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

Published on the second Thursday every month

CJS is endorsed by the Scottish Countryside Rangers Association and the Countryside Management Association

Scottish Countryside Rangers Association

Countryside Management Association

logo: Canal and River Trust 

Featured Charity:  Canal & River Trust

Find out more about our featured charity here.

Including how to join and donate.



Please remember: If you are interested in a particular advert or item please contact the advertiser, not CJS, and remember to tell them you saw their advert in CJS Professional.


Click the headers to browse each section, or click on each item (or the [more] button)





Location (basis / contract details)

Visitor Experience Officer


Suffolk (part time, 22.5 hpw, permanent)

Planning Forester

Cowdray Estate

Midhurst, West Sussex

Lead Ranger

South Downs NPA

Weald and Downland Living Museum, Singleton (full time, permanent)

Senior Site Manager


Suffolk (full time, permanent)

Development Officer - Active Environments

Paths for All

Stirling (full time)

Head of Recreation and Public Affairs

Forestry England


Environmental Site Technician, Plant Operative & Senior Plant Operative

Five Rivers

Salisbury, Wiltshire

Stalker - Cairngorms Connect


Inverness-shire (full time contract to 31/12/2023)

Seasonal Project Officer (x 2)

Scottish Invasive Species Initiative

Moray and Angus, Perthshire (summer 2019)

Peatland Project Support Officer

North Pennines AONB

Stanhope (full time, temporary until 30/9/2020)

Assistant Arboricultural Consultant

Lockhart Garratt

Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire (full time)

Assistant Stalker - Cairngorms Connect


Abernethy, Grantown-on-Spey and Inverness-shire (full time contract to 31/12/2023)

Woodland Mentors

Coed Lleol (Small Woods Wales)

various locations in Wales (one role is maternity cover)

Habitat Management Advisor - OCND

Kent County Council

Allington Lock, Maidstone (22.2 hpw contract fixed to 31/5/2021)

Arboricultural Consultant

Lockhart Garratt

Corby, Northamptonshire (full time)

Ecologist / Senior Ecologist




Network Rail


Tree Nursery Manager


Abernethy & Inverness-shire (22.5 hpw contract to 31/12/2023)

Project Manager - Hainault Forest

Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure

Wash Lodge, Valentines Park & Hainault (full time until Jan 2022)

Project Development Officer (Community)

Nene Park Trust


Housekeeper / Estate Maintenance Couple


Inverness-shire (part time)

Environmental Warden

Duckworth Worcestershire Trust

Worcester (full time)

Forest School Development Officer

Medway Valley Countryside Partnership

Maidstone, Kent (Fixed term, 37 hpw)

Woodland Creation Officer

Ribble Rivers Trust

Clitheroe (2 year, full time contract)

Countryside Officer

CORMAC Solutions Ltd

Bosmin, Cornwall (37hpw fixed term contract to 31/3/2020)

Education Families and Youth Officer


Cardiff (permanent, full time)

Volunteer Coordinator

Wildlife Trust for Birmingham & the Black Country

Birmingham (3 dpw)

East Wight Wetlands Officer

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

Bouldnor Forest, Isle of Wight (35 hpw, permanent contract)

Lecturer/Instructor Keeper - Gamekeeping

Askham Bryan College

Newton Rigg Campus (full time)

Head of Estate

Lost Gardens of Heligan

St. Austell, Cornwall

Water Environment and Agriculture Officer

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust

Hindlip, Worcester (full time contract to 31/3/2021)

Project Officer - Reserves Strategic Development Programme


Flexible location in Bedfordshire (full time, 12 mth contract)

Beat Forester - Delamere

Forestry England

Northwich (44 hpw)

Nature Recovery Campaign Programme Manager


Sandy, Bedfordshire (full time, 18 mth fixed term contract)

Volunteering Support Assistant

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Yorkshire (21 hpw)


Volunteer Conservation Trainee

Durham Wildlife Trust

Bishop Auckland ( 4dpw)

Conservation Placements

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

various locations in Yorkshire (4dpw 12 month placement)



Surrey Wildlife Trust

Nower Wood, nr Leatherhead



69 adverts for voluntary posts added this month

The Wildlife For All Trust is offering its last round of Wildlife Conservation Work – based in UK & South Africa [more]


Surveys and Fieldwork

Quite a few surveys added in May; as the weather warms up lost of organisations are on the look out for invertebrates, plenty to choose from both locally and nationally. These include the National Moth Recording Scheme & the Tick Recording Scheme.

The Big Forest Find in celebration of Forestry Commissions 100 year anniversary, is England's largest survey of forest wildlife

The National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) is a collaberative project and gathers data on the UK’s wild plants and habitats


Features and In Depth Articles

Coming of Age During the Climate Crisis by Isla Sandford Hall

Clean Air Day 2019: Our opportunity to address air pollution on 20 June

The power of the outdoors with Youth Adventure Trust


Birthdays congratulations: TCV: 60 years connecting people and places


CJS Focus

CJS Focus on Recreation in association with the Outdoor Recreation Network was published on Monday 20 May and is included in full, read it here or download a PDF version.

  • In the lead article from the Outdoor Recreation Network we learn about good practice when inviting people and dogs to outdoor sites
  • British Nordic Walking CIC is celebrating 10 years of Nordic Walking at Rosliston Forestry Centre. Find out more about the activity and how it’s been incorporated in to the site’s recreational offer.
  • We get a feel for the Lee Valley Park, how it’s managed, the recreational facilities the whole park offers and the challenges of running such a big operation.
  • Scottish Natural Heritage report that outdoor visits are at a record high. We hear about the great news from Scotland and some of the data behind it. 
  • University of Exeter LEEP Institute have developed ORVal the Outdoor Recreation Valuation Tool. Find out about its development and how it could benefit you in the management of a site.
  • Jack Davidson is the National Trail Officer for Peddars Way & the Norfolk Coast Path, in this article he discusses how good data gathering & interpretation can help to grow visitor numbers, whilst minimising the impact of recreation.
  • The Mersey Forest tells us about the growing value of England’s urban woodlands and how they contribute to active lifestyles.
  • Rob Sayers from Active Outdoors submits an opinion piece on how to reverse engineer the building blocks to a resilient and healthy outdoor recreation industry.

This edition runs to 21 pages and in addition to the articles carries adverts for organisations, resources and products & services.


CJS Information and other articles

CJS 25th birthday wishes from Bat Conservation Trust [more] and greenspace Scotland [more]

Birthday Gift Giveaway which is Family Membership to Bat Conservation Trust [more]

Fourth article from our Featured Charity: Canal and River Trust. The inside view on our environment team.




Big news stories this month:  The publication of the first progress report of Defra's landmark 25 Year Environment Plan during Year of Green Action.

The welcome news that Environment Secretary Michael Gove has created 41 new Marine Conservation Zones, marking the most significant expansion of England’s ‘Blue Belt’ of protected areas to date.  


Government Announcements, Policy and consultations

  • SOS for sea-life - UK Marine Strategy shows spectacular failure to protect our seas - Wildlife and Countryside Link
  • Gove takes action to ban plastic straws, stirrers, and cotton buds - defra


Land and Countryside Management

  • Invasive species the biggest pressure on nature sites - Scottish Natural Heritage
  • Bradford Council seeks PSPO to ban BBQs and fires on moorland – Bradford Council
  • Fields in Trust Launch Green Space Index - greenspace Scotland
  • Ash dieback is predicted to cost £15 billion in Britain - Woodland Trust  


Funding and awards

  • Government delivers new £10m fund to plant over 130,000 urban trees - defra
  • National Trust awarded Independent Research Organisation status enabling it to explore new conservation techniques and enrich visitor experiences - National Trust


Pollution, sustainablity and climate

  • Local charities could receive £1 billion in deposits from cans and bottles - Campaign to Protect Rural England
  • Scotland announces all-in DRS as MCS urges Gove and Welsh Government to follow suit - Marine Conservation Society


Environmental Education, Recreation and volunteering

  • New initiative launched to connect 20,000 young people with nature in our National Parks - National Parks
  • Help endangered stag beetles this summer - People’s Trust for Endangered Species


Scientific Research, Results and Publications

  • Study predicts shift to smaller animals over next century - University of Southampton
  • Antibiotics found in some of the world’s rivers exceed ‘safe’ levels, global study finds – University of York
  • Pollinators in Peril - Climate Change Threat to UK Bees - Buglife and WWF
  • Some songbird nests are especially vulnerable to magpie predation - new study suggests - Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust


Animal and wildlife news

  • NWCU launch ‘Undisturbed’ – a social media initiative to raise awareness for wildlife photographers and drone users of their responsibilities to wildlife - UK National Wildlife Crime Unit
  • Are we driving hedgehogs to extinction? – The Mammal Society
  • 2018’s extreme weather led to a tough year for the UK’s bumblebees – Bumblebee Conservation Trust
  • Major EU funded project helps protect UK seabird islands - National Trust (with RSPB)



Calendar of events and short courses occuring in August - 16 pages

Plus additions to long courses and providers made over the past month.


Grants and sources of funding

Details of 4 new and updated listings.

CJS Newsletters and updates:

CJS Weekly: subscription only weekly newsletter. Receive details of all vacancies and information advertised with CJS. Find out more here. Instant access here.

Daily email with details of latest vacancies, news and general information. Sign up free here.


CJS Professional: 13 June 2019

Jobs: view all online jobs here


Logo: RSPBVisitor Experience Officer

RSPB are seeking a Visitor Experience Officer to join our small team running the wonderful Lakenheath Fen nature reserve in Suffolk.

Visitor Experience Officer
Reference number: A0690519
Location: Suffolk
Salary starting at: £17,276 to £18,716 per annum, pro rata
Hours: Part time, 22.5 hours per week
Contract: Permanent

The successful applicant will be maintaining and enhancing the visitor offer at the reserve, working from the modern visitor centre on the reserve. Work will include the following:- Developing and running an exciting events programme to maximise income. Driving footfall by promoting the reserve to the public including on social media. Managing the overall visitor experience and keeping interpretation, signage and other facilities looking great condition. The aim is to maintain our existing high standards of visitor satisfaction and to attract new visitors to the reserve so that everyone is inspired to support the work of the RSPB.

If you are interested in working on a great nature reserve and ensuring that visitors continue to have an enjoyable time at Lakenheath Fen then we would like to hear from you.

This role is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. You will be asked to declare unspent convictions and cautions at offer of employment stage.

Closing date: 26 June 2019
Interview date: 8 July 2019

Our job information pack and accompanying role profile tell you all about the key result areas and the skills and experience needed for the role. Please make sure you include reference number A0690519 on your application.

If you would like to apply and find out more about this position, please click here to be directed to our website. 

Logo: Cowdray EstatePlanning Forester – Cowdray Estate Woods Department

Reporting to Head Forester 

Job Purpose

To assist in the delivery of the Cowdray Woods Vision – To manage the Estate woodlands productively while enhancing benefits for wildlife and society.

Key Responsibilities

To assist the Head Forester in developing a long term management plan for the Estate woodlands Undertake survey work to ensure sub compartment records are correct and up to date. Prepare and submit Countryside Stewardship Applications to the Forestry Commission, based on the programme of operations proposed in the long term plan. Assist in the delivery of tree safety management, particularly relating to Ash Dieback. Continue to develop and update the Estate GIS system Supporting the Head Forester and Assistant Head Forester in day to day forest management activities when required.

Key Knowledge, Skills and Experience


A very good understanding of Forestry and Woodland management principles. Experience in writing Forest Management Plans Recent experience in applying for and managing Countryside Stewardship Schemes. A good knowledge and understanding of GIS systems. A Full UK driving licence


Qualified to Degree level or equivalent in Forestry or Woodland Management Experience of tree safety management including relevant inspection qualification


Enhanced Pension The Cowdray Estate offers a comprehensive wellbeing programme Discount card for our award winning Farm Shop and Café ●  Death in Service benefit Calendar of social events to be enjoyed throughout the year

This is a full-time position, offered as a two year fixed term contract. 

If you have any questions about the role or wish to apply, please contact Harriet.connolly@Cowdray.co.uk

Logo: South Downs National Park AuthorityPosition: Lead Ranger

Location: Weald and Downland Living Museum, Singleton

Closing Date: 23 June 2019

Interview Date: 11 July 2019

Salary:  £29,139 to £36,526

Hours:  37 hours per week

Type of post: Permanent

From rolling hills to bustling market towns, the South Downs National Park’s landscapes cover 1600km2 of breath-taking views, hidden gems and quintessentially English scenery.  A rich tapestry of wildlife, landscapes, tranquillity and visitor attractions, weave together a story of people and place.  Add to this the 2 million people living in, or within 5kms of the national park boundary, then you can begin to appreciate the challenges the SDNPA faces in protecting this unique and vulnerable area of the UK.

As a champion of the South Downs the post holder will need to be able to interpret and promote the special qualities of the landscape of the park and work effectively and pragmatically with their three Lead Ranger colleagues to deliver key outcomes across not just their own area but the whole park.

This post is based at the Weald and Downland Living Museum in Singleton and covers the central area of the park.  Actively engaging with stakeholders and partners the post holder will lead the work in their area to improve the shared delivery of outcomes identified in our Partnership Management Plan and Corporate Plan, which support our purposes and duty with particular focus on conservation, access and socio-economic work.

To achieve these goals you must be an effective leader with the ability to manage and develop the area team and ensure they deliver a key range of services covering minor projects and major initiatives across this protected landscape.  The role will require tact and diplomacy, particularly in working in partnership with other providers and landowners, together with strong management skills to manage and support the small and committed area team in delivering a very wide range of practical, specialist and customer focussed outcomes.

If you are interested in developing ideas and find solutions to issues through lateral and innovative thinking; are keen to work collaboratively with colleagues and partners; want to protect and enhance the South Downs for future generations; and are ready for a challenge, then we would like to hear from you.

To apply:  Please visit our website

To complete the application and monitoring form e-mailing them to recruitment@southdowns.gov.uk.  All applications must be submitted on the SDNPA application form (CV’s will not be considered) & must reach us by 11.30pm 23 June 2019 

Logo: RSPBSenior Site Manager

Reference number: A5060119

Location: Suffolk

Salary starting at: £34,643 - £40,417 per annum

Hours: Full time

Contract: Permanent

We are looking for an inspiring and motivating individual with a track record in conservation management and visitor engagement to lead our North Suffolk Coast Reserves team.

You'll be managing our suite of sites between Aldeburgh and Walberswick within the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, including the iconic Minsmere reserve, a site bursting with biodiversity that supports the greatest range of species of any RSPB reserve. Your leadership skills will make a real difference for priority species and habitats within one of the flagship RSPB Priority Landscapes, whilst ensuring we continue to connect large numbers of adults and children with nature and engender more support to save wildlife.

This role is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. You will be asked to declare unspent convictions and cautions at offer of employment stage.

Closing date: 18 June 2019

If you would like to apply and find out more about this position, please click here to be directed to our website.

Logo: Paths for AllDevelopment Officer - Active Environments

Salary £25,959 (Full time)

The office base is in Stirling and project delivery takes place across Scotland.

We're looking for an experienced Development Officer to join our friendly, expert Active Environments team.

You'll be joining a team that focuses on empowering communities in Scotland to take the lead in creating, promoting and maintaining safe, welcoming community paths and active routes for everyone.

Our team provides support to community organisations, community groups and access professionals improving local paths throughout Scotland.

You will have work experience in community development, youth work or outdoor access to take on this role, as well as excellent partnership building skills, experience of managing, monitoring and evaluating projects, and a creative approach to developing project resources.

For more information and to apply, download the resources below. If you experience any problems downloading the resources, or have any questions about this role, get in touch at recruitment@pathsforall.org.uk or call us on 01259 218888.

The closing date for applications is 21 June 2019 at 5pm. Interviews will be held on 8 July 2019.

For further details and application material please visit www.pathsforall.org.uk/jobs  

Logo: Forestry EnglandHead of Recreation and Public Affairs

Based in Lyndhurst

Forestry England is the largest land manager and custodian of the nation’s public forests. We have around 1,000 committed staff looking after more land and more trees than any other organisation. It’s a job that never stops growing.

We are looking for a talented and experienced Head of Recreation and Public Affairs to join our South Forest District, which manages 46,000 hectares of forest across West Sussex, Surrey, Berkshire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Dorset and South Wiltshire. We have over 20 million visitors to our forests each year, providing a range of different recreational facilities and activities that help support people’s health and wellbeing and the local economy.

As Head of Recreation and Public Affairs, you will use market insight and performance data to develop and strengthen our recreation business with the aim of connecting everyone with our forests. You’ll be a strategic thinker with excellent communication and negotiation skills to work with a range of commercial partners, local authorities and National Park Authorities to help grow our recreation offer. You’ll also provide inspirational leadership to our 45 recreation staff and be an active member of our senior management team.  

This is an exciting time to join the South Forest District as we look to secure and grow our economic, social and natural capital of our forests. You’ll help us to increase awareness of our work so that everyone who visits us understands who we are and what we do.
In return, we offer an attractive salary and benefits package including a generous pension scheme and flexible working. We also provide excellent personal and career development opportunities.

For further details about this exciting role visit: www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk or for an informal chat, please contact Sonia Lorenzo Martin, Head of Planning and Environment, 0300 067 4656, sonia.lorenzo-martin@forestryengland.uk

Closing date: Sunday 16 June 2019

Logo: Five Rivers Environmental Contracting LtdEnvironmental Site Technician, Plant Operative & Senior Plant Operative

Head office: Salisbury, Wiltshire – Working Nationwide

Five Rivers are expanding! To help deliver our busy programme of works, the following full time, permanent positions have become available: Environmental Site Technician Plant Operative Senior Plant Operative

We are a team of ecological specialists and contractors.  We work together on design, construct, restore and to monitor environmental enhancement projects across the country. We pride ourselves on making a difference, being the best we can be and going that extra mile in everything we do. Examples of the wide range of projects we deliver and the amazing places we have worked are available on our website.

What it is like to work here:

It is a fun and vibrant place to work, we invest heavily in staff development & training because you are incredibly important to us. Considerable career opportunities for progression are available as we continually grow and expand. We have numerous company schemes that make it great to work here, including: employee of the month & photograph of the month awards and a sponsored Annual Health & Wellbeing challenge, all contributing to a positive and rewarding place to work.

Requirements: CSCS card before you start (although we can help you to gain this) A passion for the environment & working outdoors in all weather Diligent & hard working with an eye for detail Physically fit and a confident swimmer Good clear communicator who loves being part of a team Good positive attitude Happy to stay away Monday to Friday Clean driving licence CPCS card for Plant & Senior Plant Operatives (Excavator tickets above and below 10t)


A competitive salary depending on experience, which will be reviewed on an annual basis

Environmental Site Technician £17,000 - £20,000

Plant Operative £20,000 - £24,000

Senior Plant Operative £24,000 – £29,000

You will start with 20 days holiday a year, plus public bank holidays, with an additional day of leave accrued per year of service up to five years. Due to the wide array of projects we deliver, you will be working all over the country from Monday to Friday, for which you will receive a staying away allowance and accommodation will be provided.

For more information on the role and how to apply please email jobs@five-rivers.com. The closing date for applications is 30th June 2019.

We welcome applications before the closing date. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.  

Logo: RSPBStalker - Cairngorms Connect
Reference number: A0610519
Location: Inverness-shire
Salary starting at: £22,073 to £23,912 per annum
Hours: Full time
Contract: Contract to 31 December 2023

Set in a vast landscape of ice-hewn mountains, spectacular pinewoods, tranquil lochs, and wild, rushing rivers, Cairngorms Connect is the largest habitat restoration partnership in Britain. Cairngorms Connect has bold plans to make this inspiring place better for wildlife, and better for those who take joy from the wildlife and beauty of this extraordinary place. The project will expand the Caledonian pine forest to its natural limit, reinstate drained wetlands, naturalise rivers and restore huge tracts of peatland, to create an amazing place for nature - a home to eagles, wildcats, pine martens, ospreys, black grouse, ptarmigan, otters and curlews.

We are looking for new team members who will contribute to the delivery of the restoration project, to extend deer management into higher and more remote parts of the project area and to help expand native woodland and montane scrub communities - ensuring we achieve our ambitious habitat restoration objectives. If you have the skills, experience and competencies to deliver this kind of work, we would love to hear from you.

This is a Partnership project involving Wildland Limited, Scottish Natural Heritage, RSPB Scotland & Forestry and Land Scotland, with funding from The Endangered Landscape Programme and other partners.

If you would like to apply and find out more about this position, please click here to be directed to our website.

Closing date: 17 June 2019

This role is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. You will be asked to declare unspent convictions and cautions at offer of employment stage.

Logo: Scottish Invasive Species InitiativeScottish Invasive Species Initiative - Seasonal Project Officer (x2)

A salary of up to £22,000 (pro rata) will be payable dependant on experience. 

Moray and Angus / Perthshire

The Scottish Invasive Species Initiative wishes to recruit two seasonal project officers to assist in the management of volunteers and the delivery of biosecurity and invasive non-native species control and monitoring in summer 2019.

These roles are predominately outdoor based and require working across a regional area. The post with the Esk DSFB in Brechin will undertake work principally in the North and South Esk and River Tay catchments, across Angus and Perthshire.  The Findhorn, Nairn and Lossie Fisheries Logo: Heritage Lottery FundedTrust  position in Findhorn will cover these three river catchments in Moray, with additional opportunities to work on the Rivers Conon and Spey.

Applications, in the form of CV and covering letter (no more than 3 pages), must be received by 12.00 noon on Monday 24 June and sent to sisi@nature.scot.

Full details on these posts available from here

Logo: North Pennines AONB PartnershipPeatland Project Support Officer

An opportunity has arisen for a Peatland Project Support Officer to work on the North Pennines AONB Partnership’s Peatland Programme team. The post holder will need to be able to negotiate with landowners, keepers and agents access for restoration work, to survey and develop specifications for peatland restoration contracts and to supervise and manage peatland restoration contractors.

Applicants should be educated to degree level in a nature conservation or a related field or equivalent together with experience of working with landowners, farmers and/or gamekeepers.

The post is temporary until 30/09/2020 with the possibility of extension depending on further funding.

Grade 9 £27,905 to £31,371 (37 hours p/w).

For further information regarding the post, please contact Paul Leadbitter on 01388 528801 or via email at paul.leadbitter@durham.gov.uk

Applications must be completed here by July 1, 2019.

Interviews will be on Monday 8th July 2019 at the North Pennines AONB office in Stanhope. 

Logo: Lockhart Garratt LtdAssistant Arboricultural Consultant

Full Time, Competitive Package

Based at Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire

As part of Lockhart Garratt’s continued growth, we require an Assistant Arboricultural Consultant to work alongside and under the supervision of our existing Arboricultural Team in all matters relating to trees and their interaction with the built and natural environment.

Occasional travel between our two offices (Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire) would be required.

Candidates are required to possess an HND/BSc/FdSc in Arboriculture or closely related subject, with a minimum of one year’s experience in consultancy practice.

Working towards full professional membership of the Institute of Chartered Foresters or Arboricultural Association would be an advantage.

We offer an excellent remuneration and benefits package and exceptional career development opportunities for the right person wishing to fulfil their best professional potential.

If you think you are that person, please let us know by completing our online application form here

Closing date for applications: 12th July 2019

Lockhart Garratt Ltd is a leading independent consultancy that specialises in providing effective solutions across a broad range of tree, woodland and environmental related issues.  Our vision is to: “See land used in a sustainable way making responsible use of available natural resources”

We pride ourselves on developing the skills and careers of our entire staff within a friendly and supportive setting.

Logo: RSPBAssistant Stalker - Cairngorms Connect
Reference number: A0600519
Location: Abernethy, Grantown-on-Spey and Inverness-shire
Salary starting at: £19,602 to £21,236 per annum
Hours: Full time
Contract: Contract to 31 December 2023

Set in a vast landscape of ice-hewn mountains, spectacular pinewoods, tranquil lochs, and wild, rushing rivers, Cairngorms Connect is the largest habitat restoration partnership in Britain. Cairngorms Connect has bold plans to make this inspiring place better for wildlife, and better for those who take joy from the wildlife and beauty of this extraordinary place. The project will expand the Caledonian pine forest to its natural limit, reinstate drained wetlands, naturalise rivers and restore huge tracts of peatland, to create an amazing place for nature - a home to eagles, wildcats, pine martens, ospreys, black grouse, ptarmigan, otters and curlews.

We are looking for new team members who will contribute to the delivery of the restoration project, to extend deer management into higher and more remote parts of the project area and to help expand native woodland and montane scrub communities - ensuring we achieve our ambitious habitat restoration objectives. If you have the skills, experience and competencies to deliver this kind of work, we would love to hear from you.

This is a Partnership project involving Wildland Limited, Scottish Natural Heritage, RSPB Scotland & Forestry and Land Scotland, with funding from The Endangered Landscape Programme and other partners.

Closing date: 17 June 2019

If you would like to apply and find out more about this position, please click here to be directed to our website.

 Coed Lleol (Small Woods Wales) are recruiting for Woodland Mentors (various locations)

Actif Woods Wales Mentor Rhondda Cynon Taf (maternity cover) AND/OR Merthyr - AND - Actif Woods Wales Mentor Neath Port Talbot and Carmarthenshire

An exciting opportunity to improve people’s health and well-being by coordinating the ‘Actif Woods Wales’ programme of woodland activities in the local project area.

Job Purpose: To coordinate the ‘Actif Woods Wales’ programme of woodland health activities in the local project area To disseminate expertise and knowledge among Actif Woods Leaders and stakeholders through coordinating project seminars, training events and conferences, locally To raise the profile of Actif Woods Wales through project publicity, promotion and outreach including website/social media publicity for the local area.   

Enquiries or further information to Ceri Williams, Coed Lleol (Small Woods Wales): ceriwilliams@smallwoods.org.uk l 01654 700061 ext.22

A version of this advert is available in Welsh here

Deadlines: For all roles: 9am 25th June 2019, Interviews 4th or 5th July 2019


Logo: Kent County CouncilHabitat Management Advisor - OCND

Starting salary £28,925 pro rata,

Fixed term until 31st May 2021

Part-time 22.2 hours per -week
Location: Allington Lock, Maidstone

Ref: 19001945
Kent County Council is offering the opportunity to be part of an exciting Heritage Lottery funded partnership project. This ambitious initiative not only looks to restore, expand and link up fragmented chalk downland habitats across 10,000ha of North Kent, it also aims to reconnect the local community with this iconic landscape and you could play an important part in delivering this.
We are looking for a motivated person with excellent interpersonal skills to deliver the habitat connectivity elements of the project. You will use your experience in providing habitat management advice to work with a wide variety of landowners so that the project continues taking positive steps for biodiversity in the Kent Downs. Using your knowledge of downland habitats, you will be responsible for identifying new areas for restoration or expansion; ensuring that work supported or funded by us is carried out to a high standard, monitored and have assured legacy. With the help of volunteers and your knowledge of survey techniques, you will continue building and expanding our site condition assessment programme.
Working with us has great advantages including flexible working, access to Local Authority Pension Scheme and support with professional development. A retention package is offered at completion of the contract and relocation assistance is available (both subject to terms and conditions). 
This post is considered by KCC to be a customer-facing position. The Council therefore has a statutory duty under Part 7 of the Immigration Act (2016) to ensure that post holders have a command of spoken English sufficient for the effective performance of the job requirements. The appropriate standards are set out in the Job Description/Person Specification. 
To view and download the job description and person specification for this role please see the vacancy on our website
Please visit www.oldchalknewdowns.org.uk to find out more about us.  

For an informal discussion and further information, please contact William Moreno on 03000 410348 or via email to William.moreno@kent.gov.uk.

To apply online, please click here to complete an online application form.

Closing date: Midnight, 1st July 2019. 

Interview date 9th July 2019. 

Logo: Lockhart Garratt LtdArboricultural Consultant

Full Time, Competitive Package

Based at Corby, Northamptonshire

As part of Lockhart Garratt’s continued growth, we require an Arboricultural Consultant to work alongside and under the supervision of our existing Arboricultural Team in all matters relating to trees and their interaction with the built and natural environment.

Occasional travel between our two offices (Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire) would be required.

Candidates are required to possess an HND/BSc/FdSc in Arboriculture or closely related subject, with a minimum of four years’ experience in consultancy practice.

Professional membership of the Institute of Chartered Foresters or Arboricultural Association would be an advantage.

We offer an excellent remuneration and benefits package and exceptional career development opportunities for the right person wishing to fulfil their full professional potential.

If you think you are that person, please let us know by completing our online application form here

Closing date for applications: 12th July 2019 

Lockhart Garratt Ltd is a leading independent consultancy that specialises in providing effective solutions across a broad range of tree, woodland and environmental related issues.  Our vision is to: “See land used in a sustainable way making responsible use of available natural resources”

We pride ourselves on developing the skills and careers of its entire staff within a friendly and supportive setting. 

Logo: ECOSAEcologist / Senior Ecologist

ECOSA are seeking an Ecologist and a Senior Ecologist to join our consultancy team at our head office in Hampshire.

You will use your expertise to deliver survey and mitigation solutions that ensure our clients’ development and conservation goals are successful in respect of ecology. You will be customer focussed and comfortable managing a range of projects and budgets.

You will have a minimum of two years (Ecologist) or five years (Senior Ecologist) relevant experience gained in ecological consultancy, local authority or a planning environment.

As well as undertaking field surveys, you will work on Preliminary Ecological Appraisals, Ecological Impact Assessments, designing and implementing ecological mitigation, compensation and enhancement schemes, habitat management and monitoring plans, and preparing and submitting applications for Natural England EPS licences.

Essential Skills and Qualifications

CIEEM membership, or be eligible; Degree in a relevant subject; Hold a minimum of one Natural England protected species licence (minimum of a Level 2 bat licence for Senior Ecologist); Proven experience of undertaking a range of ecological surveys and assessments and producing high quality reports; Strong knowledge of relevant legislation, policy and guidance; Project management experience; Be a team player with exceptional communications skills; Sound MS Outlook, Word and Excel skills; A full driving licence; and Legal entitlement to work in the UK.

Desirable Skills

Hold additional protected species licences; Botanical survey skills; Have recently obtained a Natural England Development Licence; Habitats Regulations Assessment experience; and/or Tree climbing qualification.

We offer:

A mentoring system and professional support network; Generous training budget; Contributory pension; and A rural office environment and free car parking.

Please visit our website for more details and how to apply. Positions open until filled.

Logo: Network RailEcologist

£32,256 and increasing to £36,288

Based in Preston


Do you want to work for a company that prides itself on the flexibility, safety and health & wellbeing of its employees?

Does providing ecological expertise to the Works Delivery Team, motivate you? If so, then the below could be for you…

We are looking for an experienced Ecologist to join our expanding Works Delivery team based within LNW - London North Western Route.  You will support the wider team by undertaking a range of Ecological field surveys, including protected species surveys, and extended Phase 1 Habitat Surveys.

You will collate, write up and review survey results and mapping target notes, analysing them to identify appropriate recommendations. You will also own the implementation and embedding of recommendations to deliver continuous improvement.

We are looking for an individual who has a good understanding of UK and European wildlife legislation and has a relevant higher education degree to match. You must be able to identify baseline Ecological constraints during site visits and have experience of standard survey protocols and methodologies.

We want talented people from all backgrounds to join our journey and move us forward by having a rewarding career, the right lifestyle balance and great benefits in a caring environment.  We value the commitments you may have outside of work and will consider flexible working applications.

LNW’s vision for the five years is “One team safely delivering excellent services to customers and taxpayers.” We will achieve this vision by embedding a safe, caring workforce culture that welcomes everyone and embraces new ideas and fresh thinking. By becoming a more open, diverse and inclusive organisation we can deliver a safe, accessible railway for everyone. We’re working hard to ensure our workforce better represents our customers and society as a whole.

Closing Date: 3rd July 2019

To apply, please click here 

Logo: RSPBTree Nursery Manager
Reference number: A0620519
Location: Abernethy & Inverness-shire
Salary starting at: £19,602 to £21,236 per annum pro rata
Hours: Part time, 22.5 hours per week
Contract: Contract to 31 December 2023

Set in a vast landscape of ice-hewn mountains, spectacular pinewoods, tranquil lochs, and wild, rushing rivers, Cairngorms Connect is the largest habitat restoration partnership in Britain. Cairngorms Connect has bold plans to make this inspiring place better for wildlife, and better for those who take joy from the wildlife and beauty of this extraordinary place. The project will expand the Caledonian pine forest to its natural limit, reinstate drained wetlands, naturalise rivers and restore huge tracts of peatland, to create an amazing place for nature - a home to eagles, wildcats, pine martens, ospreys, black grouse, ptarmigan, otters and curlews.

We are looking for new team members who will contribute to the delivery of the restoration project, to extend deer management into higher and more remote parts of the project area and to help expand native woodland and montane scrub communities - ensuring we achieve our ambitious habitat restoration objectives. If you have the skills, experience and competencies to deliver this kind of work, we would love to hear from you.

The Tree Nursery Manager will work closely with the CC Delivery Manager, Abernethy Warden team and volunteers to develop the existing tree nursery at Forest Lodge. Organising and undertaking the propagation of native tree species from seed and cuttings, producing stock to be used in the expansion of native woodland within the project area. An important element of the work includes the propagation of birch and willow montane scrub, so the ability to access remote locations and high altitudes is necessary. Good volunteer management, recruitment and support will be essential.

This is a Partnership project involving Wildland Limited, Scottish Natural Heritage, RSPB Scotland & Forestry and Land Scotland, with funding from The Endangered Landscape Programme and other partners.

Closing date: 17 June 2019

If you would like to apply and find out more about this position, please click here to be directed to our website.

Logo: Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure (Vision)Project Manager - Hainault Forest

Salary: £33,981 - £35,355

Type: Full-Time until January 2022 (Fixed Term Contract)

Location: Wash Lodge, Valentines Park & Hainault Forest Country Park, London Borough of Redbridge

Closing Date: 30th June 2019

Interview Date: 11th July 2019

Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure (Vision) is a registered charity that manages a wide range of facilities and services on behalf of the London Borough of Redbridge including: Leisure Facilities, Sport & Health, Libraries, Redbridge Museum, Parks and Open Spaces, Arts, Events and Halls Lettings. We need a Project Manager to lead the restoration and redevelopment of Hainault Forest.

We were delighted by our success in gaining a £4.5m National Lottery Heritage Fund grant in May this year to assist with this major project.  The successful candidate will have significant experience of Project Management and a strong understanding of ecology and conservation management.  

This is a terrific opportunity to play a major role in a project that will make a real difference to the local community and restore and protect the history of Hainault Forest.  You will be expected to develop, implement and review project plans for each phase of the project including defining, specifying, developing and monitoring the project task, work streams and resource requirements. You will manage the implementation of the project in accordance with the agreed scope of works and in line with the approved grant conditions set out by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The role requires a proactive individual with excellent communication skills, who is able to develop and maintain good working relationships with funding providers, Council, community and all key stakeholders.  

For further information regarding the role please email Ruth Pinner at rpinner@vision-rcl.org.uk  

Project Development Officer (Community)

(£29,454 - £32,411 per annum, dependent upon experience)

This is a key role within Nene Park Trust’s Development Team. Following the creation of the Nene Park Master Plan, there has been a renewed focus on delivering the Trust’s charitable objectives within the wider Peterborough community. The reach of the Trust is great with a huge number of visitors, a growing number of volunteers and increasing involvement with the city’s greenspaces.  We aspire to increase engagement with our local communities through a variety of projects and the post holder will lead and champion this work.

Key objectives for this role include:

Overseeing the Trust’s established volunteer programme and development of it; Leading on the development and delivery of a series of outreach projects and events; Building partnerships with local communities, organisations and wider stakeholders; Developing projects identified in the Trust Masterplan and associated funding bids; Representing the Trust to, and building relationships with, the diverse communities who make up the Trust beneficiaries including different cultural groups, nationalities and ages.

We are looking for an individual to bring innovation and initiative to this role that, with the appropriate support, can develop and grow the great work already undertaken, ensuring genuine involvement of local people in the future of the Trust.

You will have experience of working with communities and engaging with varied audiences at a variety of levels. With an appetite for ideas and a willingness to try, you will be solution-led and excited to take on the challenge this varied role presents.

For an informal discussion please contact Andrew MacDermott, Head of Development, on 01733 367573.  For further information and to download an application pack please see our website

Closing date for applications:  5pm on Thursday 27th June

Logo: Ardverikie Estate LtdHousekeeper / Estate Maintenance Couple Required

A prominent Highland estate in Inverness-shire is now recruiting for a couple to fulfil the roles of Part Time Housekeeper and Estate Maintenance Worker.

The Housekeeper will be responsible for the cleaning and care of the main house on the estate, which is occupied by members of the family but also hosts occasional events such as weddings and house tours.  There is also a requirement to assist with laundry duties for the estate holiday cottages.

The Maintenance Worker will carry out a wide range of duties associated with a diverse highland estate.  They will receive training in the operation and maintenance of the Hydro Electricity Scheme operating on the estate.  They should, as a minimum, have the skills to use agricultural and estate machinery safely and effectively, as well as have knowledge in machinery maintenance and broad DIY skills that can be utilised for maintenance of the estate’s property portfolio. 

Accommodation in the form of a two bedroomed private flat within the main house is provided.    Anticipated start date August 1st 2019.

A full job description can be obtained using the contact details below, and applications with a covering letter and detailed CVs should be sent to:

Phil Lloyd – Estate Manager

Email: plloyd@ardverikie.com

Closing Date for applications 20th June 2019 

Duckworth Worcestershire Trust

Environmental Warden

£17,500 per annum, 37.5 hours per week, based in Worcester

The Trust is seeking to employ an Environmental Warden who will work as part of its warden team to further its campaign to make Worcestershire a cleaner, tidier, more pleasant place for everyone. Tasks vary daily, ranging from litter picking, to control of vegetation and other practical projects, as well as occasional office duties and work with volunteers, communities and schools.

The successful applicant will be a resourceful and adaptable team player, capable of working on his/her own initiative when necessary and able to take instructions. The post holder must be friendly and helpful when dealing with the public, having due regard for Health & Safety issues at all times. He/she will be hard working and dependable, with a keen interest in the natural environment. He/she will also be capable of effectively using a variety of tools and willing and able to undertake physically demanding work outside in all weather conditions throughout the year, as well as carrying out occasional office duties.  A degree of tact and diplomacy may be required when dealing with landowners and the public.   

Essential knowledge, skills and experience

Practical environmental work and related topics Interest in environmental and countryside issues Outdoor work Practical projects A general ability in the use of tools A full, clean driving licence Good ICT skills, e.g. use of email, word processing  

Desirable knowledge, skills and experience

Formal or vocational qualifications Health and Safety Issues Practical conservation Supervision of volunteers Work with school children Biological surveys A recognised (preferably HSE First Aid at Work) first aid certificate Brush cutter / Chain saw certification

For details of how to apply visit: www.dwt.org.uk/jobs 

 Forest School Development Officer

Starting salary £25,238 per annum

Fixed Term

Full Time, 37 hours per week

Closing date: Wed 26th June 2019

Interview date: Thu 4th July 2019

Location: Medway Valley Countryside Partnership (MVCP) Office - Maidstone, Kent.

We are a non-profit conservation organisation based in Maidstone' Kent and deliver and lead on a wide variety of conservation and local engagement projects across the area.   For more information see our website

We have an exciting opportunity for a Level 3 trained Forest School practitioner to join the team as our new Forest School Development Officer.  The successful candidate will become our Forest School Development Officer and develop and deliver a self-sustaining and long-lasting Forest School programme at Yalding Fen and Senacre Wood. In addition they will create new opportunities for learning and participation in Kentish landscapes, working with local schools and groups to increase understanding of the importance of woodlands and all other priority habitats.  In addition, the successful candidate will assist other MVCP staff on a variety of conservation and engagement projects. As such, we are looking for a Forest School practitioner with other wider conservation and relevant project delivery experience. 

For more information and to apply visit the Kent County Council Careers Page here 

To discuss this role please contact either the MVCP Manager, Mark Pritchard on 03000 414822 or Senior Officer, Andrea Griffiths on 03000 414795

Logo: Ribble Rivers TrustJob Title:          Woodland Creation Officer

Purpose:          To develop and manage Woodland Creation projects associated with Ribble Rivers Trust projects Ribble Life Together, Pendle WINNS and Natural Course.

Reports to:       Programme Manager

Location:          Clitheroe

Hours:              37.5 hours per week

Salary:              £23,500 - £26,000 dependant on experience

Contract:           2 years (with possibility of extension, subject to funding) 

Ribble Rivers Trust (RRT) is a local charity set up to conserve the Ribble Catchment, particularly its rivers and streams.  The Trust works at catchment and project scales and is delivering a range of activities to improve the condition, management, and awareness of the Ribble Catchment.   The Trust, through a number of projects, has secured funding for a programme of woodland creation to improve the rivers of the catchment, seeking to restore and improve ecosystem functions that will provide ecological and socio-economic benefits.

As such, the Trust is looking to recruit a competent, dynamic, and enthusiastic person with a passion for woodlands and rivers.  This person should have experience in woodland creation development and delivery, that would include approaching landowners, partners and supervising contractors.  The successful candidate would join a vibrant and talented team of 20 delivering a diverse portfolio of projects improving rivers in the Ribble Catchment. 

The role will work within projects supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, including Ribble Life Together and the Pendle Woodland and Invasive Non-Native Species project (Pendle WINNS), as well as Natural Course, a Life Integrated Project.  

The successful candidate will have knowledge of topics such as catchment/landscape-scale conservation, ecosystem services, river improvement processes and how woodlands deliver on these topics.  The Woodland Creation Officer will have responsibility for overseeing woodland creation projects from concept through to delivery.

For more information and to apply for this position please click here 

Please note that the closing date for this position is the 21st of June 2019 with interviews the week commencing the 1st of July. 

Logo: CORMAC Solutions Ltd Countryside Officer

Based – Bodmin, Cornwall

Fixed Term until 31/03/2020 - 37 Hours per week

Salary - £17,817 – £23,822

About the Role

The post holder will be responsible, on behalf of the Council, for the development of safety improvement schemes on the Public Rights of Way and Sites and Trails Networks within a defined geographic area. This will involve extensive liaison with a range of stakeholders including landowners, members of the public, partnerships, Parish and Town Councils, user groups and elected members.

About Us

CORMAC Solutions Ltd is one of the most highly regarded, trusted and well-known companies in the South West. CORMAC is committed to contributing to sustainable economic growth, resilience and safer communities in Cornwall. We are a wholly owned Cornwall Council company that has successfully been trading in the open market for a number of years. With a turnover of approximately £100m pa and employing some 1600 fulltime staff, we are considered to be a major employer in Cornwall. CORMAC provides highway and environmental design and maintenance services, construction of major highway schemes, surfacing and facilities management services including property maintenance, cleaning and caretaking services. CORMAC is committed to safeguarding and is an equal opportunities employer.

About You

You will be educated to HND level in a related environmental discipline or proven experience of working in an environmental, countryside management related role. You will have extensive experience in practical countryside management and stewardship of Public Rights of Way or countryside sites.  You will be experienced in developing management plans for environmental assets and putting together works instructions for safety or improvement works.  You will have excellent communication skills with the ability to liaise and work with stakeholders, user groups and volunteers who have an interest in the sites you manage.

Please send CV and covering letter to Recruitment@corservltd.co.uk 

Closing Date: 16 Jun 2019, 23:59:00

Logo: RSPBEducation Families and Youth Officer
Reference: A0010419
Location: Cardiff
Salary starting at: £19,602 to £22,869 per annum
Hours: Full time
Contract: Permanent

This role provides a unique opportunity to join RSPB Cymru's flagship public engagement project in Wales, Giving Nature a Home in Cardiff, engaging thousands of children in Cardiff with the wildlife in their school grounds.

Do you love the buzz of a busy project as much as you love nature? You'll be keen to share your enthusiasm for the natural world with children and families, whilst professionally representing the RSPB and working closely with project partners, City of Cardiff Council and Buglife.

Running free outreach sessions in primary schools and early years settings across Cardiff, you will encourage children to enjoy nature and inspire them to discover more. You'll spend most of your time out and about in schools and run our Cardiff Wildlife Detectives club, which is a club for families. You'll be part of an enthusiastic team of staff and volunteers, whom you'll be responsible for leading. Alongside school outreach work in Cardiff, you'll support wider engagement work with children across Wales.

You'll have an impressive track record of getting things done and an excellent eye for detail to ensure all work is delivered to a consistently high standard. You'll be confident and charismatic and able to lead and inspire staff and volunteers, proactive at working across multiple departments, an excellent team player and well organised. You'll have experience in planning, delivering and managing formal and informal learning experiences for children.

The ability to work in Welsh as well as English is essential for this post.

Closing: 1 July 2019
Interviews: 12 July 2019

If you would like to apply and find out more about this position, please click here to be directed to our website.

Logo: The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country Volunteer Coordinator

3 days per week (0.6FTE)

£23,087 FTE per annum, actual salary £13,852

Deadline for applications is 10am on Monday 15th July  

The work of the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country is underpinned by our long history of volunteer participation - from the genesis of our urban wildlife movement to the wide range of volunteer activity happening today. To ensure we continue to offer the best possible experience, the Trust is looking for a dedicated Volunteer Coordinator to lead and develop this area of our work, supporting people through all stages of their volunteer journey and establishing best practice throughout the organisation.  

Further details and link to application documents here

Logo: Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife TrustEast Wight Wetlands Officer

Salary Circa £24k-£25k depending on qualifications and experience; full-time 35 hours per week; permanent contract; based at Bouldnor Forest, Isle of Wight

As part of the Solent & Isle of Wight Team, this post is crucial to the successful delivery of the Trust’s Reserves and Wilder vision on the Isle of Wight. The role will initially focus on Wetland restoration and capital works delivery in the East Wight before changing to management of the Isle of Wight Reserves.

The Down to the Coast Wetland Restoration project seeks to restore wetlands in the East Wight. As we enter the last year of the project the successful candidate will be expected to finish the final phase of restoration and capital works over a number of sites. Legacy planning for future management will also be required.

Upon completion of the project the role will change into the Reserves Officer position which will involve the management of the Isle of Wight Reserves. This suite of sites is composed of 11 reserves covering a wide range of habitats. The post holder has the responsibility of taking forward varied management plans that will include implementing a programme of habitat & estate management work. It will also include the establishment of reserve infrastructure, signage, interpretation and other tasks as required. This role has the responsibility for the line management of the Isle of Wight Assistant Reserves Officer, the recruitment & supervision of volunteers and coordination of a varied programme of volunteering and public engagement activities.

This is a challenging role that requires both a high degree of practical competency, initiative & enthusiasm and associated administrative skills. The post holder will be an experienced land manager with a good understanding of varied habitats and their ecology and management. Experience of managing wetland sites and related birdlife is essential. Flexible working will be required and experience in the use of power tools and tractors will be essential. Knowledge of conservation grazing systems and livestock husbandry will be an advantage.

The post holder will be the public face of the Isle of Wight Reserves. A confident and engaging communication approach will be essential. A full driving licence is required.

Closing date:  5pm on Friday 28th June 2019.  Interviews will be held on Friday 12th July 2019

Please visit our website www.hiwwt.org.uk/jobs for an application form and further job details.

 Lecturer/Instructor Keeper - Gamekeeping

The Game and Wildlife Department at Newton Rigg College, is a long establish and widely respected game keeping focused learning provision which offers nationally un-rivalled game and deer teaching facilities. We are proud to have our own Purdy Award winning driven partridge shoot, clay ground and grouse moor. The Newton Rigg Campus forms part of the wider Askham Bryan College and the organisation also offers opportunities to link across the land-based education sector in Northern England.

For our Newton Rigg Campus we are looking to recruit a lecturer/instructor who has an experienced background in game keeping/deer stalking and is aware of the conservation agenda within the sector. The success candidate will join the existing team to help oversee and instruct our game keeping learners while they run our facilities. The role is wide ranging and would require the right candidate to assist the current staff and students with the running of our facilities including; gundog kennels, game larder, gamebird production facilities, land-based machinery, lowland shoot, deer stalking activities, firearms dealership and clay ground.  We have exceptional links with industry experts and regularly attend and host game keeping events ensuring our learners and staff are at the highest professional standard. 

This is an exciting and rewarding post working closely with other passionate and hardworking colleagues and an exceptional group of learners who continue to develop their own skills and understanding, by following the example of all the staff at the college. 

This is a full time post, with excellent pay and permanent role working 37 hours per week.

To apply please visit the below sites:

eTeach UK Ltd

Askham Bryan College

 Title: Head of Estate

Reporting To: Gardens and Estate Manager

The Lost Gardens of Heligan are looking to recruit a Head of Estate to be responsible for the day to day management of the farm, woodlands and grassland that constitute 160 acres of the 200 acres managed by the Lost Gardens of Heligan.

Role Overview:

This role will include the welfare and management of our rare breed livestock, the continued restoration and maintenance of areas of historic parkland and woodland, the conservation and enhancement of our native flora and fauna, while sustaining and improving our visitors’ appreciation and understanding of all elements of Heligan Estate. Head of Estate will be responsible for providing inspirational leadership to a team of seven.

The role will call for practical, hands-on ability as well as proven capability to help develop strategic, long and short term management plans. Head of Estate will be expected to manage budgets, support visitor events and work collaboratively with both internal and external parties. The vacancy represents a very exciting opportunity to help forge the estate’s future with a clear focus on conservation, wildlife and rare breed livestock.


In order to fulfil this role you will ideally have:

Experience in: conservation grassland management woodland management livestock management, welfare and compliance delivering ecological surveys leading, motivating and inspiring a team managing farming and woodland grant funding schemes organising events and involving the public in projects balancing conservation, access, presentation and engagement

A demonstrable dedication to protecting the environment and conserving wildlife A good level of ecological knowledge and understanding of conservation issues Project management skills and a commercial awareness A competence with machinery and equipment as well as having the relevant certificates required: use of chainsaws (CS30, 31), brushcutters, pedestrian mowers and tractors A full UK driving licence and experience of off-road driving

Qualities you will need to display:

As well as a proven track record in the relevant fields, the ideal candidate will be an excellent communicator, confident in both the written and spoken word. You will be happy to work collaboratively with colleagues and external partners. You enjoy working with animals as well as people. Working in a public-facing capacity is something you relish.

In return you will be rewarded with:

Staff benefit scheme including free family entry to Eden and Heligan during employment and discounts on local attractions and retail. Free Parking Sociable hours with no shift work Discounts on retail within the Gardens and any associated companies Discounted staff meals within our tea rooms.

Closing Date: 30th June 2019

Salary: £25K

How to apply

Please send your CV along with a personal statement (no more than 1 side of A4) explaining why you would be great in this role, to hr@heligan.com  

Logo: Worcestershire Wildlife TrustWater Environment and Agriculture Officer

Salary: £24,000 - £26,000

Closing date: Monday 24th June 2019

Location: Lower Smite Farm, Smite Hill, Hindlip, Worcester, WR3 8SZ

Do you want to help us address water pollution and create and restore healthy water and riparian habitats through engaging with land-managers in Worcestershire?

As part of our new Water Environment Grant (WEG) Enhancing Public Goods in the Forest of Feckenham we are looking for a person with the skills to identify solutions for water pollution (in particular sediment and phosphate), including sign posting to funding / cost savings, trialling a phosphate reverse auction, ensuring legal requirements are in place to deliver multifunctional wetlands and communication with key stakeholders.

With more than £300,000 secured for the Water Environment Grant you’ll be in a prime position to implement a far-reaching project that delivers for the water environment and associated habitats and agricultural land. 

Our WEG is a 2-year project and aims to deliver direct water quality habitat improvements in our Living Landscape area known as the ‘Forest of Feckenham’ and offers advice and grants to land managers committed to making things better for our countryside and wildlife. You will understand how soil and water interact, provide recommendations to enhance land management, project manage habitat enhancements and ensure the Trust meets strict requirements in terms of delivery.

This is a varied and skilled role and you’ll have relevant qualifications and experience in water and agriculture management, excellent communication skills, an enthusiasm for wildlife, and a capacity to work to challenging deadlines. The post requires a full driving licence, is full time and the contract runs until 31 March 2021.

For further information and to apply, please click here

Logo: RSPBProject Officer - Reserves Strategic Development Programme
Reference number: A0760619
Location: Flexible Location - Bedfordshire
Salary starting at: £19,602 to £21,236
Hours: Full time
Contract: 12 months
An opportunity has arisen for a Project Officer to support the Reserves Strategic Development Programme, an exciting programme work to increase the income generated from visitor operations on our reserves.
The successful applicant will lead on a project working with reserves teams and HQ specialists in retail, catering and visitor experience to increase the profitability of our existing visitor operations on reserves and collating the reinvestment needs that support income growth.
The location of the role is flexible but will require extensive travel to reserves. The role would be an ideal secondment opportunity for an existing project officer or someone elsewhere in the organisation looking to develop their project management and/or business planning skills.
This role is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. You will be asked to declare unspent convictions and cautions at offer of employment stage.
Closing date: 19 June 2019
If you would like to apply and find out more about this position, please click here to be directed to our website.

Logo: Forestry EnglandBeat Forester – Delamere

Northwich, North West, CW8 2JD

£30,140 - £33,303

44 hours excluding lunch breaks

The Beat Forester post will be based at our Delamere office where the successful candidate will head the team managing Delamere Forest and our Community woodlands based in Merseyside. The beat is responsible for producing 5000 – 10000cm3 of timber per year and a programme of restocking, as well as managing a number of maintenance contracts across the beat.

Purpose of the Job

To plan, deliver and monitor the operational work program of the Delamere Beat in the Central Forest District, including responsibility for the Merseyside Community Woodlands. To uphold Forestry England policy in terms of timber production, conservation, recreation and environmental enhancement ensuring all legislation, regulations and relevant guidance is adhered to. The role will also require close working with Rangers within urban and community settings. 

Closing date: 30/06/19

For more details and application form click here (Job ref: 1635563)  

Logo: RSPBNature Recovery Campaign Programme Manager
Reference number: A0750619
Location: Sandy, Bedfordshire
Salary starting at: £29,507 to £31,966 per annum
Hours: Full time
Contract: 18 months fixed term contract

The Nature Recovery Campaign aims to secure ambitious new laws and policies that will drive nature's recovery across the four countries of the UK and create a strong UK platform for a new global deal for nature in 2020.

The campaign encompasses both RSPB existing policy and advocacy work, and fresh approaches to reaching and mobilising more people and new audiences; including through cultural campaigning and story-telling. It will be supported by a new approach to RSPB communications, badging both existing and new stories under a nature recovery narrative. It will also trial new ways to engage RSPB members and supporters in political action. The campaign will be designed to have real-world impact, whist enabling us to learn and innovate, so that we can better deliver on our Statement of Strategic Intent and our plan for Saving Nature Through People.

The Campaign strands are Policy & Advocacy, Let Nature Sing (cultural intervention), Aligned communications and better story-telling, Mobilising our supporters to take action and Mobilising new stakeholders.

The Nature Recovery Campaign Programme Manager will play a leading role to drive the project forward, ensuring (amongst other aspects) that the business case and objectives are clearly defined, monitoring and evaluation framework and risk analysis is set up and that programme work stream governance is created. Progress will be reported into the Nature Recovery Campaign Board. A significant part of the role will be to advise on and implement governance structures.

Closing date: 19 June 2019

If you would like to apply and find out more about this position, please click here to be directed to our website

Logo: Yorkshire Wildlife TrustVolunteering Support Assistant – 21 hours per week

£20,000 p.a pro rata Plus up to 9% Employer Pension Contribution

Are you professional, articulate, and enthusiastic with a natural ability to positively interact with a wide range of people? Would you like to play a part in creating a Yorkshire rich in wildlife for everyone?

If so, we are looking for a Volunteering Support Assistant to join our dynamic Supporter Engagement team. This exciting role will help increase engagement with the Trust by administering and coordinating a programme of volunteering activities including recruitment, training events and communications. You will ensure that activities are delivered effectively and with high quality customer care.

We are looking for someone who is highly organised and thrives in a busy environment as well as being self-motivated, driven and passionate. In addition to having exceptional communication skills, you will have an eye for detail and be able to report accurate data. You must be able to accurately and safely collect, process and maintain data in line with data protection legislation and organisational policy.

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

Please note we don’t accept CVs

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms and accompanying equal opportunities monitoring form is 9am Friday 5 July 2019. Please note that applications received after the closing deadline will not be considered. 

Closing date: 9am Friday 5 July 2019

Interviews: Wednesday 17 July 2019

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is an equal opportunities employer and positively encourages applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or belief, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity.

No agencies

YWT Company 409650; Charity no. 210807.




Logo: Durham Wildlife TrustPost Title: Volunteer Conservation Trainee  

Location: Based at Low Barns, Witton Le Wear, Bishop Auckland DL14 OAG

Responsible to: Living Landscapes Officer (South) 

Time commitment: 4 days p/w (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday) plus one weekend day per month

(Please note that due to the way this post has been funded applicants should be between 18-25yrs old only.)

General Brief: To support Living Landscapes Officers in their work, particularly the management of the Trust’s nature reserves and planning and leading volunteer tasks.

Requirements: Enthusiastic person with good communication skills, dedicated to nature conservation and working with people. Applicants must hold a full clean driving licence, have good communication and people skills and a willingness to learn.

Benefits: A bursary of £111/week is provided plus travel. Full training is provided (including access to external courses). Applicants will gain practical experience in conservation skills co-ordinating and leading tasks and assisting with education events plus significant ecology training. 

Logo: The Prince's Countryside FundTraining Provided

Practical: Chainsaw Pesticides   First Aid Off Road (4x4) ATV Safe use of brushcutters 

Ecological: Placement period with Durham Wildlife Services 1 week plant and habitat surveying with an experienced ecologist Work with DWT Botany Group to survey DWT reserves

Education: Gain experience in delivering children’s and family education events 

Application: CV with covering letter outlining why you think you are suitable for the post.

Closing date: Friday 21st June 2019. Successful candidates will be invited to interview Thursday 27th June 2019 at Low Barns Nature Reserve.

Applications/ chat: Laura Tedstone, Living Landscapes Officer (South)  ltedstone@durhamwt.co.uk  or 01388 488728

Conservation Placements available with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Are you aged 24 or under? Are you looking to grow your career in conservation?

If so then we would like to hear from you.

The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has opportunities available across Yorkshire.

We are looking for 24 passionate and motivated young people to join the Tomorrow’s Natural Leaders programme.  As part of the programme we help build your practical skills, conservation knowledge, leadership skills and employability in the conservation & environmental sector. This will be achieved through a 4 day week - 12 month placement carrying out a wide range of activities such as; reserves management, habitat restoration, biodiversity monitoring, events management, campaigning, species surveys, livestock management and outreach & education.

In return you will receive benefits including a bursary of £250 per month, a £480 training budget and a £500 completion bonus. 

Applications for this exciting opportunity are open now so please click here - ring the office: 01904 659570 or e-mail paul.thompson@ywt.org.uk for your chance to be a part of the future in environmental conservation.

YWT Company 409650; Charity no. 210807.


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Volunteers: 69 adverts for voluntary posts added this month see all of these online at: http://www.countryside-jobs.com/vols


Logo: Surrey Wildlife TrustTrustees for Surrey Wildlife Trust

Salary: Volunteer Role - unpaid

Location of Meetings: Nower Wood, nr Leatherhead

We are looking for new Trustees with strategic vision, independent judgement and a willingness to commit to leading the charity in conjunction with the Senior Management Team.

If you are passionate about the wildlife of Surrey and nature conservation, work well in a team and have good interpersonal skills, can commit the necessary time and possess skills and proven experience in the areas below, we would like to hear from you:

Biodiversity, ecology, nature conservation policies, and environmental planning Legal expertise

If you are interested in becoming a trustee please submit your CV and covering letter to catherine.roberts@surreywt.org.uk. If you would like further information or an informal discussion with the Chairman, Chris Wilkinson, please email Catherine (who is our HR Director) with your contact details and this can then be arranged.

Closing Date for Applications: 30 June 2019. There will be an interview process through the Nominations Committee (a sub group of existing Trustees).


The Wildlife For All Trust is offering its last round of Wildlife Conservation Work – based in UK & South Africa.

Want to make a difference? The Wildlife For All Trust is looking for young adults who want to use their lives to make a real difference. Amongst other projects, we run a huge nature reserve in South Africa. Details of how to apply before 16 June on https://www.wildlifeforall.org/interviews.html 


Advertise your voluntary roles with CJS - it's free! Click here.

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Surveys and Fieldwork: additions in May

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. 



Biological Recording Groups carry out wildlife surveys, gather data on wildlife and ensure that the information is available to the public. To find out how you could get involved, find out how to contact your nearest Group at http://www.brisc.org.uk/Sources.php


The Big Forest Find is England's largest survey of forest wildlife. The animal and plant life you record across our nation's woods and forests will help us protect and provide homes for wildlife, now and in the future. Find out more on: https://www.forestryengland.uk/100/big-forest-find



Project Puffin

The RSPB’s ground-breaking Puffarazzi project is back and once again needs the public’s help to find out more about one of our most loved seabirds. The project is now also asking for historical photos to be submitted to aid conservation efforts, so if you happened to take a picture of a puffin with a bill full of food in the last few decades, submit it on the Project Puffin website -  http://www.rspb.org.uk/projectpuffinUK



Cardiff University Otter Project is a 25year+ programme collecting otters found dead from across UK, for post mortem examination, to investigate pollution, health and ecology. Get involved, volunteer, check out studentships (PhD/Masters), report otters found dead: FB @otterprojectuk; Twitter @otter_project or website https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/otter-project



The National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) gathers data on the UK’s wild plants and habitats. Whether new to the world of wild flowers or an experienced botanist, if you are interested in joining 13,000 volunteers to gather evidence of which plants are increasing or declining visit http://www.npms.org.uk/



Bug hunt: Volunteers needed to spot insect's 'spittle' Scientists at the University of Sussex are calling for thousands of volunteers to help record sightings of spittle and spittlebugs across the UK. The information will be used to map the distribution of the insect, in a pre-emptive strike against the deadly plant disease, Xylella. https://www.xylemfeedinginsects.co.uk/


Tick Recording Scheme

Tick season is upon us. Can you help Public Health England gather valuable information on the distribution and abundance of the various species present across the UK, their seasonal activity and their host associations? https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tick-surveillance-scheme


Noble Chafer Beetle Survey

People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) and Royal Holloway University of London have joined forces to launch a new national beetle survey, in order to conserve the beautiful but threatened noble chafer beetle. To find out more information and to take part in the survey, contact Deborah on: d.harvey@rhul.ac.uk https://c-js.co.uk/2X3Qbn7


The Garden Butterfly Survey allows you to record and report the butterflies that visit your garden over the course of a year. Create a free account, submit your sightings and help us learn more about how butterflies are faring in UK gardens. Please tell us what is fluttering behind your fence and help us to monitor garden butterfly populations. http://www.gardenbutterflysurvey.org


National Moth Recording Scheme

Run by Butterfly Conservation the NMRS is the UK recording scheme for all moth species (micros and macros). Sightings should be submitted to the appropriate County Recorder or via the NMRS online recording system https://c-js.co.uk/2zMlWrx


Oak processionary moth (OPM) is present in London and surrounding counties. Its caterpillars can affect oak tree, human and animal health. They are most easily recognised by their distinctive habit of moving about in nose-to-tail processions. Find out more at www.forestresearch.gov.uk/opm, and report a sighting using Tree Alert at http://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/treealert


National Moth Night runs from 26 to 28 September 2019 Moth Night is the annual celebration of moth recording throughout Britain and Ireland by enthusiasts with local events aimed at raising awareness of moths among the general public. The event is organised by Atropos and Butterfly Conservation and the 2019 event is the twentieth event of its kind. http://www.mothnight.info/


Migrant Watch

The Painted Lady butterfly and Humming-bird Hawk-moth are arriving from Africa and becoming increasingly common in the UK. To find out just how common, we need your help. Butterfly Conservation is running a project to map the arrival, spread and departure of migrant insects online. https://c-js.co.uk/2zLYQ4f


Butterfly Conservation has raised awareness of the drastic decline in butterflies and moths, and created widespread acceptance that action needs to be taken. Through our conservation work, we have also begun to reverse the decline of several of our most threatened species. See how you can get involved at https://butterfly-conservation.org/


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


Features and In Depth Articles.


Coming of Age During the Climate Crisis.

by Isla Sandford Hall

Gometra (Isla Sandford Hall)

Gometra (Isla Sandford Hall)

My name is Isla, and I’m 16. Since I was born, I’ve lived part-time in London and on Gometra - a small island in the inner Hebrides of Scotland.

The whole island is off-grid – no cars, no internet in any of the homes, no mains electricity – not even washing machines. Even aside from the logistical issues of implementing a grid on Gometra, my family has always tried to live in a particularly environmentally conscious way – we try not to use central heating, or buy clothes first hand, and most of us are at varying stages of vegetarian/veganism.


Having the two extremes – Gometra and London - and environmentalism being prevalent in my family culture, has put me on the front lines of the climate and ecological crisis – seeing and knowing what is being lost, and what is replacing it, and how. Gometra has always been my emotional home. I feel connected to it in a way that a city like London can never achieve. One can be free in nature, and happy - struggling with depression, Gometra has always been a safe place for me, where I feel relief from pain and self-hatred.


When I was around 9, an environmentally degrading salmon farm was proposed off the north-west coast of Gometra, and over the course of the two years between its inception and completion my world view was torn apart.

Three of the sunshine seven locked on – from left, Blue, Lazer and Beam (Roc Sandford)

Three of the sunshine seven locked on – from left, Blue, Lazer

and Beam (Roc Sandford)

My dad campaigned with others against it, and they received threats that their houses would be burned down, were physically threatened with violence, and ostracized from the community. They were abused, intimidated and harassed, and I realised how blindly self-destroying self-interest is. These people were angry at my dad because they believed he was sabotaging the salmon farm and the jobs that it would provide for the community, when actually it would be taking jobs away from the community by killing the wild fish that many local fishermen depended on, as well as harming loads of other wildlife. For the first time I encountered the ‘opposition’ to environmentalism.

This was my first foot in the waters of activism. My second was Extinction Rebellion.


Extinction Rebellion is a decentralised movement using non-violent direct action to advocate for three demands:


1. Tell the Truth: Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.

2. Act Now: Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

3. Beyond Politics: Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.


I first heard about Extinction Rebellion last year, and in February I joined the youth group – then 6 strong. The youth group was created because there was a lack of youth voice in extinction rebellion, and as our generation has the most to lose to climate and ecological collapse, and we will inherit whatever the ‘adults’ decide to do now, we need a large stake in current decision making.

At a school strike for climate (Charlie Bibby)

At a school strike for climate (Charlie Bibby)

I decided that this movement was important enough to be arrested for, and I was one of the Sunshine Seven, who locked on at a fracking conference in London in April as part of extinction rebellion youth’s first official action. Six of us glued or locked on outside, forcing attendees to step over us in order to go to the conference, a literal representation of  ‘ you are stepping on our future’, which we told each person who went past. Our seventh infiltrated the conference. Natasha Engel, the so-called ‘fracking tsar’ of the government, was among those present at the conference, and she came out and spoke directly to us during the break. After she resigned a few weeks later due as she said to ‘environmental protestors’, and the school strikes for climate created shockwaves, the true emotive power of the youth in this crisis was realised.



Today the youth group has grown more than tenfold, and we have created a national structure to enable communication both between all of the local groups nationally and internationally with other branches of Extinction Rebellion Youth. Should you be interested, we are compiling a list of local groups so you can find one in your area, and if you want to start a local group, we are making a starter pack which will be available very soon at https://www.xryouth.org.


I’m also excited to announce Gometra Declares in August. We will be blocking the bridge to Gometra in protest of the two salmon farms proposed in the Staffa Archipelago.

logo: Clean Air Day

Katie from central London took part in the Airtopia study (Celia Lawler / Clean Air Day)

Katie from central London took part in the

Airtopia study (Celia Lawler / Clean Air Day)

Clean Air Day 2019: Our opportunity to address air pollution.

by Larissa Lockwood, Head of Health and Air Quality at Global Action Plan, coordinators of Clean Air Day

What will you do for Clean Air Day 2019? 20 June is the opportunity for environment professionals to bring the issue of air pollution to the attention of our workplaces and households.  Air pollution affects us all at work, at home and out and about.  It causes heart and lung diseases, is linked to low birth weight and children’s lung development and may even contribute to mental health issues. Every year air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK. But it doesn’t need to be this way.  If we all work together we could have clean air. And that is what Clean Air Day is all about.  


Air pollution is both an outdoor and indoor problem, as our research has shown: Airtopia studies revealed that nearly half of UK homes have high indoor air pollution (with 13% exceeding World Health Organisation limits for carcinogen formaldehyde) and indoor vs outdoor air pollution comparison research showed that indoor air pollution is on average 3.5 times higher than outside.


Although the majority (86%) of people in a recent nationwide survey believe that their day to day actions can have a direct impact on the air quality in their local environment, comparatively few were taking actions to protect their health from air pollution, such as choosing to cycle/walk a route previously driven (35%), turning off the car engine when stationary (34%)  or using natural/eco cleaning products (9%).  


Employers have the opportunity to address this knowledge-action gap by providing information on the actions that employees can take to reduce, and protect themselves from, air pollution, and by encouraging staff to take pollution-busting action. The Clean Air Day campaign has free, ready-to-use resources such as posters, leaflets, newsletter templates and social media memes, to make it as easy as possible for every workplace to get involved with Clean Air Day:

David Brooks in his ENGIE electric van - ENGIE helped launch the Clean Van Commitment (Global Action Plan)

David Brooks in his ENGIE electric van - ENGIE helped launch

the Clean Van Commitment (Global Action Plan)


  1. Spread the word – use the social media toolkit to let staff know about air pollution and the actions they can take and share with @CleanAirDayUK #CleanAirDay
  2. Meet virtually – challenge teams to meet by video or teleconference instead of driving
  3. Giveaway a freebie - give away free bus tickets, cycle hire, car club membership or free breakfasts for cycling and running commuters
  4. Car park takeover - if people can be encouraged to leave the car at home for the day, they can be rewarded by turning the car park in to a green oasis, with pop up food outlets for lunch
  5. Clean Van Commitment - 95% of vans are diesel, but electric models are increasingly available. Check whether you or your suppliers can upgrade your van fleet to electric vehicles
  6. Take it EV - encourage electric car drivers who are passionate about EVs to take a colleague or a neighbour for a spin, aiming to convert 100,000 more drivers to choose an EV when they upgrade.


Clean Air Day is a chance for the whole country to come together and improve air quality through collective action.  And as sustainability professionals, let’s seize on this opportunity on June 20 2019 – and beyond - to clean up the air in and around our organisations.


Find out more at www.cleanairday.org.uk

logo: Youth Adventure TrustThe power of the outdoors.


CJS readers will no doubt understand that being outdoors can be the perfect antidote to life’s stresses and strains. At the Youth Adventure Trust, we have been using the ‘power of the outdoors’ to transform the lives of vulnerable young people for more than 25 years.


It might be easy to forget that for a vulnerable 11 year old, the world can be a confusing and daunting place. Often, this is because of circumstances out of their control.  It may be school ground politics, chaotic homelives, a life of poverty, the pressure of being a young carer or living in care, erosion of self esteem due to bullying or a lack of positive role models.


Kristy (Youth Adventure Trust)

(Image: YAT)


"The biggest difference I have noticed is my confidence and how resilient I am”. Kristy, age 13


Kristy has a tough family life. Things can get violent at home and she is very quiet at school. 


The hurdles they face may seem insurmountable, but we believe that engaging with these typically ‘hard to reach’ young people at an early stage, age 11, and supporting them through to age 16, will have a real impact on their future lives. It’s not about removing their challenges; it’s about using the outdoors to equip these young people with the resilience to overcome them and enabling them to reach their full potential.

Sport England Getting Active Outdoors Study 2016 quote 

We believe that learning in an outdoors environment is a key aspect of a young person’s development. Since we began, over 25 years ago, we have used the ‘power of the outdoors’ to help these young people start to believe in themselves, build resilience and develop the skills they need to overcome the challenges they face, make sound decisions, form positive friendships, exceed their expectations and achieve their full potential. Being in the outdoors inspires the young people we work with, making a lasting difference to their lives.

"I have more respect for nature and the

outdoors". Olly, age 14


Olly has a poor school attendance record and finds it

really hard to make friends.

He spends his free time playing computer games in his bedroom.



Image: Youth Adventure Trust

(Image: YAT)


The specially designed Youth Adventure Programme includes 3 residential camps in the Brecon Beacons, the Jurassic Coast and the Forest of Dean, as well as 8 different outdoor activity days. Their journey lasts 3 school years (from year 7 to year 9) with some young people going on to receive additional support through our mentoring scheme. All young people who complete the programme are eligible to apply for a bursary of up to £150 before they leave school, to allow them to pursue their outdoor (and other) interests – recent applications include hiking boots, tents and sleeping bags.


The young people don’t have to pay anything to join the Youth Adventure Programme, we cover the cost of their accommodation, transport, food, kit, activity instruction and anything else they might need to participate. However, each place on our programme costs us an average of £3,600. We don’t receive any government funding and so rely on the generosity of individuals, groups and companies to carry out our work.


To celebrate our 25th anniversary we launched our exciting plans to double the number of young people we work with each year, from 240 to 480, by 2021. We’re already halfway there, but we need help if we are to achieve our goal and enable more youngsters to benefit from the ‘power of the outdoors’.


If you would like to support our work, need an excuse to spend a couple of nights in the beautiful Snowdonia National Park and are looking to take on a challenge then our Hike Bike Paddle 2019 event could be just the thing.


The event, supported by Ordnance Survey and the Outdoor Industries Association, is especially for people who work in the outdoor sector. It is a team challenge, for between 4 and 6 people, and includes an 18km hike or trail run, 50km off road bike ride and 2km paddle on a self-built raft. Participants can choose to take on the whole challenge, or ‘pick and mix’ within their team. 70km all in one day in recognition of Britain’s National Parks’ 70th anniversary this year.


For more information and to sign up visit www.hikebikepaddle.co.uk


For more information about the Youth Adventure Trust and other ways you can get involved please visit www.youthadventuretrust.org.uk or contact Louise Balaam on 07904 037525 or louise@youthadventuretrust.org.uk

logo: TCV - The Conservation Volunteers - celebrating 60 yearsTCV: 60 years connecting people and places.

It was late February 1959, yet Spring was in the air.  Enjoying the day on Box Hill, Surrey, botanist David Bellamy was surprised to find a group of young people ripping up plants in a recently declared Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  Discovering they were not vandals but volunteers clearing scrub with ‘The Conservation Corps’, he enthusiastically joined in!

credit: The Conservation Volunteers

(The Conservation Volunteers)


2019: another warm February.  In fact, the warmest on record. ‘The Conservation Corps,’ now The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), is celebrating its 60th anniversary.  David Bellamy is still with us (a TCV Vice-president) but the world has changed.  These days unseasonal sunshine is scary.


TCV too has changed over the decades, but it has held firm to one key insight: conservation volunteering is great for people and communities as well as Nature. When the Council for Nature founded The Conservation Corps in January 1959 it aimed to give young people some of the perceived benefits of National Service (then newly abolished).   What those young volunteers gained - a sense of purpose, personal achievement and sheer fun - delighted and inspired them.


In 1970 the organisation became an independent charity, the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) with the Duke of Edinburgh as Patron. Supported by people like, Sir David Attenborough, Bill Oddie, Spike Milligan, Cliff Richard and Lulu, it expanded its activities, including a registered membership scheme for 3,000 volunteers. In 1977 it set up a unique ecological park opposite the Tower of London, working with the London Queen's Silver Jubilee Committee.

(The Conservation Volunteers)

(The Conservation Volunteers)


Throughout the 1980’s, BTCV embraced urban environments and community action in the UK and abroad.  Midweek projects gave unemployed and retired people more opportunities to get involved.   BTCV established working holidays across Europe and launched the first of two successful Million Tree Campaigns following the Great Storm of 1987. The decade closed with BTCV membership at 10,000, its Natural Break conservation holiday programme the largest of its kind in Britain. 


In the 1990s, BTCV pursued its goals for people and society through the government's New Deal and Millennium Volunteers programme, for which BTCV received the largest first round funding, leading to over 3,000 volunteering placements in the next decade.


The first BTCV Green Gym, set up in 1998 with ‘social prescribing’ pioneer Dr William Bird of Sonning Common, Berkshire, highlighted the health benefits of conservation volunteering.


The social significance of BTCV’s activities continued to grow in the new millennium. BTCV's Environments for All encouraged people from under-represented groups to take up environmental conservation.  In 2001, BTCV was one of the UK’s largest environmental sector providers of training and support for the unemployed, while over £4 million from the New Opportunities Fund went to 500 community projects in deprived areas through the BTCV-managed People's Places Award Scheme. Sad eyesores near shopping centres became green community assets thanks to BTCV and the Prudential Grass Roots programme.   BTCV’s significance to the sector was later recognised by five-year strategic funding from the Cabinet Office.

(The Conservation Volunteers)

(The Conservation Volunteers)


The importance of conservation volunteering for health and well-being is reflected in the flourishing BTCV (now TCV) Green Gyms which celebrated their 20th anniversary in 2018, alongside projects with Mind, Birmingham Health Education Service and Dementia Adventure.  TCV also won awards from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Royal Society for Public Health.


TCV also continues to meet the challenges facing the natural world with programmes such as the Greenwich Meantime Nursery, Big Tree Plant for DEFRA and I Dig Trees with OVO.  Vital professional skills and knowledge have been nurtured by TCV’s Natural Talent and Natural Communities apprenticeships. TCV’s Community Network supports around 1000 local groups, with a dedicated website, competitively-priced insurance, discounts on merchandise, funding information, newsletter and access to grants. Membership (previously £38 annually) is now free to community groups, clubs, schools or local organisations that share TCV’s aims. Players of People's Postcode Lottery fund this and other programmes for community green spaces.


2019: in TCV’s diamond anniversary year, TCV goes on inspiring people across the UK to volunteer to improve local environments and biodiversity. People from across many communities are actively involved, well beyond the keen young conservers of the 1960s. In parks and community gardens, Local Nature Reserves, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, school and hospital grounds, waterways, wetlands and woodlands, they join in and feel good. To find out how you can help them go to www.tcv.org.uk


Every day TCV works across the UK to create healthier and happier communities for everyone - communities where our activities have a lasting impact on people’s health, prospects and outdoor places.


We do this by bringing people together to create, improve and care for green spaces. From local parks and community gardens to Local Nature Reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest; from school grounds and hospital grounds to waterways, wetlands and woodlands; we connect people to the green spaces that form a vital part of any healthy, happy community.


Our team of dedicated, passionate staff and volunteers work with communities across England, Northern Ireland and Scotland and, through our Community Network,  we support local community groups across the UK.   

CJS FocusThe most recent edition: Recreation

view the most recent edition here or download a pdf copy.

The next edition will be published on 23 September

And is looking at: Countryside Management.



logo: CJS 

Countryside Jobs Service®

Focus on Recreation

logo: Outdoor Recreation NetworkIn association with the Outdoor Recreation Network

20 May 2019


Sharing Good Practice – People and Dogs in the Outdoors

By Dr Elizabeth Rogers

People and Dogs in the Outdoors seminar delegate pack (Outdoor Recreation Network)

People and Dogs in the Outdoors seminar delegate pack

(Outdoor Recreation Network)

The Outdoor Recreation Network recently delivered a seminar on the topic of “People and Dogs in the Outdoors” hosted by Forestry England and The Kennel Club. Over the course of the two days, delegates heard from key policy makers, stakeholders, academics and practitioners about important policy and practice matters relating to the opportunities and management of dogs in the outdoors.


The event focused particularly on practical management measures and good practice and facilitated networking opportunities. Delegates greatly appreciated the information sharing and the key learnings from the seminar are summarised below:


Dogs are part of the family

Whether it’s a trip to the local park or a family holiday, many families will want to take their canine member with them. Since 2010, dog ownership is up 10% and is now at 8.5 million dogs. 26% of homes have a dog and astonishingly over half of all outdoor visits include a dog.1

For outdoor recreation sites there are commercial benefits to welcoming dogs. These include:

  • Dog owners and families with dogs are a large and growing market;
  • They visit off peak and are less weather dependent;
  • 7,000 assistance dogs help people in ever-more ways.2

Dawn husky demo © S Jenkinson & The Kennel Club

Dawn husky demo © S Jenkinson & The Kennel Club


Given the importance of dogs to families, the focus should be on managing the demand rather than suppressing it.3


Dogs keep us healthy

There are significant physical and mental health benefits from having a dog. Research recently found that dog owners are far more likely to meet weekly exercise targets of 150 minutes per week than people without dogs. In fact:

  • 64% of dog owners met the physical activity guidelines through dog walking alone;
  • Dog owners are 14 times more likely to walk for recreation;
  • Dog walking was in addition to – not instead of – other exercise.


We also know that dogs facilitate social interaction which is important for good mental health. People are more likely to stop and talk to someone walking a dog than someone on their own or with another person. With higher social capital, dog owners are more likely to chat to others and be involved in their community, know the names of neighbours, visit family and friends, and have a sense that the people that live and work in their community care about them.4

There are important public health implications. Dogs play an important role in keeping us healthy and this should be recognised and facilitated.


Peter Gorbing, CEO, Dogs for Good speaking to delegates (Outdoor Recreation Network)

Peter Gorbing, CEO, Dogs for Good speaking to delegates

(Outdoor Recreation Network)

Happy, healthy, hassle-free dog walks

Policy making and planning on the natural and built environment should provide for the needs of dogs and plan-out conflict from the start. Dogs and their owners want to feel welcome in the outdoors, with the provision of safe, nearby, one hour, off-lead dog walks. The best management ethos now is to both reduce negative impacts and promote the benefits of having dogs on site.


Addressing problems through partnership

Dog fouling, disturbing local wildlife, livestock worrying and raiding picnics do still happen. But instead of being divisive, managing dogs in the outdoors is now seen as less binary with the outdoors considered a place for all – humans and dogs. There is a move to a more informed approach that highlights the need for interventions to be built on evidence rather than common myths.


Simply saying “no” to dog access is ineffective.5 Rather a partnership approach is recommended between responsible dog owners and landowners. For example, in terms of preventing livestock worrying dog walkers should accompany their dogs to prevent livestock attacks and landowners should ensure signs are up-to-date to indicate if livestock is in the area.

Natalie Light, Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist, Nat Dogs Ltd delivering a demonstration of the fun dog training sessions developed in the New Forest NP (Outdoor Recreation Network)

Natalie Light, Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist, Nat Dogs Ltd

delivering a demonstration of the fun dog training sessions developed

in the New Forest NP (Outdoor Recreation Network)


What is needed for dog walkers?

  • Prevention is better than cure and highlights the importance of puppy training (e.g. sit, down, stay, recall), picking up dog poo, and ensuring dogs don’t run after wildlife/livestock.6
  • Informative and clear on-site signage and instructions (e.g. where dogs are allowed on a lead, off-lead and not allowed), bypass routes available when livestock is present and designated areas for dogs (e.g. enclosed dog training areas).
  • Informative and clear off-site information such as websites with information and maps of great places to walk dogs and responsible behaviour messaging. 


This three-pronged approach is crucial to ensuring the outdoors is shared and enjoyed by both people and dogs. As Alison Kohler (Director of Conservation and Communities, Dartmoor National Park Authority) put it in her presentation: “We need to build understanding trust and respect (between dog walkers and landowners) – just like the relationship between dog and owner!”7


The key ORN takeaways proposed by delegates were:

  • Create a common language and code of practice for managing dogs in the outdoors across stakeholder organisations.
  • Advocating the proven benefits of dog companionship on people’s health and wellbeing.
  • Increase awareness of the revenue generation that comes from dog owners to greenspace sites and conservation.
  • Explore potential of a condensed training day for staff tasked with managing dogs in the outdoors.
  • Create a “People and Dogs in the Outdoors Forum” of relevant stakeholders (landowners, recreation, health and disability etc.).
  • Collate a library of good practice to guide practitioners in their day-to-day work.


Some of these takeaways will be incorporated in the next edition of the ORN journal to be published later in the year and the wider information that has emanated from the seminar, which are available to view/download from here: https://www.outdoorrecreation.org.uk/other-publications/



1              Slides for Stephen Jenkinson’s (Access Advisor, The Kennel Club) presentation on “10 Years On: Changes in Thinking, Policy and Practice on People and Dogs in the Outdoors” are available here: https://c-js.co.uk/30heJLt  

2              There are various types of assistance dogs, from guide dogs, hearing dogs, mobility assistance dogs, autism assistance dogs, medical alert dogs, to psychiatric service dogs including veteran and dementia dogs. They can help with physical disability, dementia, learning disability, and autism spectrum condition.

3              For more information on the commercial benefits of dogs, please see Josephine Lavelle’s (Head of Marketing, Brand and Communication, Forestry England) presentation: https://c-js.co.uk/2HiQeER

4              Please see recent article on Dr Carrie Westgarth’s research: https://c-js.co.uk/2Q0P30R   

5              Please see Stephen Jenkinson’s (Access Advisor, The Kennel Club) presentation for more information on access planning and displacing conflict: https://c-js.co.uk/30heJLt

6              A good example of this partnership approach is the New Forest Dogs Forum which helps local organisations with an interest in dogs in the outdoors to work together and enable a positive approach to addressing areas of common concern. More information on this group can be found here: https://www.newforestdog.org.uk/the-dog-walking-code

7              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H72tkrBYFRY


Stephen Jenkinson – Access and Countryside Management Ltd

The UK's only specialist in minimising adverse impacts on wildlife, livestock and other access users arising from dog walking, while also supporting the human and canine health benefits of dog ownership. Clients include Natural England, Forestry Commission, Scottish Natural Heritage, national parks, wildlife charities and private landowners.  08456 439435   steve@sjacm.co.uk


logo: PontPONT is often asked to help organisations who are planning to conservation graze sites with public access. We have tools in our toolbox for a variety of situations.


We can draw grazing plans to ensure that the appropriate livestock are chosen for the site’s management and that the timing and intensity of grazing is right and we can help to find a grazier with animals that behave well with people and dogs.




In North Wales quiet Belted Galloway cattle graze a grassland fungi SSSI which is heavily used by dogwalkers and schoolchildren. We have trained local people to be stock checkers and Wildlife Trust staff have attended our Conservation Grazing training and Working with Farmers courses.


We’ve advised on signage and even run a dog show to draw local people in so we can discuss how to manage dogs in the countryside and offer dog training opportunities. PONT runs a course on managing dogs in the countryside too.


We run “meet the animals” days and consultation events so local people can understand why grazing is necessary and how it will be managed. This is helpful in allaying people’s fears about losing access to their favourite walk.


For more information on how PONT could help you please contact: info@pontcymru.org or tel 07421 994859 / 4860 www.pontcymru.org


logo: ScotwaysScotWays (The Scottish Rights of Way & Access Society)
is the independent charity which upholds public access rights in Scotland.  We help the public with access problems, and encourage responsible access with information, training and signs, drawing on our vast database covering routes throughout Scotland.  Our expertise in the law and practice of access is widely recognised. www.scotways.com




A wealth of information about walking in Scotland is now available on a single website. Walkipedia contains over 120 resources including statistics, evidence-based information, and government surveys relating to walking, pedestrians and active travel. Launched by Paths for All and Living Streets Scotland, the website acts as a one-stop-shop for outdoor access and planning professionals, researchers, healthcare practitioners, and groups looking to make the case for walking. Visit www.walkipedia.scot


Cicerone has a range of over 370 award-winning guidebooks for day and long-distance walks, cycling routes and tours, scrambling and winter climbs, as well as outdoor adventures with children. British Isles and overseas destinations. Availability throughout the UK. Contact via website www.cicerone.co.uk


MyParkScotland www.mypark.scot helps people discover, enjoy and support parks. The website provides up-to-date information on park locations, facilities and what’s on - currently covering Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow and NNRs, listing over 400 greenspaces, and working towards Scotland-wide coverage. MyParkScotland is also Scotland’s only crowdfunding platform specifically for parks and greenspaces.


Encourage walking and wellbeing in your local area with Go Jauntly, an award-winning, community-based app available on iOS and Android. We can work with you to curate routes in your area, promote active travel, and gather valuable data on walking in your community. Learn more at gojauntly.com/partnerships


We encourage and help families enjoy the outdoors. To help get visitors to your area, list your walks and attractions on our website, or write an article as a guest contributor. To find out more, visit www.getoutwiththekids.co.uk or contact support@getoutwiththekids.co.uk



logo: Institute for Outdoor Learning Institute for Outdoor Learning

‘Enabling those who use the outdoors to make a difference to others’

The place for outdoor jobs, conferences & workshops, accreditation, good practice guidance and communities of professional practice.

A wealth of resources and advice at www.outdoor-learning.org  Join IOL to shape the future of outdoor learning.




logo: The Parks Alliance

The Parks Alliance is the only UK wide organisation solely working to promote and protect the public parks we are proud to have at the heart of UK life. Help our campaign to publicise their true value and wider social and environmental benefits by joining for free at www.theparksalliance.org.



logo: British Nordic WalkingCelebrating 10 years of Nordic Walking at Rosliston Forestry Centre and beyond

By Dr Catherine Hughes, National Nordic Walking Trainer for England and Director of British Nordic Walking CIC


Rosliston Forestry Centre in South Derbyshire has been playing host to groups of Nordic Walkers for over ten years as part of their Get Active in the Forest initiative. From the Rosliston group, the programme has expanded its Nordic walking provision, running sessions in Etwall, Swadlincote and at Elvaston Castle. The Rosliston session is still by far the most popular with over 30 participants a week.


Nordic Walking plays a significant part in the Centre’s regular activity timetable, with sessions throughout the week at different times of day to suit visitors. The price for each person is kept affordable with a small extra charge to hire Nordic Walking poles for anyone who does not have their own.


Nordic Walking has also been a useful way for South Derbyshire District Council to reach out to groups that are not typical users of outdoor facilities.


On the back of the session at the fantastic Swadlincote Woodlands, an Indoor Nordic Walking session was set up for people with more serious mobility problems who have seen a proven positive impact on their physical and mental wellbeing.


At Burton Hospital there have been taster sessions to encourage patients with neurological conditions into physical activity. A number have been inspired to become more active and join the regular group walks. Children have been able to give Nordic Walking a try through taster sessions at a local secondary school as part of a wider enrichment program.


A charity Nordic Walking event for Children in Need © British Nordic Walking

A charity Nordic Walking event for Children in Need

© British Nordic Walking

But what is Nordic Walking?

Originally a means of off-season ski-training, Nordic Walking developed in its own right with the introduction of specially designed poles ergonomically suited to the Nordic Walking technique. Done correctly, the internationally recognised 10 Step Technique can burn up to 20% more calories compared to walking without poles by giving you a full body workout using core and upper body muscles as well the lower body.


Even better news – it has a low perceived rate of exertion. That means that you don’t feel as though you are working as hard as you actually are. And this despite the fact that Nordic Walking can use up to 20% more energy than walking without poles. No wonder Nordic Walking is growing in popularity.


Whilst Nordic Walking is a great exercise for sporty people, it comes into its own for those who don’t consider themselves regular exercisers or even outdoorsy types. The sociable nature of Nordic Walking in a group appeals to many people who otherwise would not be outside in all weathers making it an effective way to get more people out in the fresh air and enjoying the countryside. All this whilst enhancing their strength and fitness, and having fun. A cup of tea and cake is a traditional way to end many Nordic Walks!


Alex Rowley-Kearns, Get Active Officer at South Derbyshire District Council says, “Nordic Walking has proved to be a terrific addition to our outdoor activity provision and a great way to reach new audiences. Our instructors have been trained by British Nordic Walking to teach the 10 Step Technique, of course, but also to carry out dynamic risk assessments – essential when running group walks safely over woodland terrain – and can easily keep a group of mixed fitness levels and ability whilst maintaining motivation and sense of camaraderie.”


British Nordic Walking – www.britishnordicwalking.org.uk

International Nordic Walking Federation (INWA), developers of the 10 Step Technique - http://www.inwa-nordicwalking.com/

Rosliston Forestry Centre - http://www.roslistonforestrycentre.co.uk


logo: GetOutside - Ordnance SurveyHelping more people to get outside more often


Life is better outdoors but getting outside can be hard, and sometimes we all need a little nudge in the right direction. So, we’re making it our mission to encourage the nation to get outside and discover what’s on our doorsteps.


At Ordnance Survey, we’re passionate about helping more people to get outside more often, as we believe an active outdoor lifestyle helps you live longer, stay younger and enjoy life more.

And GetOutside sits at the heart of everything we do. Just as the outdoors is for everyone, GetOutside is for everyone.


We want to showcase the best that Britain has to offer, by providing inspirational stories, experiences and adventures for people of all ages and abilities. From accessible, family and wheelchair friendly routes, to beautiful scenic locations to visit, our landscape has a lot to offer and is not short on variety. There are plenty of adventures out there just waiting to be discovered. 


As part of rekindling the nation’s love of outdoor activity, we want to activate the whole nation regardless of age, ability, gender or religion, by celebrating with a day focussed on free outdoor events and activities. National GetOutside Day is embraced by the whole nation and we want everyone to get involved and get outside! Taking place on Sunday 29 September 2019, help us get everyone active outdoors.

If you’d like to get involved, we’d love to hear from you. Visit GetOutside.uk to find out more or simply email GetOutside@os.uk


Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust’s Bee Together project aims to create wildflower meadows. Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund thanks to National Lottery players, it connects communities and landscapes to reverse the decline of wild pollinators such as bees. To find out more email info@ydmt.org or log on to ydmt.org


The Scottish Ornithologists’ Club (SOC) is delighted to announce the launch of Where to Watch Birds in Scotland, the Club's free mobile app for Apple and Android devices. Discover the best places to birdwatch around Scotland and the bird species likely to be found at these sites. Visit www.the-soc.org.uk/app.


logo: Lee Valley Regional Park AuthorityThe Lee Valley Regional Park. London, Hertfordshire and Essex

By Stephen Wilkinson, Head of Planning & Strategic Partnerships



The Lee Valley Regional Park presents a rich tapestry of open spaces, nature reserves and major sporting venues originally designed to serve the leisure and recreation needs of Londoners. It runs for 26 miles broadly aligned with the natural course of the river Lea from its southern tip, the East India Dock Basin on the River Thames, through east London and Essex to Ware in Hertfordshire. The Park extends to 4,010ha of which the Authority owns 2,300ha. In total the whole Park attracts just over 7.1m visits each year of which 4.5m visits are to its open spaces and unique sites of biodiversity interest and a further 2.6m visits are made to its 15 venues.

Bow Creek looking towards Canary Wharf (LVRPA)

Bow Creek looking towards Canary Wharf (LVRPA)



The Authority, through its leisure contractor, Lee Valley Leisure Trust, trading as Vibrant Partnerships, manages 15 venues which include 3 Olympic Legacy venues, the Lee Valley White Water Centre, VeloPark and the Hockey and Tennis Centre. Other venues include an Ice Centre, Riding Centre, an Athletics Centre, marinas and campsites.


Large areas of the Regional Park are owned by infrastructure and utility companies.


The Parklands

The Regional Park’s defining feature is its landscape which, unusually for such a large park, is largely man made. This provides a varied backcloth and physical context for the kaleidoscope of activities which occur. The use of many sites is multi layered.


The Natural Landscape

The Regional Park is rich in biodiversity. It has sites of international, national and regional importance. The Park is made up of a patchwork of habitats resulting from centuries of changes due to the development of agriculture and industry.


Seventy Acres Lake, River Lee Country Park (LVRPA)

Seventy Acres Lake, River Lee Country Park (LVRPA)

Whilst areas of habitat with some degree of naturalness can still be found, significant areas have been altered over time by the actions of man. The key habitats are rivers and streams, open water, grassland and fen and post-industrial. The landscape includes remnants of historic wetlands and marsh at Cornmill Meadows, Waltham Abbey and Walthamstow Marshes which historically characterised the valley floor but during the last two centuries have been drained and built on.


The main challenges to the landscapes of the Regional Park come from the physical impacts of new development, often from utility companies. For example, although a route for Cross Rail 2 has yet to be formally ‘safeguarded’, the proposed route will follow the West Anglia line which forms part of the Park’s western edge and it is likely to require additional land for new lines. Other pressures arise from developments such as large scale glasshouses.


In the long term whilst the parklands can often be protected from housing because so much of the area is designated as green belt, large scale housing developments right on the edge of parklands are increasingly common. These can create a ‘wall’ of development hiding the parklands but at the same time the increased populations place more recreational pressures on the Park’s delicate landscapes and habitats. 

A lattice of footpaths (Eleanor Bentall)

A lattice of footpaths (Eleanor Bentall)


Although the legacy of industrial uses and former sand and gravel workings has left many areas of the parklands contaminated they still contain habitats for a unique biodiversity.



The diversity of habitat is protected through statutory designation including eight Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Together four of these form the Lee Valley Special Protection Area and Ramsar site. They provide habitat for over 300 species of bird, 32 species of mammal and 900 species of flowering plant. The valley is recognised as an important site for the wintering birds gadwall, shoveller and bittern and provides good habitat for wetland mammals such as water vole, Britain’s fastest declining mammal.


Balanced against the need to protect the natural environment is the Authority’s role in creating opportunities for people to gain access to nature. With over 4.5m visits each year to the parklands there are several important nature reserves at Rye Meads, Amwell, and Cornmill Meadows. A further site at Walthamstow Wetlands in London has recently opened and receives over 250,000 visits each year.


The Regional Park as a Community Resource

The Regional Park is a multi-layered venue for a range of activities; some of these can be formal or, given its size, are informal with visitors allowed to wander either on foot or bike along its extensive lattice of paths. Ease of access is particularly important given its proximity to many of London’s deprived communities.


The world class venues balance a mix of sessions for first-timers, schools, people with disabilities, community groups and hard to reach groups with corporate events, birthday parties, clubs and leagues and extensive venue hire, plus major events.


The three London 2012 venues have hosted four World Cups, two World Championships and ten other major international sports events since London 2012. In 2022, Lee Valley VeloPark will make history becoming the only venue in the world to host an Olympics, World Championships and Commonwealth Games in the same sport. The Lee Valley White Water Centre will host the Canoe Slalom World Cup in 2023.


A varied event programme held across the parklands, is designed to address health inequalities and is attended by over 20,000 people each year. A series of programmes are focused on supporting people with disabilities with other schemes targeted at women and girls and for people from ethnically diverse backgrounds who unfortunately can face barriers to accessing opportunities for fitness and well-being. The Authority’s active communities programme attracts 25,000 school children each year.

Three Mills, Bow, London (Stephen Wilkinson)

Three Mills, Bow, London (Stephen Wilkinson)


The Park acts as a large resource bringing communities together through an extensive volunteering programme which has over 450 volunteers. Volunteers can work in a number of roles either as stewards at major sporting events or implementing improvement programmes clearing out rubbish and weeds including invasive species such as Japanese knotweed.


Informal recreation

There are a whole series of walking and cycling routes through the Regional Park. These include a number of strategic walking and cycling routes including the Lea Valley Walk which extends from Bow Locks to the river’s source in Leagrave near Luton, the London Outer Orbital route, Capital Ring and the New River Path. The main north-south route follows the towpath along the River Lee Navigation. Linked to each of these is a lattice of short routes, linking the main features of the parklands and the venues.

There are over 100km of cycle pathways throughout the Park.


The waterways of the Park are a defining feature with two marinas and three boating clubs along the Navigation.

There is a broad range of visitor accommodation throughout the Park. This includes a youth hostel at Cheshunt and several caravan and camping sites at Dobbs Weir Hoddesdon, Picketts Lock, Edmonton and Sewardstone. In 2017 the Authority opened an ‘Almost Wild’ site which allows people to experience the delights of the natural environment in clean but basic conditions at a site alongside the Lee Navigation.



Recent announcements for a major surfing and outdoor activity centre proposed for the LV Leisure Centre, Picketts Lock and the Authority’s plans for the redevelopment of the existing Ice Centre as a ‘twin pad’, demonstrate the important contribution the Regional Park will continue to make to the recreation and leisure needs of London and surrounding communities. Of increasing importance, though, will be its role in addressing the resilience of these areas through flood mitigation, reducing air pollution, addressing climate change and the protection of ecology and the natural environment. 


Find out more about the Park at www.visitleevalley.org.uk or www.leevalleypark.org.uk


logo: Kacey 

Kacey are specialists in the supply of recycled plastic for boardwalks, dipping platforms etc. A cost effective, no rot, long lasting alternative to wood, Kacey materials are used extensively in NNRs and SSSIs across the UK.

See examples on www.kaceyplastics.co.uk or contact us for an informal chat on 01764 671165.    


XL Displays provides the UK’s largest range of outdoor displays and marketing solutions. From inflatable event tents, to outdoor banners and printed flags as well as café barriers, pavement signs and printed gazebos. Call today on 01733 511030 to find your outdoor display stand or email sales@xldisplays.co.uk


Enjoy the freedom and independence to travel over uneven terrain with these all terrain wheelchairs. Mountain Trike: lever drive self-propel; eTrike: electric power assist; MT Push: attendant chair; MT Evo: users with limited hand function.  Find your ride and enjoy the great outdoors. W: www.mountaintrike.com E: info@mountaintrike.co.uk T: 01270 842616



logo: The Sign MakerThe Sign Maker is a small firm nestled away in the North Devon countryside. We are an online based company that manufactures a whole range of different signs and memorials. We pride ourselves on being bespoke, high quality and environmentally friendly.  01769 561355 sales@sign-maker.net www.sign-maker.net



Since 1948 Brissco have been producing quality signage.  Brissco specialise in countryside signs in plastic, metal, self-adhesive vinyl and wood. Our client base is Nationwide and we supply many County Councils, National Trails, National Parks and conservation groups, with durable and cost effective products. Brissco Signs & Graphics www.brissco.com 0117 3113 777



logo: Shelley SignsShelley Signs specialise in the design and production of interpretation panels for visitor attractions and public open spaces.

Either supply your own finished artwork or work with our highly experienced design team who can design panels from your component parts as well as creating maps, illustrations & text.

We offer highly robust and durable external grade materials together with a wide range of framing options in oak, softwood, steel, aluminium & recycled plastic.

Tactile sandblasted signs, routed timber, finger posts and notice boards also available.

Please give us a call to discuss your project. sales@shelleysigns.co.uk Tel. 01743 460996



logo: Sheffield Hallam University - Outdoor Recreation Research GroupSheffield Hallam University - Outdoor Recreation Research Group


We are a cross-disciplinary research group looking at the growing sector of outdoor recreation from all perspectives. We bring together economists, social scientists, ecologists, engineers and behavioural change and tourism experts, to provide expertise in the way we play outdoors – and the important economy behind it.


We work with local authorities, national bodies, recreation providers, sport companies, NGOs and  other agencies with an interest in outdoor recreation, to provide evidence to support their work. Recent projects include: providing the economic evidence underpinning the Sheffield Outdoor City initiative; supporting Harworth Estates with community consultation, design and technology experts, for their flagship Waverley development, using an 'Active Environment' concept; and an 'Access and Gateways Appraisal' to inform the development of the Sheffield Lakelands Landscape Conservation Action Plan for a £2.8 million Heritage Lottery Funded project.


Our research team can undertake access surveys and community consultation; economic impact evaluations; provide design and technology advice for recreation developments in the natural environment; and assist you in developing outdoor recreation and leisure strategies.   Further information is available on our web site, or do get it touch if you would like to discuss your research needs further.


Email - orrg@shu.ac.uk

Web site - https://c-js.co.uk/2Q4yzF4 


Volunteer with RDA for horses, health and happiness! Riding for the Disabled Association is 50 years young this year - and we’d love you to join our 18,000 volunteers all over the UK, who, along with our amazing horses, help thousands of disabled adults and children achieve their goals. Visit www.rda.org.uk


The John Muir Award is a nationally recognised award scheme which supports people to connect with nature, enjoy and care for wild places.  Its flexible framework supports leaders to meet a wide range of objectives and recognise the achievements of their participants in the outdoors. More info: www.johnmuiraward.org


The National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces (NFPGS) aims to amplify the voices of Friends Groups across the UK. We are the dynamic and inspirational grassroots movement of local Friends of Parks groups, volunteers who use and care for public green spaces of all kinds. Find out more: www.natfedparks.org.uk



logo: British Nordic WalkingTrain as a Nordic Walking Instructor with British Nordic Walking, and qualify to internationally recognised standards, to provide a sociable outdoor recreational activity suitable for all fitness levels. Open courses for individuals or training tailored to your organisation. Call 0115 848 3801, email info@britishnordicwalking.org.uk or visit www.britishnordicwalking.org.uk for details.



logo: Scottish Natural HeritageOutdoors visits at a record high

By Aileen Armstrong, Policy and Advice Officer for research


People in Scotland enjoy some of the best outdoor access rights in the world and participation in outdoor recreation has never been more popular.  The latest estimates from Scotland’s People and Nature Survey show that adults in Scotland took 547 million outdoor visits in 2017/18, the highest volume recorded since the 2006 baseline year. 


Family walking at Dunardry near Crinan Argyll and Stirling area (Lorne Gill / SNH)

Family walking at Dunardry near Crinan Argyll and Stirling area

(Lorne Gill / SNH)

The personal benefits people gain from these visits are significant – 9 in 10 people, for example, report improvements to their physical and mental well-being as a result of spending some time outdoors.  But there are other, more wide-ranging benefits too.  Expenditure generated by outdoor visitors can make a significant contribution to the local economy (in 2012, the Scottish Recreation Survey estimated that visits to the outdoors generated around £2.6 billion in expenditure); more people walking and cycling can help address the issues associated with car dependency such as congestion, pollution and climate change; and enjoyment of the natural environment can also help create a sense of responsibility among outdoor visitors, encouraging more people to help look after this important resource.


Scotland’s People and Nature Survey (SPANS), commissioned by Scottish Nature Heritage (SNH), is a national-level population survey which monitors trends in how people in Scotland use, value and enjoy the natural environment.  The findings are based on in-home interviews undertaken over a 12 month period with a representative sample of around 12,000 adults in Scotland.  SPANS and its predecessor survey, the Scottish Recreation Survey, is one of the main sources of information used by SNH and its partners to inform policy, planning and communications around outdoor recreation – and to ensure that the benefits people experience from visiting the outdoors are shared as widely as possible across society.


Bar chart showing the benefits people derive from outdoor visits

 Source: SPANS 2017/18


So, what does the survey tell us about outdoor visitors and trends in outdoor recreation in Scotland?


Over the last few years we’ve seen a significant increase in participation in outdoor recreation.  More than half of adults in Scotland now visit the outdoors on a regular, weekly basis – that’s around 400,000 more people than in 2012. A steady growth over the last few years in the numbers of people participating in recreational walking is likely to be one of the main factors behind this increase.


Children walking at Maryhill Locks Forth and Clyde Canal Glasgow (© A Coombes Epicscotland / SNH)

Children walking at Maryhill Locks Forth and Clyde Canal Glasgow

(© A Coombes Epicscotland / SNH)

Over the longer-term, there’s also been an increase in the proportion of visits being taken close to home, suggesting that people are finding more opportunities to enjoy the nature on their doorstep.  As a result, most outdoor visits are now made entirely on foot, with a corresponding decrease in the proportion involving the use of a car.


Scotland’s natural environment provides a fantastic backdrop for a wide variety of outdoor activities, ranging from informal outings to more specialist pursuits like mountain-biking, hill-walking and water sports.  Many outdoor visits are of the ‘every day’ variety, for example, to get some exercise or to walk a dog, and going for a walk remains the most popular outdoor activity undertaken in Scotland (84% of visits), followed by family outings (9% of visits) and cycling (7% of visits).


Most outdoor visits are ‘repeat visits’ to familiar places and involve a variety of settings.  The countryside accounts for around half of all visits (49%) but as many as 40% of visits are now taken in town and cities, underlining the importance of providing good quality urban greenspace, paths and routes close to where people live. Local parks remain the most popular type of outdoor destination (42% of all visits), followed by woods and forests (21% of visits) and beaches (13% of visits).  Parks are a particularly important resource for people living in urban areas (52% of visits) and for people living in Scotland’s most deprived areas (62% of visits). 


logo: Scottish Outdoor Access Code

In 2005, the Land Reform (Scotland) Act gave people in Scotland

a legal right of access to the outdoors provided that they act

responsibly.  Access rights and responsibilities are set out in the

Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

In many wild or remote areas, people expect very little in the way of visitor facilities but elsewhere, well-planned and managed outdoor places close to where people live can help make the outdoors accessible to everyone.  In spite of recent increases in participation, some population groups remain under-represented in outdoor recreation.  These include older adults, less affluent individuals and those in poor health or with a long-term illness or disability – people who have much to gain from the personal benefits associated with visiting the outdoors.  Understanding and accommodating the needs of these groups will help ensure everyone can enjoy the benefits of connecting with nature.


Find out more at https://www.nature.scot/


CAE is a leading authority on inclusive design in the UK. As the recognised experts in the field CAE can help organisations meet their duties under the Equality Act 2010. We offer access consultancy, training, advice and guidance. Contact us on info@cae.org.uk or www.cae.org.uk


One day course with CAE - September 3 2019 - Access and way-finding in the pedestrian environment. £350+VAT. This course will help participants to recognise the key factors required to design accessible pedestrian environments and understand requirements relating to navigation, orientation and way‑finding to enhance the accessibility of buildings and external environments. https://c-js.co.uk/2VihZm4


Consultancy providing clients with a unique service dealing with Public Path Orders, investigating Definitive Map claims and bespoke training courses. Mike Taylor B.A. hons M.Phil. M.IPROW and Marianne Nixon B.SC hons. M.IPROW have many years experience in all aspects of public rights of way work. Tel: 07745 346513 Internet: www.accesscountryside.co.uk Email: accesscountryside@mikeitaylor.plus.com


Develop your personal skills, confidence and independence in the hills on a Hill Skills or Mountain Skills course. Courses are delivered across the UK by organisations approved by Mountain Training (the national awarding body). More info at www.mountain-training.org/hill-and-mt-skills


Adventure Training North East offer courses in Outdoor First Aid, Forest School (at level 1,2 and 3) , navigation and climbing. If you are looking for a day out or to gain a qualification in any of the above please contact: info@atne.co.uk


Access auditing and the Equality Act course is aimed at anyone interested in taking their access knowledge to a higher level and gain an understanding of the practicalities of access improvements in light of the Equality Act 2010. Running on June 5th & 6th, September 11th & 12th and November 13th & 14th. Info at https://cae.org.uk/our-services/training/


Countryside Educational Visits Accreditation Scheme (CEVAS) is a nationally recognised Open College Network accreditation operated by the Access To Farms partnership, the scheme offers training for individuals who are working – or plan to work – with groups of school children, young people or clients with additional needs. http://www.visitmyfarm.org/cevas-farmer-training


Add another string to your bow & train to be a Forest School Leader. If you'd like to inspire Outdoor Learning, book onto our Forest School or Outdoor First Aid Training this summer. Level 1: Introductory Course, Level 3 Forest School Leader Qualification & Outdoor First Aid available. Details: https://forestofavontrust.org/training-listing


Get qualified and gain the experience you need to be an Outdoor Leader with our Woodland or Coastal Activity Leader Training in 7 days with Wild Things!  Our courses will enable you to lead outdoor sessions working with people of any age. For more details visit https://bit.ly/2CWcPWh


Dementia friendly environments 1 day course with Centre for Accessible Environments (CAE) on June 25 2019 £350+VAT. This course is relevant for anyone designing or working in settings such as extra care or sheltered housing and health or social care environments where dementia friendly design would be of benefit. https://c-js.co.uk/2VYcWeR


logo: University of Exeter - LEEPORVal – The Outdoor Recreation Valuation Tool

Brett Day – Professor of Environmental Economics. LEEP, Business School, University of Exeter

Greg Smith – Research Fellow. LEEP, Business School, University of Exeter


The British love ‘the outdoors’. On a sunny spring day you will find us in our hundreds of thousands setting off with the dog to the local park, pulling on our walking boots to go hiking in the countryside or packing the back of the car with a picnic for the beach. In fact MENE, the national survey carried out by Natural England each year, suggests that over 2.5 billion such trips are taken by residents of England every year.


That the countryside and its environment provide a much-loved resource is beyond dispute, though until recently making a case for enhancing that recreational asset has been hampered by an inability to accurately identify the value that the public put on such enhancements. The Outdoor Recreation Valuation (ORVal) Tool has been developed by the Land Environment, Economics and Policy (LEEP) institute at the University of Exeter in order to provide just such evidence.



ORVal began life some 10 years ago as part of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment project, an ambitious cross-disciplinary initiative that attempted to understand the range of benefits provided by the environment. LEEP took on the task of assessing the benefit flows from recreation. To do that, the research team first developed a uniquely detailed map of paths, parks and beaches open to the public for recreation and collated details of the sorts of facilities and environments that a visitor might enjoy at each location. The core data on how people used those recreational sites was drawn from the MENE survey. The MENE data allowed the research team to build a model that explained individuals’ choices of recreational activity. This ORVal model predicted how frequently individuals with different characteristics might choose to take an outdoor recreation trip and then which of the various sites in their vicinity they might then visit.


Noting how useful the model’s outputs might be to decision makers, in 2016 Defra began work with LEEP to develop an online tool which would allow government, businesses and the public access to the model in order to answer their own questions about values from outdoor recreation.



After a number of years of hard work the ORVal Tool was released (accessed at: https://www.leep.exeter.ac.uk/orval). The tool provides a simple interactive interface through which users can explore a map and examine information on the characteristics, predicted visits and values commanded by the thousands of different recreation sites across England and Wales. Perhaps more importantly, the tool allows users to examine how visits and values might change if a site’s characteristics were to change. Likewise the tool can be used to predict the value of visits that might be generated by a new site established in some particular location. The tool’s strength lies in the sophistication of the modelling that sits behind the website, making predictions that account for literally hundreds of factors from the age and socioeconomic composition of people living in each area of the country to the quantity and qualities of the environment available at each site.


The tool should, of course, be used with some caution. Its outputs are ‘best guesses’ based on a model developed from the observed behaviour of hundreds of thousands of actual visitors. The outputs are designed to be of use where detailed local information is not available. Also users should be aware that the estimates are for day trips by adults. Tourist or overnight trips are not included nor are those by children under the age of 16. All the same, ORVal is a substantial step forward in the provision of tools for the valuation of services from the environment. Indeed, HM Treasury features ORVal in their latest guidance on appraising policies and projects (the Green Book) where ORVal is explicitly recommended as being relevant “for national and local appraisals where outdoor recreational opportunities are likely to be affected.”


And what is the value of outdoor recreation? Well ORVal estimates that the residents of England and Wales enjoy over £9 billion of value a year from being able to access the outdoors.


The British Activity Providers Association is the trade association for residential and non-residential providers and activities in the UK and Europe. Member centres all commit to abide by the BAPA Code of Practice and commit to high standards of safety and customer service. Go to www.thebapa.org.uk to find out more


Leave No Trace Ireland promotes responsible outdoor recreation. There are many ways to support us - become a member, get hands on as a volunteer or complete one of our training courses and become a Leave No Trace Ireland Trainer. To find our more visit www.leavenotraceireland.org or email info@leavenotraceireland.org


Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path National TrailFollow the Data


National Trail Officer for Peddars Way and the Norfolk Coast Path, Jack Davidson, discusses how good data gathering and interpretation can help to grow visitor numbers, whilst minimising the impact of recreation.


Cake, Coffee and Coastal Treasures (Sam Holden)

Cake, Coffee and Coastal Treasures (Sam Holden)

As with any access management, managing a Trail is a balancing act. More visitors equals more benefit to the local economy – a key performance indicator of my role – but it can also mean more strain on the beautiful but sensitive sites that draw visitors to the trail in the first place. It can be argued that a long-distance trail that exists as a feature on the landscape scale is in itself a mitigation against impact on any one site; it would be easy to assume that trail-users simply pass through these sites, their impact minimised by great access infrastructure that keeps them away from the most sensitive areas. However, our data shows that during peak season – predictably summer – only 15% of Norfolk Coast Path users are thru-hikers. The balance then, isn’t as simple to find as it seemed. Visitor numbers are growing, ­especially at sites such as nature reserves, so how do we reduce the impact of this, without losing that important visitor expenditure?


We do know that the western half of the Norfolk Coast Path is more popular than its eastern half, the latter having been established in 2014 and 2016 as part of the England Coast Path, and the former being thirty-two years old this year. Counter data supports this, and it is to be expected: the infrastructure to support visits can’t develop overnight, so the spread of visitor concentration will be slow. Much of the western half of the trail runs through or adjacent to the North Norfolk Coast SSSI, which hosts a number of NNRs and other designations within it, but these are largely concentrated on the coastline itself. Enter Coastal Treasures: funded by the Coastal Communities Fund, this project was designed to promote sustainable tourism and new ways of accessing the wealth of heritage interest in north west Norfolk. Supported by a high-quality guidebook, sixteen new circular walking and cycling routes have been created in the area. Whilst circular walks are not exactly innovative, I feel that the Coastal Treasures approach is. In collaboration with Norfolk Museums, the heritage features that each route visits have been exhaustively researched in order to generate a very high-quality of historic content for the book and accompanying website, stories that guide the reader through the landscape as surely as the sturdiest oak fingerpost. Crucially, we have taken pains to keep the inland portions of these walks away from other sensitive sites, whilst signposting points of interest equal to or greater than that of the coastline.

With its 500,000 visitors worth approximately £12million to Norfolk’s economy annually, the Norfolk Coast Path is also quite pretty (Sam Holden)

With its 500,000 visitors worth approximately £12million to

Norfolk’s economy annually, the Norfolk Coast Path is also quite

pretty (Sam Holden)


What about undersubscribed sites and trails though? The same principle applies: start with the data. To expand your audience, you first have to understand your audience. We are in the fortunate position of having seventeen data counters at locations along the Norfolk Coast Path, with seven more on Peddars Way. This alone doesn’t tell us much, but placing a self-survey box next to each of these increase the insight we are given, and face-to-face surveys deepen it further still. The main goal of this data gathering has always been to evidence the economic impact of the trail, but it also helps to build a picture of the trail’s demographic. To give just one example, we know that the most-represented demographic is 36-60, and that this group spends almost twice as much as 18-35s on accommodation, but only 20% more on food and drink. This is borne out in the fact that 18-35s are more likely to make a single-day visit to the trail than a multi-day visit, too. It is accepted among National Trail officers and managers that this core demographic is getting older, and that the trails need to develop a greater appeal to a younger audience, without forgetting the users that, may well have been enjoying the trail for their whole lives.

One small way that we are doing this is by installing benches that feature phrases in Norfolk dialect, such as ‘hold you hard’ (meaning slow down) – the idea being, that as well as a place to rest tired legs, it’s a great spot for a #peddarsway or #norfolkcoastpath photo to share on Instagram or twitter: #freetargetedpromotion.


Far from sitting down, a key group within the younger demographic is trail runners. The sport is growing in popularity, and as a relatively low-impact user-group we are keen to encourage their use of the trail. Perhaps best for access managers is the fact that they require no infrastructure that isn’t already in place for walkers. As with long-distance walkers, coffee and cake is a popular way to end a run, meaning that they’re also good for trail-adjacent SMEs. On our social media outlets, we recently covered two runners setting a new Fastest Known Time for the Norfolk Coast Path (all 84 miles in 21 hours, 5 minutes!) and this was tremendously popular, particularly on Instagram where we increased our number of followers by around 8% within 24 hours.


This is just a tiny portion of the many ways we use data interpretation to inform our management of the trail. At the time of writing, we are rolling out new counters on the Coastal Treasures circular walks, to be accompanied by a scheme of surveys that we hope will discern the success of moving visitors inland, as well as continuing to gather data on general use of the National Trails, where we hope to see growth in the numbers of younger trail users.


Email: jack.davidson@norfolk.gov.uk

Website: www.norfolk.gov.uk/coastaltreasures or www.nationaltrail.co.uk/peddars-way-and-norfolk-coast-path


logo: Paths for AllPaths for All: Dementia and the Outdoors Guidance note


Paths for All's vision is for a happier, healthier Scotland where physical activity improves quality of life and wellbeing for all. We want to ensure that everyone living with dementia can enjoy the benefits of walking, being outdoors and connecting with nature.


Our research has shown that spending time outside can provide many benefits for people living with dementia.


That’s why we have been looking at how our paths and walking environments can be more welcoming to people living with dementia.


For this to happen we have been working to raise awareness of the challenges and issues faced by people with dementia in accessing outdoor spaces and developed training, resources and support for organisations and groups involved in planning, designing and maintaining paths and outdoor environments.


We have produced a Dementia and the Outdoors Guidance Note to share advice on what considerations to make when creating outdoor spaces. Read https://c-js.co.uk/2WB0GOq

It is intended as a guide for those working to improve accessibility to different types of greenspace, such as parks, gardens and woodlands that are already established or still at the planning stage.


If you have any questions or queries, please email Dementiafriendly@pathsforall.org.uk



logo: inHeritageWe provide all types of environmental and heritage interpretation including planning, trails, signage, events and training. We have over 14 years experience with national parks, country parks, Woodland Trust, National Trust, local authorities and NGOs. Please get in touch for a chat or a quote www.inheritage.co.uk bill@inheritage.co.uk 07538 185960



logo: The Mersey Forest - more from treesThe growing value of England’s urban woodlands


England’s community forestry movement kicked off in the 1990s – which means many woodlands are now maturing and coming into their own as venues for recreation, habitats for wildlife and as drivers of tourism and economic growth.


(The Mersey Forest)

(The Mersey Forest)

One of those original community forests, The Mersey Forest Partnership, has worked closely with local people since 1991 to create new areas of accessible woodland close to where they live, reclaiming derelict land or making use of underused land. More than 9 million trees have been planted in the past 25 years, creating thousands of hectares of new woodland. The area of woodland has increased by close to 75%, bucking the national trend.  


Paul Nolan, Director of The Mersey Forest said, "We have dramatically increased the availability of accessible woodland in hundreds of urban sites across Merseyside and north Cheshire over the past 25 years. 


“Based on the Woodland Trust's Woodland Access standard there is clearly a large increase in woodlands close to the places people live. We know from surveys that 65% of people close to these new woodlands are using them for recreation at least once a month."


Boosting health and wellbeing

Northwich Woodlands ©McCoy Wynne for The Mersey Forest

Northwich Woodlands ©McCoy Wynne for The Mersey Forest

Increasing opportunities for access to and recreation within woodlands is especially important near to where people live and work. It’s these local woodlands and green spaces that can have the biggest impact on people’s health and wellbeing. Many people live a long distance from National Parks or areas of outstanding natural beauty but can benefit from a well planned local green infrastructure that brings the countryside into town.


The positive effect of nature and a green environment on health is now well documented. The maturing woodlands of The Mersey Forest are a great resource for health – the task now is to engage more people with their local woodlands and provide more recreational opportunities. The Mersey Forest’s ‘Natural Health Service’ is providing opportunities for people to get involved in activities such as walking, conservation work and mindfulness in their local woodlands.


Other sites are becoming venues for activities such as parkruns, with local ‘Friends of groups’ also organising regular events. The annual ‘Walk in the Woods’ month in May is also used to promote local woodland walks.


Attracting tourism and transforming image

Dream, Bold Forest Park, St Helens  ©McCoy Wynne for The Mersey Forest

Dream, Bold Forest Park, St Helens

©McCoy Wynne for The Mersey Forest

In parts of The Mersey Forest area the changes to the landscape have been dramatic. In particular, the beautiful Northwich woodlands, covering a large area once scarred by salt and chemical industries, are now recognised as one of the Cheshire town’s key assets in attracting visitors. The extensive woodland walking and cycle routes complement and connect the waterways of the River Weaver and the Trent and Mersey canal, providing a landscape where recently established tourist attractions of the Anderton Boat Lift and the Lion Salt Works can thrive.


Bold Forest Park, a collection of interlinked woodlands south of St Helens are also changing the image of the town and attracting new visitors, especially to the ‘Dream’ sculpture that dominates the local landscape. The ‘grim up north’ stereotypes are finally beginning to fade as former coalfields burst into new life as recreational and environmental hubs.


The Northern Forest and the future

The greening of the north has only just begun. The Northern Forest is a new 25-year vision to plant 50 million trees across the North of England, stretching from Liverpool to Hull with the M62 as its spine. Working with the Woodland Trust, five Community Forests (The Mersey Forest, City of Trees, HEYwoods, The White Rose Forest and the South Yorkshire Forest) will play a key role in planning and delivering this ambitious plan to reforest the area.


The Northern Forest

The Northern Forest

It’s ambitious – but also essential. There is an urgent need to plant more trees. The IPCC report on Climate Change in October 2018 highlighted the need to plant billions more and make some hard choices globally about how land is used.


The target of 50 million trees equates to trebling the current rate of planting and will create a productive forest across the Northern Powerhouse area that will provide a range of social, economic and environmental benefits.


In thirty years time that means many more northern communities will be able to enjoy the benefits of local woodlands.  Anticipated hotter summers are likely to make outdoors recreation and tourism increasingly desirable – and mature trees will be highly valued for their shading and cooling effect. Urban areas that plant trees now will reap the rewards in decades to come.


You can find out more about The Mersey Forest at www.merseyforest.org.uk.


logo: EOCAThe European Outdoor Conservation Association is a conservation charity set up to raise money from the European outdoor industry to put into conservation projects around the world.  It is a way for the whole industry to work together to give back to the environment it values and depends on for its livelihood.  


With a current focus on tackling plastic pollution in wild habitats, EOCA will work with its members and the European outdoor industry to reduce their use of everyday single use plastics, whilst also raising awareness through the organisation of clean ups to educate people on how to stop plastic waste from getting into wild habitats from the summits of mountains to the depths of the oceans. 


The headline target is that EOCA and its members will collectively clear 3000km of habitat, trail and beach of plastic waste and pollution over the next 2 years.  That is the distance from the Mediterranean coast to Lapland!   With this in mind EOCA has launched a public fundraiser to fund a project across Europe which will raise awareness and educate thousands of people through waste collection and clean-up events.  To donate, or to find out about an event near you to get involved in, please look at www.outdoorconservation.eu 



logo: Campaign for National ParksEveryone deserves the opportunity to experience the wonders of England and Wales’ National Parks. But too many face barriers – including those who stand to benefit most. Campaign for National Parks is the only independent national charity dedicated to all the National Parks in England and Wales. Working hard to make the Parks accessible for everyone. www.cnp.org.uk



Access Seminar - ORNThe Outdoor Recreation Network is pleased to announce that booking is now open for its upcoming “Accessibility in the Outdoors” seminar and site visit on Wednesday 19th June 2019. Hosted by Natural England.

Throughout the day you will hear from key policy makers, stakeholders and industry experts. This seminar also includes a site visit to the National Land Access Centre in Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve. This will include a number of on-site demonstrations led by Natural England, British Horse Society and Forestry England as well as an opportunity to meet manufacturers.

Spaces are limited and expected to fill up fast as this topic is of real interest to many. Tickets cost £70pp and can be booked online via Eventbrite: http://bit.ly/2Ypcmo7


logo: Active OutdoorsHow to Reverse Engineer the Building Blocks to a Resilient and Healthy Outdoor Recreation Industry

An opinion piece from Rob Sayers, Owner and Editor, Active Outdoors


You want to get more people outdoors?  Marketing alone won't help you.  Somehow you need to drive the need where it is seen as desirable, accessible and a rewarding experience.  But how do you bridge the gap between those new customers and returning customers?  Getting them to the mountains is not the whole answer.


Bring the Mountains to the People and Make it the Easiest Choice

Modern society loves convenience and value for money.  People inherently take the path of least resistance.  Why work things out for yourself when you can ask someone or look it up online?  If the value of the end goal is not clear, why bother?  The effort people are willing to make depends on knowing what the reward is.  Better Technology and shopping habits have made it so easy to get things delivered to your doorstep. Except for the great outdoors. To experience the mountains you have to travel, pay, and have the knowledge, skills and inclination to go there. All very well for existing outdoor enthusiasts, but it is a very daunting experience for newcomers.  Why spend your hard earned cash on the unknown?  What about reaching those who have never been before?  The travel industry currently preaches to the converted.  Websites give details of holidays for those who know what they want.  What is your business doing to reach those who know nothing about the things you do?


Outdoor Experiences on the Doorstep 

Over the years some interesting habits have been observed that are associated with recreation and outdoor leisure.  People want:

  • to feel good about themselves
  • health and wellbeing
  • convenience
  • to be social
  • food and drink
  • fun
  • personal accomplishment
  • to do or try something interesting

Spreading the Resources to Spread the Load

An holistic systems approach is needed to build the outdoor recreation economy, businesses commonly use the approach of find a need, build it, market it and the people will come.  Unfortunately the internet is disruptive to traditional business that new ways of thinking are required to not only stay ahead of the game but to also build resilience into the industry.  If the mountains are too much of a distant concept for your potential customers, how can you bridge that divide to bring the appeal and experience closer? 


The outdoor recreation industry prides itself on trying to get people out of the towns and cities and into the countryside to enjoy leisure activities.  However, the types of people they wish to target do not necessarily have the means or motivation to visit the depths of the countryside.  Also, the pressure this exerts on the rural infrastructure and natural environment is not sustainable.  So why not bring outdoor recreation to where the people are?


If you have ever visited Go Ape or a Forestry Commission site, you will find trailhead shops that rent and sell outdoor gear for cyclists, hikers and casual weekenders.  In addition to the compulsory teashop, cafe or restaurant, these shops provide visitors with a single choice of purchase for the right here and now.  I have seen people spend huge amounts of money on the latest gear just because they want to have it there and then and experience some outdoor fun.  Why didn't they plan ahead?  The thing is that most people will buy due to convenience or as a spontaneous purchase.  


Why not exploit the societal behaviour by providing that convenience in the locations where people are most in need of those healthy recreational options?  Develop green spaces and facilities in the centre of towns and cities and provide trail head shops and services to enable casual visitors to be more active outdoors. At the same time give people the opportunities to spend more time socially being active recreationally.


I think that if a study is carried out to compare the high streets that are still thriving and those that are not, they will observe that the ones that thrive have the following:

  1. Good quality places to eat and drink socially
  2. Green spaces nearby such as parks, playgrounds, golf courses, tennis courts, sports pitches and multi-use games areas.
  3. Leisure centres, gyms and other indoor recreational spaces
  4. Easy access via cars and public transport
  5. Shops providing recreational goods and gear
  6. Wifi
  7. Events
  8. Good street lighting
  9. A safe environment
  10. Places to sit, spectate, relax and read.


If you compare this with what Center Parcs has to offer, you will find that it is very similar in how it has been set up.  The focal recreational hub also has places to socialise, eat and drink.  There are plenty of places for those of all ages who want to be a part of the social scene but don't necessarily want to actively join in.  This is ideal for grandparents and those less able.  It allows people of all ages to feel a part of the activity.


Events are also a key part of the recreational hub.  Organised events and activities whether they are activities such as parkrun, craft days or nature watches, all the way up to outdoor cinema screenings, concerts, theatre and fireworks.


So, through a bit of urban design, local councils can have a huge impact on the Nation's health, wellbeing and prosperity.  This will impact the burden on the National Health Service, improve the mental health of the population, improve the economy, and bring the heart back to the community.  This will see a rise in people spending time together for real, and could help to reduce the screen time addiction society is succumbing to.


Once the population experiences the pleasure and benefits of being active outdoors in their local community, the outdoor leisure and travel industries will see an upturn in the number of people wanting to explore further afield and experience the adventures to be had around the world.


So What Can the Recreation, Travel and Tourist Industry do?

The key thing is to invest in recreation in the urban communities where your target customer base is.  Convert your customer base where they live and make sure your brand is associated with the resources and facilities you are providing.  One way is to sponsor local council recreation projects.  Running events, mountain biking trails, sports facilities, city parks and events are all ways to get your brand in front of your potential customers.  UK outdoor research has shown that word of mouth and personal recommendations are the best way to attract new customers.  Give them a taster of what you have to offer and move them in the right direction.  Play for the long game, provide unique outstanding experiences that are value for money, but be attentive to changing trends and a resilient business will be yours.

You can find plenty more inspiration on how to get people active outdoors on the Active Outdoors blog at https://www.activeoutdoors.info


ACE - Enhance people’s lives facilitating physical and emotional wellbeing through adventure. Based in Moray by the River Findhorn, Scotland we offer white water rafting, river tubing, canyoning, canoeing, paintball & disc golf. A unique camping experience in birch woodland - bell tents and shepherd huts. www.aceadventures.co.uk


Adventure Vertical offer abseiling, canyoning, caving, mountain walking & rock climbing. info@adventurevertical.co.uk 07849 398288. Go Cave – caving & mining exploration. www.gocave.com 


Award winning Goodleaf Tree Climbing provides the perfect offbeat adventure for those looking for a unique, high quality activity. Using rope and harness you’ll ascend into the canopy of a magnificent tree. Swing around, climb to the top or simply enjoy the magical experience of being high in the branches. www.goodleaf.co.uk email info@goodleaf.co.uk 0333 800 1188


British Exploring Society is a youth development charity that believes challenging experiences can change and empower the lives of young people. Leading with us is a chance to work with young people on expeditions to remote locations where they face challenges, gain skills and learn about themselves. www.britishexploring.org


Exciting and fun filled residential trips on the stunning Jurassic Coast for schools and youth groups plus DofE Expeditions and Gold Residentials. Adventure activities include coasteering, kayaking and climbing. Fully qualified staff also run adventure experiences for private groups and business fun days. T: 01929 555111 E: info@cumulusoutdoors.com  W: cumulusoutdoors.com


Inspirational adventure swimming in the beautiful Lake District. From short wild swims to weekend breaks. Wetsuit fitting experts and all the gear.  Est 2005. www.swimthelakes.co.uk. 015394 33826. Compston Rd, Ambleside.


The CJS Team would like to thank everyone who has contributed adverts, articles and information for this CJS Focus publication. 

Next edition will feature Countryside Management, published 23 September 2019



CJS Announcements and articles of interest.


CJS 25 years logoCJS 25th birthday wishes from Bat Conservation Trust and greenspace Scotland


logo: Bat Conservation TrustCongratulations to CJS on their silver anniversary; what a wonderful milestone to celebrate!

Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) was CJS’s first featured charity in 2016; we couldn’t have planned it better as that year was BCT’s silver anniversary! It was really helpful to have a platform such as CJS where we could share the work that we do to protect bats and their habitats, both on the ground and behind the scenes.

During our year we were able inform CJS readers about our National Bat Helpline, invite them to get involved in Citizen Science and illuminate what we do whilst bats are hibernating during winter.

Thanks to CJS we were able to make more people aware of the importance of bats and some of the ways people can get involved to help protect these wonderful creatures and further bat conservation in the UK. Thank you to CJS for giving bats a voice.   

Andreia Correia da Costa, Bat Conservation Trust

Bat Conservation Trust have also given us this month's gift giveaway see below


Congratulations to Countryside Job Service on 25 years of connecting people with great employment and volunteering opportunities in the countryside, greenspace and environment sector.

Julie Procter, Chief Executive, greenspace Scotland

logo: greenspace Scotland


Birthday PresentThis month's Birthday Gift Giveaway!

Tlogo: Bat Conservation Trusthis month's gift giveaway is one for all the budding chiropterologists* out there, it's a Family membership to Bat Conservation Trust.


  Covers up to 2 adults and 2 children at the same address although as Trust president Chris Packham says in his welcome letter if you don't have any children you can always donate your Young Batworker magazine.

the contents of the Bat Conservation Trust family membership welcome pack

Membership benefits include:  Subscription to Bat News and The Young Batworker magazines (published 3 times a year), discounts on bat training courses, priority booking for events and opportunities to get involved in bat conservation

Find out more memberships and join as an individual become a benefactor or sign up for the Teacher / Youth Leader package here

(*people who study bats)


How do you win our birthday gifts?  Simply send us your name and email address (use the form here) and after the closing date, 3 May for the Membership pacakge,  we'll pull the names of the lucky winners out of a hat (OK, use a random number generator but you get the gist!). 

logo: Canal & River TrustFourth article from our Featured Charity

Canal & River Trust

The inside view on our environment team

Caitlin & Jonathan (Canal & River Trust)

(Canal & River Trust)

We’re the charity who cares for 2,000 miles of canals and rivers. We work hard to make life better by water for communities across England and wales, and one way we do that is by helping nature to flourish.

What is it like to be an ecologist at the Canal & River Trust? We speak to two members of the environment team to find out if life really is better by water.


Caitlin Hayman, graduate ecologist

“I joined the Trust as a graduate ecologist in August 2018. A couple of years before that I volunteered for the Trust’s environment team for about 12 months.

“Doing my work placement at the Trust really opened my eyes. The roles here are so varied, with a strong element of conservation as well as ecology. I regularly work on the Pocklington Canal Site of Special Scientific Interest, which is such a beautiful spot. I feel lucky to be able to spend time in the fresh air.”

Over the last few months Caitlin has been involved with several key projects, including installing bat boxes as part of the Tesco Bag for Life Scheme with West Yorkshire Bat Group and conducting water vole surveys on the Chesterfield Canal.

“Water voles are in decline due to habitat loss and predation by mink. Part of my job is to work with our skilled engineers to find solutions and safe ways to create new habitats for water voles.”

(Canal & River Trust)

(Canal & River Trust)


But Caitlin also very much enjoyed being part of the environment team as a volunteer.

“I co-ordinated seal surveys up at the Tees Barrage. That’s something you really wouldn’t expect to do while working for the Canal & River Trust. People don’t realise that seals can be found on the Trust’s network, but they’re there. We saw 3-4 seals most days.

“The seal surveys helped us to gain insights into seal feeding behaviour, which in turn helps inform the fish-friendly operating scheme we have at the Tees Barrage. We have a fish rule which ensures migrating fish can always pass quickly across the barrage. The Trust is a waterways and wellbeing charity, and it’s so nice that we always work with wildlife in mind.”


Jonathan Hart-Woods, senior ecologist

Jonathan has worked in the Trust’s environment team for nearly 20 years. He joined as a conservation ecologist and is now a senior ecologist, but he has held a number of different roles over the years.

“Canals are brilliant. Working here means you get to see places that most people don’t even know are there, little havens for nature right in the middle of urban areas. And it’s amazing to see how animals use these linear pathways to get around.”

Jonathan joined the Trust thanks to a recommendation from a university friend. Before that he was at the Sports Turf Research Institute at Bingley where he was surveying golf courses and assessing environmental impacts.

(Canal & River Trust)

(Canal & River Trust)

“I have lots of good memories, but probably the most exciting project I ever worked on was the Ribble Link, a new canal which we opened in 2002. I was out on site, working as an operational ecologist. No one had ever done anything like that before, it was challenging and rewarding. A fantastic project with a fantastic team of people.”

“Later I became the main contact for our vegetation contract and worked on a National Tree Programme. I spent a lot of time talking to tree surgeons and it soon became clear that there were gaps in understanding between the tree surgeons and us ecologists. I did some training in arboriculture so I could better understand the situation. That was very interesting as well.

“If you have a career at the Trust you never stop learning. Every day is different. It’s like a vocation.”


Could you be part of our team, working to transform canals and rivers into spaces where local people (and local wildlife) enjoy spending time?  We have professional roles, seasonal roles and volunteer roles available right now. To find out more go to www.canalrivertrust.org.uk or receive all our latest news, offers and more by signing up to our newsletter.


We collate together news from across the internet; sent out in real time via twitter and each day we pick a handful of stories of interest which are included on the Headlines page, the daily email update and here grouped according to subject.


Click on the headline to read more.


Government Announcements, Policy and consultations.

Science research programme launched to inform Defra policy making - defra

Defra appoints six new Academic Fellows to lead Systems Research Programme  

A new Systems Research Programme will look at some of the UK’s most pressing environmental issues to inform and shape key future policy decisions.

The Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) has appointed six senior academic Fellows to focus on five key areas: Rural Land Use, Food, Air Quality, Marine, and Resources and Waste.

The Programme will be led by Professor Ian Boyd, Defra’s Chief Scientific Adviser, and will be delivered in close partnership with the research community.

Each of the five systems will be covered by a senior academic Fellow, taking a so-called ‘systems mapping’ approach to identify how a policy change in one area might affect another, and make sure the connections between environmental issues are properly considered.

A sixth Fellow, the ‘design authority’, will look at broader methodology and make sure that cross-cutting themes are identified.

The new project will support Defra’s extensive EU Exit work and will ensure that future policies are informed by the best possible research.

Sir Patrick Vallance, Government Chief Scientific Adviser said: "It is important that government policies and decisions are informed by the best scientific evidence and strategic long-term thinking. The Defra’s Systems Research Programme is important to delivering this aim by bringing together multidisciplinary science in a policy-relevant manner."

The successful candidates are based at universities across the UK and will spend part of their time supporting Defra in this project alongside continuing their academic roles.


SOS for sea-life - UK Marine Strategy shows spectacular failure to protect our seas - Wildlife and Countryside Link

Conservation and environment groups are highlighting the spectacular failure of UK Governments to deliver on their collective promises to keep our seas healthy and biologically diverse shown in the revised UK Marine Strategy

Conservation and environment groups are highlighting the spectacular failure of UK Governments to deliver on their collective promises to keep our seas healthy and biologically diverse shown in the revised UK Marine Strategy (published late yesterday, 9 May). Conservation experts are calling on Governments across the UK to radically up the ambition and plans outlined in the proposals in order to tackle the current ocean emergency.
Harbour Seal (Keith Luke / Unsplash)The new UK Marine Strategy shows that to date the UK has only succeeded on 4 out of 15 indicators needed for healthy oceans. Yet despite this failure and dire warnings of biodiversity declines on land and sea by the UN this week this key UK framework, which aims to help ensure marine ecosystems recover to a healthy condition, is worryingly weak.

Harbour Seal (Keith Luke / Unsplash)

Environmentalists are warning that without a step-change in approach we risk losing not only iconic nature, but also the benefits that a healthy marine environment provides for people.

Conservationists are urging the Governments across the UK to up their ambition on the targets and timelines for helping our seas to recover, and effectively resource the delivery of the UK Marine Strategy, including compliance, enforcement and monitoring. Specific actions needed include:

  • Increased protection for wildlife: through a well-managed network of UK Marine Protected Areas (see EAC criticism yesterday of the current network), ambitious conservation strategies, for vulnerable species and habitats, and robust measures to protect against invasive non-native species;
  • Delivering recovery and restoration: through a highly ambitious conservation programme, including helping restore carbon rich ecosystems to help limit climate change;
  • Ensuring sustainable fishing and aquaculture: through an exacting UK Fisheries Bill, and potential new UK devolved fisheries legislation, that builds on and improves existing EU environmental standards and effective secondary legislation on the reduction and elimination of bycatch;
  • Reducing pollution of our seas: through a wide range of measures to slash waste at the source, boost recycling, phase out the most harmful products, and tackle complex chemical pollution;
  • Cutting ocean noise pollution: through a comprehensive strategy working with countries that share our seas;
  • Delivering an effective marine planning system by 2021: that robustly considers the man made impact on our seas and the interaction between land and sea.


Read more and take part in the consultation:

Defra Open consultation - Updating the UK marine strategy part one (2019)

Summary: Seeking views on our updated UK marine strategy and the targets to achieve or maintain Good Environmental Status (GES) in UK seas.
This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 20 June 2019

Consultation description: We want to know what you think about the updated UK marine strategy (part one). In particular, if you think we have:

  • accurately assessed the state of UK marine waters
  • identified the right criteria to monitor progress towards GES
  • proposed effective targets to achieve and maintain GES for UK seas

The proposed objectives, targets and indicators will be used for the next 6 years. 

More here. 


First review of 25 Year Environment Plan published - Defra

The first progress report of the landmark 25 Year Environment Plan is published during the Year of Green Action.

The government has today (16 May 2019) published the first progress report of its landmark 25 Year Environment Plan indicating that, in the first year alone, 90% of the plan’s actions have been delivered or are being progressed.

Launched in January 2018, the 25 Year Environment Plan sets 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.

Over the last 12 months, the government has:

  • Cracked down on plastic waste by setting out plans to ban plastic straws, cotton buds and stirrers and extend the 5p plastic bag charge, and overhauling our waste system with a comprehensive Resources and Waste Strategy.
  • Laid our landmark Agriculture Bill before Parliament to introduce a fairer, more sustainable system of environmental land management.
  • Committed to plans for the first Environment Bill in 20 years.
  • Safeguarded our forests and woodlands by kick-starting the creation of a Northern Forest and appointing a Tree Champion.
  • Protected precious wildlife habitats by launching a review to strengthen and enhance England’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
  • Protected our marine environment by launching our flagship Fisheries Bill, introducing one of the world’s toughest bans on microbeads and consulting on 41 new Marine Conservation Zones.
  • Put the UK at the forefront of combatting the illegal wildlife trade through introducing one of the world’s toughest ivory bans and hosting the global Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in London.

Response: Government 25 Year Environment Plan progress report published today - The Wildlife Trusts

Joan Edwards, Director of Public Affairs at The Wildlife Trusts, comments on the 25 Year Environment Plan progress report

Today (16 May 2019) the Government published its 25 Year Environment Plan progress report.

Joan Edwards, Director of Public Affairs at The Wildlife Trusts, comments: “We welcome the publication of this progress report and congratulate Defra for substantially raising its ambition over recent years.  Securing nature’s recovery will take decades, however, as the very small amount of progress shows.  Other Government departments need a total rethink.  And irrespective of Brexit challenges, there is no justification for the massively destructive road proposals currently being driven through by central government and its agencies. This is in their gift and needs to change. Specifically, we have failed to meet Good Environmental status in our seas. The Agriculture and Fisheries Bills have stalled in Parliament with no date for their return. This means we are missing the opportunity to help the 75% of our land that is farmed do more to help nature recover – and at sea the publication of the UK Marine Strategy has demonstrated that we are only meeting 4 out of 15 targets to achieve cleaner, healthier marine ecosystems. The Government confirmed that they are making biodiversity net gain mandatory for development that requires planning permission. This is progress but not the full solution even on land, as some species need wide open expanses.  Most unjustifiably it does not apply to large infrastructure projects such as HS2 and new roads.”


The government's response to the Natural Capital Committee's sixth annual report - defra Policy paper

The government is grateful for the expert advice the Natural Capital Committee (NCC) has provided in its sixth annual report. The NCC is a world first and its expertise has placed us at the leading edge of natural capital thinking.

As a result of the NCC’s work, we:

  • better understand England’s natural assets and benefits we get from nature
  • recognise that the environmental assets that provide our clean air and water, opportunities for recreation, and our food and fibre, are an essential component of our nation’s infrastructure
  • are able to make better decisions about how we interact with and manage our natural environment to ensure its health and resilience
  • published the 25 Year Environment Plan (25 YEP), in 2018 - the first 25 YEP progress report, which will report on progress against the 25 YEP goals, has also been published
  • made progress in other areas including developing local natural capital planning approaches such as the Oxford – Cambridge Arc, natural capital accounting, and plans to better measure and protect marine natural capital

We agree with the Committee that in order to achieve the goals set out in the plan and meet the objective set in 2011 to be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it, substantive action is essential.


Gove takes action to ban plastic straws, stirrers, and cotton buds - Defra

The government confirms a ban on plastic straws, stirrers, and cotton buds to slash plastic waste

(image: Defra)Environment Secretary Michael Gove has today confirmed a ban on plastic straws, drinks stirrers, and plastic stemmed cotton buds in England, following overwhelming public support for the move.

(image: pixabay)

Following an open consultation, a ban on the supply of plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds will come into force in April 2020. The ban will include exemptions to ensure that those with medical needs or a disability are able to continue to access plastic straws.

The government’s response to the consultation published today (22 May) reveals over 80% of respondents back a ban on the distribution and sale of plastic straws, 90% a ban on drinks stirrers, and 89% a ban on cotton buds.

There are instances where using plastic straws is necessary for medical reasons and the government will therefore ensure that those that need to use plastic straws for medical reasons can still access them. Registered pharmacies will be allowed to sell plastic straws over the counter or online. Catering establishments such as restaurants, pubs and bars will not be able to display plastic straws or automatically hand them out, but they will be able to provide them on request. The government believes this strikes the right balance between reducing environmental impact while protecting the rights of people with medical conditions and disabilities. The government will carry out a stocktake after one year to assess the impact of these measures and whether the balance is correct.

Response: CPRE reaction to ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds - CPRE

The Environment Secretary Michael Gove has today (22 May) announced a ban on plastic straws, drinks stirrers and plastic stemmed cotton buds in England, which will come into force in April 2020.

CPRE welcomes the ban but criticises the government’s failure to ban these single-use items altogether. The countryside charity warns that by allowing manufacturers to simply use alternative materials for these unnecessary single-use products, without any charges or taxes to drive a reduction in their use, will do little to prevent their littering and does not encourage a move to a circular economy.

Exemptions are in place for the use of plastic straws for people with medical conditions and disabilities, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds can still be used for medical and scientific purposes, where these are often the only practical option. CPRE supports these exceptions.


England's Marine Life Protected With Blue Belt Expansion - defra

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has today (31 May 2019) created 41 new Marine Conservation Zones, marking the most significant expansion of England’s ‘Blue Belt’ of protected areas to date.  

A picture of Birling Gap looking over the Beachy Head West MCZ. (Credit: Natural England.)A picture of Birling Gap looking over the Beachy Head West MCZ. (Credit: Natural England.)

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has today created 41 new Marine Conservation Zones, marking the most significant expansion of England’s ‘Blue Belt’ of protected areas to date.

Stretching from Cornwall to Northumberland, the new protections safeguard 12,000 square kilometres of marine habitat, an area almost eight times the size of Greater London. Today’s announcement follows the government’s manifesto commitment to create a Blue Belt of marine protection for Britain’s overseas territories and its own coast, and builds on the ambition of the 25 Year Environment Plan.

The rare stalked jellyfish, short-snouted seahorse and blue mussel beds are among the species and habitats that will benefit from the protections.

With 50 zones already designated in 2013 and 2016, the UK now has 355 Marine Protected Areas of different types, spanning 220,000 square km – nearly twice the size of England.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: " The UK is already leading the rest of the world by protecting over 30% of our ocean - but we know there is more to do. Establishing this latest round of Marine Conservation Zones in this Year of Green Action is another big step in the right direction, extending our blue belt to safeguard precious and diverse sea life for future generations to come."


Expanded Blue Belt welcomed - But Government must champion its protection - Wildlife and Countryside Link

Conservation and environment groups welcome the new Marine Conservation Zones but warn they will be little more than 'paper parks' without effective management and well-resourced enforcement

The conservation sector welcomes the announcement by Defra today of 41 new Marine Conservation Zones. Nearly doubling the number of conservation zones in English and Secretary of State Waters is a big step forward, but 12 charities, co-ordinated by Wildlife and Countryside Link, are warning that without effective management and well-resourced enforcement these sites will be little more than ‘paper parks’ and sea life will continue to decline.

Just this month the Environmental Audit Committee slammed the lack of protection for these areas as part of its Sustainable Seas report – outlining concerns that “Government is doing little more than putting lines on a map’ with very few restrictions on harmful activities such as pulse fishing in many protected areas. This report coincided with the UN IPBES biodiversity report which showed the alarming declines in nature and the huge impact of human activities on the biodiversity of marine ecosystems.
Earlier this month Defra announced its failure to achieve healthy seas through the UK Marine Strategy, managing to meet just 4 of the 15 targets. The collective UK Governments’ admission that our oceans are in poor health is a wake-up call; we must grasp this once in a lifetime opportunity to turn the tide on biodiversity loss. The expanded network of Marine Protected Areas goes some way to safeguarding our seas from further harm but proper management and Government collaboration will also be key. Some of the new sites proposed cover areas in the Irish Sea but despite commitments, Scottish Government have delayed a public consultation for further MPA sites in Scottish waters for 4 years and Wales is yet to announce its own plans for MCZs. 

New wave of protection for the sea announced today - The Wildlife Trusts

The Wildlife Trusts call for effective management of 41 new Marine Conservation Zones

Today The Wildlife Trusts welcome the news that the Government is designating a third phase of 41 new Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs).  This historic move will help protect the seas around our shores and follows on from previous announcements of 50 MCZs (in 2013 and 2016). It is the third of three phases promised by the Government in order to fulfil the remit of the Marine and Coastal Access Act.

Fireworks anemone, Irish Sea  (image: © Paul Naylor)Fireworks anemone, Irish Sea  (image: © Paul Naylor) 

Joan Edwards, Director of Living Seas at The Wildlife Trusts, says: “It’s fantastic news that now we have 91 Marine Conservation Zones – they will form a vital series of underwater habitats which can be nursed back to health. The Wildlife Trusts have been calling for the government to give real protection to a network of diverse sea-bed landscapes since 2009 and over 22,000 people joined our call for better protection of our seas during last summer’s consultation.  Huge thanks to everyone who has supported this change! Now we need to see good management of these special places to stop damaging activities such as beam-trawling or dredging for scallops and langoustines which harm fragile marine wildlife.”

41 New Marine Conservation Zones Welcomed By Marine Conservation Society 

But the real challenge is now making them matter for people and wildlife says charity .

The UK’s leading marine charity, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), says it welcomes today’s announcement by the government of the creation of 41 new Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs), but warns that proper investment in their management and monitoring must be made if they are to benefit both people and wildlife. 
21,000 people took part in last summer’s MCS campaign urging Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, to be ambitious and designate 41 sites offered for public consultation at the time. 
“This is great news for marine wildlife and we are delighted that government has approved the protection of these special marine areas,” said Dr Jean-Luc Solandt, MCS Principal Specialist, MPAs.  “The UK has a growing network of more than 300 marine protected areas, but the government must now invest in proper management of these sites and keep them free of all activities that damage the seabed so that our spectacular marine wildlife can recover from decades of destruction and degradation.”  


Disease-tolerant trees to be planted in UK’s 'ash tree archive' - Defra

Biosecurity Minister launches Government's new Ash Research Strategy

Credit: Future Trees TrustAsh trees demonstrating tolerance to the highly destructive tree disease ash dieback will be planted in the UK’s first ‘ash tree archive’.

Credit: Future Trees Trust

This was announced by Biosecurity Minister Lord Gardiner at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank today (Thursday 6 June) as he launched the Government’s new Ash Research Strategy.

This strategy consolidates all the evidence on ash trees and their threats to identify future research needs to protect the species and restore it to our landscape. These threats include the tree disease ash dieback, which has the potential to cause significant damage to the UK’s ash trees population, and the pest emerald ash borer.

Defra has jointly funded a number of successful research projects that have identified trees which appear to be showing signs of tolerance to ash dieback. These trees are the next important step in developing a future breeding programme of disease-resistant ash trees.


Land and Countryside Management.

 Woodland Trust supports calls to halt HS2 site clearance

The Woodland Trust has welcomed calls by more than 40 local councils to stop advance site clearance for HS2.

Buckinghamshire County Council, Aylesbury Vale District Council and Chiltern District Council as well as 41 town and parish councils along the route of the first phase of the project, from London to Birmingham, say the enabling works should be put on hold until Notices to Proceed are issued.

A Notice to Proceed is a letter to a contractor informing them of the date they can start work. The date mentioned will be the official start of the contract.

Woodland Trust ecologist Luci Ryan said: “We fully understand the concerns of the councils as they mirror our own in respect of the ancient woodland due to be cleared later this year. While the enabling works are legal we question whether they are right given the project is under review. If huge swathes of ancient woodland are destroyed and HS2 is then scrapped then we will have lost a rare, irreplaceable habitat for nothing. The fact we are losing ancient woodland at all is terrible. To lose it needlessly would be a travesty.”


Invasive species the biggest pressure on nature sites - Scottish Natural Heritage

The majority of Scotland’s natural features are doing well but some face significant challenges from invasive species and other threats, new figures suggest.
Official statistics published by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) show that almost 8 in 10 (78.9%) of more than 5,000 features on protected nature sites – including habitats, species and earth sciences such as fossil beds and caves - were assessed as in a favourable or recovering condition in 2019.

The figure represents a slight drop of 0.8 percentage points since last year but is up 2.9 percentage points from 2007.

bracken (image: pixabay)Only around two-thirds (65.5%) of features were found to have reached favourable condition, reflecting the many challenges nature still faces in Scotland.  However a further 13.4% have been assessed as on the road to recovery.

Over the year, the condition of 47 natural features improved to favourable or recovering condition, while 76 deteriorated to unfavourable condition.

bracken (image: pixabay)

Many of those in unfavourable condition have no on-site remedy as they are influenced by wider factors, for example declining seabird populations which are thought to be related to changes in prey distribution. Climate change is also believed to be a factor in the decline of a number of sites and poses a long-term threat to Scotland’s nature.

The report, which coincides with Invasive Species Week, shows that invasive species remain the single biggest reason for features being in unfavourable condition, representing 21% of all negative pressures, followed by overgrazing (17.6%).

The full statistical publication can be accessed here. 


Moo-ving on down: Scottish cattle come to Lyme - National Trust

The sights and sounds of Scotland have come to North Cheshire this year, with the arrival of a dozen highland cattle at Lyme.

Part of the National Trust’s major long-term conservation project, these cattle will increase the diversity of grassland plants and wildlife across 1400 acres.

A National Trust ranger tempts a dozen Highland cattle into their new home at Lyme in Cheshire. Credit Mark Waugh / National TrustA National Trust ranger tempts a dozen Highland cattle into their new home at Lyme in Cheshire. Credit Mark Waugh / National Trust

Importantly, the cattle will also graze dry grass in an effort to try to reduce the risk of fire, such as the one that broke out five weeks ago, destroying 15 hectares of moorland, home to several species of bird such as lapwing, curlew and skylarks and mammals including red deer and hares. 

Chris Dunkerley, Lead Ranger at Lyme said: “Cattle have been grazed at Lyme seasonally in the past through agreements with local farmers, but this is the first time that these distinctive, docile animals will be living in the park year-round. Unlike other breeds, they are perfectly adapted to the harsh winter conditions of the moorland area, which they will be roaming in alongside Lyme’s famous historic herd of red deer.”  Chris continued: ”These Highland cattle will graze happily on a wide range of vegetation and are one of the few breeds which can do well eating poor quality grass that has low nutritional value; like that found across the moorland here at Lyme.   “By grazing in relatively low numbers they will help to slowly improve the condition of our grasslands and increase biodiversity.  During the winter months they will eat much of the dead grass which, as we saw recently, can become a serious fire hazard too.  What comes out of the other end of the cows is also an amazing habitat in itself, dung will attract flies and beetles which in turn becomes food for birds and bats.”


Bradford Council seeks PSPO to ban BBQs and fires on moorland – Bradford Council

Bradford Council is looking to bring in a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) which bans barbeques, fires, Chinese lanterns, fireworks and other dangerous items from moorland in the district.

The move comes in the aftermath of recent wildfires on Ilkley Moor and at Marsden Moor in Kirklees.  

Ilkley Moor is owned by Bradford Council and wildfires pose a considerable cost in terms of resources deployed by West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS), the Council, West Yorkshire Police and other agencies, not to mention the environmental damage and risk to property. 

Bradford Council has been working for sometime looking at ways to reduce the amount and impacts of wildfires in the district including working in partnership with the South Pennine Fire Operations Group, which brings together neighbouring local authorities, fire and rescue services, major landowners and land managers. 

As part of this approach and in line with neighbouring authorities, Bradford Council has, at a meeting of the Regulatory and Appeals Committee this morning, approved the start of a consultation on the introduction of a Public Space Protection Order to prohibit fires and barbecues on certain sites in the Bradford district. 

The need to carry out consultation on the introduction of a PSPO is a requirement of the regulations (Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, Section 59). The consultation will run for four weeks which is the minimum requirement.

Danny Jackson Bradford Council’s Countryside and Rights of Way Manager, said: “Our moorland areas are a precious resource and the impacts of wildfire are devastating and can last for a significant amount of time. We want people to enjoy these areas but at the same time people need to be responsible and respect the moors. Prohibiting barbeques and fires in these area sends a clear and strong message that, especially at times of hot, dry weather, we can not take any chances and must reduce the risk of wildfire as much as we can.”


Rewilding Britain have today (Tuesday 21 May) released a report: How restoring nature can help decarbonise the UK - Making nature-based changes to our land use can reduce emissions and draw carbon back out of the atmosphere. 


Fields in Trust Launch Green Space Index - greenspace Scotland

Fields in Trust have today (22 May 2019) published the Green Space Index which for the first time uses new Ordnance Survey data to comprehensively analyse park and greenspace provision across Great Britain. Using the Index, they calculate that over 300,000 people across Scotland are more than ten-minutes walk from a park or greenspace.

The Green Space Index shows that, although Scotland has a total of 24,285 hectares of publicly accessible local parks and greenspace, less than 9% of this space is legally protected with Fields in Trust. With public sector funding cuts leading to pressure on parks and green spaces, the charity highlights the risk that a lack of legal protection could lead to more being sold off or developed.

The Green Space Index also ranks Britain’s nations and regions against a minimum standard of park and greenspace provision. According to the Index, Scotland performs better than all other nations in terms of parks and greenspace provision, as well as outperforming each of the English regions. Scotland both provides more greenspace per person than any other part of Great Britain (45.86 square metres per person) and has the most legally protected greenspace (2,143 hectares). In comparison, England falls just below the minimum provision.

Access the Green Space Index here.


100 miles of new paths celebrated across Scotland - Scottish Natural Heritage

New path funded by Improving Public Access Scheme. Francesca Osowska SNH Chief Exec, Cab Sec, Dave Alston dogwalker and Robin Niven Landowner. ©SNHMore than 100 miles of new and improved paths will be created across Scotland as part of a scheme to boost outdoor access.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is celebrating the construction of hundreds of routes through Improving Public Access (IPA), part of the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme. 

By the end of this year, an equivalent distance to the whole of the West Highland Way from Milngavie to Fort William will have been funded by the scheme.

New path funded by Improving Public Access Scheme. Francesca Osowska SNH Chief Exec, Cab Sec,

Dave Alston dogwalker and Robin Niven Landowner. ©SNH

The paths will make it easier for people to enjoy our fantastic countryside with opportunities for all including walkers, wheelchair users, cyclists, horse riders and buggy users.

The new and improved paths will connect towns and villages and provide a great variety of ways to explore the outdoors in coastal areas, along riverbanks, to viewpoints and around farmland.

Some of the paths will also form part of longer distance routes such as the John Muir Way.

SNH has been working with the Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspections Division (RPID) to deliver the scheme, with a total of £8.5 million committed. 

Since opening in 2015 to farmers, local authorities, charities and community groups a wide range of projects have benefitted with funding to improve existing paths or create new ones. 



Estuary wildlife of the River Tees gets increased protection - Natural England

Natural England has confirmed Teesmouth and Cleveland Coast as a new Site of Special Scientific Interest to protect the wildlife of the Tees Estuary.

Natural England is celebrating the decades of work by industry and nature conservationists to restore the wildlife of the Tees Estuary by confirming the notification of the Teesmouth and Cleveland Coast Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Today’s (7 May 2019) announcement will ensure that the amazing wildlife of the Tees Estuary has a secure future and will make a strong contribution to the ‘blue belt’ of marine protected areas around England.

The Tees Estuary is a unique environment where industrial facilities share the landscape with a wide range of coastal habitats which teem with wildlife.

One of the iconic habour (or common) seals from Seal Sands.There were previously seven SSSIs protecting parts of the Tees Estuary, which have now been merged and expanded into a single, landscape-scale SSSI, totaling nearly 3000 hectares (or 12 square miles). The newly enlarged SSSI will provide clarity for developers and other stakeholders regarding the environmental assets of the site, thereby contributing to sustainable development of this key area for the national economy.

One of the iconic habour (or common) seals from Seal Sands.

The extensions have more than doubled the area of SSSI in the Tees Estuary. Additional areas of sand-dune, saltmarsh, mudflat, grassland, lagoons and estuarial waters are protected, along with the populations of breeding and wintering birds, the iconic population of harbour seals and sand-dune invertebrates.

Given its location close to the urban centres of Hartlepool, Stockton, Middlesbrough and Redcar, the importance of this area for people is integral to our work with partners. The designation will ensure that local communities continue to have this amazing natural resource available as part of their daily lives.


Good news from our Featured Charity Canal and River Trust: Major Leap Forward For Montgomery Canal Restoration

Unique project protects rare wildlife as canal restored for boats 

Waterways and well-being charity, the Canal & River Trust has taken a major leap forwards this spring in the mammoth task to restore the beautiful Montgomery Canal on the Shropshire Welsh border. 

Thanks to a four-year, £4 million project, boats should soon be returning to a section of the canal near Oswestry for the first time since the canal was closed due to a breach in 1936.  

Dragonflies are abundant at the new Aston Locks nature reserve lakes. (image: CRT)Dragonflies are abundant at the new Aston Locks nature reserve lakes. (image: CRT)

The Trust, which cares for the Montgomery and 2,000 miles of canals, has been working with volunteers from the Shropshire Union Canal Society and contractors to upgrade nearly five miles (8km) of towpath, restore 1¼ miles (2km) of the canal to navigation from Maesbury to Crickheath and create a dedicated turning point for narrowboats, known as a ‘winding hole’. Construction of the winding hole has just been completed and the basin is currently being filled with water, which will take about three weeks. 

For the first time in a canal restoration, two nature reserve lakes have been constructed parallel to the canal channel at Aston Locks, near Queens Head, to provide a protective home for rare aquatic flora and fauna removed from the canal. Wildlife such as damselflies, dragonflies, otters, water voles, and rare aquatic plants like Floating Water Plantain Luronium natans  are now successfully colonising their new home.


Trees and Woodland

Ash dieback is predicted to cost £15 billion in Britain - Woodland Trust 

A team of researchers from the University of Oxford, Fera Science, Sylva Foundation and the Woodland Trust has calculated the true economic cost of ash dieback – and the predictions, published today in Current Biology, are staggering:

The total cost of ash dieback to the UK is estimated to be £15 billion

Half of this (£7 billion) will be over the next 10 years

The total cost is 50 times larger than the annual value of trade in live plants to and from Britain, which is the most important route by which invasive plant diseases enter the country

There are 47 other known tree pests and diseases that could arrive in Britain and which may cost an additional £1 billion or more

Ash dieback is expected to kill up to 99% of Britain's ash trees (Photo: Phil Lockwood/WTML)The predicted costs arise from clearing up dead and dying trees and in lost benefits provided by trees, e.g. water and air purification and carbon sequestration. The loss of these services is expected to be the biggest cost to society, while millions of ash trees also line Britain’s roads and urban areas, and clearing up dangerous trees will cost billions of pounds.

Ash dieback is expected to kill up to 99% of Britain's ash trees (Photo: Phil Lockwood/WTML)

The scientists say that the total cost could be reduced by replanting lost ash trees with other native trees, but curing or halting the disease is not possible. They advise that the government’s focus now has to be on preventing introductions of other non-native diseases to protect our remaining tree species.


  • A nationwide replanting scheme could reduce the overall cost by £2.5 billion, by ensuring that lost ecosystem services are replaced
  • Greater focus on and investment in biosecurity and sourcing of safe plant material is needed to keep new diseases out
  • Introduce far tighter controls on imports of all live plants for planting, as this is the largest pathway through which tree diseases are introduced


The search is on for the most spectacular trees - Woodland Trust

The Woodland Trust is searching for the most loved, visually stunning tree, with the most fascinating story, for Tree of the Year 2019.

Tree of the Year 2018 Nellie's Tree (Photo: Rob Grange / WTML) Now in its sixth year, Tree of the Year highlights and celebrates special trees across the UK. A tree may be a village’s oldest inhabitant, a founding figure in a region’s identity, or a landmark in the nation’s story.

Tree of the Year 2018 Nellie's Tree (Photo: Rob Grange / WTML)

If it’s phenomenal-looking too, then that’s even better! Any individual, group or organisation can nominate a tree and share its story at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/treeoftheyear/ from 7 May 2019 until 19 July 2019. The entries will then be shortlisted by a panel of independent experts before facing a public vote.

It could be a majestic, knobbly, knotted centuries-old oak planted at the time of the War of the Roses, that’s endured the ravages of time. It might be a mighty beech tree grown from a seed planted by a child in the field behind their house. Whatever the species, whatever the story, it’s what sets it apart from the rest the Trust wants to hear.

Last year’s English winner, Nellie’s Tree - three beech trees grafted together into the shape of the letter ‘N’ – from Aberford near Leeds, stole hearts with its century-old story of love and courtship. Nellie’s Tree went on to represent the UK in the European contest based in Brussels.


Atlantic Woodland Alliance launched to save Scotland’s rainforest - Woodland Trust on behalf of the Alliance 

Some of Scotland’s largest nature conservation organisations are coming together in a bid to save the country’s dwindling rainforests - found on the west coast from Wester Ross down to Argyll.

Members of the Atlantic Woodland Alliance will gather at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh today (Monday) for the launch of a State of Scotland's Rainforest report outlining the current condition of these rare woodlands.  The partners will now work to implement a strategy to save and expand them.

Bryophyte-rich ravine at Beinn Eighe (Photo: Stan Phillips/Scotland Natural Heritage) Bryophyte-rich ravine at Beinn Eighe (Photo: Stan Phillips/Scotland Natural Heritage)

“Scotland’s rainforest is just as lush and just as important as tropical rainforest, but is even rarer,” said Adam Harrison of Woodland Trust Scotland. “It is found along the west coast and on the inner isles and is a unique habitat of ancient native oak, birch, ash, pine and hazel woodlands and includes open glades and river gorges. Our rainforest relies on mild, wet and clean air coming in off the Atlantic, and is garlanded with a spectacular array of lichens, fungi, mosses, liverworts and ferns.  Many are nationally and globally rare and some are found nowhere else in the world.” 

The new report reveals that there is as little as 30,325 hectares of rainforest left in Scotland. The remnant oak, birch, ash, native pine and hazel woodlands are small, fragmented and isolated from each other. They are over mature and often show little or no regeneration. They are in danger of being lost forever.

 Almost all of the rainforest is overgrazed to a degree that will prevent it from re-growing.

Invasive rhododendron can be found in 40% of rainforest sites where it threatens to choke the woodlands and prevent the distinctive rainforest flora from surviving.

One in every five sites has been planted up with exotic conifer plantations which lower their value as rainforest habitat.

Ash dieback threatens the future of our northern and western most ash woods.

Climate change and air pollution are set to decimate the last refuge for the rare plants that make the rainforest so special to us and the rest of the world. 

The Alliance is made up of Butterfly Conservation Scotland, the Community Woodlands Association, Forestry and Land Scotland, Future Woodlands Scotland, John Muir Trust, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority, the National Trust for Scotland, Plantlife Scotland, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, RSPB Scotland, Scottish Forestry, Scottish Land and Estates, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Trees for Life and the Woodland Trust Scotland. 

Download The State of Scotland's rainforest report.


Animal and wildlife news. 

NWCU launch ‘Undisturbed’ – a social media initiative to raise awareness for wildlife photographers and drone users of their responsibilities to wildlife - UK National Wildlife Crime Unit

The affordability of modern digital camera technology has produced an ever-growing interest in capturing photographs of wildlife. A number of leading UK wildlife photographers and charitable organisations have now expressed concern at the amount of wildlife disturbance being caused by prospective photographers seeking natural history subjects. Unlicensed disturbance of mammals and birds may result in a conviction under wildlife or marine legislation attracting sentences up to £5,000 fine or 6 month’s imprisonment.

Leading photographer Laurie Campbell has over 40 years’ experience in photographing wildlife and has seen a gradual increase in the number of wildlife disturbance incidents by members of the public with cameras. Click through for Laurie's advice.  

Further information on how to photograph wildlife safely can be found at:

British Birds – bird photography code of practice

Royal Photographic Society – the Nature Photographers’ Code of Practice


UK’s wildlife police unit launch public awareness drive with WDC to counter increasing dolphin disturbance - Whale and Dolphin Conservation

As the holiday season approaches, increasing reports of dolphin disturbance incidents in the waters around the UK involving members of the public have prompted WDC to launch a new public information drive in partnership with the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) - a dedicated British police department that gathers intelligence on wildlife crime.

Of particular concern is the lack of awareness of the existing laws around disturbance by members of the public using boats, jet skis, or who attempt to jump in and swim with dolphins in the seas around the UK. This leads to a worrying lack of reporting of incidents, which are on the increase but thought to be much higher because many boat users and holiday makers simply do not know what the rules are or how to report incidents they witness.

Surprisingly, the only region where incidences of disturbance are recorded to the appropriate level of detail currently is in Cornwall, where 136 incidences were reported to the Cornwall Marine and Coastal Code Group hotline in 2017. Prosecutions are rare, yet disturbance is a regular occurrence over the summer months when the waters are busy and coastal wildlife is most accessible.

WDC staff and volunteers regularly witness disturbance first-hand and receive many reports from concerned marine wildlife enthusiasts, which has prompted the new awareness drive.

‘Our key aim is to stop disturbance before it happens by raising awareness of the issues’, says Alice Walters, WDC policy officer.

Further reading:

Alice has written a blog post for Wildlife and Countryside Link launching the new It's Rude to Intrude campaign here.

Read about the new awareness drive and see the promotional video here.


Great new(t)s for North Wales - Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust

Great crested newts are returning to a corner of north-east Wales, thanks to a partnership between ARC and the housing developer Redrow.

Surveys across six ponds at the 0.8ha White Lion Nature Reserve at Penymynydd in Flintshire show a six-fold increase in our most protected newt between 2014 and 2019.

While the total so far is small – seven newts five years ago rising to 30 at the last count – North Wales Officer Mandy Cartwright says the signs are positive.

“The newer ponds are maturing nicely and the newt population is increasing steadily,” said Mandy. “We are delighted to join our partners Redrow in celebrating the success of this development for wildlife, the environment and local people.”

Redrow’s 85-home Heritage Park development just over the Welsh border enabled the partnership, providing ARC as a charity with sustainable income to preserve native wildlife species and their habitats.



Dormouse habitat connected in Wensleydale - Yorkshire Dales National Park

Nearly half a mile of hedgerows has been planted in Wensleydale to help expand the territory of one of the UK’s most endangered mammals, the hazel dormouse.

The new hedgerows create a ‘highway’ for dormice to move between areas of woodland.   Dormice had become extinct in Yorkshire and much of the country, but after reintroductions in 2008 and 2016 have regained a foothold in mid-Wensleydale.

The hedgerow planting (a total of 750 metres) was part of a three-year project – now entering its last year – supported by grants of £75,000 from the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) and nearly £48,000 from Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.

The project contributes to the new National Park Management Plan 2019-2024 objective C2 ‘to achieve…increasing populations for 90% of priority species’.

Ian White, Dormouse and Training Officer at PTES says: “Dormice have declined in the UK by 38% since the year 2000 due mainly to a lack of woodland management and a loss of hedgerows. The project to restore hazel dormice to Wensleydale, where we know they were a hundred years ago, has been a great success. Hedge planting and better woodland management should help to ensure they can remain in this area of Yorkshire for at least the next hundred years.”

For pictures and the full story please see our latest blog.


National Bat Monitoring Programme Annual Report 2018 - Bat Conservation Trust

The latest results of the National Bat Monitoring Programme (NBMP) with data up to the end of September 2018 are now available. Download the report here.

Last year nearly 1,000 dedicated volunteer citizen scientists carried out NBMP surveys at a total of 1,907 sites across the UK. The survey results allow BCT to estimate population trends for 11 out of the 17 species of bat which breed in the UK. Unfortunately, at present we are not able to produce population trends for some of the rarer and more habitat-specialist bat species such as barbastelle or Bechstein’s bat as they are difficult to monitor or rarely encountered.

Results of the NBMP show that from the baseline year of monitoring (1999 for most species) to 2018, GB populations of the 11 species of bat surveyed appear to be stable or increasing. A few results need treating with some caution and there are regional and/or country differences. Species considered to have increased in Great Britain since the baseline year of monitoring are greater horseshoe bat, lesser horseshoe bat, Natterer’s bat and common pipistrelle, all of which often use buildings to roosts in.

Even though these are encouraging results, these trends reflect relatively recent changes in bat populations. It is generally believed that during the early 20th century there were significant declines in bat populations. Possible drivers of the historical declines include agricultural intensification, loss of roosting and foraging habitat, persecution, pesticides including the use of toxic timber treatment chemicals within roosts, water quality, declines in invertebrate prey groups, development and land-use change and climate change.


Animal Friends Insurance supporting the National Bat Helpline - Bat Conservation Trust 

Out of Hours Bat Line logoWe are pleased to announce that the National Bat Helpline Out of Hours Service is launching today (24 May 2019). Just in time too, since we heard about the first wild born bat baby (known as a pup) this week. One of the organisations that have lent their support to the work done by the National Bat Helpline is Animal Friends Insurance who have very generously donated £10,000 toward the bat care aspect of the work done by the Helpline.

The Helpline plays a critical role in educating enquirers about the legal protection of bats, the fact that they pose no threat to buildings or their human occupants, and their importance to the UK’s environment and economy. A large proportion of the enquiries that the helpline receives every year relate to roost enquiries within England, this work is currently carried out on behalf of Natural England (NE) and is partially funded directly by them in the form of a contract. For the rest of the enquiries, the Helpline relies on generous donations from Bat Conservation Trust members, supporters and donors as well as from charitable trusts and foundations.


North Yorkshire Police officer takes on national badger protection role - North Yorkshire Police

Insp Kevin Kelly with a badger that was separated from its mum and is currently being rehabilitated (Image: NY Police)A national group which aims to protect badgers from persecution has a new lead from North Yorkshire.

Inspector Kevin Kelly, of North Yorkshire Police, has taken on the high-profile role in the Badger Persecution Priority Delivery Group, part of the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU).

Insp Kevin Kelly with a badger that was separated from its mum and is currently being rehabilitated (Image: NY Police)

As plan owner, Insp Kelly will lead the group’s work to improve and increase the recording of incidents, crimes and intelligence for badger persecution, improve the investigation process and increase awareness of badger persecution across the UK.

Badger persecution is one of six national wildlife crime priorities. The term covers the cruel practice of badger baiting, as well as the avoidable disturbance or destruction of setts which can occur when people carry out otherwise legal operations on land, such as forestry or agricultural tasks.

Insp Kelly was named Wildlife Enforcer of the Year, a national award, in November 2017, and in December 2018 won a national commendation from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) for Operation Owl, a rural crime operation aimed at tackling raptor persecution through partnership working.

Inspector Kelly is operational lead for wildlife crime at North Yorkshire Police, leading a team of 41 Wildlife Crime Officers across the force. Keep up to date with Kevin by following his new twitter account @NYAnimalCop


Are we driving hedgehogs to extinction? – The Mammal Society

Photo by Zoe ShreeveA squashed hedgehog on the side of the road used to be such a common sight that a road safety campaign was launched on the back of it. Who over the age of about thirty doesn’t remember 1997’s King of the Road hedgehogs? Twenty years later it is rare to see a dead hedgehog, let alone a live one.

Photo by Zoe Shreeve

The Mammal Society estimated last year that Britain’s hedgehog population may have decreased by as much as 73% in the last twenty years. This means that any hedgehog sighting, whether the mammal is alive or dead, takes on a sobering significance.

Together with People’s Trust for Endangered Species and British Hedgehog Preservation Society the Mammal Society is looking at how we might reduce the number of deaths on roads for this already very vulnerable species.

Professor Fiona Mathews, the Mammal Society Chair, explains “We know that vehicles are still one of the main threats to hedgehog conservation. The most recent estimate of hedgehog road casualties, published in our journal Mammal Communications, is that between 167,000 and 335,000 hedgehogs are killed annually. So, we are trying to work out where and when casualties occur, in order that we can then take steps to prevent them.  For example, we want to assess whether casualties are more common at the edges of towns and cities, or where there are features like walls or hedgerows leading up to roads that might encourage animals to try to cross.”



Conservation campaign works to save cricket’s summer song - South Downs National Park

The South Downs remains the last bastion in the UK for the iconic Field Cricket, whose “cheep, cheep, cheep” is the quintessential sound of summer.

Now conservation groups have joined forces to save one of England’s most threatened species from extinction.

A task force, working under special licence, have been carefully capturing and then transferring small numbers of male and female pairs to new heathland sites, an extremely special habitat that is even rarer than the rainforest.

There are currently six colonies across heathland sites in Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire and it is hoped that the rehoming efforts will allow new colonies to thrive at other protected locations.

It’s a far cry from 30 years ago when the species was isolated to just one site of 100 field crickets in West Sussex. Despite a remarkable comeback largely thanks to volunteers – working in association with local landowners, the Natural England Species Recovery Project, London Zoo, the RSPB  and the Back from the Brink project – the Field Cricket remains one of the most threatened insects in the UK and setting up new colonies is vital for its long-term survival.

Two translocation days took place as volunteers and staff from partner organisations carried out “tickling”, a delicate exercise where the creatures are tempted to leave their burrows and can be carefully captured. 

The rehoming exercise was successful and scientists will now be carefully monitoring the progress of new colonies.


Hopes flying high for seeing rare dragonflies in north Cumbria - Cumbria Wildlife Trust

An exciting conservation project is introducing one of Britain’s rarest dragonflies to Drumburgh Moss.

The white-faced darter, a small, dark dragonfly with a distinctive white head, is currently only found in a handful of sites across England. Cumbria Wildlife Trust, the British Dragonfly Society and Natural England have launched a programme to introduce this rare species at Drumburgh Moss National Nature Reserve near Carlisle. Phase one started in April when staff and volunteers collected over 100 dragonfly larvae from a healthy donor population and released them into specially created pools at the nature reserve.

The decline of white-faced darters in Britain is linked to the destruction of the habitat they depend on – peatlands with deep bog-pools.   Drumburgh Moss was chosen for the dragonfly introduction project as it has over 150 hectares of restored peatbogs, the ideal breeding ground for this species, with quantities of floating Sphagnum moss, which the dragonflies need for laying their eggs.

The Trust has already successfully reintroduced the white-faced darter (Leucorrhinia dubia) at Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve in the south of the county.


UK moths battling unfair reputation – Butterfly Conservation

Around three quarters of the UK population (74%) have some negative opinion of moths, with many people believing the majority eat clothes and are pests, a study has revealed.

A YouGov poll for wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation revealed that 64% of people associated moths with eating clothes and one in three (33%) with being pests.

Moths have long suffered an unfair reputation as the devourers of clothes despite the fact that only two out of more than 2,500 UK species are known to regularly feed on some fabrics. And rather than being pests, the vast majority of moths play important roles in the food chain and as pollinators.

Research found that 17% of people thought moths were ugly and 12% believed they were scary. But, some held more positive views with one in five people (21%) believing moths were important and almost a third 29%) that they were interesting.

In a bid to make the UK mad about moths Butterfly Conservation is launching #MothsMatter, a campaign to overturn their unfair reputation.

Moths Matter will reveal how moths are a key food source for many other species, how they are fascinating and beautiful and how they play an important role as pollinators of wildflowers and garden plants.


2018’s extreme weather led to a tough year for the UK’s bumblebees – Bumblebee Conservation Trust

2018 was a tough year for many of the UK’s 24 bumblebee species according to a report released today by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

The new report summarises trends in the UK’s bumblebee populations, using data gathered every year from 2010 by a country wide network of hundreds of ‘BeeWalker’ citizen scientists.

The cold weather of the ‘Beast from the East’ in late February and early March delayed the beginning of the 2018 bumblebee season. Most bumblebee species got off to a slow start and only reached normal numbers in July, suggesting bumblebee queens were late out of hibernation and subsequently slow to produce big numbers of bumblebee workers.  As a result many of the UK’s bumblebee species declined more quickly than normal as the year progressed, particularly as the summer heatwave reduced the available food as flowers wilted in the unusual warmth.

The spring specialist Early bumblebee (B. pratorum) had a particularly bad year, its worst since the near-constant rain of 2012. Several other species, normally common in people’s gardens. had poor years, including the Garden bumblebee (B. hortorum), the Buff-tailed bumblebee (B. terrestris), the Heath bumblebee (B. jonellus), and the White-tailed bumblebee (B. lucorum aggregate)

The full BeeWalk annual report can be downloaded here.


Rare butterfly returns after 52-year absence - Butterfly Conservation

Logo: Grizzled Skipper - Iain H LeachA rare butterfly has been reintroduced to a site in Derbyshire where it’s not been seen for 52 years, thanks to an ambitious project by the National Trust and wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation (BC).

The Grizzled Skipper has declined by 55% across the UK over the last 40 years and disappeared from its former stronghold in Derbyshire – the National Trust’s Calke Abbey near Ticknall – in 1967.  

Grizzled Skipper - Iain H Leach

A joint project was launched between Butterfly Conservation East Midlands, Natural England and the National Trust to re-establish the Grizzled Skipper in Derbyshire and bring the butterfly back to Calke Abbey.

Vital conservation work has also taken place at the property over the last year to restore the habitat in preparation for the arrival of the new Grizzled Skippers.

The butterfly needs lots of sunny, open areas to thrive and breed, so some tree cover has been removed and grassy areas have been raked to expose bare soil. This encourages the growth of the caterpillars’ food plant, wild strawberry and at least 600 strawberry plants have been added to the estate over the last year.


Honey bee colonies down by 16% - University of Strathclyde

The number of honey bee colonies fell by 16% in the winter of 2017-18, according to an international study led by the University of Strathclyde.

The survey of 25,363 beekeepers in 36 countries found that, out of 544,879 colonies being managed at the start of winter, 89124 were lost, through a combination of circumstances including various effects of weather conditions, unsolvable problems with a colony’s queen, and natural disaster.

Portugal, Northern Ireland, Italy and England experienced losses above 25%, while Belarus, Israel and Serbia were among those with loss rates below 10%. There were also significant regional variations within some countries, including Germany, Sweden and Greece.

The total loss rate was down from 20.9% in 2016-17 but was still higher than the 2015-16 figure of 12.0%. The total loss rate for Scotland increased over these three years, from 18.0% to 20.4% to 23.7%.  


Future looks rosy for rare moth in mid Wales - Natural Resources Wales

One of the UK’s rarest moths once thought to be extinct appears to be making a remarkable recovery at a mid-Wales nature reserve.

(image: Natural Resources Wales)This year’s annual caterpillar survey by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) recorded the second highest count of the rosy marsh moth caterpillar since monitoring began in 1988.

(image: Natural Resources Wales)

The count at Cors Fochno near Aberystwyth recorded 123 caterpillars, the record was 155 in 2009.

But the annual survey only covers a very small part of the site which means there is potential for more to be found.

The survey takes place at night as the caterpillars are nocturnal and spend the day underground.

Once it’s dark they climb the stem of their foodplant and come out to feed. They do this at night when there is less risk that birds will eat them.

After last being seen in Cambridgeshire in the 1850s the species was not seen until a single moth was spotted in Penrhyndeudraeth in 1965. Two years later a colony was found at Cors Fochno.

Work undertaken by the New LIFE for Welsh Raised Bogs project will help make Cors Fochno a better habitat for the moth.


Hunt launched across northwest Scotland to help save one of UK’s rarest bumblebees - Bumblebee Conservation Trust

©Izzy-BuntingPeople taking their holidays in northwest Scotland this summer are being asked to help identify some of the last locations of one of the UK’s rarest bumblebees, in a new bid by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust to pull the insect back from the brink of extinction.


The conservation charity wants people to hunt for the rare Great Yellow bumblebee in 28 specific grid references – each measuring 10×10 km – between June and September, at sites ranging from Tiree, the Uists, Harris and Lewis, across Sutherland and Caithness on the mainland, to Orkney and Shetland.

The Great Yellow bumblebee (Bombus distinguendus) was found across the UK until the 1960s, but after suffering a massive decline is now only found in a few places in Scotland’s remote northwest, in machair grasslands and other flower-rich areas on the north coast and some of the islands.



Farne Island puffins to be monitored annually in an attempt to stop the global decline in numbers - National Trust

The National Trust is changing its five-yearly puffin census on the Farne Islands to an annual count amid fears climate change is having an adverse effect on sources of food and puffin numbers.

After 50 years of carrying out the survey, the conservation charity has decided to monitor the threatened seabirds more closely due to a downward trend in global numbers and worries about the reduction in quality and abundance of its preferred food source, the sandeel, and more frequent storms.

puffinAtlantic puffins have traditionally done well on the Farnes thanks to the work of the rangers, increasing protection of the marine areas around the islands, a lack of ground predators and the availability of suitable nesting areas.  

The 2018 results revealed that puffin numbers are currently stable, increasing by around nine percent since 2013, from 39,962 to 43,956 pairs of birds.

But the international picture for Atlantic puffins, with huge drops in numbers in more northerly populations due to a shortage of their preferred food source, sandeels, is one of decline.

Tom Hendry, one of the 11-strong National Trust ranger team on the Farne Islands says: “Sandeel populations in the North Sea are being affected by two things; overfishing and climate change - with rising sea temperatures.  These factors are driving the good quality plankton which sandeels feed on further north, resulting in a poorer quality of plankton in this area for sandeels to feed upon. The risk is that these pressures together with overfishing will eventually ‘squeeze’ the Farnes population, with more and more birds having to travel further for rich feeding grounds.  This means they’re more vulnerable to the increasing frequency of winter storms, whilst out at sea.”


Eggs-citement at Bassenthwaite as new female osprey appears to have eggs - RSPB

Following an uncertain start to the season, the famous Bassenthwaite ospreys have delighted staff, volunteers and visitors at the Lake District Osprey Project (LDOP), as the new female is showing signs of having laid eggs.

The bird has been seen shuffling around on the nest – behaviour which is an encouraging sign that she laid at least one egg, giving hope for a successful 2019 season, following disappointment in 2018.  

Becky Read from the LDOP said: “Last year we had an interesting time as our regular female of five years, known as ‘KL’ sadly didn’t return to Bassenthwaite Lake. Our usual male, known as ‘Unring’ (due to the fact he hasn’t got an identifying leg ring) came back but was without a mate. Several female ospreys showed an interest, and he mated with one female in particular, but unfortunately no eggs were laid. This year, Unring has returned for his seventh season and it was unclear whether he would find a partner. We were delighted when he was joined by a new, unringed female and the pair have spent the past two weeks mating. With this new female being an unknown osprey, we had no idea whether the pair would produce any eggs this season, so we’re thrilled that we have seen her displaying shuffling behaviour at the nest, which is a positive indicator that she is sitting on at least one egg. We’re hoping it is the start of another successful breeding season for the popular ospreys of Bassenthwaite and we will be watching eagle-eyed, as the drama unfolds.”

Ospreys use sticks to build nests that are about the size of a double bed and these are commonly made on special tree-top platforms which are installed to encourage breeding. A number of these osprey platforms have been erected in locations around Bassenthwaite Lake and it is the female osprey who chooses the site. The new female has chosen to use a different nest platform to the one used by the previous female ‘KL.’


A UK first for ground-breaking Shropshire curlew project - Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust

A curlew that has been incubated as an egg and reared in its local landscape – a process known as headstarting - has successfully returned home for the first time ever.

The bird is one of six chicks reared as part of the UK Lowland Curlew Recovery Project, better known as Curlew Country, in 2017 – another UK first – and is already displaying breeding behaviour.

The Curlew Country project, hosted by leading conservation charity the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, hopes that this historic occasion is the first of many.

Project manager Amanda Perkins said: “Seeing the result of all our hard work – not just the project team, but farmers, landowners, fundraisers and the local community – is a proud moment, but we must make sure it isn’t wasted. Now we have shown that this process can work, we need a policy that allows those managing the land to give all curlew a fighting chance.”

This situation for curlew is critical, with a 46% decline across the UK from 1994 to 2010. Curlew was added to the UK red list in in December 2015, and it is argued to be the bird of greatest conservation concern within the UK.

More information about the project can be found on www.curlewcountry.org, along with updates throughout the season.


150th osprey chick hatches at Rutland Water Nature Reserve - The Wildlife Trusts

Maya and her 150th osprey chick (image: The Wildlife Trusts)Historic moment for Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust’s pioneering project bringing extinct species back to England 150 years after it was wiped out

Late last night - at 22.58 - the Rutland Osprey Project celebrated a major milestone and welcomed its 150th chick into the world. 

The Rutland Osprey Project has pioneered the reintroduction of ospreys, a magnificent bird of prey, back into England where they had been extinct for over 150 years. The partnership between Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust and Anglian Water has successfully restored a population to the skies of central England.

Maya and her 150th osprey chick (image: The Wildlife Trusts)

Ospreys were wiped out in England by persecution – through egg-collection and taxidermy – and by habitat loss. They ceased to be a breeding species in England in the 1840s even though they had once been widely distributed across areas such as the Fens which had good breeding and feeding habitat for these spectacular fish-eating birds.

Between 1996 and 2001, 64 six-week-old Scottish ospreys were released at Rutland Water reservoir in England’s smallest county. The first translocated osprey returned to breed at its adopted home in 2001 and the number of breeding pairs has gradually increased since then.  There are now 25 ospreys in total in the area and eight breeding pairs among them.


Major EU funded project helps protect UK seabird islands - National Trust (with RSPB)

A project to help protect the UK’s internationally important seabird islands is going public on Friday 17th May 2019 with the launch of its new campaign Save Our Seabirds from Invasive Predators.

The Biosecurity for LIFE project, which was awarded £700,000 of funding from EU LIFE last year is a partnership between the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the National Trust and the National Trust for Scotland.

Puffins have returned late to the Farne Islands this year. (Image: Paul Kingston and NNP)Puffins have returned late to the Farne Islands this year. (Image: Paul Kingston and NNP)

This campaign aims to raise awareness of the risk to seabirds such as puffins, Manx shearwater and European storm-petrel from predators such as rats, stoats and mink – and the measures people can take to avoid accidentally transferring them to important seabird colonies on islands.

Measures include encouraging boat owners to check their boats, cargo and baggage, and for day trippers to check their bags and keep any foodstuffs in animal proof containers.
The UK is home to an estimated eight million breeding seabirds, with up to half of the EU populations of seabirds breeding here. 

Many of our most important seabird breeding colonies are on islands that are naturally free of predators.  Around the world predation of seabird eggs and young by invasive, non-native predators is one of the leading causes of their decline. Over the last few centuries, many seabird colonies in the UK have suffered from falls in population or been lost completely in this way. 


Seabird success! - The Landmark Trust

Super news for seabird numbers on Lundy

An exciting new study led by the RSPB has revealed that the total number of seabirds on the island of Lundy has now tripled to over 21,000. Key species such as Manx shearwater have increased from just 297 pairs to more than 5,500 and puffins from 13 to 375 birds. 

A juvenile Manx shearwater on Lundy. Photo by David PriceA juvenile Manx shearwater on Lundy. Photo by David Price

This growth over the past 15 years has been the result of the island being declared rat-free in 2006. The eradication of rats was necessary after evidence from other important seabird islands revealed that the biggest threat to burrow-nesting birds such as Manx shearwaters and puffins on Lundy was predation of eggs and chicks by rats.

In 2002, a partnership between Natural England, The Landmark Trust, the National Trust and the RSPB was formed to eradicate the rats on Lundy, which are not native to Britain but imported unwittingly on ships visiting the island or from shipwrecks.

Lundy Warden, Dean Jones said 'It is exciting to see this level of recovery in Manx shearwaters, one of our most important seabirds. In spring, the island comes alive at night with the sound of these amazing birds. The increase in puffins, guillemots and razorbills is also very encouraging for the future of seabirds on Lundy and we are maintaining our vigilance to ensure rats cannot return to the island.'


Common crane successfully breeds at Wicken Fen for the first time in at least 120 years - National Trust

A rare common crane chick has hatched at the National Trust’s Wicken Fen nature reserve in Cambridgeshire for the first time since the conservation charity acquired the nature reserve in 1899 and started species records.

(credit Michael Holdsworth)(credit Michael Holdsworth)

The Trust suspects that it could actually be the first chick to be born at the reserve in over 500 years. 

The common crane is on the UK’s amber conservation list and is one of Britain’s rarest breeding birds with only around 54 pairs recorded in 2018.  

The adults can grow to over one metre tall and are mostly grey with a black, white and red feathered head.  There is a small breeding population in Norfolk, and small numbers pass through Britain in spring and autumn. But, at Wicken, cranes can actually be seen at any time of year.

Martin Lester, countryside manager at Wicken Fen said: “UK cranes typically nest in wetland habitats using materials found in the area.  As with most species, the female does most of the incubation and cares for the chicks when they’re young. The successful breeding of this chick is a reflection on the conservation work that we have been carrying out particularly over the last 20 years.  This work includes extending the reserve, and allowing diverse habitats to evolve that have resulted in the return of other species such as otters and water vole.”


Eggs rescued from RAF airbases as ‘pilot project’ to save endangered curlew takes flight – WWT

Under normal circumstances, the eggs from nests near military runways have to be destroyed under an individual licence to protect flight safety.

Instead, these eggs were transported to WWT Slimbridge in Gloucestershire to be hand-reared and released into the Severn Vale. It’s hoped the new curlews will help to recover the fragile population in the area.

Curlew numbers in the UK have declined by 60% over the past 30 years. While numbers are slightly healthier in the uplands of northern England and Scotland, in southern England, Wales and Ireland, only hundreds of pairs remain.

Nigel Jarrett, Head of Conservation Breeding at WWT, says: “It’s an exciting opportunity for everyone involved. On one hand, curlews at East Anglian air bases pose a potential risk to aviation but on the other hand they have the potential to help their struggling cousins in the South West. Unfortunately time is not on our side but by babysitting these chicks until they can fly, we can help encourage a new generation of British curlews in the lowlands.”

If a success, the new curlew trial could provide a major boost to the conservation of curlews in southern England and East Anglia while still minimising the risks of serious air safety incidents.


Rare bird breeding first at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands – RSPB

Following recent excitement over the arrival of rare herons to the site*, RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands is now celebrating further, with confirmed breeding of rare bearded tits for the first time ever at the nature reserve near Neston.

Male Bearded Tit at Burton Mere Wetlands (Credit Carole Killikelly) Male Bearded Tit at Burton Mere Wetlands (Credit Carole Killikelly)

Bearded tits are strikingly beautiful and rather comically named birds that rely on reedbeds to make their home. Once much more common throughout the UK, reedbeds are sadly now one of country’s rarest habitats as many have been drained for development or agriculture. In the North West, the only place where they have traditionally bred is at the RSPB’s Leighton Moss reserve in North Lancashire, but following the arrival of six birds to Burton Mere Wetlands last autumn, at least two pairs are now known to have bred for the first time on the Dee Estuary.

Graham Jones, Site Manager at Burton Mere Wetlands said: ‘In 2007 we were able to purchase land adjacent to our reserve from the Welsh Assembly. A three-year work programme began almost immediately to create a reedbed, into which volunteers’ hand-planted over 10,000 reed seedlings.  To have bearded tits now breeding in the very same reedbed this summer has been a wonderfully fitting culmination of all that hard work, and a fantastic way celebrate our 40th anniversary”


Trial to help hen harriers gets ready for action - Natural England

Latest step by Natural England to support rare and endangered bird species

Natural England has today (Thursday, 6 June) confirmed that stringent conditions attached to the licence permitting a trial of brood management for hen harriers have been met.

The licence permits the removal of hen harrier eggs and/or chicks to a dedicated hatching and rearing facility, where they will be hand-reared in captivity, before being transferred to specially-constructed pens in hen harrier breeding habitat, from which they are then re-introduced into the wild in the uplands of northern England.

There are active hen harrier nests this year that meet the intervention density for trial brood management and willing landowners who want to be part of the trial. The licensee is working on the final information and consents required before action may be taken in 2019.

This is the latest in a series of steps taken by Natural England to support rare and endangered bird species in the UK, which includes licensing the reintroduction of white-tailed eagles and issuing a licence for the collection of curlew eggs from RAF airbases.


Pollution, sustainablity and climate.

Tractor tyres, plastic bottles and fishing equipment collected in National Trust litter pick at sea - National Trust

Pitching in to help with the litter pick (image: ©National Trust images)Pitching in to help with the litter pick (image: ©National Trust images)

Tractor tyres, lobster pots and plastic bottles are just some of the items National Trust rangers have collected from the stunning coastline near Giants Causeway.

Swimmers, jet skis and small boats were enlisted to help reach bays at the bottom of steep cliffs close to the Unesco World Heritage Site.  It is the charity’s third litter pick at sea, an area teeming with wildlife from pods of dolphins to breeding seabirds, porpoises and even the occasional orca.  Although this year’s litter pick has not yet been weighed, last August volunteers lifted more than two tonnes of rubbish and it is thought a similar amount may have been removed this time round.

The initiative came after National Trust rangers noticed litter gathering on the remote beaches from cliff top paths close to the Giant's Causeway, while carrying out daily litter picks.

Fiona Bryant, coastal officer for the National Trust in Northern Ireland, said they enlisted local outdoor activity providers to help. "With the mixture of different clubs - coasteering, surf and a dive school - along with fishing vessels, it has been really helpful to get into each of the bays and make an impact by lifting the litter there," she said.


Scotland announces all-in DRS as MCS urges Gove and Welsh Government to follow suit - Marine Conservation Society

Environmental campaigners, including MCS, have today welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement of the scope of Scotland’s deposit return system (DRS). Ministers have confirmed that glass, cans and some plastic containers will be covered, but other plastics and materials such as tetrapaks and pouches are not to be included initially. The deposit will be set at 20p for all containers, and retailers of all sizes will be paid by the system to accept returns.

(Image: Marine Conservation Society)(Image: Marine Conservation Society)

Calum Duncan, MCS Head of Conservation Scotland said: “Our beach litter data highlights a shocking amount of glass items found on Scotland’s beaches, an average of 78 pieces for every 100m of beach surveyed during the Great British Beach Clean 2018. We are very pleased with today’s announcement that the system will include glass, along with some plastics and aluminium, and all sizes of those drinks containers.  Scotland is now ahead of the game and and the rest of the UK must follow to ensure we have the best systems in place across these islands to increase recycling and help reduce the tide of glass and plastic bottles and cans blighting our shores.”

MCS CEO, Sandy Luk, has now urged Michael Gove to follow the example set by Scotland today in designing an ambitious all-inclusive money-back recycling system for bottles and cans. “The rest of the UK must follow the Scottish Government’s lead to ensure we have the best systems in place across the UK. We need to have compatible schemes so that there is no confusion among consumers and so that we can increase recycling and help reduce the tide of glass and plastic bottles and cans blighting our shores and seas.”


Leading retailers not embracing wet wipe ‘flushability’ standard - Marine Conservation Society

MCS says that own-brand ‘flushable’ wet wipes, which can be bought from 10 leading High Street retailers and supermarkets, can’t carry the new ‘Fine to Flush’ logo - which denotes an official UK water industry standard identifying which wet wipes are safe to be flushed down the toilet.

These ‘flushable’ wipes are marketed under a range of descriptions - from moist toilet tissue, dispersible wipes, to toddler training wipes - but could be contributing to sewer blockages, so-called ‘fatbergs’ and marine pollution. MCS says it strongly urges the public not to buy these wipes and to choose alternatives.

This new MCS research, is all the more shocking in the light of a YouGov poll conducted on behalf of MCS2 which revealed 72% of people in Britain said they used wet wipes in 2016. Household cleaning wipes were used by 43% of people in Britain, baby and toddler wipes by 36%, facial and skincare wipes by 35%, and moist toilet tissue were used by 24% of Brits.


Local charities could receive £1 billion in deposits from cans and bottles - Campaign to Protect Rural England

CPRE survey shows 20% of people would donate deposits to charity with a deposit return system.

A reverse vending machine in action in Norway (image: CPRE)One in five people (20%) using a UK-wide deposit return system would donate deposits they’d paid on drinks cans and bottles to charity all of the time, according to a new survey carried out by ICM Unlimited and published today (30 May) by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). This could result in annual donations of more than £1 billion to good causes.

A reverse vending machine in action in Norway (image: CPRE)

A further 19% of respondents said they would donate their deposits most of the time, and more than a third (34%) would donate at least some of the time. This could lead to a further £1.3 billion in donations to local charitable causes from the deposits on glass and plastic drinks bottles and aluminium cans, the analysis by CPRE found. 

The donations could be even higher if drinks cartons and pouches are also included in England’s deposit system – something which environment secretary Michael Gove is currently considering.

The countryside charity states that by including an option for the public to donate their deposits – something that is part of most other deposit systems around the world – we could build on the huge success of the carrier bag charge, which, as well as reducing plastic bag usage by over 80%, raised £66 million for good causes in 2016/17.


Pollution control of rivers can reduce impact of climate warming – Cardiff University

Improvements in water quality could reduce the ecological impact of climate change on rivers, finds a new study by Cardiff University’s Water Research Institute and the University of Vermont.
Warm water can affect freshwater organisms in similar ways to many pollutants: both reduce the availability of oxygen in the water. As oxygen levels decline, sensitive species may disappear, including invertebrates such as mayflies, and fish such as salmon and trout. On a more positive note, efforts to improve water quality, such as improved wastewater treatment and tighter regulation,   could potentially counteract some of the effects of climate warming.
The team looked at how invertebrate communities had changed at >3000 locations across England and Wales, over a 20 year span starting in 1991. During this period, average water temperatures increased by 0.6°C, but the biological effects of warming appear to have been offset by simultaneous improvements in water quality that were equivalent to more than 0.8°C of cooling.
Lead author, Dr Ian Vaughan from Cardiff University’s Water Research Institute, commented: “Globally, freshwaters are amongst our most threatened habitats, showing some of the largest species declines and fastest rates of extinction. Many freshwater species are very sensitive to temperature, with as little as a 0.5°C increase having large effects. Despite rising temperatures, many rivers in England and Wales have continued to recover from historical pollution problems over recent decades, suggesting that ongoing water quality improvements offset temperature rises.”


Protecting the best places for nature will fight the climate crisis – RSPB

  • New maps reveal that the best places for nature also hold over two-gigatons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of all of the greenhouse gases the UK generates in four years
  • The Governments of the UK must take urgent action to protect and restore these sites as many are in poor condition, unprotected, and haemorrhaging carbon
  • By mapping and putting much needed legal protections in place for all carbon and nature rich areas the Governments of the UK would benefit from a natural climate solution, that will help us to save nature and tackle the climate crisis

For the first time everyone can see the best places for nature are also the best places to tackle climate change in the UK.

Marking World Environment Day the RSPB has released a new set of maps that reveal there is are gigatons of carbon stored in the most important places for our plants and animals.

These nature rich landscapes play a vital role in supporting the UK’s plants and animals and storing carbon. However, scientists at the country’s largest conservation charity are concerned that two thirds of this carbon is in locations that are unprotected.

And we should all be concerned that the poor condition of many of these places - even in protected areas – means that they are haemorrhaging carbon into the atmosphere, instead of storing it safely in the ground. In England alone, it’s estimated that damaged upland peatlands release the same amount of CO2 into the atmosphere as 140,000 cars annually, instead of continuing to gradually increase their stores of carbon.

The RSPB is urging for the protection and restoration of all these areas, to make an important step forward to address the current crises for both nature and climate. The charity is calling on Governments of the UK to put in place the protections needed to ensure these important spaces are not abused, exploited or damaged, but rather protected, nurtured and restored.


Take action and join our Plastic Challenge - Canal & River Trust

Help us tackle plastic in our canals and rivers and stop it from travelling into in the world’s oceans.

Moorhen nesting in plastic litter, credit Mark C BakerMoorhen nesting in plastic litter, credit Mark C Baker

  • New research states that more than half a million items of plastic reach the oceans from our canals and rivers every year 
  • If every visitor picked up and recycled just one piece of plastic each time they visit, the canals and rivers could be plastic free in a year
  • We spend over £1 million a year to help keep our waterways free of plastics and other discarded waste

We're urging communities to take action on their doorstep to make their local neighbourhood beautiful and help tackle the global plastics crisis – don’t drop it, pick it up and recycle it to help make the nation’s canals and rivers plastics free.

Working with Coventry University, we've published a detailed analysis of the plastics and other litter found in our waterways. The research, which reviewed data from 25 locations, found that plastics now account for 59%of waste found along our canals. We estimate that 570,000 items of plastic reach the world’s oceans each year via our waterways. With the help of local communities this figure could be drastically cut.

Peter Birch, national environmental policy advisor at Canal & River Trust, says: “We are on a mission to eradicate plastics from our vast network of canals and rivers – helping us all to live in better, more beautiful neighbourhoods, whilst tackling a global issue, and making life better by water.”


Environmental Education, Recreation and volunteering.

New initiative launched to connect 20,000 young people with nature in our National Parks - National Parks

Kite flying in the Yorkshire Dales National Park (image: YDNPA)The UK’s National Parks and Forest Holidays have announced the launch of ‘National Parks Futures’. The new 5-year initiative will connect 20,000 young people with nature and deliver at least 15 flagship education projects across the UK.

In the 70th anniversary year of the UK’s National Parks, ‘National Park Futures’ will help to tackle one of the major barriers for young people to experience outdoor learning – the cost of travel.

Kite flying in the Yorkshire Dales National Park (image: YDNPA)

Over the next 5 years ‘National Parks Futures’, a joint initiative between the UK National Parks and Forest Holidays will deliver at least 15 flagship education projects reaching 5,000 young people as well as covering the travel costs of an estimated 15,000 National Park visits for young people.

A successful pilot year in 2018 funded the involvement of 5,000 young people in activities run by their local National Park and included many from disadvantaged backgrounds. One pilot year location was the Brecon Beacons National Park. Simon Hosking, a teacher at Ysgol Y Cribarth Primary School says “By receiving the travel grant our pupils have been able to access a learning opportunity in the great outdoors. We have loved learning more about the Brecon Beacons National Park and what makes our local area so special.”


Help our puffins; join the Puffarazzi - RSPB

RSPB’s innovative citizen science photography project returns

The RSPB’s ground-breaking project Puffarazzi is back and once again needs the public’s help to find out more about one of our best loved seabirds. As in 2017, visitors to puffin colonies around the UK and Ireland in spring and summer 2019 and 2020 are asked to join the Puffarazzi by photographing these colourful seabirds with fish in their bills. The project is now also asking for historical photos to be submitted as well to aid conservation efforts. All these images will help scientists learn more about what puffins are feeding their chicks, known as pufflings.

With their colourful bills, distinctive eye markings and somewhat comical walk, puffins are a firm favourite for many people. Yet, these birds are in serious trouble with their numbers plummeting in former strongholds in the UK and Europe and the species is now classed as vulnerable to extinction. This project aims to find out the causes of these UK declines which are likely to be related to a reduction in food availability caused by climate change.  Scotland is one of the most important places for puffins, with 80 percent of the UK and Ireland population breeding here.

The public response in 2017 was incredible; 602 people joined the Puffarazzi and sent in 1,402 photos, with 517 of these taken at Scottish sites. Pictures came from almost 40 colonies around the UK, including many in Scotland such as the Isle of May, Fair Isle, Lunga, and Noss National Nature Reserve. The photos have helped scientists identify areas where puffins are struggling to find the large, nutritious fish needed to support their pufflings. They revealed variations around the UK with some areas having far smaller fish for the puffins to feed on.


Help endangered stag beetles this summer - People’s Trust for Endangered Species

Creating log piles and recording sightings of adult stag beetles (or larvae), are just two ways you can help endangered stag beetles – Britain’s largest land beetle – this summer.

Wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) has been recording stag beetle sightings for two decades. You can report any stag beetle sightings to PTES at www.ptes.org/gsh. Now, this May, PTES is calling for anyone who lives in a known stag beetle area to carry out a more in depth survey as part of an ongoing study – the European Stag Beetle Monitoring Network – to build on the 21 years of records PTES has already collected for this species.

Taking part in this European study couldn’t be easier – all volunteers need to do is walk 500 meters, on six occasions between June and July on warm, summer evenings, recording any stag beetles they see. Families, individuals, or groups of friends can all help – whether you’re on your evening dog walk or walking to your local pub! To find out more, visit: www.stagbeetlemonitoring.org

The European Stag Beetle Monitoring Network is co-funded by PTES, and was set up by the Research Institute for Nature and Forest in 2008. It comprises partner institutes and universities from 14 European countries including the UK, Spain, France and Germany. The network aims to assess population levels across Europe, monitoring the stag beetle’s full range.


Nominate wildlife recorders who have made a significant difference.

logo: NBNNBN Awards for Wildlife Recording

The National Biodiversity Network wants to recognise significant achievement and celebrate success in wildlife recording and information sharing.

The National Biodiversity Network (NBN) is accepting nominations for the NBN Awards for Wildlife Recording 2019.

These awards were developed in 2015 by the National Biodiversity Network Trust, the National Forum for Biological Recording and the Biological Records Centre to celebrate the achievements of individuals and groups in our sector.

Following the success of the last four years’ awards, we are excited by the prospect of even more nominations for amazing people in 2019!

There are five categories of awards:

  •  NBN Award for Wildlife Recording – Terrestrial (open to individuals 21 years +)
  •  NBN Award for Wildlife Recording – Marine (open to individuals 21 years +)
  •  NBN Group Award (no age restrictions)
  •  NBN Young Person’s Award (open to individuals aged 11-20)
  •  NBN Newcomer Award (open to individuals 21 years +)

Nominations open on 8 May and close on 11 August 2019.

Click through for more information and the nomination forms.


Funding and awards.

Darwin Initiative: £8 million in twenty-fifth funding round for international conservation projects - defra

The latest round of funding from the government's Darwin Initiative has been awarded to 32 new projects.

Wild tulips, food security and coastal and forest habitat conservation are at the heart of the 32 new international conservation projects set to be awarded a share of £8.2 million from the UK government’s Darwin Initiative.

Recent reports on international nature have put the issue of species loss high on the nation’s agenda. Last week, the UN’s Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services report showed nearly a million species are in danger of extinction and the Darwin Initiative is part of the UK government’s response to this emerging issue.  This latest round of funding, the twenty-fifth since the birth of the Darwin Initiative in 1992, is putting an emphasis on nature and health and providing security of food supply to rural communities in some of the most remote parts of the globe.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: "Nature matters, and the Darwin Initiative continues to support hundreds of projects that restore and enhance wildlife and nature. These schemes are helping nature and our wider environment, delivering clean air and water, sustainable food supplies, and recovery and resilience to natural disasters.  That is why I am delighted to announce another £8 million of funding for these crucial projects. Our government is taking action at home and abroad to ensure we are the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we found it."


Government delivers new £10m fund to plant over 130,000 urban trees - defra

Environment Secretary Michael Gove announces grants will be made available over the next two years to green town and city spaces.

A new £10 million plan will see more than 130,000 trees planted across England’s towns and cities, Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced today.

Autumnal urban trees (maxpixel)Through the Urban Tree Challenge Fund, grants will be made available over the next two years to green urban areas and help meet the government’s target to plant one million urban trees by 2022.

Autumnal urban trees (maxpixel via defra)

Planting more trees is crucial in the fight against climate change, because trees store carbon and can help make our towns and cities more resilient. Trees in urban areas improve health and wellbeing, connect people with the outdoors, absorb noise, reduce flood risk, lower temperatures through shading, and create green spaces for communities to come together.

The scheme, which will be administered by the Forestry Commission will be open to individuals, local authorities, charities and NGOs. Grants will fund the planting of trees and the first three years of their care to ensure they can flourish into the future.


Funding secures exciting addition to RSPB Marshside - RSPB

Thanks to funding from Biffa Award, the RSPB is taking even more birds under its wing on the Ribble Estuary after recently purchasing Crossens Inner Marsh, a wet grassland area adjacent to their existing Marshside reserve in Southport.

The marsh, which is already home to over-wintering birds such as wigeons, pink-footed geese, black-tailed godwits and golden plovers, covers an area about the size of 38 football pitches.  

Over £464,000 funding from Biffa Award enabled the RSPB to purchase the land and will also fund major improvements to the marsh, which will benefit rare and unusual wildlife including nesting lapwings, redshanks, and avocets - which are the emblem of the RSPB, along with brown hares. The habitat works, which will take place after the breeding season this summer, will also improve the control of water levels on the reserve helping to prevent prolonged flooding of the rare coastal grassland.

Tony Baker, Site Manager for the RSPB Ribble Reserves said: “Purchasing Crossens Inner Marsh is the final piece of the jigsaw for us, not only as an extension to our well known Marshside reserve, but also in the completion of the Ribble Estuary National Nature Reserve (NNR). We’re working in partnership here with Natural England who oversee England’s NNRs, which enables us to do more for nature by creating opportunities for bigger, better and more joined-up management of these vital wild spaces.”


Woodland Trust recognised for its work with volunteers - Woodland Trust

From wildlife whizzes to willing writers, public speakers to plucky photographers - the Woodland Trust has been recognised for the opportunities it gives to volunteers.

The charity has been awarded the Investing in Volunteers* Quality Standard after being assessed against a range of best practice standards and having proved to excel in the areas of recruitment, safety standards, management, support, recognition and value.

The charity has 3,226 roles for volunteers who undertake invaluable work for trees and woods and nature across the UK. Without them its fight to protect and create woodlands would not be as strong.

 Young farmer volunteers at Penn Wood (Photo: Natalia Szcyzgielska / WTML)Young farmer volunteers at Penn Wood (Photo: Natalia Szcyzgielska / WTML)

Paul Taylor, National volunteering manager at the Woodland Trust said: “We appreciate every volunteer that gives their time freely. They’re the lifeblood of the organisation. Every volunteer adds value to our organisation and helps us to achieve our goals. We have 3,226 volunteer roles which account for 174,000 hours of work, which is worth £1.7m annually. The scope of volunteering opportunities is broad; from office based roles such as researchers to trustees, to practical outdoor roles such as woodland working groups and tree health surveyors who highlight instances of tree disease - something that has been especially important in recent years with so many cases of ash dieback.”

That the Trust has been awarded this nationally recognised quality standard offers potential volunteers assurance that if they decide to volunteer that they can feel confident that the Trust will support them and value their contribution, and that they will always being treated with respect.


National Trust awarded Independent Research Organisation status enabling it to explore new conservation techniques and enrich visitor experiences - National Trust

The National Trust has been awarded Independent Research Organisation (IRO) status enabling it to collaborate further with researchers across culture, history and the natural environment.

The conservation charity has a long tradition of supporting and engaging with researchers. Recent projects range from protecting the wildlife in our lakes to the history of sleep in Tudor England.

This new IRO status, awarded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) on behalf of UK Research and Innovation, is a step towards the Trust’s ambition to embed research excellence at the heart of all its activities. 

The Trust can now apply directly to the UK Research Councils for funding enabling it to increase its research capability. It joins other research-led organisations with IRO status including the V & A, Historic England and the RSPB.


Scientific Research, Results and Publications.

Climate change responsible for severe infectious disease in UK frogs - ZSL Institute of Zoology

Compelling research reveals fatal spread of Ranavirus will increase if carbon emissions are not reduced.

Climate change has already increased the spread and severity of a fatal disease caused by Ranavirus that infects common frogs (Rana temporaria) in the UK, according to research led by ZSL’s Institute of Zoology, UCL and Queen Mary University of London published today (10/5) in Global Change Biology. 

Common frog (image: ©Lewis-Campbell-ZSL)Common frog (image: ©Lewis-Campbell-ZSL)

Historic trends in mass-mortality events attributed to the disease were found to match the pattern of increased temperatures recorded over recent decades, with disease outbreaks predicted to become more severe, more widespread and occurring over a greater proportion of the year within the next few decades, if carbon emissions continue at their current rate.

The findings help explain the seasonality of the disease, with incidence peaking during the hottest months of the summer, showing that climate change could see outbreaks becoming more frequent from April to October. Disease outbreaks in the spring could result in the deaths of large numbers of tadpoles, which could have repercussions for population survival. Up to now, Ranavirus disease has been largely restricted to England, but as average monthly temperatures increase to exceed 16°C in more areas over longer periods, as predicted by the IPCC’s high carbon-emission model, the disease is likely to spread across most of the UK in the next 50 years. 

Read the study: S. J. Price, W. T. M. Leung, C. Owen, R. Puschendorf, C. Sergeant, A. A. Cunningham, F. Balloux, T. W. J. Garner, R. A. Nichols (2019). Effects of historic and projected climate change on the range and impacts of an emerging wildlife disease. Global Change Biology. doi: 10.1111/gcb.14651 (open access)


Scientists use historical data for assessment of human impacts on biodiversity - University of Plymouth

Researchers will work with colleagues at Historic England and the University of Birmingham on a new project funded by the Leverhulme Trust 

The way humans use land across the British Isles has changed beyond recognition during the past 8,000 years.  But what impact has that had on biodiversity and are there lessons from the past that could enhance conservation practices now and in the future?

Those are among the key questions being posed through new research led by the University of Plymouth, in conjunction with Historic England and the University of Birmingham. Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, it hopes to compile the first ever comprehensive database of both land use change and its impact on plant and insect life. The three-year project will involve collating existing archaeobotanical datasets, which will be used to generate a detailed picture of how land use has changed at regional levels. Historical pollen and insect data will then be used to demonstrate what impact those changes had on crops, and many of the creatures that came to rely on them. The ultimate aim of the research is to place current trends in their long-term context, examining whether changes in land use can predict patterns of biodiversity across different spatial scales. This information will then be presented to conservation agencies, giving them a holistic picture of biodiversity in the British Isles over the past eight millennia which can be factored into future policy. 

Professor Ralph Fyfe, Principal Investigator on the project, said: “A lot of modern thinking on biodiversity is based on datasets collected by ecologists over the past 50 years, based on what people have observed and might remember from these earlier times before later agricultural intensification occurred. There is a danger that the middle of the 20th century is thus seen as some kind of hotspot. But while change has certainly happened, archaeological studies enable us to assess this in the light of much longer time frames and provide people with a bigger picture. Through that, we can show more precisely how our landscapes have been shaped and this can be factored into future debates on conservation and biodiversity management.”


Stanford researches map symbiotic relationships between trees and microbes worldwide - Stanford University

Forests and microbes are symbiotically connected globally. (Image credit: Sora Hasler)Data collected from over 1 million forest plots reveal patterns of where plant roots form symbiotic relationships with fungi and bacteria

In and around the tangled roots of the forest floor, fungi and bacteria grow with trees, exchanging nutrients for carbon in a vast, global marketplace. A new effort to map the most abundant of these symbiotic relationships – involving more than 1.1 million forest sites and 28,000 tree species – has revealed factors that determine where different types of symbionts will flourish.

Forests and microbes are symbiotically connected globally. (Image credit: Sora Hasler)

The work could help scientists understand how symbiotic partnerships structure the world’s forests and how they could be affected by a warming climate.

Stanford University researchers worked alongside a team of over 200 scientists to generate these maps, published May 15 in Nature. From the work, they revealed a new biological rule, which the team named Read’s Rule after pioneer in symbiosis research Sir David Read.

In one example of how they could apply this research, the group used their map to predict how symbioses might change by 2070 if carbon emissions continue unabated. This scenario resulted in a 10 percent reduction in the biomass of tree species that associate with a type of fungi found primarily in cooler regions. The researchers cautioned that such a loss could lead to more carbon in the atmosphere because these fungi tend to increase the amount of carbon stored in soil.

Access the paper here


Study predicts shift to smaller animals over next century - University of Southampton

Researchers at the University of Southampton have forecast a worldwide move towards smaller birds and mammals over the next 100 years.

The White-browed Sparrow-weaver is one of the 'winners'. Credit: Robert Cooke

The White-browed Sparrow-weaver is one of the 'winners'. Credit: Robert Cooke

In the future, small, fast-lived, highly-fertile, insect-eating animals, which can thrive in a wide-variety of habitats, will predominate. These ‘winners’ include rodents, such as dwarf gerbil – and songbirds, such as the white-browed sparrow-weaver. Less adaptable, slow-lived species, requiring specialist environmental conditions, will likely fall victim of extinction. These ‘losers’ include the tawny eagle and black rhinoceros.
The researchers predict the average (median) body mass of mammals specifically will collectively reduce by 25 per cent over the next century. This decline represents a large, accelerated change when compared with the 14 per cent body size reduction observed in species from 130,000 years ago (the last interglacial period) until today.
Read the paper: Robert S. C. Cooke, Felix Eigenbrod & Amanda E. Bates Projected losses of global mammal and bird ecological strategies (open access) Nature Communications


How to measure the condition of Europe's ecosystems? - European Environment Agency

Healthy forests, soils, seas and other ecosystems form Europe’s ‘natural capital’, which is vital for our well-being and the economy. The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) new analysis, published today (22 May 2019), looks at how to measure the condition of Europe’s natural capital and provides a first overview of the state and trends of Europe’s ecosystems. The report also highlights the need for better data on the condition of ecosystems in Europe.

The EEA report ‘Natural capital accounting in support of policymaking in Europe’ presents the EEA's work on natural capital accounting and discusses the use of such analysis in support of policymaking. The accounting methodology helps to organise ecological data and provides a better basis for spatial analysis. The report also reflects on the intrinsic value of biodiversity, which needs to be respected in addition to the economic benefits from nature.

The report states that the distribution and location of ecosystems in Europe is generally stable. However, urban areas and other infrastructure are expanding at the expense of farmland and semi-natural ecosystems. For water quantity and fish biomass, the EEA has developed accounts that analyse the use of renewable water resources and marine fish stocks. Both of these are heavily exploited and need to be closely monitored. Further work is also required to better measure the condition of Europe’s land and sea ecosystems.


Social media data reveal where visitors to nature locations provide potential benefits or threats to biodiversity - University of Helsinki 

Understanding how people use and experience important places for living nature is essential for effectively managing and monitoring human activities and conserving biodiversity.

In a new article published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, a team of researchers assessed global patterns of visitation rates, attractiveness and pressure to more than 12,000 Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs), which are sites of international significance for nature conservation, by using geolocated data mined from social media (Twitter and Flickr).

King penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) at Volunteer Point, East Falkland, the largest breeding site for the species and one of the most important tourists’ destinations in the archipelago. Photo: Anna Hausmann / University of HelsinkiKing penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) at Volunteer Point, East Falkland, the largest breeding site for the species and one of the most important tourists’ destinations in the archipelago. Photo: Anna Hausmann / University of Helsinki

The study found that Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas located in Europe and Asia, and in temperate biomes, had the highest density of social media users. Results also showed that sites of importance for congregatory species, which were also more accessible, more densely populated and provided more tourism facilities, received higher visitation than did sites richer in bird species.

 “Resources in biodiversity conservation are woefully inadequate and novel data sources from social media provide openly available user-generated information about human-nature interactions, at an unprecedented spatio-temporal scale”, says Dr Anna Hausmann from the University of Helsinki, a conservation scientist leading the study. “Our group has been exploring and validating data retrieved from social media to understand people´s preferences for experiencing nature in national parks at a local, national and continental scale”, she continues, “in this study, we expand our analyses at a global level”.  

“Social media content and metadata contain useful information for understanding human-nature interactions in space and time”, says Prof. Tuuli Toivonen, aco-author in the paper  “Social media data can also be used to cross-validate and enrich data collected by conservation organizations”. 

Read the paper: Hausmann, A., Toivonen, T., Fink, C., Heikinheimo, V., Tenkanen, H., Butchart, S., Brooks, T., Di Minin, E. 2019. Assessing global popularity and threats to Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas using social media data. Science of the Total Environment, doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.05.268. (open access)


HKU Conservation Biologists Urge for Needs of Win-win Strategies to Tackle Proximal and Horizon Threats to Biodiversity - Hong Kong University

With an ever-growing list of threats facing biodiversity on multiple scales, conservationists struggle to determine which to address. A common reaction is to prioritise their efforts on threats to individual species or management areas, HKU conservation biologists argue that this narrow-minded approach is detrimental to the overall goal of saving species and ecosystems worldwide. Instead, in an article published in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution on May 23, they urge for the needs of large-scale, long-term collaboration to tackle proximal and horizon threats to biodiversity.

“We are in a pivotal moment when we cannot just protect species from immediate and localised threats,” said Dr Louise Ashton from the School of Biological Sciences of The University of Hong Kong (HKU), “We also need to prepare for future threats and protect against threats that function at large spatial scales.” However, the limited resources available in conservation disciplines hinder the ability for broader collaboration with other scientists as well as between local, regional, and international agencies. In fact, it is not uncommon that due to limited resources, conservation biologists must downplay the importance of other research to secure funding for their own.

“Ultimately, if we can aim for win-win conservation interventions, which mitigate the impacts of multiple threats, then it doesn’t matter which threat is perceived to be the biggest,” said Dr Ashton. 

Read the paper: Bonebrake, Timothy C. et al. Integrating Proximal and Horizon Threats to Biodiversity for Conservation. Trends in Ecology & Evolution DOI: /10.1016/j.tree.2019.04.001 (open access)


New research shows how habitat loss can destabilise ecosystems – Swansea University

An international study has revealed new evidence to help understand the consequences of habitat loss on natural communities.

The research, co-authored by Swansea University’s Dr Miguel Lurgi, shows the specific ways in which human activities destroy habitat is a key factor to understanding the effects of such destruction on the stability and functioning of biological communities. 

The paper, published in scientific journal Nature Communications, asks whether putting the focus solely on species diversity may overlook other facets of the way biological communities respond to habitat destruction. 

Daniel Montoya, researcher at the Theoretical and Experimental Ecology Station in Moulis, France, also a co-author, said: “Ecologists and practitioners tend to assess the impact of human activities on biodiversity by measuring the extinction rates of species. However, biodiversity comprises elements other than single species, such as the interactions between species and their stability over time and space. These additional, and sometimes overlooked, properties are key to the functioning of ecosystems. They are the missed component of biodiversity loss that accompanies or precede species extinctions.” 

This study found that the specific ways in which habitat is lost is important to the response of biodiversity. 

Dr Montoya added: “Natural habitats can be destroyed randomly or in a clustered way – for example, by the construction of a road or the creation of new urban areas, respectively. The spatial configuration of this loss differentially constrains the mobility of individual animals, which further impacts biodiversity and the stability of populations in the remaining fragments of intact habitat.” 

The researchers say a logical question now emerges - how is habitat destroyed in real landscapes around the world? 


Not all weeds are equal – Rothamsted Research

New research shows wildlife refuges on farms need careful placement if they aren't to be overrun with the wrong type of weeds

Wildlife friendly refuges around the edges of farmers’ crops have been credited with slowing biodiversity declines, however, new research shows their success ultimately depends on what’s growing next to the field.

Recent reported increases in some crop pollinating insects suggested the upturn was due to more UK farms creating these pesticide-free areas.

However, this new study by Rothamsted shows conservation areas sited directly adjacent to areas of grassland, or even other conservation measures such as grass margins, end up with a predominance of the wrong type of weeds that, rather than enhance biodiversity, could smother beneficial arable plants.

The authors say their results show that such conservation measures need very careful placement if they are to be successful and not over-run by less beneficial plants, such as grasses.

Dr Helen Metcalfe, who led this new study, said: “The location of these wildlife refuges is key in determining how successful they are in supporting important plant species, which provide food for farmland birds and habitats for pest-eating insects. By creating unsprayed strips of land away from sources of problematic weeds, we not only provide a refuge for the beneficial plants we want to protect, but we also reduce the risk of the wrong type of weeds invading the field and becoming a problem for crop production.”



Antibiotics found in some of the world’s rivers exceed ‘safe’ levels, global study finds – University of York

Concentrations of antibiotics found in some of the world’s rivers exceed ‘safe’ levels by up to 300 times, the first ever global study has discovered.

Researchers looked for 14 commonly used antibiotics in rivers in 72 countries across six continents and found antibiotics at 65% of the sites monitored.

Metronidazole, which is used to treat bacterial infections including skin and mouth infections, exceeded safe levels by the biggest margin, with concentrations at one site in Bangladesh 300 times greater than the ‘safe’ level.

In the River Thames and one of its tributaries in London, the researchers detected a maximum total antibiotic concentration of 233 nanograms per litre (ng/l), whereas in Bangladesh the concentration was 170 times higher.

The most prevalent antibiotic was trimethoprim, which was detected at 307 of the 711 sites tested and is primarily used to treat urinary tract infections.

The research team compared the monitoring data with ‘safe’ levels recently established by the AMR Industry Alliance which, depending on the antibiotic, range from 20-32,000 ng/l.

Ciproflaxacin, which is used to treat a number of bacterial infections, was the compound that most frequently exceeded safe levels, surpassing the safety threshold in 51 places.


Fear of ‘killer shrimps’ could pose major threat to European rivers – Plymouth University

The voracious predator has been linked to ecosystem changes and even local extinctions

Dikerogammarus villosus (Credit Michal Grabowski, University of Lodz)Dikerogammarus villosus (Credit Michal Grabowski, University of Lodz)

The fear of invasive ‘killer shrimps’ can intimidate native organisms to such a degree that they are incapable of performing their vital role in river systems, a new study suggests.

Writing in the journal Acta Oecologica, scientists focus on the invasive Dikerogammarus villosus which has been steadily replacing resident Gammarus species in rivers across Europe over the past three decades.

This is having major localised effects since the voracious predator consumes a vast range of species, with its behaviour subsequently being linked to ecosystem changes and even local extinctions.

The new study shows for the first time that the mere presence of the predator – a so-called non-consumptive effect (NCE) – can reduce the normal effectiveness of its prey.

It leads to them expending more energy in simply avoiding the predator in a bid for self-preservation, rather than focussing on core ecosystem tasks such as shredding fallen leaf litter into smaller particles to be consumed by other species.

Dr MacNeil, who has spent more than 20 years studying the species in this study, said: “This study demonstrates an unappreciated and indirect impact of a biological invasion by a voracious predator. It shows that the mere presence of an invader can influence resident prey behaviour, in this case the feeding efficiency of naïve residents. The Gammarus in our experiment had no prior exposure to its predatory rival, and would not have known to respond to specific alarm cues. However, none of our samples showed any evidence of habituation during the course of the experiment – in fact quite the opposite.”

The full study – MacNeil and Briffa: Fear alone reduces energy processing by resident ‘keystone’ prey threatened by an invader; a non-consumptive effect of ‘killer shrimp’ invasion of freshwater ecosystems is revealed – is published in Acta Oecologica, doi: 10.1016/j.actao.2019.05.001.



What happens when pollinators lose their flowers? UON research suggests answers - University of Northampton

Cuckoo bumblebee feeding on a knapweed flower. Photo credit Paolo BiellaPollinators such as bees and butterflies are highly dependent on flowers to provide nectar as food; at the same time, those plants are reliant on the pollinators for reproduction. Over the past few decades, declines in both flower and pollinator diversity and abundance have prompted University of Northampton ecologists to wonder about the consequences of flower loss for pollinator communities and for plant pollination.

Cuckoo bumblebee feeding on a knapweed flower. (Photo credit Paolo Biella)

In a ground breaking new study, a team from institutions in the Czech Republic and the University of Northampton in the UK have published the results of experiments that seek to answer these questions.  The results are published today in the journal Scientific Reports and provide the first demonstration of the ways in which pollinators flexibly adjust their behaviour when faced with a loss of resources. This flexibility is constrained by the type of flowers they visit, however:  pollinators will tend to switch to flowers of a similar shape to the ones that have been lost.  From the plant’s perspective, things are less clear: the patterns of pollination for the remaining species were idiosyncratic and not as predictable.  Some plants received more pollination during the experiment than before, others less.

One of the study’s authors, Prof. Jeff Ollerton, Professor of Biodiversity at the University of Northampton, said of the research: “For the first time we are seeing the consequences of sudden loss of flowers for both the pollinators and the plants in a habitat.  That the pollinators can respond flexibly to this loss is a welcome indication that these insects might be more resilient to sudden changes than we had thought.  However, the erratic pollination of the flowers shows that there is a great deal of random chance within these ecological systems that is not easily predictable.

Biella P., Akter A., Ollerton J., Tarrant S., Janeček Š., Jersáková J. & Klecka J. (2019) Experimental loss of generalist plants reveals alterations in plant-pollinator interactions and a constrained flexibility of foraging. More information is available on the Nature website. (open access)


The Riverfly Census: Full Report - Salmon & Trout Conservation

“The Riverfly Census Report has been central to S&TC’s work for the past three years and coincides with the United Nations’ recent statement on the catastrophic state of the global environment. The results should worry everyone. Our message is simple; unless there is radical change our rivers will soon become lifeless.  With ever increasing mainstream public interest in environmental health and a desire for real change, government must use this opportunity to incentivise businesses to place the protection of our rivers, wild fish and all other water-dependent life at the very centre of what they do.” Paul Knight, Chief Executive, Salmon & Trout Conservation

Milestone Salmon & Trout Conservation study reveals that sediment, sewage and commercial salad washing, are causing dramatic declines of keystone aquatic invertebrate life throughout England’s lifeblood rivers.

Salmon & Trout Conservation (S&TC) initiated The Riverfly Census to collect high-resolution, scientifically robust data about the state of our rivers and the pressures facing them.

The Riverfly Census highlights worrying declines of aquatic insects in English rivers as a direct consequence of industrial, agricultural and domestic pollution.  Aquatic insects are the equivalent of “the canary in the coal mine” when ascertaining the health of individual rivers. Declines of up to 58% in some species have been observed in the last thirty years, with no sign of the trend reversing.

Three-year high-resolution study, The Riverfly Census, employed standardised monitoring of aquatic invertebrate life in key English rivers to reveal dramatic changes in water quality and ecosystems.

The Riverfly Census data provides an overview of how pollution affects a particular river. The aquatic insect community is shaped by the quality of the water at each sample point and scientists are then able to decode this bug-based information. Armed with these biological snapshots, we are able to zoom in on particular problems and if necessary, carry out further invertebrate or chemical sampling.

To download the full report: Click Here


Pollinators in Peril - Climate Change Threat to UK Bees - Buglife and WWF 

bee (Wayne Godfrey on unsplash)New Report on World Bee Day Paints Bleak Picture of Extinction and Decline 

Climate change, habitat loss, pollution and disease are pushing some bees to extinction, a new report by WWF and Buglife reveals. The scientific research, published on World Bee Day (May 20), looks at bee populations in the East of England and finds many species are on the brink of extinction, with 17 species lost from the region entirely. 

(image: Wayne Godfrey on unsplash)

The ‘Bees Under Siege’ report analysed data recorded for 228 species of bees and concluded that: 

  • 17 species are extinct from the area
  • 25 species are threatened
  • Another 31 are of conservation concern

The ‘Bees Under Siege’ report recommends a number of conservation actions to help stabilise populations of bees and reverse declines. These include the protection and sensitive management of bee friendly habitats such as grasslands, coastal areas, brownfield sites and farmland.


Full Report  or the shorter Summary report (both pdf)



Boom time at Britain's bird feeders - British Trust for Ornithology

The latest research from the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), published today in the journal Nature Communications, reveals the considerable consequences of an innocuous national pastime. Britain’s growing love affair with feeding the birds has significantly altered the composition of our garden bird communities over the past 40 years, helping the populations of some species grow in number and increasing the variety of birds visiting feeders.

Many people in Britain feed birds in their gardens but, until now, the wider effects of this activity have been largely unknown. As a nation we spend an estimated £200-300 million on bird feeding products each year. The sheer amount of food provided could potentially sustain up to 196 million birds – more than the combined total population of many common garden species. This study provides strong evidence that garden bird feeding has supported population growth in some bird species, and has increased the diversity of species visiting our feeders.

The authors examined bird food adverts to show how the number and variety of products available has increased since the early-1970s. They used this information alongside results from the BTO’s long-running Garden Bird Feeding Survey (GBFS), through which dedicated volunteers have collected the most comprehensive long-term dataset on bird feeding in the world.

Read the paper: Kate E. Plummer, Kate Risely, Mike P. Toms & Gavin M. Siriwardena The composition of British bird communities is associated with long-term garden bird feeding. Nature Communications volume 10, Article number: 2088 (2019)


Some songbird nests are especially vulnerable to magpie predation - new study suggests - Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust

(image: GWCT)A NEW study has revealed a range of factors that cause a variation in predation by magpies on farmland songbirds.

(image: GWCT)

Researchers from University of Exeter and the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) placed 460 artificial nests on typical farmland in Warwickshire to study predator behaviour.

They found magpies were the most common predators, accounting for 70% of visits where the predator could be identified.

Nests inside magpie breeding territories were predated by magpies more often, especially late in the season when magpies themselves had young in their nests.

Intriguingly, some specific nest locations were repeatedly highly predated.

The findings come amid controversy over the rules governing which birds can be killed to protect wild birds, crops and livestock.

Read the paper: published in the European Journal of Wildlife Research, is entitled: “Predation of artificial nests in UK farmland by magpies (Pica pica): interacting environmental, temporal, and social factors influence a nest’s risk.”


Scientific publications

Luis Mata et al, Punching above their weight: the ecological and social benefits of pop-up parks, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment (2019). DOI: 10.1002/fee.2060


Fraser, M. D., Stanley, C. R. & Hegarty, M. J. Recognising the potential role of native ponies in conservation management. Biological Conservation. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2019.04.014


Arneill, G. E., Critchley, E. J., Wischnewski, S. , Jessopp, M. J. and Quinn, J. L. (2019), Acoustic activity across a seabird colony reflects patterns of within-colony flight rather than nest density. Ibis. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/ibi.12740 


Callaghan, C. T., Major, R. E., Lyons, M. B., Martin, J. M., Wilshire, J. H., Kingsford, R. T. and Cornwell, W. K. (2019), Using citizen science data to define and track restoration targets in urban areas. J Appl Ecol. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.13421


Lovisa Nilssona, Nils Bunnefeld, Jens Persson, Ramūnas Žydelis, Johan Månsson Conservation success or increased crop damage risk? The Natura 2000 network for a thriving migratory and protected bird (open access) Biological Conservation doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2019.05.006


Clay, TA, Small, C, Tuck, GN, et alA comprehensive large-scale assessment of fisheries bycatch risk to threatened seabird populations. (open access) J Appl Ecol. 2019; 00: 1– 12. doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.13407


Mario A. Giraldo, Shawna Dark, Patricia Pendleton, Eric D. Stein, Raphael Mazor, Josh Andreas, Environmental predictors of stream flow in semi-arid watersheds for biological assessments ,Ecological Indicators, Volume 104, 2019, Pages 429-438, ISSN 1470-160X, doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2019.05.019.


Chan, WY, Hoffmann, AA, Oppen, MJH. Hybridization as a conservation management tool. Conservation Letters. 2019;e12652. doi: 10.1111/conl.12652 (open access)


Gillian Gilbert, Fiona S. MacGillivray, Clive R. McKay & Helen S. Robertson (2019) Foraging habitat of a declining Scottish Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax population in the post-breeding period Bird Study, doi: 10.1080/00063657.2019.1608155


O'Hara, CC, Villaseñor-Derbez, JC, Ralph, GM, Halpern, BS. Mapping status and conservation of global at-risk marine biodiversity. Conservation Letters. 2019;e12651. doi:10.1111/conl.12651 (open access)


Brown, CJ, Jupiter, SD, Albert, S, et al. A guide to modelling priorities for managing land-based impacts on coastal ecosystems. J Appl Ecol. 2019; 56: 1106– 1116. doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.13331 (free access)


Pollard, CRJ, Redpath, S, Bussière, LF, et al. The impact of uncertainty on cooperation intent in a conservation conflict. J Appl Ecol. 2019; 56: 1278– 1288. Doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.13361 (free access)


Smiroldo, G. , Villa, A. , Tremolada, P. , Gariano, P. , Balestrieri, A. and Delfino, M. (2019), Amphibians in Eurasian otter Lutra lutra diet: osteological identification unveils hidden prey richness and male biased predation on anurans. Mam Rev. doi:10.1111/mam.12155 


Tonn, B. , Densing, E. M., Gabler, J. and Isselstein, J. (2019), Grazing-induced patchiness, not grazing intensity, drives plant diversity in European low-input pastures. J Appl Ecol. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.13416


Capstick, L.A., Sage, R.B. & Madden, J.R. Predation of artificial nests in UK farmland by magpies (Pica pica): interacting environmental, temporal, and social factors influence a nest’s risk. Eur J Wildl Res (2019) 65: 50. DOI: 10.1007/s10344-019-1290-6


Javier Rivas-Salvador, David Hořák, Jiří Reif, Spatial patterns in habitat specialization of European bird communities, Ecological Indicators, doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2019.05.063.


Froidevaux, JSP, Boughey, KL, Hawkins, CL, Broyles, M, Jones, G. Managing hedgerows for nocturnal wildlife: Do bats and their insect prey benefit from targeted agri-environment schemes? J Appl Ecol. 2019; 00: 1– 14. doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13412


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Send your press releases to newsdesk@countryside-jobs.com or email a link to items on your website.

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Browse the Training Directory online here for short courses (up to 10 days long), or here for longer courses, distance learning and centres and providers

The Directory includes a wide range of courses providing certification in practical skills such as chainsaw use, need to learn how to identify dragonflies, or want to find out the best way to get the community involved in your project then this is the section to read.    We include details of many professional courses in the online short courses pages. There are also sections for longer courses, training centres and other events (eg conferences).

Search for your next CPD course here.

Calendar of short courses and professional events happening in: August 2019



16/08/2019   Birdfair 2017   3 Day

Rutland Water Nature Reserve, Oakham, Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust and the RSPB. Contact: nbrown@birdfair.org.uk http://c-js.info/2qZqgh1

18/08/2019   16th European Heathlands Workshop: Heathlands in a crowded world   7 Day

Dorset and the New Forest, Bournemouth University. Contact: https://c-js.info/2PIy4OT

27/08/2019   ZSL Animal Careers Conference   1 Day

ZSL London Zoo, ZSL. Contact: https://c-js.info/2vxLJ3E


Administrative and Office Skills

01/08/2019   Winter ASSETT   4 Day

Minerva Mill – Large meeting room, Station Road, Alcester, Warwickshire, B49 5ET, Arbtech Consulting Ltd. Contact: jr@arbtech.co.uk https://arbtech.co.uk/winter-asset-2019/

Help bridge the industry’s key failing: the gap between graduating in a relevant environmental subject & undertaking professional work as a consultant.  Course dates: 1 August, 29 August, 12 September & 3 October 2019. Fees can be paid upfront or offset by the paid work the candidates will do for Arbtech, once the course is completed. £300 inclusive of VAT.

03/08/2019   Wild Skills Week   5 Day

Preston Montford Field Centre, Growing Confidence Project, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852040 gc@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/gc

Immerse yourself in nature. Spend five days on this action packed residential based on land and water. Brush up your wildlife watching and identification skills, go canoeing and have a go at greenwood working. Gain your John Muir Discovery Award; also suitable for Gold Duke of Edinburgh. For ages 16-25

06/08/2019   MapInfo Foundation Training   2 Day

Talgarth, South Wales, exeGeSIS SDM Ltd. Contact: 01874 713066 Carolbateman@esdm.co.uk http://www.esdm.co.uk/mapinfo-training-courses

Ideal for Environmental & Ecological Professionals. Please quote CJS when requesting pricing to activate course discount. Course includes: Tea & coffee refreshments and lunch; training manual; free post-course support

06/08/2019   QGIS: Migrating to QGIS   1 Day

This practical one-day course is intended for current GIS users and provides a rapid orientation to QGIS. Whether you intend to move wholesale to QGIS, or alternatively to establish it in a support role, alongside your current GIS software, this course aims to get you mapping in QGIS with the minimum of delay.

13/08/2019   ArcGIS: Introductory   2 Day

This course introduces the underlying principles of Geographical Information Systems and examines the processes involved in the capture, storage, analysis and presentation of spatial data. This course is intended for those who have little or no GIS knowledge or who wish to undertake some formalized training in ArcGIS having been largely self-taught in the past.

Above two courses with GeoData, University of Southampton. Contact: 023 8059 2719 training@geodata.soton.ac.uk http://www.geodata.soton.ac.uk/training/

13/08/2019   QGIS Foundation Training   2 Day

Ideal for Environmental & Ecological Professionals. Please quote CJS when requesting pricing to activate course discount. Course includes: Tea & coffee refreshments and lunch; training manual; free post-course support

20/08/2019   QGIS Intermediate Training   1 Day

Ideal for Environmental & Ecological Professionals. Please quote CJS when requesting pricing to activate course discount. Course includes: Tea & coffee refreshments and lunch; training manual; free post-course support

Above two courses with exeGeSIS SDM Ltd in Talgarth, South Wales. Contact: 01874 713066 Carolbateman@esdm.co.uk http://www.esdm.co.uk/qgis-training-courses

20/08/2019   ArcGIS: Advanced   2 Day

In this course the basic functionality of the main elements of ArcGIS (ArcMap, Catalog and ArcToolbox) is expanded upon and some extensions are introduced. Topics covered include: geodatabases; advanced labelling and symbology; advanced editing; using model builder; GIS customization with Python; extensions, online data, manipulating coordinate systems and spatial analysis/statistics tools.

22/08/2019   ArcGIS Model builder - streamlining data processing   1 Day

This one-day course provides an introduction to ArcGIS model builder and how you can use it to streamline data processing tasks. You will be introduced to ArcToolbox and gain a deeper understanding of geoprocessing tools. This course is intended for regular ArcMap users who wish to improve their technical knowledge to automate data processing.

Above two courses with GeoData, University of Southampton. Contact: 023 8059 2719 training@geodata.soton.ac.uk http://www.geodata.soton.ac.uk/training/


Community Engagement and Environmental Education

03/08/2019    Platforms and Tree Houses for Outdoor Play   1 Day

Rotherwick, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01489774400 Courses@hiwwt.org.uk https://c-js.co.uk/2Zee6BR

17/08/2019   Woodland Activity Leader Training   7 Day

Findhorn, Wild things!. Contact: 01309 690450 enquiries@wild-things.org.uk https://wild-things.org.uk/our-events/woodland-activity-leader-training-walt/

If you are interested in enhancing your skills to lead groups in a woodland environment, training to become a Woodland Activity Leader will provide you with the learning and knowledge you require. Woodland Activity Leader Training is an accredited outdoor learning course and an alternative to forest school training.


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

05/08/2019   Level 3 Award in First Aid at Work (RQF)   3 Day

Pinkston Paddlesports, The Adventure Academy CIC. Contact: 0141 628 8520 info@theadventureacademy.org.uk https://theadventureacademy.org.uk/event/l3-award-in-first-aid-at-work-5-7-aug-2019-pinkston-glasgow/

The First Aid at Work course is a three day course designed for higher risk work environments.

13/08/2019   IOSH Managing Safety   3 Day

Kensington, London, APIS Solutions. Contact: 01522 753568 info@apissolutions.co.uk http://www.apissolutions.co.uk

13/08/2019   ROLO Health, Safety & Environmental Awareness   1 Day

Settle BD24 9DN, Lowe Maintenance Training . Contact: 01729 825132 info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk http://www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk

This one day course is a pre requisite for anyone within the land based industries who require a CSCS card to work on sites

23/08/2019   Emergency First Aid at Work   1 Day at Algo Business Centre, Perth

Designed for low risk workplaces covering basic first aid skills and the roles and responsibilities of the Appointed Person. Theoretical training and practical scenarios are used together to incrementally develop skills throughout the course. Come prepared to be active and participate in progressive scenario practice.

23/08/2019   Emergency First Aid at Work + Forestry   1 Day at Algo Business Centre, Perth

This course is specifically required by forestry workers to allow them to work for the Forestry Commission and other similar organisations. Theoretical training and practical scenarios are used together, and are progressed to being based in remote forestry locations.

24/08/2019   Outdoor First Aid   2 Days at EICA, Ratho, Edinburgh

Suitable for all types of outdoor practitioners. Theoretical training and practical scenarios are used together, and are progressed to being based in remote locations, potentially several hours from help. You will be very active on this course, both inside and outdoors.

28/08/2019   Outdoor First Aid   2 Days in Mugdock Country Park, Glasgow,

Suitable for all types of outdoor practitioners. Theoretical training and practical scenarios are used together, and are progressed to being based in remote locations, potentially several hours from help. You will be very active on this course, both inside and outdoors.

Above courses with First Aid Training Cooperative. Contact: 07585723763 courses@firstaidtrainingcooperative.co.uk http://www.firstaidtrainingcooperative.co.uk/outdoor


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Herpetology, Fish and Invertebrates

02/08/2019   Field ID of Shieldbugs   1 Day

Box Moor Trust, Hemel Hempstead, FSC BioLinks. Contact: 01743 852125 biolinks@field-studies-council.org https://www.field-studies-council.org/individuals-and-families/courses/2019/ho/field-id-of-shieldbugs.aspx

There are around 45 species of shieldbugs. They are characteristic, colourful, and immediately identifiable bugs, found in most habitat types. Learn about their ecology and how to identify them in the field.

02/08/2019   Micro-Moths of the Shropshire Borders   3 Day

Following publication of the excellent field guide by Sterling, Parsons and Lewington in 2012 interest in micro moths has increased dramatically. This long weekend is aimed at anyone familiar with macro moth species, who would now like expert help with the identification of micros.

05/08/2019   Butterflies and Moths   4 Day

Develop skills in identification, trapping and methods to encourage butterflies and moths into our gardens. Butterfly walks and light trap catches will be used as field observation tools interspersed with slide talks and identification workshops.

Above tow courses at Preston Montford, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852040 enquiries.pm@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

09/08/2019   Beginners Moths of the Devon Coast   3 Day

Slapton Ley, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01548 580466 enquiries.sl@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

On this brand new course we will run moth traps along the stunning Devon Coast at sites such as Prawle Point and Slapton Ley National Nature Reserve. This course is aimed at total beginners with moths as well as those who want to go back to the basics of learning about moth families.

09/08/2019   Practical Microscopy: Go It Alone Weekend   3 Day

Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01206 297110 enquiries.fm@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

This long weekend is a chance for microscopists to get together and pursue their hobby in a laboratory, unhindered by distractions. There will be no tutor, but help will be forthcoming for those with less experience from participants with expertise and skills in a wide range of subjects.

09/08/2019   Finding and Identifying Beetles and Other Invertebrates   2 Day

Margam, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01639 895636 enquiries.mp@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

This course will cover practical aspects of finding, identifying and recording beetles and other invertebrates. The main focus will be on beetles, but a number of other invertebrate groups will also be dealt with, though in less detail.

10/08/2019   Introduction to identifying and recording freshwater invertebrates and adult riverflies   One Day

Berrycroft Hub, Sharon and Peter Flint. Contact: 07919820654 berrycrofthub@gmail.com http://www.berrycrofthub.com

A sampling,identification and recording workshop aiming to introduce the participants to both the adult and juvenile stages of aquatic insects. Lifecycles, ecology and conservation explored with training given. Workshop limited to 10 places.

11/08/2019   An Introduction to Skep Beekeeping - Keeping Bees in Baskets   1 Day

Westmill Farm, Watchfield, SN6 6JZ, Bees for Development. Contact: 01602 714848 bfdoffice@beesfordevelopment.org http://www.beesfordevelopment.org

A concise, one day course on the art of skep beekeeping. Participants will learn about the history of skeps, referencing some of the old master skeppists, their varying styles of skeps and systems of management. The course will include hands on sessions with artefacts and tools and techniques.

14/08/2019   Slug Identification   1 Day

Bishops Wood, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01299 250513 enquiries.bw@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

This course includes an introduction to slugs and a review of the 45 or so species now present in the UK. Participants are asked to bring some slugs from their gardens, proven to be an excellent way of helping to map the distributions of this much under-recorded group of species.

14/08/2019   Learn To Love Bees   1 Day

Lesnes Abbey Wood, SE London, FSC BioLinks. Contact: 01743 852125 biolinks@field-studies-council.org https://www.field-studies-council.org/individuals-and-families/courses/2019/ho/learn-to-love-bees.aspx

There are?over 220?species of solitary?bee, nearly 20 species of bumblebee and 1 species of honeybee?in Britain.? This course is a very gentle introduction for those interested in learning more about bees and how to tell some common species apart.

15/08/2019   Wetlands of Surrey   1 Day

Bay Pond, Godstone, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372 379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk https://www.surreywildlifetrust.org/events/2019-08-15-wetlands-surrey

Wetlands and ponds provide the perfect habitat for a variety of species. Learn what they are before finding them by pond dipping.

16/08/2019   Introduction to the Insect Orders   2 Day

Margam, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01639 895636 enquiries.mp@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

This course introduces this charismatic group of invertebrates with a range of classroom-based and practical sessions. The course will introduce the group and cover key identification characteristics as well as field survey techniques of both adults and nymphs.

17/08/2019   Beekeeping for Beginners 1 Day Workshop   1 Day

Langtoft, near Peterborough, Bees for Business. Contact: 01778 487924 pa@beesforbusiness.com https://c-js.co.uk/2DEnYfS

Our 5-star rated workshop teaches anyone interested in keeping bees how to do so confidently and safely - you'll learn everything you need to know including how to spot for disease, handle the bees and harvest honey!

17/08/2019   Spider ID   1 Day

Wotton-under-Edge, Glos, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01452 383333 info@gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk https://www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk/events/2019-08-17-course-spider-identification

Discover the intricate world of spiders with spider specialist Glenn Norris. Following an introduction on spider life histories, make your own mini spi-pot and head into vast and varied Lower Woods to learn to use spi-pots and keys to identify and record your live finds, before releasing them. 9.30am-4pm

19/08/2019   Highland Butterflies and Moths   5 Day

Kindrogan, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01250 870 150 enquiries.kd@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

Enjoy the butterflies and moths of the Scottish Highlands in summer. Electric observation lights will be operated to attract a wide range of moths. There will be daytime field visits to a variety of habitats to observe butterflies such as the Scotch Argus.

23/08/2019   Leaf-Mining Moths of the Surrey Downs   2 Day

Juniper Hall, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01306 734501 enquiries.jh@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

On this course you will enter the exciting world of leaf-mining moth caterpillars in the beautiful downland setting of Juniper Hall. You will learn to identify the signs left behind by these moth caterpillars as they eat away at leaves of different tree species.

26/08/2019   Beekeeping for Beginners 1 Day Workshop   1 Day

Langtoft, near Peterborough, Bees for Business. Contact: 01778 487924 pa@beesforbusiness.com https://c-js.co.uk/2DEnYfS

Our 5-star rated workshop teaches anyone interested in keeping bees how to do so confidently and safely - you'll learn everything you need to know including how to spot for disease, handle the bees and harvest honey!


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Mammals

03/08/2019   An Introduction to Wildlife Surveying   1 Day

Woods Mill, Henfield, West Sussex, Sussex Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01273 497544 michaelblencowe@sussexwt.org.uk https://sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/whats-on/2019-08-03-an-introduction-to-wildlife-surveying-03082019

This new course gives you a unique opportunity to learn about the various methods and equipment that are used to survey a range of wildlife groups. The course will include a series of 'taster sessions' on how to survey birds, butterflies, bats, reptiles, moths, small mammals, hedgehogs and other wildlife.

06/08/2019   An Introduction to Bats   1 Day

The Kingcombe Centre, Dorset Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01300 320684 kingcombe@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk http://www.kingcombe.org

Would you like to learn all about bats? Aimed at beginners, this workshop will introduce you to the basics of bat biology and ecology.

09/08/2019   Hedgehog Ecology   1 Day

Gloucester, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01452 383333 info@gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk https://www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk/events/2019-08-09-course-hedgehog-ecology

Hedgehog numbers have declined by a third in the last decade, but changes in land management can help reverse their decline. Learn about how hedgehogs live, threats to their survival, and the small changes that can dramatically improve the landscape for this iconic animal. 9:30 - 16.00.

09/08/2019   Ecology of the Hazel Dormouse   1 Day

Wadhurst Park, East Sussex., Sussex Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01273 497544 michaelblencowe@sussexwt.org.uk https://sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/whats-on/2019-08-09-ecology-of-the-hazel-dormouse-09082019

The course will provide an introduction to the iconic hazel dormouse, covering its ecology distribution and habitat preferences, along with survey and monitoring techniques.

10/08/2019   Discovering Bats in Epping Forest   1 Day

Epping Forest, Field Studies Council. Contact: 020 8502 8500 enquiries.ef@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

This extensive day and evening course assumes no previous knowledge of bats. Topics include identification, biology and echolocation with the chance to have a closer look at bats both in the laboratory and the field. Participants will learn about the behaviour of UK bat species as well as nomenclature and classification.

12/08/2019   Zoo Academy (15-17 year olds)   8 Day

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, ZSL. Contact: https://www.zsl.org/zoo-academy-15-17-year-olds

ZSL Zoo Academy is an eight-day course which includes study sessions on different exotic species and more than 20 hours practical experience in the zoo. Our exciting animal-based course is designed for 15-17 year olds who wish to become vets, vet nurses, zoo keepers or pursue other animal related careers/studies.

16/08/2019   Scottish Mammals   3 Day

Kindrogan, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01250 870 150 enquiries.kd@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

The latest in a series of in-depth courses covering a variety of mammal species in the Scottish Highlands. This weekend will introduce the biology, ecology and conservation status of pine marten, red squirrel, otter and water vole with an emphasis on the importance of fieldwork techniques, tracks and signs.

17/08/2019   Dormouse Ecology & Conservation   1 Day

Wildwood, Kent, The Mammal Society. Contact: 02380 010984 training@themammalsociety.org https://www.mammal.org.uk/training/courses/

Recognised as the definitive course on dormouse ecology, survey and monitoring and ideal for those with a general interest or working towards their Dormouse Handling Licence. Includes a visit to check nest boxes, information on relevant legislation, best practice guidance and may include the opportunity to handle dormice under supervision.

21/08/2019   Combined otter ecology and survey with development and mitigation   2 Day

This is a two-day course combining both the 'Otter ecology & survey' course on Day 1 with the 'Otters and development, including mitigation' course on Day 2.

21/08/2019   Otter ecology & survey   1 Day

This introductory course will provide you with the skills and knowledge to undertake otter surveys and provide reports in accordance with best practice guidance.

22/08/2019   Otters and development, including mitigation focusing on highway projects   1 Day

This advanced course is aimed at people who have attended our 'Otter ecology & survey' course or who are already experienced in undertaking otter surveys and have a good understanding of otter ecology. Following attendance, you should be able to design appropriate survey and mitigation strategies and successfully apply for otter mitigation licences.

Above three courses with Richard Green Ecology Ltd, 9C Mill Park Ind Est, White Cross Rd, Woodbury Salterton, Exeter EX5 1EL. Contact: 01395 239234 office@richardgreenecology.co.uk https://c-js.co.uk/2xTQqck

23/08/2019   Land Mammal Identification   3 Day

Preston Montford, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852040 enquiries.pm@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

An exciting opportunity to encounter and identify many British mammals through field signs, live trapping and sightings. The course is practical-based with field visits and laboratory sessions designed to introduce a range of detection and identification skills. *MMU

23/08/2019   Dormouse Ecology & Conservation   1 Day at Callow Rock, Somerset

Recognised as the definitive course on dormouse ecology, survey and monitoring and ideal for those with a general interest or working towards their Dormouse Handling Licence. Includes a visit to check nest boxes, information on relevant legislation, best practice guidance and may include the opportunity to handle dormice under supervision.

30/08/2019   Mammal Identification Weekend   3 Days at Juniper Hall, Surrey

The Mammal Identification Weekend provides a great chance to learn the key distinguishing features of all UK mammal species. Classroom sessions will cover the key visual clues to identification, tracks, feeding signs, nests, burrows, sounds, droppings & skeletal remains.

Above two courses with The Mammal Society. Contact: 02380 010984 training@themammalsociety.org

31/08/2019   Bats and their Natural History   1 Day

Regents Park, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01306 734501 enquiries.ldn@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

Learn about bats on this course in The Regent's Park with emphasis on the 17 species of British bats. Topics include their biology, evolution and environmental requirements for feeding, living and breeding, etc, as well as classification and names of our native species.


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Ornithology

04/08/2019   Birds of South Devon   5 Day

Slapton Ley, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01548 580466 enquiries.sl@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

This course provides an opportunity to develop your knowledge and experience of birds within this classic English landscape. Ranging from the coastline up onto the rugged contours of Dartmoor National Park, we explore the birdlife around us, but also take stock of the diverse native flora and fauna, which are such an integral part of each habitat.

10/08/2019   BTO Bird Identification   2 Day

Castle Head, Field Studies Council and BTO. Contact: 01539 538120 enquiries.ch@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

Learn how to identify Britain's birds with confidence and discover how there is a BTO survey that you can take part in. These courses begin with the basics of identifying birds by sight and progress during your stay to identifying the commoner species by songs and calls as well.

30/08/2019   BTO Bird Identification   2 Day

Rhyd-y-creuau, Field Studies Council and BTO. Contact: 01690 710494 enquiries.rc@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

Learn how to identify Britain's birds with confidence and discover how there is a BTO survey that you can take part in - no matter what your bird-watching experience. These courses begin with the basics of identifying birds by sight and progress during your stay to identifying the commoner species by songs and calls as well.


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Plants and Habitats

01/08/2019   Arable Plant Identification and Ecology   1 Day

Micheldever, Hampshire, Species Recovery Trust. Contact: 01722 322539 bookings@speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/arable-plant-identification-and-ecology-tickets-50525351687

A one-day course giving participants familiarity with several common and endangered arable plants and a chance to look at and learn about different conservation techniques and arable management options

01/08/2019   Chalk Grasslands Across the County   1 Day

Nower Wood, Leatherhead, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372 379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk https://www.surreywildlifetrust.org/events/2019-08-01-chalk-grasslands-across-county

Find out more about the chalk grassland covering Surrey and why it is home to such a variety of flora and fauna.

01/08/2019   Introduction to Phase 1 Survey   1 Day

Parc Slip Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre, Glamorgan CF32 0EH, Tim Rich WYG. Contact: 0113 278 7111 ecology@wyg.com https://www.wyg.com/news-and-press-releases/botanical-training-courses-

An introduction to this fundamental survey methodology, including its value and some limitations. It will comprise field surveys to practice mapping and target noting various habitats.

02/08/2019   Flowers with Botanical Keys   3 Day

Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01206 297110 enquiries.fm@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

This course will focus on providing a good grounding on flowering parts and the vegetative structure of plants required to use botanical keys successfully and with confidence. We will demystify terms that sometimes make it seem that botanists are using a 'different language'.

02/08/2019   Plants of Bogs and Mires   3 Day

Preston Montford, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852040 enquiries.pm@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

This practical course is aimed at anyone wishing to gain experience in the recognition of the wide range of plants associated with bogs and mires, from heathers to sedges. The accent is on identification through examination of characteristic features aided by the use of simplified keys. *MMU

03/08/2019   Phase One Habitat Survey and Preliminary Ecological Appraisal Workshop   2 Day

Stirling, TCV Scotland. Contact: 01788 476170 Scotland-training@tcv.org.uk http://tcvscotland.eventbrite.com

This popular 2 day course will benefit ecologists, land managers, rangers, planners, environmental consultants and students. You will learn how to correctly assess a habitat type using the Phase 1 survey methodology, to map and write this up competently and to understand how to read Phase 1 habitat maps

05/08/2019   Aquatic Plants   1 Day

Langford Lakes, Wiltshire, Species Recovery Trust. Contact: 01722 322539 bookings@speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/aquatic-plants-tickets-50525618485

A 1 day course covering how to identify a range of common waterside plants, focusing on submerged, floating, emergent and bankside communities of slow-flowing/standing water.

08/08/2019   Surrey's Wooded Pastures   1 Day

Ashtead Common, Ashtead, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372 379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk https://www.surreywildlifetrust.org/events/2019-08-08-surreys-wooded-pastures

Learn more about the way we utilise and maintain the wooded pastures in Surrey.

14/08/2019   Archaeology of West Dorset   1 Day

The Kingcombe Centre, Dorset Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01300 320684 kingcombe@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk http://www.kingcombe.org

This day course is about the places, landscape and archaeology of west Dorset, describing the main sites dating from around 4000 BC to the Romanisation of Britain. With local expert, Chris Tripp.

15/08/2019   Wild Flower ID for Beginners   1 Day

Sheffield, Wildscapes . Contact: 0114 2792667 info@wildscapes.co.uk https://www.wildscapes.co.uk/training/training-with-wildscapes.html

An introduction to the identification of wild flowers with an emphasis on the most common plant families and basic flower structure.   The course is aimed at anyone with a general interest in botany, no previous knowledge is required.

16/08/2019   Identifying Coastal Plants   3 Day

Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01206 297110 enquiries.fm@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

Designed to help the beginner, this course will give participants practical experience in the identification of saltmarsh and sand dune plants. There will be time to carry out vegetation surveys and consider the process of ecological succession. This is an accredited course suitable for professionals or interested amateurs. *MMU

17/08/2019   Common British and Irish Plant Families 4: Daisy, Goosefoot, Dock and Willow   1 Day

Regents Park, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01306 734501 enquiries.ldn@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

This is the last of four sessions, each of which will focus on 3-5 common wild plant families. Participants will be introduced to each family and their main vegetative and floral characteristics and then practice their identification skills, using keys, and examine the plants in the field.

17/08/2019   Upland Habitat Identification   1 Day

Angus glens, near Edzell, Taylor Wildlife. Contact: 07889206143 lduggan@taylorwildlife.co.uk http://www.taylorwildlife.co.uk

Ideal for recent graduates, those new to ecology and those who enjoy spending time outdoors, this course identifies the plant species that make up various upland habitat types. We will also look at historical and current threats to upland habitats, as well as restoration and habitat management techniques. Lunch included.

19/08/2019   Dandelions, Daisies and Thistles   3 Day

Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01206 297110 enquiries.fm@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

The course will be essentially a practical one with ample time provided, under guidance, for the study of floral design under the low power microscope; a useful tool which undoubtedly aids future field identification. *MMU

23/08/2019   Broad-Leaved Trees   2 Day

Juniper Hall, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01306 734501 enquiries.jh@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

Late summer is a good time to turn our attention to the broad-leaved trees. Soon they will start to transform our landscapes into a blaze of colour. Now is the time to learn what we can from the foliage and fruits. *MMU

23/08/2019   Identifying Lichens   2 Day

Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01206 297110 enquiries.fm@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

This intermediate level weekend on lichen identification is for anyone with some initial experience of this group who would like to take their interest several stages further. There will be a combination of field excursions, microscope work and use of keys to help you with lichen identification.

24/08/2019   Introduction to Fern Identification   1 Day

Bishops Wood, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01299 250513 enquiries.bw@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

This course will focus on learning the key characteristics used in keys and guide books to help separate species helping shed light on tricky terminology and unravelling the jargon that can stop us fully appreciating such marvellous plants.

30/08/2019   Vegetative Plant Identification   2 Day

Margam, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01639 895636 enquiries.mp@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

In many books and courses the focus of plant identification is flowers. This course aims to help improve identification of plants vegetatively using a variety of field techniques and the Vegetative Key to the British Flora by John Poland.



26/08/2019   Garden Photography   4 Day

Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01206 297110 enquiries.fm@field-studies-council.org https://c-js.co.uk/2KnWpZk

This five-day course is ideal for those who appreciate spending time in gardens and enjoy photography. We will immerse ourselves amongst late summer flowers and veg: dahlias, cosmos, rudbeckia, asters, verbena, tomatoes, chillies and early autumn berries.


Practical Countryside Skills

03/08/2019   Taster day in dry stone walling   1 Day

Pensychnant Conwy, Wales Branch of Dry Stone Walling Association. Contact: 01766 513213 pasmyth@btinternet.com https://www.drystonewalling.wales/courses/

All aspects of dismantling and rebuilding a section of wall will be covered.

05/08/2019   Blacksmithing - Parent / Carer and Child day   1 Day

Venue to be confirmed, Cotswolds Conservation Board. Contact: 01451 862000 ruralskills@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk https://www.cotswoldsruralskills.org.uk/events/view/708/blacksmithing-parent-carer-and-child-day-new-course

During this fun and easily paced day, parents / carers and children can learn about some of the basic techniques of blacksmithing while forging an item to take home, whether a simple ornament, plant pot holder or other object that reflects your own interests! The instructor David Joy is definitely open to suggestions.

05/08/2019   Introduction To Pole Lathing   1 Day

Learn about the traditional green wood working craft of pole lathing and use a pole lathe to make a rounders bat or garden dibber to take away.

06/08/2019   Introduction To Axe Hewing   1 Day

Hewing round logs into square beams using side axes and adzes.

Above two courses with Derbyshire Eco Centre, Derbyshire Adult Community Education. Contact: 01629 533038 ecocentre@derbyshire.gov.uk  http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/ecocentre

09/08/2019   LANTRA Level 2 (Intermediate) Dry-stone Walling Course   8 Day


Suitable for those with Level 1 certificate + 6 months experience OR wallers with 2 years' experience in the trade. It will involve setting-up and running a dry-stone walling business, with a practical walling component and the aim of providing high-quality dry-stone walling to customers, through an existing or new business.

10/08/2019   Introduction to Scything   1 Day


Instruction is provided on how to set up a scythe optimally for a person's stature, how to keep it sharp, and how to mow with an efficient movement. Blade choice and adjustment of the implement will be discussed, and an element of grassland management can also be included in the course.

12/08/2019   Blacksmithing Improvers - Strap hinge forging   1 Day


During the improvers day you will learn about the blacksmith processes through a specific focus on forging a strap hinge. These strap hinges are longer hinges attached to the face of the door, and often found on traditional agricultural buildings. Various techniques will be demonstrated and then participants will be able to have a go themselves.

Above three courses with Cotswolds Conservation Board. Contact: 01451 862000 ruralskills@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk

13/08/2019   Dry Stone Walling - (Lantra Level 1)   10 Day

Derbyshire Eco Centre, Derbyshire Adult Community Education. Contact: 01629 533038 ecocentre@derbyshire.gov.uk http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/ecocentre

Gain the basic knowledge and skills to build and repair dry stone walls. Run over 10 Mondays and Tuesdays with the test on a Friday.

24/08/2019   Dry Stone Walling - Beginners   2 Day

Burford, Oxfordshire, Cotswolds Conservation Board. Contact: 01451 862000 ruralskills@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk https://www.cotswoldsruralskills.org.uk/events/view/658/dry-stone-walling-beginners

You can expect to learn about: dismantling walls, stone sorting, laying foundations, building walls, adding through stones and copping stones, dressing the stone, different types of stone, the tools and more. You will be building a wall that will remain part of the Cotswolds landscape for the next 100-200 years!

29/08/2019   Scything for Beginners   1 Day

Bay Pond, Godstone, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372 379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk https://www.surreywildlifetrust.org/events/2019-08-29-scything-beginners

Learn how to use this ancient land management technique that is still very relevant today.

31/08/2019   Dry Stone Walling - Beginners   2 Day

Tetbury, Gloucestershire, Cotswolds Conservation Board. Contact: 01451 862000 ruralskills@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk https://www.cotswoldsruralskills.org.uk/events/view/644/dry-stone-walling-beginners

You can expect to learn about: dismantling walls, stone sorting, laying foundations, building walls, adding through stones and copping stones, dressing the stone, different types of stone, the tools and more. You will be building a wall that will remain part of the Cotswolds landscape for the next 100-200 years!


Practical Countryside Skills - Machinery

01/08/2019   Safe Use of Brush Cutters and Trimmers NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day

One day integrated training and assessment covering pre use checks, maintenance and safe use. Ideal for those in industries such as horticultural, landscaping, grounds maintenance sectors.

05/08/2019   Safe Use of Powered Pole Pruner NPTC / City and Guilds   1 Day

One day integrated training and assessment covering pre use checks, maintenance and safe use. Ideal for those in industries such as horticultural, landscaping, grounds maintenance sectors.

05/08/2019   PA1 - Principles of Safe Handling and Application of Pesticides NPTC / City and Guilds   1 Day

This is a pre requisite for other pesticide application units, assessment is through on online multiple choice exam. Grandfather Rights unit 1 can be run along side this course

06/08/2019   PA6a - Safe Application of Pesticides Using Pedestrian Hand Held Equipment (knapsacks/lance from a tank) NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day

This course is for people who use knapsacks or hand lances from a tank, the pre-requisite is PA1. Training is one day plus one day for the assessment.

07/08/2019   PA2a - Safe Application of Pesticides Using Self-propelled, Mounted and Trailed Boom Sprayers NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day

This course is for people who use mounted, trailed boom sprayers, the pre-requisite is PA1. Training is one day plus one day for the assessment. Grandfather Rights Unit 3 can be run along side this course.

07/08/2019   Aerial Cutting of Trees with a Chainsaw Using Free-Fall Techniques (formally CS39) NPTC / City and Guilds    2 Day

Two days training plus one day assessment. Covering the use of a chainsaw whilst in a tree to include different cuts e.g. step, hand held. Pre requisites are tree climbing and aerial rescue (CS38) chainsaw (CS30 and CS31)

08/08/2019   PA2f - Safe Application of Pesticides Using Weed Wipers NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day

This course is for people who use weed wipers, the pre-requisite is PA1. Training is one day plus one day for the assessment. Grandfather Rights Unit 3 can be run along side this course.

09/08/2019   Safe Use of Manually Fed Woodchippers NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day

One day integrated training and assessment covering pre use checks, maintenance and safe use. Ideal for those in industries such as horticultural, landscaping, grounds maintenance sectors.

10/08/2019   Refresher in Tree climbing and rescue (CS38)   1 Day

This course is for those who require a refresher in tree climbing and rescue, a Lowe Maintenance Certificate of Competence will be provided

12/08/2019   Chainsaw Maintenance, Cross Cutting and Felling and Processing of Trees up to 380mm (formally CS30 and CS31) NPTC / City and Guilds    4 Day

Four days training plus a fifth day for the assessment. Covering the maintenance of a chainsaw, cross cutting and felling and processing trees upto 380mm in diameter Ideal for those new to chainsaws or those needing certificates of competence evidence.

14/08/2019   Safe Use of Rat and Mice Poison NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day

Any one who uses rat/mice poison as a professional (farmer/gamekeeper/pest controller etc) will need a certificate of competence from Spring 2016. This one day course plus one day assessment upon achievement will enable you to purchase the rodenticides you require for pest control, this is also available online (learn at home then attend the face to face practical assessment)

15/08/2019   Safe Use of Hedge Cutters Handheld NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day

One day integrated training and assessment covering pre use checks, maintenance and safe use. Ideal for those in industries such as horticultural, landscaping, grounds maintenance sectors.

19/08/2019   Emergency Tree Work Operations (formally CS50) NPTC / City and Guilds   3 Day

Three days training plus one day assessment, covering how to deal with emergency tree work operations. Techniques, winching and safe operation.

All above courses with Lowe Maintenance Training, Settle BD24 9DN. Contact: 01729 825132 info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk http://www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk

21/08/2019   Lantra Sit in ATV- Conventional Steer    1 Day

Skipton, North Yorkshire , Land Rover Experience North Yorkshire . Contact: 01756 611060 sophie@lre3.co.uk http://www.yorkshire.landroverexperience.co.uk

Our course covers the key fundamentals of driving, loading and health and safety. Once you have successfully carried out this course you will receive a certificate of training for Sit-in ATV (Conventional Steered). Valid 5 years. Various dates available - call for info.

26/08/2019   Brushcutters & Trimmers   2 Day

Stirling, TCV Scotland. Contact: 01786 476170 Scotland-training@tcv.org.uk http://tcvscotland.eventbrite.com

This course will teach you all you need to know about Brushcutters and Trimmers and will lead to a LANTRA certificate.

28/08/2019   LANTRA Brushcutter/Trimmers - Maintenance and Operation   1 Day

Venue to be confirmed, Cotswolds Conservation Board. Contact: 01451 862000 ruralskills@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk https://www.cotswoldsruralskills.org.uk/events/view/758/lantra-brushcuttertrimmers-maintenance-and-operation

This course is designed for anybody with some experience of using brushcutters and/or trimmmers or who has previously gained their LANTRA certificate and would like to refresh their skills. The course is suitable for employees or volunteers in the fields of agriculture, horticulture, landscaping and grounds maintenance.

28/08/2019   Aerial Tree Pruning (formally CS40) NPTC / City and Guilds   2 Day

Two days training plus one day for assessment. Covering the correct pruning of trees from a rope and harness. Pre requisites are tree climbing (CS38), chainsaw (CS30 and CS31) and chainsaw free fall techniques (CS39)

29/08/2019   Safe Use of Leaf Blowers NPTC / City and Guilds    0.5 Day

Half a day integrated training and assessment covering pre use checks, maintenance and safe use. Ideal for those in industries such as horticultural, landscaping, grounds maintenance sectors.

Above two courses with Lowe Maintenance Training, Settle BD24 9DN. Contact: 01729 825132 info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk http://www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk


Updates and Additions to other sections of Training Directory this month

Longer courses

Land and Countryside Management

BSc (Hons) Environmental Science with UCLan

Level 3 Land and Wildlife Management by Craven College, Skipton

HND Countryside Management, HNC Countryside & Environmental Management, NC Countryside Management and BSc (Hons) Countryside Management with SRUC

Level 1 Practical Countryside Skills and Level 3 Countryside Management by Brooksby Melton College


Hobby and Craft

Level 3 Floristry with Brooksby Melton College


Botany and Horticulture

Level 3 Horticulture by Brooksby Melton College


Training Centre / provider listings


Sorbus Learning

The Mammal Society


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Additions to the Grants and sources of funding listings.


The Urban Tree Challenge Fund (UTCF) from Forestry Commission

Scottish Natural Heritage is offering the Peatland Action Fund

Community Path and Community Active Travel grants from Paths for All

Sustrans grant funding will be available from this summer for projects which benefit people or wildlife across the National Cycle Network in Scotland


See the adverts by Clicking Here  If you know of a funding source that is not listed please send us details and we'll contact the organisation for more information.

The next edition of CJS Professional will be published on: 11 July 2019

Got something to share or want to advertise? The deadline is: 5pm Monday 8 July 2019

Contact us by email: ranger@countryside-jobs.com

Details believed correct but given without prejudice.

CJS is not responsible for content of external sites. 

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Find out more about advertising in CJS Professional here.