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

Published on the second Thursday every month

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

Scottish Countryside Rangers Association

Countryside Management Association

logo: Canal and River Trust 

Featured Charity: Canal & River Trust

Find out more about our featured charity here.   Including how to join and donate.

Read their introductory article here. 


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)


Happy Christmas from CJS

Details of CJS deadlines and publication dates over Christmas and New Year [more]

Download the CJS Calendar for 2019 here.(pdf)





Location (basis / contract details)

Biodiversity Officer

East Lothian Council

Permanent full time and 35 hours (per week)

Dolphinwatch Visitor Experience Officer


Aberdeen (Full time, 6 months fixed term contract)

Forest Craftsperson

Forestry Commission England

Bowland Beat


Scottish Wildlife Trust


Project Manager - Garnock Connections 



(Full time, Contract: until 31 March 2022)

2x Visitor Services Officer

Forestry Commission England

Wendover Woods (1 x 12 month FTA (with option for permanent) + 1 x Seasonal FTA  ave. 37hpw 1/3/19 - 31/10/19)

Project Officer – Mid Calder & Tributaries Project

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

based at Stirley Community Farm, Huddersfield

Estate Team Leader  

Chiltern Open Air Museum

Chiltern Open Air Museum, Buckinghamshire (Full-time, permanent)

Assistant Warden


Blacktoft Sands near Goole  (Full time, Contract: until 14/1/2020)

Recreation Ranger High Lodge

Forestry Commission England

heart of Thetford Forest, Suffolk / Norfolk border

Skills for Bees Outreach Trainee  

Bumblebee Conservation Trust

Kent (part-time)

Part Time Bee Conservation Trainee  

Bumblebee Conservation Trust

north Kent (part time, temporary, 9 months from Feb 2019)

Assistant Ecologist

Penny Anderson Associates Ltd 

Buxton, Derbyshire

Naturally Native Development Manager 

The North East Wildlife Trusts (Durham, Northumberland, Tees Valley)

Based at Durham Wildlife Trust’s Head Office:  Rainton Meadows (Fixed term contract to 31/1/20)

Visitor Experience Assistant 


Bempton Cliffs, East Riding of Yorkshire (Full time
Contract: 5 months fixed term)

Retail Assistant


Bempton Cliffs, East Riding of Yorkshire (Part time, hourly paid. Contract: 6 months fixed term)

Assistant Retail Manager 


Bempton Cliffs, East Riding of Yorkshire (Part time, 22.5 hpw, Contract: Permanent)

Retail Assistant 


Leighton Moss, Silverdale, Lancashire (part time 21.75 hpw, permanent)


Conservation Placements x4

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Stirley Community Farm, Huddersfield.  (4 day week – long term placement )



Welsh Perry & Cider Society



46 new adverts for voluntary roles published in CJS Weekly and online since the last CJS Professional edition. 


Surveys and Fieldwork

11 new and updated listings from November.


CJS Focus

Advance notice for CJS Focus on Volunteering, to be published 11 February 2019.  Please note we are only publishing one volunteering edition in 2019 so make sure to send us your adverts.

CJS Focus on Employability in association with lantra in full here or download a pdf version here.

It might not be immediately obvious why you should read this edition - you're already in work right? However, it's full of useful tips to pass on when someone asks how they can get a job like yours and for all budding conservationists and volunteers hoping for a 'proper job' is a must read.

Find out how you can make yourself more employable with 9 articles and lots of courses, events and organisations to help you.
21 pages in total the lead is from Lantra and outlines how important practical training is at every point in a countryside career.

  • The Countryside Management Association is a great organisation to join to find out more about the sector and network. What could be better than meeting potential employers and getting the chance to sell yourself?
  • Our Bright Future is led by The Wildlife Trusts and aims to provide a stepping stone to employment for young people. Anna Maggs provides an update at the halfway stage along with case studies of some of the young people who’ve gone through the programme.
  • CJS fields a lot of enquiries from people looking to break in to the sector. As you all know it’s not an easy job! We provide some pointers about how to get yourself noticed.
  • Ben Deed from Merseyside Biobank reminds us not to overlook transferable skills when entering the conservation sector. His skills picked up during bar & hotel work helped him land a paid job.
  • Groundwork runs through some of the dos and don’ts when applying for jobs including completing an application form, a skill that, according to employers, is very much lacking.
  • James Common from New Nature magazine provides details on how to get your writing noticed; he’s well placed to advise after securing a job off the back of his published work.
  • From employer Oonagh Nelson of Contract Ecology a great insight in to what she is looking for in an interviewee, suggestions on how to prepare and get yourself through the interview and hopefully get the job.
  • Richard Crompton has been self-employed for many years, now running Ecology on Demand Richard gives us his tips on how to make the leap and succeed with your own business.    


CJS Information and other articles

Welcome to our new Featured Charity: Canal and River Trust.

Read their introductory article: Life is better by water

Canal & River Trust cares for 2,000 miles of waterways, stretching from Brecon to Boston, and from Lancaster to London. This extensive network of canals, rivers, reservoirs and docks connect villages with towns, cities with countryside, giving millions of people immediate access to space where they can relax, unwind and enjoy being closer to nature. [continue]


CJS is delighted to become a corporate supporter of the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) [more]

We're calling on all photographers: British Wildlife Photography Awards 2019 are now open for entry. [more]



Government announcements, policy, consultation and publications

  • Defra group's strategy: creating a great place for living
  • Gove sets out proposals for greener developments - Defra
  • Environmental charities launch urgent bid for an Environment Act for Scotland  - Joint press release from Scottish Environment LINK

Land and Countryside Management

  • Scots want their scenic landscapes better protected - National Trust for Scotland
  • New report shows nature-friendly farmers boost recovery – The Wildlife Trusts
  • New trees to breathe fresh life into fire and drought ravaged moorland – Woodland Trust 

Funding and new partnerships

  • Environmental charities receive over £2.2 million from businesses which broke environmental laws - Environment Agency  

Pollution, sustainablity and climate

  • Most detailed picture yet of changing climate launched – Environment Agency
  • Single-use. Is the 2018 word of the year the new taboo? - Marine Conservation Society
  • Devastating impact on nature highlighted in new campaign to fight litter - Defra in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy

Scientific Research, Results and Publications

  • Prescribed burning not as damaging as previously thought – University of Liverpool 
  • What seabirds can tell us about the tide - European Geosciences Union
  • State of Birds in Wales 2018 - BTO 

Animal and wildlife news

  • Reform essential to tackle rising wildlife crime and ‘appallingly low’ number of convictions - Wildlife and Countryside Link
  • Beavers to return to Essex for the first time in 400 years - Environment Agency  

Health, recreation, volunteering and employment

  • Conversations are a walk in the park; communication is better outdoors, research finds - University of Manchester
  • Researchers assess the value of National Parks to our health and happiness - University of York 



Calendar of events and short courses occuring in February 2019 - 12 pages

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

The Training Directory is filling up with details of courses and events occuring in 2019.  If you've not sent yours yet please email details to Training@countryside-jobs.com or use the online forms here.


Grants and sources of funding

Details 7 new and updated listings. 



Two new adverts:

  • RSPB Conservation Handbooks on sale whilst stocks last
  • Green stories writing competition


CJS Newsletters and updates:

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

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


CJS Professional: 13 December 2018

Happy Christmas from the CJS Team



Details of CJS deadlines and publication dates over Christmas and New Year.

View all the deadlines here.


CJS Professional: First edition of 2019 will be published one week later than usual on Thursday 17 January, all adverts must be booked before 5pm Monday 14 January and copy to be received before 12 noon Tuesday 15 January.  Book your advert here.


Download your copy of the handy CJS Calendar for 2019 (pdf)   



Card image: 9.30 a.m. on 30 November 2017 on the main road through Goathland!

Read more about CJS's snow day in my blog post from that day: https://news.countryside-jobs.com/2017/11/cjs-has-snow-day.html


Jobs: view all online jobs here


logo: East Lothian CouncilEast Lothian Council wish to appoint a Biodiversity Officer to provide advice and support to the Council in relation to its biodiversity duty and support the development and implementation of the East Lothian Biodiversity Action Plan. 

£29,509 - £33,250 per year 

Permanent full time and 35 hours per week 

Closing date     21st December

Interviews          mid January  

To start             February 2019 or as soon thereafter. 

Full details on “myjobscotland” here

Logo: RSPBDolphinwatch Visitor Experience Officer
Ref: A4151118
Location: Aberdeen
Salary: £17,276 - £18,716 per annum
Hours: Full time
Contract: 6 months fixed term  

We are looking for an enthusiastic and target-driven individual to run the seasonal Visitor Experience element of our expanded Dolphinwatch project in Aberdeen.
Operating from a car park at the historic Torry Battery, you will lead a team of volunteers to highlight the wildlife spectacle of bottlenose dolphins in Aberdeen harbour and provide a first-class visitor experience that inspires a deep and lasting connection to nature and a passion to protect it. 
You will provide information and activities to help visitors have enriching experiences with wildlife. You will organise events at the Dolphinwatch site and promote via social media. As an ambassador for RSPB Scotland you will work to a membership target, encouraging people to support our conservation work by joining the society. You will also support WDC's Shorewatch project by increasing the number of land-based cetacean surveys conducted by volunteers.
You will be knowledgeable about dolphins and marine wildlife with excellent communication skills. You will have experience of achieving membership and/or fundraising targets, organising and running events and managing volunteers. Self-motivated, confident and with a will to succeed, you will represent RSPB Scotland and make a difference by increasing public support for nature. 
Dolphinwatch is a ScottishPower Foundation and Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) funded project led by RSPB Scotland in partnership with Aberdeen City Council, Whale & Dolphin Conservation (WDC) and the Aberdeen Harbour Board with telescopes and binoculars supplied by Viking Optical.

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

Closing date: 9 January 2019
Interview date: 29 January 2019 

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

Logo: Forestry Commission EnglandForest Craftsperson

Bowland Beat

£19,995 - £21,175 

To work within a small team to maintain and enhance the Forestry Commission Estate and Recreation Facilities using skills such as tree felling, planting, fencing and walling.  

Engage with day visitors and support volunteers, events and partners. 

Closing Date 30th December 2018 

For more details and application form click here (Job ref: 1611448) 

No recruitment agencies please.


£20k-£21k per annum


The Scottish Wildlife Trust’s vision is for a healthy environment across Scotland’s land and seas for the benefit of people and wildlife.  We are looking for a confident, full-time administrator to provide senior administrative and secretarial support to the Trust.  

You will be an excellent communicator who displays flexibility, initiative and the ability to work and liaise with people at all levels.  Responsibilities will include providing everyday support to management team and senior staff, governance duties, event planning, meeting preparation and record keeping, including minute taking.  

You will be qualified to HND level or have relevant experience of a busy, vibrant office environment.  You will demonstrate competence in minute taking and show strong organisational skills.  You will be naturally proactive and self-starting and have an ability to prioritise and balance multiple tasks. 

An interest in nature conservation is an advantage, as is your approachability and willingness to engage with others and enthusiasm to keep learning. 

For the full job description and application form click here  

Closing date for applications is 12 noon on Friday 11 January 2019

Logo: RSPBProject Manager - Garnock Connections 

We have a fantastic opportunity for an experienced project manager to lead delivery of the Garnock Connections Landscape Partnership Scheme - an ambitious programme of integrated projects, events and activities, as set out in our Landscape Conservation Action Plan.  

Project Manager - Garnock Connections
Reference number: A4431118

Location: Lochwinnoch
Salary starting at: £29,507 - £31,966 per annum

Hours: Full time

Contract: until 31 March 2022 

The vision of the Garnock Connections partnership is for a landscape with the River Garnock at its heart, forming a connection from the Muirshiel hills to Irvine Bay and around which the natural, cultural and historical wealth of the valley is enhanced, revealed and made accessible for the benefit of communities now and in the future.  

The successful candidate will manage budgets, contracts and staff, submit grant claims and report to funders and partners.  

If you have a proven track record in project and budget management, are well organised and methodical, with strong skills in partnership working and communication and have the drive and vision needed to deliver, this could be the perfect position for you. This is a fixed term contract to manage delivery of the programme, until 31 March 2022. The post will report to a partnership Board comprising RSPB Scotland, North Ayrshire Council, HES, SNH, SEPA and SWT. 

Garnock Connections is a partnership project, made possible thanks to financial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and project partners. This post is being readvertised and previous applicants need not apply.  

Closing date: 13 January 2019
Interview date: 23 January 2019 

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

Logo: Forestry CommissionWendover Woods is recruiting

Visitor Services Officer

1 x 12 month FTA (with option for permanent)  ave. 37 Hours per week       

Pay Band – 6b: £19,995 - £21,175 

Visitor Services Officer

1 x Seasonal FTA  ave. 37 Hours per week  1st March 2019 – 31st October 2019
Pay Band – 6b: £19,995 - £21,175

Apply CS Jobs

Post Numbers: 12 month FTA - VSO – 1611385 For further information and to apply click here

Seasonal VSO – 1611401 For further information and to apply click here 

Closing Date: 4th January 2019

Logo: Yorkshire Wildlife TrustProject Officer – Mid Calder & Tributaries Project

35 hours per week

£25700 p.a pro rata, plus up to 9% employee pension contribution 

Are you a bright and energetic person? Would you like to combine your passion for the environment with your ability to deliver a programme of activity to restore habitat and engage local communities and landowners?

If so, we are seeking to appoint a Project Officer to join our dynamic and dedicated team based at Stirley Community Farm. You will help organise and deliver practical work on this fantastic project to help support habitat connectivity and quality. You will have strong communication skills to interact with different audiences to raise awareness of the project and consolidate with the local community.

You will have the ability to work independently and use your own initiative to manage the project effectively as well as working and building relationships with partners to ensure the wider program is delivered. Logo: European Union European Structural and Investment FundYou must be flexible and extremely organised for this exciting new role. 

Please contact the HR team on 01904 659570 or e-mail hr@ywt.org.uk 

Please note we don’t accept CVs 

Application closing date: 9 am Friday 11 January 2019;   interviews: Friday 25 January 2019 

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is an equal opportunities employer 

YWT Company 409650; Charity no. 210807. 

Estate Team Leader 

Chiltern Open Air Museum is recruiting an Estate Team Leader to assist the Estate Manager in maintaining the site to the highest standards. The Museum is 45 acres and includes woodland, parkland, arable fields, gardens, orchards, open space, hedgerows, playground, car park and some livestock. The Estate Team Leader will be responsible for the care and maintenance of habitats and wildlife areas, the management of arable fields and the care and management of the livestock. They will assist in the management of the woodland, supervise volunteers, staff and contractors, and be part of the Museum’s team of Duty Staff. 

The candidate must have practical experience in a similar role (Ranger roles being closely related), have appropriate qualifications to level 3 in Countryside Management, Agriculture, Conservation, Forestry or similar, have a full clean driving licence, have an understanding of animal husbandry, basic carpentry skills, be physically fit, have a good understanding of health and safety, and have a good sense of humour. 

Full job description and application details here

Salary £20,000
Full-time, permanent

Location, Chiltern Open Air Museum, Buckinghamshire
Closing date 19th December 2018
Interviews week of 7th January 2019
Start date February 2019

Logo: RSPBAssistant Warden

Ref: A4371118

Location: East Riding of Yorkshire

Salary: £19,602 - £21,236 per annum, pro rata

Hours: Full time

Contract: until 14 January 2020 

The Humber estuary is one of the top places in UK for wildlife. The RSPB manages over 1,400 hectares of the estuary with a fantastic range of habitats including largest intertidal reedbed in England, grazing marsh, saltmarsh, sand dunes, estuarine islands, lagoons, freshwater wetlands and flower rich meadows. The area supports important breeding populations of many species including marsh harriers, bittern and bearded tits and the sites hold upward of 80,000 waterfowl in the autumn and winter. 

The Assistant Warden post will be based at Blacktoft Sands near Goole. You will join a small team of staff, backed up by a magnificent volunteer workforce who are all dedicated to creating and maintaining an incredible area for nature. 

The post holder will assist in the management of this range of habitats, maintenance of machinery, visitor infrastructure maintenance, bird monitoring programme and people engagement work.  

Experience of wardening operations as practical skills in wetland habitats will be essential as well as good communication skills and the ability to plan work.  

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

Closing date: 31 December 2018

Interview date: 11 January 2019 

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

Logo: Forestry CommissionRecreation Ranger High Lodge  

This is a fantastic opportunity to support the development and maintenance of a beautiful visitor attraction in the heart of Thetford Forest. 

At the Forestry Commission, we manage and care for England’s public forests. High Lodge, on the Suffolk / Norfolk border is a well-established and popular visitor attraction attracting approximately 500,000 visits per year. Visitors come to enjoy wide ranging and varied activities from adventurous play, cycling and Go Ape to more peaceful pastimes such as BBQ’s, picnics, forest walks and Forest Live. 

You will join a dedicated team and support the management of core facilities and services by undertaking inspections and organising maintenance work. As a Recreation Ranger you will be tasked with developing the visitor offer to grow business, with cycling trails featuring as a key priority. You will also support the daily running of the site acting as Duty Manager through a rostered system. 

To be equal to the challenge, you will have proven experience of delivering outstanding customer service. Have a relevant degree / HND or relevant experience in a similar role and previous experience of working successfully in partnership with stakeholders. 

To learn more and apply please click here

Logo: Bumblebee Conservation TrustSkills for Bees Outreach Trainee 

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT) is looking for a part-time Skills for Bees Outreach Trainee to support survey and engagement work with Making a Buzz for the Coast. This is an ambitious natural heritage project focussed on safeguarding rare bee populations in north Kent, with Heritage Lottery Funding for habitat improvements and community engagement. 

This role is an exciting opportunity to inspire the local people of Kent to take action for bumblebees through innovative engagement activities. The traineeship will also involve working with and supporting volunteers with BeeWalk, our national bumblebee monitoring scheme. The successful candidate will have a proven interest in wildlife conservation and an interest in public engagement. You will be self-motivated and enthusiastic, with good communication and IT skills. 

Person Specification  

Qualifications     ●   Currently undertaking or recently completed an HND/degree in ecology, environmental science or equivalent OR having a proven interest in the environment and actively seeking employment in this field.

Essential    ●   Proven interest in the environment and biodiversity recording.    ●   Full clean driving licence.    ●   Computer literate including the confident use of Word, Excel and PowerPoint.   ●   Willingness to work some weekends and evenings.

Desirable    ●   Basic bumblebee identification skills.    ●   Some experience in volunteering and/or supporting volunteers.    ●   Experience in biodiversity recording and species identification.

Personal Qualities   ●   A mature approach and the ability to communicate effectively with the public.    ●   An ability to work on your own initiative.   ●   Good attention to detail.    ●   Confident and outgoing. 

Please click here for more details and to apply. 

Closing date: 21st December 2018 

Logo: Bumblebee Conservation TrustPart Time Bee Conservation Trainee 

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT) is looking for a part-time Bee Conservation Trainee to support conservation work with the Making a Buzz for the Coast project. This is an ambitious natural heritage project focused on safeguarding rare bee populations in north Kent, with Heritage Lottery Funding for habitat improvements and community engagement. 

This is an exciting opportunity for someone looking to enter a career in conservation to gain valuable experience working on a large conservation project with a number of organisations, working closely with both Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Kent Wildlife Trust and as well as our many other partner organisations and project stakeholders. 

You will assist with practical conservation, surveys and landowner engagement in the Making a Buzz for the Coast project area. The successful candidate will have a proven interest in wildlife conservation and an interest in working with landowners to promote wildlife-friendly practices. You will be self-motivated and enthusiastic, with good communication and IT skills. 

This is a part-time, temporary position for 9 months from February 2019. The position will be based from our office in Sittingbourne with regular travel for meetings, training and events across Kent. 

Please click here for more details and to apply. 

Closing date: 21st December 2018

Logo: Penny Anderson Associates LtdPenny Anderson Associates Ltd 

One of the UK’s most respected and longest established ecological consultancies is currently seeking a suitably experienced

Assistant Ecologist

to join our busy, professional team in Buxton, Derbyshire. 

We are looking for an appropriately qualified graduate ecologist who can demonstrate drive and initiative, together with an enthusiasm for ecology and a commitment to working with us. 

A full time permanent post is available.  

Key skills we are looking for:      ●   Good organisational and time management abilities.      ●   Good written and verbal communication skills.     ●   An ability to work well within a team and independently.     ●   A commitment to ecology as a profession.     ●   A drive and ambition to further develop skills with appropriate support.     ●   An excellent work ethic.     ●   A relevant degree or equivalent.     ●   A full UK driving licence. 

In return we can offer a great opportunity to be part of our friendly team of highly experienced ecologists, soil scientists and hydrologists, working on a diverse range of projects across the UK. We can offer a competitive salary along with a benefits package, including 25 day annual leave. 

Please send your CV and covering letter outlining your skills and experience in the areas identified to recruitment@pennyanderson.com 

Closing date for applications is Monday 10th January 2019.

Logo: Durham Wildlife TrustNaturally Native Development Manager 

Salary £28,000 per annum plus £1,000 bonus on submission of the HLF proposal.

Fixed term contract to 31st January 2020

Closing date for applications is:  9am Monday 14th January 2019 

The North East Wildlife Trusts (Durham, Northumberland, Tees Valley) have brought together a wide range of organisations to restore water vole populations across the North East of England. The Naturally Native project will tackle the 2 major causes of water vole decline, predation by American mink, an introduced non-native species, and habitat fragmentation. 

Employed by Durham Wildlife Trust on behalf of the wider partnership, this post will be responsible for the detailed development of a Stage 2 Heritage Lottery Fund submission, which aims to unlock over £500,000 of Heritage Lottery funding for project work to conserve the endangered water vole.  

Naturally Native will provide a model for reversing the harm done to our ecosystems by non-native species and will restore our natural heritage for future generations. The Development Manager will co-ordinate the development of successful communications strategies and engagement activities, key to encouraging communities and landowners to actively participate in the project. They will be responsible for guiding professional and volunteer habitat and species survey and the development of robust methodologies that will inform the Stage 2 submission and delivery. They will work alongside a wide range of stakeholders, from public to private sectors, voluntary and community groups and local landowners to reverse the dramatic decline in water vole populations. 

This post may suit an experienced candidate interested in species, habitat and landscape level development or a more recent graduate looking to widen their experience in this field. 

Based at Durham Wildlife Trust’s Head Office:  Rainton Meadows, Houghton-le-Spring, DH4 6PU 

For a detailed job description and how to apply go to www.durhamwt.com/jobs or email jobs@durhamwt.co.uk . Further queries on the content of the role may be directed to Mark Dinning on 0191 584 3112. 

Interviews for the shortlisted candidates will be held on Monday 21st January 2019 at Rainton Meadows.

Logo: RSPBVisitor Experience Assistant 

Would you like to work at the Uk's largest inland seabird colony? Over 100,000 visitors come to our stunning Bempton Cliffs nature reserve every year to enjoy almost half a million seabirds, including the iconic puffin. 

Visitor Experience Assistant
Reference number: A4451118

Location: East Riding of Yorkshire
Salary starting at: £15,269 - £15,696 per annum pro rata
Hours: Full time
Contract: 5 months fixed term 

As part of a dedicated team, you will need bags of enthusiasm and initiative to deliver the reserve's events and activities. You will provide visitors young and old, with a memorable and inspiring visit to the reserve. This role will make a huge difference for wildlife, the environment and our visitors, by creating an appreciation for, and connection to, wildlife and nature. You'll also be working with a large team of volunteers who will look to you for support throughout the contract. We are looking for someone with proven visitor engagement experience who is enthusiastic, organised and motivated. The post holder must be willing to work most weekends and Bank Holidays. 

Please note the role profile for this position is a standard role profile and does not necessarily represent the work to be undertaken at Bempton Cliffs. When writing your application please tell us about your experience engaging with members of the public, along with your wildlife knowledge and experience of working with volunteers. 

Closing date: 31 January 2019

Interview date: 22 February 2019 

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

Logo: RSPBRetail Assistant 

Can you help protect one of the UK`s most unique places for nature? Do you thrive on delivering a top quality customer experience? 

Retail Assistant
Reference number: A4551218
Location: East Riding of Yorkshire
Salary starting at: £15,269 - £15,696 per annum pro rata
Hours: Part time, hourly paid
Contract: 6 months fixed term 

You will help maintain a welcoming atmosphere for all visitors and deliver the highest standards of customer service at all times, making sales using an electronic till, restocking the shop, taking orders and talking to customers about the fantastic work of the RSPB. 

Working days can vary with an average of 15 hours per week between Apr to Aug and will require working weekends and bank holidays. Based at RSPB Bempton Cliffs Seabird Centre in Bempton, East Riding of Yorkshire. You may need your own transport as it's a little off the beaten track, we are 20mins drive from Bridlington and 35mins drive from Scarborough. 

Closing date: 20 January 2019

Interview date: 4 February 2019, 5 February 2019, 6 February 2019, 7 February 2019, 8 February 2019 

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

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

Logo: RSPBAssistant Retail Manager 

Can you help protect one of the UK`s most unique places for nature? Can you work on your own initiative? Do you thrive on delivering a top quality customer experience? 

Assistant Retail Manager
Reference number: A4501218
Location: Bempton, East Riding of Yorkshire
Salary starting at: £16,504 - £17,880 per annum pro rata
Hours: Part time, 22.5 hours per week
Contract: Permanent 

You will be supporting the Retail Manager in all visitor-facing aspects including retail, welcome and admissions. Maintaining a welcoming atmosphere for all visitors and deliver the highest standards of customer service at all times, as well as creating an inviting visitor centre and retail environment. 

This position is year-round, 22.5 hours a week including one weekend day shift. Based at RSPB Bempton Cliffs Seabird Centre in Bempton, East Riding of Yorkshire. You may need your own transport as it's a little off the beaten track, we are 20mins drive from Bridlington and 35mins drive from Scarborough. 

Closing date: 13 January 2019
Interview date: 28 January 2019, 29 January 2019, 30 January 2019, 31 January 2019, 1 February 2019 

This role is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. You will be asked to declare both spent and unspent convictions and cautions at offer of employment stage. 

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

Logo: RSPBRetail Assistant 

Are you a dynamic individual with a passion for helping Save Nature through your fantastic retail skills? If so, then the opportunity to work at our unique shop at RSPB Leighton Moss could be for you. 

Retail Assistant
Reference number: A4541218
Location: Silverdale, Lancashire
Salary starting at: £15,269 - £15,696 per annum, pro rata
Hours: Part time, 21.75 hours per week
Contract: Permanent 

Applicants need to have a friendly, welcoming personality and an interest in learning about the work of the RSPB. We are looking for a part-time Retail Assistant to pro-actively assist visitors in finding the right products for them and explain what makes our products special. 

The role will include working closely with the wider team in a dynamic shop, set on a stunning nature reserve, only 25 minutes north of Lancaster by car or train. The role is a minimum of 21.75 hours per week. Applicants need to be flexible as full day/s, weekend and bank holiday working will be required  

Closing date: 20 January 2019
Interview date: 30 January 2019 

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

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


Conservation Placements available with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust 

Are you aged 24 or under? Are you looking to grow your career in conservation? If so then we would like to hear from you. 

The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has opportunities available at Stirley Community Farm  in Huddersfield.  

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

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

Applications for this exciting opportunity are open now so please click here, ring the office: 01482 441013 or e-mail paul.thompson@ywt.org.uk for your chance to be a part of the future in environmental conservation.  

YWT Company 409650; Charity no. 210807.


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



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Volunteers: 47 adverts for voluntary posts added this month  see all of these online at: http://www.countryside-jobs.com/vols


Welsh Perry & Cider Society: Directors 

The Welsh Perry and Cider Society is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting the production of cider and perry in Wales and greater appreciation of these natural craft drinks.  

Since its formation in 2001 the Society has been working tirelessly to represent, support and encourage Welsh cidermakers both large and small.  In addition, it plays a significant role in conserving Welsh varieties of apple and spearheading the regeneration and conservation of Welsh orchards. 

As part of its remit the Society seeks funding from external sources to undertake projects which will further its aims and it has just completed a very successful Heritage Lottery Funded Project on the Heritage of Orchards and Cider-making in Wales. 

The Society now has vacancies for Directors to join its Board on a voluntary basis to assist in the management and running of the Society and to help steer it towards further project funding.  Directors are responsible for the Governance of the Society, setting the strategic direction and financial management. Applicants will need to be able to demonstrate that they have a commitment to the role and expertise which will assist in furthering the Society’s aims.  In particular applications are welcomed from people with knowledge and experience of financial management, project bidding, events management and human resources.   

To apply please submit your CV plus a covering letter to :  Mrs S Perks c/o Welsh Perry & Cider Society, Room R1, Cedar Suite, 2nd Floor South B, Mamhilad House, Mamhilad Park Estate, Pontypool, Torfaen  NP4 0HZ

 For further information please contact Mrs S Perks on info@raglancidermill.com  

Closing date: 21.12.2018


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

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Surveys and Fieldwork: additions in November

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. 



Nature's Calendar

What effect has recent weather had on wildlife? Does climate change affect timings in nature? Join Nature's Calendar and help scientists discover answers to these questions. From leaf buds bursting to blackberries ripening, let us know what’s happening near you. https://naturescalendar.woodlandtrust.org.uk/


Highland Biological Recording Group promotes all biological recording in the Highland Council area.  We attend BioBlitzes and organise our own fieldwork to cover under-recorded parts of our region.  Records are welcome from anyone, whether a Highland resident or visitor.  To find out more, have a look at our website: http://www.hbrg.org.uk


Garden Wildlife Health (GWH)

A collaborative project between the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), Froglife and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), that aims to monitor the health of, and identify disease threats to, British wildlife. http://www.gardenwildlifehealth.org


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



Have you heard a Cuckoo

At one time Cuckoos were part of every-day life and people thought of them as one of the best signs that spring is finally here. Cuckoos are disappearing from our countryside and scientists are trying to understand why this is happening. If you hear a Cuckoo we’d like to know. http://www.field-studies-council.org/cuckoos



Seasearch is a citizen science project for volunteer scuba divers/snorkellers and operates all around the UK and Ireland, recording species (especially priority ones) and habitats. We offer training in marine recording and species identification (but not diving) and a range of day/weekend/week-long survey dives (subject to minimum qualifications/experience). http://www.seasearch.org.uk



The Mammal Society’s online hedgehog survey, #HogWatch2018, is open until 31.12.2018. Please complete the survey even if you saw no hogs at all this year. We’re particularly interested in finding out whether hedgehogs are making use of gardens where birds are being fed. Thank you! Here is the link https://tinyurl.com/yckf9p55


The Mammal Society’s 3rd annual University Mammal Challenge (UMAC) is now open for entries! We want teams of students from unis across the UK to survey for mammals on and around their campus. UMAC runs from 1 Jan – 30 June 2019. Registration deadline: 14 December 2018 To sign up go to http://www.mammal.org.uk/umac/


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



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


Buglife run insect surveys, current surveys include: Oil beetle survey and Seashell survey. Find out how to get involved on: https://c-js.co.uk/2eZ5c2V


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: Employability (below)

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

The next edition will be published on 11 February

And is looking at: Volunteering. 



Advance Notice

Before you disappear in a tangle of tinsel or sink into a food coma after one too many mince pies a quick reminder that CJS Focus on Volunteers will be published on 11 February. 

We're only producing one volunteers edition next year so if you want the additional coverage for your volunteers programmes get your adverts in now to be sure you don't miss out.  Focus Co-ordinator Amy has emailed everyone on her regular list, so if you've advertised before just reply to the email or follow the links to submit your adverts. As ever standard adverts are free, 50 words for projects and events and up 150 for placement roles; however if you want (or need) to include more text or add logos those are possible although not free prices start from just £10 to add a logo to a standard free advert for a placement.


logo: CJS 

Countryside Jobs Service®

logo: LantraFocus on Employability

In association with Lantra

19 November 2018


Why a hands-on approach to training could benefit your career


With more than 3,000 environmental conservation organisations in the UK, the industry plays a vital role in protecting our landscapes, habitats and species and providing public access and recreation.


Its workforce is well-educated too, with around 75% qualified to degree level, compared to a UK average of under 30%.


Although having a degree or other higher level qualification is often a requirement for entering the industry, voluntary experience, vocational qualifications or training are an attractive addition to CVs as well, no matter where you are in your career.


Image: Lantra


In today’s competitive world, more and more people are realising how important it is to keep up-to-date with skills or technical knowledge and to highlight their value to potential employers.


Having properly trained staff helps ensure a safer and more productive working environment, so investing in training makes sense for employers too.


In recent years environmental protection and sustainability have become increasingly important, as organisations look to show that they comply with legislation and have sound environmental ethics that meet market standards and customer expectations.


As a result, industry is coming under more scrutiny, and environmental and ecological factors are increasingly becoming an integral part of business decisions.


This in turn has implications for skills development, which has been looked at in research carried out by Lantra on employability skills within the environmental conservation industry


When asked what skills their staff lacked, around a third of respondents cited technical and practical skills, with 60% saying they would increase training activity to remedy the issue.


All agreed that the training they had undertaken had been of benefit to their organisation, with most also saying that it had increased productivity.


The research highlighted evidence of a need for practical skills such as manual handling, tree cutting, and dangers around the use of chemicals. Field survey and species identification skills are also a key industry requirement.  Other important skills identified included time management, people skills, and numeracy and literacy skills.


Lantra is an awarding body which has been offering training and qualifications across the land-based and environmental sector for over 40 years, according to Business Relationship Manager Jacqui Bruce.


She explained: “it’s really important that training and development within the sector is industry-led, as this should help ensure a competent workforce who have the skills to carry out their jobs safely and effectively. 


Professional industry bodies and employers work closely with us too, as we want our training to be fit for purpose, to meet industry requirements and ensure safe working practices.


Image: Lantra


In order to make sure that our training courses and qualifications are recognised across the sector, we work with regulatory bodies Ofqual, Scottish Qualifications Authority and Qualifications Wales too.


Our courses and qualifications are delivered by a network of approved training providers across the whole of the UK and Republic of Ireland in a wide range of areas, including: tractors and attachments, pesticides and pest control, ATVs and 4x4, health and safety and first aid, chainsaws and arboriculture equipment, landscape machinery, safe use of firearms and e-learning.


Learners can go from basic training, improving their skills and completing refresher courses right through to a full qualification. Skills development is equally important to the continuing professional development of established staff as well as those looking to start their career in environmental conservation.


We are local, on a national scale, providing the recognition that people need but making our programmes accessible across the country.”


Here are some of the training programmes that Lantra is offering for the environmental conservation industry.



Although pesticides can be extremely useful, they have to be stored, handled and applied in the right way, or they can be dangerous to humans, wildlife and the environment. To minimise these risks, anyone who uses pesticides as part of their job is legally required to go through the proper training and be skilled in the tasks they are carrying out.  They must also have a certificate of competence if they supply, store or use pesticides.


This applies to operators, contractors, employers, and self-employed people in agriculture, horticulture, amenity horticulture in places like parks and sports pitches, in forestry, in or near water and industrial herbicides.


Image: Lantra


Lantra Awards’ training courses and qualifications include: safe use of pesticides; weed wiper; knapsack sprayer, hand-held spraying near water and identification of invasive and injurious species.



The versatility and small size of ATVs, or quad bikes, means they are increasingly being used in the workplace for travel and for carrying out a range of other tasks. But used in the wrong way, they can become unstable, and even experienced riders can put themselves at risk without proper training.


It is a legal requirement for employers to provide adequate training for staff who use equipment like ATVs at work. Employers must also ensure that only those employees who have received appropriate safety training in using ATVs, attachments and towed equipment, are allowed to ride the vehicles. This also applies to those who are self-employed.


Image: Lantra


The fundamentals of driving, loading, health and safety and complying with legal requirements are covered in two Lantra awards: the Technical Award for Sit-astride ATVs, including loads and trailed equipment, and the Technical Award for Sit-in ATVs.


Chainsaw use

One of the most common items of equipment across land-based industries is the chainsaw. It is a versatile and handy tool for cutting back branches, taking down trees and woodworking. This also makes it potentially dangerous in the hands of an unskilled or careless operator, so it’s essential that those who use chainsaws at work have gone through the right training.


Lantra works with the HSE to ensure that training materials reflect current safe working practices. Its chainsaw courses are available from a basic level for occasional users and go on to specialist training for those working in forestry and arboriculture.


Find out more

For more details on the range of Lantra courses and training programmes on offer, visit www.lantra.co.uk or call 02476 696 996.


Country Pursuits & Training Ltd offer the range of Lantra Awards firearms courses available (see website). Valued training with experienced instructors respected by estates across the UK for delivering best practice in the field or on shooting grounds. Facebook> Ann Litchfield >page @CountryTraining 07980 284549 or e-mail ann@countrypursuitsandtraining.co.uk


CEH can help you to enhance your skills and improve your chances of getting a new job. We specialise in learning and development activities related to the natural environment, especially Hydrology & Ecology. Current training opportunities include: Science Paper writing, Evidence Review, Drones, Water Management, Field Electronics and more! https://www.ceh.ac.uk/training


TVT is a non-profit making training group. We have been in business for 30+ years, mainly land based training courses leading to Lantra or C&G qualifications. Courses such as pesticide, forklift, First Aid, ATV, chainsaw, workshop skills etc. Contact: 01777 872085 www.trentvalleytraining.co.uk


Conservation K9 Consultancy - We offer specialist dogs handler courses and training for conservation and ecological searches.  Expert consultation for environment, ecology and conservation based individuals who are interested in using dogs to assist in their wildlife monitoring and surveying! www.conservationk9consultancy.com Check us out on Facebook! 


Froglife offer training courses in Great Crested Newt Surveying, Reptile Ecology, and Habitat Management for Amphibians. Our Great Crested Newt Surveying courses offer participants the chance to obtain a reference for licence application. We deliver courses in Peterborough, York and southern Scotland. Contact: laurence.jarvis@froglife.org


First for rural and land based training - A wide range of skills training - all levels catered for. We offer courses covering: Health & Safety, Skills, Management, Crop Protection. Vale Training Services Ltd is a registered Lantra, City and Guilds, BASIS and NPORS provider. For more information www.valetraining.co.uk


We offer Lantra accredited training courses for chainsaws, strimmers, brushcutters and pesticides.  We can run these at either your premises or ours. Also bespoke courses.  We cover south east, south west and midland areas.  Contact Ian on 07831 644838 or email: millwd@globalnet.co.uk website: www.millwardforestry.co.uk


Bat Walk Leader training: A fun session in which you will learn how to plan and run a bat walk for your organisation. - Introduction to bats - Planning your walk - Using a bat detector - Identifying bats - Leading a bat walk £15 http://www.wild-ideas.org.uk/events/


Funding your project - One day bid writing workshop. Learn to make an impression and demonstrate the value of your project. We will show you the key skills in writing a winning funding bid. £50 including lunch. £30 for volunteers. http://www.wild-ideas.org.uk/events/


Free download of our digital Outdoor First Aid manual. Download a digital Outdoor First Aid manual from First Aid Training Co-operative. Simply cut and paste this link into your browser and follow the instructions. The manual can be on your smart phone to read where you want or to use in an emergency. https://c-js.co.uk/2PMRiHu


Conservation and ecology training courses. Free introductory courses – ecology, conservation, animal assistants, animal first aid, basic maths and more. Personal tutoring for job applications, CV preparation, practical experience support. Find us at www.animalbiologyandcare.co.uk and email us at abccoursecontact@gmail.com


logo: Dry Stone Walling Association 

Careers in dry stone walling. Looking for a career with a difference?   Love the outdoors?  Want to get creative? Ever considered Dry Stone Walling? Career training leading to Lantra accredited qualifications offered by the Dry Stone Walling Association

Contact training@dswa.org.uk or tel: 015395 67953 for information


logo: Countryside Management AssociationJob Search Networking with the Countryside Management Association!


“Anything up to 60% of people seeking employment benefit from active job search networking.

Dormouse class licence training in Belhus Wood, Essex (P. Bolton 2018)

Dormouse class licence training in Belhus Wood, Essex

(P. Bolton 2018)

Developing contacts, talking to those already in the industry, friends and family, and attending events like training days and annual conferences all play a key role in accessing the pathway to that dream job you really want” (The Balance Careers 2018)


Taking control of your future

It can be a daunting experience finding a job. By tradition it is a strange and sometimes an embarrassing thing to advertise yourself, your achievements and why you think that an employer must give you a job.


But spare a thought for a moment, how do you know about anything at all? That new pair of trainers, that new dress heralding the new trending fashion or perhaps that gadget or computer game new to the market. All of these things are ‘advertised’. Finding a job is no different. Employers need to know that you are out there and you need to tell employers that you are available for hire.


So how do you ‘advertise’ you?

Well the simple answer is you do it every single day possibly without knowing it. Think about it, how many people do you physically meet or talk too every day? How many people do you talk to by social media on a daily basis? How many likes, links or followers do you have? All of this is ‘advertising’ YOU! And all of these activities are ‘Networking’.


Learning woodland skills at Nyman’s National Trust (P. Bolton 2018)

Learning woodland skills at Nyman’s National Trust

(P. Bolton 2018)

Getting ready to ‘advertise’ you!

  • Get some calling cards made up;
  • Produce a power point promotional testimonial;
  • Subscribe to CJS; and
  • Join the relevant social media groups and associations


Calling Cards

These are great when you are out and about. Calling cards are your ‘handshake’ a good positive handshake makes the all-important first impression. The card must have your contact details on it, a picture of you to remind the recipient of your meeting. If you have qualifications make sure that they are on there too (chainsaw, brushcutter, or even licences to work with European Protected Species). If it’s relevant put it on your card!

Use all of the card front and back, you have paid for it so use it! Use good quality card. Do not produce your calling card on cheap flimsy paper.


Power Point promotional testimonial

One of the main networking medians out there is the direct formal approach. In the old days letter after letter would be posted at great expense. Today we

Freshwater ecology and Great Crested Newt training at Nymans National Trust (P. Bolton 2018)

Freshwater ecology and Great Crested Newt training at

Nymans National Trust (P. Bolton 2018)

have email and dozens of emails can be sent in the click of a mouse. A power point promo is one of the most powerful ways that you can advertise yourself. Be short and sweet, bullet point your facts and use pictures of you in action. Perhaps it’s you volunteering, a school or college/university field trip. A testimonial from someone who knows your work value (voluntary or paid). This sends a powerful message to a potential employer.


Remember a potential employer is busy so everything needs to be at a glance, colourful and something that catches the eye quickly is best.


Subscribing to CJS

Knowing all the job market and which jobs are on offer is where CJS comes in. 


Social media groups & joining associations

Job forums, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are all useful ways to advertise yourself but none of these can replace direct contact with potential employers. Joining organisations like the Countryside Management Association will certainly get a future employers attention.


Formed in 1966 the CMA is the largest organisation supporting the work of conservation, access and recreation professionals in the natural greenspace and countryside sector throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland.


Study day and regional AGM at Runnymede National Trust (P. Bolton 2018)

Study day and regional AGM at Runnymede National Trust

(P. Bolton 2018)

Our aim is to support the development of staff, students and volunteers involved in the management, interpretation, and public enjoyment of natural greenspace and the countryside through networking, training and continuing professional development.


Study days

Our study days are a fantastic opportunity to meet up and share best practice, see practical land management in operation, and test out new bits of kit or simply find out about a site and how it’s managed.


These events take place at a wide range of sites from National Nature Reserves to Country Parks and everything in between. Study days also offer the chance to develop long lasting friendships and contacts within the industry.


It’s easy to join CMA or attend one of our events. Simply go onto the website www.countrysidemanagement.org.uk and follow the links to ‘Join’ or ‘Study days and Events’.

logo: CIEEM  

CIEEM is the leading professional membership body representing ecologists & environmental managers. We provide information, training, events, webinars & conferences to students & professionals at all stages in their careers, some of which are free/discounted & focus on CV writing & employability skills.

Visit www.events.cieem.net/Events/Event-Listing.aspx and

www.cieem.net/students-careers or email enquiries@cieem.net



ARG UK represents a network of volunteer amphibian and reptile groups. Our volunteers engage in diverse activities: survey and monitoring, practical habitat tasks, training courses, toad patrolling, public events and educational outreach. We are an inclusive organisation and everyone is welcome. To find out more visit: www.arguk.org/get-involved/local-groups or contact info@arguk.org.


Keen to gain employment as a botanist or ecological consultant? Holding a Field Identification Skills Certificate (the industry standard) will help: https://bsbi.org/field-skills. Volunteering with BSBI can also help you develop new skills and improve your prospects in the sector: https://bsbi.org/volunteering-opportunities. Email us for an informal and confidential chat: enquiries@bsbi.org 


Wildlabs.net is the first global, open online community dedicated to conservation technology. Members use the platform to share information about how technology is being used, ask and answer questions to exchange best practice, and collaborate to improve or develop new technologies that address identified conservation needs. Join the community today.


PlantNetwork is a charity and membership organisation providing training and network support to gardens and gardeners throughout Britain and Ireland. We support the development of horticultural and plant conservation skills, provide networking opportunities and facilitate knowledge exchange. For more information, visit our website www.plantnetwork.org and get in touch!


The IFM is an international organisation, dedicated to the advancement of sustainable fisheries management. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in fish and fisheries, their proper management and conservation. We provide technical expertise to a number of groups and also offer a range of training opportunities. Email: info@ifm.org.uk 


logo: Our Bright FutureOur Bright Future: a stepping stone to employment for young people

By Anna Maggs, Communications Officer for Our Bright Future


The proportion of 16-24 year olds who were unemployed in June-August 2018 was 10.8%; that’s 464,000 young people (McGuinness, 20181). To give this figure some context, that is more than the entire population of Edinburgh. If you have recently left school and are armed with a desire to make a difference, it seems there’s limited opportunity. Faced with this uncertain future, it is unsurprising that the mental wellbeing of young people is reported to be at the lowest ever reported (Prince’s Trust Youth Index, 20182). But amongst these overwhelming statistics there is a glimmer of hope; young people are using their talents to help create a greener future through a ground breaking national programme.


Our Bright Future is a £33 million programme funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund. Beginning in 2016, this five year programme aimed to empower 60,000 young people to become skilled and engaged citizens. As we approach the midpoint of the programme, 80,000 young people have already been involved and the programme continues to gain momentum. Our Bright Future is formed of 31 projects. They cover all corners of the UK; from Cornwall to Glasgow, Swansea to Belfast. The beauty of the programme though is the variety of projects. Being a partnership programme, hundreds of organisations are involved in providing unique and specialised opportunities that young people may not have ever considered. Led by The Wildlife Trusts, it firmly falls within the environmental sector. Some young people are planting community orchards, while others are designing apps to tackle environmental issues. All of them are learning to love nature.


The programme is aimed at 11 to 24 year olds, working with young people from all walks of life. Within the 80,000 there are those at risk of homelessness, graduates, young people with visual impairment and aspiring young entrepreneurs. But does involvement in a programme of this nature lead to employment? At the end of 2017, a number of the projects followed up with their

© National Trust

436 alumni in the 18-24 age bracket and reported that 175 had secured paid work in positions such as Ecosystem Analyst, Recycling Engagement Officer and Farm Support Worker. Example employers were the Marine Stewardship Council and Yorkshire Water. It is therefore clear that not only are young people securing work, they are utilising the environmental skills that they have learnt on their project to enter the environmental sector. The projects also found that 52 young people secured paid training or apprenticeships and that 159 had started another learning opportunity. Clearly, Our Bright Future opens multiple doors for young people.


To give a flavour of the breadth of the projects and the employment that some of the young people have progressed to, here are the stories of Daniel, Ellie and Rachel.


Daniel: Community Ranger at the National Trust  

23 year old Daniel grew up on a council estate. He dropped out of college before he was able to complete his A Levels and as a result he lost his confidence. He didn’t know what jobs he would be able to do and felt lost. However, he did enjoy visiting National Trust properties and he began thinking about working outdoors. He spent two years on the Our Bright Future project run by the National Trust, ‘Green Academies Project (GAP)’. This enabled him to complete an NVQ in land-based conservation. Daniel grew in confidence and practical skills and following his completion of the project he secured a job as a Community Ranger for the National Trust. He now leads the GAP project for 11 to 16 year olds. He finds that because he has a similar background the young people who attend the group they can really relate to him.

© Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust


‘Volunteering and studying with GAP has given me the chance to do something that I have always wanted to do. Without the help and support of everyone involved in GAP I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to go from a student to staff and progress on to do a job that I love.’


Ellie: GIS Data and Evidence Officer at Ribble Rivers Trust  

25 year old Ellie gained a postgraduate degree in biodiversity and conservation from the University of Leeds. She had returned home to the Yorkshire Dales and found herself working in a local supermarket stacking shelves. She was itching to work in the environmental sector and was able to secure herself a graduate trainee position at the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT). This is how she got involved with Our Bright Future. The Green Futures project is run by YDMT and Ellie became a youth representative on the project Steering Group. Her interest in governance grew and she soon became a trustee for YDMT. From this experience she has been able to secure a job as a GIS and Evidence Officer at the Ribble Rivers Trust.


‘One of my main aims in life is to make a positive difference to this world and becoming a Trustee for a charity such as YDMT is one way in which I can do this.’


Rachel: Beekeeping Tutor at Blackburne House

© Blackburne House


Rachel joined the BEE You project at Blackburne House aged 22. BEE You offers a 15 week course and in this time she learnt the theoretical and practical elements of beekeeping including honey extraction, product making and how to market her products. She adored beekeeping and became the Bee You Our Bright Future Youth Forum member which broadened her experiences further. After completing the course, she trained as a beekeeping tutor and qualified as a teacher in May. She has now secured a job teaching the beekeeping course that she first took at Blackburne House!


‘Being involved with the BEE You project and the Our Bright Future Youth Forum has contributed massively to my personal development and improved my mental wellbeing’


Our Bright Future may only offer short term opportunities for young people, from a few days to 12 months, but it’s clear that it can be a launch pad for young people starting their careers. It gives them hope when they often don’t know where to start. It allows them to dip a toe in the water and gain work experience and training that can equip them and boost their CV. It plants a seed of an idea that perhaps they could be a beekeeper for example. More and more young people are thinking creatively about their futures. Our Bright Future has a Youth Forum that steers the programme. We want young people to feel empowered for their future rather than fearful of employment uncertainty. But to meet the needs of the 464,000 young people who are struggling to find work more opportunities need to be made available to them. Our Bright Future is only scratching the surface.


To find out more about the 31 Our Bright Future projects visit: www.ourbrightfuture.co.uk/projects  


1    https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/SN05871#fullreport

2    https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/about-the-trust/research-policies-reports/youth-index-2018


logo: Natural History Society of Northumbria 

With opportunities in practical conservation, communications, research and biological recording, our Student Naturalist Award Scheme is designed to provide early career conservationists in North East England with all the skills needed to ‘make it’ in the environmental sector. For more information contact: nhsn@ncl.ac.uk


The Open University understand that employability is about more than ‘getting a job’.  Our aim is to empower our students to realise their career and life ambitions by building their confidence to express their unique strengths and skills gained from previous work experience and OU study. We call it becoming ‘career confident’. Try our Employability Skills Activity to identify what employability skills are & how they relate to OU study. https://help.open.ac.uk/employability-skills


logo: Trees for LifeTrees for Life, an environmental charity working to restore the Caledonian Forest and its unique wildlife to the Highlands of Scotland, are offering five exciting ‘Skills for Rewilding’ traineeships starting in July 2019. These positions offer a fantastic opportunity to live and work on a Highland Estate for 12 months, learning practical skills from professional mentors, whilst also working towards industry recognised qualifications. Stay out of the classroom and learn by doing.

Trainees may specialise in skills associated with horticulture and tree production, deer management and estate maintenance, woodland planning and creation or building relationships with communities through creative projects.

Funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund has enabled us to offer a bursary of £7,450 with accommodation provided, or an additional £2,000 for living off-site.

The application process will open early in 2019 with people 18 years old or over, at the start of the traineeship, able to apply. No relevant qualifications are required. If you would like to find out more, please visit treesforlife.org.uk/traineeships - to register your interest and be kept informed please email traineeships@treesforlife.org.uk


logo: CJSOne of the questions we get asked most frequently is: “I think I’d like to work in the countryside – do you have a job for me?”


The first time you hear that you think, “How do I answer that?  Where do I begin?”   Here is a general reply.  If it doesn’t answer your specific query please contact us and we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction.


The countryside is a large place with an enormous variety of jobs, everything from tree surgeons to rights of way officers by way of wildlife officers not to mention rangers.  We recommend that people take a little while to think about exactly what it is they want to do and about how they want to spend their days.  Is a job outside in all weathers really the right one for you?  Do you have the patience to spend days counting plants or birds or to cope with several classes of small children asking the same questions over and over again?  Would you get vertigo hanging from ropes at the top of a very tall tree?  Can you walk long distances over rough ground carrying a heavy pack?  A good way to find out what sorts of jobs there are within the countryside sector is to look at the job adverts, most of which have a brief description of what you’ll be doing and this gives you a rough idea of what the job entails.  It is often much better to eliminate jobs you don’t want than to look at the ones you quite fancy this way you’ll reduce the range and focus your efforts much more effectively.  Don’t be afraid to have a look at job descriptions on employer's websites this gives you greater details than in the advert; however, please don’t send for postal application packs for jobs for which you have no intention of applying and for small charities you’re using hard earned  funds.  If you’re still confused then have a look at CJS Focus (like this one!), this is a periodic publication each edition looking at a different area of the sector with articles from people working ‘on the ground’ highlighting specific issues.


Once you’ve worked out roughly which sector seems most suitable then a good way to ‘try before you buy’ is to volunteer, we know this is not possible for everyone but even if it’s only for a couple of days you’ll get an idea.  By being a volunteer or shadowing someone you get to see the real job, not the pretty version presented in job adverts – recruiters are trying to attract applicants and do talk up the good stuff tending to bypass the not so favourable aspects. Spending time with someone doing the job gives you the opportunity to ask questions (but not too many – remember you’re there to help, not hinder) and maybe ask a few of yourself too.  If you discover it’s not for you then don’t worry, a few volunteer days don’t tie you to a career for life.


This works whether you’re just starting to think about your future career, newly graduated or looking to change your life.  If it is the latter then think about what skills you already possess and can offer a countryside employer and maybe be prepared to try for a job which is not your perfect post but one for which you’re suitable with a countryside employer and then you’ll be better positioned to move sideways.


We have more gems like this in our Helpful Hints covering how to get your job hunt started, your application and CV, interviewing and a few guidelines to help you make the right impression including a reminder to check your online profile and social media! Read on: https://c-js.uk/CJSHints  


Right then, having decided what you want to do, where you want to work, you've applied AND got an interview CJS can still help you.

If you keep up to date with our news then you'll be primed with all the latest updates from across the sector.  It's easy to check out your potential employers website to see what they're involved in and which projects they're really pleased with but not so easy to see how that might fit in across the sector. However, if you're applying for the beaver project in Dorset and you've read CJS news you'll know what's been happening with the Scottish beavers, adding in this additional knowledge and perhaps even quoting from the scientific papers we mention will show your interest and demonstrate both your knowledge and commitment. Read the headlines here: http://c-js.co.uk/CJSNews


Data Tree is a free online course on three themes: data management, ways to apply data, and communicating environmental research beyond academia.  The course is an ongoing learning resource in eight modules, you can complete as a structured course or dip in for interest or problem solving.  Funded by NERC. www.datatree.org.uk


Big Data and the Environment is an open access course for anyone interested in the data behind environmental analysis and how the environment itself produces big datasets.  The course is packed with real-life examples and our mentors will be on hand for delving deeper into the digitised environment. https://c-js.co.uk/2DtiVPS


Career training for Budding Conservationists. Feeling lost in your conservation job hunt? This unique online course by the experts at Conservation Careers is designed to help you understand the conservation job market, to navigate your career options, and to get hired more quickly. Perfect for career starters and switchers. www.conservation-careers.com/kickstarter


Dry Stone Walling for Beginners Training Course with Dry Stone Walling Association in Cheshire on 11 & 12 May then 21 & 22 September 2019. Check out the website on dswacheshire.org.uk or find out more from Jack on dswacheshire@gmail.com


eLearning courses for job hunters. Arm yourself for work from your armchair. In today's competitive employment landscape, arming yourself with extended skills can give you the edge over other candidates. Visit our website to discover eLearning courses covering topics like Active Listening Skills, Making Decisions and Business Attitude. Visit www.ukruralskills.co.uk


Do you want to add another string to your bow? Teaching first aid courses is rewarding and can generate a good second income. To find out more about becoming a trainer and sign up for our email course about how to become a trainer, simply use this link https://c-js.co.uk/2PgewWO First Aid Instructor courses in Manchester and Glasgow.


Invasive non-native species are recognised as having huge environmental, social and economic impacts, the damage they cause put at 5% of global GDP. Invasive Ecology therefore is increasingly important and this course focuses on main problem species, ID features, control methods, legislation, strategies & recording. For more details see; https://c-js.co.uk/2P4X9Iv


Permaculture courses are fantastic ways to learn about being genuinely sustainable and designing systems that work with nature meaning low input is required for a high output. The Glasgow permaculture design course is one weekend per month January to June 2019, come along for the intro in Nov/Jan. https://lusialderslowe.wordpress.com/


Green woodwork training courses are offered for the making of products such as mallets, spatulas, kuksas, traditional shave-horses, stools, and chairs. These courses take place in woodland workshop shelters using traditional tools such as draw-knives, and pole lathes. Search online for Sallerton Wood for details of all courses. Contact: alan@sallertonwood.org.uk www.sallertonwood.org.uk


Nationally recognised Lowland Leader and Hill & Moorland Leader training and assessment courses, plus National Navigation Award Scheme courses delivered in a clear, sensitive and fun manner from our base in Stirling, or at a location near you (for groups). Established 1984 and still committed to sharing expertise. www.cndoscotland.com


Gain certified skills in project management and strategy development for wildlife conservation through online and class-based courses across the UK. www.wildteam.org.uk


Bursary opportunities for Scottish residents to improve their species identification skills; various funders offer different opportunities. Applications welcome until 31 January 2019: see http://www.brisc.org.uk/Bursaries.php for details or email briscsecretary@live.co.uk


logo: Merseyside BiobankTransferable skills as a boost to employment

By Ben Deed - Manager, Merseyside BioBank


Ours is an unusual sector. Crossing the often ill-defined borders of Public, Private and Third and each with their own wants and needs. Jobs are often specialised and can be few and far between, training expensive for someone just starting out or looking to re-train.

Ben Deed

Ben Deed

How then do those that dream of working in the environmental sector train in suitable skills to successfully navigate hurdles and meet requirements?


As a Local Environmental Records Centre Manager I have worked with a great many individuals coming through the doors, asking just these types of questions. The volunteers we work with come from a range of backgrounds from bar work and bins to other professional sectors and academia. We are fortunate that many do find their way into relevant professional employment and there are perhaps a few things that can be recognised as having given them that edge.


For a start don’t underestimate skills you’ve already acquired! The mindset of many on the careers path is that they would love to work outside and engage with the environment. It is easy to become a little blinkered about what skills you need to do that and often those early on the career path will look only at species identification skills or field work.


An environmental profession is a profession similar to any other sector in that key skills are just as important. Interpersonal skills like communication, IT literacy, punctuality and the ability to teamwork and self-organise remain vital. These are all skills that could be picked up and developed at any stage through your life. Perhaps you helped organise a university society or are the go to IT genius for your family. Maybe you joined with or brought together your local community to fundraise or hold an event. It doesn’t matter where you got it from; if you’ve got it shout about it.


I left university without particularly good grades but with a wealth of experience in bar and shop work. Needing to bring in the pounds I went with what I knew and before long found myself working in bars in Manchester. However, I never lost my love of the environment or my desire to work in this sector so began to apply for positions. In the meantime I spent time volunteering with the Lancashire Wildlife Trust (LWT) as a conservation volunteer. Later I took on my own projects on behalf of the Trust and eventually found some work as a part-time assistant ecologist.

Punctuality was crucial, self-organisation and a willingness to learn also important, that interest, self-motivation and commitment really does help you to stand out.

A year or so later the position at Merseyside BioBank came up, an IT job that required the provision of support to volunteers in the office and in the field. Here my interest in computing (but still somewhat basic knowledge!) complemented a love of the environment and the interpersonal and administrative skills picked up from my time in the bars and hotels of Manchester and a commitment to wildlife and volunteering shown through my work with the LWT. That got me in the door and from there I have specialised. However, it was those cross-cutting skills, backed by a commitment and self-motivation that got me on the way.


Find out more about Merseyside BioBank at www.merseysidebiobank.org.uk

Richard Burkmar

Richard Burkmar


Some further experience 

Dr Richard Burkmar - BioLinks Project, Field Studies Council


Although I gained a PhD in ecology and worked briefly in conservation, I spent most of the first 15 years of my working life in the IT sector. When I decided that I wanted to switch back to ecology and conservation, the key realisation I made was that my previous education and experience in ecology counted for little - I had been out of the loop for too long. So I embarked on a skills-based MSc in biological recording and cut my working hours as a programmer to enable me to spend a day a week volunteering in the conservation sector. This did the trick: where I had been getting little response to job applications, I now got some interviews, eventually leading to a job looking after a Local Biodiversity Action Plan.

I think that the most important thing wasn't the MSc itself - I hadn't completed the course at that point - but the commitment demonstrated by both the MSc and, particularly, the regular volunteer work.


Find out more about the Biolinks Project from FSC at https://www.fscbiodiversity.uk/


Lessons Learned? 

While we have different routes into the sector we have both found professional employment and made the most of skills we have learned both in previous employment and as general life skills.


Skills developed in life and in previous employment can complement and strengthen an application so never sell yourself short. Talking down an irate customer, balancing the books, performing a shop close show communications skills, attention to detail and responsibility.


You also benefit greatly from enthusiasm and self-motivation, the desire to want to do well, to deliver and improve. Someone who cares about what they are doing will apply themselves and develop over time. Many employers know they may not get all their desirables but a member of staff is an investment. If you can demonstrate that the fundamentals are there and back that up with genuine self-motivation for the position then you can really shine.


Nature’s Calendar is a UK wide online phenology recording project run by the Woodland Trust in partnership with CEH. The online resources and practical recording experience are a great way to increase your identification skills and ecological awareness. Explore the website and start recording today: https://naturescalendar.woodlandtrust.org.uk/


Help to monitor the health of the freshwaters of the River Thame catchment. Use quick kits to measure the levels of two widespread nutrient pollutants and contribute to a catchment wide survey of water quality. For more information please visit: http://bit.ly/ThameWQ


A complete training service offering practical, technical and management training for all industries nationally and locally, we specialise in all Rural and Farming Training, throughout the north of England. We offer certification in the majority of Lantra qualifications. Email: office@va-training.co.uk Tel: 01609 882408


Just starting out in the countryside sector or looking for a place to put down roots? Why not volunteer at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. Horticulture, Heritage, Arts, Science and Conservation all set in our iconic landscape. To find out more please contact peter.lee-thompson@gardenofwales.org.uk


We offer accredited courses and qualifications to enhance employment prospects for working with animals and conservation. We also run a Job Board to help students find employment. www.animal-job.co.uk www.animaljobsdirect.com


Newton Rigg College, part of Askham Bryan College, offers practical and professional landbased short courses to those based in the north of England.  Expert led courses range from 1 day regulated qualifications to 6 month non-regulated courses. Contact employerskills@newtonrigg.ac.uk or 01768 893400 for details of courses currently available.


Discover the leading platform in the UK around Apprenticeships, Sponsored Degrees, Traineeships and First-time Jobs. For advice, guides and help with Interviews - Visit: www.notgoingtouni.co.uk 


logo: Lantra 

Lantra offers a range of training, technical awards and short qualifications for the land-based and environmental industries. These include Safe Use of Vehicles and Plant, Livestock, Pest control and Pesticides, Firearms, Leadership and Management, Amenity and Forestry Equipment use. Training is both classroom-based and practical and approved Instructors are quality-assured. Contact Jacqui Bruce to find out more. jacqui.bruce2@lantra.co.uk 07867 908164 www.lantra.co.uk



logo: GroundworkTips of the bright green trade – how to maximise your career chances

By Stacey Aplin, PR Officer at Groundwork


Whether it’s a love for the great outdoors, a passion for the environment or a desire to design and build – the greenspace and landscape sectors can create the perfect role for anyone who doesn’t get fazed by working outside in all weathers, to people who bring creative and technical skills to the playing field – literally. 


Groundwork’s ‘Unlocking Potential’ project (Groundwork)

Groundwork’s ‘Unlocking Potential’ project (Groundwork)

In our role as a community charity, Groundwork runs numerous horticulture and employment programmes that help people of all ages find work. Combining both practical, hands-on training and employability skills and opportunities to gain both experience and qualifications has been a proven recipe for success.


“My advice to the people I work with is to not be afraid of applying to local companies by sending out CVs or catching people on the phone. Personal contact is a good way of finding work in the garden or landscaping sector,” says Matt Sutcliffe, Groundwork’s Senior Employment Tutor. “I’d also suggest that they learn to drive if possible, as this is a big help when it comes to travelling around for jobs. It’s also important to look after yourself – eating right and getting enough sleep is vital for outdoor and physical work, as well as mental health and wellbeing.”


Alongside practical skills, having qualifications demonstrate a good understanding and knowledge of the sector, as well as proving dedication and commitment. 


“Employers definitely like to see that any potential employee or apprentice has experience, but it’s good to have the qualifications to back this up that demonstrate practical competency, such as licences – commonly known as ‘tickets’ – to use power tools,” says Kat Davies, Groundwork’s Communities Project Officer.


“Qualifications show you have a good understanding, knowledge and competency regarding tasks and tools and experience demonstrates you can put this into practice,” Kat concludes.

Groundwork’s Green Team in the East (Groundwork) 

Groundwork’s Green Team in the East (Groundwork)


The dos and don’ts


Before applying for a job there are some simple, yet effective, rules you can follow to maximise your chances of successfully securing an interview and gaining employment.


“Any well written CV for someone looking for employment should show a strong timeline that includes volunteering, experience and certificates that you have achieved so far as it helps to prove you are keen to succeed,” says Matt.


“Employers are looking for people who have good communication skills, and leadership or project management potential, as well as technical knowledge of how to use equipment and a driving licence. Specific training like first aid and health and safety are also really useful,” Matt concludes.


It is important that a completed job application form or CV reflects achievement and shows a strong balance of passion and skills.


“I always advise people to photocopy an application form before filling it in so they have a rough copy to draft their answers on,” says Alan Bull, Groundwork’s Employment Programmes Manager.


Application forms are often the first impression that a potential employer gets from a potential candidate, so it is important to get it right and to ensure your answers are specific to the job specification and requirements.


“Tailor your application to what the employer is looking for and give real life examples where possible to show experience. Don’t underestimate the additional comments box that most applications have as this is the perfect time to sell yourself – so use this box wisely.”


Alan also stresses the importance of following instructions carefully before putting pen to paper.

Community garden (Groundwork)

Community garden (Groundwork)

“Simple things like using the specified ink colour, writing in capitals and correctly signing and dating a completed application form show that you have read and understood what’s been asked. It is also important to complete every box. Even if you don’t have anything to say, make sure you write ‘n/a’ or ‘none’ to show that you haven’t rushed the form and missed a question.”


CVs are ultimately the ‘shop window’ and the perfect way to grab someone’s attentions so it is important that it is as engaging as possible, both with what’s written and by ensuring that the formatting looks clear, correct and easy to read. 


”If a CV is too wordy an employer will get frustrated and may even disregard it,” says Alan. “The aim is to get an interview, so concentrate on experience and what makes you the right person for the job as you can elaborate further if you succeed in getting an interview.” 


If you are offered an interview, preparation is the key to ensuring you maximise your chances of getting the job. First impressions are not something you can redo, so there are steps you can put into place to help you do the best you can. Aside from experience, employers are looking for the right personality to work for them.


“Always ask a friend or family member to do a mock interview with you, or there are some training providers that offer this,” says Alan.


“Punctuality is key, so don’t rely on what your sat-nav says or on the bus timetable. Do a rehearsal run a few days before to make sure you know exactly where to go to and how long it takes. Strong communication skills are also a key factor in hitting the right note in an interview.”


“Never just answer a question with a yes or no answer this can come across as uninterested and poor communication. Honesty and enthusiasm are always the best policy,” Alan concludes. 


To find out more about Groundwork, please visit: www.groundwork.org.uk


Gain experience in various practical woodland management tasks plus surveying and monitoring at Volunteer Conservation Days at Hazel Hill Wood, near Salisbury, Wiltshire. Tasks planned for 2019 include ride and glade maintenance, bench creation, glow worm surveys and hedgelaying. Opportunity to take on more responsibility as an Assistant Volunteer Leader. https://c-js.co.uk/2z55VMO


Ethically led, UK wildlife expeditions to inspire, educate and rewild. Join us in 2019 to learn practical wildlife survey and photography skills in beautiful locations across northern England and Scotland, meeting like-minded Expeditioneers whilst discovering our incredible native wildlife. Visit wildintrigue.co.uk, or contact Heather at info@wildintrigue.co.uk to discover more.



logo: SawpodSawpod Ltd - an independent training company in Hampshire providing professional training for the novice chainsaw user and tree climber. We also cover all courses needed to prepare the candidate to become a highly skilled professional. Refresher courses also available for those already qualified. Both workshop and woodland based. www.sawpod.co.uk 01264 773229 thedarbyshires@yahoo.co.uk


logo: New NatureA focus on writing ‘for free’

By James Common, Managing Director of New Nature Magazine


Voluntary work is not just desirable for progression in the environmental field, it is near mandatory. Although the prospect of yet another ‘unpaid position’ may be daunting, such roles are often the only way of providing cold, hard proof of the dedication and passion so many of us mention instinctively on our CV’s. They also allow us to accumulate core and transferable skills, network and demonstrate that cherished ability to meet deadlines.


Image: New Nature magazine 

Thankfully, due to the rise of careers sites such as the Countryside Jobs Service and the increasing prominence of social media, voluntary opportunities in the great outdoors have never been easier to come by. Although, sadly, the same cannot be said for opportunities in the communicational side of conservation. Sure, a few internships and placements are advertised from time to time but, by and large, aspiring communicators are forced to think creatively when it comes to career development.


Getting noticed in environmental media and communications is difficult, as to write for well-known publications, you often require experience of writing for other well-known publications. It’s a vicious circle and ideas, however interesting, are seldom enough without demonstrable experience. Whether we are talking editors, media specialists or communications officers, all demand evidence that you can string together a sentence, inform an audience and produce engaging content. A difficult situation if ever there was one but one that can be overcome with a little ingenuity.


To get your writing noticed, you need to think outside the box: publishing your work online for all to see in as many places as possible. This is where blogging comes in. Maintaining an online journal or column immediately puts your work out there, allowing you to share your opinions, stories and interests, and above all else, showcase your passion [yes, that word again] for your chosen field. Whatever that may be. It could be moths, microplastics or extinct marsupials – anything goes.


The subject of your writing is entirely up to you; though whatever you choose to discuss, blogging, coupled with the savvy use of social media, may well mean that potential employers are aware of you before you even walk into your next interview. Writing, tweeting or even vlogging about nature is a great way to display dedication to a cause and the ample feedback provided by the online community – environmental commentators are more than happy to highlight mistakes, believe me - can often help you develop your writing skills. This allows you to learn what kind of wording works for a specific audience and, in your ceaseless quest to share your work, teaches you a host of transferable skills in SEO, keywords, promotions, web design, content management – all vital parts of any communications role.


Image: New Nature magazine 

Of course, for those looking for something a little different, you can also volunteer your time to write for existing platforms. From my experience of writing for a range of charities and NGO’s, many organisations, despite not openly advertising for such, welcome voluntary submissions. In our day of increasing reliance on digital content and social media, content is king, and providing your ideas fit with the ethos of an organisation, a letter, email or even tweet of enquiry can often lead to opportunities to get your work out there. Doing this not only allows you to showcase your skills as a written communicator but shows commitment to the organisations you hope one day to work for. This shows you are willing to give your time freely to aid in their success and, ultimately, stands you in good stead for the future. All of which goes without mention of the useful contacts made throughout the process – we all know the value of networking.


As we progress towards a more digital age, more and more platforms are opening to allow prospective writers to showcase their work. Of these, New Nature Magazine is a prime example: readily taking submissions from early career communicators and providing experience not just in writing, but in pitching – a skill that will serve you well in later life. As the founder of New Nature, I have observed early-career writers near instantaneously picked up by bigger, mainstream platforms after submitting voluntary posts to us. Thus, it is clear that writing voluntarily can lead to bigger, brighter opportunities elsewhere. Just look at countless young writers and bloggers who have contributed work to A Focus on Nature and Wildlife Articles – two additional, great resources for early-career conservationists – now publishing widely in the form of books and hard-hitting columns.


Personally, I have spent years of my life ‘communicating’ for free, and while it has not all been plain sailing, it has certainly paid off: leading to opportunities to write for magazines and books, contribute guest blogs, attend educational events and even nervously blag my way through TV appearances. All of which, in turn, have finally amounted to my first ‘proper’ job in conservation communications.


If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone, so do not be afraid to make your own luck, ask for opportunities, pitch your ideas and, above all else, have an opinion. You never quite know where doing so will lead you.


You can read James’s personal blog at https://commonbynature.co.uk/ or pitch your ideas to New Nature Magazine at editorial.newnature@gmail.com


Funding our Environment - selling your story. An active workshop in how to sell your environmental improvement project. Inspire funders and donors to take action to support your organisation. Course to be held in Torbay on 28th February 2019 £40 http://www.wild-ideas.org.uk/events/


Become Wildlife Blogger of the Year 2018. Calling writers and bloggers from around the world! Put your favourite wildlife moment into the spotlight win a pair of SWAROVSKI OPTIK binoculars, your story published on some of the biggest wildlife blogs online, career boosts from Conservation Careers and more! www.terra-incognita.travel/wildlife-blogger-of-the-year


Derbyshire Landskills - Based on the Chesterfield/Nottinghamshire border, ideally placed for easy access across the Midlands. We offer the full range of NPTC and Lantra qualifications for the landbased industries. Further information can be found on our website www.derbyshirelandskills.org.uk email jackie.twilley@btinternet.com Tel: 01623 812641


L3 EFAW/FAW + F training. Monthly courses in the Forest of Dean/South Wales with Remote First Aid. From £49.99 pp. Details via email info@remotefirstaid.com


Get skilled in Derbyshire! Whether you need help with job applications or to fill holes in your CV with Maths, English, IT or practical construction / horticulture / countryside skills qualifications. Derbyshire Adult Community Education Service may have what you need. Many courses are free! Take a look at what we can offer: www.derbyshire.gov.uk/coursesearch  


Lantra Dry Stone Walling courses at the Derbyshire Eco Centre offer learners the opportunity to study in an internationally recognised training facility. Many learners become self-employed by the end of their course working in partnership with other students on the course. All tutors are members of the Dry Stone Walling Association.  01629 533038 www.derbyshire.gov.uk/ecocentre


Learn in unique surroundings at BMet’s study centre in the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Study in unique surroundings within 15 acres of landscaped gardens. Our courses are approved by the Royal Horticulture Society (RHS). Visit bmet.ac.uk to view our range of Countryside Management and Horticulture courses and make an application today!


Harper Adams University, offers a wide range of practical skills training courses that are open to all please see our website www.harper-adams.ac.uk or email ipryce@harper-adams.ac.uk for more details.


Brooksby Melton College - Specialist Land-Based Campus (Brooksby Campus) Leicestershire LE14 2LJ. College Telephone: 01664 850 850 Course Enquiries: 01664 855 444 Web: www.brooksbymelton.ac.uk / he.brooksbymelton.ac.uk Facebook: @brooksbymelton Twitter: @BrooksbyMelton  Instagram:@brooksbymelton


At Derby College Broomfield Hall we offer full-time courses in Countryside Management at Level 2 and 3. We also offer Apprenticeships in Countryside. For more details go to www.derby-college.ac.uk or email paul.foskett@derby-college.ac.uk or call 0800 0280289


Wildlife ID, Survey & Management training – Wales One & two-day courses. Practical field experience to equip you to work in the ecological sector. Identification skills & resources, survey methodology and management for invertebrates, plants and habitats, including Phase 1 survey. For course announcements, see Facebook @wildgower & Twitter @ecolegsazer1


Wiltshire College and University Centre offer: Lantra Chainsaw Maintenance and Cross-cutting and Lantra Basic Felling Techniques, both are suitable for the ‘occasional user’ i.e. “someone who intends to use chainsaws for domestic or leisure activities, but does not intend to work in forestry or arboriculture activities or work on Forest Enterprises land”. For more information: businessdevelopment@wiltshire.ac.uk 0845 3452235


Shuttleworth College offers a wide variety of full-time and part-time courses, making full use of the natural resources available, which include parkland, farm land, lakes and woodland. We are a specialist land-based college, and our tutors have real industry experience, and our aim is to get our students the qualifications and skills they need.  www.shuttleworth.ac.uk

logo: Contract Ecology - green space professionals
Interview Skills

by Oonagh Nelson MCIEEM AssocRICS, Director of Contract Ecology Ltd, Preston, Lancashire.  www.contractecology.co.uk, email: enquiries@contractecology.co.uk

Author Oonagh Nelson

Author Oonagh Nelson 


I work in conservation and greenspace management for the private sector and, like all employers, my time is a valuable resource so I’ll get straight to the point: there is no art to a good interview.


The land based sector is a difficult industry to break into so if you’ve been selected for an interview then firstly that is an achievement in itself and you should take real encouragement from the fact that you’ve managed to get the employers attention thus far!


If you’ve had several unsuccessful job interviews already and you’re thinking of rolling out the same dialogue and answers at the next one, then you’re likely to be facing another imminent disappointment.


You are unique, much like the post you will have applied for and failing to acknowledge these two realities can quickly lead to interview rejection. 


I find that the most common mistake made by prospective employees when applying for roles at my company Contract Ecology Ltd is not researching the workload of the company and what the job role really entails.  Unsuccessful applicants will answer their interview questions with a pre-conceived idea of what they think the position entails or what the generic industry is about. Predictably, speculative CV’s sent by cold email tend to be the worst offender for this.


In this age of social media organisations who do not have a social media presence are few and far between so research the company - look at their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feed. It’s quick and easy to see what they’ve been doing this month; flick through the photos, check out the tasks, note the site conditions and observe the dress code of the staff and the equipment they are using. Other things to look out for are have the company been nominated for an award, are they a living wage employer or corporate sponsor of a charity?

Stakeholders can be varied (Oonagh Nelson)

Stakeholders can be varied (Oonagh Nelson)


This kind of information is gold when it comes to the interview as it will help you gain an understanding of what the company and job is really like.  It will help you identify how you might fit in and highlight any areas that you would like to ask the employer a question about during the interview.  It also importantly demonstrates that you have an interest in what goes on in the company and your future job role.  With such easy access and insight into to a company’s day to day activities, there is no excuse not to be prepared.


If this is your first attempt to break into your chosen industry then talk about any other job positions you’ve held.  Even if they seem far removed from the prospective job, have a think if any of your skills are transferable and how these can be of benefit in the new role.  There are few jobs which do not have stakeholders to which you will be answerable, whether that be funders, paying customers, land owners, or even your new colleagues. 


It may not be clear initially how your part-time student job in hospitality or a call centre for example is relevant but both require

Looking presentable is still important (Oonagh Nelson)

Looking presentable is still important

(Oonagh Nelson) 

people skills, patience and the ability to see a task through.  Did you work anti-social hours? Did you have to fill in time sheets or handle customers personal details?  Even practical land based tasks will require input to a risk assessment, collating of volunteer emergency contacts or answering a curious member of the public’s query as to what you are doing to their favourite dog walking route etc.


Think about what you are going to say both before the interview and during the interview before you answer each question.  Take a moment to think about the question and what your answer will be as this will help you to compose yourself and ultimately articulate your answer. Even in a hands-on job, clear communication is essential. 


At Contract Ecology Ltd we like to use a fairly informal approach to interviews, unless you are applying for a managerial or principal role, however always be mindful to dress appropriately.  First impressions count at interview and looking presentable is still important.  Let the interviewer set the tone and guide the interview yet if the interview style evolves towards conversational be careful not to slip into too casual an approach.  The interviewer will still be assessing how you will come across when you represent the company and that you have the necessary capacity for professional conduct. 

Some of the team at Contract Ecology Ltd (Oonagh Nelson)

Some of the team at Contract Ecology Ltd

(Oonagh Nelson) 

Most importantly listen to the whole question and do not assume part way through that you know what the question is going to be.  If your answer will require several kinds of information, do not be afraid to ask for the question to be repeated so you can ensure a fully rounded response.


Some job advertisements will come with a roles and responsibilities and/or person specification.  It is important to read and understand these as they contain the information the employer is looking for from you.  Have you got the skills, experience, training and/or knowledge to fulfil this role? If not, can you demonstrate a willingness and ability to learn and become competent? Be honest about this.  A person specification should guide you to look for what the employer wants in your interview, informing you of the skills, abilities, experience and knowledge that are essential or desirable for the position.  It is good to have an example prepared for each that helps demonstrate your ability in this area, so that you can mitigate for ‘mind blankness’ and it is ok to take prompt cards in with you.


To summarise; do your research both on the company you are applying to and the industry within which they trade, be confident in the skills you possess including transferable skills from any and all previous employment and prepare yourself for the interview questions themselves.


Course: Presenting Yourself For Interview. Delivered nationwide through our network of accredited training providers, this course aims to give trainees knowledge, understanding and basic skills in effective communication whilst presenting for interview, including ways to overcome communication barriers and increase confidence. Find your nearest UKRS training provider by visiting: www.ukruralskills.co.uk


For all the skills you need to become a confident Outdoor Leader Wild things! offer Woodland Activity Leader Training, a comprehensive 7 day course, suitable for all, that is accredited by the NCFE.  For more details call 01309 69045, email

enquiries@wildthings.org.uk or visit https://c-js.co.uk/2qDCv3r


University-based 2-day professional GIS training courses in ArcMap and QGIS (Open Source software) using environmental applications and data. Also bespoke courses tailored to your needs and deskside training. Discounts for unemployed, staff from charities and multiple delegates from same organisation. https://www.geodata.soton.ac.uk/geodata/training/; training@geodata.soton.ac.uk; tel: 023 8059 2719.


logo: Operation New WorldYou have a degree but are you equipped for the world of work?

Dr Todd Lewis instructing in the field (Operation New World)

Dr Todd Lewis instructing in the field

(Operation New World) 


26 years ago Anne Leonard MBE could see that some young people were leaving university well equipped with knowledge in their chosen subject but with a complete lack of practical life skills and the ability to secure a job. In response to a growing need Anne set up Operation New World to offer a skills training programme and since 1992, over two thousand participants have completed the course with 90% finding jobs or re-training shortly afterwards.


The aim is to give young people a boost to help them get onto the job ladder when it seems that their quest for a job is fruitless. They reach this impasse having completed a degree at a university and spent time working unpaid on various volunteer schemes.

The main impediments faced by people in this age bracket (20 – 25) are: degrees that are not aimed at the job market – few, if any, skills that an employer is able to pay you for – and, above all, time wasted on menial work. This can be volunteering to do manual work (sweeping up leaves etc), picking fruit in Australia, tidying up in a camp where there is some endangered species, mucking out in a zoo, anywhere. This is no good when you are trying to kick-start a career!


Before they know it, these young people are no longer very young – there are younger, fitter people coming up the chain who can work for less.


Often they ask the question, “How do I get the experience required in the job specification without having had a first job?” Operation New World aims to address those issues and enable participants to take the first steps in developing a worthwhile career.


If you want to find out more about the course please look at the website www.opnewworld.co.uk




logo: Taylor Wildlife01/06/19 – 02/06/19 & 15/06/19 – 16/06/19

Introduction to Upland Surveying   Angus, Taylor Wildlife

A two-day course aimed at recent graduates and those new to ecology. We provide participants with skills in navigation, hill safety, survey techniques and data interpretation and aim to fill a knowledge gap not covered by university courses. Includes one night’s accommodation, lunch and refreshments. The course takes place outdoors in the Angus glens to allow participants to see a range of upland habitats, flora and fauna and to discuss different upland management techniques.  For more information on this or our courses in species identification, habitat surveys and camera trapping contact info@taylorwildlife.co.uk, or visit

www.taylorwildlife.co.uk to download our course brochure.



Lynher Training is the leading provider of Training and Assessments for Forestry & Arboricuture in the southwest. We have been registered with Lantra for over 30 years and are also a City & Guilds NPTC Assessment Centre and ELCAS Provider. Check us out on  www.lynher.com admin@lynher.com / 01822 832232


Our Rosewarne campus situated in West Cornwall offers Level 1, 2 and 3 courses in conservation and wildlife management within its picturesque 100 acre site. With expert teaching and exceptional facilities students can boost their skills learning about: coastal management, green woodworking etc. Visit www.duchy.ac.uk or call 0330 123 4784.


logo: Ecology on Demand Richard Crompton LtdMaking the leap into self-employment


My journey into self-employment started much sooner than I had anticipated. I had been fortunate enough to volunteer as a National Trust warden (originally through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme) from my mid-teens. As I was close to completing my Countryside Management Degree at Aberystwyth University, I applied for a job with a small UK charity as a conservation officer. I had specific experience relevant to the post stemming from my NT experience and was offered the job. I looked at the low salary, the London location (having completely loved three years in Aberystwyth which is 90mins drive from the nearest motorway and 2 hours from the nearest city!) and the lack of mention of ‘must have a car’ and decided it was not the job for me. I can now look back and see it was the right decision, but shortly afterwards and probably fifty job applications later, most with not even an acknowledgement and certainly no interview, I felt pretty silly. Another unemployed graduate!

Inspecting the teeth on a whiskered bat (Sam Dyer)

Inspecting the teeth on a whiskered bat (Sam Dyer) 


After that followed some self-employed gardening and landscaping work, some forestry work for two winters (thinning, weeding/beating-up, and planting), before I landed two large bat survey contracts one for the National Trust and one for Forestry Commission Wales – both at historic landscape sites in mid Wales. The FC survey report was noticed by the Forest District Manager who offered me a part time ‘caretaker’ estate warden job for a few months. Over 7 years I progressed from Warden to Estate Manager to Conservation Manager, but always continued my self-employed work, carrying out wildlife surveys (mostly for bats, but also other mammals, reptiles and nesting birds). As I was on a fixed term contract with FC for most of this time, I wanted to keep my freelance work going and had some regular architect clients. It made for long working hours but enabled me to save up enough money to put a deposit down to buy my first house. This nicely takes me to my first two tips about becoming your own boss:


Before you go self-employed:

Tip 1. Make sure you have savings to cover a lean period of earnings. A part time job to support your early self-employed work can be a lifesaver for your survival cash-flow, until you have a more predictable income. Try to get 3-6 months survival income saved up before you make the leap.


Tip 2. If you intend to buy a house, do it before you leave full time employment. Otherwise you are likely to have to wait until you have at 3-5 years trading accounts in order to stand any chance of getting a mortgage.

Radio tracking Nathusius pipistrelle near Cardiff (Laragh Níc Gabhann)

Radio tracking Nathusius pipistrelle near Cardiff

(Laragh Níc Gabhann)


The FC caught me out by offering me a permanent contract as a Conservation Manager, but still managing the Hafod Estate (www.hafod.org). By this point I had managed to generate quite a lot of work – mainly bat surveys for architects and planning consultants that I had worked for previously – enough that I was too busy to have a full-time job as well. Remarkably, the FC let me take on a permanent contract on part time hours (a 5-day fortnight) so I could honour the freelance work I was now committed to. This was a great way to mentally and financially prepare for going full time self-employed. Then I finally resigned about fifteen months later after a very enjoyable 7.5 years.


Preparing to be your own boss:

Tip 3. Try to develop a broad set of skills. When you become your own boss, you are suddenly the labourer, administrator, contract negotiator, accountant and main operative all in one. It can be overwhelming at times.


Tip 4. It is much more relaxing if you can gradually exit from your current employment whilst you become established, or keep a few employed hours in another job to keep your cashflow healthy.


At this point I decided to brand the company Wildwood Consulting (named after the Wildwood – the great forest that once covered most of the UK), and soon afterwards incorporated to become a Limited Company – both for credibility and for some of the financial and indemnity benefits of being a company rather than a sole trader. More tips here too:


Tip 5. Don’t underestimate the value of good professional support. Ask around for recommendations when you are looking for legal and accountancy support. Three ‘companies’ and fourteen years later I still use the same firm of accountants even though I now live 2.5 hours drive away.


Tip 6. Take time to understand the basics of company finance, tax, shareholders, pension etc. Even if it doesn’t seem relevant at the time, getting everything set up correctly will pay dividends later. If you set everything up correctly at the start you will reap the rewards later.


On becoming Limited I decided to slightly change the name of the company to Wildwood Ecology Limited so it ‘does what it says on the tin’…



Tip 7. Consider long term branding from the start. Even as a sole trader you can have a trading name (I was “Richard Crompton trading as Wildwood Consulting”). It should be easy to identify what a company does from its name.


Tip 8. Will your customers use alphabetic directories and lists to find you? If so try and choose a name that starts early in the alphabet (not with a ‘W’ for example!) once you are established none of this matters, but at the start try make everything as friction-free as possible.


After relocating to Cardiff for personal reasons, I was approached by an Australian company that made environmental monitoring equipment; I had used their bat detectors for years. They approached me to help them establish a European base in Cardiff and I became a part time sales representative, with my commission going straight into the company. Whilst not something I ever intended to do, I did enjoy it, and got to travel to conferences and events all over Europe, went to Australia for a product development workshop, and devised the concept for a new bat detector which is still sold today. The income this generated over 2.5 years gave me and my business partner the confidence to hire more staff.   

Richard leading a workshop on bats and trees (Sandie Sowler)

Richard leading a workshop on bats and trees (Sandie Sowler) 


During this period at Wildwood, I had some of my proudest achievements; bringing in a business partner when it was clear I could no longer manage alone; and taking on staff was a terrific highlight – not without its challenges - but I was hugely privileged to have an amazingly skilled team of colleagues.


Look beyond the core business:

Tip 9. Look at all possible opportunities. Growing a company requires funds; you either generate it yourself or borrow it. Sometimes a short-term opportunity is worth a temporary diversion of your time if it is profitable.


Tip 10. Surround yourself with people who can do the things you struggle with and bring wider experiences and knowledge!


In 2016, on the verge of fatherhood, I made the difficult decision to leave Wildwood Ecology in the capable hands of my business partner so I could become a part-time dad, to enable my wife to also continue her career part-time, and develop the training angle of my work (especially the Bat Licence Training Course working with Sandie Sowler - my amazing training partner of over ten years). Also to develop a completely new business approach; support, advice and troubleshooting. I formed Ecology on Demand (as a trading name of Richard Crompton Limited!) to help other ecologists with complex bat projects, and short-term specialist support on an ad-hoc basis. After just two years it is too early to declare it a success, but I love the variety of the work, have a great pool of regular clients and new ones arriving all the time. New developments in 2019 include the launch of Complete Bat Training – the evolution of the Bat Licence Training Course after ten years to cater to the needs of professional ecologists, and more titles in my short course programme. Providing training and coaching in business skills is also on the roadmap…along with many more ideas besides!


Richard Crompton is Director of Richard Crompton Ltd, runs the Ecology on Demand Service (www.EcologyOD.co.uk) and co-runs the Bat Training Partnership (www.BatTraining.co.uk) home of the Bat Licence Training Course. He started freelance ecology work in 1998 and was the founding director of Wildwood Ecology Ltd which he left in 2016. He is President of Cardiff Bat Group and was listed in the Who’s Who of Young Business Leaders 3 years running as a Director of the Bat Conservation Trust. He has been awarded Chartered Environmentalist status and is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London.


You can connect with Richard on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EcologyonDemand/

Twitter @BatmanWales

Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-crompton-65016923/


Job app, CV and interview support service, support and coaching for becoming self-

employed, and review and support services for consultant ecologists. By Richard Crompton a Chartered Environmentalist with 20 years professional experience in charity, government and consultancy/freelance sectors. Friendly and supportive approach.

richard@EcologyOD.co.uk, www.EcologyOD.co.uk

logo: Ecology on Demand Richard Crompton Ltd


The Practical Sustainability Course covers a wide range of practical skills within a permaculture framework. Focusing on community engagement and collective action. Gain the confidence, network, skills and understanding to work in the sustainability field, start your own project or go self-employed. www.shiftbristol.org.uk


Are you finding it hard to keep up with the ever changing Jobs landscape? The CV Centre has been helping people get the job they deserve for over 20 years. Take the first step today and have your CV reviewed by a professional. https://www.cvcentre.co.uk/


Our online courses with mentor support provide a well-rounded view of botany and its role in the ecosystem and help towards proving commitment to continued professional development (CPD) for professional membership within the ecological/environmental sector. We offer CV building services and provide advice on further training. Visit http://www.qualiteach.co.uk/training.htm


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

Next edition will feature Volunteering published on 11 February 2019


CJS Announcements and articles of interest.


Happy Christmas and all the best for 2018 from the CJS TeamDetails of CJS deadlines and publication dates over Christmas and New Year.


Office hours: Please remember we take our annual holidays over the Christmas period when there are few or no job vacancies around. The office will close at 5pm on Friday 21 December and will re-open on Monday 7 January 2019. Contact Us.

Online: The website will be updated up to and including Friday 21 December (last posting 3pm) and then again from 7 January (not before noon). Submit your copy here. News: no updates before Tuesday 8 January.

CJS Weekly: The last copy of 2018 will be 21 December and the first of 2018 will be 11 January. There will be no copy published on 26 December 2018 or 4 January 2019

Subscriptions: To receive the 21 December edition you must subscribe before 3pm on Thursday 20 December. To receive the 11 January edition you must subscribe before 3pm Thursday 10 January. Subscribe here.

Advertising: To advertise in the 21 December edition copy to be received before 5pm Thursday 20 December. To advertise in the 11 January edition copy to be received before 5pm Thursday 10 January. ALL paid adverts must be booked before noon Thursday 10  Submit your copy here.

Volunteers: Please note that due to the size of the first few editions in January we are unable to guarantee inclusion in any specific edition.  However, all ads will be published well before their closing dates and are included online at no charge on the volunteers page. Submit your copy here. Please consider CJS Focus on Volunteers, published 11 February, More information here.

CJS Professional: First edition of 2019 will be published one week later than usual on Thursday 17 January, all adverts must be booked before 5pm Monday 14 January and copy to be received before 12 noon Tuesday 15 January.  Book your advert here.


logo: NBN Corporate SupporterCJS is delighted to become a corporate supporter of the National Biodiversity Network (NBN).

Just in case you're not aware of NBN here's a little background*, the Network is a collaborative project, but, above all else, it is a partnership, which involves many of the UK’s wildlife conservation organisations, the government and country agencies, environmental agencies, local environmental records centres and also many voluntary groups.

All of these organisations collect and use biodiversity data and they are all committed to making this information widely available. 


Becoming a corporate supporter of NBN is a natural fit for CJS which has since the very beginning aimed to make a difference and help the British countryside and conservation sectors to thrive and to support the people who work in them.  Many of the organisations we work with and advertise for are also members of the network so it seemed only right that we should join them in supporting the collation and dissemination of vital biodiversity data which forms the foundation of so many important projects across the countryside sector. 

We are looking forward to working with the Network over the coming year. 

You can see our Members page on the NBN website here.

This will also have links to the blogs and articles we write for NBN over the coming year - they'll be on our blog too so you don't need to worry about missing out!

*NBN have written a lovely introduction to the Trust and what they do - we'll include it in full in January's edition but in case you can't wait read it online here.

We're calling on all photographers: British Wildlife Photography Awards 2019 are now open for entry. 

BWPA awards now openIf you've been inspired by the wonderful images from this year's competition (remind yourself here) or perhaps you have something similar already in your files then why not enter next year's competition?   

The 2019 Awards are now open for entry Read the guidelines and information. 

To mark the Awards tenth anniversary and help raise awareness about our coast; its incredible biodiversity and the threats it is facing we have expanded the Coast and Marine category to include British and Irish Coastlines within four separate categories; Wales, Scot

land, England and Northern Ireland.  

See all the available categories here.  CJS is once again sponsoring the Botanical Britain category.

Find out more about how to enter here.

You've got time to think and plan your photos, entries close on 6 April 2019 

And if you'd like to brush up your skills before you set out to take the winning image then have a look at the courses currently available.

If you're thinking that perhaps a photographic career is calling then read the behind scenes look written by Piers Warren the Principle of Wildeye International School of Wildlife Film-making for CJS Focus. It's full of hints, tips and links to other sources as well, read it here


logo: Canal & River TrustIntroducing our new Featured Charity

Canal & River Trust

Life is better by water


Canal & River Trust cares for 2,000 miles of waterways, stretching from Brecon to Boston, and from Lancaster to London. This extensive network

The Trust works with communities to improve the canal and canalside environment ( Canal & River Trust)

The Trust works with communities to improve the canal and

canalside environment (Canal & River Trust)

of canals, rivers, reservoirs and docks connect villages with towns, cities with countryside, giving millions of people immediate access to space where they can relax, unwind and enjoy being closer to nature.


According to independent research, spending time by these waterways makes people happier and increases life satisfaction, and the longer people spend by water the happier and more satisfied they are. Connecting with nature has a demonstrable impact on our wellbeing and the Trust’s canals play a crucial role in bringing this natural environment into the heart of our busiest cities, creating a natural corridor linking wildlife habitats. These waterways are some of the most bio-diverse spaces in the country – 30% of them have been officially recognised for their special environmental value.


Connecting people with nature

The Trust’s environment team is involved in a wide range of work from creating new habitats, improving water quality or helping people learn about the water environment. They also work with communities across England and Wales to encourage more people to care for and use these waterways as part of their daily life and have a number of projects that are helping to transform both people’s attitudes to canals and the canals themselves.


One such initiative, Community Roots, has been engaging local communities in Greater Manchester and Birmingham with the natural environment of their waterways including sites of special scientific interest on the Rochdale & Huddersfield Narrow canals.


By working with people in these areas, the Trust is creating a connection with nature, enhancing these environmentally important sites and giving volunteers the opportunity to develop a wide range of environmental management skills.

Flowering Luronium Natans (also called Floating Water Plantain)

(Canal & River Trust)

As part of this project, the Trust has been working with Bury College to give student volunteers first-hand experience in ecology surveying including species identification, surveying techniques and data collection. Following their involvement, students have successfully progressed to university to pursue related careers while others have used the skills acquired to move into employment.


As well as the direct benefits to young people, since starting the project, the aquatic plant Luronium Natans (also called Floating Water Plantain) has flowered at the site for the first time in over 10 years, there have been fewer incidences of anti-social behaviour, graffiti and littering along the canals and more people are using the waterway.


Helping people find new paths

The Trust is also committed to helping and supporting the next generation of environmental scientists and ecologists. One example is Glen who began volunteering with the Trust as part of his university placement year. A second year BSc Geography student, he was looking to gain some environmental work experience and joined the charity as technical volunteer environmental assistant where he worked closely with the Trust’s environmental scientists and ecologists, conducting surveys, environmental monitoring and auditing as well as dealing with pollution incidents. Glen was also involved the Trust’s pioneering project to secure Green Flag Status for the Macclesfield Canal, the first canal in the UK to achieve this award.


Glen, Canal & River Trust environmental assistant

(Canal & River Trust) 

Once his placement period ended, Glen continued to volunteer with the Trust. He explains: “The practical skills and knowledge I gained from volunteering with the Trust were invaluable. In addition, doing my placement year gave me the discipline to work hard at my final year at Uni. I graduated with first class honours and my dissertation, which investigated subjects raised by the Trust’s environment team, was awarded best dissertation by the Manchester Geographical Society.”


After graduation, Glen joined the Trust’s environment team as graduate environmental assistant, initially part time whilst he studied for an MSc in Environmental Management and Sustainable Development. He is now a full time environmental assistant with the Trust.


Canal & River Trust knows the waterways that it cares for have the power to make a real difference to people’s lives, and that spending time by water makes people healthier and happier. The Trust cares for and brings to life 2,000 miles of canals and rivers across England and Wales. Through its work, it is transforming places and bringing communities together to create places where people want to be.


To find out more about Canal & River Trust and how you can help as well as the volunteering and work opportunities available, visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk



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


Click on the headline to read more.


Government announcements, policy, consultation and publications .

Southern North Sea review of consents: draft Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) - Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy  

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy  is seeking views on a draft Habitats Regulations Assessment for a review of consented wind farms in the Southern North Sea cSAC/SCI.

In January 2017 the Southern North Sea candidate Special Area of Conservation / Site of Community Importance (cSAC/SCI) was designated for the protection of harbour porpoise.

When a new SAC is designated there is a statutory requirement for a review to be undertaken of certain projects. As part of the review, the competent authorities (in this case BEIS and the Marine Management Organisation (MMO)) are required to undertake a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA).

The purpose of this consultation is to seek the views of all interested parties on the draft HRA. 

This consultation closes at: 5pm on 13 December 2018  

Click through to view the documents and take part in the consultation.


Defra group's strategy: creating a great place for living - defra

A strategy for the whole of Defra that sets out a shared vision, set of strategic objectives and goals.

This strategy document sets out a shared vision, objectives and goals for the whole of the Defra group.

It is intended to provide staff across the whole group of Defra organisations (including non-ministerial departments, executive agencies, non-departmental and other public bodies) with a clear understanding of how the Defra group is creating a great place for living.

Our vision

The Defra group is here to make our air purer, our water cleaner, our land greener and our food more sustainable.

Our mission is to restore and enhance the environment for the next generation, and to leave the environment in a better state.

This matters because enhancing nature and green spaces enhances lives. Our wellbeing, our physical and mental health, our love of place and landscape, and our intrinsic need for beauty, awe and wonder, are all intimately bound up with a thriving natural environment.

A healthy and resilient natural world underpins economic prosperity. Investing in species and habitats is an investment in a sustainable economy. Environmental services and technologies drive economic growth and are part of a modern economy.

We know better than ever before that economic growth should not come at the cost of environmental degradation. We have a responsibility to tackle, rather than tolerate, challenges like climate change, poor air quality and our reliance on plastics.

Read the report in full or download the PDF print version.


With 15% of terrestrial and 7% of marine areas now protected, world on track to meet conservation targets – UN Environment

  • More than 20 million km2 of the earth’s land surface and nearly 27 million km2 of marine areas are designated as ‘Protected Areas’
  • These figures indicate that the world is on track to meet important conservation targets.

Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, 19 November 2018 - Around 15% of the world’s terrestrial area is better safeguarded by conservation measures, as well as over 7% of the world’s oceans, ensuring the world is on track to meet important conservation targets, according to the latest Protected Planet Report. “The continued growth in protected areas around the world is essential for the future of biodiversity,” said Neville Ash, Director of United Nations Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). “In particular, the great increases in protection of the marine environment over the past two years will play a key role in restoring the health of the ocean, and is thanks to a strong collaboration between countries, Non-Governmental Organisations and international organizations. We look forward to discussions this week at the UN Biodiversity Summit further strengthening protection for nature, as well as recognizing the need to ensure protected areas are well resourced, and that wider action is taken to combat the multiple threats faced by biodiversity in and beyond protected areas.”

The Protected Planet Report, put forth by the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the National Geographic Society, reviews the progress of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11, which aims for the effective and equitable management of 17% of terrestrial and 10% of coastal and marine areas by 2020.


Environmental charities launch urgent bid for an Environment Act for Scotland  - Joint press release from Scottish Environment LINK members (via Ramblers Scotland)

Scottish Environment LINK, a coalition of Scotland’s leading environmental charities has launched an urgent campaign, “Fight for Scotland’s Nature” at the Scottish Parliament.

Together they are calling for Scotland to have its own environment act.

Fears sparked by Brexit as well as mounting evidence of the global ecological crisis also heavily impacting Scotland has prompted the charities to join forces and urge the Scottish Government to commit to a dedicated Environment Act for Scotland that protects and enhances Scotland’s nature, now and in the future.

80% of all Scotland’s environmental laws come from the EU. The combination of strong legislation and support for effective implementation has made these laws among the most effective on Earth. Further, Scotland’s nature has been a net beneficiary of the EU’s LIFE Nature fund which alone has supported conservation projects worth well over 25 million Euros to date.
Joined up legislation in the form of a Scottish Environment Act, that is fit for purpose and caters to Scotland’s unique environmental needs is required for this to be meaningful.

Joyce McMillan, President of Scottish Environment LINK said: “As guardians of our amazing environment, we have a duty to ensure future environmental legislation is not tokenistic. It must be upheld through an independent and well-resourced watchdog. Now more than ever, we need a Scottish Environment Act that builds on existing Scottish Government commitments to retain EU protections. This would send a clear message to UK and EU partners as well as the rest of the world that we are serious about protecting and enhancing our natural environment. We live in a time of increasing environmental crisis and degradation, and it is vital that Scotland remains a dynamic part of the movement towards a more sustainable future, both for our own sakes, and as a reflection of our commitment to wider international efforts to protect and cherish the natural world on which we all depend.”


The RSPB demands governments stop talking and start acting to save nature - RSPB

Over half of British people (63%) want stronger laws to protect our environment

Seven out of ten British people (68%) would like to see an independent body set up in their country to enforce environmental laws

And, nine out of ten (88%) feel we have a shared responsibility to protect our environment

After more than a year of closed door meetings between environment ministers, including a meeting this week, the RSPB is calling on the governments of the UK to provide more details about their plans for what leaving the EU will look like for our environment. Thus far there have been positive words about the implications for nature – but few positive actions.

No one could deny that we all benefit from a healthy environment that is rich in wildlife. According to a new YouGov survey for the RSPB, when asked about the laws to protect our nature and wildlife 63% of people want stronger legislation and safeguards. And this is something that we can achieve in the next 12 months.

Next year will be critical for our environment as the laws, protections and targets are written and set by the governments of the UK. As part of the Brexit process the UK will need to set out its laws for ensuring the environment is healthy and vibrant for people and wildlife. And, alongside that, they must overhaul our agriculture system so that it


Gove sets out proposals for greener developments - Defra

The government is consulting on mandating biodiversity net gain in development to ensure habitats are protected and enhanced for the future.

Government proposals to place the environment at the heart of new development have been unveiled by Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

In plans published today (2 December 2018) for consultation, developers could be required to deliver a ‘biodiversity net gain’ when building new housing or commercial development – meaning habitats for wildlife must be enhanced and left in a measurably better state than they were pre-development.

The proposed new rules require developers to assess the type of habitat and its condition before submitting plans. Car parks and industrial sites would usually come lower on this scale, while more natural grasslands and woodlands would be given a much higher ranking for their environmental importance.

Developers would then be required to demonstrate how they are improving biodiversity – such as through the creation of green corridors, planting more trees, or forming local nature spaces. Green improvements on site would be encouraged, but in the rare circumstances where they are not possible the consultation proposes to charge developers a levy to pay for habitat creation or improvement elsewhere.

These proposals would help to achieve better outcomes for nature and people with the millions of pounds invested in environmental impact mitigation by developers every year.

While some developers have already been following a biodiversity net gain approach voluntarily, the proposed standardised, mandatory approach would give them clarity and certainty on how to improve the environment through development, while also considering whether any sites – such as small and brownfield sites – should be exempt from the rules. It will still deliver the homes the country needs – making the Government’s vision of delivering 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s a reality – at the same time as contributing to the goal of passing on our environment in a better condition.


Pollution, sustainablity and climate.

Most detailed picture yet of changing climate launched – Environment Agency

New data gives the most detailed picture yet of temperature, rainfall and sea level rise over next century

The UK’s most comprehensive picture yet of how the climate could change over the next century has been launched today by Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

Using the latest science from the Met Office and around the world, the UK Climate Projections 2018 illustrate a range of future climate scenarios until 2100 – showing increasing summer temperatures, more extreme weather and rising sea levels are all on the horizon and urgent international action is needed.

To help homes and businesses plan for the future, the results set out a range of possible outcomes over the next century based on different rates of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. The high emission scenario shows:

  • Summer temperatures could be up to 5.4C hotter by 2070, while winters could be up to 4.2C warmer
  • The chance of a summer as hot as 2018 is around 50% by 2050
  • Sea levels in London could rise by up to 1.15 metres by 2100
  • Average summer rainfall could decrease by up to 47 per cent by 2070, while there could be up to 35 per cent more precipitation in winter.

Sea levels are projected to rise over the 21st century and beyond under all emission scenarios – meaning we can expect to see an increase in both the frequency and magnitude of extreme water levels around the UK coastline.

The UK already leads the world in tackling climate change – with emissions reduced by more than 40 per cent since 1990. However these projections show a future we could face without further action.

UKCP18 can now be used as a tool to guide decision-making and boost resilience – whether that’s through increasing flood defences, designing new infrastructure or adjusting ways of farming for drier summers.


The role of trees in climate change adaptation and mitigation – The Woodland Trust

In response to today's speech by Environment Secretary Michael Gove on UK climate change projections, director of conservation and external affairs Abi Bunker said: “Native trees and woodland need to play a key role in the urgent and important task of both adapting to inevitable climate change and of upping our game in mitigating further effects. The Secretary of State rightly flags the vital role of protecting our ancient woodlands, restoring and managing them well, and in creating much-needed new native woodlands. Their benefits are multi-faceted and need to be harnessed. They do so much more than lock up carbon. They provide life support to humans and wildlife.”


Single-use. Is the 2018 word of the year the new taboo? - Marine Conservation Society

An independent study commissioned by Sky Ocean Rescue has found that nearly six in 10 Brits believe single-use plastic will become a social taboo by 2021.

The research has been revealed on the day the Collins English Dictionary announced ‘single-use’ is the 2018 Word of the Year.

The Sky Ocean-commissioned research also revealed that seven in 10 think single use plastics should carry cigarette style warning labels whilst almost three quarters of those questioned have reduced the amount of single use plastics they use over the last year.

It also suggested that swigging from a single-use plastic water bottle will soon become as unacceptable as smoking, with consumers supporting use of tobacco packet shock tactics to drive change.

Collins Dictionary lexicographers named single-use the word of the year, after a four-fold rise in its use over five years – which they suggest is down to widespread news coverage.

But despite the increased awareness boosted by programmes like BBC1s Blue Planet II and the Sky Ocean rescue coverage and campaigns, many people still use single use plastic items without a second thought because they’re so much a part of our daily lives. Almost two thirds (64%) of those questioned admitted to still buying or accepting single use plastics multiple times a week.

Four in 10 (42%) say they now feel embarrassed being spotted with single use plastic items and almost a third (29%) have even called others out for using these disposable items. 


Reforms must prepare the UK countryside for climate change and ensure that our use of land supports reduced emissions - The Committee on Climate Change

The Paris Agreement demands tougher action to remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere. We must, at the same time, prepare for the inevitable climate change that is already happening. In this context, current uses of land in the UK must change.

Today, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) publishes two linked reports:

‘Land use: Reducing emissions and preparing for climate change’ finds that fundamental reform is required to ensure land becomes a more effective carbon store. The critical services we receive from the land; clean water, healthy soils, wildlife, timber and food, are threatened by a warming climate. Government can address these concerns, while ensuring sufficient food production for an increasing population and space for new homes.

‘Biomass in a low-carbon economy’ considers the role of biomass – wood, plants and organic waste – in the global strategy to tackle climate change. Biomass can play an important role in meeting the UK’s long-term (2050) emissions targets, and moving towards net-zero emissions, but only with stricter governance to ensure sustainable supplies. Current UK energy uses will need to change.

There is now an opportunity, especially through the new Agriculture and the Environment Bills, to define a better strategy for our land to meet the goals of the UK Climate Change Act.


Achieving EU's key 2020 environmental objectives slipping away - European Environment Agency

According to the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) updated environmental indicator report published today, the European Union continues to fall short of achieving a number of environmental objectives by 2020, especially in areas aimed at protecting biodiversity and natural capital. When it comes to 'boosting sustainable, resource-efficient, low-carbon economy', trends and outlooks cause more concern compared to the assessment from last year, while progress in addressing environment-related threats to health remains rather mixed. 

EEA Environmental Indicator report cover (EEA)The annual EEA Environmental Indicator Report 2018 provides an updated scoreboard that monitors progress in 29 selected environmental objectives that are relevant to achieving the three key priority objectives under the 7th Environment Action Programme (EAP) that address: natural capital (including biodiversity); sustainable, resource efficient, low-carbon economy; and people’s health and well-being. The scoreboard paints a bleak picture for progress in improving the EU’s natural capital. The overall progress is mixed for the other two priority objectives.

Compared to last year’s, this year’s scoreboard revised downwards the prospects of meeting three more objectives, important to the achievement of the 7th EAP priority objective that addresses sustainable, resource efficient low carbon growth. The outlooks for meeting the EU’s 2020 energy efficiency target and reducing the overall environmental impact of the housing sector by 2020 were revised from ‘likely’ to ‘uncertain'. Increases in the overall energy consumption and in the household sector were the main cause. The outlook for reducing the environmental impact of the mobility sector was also revised to ‘unlikely’ as greenhouse gas emissions from transport increased.

The report notes that for a number of indicators across the three 7th priority objectives the positive past trends seen in the scoreboard were mainly because of the low economic activity right after the 2008 financial crisis and that in several cases progress has slowed in recent years due to increased economic growth.

Access the report.


UK top supermarkets flood Britain with 59 billion pieces of plastic packaging every year - Environmental Investigation Agency

The full extent of UK supermarket giants’ contribution to our plastic waste problem is exposed today by the most comprehensive analysis of the sector to date.

(image: Environmental Investigation Agency)Drawing on detailed figures disclosed by firms for the first time, our survey of Britain’s largest supermarkets and grocery chains reveals ten major retailers are placing over 810,000 tonnes of single-use plastic on the market every year.

(image: Environmental Investigation Agency)

 Seven of them are putting in circulation the equivalent of some 59 billion pieces of plastic packaging – over 2,000 items for every household in the country.

Despite their huge plastic footprint, half of the supermarkets surveyed have no specific targets to reduce plastic packaging and most of those who do are moving at such a slow pace (just 5% per year) that it would take them 20 years to completely rid their shelves of throwaway plastic.

The survey by Greenpeace UK and ourselves ranks retailers based on their commitments to reduce single-use plastic, eliminate non-recyclable plastic packaging, supply chain actions and transparency. Iceland comes out slightly ahead of the pack thanks to an ambitious plan for phasing out own-brand plastic packaging within five years, while most major retailers, including Tesco and Asda, are clumped together with mid to low scores, with Sainsbury’s at the bottom of the league.

Read the special summary



Devastating impact on nature highlighted in new campaign to fight litter - Defra in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy

Defra joins forces with Keep Britain Tidy to launch the ‘Keep it, Bin it’ campaign  

Poster image of otter with litter (defra)Poster image of otter with litter (defra)

Shocking images are at the centre of a new campaign unveiled today (30 November) to crack down on littering in England.

Launched by Environment Secretary Michael Gove in partnership with environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, and supported by some of the biggest names in retail, travel and entertainment, the campaign features poignant images of wildlife eating and getting tangled in litter, contrasted against typical excuses for people give for dropping litter. The emotive imagery demonstrates the impact that littering can have on the environment, with the RSPCA responding to 1,500 calls about litter-related incidents affecting animals every year.

This bold approach from Defra and anti-litter charity Keep Britain Tidy has already earned the backing of some of our biggest businesses with Mars Wrigley Confectionery, Greggs, McDonald’s, PepsiCo UK and Network Rail confirmed as the first tranche of campaign partners.

Today the campaign will be on display in train stations nationwide, including commuter hubs such as London Euston, Manchester Piccadilly and Birmingham New Street, as well as across partners’ social media channels and on Clear Channel’s Socialite screens. After launch, the campaign will feature at till-points in Gregg’s stores and at Cineworld cinemas through the partnership with PepsiCo UK.

As well as the environmental cost, littering also brings with it a huge financial cost. Keeping the country’s streets clean cost local government almost £700 million last year in England, much of this spent cleaning up avoidable litter. Millions of pieces of litter are dropped every day in England.

The new campaign is urging people to put their litter in a bin, or keep hold of it and put it in a bin when they see one. Empty packets and other litter should always be recycled wherever possible. 

Campaign details here.


Proposals unveiled to cut red tape for divers retrieving marine litter - defra

A consultation to review and streamline the marine licensing system.

As part of the government’s ongoing drive to clean up our seas, new proposals launched today (2 November 2018) will cut red tape and make it easier for divers to remove litter from the seabed.

Until now, a marine licence may be required for divers who retrieve litter or abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear – known as ‘ghost gear’ – during the course of a dive.

Now, in a consultation launched today by Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey, divers will be exempt from the current requirement to have a marine licence – streamlining the existing regime and helping to tackle the 640,000 tonnes of ghost gear lost in our oceans each year.

The consultation also brings clarity to boat users who do not require a licence to collect litter or ghost gear from the ocean’s surface. 

Chair of the British Sub-Aqua Club Alex Warzynski said: "As divers we see first-hand the damage to the marine environment done by abandoned and lost fishing gear along with other marine litter, and anything that Defra can do to make it easy for divers to clean up without fear of doing the wrong thing will help. The new proposals will also allow harbour authorities to remove all marine litter as previously they have only been able to remove objects that present an immediate risk of obstruction or danger to navigation."

The consultation opens today (2 November) and runs for 6 weeks.


Wetwipes are flushable? No they're not! – Marine Conservation Society

Image: MCSNew research, commissioned by the water industry but carried out independently, puts paid to the notion that wetwipes can be flushed down the loo. The findings show that, despite many wipes on supermarket shelves being commonly labelled and sold as flushable, their claims of flushability are misleading the public. All wet wipes sold as “flushable” in the UK have so far failed the water industry’s disintegration tests.

Image: MCS

Wipes cause blockages. Surprisingly the so called “fat bergs” that become lodged in UK sewers are only made up of 0.5% fats, but an astonishing 93% wet wipes. £90 million is spent by the water industry each year on clearing blocked drains alone, ultimately adding costs to customers water bills, according to Water UK. Many wet wipes are known to contain plastics such as polyester, and enter the environment.

MCS has campaigned for several years to see action on the labelling of wetwipes, as sewage contamination of waterways and beaches often results from blocked pipes, many of which are caused unnecessarily by items such as wet wipes being flushed. In 2017, MCS collected over 10,000 signatures a petition to the wet wipe industry body EDANA asking them to ensure members removed plastic from their flushable products and that flushable wipes complied with UK Water Industry standards.


Great British Beach Clean 2018 results - Marine Conservation Society

Thanks to you, the Great British Beach Clean has doubled in size!

Between the 14th and 17th of September 2018, thousands and thousands of people headed to hundreds of UK beaches with one thing in mind – to make a dent in the amount of litter covering our coastline.

(image: Marine Conservation Society)(image: Marine Conservation Society)

Just short of 15,000 volunteers - double the number in 2017 – cleaned up and surveyed 494 beaches around the UK coast (155 more than in 2017), making the 2018 Great British Beach Clean the biggest ever. Finally, beach cleaning is cool and mainstream - and we’re delighted - we’ve waited 25 years for this moment!

Our volunteers picked up 8,550 kgs of litter across the whole of the UK – that’s about three times as heavy as the tongue of a blue whale – the largest animal ever known to have lived on earth!

There were, on average, a staggering 600 items of litter on every 100 metres of beach that were cleaned and surveyed.
So what’s next? The public know how important pollution-free beaches and seas are, now we must ride on this momentum and ensure governments make the right decisions when it comes to stemming the single-use plastic tide.

Download the full Great British Beach Clean 2018 Report here and see what you can do to keep up the pressure so finding ‘nothing’ on our beaches becomes a reality.


Land and Countryside Management. 

Scots want their scenic landscapes better protected - National Trust for Scotland

A new survey finds overwhelming support for greater measures to protect Scotland’’ most scenic landscapes.

A survey commissioned by conservation charity the National Trust for Scotland reveals overwhelming support for greater measures to protect Scotland’s most scenic landscapes.

The online survey of a sample of 1,229 people representative of Scotland’s population by age and gender was commissioned by the Trust from Mark Diffley Consultancy and Research to mark four decades of National Scenic Areas.

National Scenic Areas (NSAs) were first identified by the then Countryside Commission for Scotland in 1978. This followed publication of Highland Landscape by W H Murray, commissioned by the National Trust for Scotland in 1962, which was the first national assessment of Scotland’s most scenic areas. It came from a strong desire to protect the beauty of Scotland’s landscape and enable ‘economic’ and ‘amenity’ factors to be weighed evenly on the scales. 

Among the findings of the survey are:

  • 95% strongly/tend to agree that scenic areas are vital for tourism;
  • 91% strongly/tend to agree that scenic landscapes make them proud to live in Scotland;
  • 92% strongly/tend to agree that there should be restrictions on large-scale industrial development in Scotland’s most important landscapes;
  • 84% strongly/tend to agree that the planning system should include more measures to protect National Scenic Areas

This is a strong consensus voice. Location, social background, age and gender made virtually no difference to the opinions expressed through the survey.

It was also clear that respondents were unaware of or confused by the many different designations intended to protect landscapes in Scotland: for example, 88% were ‘definitely aware’ of National Parks whereas the percentage for National Scenic Areas was only 20% and 23% for Wild Land Areas.


Unsustainable kelp dredging banned in Scotland - Scottish Wildlife Trust

The Trust has welcomed a vote in the Scottish Parliament today that puts a stop to damaging plans to dredge thousands of tonnes of kelp from Scotland’s seas each year.

Kelp Forest © George Stoyle, SNHKelp Forest © George Stoyle, SNH

Bruce Wilson, Public Affairs Manager said: “Scotland’s kelp forests are rightly protected as priority marine features. They are ecosystems in their own right, providing nursery grounds for many fish, and shelter for marine mammals including otters and seals. There is also growing awareness of their importance as a store of blue carbon. There are no guarantees that kelp will recover from being dredged. Allowing these habitats to be intensively harvested could cause irreversible harm to a system that is already under threat from climate change and ocean acidification. We believe that Scotland has the potential to be a leader in sustainable aquaculture and support further investigation into techniques that allow seaweed to be harvested with minimal environmental impact. However, it is clear that the damage to the natural environment of introducing mechanical dredging on an industrial scale is too high a price to pay, both environmentally and economically. The Scottish Parliament has listened to the concerns of experts in marine conservation and coastal communities and we welcome the principled stance that MSPs have taken today.”


Rewilding conference told of need to stop decline in biodiversity – Royal Agricultural University

The UK ‘is going backwards in biodiversity’ and rewilding significant parts of our environment is ultimately needed, a conference heard.

Prof Alastair Driver, of Rewilding Britain, told the event organised by the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) and Cirencester College: “The simple fact is that we are going backwards in biodiversity. We need something significantly different in addition to traditional nature reserve conservation. That is the underpinning case for rewilding.”

Prof Driver was among a number of nationally renowned experts in the field speaking at the Rewilding: Perspectives and Applications​ conference, held at the RAU’s Boutflour Hall.

He added: “But we have a very long journey to take – we are rewild-ing for the time being, and it will be a very long time before we Charlie Burrell holding a butterfly (Royal Agricultural University)have rewilded. In England and Wales, we cannot jump to purist rewilding where immediately we are truly hands-off across large areas and not intervening at all. It is not practical and not likely in such a crowded country.”

Charlie Burrell holding a butterfly (Royal Agricultural University)

Christopher Price, Director of Policy and Advice at the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) suggested landowners considering rewilding could go some way along that journey without compromising their tax status.

 He added that many farmers were already delivering strong levels of environmental diversity using other methods than rewilding: "Landowners won't want to divest themselves of management altogether. Many are achieving high standards of environment through methods that are the antithesis of rewilding."

Other speakers included Sir Charles ‘Charlie’ Burrell, whose Knepp Castle Estate, in Horsham has become a flagship experiment for farmland restoration. He explained: “We decided to come out of arable farming over a six year period. The break-up of any constant look or feel was good for nature. Life has poured back in.”

That strategic decision has meant a resurgence in birds - Blackcap and Whitethroat – as well as the Purple Emperor butterfly and the Violet Dor Beetle, added Dr Tony Whitbread of the Sussex Wildlife Trust.

Dr David Hetherington, discussed the challenges and opportunities of a potential re-introduction of lynx to the UK. Dr Hetherington, of the Cairngorms National Park Authority and author of ‘The lynx and us’ said that a “respectful dialogue” between farmers and those supporting the lynx, pointed the way forward. Scotland was the most likely area to re-establish the creatures, he felt.


New report shows nature-friendly farmers boost recovery – The Wildlife Trusts

Local farm wildlife plans help cereal growers devote 30% of land to nature

A group of over 40 cereal farmers are proving that it is possible to help nature recover and make a profit. A new report from The Wildlife Trusts shows how locally tailor-made farm wildlife plans devised by Wildlife Trust advisors with each farmer, are helping wildlife recover

In 2018, Jordans oat growers farmed over 15,500 hectares, providing almost 4,600 hectares for wildlife. Birds such as linnets, butterflies like the silver-washed fritillary, and brown hares are returning to farms in the Jordans Farm Partnership; nature is thriving in their hedgerows, field margins and ponds, creating vital corridors to enable wild animals to spread out and move through the landscape.  

Stephanie Hilborne, CEO, The Wildlife Trusts says: “We are hugely impressed with the commitment of these cereal farmers to support wildlife and the environment, which will benefit generations to come. They are playing an important role in nature’s recovery. We hope other farmers will take inspiration from them and follow their lead; it shows that farming that works with nature makes sense. The Jordans Farm Partnership demonstrates we don’t have to choose between wildlife and profitable food production.”


UN Biodiversity Conference Agrees on a Process Towards a New Deal for Nature and People in 2020 but Ambition is Weak - WWF

The 14th Conference of the Parties (COP14) of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) ended today with an agreement on the preparatory process for a post-2020 global framework, moving us closer to a transformational New Deal for Nature and People in 2020 - a vital step to ramp up global efforts to halt today’s unprecedented and dangerous biodiversity loss. This sets the stage for governments to show leadership and reinforce their commitment to conserving natural systems that sustain Earth’s vital diversity of life and also provide invaluable goods and services essential for the well-being of people and the planet. The new deal must halt biodiversity loss while being fair and respectful of the rights of all parties, especially developing economies, indigenous peoples and local communities and those defending the web of life on the front line.

WWF was encouraged by countries agreeing to submit new voluntary biodiversity contributions before 2020. It is imperative that these contributions are made early, have strong implementation mechanisms and match the ambition required to reverse nature loss.

However, despite these positive steps forward, political relevance, ambition and current global action are still not strong enough if we are going to make the transformational changes needed to ‘bend the curve’ on biodiversity and nature loss. As nature loss continues unabated, there is still a real lack of action within member countries, as most are now certain to miss their Aichi targets due in 2020.


‘Payment by results’ farm pilots a ‘success’ – Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority

Putting farmers in control. A panel of Wensleydale farmers, all of whom have been taking part in the RBAPS pilot, are introduced at the one-day 'payment by results' conference (Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority)Putting farmers in control. A panel of Wensleydale farmers, all of whom have been taking part in the RBAPS pilot, are introduced at the one-day 'payment by results' conference (Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority)

Figures and analysis revealed at a farming conference in the Yorkshire Dales this week (wb 26 Nov) have suggested that a payment by results approach to agri-environment schemes can produce ‘amazing’ environmental enhancements and strengthen trust between farmers and government agencies.

Held at the Key Centre in Middleham, the conference marked the end of a three year EU-funded project to test the payment by results approach in Wensleydale and in Norfolk – although the government has since stepped in to directly fund the pilots for a further two years.

One of the key findings announced at the event was that hay meadows and wader habitat in the Wensleydale pilot had performed better that those in conventional agri-environment schemes.  

A panel of four local farmers spoke at the conference in support of the payment by results approach.   And one of the senior civil servants at Defra tasked with designing a new post-Brexit Environmental Land Management system, James Le Page, told the127 delegates that Defra was “really interested” to explore the potential for expanding on the model.


Business and community leaders mark first anniversary of environmental partnership – New Forest National Park Authority

A partnership looking to boost the natural environment by putting it at the heart of decisions about the environment, economy and communities has marked its first anniversary.

One of the first of its kind in the UK, the Green Halo Partnership brings together organisations from across central southern England to protect and enhance our ‘natural capital’. This is the term given to the benefits we derive from nature such as clean air and water, protection from flooding, food and healthy outdoor activities.

More than 70 representatives from dozens of Green Halo partner organisations attended a conference at Ordnance Survey, Southampton on Tuesday 27 November to mark a successful first year.

The partnership has received wide ranging support over the last 12 months, with architects, wildlife charities, councils, utility businesses, health bodies, universities and civil engineering firms among 70 organisations signed up so far.


New trees to breathe fresh life into fire and drought ravaged moorland – Woodland Trust

More than 5,500 trees will be planted as a site continues its rebirth following a summer of devastating wild fires and drought.
Evidence of the fire is still clear at the site (Photo: Russell Hedley/WTML)Winter Hill in Bolton hit the headlines in July after a fire - thought to have been lit by arsonists – ripped through moorland and trees.
Evidence of the fire is still clear at the site (Photo: Russell Hedley/WTML)

The Woodland Trust was gamely assisted by troops of volunteers and firefighters as they battled the fire by land and by air at the Smithills Estate (1,700 acres). But sadly a third of the site was damaged with dozens of species – such as brown hares and common lizards - pushed out or incinerated if they could not flee in time.

Coupled with this, the site also suffered one of its biggest ever droughts putting extra strains on the ecosystem. 
Now, as the charity prepares to plant new trees – the first since the fire - life really is beginning return to a land that just a few months ago was charred, blackened and still smoking.

Chris Waterfield, general manager at the site said: “The fire seems like yesterday and when it hit, it was a massive state of emergency – something that as a charity we had not handled before. We worked round the clock with local services to bring it under control. Unfortunately we did lose 2,000 trees to the flames and since then we have been busy looking at how to restore the land and try and mitigate future disasters. Planting these trees is another step as we help the land recover from its troubled summer.”


UK-wide consortium to combat serious threat to plant health - BBSRC

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Right Honourable Lord Henley, announces funding for a major bacterial plant diseases research programme supported by UK Research and Innovation’s Strategic Priorities Fund.

(image: BBSRC)The first phase of this investment initiates a UK-wide consortium to prepare for the possible introduction and spread of the devastating plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa into the UK.

(image: BBSRC)

BRIGIT, a consortium co-ordinated by the John Innes Centre, will work to enhance UK surveillance and response to Xylella fastidiosa. BRIGIT brings together ten leading UK research organisations, in a £4.85m programme aiming to improve methods of diagnosis and detection of Xylella, to identify factors that could lead to its spread, and to prepare to minimise the risk of the pathogen to the UK.

The bacterial plant diseases programme is a £17.7m collaboration between UK Research and Innovation Councils, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) - together with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Scottish Government who are providing £1.1m of additional funding.

Professor Nicola Spence, Chief Plant Health Officer and Deputy Director for plant and bee health at Defra said: “I am delighted that UKRI, together with co-funders Defra and the Scottish Government, has agreed to fund this crucial research which will help us to better control bacterial plant diseases in the future. Protecting the UK’s plants from pests and diseases remains one of my Department’s highest priorities, and we need robust science to underpin our actions to combat these threats. Xylella fastidiosa is one such bacterial disease and will form the focus of the first phase of the research programme. The knowledge gained through this programme should assist us in further optimising our ongoing surveillance and ensure that our contingency plans are underpinned by the most up-to-date evidence available.”


Woodland, Forestry and Arboriculture

£5 million project to turn former coal mine into woodland - Woodland Trust

The Woodland Trust is hoping to acquire a 162 hectare site in a post-industrial area of Derbyshire.  
In an estimated £5 million project the charity is looking to turn the site, which was open cast mine, into an important natural habitat by planting 260,000 trees and creating one of the area’s largest new native woodlands.

Lodge House (Photo: Chris Belton/WTML)In 2016 coal production at Lodge House open cast mine ceased and the mine was closed. Since then, work on the site has included filling in the mining area and improving the path and bridleway network.  The land sits in a fantastic position; south of Heanor and adjacent to the very popular Shipley Country Park, which itself is near to the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust's Woodside Farm.  Together, these three areas would make more than 500 hectares (nearly 1,300 acres) of connected, wildlife friendly space for people to enjoy.

Lodge House (Photo: Chris Belton/WTML) 

The site, currently owned by the Howarth Group, already boasts a wealth of paths and bridleways. The charity will look to retain these as well as planting trees to increase biodiversity and improve the experience visitors can have on site.

The Trust is initially buying a quarter of the land – thanks to a cash boost from The Veolia Environmental Trust, through the Landfill Communities Fund and Pears Foundation – but it will need to raise further funds to buy the remaining land. The charity will be launching a fundraising campaign in the New Year to help raise the cash. 


RFS Insight Report into Planting for Resilience - Royal Forestry Society

Climate change, Ash Dieback and damage by grey squirrels are driving UK woodland owners to diversify the species of trees they are planting.

Cover of Insight Survey: Changing woodland reportWhile some are reverting to familiar varieties such as Cherry and Wild Service Tree that have fallen out of favour in recent times, others are planting exotic alternatives such as Eucalyptus and species from the Americas and continental Europe.

These changes have emerged in an Insight Survey by the Royal Forestry Society of members managing woodland in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which has found that more than 60 different species are now being planted to mitigate threats to tree resilience.

Chief Executive Simon Lloyd said: “The species list represents a snap shot of those being chosen by respondents but does not include some like Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) which the RFS knows is also being planted as an alternative to Ash. There is concern that some woodland managers are gravitating to species based primarily on personal preferences rather than making more evidence-based choices suitable for their locations and soil types as well as for their particular management objectives. A scatter gun approach risks the sustainability of woodland in the long term. Whether land managers choose to go down the novel route or stick to more tried-and-tested choices probably depends a little on how willing they are to try new ideas. Species like Cherry and Sweet Chestnut have known qualities and end markets, whereas the early adopters are choosing more unusual and exotic alternative species are relatively untested in woodlands in the UK. As confidence in the performance of these new species grows, we can probably expect to see an uplift in their popularity. Overall, this Insight Survey suggests the messages of preparing now for climate change are being heard.”

 Of those who responded, almost half are already planting more species than five years ago, and of those who are not, 63% are actively planning to do so in the next five years. Only 14% said they were not considering diversification.

 Among popular broadleaved varieties listed by respondents were native species such as Wild Service Tree, Cherry, Field Maple, Hornbeam and Lime alongside ‘familiar’ non-natives such as Sweet Chestnut and Black Walnut. There were also early adopters of less familiar species like Eucalyptus, Italian Alder and Southern Beech.  More than 20 conifer species were mentioned, with known timber producing species such as Douglas Fir predominant but with some lesser known species also being tried, including Chinese Fir and Swamp Cypress.

Download the report (PDF)


Record 80,000 trees to be planted in London during National Tree Week – Mayor of London

  • Mayor has funded thousands of trees for ‘National Park City’ in London’s biggest ever mass planting weekend
  • 75,000 trees have already been given to public and community groups 
  • 5,000 extra free trees available for Londoners this weekend 
  • Mayor launches new map revealing most detailed look at London’s tree canopy cover

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “My Greener City Fund is investing £12m in trees and green spaces to help London reach the goal of being confirmed as the world’s first National Park City next summer and expanding the capital’s impressive ‘urban forest’ of eight million trees. This initiative is really capturing the imagination and it is fantastic to know that there will be so many Londoners out in force this week planting trees across the city.”  

All the information about getting involved with the weekend is at: www.london.gov.uk/trees, including how to plant a tree, where you can plant it and how to care for it.

London’s trees provide at least £133m of benefits every year in terms of removing pollution and carbon dioxide from the air and reducing the amount of water going into drains. They help improve air quality by removing 2,241 tonnes of pollution every year, including the equivalent of 13 per cent of PM10 particulates and 14 percent of NO2 emitted by road transport, as well as storing carbon and creating A habitat for wildlife.


First government-funded tree of Northern Forest takes root - defra

Forestry Minister David Rutley has planted the first government-funded tree of the Northern Forest.

Forestry Minister David Rutley (centre), government Tree Champion Sir William Worsley and Chair of the Woodland Trust Baroness Barbara Young joined students from St Andrews School Radcliffe to plant the first government-funded tree of the Northern Forest. (image: defra) Forestry Minister David Rutley (centre), government Tree Champion Sir William Worsley and Chair of the Woodland Trust Baroness Barbara Young joined students from St Andrews School Radcliffe to plant the first government-funded tree of the Northern Forest. (image: defra) 

Ambitious plans to create a swathe of forest in the north of England branched out today (30 November 2018) with Forestry Minister David Rutley planting the first government funded tree of the Northern Forest.

Minister Rutley joined the Woodland Trust, Community Forest Trust, government Tree Champion Sir William Worsley and students from St Andrew’s CE Primary School in Radcliffe, where they began the planting of 200 saplings as part of the government’s £5.7 million investment.

Over the next 25 years the Woodland Trust and Community Forest Trust are aiming to plant more than 50 million trees from Liverpool to Hull, connecting the five community forests of the north. Government backing for the project was announced by the Prime Minister in January during the launch of the Government’s flagship 25 Year Environment Plan.

Spanning more than 120 miles, the Northern Forest will help boost habitats for woodland birds and bats and protect iconic species such as the red squirrel – alongside providing a tranquil space to be enjoyed by millions of people living in the area


Largest i-Tree Eco survey in UK highlights the £33million annual value of Greater Manchester’s trees to the economy & that 1million trees are at risk - Manchester City of Trees

City of Trees has completed the biggest i-Tree Eco survey outside the United States.

Image: Manchester City of TreesImage: Manchester City of Trees

Data has been collected from more than 6,000 trees across Greater Manchester by a team of 57 surveyors who visited nearly 2,000 plots – to help calculate the environmental and economic benefits that trees provide, as well as highlight any risks to tree health.

The results show that there are an estimated 11,321,386 trees with 15.7 per cent of Greater Manchester beneath tree canopy.

The data also highlights that approx. 1 million trees are in danger of being lost in Greater Manchester due to pests and diseases such as Ash Dieback and Horse Chestnut Bleeding Canker.

Greater Manchester’s trees act as a filtration system for harmful air pollutants – removing 847 tonnes of pollutants each year.

They assist with excessive storm water, intercepting 1,644,415 cubic metres of storm water run-off per year.

Added to this they sequester 56,530 tonnes of carbon each year and the current carbon of all the trees in the region is 1,573,015 tonnes.

The total annual economic value of air pollution filtration, stormwater attenuation and carbon sequestration in Greater Manchester’s trees is £33,298,891.


Animal and wildlife news.

Reform essential to tackle rising wildlife crime and ‘appallingly low’ number of convictions - Wildlife and Countryside Link

The second Annual Wildlife Crime Report, produced by members of the Wildlife and Countryside Link and Wales Environment Link coalitions, reveals that reported terrestrial wildlife crime incidents against bats, badgers and birds of prey rose by an average of 24% last year, with the number of wildlife crime incidents reported rising by 9% overall.

There were a total of 1,283 wildlife crime incidents recorded by these NGOs in 2017, compared to 1179 in 2016. Despite increases in reported wildlife crimes shockingly only 9 individuals and businesses were convicted last year for wildlife crimes the coalition collect data on. This is down two-thirds on the 22 people convicted in 2016. This highlights there are ongoing high levels of wildlife crime which criminals are simply getting away with. National Wildlife Crime Unit and Ministry of Justice data also show falls in the number of convictions for wildlife crime.

Wildlife Crime report cover (WCL)Wildlife experts are warning that the trend of worryingly low convictions for wildlife crimes is likely to continue unless key problems are tackled. These issues include: the lack of a police recording system for wildlife crime and increased pressure on police resources; the exclusion of some types of evidence, such as covert surveillance, often being excluded from trials; the increasing use of the internet to facilitate wildlife crime; and inadequate penalties for those convicted. 

To ensure that wildlife crime is transparently assessed, priorities and resources are targeted most effectively, more wildlife criminals are successfully prosecuted, and sentences really do fit the crimes and act as a real deterrent, the NGOs are calling for:

  • the Home Office to make all wildlife crimes in England and Wales recordable with specific police crime codes, and to produce an annual report analysing wildlife crime trends and helping direct funding and resources accordingly
  • Defra to ensure adequate long-term funding for the National Wildlife Crime Unit and other key enforcement agencies, to effectively tackle wildlife crime and develop additional resources to respond to the growing threat of wildlife crime facilitated online
  • Police forces to appoint wildlife crime champions and ensure sufficient training for staff who may deal with wildlife crime
  • the Crown Prosecution Service and Sentencing Council to maintain specialist wildlife crime prosecutors, remedy issues with the admissibility of wildlife crime evidence such as surveillance footage, and develop comprehensive and stringent wildlife crime sentencing guidelines 

Download the report (pdf)  

Announced on the same day: 

Double blow as two more rare birds found shot in North Yorkshire - North Yorkshire Police

Wildlife crime officers are appealing for information about two more rare birds of prey, which have been found shot in North Yorkshire.

The first bird, a large adult red kite, was found dead by a member of the public on the Thursday 25 October 2018 near to Wath in Harrogate. The bird was recovered and taken to a specialist vet to be x-rayed to determine the cause of its death. The x-ray uncovered two pieces of shot, which were lodged within the bird.

The second shooting took place on Thursday 8 November 2018 when an adult buzzard was found by a member of the public, injured but still alive in Riccall near Selby. Despite efforts to save the bird, due to the extensive injuries that had been inflicted upon it, it had to be put to sleep. On examination, the vet believed that the bird had been shot in the days before it was found, due to the level of infection in the wound. Further inspection of the bird found the shot has shattered its collarbone, shoulder and humerus leaving the bird in significant pain, until it was euthanised. 

If you have any information that will assist the investigation, please come forward and contact police via 101 and pass the information to the Force Control Room. Please quote reference 12180210290 for the buzzard investigation and 12180199938 for the red kite investigation.


Nearly half of Endangered species’ last refuges unprotected – Birdlife International

The araripe Manakin's final refuge in Brazil is protected by the state © Ciro AlbanoThe Alliance for Zero Extinction has mapped 1,483 highly threatened species that are found only at a single site. But this major new assessment highlights the urgent need for better protection of these irreplaceable places.

The araripe Manakin's final refuge in Brazil is protected by the state © Ciro Albano

Sometimes, a species’s population can dwindle so much that it can only be found in one location. Sometimes, a species has only ever lived in one location, but is now facing threats that weren’t around before. No matter the reason, protecting these sites is crucial to prevent species from going extinct.

That’s where the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) comes in – a partnership of 95 organisations from all around the world, working together to bring species back from the brink of extinction. Founding members of the Alliance, BirdLife, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) have spent the past three years pooling their science and expertise to map the last known locations of Endangered and Critically Endangered plants and animals. This year’s major update has increased the number of these ‘AZE trigger species’ to 1,483, confined to 853 ‘AZE sites’ across the world. The map is invaluable in helping the conservation world decide where to focus its efforts, and in informing developers of the places they should avoid.


Partnership for Biodiversity in Planning - Wildlife Assessment Check Bat Conservation Trust

image: Bat Conservation TrustLocal planning authorities, across the UK have a statutory duty to protect and promote biodiversity. However, some authorities are struggling to find the resources to conduct the necessary checks to see if wildlife may be impacted by a proposed development. Without the right data about the biodiversity impacts, an authority can’t make an informed decision on planning applications – this means that authorities may be granting planning permission to developments that will have negative impacts to wildlife.

Image: Bat Conservation Trust

In London, there were over 90,000 planning applications in 2016 but less than one percent (0.86%) of these applications consulted existing biodiversity data records to assess the potential impact of the applications (GIGL, 2017). This is despite the GLA estimating that around a fifth of planning applications (18%) are likely to require background biodiversity checks. In Hampshire, of 10,400 applications in 2017, only 4% (368) were checked by the local environmental records centre. Similar to London, the record centres had flagged a fifth of the applications (2,325) as of potential ecological concern.

Restricted local authority budgets and lack of in-house ecological expertise may be further exacerbating this issue, meaning that biodiversity is given insufficient attention during the planning process. The Association of Local Government Ecologists estimates that two-thirds of local authorities do not have an in-house ecologist or ecology team.



Four rare hen harriers disappear on Scottish grouse moors – RSPB

RSPB Scotland is appealing for information following the suspicious disappearance of four satellite tagged hen harriers over the last 10 weeks.

All of the birds were tagged at various nest sites, three this summer and one in 2017, in Scotland and Northern England as part of the RSPB’s EU-funded Hen Harrier LIFE project. The last known locations of all four birds were over land managed for grouse shooting.

Satellite tagging technology is increasingly being used to follow the movements of birds of prey, allowing scientists to identify areas important for their feeding, roosting and nesting. The tags are fitted by licensed, trained fieldworkers and are designed to transmit regularly, even after a bird has died. In all four cases, the tags had been functioning without any issues before they suddenly and unexpectedly stopped transmitting, suggesting criminal interference has taken place.


(image: WWT)Annual ‘swanfall’ begins as Slimbridge welcomes over 50 migratory Bewick’s swans – WWT

The annual ‘swanfall’ at WWT Slimbridge has kicked off with a flurry of Bewick’s swans checking in for the winter.

(image: WWT)

A total of 51 birds completed the final leg of their migration during the recent crisp nights. They join Indri, the first of the Bewick’s to arrive at the reserve, who appeared in October with the first cold snap of the season.

Among the wild winter visitors is old timer Croupier, aged 27, the leader of one of the biggest Bewick’s swan families ever studied. The ‘cobfather’ was sadly minus his long-term partner, Dealer, who is mum to 29 cygnets that they have brought back together over the years.

Swan Research Assistant Steve Heaven helps conserve the Bewick’s swans, which have been in decline in Northwest Europe since the 1990s. He said: “The arrival of lots of Bewick’s swans is a traditional harbinger of cold weather and it feels truly wintry here at WWT Slimbridge with chilly, clear days and more and more migratory birds crowding onto the lake at dusk. It’s always a fantastic spectacle over the Christmas period. Sadly, there’s a serious side and the number of Bewick’s swans in Europe has dropped by over a third. However everyone who visits us is supporting the conservation of these beautiful wild birds. We’d also like to thank players of People’s Postcode Lottery, as their support will allow Indri, Croupier and their friends to rest comfortably at the reserve through the cold months.”


‘Terning’ the tide – protecting a small seabird from multiple threats - RSPB

  • The UK’s second rarest breeding seabird, the little tern, benefits from nest site protection at vulnerable beach sites.
  • Nearly 3000 chicks have fledged over five years as a result of conservation.
  • Further funding now needed to build on the back of current success and give species a long-term future.

The UK’s second rarest breeding seabird has been given a helping hand by a five-year project to protect them at coastal sites where they nest on beaches.

The project funded by EU LIFE has resulted in almost three thousand little tern chicks successfully fledging at 26 sites around the UK over the past five years as well as identifying the main risks to the tern population and ways these could be reduced.

The little tern – one of our rarest and smallest breeding seabirds – nests on open sand and shingle beaches around our coasts between May and August each year. Their numbers have declined by almost a fifth since 2000 due to reduced breeding success and to the many threats they are exposed to on our beaches.

In 2013, ten partner organisations began working together nationally and regionally, with 50% funding from the EU LIFE Nature funding programme, to identify the reasons for little tern declines and to implement trial solutions with the aim of beginning to turnaround the fortunes of the species.

Threats to the nesting terns were found to include recreational disturbance, the impact of predators, a lack of suitable



Wildlife experts concerned for natural environment as oil well drilling in Poole Bay begins - Dorset Wildlife Trust

Short Snouted Seahorse (image: Paul Naylor)Corallian Energy limited has been granted consent to drill the Coulter Appraisal Well in Poole Bay, starting this month.  However, Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) still has concerns, despite positive comments from Corallian over limiting the dumping of oiled drill cuttings on the seabed in an area with vulnerable features and bird foraging.

Short Snouted Seahorse (image: Paul Naylor)

Following DWT’s concerns, all contaminated cuttings will now be safely disposed of onshore and the drilling will occur during the winter to reduce impact on migratory species, spring and summer time spawning fish and foraging seabirds. 

DWT continue however to be worried about the remaining drill cuttings that will be discharged on the seabed with the potential to impact species within the vicinity.  Short-snouted seahorses (protected under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981) are recorded within the licenced area in Poole Bay.

Experts from DWT are also worried that drilling will occur with a potential risk of pollution, albeit small, in such a highly prized natural environment.  DWT Chief Executive, Dr Simon Cripps said, “Poole Bay is not the place for such activities.  The time, effort, money and research necessary to conduct such a project would be better used on renewable energy alternatives and not drilling in such a sensitive area.”This is particularly relevant just a few weeks after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a stark warning on the consequences of carrying on burning fossil fuels as we are today.   Peter Tinsley, DWT Living Seas Manager says: “Globally we already have enough oil and gas to go way beyond the IPCC target – we don’t need to explore for more.”


A team of marine scientists have discovered a very rare shark nursery, 200 miles west of Ireland while investigating Ireland’s deep ocean territory - Marine Institute

The announcement was made at the INFOMAR Seabed Mapping Seminar in Kinsale today, where video highlights were debuted of this rare occurrence, discovered during the recent “SeaRover” survey by the Marine Institute’s remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Holland 1 deployed onboard the ILV Granuaile. The INFOMAR Programme is a Government of Ireland initiative, funded by Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and is a deliverable under Project 2040, Ireland’s National Development Plan.

shark nursery(image: Marine Institute)

Koen Verbruggen, GSI Director said “We are delighted that this discovery has been unveiled at todays’ event, demonstrating the importance of mapping our seabed habitats in understanding and managing our vast and valued ocean resources.  Our data and team continue to make significant contributions to harnessing our ocean wealth.”

Very large numbers of egg cases, commonly called mermaids purses, were filmed on the seafloor at depths reaching 750 m. Such large concentrations of egg cases, are rarely recorded and indicate females may gather in this particular area on the seafloor to lay their eggs.

A large school of Blackmouth catshark (Galeus melastomus), abundant in the northeast Atlantic were present at the site, and it is likely the eggs are of this species. A second more unusual and solitary species, the Sailfin roughshark (Oxynotus paradoxus) was also observed. “Both species are of scientific interest as Ireland has an obligation to monitor deepwater sharks under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive”, said Maurice Clarke from the Fisheries Ecosystem Advisory Services at the Marine Institute.

“No pups were obvious at the site and it is believed that the adult sharks might be utilising degraded coral reef and exposed carbonate rock on which to lay their eggs. A healthy coral reef in the vicinity, may act as a refuge for the juvenile shark pups once they hatch. It is anticipated that further study of the site will answer some important scientific questions on the biology and ecology of deep water sharks in Irish waters,” explained David O’Sullivan.

Click through to view footage from the SeaRover.


Call to help save rare skate - Scottish Association for Marine Science

Scientists are calling on Scotland’s anglers to help save one of the largest and rarest creatures in British waters.

Skate can be identified by examining the distinctive spot patterns on their backs and studying their movements (Scottish Association for Marine Science)Skate can be identified by examining the distinctive spot patterns on their backs and studying their movements (Scottish Association for Marine Science)

The common or flapper skate can grow more than 2m in length and weigh more than 90kg but despite its name, the fish is classified as critically endangered - making it more at risk of extinction than the giant panda.

Anglers throughout Scotland are being encouraged by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) to send any photographs of common skate to Skatespotter, a new online catalogue launching today.

The project aims to help conserve this remarkable diamond-shaped species through identifying individual fish by the distinctive spot patterns on their backs and studying their movements.

Dr Jane Dodd, Marine Operations Officer at SNH, said: “We’re launching Skatespotter with more than 1,500 images of nearly 800 individual flapper skate, taken by volunteer anglers in the Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura Marine Protected Area (MPA). This MPA has a healthy population of the endangered fish, which made it easier to collect photographs, and anglers have been fundamental in providing the data to designate the area as an MPA – but to understand skate movements and populations we want to see anglers’ photographs of skate from all over Scotland.”

Common skate have been listed as critically endangered since 2006 as a result of overfishing. In 2009 it became illegal to land skate in most of Europe which means any skate caught as bycatch should be released unharmed.

All angling for this species in Scotland is on a “catch and release” basis. Recapturing previously identified skate suggests there is no harm to the fish when released. However, common skate are still at risk from unintentional capture in mobile gear such as trawls and dredges.


Set your teeth on EDGE: world’s weirdest sharks and rays on the brink of extinction – ZSL

From guitarfish to angel sharks the EDGE of Existence highlights the most ancient fish sinking into extinction

Largetooth sawfish  © Simon Fraser UniversityLargetooth sawfish  © Simon Fraser University

Sharks that use a whip-like tail to stun their prey, rays with saws on their faces, and river rays half the length of a bus are among the most unique species at risk of extinction according to the latest ranking from our pioneering EDGE of Existence programme.

The new list revealed today (Monday 3 Dec) ranks the world’s 50 most Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) sharks, rays and chimeras – known collectively as Chondrichthyes.

These mythical-sounding (but very real) creatures have no bones in their bodies, only cartilage and appeared more than 400 million years ago, roaming the seas when dinosaurs lived. Each species on this list has few or no remaining close relatives, effectively representing distinct branches of the tree of life and making each of them truly irreplaceable. If they go extinct, we will have nothing like them left on the planet. 

Topping the new list, at number one is the largetooth sawfish (Pristis pristis), which also holds the distinction of being the highest-ranking EDGE species in the world. Using an elongated snout (rostrum) lined with teeth on each side to slash at its prey, the large-tooth sawfish is facing threats from unsustainable fishing activities as it’s often caught as by-catch in nets.



Beavers to return to Essex for the first time in 400 years - Environment Agency

A pair of beavers will be heading to a new home in North Essex as part of a pioneering natural flood management scheme for East Anglia.

It is hoped the Eurasian Beavers will improve biodiversity and help to reduce local flood risk as part of a new approach to flood prevention at the historic Spains Hall Estate, just upstream of the picturesque village of Finchingfield.

The Environment Agency is working in partnership with Spains Hall Estate, the Essex & Suffolk Rivers Trust, Essex Wildlife Trust and others, with funding from partners including the Anglian Eastern Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (RFCC).

The whole story will be captured in a documentary series, due to be screened next year, overseen by renowned wildlife filmmaker Russell Savory for independent film company Copper Productions. The beavers will have a territory covering 4 hectares, with plenty of trees to get their teeth stuck into and a boundary fence helping to keep them safe. Beavers have not been found in Essex for 400 years since they were hunted to extinction, although they have been reintroduced in small numbers in other parts of the country in recent years.

A second element of the project will involve man-made natural flood management measures being introduced on a separate strand of Finchingfield Brook at Spains Hall Estate. As well as helping to slow the flow after heavy rain, the scheme should also create wetland that will slowly release water in drier periods. 


Red squirrel conservationists welcome success stats – Northumberland Wildlife Trust

One of the biggest citizen science efforts in mammal conservation in the UK has shown red squirrel populations across northern England are stable. This is thanks to over 30 community red squirrel groups which work tirelessly to protect the red squirrels on their doorstep.

Red squirrel at Hauxley. Image by: Pamela DewenerOne hundred and sixty people, mostly volunteers, completed the annual monitoring programme this spring. This is the seventh consecutive year of the monitoring programme, led by Red Squirrels Northern England a project managed by Northumberland Wildlife Trust, which creates an exciting picture of our native red squirrels’ geographical range in northern England.

Red squirrel at Hauxley. Image by: Pamela Dewener

Trevor Cooper from Grasmere Red Squirrel Group said: “Repeating these surveys, same time, same place, shows that year after year reds are still present in our woodlands around Grasmere, proving that the hard work we put in is paying off”.

Results show that red squirrels are still widely distributed across six counties in northern England, with red squirrels found in 42 per cent of survey sites and grey squirrels in 48 per cent.

The surveys take place in ‘red squirrel counties’ across northern England, where wild red squirrels can still be found: in Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, North Yorkshire, Lancashire, Merseyside and parts of County Durham.

Surveys are completed within areas where red squirrel conservation is carried out by project teams, such as Red Squirrels Northern England, and by local community red squirrel groups under the banner of Northern Red Squirrels.

Simon O’Hare, Project Manager for Red Squirrels Northern England, has hailed the result as another positive for red squirrels. He says: “This year there was a very slight drop in the number of sites with reds, down from 45 per cent in 2017. This is no cause for alarm, as slight variations over time are common in mammal populations. We have seen this pattern before, and know that we are documenting fluctuations in red and grey squirrel populations, affected by environmental factors such as bad weather and bumper natural food supplies in the autumn.”

The full report, ‘2018 Annual Squirrel Monitoring Programme Results’, can be found online here


Review of government’s bovine TB strategy published - Defra

review of the government’s 25 Year Bovine TB (bTB) Strategy, led by Sir Charles Godfray, has been published today (Tuesday 13 November).

Image: DefraThe report, which was commissioned by Environment Secretary Michael Gove in February, aims to inform future strategies around the government’s goal of eradicating the disease by 2038.

Image: Defra

The report is now with Ministers who will consider its recommendations before publishing a response, setting out the next steps for the bTB Strategy.

Farming Minister George Eustice said: “We welcome this review of the Government’s 25-year Bovine TB strategy and I extend my thanks to Sir Charles Godfray and his team for their hard work in producing the report. As a Government we are committed to eradicating bTB and have always been clear that there is no single measure for tackling it. That’s why we have pursued a range of interventions, including cattle movement controls, vaccinations and controlled culling in certain areas. Sir Charles’ report is an important contribution that will inform next steps in the strategy to achieve officially TB free status for England by 2038.”

Sir Charles Godfray, population biologist and Fellow of the Royal Society said: “The Review Panel are acutely aware of the burden this disease places on the welfare and well-being of farmers and their families, and the distress many people feel about badger culling. There are no easy answers to reducing disease levels and what is required is new drive and a concerted and concentrated effort by all sectors involved.”



Huge disappointment at limitations of Bovine TB Strategy Review led by Sir Charles Godfray – The Wildlife Trusts

The Wildlife Trusts' response to the Bovine TB Strategy Review.

Whilst welcoming the review's recommendations for a changed emphasis in the government’s strategy for eradicating bovine tuberculosis (bTB), The Wildlife Trusts are extremely concerned that it also recommends that badger culling should continue. This flies in the face of robust scientific evidence and we urge the government to halt their flawed policy which leads to tens of thousands of badgers being killed every year. 

Ellie Brodie, Senior Policy Manager of The Wildlife Trusts says: “The Wildlife Trusts believe that cattle and not badgers should be the focus of efforts to eradicate bTB. We support the review’s recommendation that the focus of the strategy should be shifted to addressing the transmission of bTB between cattle. This is the main route of infection. Only 1 in 20 cases of bTB herd infections are transmitted directly from badgers, so culling badgers is not the answer. Several scientific studies have demonstrated that culling increases the prevalence of bTB in the badger population, and results in it spreading to other areas. We believe that more must be done by both the government and farmers to improve farm biosecurity and cattle movement controls. Badger vaccination should be used strategically, with more resources invested to roll out a widespread vaccination programme. Vaccination has the potential to reduce bTB infection prevalence in the badger population, and hence bTB risks to cattle, without the harmful effects associated with culling such as increased prevalence of TB in badgers plus spreading the disease. The review highlights the potential for a large-scale badger vaccination programme as an alternative to culling which The Wildlife Trusts welcomes.  The government should do more to support rolling vaccination out to more areas of the country.”


TB strategy review - NFU comment

Commenting on the publication of the report, NFU Vice President Stuart Roberts said: “Bovine TB is a devastating disease. Last year more than 33,000 cattle were slaughtered in England because of it and more than 3,800 farms that had been clear of the disease were affected by it. The NFU wishes to see the eradication of bTB as quickly as possible while retaining a viable cattle industry. To tackle this disease it is crucial that we use every tool available to us, including cattle testing, cattle movement controls, on-farm biosecurity, vaccination and control of the reservoir of disease in wildlife in areas where it is endemic.”



Rare beetle discovered at second site in Wales - Buglife

The Blue ground beetle (Carabus intricatus), a rare and globally threatened beetle, has been discovered at just its second known site in Wales, coinciding with the launch of a new project aimed to protect it and the ancient woodland habitat in which it is found.

(image: Buglife)(image: Buglife)

Funded by the National Lottery, the ‘Blue Ground Beetle Project’, led by the invertebrate conservation charity Buglife Cymru, and in partnership with The Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw), will deliver habitat management work at Coed Maesmelin ancient woodland in Skewen, Neath Port Talbot, to improve habitat conditions for this extremely rare beetle. Surveys for Blue ground beetle will also been conducted in other suitable woodlands within the vicinity, and it is hoped that these will uncover further populations of this threatened beetle. Growing to over an inch long, the Blue ground beetle is a large and distinctive beetle with metallic blue markings, long legs and sculptured wing-cases. It has always been considered a rarity in Britain, and was once even thought to be extinct - until it was rediscovered in Dartmoor in 1994.

Until recently, the Blue ground beetle was seemingly confined to just handful of UK sites in Devon and Cornwall. In 2012, however, the beetle was discovered in a woodpile of a garage by a member of the public in Skewen. After contacting Buglife, the specimen was confirmed to be the Blue ground beetle and subsequent surveys found it to be present in nearby Coed Maesmelin - an ancient oak woodland owned and managed by The Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw). Until its discovery at Coed Maesmelin, it had never been recorded in Wales.


New buzz around Welsh Government offices - Welsh Government

The Environment Minister, Hannah Blythyn, has visited new bee hives installed at Welsh Government’s offices in Cardiff, part of a network of bee hives installed on top of the city centre’s major buildings.

ew hives have been installed on the roof of the Cathays Park offices. The hives are part of Pharmabees, Cardiff University’s award-winning project which aims to host a community of bees on buildings in the city centre. There are other hives on the roofs of the National Museum of Wales, the St David’s Shopping Centre, Cardiff University buildings and in Bute Park. 

Each hive will be home to up to 50,000 bees during the summer and will be managed by local bee keepers. The Welsh Government also has apiaries at its offices in Merthyr Tydfil, Llandudno Junction and Aberystwyth, along with other biodiversity projects on its estate. 

The initiative is part of a number of Welsh Government biodiversity projects as part of its Action Plan for Pollinators


Organic dairy farmers spring into action for bumblebees - Bumblebee Conservation Trust

Welsh dairy farmers and bumblebees don’t normally crop up in the same context but a group of organic dairy farmers, who market products under the Calon Wen brand, are hoping to change things.

Photo credit: Cotswold Seeds LtdConcerned by the plight of the humble bumble Calon Wen farmers have sprung into action.

Six Calon Wen farmers from across Wales are leading a research project “Pasture for Pollinators”, looking at how they can stop, and even reverse the decline of bumblebee populations by managing their pastures a little differently.

Photo credit: Cotswold Seeds Ltd

The Project, which is funded through the European Innovation Partnership programme managed by Menter a Busnes, started at the beginning of 2018.

The farmers are using special seed mixes in their pastures, supplied by Cotswold Seeds, which include a high proportion of pollinator friendly plants. When they cut the field for silage they leave a four metre margin at the edge of the field, which they leave to flower, providing a feast for pollinators. They are also looking at how they can manage other habitats on the farm, such as hedgerows and unimproved pasture.

“Seeing wildlife on my farm makes my job much more enjoyable, and learning about bumblebees has been fascinating” said David Edge, one of the Calon Wen farmers involved in setting up the Project.

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust is providing the technical expertise for the Project, and are monitoring pollinator populations across all farms. “I am really pleased with how the Project is going so far” said Sinead Lynch, Senior Conservation Officer at the Trust. “We are currently still in our initial trial period and we are already observing some very interesting results. We have visited all of the farms, completed surveys and seen that the farmers are incredibly engaged and on board with this Project which is great.”


New Campaign 

Launched at the end of November a new campaign: Think Outside the Box aiming at increasing awareness of the potential impact on local native species by exotic pets.  The two may seem far removed but it's becoming increasingly obvious that exotic pets, especially amphibians and reptiles, can expose native species to new virus and fungal diseases and can even cause local mass mortalities.   This campaign has been designed to improve awareness and education in terms of biosafety for the benefit of public health and nature conservation. Thinking Outside The Box poster

In the last decade, there is been a dramatic decline in amphibian and reptile populations in Europe. Many studies reveal that viral, fungal and fungal-like diseases are responsible for these mass mortalities. Human activities such as pet trade (both legal and illegal trade), research and tourism play an important role in the spread of these diseases.

Pet owners, with particular attention to reptiles and amphibians, spend high amounts of money in pet care. On the other hand, exotic pets may carry diseases, and these diseases can be spread accidentally (escapes) and voluntary (releases) becoming the main reasons to the reduction of European reptile and amphibian species populations. Thus, two very different realities coexist; the attention and care paid to pets, whereas the local species are declining as a result of the latter.


Cross contamination can happen so easily, not just through escapes but disposal of vivarium substrate into waste destined for landfill or the water from your tropical fish tank (which may have frogs in it) into the general sewer system both of which risk exposing the natural environment. Researchers are not exempt either the Campaign Team are highlighting the risk of contaminated research equipment.  It's been shown that African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) which is often used in research projects can carry the Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis fungus which has caused mass mortalities of Common toad (Bufo bufo) in Europe; simple use of the same dip nets or holding tanks is all it takes and remember to clean and disinfect your boots and car tyres too!


The campaign website went live on Wednesday 21 November, find out more: http://unboxingdiseases.eu/


Funding, Awards and Partnerships.

Nature heroes celebrated at Nature of Scotland awards ceremony - RSPB Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage

Kate Humble hosts presentation dinner announcing Nature of Scotland Awards 2018 winners

With all eyes on the future of our nature and wildlife, RSPB Scotland celebrated some of the country’s nature heroes at their annual Nature of Scotland Awards presentation dinner last night (Thursday 22 November) with co-sponsor Scottish Natural Heritage.

The evening was a celebration of the passionate and dedicated people fighting to save Scotland’s wildlife and our unique and special places. 

This is the full list of winners:

  • Food & Farming Award (sponsored by The James Hutton Institute): Common Farm
  • Business Award: Barratts provides new homes for people and wildlife in Aberdeen
  • Innovation Award (sponsored by Balfour Beatty): CuanTec
  • Sustainable Development Award (sponsored by The Ardmore): European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre Scientific Research Programme
  • Community Initiative Award (sponsored by GreenPower): Ninewells Community Garden: therapeutic gardening for all
  • RSPB Young Nature Champion Award (sponsored by ScottishPower): Xander Johnston and Kathleen McMillan 
  • SNH Youth and Education Award: Reviving Rossie – Awakening a secret wood
  • Nature Tourism Award (sponsored by Scottish Water): The Argaty Red Kite Project
  • Political Advocate of the Year: Dr Tom Dargie

Sir John Lister-Kaye OBE was recognised with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his work as a naturalist, conservationist, author, and educator.


Environmental charities receive over £2.2 million from businesses which broke environmental laws - Environment Agency

Environmental charities and projects will benefit from more than £2.2 million in payments thanks to enforcement undertakings agreed with the Environment Agency.

Companies and individuals will make the payments for environmental offences including pollution of rivers or the sea, not meeting permit conditions or not taking reasonable steps to recover packaging waste.

A total of 15 charities and projects will benefit from the £2,223,121.54 with the money to be spent by local groups on projects that benefit the environment including cleaning up and enhancing parks, rivers and beaches.

As well as making a payment to an appropriate charity or project, these companies have accepted liability, demonstrated restoration of harm and will make improvements to avoid future offences.

Peter Kellett Director of Legal Services from the Environment Agency said: "When companies damage the environment whether it is through polluting our waters or breaching permit conditions, we will take enforcement action against them including civil sanctions. We take these environmental incidents very seriously and these payments of more than £2.2 million direct to charities will help them carry out vital projects to improve our environment right across England.

Ellie Brodie, Senior Policy Manager, The Wildlife Trusts said: "Obviously, we would have been happier if these incidents hadn’t occurred at all. However, it’s a good principle that polluters should offer redress for the damage they cause. The money will enable work which will benefit wildlife and wild places, and which otherwise wouldn’t be funded. We hope these payments serve as a reminder to business of its responsibility towards a clean and healthy environment; and also have a deterrent effect as it’s clearly cheaper to do things cleanly, rather than risk creating pollution."

Details of some of the payouts:

Water company to pay a record £975,000 towards environmental improvements following sewage spills on Dorset coast

Wessex Water has offered to pay £975,000 to achieve equivalent environmental benefits following a series of sewage spills in Swanage Bay, Dorset.

Image: Swanage Bay, Dorset (Environment Agency)Image: Swanage Bay, Dorset (Environment Agency)

More than 142,000 cubic metres of sewage was discharged into the sea during illegal spills in 2016 and 2017. The windfall will be used to fund environmental improvements in and around the coastal town of Swanage.

The package offered by Wessex Water, the highest ever in the UK, includes £400,000 towards a local authority flood defence scheme in Swanage, £400,000 to Dorset Waste Partnership to fund the development of a doorstep recycling service for domestic fat, oil and grease, £100,000 towards the Dorset Litter Free Coast and Sea Project, £75,000 to the Durlston Country Park and Nature Reserve.

The company also offered £25,000 compensation to Swanage RNLI Lifeboat Station as an impacted third party, taking the total pay-out to £1 million.

Campaign to cut plastics around the coast gets boost thanks to Environment Agency

Firm agrees to pay nearly £25,000 to the Marine Conservation Society following breaches

A campaign aimed at reducing waste pollution in our oceans and on beaches has been given a boost of more than £24,000 after the Environment Agency accepted an enforcement undertaking from a group of companies for failing to comply with waste and recycling regulations. 

See the full list of Enforcement Undertakings.


Health, recreation, volunteering and employment.

Conversations are a walk in the park; communication is better outdoors, research finds - University of Manchester

New research has found that conversations are better in natural environments such as parks and gardens than indoors.
Researchers from The University of Manchester and Cardiff University recorded conversations between children and their parents while they explored a city park and an indoor education centre, and found that the conversations in the park were more responsive and connected compared to those recorded indoors. 

The team focused on families with three- and four-year-olds, because at these ages most children have a lot to say, but coordinating with a conversational partner is sometimes challenging.
Dr Thea Cameron-Faulkner, Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at The University of Manchester, and one of the study authors, said: “Our research demonstrates that natural environments can significantly enhance social interactions, in this case improving the quality of parent-child conversations.”
Professor Merideth Gattis, from Cardiff University’s School of Psychology, one of the study authors, added: “One of the most challenging aspects of conversations is listening and responding to what other people say. The results of our study suggest that one simple way for people to improve this process is to spend time outdoors in natural environments.
The findings are an important first step toward building a better understanding of how natural environments can influence communication and could be used to inform and improve a number of services including education, child welfare and urban design. 

The study ‘Responding to nature: Natural environments improve parent-child communication’ is published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology. 


Sustrans announces plan for first UK-wide network of traffic-free walking and cycling paths for everyone

Today (12 November) we are launching the first review of the 16,575-mile Network. In our “Paths for everyone” report, we unveil the current Image: Sustransstate of the 23-year-old Network and a long-term plan to make it traffic-free and tackle physical problems.

These include poor surfaces and barriers that prevent access for users, particularly those with adapted bikes or prams. Tackling safety, and improving access for disabled people are top of our agenda.

Image: Sustrans

  • New report sets out recommendations for UK-wide overhaul of the National Cycle Network to open up walking and cycling to more people, including children, and anyone with impaired mobility.
  • Over half of UK population lives within a mile of the 16,575-mile Network but only 54% of its paths are safe for a 12-year-old to use.
  • Sustrans warns that investment needed now to prevent the UK’s only network of walking and cycling paths from falling short of its potential. 
  • £7.6 billion in economic and local benefits can be added every year as a result of reduced road congestion and health benefits from increased walking and cycling.

Over half (57%) of the UK population lives within a mile of the National Cycle Network, but major improvements for access and safety are needed to open it up to everyone, including children, wheelchair users, those riding non-standard cycles and the less physically active.

Download the report “Paths for everyone”


Researchers assess the value of National Parks to our health and happiness - University of York

Researchers have for the first time put a price on the value of taking a break from our overloaded modern lives to spend time in one of the UK’s National Parks.

The study, by researchers at the University of York, estimates that for every £1 invested, the North York Moors National Park generates approximately £7.21 of health and well-being benefits for visitors and volunteers.

National Parks play an important role in connecting people with nature, raising activity levels, facilitating outdoor recreation and providing space for tranquillity. Credit: Russell Burton.The study adds to a growing body of evidence about the benefits of connecting with nature and is the first to calculate the social return on investment in terms of the impact upon health and well-being of people using National Parks. 

National Parks play an important role in connecting people with nature, raising activity levels, facilitating outdoor recreation and providing space for tranquillity. Credit: Russell Burton.

The research marks an important first step in understanding how National Parks can measure their impact on society.

Co-authors of the study, Professor Philip Linsley and Professor Robert McMurray from the Management School at the University of York, said: “Our report highlights the value National Parks provide through their role in connecting people with nature, raising activity levels, facilitating outdoor recreation and providing space for tranquillity, among other things. However, while this figure is important, it can never truly convey what a National Park means to individuals, communities and indeed the nation. It is therefore important that the results of our study are considered carefully alongside stories of what it means to be a visitor or volunteer in a National Park.”

The researchers calculated the social return on investment in the North York Moors National Park by assigning monetary values to the impacts upon health and well-being for visitors and volunteers who engaged in activities funded through the National Park grant from Defra. 

 Read the report (pdf) Linsley, P & McMurray, R (2018). North York Moors National Parks Authority: Measuring Health and Well-being Impact. York: The York Management School. Download here.


Young people join together for Year of Green Action - Defra

Lord Gardiner meets with young environment advocates as part of the #iwill campaign.

Over 50 young people from around the UK have today been announced as environment ambassadors as part of the run up to the government’s 2019 ‘Year of Green Action’.

The inspiring group, which includes two teenage sisters who founded Kids Against Plastic to cut the single-use packaging, will encourage more young people to get involved in green projects through their school, youth group or local community.

The #iwill4nature initiative, part of the #iwill campaign which aims to embed social action into the lives of 10-18 year olds, was formally launched at a celebratory event at Kew Gardens. It comes as the government prepares for its 2019 Year of Green Action, a year-long drive to see more people from all backgrounds involved in projects to improve the natural world.

Defra Minister Lord Gardiner, at Kew Gardens today to congratulate the new ambassadors, said: “Our children and young people have a huge role to play in ensuring the next generation is motivated and equipped to protect the precious natural world. It was inspiring to meet this group of young ambassadors who are so passionate about environmental protection and I look forward to seeing all they achieve over the coming year.”

Read our blog about the iwill campaign


Women encouraged to apply for hi-tech conservation opportunities – Forestry Commission Scotland

Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES) is getting behind a Scottish Government drive to attract more women into the technology and science sectors.

The move, which offers four hi-tech and science based placements, is part of a national effort to address the gender imbalance in the workplace, and will also boost the career prospects for the four successful applicants.

Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing said: “People with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills are increasingly in demand amongst a wide range of employers. Forestry is no different. Modern forestry is a hi-tech industry that offers fantastic opportunities to develop skills in a number of challenging technical roles. However, only around 25 per cent of STEM jobs are filled by women, so there is clearly a latent pool of technical talent, creative thinking and new perspectives that could be tapped to help Scotland stay at the forefront of innovation.”

The three-month placements will see three successful candidates work on data science projects with FES’s Geographical Information Systems (GIS) team, which uses state-of-the-art technology to support forestry and land management operations across the country.

A fourth successful candidate will work with the lead ecologist in FES supporting high profile species conservation work.


UK National Parks Volunteer Awards Announce Inspiring Winners – National Parks UK

The UK’s 15 National Parks are delighted to announce the winners of the National Park Volunteer Awards 2018, sponsored by Columbia Sportswear. The awards were given out on stage at the Kendal Mountain Festival and recognised the outstanding contribution that volunteers Osian Wilson and Katherine Clarke from the Peak District National Park accept the Young Person's Award (National Parks UK)make in helping to care for National Park landscapes and inspiring others to safeguard them for future generations to experience and enjoy. Winners were presented with their Award on stage in the lively ‘basecamp’ area of the Kendal Mountain Festival, and had a chance to talk to the audience about what volunteering means to them.

Osian Wilson and Katherine Clarke from the Peak District National Park accept the Young Person's Award (National Parks UK)

There were four categories of award: individuals, young people, groups and projects. The judging panel this year was made up of the volunteer coordinators from all of the National Parks and they made the following statement: “We’d like to congratulate the four fantastic winners and we would like to thank everyone who is volunteering to help our staff look after National Parks! Judging these awards is a humbling experience as it gives us the opportunity to learn about so many people and projects that are making an immense contribution to the 15 National Parks across the UK. It was a difficult choice this year as there were so many inspiring entries.”

Lord Gardiner, the UK Minister for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity, is keen to encourage volunteering in the National Parks and said: “I would like to congratulate all those nominated, and commend the winners on these well-deserved awards. The dedication and hard work of volunteers is what makes our National Parks the inspiring places they are today.National Parks play a key role in conserving exceptional parts of our beautiful countryside and enabling communities, people and businesses to prosper and grow. Through our ongoing designated landscapes review, we want to ensure these vital areas are protected and enhanced for future generations. Volunteers of all generations do so much to make a positive difference, long may that continue.”


Outdoors visits at record high - Scottish Natural Heritage

Visits to the outdoors have hit record levels in Scotland, a new survey suggests.

Research from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) reveals that an estimated 547 million outdoors visits were made in 2017/18.

The figure is up from 396 million in 2013/14 and is the highest ever recorded.

Scotland’s People and Nature Survey shows that people are also getting out and about more regularly and enjoying nature closer to home.

More than half (57%) said they ventured out weekly, up from 50% in 2013/14 when the survey was last carried out.

Meanwhile the proportion of visits taken in urban areas increased by 6 percentage points to 40%.

Local parks were the most popular destination, while walking remains the most frequently used mode of transport.

Exercising a dog was the most frequently cited reason for visiting the outdoors (42% of visits) followed by health and exercise (37%) and to relax and unwind (29%).

The majority of those who visited the outdoors (67%) strongly agreed it had helped them de-stress, 64% said it had improved their physical health and 52% said they felt closer to nature.

However, the survey of around 12,000 adults in Scotland shows there is still more to do to help under-represented groups access and enjoy nature.


Scientific Research, Results and Publications.

Pollution in cities damaging insects and ecosystems - University of Sheffield 

High levels of pollution found in many of the world’s major cities are having negative effects on plants and insects, according to new research from the University of Sheffield.

The study, published in Nature Communications, reveals that plants exposed to high levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) – similar to levels recorded in major urban centres – are able to better defend themselves against herbivorous insects.

Led by Dr Stuart Campbell from the University’s Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, the research has discovered that plants exposed to increased levels of pollution produce more defensive chemicals in their leaves.

Results from the study show that insects feeding on these leaves grew poorly, which suggests high levels of air pollution may be having cascading negative effects on communities of herbivorous creatures.

Dr Campbell, who is also part of the P3 Centre – a centre of excellence for translational plant science at the University of Sheffield, said: “Nitrogen dioxide is a pollutant that causes severe health problems in humans, but our research has found that it may also be having a significant impact on plants and insects. 

Read the paper: Stuart A. Campbell & Dena M. Vallano.  Plant defences mediate interactions between herbivory and the direct foliar uptake of atmospheric reactive nitrogen. Nature Communications volume 9, Article number: 4743 (2018)  doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07134-9  (Open Access)


Prescribed burning not as damaging as previously thought – University of Liverpool

Prescribing burning at Moor House National Nature Reserve (University of Liverpool)New research by the University has found that prescribed burning, a controversial technique where fires are intentionally used to manage vegetation, is not as damaging to peat growth as previously thought if carried out on a sensible rotation, and can produce several positive outcomes.

Prescribing burning at Moor House National Nature Reserve (University of Liverpool)

In a study published in Nature Geoscience, scientists analysed data from a long-term ecological experiment at Moor House National Nature Reserve which contained areas of moorland that only been burned in 1954, or since 1954 had burned either every ten or every twenty years. These were compared with “control” areas unburned since the 1920s.

Analysis of changes in vegetation composition, led by Emeritus Professor Rob Marrs from the University’s Department of Earth, Oceans & Ecological Sciences, found that the areas which hadn’t been subjected to any prescribed burns were dominated by heather, and other low-level, peat-forming species, and contained less good peat-forming species such as Sphagnum mosses and cotton grasses.

New stratigraphical data collected on the rate of peat and carbon accumulation led by Professor Richard Chiverrell from the University’s Department of Geography & Planning measured numerous peat profiles sampled from the different prescribed burn areas.

Professor Chiverrell said: “This is first time that stratigraphical techniques have been used within the structure of a designed experiment. Our data show only limited reduction of peat and carbon accumulation with increased burning treatments. Crucially, there was continued peat and carbon accumulation even in the areas that had undergone the regime of most frequent burning.”

The paperExperimental evidence for sustained carbon sequestration in fire-managed, peat moorlands’ is published on 3rd December 2018 in Nature Geoscience (doi: 10.1038/s41561-018-0266-6.)  


Towns and cities benefit the same animals and plants everywhere - Natural History Museum

Human habitat modifications are favouring the same species everywhere, while unique species are disappearing, according to a new paper.  Man-made changes to habitats generally have a negative effect on the plants and animals living there - but not all species are affected equally by land use.

A study, published in PLOS Biology, was led by Dr Tim Newbold, a research fellow at University College London (UCL), and Prof Andy Purvis, a research leader at the Museum.

It used data from 81 countries to show that when humans modify natural habitats through farming, forestry or building, animals and plants that are unique to particular locations decline, replaced by those common to many places.

For instance, pigeons and rats benefit from cities and farms all over the world.  Researchers studied the area inhabited by nearly 20,000 different species of animals and plants. They showed that species already occupying a large area increased in places where humans use the land, while species occupying a small area are more likely to be lost.

Crucially, this pattern was seen in every kind of human land use - not just arable farms or urban areas, but also pastures, plantation forest and even land that is recovering from human use. This means that human actions are favouring the same species everywhere, while the many species that are unique to specific places are disappearing.

The findings suggest a disruption to the healthy functioning of ecosystems, which support our natural environment and are critical in our efforts to grow food.

Access the paper: Newbold T, Hudson LN, Contu S, Hill SLL, Beck J, et al. (2018) Widespread winners and narrow-ranged losers: Land use homogenizes biodiversity in local assemblages worldwide. PLOS Biology 16(12): e2006841.   


Frogs breed young to beat virus – University of Exeter

Frogs from groups exposed to a deadly virus are breeding at younger ages, new research suggests.

Scientists studying European common frogs in the UK compared groups (“populations”) exposed to ranavirus and those free from the disease.European common frogs. Image courtesy of Lewis Campbell. 

European common frogs. Image courtesy of Lewis Campbell

While the youngest breeding frogs in disease-free populations are four years old, frogs in virus-exposed groups breed as young as two.

The reasons for this are not yet clear, but the team – led by researchers from the University of Exeter and ZSL’s (Zoological Society of London) Institute of Zoology – warn that this decrease in breeding age means disease-exposed populations are at greater risk of local extinction sparked by environmental changes.

Frogs gather at breeding spots such as ponds and then disperse, but most return to the same ponds year after year.

“Our research shows that the ages of the frogs that return to breed varies between populations which are known to have ranavirus and those which don’t,” said Dr Lewis Campbell, who conducted the research during his PhD at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall. “We found significantly fewer old frogs and significantly more young frogs at populations which have ranavirus. It’s possible that the more times an older frog returns to the same infected breeding pond, the more likely they are to become diseased and die. The absence of older frogs may then create an opportunity for younger – and therefore smaller and less competitive – frogs to successfully breed. With high mortality among older frogs, it’s also possible that natural selection pressure has favoured those that are genetically disposed to breed younger.”



Scotland's woodland and farmland birds thrive but upland birds struggle - Scottish Natural Heritage

Woodland and farmland birds are thriving in Scotland but upland birds continue to struggle, according to the latest figures.

Official statistics published by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) track the abundance of Scotland’s terrestrial breeding birds using results from the BTO/JNCC/RSPB Breeding Bird Survey.

The report shows woodland birds increasing by 69% between 1994 and 2017 and farmland birds up by 14%. In contrast, upland birds have decreased by 17%.

Among the woodland birds the biggest long-term rises were for chiffchaff, great spotted woodpecker and blackcap.

Blackcaps - a familiar sight for many in gardens during the winter - have benefited from milder conditions with climate change enabling them to extend their range further north.

Birds including tree pipits, willow warblers and song thrush recorded increases of more than 10% between 2016 and 2017.

The full statistical publication can be accessed here 


What seabirds can tell us about the tide - European Geosciences Union

When the UK’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) set out to tag razorbills, their aim was to track their behaviour and movements along the coast of North Wales. The tag data revealed that, at night, these seabirds spent a lot of their time idle on the sea surface. “We saw this as an opportunity to re-use the data and test if the birds might be drifting with the tidal current,” says Matt Cooper, a Master of Oceanography graduate from Bangor University in Wales. It turns out they were, according to a new study led by Cooper that shows the potential of using seabirds to measure ocean currents. The results are published today in the European Geosciences Union journal Ocean Science.

Using seabirds to tell us about the tide could be especially useful for the marine renewable energy industry. Generating tidal energy requires detailed knowledge of current speeds. Scientists and engineers traditionally measure tides by using radar or deploying anchors and buoys with scientific instruments. However, these scouting methods are challenging and expensive. If tagged seabirds could provide tidal data over a large area, they could help identify sites that would be good sources of tidal energy.


State of Birds in Wales 2018 - BTO

Produced jointly by RSPB, BTO, Natural Resource Wales (NRW) and the Welsh Ornithological Society (WOS) , this report provides a current overview of the state of breeding and wintering bird populations in Wales, as well as information about recent conservation initiatives.

The State of Birds in Wales 2018 was published on 6 December 2018.

Chough by Jill PakenhamThis report includes an update of the latest Wales BBS trends for terrestrial and freshwater species, as well as the latest Wales WeBS trends for wintering waders, wildfowl and other waterbirds. Notable among the BBS results are the positive trajectories of Wales urban populations of House Sparrow, Feral Pigeon and Collared Dove relative to in the UK overall. Welsh House Martins are holding their own but Starlings are in steep decline.

Chough by Jill Pakenham

The Wales wild bird indicator, based on BBS results, tracks the declines since 1994 in both lowland and upland farmland bird species, as well as an upturn in woodland bird populations, the latter most notable over the past seven years.

Patterns of change

A special feature of this report is a section called ‘Patterns of change in Welsh birds’ in which key Wales-specific outputs of the 2007-11 Bird Atlas (Balmer et al. 2103) are highlighted. These include measures of the importance of Wales in supporting the UK breeding populations of Chough (76%), Pied Flycatcher (69%), Redstart (47%) and Honey Buzzard (47%) as well as significant proportions of the UK wintering populations of coastal species such Common Scoter and Guillemot as well as rarer winter visitors such as Brambling and Great Grey Shrike. 

Read the full report here  


Decline in shorebirds linked to climate change, experts warn - University of Bath

Research from the Milner Centre for Evolution has found that nest predation of shorebirds in the Arctic has trebled over the last 70 years 

Climate change could be responsible for a substantial decline in populations of shorebirds, say researchers from the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath, following a study published in Science analysing population data over a period of 70 years.

Historically, the rates of nest predation - eggs being stolen from nests by predators – are higher in the tropics, presumably due to higher variability of potential predators.

To counter this, shorebirds such as plovers and sandpipers migrate to the Arctic to lay their eggs as a safe place in which to build their nests and raise their young. Tropical birds, on the other hand, tend to have longer lifespans and longer periods of seasonal reproduction so their populations can generally withstand higher nest predation.

Red Fox with an egg in its mouth (image: University of Bath)However an international team of researchers, led by the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath, has found that rates of daily nest predation have increased globally, but this is particularly marked in the Arctic, where they have increased threefold in the last 70 years. 

A sharp increase in nest predation in the Arctic and North Temperate zones has caused a substantial decline in shorebird populations in these regions. (image: University of Bath)

The data suggest that the marked increase in nest predation in the Arctic and North Temperate Zone, in contrast to a smaller change in the tropics and Southern hemisphere, is linked to climate change.

The reasons for the increase in nest predation however are still unclear. The authors suggest it could be due to shift in the diet of predators towards eating more eggs instead of other food sources or perhaps change in predator species composition.

For example, lemmings, a key part of the Arctic food web have experienced a crash in numbers due to altered snow cover as a result of increased ambient temperature instability over several decades. With a lack of lemmings at many Arctic locations, predators may be searching for alternative prey in bird nests.

The authors also suggest that changes in vegetation or changes in behaviour or distribution of nest predators such as foxes may also be a factor contributing to the increased predation of shorebird nests. 

Access the paper: Vojtěch Kubelka, Miroslav Šálek, Pavel Tomkovich, Zsolt Végvári, Robert P. Freckleton, & Tamás Székely (2018) Global pattern of nest predation is disrupted by climate change in shorebirds. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.aat8695 


European shags on the Isle of May Picture: Gary Howells Dramatic change in seabirds’ winter food source - Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

The availability of a key prey for seabirds has changed dramatically over the past three decades, particularly in winter, with possible consequences for their population numbers, a new study has found.

European shags on the Isle of May Picture: Gary Howells

In the first long-term study of its kind, led by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, researchers looking at the diet of a North Sea seabird, the European shag, found that the birds’ food source has altered substantially throughout the year.

In 1988, shags’ diets comprised almost 100 per cent sandeel, but by 2014 this had reduced to just 13 per cent, while the number of prey types increased from six to 12, the study of regurgitated pellets all-year-round over three decades at the Isle of May, Firth of Forth, has found.

Climate change may be an important mechanism driving the observed patterns, since ocean warming is having pronounced impacts on fish populations in the North Sea.

The availability of prey and change in diet can affect seabirds’ survival rates and therefore populations because food is a key determinant of their biology, affecting their general health and condition plus the number of chicks they raise. As sandeel were considered one of the most favourable prey types in the North Sea, the increasing contribution of other fish to the diet may have important implications for shags and other seabirds.

Read the paper: Howells RJ, Burthe SJ, Green J, Harris MP, Newell MA, Butler A, Wanless S, Daunt F (2018) Pronounced long-term trends in year-round diet composition of the European shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis. Marine Biology. DOI: 10.1007/s00227-018-3433-9


Citizen Science

CalMac encourages new awareness of wildlife - CalMac

Andy on the lookout for wildlife in the Minch (CalMac)Over the summer volunteers on CalMac ferries spotted more than 500 marine mammals across the west coast as part of the company's Marine Awareness Programme.

The Awareness Programme has involved a total of 14 conservation bodies who have partnered with CalMac to gather vital scientific data and to educate passengers more about the environment they are travelling in.

A team of more than 60 wildlife enthusiasts compiled the survey results that tracked different species on different routes as part of the programme. 

Andy on the lookout for wildlife in the Minch (CalMac)

They were supervised by resident ORCA Wildlife Officer Andy Gilbert, who, was taken on this year to increase understanding of the wealth of biodiversity that exists in CalMac's area of operations. 

“Our Marine Awareness Programme focuses on increasing awareness of wildlife in our network by gathering scientific data, facilitating conservation and engaging with the public, Andy has been central to this over the past few months,” said CalMac's Environmental Manager, Klare Chamberlain.

As well as training survey volunteers, during his time with CalMac he has also engaged with more 2200 people on board during 45 trips, explaining about nature on the islands and demonstrating techniques to find wildlife. 

“Wildlife tourism is growing on both a global and local scale and now accounts a significant amount of the total spend across the tourism sector in Scotland. Scottish Natural Heritage research suggests that we sail in one of the most attractive eco-tourism destinations in the world” said Klare.  

It is estimated that CalMac's area of operations contains as much as 6500 different species of plants and animals.  


Scientific Publications

Lehikoinen, P.,  Santangeli, A., Jaatinen, K., Rajasärkkä , A. & Lehikoinen, A. (2018) Protected areas act as a buffer against detrimental effects of climate change - Evidence from large-scale, long-term abundance data. Global Change Biology. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14461 Open access


Pavón-Jordán, D. et al (2018) Habitat- and species-mediated short- and long-term distributional changes in waterbird abundance linked to variation in European winter weather. Diversity & Distributions. DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12855


Hagge J, Leibl F, Müller J, Plechinger M, Soutinho JG, Thorn S. Reconciling pest control, nature conservation, and recreation in coniferous forests. Conservation Letters. 2018  doi: 10.1111/conl.12615 (open access)


Short, C., Clarke, L., Carnelli ,F., Uttley, C. & Smith, B. (2018) Capturing the multiple benefits associated with nature‐based solutions: Lessons from a natural flood management project in the Cotswolds, UK. Land Degradation & Development. DOI: 10.1002/ldr.3205 (open access)


Levy, P. et al (2018) Response of a peat bog vegetation community to long-term experimental addition of nitrogen. Journal of Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.13107


Cacabelos E, Thompson RC, Prestes ACL, Azevedo JMN, Neto AI, Martins GM. Patchiness in habitat distribution can enhance biological diversity of coastal engineering structures. Aquatic Conserv: Mar Freshw Ecosyst. 2018;1–9. Doi:10.1002/aqc.2972 


Hass AL, Brachmann L, Batáry P, Clough Y, Behling H, Tscharntke T. Maize- dominated landscapes reduce bumblebee colony growth through pollen diversity loss. J Appl Ecol. 2018;00:1–11. Doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.13296 (open access)


Donkersley, P. (2018) Trees for bees. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.10.024  (Open access)


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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).

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Calendar of short courses and professional events happening in: February 2019


02/02/2019   Iolo Williams: British Birds of Prey - Their Status and Conservation   1 Day

Attenborough Nature Reserve, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. Contact: 0115 972 1777 enquiries@attenboroughnaturecentre.co.uk https://c-js.co.uk/2KAo6wR

Join us for this Evening with Iolo Williams from 7.30-10pm at The Pearson Centre for Young People, Beeston, which will include a talk, Q&A session, and time for a spot of tea and cake. £14.95.

09/02/2019   Caring for British Wildlife Conference 2019   2 Day

Somerset, Secret World Wildlife Rescue. Contact: 01278768720 laura.benfield@secretworld.org https://c-js.info/2Ay4M0b

Please visit the website for more information, including daily rate prices, confirmed speakers and course content

09/02/2019   Herpetofauna Workers’ Meeting 2019   2 Day

Best Western Plus Stoke on Trent Moat House, Staffordshire, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation. Contact: https://c-js.info/2PZ1ddT

12/02/2019   How electronic animal tracking has revolutionised marine conservation   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/2MggkZF

The oceans are changing and until recently their sheer size and inaccessibility has hindered our understanding of the consequent impacts on biodiversity. Animal tracking is now incredibly sophisticated, revealing behaviour in animals that we haven’t been able to study before. Discuss how data from telemetry technologies could improve marine conservation.

12/02/2019   People & Dogs in the Outdoors Seminar   2 Day

Lynford Hall Hotel & Thetford Forest, Outdoor Recreation Network. Contact: https://c-js.info/2PP3sAs

The Outdoor Recreation Network is pleased to announce that its next seminar on the hot topic of people and dogs in the outdoors will be hosted by Forestry Commission England and the Kennel Club. With input from key policy-makers, stakeholders, academics and practitioners, this exciting two-day event will cover important contemporary policy and practice matters.

28/02/2019   Natural Capital Investment Conference 2019   1 Day

The Royal Society, London, Ecosystems Knowledge Network. Contact: 03332406990 info@ecosystemsknowledge.net https://c-js.info/2AplwVN

28/02/2019   Irish Conference 2019 Wading into Water: The Assessment and Management of our Aquatic Environment   1 Day

Ireland, CIEEM. Contact: 01962 868626 enquiries@cieem.net https://c-js.info/2QeaQp3

This conference will provide forward thinking, practical advice and best practice examples, giving the attendees an opportunity to learn and take useful information into their work when Wading into Water.


Access and Rights of Way

28/02/2019   History & Mystery Of Public Rights Of Way    0.5 Day

Derbyshire Eco Centre, Derbyshire Adult Community Education. Contact: 01629 533038 ecocentre@derbyshire.gov.uk http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/ecocentre

Improve your knowledge of access and Public Rights of Way and what you can do to improve them in your area.


Administrative and Office Skills

05/02/2019   QGIS: Migrating to QGIS   1 Day

Southampton, GeoData, University of Southampton. Contact: 023 8059 2719 training@geodata.soton.ac.uk http://www.geodata.soton.ac.uk/training/

This practical one-day course is intended for current GIS users and provides a rapid orientation to QGIS. Whether you intend to move wholesale to QGIS, or alternatively to establish it in a support role, alongside your current GIS software, this course aims to get you mapping in QGIS with the minimum of delay.

05/02/2019   Developing Skills in Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA)   2 Day in South West England, CIEEM.


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.

06/02/2019   Ecological Clerk of Works   1 Day in North West England, CIEEM.


Aimed at beginner - intermediate level, this one day course will provide an introduction for participants to the role and responsibilities of an Ecological Clerk of Works (ECoW).

06/02/2019   QGIS for Ecologists and Conservation Practitioners   2 Day in Ireland, CIEEM.


The course is designed to enable you to become a competent GIS operator with a practical focus on producing survey maps and analysing data derived from your surveys. Delegates will need to bring their laptop to the course, as no IT equipment is provided.

07/02/2019   BS42020 Biodiversity: Code of Practice for Planning and Development   1 Day in North West England, CIEEM.


With sessions led by Mike Oxford, Chair of BSI's Technical Committee on Biodiversity and principal author for BS42020, the course will focus on how to achieve effective ecological input at all five stages of the planning and development process.

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

12/02/2019   Social Media Training | London   1 Day

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

Everything you wanted to know about social media but were afraid to ask! This social media training is aimed specifically for charities, public sector and social enterprises.

12/02/2019   Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Guide and Application   1 Day

Nower Wood, Mill Way, leatherhead KT22 8QA, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk https://www.surreywildlifetrust.org/events/2019-02-12-geographic-information-systems-gis-introductory-guide-application

This introductory course will explain why this is such an important tool for data analysis before teaching practical methods of use.

12/02/2019   ArcGIS: Introductory   2 Day

Southampton, GeoData, University of Southampton. Contact: 023 8059 2719 training@geodata.soton.ac.uk http://www.geodata.soton.ac.uk/training/

This course introduces the underlying principles of Geographical Information Systems and examines the processes involved in the capture, storage, analysis and presentation of spatial data. This course is intended for those who have little or no GIS knowledge or who wish to undertake some formalized training in ArcGIS having been largely self-taught in the past.

12/02/2019   Effective Communication Skills   1 Day in South West England, CIEEM.  http://events.cieem.net/Events/EventPages/12022019000000EffectiveCommunicationSkills.aspx

Do you want to communicate better at work with customers, contractors, suppliers, colleagues, managers and other professionals? If so, this one-day course is what you are looking for.

13/02/2019   Introduction to Protected Species Law and Policy   1 Day in North West England, CIEEM.


This course provides an essential core introduction to the law and policy in England and Wales relating to protected species as well as an introduction to national and European legal systems.

Above two CIEEM courses contact: 01962 868626 enquiries@cieem.net

13/02/2019   ASSETT   5 Day

The ASSET course is led by Chris Formaggia and senior consultants at Arbtech. ASSET consists of five classroom sessions a total of 25 hours of taught content. There are 3x field survey elements, providing valuable real-life survey experience with licenced consultants.

14/02/2019   ASSETT   5 Day

The ASSET course is led by Chris Formaggia and senior consultants at Arbtech. ASSET consists of five classroom sessions a total of 25 hours of taught content. There are 3x field survey elements, providing valuable real-life survey experience with licenced consultants.

Above two courses at The Field Studies Council, Epping Forest, Essex with Arbtech Consulting Ltd. Contact: jr@arbtech.co.uk https://arbtech.co.uk/asset/

20/02/2019   Introduction to Protected Species Law and Policy   1 Day in Wales, CIEEM.


This course provides an essential core introduction to the law and policy in England and Wales relating to protected species as well as an introduction to national and European legal systems.

21/02/2019   Calculating and Using Biodiversity Units   1 Day in South East England, CIEEM.


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

26/02/2019   Habitats Regulations Appraisal (HRA) of Plans and Projects (Scotland)   1 Day in Scotland, CIEEM.


This beginner - intermediate level training will provide a thorough understanding of the overall purpose, process and methodology of Habitats Regulations Appraisal, including Appropriate Assessment and the roles of different organisations and individuals in the process.

26/02/2019   Introduction to Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA)   1 Day in North West England, CIEEM.


A one-day introductory course designed for those new to EcIA or practitioners requiring an overview of the process. 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.

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

26/02/2019   ArcGIS: Advanced   2 Day

Southampton, GeoData, University of Southampton. Contact: 023 8059 2719 training@geodata.soton.ac.uk http://www.geodata.soton.ac.uk/training/

In this course the basic functionality of the main elements of ArcGIS (ArcMap, Catalog and ArcToolbox) is expanded upon and some extensions are introduced. Topics covered include: geodatabases; advanced labelling and symbology; advanced editing; using model builder; GIS customization with Python; extensions, online data, manipulating coordinate systems and spatial analysis/statistics tools.

27/02/2019   Understanding The Ecological Constraints of your Project   1 Day

Nower Wood, Mill Way, leatherhead KT22 8QA, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk https://www.surreywildlifetrust.org/events/2019-02-27-understanding-ecological-constraints-your-project

Learn how to manage ecological constraints from our expert Ecologist. Perfect for homeowners, contractors, architects or planners whose projects may encounter an ecological impact.

27/02/2019   Sound Analysis   1 Day

Overton, CA Ecology. Contact: 07933941470 claire@caecology.co.uk http://www.caecology.co.uk

An introductory course for beginners and improvers providing an introduction to sound analysis. This is a classroom-based course focusing on the analysis of calls recorded on broadband time expansion or frequency division bat detectors.

27/02/2019   Intermediate QGIS for Ecologists and Environmental Practitioners   2 Day in South East England, CIEEM.


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. There is an essential pre-event task to prepare QGIS for the course.

27/02/2019   Ecological Report Writing   1 Day in North West England, CIEEM.


A one-day course on how to produce good quality ecological reports, for species and habitat surveys and Preliminary Ecological Appraisals (PEAs), following CIEEM's 'Guidelines for Ecological Report Writing'.

28/02/2019   Ecological Clerk of Works   1 Day in South West England, CIEEM.


Aimed at beginner - intermediate level, this one day course will provide an introduction for participants to the role and responsibilities of an Ecological Clerk of Works (ECoW).

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

28/02/2019   ArcGIS Model builder - streamlining data processing   1 Day

Southampton, GeoData, University of Southampton. Contact: 023 8059 2719 training@geodata.soton.ac.uk http://www.geodata.soton.ac.uk/training/

This one-day course provides an introduction to ArcGIS model builder and how you can use it to streamline data processing tasks. You will be introduced to ArcToolbox and gain a deeper understanding of geoprocessing tools. This course is intended for regular ArcMap users who wish to improve their technical knowledge to automate data processing.


Community Engagement and Environmental Education

11/02/2019   Professionals Visit, Wee Wild Sparks Nursery   1 Day

Wee Wild Sparks, Outdoor Nursery site, Coupar Angus, Wild Sparks Outdoor Play CIC. Contact: 07943 440267 office@wildsparks.co.uk http://www.wildsparks.co.uk

See our outdoor nursery in action observing staff and children. Expedience our hands-off unique practice. We give you observation guidance to make your own notes.   Enjoy an after nursery tour of the site with a Q&A session round the campfire.

18/02/2019   Woodland Activity Leader Training   7 Day

E3 4PX, Wild things. Contact: 01309 690450 enquiries@wild-things.org.uk https://wild-things.org.uk/our-events/woodland-activity-leader-training/


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

02/02/2019   Outdoor First Aid 2 Days   2 Day at Lochore Meadows Country Park, Fife

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.

02/02/2019   Outdoor First Aid 2 Days   2 Day at Inverness Youth Hostel, Inverness

Outdoor First Aid (16 hours) is designed rangers, ecologists, surveyors or foresters those who work in remote locations to deal with incidents in places the emergency services wont arrive in 15 minutes! Also covers NGB awards for outdoor instructors.

Above two courses with First Aid Training Co-operative. Contact: 03334330731 courses@firstaidtrainingcooperative.co.uk http://www.firstaidtrainingcooperative.co.uk

02/02/2019   Level 3 Award in Outdoor First Aid (RQF)   2 Day

Craigholme Sports Complex, The Adventure Academy CIC. Contact: 0141 628 8520 info@theadventureacademy.org.uk https://c-js.co.uk/2RwXErR

Our 16 hour outdoor first aid course is ideal if you need a first aid course for your employers or national governing body award. Our courses are fun, engaging and practical.

06/02/2019   IOSH Managing Safety   3 Day

Kensington, London, APIS Solutions. Contact: 01522 753568 info@apissolutions.co.uk http://www.apissolutions.co.uk

13/02/2019   ROLO Health, Safety & Environmental Awareness   1 Day

Settle BD24 9DN, Lowe Maintenance Training . Contact: 01729 825132 info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk http://www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk

This one day course is a pre requisite for anyone within the land based industries who require a CSCS card to work on sites

14/02/2019   REC Outdoor First Aid Course Level 2   2 Day

Nower Wood, Mill Way, leatherhead KT22 8QA, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk http://Surrey Wildlife Trust

Become a certified First Aider with this 2 day course that covers a broad range of indoor and outdoor scenarios.

23/02/2019   Outdoor First Aid 2 Days   2 Day at Perthshire Scout Hall, Perth

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.

28/02/2019   Outdoor First Aid 2 Days   2 Day at Mugdock Country Park, Glasgow

Outdoor First Aid (16 hours) is designed rangers, ecologists, surveyors or foresters those who work in remote locations to deal with incidents in places the emergency services wont arrive in 15 minutes! Also covers NGB awards for outdoor instructors.

Above two courses with First Aid Training Co-operative. Contact: 03334330731 courses@firstaidtrainingcooperative.co.uk http://www.firstaidtrainingcooperative.co.uk


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Herpetology, Fish and Invertebrates

09/02/2019   Dissecting Moths   1 Day

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

15/02/2019   Dipterists Forum Workshop   2 Day

Empid flies (dance flies) form a large group of nearly 400 species in four families. Previous experience of Diptera identification would be an advantage for this workshop. Handouts will be provided.

Above courses at Preston Montford with Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852040 enquiries.pm@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Mammals

03/02/2019   Assessment and First Aid in Wildlife Casualties   1 Day

Highbridge, Secret World Wildlife Rescue. Contact: 01278783250 info@secretworld.org https://www.secretworld.org/

13/02/2019   Pine Marten and Wildcat Ecology and Survey   2 Day in Scotland, CIEEM.


This two day training course aims to raise awareness about two Scottish predators, pine martens and wildcats. Pitched at Beginner - Intermediate level, this course is 75% outdoors-based; an initial half day classroom based session is followed by field visits covering the main survey and ecology.

19/02/2019   Badger Ecology and Surveys   1 Day in West Midlands, CIEEM. http://events.cieem.net/Events/EventPages/19022019000000BadgerEcologyandSurveys.aspx

A one-day training course covering relevant aspects of the background ecology and behaviour of badgers and examining the application and limitations of the various survey techniques. Knowledge skills and understanding are developed through presentations, Q&A sessions and a field visit.

20/02/2019   Badger Mitigation   1 Day in West Midlands, CIEEM. http://events.cieem.net/Events/EventPages/20022019000000BadgerMitigation.aspx

Penny and Dave Lewns lead this one-day course covering the impacts of different types of development on badgers and the options for mitigation.

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


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Ornithology

02/02/2019   Winter Bird Identification Walk   0.5 Day

Attenborough Nature Reserve, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. Contact: 0115 972 1777 enquiries@attenboroughnaturecentre.co.uk https://c-js.co.uk/2KAo6wR

Improve your identification of winter birds using sight and sound. 9-11am.

15/02/2019   Winter Birdwatching Weekend   3 Day

Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01206 297110 enquiries.fm@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

Wildfowl, shorebirds and other winter visitors such as thrushes, finches and buntings will be the main focus of interest on this late winter birdwatching weekend and there is always the possibility of scarcer visitors from the north and east if the weather has been particularly hard in previous weeks.

17/02/2019   Winter Bird Identification   1 Day

Attenborough Nature Reserve, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. Contact: 0115 972 1777 enquiries@attenboroughnaturecentre.co.uk https://c-js.co.uk/2KAo6wR

This day course focuses on the wildfowl, waders and other winter visitors at Attenborough. You'll improve your birdwatching and winter bird identification skills. 10am-3pm.


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Plants and Habitats

02/02/2019   Trees in Winter   1 Day

Amersham, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01494 721054 enquiries.am@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

During the winter months broadleaved trees lose the leaves and flowers which help identification during spring and summer. We will look at features of buds and twigs to identify the more common species using examples from the Amersham Field Centre grounds. A practical, hands-on course which is suitable for complete beginners.

06/02/2019   Introduction to bryophytes in Atlantic woodlands    1 Day

Borrowdale, Lake District, Plantlife . Contact: 07584 017341 April.Windle@plantlife.org.uk http://

This event is for people who work with woodlands in Cumbria, with a focus on recognising the mosses and liverworts you can expect to see in Atlantic woodlands, and the basics with starting to identify them out in the field. Please contact April Windle for further information and registration details.

09/02/2019   Introduction to Trees in Winter   1 Day

Bushy Park, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01306 734501 enquiries.ldn@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h

Using the extensive collection of specimen trees and shrubs in Bushy Park we will look at features of buds and twigs to identify the more common species. A practical, hands-on course which is suitable for complete beginners: dress warmly, and bring along a hand lens if you have one.

22/02/2019   Winter Tree Identification   2 Day

Introducing and focusing on the skills needed to identify trees native to the British Isles in winter. Over the weekend both the broad-leaves and some conifers will be covered. By the end of the course you will be able to identify the more common trees to species level with confidence!

22/02/2019   Mosses and Liverworts   2 Day

An introduction to the field identification of mosses and liverworts, using characters that can be seen using a hand lens. During the day the field characters of mosses and liverworts will be examined and we will identify a number of common species that can be found in London.

Above two courses at Rhyd-y-creuau with Field Studies Council. Contact: 01690 710494 enquiries.rc@field-studies-council.org http://c-js.co.uk/1tw0v3h



08/02/2019   Winter Outlines   2 Day

Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01206 297110 enquiries.fm@field-studies-council.org https://c-js.co.uk/2KnWpZk

This course is all about creating clear, minimal images from lines and forms. Come and explore the graphic potential of the winter outlines and structures in the countryside around Dedham Vale.

09/02/2019   Wildlife Photography in the Winter   0.5 Day

Attenborough Nature Reserve, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. Contact: 0115 972 1777 enquiries@attenboroughnaturecentre.co.uk https://c-js.co.uk/2KAo6wR

Join professional photographer Iain McMillan for a morning of wildlife photography around the reserve. Learn how to get the best from your own equipment and use Iain's extensive range of professional kit. 8.30-11.30am.


Practical Countryside Skills

09/02/2019   Hedgelaying    2 Day

Derbyshire Eco Centre, Derbyshire Adult Community Education. Contact: 01629 533038 ecocentre@derbyshire.gov.uk http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/ecocentre

Learn to lay a hedge in the traditional Derbyshire style, for the benefit of wildlife and the landscape.

09/02/2019   Dry Stone Walling    1 Day

Settle BD24 9DN, Lowe Maintenance Training . Contact: 01729 825132 info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk http://www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk

Have a go at dry stone walling, the day involves repairing a gap in a dry stone wall, subject to site location and will vary from one location to another.

16/02/2019   Hedgelaying   2 Day

Little Wittenham, OX14 4QZ, Earth Trust. Contact: 01865 407792 admin@earthtrust.org.uk http://www.earthtrust.org.uk/events

A two-day practical course learning to lay a Midland style hedge, with expert Clive Leeke. For beginners and those looking to improve their skills. Book before 11 Jan and save £5.

16/02/2019   Lime Mortar - Beginners   2 Day at Hill Farm Barn, Leckhampton Hill, Gloucestershire


This two day course is for anyone wanting some "hands on" experience repairing and restoring a Cotswold building using lime mortar techniques. It is an intense course to repair the fabric of the building using different mixes and applications. No prior experience or knowledge is required.

18/02/2019   Hedgelaying - Beginners (Somerset Style)   2 Day at Westonbirt, Gloucestershire


The art of hedgelaying has been part of the Cotswolds landscape for centuries. On this 2 day beginners course you will learn to: clear/prepare the hedge, cut and lay the pleachers, correctly use and maintain hedgelaying tools and the benefits of hedgelaying for wildlife and landowners. No previous experience necessary.

Above two courses with Cotswolds Conservation Board. Contact: 01451 862000 ruralskills@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk

22/02/2019   Dry Stone Walling - Lantra Level 2 Certificate    12 Day

Derbyshire Eco Centre, Derbyshire Adult Community Education. Contact: 01629 533038 ecocentre@derbyshire.gov.uk http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/ecocentre

Develop your existing dry stone walling skills by learning how to build a wall end to a high standard.


Practical Countryside Skills - Machinery

04/02/2019   Tree Climbing and Aerial Rescue (formally CS38) NPTC / City and Guilds     5 Day with Lowe Maintenance Training   

A five day course plus one day assessment. Covering accessing a tree safely, positioning techniques within the crown and aerial rescue methods. Equipment can be provided please contact us for more details

05/02/2019   Safe Use of Brush Cutters and Trimmers NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day with Lowe Maintenance Training   

One day integrated training and assessment covering pre use checks, maintenance and safe use. Ideal for those in industries such as horticultural, landscaping, grounds maintenance sectors.

05/02/2019   PA1 - safe use of pesticides   1 Day

Includes City and Guilds Assessment and certification

06/02/2019   PA6A - safe use of hand held applicators (Knapsacks)   1 Day

Includes City and Guilds Assessment and certification

Above two courses in Lincoln with APIS Solutions. Contact: 01522 753568 info@apissolutions.co.uk http://www.apissolutions.co.uk

06/02/2019   Safe Use of Hedge Cutters Handheld NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day with Lowe Maintenance Training   

One day integrated training and assessment covering pre use checks, maintenance and safe use. Ideal for those in industries such as horticultural, landscaping, grounds maintenance sectors.

07/02/2019   Safe Use of Leaf Blowers NPTC / City and Guilds    0.5 Day with Lowe Maintenance Training   

This course is being part funded through the Stories in Stone project. Half a day integrated training and assessment covering pre use checks, maintenance and safe use. Ideal for those in industries such as horticultural, landscaping, grounds maintenance sectors.

08/02/2019   ATV Sit Astride (Quad bikes) NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day with Lowe Maintenance Training   

One day training plus one day assessment covering maintenance, pre use checks and safe operation of quad bikes (sit astride). Ideal for those working in agriculture, game keeping, landscaping, forestry etc.

11/02/2019   Safe Use of Powered Pole Pruner NPTC / City and Guilds   1 Day with Lowe Maintenance Training   

One day integrated training and assessment covering pre use checks, maintenance and safe use. Ideal for those in industries such as horticultural, landscaping, grounds maintenance sectors.

13/02/2019   Aerial Cutting of Trees with a Chainsaw Using Free-Fall Techniques (formally CS39) NPTC / City and Guilds    2 Day

Two days training plus one day assessment. Covering the use of a chainsaw whilst in a tree to include different cuts e.g. step, hand held. Pre requisites are tree climbing and aerial rescue (CS38) chainsaw (CS30 and CS31)

14/02/2019   Safe Use of Rat and Mice Poison NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day with Lowe Maintenance Training   

Any one who uses rat/mice poison as a professional (farmer/gamekeeper/pest controller etc) will need a certificate of competence from Spring 2016. This one day course plus one day assessment upon achievement will enable you to purchase the rodenticides you require for pest control, this is also available online (learn at home then attend the face to face practical assessment)

15/02/2019   Safe Use of Manually Fed Woodchippers NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day with Lowe Maintenance Training   

One day integrated training and assessment covering pre use checks, maintenance and safe use. Ideal for those in industries such as horticultural, landscaping, grounds maintenance sectors.

16/02/2019   Refresher in Tree climbing and rescue (CS38)   1 Day with Lowe Maintenance Training   

This course is for those who require a refresher in tree climbing and rescue, a Lowe Maintenance Certificate of Competence will be provided

18/02/2019   ATV Sit In (Polaris/Gator) NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day with Lowe Maintenance Training   

One day integrated training and assessment covering pre use checks, maintenance and safe use. Ideal for those in industries such as horticultural, landscaping, grounds maintenance sectors.

18/02/2019   Chainsaw Maintenance, Cross Cutting and Felling and Processing of Trees up to 380mm (formally CS30 and CS31) NPTC / City and Guilds    4 Day with Lowe Maintenance Training   

Four days training plus a fifth day for the assessment. Covering the maintenance of a chainsaw, cross cutting and felling and processing trees upto 380mm in diameter Ideal for those new to chainsaws or those needing certificates of competence evidence.

19/02/2019   PA1 - Principles of Safe Handling and Application of Pesticides NPTC / City and Guilds   1 Day with Lowe Maintenance Training   

This is a pre requisite for other pesticide application units, assessment is through on online multiple choice exam. Grandfather Rights unit 1 can be run along side this course

20/02/2019   PA6a - Safe Application of Pesticides Using Pedestrian Hand Held Equipment (knapsacks/lance from a tank) NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day with Lowe Maintenance Training   

This course is for people who use knapsacks or hand lances from a tank, the pre-requisite is PA1. Training is one day plus one day for the assessment.

21/02/2019   PA2a - Safe Application of Pesticides Using Self-propelled, Mounted and Trailed Boom Sprayers NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day with Lowe Maintenance Training   

This course is for people who use mounted, trailed boom sprayers, the pre-requisite is PA1. Training is one day plus one day for the assessment. Grandfather Rights Unit 3 can be run along side this course.

22/02/2019   Lantra Sit in ATV - Conventional Steer    1 Day

Skipton, North Yorkshire , Land Rover Experience North Yorkshire . Contact: 01756 611060 sophie@lre3.co.uk http://www.yorkshire.landroverexperience.co.uk

Our course covers the key fundamentals of driving, loading and health and safety. Once you have successfully carried out this course you will receive a certificate of training for Sit-in ATV (Conventional Steered). Valid 5 years. Various dates available - call for info. From £166 pp + VAT

22/02/2019   PA2f - Safe Application of Pesticides Using Weed Wipers NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day with Lowe Maintenance Training   

This course is for people who use weed wipers, the pre-requisite is PA1. Training is one day plus one day for the assessment. Grandfather Rights Unit 3 can be run along side this course.

25/02/2019   Safe Use of Stump Grinder NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day with Lowe Maintenance Training   

One day integrated training and assessment covering pre use checks, maintenance and safe use. Ideal for those in industries such as horticultural, landscaping, grounds maintenance sectors.

27/02/2019   Felling and Processing Trees Over 380mm (formally CS32) NPTC / City and Guilds    2 Day with Lowe Maintenance Training   

Two days training plus one day assessment. Felling and processing trees above 380mm in diameter.

ALL Lowe Maintenance Training courses Settle, BD24 9DN. Contact: 01729 825132 info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk http://www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk

28/02/2019   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.


Updates and Additions to other sections of Training Directory this month

Longer courses


Level 1 Diploma in Land-Based Studies (Agriculture), Level 2 and Level 3 Technical Qualification in Agriculture, and Level 3 Technical Qualification in Land-Based Technology (Agricultural Engineering) updated listings with Hadlow College


Level 3 Technical Qualification in Forestry and Arboriculture with Hadlow College, updated listing

Botany and Horticulture

Updates listings from Hadlow College: Level 1 Diploma in Land-Based Studies (Horticulture), Level 2 and Level 3 Technical Qualification in Horticulture, FdSc Commercial Horticulture and BSc (Hons) Commercial Horticulture


Wildlife Identification and Tracking Customised NCFE Level 4 with Woodcraft School Ltd

Marine and Coastal

FdSc Aquaculture & Fisheries Management, BSc (Hons) Aquaculture & Fisheries Management. Level 3 Technical Qualification in Fisheries and Level 2 Technical Qualification in Fisheries all with Hadlow College


Distance learning

HNC Countryside Management with SRUC

Lone Wolf Learning Course with Lone Wolf Administration

MSc/PGDip/PGCert Forestry Course and MSc/PGDip/PGCert Tropical Forestry Course updated listings with Bangor University


Training Centre / provider listings

APIS Solutions

Heritage Craft Courses & Outdoor Activity Centre

Sawpod Ltd Arboriculture & Forestry Training

The Adventure Academy CIC


Advertise your training course and professional events.

Send your training course information today to training@countryside-jobs.com or submit online here.

If you're running professional courses or events and would like details to be included here and in the online Training Directory click here for more information, email your details to us or for further information please contact the CJS Team.  Free advertising available.

Additions to the Grants and sources of funding listings.

Young Natural Ambassadors Award from The Sustainability Centre in East Meon

Grow Wild Community Projects 2019

Scottish Natural Heritage funds including: The Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund

Coop Foundation: Did you know that your community project may be eligible for financial assistance?

Scotland’s Gardens Scheme’s Guest Charity Grants

DAERA launches £900,000 Coastal Community Fund

Prince’s Countryside Fund 


See the adverts by Clicking Here  If you know of a funding source that is not listed please send us details and we'll contact the organisation for more information.




Land Management Handbooks

While stocks last, comprehensive land management guides covering conservation principles and techniques are available from the RSPB for just £5.00 each.

Titles include:

  • A management guide to birds of lowland farmland
  • The farm wildlife handbook 
  • Fen management handbook
  • Woodland management for birds

More information here.  To purchase, e-mail conservation-advice@rspb.org.uk 

Know any aspiring writers?

The ‘green stories’ writing competitions ask writers to check out sustainable solutions on the website  http://www.greenstories.org.uk/  and integrate them into their story. There is a playwriting competition (deadline June 2019), a radio play/series competition (deadline July 2019), a novel competition (deadline August 2019) and other formats (film tv etc.). All are free to enter with prizes and routes to production/publication.

The next edition of CJS Professional will be published on: 17 January 2019 - NB one week later than usual

Got something to share or want to advertise? The deadline is: 5pm Monday 14 January

Contact us by email: ranger@countryside-jobs.com

Details believed correct but given without prejudice.

CJS is not responsible for content of external sites. 

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Find out more about advertising in CJS Professional here.