkshire Water is one of the biggest landowners in Yorkshire and has been working with the White Rose Forest Partnership to map Yorkshire Water’s 28,000 hectares of land to assess where planting more trees will have the most impact on flood attenuation, carbon, recreation and wildlife.

Making the one million trees pledge, Richard Flint said: “As one of Yorkshire’s biggest landowners we need to make sure that we manage our land in a way that makes the most of the benefits that a healthy natural environment can provide.”


Dyb dyb dyb – Vote Vote Vote! – The Woodland Trust

Will Scouting’s Gilwell Oak be the model candidate for European Tree of the Year?

The Woodland Trust is hoping the UK’s entry in the European Tree of the Year competition will be the model candidate to take the crown.
Caroline Pantling and Tim Feron with the Tree of the Year award (Photo: WTML)The Trust is calling on the public to support the Gilwell Oak – a tree synonymous with the Scouting movement - when voting opens on Thursday 1 February. The oak has already caught the eye of a model making company which has recreated it in miniature form.

Last year, Wales’ Brimmon Oak came second in the competition, securing 16,200 votes - just 1,400 shy of taking the top spot. This year, it’s hoped the Gilwell Oak will finally reign supreme on behalf of the UK.

Caroline Pantling and Tim Feron with the Tree of the Year award (Photo: WTML)

Run by the Environmental Partnership Association, the voting mechanism for European Tree of the Year is straightforward – the tree with the most public votes at the end of February will win.

Visitors to the competition website will be able to see how many votes each entry has amassed until a week before the voting deadline when the race to the finish becomes secret until a ceremony in March.

The Gilwell Oak was chosen as the UK entry by a panel of experts at the Woodland Trust after a public vote supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, declared it to be England’s Tree of the Year.


Land and Countryside Management News

Boost for north Shropshire’s bees thanks to Shropshire Council’s new countryside membership scheme – Shropshire Council

North Shropshire’s bees are set for a brighter future thanks to money raised from Shropshire Council’s new countryside membership scheme.

The Bee Metropolis at The Mere in Ellesmere (Shropshire Council)The ‘Shropshire’s Great Outdoors’ scheme was launched in December 2016 with all membership fees put towards the maintenance of Shropshire Council’s countryside parks and sites.

Now, the money raised in the first year of the scheme is to be used to improve and enhance the Bee Metropolis that sits alongside The Mere at Ellesmere and provides a home to solitary bees and other invertebrates.

The Bee Metropolis at The Mere in Ellesmere (Shropshire Council)

The planned work includes enhanced wildflower beds and new information boards showing types of British bees and the food plants they require to survive.

It will be carried out in early summer 2018, and the start of work will be marked with a special bee-themed day of events and activities at the site, including a bee safari run by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. Further details will be announced shortly.

Meanwhile, the Shropshire’s Great Outdoors scheme has been developed for its second year to appeal to a greater range of people, and the list of member benefits has also been revised and improved.


Blanket Bog Track Trial Success – The Moorland Association

For years land managers have faced the challenge of trying to protect one of the UK’s most prized environmental landscapes as they work.

Image: The Moorland AssociationNow, new research has provided a big boost to safeguarding fragile upland blanket bogs along access routes.

Image: The Moorland Association

A study has been published that demonstrates that it is possible to use some vehicles on blanket bog habitats while minimising damage.

Blanket bog is internationally important for plants and animals and has an impact on drinking water quality.

Blanket bogs are an integral part of uplands in the UK and are managed for sheep grazing, grouse shooting, and support other leisure activities such as fell running, walking, bird watching and orienteering.

Vehicle access is primarily required for shepherding and grouse moor management activities including predator control, vegetation management and transporting shooting visitors to areas of moorland on shoot days. They can also be used to access the moors for restoration work.


Avon Wildlife Trust Response to Bristol City Council’s Consultation on Parks and Green Spaces

Avon Wildlife Trust has today responded to Bristol City Council’s public consultation on the future of funding for the city’s parks, and voiced concerns that the proposed budget cuts could lead to habitats and wildlife being harmed - including wildflower-rich hay meadows being lost forever. AWT is encouraging others to respond to the consultation and put forward their views on the planned cost-cutting.

The consultation is underway as Bristol City Council seeks ways to reduce annual spending on parks by £2.8 million by April 2019. One approach the council is putting forward is to increase income from parks including through allowing more commercial events, concessions and advertising to take place within parks. In addition, the council is also consulting (proposal 8 of the consultation) on a plan to decrease the amount of money spent on maintaining the parks, and reduce or in some cases stop grass cutting, pruning shrubs and hedges, collecting fallen leaves, and cutting hay meadows.

AWT understands the stark funding reality Bristol City Council faces and the need to reduce costs for parks. We also recognise how much work the council is doing to explore new and creative approaches to managing these green spaces into the future and we’re keen to continue supporting them to do this. However, AWT is concerned that reducing the current level of maintenance work will result in less diverse habitats for wildlife within our parks – spaces where currently otters, kingfishers, slow worms, and a host of other birds, insects and mammals thrive.

AWT is firmly against the proposal to reduce the number of meadow sites having hay cuts, and fear this will lead to Bristol losing a rare and valuable habitat for wildlife and a beautiful landscape for people to enjoy. Wildflower-rich meadows are now a rare habitat -with the UK having just 3% of the areas of meadow we had in the 1930s, and Bristol City Council has a responsibility to look after and enhance the meadows it owns.


On Monday 15 January Bradford Council’s Labour group voted not to renew the shooting lease held by the Bingley Moor Partnership since 2008, reactions to the news:

Grouse shooting ban on Ilkley Moor a calamity for conservation, says BASC

BASC has warned that a decision to ban grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor will be calamitous for conservation in the area.

It has been reported that Bradford Council’s Labour group has voted not to renew the shooting lease held by the Bingley Moor Partnership since 2008. The Labour group holds a majority on the council and a decision to ban shooting could now be taken without a full council meeting.

The vote follows three years of campaigning by anti-shooting extremists who have demanded the end of Ilkley Moor’s status as the last remaining council-owned moor on which grouse shooting continues.

Bradford Councillors vote to end grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor – Ban Bloodsports on Ilkley Moor

Ilkley, UK – Bradford Council’s Labour Group votes by overwhelming majority to not renew grouse shooting rights for Ilkley Moor, a move that has been strongly welcomed by wildlife campaigners.

Bradford Councillors voted to not renew controversial grouse shooting rights for Ilkley Moor at City Hall tonight. The decision, which was taken by the Bradford Labour Group, is understood to have been supported by an ‘overwhelming majority’ of those councillors who voted.

Bradford Labour is the largest party on the Council and ending grouse shooting is also backed by Bradford Liberal Democrats, Bradford Green Party and the majority of Independent councillors.
Ban Bloodsports on Ilkley Moor (BBIM), which has lobbied Bradford Council to end grouse shooting on the moor since its formation in May 2014, has strongly welcomed the move. The group notes that over half of protected breeding bird species have declined or become locally extinct on Ilkley Moor, government figures collated by the RSPB Northern England office show. It has urged for efforts to now be focused on reversing the wildlife crash, which has negatively impacted on the moor’s population of specialist species, including Merlin, Dunlin and Short Eared Owl, and could result in the loss of the site’s conservation designations if declines continue.


Revitalising Redesdale - Northumberland National Park

Revitalising Redesdale Landscape Partnership has received a confirmed grant of £1.7 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to conserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of Redesdale, in Northumberland.

Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, Revitalising Redesdale will deliver a five-year programme of 12 interlinking projects which will seek the restoration of historic monuments, conservation and enhancement of wildlife habitats, and the opportunity for local people to get involved in archaeological and practical conservation projects.

This summer the iconic Ridsdale Engine House will be conserved and consolidated through the project. This was once part of a 19th century ironworks which provided the iron used to build the famous Tyne Bridge. Working with the Redesdale Society, the Revitalising Redesdale team will also be delivering a local history project to learn more about the Ironworks and provide new interpretation to tell its story. A similar project is also planned for High Rochester which will see major repairs to the Roman Fort and new interpretation.

Other projects include £670,000 of improvements across the river Rede and its tributaries to improve water quality to support the nationally important population of freshwater pearl mussel and undertake habitat improvements and measures to address diffuse pollution.  Working across Redesdale, including in partnership with the MoD, 760 hectares of peatland will be restored and 55 hectares of hay meadow. The Battlefields Trust will be leading a pioneering community research project to recreate the medieval landscape at Otterburn to more accurately identify the site of the 1388 moonlit battle between Harry ‘Hotspur’ and the Earl of Douglas. There are also plans for a significant investment in the valley’s rights of way network, including the restoration of the historic Smoutel Ford. New interpretation, signage and artwork are also planned including innovative new star cairns and exciting new structure on the Forest Drive to encourage visitors to explore Redesdale.


Farmers soiling their undies for good grass in Cornwall – Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Farmers in West Cornwall have been burying their underpants to help with their grassland management. Cotton underpants are made from organic matter, so an attractive feast for soil microbes and earthworms. Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s farm advisers, working on South West Water’s Upstream Thinking project, have encouraged eight farmers to bury pants under their grass. After two months, the holiness of the underpants gives an indication of soil health.

This enterprising idea came from the Canadian Soil Association as a #soilmyundies challenge but is more than just a bit of fun. Biologically active soils grow better grass for beef and dairy herds because microbes and earthworms help to break down plant and animal matter which releases essential nutrients. Worms also bring nutrients up to the soil surface, where they are more available for grass growth. Their burrows create pores, improving aeration and drainage which makes for more fertile soil.

Farmers soiling their undies for good grass in Cornwall (image: Jan Dinsdale)Soil structure can be destroyed by livestock out-wintering and excessive machinery movement, which close up the beneficial open-spaces. Ploughing also reduces the number of useful earthworms by breaking up their burrows.

Farmers soiling their undies for good grass in Cornwall (image: Jan Dinsdale)

The experiment highlighted this effect; a recently ploughed and seeded field revealed relatively intact underpants, indicating low activity and poor soil health. This contrasted with fields receiving a healthy dose of farmyard manure, which had excellent activity and produced heavily degraded pants.

As well as protecting the rivers – healthy and active soils also support a wider ecosystem. In particular, worms and insects in the soil are critical for the survival of farmland birds. The lapwing feeds exclusively on worms and insects and has sadly declined by 58% since 1970 in the UK. Soiling undies is one way of protecting Cornwall’s soil ecology to help reverse this decline.


New guidelines call for homes for people and wildlife - The Wildlife Trust

Why and how to build nature-friendly housing developments

New guidelines published by The Wildlife Trusts today show how new housing developments can be built in a way that provides people with greener, inspirational homes which help to reverse decades of wildlife and habitat decline. 

‘Homes for people and wildlife - how to build housing in a nature-friendly way’ is published at a time when the Government has recently committed to building a further 300,000 homes a year until 2022. This means that about 36 square miles will be given over to new housing developments annually – that’s an area larger than Brighton & Hove every year*. The Wildlife Trusts believe that the natural environment must be put at the heart of planning in order to give the government a chance of meeting its commitment to be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we found it, and to build new homes and communities that people enjoy living in.

Rachel Hackett, Living Landscapes Development Manager for The Wildlife Trusts says:

“A huge challenge lies ahead – thousands of new houses are to be built yet we need to restore the natural world. We’re calling on the government and local authorities to build beautiful, nature-friendly communities in the right places. Over the past century we have lost natural habitats on an unprecedented scale. Yet nature has its own innate value. It also makes us happy and we depend on the things that it gives us. Our new guidelines show that it’s possible to have both, so people can enjoy birdsong, reap the benefits of raingardens which soak up floodwater, and plants that bees and other pollinators need to survive. With good design the costs of doing this are a tiny proportion of the overall cost of a housing development, but represent a big investment for the future.”

The Wildlife Trusts are calling for the current focus on numbers of new homes to be replaced by a visionary approach to where and how we build.

Response: LGA responds to new Wildlife Trusts guidelines - Local Government Association

(image: Local Government Association)“Councils are committed to seeing housing developments that protect and enhance the natural environment and enable wildlife habitats to thrive and flourish."

Image: LGA

Responding to new guidelines published by the Wildlife Trusts on building nature-friendly housing, Cllr Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s Housing spokesman, said: “Councils are committed to seeing housing developments that protect and enhance the natural environment and enable wildlife habitats to thrive and flourish. But they need the planning tools to make sure developers build good quality homes in the right places.  Government should work with councils to establish a clear, robust and transparent viability procedure which ensures the delivery of affordable housing, infrastructure and other amenities that communities need to back development and create great places to live.”


Hidden heritage of burial grounds to be revealed – HLF

Conservation charity Caring for God’s Acre, is set to put burial grounds on the heritage map, thanks to £586,700 National Lottery funding.

Meadow Saxifrage at Bridgenorth Cemetery Credit: Dan WrenchMeadow Saxifrage at Bridgenorth Cemetery Credit: Dan Wrench

The Beautiful Burial Ground project will highlight the valuable buildings, landmarks and wildlife to which thousands of burial grounds across England and Wales are home.

Burial grounds are widespread, free, and often fully accessible. Due to their unique environment, they are also important places for history and wildlife.

The undisturbed grassland found in these sites, which is now rare in the wider countryside, provides a sanctuary for all kinds of colourful flowers and meadow grasses, which in turn support an extraordinary variety of animal life, from birds, bees and butterflies to frogs, toads, mice and voles.

Gravestones are of supreme importance for lichen conservation. Of the 2000 British species over 700 have been found in churchyards. Almost half of these are rare and seldom, if ever, occur in other places. Many sites have well over 100 species.

Despite their importance, most burial grounds are under-recorded and relatively unknown.

National Parks: living, working places where beauty drives the economy – National Parks England

New analysis of economic data obtained from the Office of National Statistics reveals that National Park economies have prospered since the last analysis in 2013. These living, working landscapes are home to rural communities and businesses that are contributing to national prosperity and wellbeing and depend on a high quality natural environment and the special qualities of the National Parks to achieve this growth. These results were discussed by Defra Minister for National Parks, Lord Gardiner when he met with National Park Chairs yesterday (January 25th).

The figures show that between 2012 and 2016:

  • the Gross Value Added (GVA) of National Park economies grew in real terms in the range £1.4bn to £2.4bn;
  • the number of businesses in National Parks grew by 10% (to more than 25,000);
  • more than 21,000 jobs were created; and
  • business turnover was £13bn (up from £10.4bn in 2012).

National Park Authorities have a duty ‘to seek to foster the social and economic wellbeing of the local communities within the National Park in pursuit of their purposes’. This economic data indicates that National Park Authorities are successfully delivering on this duty. There are policies and practices in National Parks that could be used to replicate these results in other rural areas.

The National Parks, National Assets infographic published by National Parks England highlights the scale of the economic  contribution from National Parks and some of the special qualities which support these rural economies. In total, businesses in the English National Parks contribute between £5.5 to 8.7bn to the economy - equivalent to the UK textiles industry or a city the size of Coventry.


HS2 second reading today (30/1): Phase 2a will destroy the heart of a Defra-funded Nature Improvement Area – The Wildlife Trusts

The Wildlife Trusts believe the impacts on wildlife and wild places are severely underestimated by HS2 Ltd. The level of proposed mitigation Image: The Wildlife Trustsand compensation is simply not good enough if the Government is to keep its promises on the environment.

Image: The Wildlife Trusts

The Hybrid Bill required to construct Phase 2a of HS2 – the 36-mile route from the West Midlands to Crewe expected to be operational in 2027 – is having its Second Reading in the House of Commons today (30 January).

The Wildlife Trusts believe that the Environmental Statement – published in July 2017 to accompany the Hybrid Bill documents – is incomplete and an inaccurate picture of the likely impacts. This is a repetition of the inadequacies of the statement produced for Phase 1 and is a cause for grave concern. If the Environmental Statement is inaccurate it has repercussions for the mitigation measures and funding.

Today’s reading affects important wildlife sites in Staffordshire and Cheshire and, based on the information provided in the Environmental Statement, the proposed compensatory habitat is insufficient to address the damage.

In Cheshire, for example, the route will result in the loss of a 100 hectare wildlife site - Randilow and Bunker Hill Local Wildlife Site - which forms an integral part of the Meres and Mosses Nature Improvement Area (NIA). This NIA received £568,470 from Defra between 2012 and 2015 to create joined up and resilient ecological networks on a large, landscape scale and Cheshire and Shropshire Wildlife Trusts (and others) have continued the work since that time. It is, therefore, extremely disappointing that HS2 has failed to acknowledge or address the impact that the loss of this site will have on this area.


State of Scotland's Greenspace Report – Greenspace Scotland

Scotland’s towns and cities are more green than grey

The State of Scotland’s Greenspace report published by Greenspace Scotland today [Thursday 1 February 2018] shows that Scotland can rightly claim to be a nation of green towns and cities. Urban Scotland is more green than grey, with greenspace covering over half (54%) of the urban land area.

The total area of greenspace in urban Scotland is 1,593 square kilometres – that’s equivalent 22 Loch Lomonds or one-third of the area of the Cairngorms National Park. At a more human scale, that translates into a tennis court sized area of ‘publicly accessible’ greenspace per person.

The State of Scotland’s Greenspace report provides data on the amount and type of greenspace for all of urban Scotland. It also examines changes and trends in people’s use and attitude to greenspace, and looks at the resourcing of Council parks and open space services.

Access the report here  


Environmental education and recreation 

Active Aviemore – natural health service on the doorstep! – Cairngorms National Park Authority

Active Aviemore is a new initiative aimed at making it as easy as possible for people to move about the town without the need for motorised transport, and ultimately contributing to an improvement in health and wellbeing.

A new £13.5 million community hospital to service the needs of Badenoch and Strathspey is due for completion by 2021. This investment provides an opportunity to improve the health and wellbeing of residents and visitors in Aviemore. Through improved vehicular and non-Image: Cairngorms NPAvehicular (e.g. walking and cycling) infrastructure the aim is to design an active community that not only promotes physical activity as part of normal daily life, but actively encourages everyone to enjoy the outdoors in Scotland’s largest national park.

Image: Cairngorms NPA

The project is being led by the Cairngorms National Park Authority in partnership with Aviemore and Vicinity Community Council, NHS Highland, HiTrans, Sustrans and The Highland Council.

‘’Being physically active and choosing to walk or cycle is one of the best ways to prevent or delay health problems in later life. New active travel facilities such as cycle paths, a better walking environment, green spaces, traffic management and signage will help deliver an active community that maximises the contribution of Scotland’s outdoors to a healthier Scotland” explained David Clyne, the CNPA’s Recreation & Access Manager.

The first phase of the project will be identifying the challenges faced by people moving around Aviemore, such as safe space for walkers and cyclists, street clutter, flow of traffic, path condition, lighting and so on. To get things started, the partners involved in Active Aviemore want to hear from members of the public what they think – what are the main issues for moving around Aviemore safely and freely?


Social prescribing gets National Lottery boost - TCV

TCV will develop how social prescribing can be used by clinicians thanks to a £397,000 National Lottery grant from the Big Lottery Fund the Image: TCVlargest funder of community activity in the UK.

Image: TCV

Using the National Lottery grant, TCV will work with NHS England, local healthcare services, commissioners, academics and charities to inform when and how social prescribing is used to help people living with specific health issues, such as mental health problems and musculoskeletal disorders. This will include developing and piloting a quality assurance and evaluation framework to measure different social prescribing models.

Social prescribing recognises how social, economic and environmental factors affect people’s health, where medication alone is unlikely to provide a sustainable improvement. It connects patients with support in their local community to help address their health issues holistically and give them greater control of their own health and wellbeing.

TCV’s Green Gym programme, now in its 20th year, is already part of the social prescribing process, reflecting its positive impact on both physical health and mental wellbeing. This experience and TCV’s strong links across the health, academic and the wider charitable sectors, puts it in an ideal position to deliver this exciting project.


Successful Branching Out project to launch in Dumfries and Galloway – Forestry Commission Scotland

An award-winning project, designed to improve the health and well-being of adults experiencing low mental wellbeing or mental health conditions, is to launch in Dumfries and Galloway for the first time in February.

Forestry Commission Scotland’s (FCS) Branching Out project will be delivered by social enterprise Instinctively Wild in partnership with DG Health & Wellbeing (NHS Dumfries & Galloway and Dumfries & Galloway Council) and the Stewartry Locality Health Improvement Team. 

The 12-week programme is designed to help improve people’s confidence, wellbeing and communication skills through a range of outdoor activities with each session adapted to meet the needs of each individual group. The sessions will take place in a woodland setting near Dalbeattie and will be led by experienced leaders from Instinctively Wild. Volunteers from the local area are also involved in the project, as part of the social enterprise’s volunteer programme.

Nathalie Moriarty, Forestry Commission Scotland’s Branching Out programme manager, said: “Branching Out has proved a hugely successful programme across 11 of Scotland’s regions and we are delighted it is launching in Dumfries and Galloway. The programme is designed to build confidence and skills to allow people to integrate with society again. Everybody who takes part is also encouraged to get involved in other local activities to ensure they continue moving forward with their progress out with the programme itself. For many, it can be a life changing experience.” 


Wildlife News   

Devon’s Special Species unveiled - Devon County Council

Devon is renowned for having beautiful wildlife-rich landscapes and habitats. Less well known is the huge number of rare species which Nothophantes horridus female egg cocoon (Devon County Council)Devon supports, including some such as the Horrid Ground-Weaver spider which are found nowhere else on the planet.

To shine a spotlight on the matter, Devon County Council has worked with the Devon Biodiversity Record Centre and species experts to produce a list of the county’s most threatened species.

Nothophantes horridus female egg cocoon (Devon County Council)

The work shows that among the tens of thousands of species in Devon, at least 1,600 are considered to be nationally rare or scarce and many are threatened with extinction.

Devon’s experts have also shortlisted 96 ‘special species’ for which Devon has a particular responsibility.

Many of these species are not currently afforded any protection, and unless action is taken, they are at risk of disappearing from Britain.

Devon’s ‘special species’ are found in a variety of habitats. They range from the greater horseshoe bat, Britain’s largest bat, to the tiny apple lace bug.



New record for seal pups born at England’s largest colony – National Trust

Grey seal pups stay on land until they shed their white fur  (National Trust / Jemma Finch)The final count is in and National Trust rangers have confirmed it’s a record-breaking year for the number of seal pups born this winter.

Grey seal pups stay on land until they shed their white fur  (National Trust / Jemma Finch)

This year’s count of 2,700 seals at the National Trust’s Blakeney Point National Nature Reserve, England’s largest seal colony, has broken all previous records. The tally is a far cry from 2001 when just 25 pups were born. 

The grey seal colony had grown every year since recordings began in 2001, up until 2014/15. Last year, the team recorded 2,366 pups.

Each year, rangers from the conservation charity spend several months monitoring the success rate of the breeding seals, which is crucial to understanding how the population is faring. This year’s count, which began on 23 October 2017, was also a record, as it was the earliest recorded date for a grey seal birth on the Point.

National Trust Ranger, Ajay Tegala, said: “Blakeney Point is the perfect breeding site for grey seals, not least because of the absence of predators and relative remoteness which keeps disturbances to a minimum. 

“There’s also plenty of space to support the large numbers of seals on the sandy beach, with sheltered sand dunes further inland providing additional protection from bad weather. The east coast has escaped some of the worst storms to hit the UK this winter, with reserves on the west coast faring less well following Hurricane Ophelia in October.”


Water voles thriving in the Trossachs – Forestry Commission Scotland

Water voles are recolonising restored wetlands in the Trossachs thanks to an ambitious re-introduction project. Over 1,000 animals were Image: Forestry Commission Scotlandreleased into 1,700ha of restored wetland habitat on the National Forest Estate and are now thriving throughout the Trossachs. In November last year, this project was shortlisted for The Nature of Scotland Awards which gives recognition to conservation projects for their excellence, innovation and outstanding achievement in Scottish nature.

Image: Forestry Commission Scotland

Water voles became extinct in the Trossachs in the late 1980’s due to habitat loss and predation by American Mink. Since then, Forest Enterprise Scotland, with help from partners, has carried out a huge amount of work to restore wetlands and create new riparian areas ideal for water voles.  This habitat network creation has included clearing trees from burn-sides to allow vegetation to recover, building over 100 ponds, many miles of ditches, building dams and sowing wetland seed mixes to enhance the forest for wildlife.

The project, which began in 2008, has been a tremendous success with signs of water voles spreading fast. The water voles originally came from a development site in Glasgow where ecologists were struggling to find a home for the animals.  The captured water voles were then bred in captivity by Derek Gow to produce a large population for release.


Looking back at a tragic year for cetacean strandings - ORCA

The recent death of a white-beaked dolphin found stranded on the Isle of Wight occured right on ORCA's doorstep, just across the Solent A common dolphin stranded in Fareham in 2017 (ORCA)from our main offices in Portsmouth.

A common dolphin stranded in Fareham in 2017(ORCA)

With 2017 seeing very high numbers of cetaceans stranding around the UK and beyond, ORCA wanted to look back at the challenges these animals face and the factors contributing to these sad deaths.

Common dolphins at serious threat of by-catch related stranding

In early Autumn, two members of the ORCA team attended a stranding right on our doorstep in Fareham Creek, where a common dolphin was found to be in significant difficulty. Both were trained Marine Mammal Medics and responded as BDMLR volunteers, but despite theirs and others best efforts, the animal was euthanised.

This was one example of a worrying trend of deaths of this species, with more than 75% of strandings being found to have been caused by by-catch from fishing activity. In the south-west particularly the last few years have shown an increase in strandings of common dolphins and is most closely associated with seabass and albacore tuna pelagic trawlers.

A recent study estimated that 3650-4700 individuals were straded by by-catch each year, making this a significant threats to the UK & European population of common dolphins.


Exciting find in Northern Strathspey Wildcat Priority Area – Scottish Wildcat Action

(image: Scottish Wildcat Action)Snow and ice can make the winter field season a challenging time: many of our field sites are remote, and icy conditions can make access extremely difficult (if not impossible).

Like the other Priority Areas, Northern Strathspey has been in the grips of an icy winter so far, with many forest tracks more like toboggan runs than footpaths. But winter is the best time of year to find wildcats, primarily because it is the breeding season and cats tend to roam more widely (males are looking for females, and female cats are not tied to kittens at a den site).

Image: Scottish Wildcat Action

A cold winter with a layer of snow is particularly good for finding cats, because they are less able to catch their natural prey and therefore more likely to visit our baited camera stations. Bait is very important to attract cats to our cameras because unlike many other British mammals, wildcats leave little sign of their presence and so we can rarely rely on field signs to target camera locations. Instead, we usually choose camera sites based on landscape/habitat features that act to restrict or funnel animal movement (like predator holes in a long fence line).

But snow has an additional unique advantage: cat tracks! The snow is an incredibly valuable resource in finding and targeting potential cat locations, because you can identify cat prints and target your camera locations.


The State of UK’s Bats – monitoring the stars of the night Bat Conservation Trust

As nocturnal flying mammals, bats are often out of sight and therefore out of mind for the majority of people. Thanks to the hard work of Image: BCTthousands of dedicated volunteer citizen scientists involved in the National Bat Monitoring Programme (NBMP), we are able to see how 11 of the 18 resident bat species found in the UK are faring.

Image: BCT

The NBMP has been running since 1997 and today (25 January) sees the launch of the latest State of UK’s Bats report. The latest trends indicate that populations of the bat species we are able to monitor are stable or recovering, which suggests that current legislation and conservation action to protect and conserve bats are having a positive impact on bat populations and should be continued. It should be remembered that these trends reflect relatively recent changes in bat populations (since 1999 for most species). It is generally considered that prior to this there were significant historical declines in bat populations dating back to at least the start of the 20th century. Many pressures on bat populations still remain, including roost and habitat loss, increased urbanisation, impacts of artificial lighting, and wind turbines, where they have been installed and managed inappropriately.

The data used in The State of UK’s Bats have been collected by a volunteer force of over 1000 people who count bats in a number of different surveys across the UK. Anyone can take part, since different surveys are suitable for different levels of experience, from beginners to experts. Many of the species monitored are found in both urban and rural areas which means you can get involved regardless of whether you live in a large city like Manchester or the remotest part of Scotland.


New research determines the best ways to count Scottish mountain hares - Scottish Natural Heritage

Mountain hares are a well-known species in Scotland but counting these elusive animals can be challenging. Gathering accurate information is important so their numbers can be effectively monitored and managed.

A Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) report published today (26 January) recommends ways to count mountain hares. The scientific study compared a range of methods to count individuals, and determined the most effective, reliable and cost-effective methods for estimating hare populations in upland areas at local and national levels. The research concluded that two methods can do this: systematically counting hares at night using a spotlight, and measuring dung accumulation over four to six months during the winter.

Eileen Stuart, SNH’s Head of Policy & Advice, said: “Many people enjoy seeing mountain hares in the Scottish hills. Our priority is to make sure mountain hares remain a common sight. To do that, we need a better understanding of the existing population – something which this report will make possible. We hope that the counting methods recommended in the report will be adopted by those who manage land around Scotland, and the information made available to us. This will give us a better picture of mountain hare numbers, both regionally and nationally and support local decisions about how to maintain and conserve our native hare population.”


New Scottish MPA funding confirmed in important habitats for cetaceans - ORCA

The Scottish government have announced new funding for the protection for whales and dolphins in Scottish waters after agreeing additional funding to support the development of four marine protected areas (MPAs).

In welcome news for marine wildlife in the region, the potential MPAs would include protection for minke whales, Risso's dolphins and basking sharks. There are currently no MPAs for these three species anywhere in the world.

A Risso's dolphin, one of the species that will benefit from new protection (Credit: Lauren Horncastle)The four areas benefitting are Sea of the Hebrides, Shiant East Bank, North-East Lewis and Southern Trench, and will also provide support for sand eels, sea fans and sponges in the regions that have been identified.

A Risso's dolphin, one of the species that will benefit from new protection

(Credit: Lauren Horncastle)

The new proposals have been welcomed by conservation organisations across Scotland, and ORCA are delighted to see progress on protecting these important habitats.

Excitingly, if confirmed two of the MPAs (North-East Lewis & Sea of the Hebrides) will be covered by the new programme of surveys in the region with CalMac that ORCA will be delivering for the first time in 2018, giving a fantastic opportunity for volunteer citizen scientists to contribute directly towards marine conservation policy in the region.



RSPB ends involvement in failed Peak District Bird of Prey Initiative – RSPB

The RSPB has ended its involvement with the Peak District Bird of Prey Initiative, following the partnership project’s continued failure to improve the fortunes of raptors in the Dark Peak.

Involving five land management and conservation organisations, the Peak District Bird of Prey Initiative was set up in 2011 in a bid to boost bird of prey populations in the Dark Peak, the northern part of the Peak District. 

In response to low numbers, poor breeding success and illegal persecution of birds of prey, the initiative set five-year targets for healthy sustainable breeding populations of three species- merlin, peregrine and short-eared owl, and from 2016 expanded these targets to include hen harrier and goshawk.

However, the Initiative failed to meet any of these targets and for some species the situation has continued to worsen. Last year, no peregrines successfully bred in the Dark Peak for the first time since 1984.  

Richard Barnard, the RSPB’s Area Conservation Manager for Yorkshire and the Peak District, said: “We have committed a lot of time and energy to make this project a success but it’s clear that this is not going to happen. Despite five years of monitoring data, and the presentation of clear evidence from local raptor groups and the RSPB, some members of the group are still failing to acknowledge that the main reason birds of prey are doing so badly in the Dark Peak is because of illegal persecution such as shooting, trapping and poisoning. By refusing to admit the scale of the problem, and its clear link with land used for driven grouse shooting, which is highlighted in numerous studies and reports, these members have frustrated any possibility of progress.” 

Bird of prey persecution has cast a shadow over the Dark Peak for many years. The RSPB’s 2006 Peak Malpractice Report and the 2007 Update chronicled numerous confirmed incidents against birds of prey and charted serious declines of several raptor species such as goshawks, which pointed to sustained and widespread persecution in the area. Despite the paucity of birds of prey, illegal activity has continued in the Dark Peak since the formation of the Initiative. For example, in May 2015, a covert camera recorded four shots being fired at an active goshawk nest in the middle of the night in the Derwent Valley. In February 2016, footage was published which showed an armed man crouched close to a plastic hen harrier decoy on a grouse moor, thought to be positioned to lure in a female hen harrier that had been seen the previous day. 


Derbyshire Wildlife Trust opposes Hen Harrier Brood Management announcement by Natural England

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is strongly opposed to any human interference in the nesting of hen harriers, one of England’s rarest nesting birds.

Hen Harrier chick, Tim BirchOn 16th January, Natural England, the government's adviser for the natural environment, announced they have issued the first licence to allow the removal of hen harrier chicks and eggs in Northern England to a hatching and rearing facility.

Hen Harrier chick, Tim Birch

Natural England announced the chicks would be hand reared and then released in the uplands of Northern England in the future in an attempt to protect them from illegal persecution.

But Derbyshire Wildlife Trust believe hen harriers are currently too rare for this approach. 

Tim Birch, Head of Living Landscapes North at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust said, “Brood management for hen harriers should not even be considered until there's a strong and sustainable population.”

He added, “In 2017 there were no hen harriers breeding at all in Derbyshire and there were just a handful of sightings of this magnificent bird. Across Northern England the numbers of breeding birds were pitifully low.”

“One of the reasons for the birds struggle is illegal persecution linked to grouse moors. Given that the hen harrier is virtually extinct in many areas of our uplands it is even more shocking that brood management of these birds has now been sanctioned by a Government body. The problem is the plan does not address the bigger picture of wildlife persecution – Where could wild hen harriers raised in captivity be safely released to in our uplands if illegal persecution still continues? Until there is a commitment and real evidence that illegal and unacceptable persecution of hen harriers has ended to allow the population to recover, brood management should not be an option.”


PARTRIDGE flower blocks are attractive for Skylarks and Partridges – Interreg North Sea Region

The PARTRIDGE flower blocks, half of which are cultivated in spring while the other half remain untouched, are proving not only to be attractive for grey partridge, but to a wide variety of other farmland bird species too.

Skylark Nest (yellow) and areas where the pair of skylarks landed for foraging (red) during June 2017. The majority of foraging activity was found to be in the PARTRIDGE flower block (Interreg)Skylark Nest (yellow) and areas where the pair of skylarks landed for foraging (red) during June 2017. The majority of foraging activity was found to be in the PARTRIDGE flower block (Interreg)

During an investigation on skylarks, Manuel Püttmanns (Department for conservation biology, university of Göttingen in Germany) recorded the foraging behaviour of a skylark pair that was breeding in one of the PARTRIDGE flower blocks. The pair used almost the entirety of the large flower block for foraging which demonstrates the importance of this habitat measure.

The nest was situated at the edge of the flower block which was surrounded by a wheat field (see photo). It was evident that the pair of Skylarks highly favored the insect-rich and well-structured vegetation, which provides all the necessary conditions for the breeding season. Interestingly the larks did not only forage in the annual type of vegetation but also in the area which remained untouched by cultivation in spring. This particular flower block has been cultivated for 14 years in this form. In time, a clear heterogeneity of vegetation has set in. The flower block has not been fertilized during that time, so even in the established and undisturbed vegetation some areas are open enough for skylarks



Welcome boost to save UK’s rarest butterfly – National Trust

The High Brown Fritillary, the UK’s most endangered butterfly, has been thrown a lifeline for 2018 in a new conservation project by the National Trust and partners.

The charity is embarking on ambitious plans to develop 60 hectares of lowland heath and wood pasture – the butterfly’s principle habitat – to give it a fighting chance for the future.

High Brown Fritillary on a green leaf in the sun (image: National Trust/Matthew Oates)The project has been made possible as part of a generous award of £750k made to the National Trust by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

High Brown Fritillary on a green leaf in the sun

(image: National Trust/Matthew Oates)

Over the last 50 years, the UK population of High Brown Fritillaries has declined rapidly, due to changes in woodland management and, more recently, the abandonment of marginal hill land. Butterflies, including High Browns, need large areas of the countryside to survive in good numbers, and their populations have struggled where these habitats have been overwhelmed by pressures from agriculture and development.

Now, climate change and nitrogen deposition from the atmosphere are almost certainly contributing to the High Brown’s demise. Overall, the UK population has declined by 66% since the 1970s.

The exquisite Heddon Valley, on the Exmoor coast, is one of the few remaining strongholds where the Trust, with partners including Butterfly Conservation, has been working for years to save the species from extinction.

The £100k project will focus on restoring parts of the natural landscape along the Exmoor and North Devon coast to make it more suitable for the butterfly. Other wildlife including the Heath Fritillary, Nightjar and Dartford warbler will also benefit. High Brown Fritillaries can also be found on Dartmoor, in South Lakeland, Cumbria and at Morecambe Bay, Lancashire.

Matthew Oates, National Trust nature expert and butterfly enthusiast, said, “We’ve witnessed a catastrophic decline of many native butterfly populations in recent decades but initiatives like this can really help to turn the tide. Combined with increased recording and monitoring efforts, there is significant hope for some of our most threatened winged insects. 

Think of honeybees as ‘livestock’ not wildlife, argue experts – University of Cambridge

Contrary to public perception, die-offs in honeybee colonies are an agricultural not a conservation issue, argue Cambridge researchers, who say that manged honeybees may contribute to the genuine biodiversity crisis of Europe’s declining wild pollinators.

Commercial honeybee hives in the Teide National Park, Tenerife, Spain. Credit: Eric WardCommercial honeybee hives in the Teide National Park, Tenerife, Spain. Credit: Eric Ward

The ‘die-off’ events occurring in honeybee colonies that are bred and farmed like livestock must not be confused with the conservation crisis of dramatic declines in thousands of wild pollinator species, say Cambridge researchers.

Writing in the journal Science, the conservationists argue there is a “lack of distinction” in public understanding – fuelled by misguided charity campaigns and media reports – between an agricultural problem and an urgent biodiversity issue.

In fact, they say domesticated honeybees actually contribute to wild bee declines through resource competition and spread of disease, with so-called environmental initiatives promoting honeybee-keeping in cities or, worse, protected areas far from agriculture, only likely to exacerbate the loss of wild pollinators.

“The crisis in global pollinator decline has been associated with one species above all, the western honeybee. Yet this is one of the few pollinator species that is continually replenished through breeding and agriculture,” said co-author Dr Jonas Geldmann from Cambridge University’s Department of Zoology. “Saving the honeybee does not help wildlife. Western honeybees are a commercially managed species that can actually have negative effects on their immediate environment through the massive numbers in which they are introduced.

“Levels of wild pollinators, such as species of solitary bumblebee, moth and hoverfly, continue to decline at an alarming rate. Currently, up to 50% of all European bee species are threatened with extinction,” Geldmann said.  

Honeybees are vital for many crops – as are wild pollinators, with some assessments suggesting wild species provide up to half the needed “pollinator services” for the three-quarters of globally important crops that require pollination.


Sea butterflies repair shell damage from ocean acidification – British Antarctic Survey

A new study of tiny marine snails called sea butterflies shows the great lengths these animals go to repair damage caused by ocean Sea butterflies have evolved ‘wings’ instead of a foot, enabling them to swim through the ocean – credit Vicky Peckacidification. The paper, led by researchers at British Antarctic Survey, is published this month in the journal Nature Communications.

Sea butterflies have evolved ‘wings’ instead of a foot, enabling them to swim through the ocean – credit Vicky Peck

The ocean absorbs around one quarter of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted into the atmosphere and this CO2 reacts with seawater, causing the pH to fall, a phenomenon called ocean acidification. It has been feared this acidification is detrimental to certain organisms as corrosive waters could dissolve their shells or skeletons. Sea butterflies, also known as pteropods (Limacina helicina), are mm-scale animals that are prevalent in the polar regions. They have evolved ‘wings’ instead of a foot, enabling them to swim through the ocean. Their delicate shells are made from aragonite, the least stable form of calcium carbonate, and are so thin they are completely translucent.


Scientific Research, results and publications   

Air quality research supersites set for Manchester, Birmingham and London - NERC

A new network of advanced air quality monitoring instruments will detect harmful air pollutants and their sources in greater detail than ever before at existing research sites in three UK cities.

Image: NERCImage: NERC

Three urban air pollution research laboratories, or 'supersites', are expected to be operational in London, Birmingham and Manchester by the end of 2018. The new equipment will allow researchers to gather higher-quality data on the content of harmful urban air pollution and where the gases and particles that pollute our air are coming from.

Funded by NERC, the £4·3 million investment will see eight universities led by the NERC Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) set up and run the new equipment. As well as sensors to detect toxic air pollutants, the investment will include new instruments to detect a variety of greenhouse gases and ozone-depleting chemicals, at a range of UK tall tower and coastal observatories run by the universities of Bristol, East Anglia and Edinburgh, and so help the UK also comply with legally-binding targets set out in the Climate Change Act.

On top of NERC's funding through the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Department for Transport (DfT) has funded £600,000 for new training and research posts to work on the enhanced air pollution monitoring sites and vehicle emission testing equipment.

Science & Research Minister Sam Gyimah said: "The establishment of the air pollution research supersites highlights our commitment to improving air quality, enhancing our public health as well as tackling the growing threat of climate change to our environment. We have put research and development at the heart of our modern industrial strategy by increasing R&D funding by £2·3 billion to 2022 and these enhanced laboratories, spread across the country, will showcase our world class scientific expertise in developing solutions to global challenges."


New project - Data Science of the Natural Environment – Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Scientists from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology will play a key role in a new £3.1M ‘Data Science of the Natural Environment’ project, announced today (29 January) by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). 

The project brings together statisticians, computer scientists and environmental scientists alongside an array of public and private sector stakeholders to effect a step change in data culture in the environmental sciences.

John Watkins, Head of Environmental Informatics at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology said, “Our role in the project is to turn modern advances in data science, such as machine learning, into practical solutions that work in the natural environment for management challenges such as the land use tradeoff between food, timber, energy, recreation, urban settlement, employment and aesthetic benefits.”

The grant focusses on three Grand Challenges in the area of environmental sciences – predicting ice sheet melt, modelling and mitigating poor air quality, managing land use for maximal societal benefit. The project team will create an integrated suite of novel data science tools – a modular platform which can be used by data scientists but also by environmental scientists and stakeholders without data science training.

Dr Paula Harrison, Principal Natural Capital Scientist at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, will lead the work on land use management. This part of the project will include our partners: Natural England, Natural Resources Wales, Scottish Government, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Environment Agency, DEFRA, and JBA. 


Striking Thermal Images Reveal How Animals Cope With Changing Environments – University of Glasgow

Thermal imaging can detect how animals are coping with their environment, avoiding the need for capture, according to new research.

The technique, which could transform how biologists investigate responses of wild animals to environmental changes, was tested on a Image: University of Glasgowpopulation of a small songbird – the blue tit – at the University of Glasgow’s Scottish Centre for Ecology and the Natural Environment (SCENE) at Loch Lomond.

Image: University of Glasgow

The thermal imaging technique means biologists can learn how animals are responding to their surroundings without having to capture and measure them (necessary with current methods). This is because body temperature can change when animals make physiological adjustments to preserve energy or deal with environmental stressors

The study, published in Scientific Reports, found that skin temperature around the eye in the blue tit is lower in birds in poorer condition, and in birds with higher levels of stress hormones in their bloodstream.

In challenging circumstances, such as during poor weather, or when food is scarce, animals need to save energy. One way they can achieve this is by reducing heat production. Challenging conditions also trigger a stress response, which is associated with changes in blood flow around the body – blood is diverted to the areas with the greatest need, increasing core temperature and reducing surface temperature. So, both processes lead to a lower surface temperature.

Corresponding author Dr Paul Jerem, from the University’s Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine (IBAHCM) said: “These findings are important because understanding physiological processes is key to answering the questions of why animals behave the way they do, and how they interact with each other and their environment.”


Rethinking environmental legislation to include the conservation ideas of tomorrow - ZSL

Rewilding has potential to help address the current global biodiversity crisis, but its impact will be limited unless agreed definitions can be reached, backed by further scientific research and helped by a policy backdrop that enables greater integration with current environmental legislation.

Image: ZSLImage: ZSL

These are the key findings of a new study into the controversial technique, led by international conservation charity ZSL and published in the Journal of Applied Ecology. 

Rewilding – a philosophy that aims to encourage greater diversity of wildlife through practices including land abandonment and reintroducing native species – has become increasingly fashionable amongst conservation commentators and policymakers in recent years. 

However, this popularity has also led to increasing misunderstanding about what the term ‘rewilding’ actually involves, which in turn is limiting the potential for this technique to deliver positive impacts. In particular, the lack of a clear and agreed definition of the term has made it difficult to identify and address barriers to the integration of this thinking into government policy. 

Scientists are now calling for key pieces of legislation concerning biodiversity, land-use, and conservation to be reshaped to make it easier for innovative ideas like rewilding to be included. 

Lead author Dr Nathalie Pettorelli from ZSL’s Institute of Zoology said: “To date, conservation efforts have focused mainly on restoring ecosystems to their historic state, with the aim of preserving particular wildlife populations and habitats. However, the extent of global environmental change is now driving some ecosystems beyond their limits, meaning that for these systems restoration is no longer an option. 

Access the paper here: Pettorelli N, Barlow J, Stephens PA, et al. Making rewilding fit for policy. J Appl Ecol. 2018;00:1–12. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13082


New studies aim to boost social science methods in conservation research – University of Exeter

Scientists have produced a series of papers designed to improve research on conservation and the environment.

A group of researchers, led by the University of Exeter, have contributed to a special feature of the journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution to examine commonly used social science techniques and provide a checklist for scientists to follow.

Traditional conservation biology has been dominated by quantitative data (measured in numbers) but today it frequently relies on qualitative methods such as interviews and focus group discussions.

The aim of the special feature is to help researchers decide which techniques are most appropriate for their study, and improve the “methodological rigour” of these techniques.

Qualitative techniques are an important part of the curriculum for most undergraduate, graduate and doctoral studies in biodiversity conservation and the environment,” said Dr Nibedita Mukherjee, of the University of Exeter, who coordinated the special feature of the journal. “Yet the application of these techniques is often flawed or badly reported.”

Dr Mukherjee, of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation of Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall, added: “In putting together this special feature, we urge greater collaboration across the disciplines within conservation, incorporating rigorous use of qualitative methods.


Study suggests exposure to trees, the sky and birdsong in cities beneficial for mental wellbeing – Kings College London

Researchers at King’s College London, landscape architects J & L Gibbons and art foundation Nomad Projects have used smartphone-based technology to assess the relationship between nature in cities and momentary mental wellbeing in real time. They found that (i) being outdoors, seeing trees, hearing birdsong, seeing the sky, and feeling in contact with nature were associated with higher levels of mental wellbeing, and that (ii) the beneficial effects of nature were especially evident in those individuals with greater levels of impulsivity who are at greater risk of mental health issues

Kings College LondonImage: Kings College London

Their paper, ‘Urban Mind: Using Smartphone Technologies to Investigate the impact of Nature on Mental Wellbeing in Real Time’ has been published in BioScience today (Wednesday 10 January).

The researchers developed a smartphone-based app, Urban Mind, to examine how exposure to natural features in cities affects a person’s mental wellbeing.

The Urban Mind app monitored 108 individuals who collectively completed 3,013 assessments over a one-week period.

In each assessment, participants answered several questions about their current environment and momentary mental wellbeing. GPS-based geotagging was used to monitor their exact location throughout the 1-week trial.

The results showed significant immediate and time lagged associations with mental wellbeing for several natural features: trees, the sky and birdsong. These associations were still evident several hours after exposure to trees, the sky and birdsong had taken place, indicating time-lasting benefits.


Surfers three times more likely to have antibiotic resistant bacteria in guts – University of Exeter

Regular surfers and bodyboarders are three times more likely to have antibiotic resistant E. coli in their guts than non-surfers, new research has revealed.

Conducted by the University of Exeter, the Beach Bums study asked 300 people, half of whom regularly surf the UK’s coastline, to take rectal Regular surfers are three times more likely to have antibiotic resistant bacteria in their guts (University of Exeter)swabs. Surfers swallow ten times more sea water than sea swimmers, and scientists wanted to find out if that made them more vulnerable to bacteria that pollute seawater, and whether those bacteria are resistant to an antibiotic.

Regular surfers are three times more likely to have antibiotic resistant bacteria in their guts (University of Exeter)

Scientists compared faecal samples from surfers and non-surfers to assess whether the surfers’ guts contained E. coli bacteria that were able to grow in the presence of cefotaxime, a commonly used and clinically important antibiotic. Cefotaxime has previously been prescribed to kill off these bacteria, but some have acquired genes that enable them to survive this treatment.

The study, published today (January 14) in the journal Environment International, found that 13 of 143 (9%) of surfers were colonised by these resistant bacteria, compared to just four of 130 (3%) of non-surfers swabbed. That meant that the bacteria would continue to grow even if treated with cefotaxime.

Researchers also found that regular surfers were four times as likely to harbour bacteria that contain mobile genes that make bacteria resistant to the antibiotic. This is significant because the genes can be passed between bacteria – potentially spreading the ability to resist antibiotic treatment between bacteria. Recently, the UN Environment Assembly recognised the spread of antibiotic resistance in the environment as one of the world’s greatest emerging environmental concerns.


Ship noise affects ability of marine species to communicate – The University of Auckland

University of Auckland scientists have carried out the first-ever large scale investigation into the effects of ship noise in the waters of the Hauraki Gulf.

The research shows a significant reduction in the amount of “communication space” available for at least two key marine species.

Rosalyn Putland and colleague installing a hydrophone in the Hauraki Gulf (The University of Auckland)PhD candidate Rosalyn Putland and Associate Professor Craig Radford from the Institute of Marine Science combined sound recordings from four hydrophone “listening stations” over a nine month period with automatic ship tracking data to track underwater noise contributed by shipping.

Rosalyn Putland and colleague installing a hydrophone in the Hauraki Gulf (The University of Auckland)

Suspended 1m to 2m above the seafloor, the hydrophones recorded two minutes of data every 20 minutes.

The study focused on two species which use sound to communicate, Bryde’s whales (Balaenoptera edeni) and the common reef fish, bigeye (Pempheris adspersa).

It found noise from cargo, container and tanker vessels overlapped their vocalisations up to 20 percent of the time.

Every time a vessel passed within 10km of a listening station, it reduced communication space for bigeyes by up to 61.5 percent and by up to 87.4 percent for Bryde’s whales. Research has shown bigeyes can communicate over distances of up to 31 metres, so a passing ship will reduce this to less than 12 metres.

The concept of “communication space” can be likened to the hubbub of a cocktail party where the ability to hear what is going on is reduced the louder the party becomes, says study co-author Associate Professor Craig Radford. “Communication space is the range at which two species can hear each other and this study has found the range at which bigeyes and Bryde’s whales can communicate is significantly reduced when a ship comes past.”

The reduction of communication space for marine species is becoming an increasing concern for scientists worldwide as more is learned about how sound is used among groups of species to ensure survival including finding a mate, defending territory and warning of predators.


UK chalk-stream salmon genetically unique – University of Exeter

Salmon from the chalk streams of southern England are genetically unique, researchers have discovered.

The fish are classified as Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), but research by the University of Exeter and the Game and Wildlife Conservation This is the Frome -- a chalk stream (University of Exeter)Trust shows their genes are distinctly different from others of the species.

This is the Frome -- a chalk stream (University of Exeter)

The researchers studied five chalk streams in Hampshire and Dorset - habitats they said were under "massive pressure" from human activity.

Classifying chalk-stream salmon as a separate sub-species could make it easier to protect them.

"Our study provides evidence of the genetic distinctiveness of chalk-stream Atlantic salmon in southern England," said Dr Jamie Stevens, of the University of Exeter. "They are as different from their non-chalk cousins as the salmon of the Baltic are, and people have suggested the Baltic fish should be classified as a sub-species. While we found distinct differences between chalk and non-chalk salmon, we found little genetic differentiation within chalk-stream populations."

Chalk streams - which originate in chalk hills and are generally wide and shallow with clear water - are fed by underground aquifers and have steadier flow rates and more stable temperatures than most other rivers, and are less acidic.


Blight on Scottish forests – Scotland’s Rural College

Exotic pine tree species planted next to native Scots pine forests should be removed to limit the risk of disease to Native pinewood at Inshriach, Glen Feshie. Credit: Richard Ennosnative trees, new research suggests.

Native pinewood at Inshriach, Glen Feshie. Credit: Richard Ennos

Scientists from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and the University of Edinburgh have completed an in-depth study to show how increased numbers of Corsican pine from Europe and Lodgepole pine from North America are heightening the risk of disease when planted next to native Scottish pine species.

Plant researcher Peter Hoebe (SRUC) and Honorary Fellow Richard Ennos (University of Edinburgh) have found the widespread planting of exotic species in dense forests has introduced new races of fungi and raised the threat posed to native Scots pine.

The scientists studied genes in fungi attacking pine needles from a number of locations, including forests around Aviemore, to determine the diversity and spread of the fungus Dothistroma septosporum. This disease is responsible for the current outbreak of Dothistroma needle blight (DNB) in native Caledonian Scots pine populations, as well as other species.

Having found that the widespread planting of Corsican pine and Lodgepole pine can place native species at greater risk of disease, they have said that the removal of exotic species from the vicinity of Caledonian pine populations and the restriction of movement of planting material are necessary to minimise its impact.

To read the full report, click here.


Agricultural fungicide attracts honey bees, study finds - University of Illinois

When given the choice, honey bee foragers prefer to collect sugar syrup laced with the fungicide chlorothalonil over sugar syrup alone, Fungicides are among the top contaminants of honey bee hives and can interfere with the bees’ ability to metabolize other pesticides. Photo by L. Brian Staufferresearchers report in the journal Scientific Reports.

Fungicides are among the top contaminants of honey bee hives and can interfere with the bees’ ability to metabolize other pesticides. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

The puzzling finding comes on the heels of other studies linking fungicides to declines in honey bee and wild bee populations. One recent study, for example, found parallels between the use of chlorothalonil and the presence of Nosema bombi, a fungal parasite, in bumble bees. Greater chlorothalonil use also was linked to range contractions in four declining bumble bee species.

Other research has shown that European honey bees have a very limited repertoire of detoxifying enzymes and that exposure to one potentially toxic compound – including fungicides – can interfere with their ability to metabolize others.

“People assume that fungicides affect only fungi,” said University of Illinois entomology professor and department head May Berenbaum, who led the new research with postdoctoral researcher Ling-Hsiu Liao. “But fungi are much more closely related to animals than they are to plants. And toxins that disrupt physiological processes in fungi can also potentially affect them in animals, including insects.”

The paper “Behavioral responses of honey bees (Apis mellifera) to natural and synthetic xenobiotics in food” is available online and from the U. of I. News Bureau. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-15066-5         


Corvid control can improve fledging success of farmland hedgerow-nesting birds – Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust

Image: wwwdavidmasonimagescomNEW research undertaken by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) shows that predation control of corvids can improve the breeding success of farmland hedgerow-nesting songbirds.

Image: wwwdavidmasonimagescom

Scientists at the Trust carried out a large field experiment between 2011 and 2014, which is described in a recently published scientific paper. Over the four years, they worked with farmers and estate managers in southern England at 32 paired sites each around 4 km2 in area, studying four different pairs per year.

At random within each pair of sites, crows and magpies (corvids) were removed at one site by gamekeepers or other trained staff during the breeding season using best-practice trapping techniques; no removal took place at the other site.  The nesting success of breeding birds was measured by the GWCT research team using a new fledged-brood counting method.

The key finding was that overall nest success of the hedgerow-nesting songbird community was down by 10 per cent in non-removal sites on average relative to removal sites over the four years.  Excluding 2012 data because of exceptionally high spring rainfall that year, in the other three years nest success was down 16% in the non-removal sites on average relative to removal sites.

Previous research has indicated that, in these habitats, corvid control benefits songbirds.

Lead scientist on the experiment Dr Rufus Sage, head of lowland game bird research at the Trust, said: “We know that corvids, particularly crows, can reduce breeding output in some ground-nesting birds.  Our field experiment indicates for the first time that controlling corvids can improve breeding success in hedgerow-nesting songbirds as well.  For some, but not all, species this can affect population size.  We suspect (but did not show) that magpies are probably more predatory of hedgerow-nesting songbirds than crows because they are smaller and more adept in this habitat.”

Full link to paper here: http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.2981/wlb.00375


Scientific Publications  

Nathan J. Kleist et al., "Chronic anthropogenic noise disrupts glucocorticoid signaling and has multiple effects on fitness in an avian community," PNAS (2017). www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1709200115 


Border, J. A., Atkinson, L. R., Henderson, I. G. and Hartley, I. R., Nest monitoring does not affect nesting success of Whinchats Saxicola rubetra. Ibis. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/ibi.12574


Alison M. Bell, Rebecca Trapp, Jason Keagy. Parenting behaviour is highly heritable in male stickleback R. Soc. open sci. 2018 5 171029; DOI: 10.1098/rsos.171029.


Keng-Lou James Hung, Jennifer M. Kingston, Matthias Albrecht, David A. Holway, Joshua R. Kohn. The worldwide importance of honey bees as pollinators in natural habitats Proc. R. Soc. B 2018 285 20172140; DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.2140.


Šálek, M., Bažant, M. & Żmihorski, M. (2017)  Active farmsteads are year-round strongholds for farmland birds. Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13093


Rojas, D., Ramos Pereira, M. J., Fonseca, C. and Dávalos, L. M. (2018), Eating down the food chain: generalism is not an evolutionary dead end for herbivores. Ecol Lett. doi:10.1111/ele.12911


Trevathan-Tackett SM, Wessel C, Cebrián J, Ralph PJ, Masqué P, Macreadie PI. Effects of small-scale, shading-induced seagrass loss on blue carbon storage: Implications for management of degraded seagrass ecosystems. J Appl Ecol. 2018;00:1–9. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13081


Kaiser MJ, Hormbrey S, Booth JR, Hinz H, Hiddink JG. Recovery linked to life history of sessile epifauna following exclusion of towed mobile fishing gear. J Appl Ecol. 2018;00:1–11. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13087  


Scholten, J., Moe, S.R. & Hegland, S.J. Red deer (Cervus elaphus) avoid mountain biking trails. Eur J Wildl Res (2018) 64: 8. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-018-1169-y


Komonen, A. and Müller, J. (2018), Dispersal ecology of deadwood organisms and connectivity conservation. Conservation Biology. doi:10.1111/cobi.13087


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12 month course, starting 24 March 2018

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Calendar of events and courses in: April 2018


06/04/2018   Symposium 2018   3 Day

The University of Southampton, Butterfly Consevation. Contact: symposiumadmin@butterfly-conservation.org http://c-js.info/2sZSyZH

18/04/2018   New approaches to monitoring participation in outdoor recreation   1 Day

City Hall, Cardiff, Outdoor Recreation Network. Contact: enquiries@outdoorrecreation.org.uk http://c-js.info/2E3SdKe

20/04/2018   The Mammal Society’s 64th Spring Conference   3 Day

Queen’s Building, University of Exeter, The Mammal Society. Contact: 02380010984 training@themammalsociety.org http://c-js.info/2xfQCgu

Our 64th Spring Conference will be a forum for mammal experts and enthusiasts to meet in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, hear the results of new research, look to future work and discuss contemporary issues in conservation.

21/04/2018   Midlands Bat Conference   1 Day

University of Leicester , Bat Conservation Trust. Contact: nwebster@bats.org.uk http://c-js.info/2krKcav

26/04/2018   Social Calls of Bats Conference   2 Day

DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh Airport, BatAbility Courses & Tuition. Contact: 07877570590 neil.middleton@batability.co.uk http://c-js.info/2m19H30

Two day conference with guest presenters & workshops.

26/04/2018   CIEEM Irish Conference: Making Mitigation Work   1 Day

Red Cow Moran Hotel, Red Cow Complex, Naas Road, Dublin, D22 YX80, CIEEM. Contact: http://c-js.info/2E2AItU

This conference will examine what mitigation does and does not work and will reflect on learning from our mistakes. It will examine what happens after the project consent has been obtained: - who is responsible for the implementation and enforcement of mitigation; how and when is mitigation put in place and is it effective; who and how is mitigation monitored, reviewed and evaluated.


Administrative and Office Skills

10/04/2018   MapInfo Foundation Training   2 Day

Talgarth, South Wales, exeGeSIS SDM Ltd. Contact: 01874 713066 Carolbateman@esdm.co.uk http://www.esdm.co.uk/qgis-training-courses Ideal for Environmental & Ecological Professionals

11/04/2018   Calculating and Using Biodiversity Units   1 Day

London, CIEEM. Contact: 01962 868626 enquiries@cieem.net http://events.cieem.net/Events/EventPages/11042018000000CalculatingandUsingBiodiversityUnits.aspx

This course provides training on biodiversity unit calculations based on Defra's guidance. It is for individuals wishing to develop or enhance skills in undertaking and using biodiversity unit calculations.

12/04/2018   QGIS Intermediate Training   1 Day

Talgarth, South Wales, exeGeSIS SDM Ltd. Contact: 01874 713066 Carolbateman@esdm.co.uk http://www.esdm.co.uk/qgis-training-courses Ideal for Environmental & Ecological Professionals

12/04/2018   Preliminary Ecological Appraisal   2 Day

Witley, Nr Guildford, Acorn Ecology Ltd. Contact: 01392 366512 training@acornecology.co.uk http://www.ecologytraining.co.uk/book-a-course/introductory/

Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) is an essential skill for any ecological consultant. This course will cover desk studies and data searches, identifying protected species and habitats (including field visits), discussion of further survey work required, wildlife legislation and how to write a report.

18/04/2018   Advanced Facilitation Training - Edinburgh  1 Day

Edinburgh, Talk Action. Contact: 0207 324 4775 training@talkaction.org http://www.talkaction.org/training/advanced-facilitation-edinburgh/

Advanced Facilitation Training Edinburgh An exciting and challenging day that looks deeply at group dynamics and the role you play as a facilitator. This course helps facilitators to deal with power, conflict & big personalities!

26/04/2018   Arc Foundation Training   2 Day

Talgarth, South Wales, exeGeSIS SDM Ltd. Contact: 01874 713066 Carolbateman@esdm.co.uk http://www.esdm.co.uk/qgis-training-courses  Ideal for Environmental & Ecological Professionals

26/04/2018   Media Training - London   1 Day

St Luke's Community Centre, London - EC1V 8AJ, Talk Action. Contact: 02073244775 training@talkaction.org http://www.talkaction.org/training/media_training/

A day of practical media training to give you the tools to successfully promote your work and your organisation.


Community Engagement and Environmental Education

09/04/2018   Level 3 Certificate for Forest School Leaders   8 Mondays Day

Leciester, Enstruct Training Ltd. Contact: 07398 777691 bethan@enstructtraining.co.uk http://www.enstructtraining.co.uk

OCNWM Level 3 Certificate for Forest School Leaders in Leicester at Enstruct Training Ltd Fun, interactive training to enable and inspire you to set up and deliver fantastic Forest School programmes. Choice of assessment methods to suit your learning style. 8 Mondays from 9th April 2018. Cost: £795 + VAT. Individual payment plans and 10% student discount available.

10/04/2018   Fads in the Forest: Using the outdoors to explore the latest fads and the LNF.   1 Day

Glyndwr University, Northop, Plas Derw Trust. Contact: 01385 2840955 info@plasderw.co.uk http://www.plasderwforestschool.co.uk

This course looks at how to inspire outdoor learning by exploiting the latest fads. There is always something that children are completely enthralled with which manages to find its way into the classroom. Instead of fads being a distraction in school, they can be a force of engagement

17/04/2018   Volunteer Management Training    1 Day

The Melting Pot, Edinburgh, Talk Action. Contact: 0207 324 4775 training@talkaction.org http://www.talkaction.org/training/volunteer-management-training-scotland/

Helping volunteers love you – your organisation and the role they play. Learn how to work with volunteers in new and exciting ways that help build your organisation, social enterprise or voluntary group.

19/04/2018   Making Natural Playstructures   1 Day

FSC Bishops Wood, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/teachertraining

Rope swings, rope bridges, rope walks (in fact any rope things for creative play) and other simple structures will be built, along with considerations of health and safety and risk assessments.

24/04/2018   LNF in the outdoors: Seasons Summer   0.5 Day

Glyndwr University, Northop, Plas Derw Trust. Contact: 01385 2840955 info@plasderw.co.uk http://www.plasderwforestschool.co.uk

This half day session is jam packed with outdoor activities related to the curriculum. It has been tailored to link to the Foundation Phase Literacy and Numeracy framework. We run four seasonal based sessions which demonstrate how you can use the seasons as a vehicle for the LNF.

30/04/2018   NOCN level 3 Coastal School Leader   2 Day

Margrove Heritage Centre, North Yorshire Forest Schools and Tees Valley Wildlife Trust. Contact: 07814 791671 hazel@forestschooltraining.com http://www.teeswildlife.org/discover-learn/for-schools/coastal-schools/

This is an additional unit for Level 3 Forest School Leaders who wish to apply the Forest School learning approach in coastal environments. It enables you to lead Coastal School sessions


Countryside Management Techniques

14/04/2018   Timber measuring    2 Day

Greenwood Centre, Ironbridge, Smallwoods Association . Contact: 01952 432769 FayHurford@smallwoods.org.uk http://www.smallwoods.org.uk

Designed for woodland owners, managers, agents and contractor's ability to calculate accurately timber volumes in standing trees, woodland compartments and road side stacks. Including: measurement conventions, useful equipment, calculate the height and volume of a standing tree, stratification and sampling principles, yield class, Tariff and abbreviated tariff measurements, stack measurements

17/04/2018   Managing for nature in Parks and Green Spaces   1 Day

High Elms, RSPB. Contact: 01767 693308 conservation-advice@rspb.org.uk http://www.rspb.org.uk

This interactive workshop for contract managers and operative team leaders, reviews the value of public open space for people and wildlife. It will unravel jargon and introduce delegates to basic ecological requirements of key urban species. A site visit will look at the theory covered in the morning.

21/04/2018   Introduction to Small Woodland management    2 Day

Greenwood Centre, Ironbridge, Smallwoods Association . Contact: 01952 432769 FayHurford@smallwoods.org.uk http://www.smallwoods.org.uk

In line with Forestry Commission guidelines the course will give you the background knowledge to manage a woodland sustainably. Including: Assessing the resource, Protecting the resource, Managing the resource, Producing timber, Keeping it legal, Thinking about the future. The course is classroom based with visits to different local woodlands.

21/04/2018   Ecology and Management of Woodlands    1 Day

Woods Mill, Henfield, West Sussex, Sussex Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01273 497544 michaelblencowe@sussexwt.org.uk https://sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/whats-on/2018-04-21-ecology-and-management-of-woodlands-21042018

What could be more iconic than a Sussex woodland carpeted in bluebells? This course aims to give a broad overview of the deciduous woodland habitat and its ecology. It will touch on a wide variety of woodland topics including history, soils, woodland types and woodland wildlife, bringing them together to give you an understanding of the ecology of ancient woodland and how best to manage it for wildlife. Discount for members.


First Aid, Risk Assessment and other Health & Safety Related Courses

07/04/2018   Level 3 Award in Outdoor First Aid   2 Day

Craigholme Sports Complex, The Adventure Academy CIC. Contact: 0141 628 8520 info@theadventureacademy.org.uk https://theadventureacademy.org.uk/event/outdoor-first-aid-7-8-april/

Our 16 hour first aid course, two day course has been developed to meet the first aid training requirements outlined by the institute of outdoor learning and also most National Governing body award such as BCU, Mountain Training, BASI/IASI. This qualification is perfect for anyone working in outdoors environments.


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Herpetology, Fish and Invertebrates

06/04/2018   Amphibian survey training    1 Day

Chatelherault Country Park, Froglife. Contact: 07972 593603 james.stead@froglife.org http://www.froglife.org/dragonfinder/event/amphibian-survey-training-4/?instance_id=6554

Froglife are holding an evening training event where you can learn how to identify our native amphibian species undertaking 3 methods of pond survey. This session is entirely outdoors and gives you the opportunity to get hands on and learn about netting, egg-searching and torching techniques. 

12/04/2018   Grassland Water Vole Ecology and Mitigation - Glasgow   1 Day

Glasgow G34 9JW, The Mammal Society. Contact: 02380010984 training@themammalsociety.org http://www.mammal.org.uk/training/courses/

This one day course will provide practical training on the identification of grassland (also known as fossorial) water voles field signs, survey guidelines and trapping techniques. Water voles are frequently recorded in grassland habitat across their global range,

13/04/2018   Ecology, Conservation, Surveying and Recording of British Amphibians and Reptiles   2 Day

FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

This course gives a comprehensive overview of the identification, natural history, ecology and conservation of the British species of amphibians and reptiles through a combination of illustrated talks and local field excursions.

14/04/2018   Dragonfly Larval and Exuvial Identification Course   1 Day

FSC Bishops Wood, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

Aimed at beginners, this course will commence with an introduction to dragonfly larvae and the part they play in the dragonfly life cycle. Indoor practical sessions will then focus on the identification of exuviae. After lunch the afternoon will be spent out and about at Bishops Wood, dipping in ponds and practising some hands-on identification.

19/04/2018   Great Crested Newts with Froglife   1 Day

FSC Epping Forest, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

This course will introduce participants to identification, surveying and conservation of great crested newts. The day will consist of a combination of outside and indoor workshop sessions aimed at improving participants' knowledge and understanding of this species.

19/04/2018   Amphibian survey training    1 Day

Holmhills Community Wood, Froglife. Contact: 07972 593603 james.stead@froglife.org http://www.froglife.org/dragonfinder/event/amphibian-survey-training-5/?instance_id=6555

Froglife are holding an evening training event where you can learn how to identify our native amphibian species undertaking 3 methods of pond survey. This session is entirely outdoors and gives you the opportunity to get hands on and learn about netting, egg-searching and torching techniques. 

20/04/2018   Dissecting Moths   2 Day

FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

This new course will teach techniques for dissecting moths for beginners and will talk about everything you need to get started dissecting moths at home. Over 95% of moths can be safely identified in the field without the need for dissection.

20/04/2018   Identifying and Recording Water Bugs   2 Day

FSC Malham Tarn, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

This is an introductory course for anyone wanting to know how to identify water bugs. Participants will be shown how to collect, and handle, water bugs, both in the field and in the laboratory, and will be introduced to using identification keys. Recording can be fun and participants will be introduced to recording their data.

25/04/2018   Great crested newt ecology & survey   2.5 Day

9C Mill Park Ind Est, White Cross Rd, Woodbury Salterton, Exeter EX5 1EL, Richard Green Ecology Ltd. Contact: 01395 239234 office@richardgreenecology.co.uk http://www.richardgreenecology.co.uk/training/

This introductory course will provide the skills and knowledge to undertake GCN survey, including habitat suitability assessment, identification of different life stages, torch, net, vegetation, pitfall trap, fingertip and bottle/other trap surveys . This course is spread over two days and is part classroom and part field based.

26/04/2018   Practical Wasp Control   1 Day

Bury St Edmunds, Pest Solution. Contact: 01284 766362 info@pestsolution.co.uk http://www.pestcontroltraining.co/

The course is divided into a theory session and a practical session. The aim of the course is to allow candidates to confidently be able to treat wasp and hornet nests with professional grade products as they will have received training as required by the Control of Pesticide Regulations 1986.

27/04/2018   Understanding Reptiles   3 Day

Borth Youth Hostel, Borth, Lifelong Learning, Aberystwyth University. Contact: 01970 621580 learning@aber.ac.uk https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/lifelong-learning/ecology/

This 3 day intensive course will give a thorough introduction to UK reptile species identification, ecology, conservation and survey techniques. A good proportion of the course will be spent outside (weather dependent) looking at different habitats, species and most importantly practising spotting these elusive and beautiful creatures.

27/04/2018   Soil Mesofauna   3 Day

FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

This course, unique in the UK, has developed a reputation for excellence over the last few years. It introduces the fascinating and complex world of soil biodiversity and identification of soil mesofauna, in particular the identification of springtails and soil mites.

27/04/2018   Identifying Hoverflies   3 Day

FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

This course is aimed at the novice hoverfly recorder and will take participants through all aspects of hoverfly identification using a mixture of set material, field collection and powerpoint presentations.

27/04/2018   Reptile Ecology and Surveying   1 Day

Witley, Nr Guildford, Acorn Ecology Ltd. Contact: 01392 366512 training@acornecology.co.uk http://www.ecologytraining.co.uk/book-a-course/introductory/

Introductory level course, especially relevant to consultancy as a huge proportion of consultancy work during summer involves reptile surveying and translocation projects. Course includes identification of UK reptiles, reptile handling (slow worms and non-native snakes), field visit to survey a 'development site', and a presentation about mitigation strategies.

27/04/2018   Reptile ecology, survey and handling (including adder)   1 Day

9C Mill Park Ind Est, White Cross Rd, Woodbury Salterton, Exeter EX5 1EL, Richard Green Ecology Ltd. Contact: 01395 239234 office@richardgreenecology.co.uk http://www.richardgreenecology.co.uk/training/

This introductory course will enable you to identify UK reptile species, suitable reptile habitat and undertake reptile survey and reporting. The course is part classroom and part field based to provide practical survey and handling experience.

28/04/2018   Reptile Ecology and Survey Techniques   1 Day

Tyland Barn, Kent Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01622 662012 info@kentwildlife.org.uk http://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/

Discover how to identify reptiles and learn about their habitat requirements. Then search for reptiles in a nearby nature reserve.

28/04/2018   Spring Moths for Beginners   1 Day

FSC Epping Forest, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

This course is aimed at anyone with an interest in moths whether you are a beginner or are already moth watching and want a little more 'methodology' and knowledge of the main moth groups. The afternoon will be a mix of presentations and activities and the evening session, will be spent moth-trapping around the Centre as darkness falls.


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Mammals

06/04/2018   Deer Ecology   3 Day

FSC Kindrogan, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

Explore the Scottish Highlands in search of British deer species. Learn to identify them from visual clues and indirect signs such as tracks and droppings. Discover more about their ecology and history - including the British pastime of stocking deer at stately homes and parks.

10/04/2018   Identifying Animal tracks & Signs   1 Day

Nower Wood, Mill Way, Leatherhead KT22 8QA, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk http://www.surreywildlifetrust.org/events/2017/09/06/identifying-animal-tracks-signs

Discover various ways to identify whether a mammal, bird, reptile or amphibian frequents an area by looking at where they live and what they leave behind.

13/04/2018   Introduction to Bats   0.5 Day

Attenborough Nature Reserve, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. Contact: 0115 972 1777 enquiries@attenboroughnaturecentre.co.uk http://www.attenboroughnaturecentre.co.uk/book

Attenborough is one of the best places in the county to see bats.   This evening starts with a fascinating talk, followed by a walk around the reserve using bat detectors. 7pm - 10pm £15

13/04/2018   Introduction to Bat Detector Surveys   0.5 Day

Acer Ecology Office, Cardiff Bay, Acer Ecology Ltd. Contact: 029 2065 0331 enquiries@acerecology.co.uk http://www.acerecology.co.uk/introduction-bat-detector-surveys/

Aimed at those who want to learn about bat detector surveys or improve their bat surveying skills. The course will include indoor and outdoor sessions where participants will be taught how to undertake an evening bat survey, identify bat calls in the field and how to use different ultrasound equipment.

14/04/2018   Anabat Training   1 Day

Acer Ecology Office, Cardiff Bay, Acer Ecology Ltd. Contact: 029 2065 0331 enquiries@acerecology.co.uk http://www.acerecology.co.uk/anabat-training-course/

Aimed at beginners and intermediate users and aims to give participants the knowledge and skills to use Analook software to analyse recordings and present the findings of automated surveys using the Anabat Express bat detector.

16/04/2018   Otter Ecology and Surveying   1 Day

Nr Exeter, Acorn Ecology Ltd. Contact: 01392 366512 training@acornecology.co.uk http://www.ecologytraining.co.uk/book-a-course/introductory/

Introductory level course covering: otter biology and ecology; identifying otters and their field signs; legal status of otters; and otter conservation. The course will include a field trip to look for signs of otters.

17/04/2018   Bat Surveys: An Introduction   1 Day

Sheffield, Wildscapes. Contact: 0114 2792667 info@wildscapes.co.uk http://www.wildsheffield.com/events/2018/04/17/bat-surveys-introduction?instance=0

Covers bat identification, ecology and how to plan, conduct and write up a bat survey. With a classroom session in the morning followed by the opportunity to try out techniques in the field and an optional evening bat survey. Discounts for SRWT members/students

18/04/2018   Arboriculture and bats: scoping surveys for arborists   1 Day

The Kingcombe Centre, Dorset, Bat Conservation Trust. Contact: 0207 820 7169 training@bats.org.uk http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/arboriculture_and_bats_scoping_surveys_for_arborists.html

One day awareness course for arborists to help them carry out tree works with consideration for the potential impacts on bats and their habitat. The course is Lantra registered, counts towards Arboricultural Association CPD and is in line with British Standard 8596 - Surveying for bats in trees and woodland.

19/04/2018   Arboriculture and bats: secondary roost surveys for arborists (incl endoscope use)   1 Day

The Kingcombe Centre, Dorset, Bat Conservation Trust. Contact: 0207 820 7169 training@bats.org.uk http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/arboriculture_and_bats_secondary_roost_surveys_for_arborists_incl_endoscope_use.html

Follow-on arborist course, it teaches participants how to undertake a secondary roost survey. You will explore the practical skills and methods that can be used to rule out bat potential, learn the appropriate use of endoscopes and receive guidance on what can and cannot be done without a bat licence. 

24/04/2018   Bat Ecology   1 Day

Nower Wood, Mill Way, leatherhead KT22 8QA, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk http://www.surreywildlifetrust.org/events/2017/08/29/bat-ecology?instance=0

Learn about the unique biology & ecology of bats. There will be a live bat for you to view before walking in the woods in search of the local species.

26/04/2018   Arboriculture and bats: scoping surveys for arborists   1 Day

Richmond Park, Surrey, Bat Conservation Trust. Contact: 0207 820 7169 training@bats.org.uk http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/arboriculture_and_bats_scoping_surveys_for_arborists.html

One day awareness course for arborists to help them carry out tree works with consideration for the potential impacts on bats and their habitat. The course is Lantra registered, counts towards Arboricultural Association CPD and is in line with British Standard 8596 - Surveying for bats in trees and woodland.

27/04/2018   Introduction to Bats   0.5 Day

Attenborough Nature Reserve, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. Contact: 0115 972 1777 enquiries@attenboroughnaturecentre.co.uk http://www.attenboroughnaturecentre.co.uk/book

Attenborough is one of the best places in the county to see bats.   This evening starts with a fascinating talk, followed by a walk around the reserve using bat detectors.   7.30pm - 10.30pm £15

27/04/2018   Arboriculture and bats: secondary roost surveys for arborists (incl endoscope use)   1 Day

Richmond Park, Surrey, Bat Conservation Trust. Contact: 0207 820 7169 training@bats.org.uk http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/arboriculture_and_bats_secondary_roost_surveys_for_arborists_incl_endoscope_use.html

Follow-on arborist course, it teaches participants how to undertake a secondary roost survey. You will explore the practical skills and methods that can be used to rule out bat potential, learn the appropriate use of endoscopes and receive guidance on what can and cannot be done without a bat licence. 

28/04/2018   An Introduction to the Small Mammals of Sussex   1 Day

Woods Mill, Henfield, West Sussex, Sussex Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01273 497544 michaelblencowe@sussexwt.org.uk https://sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/whats-on/2018-04-28-an-introduction-to-the-small-mammals-of-sussex-280418

The course will provide an introduction to the small mammals of Sussex and will include a field session on live trapping where we hope to meet some of the species face to face. The course will provide an overview of the ecology of small mammals along with field signs and the range of survey techniques available. There will be a classroom component along with a field session to apply some of the survey techniques discussed. Discount for members.

28/04/2018   An Introduction to Urban Mammals   1 Day

Herne, The Mammal Society. Contact: 02380010984 training@themammalsociety.org http://www.mammal.org.uk/training/courses/

The course looks at the key mammal species which can be observed in our urban environments, their identification by sight and typical signs.

30/04/2018   Bats in Trees Evening Course   0.5 Day

Acer Ecology Office, Cardiff Bay, Acer Ecology Ltd. Contact: 029 2065 0331 enquiries@acerecology.co.uk http://www.acerecology.co.uk/bats-trees-evening-course/

This will introduce participants to the Henry Andrews Bat Tree Habitat Key, giving participants an understanding of the tree roosting bat species and the features and trees in which they roost. Part of the course will go through survey methodologies, specifically, how to conduct ground level tree assessments for bats.


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Ornithology

03/04/2018   Recognising Birds by Sight, Song and their Calls in a Diversity of Habitats   3 Day at FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council.

A course on bird identification, open to everyone, taking advantage of all the activity at the start of the new breeding season. We will visit some of the best birdwatching sites in Suffolk to learn about bird characteristics and behaviour.

07/04/2018   Introduction to Birds   1 Day at FSC Amersham, Field Studies Council.

An introduction to identifying common (and occasionally less common) birds using sight and sound. No prior experience is necessary, just an enthusiasm to get out and have a go.

07/04/2018   Identifying Birds by Sight and Sound in Epping Forest   1 Day at FSC Epping Forest, Field Studies Council.

Here's a great opportunity if you're new to birding or have a little experience. Spend a day in Epping Forest learning how to identify the resident and migrant birds found here - and more widely in other woodlands and forests.

13/04/2018   Birds for Beginners   2 Day at FSC Juniper Hall, Field Studies Council.

An introduction to identifying common (and occasionally less common) birds using sight and sound. This course will visit a wide range of habitats in the Surrey Hills to develop your confidence and practise your new found skills.

14/04/2018   Birdwatching in Bushy Park   1 Day at FSC London, Field Studies Council.

Bushy Park is a great location to spot resident and migrant birds in spring. The course is designed to help you observe and identify birds. Spend the day visiting the open parkland, the ponds, the gardens with their wooded areas and the wetland being developed in the Brewhouse fields. Fee includes FSC Fold out Chart Top 50 Garden Birds.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

17/04/2018   Breeding Bird Surveys and checks   1 Day

Birmingham, CIEEM. Contact: 01962 868626 enquiries@cieem.net http://events.cieem.net/Events/EventPages/17042018000000BreedingBirdSurveysandchecks.aspx

A one day course providing a baseline for breeding bird surveys and site checks

18/04/2018   A Beginner's Guide to Raptors   1 Day

Burpham, West Sussex, Sussex Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01273 497544 michaelblencowe@sussexwt.org.uk https://sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/whats-on/2018-04-18-a-beginners-guide-to-raptors-180418

This course looks at the variety of birds of prey regularly recorded in the UK and concentrating on those that you might see in Sussex. The afternoon session will be at a site which is one of the hotspots for raptors in the county. Discount for members.

19/04/2018   Bird Identification Workshop   1 Day

Kinnoull Hill, Perth, British Trust for Ornithology. Contact: 01786 466 560 anne.cotton@bto.org https://www.bto.org/

Learn the basics of bird ID by sight and sound through a range of activities both in the classroom and in surrounding woodland habitat. This course is targeted at beginners or improvers.

20/04/2018   Songbird Identification   3 Day at FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council.

This weekend course in late spring is at the ideal time to see and hear songbirds. It will concentrate on identification skills using sight and song, with field notebooks as important aids to observation.

20/04/2018   Spring Bird Migration Along the Suffolk Coast   2 Day at FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council.

This course is for anyone who has a basic knowledge of birds and would like to have a better understanding of the migrant species that visit the Suffolk coastline every summer.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

21/04/2018   Get More from Your Birdwatching; a Study Day for Beginners and Improvers    1 Day

Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, Kent Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01622 662012 info@kentwildlife.org.uk http://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/

How are your bird finding and recognition skills? This course will help you with these, as well as give you advice on the best binoculars, field guides and the other equipment to use whilst pursuing your hobby

22/04/2018   Bird ID by Sight and Sound   1 Day

Attenborough Nature Reserve, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. Contact: 0115 972 1777 enquiries@attenboroughnaturecentre.co.uk http://www.attenboroughnaturecentre.co.uk/book

Ever hear a bird but have trouble finding it with your binoculars? This course will show you how to identify a bird through its call, but also using sight if it's visible. By the end of the day you'll have the confidence to identify springtime birds.   Includes an afternoon walk to put your new skills into practice   10am - 3pm   £35

25/04/2018   New builds and birds   1 Day

National Self Build and renovation centre, RSPB. Contact: 01767 693308 conservation-advice@rspb.org.uk http://www.rspb.org.uk

This interactive course for architects, ecologists and planners reviews policy obligations and introduces species most likely to nest in or on new buildings. It will highlight the need to focus on species most in need of conservation action and how best to provide for them.

26/04/2018   Bird Identification Workshop   1 Day

Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre, Northumberland , British Trust for Ornithology. Contact: 01786 466 560 anne.cotton@bto.org https://www.bto.org/

Learn the basics of bird ID through a range of activities both in the classroom and on the reserve. This course is targeted at beginners or improvers.

27/04/2018   Bird Identification    3 Day

Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth, Lifelong Learning, Aberystwyth University. Contact: 01970 621580 learning@aber.ac.uk https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/lifelong-learning/ecology/

This 3 day intensive course is for you if you struggle with spotting the differences between birds. All you need is an expert guide and tutor (David Anning from RSPB Ynys Hir) to help you to focus, develop observation skills and note their key features.

27/04/2018   Birds of the North Wales Coast, Woodlands and Uplands   3 Day

FSC Rhyd-y-creuau, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

With the breeding season well underway, this is an ideal long weekend for birdwatching in the dramatic landscapes of North Wales. We will explore the coastal cliffs and estuaries, visiting seabird colonies on Anglesey and the RSPB Reserve at Conwy.

27/04/2018   Birdsong for Beginners   1 Day

Woods Mill, Henfield, West Sussex, Sussex Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01273 497544 michaelblencowe@sussexwt.org.uk https://sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/whats-on/2018-04-27-birdsong-for-beginners-27042018

This course is aimed at those people interested in getting started in finding out about bird song and learning to recognise the song of a few of our common birds. It may also interest those who are a bit rusty on their bird song and would like a refresher. Discount for members.


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Plants and Habitats

06/04/2018   Mosses and Liverworts   7 Day at FSC Kindrogan, Field Studies Council.

Surrounded by an abundance of eye-catching common species, as well as Scottish rarities, Kindrogan is an ideal place to study bryophytes. Emphasis will be placed on field characteristics, backed up by work in the laboratory, including the use of identification keys. There will also be opportunities to concentrate on special interests as individual guidance will be given at all levels.

07/04/2018   Introduction to Plant Taxonomy   1 Day at FSC Margam, Field Studies Council.

The aim of this one day course is to give an introduction to plant taxonomy: how it works, what the conventions are and how to comply with them. The course will include theoretical aspects, as well as practical work including describing plants, making specimens and writing keys.

10/04/2018   Lichens of Pembrokeshire   4 Day at FSC Orielton, Field Studies Council.

Pembrokeshire offers a great range of lichen-rich habitats from superb rocky coasts to ancient woodlands and parklands where we can find both common and nationally rare species. In 2018 we will explore rocky coasts at Manorbier, woodlands around Orielton and along the Gwaun valley, with an optional extra day exploring old abandoned slate mines on the Preseli hills.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

10/04/2018   QTRA Training   2 Day

Guildford, Quantified Tree Risk Assessment Ltd. Contact: 01625 618999 admin@qtra.co.uk http://www.qtra.co.uk/

11/04/2018   Phase 1 Habitat Survey   1 Day

Witley, Nr Guildford, Acorn Ecology Ltd. Contact: 01392 366512 training@acornecology.co.uk http://www.ecologytraining.co.uk/book-a-course/introductory/

An introductory level course, relevant to both consultancy and conservation. Our day long course includes: introduction and background to Phase 1 habitat surveys, field experience of identifying and recording habitats, basic identification of dominant plant species and preparation of habitat maps in the classroom.

12/04/2018   QTRA Advanced User training    1 Day

Guildford, Quantified Tree Risk Assessment Ltd. Contact: 01625 618999 admin@qtra.co.uk http://www.qtra.co.uk/

13/04/2018   Wild Flower Identification around Boxhill   2 Day

FSC Juniper Hall, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

Box Hill, loved by so many - from Jane Austen's characters picnicking on the slopes to cyclists puffing their way up the zigzag road. Have you ever wondered what the wild flowers are you are seeing whilst spending the day there? Here is your opportunity to find out with an introduction to the chalkland flora of Box Hill. Explore with fellow enthusiasts, see beautiful plants and learn how to identify them.

17/04/2018   QTRA Training   2 Day

Glasgow, Quantified Tree Risk Assessment Ltd. Contact: 01625 618999 admin@qtra.co.uk http://www.qtra.co.uk/

20/04/2018   Introduction to Phase 1 Habitat Surveys   1 Day

Sheffield, Wildscapes. Contact: 0114 2792667 info@wildscapes.co.uk http://www.wildsheffield.com/events/2018/04/20/introduction-phase-1-habitat-surveys?instance=0

Do you need to quickly survey & map habitat types? This course covers understanding how to plan, conduct & write up a Phase 1 habitat survey. There will be a classroom based session in the morning, covering the Phase 1 technique, mapping, target noting & species recording, followed by a practical session in the afternoon. Discounts for SRWT members/students

22/04/2018   Foraging for Wild Food   1 Day

Assington Mill, Assington, Suffolk, CO10 5LZ, Assington Mill. Contact: 01787 229955 info@assingtonmill.com http://www.assingtonmill.com

Walk around the farm to learn about the edible roots, stems, leaves, flowers and fruits of our common plants. £90 inc. home-made lunch.

24/04/2018   Ash Woodlands: Plants and Mosses   1 Day at FSC Bishops Wood, Field Studies Council.

Ash woodlands are captivating places, the best way of getting to grips with their range and diversity is to take time to look at the plants that commonly grow there. This course will look at these plants providing identification techniques for common species such as toothwort, herb-paris and orchids.

27/04/2018   Sphagnum   2 Day at FSC Rhyd-y-creuau, Field Studies Council.

This course will develop field and laboratory skills to enable a high level of competence in identifying species of sphagnum. We will fully utilise field sites in the area, where it will be possible to become familiar with most of the 30 or so British species. Suitable for beginners in this field and others wishing to extend their knowledge.

27/04/2018   Identifying Bryophytes for Conservation and Recording   3 Day at FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council.

This course will focus on developing the higher level field and laboratory skills required to identify some of the more difficult genera. This will involve fieldwork and laboratory sessions. Short talks will cover the conservation of bryophytes and bryophyte recording in the British Isles. *MMU(M)

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

27/04/2018   Introduction to Woodland Ecology    3 Day

Greenwood Centre, Ironbridge, Smallwoods Association . Contact: 01952 432769 FayHurford@smallwoods.org.uk http://www.smallwoods.org.uk

This course is designed to provide an understanding of woodland ecology to support woodland management decisions. The course will include: principles of ecology, identifying woodland vegetation types and associated key woodland species, species inter-dependency, population dynamics, biotic and abiotic threats, Woodland monitoring to benefit woodland management.

28/04/2018   Trees and Bees at Regents Park   1 Day

FSC London, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

A wonderful opportunity to learn about the trees and pollinators at The Regent's Park. We will attempt to identify and list all the tree types by gathering foliage, seeds, cones and taking diagnostic photos. We will simultaneously try to identify and list all the species of pollinators flying in April, examine what blossoms and other flowers they prefer and where they might be breeding.

28/04/2018   The Mountain Environment   1 Day

Snowdonia, Wales, Natures Work. Contact: 07816 727414 info@natureswork.co.uk http://www.natureswork.co.uk/training-courses/course-calendar-2017/

We take a look at the mountain environment from its geological history to its vegetation and human influences upon the landscape. Identify general characteristics of rock types, habitats and take a closer look at the wildlife which inhabit this environment. A notebook, pencil and camera would be useful to bring along.

29/04/2018   Microfungi   5 Day

FSC Kindrogan, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

An in-depth week of identification of microfungi, with a focus on the special spring species prevalent at this time of year in the Perthshire hills. The course includes mountain trips to find alpine species of myxomycetes and gives participants a chance to explore the different fungi groups in some depth.

29/04/2018   Glaciation of Snowdonia   1 Day

Wales, Natures Work. Contact: 07816 727414 info@natureswork.co.uk http://www.natureswork.co.uk/training-courses/course-calendar-2017/

We will identify and explain the formation of these features both large and small scale including features of erosion, transportation and deposition. The itinerary on the day will depend upon weather conditions and may include a lowland glacial environment. A notebook, pencil and camera would be useful to bring along.

29/04/2018   Phase 1 Habitat Surveys    1 Day

Acer Ecology Office, Cardiff Bay, Acer Ecology Ltd. Contact: 029 2065 0331 enquiries@acerecology.co.uk http://www.acerecology.co.uk/phase-1-habitat-survey-course/

Beginning with an indoor morning session covering key indicator plant species for a range of habitats then teaching participants how to classify habitats according to the phase 1 methodology. The afternoon will provide an outdoor session putting into practice the phase 1 methodology and undertaking four different mapping exercises.



06/04/2018   Photography Especially for Beginners   3 Day at FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council.

This course is ideal for photographers looking to release the potential of their cameras and their own creativity. To be able to reach your potential as a photographer you first need to master the camera. The first part of this course is designed to help you achieve this.

06/04/2018   Spring Digital Photography   4 Day at FSC Dale Fort, Field Studies Council.

Contact FSC : 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/arts

Planned to get the most out of Pembrokeshire's spectacular landscape and natural history, we will visit a number of different locations shooting not only fantastic landscapes, but also plant and animal life. Prior photographic knowledge is useful to get the most out of the course, but advice and guidance are on hand.

14/04/2018   Beginning Nature Photography   2 Day

Woods Mill, Henfield, West Sussex, Sussex Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01273 497544 michaelblencowe@sussexwt.org.uk https://sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/whats-on/2018-04-14-beginning-nature-photography-14-150418-two-day-course

This course enables you to establish a strong foundation in photography and tackles many techniques. Discount for members.

21/04/2018   Digital Wildlife Photography Basics 2   1 Day

Blashford Lakes, Ringwood, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01489774400 courses@hiwwt.org.uk https://shop.hiwwt.org.uk/product/digital-wildlife-photography-macro-2/

22/04/2018   Field Craft - Get Close To Wildlife   1 Day

Woods Mill, Henfield, West Sussex, Sussex Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01273 497544 michaelblencowe@sussexwt.org.uk https://sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/whats-on/2018-04-22-field-craft-get-close-to-wildlife-22042018

Renowned wildlife photographer and author David Plummer shares his secrets in this new course aimed at teaching you the field craft required to get closer to wildlife while respecting and not disturbing the wildlife itself. Discount for members.

29/04/2018   Photography Workshop: Bluebells   1 Day

Nower Wood, Mill Way, leatherhead KT22 8QA, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk http://www.surreywildlifetrust.org/events/2017/08/29/photography-workshop-bluebells?instance=0

Capture breath-taking photos of woodland and bluebells in full bloom.


Practical Countryside Skills - Machinery

21/04/2018   Introduction to Chainsaw use    1 Day

Greenwood Centre, Ironbridge, Smallwoods Association . Contact: 01952 432769 FayHurford@smallwoods.org.uk http://www.smallwoods.org.uk

A practical hands on course designed for woodland owners and home owners who use a chainsaw on their own land. Including: Safe starting and stopping of a chain saw, choosing an appropriate model, Cross cutting techniques, Simple felling techniques, sharpening and maintenance, things that go wrong.


Updates and Additions to other sections of Training Directory this month

Longer courses

Land and Countryside Management

Diploma in Countryside and Environment with BMET

Cairngorms National Park Wildlife Identification by Speyside Wildlife


Training Centre / provider listings


Countryside Management Association

Sussex Wildlife Trust

The Mammal Society


Updated listings from:

Muddy Feet Training



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