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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: VWT-  Vincent Wildlife Trust 

Featured Charity:  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)

Parndon Wood Manager 


Harlow, Essex (Full-time, but we would consider a job share arrangement )

Forest Planner / Assistant Forest Planner

Scottish Woodlands

Central and South Scotland

Ecological Consultant




Ecosupport Ltd

based in Hampshire

Assistant Land Agent

Bell Ingram

based in Ayr

Full Time Forestry Worker

Lydney Park Estate


Fisheries Officer

Scottish Wildlife Trust

Edinburgh (Full-time position Fixed term for 3 years)

Estate Worker


Ynys-Hir Reserve, Ceredigion (Fixed Term – 3 month contract, 37.5 hpw)

Forest Craftsperson

Forestry Commission England

Kielder Forest

Forest Crafts Person

Penfold's Woodland Management Ltd

Based in NE Hampshire  

‘Soak it Up’ Project Assistant

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

8 month contract

Activities Programme Workers

Iona Community Camas Centre

Isle of Mull (1 fixed term 9 month contract, 1 fixed term 3 year seasonal contract)

Visitor Experience Assistant


Newport Wetlands Reserve, Newport, Gwent (Permanent, 22.5hpw)

Senior Programme Manager - Cairngorms Connect


Cairngorms, Highland (Full time, Contract: 5 years)

Life Skills Mentor

Equinable Ltd

Nr Southampton, Hampshire (full time vacancy and a full time maternity cover)

Head of Landscape Conservation

Essex Wildlife Trust

Base: Great Wigborough, Essex

Farm & Environment Assistant


Based office in Hartfield, East Sussex (full time)

Moor than meets the eye Finance & Administrative Officer

Dartmoor National Park Authority

Based at the Authority’s office in Princetown, but may involve occasional travel to other sites within the National Park.(Fixed-term contract until 31 December 2019, 22.2 hpw)

Assistant Ecologist

Ecology Solutions

based at our offices in Broadway, Worcestershire(Permanent Contract) 

Programme Manager - Native Wildlife Project


Stromness Office, Orkney (Full time, 5 years)


Apprentice Assistant Rangers 

Durham County Council

Wharton Park, Durham - however, you may be required to work at any Council workplace within County Durham (temporary postition for 2 years)


Non-Executive Directors and Trustees  

National Land Based College



National Land Based College - Recruitment of Non-Executive Directors

Feedback on articles from the last CJS Focus promoted on social media, how do we counteract the sometimes neagtive image volunteering has? [more]


Surveys and Fieldwork

Every listing was checked and updated during October meaing that there are three pages of new and updated listings across all sections.


CJS Focus

Advance notice of publication of CJS Focus on Employablity a week on Monday (19 November). Also a call for suggestions and article submissions for next year's editions which will be considering Volunteering (February), Recreation and Outdoor Education (May), Countryside Management (September) and The Next Generation looking at the importance of involving the younger generations (November)


CJS Information and other articles

The British Wildlife Photography Awards proudly announce the winners for 2018. The awards celebrate both the work of amateur and professional photographers and the beauty and diversity of British wildlife. Winning images are chosen from thousands of entries in fifteen separate categories including a category for film and two junior categories to encourage young people to connect with nature through photography. Including a wonderful image of sea kelp, winning Botanical Britain, the category sponsored by CJS. [more]

Our final article from this year's featured charity: The Vincent Wildlife Trust looking at considering PhD Students working with the Vincent Wildlife Trust.  [Read it here]

We will be introducing our new charity soon.



Government Policy and Announcements

  • Budget 2018: 24 things you need to know – HM Treasury plus reacrions from Wildlife & Countryside Link, Sustrans & CPRE

Land and Countryside Management

  • Public to have say on new National Parks - Defra
  • Vanishing Gardens and Landscapes threaten UK Future - The Royal Horticultural Society
  • Tree Champion: we must preserve our urban trees - Defra 

Grants Funding and new partnerships

  • Heritage Lottery Fund and National Trust join forces to save our precious parks – Heritage Lottery Fund
  • UK Research and Innovation launches major programmes to tackle climate change and drive clean growth - UK Research and Innovation

Pollution, sustainablity and climate

  • Summary for Policymakers of IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C approved by governments - IPCC
  • Project to enable plastics to be recycled together - University of Bath

Health, Recreation and volunteering

  • Nature to be prescribed to help health and wellbeing – RSPB 

Scientific Research, Results and Publications

  • Cutting edge DNA analysis to reveal the secret wildlife of urban nature reserves – Natural History Museum
  • Urban trees could be answer to hot office block woes – Forest Research
  • Greater diversity enhances public interest in marine habitats - University of Plymouth
  • Relocating snakes not as helpful to their conservation as previously thought - University of Kent

Animal and wildlife news

  • Wildlife declines show nature needs life support, WWF warns
  • Wading birds are benefiting from conservation action but we need more of it - BTO
  • Research reveals Scotland’s west coast as global cetacean hotspot - Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust
  • Flying success for Bats in Churches project - Natural England
  • First record of Myxomatosis in Hares - Essex Wildlife Trust


Calendar of events and short courses occuring in January 2019 this month including details of courses available on an ad hoc or on demand basis.  pages (preview in firefox to get the page count)

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


Grants and sources of funding

Details of five 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: 8 November 2018

Jobs: view all online jobs here


Parndon Wood Manager 

ECCO is an environmental charity and manages Parndon Wood Nature Reserve in Harlow, Essex as well as 3 reuse shops. 

We are looking for a manager to organise, run and develop our busy programme of fundraising events at the reserve. Events include themed days, school and group visits, birthday parties etc. 

You will be responsible for the day to day running of the reserve which includes:

   ●   Opening and closing;   ●   Liaison with community groups, volunteers and the local council;   ●   Running our on-site cafe;   ●   General health and safety, including cleaning regimes, maintenance and risk assessments;   ●   Development of fundraising activities;    ●   Social Media Management

You will be:

   ●   A self starter;    ●   Motivated to reach fundraising targets;    ●   Able to lead environmental talks (Key Stage 1/2);    ●   Organised and a confident communicator

The reserve is open Wednesday to Sunday, with a late night opening on Thursday. 

Job Type: Full-time, but we would consider a job share arrangement 

Salary: £20,000.00 to £21,000.00 /year 

Job Types: Full-time, Part-time, Permanent 

Apply by email to sean.folan@ecco.org.uk with your CV and a covering letter

Logo: Ecosulis LtdEcological Consultant - Bath 

Ecosulis are the UK’s most experienced ecological consultancy and contractor, with over 25 years in the industry.  We are currently seeking to employ a full time experienced Ecological Consultant in Bath. Candidates will be selected according to their experience and attitude towards development, planning and conservation. The successful candidate will be working as integral member of the team, to delivery high quality work.  

Based from our head office in Bath, you will be required to manage a range of various projects, predominately scoping and undertaking ecological surveys, and informing development design for planning applications. This is an exciting opportunity to manage a range of projects, including large scale species translocation projects as well as works to inform complex planning applications and development schemes.  

The job will require travelling to various sites and undertake surveys throughout the week. There may occasionally be night time work during busy periods, especially over the summer months. We offer training opportunities and options for career progression, as well as opportunities within our other departments including our habitats creation team.  

You will have: 

   ●   Have a minimum of 4 years' relevant work experience.   ●   An ambitious and forward thinking outlook with recent experience in the consultancy sector.   ●   At least one European Protected Species licence, preferably either bats or great crested newt.   ●   Associate/Full membership of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management or have the experience and qualifications to gain such membership.   ●   Experience of report writing and project management, and client liaison.   ●   Thorough understanding of UK legislation, planning policy and best practice.   ●   Able to lead and co-ordinate surveys.  ●   Be dynamic and proactive, able to use own initiative when appropriate.   ●   Excellent time management and organisational skills.   ●   Clean driving licence and own transport essential. 

Start date: ASAP

Please send your CV to laura.joy@ecosulis.co.uk quoting ECOCON1018 

Ecosulis is an equal opportunities employer. 

Ecosupport Ltd is expanding!    

Are you an enthusiastic, self-motivated and professional Ecologist looking for your next career move? We have an exciting opportunity for an experienced Ecologist to join our friendly and dynamic team!    

Ecosupport is a growing ecological consultancy based in Hampshire. We provide high quality ecological support across a broad range of sectors including residential, transport, utility and site restoration. Our key aim is to help our clients achieve the best outcomes for their schemes whilst securing net benefits for the environment.    

The Role:    

   ●   Your role will be to plan, manage and deliver professional ecological services to a broad range of clients.    ●   You will be responsible for the coordination of surveys and field staff, as well as liaison with clients and other professionals and organisations.      ●   You will be based in Fareham, Hampshire, with travel throughout the region and occasionally the surrounding areas.   ●   Your time will be divided between office and field-based work.   

Skills and Experience:    

Strong communication, organisation and team working skills are essential, as well as a positive attitude, self-discipline and a desire to be challenged!  

You will have:    

We are looking for someone with least two years’ experience working as an Ecological Consultant managing their own projects, capable of taking on your own clients as soon as you’ve settled in to the team.

The following experience is essential:  

   ●   Production of a range of technical reports including impact assessment and mitigation strategies    ●   EPSM Licence applications    ●   Project coordination and management     ●   Client liaison & project tendering    ●   Strong all-round field skills    ●   Protected Species licenses desirable, particularly bats Bat sound analysis using Analook   ●   Creative approach to problem-solving    ●   Relevant BSc as a minimum   ●   Full driving licence    

Ongoing training opportunities will be provided, alongside a competitive salary and a supportive, dynamic and friendly working environment.  

To find out more about this opportunity or to apply for the role please apply in writing to Claire at  A1 Knowle Village Business  Park, Mayles Lane, Fareham, PO17 5DY, including a CV and cover letter.

We look forward to hearing from you! 

Logo: Bell Ingram LtdAssistant Land Agent 

Bell Ingram is looking for a highly enthusiastic and motivated Assistant Land Agent to join our team based in Ayr.  You will have the opportunity to cover a range of work including land referencing, acquisitions and compensation claims for utility clients. A rural land management qualification is desirable but not essential.  A key part of this role is talking to/negotiating with land owners and tenants to obtain access to land therefore excellent verbal and written communication skills are essential.  Working knowledge of Microsoft packages, experience in an office environment and rural knowledge are also essential.  Practical experience in farming or forestry and a basic understanding of wayleaves would be advantageous.  The ability to use digital mapping systems to prepare plans would be advantageous.   

We offer excellent career prospects, training and a salary commensurate with your skills and experience.  A car owner/driver is essential.   

Informal enquiries are welcomed by Geoff Brown on 01292 886544.  Please forward your CV and covering letter to Bell Ingram Ltd, 33 Sandgate, Ayr, KA7 1BG or email geoff.brown@bellingram.co.uk. 

Closing date 16th November 2018   

Bell Ingram is an equal opportunities employer. 

Logo: Lydney Park EstateFull Time Forestry Worker 

Lydney Park Estate, Gloucestershire 

A vacancy has arisen for a Full Time Forestry Worker working within our existing Forestry team.  Duties will include all aspects of Estate forestry, including planting, establishment and spraying, chainsaw thinning, final crop harvesting, extraction and Christmas tree production.  As required, you may be asked to assist in production or delivery of sawn timber or firewood.  In addition, you will need a flexible approach to other tasks across the Estate, which could include mowing, fencing, and general maintenance.  You will be encouraged to take an active role in operating our Forest tractors, winch, crane and other equipment. 

The successful applicant must be trained to a minimum level of NPTC units CS30 & CS31 for chainsaw use and hold a full UK Drivers Licence. 

Additional relevant experience and certificates would be advantageous, particularly in tractor driving, spraying and first-aid.  However, we will offer further training for the right candidate. 

Salary is negotiable depending on experience and qualifications.  There is an employee pension scheme available with employer and employee contributions required. 

A full job specification is available upon request. 

Please send a cv and personalised covering letter to reception@lydneyparkestate.co.uk by 12 noon on Friday 16th November 2018. 

Logo: Scottish Wildlife TrustFisheries Officer


£24,000 per annum 

Full-time position

Fixed term for 3 years 

For over 50 years, the Scottish Wildlife Trust has worked with its members, partners and supporters in pursuit of healthy, resilient ecosystems across Scotland’s land and seas for the benefit of people and wildlife. The Trust successfully champions the cause of wildlife through policy and campaigning work, demonstrates best practice through practical conservation and innovative partnerships, and inspires people to take positive action through its education and engagement activities. 

Scotland’s marine area is vast, making up approximately 60% of UK seas, and our coasts and waters support a rich and diverse array of spectacular wildlife and natural habitats that provide a wealth of benefits to society, from food and jobs to education and inspiration. 

A key component of the Trust’s work towards achieving a healthy and productive marine environment has been its Living Seas project, which focuses on marine planning, policy, and community engagement at both national and local levels. The Trust is keen to increase its capacity to engage with the management of Scotland’s marine resources and is currently looking for an experienced Fisheries Officer to join the Living Seas team.   

The Fisheries Officer will be the Trust’s main point of contact on fisheries matters and be responsible for developing and promoting the Trust’s policies on fisheries management, developing a broad network of industry, community, and academic contacts throughout Scotland and the UK, working closely with other Scottish environmental NGOs, and engaging with Scottish and UK government consultations and meetings on fisheries management. 

You should have a post-graduate degree in environmental or marine science, experience working in fisheries management and policy, and, ideally, a good knowledge of the current status of fisheries management in Scotland. The Fisheries Officer post will focus mainly on fisheries management, but a broad knowledge of the environmental impacts of marine activities, marine protected areas, marine planning, and environmental legislation would be advantageous.  

You should have excellent communication and writing skills, experience writing briefings, consultation responses and written evidence, excellent time management, and be confident and comfortable working independently and collaboratively. 

This is a new post, funded full-time for three years. 

For further information and to apply, please click here  

Closing date: 21 November 2018

Interview date: First week December

Start date: Jan 2019 

Logo: RSPBJob title – Estate Worker

Location – Ynys-Hir Reserve, Ceredigion

Hours – Full Time – 37.5 hours per week.

Salary – £15,366 - £16,377 per annum

Basis – Fixed Term – 3 month contract. 

Closing date – 16 November 2018

Interview Date – week commencing 3 December 2018 

Ynys hir nature reserve is a spectacular 860ha mix of ancient woodland, ffridd, swamp and mire, fen and reedbed, lowland wet grassland and saltmarsh. We have a challenging winter work programme focused on maintaining and enhancing habitats for key species, and on improving the visitor experience, and we need your help. 

We are looking to recruit an experienced Estate Worker on a 3 month contract beginning 7th January, 2019, to help us deliver key habitat and estate management works.  

As part of our small reserve team, you will carry out a wide range of tasks which will include:

   ●   maintenance of reserve infrastructure – paths, signs, benches, boardwalk, fencing   ●   assistance with electric fencing, and scrub removal on lowland wet grassland   ●   birch removal on raised bog   ●   bramble and holly removal in woodlands   ●   INNS removal across the whole site   ●   volunteer and contractor management   ●   livestock management and cross compliance obligations

You will be responsible for using and servicing reserve equipment and vehicles, including quad, chainsaw and brushcutter, to ensure safety standards are met.  

Ensuring our work is compliant with all relevant legislation is an important aspect of this role.  

Our work is supported by a dedicated team of volunteers, so the successful candidate must be able to work well as part of a team and be able to manage and motivate volunteers, including regular volunteer work parties. 

An interest in wildlife and knowledge of conservation would be an advantage as you will contribute to biological recording across the reserves as required.  

Woking closely with the Assistant warden, your regular work days will be Monday to Friday.  

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

Logo: Forestry CommissionForest Craftsperson 

Kielder Forest ● £19,995 - £21,175 

Purpose of the Job: To work with other Forest Craftspersons to maintain and enhance the Forestry Commission Estate. 

Key Work Areas: Using countryside skills including chainsaw/clearing saw work, grass strimming, fencing, planting, herbicide application, path maintenance & basic surveying. 

Closing Date: 18th November 2018 

For more details and application form please click here (Job ref: 1606722)  

No recruitment agencies please. 

Penfold's Woodland Management Ltd

Forest Crafts Person

Based in NE Hampshire  

Penfold’s Woodland Management undertakes woodland maintenance and survey work across Southern England and further afield. To support our expanding business, we are looking to take on a forest craftsperson or trainee.  

The successful candidate must be enthusiastic, highly motivated with a willingness to learn. Working within an expanding business and within a small team it is key that you are flexible and able to communicate effectively with other team members.  

It is desirable the candidate will have already gained a number of forestry related NPTC qualifications that may include:

   ●   The Use of Pesticides   ●   Use of Chainsaw   ●   Use of Clearing saws    ●   First Aid  

If you are interested in the position and would like to apply, please forward your CV to kevin@penfolds.org.uk

Logo: Yorkshire Wildlife Trust‘Soak it Up’ Project Assistant - 8 month contract

£19600 p.a. plus up to 9% employer pension contribution 

Are you passionate about nature conservation? Are you committed to reducing the risk of local flooding?  Can you work with schools and communities to raise their awareness of sustainable drainage and responsible water use? 

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is a dynamic, local conservation organisation and seeks to appoint a ‘Soak it Up’ Project Assistant to work on a new and exciting campaign that is being delivered in partnership with Yorkshire Water. 

You will support the Project Officer in the delivery of engagement workshops and assemblies in schools across North and East Yorkshire, as well as assist with the design and installation of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) on each site.  

You will have experience of working in schools and with volunteers. In addition you will be self-motivated and able to manage your own time whist also being able to work as part of a team. A full driving licence and access to a vehicle is also essential as many of the sites may not be accessible using public transport. 

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

Please note we don’t accept CVs 

Logo: Yorkshire WaterClosing date for receipt of completed application forms and accompanying equal opportunities monitoring form: 9 am on Friday 23 November 2018. Please note that applications received after the closing deadline will not be considered 

Interviews: Wednesday 5 December 2018 

This post is subject to a DBS check at enhanced level 

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is an equal opportunities employer 

No agencies 

YWT Company 409650; Charity no. 210807. 

Resident instructors at an Outdoor Centre with a Difference

Iona Community Camas Centre Activities Programme Workers - 1 fixed term 9 month contract, 1 fixed term 3 year seasonal contract

Environmental Programme Worker 1 fixed term 3 year seasonal contract  

Unique opportunity to work and live in a beautiful and remote bay on the West coast of Scotland at the outdoor centre with a difference! Camas, on the Isle of Mull, is a residential centre providing nurturing outdoor experiences with a focus on youth work (particularly with groups from disadvantaged backgrounds), community building, a simple lifestyle and an environmental ethos. We also have an organic garden which produces food for the centre as well as being a learning resource. 

We are seeking the right people to join the resident staff management team to:

   ●   Welcome young people to community living, providing exceptional warmth and hospitality.    ●   Help operation of the centre e.g. maintain the buildings, equipment, and planning.   ●   Mentor, support, and lead volunteers.    ●   Take part in the everyday tasks of the centre.   ●   With specific roles responsible for the Delivery of outdoor activities with a flexible approach, including rock climbing, kayaking, coasteering and lead walks.    ●   Or Delivery of environmental themed activity sessions, including art/creative sessions and projects, wild camping, walks and nature trails, environmental awareness activities including delivering the John Muir Award

If you have a passion for wild places, outdoor activities and developing young people, then we’d love you to get in touch with an application or for an informal, initial chat

  Please click here for full details and deadlines and application forms

All applications must be on the Camas Application Form.

Logo: RSPBJob title – Visitor Experience Assistant

Location – Newport Wetlands Reserve, Newport, Gwent

Hours – 22.5 hours per week

Salary – £15,269 - £15,696 per annum pro rata

Basis – Permanent role. 

Closing date –  25 November 2018

Interview Date – 12 December 2018 

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

You will be based at the Visitor Centre on the Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve helping to manage the overall visitor experience from arrival to departure, enthusing and inspiring the public through the welcome on site to the delivery of a wide range of events. 

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

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

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

Logo: RSPBSenior Programme Manager - Cairngorms Connect
Reference number: A3841018
Location: Cairngorms, Highland
Salary starting at: £39,970 - £43,301 per annum
Hours: Full time
Contract: 5 years 

Set in a vast landscape of ice-hewn mountains, spectacular pinewoods, tranquil lochs, and wild, rushing rivers, Cairngorms Connect is the largest habitat restoration partnership in Britain. Cairngorms Connect has bold plans to make this inspiring place better for wildlife, and better for those who take joy from the wildlife and beauty of this extraordinary place.  

The project will expand the Caledonian pine forest to its natural limit, reinstate drained wetlands, naturalise rivers and restore huge tracts of peatland, to create an amazing place for nature - a home to eagles, wildcats, pine martens, ospreys, black grouse, ptarmigan, otters and curlews. 

The Senior Programme Manager will lead the project team that will deliver this ambitious and exciting vision. If you have the skills, experience and competencies to deliver this vision, we would love to hear from you. 

Applications for job share or part time working will be considered. This is a Partnership project involving Scottish Natural Heritage, Wildland Ltd, RSPB Scotland & Forest Enterprise Scotland with funding from The Endangered Landscape Programme and other partners. 

Closing date: 28 November 2018
Interview date: 17 December 2018 

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

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

Equinable Ltd

Life Skills Mentor

Salary £17,000

Location - Nr Southampton, Hampshire

We are very excited to have a full time vacancy and a full time maternity cover available to work within our service as a Life Skills Mentor.

We support individuals growth of life skills through working with horses, animals, horticulture and the environment.  

We currently offer our service exclusively to adults with a learning disability but in the new year are looking to diversify into other client groups.  

We are looking for a fun and self-motivated individual who is a good communicator and can enable other individuals to be mindful and gain the most out of their time with us.    

Contact info@equinable.co.uk to apply including your CV

Closing Date - 30th November

Logo: Essex Wildlife Trust Head of Landscape Conservation

Permanent role

Hours:   37.5 hours per week

Salary:  £42,850 rising to £43,350 per annum (under review)

Base:    Great Wigborough, Essex 

Essex Wildlife Trust is the county’s leading conservation charity.  The Trust has over 37,000 members, 2,000 volunteers, 87 nature reserves, 11 Visitor Centres and over 200 staff. 

We have an exciting opportunity for the post of Head of Landscape Conservation. This is a pivotal post for the Trust as it delivers a strategic vision for wildlife conservation across the county.  We are looking for someone with significant people management and conservation experience, a high level of credibility and ambition and someone who thrives on responsibility and wants to make a real difference to conservation outcomes across Essex.  

If you are a strong leader who has the passion to drive forward our conservation goals and build on our incredible achievements to date, we would love to hear from you. Essex contains habitat and species of international importance and as one of the largest Wildlife Trusts in the UK, our aim is to protect this wildlife and get local residents, businesses and politicians to see the value of safeguarding its future.

In this role you will:  

   ●   Demonstrate and communicate the value of habitat protection    ●   Manage a multidisciplinary team of 35 staff to deliver success across the county at a landscape scale.   ●   Secure and manage key partnerships with a broad cross section of people and sectors, to help deliver our charitable objectives.   ●   Role model a new way of working as part of an organisational change programme.   ●   Influence key decision makers and deliver impact on the ground through enhanced habitat protection.   ●   Play a key role in the future of the organisation as part of the Senior Management Team. 

If you believe you have the skills we are looking for, please find a job pack and how to apply at: www.essexwt.org.uk/jobs

 Closing date:    19 November 2018 at 8.30 a.m.

Interview date:   27 November 2018 

For further information email: michelleh@essexwt.org.uk, tel: 01621 862950 or go to www.essexwt.org.uk   

Protecting Wildlife for the Future and for the People of Essex

Logo: CLM LtdFarm & Environment Assistant

An opportunity is available for an enthusiastic and capable individual to join our team.  

CLM is the leading independent Farm Business Consultancy in the South East specialising in Environmental Grant schemes.  We take a commercial approach to obtaining the best possible grant scheme outcomes for our clients and the habitats they manage.   

We require a motivated client facing individual, ideally with some prior experience of rural grants and subsidies dealing with Natural England and Rural Payments Service. 

Key Responsibilities:

   ●   Assisting in the administration of grant and subsidy sourcing and compliance including Basic Payment Scheme and Environmental and Countryside Stewardship.   ●   Organising farmer engagement events for the Eastern South Downs Farmer Cluster.   ●   Providing administrative support and assistance to the team including preparation of maps, plans and reports as required.   ●   Providing mapping support for planning and diversification projects.   ●   Working with clients and contractors to let and oversee contracts of works.

Suitable candidates may also undertake habitat and protected species surveys for planning applications as well as assisting with a broad range of other farm management and rural property issues.


   ●   Degree level qualification   ●   2 A levels Grades C and above   ●   5 GCSEs Grades C and above (including English and Mathematics)   ●   Proficient with excel    ●   Competent report writing   ●   GIS and mapping experience   ●   Excellent administration and organisational skills   ●   Work experience within the rural property sector   ●   Event organisation experience   ●   Car and Full UK Driving Licence 

A farming/ecology background/degree would be useful however, graduates from other areas may also be considered.

Based fulltime at our office in Hartfield, East Sussex. 

Salary dependant on experience but likely to be in the range of £20k - £24k 

CV and Covering Letter to anthony@c-l-m.co.uk   

Closing date 22nd Nov 

Logo: Dartmoor National Park Authority Dartmoor National Park Authority

‘Moor than meets the eye’ Landscape Partnership Scheme 

Moor than meets the eye is a Landscape Partnership Scheme which has received £1.9 million part funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and is looking for an enthusiastic person to join our team.   

MTMTE Finance & Administrative Officer

Grade 2 £16,863 - £18,319 (pro-rata)

Fixed-term contract until 31 December 2019

22.2 hours per week  

We are seeking a suitably experienced person to assist in the day to day operation of financial and administrative systems and procedures.   

You will have good financial and administrative skills and an excellent working knowledge of Microsoft Office applications. You will have a good eye for detail and enjoy working in a small and highly committed team.   

Possessing excellent keyboard skills, you will also be a confident communicator and be able to manage your workload to meet deadlines. 

Closing Date:     20 November 2018 noon

Interview date:   13 December 2018 

This post is based at the Authority’s office in Princetown, but may involve occasional travel to other sites within the National Park.  

Logo: Heritage Lottery FundedFor more information and to apply, visit our website. 

Information about the Scheme can be found here 

Dartmoor National Park Authority is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

Logo: Ecology Solutions 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 Assistant Ecologist to join our dynamic team based at our offices in Broadway, Worcestershire. 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 considered useful, but not essential.  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:  vicky.locke@ecologysolutions.co.uk

Salary: Competitive, dependent on experience 

Closing date: 23rd November 2018 

No agencies 

We regret we are unable to take telephone enquiries 

Logo: RSPBProgramme Manager - Native Wildlife Project 

We are looking for an inspiring leader and experienced project manager, people manager and communicator to head up this ground-breaking non-native species eradication project. Experience in delivering complex conservation projects or programmes on the ground is essential and knowledge of non-native species eradications is a must.  

Orkney Native Wildlife Project - Programme Manager
Ref: A3901118
Location: Stromness Office, Orkney
Salary: £39,970 - £43,301 per annum
Hours: Full time
Contract: 5 years 

You will be responsible for the successful delivery of the project, including reporting to the funders, the project steering committee and board. You will coordinate and support the delivery of all elements of the Wildlife Project, including the Eradication, Biosecurity, Wildlife-friendly Communities, Monitoring and Young Ambassadors Activities and be a spokesperson for the project. 

You will have the confidence and ability to inspire trust and support for the project, and an ability to win over hearts and minds and motivate people; and have experience of working with local communities in a collaborative and sensitive way. You must be skilled in leadership and partnership. 

Key tasks will include:

   ●   Oversight of all procurement   ●   Responsibility for delivering all project outputs and outcomes and managing change where required   ●   Responsibility for fulfilling funder requirements    ●   Responsible for financial management of the project   ●   Setting direction for and motivating and inspiring a large team   ●   Inspiring confidence in all stakeholders   ●   Ensuring stakeholder support and engagement is maintained throughout the project's lifetime   ●   Identifying and highlighting emerging risks and issues, identifying solutions and mitigation measures and seeking and securing additional expert input where required   ●   Securing a lasting legacy for the project 

Closing date: 26 November 2018  

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


Logo: Durham County CouncilDurham County Council - Regeneration and Local Services – Culture and Sport 

Apprentice Assistant Rangers 

£136.90 per week (£3.70 per hour) NMW applies in 2nd year at age 19

Wharton Park, Durham - however, you may be required to work at any Council workplace within County Durham 

Are you passionate about a career working outdoors in conservation?  

Here is a unique opportunity to train with a college and receive excellent on the job experience in Countryside Management.   

These temporary positions are for two years, with an Intermediate Level 2 Apprenticeship in Environmental Conservation gained after 18 months provided by Askham Bryan College – York. 

The positions will be based with Durham County Council Parks and Countryside Service and apprentices will gain a vast range of experience and knowledge working with site staff.  You will be expected to take part in all activities currently carried out and this will involve being part of a shift rota, covering weekend and bank holiday working.  Training will be provided in a range of countryside management skills, including 1st Aid, chainsaw, pesticide and off-road driving, and manual handling. 

Required Qualifications:

  • You must have or be expected to achieve 4 GCSE’s at grades A*-G or
  • Grades 9 to 1 (new GCSE Grades as of 2018)
  • Or equivalent in a relevant subject area

Interviews will take place week commencing 26th November 2018. 

Candidates shortlisted for interview will be required to undertake a short Maths and English assessment.  

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact Darryl Cox, Principal Parks & Countryside Manager tel. no. 03000 264 586 or email darryl.cox@durham.gov.uk 

Apply on-line via the jobs portal or for further assistance please contact the HR Operations & Data Team, telephone 03000 268119 / 264223 / 268153 or email hrreal@durham.gov.uk  

Please note that all communication regarding your application for this post will be sent to the email address that you have registered with North East Jobs, including your invite to interview if you are short-listed.  Please check your email after the closing date for notification from ‘donotreply@northeastjobs.org.uk’ as you will not be notified by any other means. 

In line with the County Council’s Recruitment & Selection Policy, please note that we are unable to accept CV’s.  Any information provided on CV’s will not be considered for short-listing purposes. 

Closing date Sunday 18th November 2018 

Application only via the North East Jobs Site at www.northeastjobs.org.uk  

Vacancy Ref. No. REAL/18/208 – NEJ Site Ref. 178262 


Click here to find out how to advertise your job in CJS Professional and reach 100,000+ fellow professionals.



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Volunteers: 29 adverts for voluntary posts added this month  see all of these online at: http://www.countryside-jobs.com/vols


Logo: National Land Based CollegeNational Land Based College - Recruitment of Non-Executive Directors

The National Land Based College (NLBC) is an exciting initiative, established in 2015 to Champion Skills Development for Land Based Industries. 

NLBC’s Vision is to support land based industries in developing a strong life-long learning culture, which will result in improved productivity and quality across the whole sector.  

Following its initial phase of development, it now seeks to recruit 2 additional:  

Non-Executive Directors and Trustees  

who are actively engaged in and have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the needs of businesses and their employees in at least one of the land based sectors’.  

Further details of this exciting voluntary opportunity to help shape the future of the College, are available from zoelee@landex.org.uk.  

Interested applicants are invited to hold an informal discussion with NLBC’s Vice-Chair, Charles Matts charles.matts@brixworthfarming.co.uk

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


We've been promoting the articles from the last CJS Focus on Volunteering.  The lovely piece from Beth Aucott about how volunteering got her the job has I think been the most shared and viewed and generated quite a few comments both for and against volunteering in our sector. A Scout Leader commented "I'm actually telling my scouts to be wary of volunteering as charities/trusts/business's etc seem to use it as free labour..." Have a look at these comments on our facebook page. How do we counteract this type of negative image of  volunteering? Do you have experiences you'd like to share? The article shows that graduates are coming out of university with very few if any practical skills. Volunteering is a way to get these skills.  If you'd like to send us your thoughts and experiences we're looking at generating an article for the next Volunteering edition. 


Surveys and Fieldwork: additions in October

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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. 


Community Flooding Volunteer Citizen Science Project to monitor flood “hotspots” in the Strathard and Aberfoyle catchment. Aim: photograph vantage points pre-selected by Stirling Council to monitor flood “hotspots” to record visual and written observations when flood events occur. No previous knowledge required. All training and guidance provided. Contact: citizenscience-scotland@tcv.org.uk


Wild about Glasgow Glasgow Museums BRC holds data for Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, East Dunbartonshire and West Dunbartonshire. In addition we have some data for parts of South Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire, and Argyll & Bute. We are always keen to receive biological records from within these areas. biological.records@glasgowlife.org.uk


Cairngorms Scenic Photo Posts The Cairngorms Scenic Photo Posts project is an initiative designed and set up by the Cairngorms National Park Authority. We would like help from the public to take photographs that will help us better understand landscape and habitat change in the National Park. http://www.cairngorms.co.uk/photo-posts


Become a Community Flooding Volunteer A Citizen Science project to help monitor local burns in Menstrie, Alva, Tillicoultry and Dollar in Clackmannanshire to monitor, record and clear debris from burns and identify and record invasive non-native plant species to assess their condition which may help prevent and alleviate flood events. No previous knowledge of the subject required. We will provide training, support and guidance. Contact for details: citizenscience-scotland@tcv.org.uk


Homes for Wildlife Get free, tailor made advice from the RSPB & help turn your garden into a haven for all wildlife! Whether you have a large mature garden or just a balcony, there's advice for everyone. http://www.rspb.org.uk/hfw


People's Trust for Endangered Species run several surveys which can be done in your own time and local area. These include Living with Mammals, Mammals on Roads, Dormouse Monitoring, Water Vole Monitoring, Great Stag Hunt, Traditional Orchard Survey and the Big Hedgehog Map. See the website or call: 020 7498 4533 http://www.ptes.org/surveys


Wester Ross Scenic Photos Project Pilot citizen science project recording landscape change in Wester Ross National Scenic Area. This project is looking at the use of fixed point photography for monitoring landscape change. All the viewpoints are easily accessible by people of all abilities and give a reason to enjoy the amazing Wester Ross scenery. ellicarlisle@snh.gov.uk http://www.snh.gov.uk/ScenicPhoto/WesterRoss


National Trust for Scotland Wildlife Survey Help NTS rangers monitor the wildlife at their properties using a simple online recording form to tell us what you saw on your visit. Verified records are shared with the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) and made available via the NBN ATLAS for scientific research, conservation projects and national decision making. Go to biologicalrecords@nts.org.uk http://www.nts.org.uk/wildlifesurvey



Record a Raptor The Wildlife Information Centre’s Record a Raptor survey aims to gather up-to-date information on the distribution of three raptors in south-east and part of central Scotland. Please let us know every time you see a Red Kite, Kestrel or Buzzard https://c-js.co.uk/1Cbz7gW


Penguinwatch Penguin Lifelines project at the University of Oxford has sought to find novel solutions to the present data gaps, using satellite- linked cameras and genetic analysis. We need your help annotating the hundreds of thousands of images taken over the past three years to turn images into numbers. http://www.penguinwatch.org



Hedgehog Survey The Wildlife Information Centre's Hedgehog survey aims to gather up-to-date information on the distribution of hedgehogs in our region. If you see a hedgehog in the Lothians, Borders, Falkirk, Stirling or Clackmannanshire Council areas or the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park please let us know. https://c-js.co.uk/2f8RPS4


Spots and Stripes Survey Have you seen a badger in south-east or central Scotland? If so, please let us know. Even roadkill sightings are useful to us. Data will inform planning, conservation and research both locally and nationally. More information including how to report sightings can be found on our website. natalie@wildlifeinformation.co.uk http://www.wildlifeinformation.co.uk/spots_stripes.php


Red squirrel sightings play an important part in our conservation work to protect endangered red squirrels in South East Cumbria. Please report any red squirrels you see to us on our website which outlines the further help needed to save our reds, and also shows annual maps of local red squirrel range. http://westmorlandredsquirrels.org.uk/sightings/


National Water Vole Monitoring Programme Our fastest declining mammal needs your help. For the first time we are carrying out an ongoing national monitoring programme that will guide the way for urgent action. Can you survey a site for water voles? https://c-js.co.uk/2f8Qfj3


DeerAware Road traffic accidents involving deer present a major problem in the UK as well as in many other countries in Europe. This web site exists to offer basic advice on how to avoid a collision and to collect data on the number of accidents. http://www.deeraware.com


Living with Mammals survey PTES is calling for volunteers to take part in spring’s survey of wild mammals in gardens and local green spaces. Choose a site close to home or place of work, and spend a short time each week looking out for wild mammals or the signs they leave behind. To receive a survey pack contact PTES. https://c-js.co.uk/2nchGIf


Have you seen a hedgehog? A group of undergraduate scientists from the University of Exeter are asking members of the public to record if, where, and when they have seen a hedgehog anywhere in the UK. Sightings will be followed up by a small number of field research visits. Presence and absence records can be submitted via an online survey at http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/exeterhedgehog/


Mammals on Roads survey from PTES We want to know about your route and what you see along the way, dead and alive. This information is compared year to year, alerting us to changes in the wider population. Journeys should include twenty miles or more on single-carriageways and should be outside of towns or built-up areas. https://c-js.co.uk/2sEW3It


The BIG Hedgehog Map  – please help us by recording your sightings of hedgehogs (dead or alive) as well as find out where others are seeing the nation’s favourite wild animal. You can also pledge to make a Hedgehog Highway in your fence and add it to the map. http://bighedgehogmap.org/


Badger sightings wanted.  Scottish Badgers collects all sightings of badgers seen around Scotland, from road casualties to live encounters, as well as sett records and possible badger crime. We use this information to monitor local populations and distributions. Please see the website for more information or email operationscoordinator@scottishbadgers.org.uk http://www.scottishbadgers.org.uk/



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


Atlas 2020: could you help the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland record which plants grow where across these islands? We are working towards a new atlas showing distributions of native and introduced plants across Britain & Ireland. Why not pick a 10km x 10km square and start surveying? http://www.bsbi.org/atlas-2020


Traditional Orchard Inventory PTES produced the national inventory of England’s traditional orchards and are now doing the same in Wales. Help us to locate and survey traditional orchards in your area. No experience necessary, survey pack provided. Contact by email or 0207 498 4533 to request a survey pack orchards@ptes.org http://www.ptes.org/orchards



Urban Butterfly Project We want your help so that we can find out more about the species living in towns and cities. This information will enable us to improve our conservation work for these and other important insects. http://www.butterfly-conservation.org/urbanbutterflies


Grasshoppers, Crickets, Earwigs, Cockroaches and Stick Insects recording scheme Contribute to the study and conservation of grasshoppers & crickets by sending your observations to www.orthoptera.org.uk/survey or www.brc.ac.uk/irecord. Log records on the go with the "iRecord Grasshoppers" app, which helps to identify species and their calls and now includes a "bat detector". Guides to common species are available at



'iRecord Grasshoppers' a free mobile app for identifying and recording the UK’s grasshoppers, crickets, earwigs, stick insects and cockroaches. The app lets you contribute to the Grasshopper Recording Scheme whose results have already shown the dramatic geographical expansion of several species. Also includes a ‘bat detector’, and making sound recordings and attaching them to records! http://www.orthoptera.org.uk


Scottish Spider Search We need your help to find out more about 4 easily identified spiders in Scotland! Find out how to take part on The Wildlife Information Centre’s website. The survey is part-funded by Scottish Natural Heritage and is supported by the British Arachnological Society, Caledonian Conservation Ltd. and Buglife Scotland. https://c-js.co.uk/2p3qUZD


Longhorn beetles survey By collecting records and understanding populations changes or the arrival of new species, we can ensure the conservation of our native Longhorn beetles and the conservation of their important role in the woodland. Summer is the optimum time to find Longhorns. https://c-js.co.uk/29m9bqE


Nest Quest Buglife is calling upon you to join the race to find Scotland’s largest and smallest Wood Ant nests! In Scotland, we have two species of Wood Ant, the Hairy wood ant (Formica lugubris) and the Scottish wood ant (Formica aquilonia). https://c-js.co.uk/2eKl895


Have you seen a Leopard Slug in south-east or central Scotland? If so, please let us know! The Leopard Slug (Limax maximus) is native to our region, but is under-recorded. Help us fill in the dots on our map by submitting your sightings to us. Photos would be appreciated to help us confirm sightings. natalie@wildlifeinformation.co.uk http://www.wildlifeinformation.co.uk/spots_stripes.php


The Bumblebee Conservation Trust runs a nationwide bumblebee-monitoring project, BeeWalk. The scheme involves walking a self-set route once a month March - October, identifying the bumblebees you see and recording them online. Anyone can get involved, though the better your bumblebee ID the better! http://www.beewalk.org.uk


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


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


Oak processionary moth (OPM) The larvae, or caterpillars, of the oak processionary moth (OPM) can affect oak tree, human and animal health. OPM caterpillars are most easily recognised by their distinctive habit of moving about in nose-to-tail processions on and around oak trees in late spring and early summer. Report an OPM sighting using Tree Alert https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/treealert


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


Great Stag Hunt Stag beetle sightings – let us know where you’ve spotted a stag beetle via the Great Stag Hunt! Sightings are key to finding out where populations are thriving, in need of help, or non-existent. http://ptes.org/gsh


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


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

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


CJS Focus The most recent edition: Volunteering

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

The next edition will be published on 19 November (a week on Monday)

And is looking at: Employability in association with Lantra.

It will be included in full in the December edition of CJS Professional or keep an eye on our socia media streams for more details when it is published.


In 2019  we will be considering Volunteering (in February as usual), Recreation and Outdoor Education in May, Countryside Management in September and The Next Generation looking how and why we should involve youngsters across the industry, this one is due for publication in November.  If you have any ideas for articles, topics we should consider or have any questions relating to these subjects you'd like answered then please get in touch with Amy

More information about CJS Focus can be found here.


CJS Announcements and articles of interest.


logo: BWPAThe British Wildlife Photography Awards 2018: A Celebration of British Wildlife.


The British Wildlife Photography Awards proudly announce the winners for 2018. The awards celebrate both the work of amateur and professional photographers and the beauty and diversity of British wildlife. Winning images are chosen from thousands of entries in fifteen separate categories including a category for film and two junior categories to encourage young people to connect with nature through photography.


The Overall Winning Image
BWPA overall winner, bats flying over a pond

Ghostly contrails reveal the flight paths and wing beats of Daubenton’s bats. An infrared camera and lighting system that were 14 months in development overcame the challenge of photographing the high- speed flight of these small mammals in the dark. The in-camera double exposure caught the foreground bat milliseconds before insect intercept. As these bats are a protected species they were photographed in the wild following advice from the Bat Conservation Trust and Natural England.

“No other image in my portfolio had been so clearly conceived and yet so difficult to achieve. My artistic intent was to capture this extraordinary little bat’s speed of movement and hunting flight path, but the journey to success was littered with disappointing failures. Fortunately, fellow photographers encouraged imaginative experimentation and taught me to anticipate setbacks as a reasonable price for ultimate success.  In hindsight, I experienced a huge gradient of emotion. There were the lows felt during months of long, cold and exhausting dusk-to-dawn sessions, sometimes waist deep in water and often without getting a single useable image. And then the natural highs of those light bulb moments, when new ideas blossomed, problems were solved and the project inched closer towards the potential to win this exceptional accolade.” – Paul Colley.

Naturalist, Author and Wildlife TV Producer Stephen Moss comments; “Once again, this collection of images from the British Wildlife Photography Awards leaves us in awe of the skill, patience and artistry of the photographers whose work is showcased here. The extraordinary range of subjects, species and habitats, and the imaginative way they are portrayed, leaves us in no doubt that we in Britain are fortunate to be home to some of the most talented photographers in the world.


But stunning though this book is, it is not simply a collection of beautiful images, preserved like museum specimens for us to enjoy. It is also a snapshot of Britain’s diverse and beautiful wildlife, at a time when these wild creatures – and the places where they live – are under threat as never before.”


View all the winning Images, including the video winner and a selection of highly commended entries on the BWPA website.


We have been posting more details throughout the week. Coverage includes: Botanical Britain, the category sponsored by CJS. Your winners, our picks and tomorrow (Friday) the launch of the 2019 competition.  Details in the news but for all the information and the lovely images please follow the BWPA2018 tag on our blog or across social media to see other people's reactions.

 logo: The Vincent Wildlife TrustOur final article from this year's featured charity: The Vincent Wildlife Trust 


PhD Students working with the Vincent Wildlife Trust

PhD student Catherine McNicol catching a grey squirrel for her PhD research

PhD student Catherine McNicol catching a grey

squirrel for her PhD research

© Nick Upton / naturepl.com


The VWT supports several PhD students through collaborations with universities and other organisations. PhD students typically address key topics and questions which directly align with VWT’s priority work areas, and provide an invaluable contribution to our conservation and research programmes. Students become fully incorporated into wider VWT activities and contribute to external meetings, conferences and events with stakeholders and funders. VWT staff frequently get involved in helping PhD students with fieldwork and data collection, so the working relationships developed are mutually beneficial.  A couple of years ago, the VWT established the Vincent Weir Bursary to financially support PhD studies in honour of the Trust’s founder and a current student became the first to receive this bursary.


At present, VWT supervises five PhD students, with the Universities of Exeter and Sussex and Waterford Institute of Technology. At the University of Exeter, we currently have three PhDs focused on mustelids (the weasel family). One student is studying polecats, focusing on the potential risks to continued polecat population recovery, from secondary rodenticide poisoning to human-wildlife conflict, as their range expands.  Two other students are carrying out research on the VWT’s Pine Marten Recovery Project. One of these projects is investigating the impact of translocated pine martens on grey squirrels and the other focuses on the adaptive behaviour and ecology of the pine martens’ response to translocation and how we can use this information to improve conservation translocations. We also have two PhD students, at the University of Sussex and Waterford Institute of Technology respectively, working on bats. One of these is examining how landscape connectivity, habitat suitability and land management influence the movement of the greater horseshoe bat, and the second is developing non-invasive genetic methods for bats.


Two previous VWT PhD students who graduated recently are currently working as a post-doctoral researcher carrying out further work on bats and for a Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation, respectively. We’re looking forward to seeing the fruits of our PhD student’s labours and how we can apply the outcomes to progress VWT’s conservation work.


For more information about Vincent Wildlife Trust, please visit www.vwt.org.uk




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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 . 

On 29 October the Chancellor, Philip Hammond presented his Budget to Parliament

Budget 2018: 24 things you need to know – HM Treasury

The Chancellor has presented his Budget to Parliament – here's a summary of what was announced.

1. Public finances have reached a turning point

Since 2009-2010 the deficit has fallen by four-fifths, from 9.9% to 1.9%. Public debt peaked in 2016-17 and is now falling. On average, spending on public services will grow 1.2% above inflation a year from next year until 2023-24.

17. £30 billion to improve roads

A £28.8 billion National Roads Fund, paid for by road tax, includes £25.3 billion for the Strategic Road Network (motorways, trunk and A roads). The largest ever investment of this kind.

It will also help fund the new network of local roads (known as the Major Road Network), and larger local road projects.

Local authorities will receive £420 million to fix potholes on roads and renew bridges and tunnels, and there will be a £150 million to improve local traffic hotspots such as roundabouts.



‘Gold standard’ environment pledge tarnished by lack of environmental Budget measures – Wildlife & Countryside Link

Responding to the Budget, 18 environmental groups are highlighting their disappointment with the limited new initiatives and lack of funding for nature announced today.

Responding to the Budget, 18 environmental groups are highlighting their disappointment with the limited new initiatives and lack of funding for nature announced today. This absence is at odds with the urgent need to tackle issues such as climate change, plastic pollution, soil erosion, flooding, spiralling wildlife declines and to create a nature-friendly farming future.

Rapid, dramatic, and fully-funded environmental commitments are needed, with only a decade to stop the massive problems of plastic pollution and climate change hitting an irreversible tipping point, and only 30 years of fertile soils left. 

Dr Elaine King, Director of Wildlife and Countryside Link, said: ‘The Prime Minister and Secretary of State say they want to set a global gold standard for the environment. Yet that promise has been tarnished by the limited environmental measures announced by the Chancellor in today’s Budget. With only a decade to turn the tide on plastic pollution and limit the catastrophic impacts of climate change, and little longer to save our soils, the environment must be a top Government priority if our children, our wildlife and our planet are not to pay a terrible price.’


UK Budget announcement - our response – Sustrans

In response to the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget announcement, Steve Brooks, Policy Director at Sustrans, the cycling and walking charity said: “When it comes to spending on transport, prevention is always cheaper than the cure. But sadly this budget continues to lock Britain into a polluted, congested future which in the long-run will cost the country billions. With the Prime Minister’s earlier announcement of a continued freeze in fuel duty, coupled with today’s announcement of over £25bn for the next Road Investment Strategy, this budget will only lead to further congestion, air pollution and poor health. A road building programme to be funded by income from Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) is particularly alarming at a time when climate experts call for a drastic reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions. The Chancellor has missed an opportunity to help towns and cities thrive and relieve some of long-term pressures on the NHS.”


CPRE reaction to the Autumn Budget

CPRE has today expressed disappointment at the Government’s support for large new road-building projects, with billions of pounds of funding allocated for new roads in the Thames Estuary and the Oxford-Cambridge Arc.

Image: CPREImage: CPRE

This scale of expenditure stands in stark contrast to the limited investment for environmental improvements announced in the Budget today. The world’s leading climate change experts recently estimated that we only have 12 years to limit the worst effects of climate change, but the Government is continuing to favour grey infrastructure over green investment. 

The prioritisation of investment in road infrastructure over sustainable forms of transport and the wider environment, coupled with the government’s support for fracking, is completely at odds with the urgent need to tackle climate change and safeguard our countryside for the next generation.

Tom Fyans, director of campaigns and policy at the Campaign to Protect Rural England said: "The disparity in investment between grey and green infrastructure contradicts the prime minister’s environmental ambitions, and the urgent need to tackle climate change. The latest IPCC report says we have just 12 years left to limit warming to 1.5ºC – but by continuing to accelerate road-building, the Government is acting as if we have 120.”


Other Government news and reactions

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

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

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

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


New Government data backs CPRE Green Belt figures - CPRE

New statistics from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government show the largest increase in the amount of Green Belt land released for housing to date

An analysis of the new Government data released today (4 October) by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) shows that since 2012 almost 10,000 hectares of Green Belt land have been released from ‘protected’ Green Belt boundaries by local councils. Ten councils have together released more than 5,000 hectares in the past year alone.

CPRE claim that a combination of unrealistic housing targets set by the Government, capacity of the housebuilding industry and slow build out rates on land already granted planning permission has created a perfect storm that has resulted in this consistent erosion of the Green Belt.

Green Belt land is some of the most profitable for developers to build on due to it being ‘shovel ready’, surrounded by countryside and within commuting distance to major towns and cities – making its release for development extremely desirable for housebuilders. This leaves councils to foot the bill for resulting infrastructure requirements, such as schools, shops and roads.

CPRE is calling on the Government to follow through on its commitment to protect the Green Belt and develop clear guidance for local authorities on housing requirements to protect designated land.

Read the Green Belt Statistics from Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.


Land and Countryside Management.

Public to have say on new National Parks - Defra

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


Mapping breakthrough with benefits for people and nature – SNH

Segmentation - © Getmapping plc/ SNHSegmentation - © Getmapping plc/ SNH

The wildlife and landscape of Scotland’s wildest and most remote islands, moorland and mountain ranges are set to be understood as never before, through ground breaking new mapping technology that can help us to tackle climate change and manage our upland habitats.

The innovative method for mapping our upland habitats is being pioneered in the UK by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). It uses a technique developed in Sweden known as ‘stereo colour infrared (sCIR) aerial photo interpretation (API), which uses imagery taken from aeroplanes. 

Sally Thomas, SNH’s Director of People & Nature, said: “This technology really is a game changer for our work in some of the remotest parts of Scotland. Healthy peatland is a key factor in tackling climate change. It holds onto carbon, preventing its release into the atmosphere to trap heat from the sun. This cutting edge technique means we can identify prime locations for our peatland restoration work. It can also help us to manage woodland expansion, and it’s great news for protecting our diverse upland habitats: as well as the widespread heaths and bogs there are many small, fragmented and internationally rare habitats, such as important calcareous grasslands and juniper scrub.”


Work begins on developing next priorities for South Downs National Park - SDNPA 

Conservation and heritage organisations, rural economy representatives, water companies, farming groups and volunteer networks are just some of the groups being challenged to help set out the priorities for the South Downs National Park for the next five years and the practical action they will take to help achieve them. The work is part of a five-year review of the Partnership Management Plan for the National Park.

The first South Downs National Park Partnership Management Plan was published by the National Park Authority in 2014 following extensive consultation. The plan sets out a shared vision for how the SDNPA and the partner organisations would like the National Park to be in the future and identified the key priorities for how they would work together over five years to achieve this. It’s now time to put together an action plan for the next five years.

Margaret Paren, Chair of the South Downs National Park Authority, said: “The Partnership Management Plan is about conservation and enhancement not preservation. In setting priorities for the next five years we must do all we can to respond to both the opportunities and challenges that face this wonderful living, working landscape to keep it thriving. Everyone who cares for or benefits from the National Park has a role to play and we will be engaging with partners, communities and other stakeholders over the coming months to put together an exciting future for the National Park.”

The new Partnership Management Plan will launch in autumn 2019 alongside a campaign encouraging members of the public to get involved in caring for the National Park.


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

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

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

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

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

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

Access the report here


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

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

Image: CPREImage: CPRE

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

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

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

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



The people have spoken – and voted for their ten favourite UK parks – Green Flag Award

More than 65,000 votes cast as the nation picks the best of British

Image: Green Flag AwardImage: Green Flag Award

Today (15 October), Green Flag Award is announcing the winners of the 2018 People’s Choice vote for the UK.

With more than 1,800 sites to choose from – all of which meet the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award, the international quality mark for parks and green spaces – the public have chosen their top ten favourites.

The ten winners of the 2018 People’s Choice Award are:

  • Cassiobury Park, Watford Borough Council
  • Clifton Park, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Elsecar Park and Local Reservoir Nature Reserve, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Saltwell Park, Gateshead Council
  • Strathaven Park, South Lanarkshire Council
  • Telford Town Park, Telford and Wrekin Council
  • University of Essex Wivenhoe Park, University of Essex
  • Victoria Park (Tower Hamlets), London Borough of Tower Hamlets
  • Victoria Park (Widnes), Halton Borough Council
  • Warley Woods (Sandwell), Warley Woods Community Trust

Included in this year’s list of winners are a university campus, a town park, a woodland and a nature reserve.

Paul Todd, Green Flag Award manager, said: “We know that parks matter to people and that those tasked with looking after them have faced and are facing some significant challenges with shrinking resources. The number of people that took the time to vote for their favourite park is testament to how much they are valued and we would like to congratulate all the winners.”


Dartmoor reserve wins top national award - Devon Wildlife Trust

A project which has seen the restoration of bog habitats in Dartmoor National Park has taken home the prestigious Park Protector Award. The project has been recognised for its important role in improving one of Dartmoor’s most beautiful valleys for wildlife and increasing its visitor access.

Opening up Emsworthy Mire nature reserve, which is owned and cared for by the Devon Wildlife Trust, took home the £2,000 prize, which was presented at a parliamentary reception last night [17 October]. The annual Award is run by Campaign for National Parks to recognise, celebrate and support projects that make a difference within the English and Welsh National Parks. President of Campaign for National Parks, the actress Caroline Quentin, and Julian Glover, who is leading the Government’s review of England’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks, addressed guests and parliamentarians at the reception.

Peter Burgess, Director of Conservation and Development at the Devon Wildlife Trust said: “Opening up Emsworthy Mire, is a wonderful example of what can happen when dedicated, passionate people come together to make a difference to our natural world. Through determination and hard work we have completely transformed the mire from an impenetrable and formidable landscape to somewhere both wildlife and visitors can enjoy.”


Arboriculture, woodland and trees

Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy extended by 50,000 trees - Woodland Trust

Fifty thousand trees will be winging their way across the UK next week to form part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC), a network of global forest conservation initiatives to mark Her Majesty's lifetime of service to the Commonwealth.

They will be planted by 10,000 members of the public who snapped them up in a matter of minutes in a free tree giveaway made possible by a partnership between the Woodland Trust, Sainsbury’s and ITV. 

The giveaway was in support of a landmark documentary, The Queen's Green Planet, screened on ITV in April. It followed Her Majesty the Queen and the ambitious QCC legacy project which brings together her deeply held commitment to the Commonwealth and her love of trees.  At the heart of the film by ITN Productions was a conversation between the Queen and Sir David Attenborough filmed in the gardens of Buckingham Palace last summer. 


2018’s Tree of the Year winners revealed - Woodland Trust

A beech tree created to woo a sweetheart 100 years ago, which is still a meeting place for lovers today and a popular place to pop the question, has been crowned England’s Tree of the Year.

The public voted overwhelmingly to crown Nellie’s Tree in Aberford, Leeds, its 2018 winner.  The tree was grafted from three saplings to form an N by Vic Stead who would make a daily walk to see his girlfriend Nellie. They would later marry.

England's winner, Nellie's Tree (Photo: Rob Grange)England's winner, Nellie's Tree (Photo: Rob Grange)

The winning trees for Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland were also revealed live on the BBC’s The One Show on Wednesday evening (17 October).

Northern Ireland: The Giant Sequoia, Castlewellan Forest Park, County Down

England: Nellie’s Tree, Aberford, Leeds

Scotland: Netty’s Tree, Eriskay, Outer Hebrides

Wales: Pwllpriddog Oak, Rhandirmwyn, Carmarthenshire

Now in its fifth year, the Woodland Trust’s Tree of the Year contest aims to showcase the UK’s best trees to help drive up interest in their value and protection. The charity is now asking the public to whittle the four national winners down to ONE to represent the UK in February’s European Tree of the Year competition. 


Tree Champion: we must preserve our urban trees - Defra 

The government’s Tree Champion, Sir William Worsley, has called for stronger protections for England’s street trees with the launch of an ‘Urban Tree Manual’.

Aimed at local authorities, charities and community groups, the manual provides advice on selecting the right tree for the right place in towns and cities – ensuring the views of local communities are at the heart of decision-making and residents are properly consulted before street trees are felled.

avenue of trees (image: defra)Image: Defra

Government Tree Champion Sir William Worsley said:" Whether they’re rooted in countryside woodland or in urban cityscapes, trees make our environment more attractive and a healthier place to live and work – which is why expertise in the planting and maintenance of urban trees is vital. I hope this Urban Tree Manual will help to improve decision-making around the country to make sure our invaluable trees are preserved now - and for future generations."

The toolkit builds on work already underway by local authorities to help trees flourish, featuring case studies such as the planting at The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which focused on choosing climate change resilient trees, and Observatree - a collaborative citizen science project which aims to spot new pest and disease threats to UK trees.

The release of the Urban Tree Manual forms part of the government’s wider work to protect and promote our precious trees, including our commitment to plant one million trees in our towns and cities and eleven million trees nationwide over the course of this parliament.

Access the Urban Tree Manual here.


Grants, Funding and new partnerships.

£27.8m programme will tackle environmental challenges - Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) has secured a £27.8 million National Capability funding award.

The money from the Natural Environment Research Council – worth £5.7 million annually for five years – will fund a programme of research that is designed to deliver new integrated understanding of the environment.

The programme, UK-SCAPE (UK Status Change and Projections of the Environment), will help tackle significant challenges caused by mounting pressures on land use, air and soil quality, water and food security, and biodiversity.

Professor Richard Shore, chair of CEH’s programme board for UK-SCAPE, said: “To provide effective solutions to these problems, we need to see a paradigm shift that moves the current focus from isolated issues on single sites towards a holistic, integrated approach looking at the wider landscape. This will provide multiple benefits for researchers, the economy, the environment and people.”

CEH will collect and integrate national scale datasets, enabling researchers to answer high-level questions around the status and trends of environmental resources, such as:

  • Land: How do the main pressures driving land use change interact, historically and into the future?
  • Biodiversity: What are the causes of loss and increase in biodiversity, and what is the impact on ecosystems?
  • Soil: How do multiple pressures interact to change soil condition and function?
  • Air: What drives the fluxes of pollutants and greenhouse gases?
  • Water: What are the environmental determinants of water flows and soil moisture?


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Image: South Downs NPA

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

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

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


UK Research and Innovation launches major programmes to tackle climate change and drive clean growth - UK Research and Innovation

Leading research teams will join businesses and government departments to tackle the impacts of climate change on our towns and cities and the countryside.

Four research programmes established with £60 million of funding have been announced by Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, today, Friday 19 October, to protect the environment and communities from the effects of climate change and support a move to a low carbon economy by:

  • Producing better data on climate risks to the UK
  • Building a digital picture of our natural environment for greater monitoring and analysis of the impact of climate change
  • Reducing air pollution and protecting vulnerable groups from its effects
  • Ensuring better use of land, for the benefit of the environment and communities
  • Development of options to adapt to climate risks, and understanding behaviour change

The programmes, will be funded through the Strategic Priorities Fund, delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive, Professor Sir Mark Walport, said:  “The recent IPCC report is a timely reminder of the challenges we face in tackling climate change. Storm Callum has highlighted the impact that extreme weather events can have on our communities.  It is vital that the evidence generated by research is used effectively to navigate and mitigate the effects of climate change, and new technologies are developed to support a move to a low carbon economy. The Strategic Priorities Fund is important in supporting UKRI’s mission, allowing us to bring collective expertise from a wide range of disciplines and sectors to bear on addressing important matters affecting all of society."


Michael Gove announces new funding to protect bees - Defra

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

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

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

Image: Defra

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

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

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

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

Reaction: Great news for pollinators - Buglife

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

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

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


Scientific Research, Results and Publications.

Cutting edge DNA analysis to reveal the secret wildlife of urban nature reserves – Natural History Museum

Credit: London Wildlife Trust / Natural History MuseumVolunteers and staff from the Natural History Museum and London Wildlife Trust are working together as part of an exciting, experimental project which they hope will reveal the hidden wildlife of two urban nature reserves.

Credit: London Wildlife Trust / Natural History Museum

Using cutting-edge environmental DNA analysis, the Museum and the London Wildlife Trust aim to identify the tiny insects, other invertebrates and microorganisms that play an important, if unnoticed, role in healthy environments.

Dr John Tweddle, Head of the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity at the Natural History Museum said: “London is home to almost 15,000 kinds of plants, animals and fungi. To manage and conserve this vital diversity of life we need to understand which species we have and how their distributions and populations are changing. The application of new scientific techniques, such as the analysis of environmental DNA, has the potential to play a pivotal role in meeting this time-critical challenge.”

With the support of a grant from the National Geographic Society, the project is focusing on two well-known London nature sites, the Wildlife Garden at the Natural History Museum and London Wildlife Trust’s Camley Street Natural Park in King’s Cross.

Both locations feature wildlife habitats which have been grown from scratch in challenging, urban locations. This project will support the Natural History Museum and London Wildlife Trust to form a baseline understanding of all the wildlife at each location, allowing them to enact and adapt their conservation work accordingly.


Launch of global effort to read genetic code of all complex life on earth - The Wellcome Sanger Institute

The project aims to create a new foundation for biology to drive solutions for preserving biodiversity and sustaining human societies

The Earth BioGenome Project (EBP), a global effort to sequence the genetic code, or genomes, of all 1.5 million known animal, plant, protozoan and fungal species on Earth, officially launches today (1 November) as key scientific partners and funders from around the globe gather in London, UK to discuss progress in organising and funding the project.

The EBP will ultimately create a new foundation for biology to drive solutions for preserving biodiversity and sustaining human societies. The EBP aims to sequence, catalogue and categorise the genomes of all of Earth’s eukaryotic* biodiversity over a period of ten years. The estimated cost of the EBP is $4.7 billion. Accounting for inflation, the Human Genome Project today would cost $5 billion.

The EBP is made possible by recent and future advances in sequencing and information technology that will enable the reading and interpretation of tens of thousands of species’ genomes each year by partner institutions across the globe.

A greater understanding of Earth’s biodiversity and the responsible stewarding of its resources are among the most crucial scientific and social challenges of the new millennium. The overcoming of these challenges requires new scientific knowledge of evolution and interactions among millions of the planet’s organisms.


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

Image: Anglia Ruskin University

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



High-res data offer most detailed look yet at trawl fishing footprint around the world – Bangor University

About a quarter of the world's seafood caught in the ocean comes from bottom trawling, a method that involves towing a net along the seabed on continental shelves and slopes to catch shrimp, cod, rockfish, sole and other kinds of bottom-dwelling fish and shellfish. The technique impacts these seafloor ecosystems, because other marine life and habitats can be unintentionally killed or disturbed as nets pass across the seafloor.

Bangor UniversityBangor University

Scientists agree that extensive bottom trawling can negatively affect marine ecosystems, but the central question — how much of the total area, or footprint, is trawled worldwide — has been hard to nail down.

A new analysis that uses high-resolution data for 24 ocean regions in Africa, Europe, North and South America and Australasia shows that only 14 percent of the overall seafloor shallower than 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) is trawled. Most trawl fishing happens in this depth range along continental shelves and slopes in the world's oceans. The study focused on this depth range, covering an area of about 7.8 million square kilometers of ocean.

The paper, appearing [8/10/18] in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, brought together 57 scientists based in 22 countries, with expertise in mapping fishing activity from satellite monitoring and fishing logbook data. It shows that the footprint of bottom-trawl fishing on continental shelves and slopes across the world's oceans often has been substantially overestimated.


Sea snail shells dissolve in increasingly acidified oceans, study shows – University of Plymouth

Species living in regions with predicted future levels of CO2 were on average around a third smaller than those living in present day conditions

A heat-map demonstrating where differences are most likely to occur in shell shape among gastropods exposed to raised CO2 levels (with red indicating a greater degree of change)

Shelled marine creatures living in increasingly acidified oceans face a fight for survival as the impacts of climate change spread, a new study suggests.

Researchers from the University of Tsukuba, Japan, and the University of Plymouth, UK, assessed the impact of rising carbon dioxide levels on the large predatory “triton shell” gastropod (Charonia lampas).

They found those living in regions with predicted future levels of CO2 were on average around a third smaller than counterparts living in conditions seen throughout the world’s oceans today.

However there was also a noticeable negative impact on the thickness, density, and structure of their shells, causing visible deterioration to the shell surface.

Writing in Frontiers in Marine Science, scientists say the effects are down to the increased stresses placed on the species in waters where the pH is lower, which reduce their ability to control the calcification process.

And they have warned other shellfish are likely to be impacted in the same way, threatening their survival and that of other species that rely on them for food.

Plymouth graduate Dr Ben Harvey, now Assistant Professor in the University of Tsukuba’s Shimoda Marine Research Center, said: “Ocean acidification is a clear threat to marine life, acting as a stressor for many marine animals. Here we found that the ability of the triton shells to produce and maintain their shells was hindered by ocean acidification, with the corrosive seawater making them smoother, thinner, and less dense. The extensive dissolution of their shells has profound consequences for calcified animals into the future as it is not something they can biologically control, suggesting that some calcified species might be unable to adapt to the acidified seawater if carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise unchecked.”


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Dolphins (Helen Bailey)

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

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

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

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


Watching whales from space - British Antarctic Survey

Scientists have used detailed high-resolution satellite images provided by Maxar Technologies’ DigitalGlobe, to detect, count and describe four different species of whales. Reported this week in the journal Marine Mammal Science, this study is a big step towards developing a cost-effective method to study whales in remote and inaccessible places, that will help scientists to monitor population changes and understand their behaviour.

Each species was observed in one of their known aggregation areas, where individuals come together to congregate: southern right whales off Argentina, humpback whales off Hawaii, fin whales in the Pelagos Sanctuary in the Mediterranean and grey whales off the coast of Mexico.  Already it has helped whale conservation bodies to identify 10 key inaccessible whale populations that would benefit most from the application of satellite imagery in studies.

Lead author Hannah Cubaynes, a whale ecologist at British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and University of Cambridge explains:  “This is the most detailed imagery of whales captured by satellites to date. It’s exciting that the improved resolution (now at 30 cm) reveals characteristic features, such as flippers and flukes, which can be seen in the images for the first time. Whales live in all oceans. Many areas are difficult to access by boats or planes, the traditional means of monitoring whales. The ability to track whales without travelling to these remote and inaccessible areas, in a cost-effective way, will be of great benefit to conservation efforts for whales.”


Herpetology and invertebrates

Relocating snakes not as helpful to their conservation as previously thought - University of Kent

A pioneering study by the University on the effects of relocating adders due to development has found that males will disperse from their release site – with one even going so far as to return to his original home.

Adder being tracked (image: University of kent)Adder being tracked (image: University of Kent)

All native reptiles are protected by law, which means that animals found to be present on sites scheduled for development are often moved to alternative habitats. Reptiles are frequently the targets of these translocations but there is little information on their fate or how their behaviour compares to individual animals that are left where they are.

For the study, researchers Darryn Nash and Professor Richard Griffiths from Kent’s Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, tracked adders (Vipera berus) translocated from a development site in Essex (UK) in 2014.

Some of the snakes were fitted with external radio tags and tracked for a period of 10 days during the spring and summer.  The movements of the translocated adders were compared to those of ‘resident’ snakes already present at the release site.

Translocated males exhibited significantly greater average daily movements than the resident ones. Furthermore, all translocated males undertook long-distance, unidirectional movements away from the release site.

One of the males even returned to the site from which it had been moved, a distance of over half a kilometer which involved crossing large areas of unsuitable short grassland habitat. This could have exposed the snake to predators. 

Ranging behaviour of adders (Vipera berus) translocated from a development site by Darryn J. Nash & Richard A. Griffiths, Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, School of Anthropology and Conservation, is published in the Herpetological Journal. (open access)


UK bumblebee population trends – even common species in decline – University of Kent

Data collected by Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT) volunteers to assess the country’s changing bumblebee populations have been A Common Carder bee, Bombus pascuorum, carding hairs from a dead-nettle (University of Kent)analysed in a new way for the first time at the University – and show mixed results about their decline, with cause for concern for two species.

A Common Carder bee, Bombus pascuorum, carding hairs from a dead-nettle (University of Kent)

Data was analysed for the five commonest species in the BBCT’s BeeWalk dataset. Two of the species (Early Bumblebee Bombus pratorum and Red-tailed Bumblebee B. lapidarius) have declined since 2011 while a further two (Common Carder bumblebee B. pascuorum and Tree Bumblebee B. hypnorum) have increased.  The Tree bumblebee, first found in the UK in 2001, has spread rapidly across the country.

Britain’s 25 bumblebee species are some of the nation’s favourite creatures and are also vital for the pollination of crops, garden plants and wildflowers. However, they have suffered huge declines over the past century: two species went extinct in the past 80 years, and eight species are endangered. These species were known to have declined in distribution over the long term but little was known about how bumblebee populations have changed more recently.

Hundreds of BeeWalk volunteers together walked nearly 5,000 kilometres each year to gather information about the numbers, species and caste (queens, workers or males) of the bumblebees they saw and identified.

Statistician Dr Eleni Matechou, of the Statistical Ecology at Kent (SE@K) group in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science (SMSAS), devised new methodology to analyse the data collected by BeeWalk.  The new statistical methodology uses the UK-wide aggregate data on bumblebee detections and provides important information on each of the bumblebee species, such as the average number of worker and queen bumblebees produced from each nest per year.



Wildlife Trusts join with University of East Anglia to identify cause of hare deaths - Norfolk Wildlife Trust

Suffolk Wildlife Trust and Norfolk Wildlife Trust are joining with the University of East Anglia to call for help to discover the cause of mysterious hare deaths in the region.
Hare (image: Mark Ollett)Over the past month, landowners, farmers and members of the public have been in contact to report sightings of obviously sick and dead hares.
Hare (image: Mark Ollett)
As a result, the Wildlife Trusts are asking anyone seeing a freshly dead hare to record its location, photograph the entire animal – especially around the head  and bottom – and send the information to Dr Diana Bell at the University of East Anglia.
Dr Bell has recently been studying the impacts of diseases on rabbit populations, including myxomatosis and strains of hemorrhagic disease. Dr Bell said: “Both Suffolk Wildlife Trust and I have been told about hares that have been found either dying or already dead at different sites around the county. The death of any animal is obviously distressing but we’re asking people to try and photograph these hares to help us understand what is happening. Getting good images of the bodies of these hares, along with their exact location, is crucial for us to rule out or identify possible diseases.”

Also this month: First record of Myxomatosis in Hares reported by Essex Wildlife Trust read this here.


Call for public to help wildlife conservation – The 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 at the start of Mammal Week.

The charity wants members of the public to help record when and where they see mammals.

Image: The Mammal SocietyMost 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.

Image: The Mammal Society

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

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”.


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

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

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

Large animals disperse large seeds

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


Beavers’ impact on biodiversity revealed – University of Stirling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Garden BirdWatchers allow us to better understand disease in British finches - BTO

Male Chaffinch with leg lesions (image: Jill Pakenham)Male Chaffinch with leg lesions (image: Jill Pakenham)

Leg lesions, more commonly known as ‘scaly leg’ or ‘tassel foot’ are growths on the legs of feet of finches. A study from the Zoological Society of London in collaboration with BTO, the Complutense University of Madrid and Linnaeus University, explores the causes, seasonality and distribution of one of the most notable diseases in wild birds in Britain. 

Leg lesions are one of the most commonly seen signs of ill health in British birds. Results from post-mortems on over a thousand finches have found that these leg lesions have two causes; a virus (Fringilla coelebs papillomavirus) and mites (Cnemidocoptes). The most frequently affected birds are Chaffinches but leg lesions have also been documented in other finch species.

Weekly reports from BTO Garden BirdWatchers, as well as ad hoc sightings of disease from members of the public to Garden Wildlife Health, show that leg lesions in finches are widespread across the UK. However, reports of leg lesions increase during the winter period between November- March, at a time when we see an influx of Chaffinches from the continent, joining our breeding birds. The increase in migratory finches at this time might help to explain the increase in disease reporting rate in the winter months.


Birds startled by moving sticks - University of Exeter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Scientific Publications

José Vicente López-Bao, Floor Fleurke, Guillaume Chapron, Arie Trouwborst, Legal obligations regarding populations on the verge of extinction in Europe: Conservation, Restoration, Recolonization, Reintroduction, Biological Conservation, Volume 227, 2018, Pages 319-325, ISSN 0006-3207, doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.09.027.


Balmford, B., Green, R. E., Onial, M., Phalan, B. & Balmford, A. (2018) How imperfect can land sparing be before land sharing is more favourable for wild species? Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13282


Walton, Z., Samelius, G., Odden, M. et al. Long-distance dispersal in red foxes Vulpes vulpes revealed by GPS tracking Eur J Wildl Res (2018) 64: 64. Doi: 10.1007/s10344-018-1223-9


Callaghan, C. T., Major, R. E., Lyons, M. B., Martin, J. M. & Kingsford, R. T. (2018) The effects of local and landscape habitat attributes on bird diversity in urban greenspaces (open access) Ecosphere. DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.2347 


Al Vrezec & Irena Bertoncelj (2018) Territory monitoring of Tawny Owls Strix aluco using playback calls is a reliable population monitoring method, Bird Study, DOI: 10.1080/00063657.2018.1522527 (open access)


Sandom CJ, Dempsey B, Bullock D, et al. Rewilding in the English uplands: Policy and practice. J Appl Ecol. 2018;00:1–8. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13276 (open access) 


Zuzana Musilová, Petr Musil, Jan Zouhar, Matyáš Adam, Vladimír Bejček, Importance of Natura 2000 sites for wintering waterbirds: Low preference, species' distribution changes and carrying capacity of Natura 2000 could fail to protect the species, Biological Conservation, Volume 228, 2018, Pages 79-88, ISSN 0006-3207, DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.10.004. 


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


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


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


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


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


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


Morelly, F., Mikula, P., Benedetti, Y., Bussière, R. & Tryjanowski, P. (2018) Cemeteries support avian diversity likewise urban parks in European cities: Assessing taxonomic, evolutionary and functional diversity. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. DOI: 10.1016/j.ufug.2018.10.011


Ben Parslew, Girupakaran Sivalingam, William Crowther A dynamics and stability framework for avian jumping take-off R. Soc. open sci. 2018 5 181544; DOI: 10.1098/rsos.181544.


Pollution, sustainablity and climate.

Summary for Policymakers of IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C approved by governments - IPCC

Incheon, Republic of Korea, October 8 – Limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society, the IPCC said in a new assessment. With clear benefits to people and natural ecosystems, limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to 2°C could go hand in hand with ensuring a more sustainable and equitable society, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said on Monday. 
The Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C was approved by the IPCC on Saturday in Incheon, Republic of Korea. It will be a key scientific input into the Katowice Climate Change Conference in Poland in December, when governments review the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change. 
"With more than 6,000 scientific references cited and the dedicated contribution of thousands of expert and government reviewers worldwide, this important report testifies to the breadth and policy relevance of the IPCC," said Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC. 
Ninety-one authors and review editors from 40 countries prepared the IPCC report in response to an invitation from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) when it adopted the Paris Agreement in 2015. 
The report's full name is Global Warming of 1.5°C, an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty. 
"One of the key messages that comes out very strongly from this report is that we are already seeing the consequences of 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes," said Panmao Zhai, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group I. 
The report highlights a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to 2°C, or more. For instance, by 2100, global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5°C compared with 2°C. The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5°C, compared with at least once per decade with 2°C. Coral reefs would decline by 70-90 percent with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all (> 99 percent) would be lost with 2°C. 
Read the report at http://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/


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

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

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

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

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

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


Project to enable plastics to be recycled together - University of Bath

Plastic waste (image: University of Bath)Bath is leading a £4.8M consortium to develop catalysts for sustainable manufacturing and help promote a circular economy

Plastic waste (image: University of Bath)

Never sure whether you can recycle your milk bottles with your margarine tubs? This problem could be solved in a few years, thanks to a new project led by the University of Bath that will allow a mixture of plastics to be recycled together.

Plastic milk bottles are made from high density polyethylene (HDPE) whereas margarine tubs are made from polypropylene. These two plastics cannot be recycled together so have to be separated either by householders or at the recycling centre, a labour-intensive process that can often mean that plastics ends up in landfill because the batch becomes accidentally contaminated with several types of plastic.

However the team of scientists and engineers at Bath’s Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies and Manchester University, led by Dr Arthur Garforth at Manchester, is investigating ways of chemically breaking down mixtures of plastics into their constituent molecules which can then be used to manufacture new plastics or other high value products. 


Coca-Cola listed as top ocean plastic polluter in global audit report - WDC

Break Free From Plastic, a global movement campaigning against the rise in plastic pollution has released a report naming Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé as the most frequent companies identified in 239 clean ups and brand audits spanning 42 countries and 6 continents.

Described as the most comprehensive snapshot of the worst plastic polluting companies around the world, over 187,000 pieces of plastic debris were audited, identifying thousands of brands whose packaging relies on the single-use plastics that pollute the ocean, threatening many marine creatures including whales and dolphins.

Coca-Cola was the top polluter in the global audit, with Coke-branded plastic pollution found in 40 of the 42 participating countries. “These brand audits offer undeniable proof of the role that corporations play in perpetuating the global plastic pollution crisis,” said Global Coordinator of Break Free From Plastic, Von Hernandez.

The audits found that (in order) Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Danone, Mondelez International, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Perfetti van Melle, Mars Incorporated, and Colgate-Palmolive were the most frequent multinational brands collected in clean ups,

This ranking of multinational companies included only brands that were found in at least ten of the 42 participating countries. Overall, polystyrene, which is not recyclable in most locations, was the most common type of plastic found, followed closely by PET, a material used in bottles, containers, and other packaging.


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

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

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

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

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

National reduction targets for other non-banned plastics

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

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


Animal and wildlife news.

Wildlife declines show nature needs life support, WWF warns

Conservation organisation calls for new global deal for nature and people to halt wildlife decline and tackle deforestation, climate change and plastic pollution

European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) in forest in spring in snowdrop anemone, France (© naturepl.com / Klein & Hubert / WWF)European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) in forest in spring in snowdrop anemone, France (© naturepl.com / Klein & Hubert / WWF)

Plummeting numbers of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish around the world are an urgent sign that nature needs life support, WWF warned today as the conservation organisation’s flagship Living Planet Report 2018 shows population sizes of wildlife fell an average of 60 percent globally since 1970.

Current efforts to protect nature are failing, WWF warns, because they are not ambitious enough to match the scale of the threat the planet is facing. The organisation is calling for a new global deal for nature and people, backed by concrete commitments from countries and businesses to tackle wildlife loss, climate change and development in an integrated way.

The Living Planet Report 2018, involving over 50 experts, paints a dire picture of the state of our planet and clearly illustrates that humans are living beyond the planet’s means and wiping out life on earth in the process.

It highlights how overuse of natural resources on land and in the oceans, and agricultural activity, driven by human consumption, are the dominant cause of current wildlife declines and the destruction of forests, oceans and landscapes. It also identifies climate change and pollution, including plastic, as significant and growing threats. It reveals:

  • Only a quarter of the planet’s land is free from human impact. By 2050, this is projected to fall to just a tenth;
  • The percentage of the world’s seabirds estimated to have plastic in their stomach has increased from 5 percent in 1960 to 90 percent today;
  • Tropical areas have seen the steepest declines, with an 89 percent fall in monitored populations of Latin America and Caribbean- home to species such as the jaguar and giant anteater - since 1970;
  • Globally, freshwater species populations, such as amphibians, have declined 83 percent on average over the same period;
  • The world has already lost about half of its shallow water corals in just 30 years;
  • In April 2018, levels of climate warming carbon dioxide reached the highest level in at least 800,000 years.

Full and summary versions of the report are available here


Ground-breaking project gets green light - RSPB

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

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

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

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

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


Wildlife Trust calls for a wilder future for Hampshire and Isle of Wight - Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife today launches a new campaign to secure a wilder future for our counties

Research has demonstrated that nature plays a vital role in improving physical and mental wellbeing and yet many people are disconnected from their natural surroundings and rarely spend time in nature.   

© Amy Lewis© Amy Lewis

In a speech to members in Winchester this Saturday (27 October), Debbie Tann, Chief Executive, will say: “There’s complacency here when it comes to the state of the natural environment.  Although our county looks green and pleasant, our wildlife is in freefall.  This is important – not just because of the incredible plants and animals that we are losing, but because we all depend on the natural world for our own survival and for the health of our society. We have to act now to tip the balance in favour of nature’s recovery.”

Over the past 50 years, 56% of species have declined across the UK, with 15% now at risk of disappearing altogether. 

In Hampshire there have been dramatic reductions in species such as water voles, nightingales and even common species like the large white butterfly.  This loss is being driven by intensive agriculture, climate change, development, recreation pressure and unsustainable use of natural resources. 


Herpetology and Invertebrates

Meet Freya the newt detective – Wessex Water

© Nick Upton for Wessex WaterA four-legged friend with a nose for newts is helping us sniff out protected species before new pipes are put in the ground.

© Nick Upton for Wessex Water

We are the first utility company in the UK to have an in-house great crested newt detection dog, owned and trained by ecologist Nikki Glover.

Three-year-old springer spaniel Freya has been trained to spot the nocturnal amphibians, with UK and European legislation making it an offence to damage or destroy their environment without a licence from Natural England. 

Training takes the form of hiding a great crested newt within a breathable container. When Freya locates the newt, she indicates in a non-invasive manner to earn the reward of a tennis ball or treat.

Nikki said: "The Wessex Water region is a stronghold for great crested newts and we come across them when carrying out construction works. If works are within 250 metres of breeding ponds and we are likely to cause an offence under the legislation, we must apply for a licence from Natural England. We would then be required to fence off the construction area and carry out pitfall trapping (buckets sunk into the ground), which could take around 30 days to complete. Having a great crested newt detection dog within a utility company is a massive benefit because they can find the newts more efficiently and effectively, and it's a non-invasive method."

Nikki has been granted a Natural England licence which allows her to keep four great crested newts in temporary captivity from July to October for the purpose of training Freya.

She has sought professional training from Louise Wilson, founder and director of Conservation K9 Consultancy, who has 15 years' experience within the detection dog industry and was the first person to train a great crested newt detection dog.

The type of container used for training is varied to avoid Freya 'scent imprinting' on the container material as opposed to the newt. She is now able to locate wild newts as well as captive ones.

Louise said: "Nikki came to me over a year ago to progress Freya's training and they have both been absolute stars. You can see how much Freya enjoys her work and the bond she has with Nikki is absolutely vital. We've never worked with a water company before and it's been really rewarding. I think it's a brilliant idea."


John Muir Pollinator Way, funding success - Buglife

Hogganfield Park (Suzanne Burgess)Thanks to funding from The Scottish Government and The Greggs Foundation, The Central Scotland Green Network Trust are supporting Buglife to create 25 pollinator ‘hubs’ at various points along the John Muir Way. This funding will allow Buglife Scotland the opportunity to expand and bolster the work already being undertaken to create the first urban B-lines in Scotland, The John Muir Pollinator Way.

Hogganfield Park (Suzanne Burgess)

Buglife Scotland is now busy searching for sites that can be transformed or enhanced for the benefit of pollinators. So far the team have been working closely with land owners and managers in East Dunbartonshire, The City of Edinburgh and Falkirk, however the hope is to create at least one ‘hub’ in each of the council areas that the John Muir Way runs through. To get the project started Buglife will be working with the Falkirk Community Trust at Kinneil Estate and Callendar Park as well as working with the Forestry Commission Scotland at Callendar Park. Then over the winter months Buglife will start finalising the remaining 22 sites that will make up the rest of the areas being improved for pollinators as part of this project.

Through creating these pollinator hotspots the project will be giving our wild pollinators a much needed helping hand and creating new habitats for other wildlife. Local communities and schools will also have the opportunity to connect with their local natural environment by getting involved, where possible, with the creation and enhancement of these sites and being able to explore and look for the wildlife that takes up residence in these areas.

Alasdair Lemon, Buglife Scotland Conservation Officer said “We are really excited to be able to continue working on our John Muir Pollinator Way project, Scotland’s first urban B-Line. It is fantastic that both the Scottish Government and Greggs Foundation have provided funding for this project, so that Buglife, CSGNT and partners are able to create and enhance grassland meadows for local communities to enjoy and most importantly to help our pollinators when they need it most.”


Rare snails introduced to Pentland Hills - Buglife

Pond mud snails (image: Buglife)Conservation experts have hailed the first ever release of rare Pond mud snails in the Lothians as a “vital step” in efforts to save the species.

Native to Europe, Pond mud snail populations in the UK have almost halved over the past twenty-five years due to habitat loss. Measuring a little over a centimetre in length and classed as a vulnerable species, the snails were previously found in only seven locations within the central belt of Scotland, a fraction of their former range.

Pond mud snails (Buglife)

More than 80 snails have now been introduced to a specially created habitat near the Pentland Hills, having been bred at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s Edinburgh Zoo key partners of the Marvellous Mud Snails project being run by Buglife Scotland, this project is working to ensure this species doesn’t disappear from Scotland.

Ben Harrower, the charity’s conservation programme manager, said, “It is very encouraging that we now have this new Pond mud snail site, which means there are currently eight populations in Scotland. We were able to release 87 snails in total."



Wading birds are benefiting from conservation action but we need more of it - BTO

Throughout Europe, birds associated with agricultural habitats comprise the highest proportion (23%) of threatened species, with breeding waders among the most vulnerable. Despite these conservation concerns, only Ruff and the Baltic population of Dunlin feature on the EU Birds Directive list of threatened species, while all except Dunlin can be hunted in many EU member states under certain restrictions.

Curlew by Neil CalbradeCurlew by Neil Calbrade

Throughout Europe, birds associated with agricultural habitats comprise the highest proportion (23%) of threatened species, with breeding waders among the most vulnerable. Despite these conservation concerns, only Ruff and the Baltic population of Dunlin feature on the EU Birds Directive list of threatened species, while all except Dunlin can be hunted in many EU member states under certain restrictions.  Grassland-breeding waders face a set of common threats throughout much of Europe. Loss or deterioration of breeding habitat through changing agricultural practices, together with increasing predation pressure, are the primary drivers of population declines, reducing the number of chicks produced to below the threshold needed to maintain stable populations. In western Europe, earlier cropping, mowing and grazing dates – a consequence of agricultural intensification and climate change – can result in the destruction of eggs and chicks by agricultural machinery and livestock. Intensively-managed grassland monocultures and large-scale field drainage both result in poorer food resources for chicks, meaning their growth and potentially survival is reduced. Furthermore, intensive agricultural practices can increase the vulnerability of nests and chicks to predation by reducing the quality of their breeding habitat, while higher numbers of predators in the landscape increases predation rates of eggs and chicks.


Recorded cases of bird of prey poisonings at record low – Scottish Government

2017 saw only one recorded incident of illegal bird of prey poisoning in Scotland, according to new maps published by the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW) Scotland.

This is the lowest total in a single year since PAW Scotland began compiling data for 2004 onwards. 

Despite the drop in recorded incidents, data from satellite tagged raptors continues to show birds disappearing in unexplained circumstances, with persecution strongly suspected in many cases.

There was a further 36% fall in all recorded bird of prey crimes during 2017. The new figures show 9 confirmed crimes compared to 14 the previous year.

Species illegally killed in 2017 incidents included buzzards, owls, and a hen harrier, while the golden eagle, osprey and merlin were victims of disturbance cases. In addition to the poisoning incident, there were two shootings, two illegal trappings and three cases of disturbance. 

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “While I welcome this further reduction in recorded bird of prey crimes, including our lowest ever total for poisoning incidents, reports from early 2018 indicate that this remains a problem in some parts of Scotland. It is extremely frustrating that some criminals continue to undermine the good work that has been done by conservationists and land managers in recent years, with much of that work being done through the Partnership Against Wildlife Crime (PAW Scotland).”


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

Tristan albatross (RSPB)

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

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

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

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



Research reveals Scotland’s west coast as global cetacean hotspot - Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust

Scotland’s west coast seas are a global hotspot for cetaceans and basking sharks, and need better protection, said Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust as it released a new marine atlas capturing key discoveries made over the past 15 years.

The first Hebridean Marine Mammal Atlas showcases findings by the charity’s scientists and citizen science volunteers during annual research expeditions on its specialized yacht Silurian.

The findings highlight the region’s extraordinary biodiversity and shed new light on its whales, dolphins and porpoise – collectively called cetaceans – and basking sharks.

So far, 23 cetacean species – a quarter of all known globally – have been recorded in the Hebrides. Since 2002, Silurian has travelled more than 100,000 kilometres – the equivalent of sailing two and a half times around the world – and 30,000 animals have been recorded.

Discoveries include the Hebrides being a vital feeding ground for minke whales and basking sharks, and that the region is one of the most important areas for harbour porpoise in Europe. The trust’s evidence was used to identify the boundary of Scotland’s first protected area for harbour porpoise, approved by the Scottish Government in 2016. Human impacts on the marine environment – including entanglement, marine litter, and underwater noise – are also monitored on the surveys. The scale of such threats is often still unclear. The trust’s unique citizen science programme always uses the same rigorous methods, with annual variations in survey effort accounted for – ensuring findings are comparable between years. This provides long-term data on species’ distributions, populations, and behaviours, which is crucial for identifying important areas, and trends and changes in the marine environment. 

Download the Hebridean Marine Mammal Atlas


UK Government failed to designate sufficient sites to protect Europe’s smallest cetacean species says European Court of Justice - WDC

The European Court of Justice has today ruled that the UK Government failed to propose sufficient numbers of sites that would protect harbour porpoises in waters off the Scottish, English, Welsh and Northern Irish coastline. The European Commission now will ask the UK government what measures they will put in place to comply with the EU Habitats Directive.

Harbour Porpoise St Lawrence Canada © Ores Ursula Tscherter Harbour Porpoise St Lawrence Canada © Ores Ursula Tscherter

The Commission had previously brought action against the UK for failing to designate Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) for harbour porpoises, which led to six sites being designated. However, scientific evidence has demonstrated that additional sites were required in the northern North Sea and Celtic & Irish Sea Management Units in Scottish waters, before the network of SACs for harbour porpoise could be considered complete.

Whale and Dolphin Conservation has campaigned for 20 years to get more protection for this important but vulnerable species and was delighted when Scottish, English and Welsh Harbour Porpoise Special Areas of Conservation were submitted originally to the European Commission.

More than 8,500 people contributed to the consultation in 2016 and supported these sites and WDC’s campaign to make these sites a reality. However, whilst the efforts of the UK to designate these SACs are welcome, more needs to be done.

The ruling by the European Court of Justice today only relates to site designation and doesn’t consider important management measures regarding activities that take place within these areas where the harbour porpoise feed and breed, and so might threaten their future survival.


Beaver numbers increase across Tayside - Scottish Natural Heritage 

Beaver numbers across Tayside have increased in the past six years, according to a new Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) survey.

The report estimates that around 430 beavers live in over 100 active beaver territories. A 2012 survey estimated beaver numbers across the region at about 150 beavers in 40 territories.

European beaver (image: Laurie Campbell via SNH)European beaver (image: Laurie Campbell via SNH)

Nick Halfhide, SNH’s Director of Sustainable Growth, said, “By building dams, beavers improve local water quality and help nurture other wildlife, and it’s wonderful that people now have a chance to see these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat.

“But in some parts of Scotland, beavers can cause problems, particularly in areas with prime agricultural land. So we are setting up a mitigation scheme – with input from a range of interest groups such as NFU Scotland through the Scottish Beaver Forum – to develop and trial techniques to help  farmers deal with any problems they encounter.”

SNH provide farmers with free, expert advice, as well as practical, on-the-ground solutions. These include techniques used across Europe, such as deterrent fencing, tree guards, piped dams, culvert and flood bank protection, as well as trialling new methods.

The survey detected 72 beaver lodges, 339 burrows, and 86 dams or recently removed dams. Beavers create lodges by burrowing into banks where they dig several chambers and entrances.

Read the full report.

And analysis: Scotland’s beavers need protection to allow them to thrive - Scottish Wildlife Trust blog by Susan Davies, Director of Conservation


Response: Trust calls for legal protection for Scotland’s beavers - Scottish Wildlife Trust

A report published by Scottish Natural Heritage has confirmed that beaver numbers are expanding in Tayside and that they are beginning to establish a presence in the neighbouring Forth catchment.

The Trust is concerned that unregulated culling is taking place is some areas. We are calling for the Scottish Government to speed up progress on introducing protected status for beavers.

Our Director of Conservation Susan Davies said: ““This comprehensive survey shows a welcome expansion in their range since 2012. Beavers are now widespread in Tayside and they are starting to recolonise other areas including the River Forth. It is only a matter of time before they enter other river catchments. “We believe it is time for the Scottish Government to complete the steps required to give beavers protected status. This was promised at the end of 2016 but progress has been too slow. Granting legal protection would ensure that beavers are allowed to thrive across Scotland, and that the management of their impacts will be carried out according to the joint principles agreed between the Trust, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), National Farmers Union Scotland (NFUS) and Scottish Land and Estates (SLE) in late 2016.”


Flying success for Bats in Churches project - Natural England

The Heritage Lottery Fund have awarded £3.8 million for a project led by Natural England to save bats and protect churches

A groundbreaking project led by Natural England to help churches that host large bat roosts has been granted £3.8 million of funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

This new round of funding will help deliver a five year partnership project, bringing together wildlife, heritage conservation and church organisations to save bats and protect churches for future generations.

common pipistrelle bat (image: Natural England)common pipistrelle bat (image: Natural England)

The UK’s bat population has suffered significant historical decline which is why they are protected by UK law. Loss of natural habitats means some bat species have been forced to find safe havens in buildings including historic churches.

Many church communities live harmoniously with bat roosts. However, in some cases bats are causing irreparable damage to historically significant church monuments and memorials as well as impacting upon the people who use the buildings.

Recently approved techniques and a new licence developed by Natural England to permit necessary work will be used to improve both the natural and historic environment and to support the people who care for them.

The Bats in Churches project will:

  • Find practical solutions to enable 102 of the most severely impacted church communities to reduce the impact of bats on the church, without harming them
  • Create a new network of fully trained volunteers who can undertake bat surveys and support congregations who have bat roosts at their church
  • Train professional ecologists and historic building specialists in new techniques and build knowledge to improve their advice to congregations
  • Collect and collate up-to-date data from over 700 churches across England, helping to build a specialist knowledge base of bats and their use of churches
  • Strengthen local communities so people value and engage with their local natural and historic built heritage

Natural England is working in partnership with The Church of England, Historic England, Bat Conservation Trust and Churches Conservation Trust to deliver this ambitious and innovative project.


New map shows endangered water voles thriving across threatened wetlands – The Wildlife Trusts

Map of reported water vole sightings since their reintroduction to Magor Marsh, Gwent Levels, in 2012. Data collected by Gwent Wildlife Trust and other organisations.Campaign launched today (15 October) to save the Gwent Levels

Map of reported water vole sightings since their reintroduction to Magor Marsh, Gwent Levels, in 2012. Data collected by Gwent Wildlife Trust and other organisations.

Water voles have been discovered thriving across the Gwent Levels after bouncing back from extinction on the internationally-important wetlands of south Wales. Six years ago, Gwent Wildlife Trust reintroduced the endangered species to Magor Marsh nature reserve on the edge of the Levels. New mapping shows that they have bred successfully and spread up to 10 kilometres.

The water vole is the UK’s most rapidly declining mammal and has been lost from 94% of places where they were once prevalent; earlier this year a report* revealed an ever-worsening situation.  Thus, the new map created by Gwent Wildlife Trust is very heartening and shows water voles are reclaiming their historic range.

Unfortunately, the news comes at a time when the Welsh government is due to announce a decision which will decide the fate of the Gwent Levels. A new 14-mile-long six-lane motorway is proposed; it will cut across six protected wildlife havens and destroy or damage a historic landscape which is Wales’ equivalent to the Amazon rainforest. Rare wildlife such as water voles, otters and cranes will be badly affected.

Ian Rappel, chief executive of Gwent Wildlife Trust says: “The fantastic success of the water vole reintroduction project is a wonderful testament to all the great efforts of volunteers and staff working to enhance the Gwent Levels for wildlife. This beautiful landscape is a nature-lover’s paradise and people really enjoy its peace and tranquillity. But the success is bitter-sweet. If the new road gets the go-ahead billions will be spent destroying a very special place for the sake of saving ten minutes of commuting time.”


Hedgehog Street reveals which counties are recording the most hedgehog sightings - PTES

For the first time we can revealed the counties across the British Isles who are recording the most (and least!) number of native hedgehog sightings. The Hedgehog Street team are calling for more people to record their sightings of Britain’s favourite mammal online, to ensure the BIG Hedgehog Map reflects the most accurate picture of hedgehogs that have been seen in Britain.

The data, which is from Hedgehog Street’s BIG Hedgehog Map, shows all recorded sightings of hedgehogs (dead or alive) since 2015. Hedgehog Street, which we run along side the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, has collated these sightings to create a ‘heatmap’ showing where in the British Isles the public are most actively recording sightings of hedgehogs:

The top five hedgehog spotting counties are:

Top rank


Number of records








Greater Manchester








Emily Wilson, Hedgehog Officer for Hedgehog Street says: “We’re so pleased that people across the country, from rural Hampshire to urban landscapes such as Greater Manchester, are actively recording sightings of hedgehogs when they see them. While the heatmap does not reflect actual hedgehog distribution, the more data we can gather, the better picture we have of where hedgehogs are located across the British Isles, which helps us to protect these beautiful but endangered animals.”


First record of Myxomatosis in Hares - Essex Wildlife Trust

Photo by Robin LowryEssex Wildlife Trust is urging the public to record and send any sightings of hares in Essex.

Photo by Robin Lowry

Myxomatosis is historically a disease that affects rabbits, caused by the myxoma virus. It was introduced into Australia in 1950 in an attempt to control the rabbit population. The disease first reached the UK in 1953, where it was originally considered an effective rabbit bio-control measure, before 99% of rabbits were killed by the disease in just 3 years and the intentional introduction was banned.

The disease is spread by direct contact with an affected animal or from biting insects and in rabbits they usually die within 14 days of contracting the disease, developing skin tumours, blindness, fatigue and fever.
The myxomatosis virus is known for its ability to mutate from year to year. However, this is the first time it has ever mutated into another species. The last few weeks have seen several cases of hares suffering with the disease or found dead in Suffolk and Norfolk, but now the first case in Essex has been recorded, near Halstead.

Hares have suffered from an 80% decline since the late 19th century and their population is not as robust as rabbits. Over time many rabbits develop a resistance to the disease, however there won’t be any resistance in hares yet so this outbreak could be extremely detrimental.


Clock change increases deer risk on roads - Scottish Natural Heritage

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is warning motorists to be aware of the increased potential for collisions between deer and vehicles due to the shorter periods of daylight.

With night falling earlier, deer are more likely to venture on to the grass verges near roadsides during peak commuting times as they browse and feed.

In response to the potential risk, SNH – in conjunction with Transport Scotland and Traffic Scotland – are placing warning messages on electronic variable messaging signs (VMS). From this week until Monday 19 November, the signs will warn motorists at key locations on the main trunk roads. These messages will be on signs on the A9, A87, A82, A85 and the A835.

It's estimated that collisions between deer and vehicles could be as high as 9,000 per year in Scotland, resulting in 50 to 100 human injuries. The majority of collisions take place in early evening through to midnight, with another peak occurring from 6am to 9am.

Over the past 50 years, the number of wild deer in Scotland has increased as has their range. In the same period, the volume of road traffic has almost doubled. This combination has led to increased deer-vehicle collision rates across the country, with the greatest jump occurring in Aberdeenshire, Fife and the Central Belt. This corresponds with the rise in the populations of roe deer, which adapt well to lowland habitats.


Trees for Life’s red squirrel project wins global conservation competition - Trees for Life

Image: © Peter CairnsScotland’s only entry in the Forests category of a leading global conservation competition has won funding of more than £25,000 to help ensure the long-term survival of Scotland’s red squirrels.

Image: © Peter Cairns

Trees for Life’s Reds Return initiative secured almost 7,400 votes and widespread social media support – including from television presenter Chris Packham – in the 2018 European Outdoor Conservation Association vote held between 8-22 October. The success will allow the volunteering conservation charity to step up its pioneering red squirrel reintroduction project. Reds from thriving populations in Inverness-shire and Moray will be reintroduced to four northwest Highland woodlands where they can spread, safe from threats from grey squirrels. This will also help natural expansion of native woodlands, because red squirrels plant new trees by forgetting where they have buried their winter stores of nuts and seeds.


Health, Recreation and volunteering.

Nature to be prescribed to help health and wellbeing – RSPB

GPs in Shetland are now able to prescribe nature to their patients thanks to a pioneering partnership project

A partnership project between NHS Shetland and RSPB Scotland, which is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK, has been extended following a successful pilot. From this week, all of Shetland’s GPs will be able to prescribe nature as part of their patient’s treatment. 

The successful pilot, which took place at Scalloway surgery last year, has led to the roll out of “Nature Prescriptions” to all ten GP surgeries across the county.

Nature Prescriptions recognises the benefits of nature on reducing blood pressure, reducing anxiety and increasing happiness as well as the growing disconnection with nature throughout society. 

RSPB Scotland have produced a leaflet and a calendar of seasonal activities using local knowledge and understanding of connecting people with nature. It attempts to provide a greater variety of ways to realise the health benefits that nature can provide regardless of health condition, confidence or if you are a sociable or more solitary person. The leaflet will be handed out at each doctor’s discretion.

Dr Chloe Evans, a GP at Scalloway Health Centre, said: “I want to take part because the project provides a structured way for patients to access nature as part of a non-drug approach to health problems. The benefits to patients are that it is free, easily accessible, allows increased connection with surroundings which hopefully leads to improved physical and mental health for individuals”. 


Birmingham community project picks up top award – Canal & River Trust

A project to encourage more people from Birmingham’s South Asian community to take advantage of the health and wellbeing benefits offered by the city’s waterways has scooped a major award.

Dragon boating racing in Birmingham (Canal & River Trust)Dragon boating racing in Birmingham (Canal & River Trust)

Nowka Bais, a ‘cultural extravaganza’ which saw 25,000 people flock to Edgbaston Reservoir in July 2017 for a celebration of traditional Bangladeshi dragon boat racing, collected the award in the ‘Engaging Communities’ category at the Living Waterway Awards. The awards – known as the ‘Oscars of the waterways’ - seek to recognise the most exciting and inspiring waterway-based projects across the UK.

In giving the award the judges recognised the success of the event itself but also the important role it has played in getting more people from South Asian communities, including women and children, to participate in water sports activities on the reservoir and the surrounding canals.

Celebrating Bangladeshi heritage

The event saw 18 teams from all over the UK participating in boat racing, as well as Bangladeshi street food stalls, live music and entertainment and a procession by children on celebrating Bangladeshi heritage and culture.

Since last year’s Nowka Bais there has been an increase in the number of people from the South Asian community taking part in sailing, canoeing and kayaking, both on the reservoir and the neighbouring canals. There have also been a number of community canal boat trips and groups of people from Smethwick, Lozells and Aston walking and cycling on the canal towpaths as a means of improving their health and wellbeing.


Campaign to inspire young women to get outside unveiled on World Mental Health Day - Scottish Natural Heritage

A new campaign to inspire more young women to get outside and enjoy nature has been unveiled on World Mental Health Day.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and Young Scot have been working with teenage girls to design #GirlsGetOot, a social media campaign aimed at breaking down the barriers to getting outdoors.

Visiting the outdoors can improve physical and mental health but surveys have shown that girls aged 15-17 are significantly less likely to be active outside than their male counterparts.

Research with young volunteers found that issues such as gender expectations, social pressures, body image and perceptions about the cost can all prevent young women from experiencing nature.

Animations designed in collaboration with teenage girls will highlight how simple activities such as going for a walk with friends, listening to music outdoors or sharing photos of nature are free, fun and can help relieve the stress experienced by many young women.


How to get your news to us:

Send your press releases to newsdesk@countryside-jobs.com or email a link to items on your website.

If it's time sensitive we can embargo the details to a specific date, let us know when you'd like it to be published. 



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Browse the Training Directory online here for short courses (up to 10 days long), or here for longer courses, distance learning and centres and providers

The Directory includes a wide range of courses providing certification in practical skills such as chainsaw use, need to learn how to identify dragonflies, or want to find out the best way to get the community involved in your project then this is the section to read.    We include details of many professional courses in the online short courses pages. There are also sections for longer courses, training centres and other events (eg conferences).

Search for your next CPD course here.


Calendar of short courses and professional events happening in: January 2019  plus courses available on an ad hoc, on demand basis


10/01/2019   Ecology and Evolution Ireland   3 Day

Galway, Ireland, British Ecological Society. Contact: https://c-js.info/2OUCgQo

Registration is now open for this exciting programme of oral and poster sessions with national and international plenary speakers, training events, workshops and networking opportunities. The conference will interest academic and professional ecologists and students working in higher education and research institutions, as well as non-governmental organizations, ecological consultancies and other professionals in ecology.

15/01/2019   Marine plastic pollution: the science story    0.5 Day

Huxley Lecture Theatre, Main Meeting Rooms, Zoological Society of London, Outer Circle, Regents Park, NW1 4RY, Zoological Society of London. Contact: jennifer.howes@zsl.org https://c-js.info/2CMu0fE

Marine plastic pollution is one of the hottest environmental topics of our time. Highlighting research by ZSL’s #OneLess campaign and Thames River plastic bottle monitoring programme, discuss the social-science behind the movement to reduce single-use plastic, and how to focus future research and conservation interventions. 

17/01/2019   Future of environmental principles and governance post-Brexit   1 Day

Central London, Westminster Forum Projects. Contact: https://c-js.info/2npAVkk


Administrative and Office Skills

09/01/2019   Intermediate QGIS for Ecologists and Environmental Practitioners   2 Day at East Midlands, CIEEM. http://events.cieem.net/Events/EventPages/09012019000000IntermediateQGISforEcologistsandEnvironmentalPractitioners.aspx

This intermediate level event focuses on using QGIS as a tool for data analysis and producing more complex maps accurately and efficiently. The course offers ideal progression from our entry level QGIS training and includes some pre-event work to help ensure all delegates have a similar level of QGIS knowledge prior to attendance.

22/01/2019   Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) of Projects (England/Wales)   1 Day at North West England, CIEEM.  http://events.cieem.net/Events/EventPages/22012019000000HabitatsRegulationsAssessmentHRAofProjectsEnglandWales.aspx

This training has been designed to give delegates a thorough understanding of the overall purpose, process and methodology of the HRA of projects. As well as covering relevant policy and legislation, the course also explores the key stages of the HRA process, with professional tips and hints on compliance and best practice.

For CIEEM courses contact: 01962 868626 enquiries@cieem.net

23/01/2019   Advanced Facilitation Training   1 Day

St. Luke's Community Centre, 90 Central St, EC1V 8AJ, London, Talk Action. Contact: 0207 324 4775 training@talkaction.org http://www.talkaction.org/training/Advanced-Facilitation-London/

This will be unlike training you’ve experienced before – you’ll be challenged, engaged & hopefully excited while experiencing the power of deep facilitation. While this is a day of learning, it is also time for you to think about your work & share your experiences. You’ll be asked to analyse difficult situations & come up with your own solutions.

23/01/2019   Wind Farm Bird Collision Risk Modelling   1 Day

Scotland, CIEEM. Contact: 01962 868626 enquiries@cieem.net  http://events.cieem.net/Events/EventPages/22012019000000HabitatsRegulationsAssessmentHRAofProjectsEnglandWales.aspx

This course will introduce the Band collision risk model, cover survey design and data management, and provide participants with the opportunity to work through an example. Interpretation of results will also be discussed, including limitations of the model.

24/01/2019   Using drones to map habitats   2 Day

Lancaster, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Lancaster University. Contact: 01491 69 2225 ingsch@ceh.ac.uk https://www.ceh.ac.uk/training/using-drones-map-habitats

This two-day course will give you skills in: taking images collected from a UAV platform such as a quadcopter, processing images into a scene for image processing, generating classified images. You will learn steps to produce high quality and accurate maps for the mapping of vegetation and land forms.

29/01/2019   Developing Skills in Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA)   2 Day

Yorkshire and Humber, CIEEM. Contact: 01962 868626 enquiries@cieem.net http://events.cieem.net/Events/EventPages/29012019000000DevelopingSkillsinEcologicalImpactAssessmentEcIA.aspx

A two-day practical course aimed at those practitioners who have existing experience of undertaking EcIAs and wish to develop those skills further. The course will follow the approach to EcIA set out in CIEEM's guidelines, and will focus on the terrestrial (rather than the marine) environment.

31/01/2019   Social Media Training - Edinburgh   1 Day

The Melting Pot, Talk Action / Karen Ackerman. Contact: 02073244775 training@talkaction.org http://www.talkaction.org/training/social-edinburgh/

This session will challenge, inspire and enthuse you to take action and go social. This interactive course will help you understand the landscape of social media and plan an approach that empowers and excites the people you want to engage.

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 contact Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, 01491 692225 ingsch@ceh.ac.uk https://www.ceh.ac.uk/training/science-paper-impact


Community Engagement and Environmental Education

08/01/2019   Delivering Training Workshops for Wildlife Conservation   2 Day

David Attenborough Building, University of Cambridge, WildTeam UK. Contact: Beth@wildteam.org.uk http://www.wildteam.org.uk/classroom

Here is your chance to gain certified skills in how to deliver amazing workshops that have a measurable impact for your conservation work.

30/01/2019   Advanced Facilitation Training - Edinburgh   1 Day

The Melting Pot, Matthew Herbert for Talk Action. Contact: 02073244775 training@talkaction.org http://www.talkaction.org/training/advanced-facilitation-edinburgh/

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

31/01/2019   Course for Schools: Meaningful Learning and LOtC: Policies and Practice   1 Day

National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth, CLOtC. Contact: 07545 696881 events@lotc.org.uk http://www.lotc.org.uk/lotc-training-for-schools-meaningful-learning-and-lotc-policies-and-practice-plymouth/


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

19/01/2019   Outdoor First Aid 2 Days   2 Day at 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.

24/01/2019   Outdoor First Aid 2 Days   2 Day at Transition Extreme, Aberdeen

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.

24/01/2019   Emergency First Aid at Work + Forestry   1 Day at Newcastle upon Tyne

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

For above First Aid Training Co-operative. Contact: 03334330731 courses@firstaidtrainingcooperative.co.uk http://www.firstaidtrainingcooperative.co.uk

Contact for Details

Outdoor First Aid    2 Day with Outdoor First Aid Limited

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 Day with Outdoor First Aid Limited

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 Day with Outdoor First Aid Limited

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 with Outdoor First Aid Limited


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 with Outdoor First Aid Limited


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 with 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 Day with Outdoor First Aid Limited

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.

All Outdoor First Aid Limited courses in Scotland. Contact: 07787 526299 info@outdoor-first-aid-courses.com http://www.outdoor-first-aid-courses.com


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Mammals

24/01/2019   ORCA Marine Mammal Surveyor Course    1 Day at IBM South Bank, 76/78 Upper Ground, South Bank, London, SE1 9PZ

ORCA’s Marine Mammal Surveyor course incorporates theoretical and practical training on marine mammal identification, organising and completing line-transect surveys as part of a team. With a network of research vessels, ferries and cruise ships donating spaces to ORCA, this is a fantastic opportunity for you to participate in future surveys.

26/01/2019   ORCA Marine Mammal Surveyor Course    1 Day at University of Portsmouth, King Henry I Street, Portsmouth, PO1 2DY

ORCA’s Marine Mammal Surveyor course incorporates theoretical and practical training on marine mammal identification, organising and completing line-transect surveys as part of a team. With a network of research vessels, ferries and cruise ships donating spaces to ORCA, this is a fantastic opportunity for you to participate in future surveys.

Above two ORCA courses contact: info@orcaweb.org.uk http://www.orcaweb.org.uk/get-involved/train-to-be-a-marine-mammal-surveyor

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 - Plants and Habitats

29/01/2019   Basic Tree Survey & Inspection (LANTRA)   1 Day

Nower Wood, Mill Way, leatherhead KT22 8QA, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk https://www.surreywildlifetrust.org/events/2019-01-29-basic-tree-survey-inspection-lantra

Build your confidence in identifying hazards associated with trees. Gain a LANTRA certificate of attendance upon completion.


Practical Countryside Skills

12/01/2019   Advanced Hedgelaying   2 Day

Sharnford, Leicestershire County Council. Contact: 0116 305 7264 environmentteam@leics.gov.uk https://leicestershirecc-self.achieveservice.com/service/Rural-Skills-course-booking-form

Learn about the art and practice the traditional skills of laying a hedge. Go through the various processes of hedgelaying, with time to lay a section of hedge, stake and bind it.


Practical Countryside Skills - Machinery

17/01/2019   RSPH Level 2 Award in the safe use of Rodenticides   1 Day

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

The RSPH Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Rodenticides provides learners with an understanding of why the purchase and use of rodenticides is controlled and why other rodent control methods should be considered before rodenticides are used.

22/01/2019   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

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.

Contact for Details

Lantra Sit In ATV Conventional Steer    1 Day

Skipton, Dalesway Yorkshire LTD . Contact: 01756 611060 sophie@lre3.co.uk http://www.daleswayyorkshire.co.uk

Lantra Sit in ATV training available in Skipton or at your chosen location.

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.

Basic Chainsaw Maintenance & Cross-Cutting Training Course   2 Day with 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 Day with 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 Day with 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 Day with 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 Day with 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 Day with 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 Day with 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 Day with 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 with 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 with Brooksby Melton College.

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 with 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.

All Brooksby Melton College at Melton Mowbray. 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


Level 1 - Introduction to Agriculture & the Countryside with Kingston Maurward College


MSc Biological Recording and Ecological Monitoring and PGCert Biological Recording updated listing with Manchester Metropolitan University

Environmental Education

NOCN Level 3 Certificate in Forest School Programme Leadership (QCF) updated listing with Tees Valley Wildlife Trust

Land and Countryside Management

Level 3 Land and Wildlife Management updated listing with North Shropshire College


Distance learning

Delve Deeper with Newcastle University

Lone Wolf Learning Course with Lone Wolf Administration


Training Centre / provider listings

Kingston Maurward College


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London North Eastern Railway (LNER) - Customer and Community Improvement Fund

Greenspace Scotland are managing:  What would you like to change in your local area of Scotland?

Enabling Natural Resources and Well-Being in Wales 2019-2023 from Welsh Government

The Future Parks Accelerator (FPA) is a new UK-wide initiative between HLF and the National Trust.

Greater Quantock Landscape Development Fund run by Somerset County Council 


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