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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: Vincent Wildlife Trust 

Featured Charity:   The Vincent Wildlife 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)

Commons & Greens Support Officer

Harpenden Town Council

Harpenden (Fixed term 18 months, potential to be made permanent, full time preferred but part time considered)

Park Ranger

Groundwork North, East & West Yorkshire

Wakefield (maternity cover, 35 weeks, 28/8/18 - 25/4/19, 22.5hpw)

Foreman and General Workers

Knighton Countryside Management

Piddlehinton, Dorchester, working on jobs across Southern England and Wales (immediate start)

Youth in Nature Project Assistant

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Hull (17.5 hpw)

Cairngorms Capercaillie Project: Project Manager

Cairngorms National Park

Grantown on Spey (Fixed term 15 months, 35h pw)

Cairngorms Capercaillie Project: Engagement Officer

Cairngorms National Park

Grantown on Spey (Fixed term 15 months, 22.5 hpw)

Project Manager

The British Horse Society

Stoneleigh, Warwickshire (3 yr fixed term, 35hpw)

Forest of Bowland AONB Development and Funding Officer

Forest of Bowland AONB (Lancashire County Council)

Dunsop Bridge, Clitheroe, Lancashire (Fixed term to March 2022)

Communications Officer

Cranborne Chase AONB

Wimborne, Dorset (part-time 22 hpw)

PA / Assistant Manager

International Wildlife Consultants (UK) Ltd

Head Office, Carmarthen, West Wales

Head of Wildfowling

British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC)


Wildfowling Officer

British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC)


Field Studies Tutor (Geography Specialism)

Cranedale Centre

Malton, North Yorkshire

Skilled Arborists


Waltham Abbey

Countryside Ranger Education and Events

Hart District Council

Fleet, north Hampshire

2 Countryside Rangers

Hart District Council

Fleet, north Hampshire

Countryside Ranger Marketing

Hart District Council

Fleet, north Hampshire

Tree Officer

Hart District Council

Fleet, north Hampshire

Biodiversity Projects Officer

Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre, Oxfordshire County Council

Oxford (Temporary, 1 year, 37 hpw)

Community and Education Manager


Luton, Bedfordshire and Alconbury (Cambridgeshire) but working across the east of England as required. (2 year contract, opportunity to extend, 37 hpw)

Forest Managers - Central Scotland and North Scotland

Harvesting Manager - South Scotland

General recruitment (graduate opportunities)

Scottish Woodlands

Across Scotland location as specified

Leave No Footprints Engagements Coordinator

Bournemouth Borough Council

Hengistbury Head LNR, Bournemouth (Fixed term to July 2021, 37hpw)

Curator (Vertebrate Zoology)

National Museums Liverpool

World Museum, Liverpool (37 hpw)

Nidderdale AONB Development Team Manager

Harrogate Borough Council

Nidderdale, Yorkshire Dales (fixed term to April 202, part time, 15 hpw)

Project Assistant (Wild Watch)

Harrogate Borough Council

Pately Bridge, North Yorkshire (Fixed term 23/7/18 - 14/9/18, 22.5 hpw)

Forestry Operative

2 Arborists

Wakefield Council

Wakefield (37hpw)

Countryside Ranger

Northamptonshire Council

Barnwell Country Park

Conservation Grazing Officer

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

South Yorkshire (Fixed term to 31/3/19, part time 14hpw)


Exmoor National Park


Upper Wensum Cluster Farmland Biodiversity Advisor

Pensthorpe Natural Park

Fakenham, Norfolk (initial 2 year contract, 4dpw but flexible up to 40hpw)

Environment Officer - Waste Regulation Team

Natural Resources Wales

Buckley (Fixed to 31/3/19, 37hpw)

Ecologist / Assistant Ecologist

Ecology Solutions

Barkway, Herefordshire (permanent contract)



Uxbridge and Aylesbury area

Beat Forester

Forestry Commission England

Spadeadam and Kielder South


Parks and Open Spaces Apprentice

South Lakeland District Council

includes study sessions at Askham Bryan College in York. (Fixed 2 year, 37hpw)

Natural Prospects Traineeships

Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country

Birmingham or Black Country (fixed term, full time)


Volunteer Trainee Nature Reserve Warden

Kent County Council

Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve



56 adverts for voluntary roles added this month.

As a result of the feedback from last year's readers survey we've made a few tweaks to the online Volunteers Directory, including adding a search function. [more]

Advance notice: CJS Focus September edition is once again looking at Volunteering and this time is in association with TCV.


Surveys and Fieldwork

Three new plant surveys added this month including The Great British Wildflower Hunt from Plantlife (last year's Featured Charity).


CJS Focus

CJS Focus on Greenspace, in association with Fields in Trust, browse through online here, or download a PDF version.  

17 pages in total with details of projects, support, training & organisations in greenspace management. 8 articles:

  • The recent release of their ‘Revaluing Parks and Green Space’ report allows Fields in Trust to talk about the contribution parks & green spaces make to UK community health & wellbeing in the lead article.
  • As a social housing provider in Manchester, Southway Housing Trust owns 180 green spaces within their urban setting – a lasting legacy has seen better utilisation of these areas with community involvement & interest from the University of Manchester.
  • Urban forests can provide many benefits to society including removing pollutants, reducing stress & cooling urban areas. Forestry Research is encouraging towns & cities to utilise i-Tree Eco to place a monetary value on urban trees and help safeguard them for the future.  
  • New housing developments don’t have to squeeze out wildlife & greenspace. The Wildlife Trusts are calling on developers, local authorities & Government to embrace a new way of building, one that works with the natural surrounds to create gains for nature & residents.
  • Every weekend at more than 700 public open spaces across the UK there is a free parkrun. These open spaces take a variety of forms such as city parks, beaches, canal towpaths & country parks but all benefit from the utilisation of the space for fitness.
  • In response to a networking need for greenspace professionals, greenspace scotland set up the Scottish Park Managers Forum. This has allowed those managing greenspace in Scotland to learn about what’s working and what’s not.
  • Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council manages Wren’s Nest National Nature Reserve, find out from Senior Warden, Ian Beech some of the challenges encountered when managing an urban site.
  • Chris Worman is a member of the Parks Action Group; set up by the Government in late 2017 the group is tasked with trying to create a sustainable future for the nation’s parks and green spaces. Learn about the progress of the group so far.



Government announcements and policy plus reactions

Defra has been busy launching a Clean Air Strategy, National Parks Review, Tree Health Resilience Strategy and a new Environment Law "to deliver a green Brexit" 

Land and Countryside Management

  • Tread softly: new guide for businesses working in important ecosystems - BirdLife International
  • The Proportion of Scotland's Protected Sites in Favourable and recovering Condition 2018 - Scottish Natural Heritage
  • Dog owners “walk this way” to cleaner green spaces – Keep Britain Tidy

Grants and Funding

  • Community Links Fund, Budget more than doubled for walking and cycling projects - Scottish Government 
  • Grants for Peatlands Restoration - Defra 

Pollution, Recycling and Sustainability

  • Government launches microplastics research to protect oceans - Defra
  • Single-use plastics: New EU rules to reduce marine litter – European Commission
  • Environment Agency calls for action on water efficiency - Environment Agency

Environmental Education, Recreation and volunteering

  • Benefits of primary school gardening - Horticultural Trades Association
  • Northumberlandia wins Site of the Year at Land Trust Awards 2018 – The Land Trust

Last week was Volunteers Week  and we highlighted areas specific to the countryside sector, read the posts on our blog. Each post has links for further information and to relevant In Depth articles. 

Scientific Research, Results and Publications

  • The 'value' of biodiversity - Newcastle University
  • Securing the natural environment for future generations – British Ecological Society
  • Mammals: Call for public to help wildlife conservation by monitoring mammals with new app - Mammal Society
  • Beavers' do dam good work cleaning water, research reveals – Devon Wildlife Trust
  • Birds: Waterbird survey celebrates platinum anniversary - BTO
  • New study finds parasites affect flight ability of wild seabirds – University of Liverpool

Animal and wildlife news 

  • World’s largest rodent eradication project a success: South Georgia declared rodent-free! - South Georgia Heritage Trust
  • Could our obsession with mobile technology destroy wildlife? - Buglife
  • Dolphin attacks on Moray Firth harbour porpoises - Sea Watch Foundation
  • 21 years of Operation Easter: is the end in sight for egg collecting? – National Wildlife Crime Unit
  • Grizzled Skipper set to return to Derbyshire! and Chequered Skippers released in Northamptonshire - Butterfly Conservation



New listing from: ACS Distance Education  [more]

17/08/2018   Visions to Actions   2 Day event at Falkirk run by Inner Forth Landscape Initiative.  How can you turn a Vision for landscape-scale working into Action through the power of uniting in partnership?  [more]

Calendar of events and short courses occurring in - August 18 pages, this month including details of courses available on demand or run on an ad hoc basis

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


Grants and sources of funding

Details of 3 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: 14 June 2018

Jobs: view all online jobs here


Logo: Harpenden Town CouncilCommons & Greens Support Officer 

Salary: £21,074 - £23,111 (Plus £585 Outer Fringe Allowance) 

Working hours: Full Time is preferred however Part Time applications of at least 21 hours per week will be considered. 

Contract Type: Fixed Term contract for 18 months with potential to be made permanent. 

We are looking for a talented individual to help us to maintain and enhance our already wonderful Commons and Green Spaces. 

Harpenden is fortunate to have a variety of outdoor spaces with many exciting habitats. This role will play a key part in managing these spaces and getting more local people to understand and enjoy them. 

We are looking for someone with an enthusiasm for wildlife and the outdoors who has strong interpersonal skills that will enable them to engage with a range of people including community groups, contractors and residents. They will have knowledge of countryside and land management techniques and experience of organising small outdoor community events. 

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to make their mark on the Town by supporting this important part of the Town Council’s work.    

Closing date for applications:  9am 25 June 2018

Interviews will take place on:  6 July 2018 

Full details can be found in the application pack from Harpenden Town Council here, Email:  Philip.wright@harpenden.gov.uk or call 01582 463665 

Please note CV’s will not be accepted. 

Groundwork North, East & West Yorkshire

Park Ranger (Maternity Cover)                                                               

28th August 2018 to 25th April 2019 inclusive: 35 weeks

£9.00 per hour, 22.5hr week (Tues – Thur) 

Groundwork NEWY are looking for an enthusiastic person to join their small team of urban fringe park rangers for a fixed term.  The post holder will demonstrate an eagerness for and knowledge of the natural world, be comfortable planning and delivering community activities, and working with schools.  You will need to be confident, innovative, motivated and self-reliant.  Site- and habitat maintenance are part of this role. 

This is a great opportunity for someone looking to gain experience, and cover every aspect of open space management, community liaison, environmental interpretation and amenity.  

A driver’s licence is essential, prior experience desirable, degree or equivalent in an environmental subject desirable; a willingness to work in what can be physically-demanding situations is essential. 

For further information, please contact David Spencer on 07486661130 or david.spencer@groundwork.org.uk 

Application packs available here. 

If you are interested in applying for this vacancy and have the necessary skills as outlined in the above job description then please complete an application form and return to Wakefield.hr@groundwork.org.uk  by the closing date of 20th June 2018. 

Proposed Interview Date: 27.06.18 

Logo: Knighton Countryside Management LtdForeman and General Workers

Immediate Start 

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

A driving licence is essential. This position will require a high percentage of working away from Monday to Friday, with overnight accommodation and an allowance offered. Salary is dependent on experience. Temporary entry level position but permanent jobs and career progression available for suitable candidates. CSCS cards an advantage, but assistance can be offered in acquiring a card. 

Email: office@knightoncountryside.com  or call 01305 848881

Logo: Our Bright FutureYorkshire Wildlife Trust

Youth in Nature Project Assistant – 17.5 hours per week

Youth in Nature, Hull

Salary: £19600 p.a. pro rata plus up to 9% pension contribution 

Would you like to be part of a major environmental programme to get young people involved with wildlife and the environment?  Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, a dynamic and evolving organisation, is looking for an enthusiastic and inspiring advocate for wildlife to work with young people   This project is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and part of the Our Bright Future programme. 

Using your skills and knowledge you will provide green space enhancements within Hull as well as empower children and young people to increase wildlife knowledge and deliver tangible changes to their local communities thus contributing to the creation of  wildlife-rich landscapes that improve the quality of life for those living in, and visiting those landscapes. 

As well as having a passion for working with young people, you will have a broad experience of UK wildlife, knowledge of practical conservation techniques and the ability to inspire a challenging and diverse audience. 

Please note this post is subject to satisfactory DBS clearance at enhanced level. 

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

Please note we don’t accept CVs   

Application closing deadline: 9 am on Monday 25 June 2018, Interview date: Tuesday 10 July 2018 

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is an equal opportunities employer

YWT Company 409650; Charity no. 210807.

Logo: Cairngorms National Park AuthorityJob Title: Cairngorms Capercaillie Project: Project Manager

Salary: £29,633 - £35,672 (Band D) plus excellent benefits such as flexitime, generous annual leave and a defined pension scheme to name just a few

Contract: Fixed term for 15 months

Working Hours: 37.5 hours per week

Location: Grantown on Spey 

We have an exciting opportunity for a Cairngorms Capercaillie Project: Project Manager to join our Land Management & Conservation Team. 

The Cairngorms Capercaillie Project is a partnership project to deliver three principle objectives: to build support for capercaillie conservation, helping people to understand and value their natural heritage, the benefits it can bring and how their actions can affect it; to work with communities to develop sustainable approaches to recreation, meeting residents and visitors needs whilst minimising impact on capercaillie; and to develop a programme of conservation action to support the species’ long-term survival, creating a bigger and more robust forest network. 

A staff team and a range of local groups and volunteers will deliver and monitor the activities which comprise the overall project. The Project Manager will be based in Grantown-on-Spey, leading the Cairngorms Capercaillie Project staff team. 

Cairngorms National Park is more than just an idyllic place to work, the Park Authority is one of the UK’s Top 100 best not for profit companies to work for. We also offer many benefits such as; a great place to work, cycle to work scheme, childcare vouchers, generous annual leave allowance, flexitime and a very competitive pension scheme.  Our Grantown on Spey headquarters is within easy reach of Aviemore and Inverness. 

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

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

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

The closing date for applications is 12pm on Tuesday 19th June 2018, late applications will not be accepted. 

To see how the CNPA collects and processes personal data relating to job applicants, please view our Privacy Notice in the jobs section of our website.

Logo: Cairngorms National Park AuthorityJob Title: Cairngorms Capercaillie Project: Engagement Officer

Salary: £25,071 - £29,329 (Pro Rata) (Band C) plus excellent benefits such as flexitime, generous annual leave and a defined pension scheme to name just a few

Contract: Fixed term for 15 months

Working Hours: 22.5 hours per week

Location: Grantown on Spey 

We have an exciting opportunity for a Cairngorms Capercaillie Project: Engagement Officer to join our Land Management & Conservation Team. 

The Cairngorms Capercaillie Project is a partnership project to deliver three principle objectives: to build support for capercaillie conservation, helping people to understand and value their natural heritage, the benefits it can bring and how their actions can affect it; to work with communities to develop sustainable approaches to recreation, meeting residents and visitors needs whilst minimising impact on capercaillie; and to develop a programme of conservation action to support the species’ long-term survival, creating a bigger and more robust forest network. 

The Engagement Officer will have a coordinating role, providing the public and community engagement link across multiple strands of work; providing the communications and leading and overseeing the development of strategies and plans; whilst providing communications support for the project as a whole.  The role will also co-ordinate the production of the Audience Development Plan and contributing to the production of an Activity Plan and other second round submission documents. 

Cairngorms National Park is more than just an idyllic place to work, the Park Authority is one of the UK’s Top 100 best not for profit companies to work for. We also offer many benefits such as; a great place to work, cycle to work scheme, childcare vouchers, generous annual leave allowance, flexitime and a very competitive pension scheme.  Our Grantown on Spey headquarters is within easy reach of Aviemore and Inverness. 

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

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

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

The closing date for applications is 12pm on Tuesday 19th June 2018, late applications will not be accepted. 

To see how the CNPA collects and processes personal data relating to job applicants, please view our Privacy Notice in the jobs section of our website.

Logo: The British Horse SocietyProject Manager 2026

3 Year Fixed Term Contract

(Subject to Funding)

Full Time-35 hours per week

Salary: Competitive plus benefits

This is primarily a home based opportunity but some attendance at our new HQ near Stoneleigh, Warwickshire will be required. 

The British Horse Society is the nation’s largest equine charity with a passion for horses that is backed by knowledge and expertise. The BHS represents and provides a range of services for horse riders, horse owners, enthusiasts and professionals.  

The post holder will identify historical unrecorded bridleways, and collate digital map evidence to enable the submission of definitive map modification applications. Record such routes on an online map and database. Maintain an online library of images of documentary evidence. Create high quality applications. Provide support to volunteers to achieve compliant applications. 

Apply via our website, please provide a covering letter (including your salary expectations) and CV, highlighting relevant skills and experience. Please download and complete our Equal Opportunities Monitoring form and send along with your application to jobs@bhs.org.uk  or to Karen Downing, Recruitment Co-Ordinator,The British Horse Society, Abbey Park, Kenilworth, CV8 2XZ.  

Closing Date for applications: 29th June 2018

Interview date: TBC 

Logo: Forest of Bowland AONBForest of Bowland AONB Development and Funding Officer

Salary: £28,221 - £32,223

Fixed term contract to March 2022

Based in Dunsop Bridge, Clitheroe, Lancashire 

The Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty was designated in 1964 to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of 800 square kilometres of important upland landscapes within Lancashire and North Yorkshire. The AONB is managed by a partnership of landowners, farmers, voluntary organisations, wildlife and recreation groups, local councils and government agencies. The AONB Partnership employs a small team (via Lancashire County Council as host authority) to help deliver the AONB Management Plan. 

The Forest of Bowland AONB Partnership is seeking to appoint a creative and self-motivated individual to the exciting role of Development and Funding Officer. This role will involve fostering and maintaining relationships with partner organisations to develop policies, projects, and programmes to help deliver the AONB Management Plan.  Principal duties:

  1. Develop, commission and implement policies, projects and programmes which engage a range of stakeholders in the delivery and implementation of the AONB Management Plan
  2. Responsibility for the identification, acquisition and management of external funding to support the delivery of the AONB Management Plan

The successful candidate will be educated to degree level or equivalent in environmental, conservation or a related discipline, with proven experience of project development and securing funding; and also a good understanding of landscape-scale approaches to conservation and enhancement of natural and cultural heritage. 

Applications will only be accepted via the application form available on http://jobs.lancashire.gov.uk/  

For an informal discussion, please contact Elliott Lorimer, AONB Principal Officer on elliott.lorimer@lancashire.gov.uk or tel.  01200 448000. 

Closing date: Midnight Friday 22nd June 2018

Logo: Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural BeautyCommunications Officer role vacant

AONB seeks enthusiastic individual for marketing role
The Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership is looking for a creative, enthusiastic and innovative part-time Communications Officer. You will use your skills, knowledge and experience to promote the AONB area and its wide ranging projects, initiatives and events to local, regional and national audiences. 

The ability to differentiate between what makes a news story or a social media post is essential, plus the right candidate will be highly IT literate with plenty of self-motivation and initiative to undertake this key role of publicising and promoting the AONB through all channels. 

The candidate appointed will be highly social media savvy and able to develop the vital channels of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram further. In addition, the new Communications Officer will need to feel at home updating several of the AONB’s key websites via CMS, but equally they will need to be adept at producing publications and E-newsletters, which are published online at regular intervals. They will also be required to represent the AONB at events and must relish the opportunity of meeting new people as well as networking to build up a vital book of contacts. 

Occasional evening and weekend work may be required. 

The ideal candidate will have a minimum of three years communications/media experience, as well as a knowledge of, and interest in, environmental work. Your strong communication skills alongside your positive and flexible approach to work will enable you to deal with a variety of tasks.
If you feel that playing a vital role in promoting this beautiful nationally protected landscape is for you, then please get in touch. This is a busy, but extremely rewarding role in a friendly office.
For an informal discussion, contact Linda Nunn, AONB Director, tel: 01725 517417; email: lindanunn@cranbornechase.org.uk

To apply click here 

This role is based at the AONB Office, Shears Building, Stone Lane Industrial Estate, Wimborne, Dorset BH21 1HB and is part-time (22 hours per week days to be agreed). 

Salary: £23,111 - £25,463 pro rata. 

The closing date for all applications is 24 June 2018

International Wildlife Consultants (UK) Ltd is looking for a highly competent person skilled in administration, customer liaison, logistics and business planning. This is an opportunity to help manage an exciting and diverse business based in West Wales. A knowledge of countryside issues would be a distinct advantage. 

PA/Assistant Manager (Head Office)

Based at Head Office on a 300 acre farm near Carmarthen in West Wales with a team of 10 permanent staff and about 8 seasonal workers. The farm breeds about 250 falcons per year for export to the Middle East. It also has a small factory making robotic birds for falconry and pest control companies (see www.rofalconry.com). We also have some exciting new projects in the pipeline. We are keen conservationists: see www.bevistrust.com

This is a permanent post and accommodation may be available on site. It is a very varied job with scope for national & international travel. The post holder will need to be an extremely competent organiser – our annual logistics programme takes in many disparate aspects which need to be brought together to form a coherent plan. Additionally, the post holder will be able to manage a client database and support the aviculture staff in management of the aviculture database. 

Job specification includes (but not limited to):

   ●   PA to the Director, Dr Nick Fox OBE and Assistant Manager to the General Manager.   ●   Assisting in managing the staff on a day to day basis, including housing, contracts, and health and safety. Organising maintenance staff and contractors.   ●   Assisting managing nine staff houses including inventories, property checks, utilities, and tenancy agreements.   ●   Assisting in hosting and liaising with international clients and corporate visitors.   ●   Assisting in logistics, scheduling and target setting.   ●   Assisting in marketing, branding and PR.   ●   Assisting in all aspects of farm management including sometimes, hands-on.   ●   Maintaining farm records, office equipment and liaising with IT contractors.


   ●   A team player but capable of working on own initiative.   ●   A business, farming or falconry background.   ●   A British passport or permanent UK work visa.   ●   Presentable and diplomatic, at international level.   ●   Excellent IT skills, especially with Excel and databases.   ●   A relevant degree or career experience.   ●   A clean driving licence, preferably including towing.   ●   A knowledge of Arabic would be useful but not essential.   ●   An ability to get things done, leaving everyone smiling. 

Salary: negotiable according to experience. 

Apply with CV and covering letter to drew@falcons.co.uk or call Drew on 01267 233864 for an informal chat. 

Feel you’re not the right person for this job but are interested in the possibilities?….please feel free to send us your CV. 

Logo: BASCHead of Wildfowling

Starting salary circa £38,000pa plus company car 

BASC is the largest sporting shooting organisation in the UK, serving a growing membership of over 150,000 and a wide variety of stakeholder and public interests. It acts as a representative body for sporting shooting - fostering opportunity, safety, high standards and wildlife conservation.

BASC are looking to appoint a Head of Wildfowling to support our busy Wildfowling department. The successful individual will have the opportunity to develop their career, while supporting the Wildfowling department with both desk and field based projects. This position can be based at either our Head Office or one of our Regional offices. 

The purpose of the role will be to provide proactive, comprehensive and efficient assistant support to the Wildfowling team with the aim of ensuring that the Association operates as effectively as possible.  

Therefore the successful candidate will have:

   ●   Experience of project management in the conservation, land management or coastal management environment   ●   In-depth practical knowledge and experience of Wildfowling   ●   A background in developing policy and influencing policy makers   ●   Ability to develop and manage teams   ●   Planning and organisational skills   ●   Experience of talking to customers / members and understanding their requirements   ●   Experience of writing articles, organising events and promoting specific aims   ●   Good communication with written word and public speaking 

Further information and an application form may be downloaded from our website, alternatively please contact the HR department, BASC, Marford Mill, Rossett, Wrexham LL12 0HL. Telephone: 01244 573002.  E-mail: recruitment@basc.org.uk. Please quote reference HOW/MAY/18. The closing date for receipt of completed application forms is 29/06/2018. 

Logo: BASCWildfowling Officer

Starting salary circa £25,000pa plus company car 

BASC is the largest sporting shooting organisation in the UK, serving a growing membership of over 150,000 and a wide variety of stakeholder and public interests. It acts as a representative body for sporting shooting - fostering opportunity, safety, high standards and wildlife conservation. 

BASC are looking to appoint a Wildfowling Officer to support our busy Wildfowling department. The successful individual will have the opportunity to develop their career, while supporting the Wildfowling department with both desk and field based projects. This position can be based at either our Head Office or one of our Regional offices. 

The purpose of the role will be to provide proactive, comprehensive and efficient assistant support to the Wildfowling team with the aim of ensuring that the Association operates as effectively as possible.  

Therefore the successful candidate will have:

   ●   In-depth practical knowledge and experience of Wildfowling   ●   Experience of project management in the conservation, land management or coastal management environment   ●   Planning and organisational skills   ●   Experience of talking to customers / members and understanding their requirements 

Further information and an application form may be downloaded from our website, alternatively please contact the HR department, BASC, Marford Mill, Rossett, Wrexham LL12 0HL. Telephone: 01244 573002.  E-mail: recruitment@basc.org.uk . Please quote reference WO/MAY/18. The closing date for receipt of completed application forms is 29/06/2018.

Logo: The Cranedale CentreField Studies Tutor (Geography Specialism) 


The Cranedale Centre near Malton, North Yorkshire, is looking for an able, experienced and enthusiastic Geography tutor to join its teaching team. 

Applicants should possess: 

   ●   A good quality degree in Geography   ●   A keen interest in British natural history   ●   Ability to teach to A2 level standard   ●   Relevant and recent fieldwork experience   ●   Familiarity with statistical testing techniques   ●   An understanding, teaching capability and keen interest in Biology   ●   A clean driving licence   ●   Teaching experience/qualifications – preferred though not essential

Post tenable: September 2018

Closing date: 5pm Sunday 1st July 2018 

Please request an application form and further details from cranedaleadministration@cranedale.com or download these from our website  

The Cranedale Centre, Kirby Grindalythe, Malton, North Yorkshire, YO17 8DB.

Tel: 01944 738687 

Logo: Glendale Skilled Arborists

Salary: Dependent on skills and competencies

Based: Waltham Abbey 

Glendale Managed Services, the green services division of Parkwood Holdings Plc, and winner of 2011 BALI Employer of the Year award, has revenues of £45 million. Glendale is one of the largest arboricultural suppliers in the UK and is a green business with “green thinking” at the core of everything we do. 

Glendale are seeking qualified and motivated Arborists to join our teams of arborists, working from our Waltham contract based in Waltham Abbey. The candidate’s key responsibilities will be climbing and undertaking arboricultural duties including tree felling/dismantling and pruning operations. 

The essential qualifications we require are CS30, CS31, CS38, CS39 and a full driving licence is required (B + E Trailer Towing are desirable). 

Salary is dependant on skills and qualifications. Full high quality PPE will be supplied along with a full climbing kit. Glendale offer a competitive remuneration package, which is tailored to your skills and qualifications, ongoing paid training, 20 days paid holiday and full company sick pay will be provided. Company discounts to our sister Leisure and Golf companies. 

If you feel you have the skills and competencies to be successful in this role please email your CV and covering letter to john.hall@glendale-services.co.uk .​ Alternatively you can send your application to: Waltham Forestry Glendale, Crooked Mile, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 2ER. Or call 01992 568000. 

If you are interested in applying for this role, we suggest you do so at the earliest opportunity to avoid disappointment as interviews will be held throughout the process. Please note, if you have not received correspondence within 21 days then please assume your application has been unsuccessful on this occasion. 


Glendale is an Equal Opportunities Employer 

Closing Date: 30th June 2018 

Logo: Hart District CouncilCountryside Ranger Education and Events 

We are pleased to announce that we are looking for a highly motivated, outgoing and enthusiastic individual to work as part of our award winning countryside team, based at Fleet in rural north Hampshire. 
The position requires you to develop and enhance a programme of educational opportunities and other events, for our visitors of the surrounding countryside. To achieve this you will actively develop a wide and varied menu of learning opportunities for the community to engage, enjoy, learn and develop throughout the district, whilst maintaining the council’s core values. This will require excellent project management and communication skills, in order to meet tight deadlines. This does not mean that you won’t be expected to get your hands dirty as we are a hands on countryside management team. 

The position has excellent training opportunities and would suit a self motivated/dynamic individual looking to further their progression into a more senior role. You will require a degree or equivalent, in a countryside management discipline or other relevant subject to the post. A Further Education qualification with relevant work experience will also be considered. You will also require a full driving licence and the work also involves close working within open water, so you will need to be a competent swimmer. 
CV's will not be considered. 
Closing date: Friday 22nd June at midday. 
Please contact: Paul Bushell on: paul.bushell@hart.gov.uk or phone: 01252 774478 for more information  


Logo: Hart District CouncilCountryside Ranger  

Hart District Council is pleased to announce that it is looking for 2 highly motivated, outgoing, Countryside Rangers to work as part of its Countryside Team, based at Fleet Pond SSSI in rural north Hampshire. The Hart District area covers part of the Thames Basin Heaths SPA and the Forest of Eversley Heritage area, including various SSSI’s, commons and open spaces that encompass the assorted heaths, woodlands and wetland habitats around the District. The Service has three Green Flag Award sites. 
You will report to the Senior Ranger and will need to be a hands-on, self motivated person, able to demonstrate experience of powered machinery maintenance and operation, pedestrian tractors and attachments plus hand held power equipment such as brush cutters and chainsaws. This post will require good project management, conservation land management and communication skills, to be able to meet tight deadlines and be flexible and pragmatic. 
You will require a qualification in a Countryside Management discipline or other relevant subject. We will consider Further Education qualification with relevant works experience. You will also require a full driving licence and as the work also involves management of open water, you must be a competent swimmer.  

Please contact: Paul Bushell on: paul.bushell@hart.gov.uk or phone: 01252 774478 for more information  


Logo: Hart District CouncilCountryside Ranger Marketing 

We are pleased to announce that we are looking for a highly motivated, outgoing and enthusiastic individual to work as part of our award winning countryside team, based at Fleet in rural north Hampshire.  

The position requires you to develop and enhance our visitor’s experiences of the surrounding countryside, promoting activities based outdoors and other related subjects throughout the district. To achieve this you will actively look for opportunities to positively promote the councils core values, inspire and influence behaviours using all aspects of the media, including social, traditional or more unusual/ creative outlets. This will require excellent project management and communication skills, in order to meet tight deadlines. This does not mean that you won’t be expected to get your hands dirty as we are a hands on countryside management team.  

The position has excellent training opportunities and would suit a self motivated/ dynamic individual looking to further their progression into a more senior role. You will require a degree or equivalent, in a countryside management discipline or other relevant subject to the post. A Further Education qualification with relevant work experience will also be considered. You will also require a full driving licence and the work also involves close working within open water, so you will need to be a competent swimmer. 
CV's will not be considered. 
Closing date: Friday 22nd June 2018 at midday. 
Please contact: Paul Bushell on: paul.bushell@hart.gov.uk  or phone: 01252 774478 for more information 


Logo: Hart District CouncilTree Officer 

We are pleased to announce that we are looking for a highly motivated, outgoing and enthusiastic Tree Officer to work as part of our award-winning Environmental Promotion team. 

This is a high profile role which will involve acting as consultee to internal and external customers. The primary focus will be to respond to tree work applications, notifications and planning consultations. 

The successful candidate will carry out a diverse range of duties, including but not exhaustively: 

   ●   Responding to treeworks applications, notices and Development Control applications.   ●   Assessment of trees and woodlands for their suitability for TPO.   ●   Preparing new TPO’s and undertaking reviews of existing orders.   ●   Inspecting Council-owned trees and ordering any necessary works.   ●   Monitoring compliance with planning permissions, conditions and investigation of potential breaches.   ●   Contribute to services that are helpful, approachable, responsive, and that own problems as and when they arise. 

The successful candidate will be qualified to a minimum of Level 3 in Arboriculture, with good tree identification skills and an understanding of tree protection legislation. They must be able to demonstrate a commitment to excellence in customer care, a drive to resolve issues, tackle challenges, and identify how services could continuously be improved. 

The Council holds a set of values at its core; to be helpful, approachable, responsive, and to take ownership of issues as and when they arise; to see them through to the right conclusion for our residents wherever possible. 

Hart District Council offers a competitive salary, flexible working arrangements and a pleasant working environment at the Civic Offices. Further benefits are detailed in the application pack. 

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact Adam Maskill, Tree Officer on 01252 774159. 

The closing date for completed applications is 30th June 2018. Interviews for successful candidates will take place on 20th July 2018. 

If you are interested in applying for this post, further information and how to apply can be found on the Hampshire Recruitment Portal www.hampshirejobs.org.uk.  Please note that the portal uses an electronic form for the application but there is the facility to attach additional documentation to support your application. If you have any difficulties accessing the application form or require alternative formats due to any additional needs please contact Adam Maskill on 01252 774159. 

Logo: Oxfordshire County CouncilBiodiversity Projects Officer


Salary Range: £23,866 - £26,470 per annum

Work Location: Speedwell House, Speedwell Street, Oxford

Hours per week: 37

Contract type: Temporary - one year fixed term 

Are you an ecologist who loves analysing data? Would you like to help us carry out data analysis projects for a wide range of clients? Would you like to join the small team of ecologists and information specialists who run Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre (TVERC)? 

TVERC collects, analyses and shares geodiversity and biodiversity information in Berkshire and Oxfordshire in order to help people make sound decisions about how to develop and manage land sustainably, where to direct wildlife conservation work and for scientific education and research. See www.tverc.org.for more details. 

You will have a good understanding of biological data, and a high level of data analysis and IT skills. With good attention to detail, as well as an organized and adaptable approach, you will have the ability to deliver innovate solutions. 

Contact details for an informal discussion: Dan Carpenter, Projects Manager on 01865 815419 

Closing date: 8 July 2018

Interview dates: 3 August 2018 

Click here for further information and to apply 

Logo: GroundworkJoin a team that is changing places and changing lives 

Groundwork is the community charity with a green heart. We believe that big global issues – the economy, the environment – have a big local impact. Groundwork operates throughout the UK helping communities find practical solutions to the challenges they face.   

Community and Education Manager (Cambridgeshire & Peterborough and Luton & Bedfordshire) 

Salary:  £28,808 - £32,339 plus attractive benefits

Term: full time (37) hours per week. Two-year contract with an opportunity to extend.

Location: based at Luton, Bedfordshire and Alconbury (Cambridgeshire) but working across the east of England as required. 

Groundwork East has over 30 years of experience in delivering bespoke projects that use the environment as a catalyst for building a more sustainable future.  As our activities develop and our area of activity expands we are looking for an experienced, enthusiastic and creative person to assist the Operations Manager with a programme of sustainable community and education projects and initiatives across Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. The post is subject to a satisfactory enhanced DBS check. 

As Community and Education Manager you will initiate, develop, manage and deliver transformational environmental projects, including larger programmes throughout Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire alongside partner organisations and local groups. You will have extensive experience of project management, line management, financial management and at least 3 years’ experience delivering community/educational projects. You will be able to develop effective partnerships with stakeholders and have experience of bid-writing and fundraising. We’ll make sure you’re given all the support and guidance you need and you will have the opportunity to become part of a highly successful organisation making a real and positive difference to your local area. 

The role will also include some evening and weekend working as required (with time off in lieu) and a full driving license and access to a car is necessary.  

The post is subject to a satisfactory enhanced DBS check. 

Closing date:  Friday 6 July 2018 (Midday)

Interview date: Thursday 12 July 2018 (Hatfield) 

For an informal chat about the post please contact Chris Dungate on 01707 255184 or email chris.dungate@groundwork.org.uk   

For an application pack and to apply please visit our website

Logo: Bournemouth Borough CouncilHengistbury Head Local Nature Reserve, Bournemouth

Leave No Footprints Engagement Coordinator

Ref: 8965, £20,541 - £22,401 37 hours per week

Fixed Term contract until July 2021 

Leave Only Footprints is a resort-wide campaign aiming to increase the amount of uncontaminated waste that we recycle, using clear messages and education.  

The role of the engagement co-ordinator, is to highlight the importance of marine and terrestrial habitats within the local area. This is very much an educational role and the co-ordinator will be expected create, prepare and lead activities with groups, including school groups. Leave Only Footprints activities and events will all touch on the importance of recycling and waste reduction on our local biodiversity, linking into the issue of plastics in the ocean.  

We are looking for a passionate and organised person, with knowledge of UK marine and terrestrial species. You will be good at preparing educational activities and resources for all age groups as well as developing partnerships with organisations who can get involved with strengthening and supporting the Leave Only Footprints campaign.   

You will be able to use social media, and other forms of media, to publicise your work and the work of others along themes including recycling, biodiversity and sustainability.  

The role will be based from Hengistbury Head, with the Ranger team, but the role is jointly funded by both Parks and Seafront teams, so the project will involve working across departments to achieve jointly agreed aims and objectives. 

If you would like an informal discussion about the post prior to applying please contact Brian Heppenstall (Senior Ranger) on 01202 451259. 

Closing date: 1 July 2018

For more details and to apply online, please click here

Alternatively: e. recruitment@bournemouth.gov.uk  t. 01202 458838 or 01202 454775 (24- hour answerphone)   

Logo: National Museums LiverpoolCurator (Vertebrate Zoology)

Salary: £25,034

Hours: 37.00

Location: World Museum, Liverpool

Level: Curatorial 

The Vertebrate Zoology collection comprises 78,760 specimens and is ranked amongst the top twenty in importance in the world. It includes NML’s founding collection - the 13th Earl of Derby's magnificent bequest of his internationally important collection to the people of Liverpool in 1851.  

The post holder will be based in the Vertebrate Zoology section of World Museum (WM) (Collections & Estates Division) and will initially be managed by the Director of WM.   

The successful candidate will make a significant contribution to the delivery of venue, collection, research, engagement and environmental justice programmes.  


   ●   To support the Director of WM in the strategic development of WM’s internationally significant natural science collection totalling ca. 1.6 million items.    ●   To manage and develop an internationally significant collection of scientific, historic and cultural importance.     ●   To make the collection accessible through display, research and publication, including online, public enquiries, talks and contributions to education programmes.   ●   To be responsible for the care, documentation and use of the Vertebrate Zoology collection.   ●   To work with and support projects and initiatives across NML in line with corporate priorities. 

For more information and to apply click here.  

Deadline for applications:  04/07/2018 12:00

Logo: Harrogate Borough CouncilEconomy & Culture

Nidderdale AONB Development Team Manager

Post Number: TP15

Grade: POA Salary: £31,401 - £34,106 pro rata

Hours: 15 per week

Fixed-term contract until April 2020 

Situated in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, in North Yorkshire, Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is one of 46 AONBs in the UK.  Between them they cover one fifth of the UK’s finest countryside and are special places, worthy of protection.  

We are seeking applications from an enthusiastic and innovative individual who can work effectively with organisations and local communities in Nidderdale AONB to develop great collaborative projects for the AONB’s landscape, environment and heritage.  The successful applicant will have a demonstrable track record of success and be experienced in project development and fundraising.  

For an informal discussion about the role please contact Sarah Kettlewell, Nidderdale AONB Manager, Tel 01423 500600 Ext 58688. 

Closing date for Applications:    4 July 2018        Interview Date:   9 July 2018            

To apply, please click here.  Alternatively, please call 01423 500600 and ask for the HR Support Team. 

Please note that Harrogate Borough Council do require all applicants to complete the Council's application form and will not accept CVs.

Logo: Harrogate Borough CouncilEconomy & Culture

Nidderdale AONB

Project Assistant (Wild Watch)

Post Number: TP20

Grade: 5: £18,870 - £20,541 pro rata

Hours: 22.5 per week

Fixed Term contract 23/07/18 to 14/09/18 

The Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (NAONB) is an upland landscape on the eastern edge of the Yorkshire Dales www.nidderdaleaonb.org.uk  

We have been awarded a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to support an innovative three-year nature conservation programme called The Wild Watch. The project is designed to collect and analyse data on species of conservation concern, engage new volunteers in wildlife citizen science programmes and an outreach programme to enthuse the general public and encourage them to get involved. 

We are looking for someone passionate about wildlife and conservation to take on a short term project assistant role over the summer. 

The successful candidate will work alongside the Wild Watch Project Officer on a wide range of tasks including collating ecological data, managing the social media accounts, helping with the organisation and promotion of events and a range of administration tasks.   

The role will be based in NAONB’s office in Pateley Bridge alongside other staff working on natural and cultural heritage projects with a wide range of partners including farmers and landowners, the local community, third sector bodies, Defra Network Organisations and local authorities.   

Closing date for Applications:  25 June 2018        Interviews and tests to be held on: 27 June 2018 

To apply, please click here. Alternatively, please call 01423 500600 and ask for the HR Support Team. 

Please note that Harrogate Borough Council do require all applicants to complete the Council’s application form and will not accept CVs

Logo: Wakefield CouncilWakefield Council’s Arboriculture and Forestry Section maintains around 33,000 trees within the Wakefield District.  

Forestry Operative 

Ref 223645 

Salary: £21,074 

Hours 37 

An opportunity exists in the Council’s Street Scene Services for a Forestry Operative. Operatives will deliver a high quality, continually improving Forestry and Arboricultural service as part of an integrated Street Scene Service. Candidates will need to demonstrate prior experience and knowledge of forestry operations and forestry management. Candidates will also need to be qualified to national standards in the use of associated plant and equipment including tractors and chainsaws.   


Ref 223637 

Salary: £23,866 

Hours 37 

An opportunity exists in the Council’s Street Scene Services for 2 x Arborists. Arborists will deliver a high quality, continually improving Arboricultural service as part of an integrated Street Scene Service. Candidates will need to demonstrate prior experience and knowledge of arboricultural operations and tree management. Candidates will also need to be qualified to national standards in the use of associated plant and equipment, such as chainsaws as well as being able to work at height. 

For further enquiries please contact the Arbor and Forestry team on 0345 8 506 506 

For further information please visit: www.wakefield.gov.uk. Alternatively, you can contact the Recruitment Line on 0345 8506506 (typetalk calls welcome). 

Closing date: 22 June 2018 

Countryside Ranger 

Barnwell Country Park  

We are looking for a highly motivated individual to assist the Senior Ranger with the day to day management of Barnwell Country Park near Oundle in Northamptonshire.   You will need to enjoy working in a busy country park environment; a Diploma Level 2 or above in Countryside Management (or similar) and/or demonstrable experience as a Ranger (or similar) plus the enthusiasm required to make this post a success.  

This post is subject to DBS clearance.                                                

Salary: Grade E £16,557 to £17,190 

For an informal discussion contact Matt Harrel Senior Ranger Barnwell Country Park 0300 1265931 

For further information and to apply please click here

Logo: Yorkshire Wildlife TrustConservation Grazing Officer – 14 hours per week (fixed term to 31 March 2019)

Salary: £25700 p.a. pro rata plus up to 9% employer pension contribution 

Do you love Yorkshire, love wildlife? Would you like to combine your passion for nature conservation with your livestock management skills? Do you share our vision for a Yorkshire rich in wildlife for everyone? 

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is looking to appoint a Conservation Grazing Officer to care for its Highland cattle and flock of Hebridean sheep in South Yorkshire, ensuring that their welfare is maintained to a high standard. This will involve transport of livestock and equipment across Yorkshire, occasional assistance with other farmers at times of high demand on labour (e.g. lambing). You will be responsible for the integration of the grazing into the day-to-day management of nature reserves, and delivering project work. You will also be working with a small team of reserves staff, and will assist them in the management of nature reserves, and work with volunteers to assist in the management of livestock. 

If you have experience of working with volunteers, experience of carrying out other farming operations such as haymaking, good manual dexterity and competent in implementing practical farming and infrastructure tasks together with a flexible ‘can do’ approach this could be the role for you! 

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

Please note we don’t accept CVs 

Application closing deadline: 12 noon on Monday 25 June 2018, Interview date: likely to be week beginning week beginning 2 July 2018. 

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is an equal opportunities employer 

YWT Company 409650; Charity no. 210807.

Logo: Exmoor National ParkRanger

£21,074 to £23,866 per annum 

Rare opportunity to work in one of the UK’s finest landscapes 

Our Rangers help people to enjoy and learn about Exmoor and work closely with our communities to conserve and enhance Exmoor’s special qualities.  They provide a uniformed, ambassadorial presence for the National Park and help to maintain a first class rights of way and access network.  

You will have a qualification in an environmental or countryside management discipline and experience in land and access/recreation management.  The post holder will have excellent communication and negotiation skills, be able to build strong relationships with our local communities, be self-motivated, well-organised and flexible.  

For an application pack, visit our website and follow the link to ‘Jobs and Volunteering’ or request an application pack via info@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk 

Closing date for applications: 9 July 2018 (12.00 midday)

Pensthorpe Natural Park

Upper Wensum Cluster Farmland Biodiversity Advisor

Salary:              £25,000 to £30,000 full time equivalent per annum, based on experience

Contract:           Initially this role has funding for a Two Year Fixed Term Contract ending mid 2020

Working Hrs:     4 days per week (with flexibility to work full time, up to 40 hrs per week based on project requirements)

Location:           Pensthorpe Natural Park, Fakenham, Norfolk NR21 0LN 

We are a group of 15 landowners managing 6000ha within the nationally important Wensum Valley who are working together to adopt and improve the Upper Wensum Valley utilising a landscape-scale approach to habitats and wildlife. This concept was launched in the Natural Environment White Paper in June 2011 which set out a new direction of travel for managing and valuing the natural environment in England. It supported a move towards a landscape-scale approach to conservation with greater recognition and valuing of the wider benefits the natural environment provides for us which underpin our economy, society and individual health and well-being needs. 

Main responsibilities

Working closely with farmers and Natural England, the Advisor will provide science-based practical advice on farmland wildlife and conservation in the Wensum Valley. In particular, you will deliver advice on the provision of landscape scale habitat for our two core themes; biodiversity and water. Based from and employed by The Pensthorpe Conservation Trust, there is opportunity to capitalise on our highly successful Corncrake breed and release programme to publicise the success of farmer-led, landscape scale projects.  

You will undertake wildlife surveys and map habitats across farms in the Upper Wensum Cluster Farm Group, working with and inspiring farmers to provide and manage farmland habitats for biodiversity and water. You will also work to build relationships and communicate conservation advice to farmers, through one-to-one advice, group meetings, farm walks and through traditional and online media, as well as maintaining a close liaison with advisors, farmers, Natural England and other conservation organisations. 

Your Experience

You should be educated to degree in agriculture, biological sciences or related subject or if not, be able to demonstrate a graduate level of understanding, combined with a good knowledge of UK agriculture, the CAP and agri-environment schemes. You will have strong wildlife identification skills and an understanding and interest in game and wildlife management.  

By way of business skills, you’ll be an excellent communicator, listener and networker, able to build relationships with people at all levels. A skilled and competent administrator, able to work independently to schedule and manage a variety of projects at the same time, you will also be able to think creatively to identify new opportunities.   

Travel to visit farms and meetings locally and further afield with occasional overnight stays. A full driving licence and your own car are essential. 

How to Apply

Please apply in writing with a CV, confirming your current salary / salary expectation, to Marie French, HR Administrator at Pensthorpe Natural Park, Fakenham, Norfolk NR21 0LN.

For further details and a full job description, visit us here 

Closing date: 30th June 2018

Logo: Natural Resources WalesEnvironment Officer – Waste Regulation Team

Location: Buckley

Post Number: 101334

Contract type: FTA 31 March 2019

Work pattern: 37 hours

Grade / Salary: 4 - £24,528-£28,215 (grade 5 if already and EO B)

Application closing date: 28 June 2018 

Job Purpose:

The role of an environment officer includes planned and reactive work across a number of statutory work programmes covering water, waste and agriculture, as well as provision of information to a wide range of internal and external customers. The key duties include:

  • Undertake enforcement action including surveillance, inspection, monitoring, surveys and other investigations. Produce required documentation in a timely manner to agreed quality standards. Produce case papers of evidence and present such material in court or in written submissions as required by the legal process. Undertake all enforcement action in a manner consistent with NRW procedures and guidelines. Liaise with other enforcement agencies.
  • Responding to and managing incidents to ensure that the environmental impact is minimised.
  • Protecting and enhancing the environment by regulating permitted sites and activities to ensure compliance with permit conditions and to encourage improved environmental performance.
  • Managing partnership projects and contracts to achieve environmental outcomes
  • Interpretation and analysis of analytical data in relation to permit compliance
  • Providing advice and guidance to a range of customers relating to environmental issues.
  • Delivering a range of measures to support the achievement of good ecological status under the Water Framework Directive, Bathing Water Directive and other statutory legislation.
  • Participate in standby and call out rotas and ensure effective, efficient, timely and safe responses to emergency incidents. Comply with emergency field procedures. Collect evidence for enforcement purposes where appropriate, including, where necessary, formal enforcement action within defined procedures to ensure compliance with legislation and permits issued, and recovery of costs from polluters.

For more information please click here   

Logo: Ecology Solutions LimitedEcologist / Assistant Ecologist (Permanent Contract) 

Ecology Solutions is a leading consultancy specialising in ecology planning solutions and offering an extensive range of expertise, providing services to numerous and diverse high profile clients within both the public and private sectors.  

We are seeking an Ecologist or Assistant Ecologist to join our dynamic team based at our offices in Barkway, Hertfordshire. The role will be to assist senior staff in the day to day running of our projects, both in the field and in the office. The remit of the role is exceptionally wide ranging and will be discussed further should an applicant be invited to interview. Previous consultancy experience is required for the Ecologist role but is not necessary for the Assistant Ecologist position.  Experience in wildlife survey and, in particular, botanical identification and / or ornithological identification may be advantageous.  A full driving licence is essential.  

If you wish to apply, please send your CV and a covering letter outlining your experience and suitability for the post to emily.james@ecologysolutions.co.uk.  Please clearly specify whether you are applying for the role of Ecologist or Assistant Ecologist. 

Salary: Competitive, dependent on experience. 

Closing date: Friday 22nd June 2018  

No agencies.  We regret we are unable to take telephone enquiries in this respect. 

Logo: Ecosulis LtdLandscaper  

We are seeking to employ a Landscaper / Field Worker to assist with our landscaping and habitat creation team in Uxbridge and the Aylesbury area. Working alongside a team of landscapers, you will be required to undertake a variety of work including:

   ●   Tree planting   ●    Grassland seeding   ●    Aquatic planting   ●    Ecological mitigation work   ●    Grassland and woodland maintenance   ●    Fencing   ●    Vegetation clearance   ●   Wetland management

You will need to have a good level of site safety, problem solving, ability to work in a team and, at times, supervising other sub-contractors.


   ●   Brushcutter experience (certificates advantageous)   ●   Experience in mowing operations and general landscape maintenance works   ●   Full drivers licence and use of own vehicle   ●  


   ●   CSCS card   ●   Pesticide use certificates   ●   First Aid Certificate 

Start Date: ASAP 

Ecosulis is an equal opportunities employer.

Job Type: Full-time

Email CV to laura.joy@ecosulis.co.uk  

Logo: Forestry CommissionBeat Forester

2 posts

Spadeadam & Kielder South 

£29,695- £32,811 

Purpose of the Jobs: To plan, deliver and monitor the operational work program for these Beats.  

Closing Date: 24th June 2018 

For more details and to apply click here or visit www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk (Job ref:1587655)

No recruitment agencies please. 



Logo: South Lakeland District CouncilParks and Open Spaces Apprentice

37 hours per week, Fixed Term 2 year, Flexi time scheme

National Minimum Wage for age 

  • Are you passionate about open spaces?
  • Do you want share your passion with other people?
  • Do you want to make a difference?
  • Do you want to earn whilst you learn?

Then this is the opportunity for you!   

We are looking to recruit an enthusiastic apprentice to join our diverse Parks and Open Spaces Team. 

This Apprenticeship includes college study sessions with Askam Bryan College, (based at York), to obtain a Level 3 in Environmental Conservation. This will help you to develop a range of skills such as surveying and reporting, preparing and delivering educational activities, organising and leading volunteer groups, producing site management plans, working with the local community, environmental good practice, planning environmental projects, communicating with and caring for the public. Alongside your studies we have a fantastic opportunity for you to work with our dynamic team to deliver great projects on our parks and open spaces.  

To be successful in this role, you will have a Level 2 in Environmental Conservation (or considerable work experience in a relevant field), have a keen interest in conservation and green spaces, with practical experience of various grounds maintenance activities.  Ideally you will also hold a driving license or have the means to travel around the district. 

For further information including the job description, person specification and details of how to apply please click here  

We are unable to accept CVs for job vacancies.  

Candidates who are shortlisted will be informed by email. 

Closing date for applications: Monday 25 June 2018  

Logo: Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black CountryNatural Prospects Traineeships

Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country 

Birmingham and the Black Country

£9,000 bursary + £1,000 training budget

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract 


Closing date: Monday, 25th June 2018   

Do you love wildlife and working outdoors? Are you practical and want to learn new skills? Thinking about a career in wildlife conservation?  

The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country will be providing a series of one-year practical conservation training placements to highly motivated individuals with a keen interest in wildlife and conservation.  

If this is you and you are looking to start your conservation career in Birmingham or the Black Country, you could be eligible for a Natural Prospects Traineeship. So if you are age 18 or over, based in Birmingham or the Black Country, and either:    ●   from a black or minority ethnic group, or   ●   a non-graduate, or   ●   in receipt of benefits/from an economically deprived area, you are eligible to apply.

Further information can be found here and in the role descriptions on our website

Salary: Bursary £9,000 + Training budget £1,000  

Contact details:  For more details or enquiries please contact Jen on jennifer.j@bbcwildlife.org.uk or call her on 0121 523 0094 




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Volunteers: 56 adverts for voluntary posts added this month  see all of these online at: http://www.countryside-jobs.com/vols


As a result of the feedback from last year's readers survey we've made a few tweaks to the online Volunteers Directory.  The list of organisations offering volunteering opportunities is now searchable by region and type of volunteering offered, have a look here.  If your organisation is not yet listed please fill in the form here, 50 words are free.  We have taken down the work days and conservation tasks dated listings which didn't get much use and replaced them with details of organsiations in each area running work days advising readers to contact the organisations directly to get the latest calendar of tasks.

Advance notice: CJS Focus September edition is once again looking at Volunteering and this time is in association with TCV.  If you've advertised before you'll receive a reminder email from us nearer the time but we're taking adverts right now so you can send us your adverts before you head off for sunnier climes or disappear in the woods after a teddy bear's picnic! Details here

Logo: Kent Wildlife TrustVolunteer Trainee Nature Reserve Warden  

Based at Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve

Closing Date:    Mid-day on 25th June 2018

Interview Date:  Tuesday 3rd July 2018

Salary Range:   This is an unpaid voluntary role however, travel expenses and a tailored training programme will be provided. 

Are you looking for experience in the environment sector as a Nature Reserve Warden? We are looking for three people to help us with the general and practical management of a number of West Kent nature reserves, whilst gaining experience working with and leading volunteer tasks, working with stock graziers and Trust livestock, carrying out surveys and monitoring and gaining certificates for various practical skills such as brushcutter and chainsaw.  

Kent Wildlife Trust is one of the largest of the 47 Wildlife Trusts and has the simple aim of protecting Kent’s wildlife for the future.  We are working to restore biodiversity, focusing on the restoration, recreation and reconnection of wildlife habitats, linking them to the green space in our cities, towns and villages.  Our vision is to rebuild nature by working with landowners, local communities and partner organisations to create a Living Landscape.  

If you feel you have the enthusiasm and capacities to meet the challenge of this role, we would be very interested to hear from you. 

For a role description and application pack please visit our website www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk or contact Dot Hughes on 01622 662012  

Email: dot.hughes@kentwildlife.org.uk    

For additional information about the role please contact Paul Glanfield on 07766 732214 or paul.glanfield@kentwildlife.org.uk       

KWT has a positive approach to equality and welcomes applications from all sectors of the community  

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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. 



The Great British Wildflower Hunt from Plantlife

Taking part in the GBWFH is a great way to enjoy flowers, whether you’re familiar with them or not. By letting Plantlife know what you’re found, you’ll help our work to make sure that there are more flowers and that people can enjoy them. https://www.plantlife.org.uk/wildflowerhunt/ 


The Great British Elm Search

A citizen-science initiative to fight tree disease and uncover the importance of the elm. The UK still has a large number of mature elms and with the help of the country's citizen-scientists we are building an accessible, public database that records the state of the elm population and potentially disease-resistant trees for researchers. https://www.conservationfoundation.co.uk/elms


Summer chalk grassland species condition assessment volunteering sessions - June 2018 - NE Surrey We are carrying out our annual condition assessments of the rare chalk grassland habitat on various sites that we manage in partnership across NE Surrey. Locations/details can be found in our task programme on our website or contact us to find out more - 01883 341140. downlands@surreycc.gov.uk http://www.downlandsproject.org.uk


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

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


CJS FocusThe next edition will be published on 17 September

And is looking at: Volunteering.


Before the summer is upon us and you want to be outside all the time we'd like to remind you that our next edition of CJS Focus will once again be looking at Volunteering, this time in association with TCV, the community volunteering charity, due for pubilcation on 17 September. The deadline for advertising is 7 September but we're accepting adverts now.

logo: CJS 

logo: Fields in TrustCountryside Jobs Service

Focus on Greenspace

In association with Fields in Trust

download a pdf copy.

21 May 2018


Revaluing Parks and Green Spaces


  • Parks and Green Spaces contribute £34.2 Billion per year to UK community health and wellbeing
  • The Total Economic Value to an individual is £30.24 per year
  • Using parks and green spaces equates to better general health which translates into a £111Million saving to the NHS per year due to fewer visits to the GP


New research, published by charity Fields in Trust, reveals that regular parks and green space use makes a significant economic contribution of £34.2 Billion to the UK’s health and wellbeing.


report cover (Fields in Trust)The new report “Revaluing Parks and Green Spaces - measuring their economic and wellbeing value to individuals” is conducted in line with HM Treasury best practice on valuing non-market goods. The average Total Economic Value of parks and green spaces to an individual is £30.24 per year, this captures benefits gained from using local parks as well as their preservation for future generations.


Further analysis shows that being a frequent park user is associated with a reduction in GP-related medical costs which is estimated to save the NHS around £111 million per year, that figure does not account for other savings from reduced prescribing, referrals or social care costs.  


The new data clearly shows that local parks and green spaces are democratic spaces and can play an important role in providing social cohesion and integration.


Fields in Trust Chief Executive, Helen Griffiths, said “Parks and green spaces are not simply nice to have; they are a necessity for healthy, happy communities positively impacting on a range of key wellbeing issues from physical and mental health, childhood obesity to social cohesion.


Haringey Alexandra Park - Urban and suburban respondents value parks and green spaces more highly than rural residents (Fields in Trust)

Haringey Alexandra Park - Urban and suburban respondents value

parks and green spaces more highly than rural residents

(Fields in Trust)

These substantial and quantifiable health and wellbeing benefits make a robust, evidence-led business case for parks and green spaces to be considered in terms of their contribution to society rather than being assessed simply in terms of their cost.   We have also been able to partially quantify the contribution that parks and green spaces make to the preventative health agenda supporting the idea that access to good quality green spaces across the social gradient will help reduce health inequalities. 


We believe this new research will help to support more informed judgements when difficult choices must be made about how best to use land.”


Applying welfare weighting to individual values for the first time represents a considerable advance on previous studies of parks and green spaces in the UK and internationally. One of the most significant findings of this research is the clear demonstration that when welfare weighting is applied, lower socio-economic groups and Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups ascribe a much higher value to parks and green spaces than the national average. Lower socio-economic groups report a welfare-weighted value of £51.84 per year and BAME groups value parks and green spaces more than double the UK average at £70.08 per year. It is the view of Fields in Trust that, in a difficult economic

Barnet Oakhill Park - A higher proportion of rural residents use their parks and green spaces for team sports (8% compared to 5% of urban groups) (Fields in Trust)

Barnet Oakhill Park - A higher proportion of rural residents use their

parks and green spaces for team sports (8% compared to 5% of urban

groups) (Fields in Trust)

climate, the provision of parks and green spaces should be prioritised in areas with lower-socio-economic groups and a higher representation of BAME communities given the disproportionately high levels of benefits that these groups derive from parks and green spaces


Fields in Trust will be developing the research into a Local Valuation Model by applying the value to individual parks and green spaces. As part of the application of a robust, data-driven and strategic approach to protecting parks and green spaces, Fields in Trust are reviewing and mapping the quantity and distribution of green space in line with their long-standing “Guidance for Outdoor Sport and Play: Beyond the Six Acre Standard”. They also monitor the loss of parks and green spaces across the country to help us build a better picture of the trends and how we can stem these losses.


The Research is launched alongside a new Corporate Strategy for the Fields in Trust Charity which sees the organisation commit to an ambitious aim of protecting a park or green space within a ten-minute walk of 75% of the UK population, as well as supporting landowners, community groups and individuals to maintain and improve their sites, whilst championing their value at local and national levels. Parks and green spaces impact on a range of key wellbeing issues from physical and mental health to community cohesion but they are an undervalued resource.


The full report Revaluing Parks and Green Spaces: Measuring their Economic and Wellbeing Value to Individuals and a summary paper are available on the Fields in Trust website www.fieldsintrust.org   


ialeUK is the main forum for landscape ecology in the UK and part of a global community with a wide range of interests in natural and cultural aspects of landscape and seascape. They include people working in research, policy and practice. Contact Dr Christopher Young on secretary@iale.org.uk or visit https://iale.uk/


Through the Natural Environment Research Council the Universities of Glasgow and Oxford have developed an Integrated Green Grey Infrastructure Framework - a way to assess the value of adoption of a range of innovative methods for greening grey, heavily engineered projects - to create habitat, aesthetic value for planning mitigation etc  Full report https://eprints.gla.ac.uk/150672/


Natural Capital Accounting for Urban Greenspace Management 28th June 2018, Birmingham This unique training opportunity will provide you with an in-depth knowledge of what natural capital accounts are and how they are produced in the specific context of urban greenspace. No prior knowledge of natural capital assessment or economics is required. More information here https://ecosystemsknowledge.net/events


TCPA & Green Infrastructure Partnership Conference. (London 12 July)

Will it be possible to attract funding from health budgets to help maintain green infrastructure? How can we maximise the health and wellbeing benefits of green infrastructure? What can we do right now to create and enhance green infrastructure to enhance people’s wellbeing? https://c-js.co.uk/2GcO7A5


Muddy Feet Training believes connecting with nature leads us to develop happier lives and helps us to appreciate and understand nature. Muddy Feet Training brings innovative professional training using participatory action based nature / environmental learning. Forest School and Outdoor Learning Qualifications, Community engagement training Midlands based www.muddyfeetraining.co.uk


Professional advice & effective solutions for invasive non-native species such as Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam, Rhododendron ponticum or cotoneaster. Call to see how we can help you with; Plant identification; Mortgage reports; Management plans; Insurance Backed Guarantees; CPD, training, talks & walks. www.knotweedcontrolwales.co.uk knotweedcontrol@gmail.com @KnotweedJo 07790 505232


What has green infrastructure ever done for us? Working as a Knowledge Exchange Fellow for the Natural Environment Research Council I am charged with improving how Green Infrastructure is mainstreamed into policy and decision-making.   Help me by filling in my call for evidence here https://mainstreaminggreeninfrastructure.com/call-for-evidence.php  Professor Alister Scott


logo: Southway HousingUrban Greening

By Philippa Reece, Environment Manager


As a social housing provider in Manchester, we are lucky to own 180

Southway Trail Map

Southway Trail Map

green spaces within our urban setting.

These spaces have become an urban oasis for our tenants and residents of Manchester as a whole.


For our 10th anniversary as an organisation, we wanted to leave a lasting legacy and what better way of doing this than utilising our green spaces within this process.

We decided to create a walking / running / cycling trail around one of our neighbourhoods and as part of this work involve the local community in enhancing their surroundings as well. 


We have worked with local schools to create a wooden sculpture, locally known as ‘Mother Nature’ with the artist, Phil Bews working alongside the children to teach them how to carve details into this amazing feature.

Two other local artists with the support of young people who live within this area helped to design and create colourful   junction boxes and an urban nature scene for the back drop of mother nature.


We made links with local coffee mornings and visitor centres to start an epic knitathon that has enabled us to have a variety of tree socks on multiple locations within this neighbourhood, this also created a knitathon within our organisation with people knitting for months to create all these tree socks.

Tree socks (Southway Housing)

Tree socks (Southway Housing)


We have a fairy trail, with lights in the trees and a variety of doors to hunt and find, as well as some very strange creatures leaving footprints along some of our passageways.

A sensory garden and multiple orchards on route round where you can harvest and eat free fruit. We have introduced wild garlic to some areas that once established can be used for cooking.

Seasonal bulb displays with additional areas created under the canopies of our urban forest adding depth, colour and beauty to these areas.


It’s proved to be a great way to connect people together within their local neighbourhoods, connect people back to nature, create physical activity as a long term goal and most of all improve our green spaces for humans and animals alike.


The project has created interest at the University of Manchester and as a result, there is a connected academic research project being delivered;

Mother Nature (Southway Housing)

Mother Nature (Southway Housing)

 Researchers at the University of Manchester are currently collaborating with Southway Housing Trust to carry out a study evaluating the impact of the tree trail on older adults’ wellbeing (as part of the Green Infrastructure and the Health and Wellbeing Influences on an Ageing Population (GHIA) project). The researchers are measuring older adults’ physical activity and two other behavioural indicators of wellbeing (connecting with other people and taking notice of the environment), collected using a new observation tool that they recently developed. These outcomes are also being measured in older adults across several other similar comparison neighbourhoods in Greater Manchester where no such improvements are planned. The study is due to be completed in September 2018. Further research is also planned for later in the year using interviews with local residents.


The researchers hope that this body of work will generate useful evidence on the potential positive impact of small-scale improvements in urban green space on the health and wellbeing of older adults. This type of evidence is crucial for strengthening the case for planning and investment in urban green space.


For those interested in keeping up to date with the latest findings from these studies, please contact Jack Benton who is the PhD student leading this research (email: jack.benton@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk, Twitter: @JackSBenton).


To find out more about the Green Infrastructure and the Health and Wellbeing Influences on an Ageing Population (GHIA) project go to www.valuing-nature.net/ghia


Heritage Interpretation experts specialising in a range of digital visitor experiences, from planning to implementation - audiotrails.co.uk | 01773 835569 (please note our name will soon be changing to 'AT Creative')


The National Allotment Society (NSALG) is the leading organisation upholding the interests and rights of the allotment community across the UK. We offer member benefits, including legal support and advice and work with all stake-holders to promote allotment gardening and manage, protect and develop allotment provision. natsoc@nsalg.org.uk, www.nsalg.org.uk 01536 266576


Good quality greenspace helps us tackle many of the environmental, social and economic issues faced by disadvantaged urban communities.  SNH, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, is leading a £38m programme of projects to show what can be achieved and encourage greater future investment.    See www.greeninfrastructurescotland.scot for more detail.


Biodiversity? What biodiversity? There is no biodiversity left in the UK! Our countryside and public places need more than rye-grass and rose bushes. With a little thought, we can save our vanishing butterflies and birds by managing our countryside in a more holistic manner, for everyone’s benefit. Why not start with a wildflower meadow, almost instantly and with low maintenance? Reduce the mowing you do and save time and money by laying our amazing wildflower meadow turf. Check it out at http://wildlifeservices.co.uk/meadowturf2.html or call Martin at Wildlife & Countryside Services on 0333 9000 927.


We are an environmental education provider dedicated to conserving and raising awareness of Wales' best asset; the natural environment through wildlife tours, walks & talks, education, training & practical conservation. We work with schools, colleges, the public, visitors, charities and businesses. About Wild Wales aboutwildwales@gmail.com @aboutwildwales 07790 505232


logo: Wood Pasture & Parkland NetworkWood Pasture & Parkland Network

Ancient Oaks in Wood Pasture (Megan Gimber)

Ancient Oaks in Wood Pasture

(Megan Gimber)


Wood pasture is an important habitat, positively teeming with life and vital to preserve. If you can’t picture what this habitat looks like, you’re not alone! It’s an understudied, historically overlooked part of our landscape, so there’s little awareness of its existence let alone its value. At their core, both wood pasture and parkland consist of big old trees with full crowns growing in grazed pasture. They are what ecologists like to call a ‘mosaic habitat’ which means a particular mixture of other habitats within it; the value of which is greater than the sum of its parts. The Wood Pasture and Parkland Network are attempting to raise the profile of this incredible habitat with a series of 5 videos. The videos introduce the ecological, biological, historical, cultural and landscape aspects of Wood Pasture and Parkland, describing best management techniques. www.ptes.org/wppn


logo: Forest ResearchValuing the benefits of urban trees for better greenspace management

By Kathryn Hand, Kieron Doick, Liz O’Brien, and Clare Hall from Forest Research, and Susanne Raum from Imperial College London


Urban trees as greenspace and their benefits

When we think of greenspace, we usually think of parcels of green land: parks, sports fields, maybe gardens. While trees are important features within these landscapes, they can also be seen as small patches of greenspace in their own right – offering an area of green in an otherwise grey urban realm and ranging from single trees in gardens, parks and streets, to small clusters of trees and those that make up urban woodlands. Together all of the trees across an entire urban area are known as the ‘urban forest’1.


Urban forests can provide many benefits, also known as ‘ecosystem services’, to society2. These benefits help make our towns and cities healthier, more sustainable and liveable. Urban trees can contribute to public health by removing harmful pollutants from the air, encouraging active lifestyles and helping to reduce the stress of those who live near them. Tree canopies help to provide shade to cool urban areas, and also intercept rainfall to reduce runoff, thereby reducing the risks from flooding. Finally, trees make places special – they can provide a link to local history, support local nature, and create a source of cultural and spiritual value.


Valuing the benefits of urban trees using i-Tree Eco

While people value and appreciate trees for many reasons, often the benefits they provide are not considered when decisions that govern their future are being made. When the benefits of trees go unvalued, their maintenance costs can appear to be an unjustifiable expense. In recent years, tree officers have seen their budgets shrink3. These changes are also common to other areas of greenspace such as parks4. In an attempt to address these trends, urban authorities have begun to assess and value their urban forest resources to account for the benefits that trees provide society. By putting a £-value on urban trees it is hoped their benefits can be formally recognised and their management improved, to the benefit of both the urban forest and those who live, work and visit urban areas.


Figure 1. In 2015 Edinburgh’s urban forest was assessed using

Figure 1. In 2015 Edinburgh’s urban forest was assessed using i-Tree Eco

which estimated for a total of 712,000 trees an annual benefit value of

£1.82 million6 © Kathryn Hand/Forest Research

i-Tree Eco (www.itreetools.org) is a tool that provides information on the state of the urban forest, including the species composition, age structure and condition. It then calculates the quantity and value of the benefits provided by those urban trees for four ecosystem services: carbon storage, carbon sequestration, avoided stormwater runoff, and removal of air pollution.


i-Tree Eco was first used in the UK in 2011; Torbay’s urban forest was estimated to provide a total annual benefit of over £345,0005. Since then, i-Tree Eco has been used in over 20 UK projects, ranging from assessment of a small park to whole cities, such as Edinburgh (figure 1).


Evaluating the impact of i-Tree Eco in the UK

With the use of i-Tree Eco growing in the UK, an evaluation study was conducted by Forest Research to review the impact that these projects have had on the management of urban forests, and to evaluate the role of i-Tree Eco in protecting and expanding the urban forest.

The study found that the impact delivered by i-Tree Eco projects varied. The results from some projects had fed into changes in policy and local funding, while others have had less impact so far. In most of the i-Tree Eco projects there had been improvements in understanding the benefits of urban trees, and greater connectivity and collaboration between local authority departments.  Overall, the evaluation study found that i-Tree Eco had two key roles in protecting and expanding the urban forest:


1. Providing the evidence base to inform management decisions: Key information on the health and composition of urban forests can help tree officers and policy-makers to better understand the state of the urban forest and its benefits. Often the i-Tree Eco assessments helped to identify emerging vulnerabilities in the urban forest, such as an aging tree population, or over-reliance on a limited number of tree species. For example, a predominance of ash trees, which is a concern given the threat from chalara ash dieback. Having detailed information from i-Tree Eco on the current state of the urban forest and its vulnerabilities provided the opportunity to inform the development of detailed urban forestry management plans and a strategy for the long-term continuation of its benefits.


2.  Putting a £-value on benefits to make them explicit and help raise awareness: While many people may be able to recognise the benefits of trees, calculating how much these benefits are worth can help others to understand and appreciate this benefit. This can help to balance the argument against the costs of tree maintenance and provide a rationale for investment in the urban forest. One of the evaluated projects was able to use their i-Tree Eco results to help secure an additional tree officer, while another received an increase to its tree maintenance budget. In many other cases, the values produced by the i-Tree Eco projects - often millions of pounds - helped to improve awareness of the importance of urban trees and counter negative perceptions of trees. Further, understanding how trees contributed to different benefits, for example mitigating the effects of a changing climate, enhanced conversations between council departments and led to the inclusion of urban trees in broader policies, such as local development plans and green infrastructure strategies.


Lessons learned for valuing urban greenspace

In summary, valuing trees using tools such as i-Tree Eco, can be useful in providing the evidence to support our urban trees, as well as motivating change and investment. The impact of i-Tree Eco did vary between the projects that were evaluated. On the other hand, opportunities to overcome barriers that limited the impact of the valuation projects were also identified (see the full evaluation report for further details: www.forestry.gov.uk/fr/itree-evaluation). Hopefully many more UK towns and cities will follow this lead and evaluate their urban forest using i-Tree Eco, or a similar tool (to learn more visit: www.forestry.gov.uk/fr/itree or www.treeconomics.co.uk/). 


For more information, contact: Kieron Doick at Forest Research (www.forestry.gov.uk/fr/infd-6gwemq)



1              Urban Forestry and Woodlands Advisory Committee Network (UFAWCN). (2017). Introducing England’s urban forests. Urban Forestry and Woodlands Advisory Committee Network. Available online at: https://c-js.co.uk/2IbrpK5


2              Davies, H.J., Doick, K.J., Handley, P., O’Brien, L., Wilson, J. (2017). Delivery of Ecosystem Services by Urban Forests. Forestry Commission Research Report 26. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh, 34 pp.


3              London Tree Officer Association (LTOA). (2016). Tree management in London boroughs. London Tree Officer Association.  London, UK.


4              Heritage Lottery Fund. (2016). State of UK public parks 2016. Heritage Lottery Fund, 124 pp.


5              Rogers, K., Jarratt, T. and Hansford. D. (2011). Torbay’s Urban Forest. Assessing urban forest effects and values. A report on the findings from the UK i-Tree Eco pilot project. Treeconomics, Exeter. 46 pp.


6              Doick, K.J., Handley, P., Ashwood, F., Vaz Monteiro, M., Frediani, K. and Rogers, K. (2017). Valuing Edinburgh’s Urban Trees. An update to the 2011 i-Tree Eco survey – a report of Edinburgh City Council and Forestry Commission Scotland. Forest Research, Farnham. 86 pp.


Our fascinating 5-day Sustainable Woodland Management training course teaches biodiversity conservation and woodland management skills through practical and theoretical sessions at our Centre in the Hampshire South Downs and Ben Law's Prickly Nut Woods nearby. Course runs 5th-9th November and costs £495.  For bookings, please visit our website at https://c-js.co.uk/2I6p5bG


The Open Spaces Society is Britain’s oldest national conservation body and it champions open spaces of all shapes and sizes, in town and country, where people make use of the land for recreation, whether formal or informal.  Contact us at OSS, 25a Bell Street, Henley-on-Thames RG9 2BA, www.oss.org.uk, office1@oss.org.uk, or 01491 573535


Heritage Skills Training in the Yorkshire Dales - Scything for Beginners (26 July) and Improvers (27 July) £40/day; Vernacular Buildings (10 & 11 Sept) £12.50/day. Certified courses by www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk, including: Tree Climbing & Rescue (CS38), Ground-based Chainsaw (CS30 & CS31), ATV. Find out more: T: 015242 51002 www.storiesinstone.org.uk/Events-Training/Upcoming  E: info@storiesinstone.org.uk


Durrell Conservation Academy – learn from the conservation experts. We run a wide range of courses suitable for everyone from enthusiastic animal lovers to professional conservationists. Find out more https://www.durrell.org/wildlife/academy/  Email: academy@durrell.org


A working farm offering opportunities for volunteering, educational/care farming visits. Live in facilities offered. Contact Pat Pimlott (Mrs) beef@parkhillfarm.co.uk, visit  www.parkhillfarm.co.uk


logo: The Wildlife TrustsBuilding for people and wildlife


As the demand for land for agriculture, housing and development has increased, so the space for wildlife and nature has decreased.  Growing recreational pressures that come with development, particularly in more densely populated areas, have also created challenges, including the loss of garden and community greenspace.


Exeter urban meadow © Emily Stallworthy, Devon Wildlife Trust

Exeter urban meadow © Emily Stallworthy,

Devon Wildlife Trust

But new developments don’t have to squeeze out wildlife and greenspace. In fact, they can enhance it – and benefit people at the same time.


The Wildlife Trusts are calling on developers, local authorities and Government to embrace a new, more holistic way of building: one that avoids damage to protected sites and works with the natural surroundings to create gains for nature, and better health and well-being for residents.


The next decade is likely to see hundreds of thousands of new homes built. In the past, housing developments have mostly destroyed habitats rather than created them. But done in the right way, on the right site, they can lead to a net gain for wildlife – and offer their incoming residents a healthier, happier place to live. And that’s because good housing and a healthy natural world are intrinsically linked.


The Wildlife Trusts have pioneered the integration of wildlife into new developments for many decades, using our expertise and relationships with developers we have ensured that existing meadows, wetlands, hedgerows, trees and woods are retained. We also aim for wildlife-rich gardens, verges, amenity greenspace, cycle paths and walkways. The result is natural corridors weaving through the development and reaching out beyond. These features add natural resilience: they reduce surface water flooding and improve air quality, for example. We also work with social landlords and residents to create natural places that encourage wildlife and benefit people.


The best new houses are energy and water efficient; have built-in roosting and nesting features; and provide easy access to safe, attractive green space for exercise, play and social interaction. And they deliver the priceless treasure of wildlife on your doorstep.

Housing vision illustration © The Wildlife Trusts

Housing vision illustration © The Wildlife Trusts


The cost implications of doing this are a tiny proportion of the outlay of a housing development, it’s about choosing the right sort of greening rather than about radically different costs. The benefits are considerable for business, nature, residents and communities alike.


The Wildlife Trusts believe that all new housing developments could and should be places where people and wildlife flourish with

  • Access to wildlife whether in town or country
  • High quality natural green space
  • A genuine, measurable net overall gain for wildlife
  • Connectivity to the wider ecological network.


With the urgent need to build so many new homes, the Government has a perfect opportunity to reset the approach to housing. We believe it should refocus to help wildlife, and to create healthy, cohesive and thriving communities, where residents can connect with nature and each other.


All the necessary knowledge, evidence and expertise to do this already exists, and so our vision is simple: it should become normal for all housing developments – whether new or established – to contribute to nature’s recovery.


More at The Wildlife Trusts new guide ‘Homes for People and Wildlife – how to build housing in a nature friendly way’   www.wildlifetrusts.org/housing


Case studies

Cambourne: The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Northamptonshire


The new settlement of Cambourne is a series of three interlinked villages designed to use existing landscape and habitat features as building blocks for a network of green spaces.


Cambourne © Brian Eversham

Cambourne © Brian Eversham

The project was conceived in the 1990s and comprises of 4,200 dwellings. The green spaces frame, join and permeate each of the three villages - giving residents and wildlife easy access to the whole network. This consideration to design has made Cambourne a safe and attractive place where people want to live and engage with their local environment and where wildlife can thrive.


Green space makes up 60% of the settlement. This includes pre-existing and new woodlands, meadows, lakes, amenity grasslands, playing fields, allotments and formal play areas. There are 12 miles of new footpaths, cycleways and bridleways and 10 miles of new hedgerows. The new grassland areas are rich in ground nesting birds such as skylarks and meadow pipits which have had great breeding success over the years. The lakes and ponds that serve to prevent flooding also provide great habitat for wildfowl and dragonflies.


Management of the green spaces is undertaken by the new Cambourne Parish Council and The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Northamptonshire. The land will eventually be transferred to each of these organisations.


Quote: “We like living here we have attractive, varied open spaces with no need to get in the car. The area feels safe and the kids can play within walking distance of our home.” Rachel Mortimer, wild development resident at Cambourne, Cambs


Trumpington Meadows: The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Northamptonshire


Trumpington Meadows is a development of 1,200 homes and forms part of a string of developments on the southern fringe of Cambridge. Respecting Cambridge’s character as a compact city with networks of green space connecting the city to surrounding rural areas, the new developments link into, and continue, these green corridors.


Trumpington Meadows © Sarah Lambert

Trumpington Meadows © Sarah Lambert

Trumpington Meadows Land Company wanted to create a high-quality development with its own character and sense of place and viewed a new country park as integral to this. It carried out extensive consultation with local communities and stakeholders prior to submitting the planning application.


The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Northamptonshire was selected as the land managing organisation and engaged with the landscape architect on design and creation of the development’s green infrastructure to help secure better outcomes for wildlife and limit future management problems.


Local play areas, swales and tree avenues are included throughout the development. The 58 hectare country park is designed to be both a space for people and a ‘nature reserve’. Its staged creation, which includes over 40 hectares of new species-rich meadows, hedgerows, woodlands and restored floodplain meadows, began prior to the building of the first houses to allow the landscaping and habitats time to mature.


The country park was designed to follow the River Cam and include its floodplain. A river restoration scheme was developed by the local authority ecologist to improve the river habitat and re-connect the river with its floodplain meadows, providing a small reduction in flood-risk downstream. New houses were built away from the flood plain to reduce flood risk and the drainage system is engineered to include a balancing pond with overflow area and open ditch features, to keep runoff to the River Cam at pre-development levels.


RSPB: Managing for nature in parks and green spaces - Date: 25 September 2018 at Beeche Centre, Bromley, London. Interactive workshop for contract managers and operative team leaders. Reviewing the value of public open space for people and wildlife. Describing management requirements for wildlife, introducing delegates to basic ecological requirements of some key urban species. Site visit included. Contact: Conservation-Advice@rspb.org.uk


logo: parkrunMuch more than just a run in a park


Every weekend at more than 700 public open spaces across the UK, around 14,000 volunteers dressed in high-vis bibs are busily preparing to welcome walkers, runners and spectators to parkrun and junior parkrun events.


Pre-run welcome (Bruce Li)

Pre-run welcome (Bruce Li)

It might be a small p, but parkrun is a big idea that has grown from 13 runners and five volunteers at the first event in London in 2004, to a global movement that has seen three million people take part across 20 countries. The idea was developed by Paul Sinton-Hewitt, a keen amateur runner who suffered a long-term injury and wanted to find a way to maintain a link with his running club friends. Paul proposed they gather for a 5k run in the local park each Saturday, which he would time: his condition being that they gather in the park cafe afterwards for a coffee and a chat.


14 years later and the concept itself hasn’t changed: parkrun is still a free 5k on a Saturday morning for walkers and runners of all ages and abilities coordinated entirely by volunteers, with 2k junior parkruns for 4-14 year-olds on Sundays, followed by a get together in a local cafe.


Participants sign up for free on the parkrun website and print out a unique registration barcode that is then valid at any parkrun around the world every weekend.


The success of parkrun is a combination of many factors: it’s free to take part in, doesn’t require any special clothing or equipment, walkers are welcomed as warmly as runners, families participate together, parents can push their baby in a buggy, at many courses you can run with a dog on a short lead, and every event takes place in an area of open space.


Volunteers at Southwark parkrun in London (Bruce Li)

Volunteers at Southwark parkrun in London (Bruce Li)

These open spaces take a variety of forms, such as city parks, promenades, beaches, canal towpaths, sporting fields and country parks, while around 40 events are held on land that is managed by the National Trust, Forestry Commission and Woodland Trust. Crucially, every parkrun is a collaboration with the landowners and/or land managers where the event takes place. Each parkrun must obtain written permission to use the course at the same time each week (9am in England and Wales and 9:30am in Scotland and Northern Ireland).


Most parkruns are conceived by individuals in a community who approach the organisation for support in establishing a new event. Once the initial volunteer team have been assembled, they are required to identify a suitable course (normally 1, 2 or 3 laps or out and back). Since 2017, new parkruns and junior parkruns must ensure that there is a defibrillator within five minutes of the finish line. If there isn’t, the prospective volunteer team will work with local stakeholders to source one before the event launches. 98% of 5k parkruns in the UK currently meet the criteria and the aim is to achieve 100% coverage across all of our events by the end of 2018.


Once an event team satisfies the criteria to start their event, a local parkrun ambassador provides them with training, and one or two unofficial test events are held. The launch event is often a low-key affair with no publicity beyond word of mouth.


Case study – Rushmere parkrun


Rushmere Country Park, which lies on the boundary of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, has hosted Rushmere parkrun since November 2015. The park is managed by the Greensand Trust, an independent environmental charity that works with local communities and landowners to conserve the Greensand Ridge, and is jointly owned by the Trust and Central Bedfordshire Council.


The course is two laps on hard packed dirt trails, which starts and finishes by a large meadow adjacent to the cafe, car park and toilets. The one-off startup fund was provided jointly by Central Bedfordshire Council and Aylesbury Vale District Council. It averages 144 walkers and runners and 20 volunteers each Saturday.


Rushmere parkrun (Bruce Li)

Rushmere parkrun (Bruce Li)

Jon Balaam, Director of Development at the Greensand Trust, explains more:


“This particular site is incredibly popular with visitors but also contains rare and fragile heathland and acid grassland habitats. So the main focus at first was identifying a route that gave people a real experience of the Country Park and its varied landscape, but also ensured that important habitats were not harmed and visitor experience was not affected. The route was developed with the parkrun volunteer team, with input from site managers and ecologists.


“It was critically important that we had two test events in the summer of 2015, not just to ensure that the route worked, but to see how it would potentially impact other users. It also showed how important volunteers (and having enough of them in the right places) is. It also gave advance notice that something regular was coming to the existing park users and gave them the opportunity to feed back.


“On the whole everyone gets along well – the quality of the Pre-Event Welcome means that participants are always reminded that there are other users, including horse riders, dog walkers and cyclists, and everyone respects each other out on the course. It helps that 9am on a Saturday is a relatively quiet time at the park – or it was!


Jon dressed as a duck

Jon dressed as a duck

“The park café didn’t open until 10am before parkrun but it now opens earlier and parkrun definitely fills it up. parkrun has definitely increased parking income, both on the pay-on-exit basis and the number of people who buy an annual parking pass, which helps sustain the Park for everyone.


“My advice to other landowners is to be flexible about routes – have alternatives for when the main route gets too muddy, for example. Give good advance notice of things happening that might affect parkrun – for example, if we have a big event on or are doing significant management works and it’s necessary to cancel a parkrun on a certain date. And don’t just focus on the money through the tills – for us this has been about engaging new audiences and building local support. Leighton-Linslade has some amazing countryside right on its doorstep but we still get local people saying they didn’t realise Rushmere existed. Sometimes it takes something such as parkrun to help raise this awareness.


“I’ve also worked with the parkrun team to help support our fundraising appeals – one of which saw me run dressed as a duck! We also had a ‘purple parkrun’ to support our most recent heathland restoration appeal.  Rushmere is not local for me – I have to drive 45 minutes – but I think of it as my local parkrun.


“I did hear something that tickled me recently that sums up the Rushmere parkrun spirit. We obtained funding to improve the surfacing of parts of the route – now we are getting ‘complaints’ that the course is no longer muddy enough!”


Follow www.parkrun.org.uk to register and find your local event


Brillianto in collaboration with the TCPA / UK Green Infrastructure Partnership provide a searchable database of close to 1000 publications on green space, parks, green infrastructure, urban woodland etc. Includes tools, websites, case studies, videos and many other documents. Direct links to the source of information are provided. https://www.brillianto.biz/en/GIRL/ 


logo: greenspace scotlandScotland’s Park Managers Forum


Are you an expert juggler? Do you have superb plate-spinning skills? Are you a budding alchemist, with a passion for people and parks? If yes, a career in parks and greenspace management could be for you!


We’re all familiar with the soundbites of ‘parks feeling the pinch’ and ‘greenspace under pressure’. The same is true for the people and services managing our parks and greenspaces. The Heritage Lottery Fund’s State of UK Public Parks reports have charted budget cuts to parks services and the corresponding reduction in staffing.


Making connections – sharing practice © greenspace scotland

Making connections – sharing practice © greenspace scotland

Across Scotland there has been a marked reduction in greenspace staff and particularly a loss of specialist skills and apprentice programmes. Some Councils report their workforce has reduced by a third in the last 5 years, with larger cuts to come over the next year. 


Not surprisingly, greenspace and parks officers are feeling increasingly stretched. When you’re trying to juggle too many competing priorities and demands on your time, personal and professional development too often takes a back-seat.  It’s hard to find time to lift your head from the grindstone and see how others are tackling similar challenges and opportunities. The result can be people sitting in geographical isolation, individually and collectively, reinventing the wheel.


In a greenspace scotland survey in 2015, park managers told us how infrequently they met colleagues outside of their council and how this limited opportunities to share experience and practice, and to develop new approaches to the challenges of managing and sustaining Scotland’s parks with fewer resources and staff.


Our answer was to establish the Scottish Park Managers’ Forum to support the professional and operational development of park managers. The Forum enables them to share practice across council areas, develop skills and explore challenges so that they can more effectively and efficiently manage Scotland’s parks. This in turn supports and enhances the local provision of sustainable greenspace services.


The Forum is one of Scotland’s responses to the ‘Call to Action’ in the first HLF State of Parks report. We were delighted to receive support from the HLF through a ‘Start-up’ Grant to support the early development of the Forum. Last year we were grateful for funding support from idverde for Forum meetings and Scottish Natural Heritage for the study tour. This funding support means there is no charge for attending Forum events and this makes it easier for local authority colleagues to attend.


Park Managers Forum in action © greenspace scotland

Park Managers Forum in action © greenspace scotland

The Forum involves all 32 Scottish Councils, with over 160 park managers and officers currently subscribing.  Quarterly meetings are generally attended by around 40 colleagues, typically with representation from 18-20 Councils – that’s two-thirds of Scotland’s Councils.


Each forum meeting focuses on a different topic – drawing on key issues and challenges identified by members. Meetings have covered: new approaches to park strategies; changing management practices; benchmarking; working with communities; Community Empowerment Act; lessons from Rethinking Parks; parks advocacy; asset management and valuation.


Each meeting involves guest speakers and case studies presented by colleagues from within the Scottish parks sector and external speakers from other sectors and/or outwith Scotland.  Workshop and participatory sessions encourage sharing of practice and learning. Presentations and workshop notes are shared with all colleagues via a password protected micro-site.  Topic based working groups engage officers in discussions and sharing practice between meetings and there is more frequent ad hoc communication between park managers building on networking connections made through Forum meetings.


Greenspace delivering on Scottish Government priorities © greenspace scotland

Greenspace delivering on Scottish Government priorities

© greenspace scotland

Collectively, the Forum is now looking at opportunities to develop a common approach to asset management systems and natural capital accounting across Scotland’s councils; developing a park advocacy strategy and working on plans for the Scottish Parks Endowment. Topics for the future include skills development, apprenticeships and CPD; income generation and diversification; community management and asset transfers; realising our natural health service.


A key strand of greenspace scotland’s activity is pioneering new approaches to resourcing and managing greenspace. This includes climate change parks, local food growing strategies, ParkPower, young placechangers and MyParkScotland – which provides Scotland’s only crowdfunding platform specifically for parks and greenspaces – and the Parks Endowment Fund. For each of these programmes, we work closely with colleagues in pioneer Councils to develop and test new ways of working and share learning with colleagues.


In 2017, the Parks Manager Forum was Highly Commended in the Horticulture Week Awards in the ‘Best Park Partnership’ category. We were hugely encouraged to see the Forum highlighted in the Communities and Local Government Select Committee Parks Inquiry

© greenspace scotland

© greenspace scotland

report and recommended as a model for developing Park Manager Forum(s) in England. Our experience in Scotland, indicates that national or regional Forums for park managers would be hugely beneficial for colleagues in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. We would be delighted to be able to share experience and assist in their establishment.


If you’re reading this as a parks manager or officer in Scotland and you’re not already in touch with the Forum, please drop us an email info@greenspacescotland.org.uk If you’re not in Scotland, we may be able to offer ‘visiting visas’ to extend invitations to specific events – and we’ve already benefited significantly from hearing about practice and learning from colleagues in England.


About greenspace scotland

greenspace scotland is Scotland’s parks and greenspace charity; an independent charitable company and social enterprise. Since 2002, we have provided a national lead on greenspace working with national and local partners to shape policy and promote good practice. Our goal is that everyone has easy access to quality greenspaces that meet local needs and improve quality of life.

www.greenspacescotland.org.uk @greenspacescot






logo: Dudley MBCManaging an Urban National Nature Reserve - Community Involvement

By Ian Beech, Senior Warden


Wren’s Nest National Nature Reserve is 100 acres of Urban Geological and Ecological importance

View of 428 million year old reef mound from Ripple Beds (Ian Beech)

View of 428 million year old reef mound

from Ripple Beds (Ian Beech)

situated in the north of Dudley and surrounded by housing estates. The site is made up of an uplifted Limestone hill dating back some 428 million years to the Silurian period.    The site is council owned and managed by three wardens, a Friends group and committed volunteers.


The site was unkempt and used for fly tipping, criminal activity, off road motorcycles, shooting, firewood and the local children used it as their playground.


Walking through the site it is clear to see evidence of fallen large beech and ash trees which have been burnt once they reached ground level; these charred remains are a common sight in many urban woods.


Community involvement is one of the processes that has been used to help improve the site, for example  children from local schools taking part in tree planting sessions and in the process learning about the biology and structure of the trees they plant. These sessions have built relations with teachers and the local children and as a result of these education days we have seen return visits of children bringing family members to see how 'their tree' is getting on. This has given them a feeling of ownership,  that they have been able to have an input and ultimately pride in their local area.  Not only that, but the children often end up educating family members in the importance of these trees.


Fly tipping and litter has always been a big problem on urban reserves and I know that rural areas suffer as well.  Even if everything else looks amazing people notice litter and this is one of the easiest ways to give visitors a negative impression and reduce their enjoyment of their visit to the site. The same goes for graffiti; we deal with these issues ASAP and find this works well in reducing recurrence.


Despite our efforts we clean up between 12 to 16 tons of litter every year; personally it makes me furious that the minority think it is acceptable to drop litter.


Friends Group monthly two hour litter pick (Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council)

Friends Group monthly two hour litter pick

(Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council)

We work closely with a team of Enforcement Officers employed by Dudley Council. Any fly tipping or large litter dump found is inspected, photographed and logged before removal. The Enforcement team investigate and usually get a prosecution.  We have put a lot of time and effort into reducing fly tipping.  With areas used more frequently we modify the access making it difficult and more visible to passing traffic or houses which deters the dumping; in some cases we've used mobile CCTV as well.  Working with local schools we have looked at recycling rubbish and litter, a good tactic that I use quite often is to drop litter on purpose in front of school groups to see what reaction I get, creating an opportunity for them to tell me off and correct me and if they don't - then I have an excellent example to use!


One of my first jobs when I started on site was to introduce myself to the local Police and Fire crews. I recommend all rangers and site wardens whether urban or rural do this, it helps build a working relationship before you actually need either service.  We work with the local fire brigade running familiarisation sessions which is a huge help if we have any problems on site and has saved us a lot

Ripple Beds at night featuring Rob Earnshaw, Warden, 26 years on site (Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council)

Ripple Beds at night featuring Rob Earnshaw, Warden, 26 years on site

(Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council)

of time and money repairing gates and chains cut by crews needing access. Some of the more important access points now have fire brigade locks to create easy access for the crews; unfortunately from our point of view the locks are quite flimsy quality so we fabricate a lock box to stop unwanted tampering.   The relationship works so well that the fire service now carry out training courses on site for recovering injured people on slopes using stretchers and ropes. This has made me realise how difficult it could be to remove a member of staff with perhaps a chainsaw injury or broken leg, so I created an in case of emergency (ICE) pack for the site looking at access points post codes of gates and helicopter landing areas. Many of the services use postcodes but other services use OS grid references, so the ICE maps have all the details marked making it easier to be located in an accident situation. I also added important contact numbers for the site and local hospital details.


The wardens are more often than not out on site and as a result we often miss local police officers using the site to access the surrounding housing estates.  To keep in touch and up to date I came up with the idea of putting a site map in the office window.  If we are having problems in an area, we mark the map and as the police pass by the area they will have a look. This means whatever shift patterns day or night they have up to date information about problems on the site. This encourages officers to pass by the warden’s base to check the map which is a massive help to us with a higher more visible police presence


logo: Wren's Nest NNRYou may notice that I have not mentioned ecology, conservation, woodland and grassland management and all the other wonderful parts of the job (and the reason I chose this career). All of the subjects listed happen as well, but many of the issues in the article take priority.


Urban sites are challenging it’s true, but all site and land management is challenging and has its problems along with its merits.   Community involvement and education are key to reducing problems but some days it still feels like you are fighting a losing battle. However, it's only a minority who cause us problems and we have more good local people really appreciating the effort and work put into the site.  The more people use the site the fewer problems occur, long may it continue.


logo: TCV 


TCV's Community Network

We support hundreds of groups across the UK who are passionate about protecting their local environment. If you’re a community group, club, school or local organisation why not join TCV’s Community Network? Annual membership is just £38.00 to find out more contact us at local-groups@tcv.org.uk




Raise funds for free with the KindLink online platform. As a registered charity, we do not take any commission on online donations and also provide a free CRM database service. Contact Adriano Mancinelli at adriano.mancinelli@kindlink.com, 07746 386 459, or check out our website: kindlink.org


The Scottish Rights of Way and Access Society (SC015460) has recently launched a small grants scheme. Member organisations can apply for grants of between £500 and £1,500 to enable a community-based and access-related project which might otherwise not proceed. For more information and an application form please visit: https://www.scotways.com/downloads


Denmark Farm Conservation Centre hosts a wide range of courses and workshops including; Roundwood Timber Framing, Stone and Soil Banking, Phase 1 Habitat Survey, Habitat Restoration and many other conservation, ecology and countryside crafts. Please see our website www.denmarkfarm.org.uk/events/ or e-mail info@denmarkfarm.org.uk for more information.


Enovert Community Trust (formerly Cory Environmental Trust in Britain) is an environmental body which supports community and environmental projects in the vicinity of Enovert’s landfill sites through the Landfill Communities Fund. If you have an idea for a project, please contact Angela Haymonds on 01753 582513 or ahaymonds@enovertct.org.


The British Mole Catchers Register promotes traditional mole catching skills. We help people find a mole catcher in their area and help mole catchers get work. Our next Lantra approved traditional mole catching training course will be on 22 September 2018. Call 07876 141153 or email info@britishmolecatchers.co.uk


Caring for God's Acre - The national charity for the conservation of burial grounds. Protecting and rejuvenating these beautiful havens of heritage and wildlife. info@cfga.org.uk www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk 


logo: Rugby Borough CouncilThe Parks Action Group


Parks are an essential part of the fabric of all our communities. Whether for health and wellbeing, exercise, relaxation, places to volunteer and socialise, for children to play, encountering nature, adapting to climate change or just providing a place to gather your thoughts. Let alone all the environmental and biodiversity benefits.


Parks are a great place to exercise (Rugby Borough Council)

Parks are a great place to exercise (Rugby Borough Council)

With national research showing that parks and green spaces are the most used local public facilities with over 37 million visits annually, and a growing problem of obesity and inactivity in young people, they have never been more important to the future of our nation.


However, over many years, local authorities have reduced budgets through successive financial challenges. Some parks budgets have now been cut by 100% with other authorities now proposing to sell off parks.


Where once our Victorian ancestors led the world in public parks for public benefit we now enviously look on as other countries invest and maintain parks to a much higher degree as they place parks at the centre of the long-term health, wellbeing and community cohesion strategies. 


The need for quality parks and green spaces has never been greater; and neither has the communities’ expectations and desire to see their local green space maintained and improved. So what is the future for our nation’s parks?


I can only hazard a guess what sort of bin used to be here (Chris Worman)

I can only hazard a guess what sort of

bin used to be here (Chris Worman)

The Communities and Local Government select committee report on public parks in 2017 declared that our nation’s parks are at a tipping point, and since this report things have started to worsen further. 


The Government responded to the CLG report by establishing the Parks Action Group in late 2017 to consider a sustainable future for the nation’s parks and green spaces. The Government recognise both the need for this and the many and varied benefits parks bring to our communities.  Rishi Sunak MP was appointed as Parks Minister in January 2018 and is committed to reporting back to Parliament on the progress of the Group later in the year.


The group is made up of some of the most passionate advocates for the parks and green spaces sector and aims to communicate with other representatives from across the industry to listen to both their concerns and to learn from any novel and innovative ideas that may be useful to share with others.


After establishing the terms of reference for the group a number of work streams have now been established to look at all the priority issues, these are:

  • Explore the funding landscape and propose solutions
  • To set parks and green spaces standards
  • Share a national vision for parks and green spaces
  • Empower local communities
  • Increase knowledge and build skills
  • Increase usage by all


To address any previous silo thinking, and acknowledging the cross cutting benefit of parks, the group consists of external partners, and representatives from across government departments including The Department of Health and Social Care, Home Office, Department for Work and Pensions, Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, Department for Education, Department for Culture Media and Sport and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government.


Quality parks bring communities together (Rugby Borough Council)

Quality parks bring communities together

(Rugby Borough Council)

The challenge is to identify a sustainable future that can halt the decline and reconnect parks with people and places so everyone understands the positive role quality green spaces can play in all our communities.  


Some might say this will not be easy.  However, there are now over 6000 friends groups across the country that help champion our green spaces who have made a real difference in galvanising public opinion.  The CLG Inquiry gained a huge public response, and a petition to halt the decline in HLF funding for parks has topped over 200K signatories. This large scale public support for quality parks and green spaces has started to reach politicians. The Mayor of New York famously once said “where there is a park there is a vote!” Who would not want our residents to live in safe inclusive, accessible communities that provide local opportunities to live healthy lifestyles in a quality environment?

Graffiti covered furniture (Chris Worman)

Graffiti covered furniture

(Chris Worman)


There are also clear links to the Governments 25 Year Environment Plan and the commitment to leave our environment (parks and green spaces) in a better condition.  A lot of the outcomes can be delivered on our nations green spaces and is an area to be explored further.


The Government also owns The Green Flag Award scheme, which is the international quality standard for parks and green spaces and delivered via Keep Britain Tidy.  This promotes quality management and maintenance of all green spaces and is a way of acknowledging and supporting all those involved in green spaces.


There is no doubt that there is a lot of work to do within a very short timescale to avert a major crisis. The challenge for the Parks Action Group is to reassure all those involved in the green space sector that we are taking this matter seriously and will make suggestions to government on how we can safeguard and enhance our parks and green spaces in the future.


Chris Worman MBE Parks Practitioner member of the Parks Action Group. chris.worman@rugby.gov.uk


Chris has over 34 years’ experience in the parks industry and is currently Rugby Borough Council’s Parks and Grounds Manager. He has been a vice chair of the West Midlands Parks forum for 5 years. He has also been a Green Flag Award judge from the start of the awards and over the past 22 years of volunteering has had the opportunity to judge many 100s of parks both around the UK and beyond. He has undertaken a number of international judging tours including Spain and the Middle East. For his service to the Green Flag Awards and public parks he was awarded an MBE in the Queens 90th Birthday honours in 2016.


image: Aldersgate report
The Aldersgate Group is an alliance
of leaders from business, politics and civil society that drives action for a sustainable economy, to address environmental challenges effectively and to secure economic benefits for the UK in doing so. The Group recently published a report Towards the new normal: increasing investment in the UK’s green infrastructure, which sets out key recommendations for government, businesses and investors to unlock greater volumes of private investment to meet the objectives of the Clean Growth Strategy, Industrial Strategy and 25 Year Environment Plan, including building a green infrastructure pipeline and supporting issuance of municipal green bonds. The report can be read here: https://c-js.co.uk/2G7LqV8  


I am a trained Ecologist and have experience in Green Infrastructure & Green Spaces, Ecology, Biodiversity & Conservation and Sustainable Agriculture. I have previously worked as the national Green Infrastructure lead for Natural England and Wild Oxfordshire, a local Nature Conservation charity. Ingo Schüder https://www.brillianto.biz - great twitter feed @Brillianto_biz


TCV, the community volunteering charity, provide conservation volunteering opportunities nationally. Working in urban and rural greenspace, our aim is to connect people with nature in the form of practical conservation, gardening, woodwork and other hands-on activities. Our practical teams also provide an affordable conservation solution for land managers and organisations. Contact Jess Kandola on 0113 274 2335 https://www.tcv.org.uk/hollybush


PERFECT is a five-year INTERREG Europe funded project seeking to influence the policy-making process by raising awareness of the social, environmental and economic potential of green infrastructure. Partners are sharing good practice and evidence to secure more investment in green infrastructure across Europe. To learn more visit https://www.interregeurope.eu/perfect/


Interested in growing healthier food, building better soil and learning about sustainable practices while performing experiments and sharing data throughout the growing season? Become  a Citizen Scientist with GROW Observatory running sensing missions providing data on Changing Climate and testing regenerative practices through Living Soils experiments. Get in touch: www.growobservatory.org



logo: GroundworkCalling all community groups: Groundwork’s #InclusiveSpaces campaign needs you!

The Groundwork Youth Inclusive Spaces campaign will take place this July with a Week of Action from 23rd-29th. We aim to connect our 100 Young Green Ambassadors with community groups across the UK and support them to collaborate on local events, with the aim of raising the profile of our local parks and green spaces.

The campaign was developed through our Groundwork Youth programme, empowering young people and community groups to collaborate and work together intergenerationally to tackle the issues that affect them the most. We've worked closely with a dedicated group of young people who sit on our youth advisory board and our network of Young Green Ambassadors, based all over the country, will roll out our campaign locally.

To find out more and sign up your community group visit: www.groundwork.org.uk/support-youth-campaign-uk



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

Next edition will feature Volunteering published on 17 September 2018



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 Policy and Annoucements plus reactions. 

New environment law to deliver a Green Brexit - Defra

Environmental Principles and Governance Bill announced as consultation launches on new body to hold government to account.

A new Environmental Principles and Governance Bill will ensure environmental protections will not be weakened as we leave the EU, the government has confirmed.

A consultation has started today on the contents of the Environmental Principles and Governance Bill, which will establish a world-leading body to hold government to account for environmental outcomes.

The body will support our commitment to be the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than that in which we inherited it. It will provide scrutiny and advice as we protect and enhance our precious landscapes, wildlife and natural assets and would be able to hold government to account on environmental legislation.


New quarantine proposals to protect England's trees - Defra

Environment Secretary launches first Tree Health Resilience Strategy to protect England’s trees from pests and diseases for generations to come.

woodland (Natural England)(Image: Natural England)

Proposals to consult industry on new quarantine arrangements for high-risk plants are among the measures set out today (Friday 25 May) in the Government’s plan to protect the UK’s precious trees.

Currently quarantine is used by some horticulture businesses as part of strong biosecurity measures against high-risk species. We want to explore how this targeted approach can be broadened out so we have better protection against harmful pests and diseases right across the industry.

Once we leave the EU we will have the chance to tighten biosecurity measures further and take swifter, more targeted action against serious threats like Xylella.

The Tree Health Resilience Strategy, the first major publication to come out of the 25-Year Environment Plan, sets out a new proactive approach to tree health, with landowners, charities, the public and government working together to take actions to build resilience against pests and diseases to protect the nation’s trees – worth an estimated £175billion.

As part of this approach, a new senior cross-industry Plant Health Alliance to strengthen biosecurity practices across industry has been established. The Alliance brings together the country’s leading nurseries, retailers, tree suppliers, landscapers, foresters, the RHS and Defra to ensure an effective response to threats such as Xylella and Emerald Ash Borer.


Tree health resilience strategy 2018 - Defra policy paper

This strategy explains how the government will work with others to protect England’s tree population from pest and disease threats.

This strategy sets out plans to reduce the risk of pest and disease threats. It also sets out how we will strengthen the resilience of our trees to withstand threats.

This strategy includes a National Action Plan. The plan sets out what we’re already doing and what we and others will need to do to protect our trees and the important services they provide.

In “our goals”, we’ve summarised what we hope to achieve over the next 5 years.

Access: Tree health resilience strategy: our goals 

Download Tree health resilience strategy report (PDF)


National Parks review launched - Defra

Nearly 70 years after National Parks and AONBs were first established, a new review will ensure designated landscapes are fit for the future.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has today (Sunday 27 May) committed to conserve and enhance England’s most cherished landscapes as a new review launches into the nation’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).

Nearly 70 years after the country’s National Parks were first established, opening up the countryside and allowing more people to connect with nature, an independent panel will look at how these iconic landscapes meet our needs in the 21st century – including whether there is scope for the current network of 34 AONBs and 10 National Parks to expand.

The review, led by writer Julian Glover, will also explore how access to these beloved landscapes can be improved, how those who live and work in them can be better supported, and their role in growing the rural economy.

Weakening or undermining their existing protections or geographic scope will not be part of the review, which will instead focus on how designated areas can boost wildlife, support the recovery of natural habitats and connect more people with nature.

Undertaking a review is one of the key commitments of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, which outlines our vision for improving the environment over a generation by connecting people with nature and helping wildlife to thrive.



Review of designated landscapes announced – Campaign for National Parks

Campaign for National Parks welcomes the Westminster Government’s announcement of Julian Glover as the chair of a 21st century ‘Hobhouse’ review into England’s designated landscapes over the bank holiday weekend. The charity urges the panel to consider how to make the Parks even more beautiful, better protected and enjoyed by all.

Chair of Campaign for National Parks, Janette Ward, said: “England’s world famous National Parks are beautiful and precious national assets. We welcome this review as an opportunity to consider how they can be further supported and enhanced to make sure the National Park family is strong and healthy for current and future generations. Campaign for National Parks looks forward to working with the panel to secure better protections for the Parks, but also make sure they are accessible to all and thriving with wildlife.”


CPRE reaction to review of National Parks and AONBs – CPRE

Emma Marrington, Senior Rural Policy Campaigner at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), said: “CPRE warmly welcomes the appointment of an independent panel led by Julian Glover to carry out this potentially game-changing review. This is a fantastic opportunity to shine the spotlight on National Parks and AONBs – which are the leading lights of England’s landscape – and to consider whether there should be new additions to our current network of landscapes designated for their national importance. Next year will be the 70th anniversary of the legislation that led to the creation of National Parks and AONBs, which makes this 21st century review all the more exciting.”


New Clean Air Strategy has been launched by Environment Secretary Michael Gove - Defra

Today (Tuesday 22 May) Environment Secretary Michael Gove has launched an ambitious new clean air strategy to tackle air pollution.

Today the Environment Secretary Michael Gove has published a Clean Air Strategy which aims to cut air pollution and save lives, backed up through new primary legislation.

Air pollution is the fourth biggest threat to public health after cancer, obesity and heart disease and the new government strategy sets out how we will go further and faster than the EU in reducing human exposure to particulate matter pollution. These proposals are in addition to the government’s £3.5 billion plan to reduce air pollution from road transport and diesel vehicles, set out in July last year.

It is estimated that the action set out will reduce the costs of air pollution to society by an estimated £1 billion every year by 2020, rising to £2.5 billion every year from 2030.

The new strategy, which is now out for consultation, is a key part of our 25 Year Plan to leave our environment in a better state than we found it.


77% of Scots want farming to deliver for our environment and climate, poll suggests - Scottish Environment LINK

A poll of 1,000 Scots conducted by Survation on behalf of Scottish Environment LINK reveals overwhelming public support in favour of a farm subsidy system that delivers for the environment.

77% of respondents would like to see farm support be conditional to land managers showing that they are supporting wildlife and are reducing climate impacts.

The poll suggests that people want to see a variety of issues addressed by our farming sector such as reducing the use of pesticides and antibiotics, promoting organic production and increasing animal welfare. To pursue those objectives, farmers also need support to enhance skills and knowledge, sustain the sector in the long-term by supporting young farmers and enabling farmers to supply local shops, markets, schools and hospitals.

This poll confirms public support for Scottish farming as a sector and an appetite to see Scottish farmers thrive while enhancing our environment and landscape.

Commenting on the survey results, Pete Ritchie Leader of LINK’s food and farming subgroup said: “We knew the Scottish public were concerned about the environment, but this poll shows very high levels of cross-party support for a food and farming policy which delivers public goods and a strong local food economy.  The forthcoming Good Food Nation bill offers a great opportunity to refocus public support for farming on delivering public value.” 

Full survey results available here (PDF)


Recovery of nature must be at heart of government’s proposals for the future of food, farming and the environment – The Wildlife Trusts

Call to recognise the value of wild places as government consultation closes

Hare rape seed oil field (c) Chris Gomersall 2020VISIONLast night the government consultation on the future of food, farming and the environment once we leave the EU closed after receiving over 44,000 responses. This is a huge moment for the future of our natural heritage and wildlife – and so The Wildlife Trusts were among those who submitted responses.

Hare rape seed oil field (c) Chris Gomersall 2020VISION

The Wildlife Trusts welcome the consultation document’s suggestion that the public purse should pay farmers and land managers for delivering the benefits that they cannot sell but that society needs. Public money for public goods is vital if we are to restore uplands to hold water and prevent flooding in towns, create new wildflower meadows for pollinators and improve the fortunes of farmland wildlife like barn owls and brown hares.

However, The Wildlife Trusts’ consultation response asked for a more ambitious strategy to arrest decades of wildlife decline and allow natural ecosystems to recover.


CPRE call fracking announcement ‘outright assault on local communities’ - CPRE

CPRE have condemned Thursday's (17/5)  joint announcement from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government which proposes to streamline the process for fracking applications.

These plans pose huge environmental risks to our landscapes and threaten the tranquillity of the countryside. On top of this, the ministerial statement also sets out plans for fracking to be considered as ‘permitted development’ and as Nationally Significant Infrastructure, which would diminish the abilities of communities to influence local proposals.

Daniel Carey-Dawes, Senior Infrastructure Campaigner at the Campaign to Protect Rural England said:

‘This announcement signals an outright assault on local communities’ ability to exercise their democratic rights in influencing fracking applications. It reads like a wish list from the fracking companies themselves. The government may want to provide “sweeteners” for communities affected, but nothing will change the fact that this will be a bitter pill to swallow.

‘Simplifying the shale gas application and exploration process will have disastrous effects for the health and tranquillity of our countryside, landscapes and environment. Our countryside is the breathing space for us all - it must not become an industrial testing ground for a fracking industry that has no environmental, economic or social licence.’

A consultation will be held on fracking being considered as permitted development and as Nationally Significant Infrastructure. CPRE look forward to responding with the aim of protecting the rights of local people and preventing fracking from destroying our beloved countryside. 

Read the Energy Policy: Written statement by Greg Clark ( Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) here. 


Woodland Trust slams HS2 tunnel decision - Woodland Trust

The Woodland Trust has slammed a decision to plough ahead with proposals for two tunnels on Phase 2a of HS2 that will destroy nearly seven hectares of ancient woodland.

Whitmore Wood (Photo: Luci Ryan/WTML)Some 6.7 hectares of irreplaceable habitat will be destroyed as a result of two separate twin-bore tunnels being built between Whitmore and Madeley in Staffordshire, with six hectares lost at Whitmore Wood alone.

Whitmore Wood (Photo: Luci Ryan/WTML)

The conservation charity had instead backed alternative plans for a continuous 6.4km twin-bore tunnel that would eliminate most of this loss, reducing the overall destruction of ancient woodland on Phase 2a by over 60%.

Trust ecologist Luci Ryan said: “This decision has signed the death knell for irreplaceable ancient woodland. How on earth can they have come to this decision at a time when Government is pushing for greater protection of ancient woodland as part of its consultation into the revised National Planning Policy Framework? It beggars belief.  This is the single biggest loss of ancient woodland on the entire route and results in Phase 2a destroying more ancient woodland per kilometre than Phase 1.”


Land and Countryside Management.

Road verges: 20% drop in diversity of wild flowers puts bees at risk as plant 'marauders' take over – Plantlife

  • 'Silent killer' air pollution and poor management have reduced floral richness by nearly 20% on verges
  • Plantlife reveals the 'dirty dozen' plant marauders that are increasingly rampant on road verges
  • Wildlife at risk: Red clover and lady's bedstraw - two particularly wildlife-friendly plants - are experiencing the most rapid decline on verges
  • BUT ALL IS NOT LOST; better management of our road verges could have spectacular results for wild flowers and wildlife, delivering an estimated 400 billion more blooms (or 6,000 flowers per person).

© Trevor DinesA marauding gang of invasive native plants including nettle and bramble are thriving on a diet of ‘junk food’ and taking over our once flower-rich road verges.

© Trevor Dines

Almost 90% of Britain’s wild flowers prefer lower-nutrient soil but they are being crowded out of the countryside as a result of air pollution creating unnaturally rich conditions, particularly on our road verges. Analysing trends since 1990, Plantlife has identified that our road verges are undergoing a dramatic change with plants that enjoy soil rich in nitrogen - much of it deposited from vehicle exhausts - spreading like wildfire including stinging nettle, bramble, rough meadow-grass, cow parsley, Yorkshire fog and creeping buttercup.The boom of these 'nitrogen guzzlers' is crowding out wild flowers that had found a haven on our road verges, including some of our rarest and most threatened species such as fen ragwort and wood calamint which are now clinging on at a handful of verges, their last remaining habitat. Victims of the changing verge include wild flowers like tufted vetch, bugle, tormentil, red clover, lady's bedstraw, white campion and greater knapweed. Air pollution combined with decades of poor management has seen the floral richness of our verges decline by nearly 20%.


Tread softly: new guide for businesses working in important ecosystems - BirdLife International

A new handbook provides businesses with clear guidelines on how to avoid harming habitats when working in highly important areas for nature.

Most businesses want to minimise their impact on the natural world – but it can be hard to know where to start. Luckily, the process has just got a whole lot easier with the release of a new roadmap for companies operating in some of the most biologically significant places on the planet. The report, Guidelines on Business and KBAs: Managing Risk to Biodiversity, was released by the Key Biodiversity Area Partnership*: an alliance of 12 of the world’s leading conservation organisations, including BirdLife International.

The guide, and its accompanying website, lays out 15 simple steps that businesses of any size or sector can adopt in order to leave as small a footprint as possible when working within Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs): sites that are deemed essential for the world’s species richness to continue. These areas may, for instance, contain a particularly staggering diversity of life, or house especially unique or threatened species.

"It is our hope that companies and governments will embed these guidelines into their environmental policies"

Read the, Guidelines on Business and KBAs: Managing Risk to Biodiversity report 


Colliery’s new life for people and nature – Lancashire Wildlife Trust

A former colliery is part of a plan to attract more people to green spaces in Salford.  Ashtons Field, in Little Hulton, has already been transformed from its industrial past to a green area for local people. 

Now those people will be encouraged to make the area more attractive for other visitors including wildlife.

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust and the Land Trust are embarking on a new 10-year partnership to manage a series of green spaces in Salford for the benefit of communities, businesses and nature.

The Wildlife Trust has been appointed as the managing partner by the Land Trust, which owns the land, and will be responsible for the management these areas, including the eight hectare Ashton’s Field.

The former colliery has been transformed over many years to create a vibrant green haven within a predominantly built up urban area. Many local people use the site and it includes a section of the Linnyshaw Loopline, a walking and cycling route between Little Hulton and Walkden. There is a series of locks but no canal! The canal is underground and part of a 52 miles of a subterranean network in the area.

The Wildlife Trust will work with schools and community groups to increase the number of individuals benefitting from Ashtons Field. The Trust will support and engage more local people to play an active role in managing habitats at the site to help improve the wildlife value at the site whilst also bringing people together to gain new skills, ownership and confidence.


Scottish Natural Heritage to transfer land to South Uist community - Scottish Natural Heritage

A proposal from Scottish Natural Heritage for a South Uist community group to establish a new Nature Reserve within an active crofting estate has been approved by the Scottish Government.

Druidibeg (image: Lorne Gill / SNH)Druidibeg (image: Lorne Gill / SNH)

With 1,100 ha of land at Loch Druidibeg, South Uist brought back into community ownership, local group Stòras Uibhist, in partnership with RSPB Scotland, plan for the site to include visitor facilities; habitat, goose and deer management; enhanced drainage and water quality and improved access to the loch.

David Maclennan, Area Manager for Outer Hebrides and Argyll said: “We have been working closely with Stòras Uibhist and RSPB Scotland on this proposal for some time, and we are delighted approval is now in place to proceed with the transfer. As well as creating an opportunity for a new Nature Reserve in South Uist, this transfer is making a significant contribution to meeting the Scottish Government’s target of having 1 million acres of land in community ownership by 2020.”

Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “I would like to congratulate Stòras Uibhist who are one of the first community groups to have a loch transferred into their ownership.

“The transfer provides a unique opportunity for the community trust, working in partnership with RSPB Scotland, to showcase its commitment and vision for the Loch and surrounding area. 


The Proportion of Scotland's Protected Sites in Favourable and recovering Condition 2018 - Scottish Natural Heritage

Scottish Natural Heritage has released the latest figures tracking the proportion of Scottish natural features in favourable or recovering condition.

The main findings show that 79.7% of Scotland’s natural features on protected nature sites are either in or recovering towards a favourable condition. This figure represents a 3.7 percentage point increase since the current protocols were established in 2007, despite a 0.6 percentage point decrease since last year.

The report draws on annual monitoring of the condition natural features carried out by SNH and includes 5,295 natural feature assessments from across Scotland, divided into three categories: habitats (79.3% in favourable condition), species (74.6%) and earth sciences, which includes geographical outcrops and landforms, fossil beds, and caves (97.9%).

Overall, the condition of 72 features has improved to favourable or recovering condition. This demonstrates effective targeted remedial management by SNH, its partners, and private landowners at certain heath, grasslands, and upland feature types, including work to restore upland habitats at Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain. 

Access the full statistical publication here.


Natural England sets out licence charges proposal - CIEEM

Following the consultation earlier this year on charging for licences, Natural England has responded to the consultation and set out their proposed pricing structure.
Mark Lang CEcol CEnv MCIEEM, a member of CIEEM's England Policy Group and Associate Technical Director – Ecology at the consultancy Arcadis, commented: "Arcadis do have some minor concerns regards the proposals from Natural England to charge for protected species licence returns. As a large commercial consultancy the proposed pricing structure seems reasonable and is unlikely to cause us a significant problem, and we welcome the exemptions for volunteers and conservation focused activity, however for smaller ecological consultancies and sole traders the pricing structure may have a more significant impact. However, we recognise that central government funding for Natural England is being squeezed and that the service Natural England has provided in recent years has suffered considerably as a direct consequence of this. If the charging proposals lead to a more streamlined, efficient and pragmatic protected species advice service from Natural England, then that will be to the benefit of ecologists, developers and the industry as a whole and is cautiously welcomed."
Natural England will seek Parliamentary approval for the charging scheme to be introduced as a Statutory Instrument under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 to come into force in October 2018. If approved, charges will be implemented when Natural England is confident that the service standard for licence delivery will be achieved and will be phased accordingly. This is unlikely to be before the beginning of 2019. Natural England will continue to consult with applicant groups and will provide updates through articles in the Wildlife Licensing Newsletter. Natural England will also develop system improvements, for example to enable online payment mechanisms. 

Read the full response from Natural England to the consultation.


Scotland leads the way in international nature targets – Scottish Natural Heritage

On International Biodiversity Day, Scotland is leading the way in progress towards meeting international nature targets.

Positive results in key areas that tackle decline in Scotland’s nature are revealed in the Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) report, ‘Scotland’s Biodiversity Progress to 2020 Aichi Targets’.

Scotland has exceeded nature targets in key areas, including:

Scotland is a world leader in developing the concept of natural capital -  Scotland’s stocks of natural assets which include geology, soil, air, water and all living things - with nature values integrated into Scotland’s mainstream planning, policy and reporting frameworks.

Bringing nearly one-fifth of Scotland’s seas area into the Marine Protected Area network

Restoring some of Scotland’s most threatened habitats, including rivers, and some 10,000 ha of peatlands since 2012

Increasing awareness of the value of nature to two-thirds of the Scottish public

Across the world, countries are dealing with species declining 1000 times faster than expected in normal ecological conditions. In Scotland, the report shows the nation is on track to meet seven of the targets, with a further twelve needing further action to reduce key pressures on nature arising from pollution, land-use change, the spread of invasive species and climate change.


Over 100 MSPs Champion Scottish Biodiversity for 100 Days under the banner of Scottish Environment LINK’s Species Champions Initiative - Scottish Environment LINK

On 5 June, in celebration of World Environment Day, Scottish Environment LINK members are launching their Species Champion 100-day Challenge. For 100 days over 100 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) who have accepted to become a Species Champion will be participating in a series of actions raising awareness about their selected species, encouraging policy changes in support of their species and raising awareness about wider biodiversity concerns in Scotland.

LINK’s award-winning initiative “Species Champions” pairs MSPs with species that are under threat in Scotland. With almost 1 in 10 species in Scotland at risk of extinction, political support for protecting our precious natural environment has never been more critical.

Graeme Dey, MSP for Angus South Constituency and Convener of the Scottish Parliament Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee commented: “Being Species Champion for the Woolly willow has been, and continues to be, an enjoyable learning experience. I am delighted that there are now 100 MSPs committed to championing species. The 100-day challenge will provide a good focal point for this and I look forward to hearing about the actions taken by MSPs to promote their species.”


Dog owners “walk this way” to cleaner green spaces – Keep Britain Tidy

‘Walk this way’ - our innovation trial, with the Dogs Trust charity, saw an impressive 38% cut in dog fouling. And now we want to spread the Image: Keep Britain Tidybenefits – asking councils to nominate their local parks or public spaces to receive the make-over too.

Image: Keep Britain Tidy

Whilst the vast majority of people think dog fouling is the most offensive litter, our research found 13% of dog owners admit to leaving bagged dog poo behind on a walk. The most common reason was a lack of nearby bins (54%), followed by forgetting to collect it on their way back (40%) and bins nearby being too full (26%).

Our pilot saw six popular dog walking routes receive a makeover to feature more bins and clear signage to find them – leading to a 38% decrease in dog fouling over the four week period.

We’ll be making-over a further 18 sites – so we are asking local authorities to nominate your local parks and public spaces to join us. Once we have the 18 new sites, we’ll be working with local authorities to feature signage, maps and colour-coded routes which clearly mark the length of the walk and direct walkers to the nearest bins to dispose of their dogs’ waste along the way.

Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “Contrary to what some people seem to think, there is, in fact, no such thing as the dog poo fairy who will come along and remove their bagged dog poo. The responsibility is on the owner. This approach has led to a marked reduction in the amount of bagged poo littering parks and we’re keen to see if this success can be mirrored in even more sites this year.”


BASC warns of impact on lead restriction - British Association for Shooting and Conservation

BASC has told a European consultation on the use of lead ammunition that too broad a definition of a ‘wetland’ would damage shooting in the UK.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) – an agency of the European Union – this week closed its final public consultation on the use of lead shot over wetlands.

The proposal is to restrict the use of lead over wetlands or where spent shot would land within a wetland. ECHA is also considering a ban on lead shot within 300 metres of a wetland.  BASC believes this 300m ‘buffer’ could make it illegal to use lead over as much as 90 per cent of the UK.

BASC scientific advisor Matt Ellis said: “Whether ECHA committees recommend an explicit 300m buffer around wetlands or not, the wording of the restriction would enact a de facto buffer due to the requirement that lead shot not fall in to wetlands.  To give us an indication of how this may affect the UK, we analysed land and water courses in North Wales and this found that more than 90 per cent of land was within 300m of wetland.  Given the estimate of the land affected in North Wales it is likely that a similar proportion of the total landmass of the UK would be affected, meaning it could be illegal to use lead shot over 90 per cent of the UK. In our submission to the ECHA consultation, we have argued that the unintended consequences of this restriction would have a significant adverse impact on the 600,000 people who shoot in the UK. For example, there are 24,000 clay pigeon shooting providers in the UK, providing 3.9 million gun days to the 400,000 UK shooters that shoot clays at least once a year. Many clay shooting providers are diversified farms, recreational fishing venues or outdoor activity centres and so tend to be surrounded by lakes, ponds and ditches. They would be unfairly caught up in the loose terminology of this restriction.”

John Dryden, chair of BASC’s wildfowling committee, said: “If ECHA’s restriction is imposed, a significant number of people shooting clays and quarry other than waterfowl would be adversely affected."


Your park is award-winning, but what about your people? - Green Flag Awards

Your park is already a winner. But what about your staff and volunteers? Don't they deserve to be celebrated too?

It's the people that really make a place special, and that's why nominations are now open for our Green Flag Award Employee of the Year and Green Flag Award Volunteer of the Year awards.

  • Green Flag Award Employee of the Year

This award is open to nominate employees who have been involved in one of the UK's Green Flag Award winning sites.

  • Green Flag Award Volunteer of the Year

This award category is open to nominate volunteers who have been involved in one of the UK's Green Flag Award winning sites.  To be eligible, the volunteer must be endorsed by the organisation for which they volunteer.

Good luck with your nominations - we look forward to celebrating the amazing things your staff and volunteers are achieving.

Completed nominations to be received by 22 June.




Coul Links hangs in the balance - Scottish Wildlife Trust

Highland Council’s planning officials have recommended the refusal of plans for a golf course at Coul Links, which would threaten a highly protected sand dune system in Sutherland.

Coul Links © Susan DaviesThe Council’s North Planning Committee will meet on Tuesday 5 June to discuss the development.

Coul Links © Susan Davies

Our Chief Executive Jonny Hughes said:  “We welcome the recommendation of Highland Council’s officials to refuse planning permission for this damaging development, and we hope that councillors will follow this advice when they meet next Tuesday.

“Scottish Natural Heritage’s clear objection to the golf course demonstrates that the effect on the SSSI goes beyond the area that would be directly damaged, and that the true scale of this impact is in fact still unknown. It would be extraordinary if councillors approve this development against the advice of their officials, in addition to an overwhelming number of objections from environmental organisations and the general public. If it is approved, we believe the Scottish Government should immediately use its powers to put a stop to this misguided proposal, which frankly should never have got so far.”

Coastal sand dunes like those found at Coul Links are one of the world’s fastest disappearing habitats. Globally they are even rarer than rainforests.


Countryside being lost to housing at an alarming rate, despite increase in brownfield development - Campaign to Protect Rural England

New government data shows that despite promising signs of an increase in brownfield development, greenfield land is still being lost to housing development at an unnecessary rate.

The amount of farmland, forests, gardens and greenfield land lost to housing development each year has increased by 58% over the past 4 years, according to an analysis by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

CPRE’s analysis of an annual report highlighting changes in land use, published by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government on 31 May, shows that the area of ‘non-previously developed land’ lost to housing annually has been steadily rising, from 2,105 hectares of land in 2013, to 3,332 hectares of land in 2017.

This alarming loss of countryside to housing is taking place despite a promising increase in the proportion of housing development taking place on brownfield land. Previously, Government data showed a worrying decrease in the proportion of land developed for housing that was brownfield, which down to 28% in 2016, from 41% in 2013. However, last year’s data shows that the proportion of land used for housing had increased to 44% brownfield, back to levels similar to 2013.

CPRE is calling for the introduction of an explicit policy in the revised National Planning Policy Framework that ensures suitable brownfield sites are developed before greenfield sites are released, and which prevents developers from cherry-picking greenfield sites. More should be done to encourage councils to be proactive in identifying opportunities to provide new homes on brownfield sites and to use Brownfield Registers to bring suitable sites forward for development.

Access the report: Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government - The Land Use Change statistics 2016 to 2017



Cumbria’s trees join botanical bank at Kew Gardens - Cumbria Wildlife Trust

All eyes are on Kew Gardens this weekend as the world’s largest Victorian glasshouse re-opens to the public following a five year refurbishment.

While the famous botanical gardens may seem a long way from Cumbria, some of our local conservationists have just completed an important project with Kew, to help preserve some of the wonderful native trees found across our county. 

Isaac Johnston Conservation Apprentice, gathering elder berries at Sizergh (image: Cumbria Wildlife Trust)Isaac Johnston Conservation Apprentice, gathering elder berries at Sizergh (image: Cumbria Wildlife Trust)

The future of elder, crab apple, wych elm and rowan trees has been assured thanks to a two-year partnership between Cumbria Wildlife Trust and Kew Gardens. As part of the Millennium Seed Bank project, the Trust has provided Kew with thousands of seeds from some of our much-loved indigenous trees, to be used for research and conservation.

Thousands of seeds were collected during the project, between 2015 and 2017, including: elder at Sizergh Farm, raspberries at Lowther Castle’s ‘lost gardens’; wych elm at Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s Smardale Gill Nature Reserve, holly from Brigsteer Woods, blackthorn sloes from Rusland and hawthorn from Blawith, not forgetting rowan from Eskdale.


Forestry on the up says Ewing - Forestry Commission Scotland

With an increase of funding resulting in more woodland creation, buoyant timber prices and a strong demand for wood, Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing says conditions for growth have never been better in the forestry sector.
Mr Ewing increased the Forestry Grants Scheme budget from £40m to £46m and this is enabling the approval of more woodland and tree planting projects.   Added to this, the timber market is currently seeing record prices being paid for timber, which is demonstrating that, from planting to harvesting, forestry is clearly thriving.
Speaking at the Royal Scottish Forestry Society meeting in Inverness today, Mr Ewing said: “Our overall ambition is the continued growth of the industry, increasing the already substantial contribution that forestry makes to Scotland’s economy, environment and people.  Getting the right trees in the right place is at the heart of forestry growth and it is very encouraging to see woodland creation activity on the increase. During 2017, more than 800 Forestry Grant Scheme contracts were awarded, including 300 woodland creation projects. 


The wonderful world of wood pasture and parkland – PTES

Oak with large limb loss Moccas Park (image: PTES)Wood Pasture and and Parkland is one of our most important habitats but it is one we are only beginning to understand. As a part of the Wood Pasture and Parkland Network (WPPN) we have made a series of videos to shine a light on this forgotten habitat.

Oak with large limb loss Moccas Park (image: PTES)

The WPPN, is a new national network of organisations working together to promote the value of wood pasture and parkland habitat. This precious, ancient habitat shaped by generations of people working in harmony with nature is home to many endangered species from bats and birds to deadwood insects and fungi. The WPPN shines a spotlight on this forgotten part of our landscape.  The WPPN has produced a series of five short, accessible and informative videos (funded by The Woodland Trust) to raise awareness of this ecologically rich yet overlooked habitat. The videos introduce the ecological, historical and cultural aspects of wood pasture and parkland, and describe management advice for landowners to help maintain their key features.

Jeremy Dagley, the City of London Corporation’s Head of Conservation at Epping Forest (who also presents the videos) explains: “Wood pasture and parkland habitats combine big old trees and their full spreading crowns with open heaths and grasslands and all other ranges of vegetation in between. Wood pastures are especially rich in ancient and hollowing trees, each of which provides its own wealth of micro-habitats for hundreds of species. Many of these species are entirely dependent on these trees and the more open conditions in which they grow. Trees grow an entirely different shape and structure if they have grown in the open, rather than in dense woodland. This structure makes them better at supporting wildlife and often means that they live a lot longer. These trees often with the help of people harvesting their wood can live out their full life potential. This, in turn, means they provide more of the rare habitat of natural wood decay. The last stages of this decay process are now so uncommon that many of the species that rely on it are at risk of extinction.”


Campaign branches out to protect UK's mighty oaks - Defra

Action Oak contributes to the Government’s 25-year Environment Plan by helping to protect the country's 121 million precious oak trees for future generations

A major new campaign to protect the UK’s mighty oak trees from threats including pests and diseases has been officially launched at the 2018 Chelsea Flower Show by Lord Gardiner, Defra’s Biosecurity Minister.

The Action Oak Partnership - made up of charities, environmental organisations and landowners – is seeking to raise £15 million for research and monitoring to help safeguard the 121 million oaks in UK woodlands.

Work will include capturing the first detailed picture of the current health of oaks trees, helping to gain a greater understanding of how to preserve their iconic position in our landscape for generations to come.

The campaign contributes to the Government’s 25-year Environment Plan, which was launched by the Prime Minister in January, by helping to strengthen biosecurity and build resilience to protect oaks for future generations. It also builds on the £37 million the Government is already investing in tree and plant health research.


National Assembly for Wales Climate Change Report supports planting trees - Confor

Concern about the severe lack of new woodland creation in Wales and under-ambitious tree-planting targets are central messages in a new report from the National Assembly for Wales on Climate Change.

The wide-ranging report by the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee (CCERA) examines Welsh Government (WG) progress towards climate change mitigation. It looks at many sectors - including energy generation, EU Emissions Trading Scheme, land management, transport and housing – noting  the progress in each area and suggesting future action WG can take.

One key message was concern about the severe lack of new woodland creation in Wales. The report said it was “extremely unlikely the Welsh Government will meet its target of 100,000 hectares (ha) of new woodland creation for 2010-2030 without a fundamental change in approach”. It also said: “Although the Welsh Government remains committed to reaching its planting target, there is no evidence that would suggest that the target is achievable or realistic, based on current performance”.

The report also says the new planting aspiration of 2,000ha per year is insufficient. Read the full report here 



Titchmarsh: “Make a metre for pollinators” – Butterfly Conservation

Alan Titchmarsh is calling on gardeners to make a metre for wildlife this summer by providing a refuge for struggling butterflies, moths and other pollinators.

Butterfly Conservation’s (BC) Vice-president and celebrity gardener Alan, is launching the charity’s ‘Plots for Pollinators’ campaign.

The project encourages people to set aside one square metre of their garden or outdoor space to plant a nectar-rich flowerbed, or a colourful container garden.

Alan said: “The future of our butterflies, moths and other pollinating insects is under threat, as the places where they live are disappearing. The cold start to spring may affect how some butterflies fare this year, as they could experience a delayed emergence, meaning they’ll have less time to feed and breed - but you can help by creating some ‘plots for pollinators’. There are so many different flowers that are great nectar sources, like Catmint, Cosmos or Calendula. See if you can find just one square metre and you could attract lots of butterflies this spring and summer, like my favourite, the Red Admiral. It doesn’t have to be on the lawn either – you could create a vertical garden on a bit of unused wall or fence and this would make a huge difference for pollinators.”

Pollinating insects are important for the fertilisation of many crops, as well as other plants, trees and wild flowers.

Gardens can act as important refuges for pollinators, which are increasingly under threat from habitat loss, agricultural intensification and climate change.

Previously widespread species, such as the Small Tortoiseshell and Garden Tiger moth, have seen their numbers plummet in recent years.


Pollution, Recycling and Sustainability.

Government launches microplastics research to protect oceans - defra

The Government has pledged £200,000 to the University of Plymouth to research how sources of microplastics enter the UK's oceans. A new research project analysing the impact of tyres and clothing on the marine environment has been launched today by the Government.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey has pledged £200,000 for scientists at the University of Plymouth to explore how tiny plastic particles from tyres, synthetic materials like polyester, and fishing gear – such as nets, ropes and lines – enter our waterways and oceans, and the impact they have on marine life.

Following the government’s ban on microbeads, which is one of the toughest in the world, this comprehensive research will be used to improve our scientific understanding of how microplastics from other sources enter the oceans – whether through fibres released into waste water during a washing cycle, or car tyre friction on roads creating a dust of particles that make their way into the seas through sewers. The 11 month project will build on the research already underway – with some scientists estimating tyres contribute 270,000 tonnes of plastics per year while a single wash load of acrylic clothing could release over 700,000 microfibres into the ocean. This project will build on the substantial research already underway on marine plastic pollution and the impact of human activities on the marine environment. It will be used to guide future policy priorities as the Government continues in its fight against the scourge of plastics.


Single-use plastics: New EU rules to reduce marine litter – European Commission

With the amount of harmful plastic litter in oceans and seas growing ever greater, the European Commission is proposing new EU-wide rules to target the 10 single-use plastic products most often found on Europe's beaches and seas, as well as lost and abandoned fishing gear.

Together these constitute 70% of all marine litter items. The new rules are proportionate and tailored to get the best results. This means different measures will be applied to different products. Where alternatives are readily available and affordable, single-use plastic products will be banned from the market. For products without straight-forward alternatives, the focus is on limiting their use through a national reduction in consumption; design and labelling requirements and waste management/clean-up obligations for producers. Together, the new rules will put Europe ahead of the curve on an issue with global implications.

First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, responsible for sustainable development said: "This Commission promised to be big on the big issues and leave the rest to Member States. Plastic waste is undeniably a big issue and Europeans need to act together to tackle this problem, because plastic waste ends up in our air, our soil, our oceans, and in our food. Today's proposals will reduce single use plastics on our supermarket shelves through a range of measures. We will ban some of these items, and substitute them with cleaner alternatives so people can still use their favourite products."

Across the world, plastics make up 85% of marine litter. And plastics are even reaching people's lungs and dinner tables, with micro-plastics in the air, water and food having an unknown impact on their health. Tackling the plastics problem is a must and it can bring new opportunities for innovation, competitiveness and job creation.


Wales to become first ‘Refill Nation’ in the World - Welsh Government

The Environment Minister Hannah Blythyn has announced plans to consolidate Wales’s place as the leading UK nation for recycling and reducing waste, as well as her ambition for Wales to be the World’s first ‘Refill Nation.’ 

To become the UK’s first ‘Refill Nation’, work will get underway to improve access to drinking water in public places across Wales. The Welsh Government will work with City to Sea on developing the Refill campaign for Wales, as well as working closely with water companies  in Wales and more widely with our businesses, charities and major events. The work will also include a behavioural change campaign to help people see the value of water and make tap water their first choice for hydration. 

The Minister will also announce an additional £15 million of capital funding to further improve Local Authority recycling collection systems and infrastructure, including for plastics.

Speaking at the Senedd today, Hannah Blythyn will announce the key findings of the research on Extended Producer Responsibility which focused on reducing and recycling waste and reducing litter from six types of food and drink packaging.

Responding to the report, the Minister confirmed that the Welsh Government will work with Defra and other devolved administrations  The Minister said: “Wales is a world leader in recycling. We are the best in the UK, second in Europe and third in the world. I am keen to build on this success.  I’m pleased to announce a range of measures to further boost recycling and reduce waste, including £15m for Local Authorities to improve their recycling rates across Wales. I also want Wales to become the World’s first ‘Refill Nation’, making tap water easily accessible across the whole of Wales. "  


Fight against throwaway culture - Scottish Government

Experts from retail, the waste and chemical industries, the public sector and academia have joined a Scottish Government panel tackling plastic pollution.

The government has also appointed current Electoral Commissioner Dame Sue Bruce as chair of the Expert Panel on Environmental Charges and Other Measures, a group that will provide advice on dealing with disposable cups and plastic straws.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Scotland has demonstrated leadership in tackling plastic pollution. We were the first country in the UK to commit to introducing a deposit return scheme and we are currently consulting on proposals to ban the manufacture and sale of plastic-stemmed cotton buds, one of the items most commonly found on our beaches.  But I want to go further, and the creation of our expert panel  is an important step towards seriously addressing this issue in Scotland. The panel’s expertise and skills from across waste, legal, retail and public sectors as well providing a voice for young people and disabled people, will help us identify the bold actions we can take in Scotland to encourage long-term, sustainable changes in consumer and producer behaviour.”


Environment Agency calls for action on water efficiency - Environment Agency

Rivers and wildlife could be left without sufficient water unless action is taken to reduce water use and wastage, according to an Environment Agency report published today.

The first major report on water resources in England states that climate change and demand from a growing population are the biggest pressures on the availability of water. Without action to increase supply, reduce demand and cut down on wastage, many areas in England could see significant supply deficits by 2050 – particularly in the south east.

The State of the Environment: Water Resources report highlights unsustainable levels of water abstraction, leakage from water companies – currently estimated at 3 billion litres per day – and demand from industry and the public as three of the issues to tackle in order to protect the water environment.

Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency said: “We need to change our attitudes to water use. It is the most fundamental thing needed to ensure a healthy environment but we are taking too much of it and have to work together to manage this precious resource. Industry must innovate and change behaviours in order to reduce demand and cut down on wastage – and we all have a duty to use water more wisely at home. With demand on the rise, water companies must invest more in infrastructure to address leakage instead of relying on abstraction and the natural environment to make up this shortfall”.

The report shows that current levels of water abstraction are unsustainable in more than a quarter of groundwaters and one fifth of rivers, leading to reduced flows which could damage local ecology and wildlife.


Supermarkets challenged to act faster on plastic, as new survey launches to rank their efforts - Greenpeace

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Greenpeace UK are conducting a survey of major UK grocery retailers, their use of single-use plastic packaging and their targets to reduce it. The results, due in the autumn, are expected to reveal the volume of single-use plastic packaging each retailer puts onto the market every year, their targets to reduce plastic packaging, and their approach to tackling plastic pollution across their supply chains.

The detailed survey, which is believed to be the largest ever survey of UK grocery retailers and plastic, has been sent to the 11 largest supermarkets by market share and grocery retailers with more than 1000 stores across the UK. The results will provide a benchmark for current commitments and actions on curbing plastic pollution.

As well as collecting data about volumes of plastic and reduction targets, the survey intends to look at how retailers are planning to meet their targets, and to reveal some of the challenges faced by retailers and solutions that are being developed. The results will also highlight where further innovation is needed.  

Sarah Baulch, Senior Ocean Campaigner, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), said: “Single use plastics and packaging are a major contributor to the plastic pollution that is having a devastating impact on our oceans. Retailers need to take a lead in reducing the amount that they’re putting into the market. Our survey will highlight those supermarkets who are demonstrating leadership by reducing their plastic footprint and conversely those who are lagging behind.”


Commitment to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions – Scottish Government

New legislation set to be ‘toughest in the world’. 

Scotland will become one of the first countries to achieve a 100% reduction in carbon emissions, Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham has said.

The new Climate Change Bill will immediately set a target of a 90% reduction by 2050, which the UK Committee on Climate Change (UK CCC) states is currently “at the limit of feasibility.” The draft Bill sets out that the Scottish Government intends to go further still and achieve a 100% reduction in emissions, known as ‘net-zero’, as soon as possible.

Ministers will be legally required to keep the net-zero target date under review by seeking expert advice on the issue every five years. The target date will become legally-binding, subject to the consent of the Scottish Parliament, as soon as there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate the date is credible and achievable.

As well as increasing long term ambition, the new Bill also includes the most ambitious interim targets in the world, as well as stretching annual targets for every year between now and 2050.  This means action will need to increase immediately, across every sector of the Scottish economy. It will also require action by individuals, communities and businesses – as well as government.


New report offers global outlook on efforts to beat plastic pollution – World Environment Day

  • A new report by UN Environment examines the state of plastic pollution in 2018.
  • The report offers the first comprehensive global assessment of government action against plastic pollution.
  • The analysis features best practices and lessons learned from cases studies on single-use bans, levies and other forms of government intervention.
  • UN experts suggest a ten-step roadmap for policymakers.

Released on 5 June, a new report from UN Environment finds a surging momentum in global efforts to address plastic pollution. The first-of-its-kind accounting finds governments are increasing the pace of implementation and the scope of action to curb the use of single-use plastics.

In what is framed as the first comprehensive review of ‘state of plastics’, UN Environment has assembled experiences and assessments of the various measures and regulations to beat plastic pollution in a report: “Single-use Plastics: A roadmap for Sustainability.”

This global outlook, developed in cooperation with the Indian Government and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, presents case studies from more than 60 countries. The report analyzes the complex relationships in our plastics economy and offers an approach to rethink how the world produces, uses and manages single-use plastics.

Among the recommendations are specific actions policy makers can take to improve waste management, promote eco-friendly alternatives, educate consumers, enable voluntary reduction strategies and successfully implement bans or levies on the use and sale of single-use plastics. The report was launched in New Delhi today by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Head of UN Environment Erik Solheim on the occasion of World Environment Day.

“The assessment shows that action can be painless and profitable – with huge gains for people and the planet that help avert the costly downstream costs of pollution,” said Erik Solheim Head of UN Environment, in the report’s foreword. “Plastic isn’t the problem. It’s what we do with it.”


Scientific Research, Results and Publications.

The 'value' of biodiversity - Newcastle University

Why conservation policies which value species based on their ‘usefulness’ are putting birds like the humble crow at risk.

Putting policies in place that are designed to protect biodiversity but are based on only one key species ‘value’ could inadvertently put some of our best loved wildlife in jeopardy, new research has shown.

The study, published today (3 May) in Scientific Reports, highlights the consequences of focussing on key specific conservation triggers such as the rarity of a species or its financial impact – for example the amount of weed seeds (which impact on crops) eaten by birds – without also looking at the wider, cultural value of a species and its importance to society.

Led by an international team of experts from Newcastle University, UK, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the British Trust for Ornithology, the research categorised UK farmland birds according to three core values –  conservation priority value (measured in two ways by rarity and population decline magnitude), economic value (consumers of weed-seeds) and cultural value, measured through poetry.

They found that each ‘value’ prioritised different subsets of species and taking any one in isolation could potentially underestimate the importance of a species.

Skewed picture Senior author Mark Whittingham, Professor of Applied Ecology at Newcastle University, explained: “Considering one value in isolation gives you a very skewed picture of what’s important and what isn’t. Birds such as the chaffinch might consume large numbers of weed seeds which helps farmers, but they aren’t rare and compared to other species they barely feature in poetry. Conversely, the crow isn’t rare and isn’t particularly useful for eating weed seeds but we found it features frequently in poems down the ages which suggests it is intrinsically linked with society and culture. The question is how you put a ‘value’ on this.”

Read the study (pdf)


Unified habitat classification system is launched – Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

A new unified and comprehensive classification coding system for all terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats in the UK has been published.

The UKHab system will be useful for those carrying out surveys (CEH)The UKHab system will be useful for those carrying out surveys (CEH)

UKHab, which is free to use, has been published by the UK Habitat Classification Working Group, which includes Dr Lisa Norton of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH).

Thanks to its flexibility and simplicity, the scientists behind the project expect it to rapidly become the standard habitat classification used by professional ecologists across the UK.

A major benefit of widespread adoption of a single system is the potential to combine new field data with existing regional and national habitat datasets managed by organisations such as CEH, National Parks, local authorities and other statutory agencies. UKHab can be used either for collecting field data on handheld GIS-enabled devices or using paper maps.

One of UKHab’s key strengths is the combination of a primary habitat hierarchy and secondary codes, integrating all major classifications in use in the UK and Europe. A series of letters and numbers make up the complete code for each habitat.

The system is the culmination of nearly five years work of development, testing and revision.


Climate-threatened animals unable to relocate – University of Exeter

Many of the European mammals whose habitat is being destroyed by climate change are not able to find new places to live elsewhere.

30 of the 62 mammal species in the University of Exeter study will have their habitat substantially affected by climate change, but don’t have the traits that could allow them to colonise a new habitat somewhere else in Europe.

These included at-risk species such as the wolverine (classified as “vulnerable”in Europe), and others not classified as under threat, such as the Eurasian elk, the Iberian wild goat and the Pyrenean chamois.

Most current assessments do not take account of climate change and species’ ability to react, and the researchers say this means many species may be at greater risk than their official status shows.

“Some species that will need to move long distances due to climate change are simply not going to be able to,” said senior author Dr Regan Early, of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation on Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall.

“Unfortunately, many of the species most at risk from climate change are also will have the most difficulty in colonising new areas.”

The researchers studied two sets of characteristics to see how well each species could relocate to the places where climate will be suitable in the future.

One important characteristic is whether the animals are “generalists” that can live in many kinds of habitats and eat a wide variety foods.

The other important characteristic was the animal’s reproductive strategy – species that breed young and have many offspring have a better chance of establishing themselves in a new area.

However, the complexities of climate change mean that some species – even those that could move relatively long distances – will struggle to move because possible new habitats are just too far from current ones.

Access the paper: Lisbeth Morrison  Alba Estrada  Regan Early Species traits suggest European mammals facing the greatest climate change are also least able to colonize new locations

Diversity and Distributions https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12769


Managed hunting can help maintain animal populations – University of Cambridge

Researchers studying the hunting of ibex in Switzerland over the past 40 years have shown how hunts, when tightly monitored, can help Alpine ibex Credit: Reto Barblan, Bergünmaintain animal populations at optimal levels. 

Alpine ibex Credit: Reto Barblan, Bergün

The international team of researchers, led by the University of Cambridge and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), studied the hunt of Alpine ibex – a type of wild goat with long, curved horns – in the eastern Swiss canton of Graubünden by examining the horn size of more than 8,000 ibex harvested between 1978 and 2013, to determine whether average horn growth or body weight had changed over the last 40 years.

Their results, published in the Journal of Animal Ecology, reveal that unsurprisingly, ibex with longer-than-average horns are more likely to be shot than animals of the same age with shorter horns. However, due to tight controls placed on the hunt by the Swiss authorities, hunters tend to shoot as few animals as possible, to avoid violating the rules and incurring large fines.

Hunting for specific traits can place selective pressure on certain species, resulting in a negative evolutionary response. In their study, the researchers investigated whether the targeting of ibex with large horns would lead to a lower average horn size across the entire population.

They found that while even tightly-managed hunts cannot prevent hunters from targeting longer-horned animals, no long-term changes were found in the horn length of male ibex in Graubünden, which is most likely related to the fact that the numbers of ibex removed from the population by hunters is too small to have an evolutionary effect.


Securing the natural environment for future generations – British Ecological Society

The British Ecological Society and the UK’s statutory nature conservation agencies are holding a conference at Manchester Metropolitan University this week, bringing together policy officials, practitioners, natural and social scientists from across the UK and internationally to set a new direction of travel for nature conservation in the UK.

Climate change, population growth, increasing land use and competition for resources all impact heavily on nature and wildlife. The changing political landscape in the UK, which is in part driven by Brexit, creates additional uncertainties and opportunities.
Where does nature conservation sit in relation to these changes? Who is nature conservation for and what should be our policy and delivery priorities?

Along with a host of invited speakers, delegates will be presenting their conservation and biodiversity research and taking part in debate sessions to address these challenges.


In a New Biomass Census, Trees Rule the Planet – Weizmann Institute of Science

The study reveals, among other things, our impact on the Earth’s biosphere

(l-r) Yinon Bar-On and Prof. Ron Milo compiled a biomass distribution for all life on Earth(l-r) Yinon Bar-On and Prof. Ron Milo compiled a biomass distribution for all life on Earth

What are the most abundant animals on Earth? How do plants stack up against fungi, animals or bacteria? How does the mass of life in the oceans compare to that on land? A new type of global census based on the total biomass of different life forms on Earth suggests that much of what we think we know about such questions is based on outdated research, incomplete estimates or simply unfounded anecdotes. In addition to providing answers to such questions, the biomass census can help researchers address larger issues, for example, about the way that carbon cycles through the environment. This study was conducted at the Weizmann Institute of Science and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Yinon Bar-On, a research student in the group of Prof. Ron Milo of the Weizmann Institute’s Plant and Environmental Sciences Department began this study with a different research project for which he wanted to compare certain proteins in various organisms and their overall influence on the biosphere. So he went to the existing literature, but the figures he needed were lacking.


World’s biggest fisheries supported by seagrass meadows – Swansea University

Scientific research, led by Dr Richard Unsworth at Swansea University, has provided the first quantitative global evidence of the significant role that seagrass meadows play in supporting world fisheries productivity.

The study provides evidence that a fifth of the World’s biggest fisheries, such as Atlantic Cod and Walleye Pollock are reliant on healthy seagrass meadows. The study also demonstrates the prevalence of seagrass associated fishing globally.

image: Swansea UniversityThe study, carried out in partnership with Dr Leanne Cullen-Unsworth at Cardiff University and Dr Lina Mtwana Nordlund at Stockholm University, demonstrates for the first time that seagrasses should be recognised and managed to maintain and maximise their role in global fisheries production.

image: Swansea University

Dr Cullen-Unsworth said: “The chasm that exists between coastal habitat conservation and fisheries management needs to be filled to maximise the chances of seagrass meadows supporting fisheries, so that they can continue to support human wellbeing”.

Seagrasses are marine flowering plants that form extensive meadows in shallow seas on all continents except Antarctica. The distribution of seagrass, from the intertidal to about 60m depth in clear waters, makes seagrass meadows an easily exploitable fishing habitat.

Dr Richard Unsworth from Swansea University’s Biosciences department said: “Seagrass meadows support global fisheries productivity by providing nursery habitat for commercial fish stocks such as tiger prawns, conch, Atlantic cod and white spotted spinefoot”.


City Nature Challenge – the results are in! - National Biodiversity Network

Bristol and Bath win best in Europe in the first global City Nature Challenge.

Between 27-30 April 2018 Bristol and Bath competed with 65 cities on five continents to show the world how amazing its region is for people and nature. Together they embarked on an epic contest: to discover and record as much wildlife as possible over 4 days. Observations counted towards local, national and international efforts to learn about and protect the regions’ amazing wildlife.

The data collected has a great impact locally, helping local authorities, land managers and nature reserves make informed decisions about looking after the regions’ wildlife and green spaces. On a national and international level, the data contributes to massive open and shared datasets that allow researchers and conservationists to monitor species distributions in a changing world.

The Bristol and Bath effort was coordinated by the Natural History Consortium which runs the annual Festival of Nature and BioBlitz activities in the region. Chief Executive Savita Willmott said: “Huge thanks to everyone who got involved and sent in their observations. It’s a great reflection of the West of England as a real centre for wildlife lovers!

City Nature Challenge in Numbers

65 Cities | 5 Continents | 4 Days | 1 Mission: To record as much wildlife as possible!

Bristol & Bath City Region: >9500 Observations | >1000 Species | >300 Observers | >35 events

We identified: 631 Plant species | 93 Fungi species | 78 Bird species | 37 Mollusc species | 33 Mammal species | 22 Arachnid species | 5 Amphibian species

#1 in Europe: with more than 3 times the observations of our local rivals in London

#13 in the World: Of the cities covering an area less than 1000km2, only New York City made more observations 

View all the wildlife observations made on the city nature challenge website. 


You talking to me? Scientists try to unravel the mystery of ‘animal conversations’ - University of York

African elephants like to rumble, naked mole rats trade soft chirps, while fireflies alternate flashes in courtship dialogues. Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of ‘animal conversations’.

(image: University of York)An international team of academics undertook a large-scale review of research into turn-taking behaviour in animal communication, analysing hundreds of animal studies.

(image: University of York)

Turn-taking, the orderly exchange of communicative signals, is a hallmark of human conversation and has been shown to be largely universal across human cultures.

The review, a collaboration between the Universities of York and Sheffield, the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, and the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands, reveals that this most human of abilities is actually remarkably widespread across the animal kingdom.

While research on turn-taking behavior is abundant, beginning more than 50 years ago with studies of the vocal interactions of birds, the literature is currently fragmented, making rigorous cross-species comparisons impossible.

Researchers who study turn-taking behaviors in songbirds, for example, speak of “duets” whereas those who study some species of monkeys note their “antiphonal calls”.

One of the most noteworthy aspects of turn-taking behavior across all species, humans included, is its fine timing.

In some species of songbird, for example, the latency between notes produced by two different birds is less than 50 milliseconds. 



Call for public to help wildlife conservation by monitoring mammals with new app - Mammal Society

The Mammal Society, the only organisation dedicated to the study and conservation of all mammals in Britain and Ireland, launched its new Mammal Mapper app today (15/5).

Rabbit (image: Mammal Society)The charity wants members of the public to help record when and where they see mammals.

Most wild mammals, including rabbits and iconic species like hedgehogs and mountain hares, are very poorly monitored. This makes it difficult to know which regions or habitats are most important, or to detect changes in their population sizes.

The Mammal Mapper app is designed to record information on the location and number of animals spotted on walks or bicycle rides. 

Rabbit (image: Mammal Society)

Fiona Mathews, Chair of the Mammal Society and Professor of Environmental Biology at Sussex University explains “What we need people to do is to go on a walk or bike-ride (an evening outing of about 45 minutes is ideal) and record the mammals they see. By recording the route taken, the App will let us work out the densities of animals in different habitats. This is a unique feature of the Mammal Mapper app and will be hugely valuable for conservation. Previously we had no way of working out whether a sighting was submitted because an animal was common, or because people were excited to see it because it was rare. It was also difficult to pin down the precise habitat where the mammal was seen. New technology means that this is all now really easy on a smart-phone.”.

The app is free to download and available on android and iOS in app stores now. For more information and download from the Mammal Society website go to http://www.mammal.org.uk/volunteering/mammal-mapper/.

Our Surveys and Fieldwork section is a directory of surveys needing records and recorders, see what else you may be able to help with by browsing the directory here.  Organisations can add details free of charge, click here to submit your listing.


Farmers instrumental to the recovery of bats? - Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust  

Environmental measures farmers are putting in place for birds and bees could be aiding a popular farmland creature, a new study has revealed.

Over the past 12 months, scientists at the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) have been studying bats across Dorset and Hampshire to understand how farming practices affect them. 

Research assistant Belinda Bown setting Sticky Traps (image: GWCT)Research assistant Belinda Bown setting Sticky Traps (image: GWCT)

AgriBats - a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund - has shown that providing agri-environment scheme (AES) habitats, such as wild bird seed plots or pollen and nectar plots, can benefit a range of foraging bat species.

All 18 species of bat found in Britain feed on insects such a midges, beetles and moths so AES habitats that support a wealth of insects should, in turn, help our bat populations.

Over the study more than 10,000 bat recordings were taken on 15 farms.

Recordings included several uncommon species such as barbastelles, Nathusis’ pipistrelles, lesser horseshoe and greater horseshoe bats.  Additionally, over 90,000 insects were identified from the same habitats, to understand why bats might be attracted to specific AES.

During the 20th century several European bat species experienced declines due to a combination of factors including loss of roost and feeding sites. Bat roosts in Britain are protected under legislation, but feeding sites are not, making them susceptible to land use change. As over 25% of land in Britain is arable farmland, GWCT were keen to understand how the impacts of agriculture on potential bat feeding sites can be reduced.


Beavers' do dam good work cleaning water, research reveals – Devon Wildlife Trust

Beavers could help clean up polluted rivers and stem the loss of valuable soils from farms, new research shows.

Beavers have been shown to reduce pollution entering water supplies. Photo, Michael SymesThe study, undertaken by scientists at the University of Exeter using a captive beaver trial run by the Devon Wildlife Trust, has demonstrated the significant impact the animals have had on reducing the flow of tonnes of soil and nutrients from nearby fields into a local river system.

The research, led by hydrologist Professor Richard Brazier, found that the work of a single family of beavers had removed high levels of sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus from the water that flowed through their 2.5 hectare enclosure.

Beavers have been shown to reduce pollution entering water supplies. Photo, Michael Symes

All the work of one family: The family of beavers, which have lived in fenced site at a secret location in West Devon since 2011, have built 13 dams, slowing the flow of water and creating a series of deep ponds along the course of what was once a small stream.

Researchers measured the amount of sediment suspended, phosphorus and nitrogen in water running into the site and then compared this to water as it ran out of the site having passed through the beavers’ ponds and dams. They also measured the amount of sediment, phosphorus and nitrogen trapped by the dams in each of the ponds.

Their results showed the dams had trapped more than 100 tonnes of sediment, 70% of which was soil, which had eroded from ‘intensively managed grassland’ fields upstream. Further investigation revealed that this sediment contained high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus, which are nutrients known to create problems for the wildlife in rivers and streams and which also need to be removed from human water supplies to meet drinking-quality standards.

Access the report: You can read the full research report ‘Sediment and Nutrient Storage in a Beaver Engineered Wetland’ is published in the academic journal, Earth Processes and Landforms. 


Are water voles at risk from development? WildCRU research questions efficacy of mitigation technique - WildCRU

The water vole, immortalised as ‘Ratty’ in Kenneth Grahams’ Wind in the Willows was formerly a common sight on waterways throughout mainland Britain. However, catastrophic declines due to predation from invasive American mink combined with habitat loss and fragmentation have resulted in the water vole now being considered one of Britain’s most endangered wild mammals. As such, water voles and their burrows are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. Development works affecting the bankside create an additional pressure on remaining populations. 

(image: © Andrew Harrington)Natural England created a licence to permit intentional disturbance of water voles with the idea of giving the voles a chance to move to safety before developers set to work. The procedure involved removing riverside vegetation, encouraging the voles to relocate, and then to destroy their burrows when they were safely out of harm’s way to prevent the animals’ return once works had commenced.  Such activities, intended to conserve the water voles while enabling approved development, are licensed between mid-February and mid-April and must not exceed 50m of bankside length.

(image: © Andrew Harrington)

The WildCRU study found that the voles had other ideas. Radio-tracking water voles subjected to this procedure found that they often steadfastly stayed put. These findings published today in Conservation Evidence revealed no overall movement of water voles out of areas where displacement works had occurred. On the contrary, many voles remained faithful to their burrows.  The guidelines had always insisted that destruction of burrows should be undertaken cautiously, and only during spring, in the hope of saving the lives of any water voles remaining. However, that was in the expectation that at most only a few bankside denizens would stubbornly refuse to shift. Now it seems the majority stand firm, shifting the balance of risks. 

Read the Paper: Gelling M., Harrington A.L., Dean M., Haddy E.C., Marshall C.E. & Macdonald D.W. (2018) The effect of using ‘displacement’ to encourage the movement of water voles Arvicola amphibius in lowland England. Conservation Evidence, 15, 20-25 



Waterbird survey celebrates platinum anniversary - BTO

The BTO/RSPB/JNCC Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS), one of the longest running citizen science surveys in the world, is celebrating its 70th anniversary. As World Migratory Bird Day nears on Saturday 12th May, the latest WeBS report, Waterbirds in the UK 2016/17, has been released, reporting on 110 waterbird populations. The UK is of international importance for millions of migratory waterbirds which spend the winter here or pass through on their way to their breeding grounds in the north and east.
Beginning as the National Wildfowl Counts in the winter of 1947/48, in response to apparent declines in the numbers of ducks and geese, seventy years later the scheme has expanded to include all wintering waterbirds, counted every month by 3,000 volunteers around the UK.
Habitat creation or climate change has helped species such as Little Egret, Avocet and Bittern increase. Introduced species, Canada Goose, Mandarin Duck and Egyptian Goose, are also all becoming more common with increases over the last 10 years of 12%, 43% and 128% respectively.
However, many species of wader that feed in the UK’s estuaries in winter are declining. Ringed Plover are wintering in just half the numbers that used to spend the winter here 25 years ago. Wintering Curlew are down by 21%; this is a species for which other surveys have detected worrying breeding declines. There is more of a mixed picture for duck species that use inland waterbodies - over the past quarter century Teal have increased by 40% and Shoveler by 80%, but Mallard has decreased by 38% and Pochard by 69%.


Are you seeing Bullfinches in your garden? – BTO

Records from approximately 11,000 BTO Garden BirdWatchers indicate that Bullfinches are being seen in more gardens than ever this year! Bullfinches were seen by 19% of Garden BirdWatchers in April 2018, which is almost double the average (1995-2017) for this month. These figures follow on from a record high last winter, after a successful breeding season. Our Annual Results for 2017 show a 16% increase in the percentage of gardens reporting them compared to 2016. 

Access the report: See the full Garden BirdWatch Annual Results.


Understanding the role of large raptors in modified ecosystems - British Ornithologists Union blog  By Julien Terraube, University of Helsinki, Finland

A need for further research on the influence of large raptors on other predator species and their cascading effects at the ecosystem level

Linked paper: Top-down limitation of mesopredators by avian top predators: a call for research on cascading effects at the community and ecosystem scale. Terraube, J. & Bretagnolle, V. 2018. IBIS. DOI: 10.1111/ibi.12581


New study finds parasites affect flight ability of wild seabirds – University of Liverpool

Image credit: Joe TurnerA study led by the University of Liverpool and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) has found that parasites affect flight ability of wild seabirds, which may make it harder for them to raise chicks.

Image credit: Joe Turner

The researchers studied a population of European shags on the Isle of May National Nature Reserve, Scotland and measured how parasites affect energy levels and behaviour of individual birds, something which hasn’t been done before in a wild population.

They used an endoscope to count individual worms in the birds’ stomachs and miniaturised electronic tags recorded the movement and energy of the birds.

They then calculated the total energy used on each day, and the energy used for flying, diving and resting.

Researchers found that the total energy used per day did not depend on the amount of parasites, but females with higher levels of parasites had more costly flight and spent less time flying each day, presumably to avoid using too much energy.

Access the paper: Olivia Hicks, Sarah J. Burthe, Francis Daunt, Mark Newell, Adam Butler, Motohiro Ito, Katsufumi Sato, Jonathan A. Green The energetic cost of parasitism in a wild population Proc. R. Soc. B DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2018.0489. 


GPS tracking reveals secrets of gannets’ foraging success - University of Leeds

Long-lived seabird species, such as gannets, take several years to learn where the best feeding grounds are and how to recognize them, new research has revealed.

(image: University of Leeds)Mini GPS trackers, attached to the birds by ecologists at the University of Leeds and University of St Andrews, have uncovered key differences in how able birds of different ages are to target the best feeding zones.

(image: University of Leeds)

The research, published in the Royal Society journal Interface discovered that, while adult birds repeatedly targeted specific areas associated with oceanographic fronts, immature gannets ranged more widely and exhibited a limited response to these frontal areas.

Professor Keith Hamer, from the School of Biology at the University of Leeds, said: “The results of our study provide crucial information on how seabirds efficiently locate and exploit patchy food resources vital to their survival and long-term fitness. The time taken for individuals to learn how to recognize good foraging sites and where they’re likely to occur probably goes a long way to explaining why seabirds and other long-lived predators don’t start breeding until they are several years old. Differences in the foraging ranges of adults and immature birds may also mean they face different levels of risk at sea, for instance from collision with offshore wind turbines, which we’re now investigating further.”

Access the paper: W. James Grecian, Jude V. Lane, Théo Michelot, Helen M. Wade, Keith C. Hamer Understanding the ontogeny of foraging behaviour: insights from combining marine predator bio-logging with satellite-derived oceanography in hidden Markov models J. R. Soc. Interface 2018 15 20180084; DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2018.0084.



Genetic clues reveal origins of killer fungus behind the ‘amphibian plague’  - ZSL

A deadly fungus responsible for the devastation of amphibian populations around the world may have originated in East Asia, new research has found.Oriental fire-bellied toad from South Korea (image: Frank Pasmans via ZSL)

Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), known as chytrid fungus, has long been identified as a cause of the decline and extinction of species of frogs, toads, newts and other amphibians across several continents.

Oriental fire-bellied toad from South Korea (image: Frank Pasmans via ZSL)

Chytrid is distributed around the world but to date it has remained unclear where killer strains of the pathogen first emerged.

Now, new research published in the journal Science and led by researchers at Imperial College London alongside partners including ZSL (Zoological Society of London), suggests the killer fungus currently ravaging global amphibian populations originated in East Asia.

The researchers highlight the need to tighten biosecurity across borders, including a potential ban on trade in amphibians as pets to ensure the survival of vulnerable species.

Dr Simon O’Hanlon, from the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial and first author of the paper, said: “Biologists have known since the 1990s that Bd was behind the decline of many amphibian species, but until now we haven’t been able to identify exactly where it came from. In our paper, we solve this problem and show that the lineage which has caused such devastation can be traced back to East Asia.”

According to the researchers, human movement of amphibians – such as through the pet trade – has directly contributed to spreading the pathogen around the world. They add that the paper provides strong evidence for a ban on trade in amphibians from Asia, due to the high risk associated with exporting previously unknown strains of chytrid out of this region. 

The group also highlights the threat of another amphibian pathogen which has also emerged from Asia (B. salamandrivorans or BSal) affecting salamanders in Europe and whose spread is also linked with the global trade in pet amphibians from Asia.

Professor Matthew Fisher, from the School of Public Health at Imperial, said: “Our research not only points to East Asia as ground zero for this deadly fungal pathogen, but suggests we have only uncovered the tip of the iceberg of chytrid diversity in Asia. Therefore, until the ongoing trade in infected amphibians is halted, we will continue to put our irreplaceable global amphibian biodiversity recklessly at risk.”

Find out more about the research 

Access the paper: Simon J. O’Hanlon et al Recent Asian origin of chytrid fungi causing global amphibian declines Science  11 May 2018:Vol. 360, Issue 6389, pp. 621-627  DOI: 10.1126/science.aar1965



‘Virtual safe space’ to help bumblebees - University of Exeter

The many threats facing bumblebees can be tested using a “virtual safe space” created by scientists at the University of Exeter.

‘Virtual safe space’ to help bumblebees (Photo credit Matthias Becher) Bumble-BEEHAVE provides a computer simulation of how colonies will develop and react to multiple factors including pesticides, parasites and habitat loss.

‘Virtual safe space’ to help bumblebees (Photo credit Matthias Becher) 

The tool lets researchers, farmers, policymakers and other interested parties test different land management techniques to find out what will be most beneficial for bees.  Field experiments can be very timely and costly, so results from Bumble-BEEHAVE can help refine and reduce the number of experiments needed.

Bumble-BEEHAVE – which is freely available online – is a powerful tool that can make predictions, according to a new study.

“We know that pollinator decline is a really big problem for crops and also for wildflowers,” said Dr Grace Twiston-Davies, of the Environment and Sustainability Institute at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall. “Bumble-BEEHAVE takes into account the many complicated factors that interact to affect bumblebees. This provides a virtual safe space to test the different management options. “It’s a free, user-friendly system and we’re already starting to work with land managers and wildlife groups on the ground.”

Disentangling the many factors that affect bumblebee colonies is incredibly complicated, meaning real-word testing of different methods by land managers is often not feasible.  This problem prompted the Exeter scientists to create the BEEHAVE (honeybees) and Bumble-BEEHAVE computer models. Bumble-BEEHAVE can simulate the growth, behaviour and survival of six UK bumblebee species living in a landscape providing various nectar and pollen sources to forage on.

Read the paper: Matthias A. Becher, Grace Twiston-Davies, Tim D. Penny, Dave Goulson, Ellen L. Rotheray, Juliet L. Osborne.  Bumble-BEEHAVE: A systems model for exploring multifactorial causes of bumblebee decline at individual, colony, population and community level Journal of Applied Ecology https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13165  


Scientific Publications

Jacob Nabe, Nielsen, Floris M van Beest, Volker Grimm, Richard M Sibly, Jonas Teilmann & Paul M Thompson. Predicting the impacts of anthropogenic disturbances on marine populations. Conservation Letters. DOI: 10.1111/conl.12563


Richard D. Woods, Michael Kings, Guillam E. McIvor & Alex Thornton Caller characteristics influence recruitment to collective anti-predator events in jackdaws Scientific Reports doi:10.1038/s41598-018-25793-y


Nicholas J. Balfour, Jeff Ollerton, Maria Clara Castellanos, Francis L.W. Ratnieks, British phenological records indicate high diversity and extinction rates among late-summer-flying pollinators, Biological Conservation, Volume 222, (2018) Pages 278-283, ISSN 0006-3207, doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.028.


Parker, S. S., Pauly, G. B., Moore, J. , Fraga, N. S., Knapp, J. J., Principe, Z. , Brown, B. V., Randall, J. M., Cohen, B. S. and Wake, T. A. (2018), Adapting the bioblitz to meet conservation needs. Conservation Biology. . doi:10.1111/cobi.13103


Adrien Guetté, Laurent Godet, Martin Juigner, Marc Robin, Worldwide increase in Artificial Light At Night around protected areas and within biodiversity hotspots, Biological Conservation, Volume 223, July 2018, Pages 97-103, ISSN 0006-3207, doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.018.


Fuller, L., Shewring, M. & Caryl, F.M. A novel method for targeting survey effort to identify new bat roosts using habitat suitability modelling Eur J Wildl Res (2018) 64: 31. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-018-1191-0


McClure, C. J. W., Martinson, L. & Allison, T. D. (2018) Automated monitoring for birds in flight: Proof of concept with eagles at a wind power facility. Biological Conservation doi: 0.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.041


Martín, B., Perez-Bacalu, C., Onrubia, A. et al. Impact of wind farms on soaring bird populations at a migratory bottleneck. Eur J Wildl Res (2018) 64: 33. Doi: /10.1007/s10344-018-1192-z


Durrant J, Botha LM, Green MP, Jones TM. Artificial light at night prolongs juvenile development time in the black field cricket, Teleogryllus commodus. J Exp Zool (Mol Dev Evol). 2018;1–9. https://doi.org/10.1002/jez.b.22810


Rees, M. J. et al (2018) Accounting for habitat structural complexity improves the assessment of performance in no-take marine reserves. Biological Conservation https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2018.04.040


Cecily E. D. Goodwin, Andrew J. Suggitt, Jonathan Bennie, Matthew J. Silk, James P. Duffy, Nida Al‐Fulaij, Sallie Bailey, David J. Hodgson, Robbie A. McDonald Climate, landscape, habitat, and woodland management associations with hazel dormouse Muscardinus avellanarius population status Mammal Review


Grants and Funding.

Community Links Fund - Scottish Government

Budget more than doubled for walking and cycling projects.  A fund, which supports the introduction of new walking and cycling infrastructure, will be more than doubled, Transport Minister Humza Yousaf has announced.  £36m will be available through the Community Links Fund in 2018/19, the highest amount since it was launched in 2010.

The fund has previously helped projects like the cycling and walking path between Elgin and Lhanbryde, a cycle path linking Glasgow City Centre with its southern suburbs, and plans to redesign Stirling Road in Dunblane.

Mr Yousaf said: “We want Scotland to be an active nation, where people lead healthier and more active lifestyles. Cyclists often tell me they want to see more safe cycling infrastructure, which I fully endorse and is one of the reasons why this is the highest amount we’ve ever invested in the Community Links Fund. We want this extra money to create pleasant and safe routes which make it easier for people of all ages to choose to walk and cycle as part of their everyday lives. This is a great opportunity for organisations to bring forward projects that will encourage people to make active travel a bigger part of their daily lives and realise the health and environmental benefits that come with it."


New funding for Chesil Beach Little Tern project - Dorset Wildlife Trust

The Isle and Royal Manor of Portland Court Leet have generously doubled their annual contribution to the Chesil Beach Little Tern Project, helping to secure a safe future for this important seabird colony.

As stewards of the Crown common land on Portland, the Court Leet play an important role in overseeing various activities. They are perhaps best known for administering the beach hut rentals and of course beating the bounds, but their support in helping ensure the survival of the little terns on Chesil is less well known.

They have been partners in the current recovery project since its inception in 2009 after the colony had suffered a steep decline in numbers and was on the verge of extinction. The terns nest on that part of the beach which is common land and consequently the Court felt it was appropriate to help out.

The Chesil Beach Little Tern Recovery Project is a partnership between the Portland Court Leet, The Crown Estates, Natural England, Dorset Wildlife Trust, Chesil Bank and the Fleet Nature Reserve and the RSPB who manage the project.

Image: © Andy Morffew via Dorset Wildlife TrustImage: © Andy Morffew via Dorset Wildlife Trust

Since 2009 the terns have begun a dramatic recovery through the introduction of new management techniques and an increased wardening presence. As well as employing seasonal wardens the project has come to rely on a growing band of local volunteers with more than 50 people assisting in the 24/7 wardening last year.

2017 was yet again a record breaking year. The colony has grown from just 10 pairs in 2009 to 38 pairs. And 73 fledglings, the most ever recorded at Chesil, left the beach with their parents to fly back to West Africa for the winter. In fact for the second year running the Chesil colony was the most successful in the whole of the British Isles in terms of productivity (1.92 fledglings per pair) and in the top five for total numbers of fledglings.


Grants for Peatlands Restoration - defra

England's iconic peatlands will benefit from new government funds with an area the size of 10,000 football pitches to be restored to peat forming condition  

A new injection of £10m of government money will help restore more than 10,000 football pitches-worth of England’s iconic peatlands.

Peat bogs and fens are important habitats that provide food and shelter for wildlife, help with flood management, improve water quality and play a part in climate regulation. The new funding will help deliver commitments in the Government’s flagship 25 Year Environment Plan to create a new ambitious framework for peat restoration in England.

The total area of 6,580 hectares of upland and lowland peatlands that these grants will support work on is equivalent to 10,613 football pitches. The work will be delivered through four local partnership projects and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions making their way into the atmosphere by creating a natural store for carbon.

This vital work will abate and store an estimated 23,000 tonnes of carbon per year contributing to the UK’s climate change goals.  A panel of experts and Defra officials assessed the projects and awarded the funding based on the potential for carbon abatement.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: "Peatlands are an iconic aspect of the English landscape which are not only a haven for wildlife but also provide us with clean water and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The 25 Year Environment Plan sets out the Government’s commitment to improve peatlands and grant schemes such as this one will enable us to leave our environment better than we inherited it."

Defra has allocated a total of £10 million between the four projects.

  • The South West Peatlands Bid led by South West Water will be delivered through local partnerships including Exmoor Mires Partnership. The focus is on 1,680 ha of upland peat across Bodmin Moor, Dartmoor and Exmoor. To date very little of the peatland on Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor has been restored. Exmoor has had over 1,900 ha of restoration to date.
  • Meres & Mosses Carbon Capture Project led by Shropshire Wildlife Trust aims to restore a mix of nine lowland and upland peatland sites covering 98 ha across the Meres & Mosses Natural Area.
  • Moor Carbon, led by the Peak District National Park Authority, will be working in the Peak District National Park, West Pennine Moors SSSI, and Rossendale Gap to restore over 2,000 hectares of blanket bog.
  • Peat restoration work at Mardale Photo Susie Lane via Cumbria Wildlife TrustThe North of England Peat Partnership led by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust will restore 394 ha of lowland raised bog and 1679 ha of blanket bog across 21 peatland sites in the north of England.


Peat restoration work at Mardale (Photo Susie Lane via Cumbria Wildlife Trust) 

From Buxton to the Borders – £7m Government grant allows new moorland conservation work to get underway - Cumbria Wildlife Trust  

A new injection of Government cash will help support the restoration of England’s iconic peatlands.

Two successful bids in the north will fund peatland conservation from the Peak District to the Scottish border. The vast project area spans almost 4,200 hectares; the same size as more than 6,700 football pitches. 


Scottish communities benefit from £6million Bags of Help funding - greenspace scotland

Community groups from across Scotland joined MSPs, Tesco colleagues and partners at a celebration event at the Scottish Parliament yesterday. The event celebrated over 2000 community projects across Scotland receiving £6 million from the Tesco Bags of Help programme.  The event was organised to mark the success of the supermarket’s flagship community grant scheme, Bags of Help. The initiative sees grants raised from the sale of carrier bags awarded to thousands of local community projects every year.

To mark the success of the project so far, Tesco and greenspace scotland invited representatives from more than 30 groups and partners to an exclusive Parliamentary event at Holyrood.  Tesco works with environmental charities greenspace scotland and Groundwork to put the funding into action.

Emma Halliday, community enabler coordinator at greenspace scotland, said: “Bags of Help is breathing life into community projects all over Scotland. Working on the frontline of these projects, alongside Tesco, we see projects going from an idea, right through to completion. The funding is having a real impact on communities and this event will raise awareness of that.”


New project: Connecting the Dragons - Cysylltu’r Dreigiau - Amphibian and Reptile Conservation

Amphibian and Reptile Conservation are delighted to announce that our ‘Connecting the Dragons’ project (www.arc-trust.org/connecting-the-dragons) has been awarded National Lottery funding.  The grant will allow the project to bring together key partners including volunteer Amphibian and Reptile Groups, NGOs and local Wildlife Trusts, to protect and conserve some of our most vulnerable native species of amphibian and reptile including: great crested newts, adders, toads, and grass snakes.

  • The great crested newt (Triturus cristatus), a true water dragon! Dramatic declines and pond loss have led to European-level protection.
  • The adder (Vipera berus), which is Wales' only venomous snake species. Often misunderstood and sometimes persecuted.
  • The grass snake (Natrix natrix), a semi-aquatic predator of amphibians. Needs piles of compost or manure for laying its eggs.
  • The common toad (Bufo bufo), known for its impressive and precarious spring migrations to ponds. Suffers from traffic mortality and lack of habitat connectivity.

Tony Gent, CEO of Amphibian and Reptile Conservatin, commented, “We are delighted to have secured National Lottery funding for this important project, which will enable us to improve the conservation status of our declining herpetofauna species."

We are also thrilled to count on the support of Iolo Williams who says “It is essential to engage with our Welsh communities to create more ponds, increase wildlife monitoring efforts and improve the image of species like the adder. ARC has a proven track record of delivering ambitious landscape scale projects and exceeding targets.”


Lough Erne Landscape Partnership receives National Lottery boost - Heritage Lottery Fund

A major new initiative to protect and conserve the Lough and its surroundings is underway thanks to a £2.6million investment from the National Lottery over five years.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) confirmed the award for the new Landscape Partnership project at Lough Erne led by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds NI (RSPB NI).

The beautiful Fermanagh Lakeland landscape consists of numerous islands, long shorelines, rivers, wet meadows, blanket bog, grasslands and woodlands.  It is home to an array of internationally important species and habitats, and contains a wealth of natural, built, archaeological, cultural and industrial heritage spanning 9,000 years. 

The Lough Erne Landscape Partnership (LELP) plans to deliver 23 individual projects to improve access, protect habitats and species, and engage communities with the heritage in 500km2 of landscape.  It will support an innovative partnership approach to the ongoing, integrated management of the natural environment, led by the RSPB NI in partnership with Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Waterways Ireland, Fermanagh Rural Community Network, Upper Lough Erne Tourism Development Association, and the National Trust.


Funding secured to build storm-resilient hide at Snettisham - RSPB

RSPB secures funding needed to build new storm-resilient hide at Snettisham to replace hides destroyed in 2013.

The RSPB’s vision of replacing hides lost in the 2013 storm surge at RSPB Snettisham nature reserve on the Norfolk coast will be realised before the end of the year thanks to a generous grant of £73,500 from FCC Environment through the WREN FCC Community Action Fund, taking funding for the hide to a grand total of £140,000. The appeal to raise funds to replace the hides was kick-started by the charity last summer with a month-long Crowdfunder campaign. 366 people supported the appeal, raising a total of £14,801 through online and offline donations.

On the back of the Crowdfunder success, three more community trust grants and further donations from individuals and businesses pushed the total up. This funding, coupled with the money awarded by WREN and FCC Environment, will help the nature conservation charity to replace the two hides destroyed in a devastating storm surge in 2013, with a bigger, better, storm-resilient structure.

RSPB Project Manager, Hayley Roan said: “As you can imagine we are over the moon to receive this funding! We can now achieve the vision of creating a hide that will withstand the pressures of climate change and also encourage future generations to love and understand the very special wildlife and habitats of The Wash.”

WREN is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, biodiversity and heritage projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund.


Animal and wildlife news.

World’s largest rodent eradication project a success: South Georgia declared rodent-free! - South Georgia Heritage Trust

  • The UK Overseas Territory of South Georgia is officially declared free of rodents for the first time since humans arrived on the island over 200 years ago
  • Scottish-based charity the South Georgia Heritage Trust and its USA counterpart the Friends of South Georgia Island raised £10 million to finance the Habitat Restoration Project to eradicate invasive rodents
  • Covering 108,723 hectares (1087 km2), the Habitat Restoration Project is more than eight times larger than any other rodent eradication area ever tackled anywhere in the world
  • Habitat Restoration Project Timeline Infographic (image: SGHT)Three rodent detection dogs covered a total of 2420km, with their two female dog handlers walking 1608km, searching for signs of rats and mice as part of a comprehensive monitoring survey

Habitat Restoration Project Timeline Infographic (image: SGHT)

 After nearly a decade of planning and four sub-Antarctic seasons of work by an exceptional international team, the South Georgia Heritage Trust (SGHT) has today [Tuesday 8 May] declared South Georgia free of rodents for the first time since humans arrived on the island more than two centuries ago. Professor Mike Richardson, Chairman of the SGHT Habitat Restoration Project Steering Committee said: “South Georgia Heritage Trust is delighted to declare that its Habitat Restoration Project is complete and that invasive rodents have been successfully eradicated from the island. It has been a privilege to work on this conservation project, the largest of its kind anywhere in the world, and I am immensely proud of what the small charity has achieved - it has been a huge team effort.


Could our obsession with mobile technology destroy wildlife? - Buglife

A scientific review of the impacts of electromagnetic radiation launched today reveals our limited understanding about how changes we are making to the environment may be damaging wildlife.  Pollution levels have been rapidly rising, and plans for saturating coverage of wi-fi and 5G will push levels higher still.  Despite concerning evidence that such radiation could harm plants, insects, birds and other species, there is very little work underway to understand the impacts or to apply even basic pollution limits. 

Following a proposal by Buglife a review of the impacts of electromagnetic radiation on wildlife was undertaken by EKLIPSE, an EU funded mechanism that considers policy relevant knowledge relating to human interactions with biodiversity and ecosystems.   

The review found evidence that electromagnetic wireless signals, including from powerlines, radar, TV/radio broadcasting, Wi-Fi and 2G/3G/4G communications pose a credible threat to wildlife.  While surprisingly few studies have been published, from the 97 useable papers the scientists highlighted electro-magnetic radiation as a potential risk to bird and insect orientation and movement, and to plant metabolic health.  Serious impacts on the environment could not be ruled out. 

The authors of the EKLIPSE review conclude that there is “an urgent need to strengthen the scientific basis of the knowledge on EMR and their potential impacts on wildlife. In particular, there is a need to base future research on sound, high-quality, replicable experiments so that credible, transparent and easily accessible evidence can inform society and policy-makers to make decisions and frame their policies.”


Wildlife in Common – Norfolk Wildlife Trust

A two year project celebrating Norfolk’s commons and their wildlife and heritage has begun,  run by Norfolk Wildlife Trust in partnership with Norfolk County Council and University of East Anglia. It will empower local people to connect with their common land, and ultimately may lead to the creation of new commons in Norfolk.
Wildlife in Common has been made possible by National Lottery players thanks to £58,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), with additional support of £7,750 from Essex & Suffolk Water Branch Out fund.
NWT will enlist volunteers to help collect wildlife records on commons, allowing it to truly evaluate the importance of these places for wildlife. Through the project, help will be on hand for communities taking practical action to protect and conserve commons, whilst events involving schools, artists and museums will raise the profile of common land across Norfolk.
A major element of this National Lottery funded project will be to support communities in researching the history of their common. This will involve collaboration with the University of Anglia and the Norfolk Record Office at Norfolk County Council.
NWT will also explore the potential to create new commons for the future, including establishing new common rights, perhaps in the form of community orchards or coppice woodlands, allowing residents to have a real stake in the land. These would be informal open spaces with wildlife habitats, used for walking and enjoying wildlife. This is a bold step and an innovative approach to public open space that has not yet been explored in Britain.


Wildlife sites threatened by Government’s ‘yes’ to Heathrow Airport expansion - London Wildlife Trust

A statement from London Wildlife Trust on the Transport Secretary's approval this week of a third runway at Heathrow

London Wildlife Trust is disappointed – but unsurprised – to see the Government exhibit its shifting and fickle attitude to the environment by giving the green light to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport on World Environment Day.

This expansion will be disastrous for the environment close to the airport, and for the wildlife assets that will be destroyed or damaged by the expansion westwards into the Colne Valley.

It was only in March this year that the Trust officially opened Huckerby's Meadows, a new nature reserve situated just metres from Heathrow's existing northern runway, with support from the airport's operator.

A third runway at Heathrow means:

  • Building on 906 hectares (2,238 acres) of land, including 432 hectares (1,067 acres) of Green Belt land;
  • Taking land within three sites of nature conservation importance, including the Lower Colne Site of Metropolitan Importance;
  • Losing 35 hectares (86 acres) of woodland;
  • Affecting 13km of river;
  • Threatening a population of pennyroyal, a Nationally Scarce relative of mint.

There are 39 wildlife sites within 5km of the proposal, including the South West London Water Bodies Special Protection Area (SPA) - supporting  internationally important numbers of over-wintering gadwall and tufted duck - and two Trust nature reserves; Huckerby’s Meadows and Frays Island & Mabey’s Meadow. There will be significant implications for potential birdstrike at the SPA site.



Red squirrel babies at Wildwood give boost to national rewilding project – BIAZA

(image: Wildwood)Red squirrel babies, born 3 weeks ago, are now venturing out of their nest boxes. After maturing at the Wildwood Trust park they will be transported to two sites in Wales and released into the wild as part of Wildwood's red squirrel conservation project aimed at preventing their nationwide extinction by re-introducing red squirrels back to the UK. After efforts to reintroduce pine martens over the last 3 years by the Vincent Wildlife Trust, it is now hoped the red squirrel can out compete invasive grey squirrels from North America to once again become part of lives, eventually being restored across Southern Britain.

(image: Wildwood)

The distribution of red squirrels has declined drastically in the last 60 years and they are now extinct in southern England except for a few on the Isle of Wight and two small islands in Poole Harbour. The main cause of this decline is competition with the introduced American grey squirrel. The grey squirrel is larger than the red and better able to survive harsh weather and periods of food shortage. It breeds more successfully and quickly out-competes the red squirrel for food.

Peter Smith of Wildwood Trust's said: "Red squirrels are one of the most beautiful animals in the U.K. and visitors can watch these playful animals over the summer until they have grown up enough to be released to the wild. If we can help restore areas of woodland to a native state, reintroduce animals like Pine Martens to control invasive grey squirrels, we might just be able to tip the balance back in the Red Squirrel's favour. Our eventual plan is to once again see them back across Southern Britain.”


High risk of deer on roads in May and June – Scottish Natural Heritage

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is warning motorists to slow down and be on the lookout for deer on the road, especially in May and June.

Vehicle accidents involving deer peak at this time of year as young deer disperse to look for their own territories. To help reduce the risk of accidents SNH has arranged with Transport Scotland for warning messages on variable messaging signs on high-risk trunk roads across Scotland from Monday 21 May to Monday 11 June.

The VMS messages are targeted on roads with higher rates of deer-vehicle collisions, covering the Central Belt around Glasgow and Edinburgh, as well as around Dundee, Aberdeen, Inverness and areas within Perth and Kinross. The signs display the warning message: High Risk of Deer on the Road.

The highest number of collisions occur in early evening through to late at night, with a slightly lower peak from 6 am to 9 am. The VMS campaign ensures that the warning messages are used during these times.

The most recent deer-vehicle collisions research shows there are up to 9,000 collisions between motor vehicles and deer every year in Scotland, with on average of 65 of these likely to result in human injuries. Across the UK, it’s estimated there are between 42,000 and 74,000 deer-vehicle related accidents a year, resulting in 400 to 700 human injuries and about 15 deaths.


National Bat Monitoring Programme Annual Report 2017 - Bat Conservation Trust

The latest results of the National Bat Monitoring Programme (NBMP) with data up to the end of September 2017 are now available.

Last year nearly 1,000 dedicated volunteers carried out NBMP bat surveys at a total of 1,867 sites across the UK. The survey results allow BCT to provide 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 2017, GB populations of all 11 species of bat surveyed appear to be either stable or increasing, though a few results need treating with caution at present 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 and common pipistrelle, all of which often use buildings to roosts in.

Download the report here.


Dolphin attacks on Moray Firth harbour porpoises - Sea Watch Foundation

Two dolphin attacks on harbour porpoises, a rare sight to actually observe in British waters, have been recorded by local photographers, Bottlenose dolphin tossing a harbour porpoise up in the air on May 9th. Copyright: Jamie MunyJamie Muny and Alister Kemp, close to the shore of Chanonry Point in the Moray Firth, NE Scotland!

Bottlenose dolphin tossing a harbour porpoise up in the air on May 9th. Copyright: Jamie Muny

Researchers at Sea Watch Foundation, a national charity that monitors the numbers and distributions of whales, dolphins and porpoises around the British Isles, have been alerted to a series of unusual sightings of bottlenose dolphin attacks upon porpoises in the Moray Firth this past week. Instantly, the staff at the research organisation realised that Jamie and Alister had managed to take some exceptional photographs.

Jamie and Alister have been photographing dolphins for over a decade and although they had heard about these attacks before, this was the first time they had witnessed something like that.  On May 9thand May 11th, pods of bottlenose dolphins were seen attacking harbour porpoises, with each attack lasting around 5 to 10 minutes. On both occasions, the photographers thought the dolphins were throwing a large salmon up into the air, as they often feed on this species of fish in the area. It was only when they reviewed their images afterwards that they realized it was in fact a porpoise. On May 9th, while being tossed in the air, the porpoise appeared motionless as the dolphin pushed it up out of the water with their beaks seemingly across the stomach. On one occasion, a dolphin appears out of the water with a porpoise resting on its beak.



Help protect our ground nesting birds this spring and summer – Cairngorms National Park

(image: Cairngorms National Park)The Cairngorms National Park is a very important place for wildlife and we’re lucky enough to have some of the UK’s rarest species on our doorstep – and we all have a role to play in helping them to thrive.

(image: Cairngorms National Park)

At this time of year the Park is a particularly important breeding area for ground nesting birds such as capercaillie, lapwings, curlews and hen harriers to name a few. At this time of year our woodlands, moorlands and farmlands are where these species like to nest and raise their chicks – they don’t nest up trees; they prefer the ground and are therefore so much more vulnerable to predation and disturbance. Which is why the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA), as the Outdoor Access Authority, is asking dog owners to be particularly careful when out and about over these next few months.

Residents and visitors alike are being asked to be mindful that ground nesting birds could be close by. If you know or suspect a nest is close, try your best to avoid it and give a wide berth to young birds or to adult birds that seem to be distressed. If in doubt, you could stay on main paths and tracks, put your dog on a lead or keep it under very close control.

Andy Ford, Cairngorms Nature Manager said: “Ground nesting birds are extremely vulnerable, and with some very rare species in the Cairngorms National Park, we need to do all we can to help them. We know that our dogs mean no harm but if disturbed, birds may be prevented from settling, or if already nesting they will fly away from their nests, neglecting their eggs or chicks.”


Rescue effort saves rare eggs after spring flooding – Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

Unseasonal April downpours have forced tens of thousands of birds to nest away from the safety of the wetlands after their habitat in the Fens, East Anglia became submerged.

(image: Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust)Conservationists, trying to protect the rare black-tailed godwit, discovered clutches of their eggs on nearby farmland, trapped in mud, sparking fears over their future. Thankfully, farmers and conservationists were able to work together to help save the eggs.

(image: Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust)

A total of 32 eggs were collected from arable land and are now in incubators at Welney as part of the pioneering nature-conservation scheme Project Godwit – a partnership between WWT and RSPB, which aims to boost UK godwit numbers.

Hannah Ward, RSPB Project Manager at Project Godwit, said:

“The Nene and Ouse Washes in The Fens are two of just a handful of sites in the UK where black-tailed godwit breed. Historically, they nest on the washes, but the high water has forced them onto wheat fields where eggs have been fused to the mud and the tall crops conceal potential predators. Due to the conditions these eggs have been subjected to, we are anticipating a reduction in the numbers of eggs that hatch.”

Conservationists have been using a technique known as head-starting – raising young birds from eggs collected in the wild – to help boost the UK godwit population. Their numbers at the Ouse Washes are now critically low but it’s hoped that head-starting in combination with the creation of wetland habitat could restore the population to the numbers seen in the 1970s.


21 years of Operation Easter: is the end in sight for egg collecting? – National Wildlife Crime Unit

Operation Easter comes of age this year as it celebrates 21 years of protecting nests from egg collectors.

(image: NWCU)The annual campaign was developed in Scotland and is now facilitated by the National Wildlife Crime Unit based in Stirling, in conjunction with UK Police Forces and partner agencies. It has always been fully supported and approved by the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW) Scotland.

(image: NWCU)

The operation has helped to notch up a long list of convictions and now hopes to eradicate illegal egg collecting within a generation. But that won’t mean the work is over. It’ll continue to share intelligence on the trade in the eggs of wild birds, as well as protecting nesting birds from disturbance caused by over-zealous bird watchers and photographers approaching too close or by people intent on stealing chicks for falconry or destroying eggs or chicks for game or livestock protection purposes.

The Chair of PAW Scotland, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham MSP said: “Over the last 21 years Operation Easter has played a vital role in Scotland’s efforts to tackle wildlife crime, by protecting many of our wonderful bird species from egg collectors.  In the past egg collecting and persecution led to the elimination of the osprey from Scotland.  Egg collectors also slowed the recovery of iconic Scottish species such as the golden eagle.  Everyone involved in Operation Easter over the years deserves our thanks for their part in securing a huge reduction in this selfish and irresponsible crime.”


Puffin numbers may be down 12 per cent on Farne Islands as census begins – National Trust

Puffin numbers on Britain's remote Farne Islands may have fallen by an average of 12 per cent in potentially grim news for the struggling seabird, according to early figures in the National Trust's five-yearly count.

Initial numbers suggest the population has fallen by up to 42 per cent on one of the islands – much worse than expected since the last count in 2013 when nearly 40,000 breeding pairs were recorded.

Puffins return to the Farne Islands for breeding season (National Trust Images / Paul Kingston & NNP)The Trust, which has been looking after the islands for 93 years, will step up monitoring in a bid to help better understand the alarming decline.

Puffins return to the Farne Islands for breeding season  (National Trust Images / Paul Kingston & NNP)

The puffins have also returned four weeks later than usual to their nesting grounds on the windswept islands off the Northumberland due to the prolonged, harsh winter.  Ranger, Tom Hendry says: “Initial findings are concerning.  Numbers could be down due to stormy or wetter weather as well as changes in the sandeel population, which is one of their staple foods.

“So far we’ve surveyed four of the eight islands where we conduct the census[1].  Figures from the two largest islands are vastly contradictory with numbers on Brownsman 42 per cent down, while recordings on Staple show an 18 per cent increase.  We will now do some further investigations as to why this might be. Figures across the two smaller islands are more consistent, but numbers are still down by up to 33 per cent.  We will hopefully have a much clearer picture towards the end of the count in late June. If the final results reflect this drop, this will increase the need for us to monitor these beautiful ‘clowns of the sea’ more frequently.”


Exciting osprey news from Kielder – Northumberland Wildlife Trust

Following a slow start to the Kielder Water & Forest Park osprey season, hampered by the Beast from the East, the breeding season is well underway with three eggs in each of the four nests.

There was a question mark over whether this would happen as unfortunately, the male from nest three did not return from migration. However, a new male found the nest and has formed a successful new partnership with the female.

Joanna Dailey, Kielder Osprey expert volunteer, said, “Sadness at the loss of the original Nest three male is tempered by the arrival of an unringed male, who is doing well as a probable first time breeder. Sometimes, a new pairing will have only two eggs, so we’re thrilled to see the three eggs on Nest 3.”

The first eggs will begin hatching at the end of May and into June. 


Rare eggs hatch after spring flooding rescue - Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust

A total of 15 godwit eggs rescued from muddy farmland in East Anglia have hatched successfully so far.

Chicks in brooders (image: WWT)Conservationists, trying to protect the rare black-tailed godwit, teamed up with local farmers to save the eggs, which were found in poor condition due to heavy spring downpours.

Godwit chicks in brooders (image: WWT)

Collecting eggs for rear and release, known as head-starting, was already planned in the area as part of a five-year EU funded project. When flooding forced wild birds to nest away from the safety of their wetland habitat in the Nene Washes, the project team launched a rescue operation to help even more eggs.

Rebecca Lee, Principal Species Conservation Officer at WWT, welcomed the news. She said: “Conditions were so bad that we were concerned that they might not survive. A number of the eggs that we did manage to collect were in such bad condition that they resembled muddy potatoes. Thankfully, the majority of these eggs have shown signs of life and many have hatched successfully despite our reservations. Flooding forced our ground-nesting birds off important nesting areas and they have been laying their eggs on nearby farmland where mud is widespread and tall crops can hide potential predators. Thankfully we have been able to work together with the landowners in the area to avoid the worst outcome.”

A total of 32 eggs were collected from farmland as part of the pioneering nature-conservation scheme Project Godwit – a partnership between WWT and RSPB, which aims to restore the UK breeding population.

Hannah Ward, RSPB Project Manager at Project Godwit, added: “The decision to intervene was not taken lightly. The extreme weather and the dire state of these precious, rare eggs meant they had almost no chance of survival in the wild. Luckily, as our project already includes helping godwits by collecting eggs and head-starting chicks, we were in a position to also help these extra eggs. With less than fifty pairs of godwits breeding in the UK, every egg that successfully hatches could be critical for the future of the population. This was a real team effort and we thank the farmers who worked closely with us to rescue the eggs.”


WWT response to LAG update report – Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

The extent and cost of wildlife being poisoned by spent lead ammunition is higher than previously thought, according to figures in a new X-ray of wood pigeon showing fragments of shot with circles (WWT)report by an expert advisory panel.

Ducks, geese and swans are the main victims. They gobble up some of the 5,000 tonnes worth of tiny lead shot pellets discharged across the UK each year, mistaking them for grit which they use to grind food in their gizzards because they don’t have teeth.

X-ray of wood pigeon showing fragments of shot with circles (WWT)

The report also shows one route of lead exposure is more hazardous than previously thought. Around a quarter of quarry birds are shot at but survive and concern has now grown around how much lead they absorb from the embedded pellets left in their bodies.

Symptoms include disorientation, inability to digest food, and fewer and poorer eggs.
New estimates in the report suggest:

Up to 400,000 wildfowl could be made sick by embedded lead pellets in the UK each year, on top of up to 300,000 already estimated to be affected by ingesting poisonous pellets.

It’s already known that up to 100,000 of these wildfowl die. But for the first time the report suggests a financial cost for these deaths – being the equivalent market value of that number of captive-bred birds – which would be around £16m per year.

In the UK, the Government decided in 2016 to still allow lead ammunition in much of the country because, regardless of how many thousands of birds suffer or die, it wouldn’t take action unless entire species populations were affected. However the new report found:

“Several new studies have examined population-level effects in birds. Population modelling and correlative studies suggest that lead poisoning may be affecting population growth rates and sizes in a number of species, including freshwater ducks in the UK and along their flyways, as well as Grey Partridge, Common Buzzards, and Red Kite in selected locations in Europe including the UK. Particular concern has been expressed about the possible impact of lead poisoning on the population of the globally threatened Common Pochard.”



Royal Horticultural Society rebrands pollinator plant label - RHS

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has announced it is changing the name of Perfect for Pollinators - a logo used by retailers to show UK gardeners the flowering plants best for bees, butterflies and hoverflies – to Plants for Pollinators.

The new Plants for Pollinators label (image: RHS)The new Plants for Pollinators label (image: RHS)

Launched in 2011 in response to research that revealed a lack of flowering plants for pollinators, the RHS had been reviewing the logo after studies found that some of the plants carrying it contained traces of pesticides.

While the RHS encourages responsible growing practices, it cannot, as a charity, police how hundreds of thousands of plants are grown each year within the horticultural trade. Rather than get rid of the brand altogether – which would undermine efforts to boost pollinator numbers – it was decided to change the name to Plants for Pollinators; showing gardeners those flowering plants that are attractive to pollinators without commenting on the way in which they have been grown.

The RHS has also made available to gardeners a list of organic nurseries and will be working with the industry over the coming months to see how information about how plants have been grown can be shared with gardeners to help them make better informed decisions.


Court confirms neonicotinoid ban was legal – Buglife

(image: Buglife)Today the EU Court of Justice confirmed that the 2013 European Commission decision to protect bees by introducing a ban on the use of three neonicotinoid insecticides on flowering crops, was proper and legal.  Bayer and Syngenta had challenged the decisions, throwing everything at the cases and claiming that: the EC exceeded its remit; the economic cost to the pesticide industry should have been a key factor in the decision; the bee pesticide risk assessment document should not have been used (because all member states had not endorsed it); the science showed neonicotinoids were safe to bees; and that there were several other grounds.

(image: Buglife)

Buglife and a number of European NGOs stepped in to support the EC in the court room, intervening by sending experts and lawyers to participate in the cases held in February 2017.  On the other side of the room the pesticides companies were bolstered by legal teams from seed distributors and farmer’s unions.

The decisions of the court, rejects the pesticide companies’ claims and ensures that not only does the 2013 partial ban decision stand, but that in the future bees should only suffer ‘negligible’ exposure to harmful pesticides. 

The decision also means that the recent vote by EU Member States to introduce a more comprehensive ban on the three neonicotinoid seed treatments, should also result in a legally robust ban.


Green light for project which puts Cumbria’s bees on road to recovery – Cumbria Wildlife Trust

A ground breaking new project to boost the number of bumblebees and other wild pollinators in Cumbria, has been awarded development funding by Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Highways England. Cumbria Local Nature Partnership has received development funding of £87,100*, made possible by National Lottery players, to progress their plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant at a later date.

‘Coastlines: The Cumbria Coast Pollinator Project’ will work with communities along Cumbria’s coast, in Workington, Whitehaven and Maryport, to restore and create pollinator havens in green spaces such as parks, schools and around housing estates. Local people will have the opportunity to volunteer, record bumblebees, participate in events, and learn how to make their gardens friendly for wild pollinators.

‘Coastlines’ will also take an innovative approach to managing verges on the main roads in west Cumbria such as the A66 and A595, for example changing grass-cutting and removal systems, to create habitats that provide food, shelter and nesting sites for bees and other pollinators. ‘Coastlines’ has been developed by the Cumbria Local Nature Partnership and will be delivered by Cumbria Wildlife Trust.


Buglife Reaction to the EC Pollinators Initiative

The launch of the EC Pollinators Initiative on 1st June marks a significant moment for international cooperation to halt the declines in bees, butterflies, moths, hoverflies and other pollinators.  The actions Andrena scotica (c) Roger Keyidentified by the EC for implementation should all be welcomed, endorsed and delivered – they will put pollinator conservation on a stronger footing across the continent.  However, despite overwhelming evidence that EU agriculture policy is not currently compatible with healthy wild bee populations, a solution has been deferred to the post-2020 Common Agriculture Policy.

Andrena scotica (c) Roger Key

Most importantly the report is clear that “the main threats to pollinators are established and allow immediate, knowledge-based action to be undertaken”, the Initiative sets out some clear actions that will contribute to this aim, while promoting other actions to improve and develop knowledge.

The introduction of an EU wide pollinator scheme is very good news, getting robust data on wild pollinator population trends should enable much better protection of the agricultural economy and informed stewardship of our pollinator populations.



Extinct butterfly flies again – Butterfly Conservation

The first Chequered Skipper collected in 2018 (image: Dan Hoare)A previously extinct butterfly will fly in its former English stronghold for the first time in more than 40 years as part of the ambitious conservation project, Back from the Brink.

Wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation, working in partnership with the Forestry Commission has released Chequered Skipper butterflies at a secret location in Rockingham Forest, Northamptonshire, as part of the project.  It is anticipated that these butterflies will mate and lay the foundations of a new English population of Chequered Skipper in the forest.

The Back from the Brink project, made possible thanks to the National Lottery and People’s Postcode Lottery, aims to save 20 species from extinction and benefit over 200 more through 19 projects that span England. 

The first Chequered Skipper collected in 2018 (image: Dan Hoare)

The Chequered Skipper, although always scarce, became extinct in England in 1976 as a result of habitat loss due to changes in woodland management that saw a decline in coppicing and management of long, narrow tracks (rides) and an increase in conifer plantations which were unsuitable for the butterfly.  In England the butterfly was historically found in a band of woodlands and limestone grassland from Oxfordshire to Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire. Although the Chequered Skipper is found in parts of Scotland, conservationists always hoped to reintroduce it to England if suitable habitat conditions could be recreated.


Grizzled Skipper set to return to Derbyshire! - Butterfly Conservation

Grizzled skipper (image: Butterfly Conservation)The Grizzled Skipper was recorded on the Calke Estate during the 1940s and 50s. Over time, tree and shrub cover increased in the area, closing off much of the open quarry floor and banks that contained the butterfly’s food plants, wild strawberry and bugle. Now, the National Trust is working in partnership with Butterfly Conservation and Natural England, to embark on a project to reintroduce this increasingly rare butterfly species to the area.

Grizzled skipper (image: Butterfly Conservation)

It is a priority of the National Trust to restore the estate to a healthy, natural environment where all wildlife can thrive.

On the site where the Grizzled Skipper will be reintroduced, several trees have been removed to open up the area and Hebridean sheep were introduced to graze off the regrowth. This encouraged the growth of grassland and plants that love the calcium-rich soils, such as the Common Spotted Orchid and the Fragrant Orchid.

Due to its geology, the area was suggested by Butterfly Conservation East Midlands as the first site in Derbyshire to reintroduce the Grizzled Skipper.


Environmental Education, Recreation and volunteering.

Benefits of primary school gardening - Horticultural Trades Association

of this year’s National Children’s Gardening Week (26 May-3 June) a report has been published by the HTA on the uptake and benefits of school gardening in UK primary schools.

Together, we help children grow - The state of primary school gardening in the UK – highlights that 9 out of 10 primary schools run gardening activities. 94% of primary school heads and deputies believe that school gardening benefits either pupils’ health, mental wellbeing, social skills, concentration or learning. In spite of this though schools have only 33p per pupil to spend on the activity, and are in need of more funding and volunteer support.

The report highlights the tremendous job that schools are doing with limited resources. With more support they could deliver even more benefits for the UK’s children.  School gardening has been shown to have many benefits to health and wellbeing. These benefits include:

  • Children with access to decent green space are 24% more likely to be physically active.
  • There is a strong correlation between happiness and feeling connected with the natural world.
  • Working towards a common goal with peers (e.g. growing food for the school kitchen), helps pupils to break down many barriers to social interaction.
  • Research has found that school gardening can give a greater sense of achievement and responsibility.
  • School gardening has also been shown to improve concentration levels with children returning to the classroom ready and willing to learn.

 While the research shows that teachers clearly believe in the benefits of school gardening too, they need for more funds and volunteers. 83% of primary school heads and deputies feel that more funds would help their school get more benefit from school gardening. 61% feel that more volunteers would help their school get more benefit from school gardening.

Download: Together we help children grow, the state of primary school gardening in the UK report (PDF)


Scheme helping thousands of schoolchildren access nature up for award - Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

A scheme that has given thousands of disadvantaged school children easy access to nature has been shortlisted for an award

chidren listening to teacher (image:WWT)WWT and HSBC’s ‘Inspiring Generations’ programme which aims to give pupils from poorer backgrounds the chance to experience nature has been nominated in the ‘Charity Partnership: Financial’ category at the Third Sectors Business Charity Awards.

(Image: WWT)

Free school visits, new school resources, and building the infrastructure around school visits are at the heart of the project, which has been a huge success over the past five years.

Over 68,000 pupils in the most deprived areas of the UK have benefitted from free school visits to WWT Wetland Centres since Inspiring Generations was launched. For many of these young people, this is a rare opportunity to learn about, and spend time in nature.

Lorna Fox, WWT’s Learning Advisor, welcomed the news. She said:"“This partnership has been so successful that we have been able to go above and beyond our original project objectives. We have produced research which is contributing to the national conversation about the value of outdoor learning, and we have made strides to improve school visits for children from deprived communities, as well as focusing on those with special educational needs and disabilities’


30 Days Wild started on 1 June Stars back national nature challenge 30 Days Wild - The Wildlife Trusts

54,500 – and rising – sign up to go wild in June 

Naturalists, TV presenters and authors are backing The Wildlife Trusts’ national nature challenge to do something ‘wild’ every day during June. Author Abi Elphinstone, TV presenter Gillian Burke, Olympian Alex Gregory, and chart-topping James McVey from The Vamps have all put their weight behind the campaign to reconnect people with wildlife in a fun and inspirational way. 54,500 people, schools and workplaces have signed up to 30 Days Wild which starts on Friday June 1st.  Sign-ups are rising, and we hope to beat last year when an estimated 250,000 took part. 
New research shows that 30 Days Wild is unique in improving people’s perception of beauty in nature, and that noticing natural beauty makes people happier and want to care for it.

Nick Baker, naturalist and television presenter and Vice President of The Wildlife Trusts says:
“Ever since I was a small boy I’ve been fascinated by wildlife and the natural world. It’s so important for us all to have regular contact with nature – I know it makes me feel happier and healthier. Taking the 30 Days Wild challenge is a brilliant way to reconnect with your own wild side so why not get out and go wild this June?”

New research shows that 30 Days Wild is unique in improving people’s perception of beauty in nature, and that noticing natural beauty makes people happier and want to care for it.

30 Days Wild is encouraging people to make their neighbourhoods wilder and green-up their streets, to help wildlife and to share the joy of nature.

Lucy McRobert, Campaigns Manager for The Wildlife Trusts says: “30 Days Wild is a lovely way to get closer to nature and marvel at the everyday wildlife that lives all around you. Sit quietly and enjoy watching dragonflies dance over a pond or take a moment to sow a window-box of wildflowers to help bees. Get together with your neighbours to create hedgehog highways or sow front-garden meadows along the length of your street. No matter how small the action, it all counts!”

Click through to sign up and join in the fun. 



Malham Peregrine Project attracts 250,000th visitor - Yorkshire Dales National Park

A man from East Morton near Keighley became the quarter of a millionth visitor to the peregrine falcon public viewpoint at Malham Cove.  Jamie Brown, 25, came to the viewpoint just as the male peregrine swooped from a cliff ledge to fly at speed above the heads of onlookers.  The Malham Peregrine Project is a partnership between the RSPB and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) and is now in its 16th year.  

Mr Brown, who was on a visit home to see his parents, said he’d loved seeing the peregrine:  “It was great to see him through the telescopes up on the ledge – and amazing when he flew above our heads.  I love coming home to see the Dales and get the fresh air – the nearest I get to wildlife now is at Richmond Park [in south London].”

The peregrines’ nest site is high up on the Cove.  Unlike last year, the nest is well into a crevice, rather than close to the edge, so it is difficult to get sight of it. However, it is now known that this year’s chicks have hatched, because the adult male was today seen taking food into the nest for the first time.

YDNPA Wildlife Officer, Ian Court, said: “Thank you to Jamie for posing for photos. He realised what a big moment it was for the Malham Peregrine Project to receive its 250,000th visitor.  The peregrines at Malham have been huge for the Yorkshire Dales National Park, both from the point of view of enthusing people about wildlife and drawing people in to the benefit of the local economy.  I’ve had children jumping up and down with excitement after seeing a peregrine for the first time.”


Northumberlandia wins Site of the Year at Land Trust Awards 2018 – The Land Trust

Northumberlandia was the big winner at the Land Trust’s 2018 annual awards, picking up the prestigious Site of the Year prize.

Based in Northumberland, ‘The Lady of the North’ was recognised for a year which has seen over 85,000 people visit the site and over 700 children attend school visits.

The Site of the Year award is the latest in a long list of awards won by Northumberlandia since it opened its doors to the general public in 2012.

Over the last 12 months alone the site has also been voted ‘Best Family Day Out’ at the Northumberland Tourism Awards as well as picking up the award for Best Parks Partnership at the Horticulture Week Custodian Awards.

Held in Newcastle, the Land Trust Awards 2018 was attended by many of the rangers and volunteers who look after sites on behalf of the charity.


National Volunteers WeekVolunteering

Last week was Volunteers Week  and we highlighted areas specific to the countryside sector, read the posts on our blog. Each post has links for further information and to relevent In Depth articles.


Land Trust pay tribute to contribution of volunteers as they complete 10,000 days on site - The Land Trust

Land Trust volunteers completed over 10,000 days on the charity’s sites in 2017/18 and played a key role in helping the organisation deliver its charitable objectives the charity announced today.

In 2017/18 over 4,000 volunteers took part in activities on Land Trust sites, meaning that on average each volunteer gives up at least two and half days of their time a year.

The Land Trust announced the amazing figures on the final day of 2018’s National Volunteers Week which pays tribute to the incredible work carried out by volunteers across the country.

Alan Carter, Director of Portfolio management for the Land Trust, said: “Volunteers play an absolutely vital role in local communities and the Land Trust is fortunate enough to be able to draw upon a vast network of people at our sites across the country. While the Land Trust benefits hugely from the work they carry out, we also work extremely hard to ensure that volunteers get back as much as they put in. This could be in the form of some professional training or qualification to help them with the work they carry out on our sites or in the mental and physical benefits they get from spending time outdoors in green space.”

Volunteers play a key role at all 64 of the Land Trust’s sites across the country, taking part in a wide range of activities including wildflower planting, shrub clearance, den building and recording and welcoming visitors.


A Blooming Future for Green Angels: Award-winning and free environmental training programme hailed a success in South Yorkshire - The Land Trust

National land management charity the Land Trust, introduced its award-winning, Green Angels, environmental training programme to adults across South Yorkshire in the autumn, giving them the chance to gain practical skills through hands-on learning.  8 trainees joined the Green Angels course in Environmental Education which was delivered by the Land Trust in partnership with The Conservation Volunteers (TCV).   

The course explores the practicalities of working with children, from lesson planning to risk assessment, and considered environmental education initiatives such as Eco-Schools and Forest School.   All trainees received DBS certificates and a highlight of the course was working outdoors with children from the local primary school, where trainees made their own lunch over a camp fire and crafted tools and Christmas decorations from logs and twigs. 

Since completing the environmental education course many Green Angels trainees have developed their new skills further and are helping with Forest School and family activities with TCV. One trainee has been offered formal training at the local primary school. 

You can read more about the Green Angels programme and its success in Liverpool in this article written by The Land Trust which was published in CJS Focus on Volunteering: Green Angels create magic in Liverpool Park 


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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.

ACS Distance Education.
Huge range of transition courses, professional development,  interest and hobby courses and qualifications! Daily Intakes, study from home.  acsedu.co.uk  

Calendar of short courses and professional events happening in: August


02/08/2018   3rd European Bat House Symposium   2 Day

Juniper Hall Field Centre, Old London Road, Dorking, RH5 6DA , Vincent Wildlife Trust and The Mammal Society . Contact: https://c-js.info/2s8n7MK

17/08/2018   Visions to Actions   2 Day.

Falkirk, Inner Forth Landscape Initiative. Contact: 01324 831 568 info@innerforthlandscape.co.uk https://c-js.info/2JGaYJM

How can you turn a Vision for landscape-scale working into Action through the power of uniting in partnership? Whether you are experienced in this way of working, or looking to establish a new collaboration, join us in the central belt of Scotland for two days of sharing inspiring stories, best practise and your experiences. Thursday 16th August Conference: Hear first-hand from a range of programmes and partnership projects working to deliver diverse benefits for communities and natural, cultural and built heritage at a landscape-scale. 17th August guided projects bus tour: Visit four sites where the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative has been delivering its ambitious vision since 2014. Book via Eventbrite for the full two days including the conference meal, or select to attend one day. Visions to Actions is hosted by the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative. Tickets are free of charge thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Administrative and Office Skills

06/08/2018   Arc Foundation Training    2 Day

Talgarth, South Wales, exeGeSIS SDM Ltd. Contact: 01874 713066 Carolbateman@esdm.co.uk http://www.esdm.co.uk/arcgis-courses

Ideal for Environmental & Ecological Professionals

21/08/2018   QGIS Foundation Training   2 Day

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

Ideal for Environmental & Ecological Professionals

22/08/2018   Making Choices - RHS Horticulture Information Session   1 Day

Derbyshire Eco Centre, nr Wirksworth, Derbyshire Eco Centre. Contact: 01629 533038 ecocentre@derbyshire.gov.uk http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/education/adult_education/centres/derbyshire_eco_centre/default.asp?VD=ecocentre

Find out about the RHS courses we offer, what is involved and what you can achieve

Contact for Details

How to write highly cited papers   0.5 Day at Lancaster

This interactive half-day workshop will boost your confidence and ability to write a great science paper that will be cited again and again. This workshop focusses on getting high citations. The workshop will use group and individual exercises.

How to write highly cited papers   0.5 Day at CEH Wallingford, Maclean Building, Benson Lane, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, OX10 8BB

This interactive half-day workshop will boost your confidence and ability to write a great science paper that will be cited again and again. This workshop focusses on getting high citations. The workshop will use group and individual exercises.

Above two courses for Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. Contact: 01491 692225 ingsch@ceh.ac.uk https://www.ceh.ac.uk/training/science-paper-impact


Countryside Management Techniques

17/08/2018   Principles of Habitat Restoration & Recreation   3 Day

Denmark Farm Conservation Centre, Betws Bledrws, SA48 8PB, Aberystwyth University. Contact: 01970 621580 learning@aber.ac.uk http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/lifelong-learning/

Suitable for conservation workers, landowners and naturalists interested in developing their knowledge of conservation planning & habitat management

22/08/2018   An Introduction to reedbeds   1 Day at RSPB Ham Wall, RSPB.

An introduction to reedbeds and their management for wildlife, focusing on reedbed species. We will cover the ecology of key species and basic reedbed vegetation types, hydrology and management techniques. Also a discussion on management, restoration, creation and a site visit are included.

23/08/2018   Advanced Reedbed Management   1 Day at RSPB Ham Wall, RSPB.

Stand-alone or follow on course from an Introduction to Reedbeds. A detailed look at advanced, dynamic management solutions for old or degraded reedbeds. We will look at more practical elements to management including predator management and climate migration.

Both RSPB courses contact: 01767 693308 conservation-advice@rspb.org.uk http://www.rspb.org.uk


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

04/08/2018   Level 3 Award in Outdoor First Aid   2 Day, TBC

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

20/08/2018   First Aid at Work+F/ Forestry First Aid (Including outdoor first aid)   3 Day, Drumpellier Country Park

Delivered over three days this course meets the requirements of the HSE, most NGBs and the Forestry Commission. Successful candidates will gain Level 3 Certificate in First Aid at Work+F (RQF) & level 3 certificate in Outdoor First Aid (RQF). This course is ideal for Forestry workers & outdoor instructors

23/08/2018   Level 3 Award in Forest School First Aid   2 Day at Drumpellier Country Park

This 16 hour qualification is delivered over 2 days. It is designed for forest school practitioners and meets the requirements of the HSE, Forest School training providers, and many outdoor NGB awards. It blends paediatric first aid course and outdoor first aid course.

Above All: The Adventure Academy CIC. Contact: 0141 628 8520 info@theadventureacademy.org.uk https://theadventureacademy.org.uk/event

24/08/2018   Emergency First Aid at Work + Forestry   1 Day at EICA at RATHO, Edinburgh

EFAW+F - 7 hours - Forestry Commission requires that all on site contractors, hauliers, ecologists have suitable first aid cover to deal with accidents and incidents that may occur whilst they are undertaking their work. These are first aid courses +F

25/08/2018   Outdoor First Aid 2 Days   2 Day, EICA at RATHO, Edinburgh

Outdoor First Aid (16 hours) is designed rangers, ecologists, surveyors or foresters those who work in remote locations to deal with incidents in places the emergency services wont arrive in 15 minutes! Also covers NGB awards for outdoor instructors.

30/08/2018   Outdoor First Aid 2 Days   2 Day at Mugdock Country Park, Glasgow

Outdoor First Aid (16 hours) is designed rangers, ecologists, surveyors or foresters those who work in remote locations to deal with incidents in places the emergency services wont arrive in 15 minutes! Also covers NGB awards for outdoor instructors.

Above three courses contact First Aid Training Co-operative, 03334330731 courses@firstaidtrainingcooperative.co.uk http://www.firstaidtrainingcooperative.co.uk

Contact for Details

Outdoor First Aid    2 Days by Outdoor First Aid Limited, Scotland

Qualification valid for 3 years meets NGB regulations. Ideal course for ecologists, rangers and fieldworkers. Courses delivered throughout Scotland for groups of 4 or more. Outdoor First Aid courses approved by SQA and ITC. Practical, workplace based courses. Outdoor First Aid Limited meets the HSE Due Diligence requirements on all its courses.

Forest School Practioner First Aid   2 Days by Outdoor First Aid Limited, Scotland

Qualification valid for 3 years meets forest school practitioner regulations. Specially developed outdoor first aid course for course for forest school practitioners. Certificate valid for 3 years. Courses delivered throughout Scotland for groups of 4 or more. Outdoor First Aid Limited meets the HSE Due Diligence requirements on all its courses.

HSE First Aid at Work   3 Days by Outdoor First Aid Limited, Scotland

Courses delivered throughout Scotland for groups of 4 or more. Practical, workplace based courses. Qualification valid for 3 years meets HSE statutory regulations. Outdoor First Aid Limited meets the HSE Due Diligence requirements on all its courses.

HSE Emergency First Aid at Work   1 Day by Outdoor First Aid Limited, Scotland

Courses delivered throughout Scotland for groups of 4 or more.  Practical, workplace based courses. Qualification valid for 3 years meets HSE statutory regulations. Outdoor First Aid Limited meets the HSE Due Diligence requirements on all its courses.

Defibrillator Training   0.5 Day by Outdoor First Aid Limited, Scotland

Courses delivered throughout Scotland for groups of 4 or more.  Practical, workplace based courses. Qualification valid for 1 year. Outdoor First Aid Limited meets the HSE Due Diligence requirements on all its courses.

First Aid Refreshers / Basic Life Support   0.5 Day by Outdoor First Aid Limited

Courses delivered throughout Scotland for groups of 4 or more. Outdoor First Aid Limited meets the HSE Due Diligence requirements on all its courses.

Paediatric First Aid   1 or 2 Days by Outdoor First Aid Limited, Scotland

This course meets Ofsted first aid requirements for registered childminders & the requirements for first aid for nannies under the Department for Children, Schools & Families Approved Carers Scheme. Certificate valid for 3 years. Courses delivered throughout Scotland for groups of 4 or more. Outdoor First Aid Limited meets the HSE Due Diligence requirements on all its courses. Available as a 6 or 12 hour course.

Above Outdoor First Aid Limited contact: 07787 526299 info@outdoor-first-aid-courses.com http://www.outdoor-first-aid-courses.com


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Herpetology, Fish and Invertebrates

03/08/2018   Moths of the Devon Coast   3 Days at FSC Slapton Ley, Field Studies Council.

Their ecology and habitat needs will be considered, particularly looking at what makes these habitats important to a specialist group of moth species. Traps will be set each night in a variety of habitats and the live moths trapped will be identified during the day, there will be slide presentations as well as practical help from the tutor.

03/08/2018   Practical Microscopy: Go It Alone Weekend   3 Days at FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council.

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.

04/08/2018   Introducing Molluscs @ The Green Centre   1 Day at FSC Epping Forest, Field Studies Council.

A one-day course primarily aimed at beginners, providing an introduction to this large and varied Phylum of invertebrates.The main focus will be on those most commonly encountered in Britain, including terrestrial and aquatic (freshwater, brackish and marine) species, with a field session on how and where to look for specimens, followed by identifying them to group and then to species.

04/08/2018   Butterflies & Day-flying Moths of Chalk Grasslands    2 Day

Berrycroft Hub, Ashbury, Swindon, Dr Deborah Sazer . Contact: 07919820654 berrycrofthub@gmail.com https://www.berrycrofthub.com/store/p58/Butterflies_%26_Day-flying_Moths_of_Chalk_Grasslands__4th_%26_5th_August_10am_%E2%80%93_4pm_.html

04/08/2018   Illustrating Butterflies and Moths   2 Day

The Kingcombe Centre, Dorset Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01300 320684 kingcombe@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk http://www.kingcombe.org

Learn how to draw beautiful butterflies and moths before illustrating them in detail using watercolours and gouache. With Sarah Morrish.

06/08/2018   Butterflies and Moths   4 Days at FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council.

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.

06/08/2018   Ecology of Bumblebees and their Identification for Intermediates   1 Day

Tyland Barn and Bluebell Hill, Kent Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01622 662012 studydays@kentwildlife.org.uk http://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/

An identification day to all bumblebee species of Britain, includes in depth ecology and lifecycle and update on Bombus subterraneus reintroduction project. Suitable for intermediates who can identify the big six.

09/08/2018   Looking at Solitary Wasps with Microscopes   1 Day at FSC Bishops Wood, Worcs, Field Studies Council.


This day course will provide an introduction to the major solitary wasp families. The course will be mostly based in the classroom, using microscopes and pinned specimens to learn how to identify the different families. However we may spend some time in the field looking at collection techniques.

10/08/2018   Micro Moths   3 Days at FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council.

Following the publication of the excellent new field guide by Sterling, Parsons and Lewington, interest in micro moths is on the increase. This long weekend is aimed at anyone familiar with macro moth species, who would now like expert help with the identification of micros.

10/08/2018   Finding and Identifying Beetles and Other Invertebrates   2 Days at FSC Margam, Field Studies Council.

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.

11/08/2018   Introduction to Grasshoppers & Crickets    1 Day

Seven Sisters Country Park, West Sussex, Sussex Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01273 497544 michaelblencowe@sussexwt.org.uk https://sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/whats-on/2018-08-11-introduction-to-grasshoppers-crickets-110818

We start in the Seven Sisters Pump Barn, with a short introduction to the Orthoptera. Then we will explore the woodlands, meadows and chalk grassland of the Country Park looking for these insects learning more about their habits, their habitats, and how to identify them by both sight and sound. Discount for members.

15/08/2018   Slug Identification   1 Day at FSC Bishops Wood, Field Studies Council.

This course includes an introduction to slugs and a review of the 45 or so species now present in the UK. This is followed by advice on species identification. Participants are asked to collect and bring some slugs from their own gardens, or elsewhere, as this has proved to be an excellent way of helping to map the distributions of this much under-recorded group of species.

18/08/2018   Highland Butterflies and Moths   5 Days at FSC Kindrogan, Field Studies Council.

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.

20/08/2018   Entomology - Techniques to Find and Identify Insects   3 Days at FSC Slapton Ley, Field Studies Council. 

We will demonstrate why, when and how to collect and curate insect specimens for identification and will also explore the options for photographing and identifying live insects. There will be sessions on how to assess insects for habitat conservation. This course will appeal to anyone wishing to know more about insects, and to develop their skills in the various techniques needed to find and study them.

All FSC courses contact 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

Contact for Details

Lake Ecology   5 Day

Lancaster, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Lancaster University. Contact: 01491 69 2225 ingsch@ceh.ac.uk http://www.ceh.ac.uk/training/lake-ecology

Oct 2018. A regular, well established module of the Lancaster University Graduate School for the Environment Masters Programme. Non-students can register their interest now. The course introduces the principles of lake ecology and presents a holistic approach to the drivers and internal interactions that control water quality in lakes.


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Mammals

01/08/2018   Bat Sound Analysis Using Analook   1 Day

Nr Exeter, Acorn Ecology Ltd. Contact: 01392 366512 training@acornecology.co.uk http://c-js.co.uk/2mCfudM

This introductory level one day course aims to provide you with the basic skills of identifiying bat calls from sonograms, mainly using Analook. It includes a workshop session for you to practice your skills.

04/08/2018   Discovering Bats in Epping Forest   1 Day

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

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.

12/08/2018   Bat Survey Class Licence Level 2 Training Course   3 Day

Borwick Hall Outdoor Education Centre, Gail Armstrong - The Bat Lady. Contact: 01524 701316 gail@batlady.co.uk http://www.batlady.co.uk

Residential course for those who already use the Bat Survey Class Licence at L1. A mix of classroom and field work will develop and practice skills required for the L2 licence, including safe use of an endoscope, handling, catching in hand-held net and identification in the hand.

17/08/2018   Scottish Mammals   3 Day

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

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.

17/08/2018   Dormouse Ecology & Conservation   1 Day

Callow Rock, The Mammal Society. Contact: 02380010984 training@themammalsociety.org http://www.mammal.org.uk/training/courses/dormouse-ecology-conservation/

This one day course is recognized as the definitive course on dormouse ecology and monitoring. Ideal for those working towards their Dormouse Handling Licence.

18/08/2018   Dormouse Ecology & Conservation   1 Day

Wildwood, The Mammal Society. Contact: 02380010984 training@themammalsociety.org https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dormouse-ecology-conservation-wildwood-kent-tickets-36581092031

This one day course is recognized as the definitive course on dormouse ecology and monitoring. Ideal for those working towards their Dormouse Handling Licence.

24/08/2018   Land Mammal Identification   3 Day

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

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.

31/08/2018   Mammal Identification Weekend   3 Day

Juniper Hall, Surrey, The Mammal Society. Contact: 02380010984 training@themammalsociety.org https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/the-mammal-society-7503621227

This course 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. Successful completion of the course and assessment leads to the FSC accredited certificate.

Contact for Details

Bat Licence Training Course   10 Day

various - across Eng & Wales, BatTraining. Contact: 07711 848 174 richard@ecologyod.co.uk http://www.BatTraining.co.uk

The longest running bat licence course in the UK is Bat Licence Training Course. Core training and additional skills including handling, advanced techniques, mitigation... Covers Class 1 & 2 licences, plus hibernation & roost visits… & horseshoe bats!


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Ornithology

03/08/2018   Scottish Island Coastal Birds   2 Day

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

A chance to explore the diverse coastline of Millport, including taking a trip on our research vessel (weather permitting), in order to discover the abundant coastal and sea birds which live around our shores.


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Plants and Habitats

01/08/2018   Introduction to Woodlands   1 Day

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

Woodlands create a changing environment throughout the year: great swathes of flowers that fill the woodland floor before the canopy bursts into life. Dark, secret corners, venerable veterans, animal tracks and areas dominated by brambles or nettles; all these areas, and so much more, are accommodated within our glorious woodlands and they all have their own story to tell. This course will look at the history, management and use, ecology and folklore of our woodlands.

01/08/2018   Bridgeness Biodiveristy volunteers   1 Day

Bo'ness, Buglife. Contact: 01786 477504 suzanne.burgess@buglife.org.uk https://www.buglife.org.uk/events

A monthly event open to all volunteers to learn about wildlife and to take part in habitat creation activities and surveys. Runs the first Wednesday of every month from 10am-1pm.Tea and coffee are provided. Wear warm clothes.

01/08/2018   Arable Plant Identification and Ecology   1 Day

Micheldever, Hampshire, Species Recovery Trust. Contact: 01722 322539 bookings@speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk http://www.speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk

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

03/08/2018   An Introduction to Ferns   2 Day

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

A chance to gain confidence in identifying all the common ferns of hedgebanks, woodlands and walls, and to learn something of their ecology by looking at the communities in which they grow. Indoors, we will look for subtler characters that determine some taxa more precisely.

04/08/2018   Hedgerow Survey Training   1 Day

Brandon Marsh Nature Centre, CV3 3GW, Dunsmore Living Landscape. Contact: 024 7630 2912 thomas.watkins@wkwt.org.uk http://www.warwickshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/whats-on

Learn how to identify common hedgerow species and how to tell whether a hedge is beneficial to wildlife in this practical training course

04/08/2018   Wild Skills Week Residential   5 Day

FSC Preston Montford, FSC Preston Montford. Contact: 01743 852040 gc@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/individuals-and-families/courses/2018/pm/gc-courses/wild-skills-week.aspx

Immerse yourself in nature, on this action packed residential on land and water - brush up your wildlife watching and identification skills, have a go at greenwood working and journey along the river Severn in a canoe. You can gain your John Muir award, also suitable for DoE Gold residential. £250 / £75 (reduced rate for Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin)

08/08/2018   Introduction to Fern Identification   1 Day

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

For many people ferns are a conundrum. 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.

09/08/2018   Tackling Daisies, Dandelions and Thistles (Asteraceae)   1 Day

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

The Daisy family is the largest plant family in the world, with over 30,000 species. In the UK we have a wide selection of species ranging from the familiar to the more obscure. Many of these species share similar characters which means they can prove daunting to the botanists; how do you separate a Hawkweed from a Hawkbit without confusing it with a Hawksbeard.

10/08/2018   Principles of Habitat Restoration and Creation   3 Day

Denmark Farm, Lampeter , Lifelong Learning, Aberystwyth University. Contact: 01970 621580 learning@aber.ac.uk https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/lifelong-learning/ecology/

This 3 day intensive course is suitable for conservation workers, landowners and naturalists interested in developing their knowledge of conservation planning and habitat management. Methods of restoring and creating grassland, woodland, ponds and some linear habitats will be outlined, with the chance to research a topic in depth.

10/08/2018   Docks and Goosefoots   2 Day

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

Docks and Goosefoots are two of the more challenging groups of plants to get to grips with - not least because their Latin family names are in a state of flux! This weekend course aims to simplify the process of becoming familiar with a wide range of species and to give you confidence in identifying them with accuracy. *MMU

11/08/2018   Common British and Irish Plant Families 3: Mint, Fiswort and Borage   1 Day

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

This is one 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. Attendance of all four sessions is not required.

11/08/2018   Sedge training day   1 Day

Gilfach Nature Reserve, 2 miles north of Rhayader just off A470. Postcode not included as doesnt work on SatNav., Radnorshire Wildlife Trust . Contact: 01597 870301 or 01597 825722 barbara@rwtwales.org http://www.rwtwales.org

Gilfach Nature reserve has a good range of Sedge species which Margaret Howells of the University of Aberystwyth will be introducing us to. Low powered microscopes available. Please bring packed lunch & clothing suitable for outdoor surveys. Be aware that Sedges often grow in wet places a pair of wellingtons might be useful! Please book by email.

13/08/2018   Identifying Difficult Plants   3 Day

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

Are you a botanist who still shies away from the Dandelion look-alikes? Have you tried and failed to sort out the willows or the docks for instance? Do you find yourself saying 'I don't do sedges . . . or ferns . . . or goosefoots?' This course does not expect to turn you into an expert in any of these plants groups, but to demystify where possible and to get you started.

14/08/2018   Aquatic and River Plant ID   1 Day

Langford Lakes, Wiltshire, Species Recovery Trust. Contact: 01722 322539 bookings@speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk http://www.speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk

A 1 day course covering how to identify a range of common waterside plants, focusing on submerged, floating, emergent and bankside communities of slowflowing/standing water.

15/08/2018   Archaeology of West Dorset   1 Day

The Kingcombe Centre, Dorset Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01300 320684 kingcombe@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk http://www.kingcombe.org

With local expert Chris Tripp, you will explore some of the rich archaeology of the area, both in the classroom and out in the field.

18/08/2018   Common British and Irish Plant Families 4: Daisy, Goosefoot, Dock and Willow   1 Day

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

This is one 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 Regent's Park. Attendance of all four sessions is not required.

18/08/2018   Upland Plant Identification for Habitat Surveys   2 Day

Ben Lawers NNR, Killin, Parnassus Ecology & National Trust for Scotland. Contact: 07716 406900 lindsay@parnassusecology.com http://www.parnassusecology.com

This 2 day course aims to give participants the confidence to reliably identify key upland vascular plants in a variety of upland habitats, thus improving their ability to carry out upland Phase 1, NVC and other surveys. Suitable for beginner & intermediate levels.

19/08/2018   Polygonaceae: Docks, Knotweeds and Knotgrasses    1 Day

Berrycroft Hub, Ashbury, Swindon, Sam Thomas . Contact: 07919820654 berrycrofthub@gmail.com https://www.berrycrofthub.com/store/p57/Polygonaceae%3A_Docks%2C_Knotweeds_and_Knotgrasses_-_19th_August_2018_10-4pm.html

19/08/2018   An Introduction to Wild Flowers   1 Day

Attenborough Nature Reserve, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. Contact: 0115 972 1777 enquiries@attenboroughnaturecentre.co.uk https://c-js.co.uk/2KAo6wR

This course at Attenborough Nature Reserve is for anyone with a recent or renewed interest in wild flowers, who would like to learn how to identify them accurately with a key. 9.30am to 4pm, £35 per person, including lunch and refreshments.

20/08/2018   Exploring Gardens in the Lake District   3 Day

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

This interesting and relaxing course will offer participants the opportunity to visit some of the finest gardens in the Lake District. The tour includes both the well known and loved gems of the Lakes together with a generous sprinkling of smaller gardens, many of which will be opening specially for this tour.

20/08/2018   Docks and Goosefoots   1 Day

Tyland Barn and Oare Marshes, Kent Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01622 662012 studydays@kentwildlife.org.uk http://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/

Usually regarded simply as arable weeds, this is a chance to learn more about goosefoots, knotweeds, bistorts and docks plus some fascinating coastal plants.

24/08/2018   Broad-Leaved Trees   2 Day

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

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, before we have to rely on twig formation and winter silhouettes to help us identify these important members of our natural heritage. *MMU

24/08/2018   Identifying Lichens at Intermediate Level   2 Day

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

This intermediate level weekend course 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.

24/08/2018   Wild Food Foraging and Preparation Weekend   3 Day

Oxfordshire, Woodland Ways Bushcraft & Survival. Contact: 01234 351006 info@woodland-ways.co.uk http://c-js.co.uk/2pvaWs4

At Woodland Ways we offer one of the most comprehensive ranges of Wilderness Bushcraft and Survival courses available, covering everything from the basics up to advanced skills and instructor training.

31/08/2018   Vegetative Plant Identification   2 Day

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

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. Looking at several families of plants across a variety of habitats, the participants will focus on the key structures and features which allow accurate identification of plants no matter what time of year.

Contact for Details

Catchment Hydrology. Water Management using the Integrated Hydrological Modelling System, IHMS   3 Day

Wallingford, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. Contact: 01491 69 2225 ingsch@ceh.ac.uk http://www.ceh.ac.uk/training/catchment-hydrology

This three-day course will run in Sep 2018 (detail tbc). Register your interest now. The course is aimed at Hydrologists; catchment managers; practitioners, policy makers, business & researchers . It covers the Water cycle within the catchment, Impact of climate and land use changes & more.



20/08/2018   Photography for Beginners and Improvers   4 Days at FSC Flatford Mill

This course will suit those photographers that have a basic understanding of photography as well as the more experienced photographers because there is enough time available to start with the basic/intermediate techniques of photography and finish with more advanced subjects and techniques. Great emphasis will be placed on developing the eye and how to construct an image with impact and mood.

28/08/2018   Walking with Your Camera in Constable Country   3 Days at FSC Flatford Mill

This weekend workshop is designed for those who enjoy walking, love taking pictures and wish to spend a few days relaxing and exploring Constable Country. Time will be spent looking and considering what will make a good photograph, whether it is a general vista, farm buildings, architectural details, hedgerow berries or the group enjoying their picnic lunch.

For both courses contact Field Studies Council, 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/arts


Practical Countryside Skills

01/08/2018   Dry Stone Walling Taster   1 Day

Derbyshire Eco Centre, nr Wirksworth, Derbyshire Eco Centre. Contact: 01629 533038 ecocentre@derbyshire.gov.uk http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/education/adult_education/centres/derbyshire_eco_centre/default.asp?VD=ecocentre

Have you always dreamed about working outdoors? A chance to find out if dry stone walling might be for you

02/08/2018   The Art of Scything   1 Day

Brimpts Farm, Dartmeet, Dartmoor, Dartmoor Hill Farm Project . Contact: 01822 890913 hfp@dartmoor.gov.uk http://

In recent years the art of scything has made a comeback and this workshop will introduce you to the art form using modern Austrian scythes. These are a low tech, low carbon and quiet alternatives to modern machinery. The course is suited to beginners as well as those with some experience looking to improve their technique.

03/08/2018   Clawdd walling course (stones set in an earth bank)   2 Day

Bethel near Caernarfon, North Wales, Wales Branch of Dry Stone Walling Association. Contact: 07935977428 pasmyth@btinternet.com http://www.drystonewallingwales

A clawdd walling course (stones set in an earth bank, also known as a Cornish hedge)

04/08/2018   Dry Stone Walling   1 Day

Pensychnant near Conwy, North Wales, Wales Branch of Dry Stone Walling Association. Contact: 07935977428 pasmyth@btinternet.com http://www.drystonewallingwales

Dry stone walling in the beautiful Pensychnant valley

07/08/2018   Introduction to Pole Lathing   1 Day

Derbyshire Eco Centre, nr Wirksworth, Derbyshire Eco Centre. Contact: 01629 533038 ecocentre@derbyshire.gov.uk http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/education/adult_education/centres/derbyshire_eco_centre/default.asp?VD=ecocentre

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

10/08/2018   Dry Stone Walling - Improvers (Retaining Walls)   2 Day

Naunton, Cotswolds Rural Skills. Contact: 01451 862000 ruralskills@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk http://www.cotswoldsruralskills.org.uk

This is a 2 day dry-stone walling improvers course, ideal for people with some experience of dry stone walling or have attended one of the Beginners courses. During the course students will have opportunity to further practice the skills that were taught on the beginners course as well as other more advanced skills of dry-stone walling. In particular this course focuses on the building of a retaining wall (i.e. a wall that backs onto a soil bank).

11/08/2018   Introduction to Scything   1 Day

Northleach, Cotswolds Rural Skills. Contact: 01451 862000 ruralskills@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk http://www.cotswoldsruralskills.org.uk

The scythe is making a comeback! Thanks to imported lightweight Austrian scythes, and with the benefit of some basic know-how, using a scythe is a quiet,effective and fun activity. 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.

11/08/2018   Dry Stone Walling    1 Day

Settle BD24 9DN, Lowe Maintenance Training . Contact: 01729 825132 info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk http://www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk

Have a go at dry stone walling, the day involves repairing a gap in a dry stone wall, subject to site location and will vary from one location to another.

17/08/2018   Newtake Stone Walling Course   2 Day

Gidleigh, Dartmoor, Dartmoor Hill Farm Project . Contact: 01822 890913 hfp@dartmoor.gov.uk http://

A unique working on a newtake wall in one of the remotest and stunning areas of Dartmoor. We will camp out overnight with food provided but you will need a tent! The training is undertaken as part of a small group and a certificate of attendance is issued on completion of the course. Suitable for beginners and those with some experience of walling.

18/08/2018   Dry Stone Walling - Beginners   2 Day

Lodge Park, Cotswolds Rural Skills. Contact: 01451 862000 ruralskills@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk http://www.cotswoldsruralskills.org.uk

On the beginners course you can expect to learn about: dismantling walls, stone sorting, laying foundations, building up of the wall, adding through stones and copping stones, dressing the stone, different types of stone, the necessary tools and how to use them and much more. On our courses you will be building a wall that will remain part of the Cotswolds landscape for the next 100-200 years!

25/08/2018   Dry Stone Walling - Beginners   2 Day

Burford, Cotswolds Rural Skills. Contact: 01451 862000 ruralskills@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk http://www.cotswoldsruralskills.org.uk

On the beginners course you can expect to learn about: dismantling walls, stone sorting, laying foundations, building up of the wall, adding through stones and copping stones, dressing the stone, different types of stone, the necessary tools and how to use them and much more. On our courses you will be building a wall that will remain part of the Cotswolds landscape for the next 100-200 years!


Practical Countryside Skills - Machinery

01/08/2018   Safe Use of Hedge Cutters Handheld NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day

Settle BD24 9DN, Lowe Maintenance Training . Contact: 01729 825132 info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk http://www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk

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.

02/08/2018   Safe Use of Leaf Blowers NPTC / City and Guilds    0.5 Day

Settle BD24 9DN, Lowe Maintenance Training . Contact: 01729 825132 info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk http://www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk

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.

03/08/2018   Chainsaw - Maintenance, Crosscutting & Felling to 380 mm (Units 201,202, 203) (NPTC)    5 Day

Milton Abbott/Roadford, Lynher Training Ltd. Contact: 01822 832902 admin@lynher.com http://www.lynher.com

Anyone who is required to maintain and operate chainsaws where an NPTC certificate is required, or those wishing to fell trees over 380mm, or to go on to use a chainsaw in a tree. Suitable for those with little or no experience or previous certification. 5 days of training in preparation for the NPTC assessments

07/08/2018   Chainsaw - Maintenance & Crosscutting (Lantra)   2 Day

Sparkwell, Lynher Training Ltd. Contact: 01822 832902 admin@lynher.com http://www.lynher.com

Anyone using a chainsaw to crosscut timber for work or domestic purposes. Operators who wish to continue to felling trees over 200mm, or to use a chainsaw in trees should attend the five day maintenance cross cutting and felling small trees training course in preparation for the NPTC assessment.

09/08/2018   Brushcutter/Trimmer (Lantra)   1 Day

Sparkwell, Lynher Training Ltd. Contact: 01822 832902 admin@lynher.com http://www.lynher.com

1 day for all users - practical assessment with short questions at end of course. Refresher training is recommended every 3 to 5 years. The course covers both Strimmers & Brushcutters

13/08/2018   Chainsaw Maintenance, Cross Cutting and Felling and Processing of Trees up to 380mm (formally CS30 and CS31) NPTC / City and Guilds    4 Day

Settle BD24 9DN, Lowe Maintenance Training . Contact: 01729 825132 info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk http://www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk

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.

14/08/2018   Safe Use of Rat and Mice Poison NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day

Settle BD24 9DN, Lowe Maintenance Training . Contact: 01729 825132 info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk http://www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk

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

15/08/2018   Safe Use of Aluminium Phosphide for Vertebrate Pest Control (Phostoxin and Talunex) NPTC / City and Guilds   1 Day

Settle BD24 9DN, Lowe Maintenance Training . Contact: 01729 825132 info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk http://www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk

Phostoxin and Talunex for the control of rabbits, rats and moles requires you to hold a certificate of competence to buy and apply the product. This one day training plus one day assessment will enable you to do so upon achievement.

17/08/2018   Safe Use of Brush Cutters and Trimmers NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day

Settle BD24 9DN, Lowe Maintenance Training . Contact: 01729 825132 info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk http://www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk

This course is being part funded through the Stories in Stone project, 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.

20/08/2018   Ground Based Chainsaw Operation (CS30 & CS31)   5 Day

Cross Gate Road, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire HD9 1SL, TKF Training. Contact: 01484 685114 jonny.ripley@tkftraining.co.uk https://tkftraining.co.uk/chainsaw-training-courses/

This course is for anyone who is required to operate chainsaws for cross cutting and felling small trees. It will provide the knowledge and skills required for learners to be assessed for the regulated qualification: Level 2 Award in Ground Based Chainsaw Operator.

20/08/2018   Felling and Processing Trees Over 380mm (formally CS32) NPTC / City and Guilds    2 Day

Settle BD24 9DN, Lowe Maintenance Training . Contact: 01729 825132 info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk http://www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk

Two days training plus one day assessment. Felling and processing trees above 380mm in diameter.

20/08/2018   PA1 - Principles of Safe Handling and Application of Pesticides NPTC / City and Guilds   1 Day

Settle BD24 9DN, Lowe Maintenance Training . Contact: 01729 825132 info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk http://www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk

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

21/08/2018   PA6a - Safe Application of Pesticides Using Pedestrian Hand Held Equipment (knapsacks/lance from a tank) NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day

Settle BD24 9DN, Lowe Maintenance Training . Contact: 01729 825132 info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk http://www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk

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.

22/08/2018   LANTRA Brushcutter/Trimmers - Maintenance and Operation   1 Day

Northleach, Cotswolds Rural Skills. Contact: 01451 862000 ruralskills@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk http://www.cotswoldsruralskills.org.uk

This one day 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. Once you have successfully carried out this course you will receive a LANTRA accredited certificate of training for Brushcutters/Trimmers.

22/08/2018   PA2a - Safe Application of Pesticides Using Self-propelled, Mounted and Trailed Boom Sprayers NPTC / City and Guilds 1 Day

Settle BD24 9DN, Lowe Maintenance Training . Contact: 01729 825132 info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk http://www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk

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.

23/08/2018   Scything for Beginners   1 Day

Bay Pond, Godstone RH9 8LT, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk http://www.surreywildlifetrust.org/events/2018/01/10/scything-beginners?instance=0

Discover the ancient skill of scything on this practical course. Learn various cutting techniques, how to sharpen your blade and tips for staying safe.

24/08/2018   Pesticides - Knapsack Sprayer PA1 and PA6a (NPTC)   2 Day

Tamar Valley, Lynher Training Ltd. Contact: 01822 832902 admin@lynher.com http://www.lynher.com

Anyone using, or purchasing, pesticides, herbicides or fungicides, and applying them with a knapsack sprayer. 2 days for training -(Foundation module + one other) separate assessments (usually within 4 weeks of the training). The course covers: Foundation Module (PA1 COMPULSORY): - 1 Day, Knapsack Sprayer Module (PA6a OPTION): -1 Day.

30/08/2018   Aerial Cutting of Trees with a Chainsaw Using Free-Fall Techniques (formally CS39) NPTC / City and Guilds    2 Day

Settle BD24 9DN, Lowe Maintenance Training . Contact: 01729 825132 info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk http://www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk

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)

30/08/2018   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

31/08/2018   Safe Use of Brush Cutters and Trimmers NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day

Settle BD24 9DN, Lowe Maintenance Training . Contact: 01729 825132 info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk http://www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk

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.

Contact for Details

ROLO (Register of Land-Based Operatives) Training   1 Day

Guildford, Thomson Ecology. Contact: 01483 466066 Estelle.Spencer@thomsonecology.com http://www.thomsonecology.com

The ROLO training course is a pre-requisite for anyone applying for a LISS/CSCS card. The course is run from our head office in Guildford, Surrey. We can also provide training at your location if numbers are viable. Successful candidates will receive ROLO certificates produced by BALI.

NPTC - PA1 Foundation Module & PA6A Knapsack Sprayer   3 Day

Maidstone or Countrywide for groups, Ian Gower Associates Ltd. Contact: 07946 525298 / 01622 675130 ian@pesticides-safety-training.co.uk http://www.pesticides-safety-training.co.uk

This 3 day course includes the PA1 assessment. The practical PA6A assessment is held on a separate occasion. Courses are for a maximum of 8 people & they are run regularly throughout the year in Maidstone & on-site anywhere in the UK for groups of people.

Water, land and crop management at field scale   3 Day

Wallingford, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. Contact: 01491 69 2225 ingsch@ceh.ac.uk http://www.ceh.ac.uk/training/water-land-and-crop-management

This three-day course will run in June 2018 (detail tbc). You can register your interest now. It will cover topics like Water transport, Nitrogen fertilizers management, Irrigation and Drainage, Crop growth and yield, Soil moisture, soil nitrogen and salinity status, Impact of climate change.

Basic Chainsaw Maintenance & Cross-Cutting Training Course   2 Days at Brooksby Melton College

This course covers safety features, preparing the chainsaw for use with correct fuel and lubrication and cross cutting timber accurately. This unit must be completed before progressing on to further chainsaw courses.

 Level 2 Award in Felling and Processing Trees up to 380mm (CS31)   3.5 Days at Brooksby Melton College

This course will further expand on your knowledge gained by the CS30 course (City & Guilds NPTC Level 2 Award in Chainsaw Maintenance and Cross Cutting). This course will take you onto felling trees up to 380mm in diameter, including performing tree operations using hand tools.

Level 3 Award in Felling and Processing Trees over 380mm (CS32)   3.5 Days at Brooksby Melton College

This course further expands on the knowledge gained in CS30 and CS31. This course will take you onto felling trees over 380mm in diameter, including performing tree operations using hand tools. The felling technique will be appropriate to tree size, weight, condition and species.

Level 2 Using Pesticides Safely (PA1 & PA6)   2 Days at Brooksby Melton College

The PA1 unit is a theory based course and covers the legislation, health and safety requirements, precautions, product label information and safe handling and use of pesticides. The PA6A practical unit covers the handling and safe use of pesticides using knapsack sprayers.

Level 2 Award in Safe Use of Pesticides (Boom Sprayer Applicator) PA2   2 Days at Brooksby Melton College

Completion of the assessment will give individuals a lifetime qualification and the commercial licence for the relevant units completed. This course would benefit anyone already working or considering working in a horticulture environment, agriculture or anywhere pesticides may need to be implemented.

Level 2 Safe Use of Ride-On Self Propelled Mowers   2 Days at Brooksby Melton College

This course covers pre-use checks, maintenance, identification of controls and instruments, and operating the machine, taking in to account the type of cutting mechanism used (rotary, cylinder, flail or reciprocating knife).

Level 2 Safe Use of Pedestrian Controlled Mowers   4 Days at Brooksby Melton College

This course covers pre-use checks, maintenance, identification of controls and instruments, and operating the machine taking in to account the type of cutting mechanism used (rotary, cylinder, flail or reciprocating knife or greens machine with interchangeable units).

Level 2 Safe Use of Pesticides (PA4S and G)   2 Days at Brooksby Melton College

This course would benefit anyone already working or considering working in a horticulture environment, agriculture or anywhere pesticides may need to be implemented.

Level 2 Safe Use of Manually Fed Wood-Chipper   1 Day at Brooksby Melton College

This one day course is theory based with a small practical element, aiming to provide delegates with the basic knowledge to understand the principles of best practice in operating a wood chipper. It also covers maintenance aspects.

Level 2 Safe Use of Stump Grinders   1 Day

This one day course aims to provide delegates with the base knowledge to understand the principles of best practice in operating and maintaining Stump Grinders.

Level 2 Safe Use of Brush-Cutters and Trimmers    1 Day at Brooksby Melton College

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 require employers to provide adequate training in maintenance and operation of brush cutters and trimmers and to ensure that equipment is operated only by employees who have received appropriate training in their safe use.

For Brooksby Melton College contact: 01664 855 444 shortcourses@BrooksbyMelton.ac.uk http://www.brooksbymelton.ac.uk


Updates and Additions to other sections of Training Directory this month

Longer courses

Botany and Horticulture

Level 1 Certificate in Practical Horticulture with Groundwork South


Distance learning

Postgraduate Certificate in Ecological Survey Techniques with University of Oxford


Training Centre / provider listings

Bat Training Partnership / Ecology on Demand

Brighton Permaculture Trust

Centre for Ecology & Hydrology


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