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

Published on the second Thursday every month – 9 March 2017

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Logo: JFA Environmental Planning LtdSenior Ecologist

Due to increasing workload, JFA Ltd is seeking a senior ecologist with ecological consultancy experience to join our dynamic team in the south-east. We are looking for someone who has a good breadth of experience, with EPS qualifications, and ideally experience in botanical surveying and habitat assessment and management.

JFA Ltd is an environmental planning consultancy providing value added services to a range of clients, primarily across the South East of England. The position is both flexible, i.e can be done on a part-or full time basis and allows for home-working. The closing date for this vacancy is 5pm, Friday 17th March 2017. Please see our web-site for a range of our work – www.jfa.co.uk

Key Tasks: Undertake generalist and specialist field surveys (at habitat and species levels) Write and review reports, using structure relevant to task/survey Draft and produce EIAs and supporting material Prepare budgets and fee estimates Prepare and manage protected species licences Organise and manage junior staff and sub-contractors for field work Oversee and manage specific jobs and associated budgets Meet with and advise clients Attend meetings on behalf of clients Support Principal Ecologist and Managing Director

Key skills required are an ability to communicate face to face with a wide variety of people.  The candidate should be able to demonstrate the ability to prepare oral presentations, to write effectively, and to respond to clients in a positive manner.  Candidates must have a strong understanding of ecological and scientific principles and must be rigourous in their use of analytical information.  The Senior Ecologist is expected to work independently in areas of competence, although he/she will be supported by his/her line manager. 

The successful candidate should be a member of IEEM, having at least 5 years of ecological consultancy experience. The candidate should have broad knowledge and experience across a range of species and surveys, ideally holding protected species licences.

This is an excellent opportunity to develop within a dynamic environmental planning consultancy. Salary will commensurate with experience and qualifications.

Please email your CV to jackie@jfa.co.uk or call 0845 226 3618.

Logo: Severn TrentRanger

12 Month Placements

Locations – Carsington (Derbyshire), Draycote (Warwickshire), Staunton Harold (Leicestershire)

At Severn Trent, we don’t just supply people with water: we work closely with the environment, caring for the wildlife and communities that surround our sites. Now, we’re on the lookout for some skilled Rangers to join our team.

Key aspects of the role include - Carry out crucial maintenance, health and safety checks, accident reporting and investigations Support, shape and deliver local recreational and educational activities Lead practical conservation efforts on Sites of Specific Scientific Interest, National Nature Reserves and local Nature Reserves Build working relationships with wildlife trusts, local authorities and the local community Act as on-site liaison for tenants, their staff and their clients, involved in areas such as sailing, fishing, water sports and cycling.

This is an opportunity to establish lasting, emotional connections between rich, vibrant and spectacular areas of natural beauty and the people who live around them. If you’ve knowledge of conservation, visitor management, countryside recreation activities, and have a flexible approach to your work, then we want to hear from you!

To find out more and apply, visit www.severntrentgraduates.com and go to ‘graduate programmes’.

Early applications are encouraged

logo: Hestercombe - paradise restoredEstate Worker / Landscape Gardener

A rare and exciting opportunity has arisen to join our small gardens/estate team. You will play a key role in supporting the ongoing restoration, development and maintenance of the 18th Century Landscape Gardens and wider Hestercombe estate. The job is varied and encompasses many skills from maintaining the Landscape garden, countryside management, small woodland management, maintaining a waterwheel and mill equipment, as well as helping in the Victorian and Edwardian gardens. We are looking for someone enthusiastic, energetic and versatile who can hit the ground running.

Responsible to: Head Gardener and Landscape Gardens Supervisor

Terms of Employment:

39 hours/week. 8am-5pm Mon-Thurs, 8am-4.00pm Fri . Post holder must have a flexible approach to working hours. May need to work additional hours including evenings and weekends to meet the requirements of the Hestercombe Gardens Trust (HGT)

Salary: £16,000 per annum

Purpose of the Job: To work on restoration and maintenance of the historic gardens and surrounding estate; to ensure safe and efficient working practises at all times; to assist the operation, maintenance and public demonstration of the Hestercombe Watermill; to assist with the upkeep and maintenance of building facilities and garden machinery. To be part of the overall estate team assisting with events at Hestercombe and work flexibly within this.

Please visit www.hestercombe.com/about/jobs for full details about the role as well as to find and download the Job Description, Person Specification and Hestercombe Application form

How to apply: Please complete our application form and return with covering letter to headgardener@hestercombe.com. If you would like more details about the position please phone Claire Greenslade, Head Gardener, on 01823 414194.

Application deadline: 17:00 Tuesday 14th March

Interview date: 20th March

Seasonal Field Surveyors

FOA Ecology Ltd is a small team of ecologists primarily working in the south-east of England.  We are based in Surrey.  We operate a much more flexible approach to work than traditional employers – much of the time you will be able to work from home when not on site. 

We are currently looking for seasonal field surveyors; the role requires: you should hold a relevant degree (BSc and/or MSc) hold a current driving licence have access to a car be available immediately ecological survey and / or consultancy experience (e.g. particularly Phase 1 habitat surveys, reptile and bat surveys) would be beneficial, though not essential, as training would be provided.

You may be required to work in our offices for a minimum of one day per week, depending on site work, the rest of the time you may work from home.  Work will involve evening and night-time work and possibly ad hoc weekend work. 

Should working with our team be of interest, please e-mail your C.V. to:  careers@foaecology.com

Seasonal Rangers from May to July 

Location: Finlaystone Country Estate, Langbank, PA146TJ

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

Salary 14.5K to 15K depending on Experience.

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

To carry out various ranger activities under the guidance of the Head Ranger and the owners of Finlaystone Estate to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience and friendly welcome for visitors.

To assist in delivering Finlaystone’s education programme to school children.

To assist in the maintenance of visitor facilities and undertake regular patrols of woodland trails.

Applicants will ideally have had similar prior experience, be very comfortable working with children and be proficient in strimming and other similar work.

Please send current CV and a covering letter to fraser@finlaystone.co.uk

logo: BASCDeer Officer

Starting salary circa £25,000pa plus company car          

BASC is the largest sporting shooting organisation in the UK, serving a growing membership of over 148,000 and a wide variety of stakeholder and public interests. It acts as a representative body for sporting shooting - fostering opportunity, safety, high standards and wildlife conservation.

BASC seeks a Deer Officer who will provide an informed and specialist point of contact on deer management matters.

Working within an established team, the post holder will provide advice to BASC members and others and contribute to policy development for sustainable deer management across the UK. 

The successful candidates will demonstrate: ● Good communication and interpersonal skills Organisational skills with the ability to meet deadlines Experience, knowledge and expertise in deer management gained through personal experience An enthusiasm for deer management with a desire to learn and increase knowledge of other wildlife management A close connection with shooting sports An aptitude for developing working partnerships

The position is based at the BASC Head Office near Chester and will involve travel throughout the UK.

Further information and an application form may be downloaded from our website www.basc.org.uk alternatively please contact the HR department, BASC, Marford Mill, Rossett, Wrexham, LL12 0HL.  Telephone: 01244 573002.  E-mail: enquiries@basc.org.uk.  Please quote reference DO/03/17.  The closing date for receipt of completed application forms is 27/03/2017.

logo: BASCFirearms Officer                                               

Starting salary circa £26,000pa                                                                          

BASC is the largest sporting shooting organisation in the UK, serving a growing membership of over 148,000 and a wide variety of stakeholder and public interests. It acts as a representative body for sporting shooting - fostering opportunity, safety, high standards and wildlife conservation.

BASC is looking for a Firearms Officer to provide members with high quality advice on the legal, technical and practical aspects of owning and using sporting firearms.

Working within an established team, the successful candidate will demonstrate: Knowledge and experience of firearms and firearms licensing Good judgment, discretion, communication and team working skills Well developed organisational and analytical skills A close connection to shooting sports

The position is based at the BASC head office near Chester and will involve day to day contact with members and others, close liaison with other BASC teams, and occasional travel throughout the UK. 

Further information and an application form may be downloaded from our website www.basc.org.uk alternatively please contact the HR department, BASC, Marford Mill, Rossett, Wrexham, LL12 0HL.  Telephone: 01244 573002.  E-mail: enquiries@basc.org.uk.  Please quote reference FO/03/17.  The closing date for receipt of completed application forms is 23/03/2017.

Logo: Cumbria Wildlife TrustGrassland Conservation Officer

2 Year Fixed Term Contract - 21 hours per week. Starting April 2017.

Salary: £24,036 (pro rata to a 35 hr week) plus 9% pension contribution.

Based at Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s Offices, Plumgarths, Crook Road, Kendal, Cumbria, LA8 8LX

We are looking to appoint an enthusiastic and experienced conservationist to deliver the Trust’s Grassland work. The post holder will be educated to degree level (or equivalent) in ecology, environmental sciences or a related subject. Specific work experience involving the restoration/creation of species-rich grasslands and their management is essential. Experience of botanical surveying is also essential ideally to Phase 2 level. A broader understanding of other habitats and species is also highly desirable.

Previous experience of partnership working particularly with farmers and other land managers but also statutory bodies and third sector conservation organisations is essential. Knowledge of agri-environment schemes and agricultural systems and experience of working with volunteers would also be beneficial.

They will also have a detailed working knowledge of botanical survey methodologies ideally including knowledge of the National Vegetation Classification. A working knowledge of Excel, Access and GIS software (preferably QGIS) is essential.

The post holder will be able to communicate clearly and concisely to a wide audience both verbally and in writing. The post holder will be dynamic and self-motivated with excellent communication.

For full details and how to apply visit www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/jobs  or call 01539 816300.

Closing date: 9.00am on Monday 20 March 2017.

Interviews: Wednesday 29 March 2017.

Cumbria Wildlife Trust is devoted to the conservation of the wildlife and wild places of Cumbria.

Registered in England as Cumbria Wildlife Trust Limited, a Company limited by Guarantee No. 00724133. Registered Charity No. 218711.

Middlemarch Environmental Ltd (working in partnership with the University of Wolverhampton, KEEN)                 

Habitat Creation Consultant

Ref: JL/Middlemarch/March2017

Salary: Up to £22, 000 (dependent on experience and qualifications)

The Habitat Creation Consultant is responsible to the Managing Director for implementing edaphic and hydro-ecological aspects of projects and contracts.  The work includes: (i) assisting with the planning of consultancy projects; (ii) implementing and delivering projects; and (iii) assisting with other work of the company.  The Habitat Creation Consultant is not responsible for the work of others.

Educated to degree level or MSc level in a relevant discipline or disciplines, you will need an understanding of Environmental consultancy work, ecological and biodiversity issues, Edaphic and Hydro-ecological surveying, habitat creation techniques and report writing and office systems. 

You will need to show skills in Habitat Creation, Edaphic and Hydro-ecological survey skills, ideally including protected species. You will need to have organisational skills for both paper files and computer files, time management skills and excellent communication skills (both written and spoken). Professional work in the environment especially biodiversity and consultancy would be an advantage, as would experience in managing projects

It is essential that you are able to decide and manage priorities, to work on your own initiative and with others, and to drive.

To apply for this exciting position, please send your CV and a cover letter to: jobs@imkeen2.co.uk quoting JL/Middlemarch/March2017 no later than midday on Monday 20th March. Please note that if you have not been contacted within four weeks of the closing date, you can assume that you have been unsuccessful on this occasion. Interviews will be carried out on 7th April.

For more details please see our website www.middlemarch-environmental.com 

Logo: Scottish Waterways TrustScottish Waterways Trust has 3 exciting opportunities to join Scotland’s only national waterways charity and engage people with the unique heritage and special biodiversity of our canal network.

We have vacancies below: 

Canal Cultural Heritage Officer (Falkirk)

Volunteer Supervisor (Glasgow)

Canal Life Officer Highland (Inverness)

Job roles and application details at www.goodmoves.org.uk or www.scottishwaterwaystrust.org.uk

Canal Cultural Heritage Officer

We’re looking for someone who can develop and deliver innovative programmes of education, engagement and practical heritage conservation tasks across Scotland. Working with children, young people, volunteers and the general public we’re looking for someone who can enthuse and motivate people and connect them with the heritage of our canals. This post is funded by Historic Environment Scotland.

Volunteer Supervisor

We’re seeking a Volunteer Supervisor to help us deliver an exciting project on the Forth and Clyde Canal in Glasgow.  We need someone who is enthusiastic, committed and motivated and who has the ability to inspire others.  You’ll help recruit and build a team of volunteers to operate the locks and enhance the canal environment. You’ll have experience in leading volunteers and delivering outdoor conservation tasks.

Canal Life Officer Highland

Could you help drive the success of an innovative volunteering, heritage, environment and community project on the Caledonian Canal?  Working with children, young people, volunteers and the general public we’re looking for someone who can enthuse and motivate people and connect them with the heritage of the Caledonian Canal.  This post is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Postcode Local Trust and Hugh Fraser Foundation.

Closing Date: Midday on Friday 17th March. Interviews will be held on Monday 27th March at The Falkirk Wheel (Canal Cultural Heritage Officer & Volunteer Supervisor) and Scottish Canals Office Inverness (Canal Life Officer Highland)

Logo: Yorkshire Dales National Park AuthorityConservation Support Officer (Wildlife)

£15,807 to £17,772 per annum pro rata (with possible progression to £20,661 per annum pro rata)


15 hours per week, job-share - working Thursday and Friday

Based in Grassington

If you are interested in working in a wildlife conservation environment in one of England’s finest National Parks then this post offers an ideal opportunity to gain experience in this field.  

The Yorkshire Dales has some of the most breath-taking landscapes in Britain and contains internationally important upland habitats and species.  Our job as a National Park Authority is to maintain the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Dales and promote wider understanding and greater enjoyment of this irreplaceable treasure.

This is a permanent post that will provide mainly office-based, administrative support to the Authority’s Wildlife Conservation Team.  The role of the team is to conserve, enhance and raise awareness of the special biodiversity of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. 

You will be educated to at least Higher National Certificate/Diploma or equivalent in a discipline related to wildlife conservation and will preferably have some experience of working within a wildlife conservation environment.  The post has a strong administrative role and therefore requires good administrative skills including data collection, file maintenance and management and IT skills.  Knowledge of GIS, especially QGIS, would be an advantage.

If you feel as though you meet these requirements we would like to hear from you.

Application forms and further information are available on the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority website, they can also be obtained by e-mail from personnel@yorkshiredales.org.uk, or on 0300 456 0030.

Closing date:  Noon on Monday 20 March 2017

Anticipated Interview Date: week commencing Monday 27 March 2017.

Successful applicant to start as soon as possible.

Surrey Wildlife Trust

Outdoor Woodland Learning in Surrey -  Intern Opportunity (paid)

Do you love the outdoors and want to shout about it??

Do you want to turn your environmental  degree theory into practical activity?

As part of an exciting project, we are looking to take on an intern to train in the delivery of both formal and informal outdoor education sessions.  We are looking for an enthusiastic individual with a passion for the outdoors, the natural world and an interest in working with children of all ages.

Ideally the successful applicant will hold a degree in the earth sciences, countryside management or education. You will be keen to develop skills in environmental education and take part in aspects of woodland management.  An age related minimum wage will be payable to assist the candidate.  Depending on interests and personal situation we can offer a full time post over 6 months (April – September) or part time over 12 months (April-March).

To apply for this exciting opportunity, please send a completed application form, available on our website, www.surreywildlifetrust.org to Louise Shorthose, Outdoor Learning Manager, Nower Wood, Mill Way, Leatherhead, KT228QA or email to louise.shorthose@surreywt.org.uk by midday on Wednesday 22nd March 2017.

Logo: Keystone HabitatsEcological Contractor / Landscaping Foreman

Salary starting from £18,000, up to £24,000, commensurate with the level of experience and relevant qualifications.

Keystone has a permanent full-time position available for an ecological contractor, carrying out a broad range of land management, habitat creation and wildlife mitigation projects.

You must be a competent and diligent individual prepared to work hard in an outdoor environment and form part of and lead a team working in a range of sectors and sites.

You would need to live within commuting distance of the Chipping Sodbury area and be prepared to work throughout the UK.

Typical works include: Tree / vegetation clearance and management Tree planting and landscaping Fencing Habitat management and creation Wildlife mitigation

Skills and qualifications:

Essential - Well rounded experience in an outdoor practical environment Clean UK driving licence Brushcutter experience Chainsaw CS30/31 certification 

Desirable - Experience and relevant tickets for tree felling operations Trailer towing licence CSCS card PA1 & PA6 herbicide application Woodchipper ticket

Please refer to our website for examples of the type of works undertaken www.keyenv.co.uk/habitats

Please send your CV and covering letter to jobs@keyenv.co.uk

Logo: Dartmoor National Park AuthorityDartmoor National Park Authority

Assistant Access & Recreation Officer

Grade 4: £20,661 - £24,964        

Full time:  37 hours per week

We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic person to join our team, supporting the Authority’s work on visitor and recreation management.

This varied role includes administering systems for visitor management and for public rights of way, liaison with recreational event organisers, farmers, landowners and other interested parties, and supporting the delivery of access and visitor management projects.

The successful candidate must be able to communicate effectively with a wide range of people and have an interest and passion for Dartmoor along with the ability to work independently and as an effective member of a multi-disciplinary team.

Whilst the post is based within the Access & Recreation team at our DNPA Headquarters in Bovey Tracey, duties will involve occasional travel to other sites within the National Park and surrounding area.

If you wish to discuss this post further, please contact Andrew Watson, Head of Recreation, Access & Estates on 01626 831057.

Logo Disability Confident EmployerLogo: Mindful EmployerFor more information and to apply, visit our website: www.dartmoor.gov.uk/jobs 

Closing Date:    Monday 27 March 2017 (12 noon)      

Interview Date:  Thursday 20 April 2017

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

Logo: Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife TrustSheffield Lakeland Landscape Partnership Consultation & Engagement Officer

18.75 hours per week (0.5 FTE) 

Salary:             £21,773 (pro rata 0.5 FTE = £10,887) + 9% pension contribution

Duration:          Fixed term for 13 months until May 2018 (with potential for 5 year extension subject to funding/performance)

Location:          Victoria Hall, Stafford Road, Sheffield, S2 2SF

Job Reference No:         SLLPEO17

Application deadline:     5pm Monday 27th March 2017

Interviews:                     Week commencing 3rd April 2017

Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust has been granted initial approval for a £2.8m Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant to set up a ‘Landscape Partnership’ aimed at protecting and improving the city’s unique ‘Sheffield Lakeland’ area. The project, part of HLF’s Landscape Partnership programme, will deliver an exciting programme of activities across an area that stretches from Langsett to Redmires and from the edge of Sheffield city to the moorland slopes of the Peak District National Park – an area referred to as Sheffield Lakeland in the 1950s. 

We are looking for a Consultation & Engagement Officer to support the Sheffield Lakeland Landscape Partnership Manager and lead the development and delivery of a programme of consultation and engagement activities to inform the Landscape Character Action Plan.

We’d also like someone with considerable experience in developing and delivering a range of communication, consultation and engagement activities to a wide range of audiences about the natural and historic environment.

Application packs are available to download on our website 

Or by email recruitment@wildsheffield.com

Logo: Heritage Lottery FundedOr Phone: 0114 263 4335

To discuss the role further please contact Roy Mosley on 0114 263 4335 or r.mosley@wildsheffield.com

When you request an application pack please state where you saw this post advertised.

No CVs, no agencies. 

Recruitment adverts elsewhere with CJS:

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

During the past month CJS Weekly has included 481 job adverts, 425 were for paid posts.  To see these you have to subscribe, find out how here.

Practical work days and conservation tasks section for one off, one day / half day activities, see these here.

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

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

Surveys and Fieldwork: additions in February

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. 



From April to July Upper Thames Wading Birds Survey Project Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire

Survey provides information on the state of breeding waders and the effectiveness of conservation work. Results act as a catalyst to enhance riverside habitats through targeted land management advice. Minimum commitment: 4 days surveying, 1 day training anna.broszkiewicz@rspb.org.uk http://c-js.co.uk/2kKm0R5


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


logo: PlantlifeWe are Plantlife

For over 25 years, Plantlife has had a single ideal - to save and celebrate wild flowers, plants and fungi. They are the life support for all our wildlife and their colour and character light up our landscapes. But without our help, this priceless natural heritage is in danger of being lost.

From the open spaces of our nature reserves to the corridors of government, we work nationally and internationally to raise their profile, celebrate their beauty, and to protect their future.

The future of wild flowers isn't cut and dried. Join us.


Trevor Dines (© Richard Williams Photography)Creating a wildflower garden

Want to grow your own shady characters and cornfield jewels? We’ll show you how, says Plantlife’s Botanical Specialist, Trevor Dines


One of the greatest pleasures in gardening is trying to decide what to grow – there are, after all, over 75,000 plants available. In the face of this global cornucopia, you might imagine that our own native flora would get shouldered aside. On the contrary, native flowers can take centre stage in the garden. In fact, our stunning flora can be woven into the tapestry of all garden styles, from informal cottage to stylish and contemporary.

Nearly 300 of our wild flowers can be considered to be ‘garden worthy’. By that I mean they are attractive, easy to grow, well behaved and readily available. While my own judgement might be somewhat subjective – I love tall bog-sedge (Carex magellanica) in my garden, but appreciate it might not be to everyone’s taste – the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) have bestowed their highest accolade, an Award of Garden Merit, on 257 cultivars of native plants. This includes 20 cultivars of heather and seven of bloody crane’s-bill (Geranium sanguineum), representing 94 species in all. 

Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla vulgaris)

 Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla vulgaris)

© Andrew Gagg/Plantlife 


Looks familar? 


 Some of these ‘garden worthy’ flowers will be very familiar – plants such as pasqueflower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) and columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris) are firm favourites needing little introduction. Others, such as bastard balm (Melittis melissophyllum) and coralroot (Cardamine bulbifera), deserve a much wider audience.

Especially interesting are some really common garden plants – things like shrubby cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa) and Jacob’s-ladder (Polemonium caeruleum)
– that are sold for a few pounds in nearly every garden centre in the country, but which many don’t realise are very rare native flowers.


Coralroot (Cardamine bulbifera) © Trevor Dines/Plantlife

Coralroot (Cardamine bulbifera)

© Trevor Dines/Plantlife

Plantlife’s Wildflower Garden website (http://plantlife.love-wildflowers.org.uk/wildflower_garden/) celebrates these wild flowers and helps you make the most of growing them in your own garden. We’ll give advice on cultivation, help you select the best ones to suit your conditions, and bring you regular features, ideas and suggestions on how to make the most of wild flowers in your garden throughout the year.



Betony (Stachys officinalis) © Andrew Gagg/Plantlife

Betony (Stachys officinalis)

© Andrew Gagg/Plantlife 

 Sow and donate


We’ve also teamed up with John Chambers Wildflower Seed, the largest independent supplier of wild flower seeds in the UK, to bring you a special Plantlife range of flowers and mixtures suitable for every garden situation imaginable. All sorts of wild flowers are available, from betony (Stachys officinalis) to yellow iris (Iris pseudacorus), and an innovative range of seed mixtures, including ‘shady characters’ and ‘cornfield jewels’. A donation of 25p from each packet will come to Plantlife.

The seeds are available to buy from the Plantlife shop at http://shop.plantlife.org.uk/collections/wildflower-seeds


Wildflowers in cultivation © Trevor Dines/Plantlife

Wildflowers in cultivation © Trevor Dines/Plantlife



 Gardeners have a real generosity of spirit. For many of us, the plants we grow have come from family and friends – a cutting, some seed or a bit of root given for free. Over time, these plants become connections to memories of people, places and events that shape our lives. In my own garden, the everlasting pea (Lathyrus grandiflorus) was given to me by my late grandfather, the honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum) is a cutting from my mother’s plant, which in turn came from Uncle Bill in Suffolk (he apparently found it in a local hedgerow).

Some of the things that we cherish the most, including plants, plant names and plant folklore, are passed down through the generations. We want to encourage this giving of plants and celebrate the heritage of our wild flowers in gardens.

#PledgeAPlant is a commitment to give a cutting, division or seed of a plant from your own garden to someone else. It may be a niece, mother, son or friend, anyone that you think will love receiving a plant from you.


You could pledge to give...

Some seed, such as Welsh poppy (Meconopsis cambrica), foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) or columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris), in a little hand-made packet.

A division of your favourite perennial, maybe water avens (Geum rivale), celandine (Ranunculus ficaria) or chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile).

Some bulbs of snake’s-head fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris), bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) or ramsons (Allium ursinum) in an attractive pot.

Tell us on Twitter and Instagram what plant you’re giving from your garden and why. If you want to include a photo that would be great - just make sure you tag your post with #PledgeAPlant.

For more information, visit http://plantlife.love-wildflowers.org.uk/wildflower_garden/pledge_a_plant/


You’ll be taking part in a wonderful tradition of sharing our botanical heritage, building memories and making connections.

logo: CJS logo: Keep Britain Tidy


Countryside Jobs Service

Focus on Volunteering

In association with Keep Britain Tidy


13 February 2017


Keeping Britain Tidy – volunteering and spring cleaning


National environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy biggest-ever litter campaign – the Great British Spring Clean – will culminate with a weekend of action next month. 


Between March 3rd and 5th, we are aiming to mobilise half a million people to get out and make their neighbourhood one of which they can be really proud.


(Keep Britain Tidy)
(Keep Britain Tidy)

Yes, we’d love you to get involved. But we would really like you to involve others too. As countryside managers or workers, you may be ideally placed to help us get more people involved, and help yourself at the same time.


As a charity, the public mostly recognise Keep Britain Tidy for our anti-litter campaigns but we do so much more. We work with schools, in green spaces, on beaches, in cities and communities, with businesses, local authorities and individuals. We run the country’s flagship school environmental programme, Eco-Schools, along with the Green Flag Award for parks and green spaces, the Blue Flag Award and Seaside Awards for beaches and the volunteer litter-picking programme the Big Tidy Up. You can find out more about everything we do via keepbritaintidy.org or find us on social media.


Our army of 336,000 formal and informal volunteers help us on a daily basis to work towards our aims of eliminating litter,

(Keep Britain Tidy)
(Keep Britain Tidy)

improving local places and ending waste. Without them we would not be able to make the difference we make every day. For example, without our teams of skilled volunteer assessors, we wouldn’t be able to award schools with their Eco-Schools Green Flags and our volunteer judges enable us to award parks and green spaces with a Green Flag Award. Our “Care” programmes are improving beaches and waterways across the country, with volunteers putting in 45,000 hours last year. 


Every week, hundreds of people selflessly head out of their front doors to litter pick across the country, many as part of our Big Tidy Up; individuals, school children, community groups, businesses and so many more. One man and his dog  – Wayne and Koda – were our litter heroes of 2016. The intrepid duo are on a mission to walk the entire coastline of Britain, litter picking as they go and raising awareness with every step.


But we understand that, with busy lives and responsibilities, not everyone can commit to regular volunteering. Others will lack the confidence to set up a group, organise an event or they may feel overwhelmed by perceived health and safety red tape.


However, we also know that many are still willing to do their bit and do something to help in their local area.


This desire to make a difference is why so many signed up to last year’s Clean for the Queen campaign, which saw 250,000 people taking part. Hundreds of school children, thousands of community groups and businesses, supported by 400 local authorities, collected more than 300,000 bags of rubbish between them.


(Keep Britain Tidy)
(Keep Britain Tidy)

Mass participation events, such as this year’s follow-up, the Great British Spring Clean, help us to reach new and different audiences. Many will simply take part in the event, while others will go on to get more involved with our work, or with their local community.


Some people or businesses will have the confidence to organise their own spring clean, with a bit of guidance from us, but others will not. And this is where your organisation could come in. You will have people – residents, site users, supporters and staff – who love the place they call home, who are bothered by litter and want to do something about it. Maybe there are schools, businesses or community groups your organisation is looking to work more closely with in the future? Maybe you are looking to set up a new regular volunteering group, but need a nudge to get it going?


For more than 60 years, Keep Britain Tidy has been inspiring people to take action in their own communities. As a charity that is heavily reliant on volunteers, we were keen to understand the types of people who volunteer, why they do it and what they hope to gain from volunteering so we conducted some in-depth research to help us. Our “Breaking Barriers” report can be downloaded from our website and is a useful tool for increasing volunteering at your sites.


As you’d expect, different people had different motivations for getting involved and identified various barriers, but there were some common threads – one of which is the importance of logistics. People want to know the whats, whys, hows, whos and whens before they will consider committing their time. By demonstrating strong leadership and organisation, volunteers can feel supported and reassured.


(Keep Britain Tidy)
(Keep Britain Tidy)
Helping people see the need for their support, and the importance of their role in tackling an issue, is a great motivator. As litter is such a visible problem, it can be an easy way to get people started and grow their confidence. And tapping into people’s own interests is a key driver, whether that is a love of their local countryside, or combining a little litter picking with their enjoyment in walking the dog.


By being part of a national volunteering event, helping your local patch to help the whole country, there is an even greater incentive for people to get involved.  And any additional incentives you can provide for your volunteers will always be appreciated – whether that’s a cup of tea afterwards, a simple thank ylogo: The Great British Spring Cleanou, or some recognition at your site. Don’t under estimate the social benefits of volunteering too – for many this is a key driver to get involved. Facilitate this aspect where you can, perhaps by enabling warm-up conversations before you begin.


To get involved, the first step is to simply register your interest at www.greatbritishspringclean.org.uk or email info@greatbritishspringclean.org.uk. You can download resources and further information from the website and we’ll keep you updated in the run-up to March 3rd and after, so that you and your volunteers can see how they were part of something that made a big difference.



REF        514-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        N / A

LOC        UK

PAY        Accom, travelling expenses & training


DES        HF Holidays Ltd is a leading tour operator specialising in walking, cycling & leisure activities holidays all over the world. We have 18 UK country houses & work with carefully chosen partner hotels in Europe & worldwide. We are a co-operative society & welcome over 50,000 guests on our holidays each year. We have opportunities for volunteer walk leaders in 18 UK locations & more than 60 destinations overseas. Leaders work together in a team to make the holiday successful & are resident for the duration of the holiday. They spend most of the time with our guests from greeting them on arrival to sharing meals, guiding walks & saying goodbye at the end! We offer: full board accommodation; travelling expenses; ongoing training opportunities; logbook experience; opportunity to improve leadership skills.   BUT   If you’re an experienced, sociable walker & would like to share your love of the countryside with small groups of walkers on holiday, why not apply to join the team?   ASK   http://hfholidays.co.uk/leaders or call Gillian Mininch, Walking Leader Recruitment & Training Manager, 01768 890091


REF        515-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A

LOC        Greater Manchester, Tyne & Wear, West Yorkshire or Merseyside

PAY        Full induction & training, travel & subsistence expenses

FOR        RSPB

DES        Minimum commitment is the equivalent of 2 full days a month up to 3 months in advance for a minimum of 6 months. Do you remember the thrill of finding your first ladybird? As part of the RSPB’s aim to connect as many children as possible to nature, Giving Nature a Home in Schools is our new school outreach project to provide opportunities for half a million children to connect with nature. We are looking for volunteers to help us deliver this ambitious project. You will be leading sessions with a class of children & their teacher, inspiring them to get up close to what creeps, crawls & flies in their school grounds.   BUT   Abundant enthusiasm, with ability to communicate your passion for the natural world to help connect children with nature; some experience of working with young people; a keen interest in wildlife, conservation & the natural environment; resourceful & flexible approach & able to cope with primary-aged children of all abilities; willing to learn new skills; well-organised, with effective communication skills to liaise with other volunteers & schools; willing to work alone; able to use email, internet, word processing.   ASK   For Greater Manchester, Sally Mizon, sally.mizon@rspb.org.uk or 07808 717337; Tyne & Wear, Jill Wesolowski, jill.wesolowski@rspb.org.uk or 07718 972299; West Yorkshire, Catherine Walker, catherine.walker@rspb.org.uk or 07718 972298; Merseyside, Stephanie Hepworth, stephanie.hepworth@rspb.org.uk or 07841 804793.


REF        HOL-FOCUS-29/12


DATE     Throughout the year


COST     £70 for the week


DES        WRG runs week long volunteering holidays, called ‘Canal Camps’, with the aim of restoring the derelict canals of England & Wales. Canal Camps are a great experience for anyone who loves being outdoors & enjoys meeting people from different backgrounds & of different ages (18-70). They offer volunteers a fantastic chance to learn new skills such as bricklaying, stone walling, machine operation & restoration techniques - & they only cost £70 for the week (this includes food & basic accommodation!). This year WRG have planned 28 Canal Camps all across the country! All training is provided.   BUT   None required – just a willingness to get involved & have fun!   ASK   Jenny Black, enquiries@wrg.org.uk  01494 783453 x 610. See WRG’s Canal Camp brochure here:  http://c-js.co.uk/2jMn70s


REF        517-FOCUS-18/3


BE4        N / A


PAY        Expenses


DES        Join one of BCT’s largest seasonal volunteer projects, the Out of Hours (OOH) Helpline. Running from May to September, the OOH service provides emergency advice after hours to those who have found bats in need of assistance, in addition to potential bat crimes. Training & full support is provided throughout the season from BCT Helpline staff, 2016 was our second busiest OOH season ever! 28 volunteers took part in 2016, with 2,266 calls throughout the season! 2015 was the busiest season, with 2,824 calls taken, but over the past 3 years the calls have reached over 2,000! A downloadable version of the 2016 report is also now available. It includes further information about the project & some stats & charts regarding what type of calls we dealt with & where the calls came from. See: http://ow.ly/3ClWB In 2017, the OOH training days are as follows: 8/4 in London; 29/4 in Manchester; 20/5 in London.  BUT   Interested in a volunteering challenge & have a love of bats.   ASK   Please send an expression of interest to David Jackson, Project Co-ordinator, enquiries@bats.org.uk


REF        518-FOCUSR-29/9


BE4        N/A

LOC        UK WIDE

PAY        Access to the free NPMS volunteer training programme


DES        2 - 3 days per year. Carry out surveys of wildflowers & their habitats that will provide robust evidence of which widespread plants are increasing or declining, as well as indicating the changing state of our most valued habitats such as grassland, woodland & even road verges. Each volunteer signs up for a randomly selected 1km square & then surveys five plots within it either using a list of indicator species or making a full inventory.   BUT   Anyone interested in nature who can identify plants, or who is keen to learn. Different levels of participation ensure that all who are keen can participate: you do not have to be an experienced botanist. You will only need to identify between 25-30 'indicator species' per habitat.   ASK   To sign up & find a square near you visit www.npms.org.uk


Are the ponds, streams and ditches in your neighbourhood good enough for wildlife? Take part in a citizen science survey to find out, and contribute to vital research. Use quick and simple test kits to measure the levels of nitrate and phosphate, two widespread pollutants. hworker@freshwaterhabitats.org.uk freshwaterhabitats.org.uk/projects/clean-water 


Visit https://seagrassspotter.org/ and start using our seagrass spotter app whenever you find seagrass. This allows us to begin to build a map of where seagrass is around the UK in order to start to assess the state it is in and the protection it needs.


Inland Waterways Association (IWA) campaigns to conserve, maintain and restore Britain’s waterways.  IWA works with various organisations to keep all our waterways alive. There are a huge number of opportunities to get involved with IWA’s work including practical work and committee positions, visit our website for more information. http://www.waterways.org.uk/volunteer


Capturing our Coast is a marine citizen science project looking for volunteers across the coast of the UK. Learn more about scientific surveys, rocky shore creatures, and how you can protect your local coast. Visit www.capturingourcoast.co.uk for more information.


logo: Forestry Commission England 

We have a wide range of opportunities across the country from practical conservation and maintenance of walking and mountain bike trails to helping out at visitor centres, meeting and greeting visitors, helping to lead events or doing wildlife surveys. Why not see what’s going on

in your area? www.forestry.gov.uk/england-volunteer



Canal & River Trust Towpath Taskforce

Would you like to meet new people, get your hands dirty and help your local canal? Towpath Taskforce could be just the thing you're looking for.  With expert support & all equipment provided, you can come along whenever you’re free, right across the country. 

Find out more http://c-js.co.uk/2jr1beE



Every Tuesday    Healthy Outdoors Team

Brodick Country Park, National Trust for Scotland, Isle of Arran Ranger Service Contact: 01770 302462,


Join our Healthy Outdoors Team to help us with our nature conservation work. The volunteer team meets 10am - 1pm. All ages welcome; no commitment to attend every session. Friendly company, tea, coffee and biscuits provided!


Fortnightly on Wednesdays and occasional Saturdays           Work days

Eglinton Country Park, Friends of Eglinton Conservation Work Group organised by North Ayrshire Ranger Service

Contact: 01294 551776 joannejohnstone@north-ayrshire.gov.uk

9:30am – 12:30pm. Help the Rangers to enhance our valuable green space, come along, meet new people, get active and feel great.  Wear suitable clothing for the weather and sturdy footwear.  Tools and training provided.


Tuesdays & Fridays           Parkforce

Duthie Park, Aberdeen, Aberdeen City Council            Contact: Arthur Gill argill@aberdeencity.gov.uk

Adult volunteer group, helping with various gardening tasks particularly the Community Garden. Tuesday 1.30pm - 3.30pm Friday 10.am - 12noon. Come along and learn basic garden skills, or spend time in the outdoors. Many of our volunteers may also have been unemployed for long periods and working alongside others have helped restore their confidence in a working environment.


Every Thursday  Volunteer Group

Meet at the bottom of the car park Ballalan house, Stirling, The Conservation Volunteers Contact: 01786 476178 / 07767 112094 d.walsh@tcv.org.uk

8:30am. Skills picked up while volunteering with us can be useful in securing work with other conservation organisations. We undertake a range of activities in both urban and rural areas, from planting trees and wild flower meadows, to building stiles, clearing footpaths or creating new food growing projects. 


RiverLife: Almond & Avon aims to reconnect communities and wildlife with their local rivers. The River Forth Fisheries Trust is looking for volunteers to help with practical conservation tasks and community engagement events as part of the RiverLife project. To register your interest sign up on our website http://www.fishforth.co.uk/rfft/riverlife/


Butterfly Conservation Scotland's 'Bog Squad' runs regular bog restoration sessions with volunteers on peatland sites throughout central Scotland. Tasks usually include installing dams and clearing invasive scrub. More information is available on our blog http://bogsquad.weebly.com/ Get in touch with David Hill at peatproject@btconnect.com or on 01786 459813


North Ayrshire Biodiversity Partnership co-ordinate the Local Biodiversity Action Plan, implementing a wide range of projects to conserve and enhance North Ayrshire’s biodiversity. Partners include SWT, RSPB, NTS, COAST, SNH, SUP, DGERC, CMRP and ART. Volunteering opportunities include species and habitat surveying, education, awareness raising and habitat management.  Please contact alistairallan@north-ayrshire.gov.uk 01294 324016


Flexible volunteering opportunities available in South Lanarkshire, through the charity Scottish Badgers. Guided badger survey days, sett monitoring & trail camera expeditions. Weekday & weekend options. Fun and informative days out with like minded folk! To find out more, contact Elaine Rainey on projectofficer@scottishbadgers.org.uk, call 07565 813401 or find us on Facebook.


Breaking Ground – Weekly on Tuesdays 9:00am – 12:30pm. Help support North Ayrshire Ranger Service to deliver ‘Breaking Ground’ a horticultural therapy group for individuals with mental health issues.  We’re looking for enthusiastic individuals with an interest/experience in supporting people with mental health challenges or with a horticultural background.  Contact 01294 551776 or email lindatedford@north-ayrshire.gov.uk for further information.


Get involved in recording and conserving butterflies in Scotland’s towns and cities. Free butterfly identification training events, habitat creation work parties and other training opportunities available.Contact Anthony McCluskey on amccluskey@butterfly-conservation.org for more information.


REF        520-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        No closing date but we will recruit suitable candidates as they apply


PAY        0


DES        We are introducing a grazing regime at Petershill Nature reserve to help manage the on-site wildflower meadow. Be a vital part of our management regime by checking on the cattle & liaising with the Conservation Shepherd, reporting on numbers & condition.  BUT   Some basic fitness required, some farm related or animal welfare related experience very useful.  All required assistance provided.  Role will require lone working but health & safety procedures will be in place.  Car driver/owner very useful.    ASK   For further details please contact Laura Cunningham lcunningham@swt.org.uk or 07739 428229.


REF        521-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training provided & reasonable expenses covered


DES        Scottish Waterways Trust is looking for enthusiastic volunteers to join hundreds already caring for Scotland's canals. From helping with conservation tasks to learning new skills to safeguard heritage features & buildings – there’re lots of ways to get involved!   BUT   No previous experience needed, only enthusiasm & a love for canals &/or heritage & the environment. For some roles with helping vulnerable people PVG checks & references are required.   ASK   01324 677809 info@scottishwaterwaystrust.org.uk


REF        522-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training


DES        Learn new skills such as drystone dyking, footpath construction & woodland management. Work in beautiful gardens & stunning cside throughout Scotland. Meet new people, enjoy some fresh air & exercise & become actively involved in conservation & the Trust. Attend training courses & lectures to enhance your understanding of countryside skills & conservation issues. Five Conservation Volunteer groups based in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth, Aberdeen & Inverness.   BUT   Over 18 & reasonably fit.   ASK   Julie Bond, Conservation Volunteer Co-ordinator, jbond@nts.org.uk


REF        523-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        0


DES        The East Ayrshire Coalfield Environment Initiative (CEI for short) are restoring damaged peat bogs in the East Ayrshire Coalfields region as part of the EcoCo LIFE project. We need volunteers to help with monitoring the vegetation, water-level and indicator species of a number of peatland sites to determine the success of restoration works. Volunteer days run a few days a month from January 2017 till March 2018.   BUT   No experience is necessary as all training is provided, just an interest in conservation and an ability to walk on un-even terrain in all weathers.   ASK   CEI Project Officer Jennifer Dunn, jennifer.dunn@ea-cei.org.uk or 01563 576771. You can also visit our website for upcoming events: www.ea-cei.org.uk


REF        524-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


Pay         Accommodation (not food) provided


DES        Assist with implementing the training programme for the Rum Highland ponies. Tasks will incl handling of young stock & foals & refresher training for deer stalking ponies. Assistance is required for a minimum of 2 weeks & up to 6 months. 4 days per week Mon – Fri (occasional weekend volunteering may be required).  Working day is 08:30 – 17:00 Mon – Thurs & 08:30 – 16:30 on a Friday. This is an excellent opportunity to gain work experience & develop new skills, which can be an important route into employment in the natural heritage.  BUT   You'll be personable, approachable, enthusiastic & a good communicator. You’ll have a strong interest in conservation & a good knowledge of Scotland’s natural heritage. You will have experience working with horses or ponies & have a good equine knowledge. You need to be a good teamworker, respecting others. You’ll be physically fit & have a responsible attitude to H&S, complying with procedures designed to keep you & others safe. You’ll be willing to work outdoors in all weathers, keen to learn & adaptable.   ASK   PLEASE NOTE THIS POST IS NOW OVERSUBSCRIBED AND SNH HAVE STOPPED TAKING APPLICATIONS


REF        525-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training opportunities available


DES        1 day per week. North Ayrshire Ranger Service requires your help to build a picture of the wildlife within Eglinton Country Park & the surrounding District area.  Whether you are a beginner or an expert surveyor, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved.   Report what you see whilst out walking or take part in a regular survey.  Lots of support & training available.   BUT   No experience required.    ASK   Contact North Ayrshire Ranger Service 01294 551776 alexandrakrause@north-ayrshire.gov.uk


REF        526-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Appropriate training provided & expenses re-imbursed where necessary


DES        1 - 2 days per month. Are you passionate about nature & do you love meeting people? Would you like to inspire & wow people with the amazing wildlife we have here in Tayside & Fife? From dolphins & seabirds, to white-tailed eagles! You will be supporting our team by sharing amazing stories & wildlife with local people, helping out with fun family activities, encouraging people to Give Nature a Home in their garden & gathering important support for the RSPB through fundraising & membership. You'll get to talk to people about the amazing conservation work happening right here in East Scotland, & make a difference by increasing our profile & support.   BUT   You'll need to be a friendly & outgoing person who is happy to initiate conversations with the public. An interest in conservation & wildlife will be essential as well as being happy to work outdoors.   ASK   01738 783233 perth.admin@rspb.org.uk


REF        529-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        ?


PAY        0


DES/BUT   We organise woodland play, art / bushcraft & nature connection activities, aimed at marginalised groups. We are currently looking to recruit volunteers for projects. If you enjoy the outdoors this can be a rewarding way of meeting people, gaining confidence & skills, & could make a difference for future employers. Volunteers will receive full support, training & mentoring, & be valued as part of the team.   ASK   natureunlimited.scot or contact ruth@natureunlimited.scot


REF        532-FOCUS-21/4


BE4        21/4/17


PAY        No remuneration possible but*


DES        4 - 5 months, flexible hours, would incl working some weekends & bank holidays. An excellent opportunity to gain interdisciplinary & transdisciplinary experience while working with a unique marine conservation charity. The Reserve encompasses of some of the most diverse & stunning marine env along the Berwickshire coast, supporting a variety of commercial & recreational interests. Your training & activities will incl raising awareness of the marine env through education & interpretation, public events, questionnaires, community engagement & liaison with stakeholders & user groups, as well as more traditional scientific research activities incl baseline survey & monitoring work. *extensive training & skills package provided, reasonable travel costs reimbursed & assistance in finding accomm if required.   BUT   Enthusiastic self-starters with a passion for the marine env who are keen to learn & hone their skills.  Excellent spoken & written communication essential, along with strong interpersonal skills, an organised & self motivated personality & adaptable to working in different environments. Driving licence & own transport desirable.   ASK   Sarah Russell, berwickshirecoast@gmail.com 07818 227307 http://www.facebook.com/berwickshirecoast


REF        533-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training opportunities available


DES        Help support North Ayrshire District Rangers by taking part in a variety of practical tasks (invasive species control, dune planting, meadow management etc.) & surveys in & around North Ayrshire sites. Tools & training provided.  Learn new skills, meet new people & have fun.   BUT   No experience required.    ASK   Contact the District Ranger on districtranger@north-ayrshire.gov.uk 01294 551776


REF        534-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training opportunities available


DES        1 day per week. Develop your skills & build up your CV through assisting/shadowing North Ayrshire Ranger Service as they deliver public events & children’s groups (Wild Toddlers, Acorn Club, Wild Wednesdays & Junior Rangers). We’re looking for enthusiastic & outgoing individuals who have an interest / experience with working with members of the public & children of various ages in an outdoor setting.   BUT   PVG Desirable.   ASK   Contact North Ayrshire Ranger Service 01294 551776 alexandrakrause@north-ayrshire.gov.uk


REF        206-FOCUS-2/6


BE4        31/5/17


PAY        Travel expenses & training


DES        1 – 3 months. St Abbs Marine Station is a centre for the study of marine science & conservation located in a historic fishing village & is a fully equipped marine research facility consisting of a laboratory, office space, 275sq m research aquarium & 100,000 L research mesocosm facility. We are currently accepting applications for volunteers to work in our research aquarium & laboratory for our busy Spring & Summer periods, for individuals interested in gaining or adding to existing practical experience of working in a marine research facility. Primary duties will be animal husbandry & general aquarium maintenance & upkeep. Also opportunities to aid & develop research projects, work in invertebrate larval rearing, carry out field work, sample collection & analysis, & help with public outreach activities.   BUT   Ideally obtaining or recently qualified in a rel degree e.g. marine biology, but exceptions may be made for people with suitable experience. Strong interest in marine life, the environment & conservation; enthusiastic, responsible & reliable; aged 18 or over.   ASK   CV (2 page maximum) & short covering letter describing why you are interested in this position & how it will help you meet your long term goals to hello@marinestation.co.uk  Please include information about your availability & access to personal transport.


Northern Ireland: 

TCV Coleraine welcome new volunteers: weekdays - Mondays to Thursdays, 9.00am to 4.00pm.  Gain practical experience, create wildlife habitats - develop outdoor spaces: planting trees, hedges, shrubs, wildflowers. You could also help construct fences, planters, pathways or restore areas of coastal duneland.  Interested? - telephone 028 70355352 or e-mail l.watson@tcv.org.uk


Coleraine Volunteer Officer: Work alongside the Project Officer, fulfilling a leadership role - supporting volunteers to develop skills.  Promote interest and confidence in team-working; helping create/improve outdoor growing spaces for wildlife and community benefit.  Gain knowledge of project planning. Interested? - telephone 028 70355352 or e-mail l.watson@tcv.org.uk


Join the new 'Friends of Groups' in East Antrim at ECOS Nature Park, Ballymena and Larne Town Park. Next practical tasks at both sites 18th February, all welcome.  Contact Chris Wood c.wood@tcv.org.uk facebook.com/tcvni Twitter @tcv_ni


REF        535-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        Ongoing

LOC        Murlough National Nature Reserve, Dundrum, Northern Ireland

PAY        Accommodation & in house training


DES        To assist with the practical habitat management & monitoring of flora & fauna on the NT’s South Down properties in N Ireland on the coastal property of Murlough NNR. An opportunity to gain experience in environmental conservation undertaking a wide variation of tasks involved in managing a National Nature Reserve.   BUT   No practical experience required but must have an interest in nature conservation & able to work as part of a team. Volunteers should be enthusiastic, reasonably fit & enjoy working outdoors.   ASK   Kim McMonagle, Castle Ward, Strangford, BT30 7LS 028 44881204  kim.mcmonagle@nationaltrust.org.uk  


REF        536-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Discounts & training


DES        1 to 2 days per week on mutually agreeable days, with a degree of reasonable flexibility. Assist with day to day maintenance of a busy centre, to include: joinery, carpentry & general DIY; minor repairs to buildings; repairs to external fencing, pathways & outside furniture; painting & decorating; minor plumbing; lifting & moving materials for events; assisting with new building & refurbishment projects; assisting with H&S monitoring. Work will vary from inside to outside environments. Our volunteers are pivotal in shaping unforgettable experiences for our visitors. The role provides experience enabling you to further a career path or volunteering skills.   BUT   Wide range of skills & abilities & practical experience for the required tasks & activities; able to see a task through from inception to completion, can work unsupervised & use own initiative; good team player; excellent customer service skills & willing to engage with members of the public.    ASK   Amy Hannan, Volunteer Development Officer, amy.hannan@wwt.org.uk 01704 891 224


REF        537-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Training & discount in shop


DES        As part of our Facilities team you will be helping keep the centre & its grounds in excellent condition so that we can continue to showcase our centre & our work to visitors & members. 1 to 2 days per week assisting with the day to day maintenance & repairs of the busy centre to include: joinery, carpentry & general DIY; minor repairs to buildings; repairs to external fencing, pathways & outside furniture; painting & decorating; minor plumbing; lifting & moving materials for events; assisting with new building & refurbishment projects; assisting with H&S monitoring We regret we are not in a position to reimburse travel costs.   BUT   We are seeking people with a wide range of skills & abilities who have practical experience for the required tasks. Can see a task through from inception to completion, work unsupervised & under own initiative. Good team player; excellent customer service skills & wiling to engage with members of the public from time to time. Able to get to & from the centre.   ASK   www.wwt.org.uk/support/volunteer-with-wwt  Amy Hannan, Volunteering Development Officer, amy.hannan@wwt.org.uk  01704 891224.


REF        538-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Discounts & training, out of packet expenses               


DES        Minimum 6 months commitment preferred. In this role you will be visiting your local WWT centre on a weekly basis to capture wildlife spectacles, species, visitors’ experiences & our volunteers for inclusion in promotional material for print, online & social media. A few hours per week for wildlife & landscape photography, & / or as required for event photography. Volunteers may do one or all these kinds of photography, depending on their level of skill.   BUT   No formal qualifications required but ideally able to provide good quality examples of images you have taken to demonstrate a high level of skill in any or all of wildlife, landscape or people photography. Proactive in seeking out photo opportunities; keen eye for interesting & inspiring photos; don’t mind working in all weathers & interacting with visitors, volunteers & staff; use of your own photographic equipment. Current driving licence essential.   ASK   Amy Hannan, Volunteer Development Officer, amy.hannan@wwt.org.uk 01704 891 224


REF        539-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Discount & training


DES        By working as part of the Volunteer Support team you will assist in providing the highest standards of animal husbandry & welfare, & gain professional experience in a specialised field of animal management. Assist with day to day management of waterfowl exhibits, including: feeding, health checks & species audits; cleaning animal facilities, equipment, ponds & exhibits; weeding; pond maintenance; assisting with our breeding programme & running of our duckery unit; promoting the work of WWT to all visitors; welcoming & engaging visitors; ensuring the safety, welfare & enjoyment of the visiting public. We will mutually agree the hours you can contribute.   BUT   No formal qualifications required, however this role will suit you if you have formal or informal experience or understanding of animal husbandry, conservation & welfare. Practical & physically able; able to work in a team of staff & volunteers; experienced in a visitor service environment with strong commitment to customer satisfaction; proactive & able to work with minimal supervision; keen to support the work of WWT.   ASK   Amy Hannan, Volunteer Development Officer, amy.hannan@wwt.org.uk 01704 891 224


logo: Volunteer ScotlandVolunteer Management - The Essentials


Levels of volunteering have remained relatively stable over the last 5 years, with around three i

(Volunteer Scotland) 

n ten adults providing unpaid help to organisations or groups. In 2015, 27 per cent of adults provided unpaid help to organisations or groups. (Scottish Household Survey).

Key to any successful volunteering programme is the need to hear the volunteer’s voice. It is crucial that volunteers are engaged and asked what they want and need to have a positive volunteer experience – volunteer involving organisations (VIOs) should cater for the volunteer not the other way around.



Volunteer Scotland is the only national centre for volunteering in Scotland and receives funded support from the Scottish Government and others to:

  • Research, demonstrate and measure the impact made by volunteers.
  • Work with organisations who can influence volunteering such as funders, Government and policy makers.
  • Support paid staff and volunteers to develop skills through accessing training and easy to use volunteer development tools.
  • Offer a one stop digital gateway to everyone in Scotland who wants to post and advertise or find volunteering opportunities.
  • Provide an expert Disclosure Service for voluntary organisations.



Defining Volunteers’ Needs

Within Volunteer Scotland, the Volunteering Services team aims to grow effective volunteer participation by improving volunteer leadership and management practice within volunteer involving organisations.



The team started by putting themselves in the shoes of a volunteer by drawing on their personal volunteering experiences.  Once these needs had been identified we wanted to define what an organisation would need to have in place to ensure volunteers got that good volunteer experience.  The discussion led to the creation of the volunteer management model.


Since the development of the Volunteer Management Model it has also become a life cycle as shown below.  The detail within each stage defines what volunteers need in order to have a good volunteering experience.


The real value in the volunteer management model and life cycle is that it highlights aspects that each organisation needs to consider when managing volunteers but it is flexible enough that they can decide what is right for the individual volunteer, volunteer roles and their organisation. 



The volunteer management model and life cycles have proven themselves to be useful tools for considering the needs of volunteers within volunteer management practice.  It is important to continue to listen to the volunteer voice and ensure that the model remains relevant to what volunteers need for a great experience.  We hope that by continuing to promote this volunteer management model, it will have a lasting and positive

impact on volunteers’ experience; which in turn will enhance the wellbeing of individuals and the wider community and increase the overall level of volunteer participation in Scotland. 


All of the training courses offered at Volunteer Scotland sit within the Volunteer Management model and our training calendar and further resources can be found on our website. http://www.volunteerscotland.net/organisations/training/


Use the promotional code CJS FOCUS for 10% off any of our training courses. (Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis)


North East:

REF        540-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Training & travel expenses within 25 mile radius

FOR        RSPB

DES        9 - 5 Saturday or Sunday. The main duty in this role is chatting to our visitors & advising them on the products that we sell, with the ultimate aim of bringing in additional sales for our shop. This will increase both visitors’ enjoyment & our income for the benefit of wildlife conservation.   BUT   Experience in retail desirable, but not essential as any necessary training will be provided.   ASK   Please email john.dyson@rspb.org.uk to express your interest.


REF        541-FOCUS-3/6


BE4        N/A

LOC        HULL

PAY        Training & practical work experience

FOR        TCV

DES        3 days/week over 6+ months. 6 month commitment with opportunity to extend incl training package. Join busy Voluntary Officer team leading conservation group. This role will provide you with experience of leading & supervising vols with practical conservation work on a range of different sites, liaising with clients & promoting our work. Working alongside our experienced Project Officers, you will assist staff with public engagement, environmental educational, project planning & management & publicity. This programme will provide experience & knowledge for anyone pursuing a career in the environmental sector covering practical & planning experience sought after by employers.   BUT   Pref over 21 years old with full driving licence held for 2 years. No practical experience required but enthusiasm to learn & gain skills. Enjoy working outside & have a passion for conservation. Punctual & friendly, able to work in a team & show initiative.   ASK   Leah Hallas   01482 620309, l.hallas@tcv.org.uk or visit or Facebook/Twitter pages: https://www.facebook.com/TCVHumber  or https://twitter.com/TCVHumber


REF        542-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Expenses & training


DES        We can provide a flexible project placement enabling you to get a wide & varied experience in the conservation sector. We offer taster days to learn more about the opportunities available. Would suit someone who is keen to engage in a range of practical conservation work, incl fencing, maintaining footpaths, managing woodland, wetland & heathland habitats & invasive species control. Experience in these areas is not essential as on the job training can be provided.   BUT   Some level of physical fitness required as work will be mainly site based, working outdoors occasionally in remote locations. Would suit someone who is able to give a regular time commitment of 1 or more days a week, & wants to help look after nature reserves or gain experience in land management for nature conservation. Would also suit people wanting to keep physically active, wanting to return to work & to improve fitness, ideally with an interest in wildlife.   ASK   Jonathan Collett, 0114 2634335  j.collett@wildsheffield.com


REF        544-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N/A


PAY        Mileage expenses & personal protective equipment


DES        We have a range of volunteering opportunities available from practical habitat & estate management work to assisting with public events & school visits.   BUT   No experience necessary but must be willing to work as part of a team. Due to the physical nature of some tasks & the terrain, a good level of fitness is required.   ASK    emma.king@naturalengland.org.uk


REF        549-FOCUS-14/4


BE4        18/4/17 IV 28/4/17


PAY        Competitive external training budget, training & some travel expenses

FOR        Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

DES        Improving Clifton Becks Water project aims to improve water quality & biodiversity along the Clifton Beck. Support the delivery of the project. Help plan & deliver a range of habitat restoration & creation work through practical conservation task days. Learn how to engage with communities & landowners & develop skills in technical fieldwork, surveying & monitoring.  There is a large element of volunteer management in this project & the Voluntary Trainee will develop strong skills in this area through both direct & remote management & training of volunteers.   BUT   Essential: enthusiasm for wildlife conservation & willingness to learn new skills; able to communicate effectively & talk to groups of people confidently; good IT skills; able to work outdoors, in all weather conditions; confident working in & near water. Desirable: degree in a rel subject; experience of undertaking species & habitat surveys; knowledge of invasive non-native species, biosecurity & H&S; experience of undertaking practical tasks (e.g. tree planting) & admin.   ASK   App forms on http://www.ywt.org.uk/voluntary-trainee-vacancies then email to volunteering@ywt.org.uk


REF        551-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing               


PAY        Boots & waterproofs provided


DES        Help carry out a range of environmental improvements and conservation tasks. Work on various projects from school green space and garden installations, to habitat improvements, wild flower growing and other environmental management tasks. Work is every Friday 10am - 3pm.   BUT   No previous experience or quals necessary. A willingness to work outdoors in any weather condition as part of a well-motivated team.   ASK   01670 514876, leanne.shipley@groundwork.org.uk


REF        552-FOCUSR-2/6


BE4        Ongoing


JOB        Day Maker

DES        If you enjoy being in the great outdoors, love interacting with visitors & helping to ensure their day out at Brimham Rocks is a highly enjoyable & memorable experience, try being a Day Maker. From taking visitors on guided walks & helping them find specific rocks to assisting families with crafty activities & spreading the conversation message, no two days are alike.   BUT   Outgoing, like to listen, love conversation & enjoy working as part of a small team. You are interested in people & want to share the story of Brimham Rocks. You’ll also be happy working outdoors in a moorland environment.  

JOB        Retail Volunteer

DES        Everyone likes a bit of retail therapy, don’t they? Retail Volunteers offer this vital service for all visitors to Brimham. They love helping people find just the thing they’re looking for, & helping us achieve our sales targets, so everyone’s happy! 1 day a week/fortnight.   BUT   This role will suit you if you are keen to make each customer feel special - just channel your inner Mary Portas, interested in helping us make a profit to support our work, flexible - we will work around your availability.

JOB        Welcome Volunteer

DES        Visitors look for a friendly face after their journey & our Welcome Volunteers are great at making people feel at home pointing them in the right direction in a helpful & friendly manner. With a smile for everyone you are the person who guarantees a great start to every visit. This is a seasonal role running from February to October.   BUT   This role will suit you if you are someone who loves meeting new people – there’ll be plenty every day, a bit of a strategist when it comes to car parking, cheerful even when there’s a nip in the air, keen to find out more about what’s going on at Brimham Rocks, able to give your availability a month in advance.

JOB        Raffle Volunteer

DES        If you are a natural at sales, or someone who loves meeting new people why not join this new team for 2017? Our raffle ticket sellers here at Brimham Rocks will be great at encouraging visitors to contribute towards specific & unique projects. The Raffle Volunteers are excellent at communicating the wider aims of the National Trust & explaining the specifics of Brimham Rocks.   This is a seasonal role running from February to October.   BUT   This role will suit you if you are Interested in Brimham Rocks and are keen to talk about the work going on here, confident at approaching people and selling to members of the public, up for a challenge and like to reach a target – it’s not always easy, but you won’t mind that, someone who likes being part of a team.   All posts: PAY   Rel training provided, travel expenses up to 30 miles covered.      ASK   jaanika.reinvald@nationaltrust.org.uk   


Join the Green Gym at Skelton Grange Environment Centre - Whether you are a complete beginner, would like to learn new skills or just want to meet people and get some fresh air… try our gardening for health project! Refreshments provided free. Bus travel reimbursed (please keep your ticket). www.tcv.org.uk/skeltongrange


The Tees Valley Wildlife Trust require otter survey volunteers to survey a watercourse near their area on 22nd/23rd April. These surveys will form a wider part of a county Durham and Tees Valley region wide survey. For more information please contact Amy; acarrick@teeswildlife.org , 01287 636382, www.teeswildlife.org


West Boldon Lodge offer Environmental Education Assistant voluntary positions. Positions offer an insight into teaching, site management and practical conservation tasks such as maintenance and species survey work. Mentoring and guidance are provided, with the potential to independently lead an educational activity or assist with a school visit. Contact tom.mower@groundwork.org.uk


Jarrow Hall, Anglo-Saxon Farm, Village & Bede Museum offer voluntary opportunities across their Visitor Services, Bede Museum and Farm. The sessions enable people to gain customer service experience in a historical museum environment. The sessions also enable people to gain farm conservation or site environmental management skills. Contact beccy.harvey@groundwork.org.uk


Active Green Living Allotment in Ashington, Northumberland. Participants and volunteers needed for allotment project aimed at people over 50 years old. No experience necessary. This is a great social opportunity to get fit, healthy and active. Work as part of a team to grow produce and take home your share of the harvest. leanne.shipley@groundwork.org.uk 01670 514876


Enjoy being outdoors? Want to get fit and make new friends? TCV coordinate free practical conservation tasks every week. No experience needed, just enthusiasm and a passion for conservation. Join in and feel good with our weekday volunteer group. Contact TCV (York & Hull) for further details. 01904 644300 or 01482 620309 and find us on Facebook & Twitter.


Third Friday of each month              Leeds Towpath Taskforce

Office Lock, Canal Wharf, Leeds LS11 5QG, Canal & River Trust            Contact: http://c-js.co.uk/2knxvyc   

Meet at 9.30am to tackle tasks from litter picking to lock painting on the beautiful Leeds & Liverpool Canal.  All equipment provided, plus expert support and refreshments. 


Every other Wednesday                   Environmental Conservation Assistant voluntary positions

West Boldon Lodge, Tyne & Wear, Groundwork            Contact tom.mower@groundwork.org.uk

10am – 3pm. Positions offer insight into maintaining a nature site for the benefit of wildlife and the local community. Sessions enable people to gain land maintenance awareness through activities such as planting trees. 


Regular Friday Volunteering in Leeds - Join the Green Team at Skelton Grange Environment Centre - regular opportunities for everyone to come along and help out with some practical tasks on our site. You don't need any experience, just enthusiasm! www.tcv.org.uk/skeltongrange


Alternate Fridays                Join the HOOTS!

Fylingdales Moor, North Yorkshire, Hawk and Owl Trust            Contact:  Wildlife Ranger Chris Hansell 07591 567338, chris.hansell@hawkandowl.org

Would you like to join a small group of volunteers, the HOOTS, from all walks of life, who do practical management on Fylingdales Moor? Tasks on this non-shooting conservation moor include habitat management, looking after Public Rights of Way and carrying out surveys such as the annual grouse count. Training in tool use is provided. You will need a reasonable level of fitness. We are also looking for volunteers to drive the minibus for these tasks to pick up tools and volunteers. Training provided. The Hawk and Owl Trust manages the moor on behalf of the owner, in partnership with the North York Moors National Park Authority.


North West:

REF        553-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Training


DES        Marton Mere Nature Reserve is calling all enthusiastic people with an interest in wildlife & green spaces to join our friendly Volunteer Ranger Service. Be part of our amazing 3 year, HLF project to transform the reserve & preserve Blackpool’s most important ecological haven for future generations. You will work alongside an enthusiastic team of volunteers, assisting experienced staff & getting involved with a wide variety of projects including habitat conservation, estate maintenance, surveys, environmental activities as well as the promotion of our new visitor centre.   BUT   No experience or qualifications needed, as training is given. The only essential requirement is an interest in the environment & a willingness to get stuck in!   ASK   Iollan Banks, Environmental Volunteer Co-ordinator, 07768 557271 or martonmere@blackpool.gov.uk


REF        554-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A

LOC        Martin Mere Wetland Centre, Burscough, West Lancashire

PAY        Training


DES        An excellent opportunity to work within an internationally important conservation organisation, discount is available in the café & shop & free entry to all WWT wetland centres throughout the UK. Training opportunities provided. You will take on a wide variety of roles in assisting with the organisation & delivery of arts & crafts during the key seasonal events & smaller activities for the visiting public throughout the year. The position will require work during weekdays & public holidays, exact hours to be discussed.   BUT   Working knowledge of artistic mediums & experience of arts & crafts with small & large groups & families; experience of working with a variety of age groups including children & adults; attention to detail & creativity; confident & friendly attitude & / or experience of successful face-to-face contact with the public; interest in & enthusiasm for the WWT & the natural world; good listening skills, with ability to adapt your approach to suit your audience; ability to work on your own initiative under the direction of the Learning Manager.  ASK   Amy Hannan, Volunteer Development Officer, amy.hannan@wwt.org.uk 01704 891 224


REF        555-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Discounts & training


DES        One of two days per week, 9.30am – 2pm. Hours may vary from week to week depending on school visits. Help deliver our education programme to school groups; lead selected guided learning sessions (session plans provided) / supporting education lead; attend training sessions & meetings; being friendly & approachable to visitors, especially children; interacting with children in a sensitive & responsive manner, with awareness of procedures regarding child protection; peer mentoring & observation during guided learning sessions.   BUT   Experience in an educational setting; confident or experienced delivering enquiry based learning to school groups; able to work in a team of staff & volunteers; able to communicate well to a diverse range of audiences; familiarity with Martin Mere Centre an advantage.   ASK   Amy Hannan, Volunteer Development Officer, amy.hannan@wwt.org.uk 01704 891 224


REF        556-FOCUSR-3/3


BE4        ?


PAY        Training, tools & equipment provided & expenses reimbursed necessary            

FOR        RSPB

DES        1 day per week, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. With over 100,000 visitors a year, Leighton Moss is a very busy site. We aim to deliver first class customer care at all times, as well as providing an outstanding home for wildlife. The reserve hosts many school/college/university & youth group visits during term time & family events at other times. Our professional Learning Team delivers exciting outdoor learning activities & Volunteer Learning Assistants play an important role – leading some of the standardised sessions with groups, inspiring & engaging children, students & families.   BUT   Experience of working with groups of young people; a friendly demeanour & ability to engage & inspire people about wildlife; ability to lead outdoor activities with groups of varying sizes, with people of varying ages & abilities; excellent communication skills; an ability to be outdoors & ‘on the go’ all day; a resourceful & flexible approach; an interest in wildlife, but no expertise required!   ASK   Carol Bamber carol.bamber@rspb.org.uk 01524 703015


REF        557-FOCUSR-6/10


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Benefits*


DES        We have opportunities on all days. You will be directly involved in shaping our visitor's unforgettable experiences through warm welcome, interaction with them & the info that you provide. We need friendly, outgoing people to help with the canoe safari operation which involves: giving H&S briefings; fitting buoyancy aids in a professional manner, paying particular attention to the sensitivities of older people & children; handling money taken for canoe trips; illustrating the use of canoes & paddles; completing paper work rel to canoe trips accurately; monitoring the canoe route & visitor's participation in the activity & keeping things tidy. *Discount is available in the cafe & shop on the days of volunteering. Training opportunities provided. Free entry to all WWT wetland centres on presentation of your WWT name badge.   BUT   Will need own transport to get to the centre. No previous experience is required as training provided. However, this role will suit you if you have a love of wildlife & the outdoors & are: confident or experienced in talking to the public; able to work in a team of staff & vols & experienced in a visitor service env with a strong commitment to excellent customer service. Experience in canoeing is an advantage.   ASK   Amy Hannan, Volunteer Development Officer  amy.hannan@wwt.org.uk 01704 891224


logo: Groundwork 

Graduate Volunteer Project Assistant (VPA) programme

12 week graduate volunteer placements available now across Greater Manchester. Gain meaningful project management experience in a variety of sectors. Choose a placement that fits with your vision of a professional career. Increase your skills, confidence and employability - stand out from the crowd at interviews. Network with employers and project partners. Complete projects that change lives and improve local communities.  http://c-js.co.uk/2hUoDQz   Queries to John Davies, 0161 785 7411, john.davies@groundwork.org.uk


Wildflower rich grasslands are vital habitats for birds, butterflies, bees and other wildlife and our South Pennines Grassland Project needs your help to restore these endangered habitats.  We run volunteer work parties every Wednesday and to find out more please contact Phil Reddell at preddell@lancswt.org.uk or ring 01772 324129.


Second Saturday of each month                    Audlem Towpath Taskforce

The Shroppie Fly, Audlem, Cheshire CW3 0DL, Canal & River Trust      Contact: http://c-js.co.uk/2knf3WS

Meet at 10am to tackle tasks from hedgelaying to lock painting on the beautiful Shropshire Union Canal.  All equipment provided, plus expert support and refreshments. 


North Lancashire Conservation Days. Join our volunteer team and help us carry out practical habitat management and ecological surveys on our North Lancs nature reserves. Help needed year round. Tools and training provided. Contact Steve Ryder on sryder@lancswt.org.uk, or see www.lancswt.org.uk for more info.



REF        558-FOCUS-31/3


BE4        31/3/17


PAY        On-site camping accomm & facilities, 3 meals a day, training


DES        Full time for 2 months. Passionate & hardworking individuals to fulfil the summer internship programme across 5 departments: catering management; organiser’s office; technical & maintenance; hospitality & housekeeping & sustainability & education. Interns will be responsible for the daily operation of their departments, incl management of a team of vols. A holistic training programme provided within the first week, along with continual mentoring from an experienced member of the trustee board. You will have the opportunity to measure your progress through regular check-ins with the Interns Manager.   BUT   Work well as part of a team as well as independently, have a passion for sustainability, charity work, ecotourism, outdoor living & enjoy taking on new challenges & responsibility. All interns are required to stay on site throughout the season & are provided with full board, incl accomm if required (although we strongly encourage individuals to bring their own tent & sleeping bag). There will also be opportunities for off-site activities, for example canoeing or visiting fellow eco-businesses, during quieter periods of the season.   ASK   www.greenandaway.org/volunteering/internships


REF        559-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Fuel expenses, in-house training


DES        At least once a month. Rangers love the countryside & being out in the fresh air, so they know what our visitors need. They’re great at taking care of the wildlife & stunning landscapes of Brockhampton Estate, for ever, for everyone.  

BUT   We need people who are outdoorsy; able to be out whatever the weather’s doing; reasonably fit & healthy – you don’t need to be Superman but you’ll do a lot of walking & practical tasks. Keen to work with people & animals! Keen to learn about countryside management.   ASK   Apply through myvolunteering on the National Trust website, http://bit.ly/2bOf56Y or contact nicholas.hinchliffe@nationaltrust.org.uk for more information.


REF        560-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        Ongoing

LOC        Fenn’s, Whixall & Bettisfield Mosses NNR, & NNR Base (N Shropshire)

PAY        Travel expenses


DES        Great opportunity to assist with the restoration of part of Britain’s 3rd largest lowland raised peat bog. The NNR is 690ha & straddles the English / Welsh border, 4 miles from Whitchurch, Shropshire & 10 miles from Wrexham. Role is varied & can incl practical estate & habitat management tasks, surveying / monitoring, assisting with events / guided walks & office projects. Protective clothing & some formal courses & in-house training provided.   BUT   Suitable for a student looking for a work placement or someone wanting to gain further experience in the conservation sector. Reliable & enthusiastic, keen interest in wildlife & conservation, physically fit & prepared to work outdoors.   ASK   Peter Bowyer, Senior Reserve Manager, peter.bowyer@naturalengland.org.uk 01948 880362 www.naturalengland.org.uk


REF        561-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing               


PAY        Travel expenses(restricted distance), on the job training


DES        Regular commitment preferred; Tuesdays & Wednesdays only at the moment. Volunteer on a National Nature Reserve helping us to conserve one of the UK’s most important sites. You will be learning practical conservation skills, such as grassland, scrub, woodland & boundary management. You would be volunteering alongside a small team of staff & vols delivering to a professional standard. Possibility of certified training for long term vols.   BUT   Previous experience of practical conservation & quals a benefit but not essential. Steep terrain of the site & nature of the work demands a good level of fitness.   ASK   CV or details of experience & certification to shaun.taylor@naturalengland.org.uk


REF        562-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N/A


PAY        Training & uniform provided


DES        1 day per week or more depending on availability. Could you inspire visitors about the wildlife & landscape of Gibraltar Point? Vols have always been at the heart of Gibraltar Point & this won’t change with the new visitor centre. Vols are critical to engaging with visitors & helping them appreciate & enjoy what they see. Assist in: putting up displays; running events; engaging the public; assisting visitor centre staff.   BUT   An interest in local wildlife & nature conservation, positive attitude, good people skills, enthusiasm, willingness to learn.   ASK   Vicki or Jennifer gibvc@lincstrust.co.uk 07903 390029 / 07584 655708


REF        563-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Genuine expenses plus*


DES        At least 1 day a week but can be Saturday. Assist community woodland manager with hands on day to day management of the woodland incl: coppicing, clearing drainage ditches, planting, hedge laying path improvement & adding value to wood products incl green woodworking for sale to work towards woodland being self sustaining. *firewood if desired, on the job training possibility of access to short courses in woodland skills / conservation.   BUT   Must be reasonably fit as work is physical in nature & able to work outdoors year round. Willing to undergo DBS check as may be working alongside children & young people but not a requirement of the position. Some experience in woodland work or green woodworking or knowledge of woodland environments beneficial but not essential. Most important & essential enthusiastic & willing to learn.   ASK   jane@toy-library.co.uk 0115 9753898


REF        564-FOCUS-28/7


BE4        30/7/17

LOC        The Wolseley Centre, Stafford & Westport Lake Visitor Centre, Stoke On Trent

PAY        Training*


DES        Assist the Education team in the promotion of environmental education programmes, play & youth events. Work alongside the communications staff on SWT’s website & social media channels, as well as helping with marketing projects within the Education team. This is a great opportunity to develop your communications skills. Can be part of a placement (6 weeks - 9 months) or 1-2 days per week of school holidays & when available during weekends & term time. *As part of your induction you will receive training to help equip you for your role (health & safety, safeguarding etc.).   BUT   We are looking for a volunteer who is confident, imaginative, independent & passionate about connecting children & their families to nature. This role will suit people who have media & design experience in a different sector, but want practical knowledge within a busy Education team. Enjoy meeting people, in particular families & children, & like getting actively involved in all aspects of the communication team. The role is perfect for someone considering a career working in the media sector, working in the outdoors or wanting to develop communication skills.   ASK   Alison Cross a.cross@staffs-wildlife.org.uk 01782 826985 / 07854 532522 www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk/volunteer


REF        565-FOCUSR-10/3


BE4        Spring 2017


PAY        Training*


DES        Master Composters are volunteers who encourage people in their local community to start composting & offer support to those who are already home composting. 30 hours per year. * Free compost training (enquire for local dates), ongoing support, expenses & membership to garden organic.   BUT   Anyone can be a Master Composter, though an interest in compost & sustainable waste management is needed. You will have good communication skills, enjoy talking to people & have a positive & flexible approach to volunteering. Live in one of the project recruitment areas.   ASK   Kate Newman 02476 217721 knewman@gardenorganic.org.uk www.gardenorganic.org.uk/master-composter-schemes


Every Wednesday              Icknield Port Towpath Taskforce

Icknield Port depot, Birmingham B16 0AA, Canal & River Trust                Contact: http://c-js.co.uk/2kO8L37

Meet at 8am to tackle tasks from litter picking to lock painting on Birmingham Main Line Canal.  All equipment provided, plus expert support and refreshments. 


Alternating Thursdays and Sundays             Weekly workdays

Welsh Marches, working in woodlands in Wales & the Midlands around Knighton, Knighton Tree Allotments Trust     Contact: 01547 520374, woodland@tveg.org.uk, http://c-js.co.uk/2kMTxLP

Join our woodland conservation workdays. We are a group who come together to learn woodland skills and manage woodlands for the benefit of wildlife and our members. 


Every Tuesday and Thursday         Practical conservation projects

West Lindsey area and particularly around Gainsborough, TCV              Contact: Darren Nortcliffe, Project Officer 07739 447956, darren.nortcliffe@tcv.org.uk                             

Projects range from tree planting, pruning, vegetation clearance, footpath construction and many more.


Sunday 12 March               Conservation Day

Thorganby, Lincolnshire Chalk Streams Project          Contact: 01522 555783, william.bartle@lincolnshire.gov.uk, http://c-js.co.uk/2k0pBeB

Thanks to funding from WREN (www.wren.org.uk) we're able to run volunteer conservation days to look after Lincolnshire's rare chalk streams.


We are looking for a team of passionate gardeners, ranging in experience to volunteer at Ryton Organic Gardens. We have a lot of ambitious plans for our garden in 2017. We offer the opportunity to socialise and develop your horticultural skills. Contact Debi Maltby on 02476 308237.



REF        566-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        ?

LOC        Various, see below

PAY        Travel


DES        To welcome visitors to the centre, providing excellent visitor care. Helping with all centre duties including sales, promoting membership & boat trips (at some centres)   BUT   Friendly & enthusiastic & welcoming personality. Customer services skills & confidence. Love of wildlife & wild places. Numerate, reliable time keeper and able to work as part of team & on own initiative. Able to multi-task. Centres host frequent school parties, child friendly approach essential.

LOC                        Hickling Broad Visitor Centre

DES / BUT             1 day per week or provide cover on more flexible basis. Open 10- 5 daily Easter - October.

LOC                        NWT Holme Dunes

DES / BUT             The Centre is at the end of a mile long gravel track & is part of warden's accom. No public transport.  Open 10-5 daily Easter  - October, option to work weekends during winter.

LOC                        NWT Ranworth Broad, both Centres

DES / BUT             Regular half / full day per week / fortnight. Open daily 10-5 April - Sept plus weekend & school holidays in October.

LOC                        NWT Weeting Heath

DES / BUT             Part of Wings over the Brecks project. Live video footage of stone curlews. Help to promote the work of project partners, RSPB & Forestry Commission. Open daily 9.30-4.30 March to August, flexible would prefer half day per week.   ALL: ASK   http://c-js.co.uk/1xhHX6P  volunteer@norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk


REF        567-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        Ongoing

LOC        Broadwalks Nature Reserve and Hampton Nature Reserve, Peterborough

PAY        ?


DES        Froglife reserve volunteers are friendly & welcoming, we undertake ecological surveys for a range of wildlife in spring & summer.  During autumn & winter we carry out habitat management to improve habitat quality & connectivity for a range of wildlife incl reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, birds & mammals.  We are also seeking volunteers to assist with data entry.   BUT   Interest in wildlife, enthusiasm for working outdoors in all weathers.  Moderate level of physical fitness for reserve tasks.   ASK   http://www.froglife.org/what-we-do/events email the warden liz.morrison@froglife.org


REF        569-FOCUSR-31/3


BE4        31/3/17


PAY        Appropriate training & expenses reimbursed where necessary

FOR        RSPB

DES        1 day per week between 1 May - 31 August. Do you want to do something special to help children & their families experience & connect with nature on their doorstep? Join a team to help us engage families in outdoor nature based activities in local parks & green spaces, with the aim of connecting children & families to nature. Activities will focus on features of signs of spring & summer & will include minibeast hunting, nature trails & scavenger hunts.   BUT   Essential: enthusiasm for connecting children to nature; ability to stay calm when there's a bit of pressure (we engage a lot of people!); good timekeeping & organisational skills; ability to run an activity according to RSPB guidelines; willingness to learn along with the children; willing & able to work outdoors in all weather; able to be on your feet, ready for anything. Desirable: some experience of working with children & families; basic nature knowledge.   ASK   Hannah Dryland hannah.dryland@rspb.org.uk 01603 660066


Every other Wednesday                   Conservation work party

Trumpington Meadows Nature Reserve in Cambridge, The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire    Contact: trumpingtonmeadows@wildlifebcn.org 

Join the rangers for this new conservation work party. Tasks vary: coppicing, hay raking, wildlife monitoring. A great way to meet others and enjoy the outdoors. No experience necessary.


Help us to look after the Suffolk coast and estuaries by being our eyes and ears on the ground and recording specific issues as advised by the AONB. For more information, please contact Lynn Allen, Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB, 01394 445225 or lynn.allen@suffolk.gov.uk


Beachwatch is the Marine Conservation Society's national beach cleaning and litter surveying programme. Our marine wildlife and environment is under threat from litter and pollution. Join an existing Suffolk team or establish your own! Contact Lynn Allen at Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB, 01394 445225 or lynn.allen@suffolk.gov.uk


logo: CIEEMSo you want to work in ecology and environmental management?


Getting onto the career ladder in our profession is challenging as any aspiring ecologist, environmental manager or conservation officer will tell you. Whilst there are a wealth of degree programmes and some (not enough) apprenticeships, getting that first paid job can be a struggle.


There are jobs out there though. One way to give yourself the best chance to

Getting to grips with species identification is an essential skill © James Constant

Getting to grips with species identification is an essential skill

© James Constant 

maximise your chances of landing a job is to make sure you have the knowledge and skills that employers are looking for. So what are they looking for?


At the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) we use feedback from employers and early career members to influence the content and learning outcome criteria of degree programmes that we accredit (http://www.cieem.net/cieem-accredited-degrees). We believe that accredited degree programmes give graduates the best chance of being equipped to successfully get that first job. But whether following an accredited programme, a non-accredited programme or entering the profession through a non-academic route, there are things that you can do to increase your employability.


In 2011 we published the findings of research into skills gaps and skills shortages in the sector. Closing the Gap: Rebuilding ecological skills in the 21st century (CIEEM, 2011) was a response to anecdotal evidence of growing concerns that, at a time when arguably the demand for ecological and conservation management skills has never been greater, the critical skills are in decline in the UK. The key findings of this research identified a number of specific skills gaps and shortages:

  • Species identification in general but especially of invertebrates, fish and lower plants.
  • Ecological survey, data assessment, evaluation and monitoring for fish and invertebrates.
  • Ecological impact assessment across a range of habitats.
  • Habitat creation, restoration and management in marine, coastal and upland habitats.


There were also knowledge gaps, particularly in the following areas:

  • Application of environmental economics and techniques for the valuation of ecosystem services.
  • Understanding of freshwater, marine and coastal processes.
  • Understanding of spatial planning.
  • Knowledge of mitigation techniques across a range of habitats and species.
  • Understanding of environmental legislation and its policy implications.


Balanced against these findings is the need to understand the extent to which these skills are required. For example fish identification is quite specialised and the number of potential employers is relatively low.


Working with colleagues in the field is a vital part of work experience (Shutterstock)

Working with colleagues in the field is a vital

part of work experience (Shutterstock) 

During the latter half of 2016 we undertook further research to establish where we are now in terms of skills gaps and shortages and to understand which areas of professional development are considered to be a priority for investment because of the needs of the roles. A report on this work, which was led by Dr Debbie Bartlett CMLI FCIEEM and Eulalia Gomez-Martin MSc Grad CIEEM, will be published later this year but the initial findings may be surprising.


Participants were asked to identify recent and future development needs by using the CIEEM Competency Framework, which identifies 40 technical and transferable competencies – the latter being common to most professions. The findings indicated that, whilst species and habitat identification and management skills are still key, it is some of the transferable competencies that individuals and employers are investing heavily in. Examples include:

  • Communication skills.
  • Project management.
  • Business management including an understanding of the realities of the work environment, whether that be in a commercial, voluntary or public sector role.


Feedback from employers suggests that these are skills rarely found in early career job applicants.


So how can these skills, apparently so highly valued by employers, be acquired? Is it in the classroom? Well, yes, some of them can be to a limited extent. But surely the most effective place to learn is in the workplace. If employers want applicants who can demonstrate at least a basic level of understanding and skill in these areas then they need to provide more opportunities for potential employees to acquire them, ideally through appropriate work experience.


In early 2016 CIEEM published new guidance for members on providing work experience

(http://c-js.co.uk/2k6GQq5) (5.5MB). The guidance, aimed primarily at employers but also of use to those seeking work experience, sets out ways in which a successful experience can be planned and provided to the benefit of both parties. There are some key principles to bear in mind.

  • Work experience should be planned to ensure that the participant gets a range of experiences that will help their career.
  • There should be an exchange of expectations so both parties are clear on what will happen.
  • There should be proper supervision and support – the workplace can be very daunting. Host organisations should be generous with their time, resources and access to relevant training.
  • It is not a source of unpaid or cheap labour – participants are there to learn.


Good work experience opportunities are an important means of improving employability (CIEEM)

Good work experience

opportunities are an

important means of

improving employability


Employers must take responsibility for encouraging and supporting enthusiastic, talented and motivated people to find a way into our sector and helping them become established. Work experience is not the only way. It sits alongside accessing knowledge networking opportunities (for example through the CIEEM Member Network events), providing input into academic programmes and supporting practical studies. But work experience is the best way, if not the only way, to provide aspiring ecologists with an insight into the realities and pressures of the work environment and the opportunity to acquire, pre-employment, those transferable competencies employers require as well as the more generic technical skills in an applied context. Besides, most employers find those undertaking work experience bring with them knowledge, ideas and commitment that can be of real value to the host organisation.


Sally Hayns


For more information about CIEEM, membership and our practical resources and guidance please visit www.cieem.net



REF        570-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        All year


PAY        0


DES / BUT   We are looking for enthusiastic, outgoing volunteers who will inspire the public to support the conservation work that we do through public engagement at community events. This varied role involves attending events from local village fairs to national shows. You will be working with RSPB staff members where you will be chatting to the public, assisting with the set-up of the stand & running engaging activities for families. We have a fantastic partnership with Famous Grouse Whisky, which allows us to fundraise through whisky tasting & selling raffles, with the prize being a whisky hamper.   ASK   Emily Sinclair, emily.sinclair@rspb.org.uk  02920 3532000.


REF        571-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N/A

LOC        BRECON, POWYS              

PAY        0


DES/BUT               Join the charity as a trustee. Would you like the opportunity to give something back to your local community & help the natural environment? Want to put your skills to good use & help shape the future of the leading local wildlife charity in Brecknock?   ASK   For an informal discussion about the role, what you could contribute & the recruitment process please contact Phil Sutton, Chief Executive Officer psutton@brecknockwildlifetrust.org.uk or write to Brecknock Wildlife Trust, Lion House, Bethel Square, Brecon, Powys LD3 7AY 01874 625708


Every Tuesday, Thursday, some Wednesdays & Sundays                     Habitat Management Volunteering

Swansea &/or Neath Port Talbot areas, Wildlife Trust South & West Wales           Contact: Tara Daniels, 07855 009622  t.daniels@welshwildlife.org 

9.00 – 15.00. Come along up to 3 days a week & make a difference at one of our regular volunteer work parties. The New Wild Woodlands Project is undertaking habitat management improvement work near you. Why not come & get experience at coppicing, non-native species control, meadow management & surveys.


logo: Keep Wales Tidy
Keep Wales Tidy run working parties
throughout the year & tasks include litter picking, habitat management, footpath works, woodland management, Coastcare & many more. Anyone who would like to volunteer should contact KWT on 029 20256767 or south@keepwalestidy.org




logo: Forestry Commission EnglandREF        573-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing               


PAY        Full training & uniform


DES        Three hour shifts once or twice month. Enthusiastic & friendly volunteers to work as part of Visitor Services team, giving directions, advice & warm welcome.   BUT   Friendly open personality, good communication skills. Enjoy meeting people, like working as part of a team.   ASK   susan.baines@forestry.gsi.gov.uk 01580 879820


REF        574-FOCUS-31/3


BE4        31/3/17  IV 6 & 7/4/17 to start 2/5/17


PAY        Accomm provided, outdoor first aid training, extensive in house training


DES        30 hours per week for 8 - 12 months. Deliver & help co-ordinate volunteers to deliver the courses. The experience you will gain during your time here will be far reaching & will serve you well in future ventures.  The chosen candidate will have a tailored experience which develops areas specific to them in order that this experience truly helps their forward career progression.    BUT   Essential: good presentation skills & a degree of self-confidence to deliver to all ages; good communicator with cheerful disposition; experience working with young people; understanding of British nature & the natural world; able to work alone or within a team, prioritise tasks & manage own time; self motivated; IT literate & willing & able to work outdoors in all weathers. Desirable: visitor management, customer care or marketing experience; working with vols; teaching qual & knowledge of National Curriculum & full UK driving licence.   ASK   Express your interest to Catherine McCusker, Learning & Events Officer catherine.mccusker@nationaltrust.org.uk


REF        575-FOCUS-3/3


BE4        ?


PAY        Travel expenses, training


DES        At least three days (Tue-Thurs) every week for a period of around six months. Help plan, lead & deliver projects & help us to expand to take on new projects. We currently run project days on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, taking groups of vols to sites in & around Croydon to work on improving green spaces. The tasks incl coppicing; planting; fencing & footpath work; pond maintenance; & general habitat creation & management. We work on a wide variety of sites, from urban parks & ponds to ancient woodland & chalk grassland meadows.   BUT   You do not need any previous experience. Your willingness to “have a go” & be involved is the most important qual. We use a minibus to transport our vols & tools to project sites & so a full, clean driving license held for over two years is highly desirable – training to drive the minibus would be provided.   ASK   Peter Underwood 020 86864993  p.underwood@tcv.org.uk


REF        576-FOCUSR-30/6


BE4        Ongoing               


PAY        Training & reasonable travel & out of pocket expenses covered             

FOR        The Conservation Volunteers

DES        2 days per week for minimum of 6 months. Help advertise & promote the work we do throughout Sussex. Be a key member of the team supporting practical action on the ground; supporting & running conservation tasks, supporting community groups, associated admin; marketing; publicity & growing the business.   BUT   Best suits someone looking to increase their knowledge of: practical conservation methods & techniques; knowledge & understanding of handling tools & equipment; supervising others, ensuring compliance with H&S; publicity & marketing of our engagement incl press releases, social media & articles for local news outlets, parish websites & others sources. This role is ideal for a candidate that enjoys being outside & seeing the “finished product” of their labours.   ASK   For a copy of the Volunteer Officer pack or any other queries please contact Tim or Jenny 01424 444675 volunteers-sussex@tcv.org.uk


REF        577-FOCUSR-30/6


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Reasonable travel & out of pocket expenses covered


DES        2 days per week for minimum of 6 months. Help advertise & promote the work we do throughout East & West Sussex. Be a key member of the team in supporting our advertising, marketing & promotional activities & helping to support & build local relationships. Make contact with key media outlets & find out what their interests are; support the design of bespoke promotional materials; maintain & develop distribution lists; support on site events by taking photos & talking to visitors / participants to get good quality quotes to use in press work. Manage Facebook & Twitter profiles, linking to other rel profiles to increase awareness such as YouTube, Vimeo & Flickr to enhance our online features.  BUT   Please be aware that travel may be required. Use of Microsoft Office; social media; writing press releases; creating posters & leaflets; communicating with community groups & professionals; creating &/or amending websites; Photoshop; be capable of working unsupervised; communicate effectively both online & in person; bring new ideas to the table.   ASK   For a copy of the Volunteer Officer pack or any queries please contact Tim or Jenny on 01424 444675 email volunteer-sussex@tcv.org.uk


REF        581-FOCUS-10/3


BE4        N / A


PAY        Training


DES / BUT   TCV is the largest environmental volunteering charity in the UK. We work in woodlands, nature reserves & parks, carrying out conservation tasks such as coppicing, hedge laying, vegetation management & tree planting. We also construct paths, steps, pond dipping platforms & bridges. You will be working closely with the Project Officer on various Haringey parks, woodlands & LNRs. As you gain skills & experience you will take a leading role on practical days, assisting other volunteers. You may also be asked to do some promotion & administration tasks at our office, Railway Fields LNR. You will gain valuable skills & experience in the conservation sector & have access to rel TCV training such as first aid, project leadership & wildlife ID.   ASK   Lizzy Nazer or Trudi Wilkinson, Railway Fields LNR, 020 83486005 l.nazer@tcv.org.uk  t.wilkinson@tcv.org.uk


REF        582-FOCUSR-4/8


BE4        N/A


PAY        Half day training, mileage can be claimed

FOR        Butterfly Conservation: Hampshire & Isle of Wight branch

DES        1 - 2 hours, once a week. Livestock checkers (lookers) carry out a brief visual inspection to assess that livestock are healthy & in the right place. Lookers take a walk around the nature reserve checking each group of animals (cattle, sheep & ponies). They will also check fences for damage & check gates are closed.  No physical contact with the animals is required.   BUT   No experience is necessary as the Reserve Officer will show you around the reserve & explain in more detail what is involved. You must be at least 18 years old, have a liking for animals & be comfortable walking on uneven ground. A mobile phone & binoculars are useful, but not essential.   ASK   Jayne Chapman, Reserves Officer jchapman@butterfly-conservation.org  01962 808400  07909 968657


REF        583-FOCUSR-4/8


BE4        N/A


PAY        Training & support provided

FOR        Butterfly Conservation: Hampshire & Isle of Wight branch

DES        4 - 6 hours per event, once or twice a year. Interested in helping out at some of Butterfly Conservation's events?  We are looking for vols to help at county shows & other events to explain how Butterfly Conservation works to protect our threatened butterflies & moths.  You can help at events near your home in Hampshire.  Events usually involve setting up the event tent, running children's craft activities & speaking to the public about how they can get involved in protecting our threatened species.   BUT   There is no need to be an expert on butterflies or moths to help out.  All we ask is that you are enthusiastic, flexible, outgoing & like dealing with the public.  You will also need your own transport as some of the site events are rural.   ASK   Clive Wood clivepwood@gmail.com


REF        584-FOCUSR-28/7


BE4        28/7/17


PAY        Travel expenses  & training


DES        To coordinate the long-running Wiltshire Rivers Monitoring Scheme, incl the local (Angling) Riverfly Monitoring Initiative (www.riverflies.org) & other river based monitoring programmes. Collate monitoring data & maintain the central database; support volunteer monitors throughout the county; assist with training of new monitors. The Water Team is widely recognised as a key player in preparing, planning & delivering river restoration & habitat improvement projects throughout Wiltshire. Monitoring river health & the effectiveness of our restoration projects are very important parts our work. 1 or 2 days a week.   BUT   Enthusiastic with a number of the following skills, however, training & support of the team will be provided to improve skills if necessary: affinity with & passion for freshwater conservation; Knowledge of Wiltshire’s rivers & wildlife – especially invertebrates & plant species; experience with working with volunteers; good computer skills, particularly MS Excel [& Access]; good & clear communicator; quick learner & motivator.   ASK   CV to Martijn Antheunisse (Team Leader Water, martijna@wiltshirewildlife.org), & give us your motivation why you would like to take on this role, & how you could help with growing & maturing our volunteer base. Info: 01380 736066.


REF        585-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        N / A

LOC        ESSEX

PAY        Work experience


DES        Role is flexible and negotiable but usually involves 2 days per week for a min of 6 months. We have 4 weekly vol groups and work with community groups across the county. Whether part of one of our action teams or helping to organise & deliver projects to improve green spaces; vols are essential to everything we do. Volunteer officers & leaders can train to lead vol groups on a range of practical conservation activities & can get involved in all aspects of running projects depending on their interests & skills they want to develop. This is a great opportunity for someone looking to gain work experience in conservation, community building or someone looking to use their skills to help others. We can provide: work experience in conservation & community building; opportunity to use your skills to help others; leadership experience.   BUT   All level of experience is welcome. Enjoy working outdoors; passion for nature. Community orientated & enjoy assisting people.   ASK   Nicola Downs, Senior Project Officer, 01206 764470  essex@tcv.org.uk


REF        586-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Training & travel


DES / BUT   Want to volunteer outside & help vulnerable residents? The join Groundwork’s Green Aiders team! Put your skills into action with weekly gardening sessions in gardens across Hertfordshire, west Essex, Cambridgeshire & Bedfordshire. Get buckets of experience – two new gardens every time. Free training in gardening & power tool use. All PPE, tools, equipment, lunches & travel costs covered.   ASK   www.groundwork.org.uk/east To book a place, arrange a taster day or for more information contact Stephen, 01707 255183 or stephen.windmill@groundwork.org.uk 


REF        587-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N/A

LOC        SURREY & HAMPSHIRE (near Farnham & Hazeley Reserves)               

PAY        Travel expenses

FOR        RSPB

DES        1 day per month incl weekends. Work as a team, assisting with a range of events in order to help us raise the profile of the RSPB & the reserves. Variable time required but approx.   BUT   Enthusiastic with great communication skills & the ability to be able to share your enthusiasm for nature, birds & wildlife with people of all ages. Outgoing personality. An enjoyment of hands-on activities e.g. badge making, mask making etc. is useful for family events. Required to travel to events.   ASK   Mary Braddock, Farnham & Hazeley Heath Reserves 07714 271024 / 01252 795632 mary.braddock@rspb.org.uk


REF        T588-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        Ongoing

LOC        LONDON, SE11 4AS

Pay         QCF Level 2 Award/Diploma in Horticulture*

FOR        Trees for Cities (with Walworth Garden Farm)

Des         4 months time commitment. This training incl 3 days a week work experience with Trees for Cities & 1 day a week classroom based training at Walworth Garden Farm. The hours are Monday – Thursday, 8:30am – 4:30pm. *Subsidised Lunch & Travel up to £15 per day for those aged between 18 & 24.   BUT   The course is aimed at people who are not in work, who are reliable, physically able, hardworking, & have a passion for urban greening.   ASK   Sylvia Linton (Facilities & HR Manager)  07714 559470 training@treesforcities.org


REF        589-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Travel expenses


DES        The Our Past, Our Future Landscape Partnership Scheme volunteers can take part in archaeological digs, botanical surveys, digitising historical documents, recording the history of commoning, clearing invasive plants, monitoring water quality & much more. The range of activities are supported by 11 different partners to inspire a new generation to champion & care for the New Forest. Volunteers can give as much time as they would like.   BUT   No previous experience or qualifications required, just a desire & passion to learn about, improve & enjoy the New Forest National Park.   ASK   Richard Austin, richard.austin@newforestnpa.gov.uk


REF        590-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        N / A


PAY        Training provided               


DES        There are lots of different roles involved with bat care, & you can commit to as much or as little as you want. From picking up injured bats as an ‘ambulance driver’, to caring for them & rehabilitating, all important steps in making sure these bats have the best chance of being released back into the wild. We are looking for new volunteers all across the Hampshire region but especially in the New Forest area. Help with advertising & recruiting new bat carers in the New Forest area currently needed.   BUT   Previous experience in small mammal care an advantage, but more important is a willingness to learn & desire to make a practical impact on the conservation of bats.   ASK   Eva, evalaysan@gmail.com


REF        591-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training


DES / BUT   From finding fairies with 4 year olds to teaching 16 year olds to survey plantlife, from pond dipping with 10 year olds to calculating diversity with A-level students, every day with the Education Team is different, & most importantly, every day is fun. Assist our staff team with the delivery of sessions & lead small (up to 15 children) walk groups around the reserve, enthusing & teaching them about the natural world. Likely timings are 9.30-14.30 (lower key stages) or 9.00-15.30 (KS3 upwards); 1 - 3 days a week. Our sessions complement the national curriculum so we are looking for teachers or anyone with a keen interest in natural history to join our brilliant team of volunteers & help us to deliver inspirational days out at our educational nature reserves. This is also a great opportunity for those who want to work in environmental education to gain experience. You can choose the age group you work with & we’ll give you all the training you need, so no prior experience of environmental education is required, although those with experience are very welcome! We will arrange first aid training, if necessary, & a DBS check.      ASK   Lucy at nowerwood@surreywt.org.uk  or 01372 379509.


REF        592-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Uniform, tool training


DES        Volunteers attend conservation tasks supervised by the Ranger Team & Volunteer Leaders to carry out management of the Lee Valley Park. Help to undertake management Plan & Biodiversity Action Plan driven tasks & activities to benefit conservation, the environment, fauna & flora, & visitors in the Lee Valley Park. Please see the latest Conservation Tasks Programme for more examples.    BUT   Time commitment is flexible. You should be of an active nature.  Knowledge & experience of conservation management helpful.    ASK   volunteers@leevalleypark.org.uk 01992 709 867


We're looking for volunteers with a passion for enthusing children about the natural world. After shadowing the Schools Outreach Officer you will then lead our workshops with classes of children aged 3-11. These workshops inspire children to get close up to the nature in their school grounds.  Brighton based. Contact: stephanie.downes@rspb.org.uk


The Thanet Coast offers free training and support for volunteer 'Coastal Wardens' to help look after sections of coastline and monitor activities, wildlife or join practical tasks - from non-native species control, beach cleans, school fieldtrips to helping run educational 'Seashore Safaris'.  Further information: nekmpa.org.uk  or contact us at: thanet.coast@thanet.gov.uk


Practical conservation volunteering with the Downlands Partnership (NE Surrey / Croydon / Sutton) and/or Lower Mole Partnership (North Surrey / Kingston) is great for health, happiness & habitat.  All ages welcome (over 15 years). Weekly seasonal scheduled task programmes to enjoy. Full details at www.surreycc.gov.uk/surreycountrysidepartnerships. The Downlands crew would especially welcome some more helping hands please!


We care for and maintain Woodcock Hill Village Green in Borehamwood. Tasks from scrub bashing to meadow creation and pond installation and we always welcome new volunteers. If you feel this opportunity is for you, please email Alex Melson: asmelson93@gmail.com


Learn new skills and improve your physical and mental wellbeing, whilst taking care of your local environment! Join The Conservation Volunteers at the Camden Green Gym and choose from six weekly sessions! Volunteering with TCV is free, simple and no experience is necessary. Email gg-camden@tcv.org.uk  or call 07768 710359


Voluntary Officer, SE London. Help support our food-growing Green Gym with young offenders serving community reparation orders. Previous horticultural / carpentry experience less important than willingness to attend regular Saturdays on the allotment, additional admin time optional. Training available. Six month commitment preferred. Contact James Squires, Project Officer 07740 899689 or j.squires@tcv.org.uk


East Sussex Health Walks are looking for more Volunteer Health Walk Leaders to join and expand their successful programme of guided walks across East Sussex. If you would enjoy helping others to improve their health and enjoy the outdoors, contact Jenny on 07740 899559 or email j.deering@tcv.org.uk


Volunteers / Internships are available at Church Farm, a mixed ecological farm in Hertfordshire. We provide all amenities, and if you stay more than 6 months we pay expenses of £50 weekly. We also welcome volunteers to get involved in community farm life and to learn new skills. Contact Tony at tony@farm2table.co.uk


Volunteers required for our Swingbridge community boats in West Surrey - no experience required and training is provided. Some people volunteer every week; for others it is a more occasional commitment. For more information visit www.swingbridge.org.uk


Join one of our 4 weekly volunteer work parties carrying out practical conservation tasks in Essex. Upcoming activities for all groups can be found at www.tcv.org.uk/eastern Get more details about volunteering with TCV or book a place on one of our activities by contacting Nicola Downs at essex@tcv.org.uk or 01206 764470


To participate in surveys to monitor woodland condition and ground flora in the Oxlip Woods Living Landscape, alongside the Reserves Officer. Digitalising survey records, both past and present, using Microsoft Office, and collating and reporting the results of the surveys. Please contact volunteering@essexwt.org.uk


Butterfly Surveyor Needed. No experience necessary, just an interest and willingness to learn. Full training provided. Two hours a week from April-August.  Please phone: 07725 246192 / 01708 857245 email: dhrutibell@littlebelhuscountrypark.co.uk


The Steyning Downland Scheme manages 165 acres of the South Downs National Park near Steyning, West Sussex.  Volunteers carry out habitat management, manage a herd of Dexter cattle and record an amazing variety of wildlife on the site. To volunteer for us, contact Matthew Thomas, Project Manager at: SDS@wistonestate.co.uk


First & Third Wednesday of the month         Countryside Volunteer

Frensham Great Pond, Bacon Lane, Churt, Surrey GU10 2QB, Waverley Borough Council   Contact: 01483 523394, parksandcountryside@waverley.gov.uk

10am-3.30pm. Spring & summer tasks: removing invasive plants, improving paths, creating steps , installing seats for visitors, litter-picking  & hay-making.  Autumn & winter tasks: hedge laying, coppicing, vegetation clearance, planting trees & clearing ponds of excess vegetation. Uniform, Tea & coffee provided (but bring your own lunch).


Every third Wednesday    Countryside Volunteer

Broadwater Park, Summer's Road, Godalming, GU7 3BH, Waverley Borough Council      Contact: 01483 523394, parksandcountryside@waverley.gov.uk

Meet at 10am at the Rangers Office. Spring & summer tasks: removing invasive plants, improving paths , creating steps, installing seats for visitors, litter-picking & hay-making.  Autumn & winter tasks: hedge laying, coppicing, vegetation clearance, planting trees & clearing ponds of excess vegetation. Uniform provided.


Every Tuesday    Green Gym

Hounslow Heath, TCV        Contact: Nadia 07801 686014, n.ward@tcv.org.uk, @TCVHounslow

Join Hounslow Heath Green Gym volunteers 10.45 - 2pm. TCV help manage woodlands, meadows, heathland, and ponds on this iconic park. Learn new practical conservation skills, see great wildlife, meet new people and stay active on Hounslow Heath. Sessions are free, no experience necessary. 


Wednesday & Thursdays             Conservation volunteer

Dartford, Sevenoaks, Bexley & Gravesend, North West Kent Countryside Partnership, KCC     Contact: 01322 621239, sara.spellman@kent.gov.uk

We work in meadows, woodlands, shallow chalk rivers, schools, community areas, public rights of way and green spaces to provide natural flood defence, create and manage habitats, deliver improvement works to nature areas within schools as well as improving areas for wildlife and the community to use together.


First Sunday of the month & some Wednesdays       Work party

Cockaynes Wood, Wivenhoe, Essex Wildlife Trust      Contact: volunteering@essexwt.org.uk

Volunteers required in a great way to get involved with hands on conservation work whilst enjoying the company of other people.


First Sunday of the month                Work party volunteers

Chigborugh Lakes in Maldon, Essex Wildlife Trust      Contact: volunteering@essexwt.org.uk

9am - midday. It is a great way to get involved with hands on conservation work whilst enjoying the company of other people.


Saturdays every two weeks and Wednesdays          Work Party volunteers

Danbury reserves, Essex Wildlife Trust          Contact: volunteering@essexwt.org.uk

Help on the reserves. It is a great way to get involved with hands on conservation work whilst enjoying the company of other people.


One Sunday a month (September to March)               Work party

Lexden Gathering Grounds Nature Reserve, Essex Wildlife Trust            Contact: volunteering@essexwt.org.uk

Work party volunteers wanted. It is a great way to get involved with hands on conservation work whilst enjoying the company of other people.


Third Thursday of each month        Devizes Towpath Taskforce

Caen Hill depot, Devizes SN10 1QR, Canal & River Trust          Contact: http://c-js.co.uk/2jr2VV2

Meet at 10am to tackle tasks from tree planting to lock painting on the beautiful Kennet & Avon Canal.  All equipment provided, plus expert support and refreshments. 


logo: HLGWorking with Volunteers

By Derrick Hale, Assistant Hedgelaying Secretary of the Brailsford and District Ploughing and Hedgecutting Society and Secretary of the newly formed Heart of England Hedge Laying Group


A notable amount of hedgelaying is carried out by volunteer groups, from conservation, environmental, countryside ranger and other organisations. Here are some of my experiences of working with such groups.


Volunteer groups are usually comprised of people of both sexes, with a range of ages, a range of life and work experiences and with a range of physical abilities. Individual motivation for joining a volunteer group varies too and can include simply enjoying being outdoors, through wishing to maintain fitness, to perhaps being involved in a long term project for example canal or railway restoration. I have found hedgelaying to be a very popular activity with the volunteer groups I have met and worked with. 


Hedge layed at Staunton Harold reservoir by Volunteer Rangers working for Severn Trent Water (Derrick Hale)

Hedge layed at Staunton Harold reservoir by Volunteer Rangers

working for Severn Trent Water (Derrick Hale)

Some practical problems tend to arise regularly with volunteer groups. One is the "dilution of skills" process in which training is given by persons who have received limited training themselves. As time goes on and this process continues, person to person, the basic principle of hedgelaying, if learned in the first place, can be lost.  

Another familiar problem is that of tool sharpness, tool maintenance and even lack of provision of the correct tools for the job. The essential tools for hedgelaying are the axe and the billhook. So often with volunteer groups the tools arrive in a box or bag, the billhooks never having been sharpened properly and only ever rubbed over with a dry carborundum stone. I have found that axes, which have suffered the same fate, are often in short supply. A result of this is that the volunteers become frustrated and pick up the only sharp tools available, bow saws, pruning saws and loppers and the result of this, combined with loss of basic principles, is side branches disappearing and stems being sawn into at right angles to the grain and split back. The latter, for me, has nothing to do with hedgelaying and cannot be justified in terms of the health and regrowth of the hedge. 


The above is starting to sound rather hopeless but all problems can be resolved. With regard to training one option is to put volunteer groups in touch with local experienced trainers and the local hedgelaying societies which run courses. Another option is to invite members of organisations which employ volunteers on to the NHLS/Landex Train the Trainer courses. My experience indicates that some sort of further top-up or updating courses are valuable.


As a trainer working with a volunteer group it is vital to be clear about the basic principles of hedgelaying and to keep reinforcing these. My personal basic principles criteria has three parts 1. Building a living stock proof barrier, or where stock are not kept, a living fence 2. Cutting to promote growth from the base of the hedge

3. Laying the hedge in the appropriate regional style. I can, in specific circumstances be flexible on the third point and I can add "should look good" on the basis that if it looks right it is right. I find that encouraging volunteers to build a hedge can be
Hedge layed at Staunton Harold reservoir by Volunteer Rangers

Hedge layed at Staunton Harold reservoir by Volunteer

Rangers working for Severn Trent Water (Derrick Hale)

difficult as there is often a drive and focus to make cuts and get the stems down. This goes back to understanding the principles - hedgelaying is not about dropping material on the ground but about building a living, working structure.   


Working side by side with volunteers the principles and methodology can be taught. By encouraging visits back to the hedge to see the progress of regrowth makes sense of these to all.


The blunt tool problem can also be overcome. Organisations employing volunteers will usually have a workshop, somewhere. Otherwise a full time member of staff or volunteer might take an interest in this side of the work. Regarding other tools someone with a chainsaw certificate can be very useful but care needs to be taken to ensure that the chainsaw is not over used.  


All the members of a group of people with mixed experience and mixed abilities, as described at the start of this article can be involved in a hedgelaying task. Not everyone will have the physical strength needed to carry out all the elements of hedgelaying, or the required stamina but there are other jobs to do, for example stake sharpening, clearing brash, or feeding the bonfire (an inevitable volunteer group feature). Rotating roles can give everyone a chance to try their hand, develop new skills and give them ownership of the finished result.  


With regard to the finished result this can be a source of satisfaction and pride for the volunteers who have layed a hedge. Almost everyone appreciates the aesthetic appeal of a layed hedge, the straight lines, the consistent angles, the way it fits so well into its surroundings, its clear function. Then there is the satisfaction of a product resulting from hard work, for nothing is easy in hedglaying.


The hedge shown in the attached photographs was layed by a volunteer group, the members of which can be justifiably pleased with their efforts.


Contact Derrick on d.hale054@btinternet.com for information.

South West:

One morning a month we will be carrying out habitat management, reserve maintenance or invasive species removal at Goss Moor and Golitha Falls NNRs. Please wear clothing suitable for wet outdoor working. Meet at 9.30 at reserve base, to book call 07769 914022 or contact eastcornwall.nnrs@naturalengland.org.uk  Next event Wednesday 8th March


Every Tuesday & Thursday             Conservation Work Parties

Berry Head National Nature Reserve, Torbay, Devon, Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust  Contact: berryhead@countryside-trust.org.uk

Work alongside our reserve team performing valuable practical conservation work in a stunning location, with other friendly, likeminded volunteers. No experience necessary. Full training given in use of tools. PPE, tea & coffee provided. Bring lunch.


REF        593-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        0


DES        Be the public face of Seaton Wetlands, welcome people, answer questions about the site & share any knowledge on wildlife & birds seen in the area. In the Discovery Hut there is a nature table which the Wardens can show to children. Make tea & coffee, hire out the mobility tramper & pond dipping equipment & record visitor data. Fun & varied role on Saturday or Sundays (Monday during the summer). Training sessions are run for Wardens on the Tramper & First Aid. Also social events.   BUT   Volunteers must enjoy meeting people & have great communication skills.   ASK   Countryside Team 01395 517557 countryside@eastdevon.gov.uk 


REF        594-FOCUS-OK8


BE4        N/A


PAY        Training


DES        Minimum stay is two weeks & maximum three months. To help clean the monkey enclosures, prepare their food and enrichment. Helping with children's workshops & in the cafe. Gardening & helping in the day to day running of the sanctuary.   BUT   No qualifications or experience required, just a willingness to be involved.   ASK   Antony Williams will@wildfutures.org


REF        596-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing               


PAY        0


DES/BUT   Help staff Berry Head Visitor Centre from Easter – Oct. Can you spare a few hours per week in the summer? Help us welcome visitors to a National Nature Reserve. Working in the VC, informing our visitors about the wildlife or history or just being a point of reference for other info. Shifts are 10 – 1pm or 1 – 4pm, 7 days per week.   ASK   berryhead@countryside-trust.org.uk


REF        597-FOCUSR-OK8


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        0


DES        From April to September take part in the annual butterfly monitoring scheme on a limestone grassland reserve. The scheme has monitored changes in the abundance of butterflies throughout the UK since 1976. Transects take two hours to walk, in typical butterfly friendly conditions, i.e. dry & still.   BUT   Ability to cover uneven & sloping ground required. No survey experience needed but an ability to identify species required. Training will be given.   ASK   berryhead@countryside-trust.org.uk


REF        598-FOCUSR-3/3


BE4        ?


PAY        Training, uniform & free entry into WWT sites              


DES        One weekend day once a fortnight, once the group is established. Help deliver practical management of our Reserve.  Typical tasks incl habitat management, hedge maintenance, path maintenance, planting & so on.  Volunteering throughout the Reserve you will also act as an advocate for WWT Steart Marshes, helping to explain the rationale behind the project & dealing with any queries from members of public who you may meet while undertaking the practical tasks.   BUT   Will suit you if you have formal or informal experience or an understanding of gardening & wildlife & are: practical & physically able; able to work in a team of staff & vols; have an interest in & basic knowledge of the natural world; committed to good customer service & are willing to engage our visitors with the work of WWT.   ASK   www.wwt.org.uk/volunteer  Taster session will be held on Sunday 26th February 10am - 2pm to book a place call 01278 651090.


logo: New Forest National Park10 steps to a successful volunteer fair

Jim Mitchell, Interpretation and Outreach Manager, New Forest National Park


The New Forest National Park Volunteer Fair is now in its seventh year. We attract over 40 groups and over 500 keen potential volunteers each year. Here are some steps you can take to help plan your own volunteer recruitment event.


1          Choose your time of year carefully

It’s critical to get the best time of the year to run your event. Even with all the best planning and promotion, if people are busy doing other things then this will limit your numbers. Think about when the most people who are keen on volunteering are around and likely to be free. For this reason we pick the early part of the year as there are fewer competing events, and we can make the most of the New Year resolutions people might have to try something new.


New Forest Volunteer Fair 2016 (New Forest National Park Authority)

New Forest Volunteer Fair 2016 (New Forest National Park Authority)

2          Choose your date and time

Once you know the rough time of year, think about which day to hold your event. Weekends are usually best, but for some e.g. workplace or student volunteering a date in the week might work. Check for any local or national events which might clash and reduce your audience. Large sporting events are good to avoid. Also consider if you could combine with other events if suitable, so that you know you will have additional footfall. However in our experience most people are coming specifically because they want to volunteer, so don’t rely on passing trade.


3          Pick a venue

This is an important choice. Make a list of all that you need and then draw up a list of sites to visit. You are likely to need public parking, exhibitor parking, public transport, covered space, outside space, café facilities, toilets, power, good Wi-Fi, lots of tables and chairs, activity space. A site which people already know such as a community hall or sporting hall can be a good location.


4          Get the word out to the volunteering community

Who are you looking for volunteers for? People who volunteer their time often do so for several different organisations, so don’t think of yourself competing with other volunteer offers. Get together with other volunteering groups to run the fair. Form a small steering group and share the burden of organisation.


5          Plan your resources

Perhaps you can share costs with other organisers, or invite all of the local groups and charge a small fee to come to the fair. Who will run the catering offer, if there is one, and how will that be paid for? We offer some free tea and coffee vouchers for the groups running the stalls; this always goes down very well. What help will you have to run the event? Get the date in staff and volunteer diaries - plan to have more help for the first part of the day: the set up and first hour of the event are always the busiest. Make sure you allocate enough budget to advertising and promotion. Make an event safety plan and carry out risk assessments for activities taking place. Ensure you have adequate insurance for the event and those groups attending also have their own insurance.

Forestry Commission stand at New Forest Volunteer Fair 2016 (New Forest National Park Authority)

Forestry Commission stand at New Forest Volunteer Fair 2016

(New Forest National Park Authority)


6          Book the groups

If you are running an event for several volunteering groups, a good booking system is important. It doesn’t need to be complicated, but groups need to know the space they have and you need to know their requirements. Explain any constraints on the booking form. Do they need power, Wi-Fi, extra space for displays? Ask the groups to think of fun and engaging ideas to get their volunteering offer across - using activities, talks, quizzes, demonstrations, films etc.


7          Maximum promotion

Over seven years of running the fair, we haven’t found one individual magic way to promote it. Instead you need to use as many different channels as you can to reach people. Facebook and other social media can be very effective; consider paid advertising on these sites as it can be targeted to specific areas and interests. But don’t forget the local papers, local radio and posters and flyers. Get posters printed and send them out to all the local libraries and local parish or community councils. Get a strong visual design which catches people’s eyes and quickly lets them know that this is an event for volunteering opportunities. Use good people stories from current volunteers to get into the media. Collect testimonials and photos from people about what volunteering means to them and post them on social media every day in the month leading up to the event. Use the other volunteer groups to help promote your event through their e-newsletters and media activities. And when you have done all that, promote it some more.


8          Widen your audience

Volunteers come from all sectors of society, so think about providing something for everyone. Will you have offers for those under 18 if they come to the fair? Promote these through local schools, colleges and youth groups. What about opportunities for those with other requirements, such as those with a disability? You can directly contact groups who represent these people and ensure that they are aware of the event.


9          The big day

On the day make sure you have time to walk the floor and speak to both those recruiting and those attending. Consider

Simon King supports the New Forest Volunteer Fair 2017

(New Forest National Park Authority)

talking to those who have visited the event as they leave, maybe via a volunteer with a questionnaire. What are they interested in? How did they find out about the event? Use a clicker to get an accurate number of people through the doors. Get the groups to record the number of enquiries they have to help monitor the event. Take contact details wherever possible and then follow these up as soon as you can after the fair. Remember to have fun and enjoy yourself - volunteering is an incredibly positive thing!


10         Do it all again!

Sit back and have a good rest, and then start making plans for the next event! Perhaps it could be an annual event. Once people know it happens every year then this makes organisation and promotion easier. Perhaps you could do a follow up ‘have a go’ taster day where groups can introduce people to volunteering in the countryside. Email the groups attending for their feedback now the event is over, and file these to look at when planning the follow-up.


Jim Mitchell jim.mitchell@newforestnpa.gov.uk Tel 01590 646681



Herpetological Training Programme in Guatemala. Designed for wildlife enthusiasts with a passion for exploring the tropics. Specialising in reptiles & amphibians. Longer research placements possible. A willingness to participate is all it takes to make this world a better place. www.explorewithindigo.com info@explorewithindigo.com


Fantastic opportunity!  Want to experience living and working on an amazing nature reserve in South Africa?  Wildlife For All is offering work experience to graduates between the ages of 21 and 24.  Please see wildlifeforall.org/work.htm for details.  This is a rare opportunity to learn from a pioneering conservation organisation.


Key:        REF       CJS reference no. (job number – source – delete date)                  JOB        Title

BE4        Application closing date IV = Interview date                                     LOC        Location

PAY        £ range - usually per annum (but check starting point)                       FOR        Employer

DES        Description of Job   BUT   Person Spec / Requirements   ASK   More details from / How to apply

CJS Suggestions:  Please check the BUT section to ensure that you have all of the required qualifications / experience before you apply.  Contact ONLY the person, number or address given & if an SAE is required double check you use the correct stamps.


PLEASE REMEMBER to DOUBLE CHECK the BE4 (closing date) of the vacancies.  

And please contact only the person, telephone number, email address given.

This CJS Focus was published on 13/2/17.


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

Next edition will feature Fundraising & Promotion, published 22/5/17


Original edition: A4 sides this CJS Focus: 29      Adverts: 85  Download full edition (PDF) here.

Details believed correct but given without prejudice, Ends.   


Top Stories

Parks face threat of decline with severe consequences - The Communities and Local Government Committee, UK Parliament 

The Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee report on public parks warns that parks are at a tipping point and face a period of decline with potentially severe consequences unless their vital contribution to areas such as public health, community integration and climate change mitigation is recognised. 

The Public parks report highlights considerable challenges for the sector including reduced council spending, with parks management budgets cut by up to 97 per cent, the need for parks to compete with other services for funding, and planning policy not giving them enough weight, particularly as a result of pressures to increase housing supply.

The Committee call on councils to publish strategic plans, which recognise the value of parks beyond leisure and recreation and set out how they will be managed to maximise their contribution to wider local authority agendas, such as promoting healthy lifestyles, tackling social exclusion and managing flood risk. It is hoped these plans will open up parks to support and funding beyond their usual budgets and service areas.

The Government should issue guidance to councils to work with Health and Wellbeing Boards and other relevant bodies to publish these joint plans and consider making producing such a strategy a legal requirement if the guidance proves ineffective, the report adds.

Findings, conclusions and recommendations include:

  • Parks make vital contributions to physical and mental health
  • Innovation in management and funding sources needed 
  • Public parks should remain under local authority ownership and freely available to everyone.
  • The Committee welcomes the Minister’s confirmation that he recognises the current lack of coordination and his intention to establish a cross-departmental group to consider the Committee’s report and recommendations.
  • The Committee recommends the Minister issues guidance setting out key principles for the appropriate governance and accountability arrangements, which could be put in place as part of any emerging or alternative models for parks management.
  • The Minister should work with his colleagues in Defra to ensure that parks, and green infrastructure more widely, are properly recognised in the Government’s forthcoming 25-year Environment Plan.

View the interactive report summary

Read the full report: Public parks HTML or PDF


There were a number of responses: LGA responds to CLG committee report about public parks - Local Government Association

Responding to a new CLG Committee report about public parks, Cllr Ian Stephens, Chairman of the Local Government Association's Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said: "Councils understand how important parks are to residents and the value they have in promoting health and fitness, local heritage, public art, festivals and wildlife walks.  Councils are taking innovative approaches to using park spaces, such as providing pop-up spaces, hosting local events and giving communities a say in how their parks are run. Ensuring parks remain open and accessible to our communities is a key concern for councils. However, over the previous parliament central government funding for councils was reduced by 40 per cent in real terms and they continue to experience funding pressures. Despite this difficult backdrop, councils are doing everything they can to provide the best possible park services."

Click through for case studies

Public parks report reveals green spaces are at a tipping point – The Parks Alliance

The Parks Alliance, the UK’s voice of parks, responded to the Communities and Local Government Committee’s report on their inquiry into public parks by calling on the government to take a joined up approach across Departments to fund them.

Over half the UK population regularly use their local park, yet the challenge of managing our parks and green spaces is increasing due to the continued reduction in funding and loss of staff and skills. We have to find a solution now before the improvements made over the past 20 years are lost and our parks, once again, go into decline and become places that require significant investment.

Matthew Bradbury, Chairman of The Parks Alliance, said: “We welcome the report but just see this as the start of the process to protect and enhance our parks. It gives all of us, the public, park professionals, local and central government the opportunity to seek solutions and avoid merely nursing our parks into a managed decline. It’s important that the Committee has recognised that parks are central to our wellbeing but it is bitter sweet to read a report which confirms what we have believed for some time that parks are at a tipping point. They are at the heart of British life yet are a cinderella service set against competing financial demands."

Fields in Trust response to Public parks inquiry report

Fields in Trust Chief Executive, Helen Griffiths, comments of the Report findings and recommendations: "I welcome the Communities and Local Government Committee report into the future of parks and particularly the recommendation that their wider value should be recognised, beyond leisure and recreation, to include promoting healthy lifestyles and tackling social exclusion; the CLG Committee suggest parks should maximise their contribution to wider local authority agendas."  Click through to read in full

Groundwork response to CLG Select Committee Public Parks Report

Responding to the CLG Select Committee public parks report, Groundwork’s national chief executive, Graham Duxbury, said: "The select committee recognises that protecting our parks and green spaces is enormously important but increasingly difficult.  Councils can be creative with their budgets but there are limits.  Some parks have the potential to benefit from private income but not all, especially those smaller neighbourhood parks that people visit most.  If we’re going to keep our communities green and well, the people who use and care about the green spaces on their doorstep are going to have to do more."    Click through to read in full


Related news 

Newcastle explores transfer of parks to trust – Heritage Lottery Fund

Newcastle City Council (NCC) is set to test a new model for looking after its parks, thanks to Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) support.

A groundbreaking scheme, funded by the National Lottery, will help NCC to develop and test a new funding, management and maintenance model for 33 of the city’s parks and allotments - over 400 hectares of land.

Such a proposal could see Newcastle’s parks and green spaces remain the property of the city council but transfer day-to-day responsibility for funding, managing and maintaining them to a new charitable trust whose sole purpose is to manage the parks. 

The scheme has been designed to help tackle the financial challenges facing the local authority, where park budgets have been dramatically reduced. Parks are not a statutory service for local authorities; however many, like NCC, recognise their vital importance to the health and wellbeing of local communities. 

​The money has been announced as the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Select Committee Parks Inquiry calls for strategic local parks plans and innovation in management models and funding sources. Public engagement starts 13 February, running until 21 April. Find out more on the Let's Talk Newcastle website

NCC is launching a consultation on the detail of the plans but if implemented, the charitable trust would independently manage approximately 33 parks across the city and possibly over 50 hectares of allotment land. It would explore new ways of best using the current facilities, space and buildings to bring in revenue for the successful running of the parks, without undermining free access to parks. NCC will also explore whether an endowment could be put in place to support the Trust.

Case Study: New Public Park improves community health and wellbeing – Fields in Trust

The creation of a new public park on derelict land in Newbold, Rugby has resulted in local residents feeling healthier, happier and becoming more active. The findings in a report published by Fields in Trust come as Parliament's Communities and Local Government Committee recommend the wider value of parks, beyond leisure and recreation, should be recognised, suggesting parks should maximise their contribution to comprehensive local authority agendas, such as promoting healthy lifestyles, and tackling social exclusion. 

The research assessed the way Centenary Park, Rugby is used and shows that three times as many people visit parks daily than before it opened with 60.2% visiting once a week or more. Over 60% of park visitors reported feeling happier and better about themselves and half said they had significantly more access to nature as a result. Crucially more than two-thirds of respondents said the most important reason for visiting the new park was for physical activity. This data reinforces the view that local green space is vitally important in meeting the government's aim of creating a more active nation; an ambition which requires all kinds of formal and informal recreational space to be accessible. The Centenary Park case study demonstrates that despite the lack of traditional formal sports facilities the majority of respondents cite physical activity as the primary reason for visiting.

Download the Centenary Park Case Study report (PDF)


New campaign launched this month

Greener UK coalition launches manifesto urging government to use Brexit to restore and enhance the environment – Wildlife Trusts on behalf of the coalition

The Greener UK coalition of 13 major environmental organisations, including WWF, the National Trust, RSPB and The Wildlife Trusts, has today (22/2) launched its manifesto calling on the government to restore and enhance the environment as the UK prepares to leave the European Union.

The Greener UK coalition of 13 major environmental organisations, including WWF, the National Trust, RSPB and The Wildlife Trusts, has today launched its manifesto calling on the government to restore and enhance the environment as the UK prepares to leave the European Union.

It is the first time so many environmental organisations across the UK have come together to express such a wide range of concerns, across all environmental policy areas. They say, “We are depleting our soils and water supplies, generating mountains of food and plastic waste, changing our climate and making the air in our cities dangerous to breathe. Our wild places are dwindling, and we face the sadness of once familiar animals and plants fading away from our gardens and countryside.”

The Greener UK manifesto follows a House of Lords report last week, which identified the risk of a vacuum in the the oversight and enforcement of environment legislation, and the challenge of effectively maintaining the extensive existing environmental protections through the Repeal Bill.

However, the coalition also says that Brexit offers the chance for the government to make a greener UK a reality, by:

  • Securing the benefits of existing environmental laws and principles through the Repeal Bill, as the UK leaves the EU.
  • Passing an ambitious new Environment Act, building on a 25 year plan with measurable milestones for environmental restoration and high standards for pollution and resource efficiency.
  • Ensuring the UK continues to co-operate with the EU on energy and climate change, and affirming ongoing investment in, and deployment of, clean energy infrastructure.
  • Introducing new policies and investment that create thriving farming and fishing industries, working with the grain of nature to return our land, seas, lakes and rivers to good health.

194 MPs from across the UK’s political parties have so far signed up to the Greener UK coalition’s Pledge for the Environment.

Download the manifesto (PDF)


Government announcements, policy & appeals

Commission warns Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom of continued air pollution breaches - European Commission

The European Commission sends final warnings to Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom for failing to address repeated breaches of air pollution limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2). NO2 pollution is a serious health risk. Most emissions result from road traffic.

The European Commission urges 5 Member States to take action to ensure good air quality and safeguard public health.

EU legislation on ambient air quality (Directive 2008/50/EC) sets limit values for air pollutants, including nitrogen dioxide. In case such limit values are exceeded, Member States are required to adopt and implement air quality plans that set out appropriate measures to bring this situation to an end as soon as possible.

Today's reasoned opinion concerns persistent breaches of NO2 limit values in:

  • Germany (28 air quality zones, including Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and Köln);
  • France (19 air quality zones, among them Paris, Marseille and Lyon);
  • The United Kingdom (16 air quality zones, among them London, Birmingham, Leeds, and Glasgow);
  • Italy (12 air quality zones, including Rome, Milan and Turin);
  • Spain (3 air quality zones, one being Madrid and two covering Barcelona).

Possible measures to lower polluting emissions, at the same time accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy, include reducing overall traffic volumes, the fuels used, switching to electric cars and/or adapting driving behaviour. In this context, reducing emissions from diesel-powered vehicles is an important step towards achieving compliance with EU air quality standards.


Response: UK receives "final warning" from Europe for breaching air pollution limits – Friends of the Earth

The UK government must introduce Clean Air Zones across the country and commit to cleaning up the UK’s air faster says Friends of the Earth

Jenny Bates, Friends of the Earth air pollution campaigner said: “It’s shameful that the EU has to take legal action against the UK government to get it to deal with the dangerous levels of dirty air across the country. Air pollution is responsible for tens of thousands of early deaths every year and is harming the health of an entire generation of children. Current government plans have been shown to be too little too late. With road traffic the biggest problem, and diesels worst of all, the government must fund Clean Air Zones in pollution hot spots across the country. This would help to restrict the most polluting vehicles and save lives. We also need a new Clean Air Act in place to protect the public from air pollution post-Brexit, when we can no longer rely on European rules and courts to kick the UK government into action.”


Coca-Cola to back deposit return scheme in major U-turn - Holyrood magazine exclusive

Coca-Cola gives its backing to a deposit return scheme for cans and bottles in Scotland – Marine Conservation Society 

In what appears to be a U-turn by the soft drinks giant Coca-Cola, the firm says the "time is right" to try new measures "such as a well-designed deposit scheme for drinks containers, starting in Scotland where conversations are under way".

The statement comes just weeks after Sky News said it had seen an internal document that revealed the extent of Coca-Cola's opposition to the introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme in the UK. 

MCS has welcomed the move from Coca-Cola. Dr Sue Kinsey, MCS Senior Pollution Policy Officer said: “We’re delighted that Coca Cola has decided that a Deposit Return System for Scotland is a positive step forward. MCS believe that a properly designed system will reduce litter on our beaches and in our seas as well as increase recycling rates, reduce carbon emissions and deliver good value for local authorities and tax payers. We also believe a system, custom made for Scotland, will benefit companies such as Coca Cola, providing them with a steady supply of clean recyclate, and smaller businesses will benefit from increased footfall and handling fees.”

Calum Duncan, MCS Head of Conservation in Scotland added: "A deposit return system for drinks containers is the easiest next step we could take to reduce plastics in the marine environment. It's great to see Coca-Cola recognise the advantages for them, and for society more generally, and we welcome their support for this campaign."

John Mayhew, director of the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland (APRS), said:  "This is truly a landmark moment and we are very pleased to add Coca-Cola to the list of companies which agree that Scotland needs a deposit return system for drinks containers."

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: "We very much welcome this move by Coca-Cola and encourage other drinks manufacturers, retailers and businesses to follow their lead. Well-planned deposit return systems have a major role to play in helping to cut wasteful use of resources and preventing marine pollution."


There were a number of responses: Positive step by industry to tackle litter – Keep Scotland Beautiful

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said:  The announcement by Coca Cola is a positive step in the right direction and I am pleased that they have acknowledged the need for new, innovative solutions to tackle litter and littering behaviour.  However, it is clear that a deposit scheme won’t be the silver bullet that solves Scotland’s litter problem. We should also not underestimate the hard work and challenges that that lie ahead if such a scheme is to be implemented in Scotland.  It is vital that all stakeholders are fully engaged in the design and development of any scheme to ensure delivers for Scotland." 

Coca-Cola U-turn on opposition to bottle deposit schemes - Greenpeace comment

Coca-Cola makes a refreshing decision about Scotland’s bottles and cans - CPRE

Campaign to Protect Rural England this morning welcomed news that major drinks multi-national Coca-Cola has changed its global position on deposit return systems, with an announcement that the company will support a deposit return system in Scotland. The decision comes after the soft drinks giant took a fresh look at the evidence and agreed that only a deposit system for drinks containers can deliver the step-change in recycling and litter reduction that is needed.

Samantha Harding, CPRE Litter Programme Director, says: ‘This is fantastic and heartening news. It’s admirable that Coca-Cola has been bold enough to change its position after seeing the benefits of deposit return. Our hope is that such positive progress in Scotland will encourage England’s ministers to follow the success of the carrier bag scheme with the best solution for drinks litter – a deposit return system.’

Ministers in Westminster are also considering the same opportunity, with England facing the same challenges with regard to plastic pollution, wasted resources and high levels of littered bottles and cans.

Phase One of HS2 railway given Royal Assent – Wildlife Trusts

On Thursday 23 February, one of the largest construction projects in Europe, and potentially one of the most environmentally destructive, has been given the green light to be built.

The first phase of HS2 between London and Birmingham has today (23 February 2017) been given Royal Assent. Since 2010, when the project was first raised, The Wildlife Trusts have campaigned against the proposed route because of the enormous impact that it will have on wildlife, and also to strongly challenge HS2 Ltd to raise their ambition for the natural environment. 

HS2 Ltd has committed to secure ‘no net loss of biodiversity’ on a route wide basis but, from the outset, the environmental impacts of HS2 have not been properly taken into account and we believe that the funds allocated for compensation are wholly inadequate.
 Paul Wilkinson, Head of Partnerships said: “At every step of the way, The Wildlife Trusts have worked tirelessly to encourage HS2 Ltd to properly account for the huge negative environmental impacts of HS2 Ltd and have pressed for them to be much more aspirational in how they deal with them. We developed our own Greener Vision which set out an ambitious vision for large-scale nature restoration along the route – creating and restoring large areas of habitat and providing new access to nature for people”. 


SNH report on game bird hunting published – Scottish Natural Heritage

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has published a report comparing the game bird hunting regulations in 14 European countries.

This report reviews regulations on game bird hunting in 14 European countries. It focuses specifically on the legal controls on game bird hunting, including licensing and permitting arrangements, as well as on the requirements for monitoring, protecting and managing game birds.

The report found that all 14 countries regulate game bird hunting through legislation, including licensing individual hunters, with the strictest requiring harvest quotas and bag reporting. All 14 countries are able to revoke hunting licences if the legislation is contravened and most also penalise serious breaches of hunting law. In many of the countries examined, hunters must pass a two-part practical and theoretical examination in order to qualify for a hunting licence.

Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, said: “I welcome the publication of this report. It shows that there is more regulation of gamebird hunting in many other countries than we have in Scotland. We will be looking very carefully at these different management approaches to see whether they offer the means to address issues such as raptor persecution. Already we have committed to a number of new measures to tackle wildlife crime within Scotland including; increases in criminal penalties, a prevention review and the creation of a dedicated investigative support unit within Police Scotland. These measures clearly demonstrate our resolve to tackle raptor persecution. This new report and the forthcoming review of satellite tagging data will help determine our next steps.”

SNH chairman, Ian Ross, added: “This review provides an in-depth look at how other countries in Europe control game bird hunting to make sure it’s safe and sustainable. It can also inform our thinking on tackling wildlife crime.”

The Scottish Government requested this report as part of a package of work to tackle wildlife crime and, particularly, the illegal killing of raptors. It also forms part of an ongoing, broader discussion about how land is owned and managed for public benefit. 

Access the report: SNH Commissioned Report 942: A Review of Game Bird Law and Licensing in Selected European Countries 



Countryside Alliance says “countryside should play its role” in Digital Strategy – Countryside Alliance

The Countryside Alliance has called for rural connectivity parity so that the countryside can play its part in the Government’s newly launched Digital Strategy.

The Government’s new strategy aims to create an exceptional digital economy “that works for everyone”, and recognises that the UK’s digital sector is world-leading and a major driver of growth and productivity. The Strategy will place digital skills, infrastructure and innovation at the heart of the economy and includes proposals to offer digital skills to millions of individuals and businesses.

The bold ambitions of the Digital Strategy are welcomed by the Countryside Alliance as we recognise the benefits that digital innovation and skills can bring to the rural economy. However, we are concerned that this is not a long term commitment to the education and skills that will be crucial to support the UK economy post-Brexit. We are also concerned that rural areas could be left further behind as there are still 1.4 million premises unable to access broadband speeds over 10 Mbit/s and only 59% of homes in rural areas are able to access superfast speeds.

Countryside Alliance Head of Policy Sarah Lee commented: “The Countryside Alliance believes the rural economy should play a significant role in the UK economy and the Digital Strategy could enable it to do so, but for the countryside to play its role to the fullest we must also ensure that rural areas are connected. It is still unacceptable that 960,000 homes in rural areas still cannot get an adequate broadband connection. With the drive for digital by default and the ambition for the UK to have a world-leading digital economy we must get the basics right first by ensuring connectivity in the countryside or it will be left behind in the digital age.

Funding news

Groundwork to administer £40m HS2 funding for communities and businesses - Groundwork

Groundwork has today (Fri 24 Feb) been named as the administrators of HS2 funding to offset the disruption of Phase One of HS2 on local communities and businesses.  Following Royal Assent, the £40 million HS2 Community and Environment Fund (CEF) and Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF) will be available during the construction and the first year of operation of the high speed rail link between London and the West Midlands over the next 11 years..
The two Funds available which were originally announced in October 2014 are::

  • The Community and Environment Fund (CEF) will provide benefits to local communities demonstrably disrupted by the construction of HS2;
  • and the Business and Local Economy Fund will support and promote local economies that are demonstrably disrupted by the construction of HS2.

Application guidance information for interested organisations is available online from today (24/2)  at www.groundwork.org.uk/hs2funds.  The Funds will be open for online applications from Wednesday 8 March this year.
The management of the Funds has been outsourced to Groundwork as a result of a competitive tender to act as an independent grant-management body, and will see the charity managing the end to end delivery of the £40 million combined Funds, leading on the promotion of the Funds, working with bidders to develop applications, receiving and assessing applications, being responsible for overseeing the payment of grants and monitoring the progress of successful grants. 


Birds, bees, ponds and trees: threats facing natural world gain National Lottery attention – Heritage Lottery

The decline of pollinators, threats facing trees and new habits for birds of prey are the subjects of projects across the East of England receiving funding thanks to National Lottery players.

More than £300,000 has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to the five projects which focus on how local communities can get involved in securing a bright future for their natural heritage.

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF East of England, said: “Whether roosting in a cathedral, buzzing round a pond or growing in a park, our natural world is something to be treasured and enjoyed. It is also something that we all need to play a role in protecting for the future.Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, we’re pleased to support these projects which will equip people of all ages with the skills – and the inspiration – to appreciate, celebrate and protect our wonderful natural heritage.”

Click through to see the successful projects.


Recreation and environmental education

Reconomics Plus launched to champion outdoor recreation – Sports and Recreation Alliance

The Sport and Recreation Alliance has launched Reconomics Plus, an online resource designed to help our members and the wider sector champion the value of outdoor recreation to the economy, our health and to creating strong, vibrant local communities. 

Reconomics Plus has been produced as a toolkit to help enable members and the wider sector to demonstrate the substantial impact of outdoor recreation. It is hoped that the resource will give members the ammunition to inform conversations with key decisions makers at a national and local level.  

The new resource brings together the latest research and statistics to highlight the contribution of outdoor recreation in England. Produced in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University, Reconomics Plus also reviews evidence on how outdoor recreation can play a role in improving the nation’s physical and mental wellbeing.  

Reconomics Plus follows on from Reconomics which was launched in 2014 and was the first report of its kind to set out the economic value of outdoor recreation. It is hoped that Reconomics Plus will build on the huge success of Reconomics, which has been used to inform responses to Government consultations and featured in Westminster Hall Debates. 

Reconomics Plus demonstrates how the sport and recreation sector can provide meaningful and cost effective solutions to some of the nation’s biggest challenges. It is now the role of the Alliance, our members and the wider sport and recreation sector to make sure that outdoor recreation is embedded in cross-departmental Government strategies.  

Download the report (PDF)


Shooting helps champion outdoor recreation in new report - BASC

The Sport and Recreation Alliance highlighted BASC’s introduction of almost 6,000 scouts and girl guides to clay pigeon shooting at the week-long Essex International Jamboree last summer.

The report – Reconomics Plus – says ‘the scouts and girl guides came to understand how shooting has broader positive social outcomes, in that joining a shooting club can give them the opportunity to get out, meet new people and build friendships’.  It adds: “They also learnt that shooting has huge personal and physical wellbeing benefits via spending time in the outdoors and providing enjoyment and relaxation.”


Membership price rise will help fund record conservation spend and deliver better experiences for visitors – National Trust 

  • Average rise of 15p a month to help fund record conservation investment
  • Charity responds to feedback with improved facilities, longer opening times and more visitor programmes
  • Over one million members pay discounted rate
  • Members benefit from unlimited access to 500 places and free parking

Annual membership of the National Trust will increase from March 1, 2017, by an average of £1.80 a year to help the charity fund record levels of investment in vital conservation work, and improve visitor facilities and experiences.

Money raised from memberships is vital not only to help the Trust care for 300 historic properties, 775 miles of coastline and 250,000 hectares of countryside across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but also provide access to them for ever for everyone.

The Trust, which is largely funded through donations, memberships and legacies, spent a record £107m on conservation last year in maintaining, repairing and improving its houses, countryside and tenanted properties.

It also plans to spend an extra £300 million on addressing a backlog of conservation work by 2024.

The Trust said the extra funding would help it respond to what its members wanted including keeping its doors open for longer and at times which suit visitors. More properties than ever are now open for 363 days a year. 


The Gruffalo brought to life in the forest with new augmented reality app – Forestry Commission

In the first development of its kind, Forestry Commission England and Magic Light Pictures bring The Gruffalo characters to life in the forest through a new augmented reality app.

The Gruffalo Spotter has been designed for exclusive use at 26 forests across England where visitors can join the adventure through the deep dark wood.

Gruffalo spotter app (image: Forestry Commission)Gruffalo spotter app (image: Forestry Commission)

Families can follow clues on an interactive trail and track signs of their favourite characters based on The Gruffalo, best-selling picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.
The self-led trail is packed with fun facts about forest animals with fantastic activities along the way. Once families have spotted the characters, they can use the app to bring the 3D character animation to life and take photos alongside them.

Their photos are automatically added to the device’s gallery, from where it can be shared via social media with the hashtag #GruffaloSpotters.

Taking family forest walks to new heights, the app mixes technology with the real world, encouraging children to get exploring, firing their imaginations and enabling them to have an all-new forest experience.

The Gruffalo Spotter’s app has been developed and animated by Nexus Studios and is available for free with no in-app purchases from the App Store and Google Play.


Green prescription' scheme shows success at Portmore Lough – RSPB Northern Ireland

An innovative wellbeing project at a local nature reserve has helped improve participants’ mental health, results have revealed.

Woodland walk (image: RSPB)Woodland walk (image: RSPB)

The Head to Nature project was a 12 week pilot project organised by RSPB Northern Ireland in partnership with Derriaghy Social and Educational Centre, part of the South Eastern Health Trust, and the Public Health Agency.  The project saw eight service users voluntarily attend Portmore Lough nature reserve near Aghalee to carry out nature-related activities like guided walks, wildlife photography and practical conservation work on the reserve.  The participants all suffered from mild mental health problems like depression and anxiety.

The World Health Organisation estimates that depression and depression-related illness will become the greatest source of ill health by 2020. However in Northern Ireland there has been a lack of research looking at the mental health benefits of exposure to nature.

Participants in the Portmore Lough project were asked to fill out questionnaires at the beginning and end of the scheme and their answers were marked against the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale.  The mean score in week one was 36.25 – classed as ‘below average’ wellbeing. But by week 12 the mean score had risen to 49.37 which is classed as ‘average’ wellbeing, showing that the Head to Nature scheme had a positive impact on the participants’ wellbeing.  There was also an impressive 100% participant retention rate throughout the project. In comparison, only around one in eight people referred to gym programmes by their GP complete the course.


“A better and fairer approach” to public access for outdoor recreation – Welsh Government

Wales needs a better and fairer approach to public access for outdoor recreation according to the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs.

The Welsh Government asked the public for its opinions in 2015.  Many of the 5,800 who responded said the current system is too complex and burdensome with some strong, and sometimes polarised, views on how it might be improved. 
The consultation revealed the wide range of outdoor activities taking place across Wales but also exposed challenges faced by land managers and flaws and inconsistencies in the current system. 
After reviewing the responses, Lesley Griffiths has announced her intention to develop proposals on how current laws can be improved in order to:

  • Achieve consistency in the opportunities available for participation and how activities are restricted and regulated;
  • Simplify procedures for designating and recording public access; 
  • Improve existing advisory forums and better communicate access rights and responsibilities.


Wildlife News

National roll-out of new approach to great crested newt licensing – Natural England

Natural England is to implement an innovative new approach to the conservation of great crested newts across the country.

The new approach has been piloted in partnership with Woking borough council in Surrey. It has focused on bringing the greatest benefits to the amphibians while streamlining the licensing process for housing developers. The approach will now start to be introduced across the country after its roll-out was announced in the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Housing White Paper.

Great crested newt © Michael Hammett via Natural EnglandGreat crested newt © Michael Hammett via Natural England

This new 3-year programme will survey areas where newts are most prevalent, map the potential impacts of development and propose local conservation strategies for the species in partnership. As part of the project, great crested newt habitat is enhanced or created prior to any development taking place, saving developers time and money, and making newt populations more healthy and resilient.

Natural England’s Chairman, Andrew Sells, said: "We are grateful to DCLG for funding the national roll-out of this ambitious new approach to the licensing of great crested newts. It is a ringing endorsement of Natural England’s work to modernise the licensing of protected species. Populations of great crested newts can struggle when they become isolated. Creating connected habitats across the country is the single most positive thing we can do for their survival, by allowing them to spread naturally. At the same time, the strategic approach to licensing helps developers to avoid costs and delays to their projects. This roll-out is key to helping us ensure that regulation better serves both the natural environment and the economy."

The announcement was welcomed by: Dr Tony Gent, CEO of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Stephen Trotter, Director, The Wildlife Trusts England and President of the Country Land and Business Association, Ross Murray. Click through to read their responses.



Government must get tough on raptor killers, says RSPB

Birds of prey continue to be illegally targeted as another rare bird is found to have been shot

Female hen harrier in flight (image: Steve Round, RSPB)Female hen harrier in flight (image: Steve Round, RSPB)

New RSPB report shows illegal killing of birds of prey is still unacceptably common with 196 reports of shooting and destruction of birds of prey and 50 reports of wildlife poisoning and pesticide related offences across the UK in 2015

The charity believes tougher legislation and enforcement is essential if birds of prey are to thrive in their natural environment again 

The body of a hen harrier, which fledged in 2016, has been recently found in Northumberland. Whilst it appears to have died with a disease, it had survived being illegally shot on an earlier date. Illegal persecution of birds of prey is still happening all too regularly in the UK countryside according to the RSPB’s Birdcrime 2015 report, published today in a new online interactive format, and the charity is asking governments across the UK to take urgent action now to stop this slaughter.

The report reveals in 2015 there were 196 reports of shooting and destruction of birds of prey including the confirmed shooting of 16 buzzards, 11 peregrines, three red kites, one red-footed falcon and one hen harrier. Of the total 92 confirmed persecution incidents, 61% occurred in England, 29% in Scotland, 9% in Northern Ireland and 1% in Wales.

The report can be viewed online here.  


Don’t cut your hedge between March and August to help Glasgow’s house sparrows - RSPB

RSPB Scotland is calling on gardeners in Glasgow to put down their shears and take the hedge-pledge this summer in an effort to save the city’s struggling house sparrows.

These once common birds are in decline across the UK, but the population in Glasgow is thought to have dropped by 90% since the 1970s.

Since 2014, RSPB Scotland has been working with the University of Glasgow and a team of dedicated volunteers to track down any remaining sparrows and investigate reasons for the sudden decline.

One thing the project has uncovered so far is that remaining sparrow strongholds are clustered around gardens that have a particular sort of hedge.

RSPB Scotland’s Sarah-Jayne Forster said: “Our volunteers found little groups of sparrows living in all the areas that they surveyed, which is great news as it means there’s definitely hope for a long-term recovery. But the other thing they found was that 85% of the gardens where sparrows were recorded had lots of hedges or bushes. It also seems that the best types of hedges are ones that aren’t cut very often, which leaves the structure more open, and gives the birds a chance to move around and hide from predators. That’s why we’re asking gardeners in Glasgow to take the hedge-pledge this summer, and avoid cutting their hedges at all between the start of March and the end of August. It’s a really simple thing that everyone can do to help their local sparrows. This is the time when most of our garden birds are nesting anyway, and as it’s an offence to disturb or destroy an active bird’s nest, hedge-cutting really is an activity that’s best left for autumn and winter.”


Walkers and climbers asked to assist campaign against wildlife crime – Mountaineering Scotland

Walkers and climbers out in the countryside are being asked to report any dead birds of prey they may come across to Police Scotland. The call comes as part of a campaign, by the Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime (PAW) Scotland, to counter raptor persecution.

Dead Golden Eagle near Bridge of Orchy. Photo courtesy of RSPBBirds of prey are widespread over Scotland's varied landscape. In general, golden eagles favour remote, mountainous regions while buzzards, red kites and peregrine falcons prefer lower wooded ground or cliff faces.

Dead Golden Eagle near Bridge of Orchy. Photo courtesy of RSPB

A Scottish Government study indicates that the public are covering large areas of the countryside. The report, “Let's Get Scotland Walking: The National Walking Strategy" (published in 2014) shows that, in 2012, visitors took 2.2 million walks (of up to two miles or up to one hour) and 1.8 million long walks (more than two miles or more than one hour) in Scotland. 

This makes the walking community, from the adventurous hill walker down to the weekend family stroller, a valuable resource as "eyes on the ground,” in tackling wildlife crime. It also means that walkers are getting to places which criminals think are out of sight.


New wildlife record for WWT Washington – The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust

The regionally rare avocet has made its earliest ever return to one North East wetland reserve.

Avocet on Wader Lake (image: David Dinsley)An unringed female adult was spotted on Wader Lake at WWT Washington Wetland Centre yesterday morning (21 February 2017) – two days earlier than the site’s previous record of 23 February set in 2014.

Avocet on Wader Lake (image: David Dinsley)

Reserve warden David Dinsley said: “It’s always very exciting to see the first avocets return each season and we’re thrilled that a new record has been set this year.

“We now expect numbers to start gradually building as more birds move further north during this mild weather and we’ve already begun reducing the water levels on Wader Lake in anticipation of their arrival.

“This creates more habitat and also exposes the invertebrate-rich mud on which avocets feed; picking prey from the surface or foraging by sweeping their long, up-curved bill from side to side through the sediment.”

Avocets began breeding at WWT Washington in 2006 and since then numbers have steadily increased; hitting an all-time high of 42 on site in June 2016.


Farmers help protect rare bird, leading to hopes of long-term recovery – RSPB

Success for rare stone-curlews after four-year collaboration between farmers, RSPB and Natural England

Nearly 300 safe nest plots created each year and 3000 hectares of habitat – the size of a small city – for this beguiling bird, reducing dependency on labour-intensive conservation methods

RSPB hopes the UK stone-curlew population will be self-sustaining within five years – but support from land owners and government schemes still crucialto enable farmers to continue to create safe nesting habitat.

Farmers in the UK, together with the RSPB and Natural England, have helped secure the long-term recovery of a rare bird. Thanks to their work as part of a four-year EU LIFE+ project, stone-curlews now have more safe nesting habitat away from crops, leading to hopes that their UK population will become sustainable within the next five years.

Stone-curlews are crow-sized birds with large, yellow eyes which help them see at night when they are most active. Once widespread across farmland and heathland, numbers crashed by 85% between the 1930s and 1980s due to habitat loss and changes in farming methods. Today, most of the breeding population is concentrated to small areas in the Brecks on the Norfolk/Suffolk border, and around Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire.



Surveys record highest numbers of three dolphin species – Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust

Record numbers of three dolphin species off Scotland’s west coast were recorded by conservation charity Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust in its marine research expeditions in 2016.

From the trust’s specialized research yacht Silurian, volunteers and scientists recorded 2,303 individual common dolphins, 42 bottlenose dolphins and 94 Risso’s dolphins – the figures for all three species being the highest ever recorded in its annual survey seasons.
Average annual figures documented over the previous 14 years were 463 individual common dolphins, 14 bottlenose dolphins and 12 Risso’s dolphins. For common dolphins, these records range from 0 individuals encountered in a couple of the earlier field seasons to 1,862 during the 2007 season.
Dr. Lauren Hartny-Mills, Science Officer of Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, said: “The reasons for the high number of sightings of these charismatic dolphin species – and the broader effects on the marine environment and other species – remain unclear. But the intriguing findings highlight the importance of on-going monitoring and research – to strengthen our understanding of what is taking place in Hebridean waters, and to ensure well-informed conservation action.”


Concern grows over rising dolphin and porpoise deaths in UK and France – Whale & Dolphin Conservation

The growing numbers of dolphins and porpoises washing up dead on the south west coast of the UK is continuing to cause concern.

Over 100 have been reported dead on beaches in Cornwall and in fishing boat nets in eight weeks, according to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, bringing the toll for last year to 205.

Of particular concern is the manner of these deaths with many being caught in fishing nets. Of 13 taken for recent post-mortem examinations, five showed signs of being caught in nets. The larger (often French) trawlers operating out to sea have been cited as a possible cause, with local Cornish trawler men reporting that they are often hauling up already dead and rotting dolphins.

An entangled dolphin (image: © Steve Dawson, via WDC)Whilst it is still not completely clear what is behind the recent strandings, or indeed how unusual the number of deaths maybe, unless a post mortem (or necropsy) is carried out on the individuals quickly, it becomes very difficult to ascertain the cause of death. It has not been possible to carry out necropsies on many of these dead whales and dolphins because the bodies are too decomposed, but potential causes include illness, the effects of pollution as well as entanglement in fishing nets.

An entangled dolphin (image: © Steve Dawson, via WDC)

Since February 3rd, almost 200 dolphins and porpoises have been found stranded along the French Atlantic coast, between the Loire and Gironde estuaries. Ninety eight percent of the recorded stranded animals were common dolphins most examined by Observatoire PELAGIS or members of French stranding network (Reseau National Echouage or RNE).  Of the 68 examinations 85% showed evidences capture in fishing gear or nets. These included broken beaks, cut-off fin or tail fluke, external net marks, and froth in lungs.

Next week sees the launch of a new campaign by WDC to try to reduce the scale of these terrible deaths.



Bats and churches to benefit thanks to National Lottery – Natural England

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has approved the development stage and initial funding of £3.8million for the 5 year “Bats in Churches” partnership project, bringing together wildlife and heritage conservation and church organisations to save bats and protect churches.

Greater horseshoe bats (image: ©Mike Hamnett, Natural England)Greater horseshoe bats (image: ©Mike Hamnett, Natural England)

The ground-breaking project will:

  • trial and perfect new techniques to enable bats and church congregations to live together
  • build up professional expertise and volunteer skill to share the best solutions with hundreds more churches
  • bring together church communities and bat enthusiasts to create a shared understanding and appreciation of England’s historic places of worship and our rare flying mammals

Natural England’s Chairman, Andrew Sells, said:" This is a splendid result for both congregations and bats, who have shared churches for centuries but not always happily. We’ve been working very hard for a number of years with our partners to find ways to help bats and people coexist peacefully in these beautiful, historic buildings. This funding will allow us to capitalise on that good work and find innovative new ways of resolving the conflict. It will provide a lasting legacy for these wonderful churches and the people and bats that rely on them. The project will provide help and support to places of worship across England where large bat populations can sometimes have a negative impact on historic buildings and the communities who use them."

Click through to read comments and response from: HLF’s CEO, Ros Kerslake, Rt Hon Sir Tony Baldry, Chair of the Church Buildings Council, Julia Hanmer, Joint Chief Executive of the Bat Conservation Trust Deborah Lamb, Deputy Chief Executive of Historic England and Crispin Truman OBE, Chief Executive of the Churches Conservation Trust

Vital volunteers needed to save our last red squirrels – Wildlife TrustsThe Wildlife Trusts are leading the largest ever recruitment drive for red squirrel volunteers. With the help of National Lottery funding, the Trusts aim to increase volunteer numbers from 500 to 5000 to save the UK’s last red squirrels.

With the first of this year’s surveys of the endangered mammal due to start on 1st March, a new approach to the conservation of this charismatic species puts volunteers at the forefront of efforts to halt their decline.

Volunteers are needed to help protect red squirrels, as part of community-based teams gathering information about squirrel populations. Tasks include speedy reporting of grey squirrels moving into areas which are currently strongholds for red squirrels. The larger, invasive non-native greys are a major reason for the reds’ decline.

Volunteers will work with partner organisations in their local area, logging squirrel sightings, monitoring feeders for reds, setting up camera traps to film their behavior, controlling grey squirrel populations in key areas, and teaching the public and schoolchildren about our treasured native species, characterized by Beatrix Potter’s ‘Squirrel Nutkin’.

Data about sightings will contribute to the work of Red Squirrels United, a UK-wide network set up to protect the reds, and to the Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels project. Red Squirrels United came together in 2015. It marks the biggest ever partnership of academics and conservationists working together on a scientifically robust programme of conservation for this iconic native species. RSU is a UK-wide network of nine organisations, led by The Wildlife Trusts, working with local landowners and communities in nine stronghold areas in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland RSU works with Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels.

Partners will maintain grey squirrel-free habitat where it already exists, for example on the island of Anglesey and in Kielder Forest in northern England; extend current red squirrel protection zones in mid-Wales and Merseyside and implement a new whole country approach in Northern Ireland.

On the 7th and 8th March 2017, Red Squirrels United will hold a Red Squirrel Knowledge Fair – it will be the first ever time people across the UK have shared experiences and techniques to help stop the declines of this charismatic species.

Find your local partner organisation and what they offer volunteers here www.redsquirrelsunited.org.uk/


Major boost for Scotland’s red squirrels thanks to National Lottery funding – Scottish Wildlife Trust

The Trust has been awarded a grant of £2.46 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels – Developing Community Action project. 

Over the next five years Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels will enlist hundreds of volunteers in three key regions to carry out practical work to protect and strengthen red squirrel populations.  

Red squirrel (image: Stephen Willis via SWT)Red squirrel (image: Stephen Willis via SWT)

Scotland is home to just 120,000 red squirrels, three quarters of the UK population. The main threat to their survival comes from competition with invasive non-native grey squirrels and the spread of the deadly squirrelpox virus, but over the last eight years we have proved that it is possible to change their fortunes. 

“Through targeted control of grey squirrels we can reverse the decline of our native reds and help them return to former territories," said Dr Mel Tonkin, Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels Project Manager. “Thanks to National Lottery players we will be able to empower communities to help protect not just their local red squirrels, but major populations of the species in Scotland, and ensure that future generations can continue to see these special animals.”

The funding has been welcomed by Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, who said: “Red squirrels are a priority species that we need to do all we can to help. Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels has led important work to conserve them since 2009 so it is fantastic that players of the National Lottery will help to mobilise communities to take practical action to protect one of our best loved animals.”

Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels is led by the Scottish Wildlife Trust in partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland, Scottish Land & Estates, RSPB Scotland and the Red Squirrel Survival Trust. 


Early squirrel getting some TLC – Lancashire Wildlife Trust 

A tiny red squirrel is recovering with Wildlife Trust officers after a traumatic start to its life.

The four-week-old male squirrel was found on the forest floor at Ainsdale National Nature Reserve by Natural England volunteers.

Tiny red squirrel being fed (image: Lancashire Wildlife Trust)Tiny red squirrel being fed (image: Lancashire Wildlife Trust)

It is now safely in the hands of Rachel Miller, our Red Squirrel Field Officer. Rachel said: “He was on the ground, with a bloody nose, freezing cold and covered in lice. The first priority was to get him warmed up and then rehydrated. After three days of TLC he now has a lot more energy and a good appetite. He weighed just 89g but now weighs 93g so is putting on weight already."   Rachel worked out his age because his eyes were open by he has no upper incisor teeth. She said: “It means he was born sometime in mid-January.” She added: “He will be with me for the next few weeks and, hopefully, we’ll release him later in the spring. Can I stress that it is really important not to touch or move any baby animal without first seeking advice. Often the mother is nearby and may be in the process of moving her young somewhere else. Young animals have a better chance of long term survival in the wild if they stay with their mum.”

In this case the mother was nowhere around and, last year, Rachel looked after and released a squirrel which had been picked up and dropped by a magpie.



New Tesco scheme gets endangered bees buzzing again –Tesco Plc

Stricken bees struggling to get enough nectar to feed themselves are being given a sweetener thanks to a sugar collection scheme run by Tesco.

Sugar from split bags that is no longer fit for human consumption is collected by the supermarket’s stores in the Cornwall and Devon area and sent to a local bee conservation charity.

Bee (image: Tesco)Beekeepers then turn the sugar into syrup or fondant which is given to the bees as a replacement for nectar and honey.

Bee (image: Tesco)

Since 2007 the UK’s bee population has dwindled by a third as a result of fewer wildflowers, pests and various diseases, all of which makes it harder for bees to produce enough honey to feed themselves throughout the winter.

Lucy Hughes, Tesco’s Community Manager at Callington store in Cornwall said: “Bees are not only central to the process of pollinating crops which later become our food but are an iconic part of the Great British countryside.  I hope this small but important project will go some way to support our local bees and help them through the winter months.”


Rare species discovered at ‘lost world’ estate near Loch Ness – Trees for Life

Surveys at Trees for Life’s Dundreggan Conservation Estate near Loch Ness have revealed a range of rare species, including a midge never recorded in the United Kingdom before – underlining the site’s growing reputation as a ‘lost world’ for biodiversity.

The discovery of the non-biting midge (Chironomus vallenduuki) by entomologist Peter Chandler last August brings the total of UK biodiversity firsts found at the estate in Glenmoriston in Inverness-shire to 11.

Peter Chandler sweep-netting for fungus gnats by lone pine (image: Trees for Life)Peter Chandler sweep-netting for fungus gnats by lone pine (image: Trees for Life)

Other key findings during the charity’s 2016 survey season included two rare gnats whose larvae feed on fungi. One of these (Sciophila varia) is only known from four other UK sites. The other (Mycomya nigricornis) is only known in the UK from a handful of Scottish sites and had not been seen since 1990.

The charity also found two parasitic wasps (Homotropus pallipes and Diphyus salicatorius), for which there are very few Scottish records, and – for the first time in Scotland north of the River Tay – a pseudoscorpion called the knotty shining claw (Lamprochernes nodosus).

A micro-moth, the small barred longhorn (Adela croesella) – only documented at three other locations in Scotland, and never before this far north – was found by volunteer Richard Davidson. Richard had been taking part in one of Trees for Life’s popular volunteer Conservation Weeks at Dundreggan when he found the moth.

New species for the UK discovered on the estate in recent years were three sawflies (Nematus pravus, Nematus pseudodispar and Amauronematus tristis), an aphid (Cinara smolandiae), two aphid parasitoids (Ephedrus helleni, Praon cavariellae), three fungus gnats (Brevicornu parafennicum, Mycomya disa, Sceptonia longisetosa), and a mite (Ceratozetella thienemanni).


Appeal to lift ban flies in the face of logic - Buglife

Bombus Humilis Queen (image © S.Falk via Buglife)Bombus Humilis Queen (image © S.Falk via Buglife)

Buglife is dismayed that the National Farmers Union (NFU) is ignoring the compelling evidence that neonics have damaged wild bee populations and has again asked Defra to temporarily lift the EU wide ban on using neonicotinoid seed treatments on insect pollinated crops.

There is abundant scientific evidence that neonic seed treatments do not consistently improve crop yields. The ADAS study associated with the NFU’s 2015 derogation showed that there was no difference in oilseed rape establishment between treated and untreated fields.

Matt Shardlow, Chief Executive of Buglife commented. “It is a significant change of tack for the NFU to ask to only apply to use neonic treated seeds in areas of moderate flea beetle presence, and not in areas with high presence, because they say that neonics are “less likely to be of benefit” in those areas.  Surely this is an acknowledgement, of the very limited efficacy of neonic seed treatments in controlling flea beetles.  This application should be given short shrift by Defra.”

Counter to another NFU claim, pyrethroid resistance in flea beetles pre-dates the partial neonic ban and may well have been triggered by the use of neonicotinoid seed treatments because more than half of the oilseed rape seed treatments contained beta-cyfluthrin a pyrethroid, and prophylactic use over millions of hectares is the most likely way to foster pesticide resistance.

Buglife is hopeful that the EC will take action this year to address the harm neonics are causing to aquatic wildlife by extending the ban on neonicotinoid seed treatments to all crops.


Butterflies declining faster in urban areas – Butterfly Conservation

Butterflies are declining more rapidly in urban areas than in the countryside, a study published in the journal Ecological Indicators has revealed. 

Small Copper Butterfly (image: Peter Eeles, Butterfly Conservation)Small Copper Butterfly (image: Peter Eeles, Butterfly Conservation)

But the majority of butterflies living in our towns and cities are emerging earlier and are on the wing for longer than the same species living in rural areas, the study by Butterfly Conservation (BC), the University of Kent and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) found.   

Urban parks, gardens and brownfield sites and farms act as important refuges for butterflies and other wildlife but in recent years these areas have come under increasing pressure from development, habitat loss and climate change. 

The study compared trends for 28 species in urban and countryside environments. Over a 20-year period urban butterfly abundance fell by 69% compared to a 45% decline for butterflies in rural areas.  

The Small Copper and Small Heath declined much more dramatically in towns and cities than in the countryside.  From 1995 to 2014 Small Copper abundance fell by 75% in urban areas compared to a 23% decline in rural areas. The Small Heath experienced an abundance decline of 78% for urban areas, compared to a smaller decline of 17% in rural areas.  The causes of these changes require further research but it is likely to be due to the combined effects of habitat loss, intensification of land use and climate change. 

Read the paper: Dennis, W. B., Morgan, B. J. T., Roy, D. B. & Brereton, T. M. (2017) Urban indicators for UK butterflies. Ecological Indicators. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2017.01.009


Winning in a changing climate: a jewel wasp new to Britain found in Kent – Kent Wildlife Trust

The jewel wasp is a species new to Britain and new to Kent, found on our reserves and most likely enabled by a changing climate – we always think of climate change as bad, but as species are pushed out of their continental range and expand north, they have to find stepping stones of habitat further north or go extinct. We are going to lose species to climate change, but also gain them.

Hedychrum nobile by Grant HazelhurstHedychrum nobile by Grant Hazelhurst

Hedychrum nobile is a jewel wasp, a large one at that and a truly stunning little beast. Jewel wasps are members of the cuckoo wasp family Chrysididae, and are generally parasites or cleptoparasites (parasitism by theft). They lay their eggs in the nests of other insects, where their larvae consume the host egg or larvae alive. They are aptly named, generally being vibrant shades of bright metallic colours, and with minutely detailed and sculptured bodies. Most species in the family are found in desert regions of the world, as they are typically associated with solitary bee and wasp species, which are also most diverse in such places. This particular jewel wasp is a parasite of another wasp, the weevil hunting wasp Cerceris arenaria. The jewel wasp sneaks into the burrow of the weevil hunting wasp while she is away hunting weevils and lays her eggs. The weevil hunting wasp larvae consume the provisioned weevils, only to then be consumed themselves, a grim but exquisite intricacy of the struggle for life in the natural world. 


Land and Countryside Management

Mapping our special places in Wales -  Natural Resources Wales

Image: NRWPeople can now ‘walk’ some of Wales’ iconic trails and paths from the comfort of their armchair after Natural Resources Wales (NRW) teamed up with Google to add our special sites to Google Street View.

These give people a 360̊ panoramic view, so anyone with internet access can virtually ‘walk’ the trails using Street View on Google Maps.

Image: NRW

This project is part of NRW’s commitment to help more people get active and enjoy the outdoors.

Max Stokes, Natural Resources Planning Officer said: “We look after loads of sites across Wales where people can go running, walking and mountain biking. Launching the digital maps with Google means we can now showcase these special places on a global platform. We hope that this ‘virtual warden’ experience will encourage more people to get out and enjoy the outdoors."


Rare habitats being damaged by off-road vehicles – Scottish Natural Heritage

Some of Scotland’s rarest habitats are being damaged as a result of illegal access by off road vehicles, warn Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and Police Scotland.

Rare habitats being damaged by off-road vehicles: Loch Fleet SSSI – Vehilce damage to sand dune (SNH)Sites at Loch Fleet near Golspie and Ben Wyvis, north of Dingwall, are protected as Sites of Special Scientific Interest, recognising their important sand dune and mountain habitats, as well as the wealth of wildlife that they support. They are also designated as National Nature Reserves (NNRs).

Rare habitats being damaged by off-road vehicles: Loch Fleet SSSI – Vehilce damage to sand dune (SNH)

NNRs are some of Scotland's crown jewels for wildlife and scenery. They are the magical and inspiring places to experience the incredible sights and sounds of the natural world. These reserves help protect an amazing range of wildlife and landscapes, including many rare species and habitats of national and international importance.

Unfortunately, the sensitive habitats on these NNRs are suffering ongoing damage as a result of illegal quad bike and motorbike access, with a recent spike in activity witnessed around the festive period and into 2017.

SNH is keen to encourage the public to visit these sites and have provided facilities such as footpaths and on-site interpretation. But access rights should always be exercised responsibly in line with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code – these rights don’t extend to motorised vehicles.


NFU calls for action to protect countryside from fly-tippers - NFU 

The British countryside is being blighted by a fly-tipping epidemic and more needs to be done to prevent rubbish from ruining our iconic landscape, the NFU said today.

Enville fly tip (image: NFU)Enville fly tip (image: NFU)

The call comes as farmers address the 'Keep Britain Tidy' campaign’s annual conference held in Leeds today (9 February).

The great British countryside is being blighted by a fly-tipping epidemic and more needs to be done to prevent rubbish from ruining our iconic landscape, the NFU said today.

The call comes as farmers address the Keep Britain Tidy campaign’s annual conference held in Leeds today.

The sight of dumped mattresses, carpets, dishwashers, old furniture and black bags of household waste on farmland is becoming widespread with two thirds of all farms affected.  Last year there were 900,000 incidents of fly-tipping across England – a 5% increase from the previous year.

With rural tourism contributing £130m to the nation’s economy (2015-16) the NFU believes more needs to be done to protect the countryside from fly-tipping and more action taken by local authorities and police to help farmers battling this issue. Under the current rules farmers and landowners are left facing hefty bills to remove vast amounts of rubbish dumped illegally on their land.


Protection extended for mid Cornwall’s wildlife-rich landscape – Natural England

Rare butterflies and birds will benefit from a much larger area of protected land in mid Cornwall from today, says Government wildlife adviser Natural England.

Marsh fritillary butterfly (image: Natural England)Marsh fritillary butterfly (image: Natural England)

The new Mid Cornwall Moors site of special scientific interest (SSSI) merges the six original SSSIs which previously dotted the landscape either side of the A30 and east of Indian Queens, extending their boundaries and protecting around 50% more of the countryside. The SSSI includes several closely located patches of land, connecting important habitats and helping wildlife to withstand pressures from climate change in the future, creating a stronger refuge and network for rare plants and animals.

The countryside across the Mid Cornwall Moors is a rich and varied mix of heathland, woodland, and wildflower meadows; a vital sanctuary for wildlife, as well as an important asset for local people, visitors, and businesses. Fens and mires in the headwaters of the Fal and Par catchments also help to provide clean water and have the potential to reduce flood risk to homes and properties located further downstream.

Natural England has joined forces with landowners, the Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Butterfly Conservation, building on the successes of the Mid Cornwall Moors LIFE project to create the perfect conditions for the rare marsh fritillary butterfly, which should see its fortune improve as a result. The wet woodlands throughout the area are important for the diminutive willow tit, which has virtually disappeared from large parts of the UK and declined by an estimated 81% since the mid-1990s. The new areas added to the SSSI include important breeding sites for both of these special species.


Fish killed in pollution incident – Natural Resources Wales

Hundreds of fish have been killed in a pollution incident on a tributary of the river Gwili in Carmarthenshire.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is investigating the incident after receiving reports of pollution of the tributary near Llanpumsaint. About 200 trout, 40 lamprey and hundreds of bullheads have been killed. NRW officers identified the pollution as slurry from a nearby farm and put measures in place to stop further pollution entering the tributary.

Kimberley Redman, Natural Resource Management Team Leader for NRW, said:  “Our rivers provide a home to rich, diverse and valuable species of plants and animals so it’s important to deal with pollution as quickly as possible.  The pollution has had a significant impact on the fish in the river. Following quick action from our officers to identify the source and stop the pollution, it’s unlikely that we’ll see further impact."

Be Moor aware of new life on Dartmoor – Dartmoor National Park

The breeding season for moorland birds on Dartmoor coincides with the lambing season and, with the arrival of spring, the moorland will be full of new life, so it is particularly important for all of us to be Moor aware.

Many visitors and local people exercise their dogs when enjoying Dartmoor. Although a dog may not be actively chasing livestock, its presence can still cause disturbance.  During the lambing and calving season, expecting ewes or cows are particularly vulnerable.  A frightened animal may abort or abandon its young – a tragedy for the animal and a financial loss to the farmer.

The worrying of livestock by dogs is a year round concern and the law requires that dogs be kept under close control at all times.  It is a criminal offence for dogs to worry livestock. The dog owner can be fined and in some cases have their dog destroyed.

Young animals are often at the roadside and when vehicles approach may run across the road to join parents. It is important to be Moor aware when driving and keep speeds down to enable safe stopping.

If you see a young animal which appears to be on its own out on the moor, please do not attempt to move it. You may be separating it from its parent which may be grazing some distance away and will return.


Cities taking action, learning from each other to adapt to climate change – European Environment Agency

Despite budgetary challenges, cities and towns across Europe are taking action to put in place measures that will help them adapt to the impacts of climate change. A new European Environment Agency (EEA) report released today (Monday 27 Feb) highlights the opportunities Image © Areal picture: Mathias Friedel, vision: Triebhaus Landschaftsarchitekten Hamburg, montage: Rolf Kuchlingopen to municipalities to share best practices and how they can support projects like green roofs or expanding city parks to help alleviate the negative effects of climate change.

Image © Areal picture: Mathias Friedel, vision: Triebhaus Landschaftsarchitekten Hamburg, montage: Rolf Kuchling

The EEA report “Financing urban adaptation to climate change,” takes a closer look at innovative funding options now being used, such as green bonds and crowdfunding, alongside traditional funding channels. The report includes case studies that analyse how 11 cities across Europe are developing, funding and implementing urban adaptation measures. The case studies outline various projects that will help cities better protect themselves from the damage caused by extreme weather events. These include building more green spaces and installing green roofs, which enhance water retention and provide cooling as well as thermal insulation.

The publication is meant to serve as a resource for adaptation financing providers and project developers from international, national or regional public bodies and private institutions. The report also includes a helpful annex providing an overview of European-level financing options available to municipalities.



CEH experts contribute to new Environment Agency report aimed at better protecting the UK from flooding - Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Image: Centre for Ecology & HydrologySpecialists in flood frequency estimation at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) have made a major contribution to a new Environment Agency (EA) report aimed at better protecting UK residents and property from flooding.

Image: Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

CEH scientists joined collaborators, including those from the University of Bath and the University of Aberystwyth, to update and improve existing flood frequency estimation techniques with the addition of more local data.

This new set of enhanced methodologies is already being incorporated into guidance to practitioners and dedicated software tools to help inform decisions on the design and operation of flood defences, flood mapping and building in flood-risk areas.

The updates are intended to reduce the uncertainty associated with flood frequency estimation and as such increase the confidence of residents, government policy-makers and flood risk planners, industry, developers and insurers.


New houses flood risk to existing homes – Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

People’s homes will be at greater risk from flooding by 2020 because new homes will overwhelm existing drains, according to the biggest ever survey of relevant building and flooding professionals.

(image: WWT)(image: WWT)

The Government is planning to build a million more new homes by the end of the decade. But the survey suggests current planning laws in England will make it too easy to automatically connect new homes to already over-capacity mains drainage, rather than look at sustainable options like soakaways which can be cheaper and simpler and avoid adding to flood risk.

Overwhelmed drains are the most common type of flooding in towns, costing the economy £260m per year. Greater London is an example where urban development connecting to drains has added to the flood risk for homes generally. In the 2007 floods nearly all the 1,400 properties flooded were due to surface water flooding.

The survey of 539 industry professionals including engineering consultants, flood advisors and planners shows:

  • 70% think current planning policies don’t sufficiently encourage sustainable options instead;
  • 65% think the Government’s non-statutory standards for sustainable options aren’t effective anyway;
  • 75% think local authorities don’t have the in-house expertise to check and advise on sustainable options or challenge proposals that might increase flood risk.

The survey was conducted by organisations including the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) and the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM). They are now urging the Government to strengthen planning law in England 

Download the report: A Place for SuDS from CIWEM (PDF)


Marine & Coastal

MMO calls for feedback on marine planning - Marine Management Organisation

The Marine Management Organisation is asking for feedback on the first outputs in the development of the next phase of marine plans.

A questionnaire on the first outputs of marine planning in the north east, north west, south east and south west has been launched.

The questionnaire, which is open until Friday 31 March 2017, asks for feedback on the recently published Issues Database, supporting evidence, proposed draft policies to date as well as a new interactive format.

It’s the first opportunity for stakeholders to see how marine planning is progressing in north east, north west, south east and south west marine plan areas, marking an important milestone in the marine planning process.

The questionnaire is part of an eight week programme of activity, which also includes a series of workshops.

The questionnaire and workshops are an opportunity to see how the issues and evidence gathered last year are being taken forward, and how proposed draft policies for the areas are being developed.

A new proposed format for marine plans is also introduced, which takes a shorter, more digital, interactive approach, linking directly to our Marine Information System (MIS).

To take part in the questionnaire visit the consultation website. 


Critical Solway Firth site secured for nature – RSPB Scotland

RSPB Scotland is delighted to announce today that thanks to public generosity a critical site on the Solway Firth has been secured for nature. Over 40,000 Svalbard barnacle geese migrate to this area every year, with a quarter of these settling at RSPB Scotland Mersehead. The sight and sound of these geese arriving each autumn is one of the most iconic moments in nature’s calendar.The public response to the appeal was outstanding and ensured that this crucial part of the Solway Firth is now part of the RSPB Scotland reserve, with many species set to benefit from the interconnected habitats that will be created. Mersehead is home to the only Scottish population of the country’s rarest amphibian, natterjack toads, whilst in the summer the songs of yellowhammers, linnets and lapwings fill the air. The autumn brings pintails, teals and widgeons to the reserve and waders such as oystercatchers, golden plovers and increasingly rare curlews join the geese during the colder months of the year.

Reedbeds from Meida hide, RSPB Mersehead (image: Kaleel Zibe, RSPB)Reedbeds from Meida hide, RSPB Mersehead (image: Kaleel Zibe, RSPB)

Over the next two years RSPB Scotland will be working to restore the special saltmarsh and sand dune habitats on this newest part of the reserve. This will create more nesting opportunities for birds such as redshanks and skylarks that breed in the saltmarsh and more ponds in the sand dunes suitable for the natterjack toad population to expand into. Work will begin this spring with the removal of scrub and non-native plant species.

Joining up the land in the reserve will also see benefits for the management of the site through revitalising burns and ditches to help to create more wetland areas, and visitors will be able to further immerse themselves in the nature rich Solway Firth through new access trails.


Big Loopholes For Tiny Microbeads In Government’s Proposed Ban – Marine Conservation Society

YouGov polling for the microbeads coalition has shown that a large proportion of people wash make-up and skincare products down the drain. Yet while some of these product types have been shown to contain microplastic ingredients, they could fall outside of the government’s proposed microbeads ban.

Defra’s current proposal is restricted to “rinse-off” products, an ambiguous term which has caused confusion among industry and campaigners alike. But these findings suggest that products containing microplastics will continue to enter the ocean if the government excludes them from the microbeads ban.

The survey found that:

  • 42% of users wash off face make-up (e.g. foundation, blusher, concealer) down the drain
  • 60% of people who don’t use make-up, but do use skincare products like sun cream wash them down the drain
  • A third of people using lip and eye products wash them down the drain (33% and 34% respectively)
  • Across all three make-up types, 42% of people who wear make-up end up washing it down the drain

The poll also found that the majority of people who wear any make-up (61%) rarely or never read product label information regarding removal methods for face, eye and lip make-up products.

Click through to read a joint statement from the microbeads coalition, which consists of the Environmental Investigation Agency, Fauna & Flora International, Greenpeace UK and the Marine Conservation Society


Arboriculture, trees and woodland

New report explores trees’ role in town and city life – Forestry Commission

A research report just published by the Forestry Commission offers new insight into the specific roles which trees play within the wider range of ecosystem services provided by greenspace in town and cities.

The report, which is based on a literature review, shows that woodlands, street trees, parks and other greenspace are given broad attention in the scientific literature. Papers focusing on green infrastructure as a whole are also common.  However, it found that there is very little reference in the literature to scale, and therefore whether it is individual trees, lines of trees or clusters of trees which principally provide each of the benefits.

A key objective of the report is therefore to illustrate the specific role of trees in providing benefits to society, as opposed to provision being assigned to green infrastructure in general, or to a particular greenspace type.  To this end it investigates scale-based urban forest elements, including single trees, lines of trees, clusters of trees, and woodland. The ecosystem services they provide are grouped into provisioning, regulating, and cultural services, and each service is considered in turn.

Download the free report from Forestry Commission Publications.


Restoring fifty hectares of rare and threatened habitats in Doncaster to benefit all – Environment Agency

Almost 50 hectares of nationally-important habitat is being restored in Doncaster as part of an Environment Agency-led project benefiting communities and wildlife.

The Environment Agency is leading a project to improve 7 wet woodland areas. (Image courtesy of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, via Environment Agency)The Environment Agency is leading a project to improve 7 wet woodland areas. (Image courtesy of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, via Environment Agency)

The work across seven woodland areas, including two Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), will help improve water quality, reduce flood risk, and enhance natural habitats for protected species. Beginning in September last year, the Inspiring Water Action in the Torne project is creating, restoring and improving up to 46.5 hectares of wet-woodland priority habitats – and involving local communities in doing so. The 46.5 hectares represents 11 per cent of the Environment Agency’s national target for habitat creation.

Measures include selectively thinning the woodland, re-wetting areas that have dried out, improving access for visitors, and sowing native plants that will help filter pollutants from the environment. As well as providing for one of the nation’s most threatened bird species – the Willow Tit – the restored wet-woodland will act as a natural aid to reducing flood risk by creating more room for water. The estimated 4,000 cubic metres of extra storage space will help naturally interrupt and soak up the flow of rising waters, reducing the risk to around 1,000 nearby properties, as well as to agricultural land.


Computer game teaches tree health lessons – Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

Tree-health experts at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) have played a key role in creating a new computer game which teaches valuable lessons in tree health.

It is hoped that the game, CALEDON, which is aimed at teaching people, from secondary school age upwards, more about how we can sustainably manage our forests to cope with new pests and diseases, could become part of the science curriculum.

The game is a virtual forest survival strategy game where players make decisions about the tree species and seed sources to use for planting, what and when to cut down, and how to cope with pest and disease outbreaks. All affect whether their forest prospers or declines.

Players learn, through different levels of the game, about how different species have distinct ecology and how making use of diversity can help to keep a forest resilient. They also learn about the wide range of things – from pests and diseases to illegal logging to unexpected animal herds – that forest managers have to deal with to keep their forests going

CALEDON is underpinned by new science from seven research partners in the UK’s PROTREE project which is part of the £7 million Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Initiative that supports research and engages with stakeholders in plant health.

Download or play CALEDON  by clicking here. 


New shoots for forest planting – Forestry Commission Scotland

A new plan to streamline the tree planting process in Scotland will be a powerful catalyst for delivering the ambitious tree planting targets recently announced by the Scottish Government in its draft climate change plan.

The tree planting targets are to be raised on a stepped basis from the current 10,000ha a year to 15,000ha a year by 2025.

The increase in planting will grow this crucial forest carbon sink, helping the fight against climate change, as well as creating economic growth and protecting jobs, mostly in rural areas.

The delivery plan, announced today (Friday 10 February) by Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing, contains a package of measures to drive forward and speed up the tree planting process.

The publication of the delivery plan also coincides with another record breaking round of planting approvals. Forestry Commission Scotland has just approved 96 woodland proposals, covering 1,300ha of new woodland creation and totalling £5.5 million. This is the largest area of woodland creation to be approved in a single clearing round since the Forestry Grants Scheme opened in October 2015.

The plan is a direct response to recommendations from Jim Mackinnon CBE, who was commissioned by Scottish Government, to explore the current arrangements for forest planting approval processes.


Hundreds of trees planted in 24 hours in bid to reduce Lake District flooding – National Trust

Hundreds of trees will be planted across the Lake District today (Friday 10 February) in the first mass tree planting event ever attempted by the National Trust in the national park.

The trees will help reduce the impacts of future flooding and restore wood pasture habitats that have been lost, National Trust rangers say.

More than 90 people will plant a total of 1,400 trees at five sites in the Lake District National Park, including the shores of Lake Windermere and the approach to Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain.

Saplings planted in the shadow of flood damage in the Coledale valley, near Keswick. Credit: John Malley / National TrustSaplings planted in the shadow of flood damage in the Coledale valley, near Keswick. Credit: John Malley / National Trust

As they mature, it is expected that the trees will help to trap rainwater and mitigate the effects of flooding. In late 2015 Storm Desmond brought record rainfall to parts of the Lake District, with 34.1cm of rain falling on Honister Pass, Borrowdale, over just 24 hours. Storm Desmond left the National Trust facing a £1million clean-up bill.

Mike Innerdale, assistant director of operations for the National Trust, said: “This is a real community effort, with dozens of volunteers helping to plant trees – restoring important wood pasture habitats and slow the flow of storm water off the fells.  With major storms occurring more frequently, we’re working with farmers and local residents to look at ways of making the Lakes more resilient to flooding.”

At Braithwaite, near Keswick, rangers, residents and volunteers from the Woodland Trust will plant 500 native broadleaf trees over two hectares of pasture in the Coledale valley. In 2015 flooding caused a major landslide in the valley that lead to the village of Braithwaite being inundated with silt, boulders and other debris.

By planting the trees, Rangers and volunteers plan to restore areas of ancient woodland, create wood pasture and plant new hedgerows. These will offer a welcome home for birds like warblers, flycatchers and redstarts.

All of the 1,400 saplings that will be planted are native woodland species, including oak, birch, hazel, rowan and crab apple.


New online tool makes broadleaves management easier – Forestry Commission Scotland

An online tool that helps land managers get the right tree in the right place has been upgraded to include key productive broadleaved species as well as conifers.

The move means that forest managers and land owners can now make even better use of this IT-based “ready-reckoner” to optimize their forestry investment

Broadleave Planting (image: Forestry Commission)Broadleave Planting (image: Forestry Commission)

Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) has funded the £30,000 upgrade, being carried out by Forest Research (FR), to the Establishment & Management Information System (EMIS). FCS funding reflects that most hardwood is grown on private sector land, but Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES) is looking to play an increasing role in that market.

Accessible to all land managers, this upgraded version of EMIS will help resolve many of the restrictions, concerns and fears identified by forest managers in growing productive broadleaved species.  By inputting location and site details, landowners will be presented with information on a wide range of factors – from assessments of site quality and species selection and planting advice, to preparing restock sites, brash and stump management and other establishment operations. Where possible, it will also highlight site or species specific issues.

A pilot session on the upgraded tool is being organized by FES for March 2017. Anyone wishing to take part should contact andrew.hunt@forestry.gsi.gov.uk


Scientific research, results and publications

LED lighting could have major impact on wildlife – University of Exeter

LED street lighting can be tailored to reduce its impacts on the environment, according to new research by the University of Exeter.

The UK-based study found predatory spiders and beetles were drawn to grassland patches lit by LED lighting at night, but the number of species affected was markedly reduced when the lights were dimmed by 50% and switched off between midnight and 4am.

More and more of the world is being lit at night (University of Essex)More and more of the world is being lit at night (University of Essex)

LEDs made up just 9% of the global lighting market in 2011, but forecasts suggest they will account for 69% by 2020.

This has led to concerns about their effects on plants and animals, and the Exeter scientists say research is urgently needed to understand how best to prevent unforeseen ecological effects.

“We are making fundamental changes to the way we light the night-time environment, with potentially profound consequences for a range of species,” said Dr Thomas Davies, of the Environment and Sustainability Institute at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus. “The growth of LED lighting is an issue of global concern, and the number of documented impacts on the environment is growing rapidly. Our research shows that local authorities might be able to manage LED lighting in a way that reduces its environmental impacts. We now need to establish whether this is the case for a greater variety of species. Without appropriate management, our results suggest that the growing use of LED lighting will have impacts on the abundance of predatory invertebrates, potentially leading to knock on effects for other species in grassland food-webs.”


Increasing the water table in agricultural peatland could hold key to reducing UK’s greenhouse gas emissions – University of Sheffield

  • A third of greenhouse gases released by humans are caused by agriculture
  • Increasing water table in peat soils by 20cm reduces CO2 emissions and helps improve crop yield
  • UK’s peatlands are being lost at a rapid rate

Increasing the water table could help to slow down global warming, boost crop yields, and preserve peat soils according to a new study.

The research, led by scientists from the University of Sheffield, found increasing the level below which the ground is saturated with water – known as the water table – in radish fields by 20cm not only reduced soil CO2 emissions, but also improved the growth of crops.

Importantly, the study also showed a reduction in the rate of loss of peat soils converted into agricultural fields.

Around a third of greenhouse gases released by humans are caused by agriculture. Reducing this is critical in order to slow down climate change, however the world is facing a global shortage of food and agricultural land is a precious resource – adding to the challenge of food security. A significant proportion of the UK’s farming takes place on drained peatlands, which are some of the most productive soils for commercial agriculture. Draining naturally flooded peatlands, which are organically rich, triggers the carbon to oxidise and release CO2 into the atmosphere.


More research needed to understand effects of microplastics on land-based ecosystems - Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

A review of evidence led by experts at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) has highlighted the need for further research to determine the extent to which microplastics are polluting and harming land-based ecosystems.

The review, published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, has revealed a large degree of uncertainty as to how much, and in what way, waste plastic may be damaging terrestrial environments, and what size and type of plastic might be the biggest problem.

Researchers also accept that it is not fully understood to what extent microplastic pollutants are released into the environment through everyday products, accidentally or through wind transfer.

Sample showing microplastic particles collected from a tributary of the river Thames (image: CEH)Sample showing microplastic particles collected from a tributary of the river Thames (image: CEH)

In 2014, in Europe, more than 311 million tonnes of plastic was produced and it is estimated that by 2050 this will spiral to 33 billion tonnes a year. Each year it is believed between 473,000 and 910,000 metric tonnes of plastic waste is released and retained within land-based environments – or between 4 and 23 times the amount estimated to be deposited in oceans.

Lead author Alice Horton, a research associate in microplastics and toxic pollutants at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, said there are still questions that need to be answered to fully understand the potential for 'microplastics to have detrimental effects on the physiology of species across many ecological niches'.

Alice said, "There is evidence to show that microplastics can have harmful effects on organisms, hindering their ability to feed, reproduce and defend themselves against predators, with effects likely to vary between types and sizes of microplastics.

"This could have significant knock-on effects within ecosystems. Despite growing interest in microplastics within the wider environment, the majority of studies to date have been carried out within the oceans on marine organisms. Here at CEH we are interested in the start of the chain, when microplastics first enter the environment to land and rivers and the organisms that may be affected there."

Read Alice Horton’s blog post giving more details of the research: First evidence of mircoplastics in UK freshwater environments

Access the paper: Alice A. Horton, Alexander Walton, David J. Spurgeon, Elma Lahive, Claus Svendsen. Microplastics in freshwater and terrestrial environments: Evaluating the current understanding to identify the knowledge gaps and future research priorities, Science of The Total Environment, DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.01.190.


How to reduce the environmental impact of a loaf of bread? – University of Sheffield

  • Ammonium nitrate fertilizer used in wheat cultivation contributes 43 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in a loaf of bread
  • 100 million tonnes of fertiliser used globally every year
  • Findings vital to providing solutions to global food security challenge

With an estimated 12 million loaves sold in the UK every day, bread remains a staple of the British diet. In a groundbreaking study researchers from the University of Sheffield have now calculated the environmental impact of a loaf of bread and which part of its production contributes the most greenhouse gas.

The group of interdisciplinary researchers from the University’s Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures, analysed the complete process from growing and harvesting the wheat; milling the grain; producing the flour; baking the bread and the production of the final product, ready to be sold by retailers.

The findings, published today (27 February 2017) in the journal Nature Plants, show ammonium nitrate fertiliser used in wheat cultivation contributes almost half (43 per cent) of the greenhouse gas emissions – dwarfing all other processes in the supply chain.

Dr Liam Goucher, N8 Agrifood Research Fellow from the University of Sheffield who carried out the study, said: “Consumers are usually unaware of the environmental impacts embodied in the products they purchase - particularly in the case of food, where the main concerns are usually over health or animal welfare.


Revealed: only 1 in 10 think their air quality is bad despite toxic levels of air pollution across the UK – Friends of the Earth

Friends of the Earth is calling on the UK public to take part in a ground-breaking nationwide experiment on air pollution as a YouGov poll reveals that although nearly two thirds of British adults (61%) say they are concerned about air pollution, only 1 in 10 (11%) rate their own air quality as bad, on a scale of 0 to 10 - despite large parts  of the UK breaking pollution limits.

Friends of the Earth is today (1 March) launching what they hope will be the biggest ever citizen science air pollution experiment to help people find out more about the air they’re breathing. Friends of the Earth’s ‘Clean Air Kits’ enable people to test the air quality near them, as well as providing people with tips on how to avoid air pollution and what they can do to help support the fight for clean air.

The environmental charity is hoping thousands will join in the experiment so that they can create a comprehensive national air pollution picture. The data generated by the experiment will feed into a national map which will help create a “state of the nation” report on air pollution. 

Oliver Hayes, Friends of the Earth air pollution campaigner, said: “With only 1 in 10 British adults rating their air quality as poor despite swathes of the country breaking legal limits for air pollution, it seems the message about the scale and danger of air pollution isn’t getting through. Often you can’t see it, or smell it, but it’s there – and air pollution is risking the health of an entire generation of children. Our Clean Air Kits help people to find out about the air quality in the places they care about most: on the street where they live, where they work, where their children go to school and at the heart of their communities. The results will help us build up a localised picture of the state of our nation’s air to really bring home why everyone, from individuals, to businesses and politicians must do all they can to make the air we breathe safer.”

Dr Benjamin Barratt, Air Quality Science Lecturer at King’s College London, said: “Friends of the Earth’s Clean Air Kits are a valuable tool in enabling people to discover what air pollution is like in places that matter to them. If enough people take part, the data they gather could shed new light on the reality of pollution at a local level throughout the country.”

Order your Friends of the Earth’s Clean Air Kit here.


Alien species on the rise worldwide – Senckenberg, world of biodiversity 

The increase in numbers of alien species does not show any sign of saturation at a global level, an international team of 45 researchers led by scientists from Senckenberg, Germany, and University of Vienna, Austria, has discovered. They found that during the last centuries the number of new introductions has continuously increased worldwide, with more than a third of all first introductions recorded between 1970 and 2014. Although individual trends differ among taxonomic groups, the ongoing increase in alien species numbers is still visible for all groups of organisms.  

Although it was known that the number of alien species increased during the last decades, it remained unclear whether or not the accumulation of alien species has already reached a point of slow-down. Dr Hanno Seebens from Senckenberg, Germany, first author a new study on the topic has an answer now: “For all groups of organisms on all continents, the number of alien species has increased continuously during the last 200 years. For most groups, even the rate of introduction is highest recently. Barring mammals and fishes, there are no signs of a slow-down and we have to expect more new invasions in the near future.”His outlook comes at the end of a large collaborative effort in which 45 scientists from all over the world established a database of the date an alien species was first detected in a region outside the species’ native range. Using more than 45.000 of these first records of more than 16.000 alien species, they analysed the development of alien species accumulation during the last centuries.

They found that 37% of all recorded alien species have been introduced between 1970-2014 and thus recently. At its peak 585 new species were recorded within one year. This corresponds to more than 1.5 new alien species per day globally. “As the date of first record is not available for most alien species, these numbers are clearly underestimating the full extent of alien species introductions”, says Dr. Franz Essl from the University of Vienna, Austria, senior author of the study. 

Read the paper (open access):  Seebens, H. et al. (2016):  No saturation in the accumulation of alien species worldwide, Nature Communications, doi:10.1038/ncomms14435 


New antibiotic from bacteria found on an ant could beat MRSA – John Innes Centre

A new antibiotic, produced by bacteria found on a species of African ant, is very potent against antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs’ like MRSA according to scientists.

Researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the John Innes Centre (JIC) discovered a new member of the Streptomyces bacteria family, isolated from the African fungus-growing plant-ant Tetraponera penzigi. They have named the new species Streptomyces formicae and the antibiotics formicamycins, after the Latin formica, meaning ant.

Lab tests have shown these new antibiotics are effective against methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE), bacteria which are resistant to a number of common antibiotics and can cause life-threatening infections.

Almost all of the antibiotics currently in clinical use come from a group of bacteria called actinomycetes that were isolated from soil between 40-80 years ago, the ‘golden age’ of antibiotic discovery. Inappropriate use of these antibiotics since then has led to widespread antimicrobial resistance (AMR), where disease-causing bacteria and fungi have become resistant to one or more antibiotics.

Read the paper: Z. Qin, J. T.Munnoch, R. Devine, N. A. Holmes, R. Seipke, K. A. Wilkinson, B. Wilkinson and M. Hutchings, Chem. Sci. 2017, Formicamycins, antibacterial polyketides produced by Streptomyces formicae isolated from African Tetraponera plant-ants DOI: 10.1039/C6SC04265A.


CEH-led €3 million EKLIPSE project supporting policy on Europe’s biodiversity and ecosystem services launches first report – Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Experts from the Centre of Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) are playing a key role in a major EU-funded project to provide policy makers with the information needed to make decisions on conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services and solve environmental problems across Europe.

logo: EKLIPSECEH scientists are coordinating the EKLIPSE project which consists of a consortium of international scientists who invite policy-makers to put in requests that answer their information needs.

The European Commission-funded project works by sending out 'calls for expertise' to scientists and other knowledge holders who then share their knowledge to help inform Europe’s policy-makers on environmental challenges.

EKLIPSE has now reached a landmark in its four-year cycle by producing its first report, published by CEH.


Artificial shelters could help trees survive climate change – Aberystwyth University

Catherine Duerden with a tree shelter (Aberystwyth University)It is a common sight to see plastic shelters placed on young tree saplings to protect them when growing, but new research suggests that this may also prepare them to survive climate change.

Catherine Duerden with a tree shelter (Aberystwyth University)

Aberystwyth University graduate Catherine Duerden unearthed the truth about tree shelters while writing her MSc dissertation and the findings have been published in the Quarterly Journal of Forestry.  

In it she sets out to determine the long term effects of tree shelters used for protecting young tree saplings against the environment and herbivores.

Speaking of her research Catherine said: “It was surprising that we have used so many of these shelters without really knowing what they do to trees in the longer term. Several million are produced and used in the UK alone each year. There are so many used that wherever you go in the developed world you are likely to be within just 1 km of a tree shelter.”

As part of her dissertation Catherine tried to identify past experimental sites where the tree shelters had been tested. But this proved a challenge as decades had passed, experiments had been abandoned, paper records lost and many experimenters retired.

However, in a filing cabinet in a broom cupboard in the Llandovery Forestry Commission offices, detailed records were unearthed from a comprehensive study of Welsh oak trees established in 1994.

Catherine said: “I then revisited this site, which had tested 20 tree shelter types, and was able to look at the success of the sessile oaks after 20 years of growth. What I discovered was that 17 of the 20 shelter types promoted survival, and 12 of the shelter types had significantly increased trees’ stability compared to those grown without tree shelters.”


Ball-rolling bees reveal complex learning – Queen Mary University of London 

Bumblebees can be trained to score goals using a mini-ball, revealing unprecedented learning abilities, according to scientists at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

Bee holding a mini-ball (c) Iida Loukola Bee holding a mini-ball (image: © Iida Loukola, via QMUL)

Their study, published in the journal Science, suggests that species whose lifestyle demands advanced learning abilities could learn entirely new behaviours if there is ecological pressure.

Project supervisor and co-author Professor Lars Chittka from QMUL’s School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, said: “Our study puts the final nail in the coffin of the idea that small brains constrain insects to have limited behavioural flexibility and only simple learning abilities."

Previous research has shown that bumblebees could solve a range of cognitive tasks, but these have so far resembled tasks similar to the bees’ natural foraging routines, such as pulling strings to obtain food.  

This study examines bees’ behavioral flexibility to carry out tasks that are not naturally encountered by the insects.

“We wanted to explore the cognitive limits of bumblebees by testing whether they could use a non-natural object in a task likely never encountered before by any individual in the evolutionary history of bees," said Dr Clint Perry, joint lead author and also from QMUL’s School of Biological and Chemical Sciences.   

The experiment required the bees to move a ball to a specified location to obtain a reward of food. The insects were first trained to know the correct location of the ball on a platform. Subsequently, to obtain their reward, the bees had to move a displaced ball to the specified location.The bees that observed the technique from a live or model demonstrator learned the task more efficiently than those observing a “ghost” demonstration or without demonstration.

Joint lead author Dr Olli J. Loukola, said: "The bees solved the task in a different way than what was demonstrated, suggesting that observer bees did not simply copy what they saw, but improved on it. This shows an impressive amount of cognitive flexibility, especially for an insect." 

Access the paper: Olli J. Loukola, Clint J. Perry, Louie Coscos, Lars Chittka Bumblebees show cognitive flexibility by improving on an observed complex behaviour Science 24 Feb 2017 : 833-836  DOI: 10.1126/science.aag2360



New housing will impact bat populations – British Trust for Ornithology

New research led by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) shows how data collected by volunteers taking part in the BTO’s Norfolk Bat Survey can inform planning decisions nationwide.

Housing is expected to increase both in Norfolk and throughout the country over the next 10 years or so, resulting in a wave of government planned housing developments. These developments will potentially have an impact on local wildlife due to loss of habitat as new roads and houses are constructed, so it is vital to examine their effects on local wildlife whilst they are still at the planning stage.

The BTO researchers, working with Norfolk County Council used data from the Local Planning Authorities to investigate the impact of the proposed housing on bat distribution and found that different species respond differently.

Noctule by Jan SvetlikNoctule by Jan Svetlik

Planned housing is expected to reduce the activity and distribution of all bat species in Norfolk. At a local level the impact of housing is likely to be severe, with loss for some species as high as 40%. However, at a county level the impact is likely to relate to a maximum 1-2% reduction in bat activity and occupied range, as a result of loss of the bats' preferred habitat.

Importantly, the study showed that the impact of new housing could definitely be reduced; the habitats of least importance for bats could be developed first. Local Authorities could develop areas less likely to impact the bat populations, for example by avoiding forest clearance and instead building more houses in existing city centres.

Lead author, Dr Jenni Border of the BTO, said of the research, “The effect of housing depended on the type of habitat that was replaced. For example, new developments around forest habitats would have greater impact than developing in existing urban areas.”


Bird lovers help scientists discover secrets of beak evolution – University of Sheffield

  • Scans were logged online by members of the public across the world
  • Data shows new information about the evolution of bird beaks

Citizen scientists and bird lovers across the world have helped researchers to uncover new secrets about the evolution of birds' beaks over time in a ground-breaking study.

Researchers at the University of Sheffield asked the public to help measure beak shapes from more than 2,000 bird species which have been 3D scanned from specimens at the Natural History Museum and the Manchester Museum.Using the crowdsourced data, the team were able show that the diversity of bird beaks expanded early in their evolutionary history. The most unusual beak shapes often involved periods of exceptionally fast evolutionary change.

However, once extremes are reached, the changes to bird beaks over time became much smaller as birds filled ever-narrower evolutionary niches.

There are some examples - such as birds who have evolved in comparative isolation on remote islands such as the Galapagos and the Hawaiian archipelago - who have continued to evolve rapidly.

Gavin Thomas, the project lead from the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield, said: “The shape of a bird’s beak is an important indicator of the food it eats and the way it forages - its ecological niche. This project has given us key insight into how evolutionary processes play out over millions of years - with major bursts of evolution as new groups emerge, and more fine scale changes thereafter. With the efforts of our volunteers from across the world, the study has given us a unique new data set for the study of bird ecology and evolution.”

Access the paper. Christopher R. Cooney, et al Mega-evolutionary dynamics of the adaptive radiation of birds. Nature (2017) doi:10.1038/nature21074 


Wintering ducks connect isolated wetlands by dispersing plant seeds – Utrecht University

Plant populations in wetland areas face increasing isolation as wetlands are globally under threat from habitat loss and fragmentation. Erik Kleyheeg and Merel Soons of Utrecht University show that the daily movement behaviour of wintering mallards is highly predictable from the landscape they live in and that their daily flights contribute to maintaining the connections between wetland plant populations across increasingly fragmented landscapes. The researchers and co-authors are publishing their results today in the academic journal Journal of Ecology.

Mallards are among the most numerous and widespread duck species in the world, their global population estimated at approximately 19 million individuals. They are strong flyers, able to cover long distances at great speed (about 80 km/h) and part of the population migrates over long distances from their breeding areas to their wintering areas. Mallards are omnivorous and in their non-breeding range, during autumn and winter, they feed largely on plant seeds. Many of these seeds are not digested and survive gut passage. In this way, the mallards play an important role in transporting the seeds between wetland feeding and resting areas.

Access the papers:

E. Kleyheeg, H.J. Treep, M. de Jager, B.A. Nolet and M.B. Soons (2017) Seed dispersal distributions resulting from landscape-dependent daily movement behaviour of a key vector species. Journal of Ecology, online early DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12738.

E. Kleyheeg, J.B.G. van Dijk, D. Tsopoglou-Gkina, T. Woud, D. Boonstra, B.A. Nolet and M.B. Soons* (2017) Movement patterns of a keystone waterbird species are highly predictable from landscape configuration. Movement Ecology, online early DOI: 10.1186/s40462-016-0092-7.

Watching birds near your home is good for your mental health – University of Exeter & BTO

People living in neighbourhoods with more birds, shrubs and trees are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and stress, according to research by academics at the University of Exeter, the British Trust for Ornithology and the University of Queensland.

Being able to see birds, shrubs and trees around the home benefits mental health. (image: University of Exeter)Being able to see birds, shrubs and trees around the home benefits mental health. (image: University of Exeter)

The study, involving hundreds of people, found benefits for mental health of being able to see birds, shrubs and trees around the home, whether people lived in urban or more leafy suburban neighbourhoods.

The study, which surveyed mental health in over 270 people from different ages, incomes and ethnicities, also found that those who spent less time out of doors than usual in the previous week were more likely to report they were anxious or depressed.

After conducting extensive surveys of the number of birds in the morning and afternoon in Milton Keynes, Bedford and Luton, the study found that lower levels of depression, anxiety and stress were associated with the number of birds people could see in the afternoon. The academics studied afternoon bird numbers - which tend to be lower than birds generally seen in the morning – because they are more in keeping with the number of birds that people are likely to see in their neighbourhood on a daily basis.

In the study, common types of birds including blackbirds, robins, blue tits and crows were seen. But the study did not find a relationship between the species of birds and mental health, but rather the number of birds they could see from their windows, in the garden or in their neighbourhood.

Access the paper: Daniel T. C. Cox, Danielle F. Shanahan, Hannah L. Hudson, Kate E. Plummer, Gavin M. Siriwardena, Richard A. Fuller, Karen Anderson, Steven Hancock, Kevin J. Gaston; Doses of Neighborhood Nature: The Benefits for Mental Health of Living with Nature. BioScience 2017; 67 (2): 147-155. doi: 10.1093/biosci/biw173


Over-half of the world’s curlew and godwit species face extinction from habitat loss and other pressures. – British Trust for Ornithology 

A new ground-breaking assessment published today in the journal Bird Conservation International has revealed that loss of habitat could lead to the extinction of a number of species of curlew and godwit, some of which are found in the UK.

Curlew by Amy Lewis (via BTO)Curlew by Amy Lewis (via BTO)

The world’s godwit and curlew species occur on all continents except Antarctica, but breed only in the Northern Hemisphere. Over half are of global conservation concern, including two (Eskimo Curlew and Slender-billed Curlew) that are Critically Endangered and may even be extinct, and two others (Far Eastern Curlew and Bristle-thighed Curlew) also threatened with extinction. A further three that all occur in the UK, the Eurasian Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit and Black-tailed Godwit, are globally Near Threatened.  A recent assessment has canvassed the views of over 100 experts and reviewed the scientific literature, to help highlight the many threats they face. 

Top of the list is the loss of non-breeding habitats. Most species rely on coastal estuaries and wetlands outside of the breeding season, many of which face increasing development and disturbance.

 James Pearce-Higgins, Director of Science at the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), and lead author of the paper said "These long-lived wader species require wild open landscapes for breeding, and generally occupy undisturbed coastal habitats at other times of the year. Many are long-distance migrants and vulnerable to change throughout their annual cycle. In many ways, they are among the most sensitive bird species to global change. That over half of the species studied are rapidly declining globally should emphasise to us the impact we are having upon the planet. Their long-term future may well depend upon how well we coordinate international efforts to adopt the recommendations of this paper and support their conservation."

Nicola Crockford, Principal Policy Officer, RSPB, said “The Eurasian Curlew is an iconic species; its appearance in spring is announced by one of nature’s most evocative calls. Sadly like many UK species the Eurasian Curlew is in trouble, their numbers have dropped dramatically, putting them at risk of disappearing completely from the UK. The paper recommends that achieving conservation success at the national or international scale will likely require dedicated programmes targeting species at risk, like we have developed for the Eurasian Curlew in the UK where steep declines have been a major factor in the listing of the species as globally Near Threatened with extinction.” Through RSPB’s Curlew Recovery Programme and BTO’s programme of Curlew research, we are working together, in partnership with a range of people from farmers and land owners to statutory nature conservation bodies, to reverse this decline.” 

Download the paper (PDF) James W. Pearce-Higgins et al A global threats overview for Numeniini populations: synthesising expert knowledge for a group of declining migratory birds Bird Conservation International (2017) 27:6–34. © BirdLife International, 2017 doi:10.1017/S0959270916000678



Marine Protected Areas helping to limit climate change – Scottish Natural Heritage

Maerl beds hold significant stores of blue carbon (image: SNH)Maerl beds hold significant stores of blue carbon (image: SNH)

Scotland’s Marine Protected Areas (MPA) network is helping our efforts to combat climate change, according to a report published today (Friday 3/2) by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). The amount of carbon stored within Scotland’s inshore MPA network is equivalent to four years of Scotland’s total greenhouse gas emissions, scientists estimate in the report.

The world’s oceans and coastal ecosystems play a vital role in trapping and storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere that would otherwise contribute to climate change. So-called ‘blue’ carbon is captured and stored across a range of marine habitats and seabed types. Some blue carbon is stored in living habitats, such as seagrass beds, kelp forests, cold-water coral reefs, and mussel beds. The majority is stored in seabed sediment, accumulated over many years, much the same as our onshore peatlands. As with peatlands on land, healthy marine habitats can provide us with multiple benefits, including by storing carbon. However, when they are damaged or destroyed, the greenhouse gas is released back into the atmosphere.

Scientists estimate that about 90% of the blue carbon within Scotland’s MPA network is stored in seabed sediments and relatively stable. The living habitats, however, such as maerl and flame shell beds, are more sensitive to physical disturbance and many of these are protected features in the MPA network.

The report published today highlights that, although primarily designed for biodiversity, our MPA network brings many benefits, including by helping to reduce climate change.

Access the report: Commissioned Report 957: Assessment of blue carbon resources in Scotland’s inshore Marine Protected Area Network


Banned chemicals from the 70s found in deepest reaches of the ocean – Newcastle University

Crustaceans from the deepest ocean trenches found to contain ten times the level of industrial pollution than the average earthworm, scientists have shown.

Hirondellea gigas are voracious scavengers that consume anything that comes down from the surface. Photo credit: Dr Alan JamiesonHirondellea gigas are voracious scavengers that consume anything that comes down from the surface. Photo credit: Dr Alan Jamieson

A study, led by Newcastle University’s Dr Alan Jamieson has uncovered the first evidence that man-made pollutants have now reached the farthest corners of our earth.

Sampling amphipods (pictured) from the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana and Kermadec trenches - which are over 10 kilometres deep and 7,000 km apart - the team found extremely high levels of Persistent Organic Pollutants - or POPs - in the organism’s fatty tissue. These include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) which are commonly used as electrical insulators and flame retardants.

Publishing their findings today in Nature Ecology & Evolution, the study team – from Newcastle University, University of Aberdeen and the James Hutton Institute - say the next step is to understand the consequences of this contamination and what the knock-on effects might be for the wider ecosystem.

Lead author, Dr Jamieson, said: “We still think of the deep ocean as being this remote and pristine realm, safe from human impact, but our research shows that, sadly, this could not be further from the truth. In fact, the amphipods we sampled contained levels of contamination similar to that found in Suruga Bay, one of the most polluted industrial zones of the northwest Pacific. What we don’t yet know is what this means for the wider ecosystem and understanding that will be the next major challenge.”

Reference: Bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants in the deepest ocean fauna.  Alan Jamieson et al. Nature Ecology & Evolution http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41559-016-0051.


Marine bacteria produce molecule with links to climate – University of East Anglia

Scientists from the University of East Anglia and Ocean University China have discovered that tiny marine bacteria can synthesise one of the Earth’s most abundant sulfur molecules, which affects atmospheric chemistry and potentially climate.

This molecule, dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) is an important nutrient for marine microorganisms and is the major precursor for the climate-cooling gas, dimethyl sulfide (DMS).

DMS, produced when microorganisms break down DMSP, is thought to have a role in regulating the climate by increasing cloud droplets that in turn reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the ocean’s surface. These same clouds are vital in the movement of large amounts of sulfur from oceans to land, making the production of DMSP and DMS a critical step in the global sulfur cycle.

It was previously widely thought that only eukaryotes – ‘higher’ organisms with complex cells, such as seaweeds and phytoplankton – produced DMSP. However, researchers have discovered that many marine bacteria also produce this sulfur compound, and have identified the key gene in the process.

“Our finding that DMSP is produced by many marine bacteria could mean that scientists have been significantly underestimating both the production of this molecule and the effects it is having in the environment” said Dr Jonathan Todd from UEA’s School of Biological Sciences. “Since these bacteria do not require sunlight for growth, the production of DMSP need not be confined to the surface ocean waters which receive the most light energy, as was thought to be the case.”

The paper ‘Dimethylsulfoniopropionate biosynthesis in marine bacteria and identification of the key gene in this process’ is published in the scientific journal Nature Microbiology.


Underwater seagrass meadows dial back polluted seawater – Cornell University

Seagrass meadows – bountiful underwater gardens that nestle close to shore and are the most common coastal ecosystem on Earth – can reduce bacterial exposure for corals, other sea creatures and humans, according to new research published in Science Feb. 16.

“The seagrass appear to combat bacteria, and this is the first research to assess whether that coastal ecosystem can alleviate disease associated with marine organisms,” said lead author Joleah Lamb of Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, where she is a Nature Conservancy NatureNet fellow.

Senior author Drew Harvell, Cornell professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and an Atkinson Center fellow, had been running an international workshop and examining the health of underwater corals with colleagues near small islands at the Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia. But after a few days, the entire research team fell ill with dysentery, and one scientist contracted typhoid. “I experienced firsthand how threats to both human health and coral health were linked,” Harvell said.


Basking sharks seek out winter sun – University of Exeter

The winter habits of Britain’s basking sharks have been revealed for the first time.

Scientists from the University of Exeter have discovered some spend their winters off Portugal and North Africa, some head to the Bay of Biscay and others choose a staycation around the UK and Ireland.

Little was known about basking sharks’ winter behaviour as they spend little time at the surface and are often far from land, so the researchers used cutting-edge satellite tracking to carry out the most detailed ever study of their migrations in the north-east Atlantic.

It was once thought that the giant, plankton-eating fish hibernated in the waters off the UK and Ireland, but evidence in recent years has undermined this theory.

“Knowing where these animals are all year round allows us to understand the threats they face,” said lead author Philip Doherty, of the Environment and Sustainability Institute on the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall.

The primary drivers behind basking shark migrations are still unclear. Image courtesy of Philip Doherty.The primary drivers behind basking shark migrations are still unclear. Image courtesy of Philip Doherty.

“This is essential information if we want to protect them, especially as they swim far outside UK waters, meaning any conservation efforts must be international. In terms of man-made threat they may face, we tend to think of commercial fishing as the only danger to these animals, but other issues such as boat strike, marine litter, civil engineering and ocean noise might also have an effect.”

The researchers tagged 70 sharks and, of the 28 tags which continued transmitting for more than five months, they found most sharks either stayed near the UK or swam to the waters off Spain, Portugal and North Africa. A smaller number spent the winter in the Bay of Biscay, west of France.

Those which swam south left in late summer and autumn, and returned in spring and early summer.


Planned protection area would help basking sharks – University of Exeter and SNH

A proposed Marine Protected Area (MPA) off Scotland’s west coast would help basking sharks, researchers say.

Scientists from the University of Exeter and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) satellite tracked 36 basking sharks in summer months of 2012-2014 and found 86% showed “some degree of residency” in the proposed Sea of the Hebrides MPA.

Sharks also returned year after year, and the scientists believe the area provides conditions for key activities such as foraging and possibly breeding, making it an area important for essential parts of the shark’s life cycle for which MPAs can be designated.

Dr Suzanne Henderson, managing the project for SNH, said: “We have known for some time that basking sharks are frequently seen in Scottish waters during the summer, and they are a big attraction for visitors to our west coast.

“But this research shows for the first time that some individuals return to the Sea of the Hebrides in consecutive years, emphasising the importance of the area for sharks.”

Scottish government ministers are currently considering proposals for an MPA in the Sea of the Hebrides, from Skye to Mull, to protect the basking sharks – which are officially endangered in the north-east Atlantic – and minke whales.

“Understanding the conservation potential of an area is key to the successful creation of MPAs,” said lead author Philip Doherty, of the Environment and Sustainability Institute on the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall.

“It is important to gather data to ensure the evidence-base that underpins the design of MPAs is robust. The data from this project, along-with information gathered over many years by boat-based surveys and from public reports helps to demonstrate the importance of this region for this species”.

Access the paper: P.D. Doherty, J.M. Baxter, B.J. Godley, R.T. Graham, G. Hall, J. Hall, L.A. Hawkes, S.M. Henderson, L. Johnson, C. Speedie, M.J. Witt, Testing the boundaries: Seasonal residency and inter-annual site fidelity of basking sharks in a proposed Marine Protected Area, Biological Conservation, Volume 209, May 2017, Pages 68-75, ISSN 0006-3207, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2017.01.018.

Scientific Publications

Mangonea, G., Capaldi, C. A., Van Allen, Z.M. & Luscuere, P. G. (2017) Bringing Nature to Work: Preferences and Perceptions of Constructed Indoor and Natural Outdoor Workspaces. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ufug.2017.02.009


Donovan, G. H. (2017) Including public-health benefits of trees in urban-forestry decision making. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ufug.2017.02.010


Hedblom, M., Ode Sang, Å. & Gunnarsson, B. (2017) Evaluation of natural sounds in urban greenery: potential impact for urban nature preservation. Royal Society Open Science. DOI: 10.1098/rsos.170037


Odgaard, M. V. et al (2017) A multi-criteria, ecosystem-service value method used to assess catchment suitability for potential wetland reconstruction in Denmark. Ecological Indicators. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.12.001


Broome, A., Long, D., Ward, L. K. & Park, K. J. (2017) Promoting natural regeneration for the restoration of Juniperus communis: a synthesis of knowledge and evidence for conservation practitioners. Applied Vegetation Science. DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12303


Cornwallis, C. K., Botero, C. A., Rubenstein, D. R., Downing, P. A., West,  S. A. & Griffin, A. S. (2017) Cooperation facilitates the colonization of harsh environments. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1, Article number: 0057 doi:10.1038/s41559-016-0057


Emily Rall, Claudia Bieling, Sharon Zytynska, Dagmar Haase, Exploring city-wide patterns of cultural ecosystem service perceptions and use, Ecological Indicators, Volume 77, June 2017, Pages 80-95, ISSN 1470-160X, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2017.02.001.


Davidson, K. E., Fowler, M. S., Skov, M. W., Doerr, S. H., Beaumont, N. and Griffin, J. N. (2017), Livestock grazing alters multiple ecosystem properties and services in salt marshes: a meta-analysis. J Appl Ecol. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12892


Sharps, K. et al (2017) Comparing strengths and weaknesses of three ecosystem services modelling tools in a diverse UK river catchment. Science of The Total Environment. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.12.160


Daniel R. Richards, Peter J. Edwards (2017) Quantifying street tree regulating ecosystem services using Google Street View, Ecological Indicators, Volume 77, June 2017, Pages 31-40, ISSN 1470-160X, DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2017.01.028.


Stanbury, A. et al (2017) Prioritising islands in the United Kingdom and crown dependencies for the eradication of invasive alien vertebrates and rodent biosecurity. European Journal of Wildlife Research. DOI: 10.1007/s10344-017-1084-7


Braaker, S., Obrist, M. K., Ghazoul, J. and Moretti, M. (2017), Habitat connectivity and local conditions shape taxonomic and functional diversity of arthropods on green roofs. J Anim Ecol. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/1365-2656.12648


Emily B. Dennis, Byron J.T. Morgan, David B. Roy, Tom M. Brereton, Urban indicators for UK butterflies, Ecological Indicators, Volume 76, May 2017, Pages 184-193, ISSN 1470-160X,DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2017.01.009.


Tony Prato, Decision errors in evaluating tipping points for ecosystem resilience, Ecological Indicators, Volume 76, May 2017, Pages 275-280, ISSN 1470-160X, DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2017.01.013.


Lara A. Roman, Bryant C. Scharenbroch, Johan P.A. Östberg, Lee S. Mueller, Jason G. Henning, Andrew K. Koeser, Jessica R. Sanders, Daniel R. Betz, Rebecca C. Jordan, Data quality in citizen science urban tree inventories, Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, Available online 4 February 2017, ISSN 1618-8667, DOI: 10.1016/j.ufug.2017.02.001.


Daniel Hanley, Tomáš Grim, Branislav Igic, Peter Samaš, Analía V. López, Matthew D. Shawkey, Mark E. Hauber Egg discrimination along a gradient of natural variation in eggshell coloration Proc.R.Soc.B DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2016.2592.


Martin, L.E.R., Byrne, A.W., O’Keeffe, J. et al. Weather influences trapping success for tuberculosis management in European badgers (Meles meles) Eur J Wildl Res (2017) 63: 30. doi:10.1007/s10344-017-1089-2 


Schuler, M. S. et al (2017) How common road salts and organic additives alter freshwater food webs: in search of safer alternatives. Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12877


David Baines, Michael Richardson, and Philip Warren. The invertebrate diet of Black Grouse Tetrao tetrix chicks: a comparison between northern England and the Scottish Highlands. Bird Study Vol. 0 , Iss. 0,0  DO: 10.1080/00063657.2017.1295018


Wu, X., Cao, R., Wei, X., Xi, X., Shi, P., Eisenhauer, N. and Sun, S. (2017), Soil drainage facilitates earthworm invasion and subsequent carbon loss from peatland soil. J Appl Ecol. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12894


Cooke, S. J., Nguyen, V. M., Kessel, S. T., Hussey, N. E., Young, N. and Ford, A. T. (2017), Troubling issues at the frontier of animal tracking for conservation and management. Conservation Biology. doi:10.1111/cobi.12895 


Michaël C. Fontaine, Oliver Thatcher, Nicolas Ray, Sylvain Piry, Andrew Brownlow, Nicholas J. Davison, Paul Jepson, Rob Deaville, Simon J. Goodman Mixing of porpoise ecotypes in southwestern UK waters revealed by genetic profiling R. Soc. open sci. 2017 4 160992; DOI: 10.1098/rsos.160992


Marta Maziarz, Richard K. Broughton, Tomasz Wesołowski, Microclimate in tree cavities and nest-boxes: Implications for hole-nesting birds, Forest Ecology and Management, Volume 389, 1 April 2017, Pages 306-313, ISSN 0378-1127, DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2017.01.001.


After a series of rescues were reported in the national press

Mountain rescue team blames ill-equipped charity fundraisers for spate of farcical call-outs - Telegraph  

CJS in depth featuresRead our in-depth feature: “Can’t see why I’d ever need Mountain Rescue”  – famous last words

No matter how experienced or careful you are, in the blink of an eye you can find yourself in need of rescue - your life in the hands of a rescue team. And, should you be unfortunate enough to need their help, you'll receive a professional, world-class service - from a group of highly trained, highly motivated individuals.

This article includes details of some simple precautions you can take before and during your trek out into the great outdoors, so take five minutes to read it and to make sure you won’t feature in the latest incident report

Written by  Andrew Simpson, MREW Press Officer, in 2011 but just as relevant today. 


And finally, a word to the wise... 

Think before you Tweet - BASC 

BASC is urging its members to think twice about what they post and share on social media.

The warning comes after a man had his shotgun licence revoked by police after he ‘liked’ Facebook posts deemed offensive. He appealed the decision and won.  BASC’s dedicated firearms team has already reported a rise in calls on the issue

Duncan Thomas, BASC north director, said: “Social Media has some incredible uses and I use Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis both personally and professionally. It’s the modern, rapid way of communicating with an enormous range of the shooting community. It has however got certain disadvantages and there are many pitfalls for the inexperienced. Never post anything that can lead someone to your door or disclose details of your security arrangements, always close your profile down into “private only” where only your trusted friends and contacts can see your material. Always remember that even a deleted post is retrievable, nothing truly vanishes forever and a “screen grab” can seize instantly what you have posted, even in error. Never post anything your mother wouldn’t be happy viewing.”

If you would rather know who is reading your social media posts you should reassess your privacy settings to keep yourself and your information safe and secure.

CJS reminds you that this also important when applying for jobs, read more in our Helpful Hints.


Send your news to CJS for inclusion: find out how 




12/05/2017   The ARB Show   2 Day

Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, Tetbury, Gloucestershire GL8 8QS, Arboricultural Association. Contact: http://c-js.info/24Gf0a7

17/05/2017   Natural capital accounting at the local and landscape scale: an introduction   1 Day

Peterborough, Ecosystems Knowledge Network. Contact: 0333 240 6990 http://c-js.info/2iPinYZ

These seminars will introduce the process of accounting for the value of the natural environment at the local and landscape scale. £55 to £85. Delivered in association with environmental economists at Aecom.

28/05/2017   International Peatland Society Annual Convention 2017   4 Day

Aberdeen Marriott Hotel, Overton Circle, Dyce, Aberdeen, Scotland, AB21 7AZ, UK Peat Society. Contact: http://c-js.info/2lRL3CY


Access and Rights of Way

06/05/2017   BHS Level One training - How to protect and extend Horse Riding and Carriage Driving Routes    1 Day

Pant Memorial Hall, Pant, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY10 9QG, The British Horse Society.

If you are interested in learning new skills to make a difference in your local area, make a bridleway accessible or ensure the routes you use will be there for future generations after 2026, this training is for you. Help us protect and extend equestrian routes before it is too late. Costs £10 to attend, inc.lunch. Spaces limited.

13/05/2017   BHS Level Three - Advanced Highway Law   1 Day

British Horse Society HQ, Abbey Park, Stareton, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2XZ, The British Horse Society.

The next step after BHS Level Two training, (but not essential to have attended) to gain a more in depth knowledge of Political Lobbying, Public Inquiries and Highway Law, in order to effectively protect and extend equestrian routes. Costs £10 to attend, inc.lunch. Spaces limited.

20/05/2017   BHS Level Two - The next steps on recording equestrian routes, inc. documentary & user evidence    1 Day

Rooting Street Equestrian Centre, Little Chart, Ashford, Kent, TN27 0PZ, The British Horse Society.

The next step after BHS Level One training, (but not essential to have attended) to gain a more in depth knowledge of User Evidence, Documentary Evidence, Definitive Maps and Wider Access, in order to effectively protect and extend equestrian routes. Costs £10 to attend, inc.lunch. Spaces limited.

All BHS Contact: 0247 6840582 access@bhs.org.uk http://c-js.co.uk/2kmsoLz

15/05/2017   Public Rights of Way Law and Practice   3 Day

Knuston Hall, Northants, IPROW. Contact: http://iprow.co.uk/training/law-and-practice/

A three day course providing the foundations of work in rights of way, ideal for the recent starter, as a refresher or for managers seeking an overview of principles.  Understanding the basics of all rights of way work is essential to avoid pitfalls.  £680 members, £780 non-members.


Administrative and Office Skills

15/05/2017   Modification Orders   1 Day

Knuston Hall, Northants, IPROW. Contact: http://iprow.co.uk/training/law-and-practice/

Processing a modification order can hold many pitfalls for the unwary.  Fundamental good practice is emphasised throughout the course from dealing with applications, assessing evidence and prioritising cases through to confirming orders and opening paths.  £245 members, £340 non-members

17/05/2017   Enforcement   1 Day

Knuston Hall, Northants, IPROW. Contact: http://iprow.co.uk/enforcement/

The importance of policies and protocols, cost recovery and effective action are a crucial part of using the law to assert public rights within budget.  Bring your enforcement process up to date and start making the law work for you.  £245 members, £340 non-members


Community Engagement and Environmental Education

04/05/2017   Introduction to Ecotherapy; Developing your Connection with Nature   1 Day

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

This training, in Bushy Park, will explore the impact of being in nature on our psychological health and support you in developing your own connection to nature. We will consider how we can use nature to support wellbeing and how you can help facilitate connection with those you work with.

11/05/2017   Coastal School Top Up Route   2 Day

Swansea, Forest School SNPT. Contact: 01792 367118 info@forestschoolsnpt.org.uk http://www.forestschoolsnpt.org.uk

This is the top-up route for Forest School Leaders who want to also lead Coastal School

16/05/2017   Social Forestry OCN   4 Day

Woodland Skills Centre, Denbighshire, Coed Lleol (Small Woods). Contact: 01745 710626 enquiries@woodlandskillscentre.co.uk http://www.woodlandskillscentre.co.uk

The course explores the use of woodlands to promote social and human wellbeing, and equips you with the tools to apply Social Forestry ideas in practice. Run by: Rod Waterfield and Julia Walling

19/05/2017   Intro to Bushcraft for Educators   1 Day

Findhorn, Wild things!. Contact: 01309690450 enquiries@wild-things.org.uk http://wild-things.org.uk/our-events/introduction-to-bushcraft/

Introduction to Bushcraft for Educators: An Introduction to Tarps, Shelters, and Fire. This one-day bushcraft course is the perfect first step on your journey into the fascinating world of bushcraft and traditional living skills. It is a great course for teachers, and educators who wish to learn some new skills.

27/05/2017   DofE Expedition Supervisors Training Course   1 Day

Glasgow, Scotland, The Adventure Academy CIC. Contact: 0141 628 8520 info@theadventureacademy.org.uk https://theadventureacademy.org.uk/event/dofe-estc-27th-may-2017/

The role of the Expedition Supervisor is a crucial one. Supervisors ensuring the safety of the participants whilst on an expedition and in maintaining the standards of the DofE. On this course you will learn about the ethos and  the requirements of the Expedition Section.


Countryside Management Techniques

02/05/2017   Professional Tree Inspection Three Day Course   3 Day    York, Arboricultural Association.

04/05/2017   Professional Tree Inspection Retake   1 Day    York, Arboricultural Association.

All Arboricultural Association Contact: training@trees.org.uk http://www.trees.org.uk/Training-And-Events/All-Courses

17/05/2017   Parkland restoration: Restoring Wray Castle’s Victorian parkland.   1 Day

Wray Castle, Low Wray, Ambleside, Countryside Management Association. Contact: http://c-js.co.uk/2lXGLXz

The focus of the study day is to explain the process used to bring about the restoration of this significant designed landscape, highlighting the successes and challenges faced along the way.

18/05/2017   Arboricultural Knowledge   1 Day   

Stoneleigh, Arboricultural Association.     Contact: training@trees.org.uk http://www.trees.org.uk/Training-And-Events/All-Courses

19/05/2017   OCN Level 3 Sustainable Woodland management   3 Day

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

A course designed for woodland owners and managers who want to manage their woodlands to balance wildlife, economic and social benefits, Theory and definition of sustainability, Woodland types and structure, Practical woodland management, Woodland crafts and products, Woodland Biodiversity, Social Forestry £240

24/05/2017   BS 5837 - Advanced: Tree assessment for planning   1 Day    Newport, Arboricultural Association.

25/05/2017   BS 5837 - Advanced: Managing trees on construction sites   1 Day    Newport, Arboricultural Association.

All Arboricultural Association Contact: training@trees.org.uk http://www.trees.org.uk/Training-And-Events/All-Courses

27/05/2017   Woodland resilience - the right tree in the right place   2 Day

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

The course will provide details on how to identify woodland types based on woodland flora, geology and location, develop ideas on how to select alternative tree species with appropriate ecological niche for future woodland resilience. , Plant identification, Soil types and related species, woodland classification, woodland pests, tree selection, woodland resilience £150


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

06/05/2017   Outdoor First Aid Course   2 Day    Transition Extreme Sports Ltd, Aberdeen by First Aid Training Co-operative.

11/05/2017   Outdoor First Aid Course   2 Day    Bonaly Outdoor Centre

 Edinburgh by First Aid Training Co-operative.

13/05/2017   Outdoor First Aid Course   2 Day    Perth by First Aid Training Co-operative.

20/05/2017   Outdoor First Aid Course   2 Day    The Outward Bound Trust, Loch Eil, Ft William by First Aid Training Co-operative.

25/05/2017   Outdoor First Aid Course   2 Day    Inverness by First Aid Training Co-operative.

27/05/2017   Outdoor First Aid Course   2 Day    Lochore Meadows Country Park, Main Park Centre, Crosshill, Lochgelly, Fife, KY5 8BA by First Aid Training Co-operative.

For: First Aid Training Co-operative. Contact: 0333 4330731 courses@firstaidtrainingcooperative.co.uk http://www.firstaidtrainingcooperative.co.uk

Practical, NGB-suitable training courses across Scotland, from the country's leading provider. Founded by experienced outdoor practitioners, First Aid Training Co-operative specialises in outdoor first aid. Our 2 Day Outdoor First Aid Course covers all the requirements of National Governing Body (NGB) Instructor Awards. 16 hours.

13/05/2017   Wild Game Butchery   1 Day

Kemble, Hands on Bushcraft. Contact: 07598 491989 info@handsonbushcraft.co.uk http://www.handsonbushcraft.co.uk

Wild game such as venison, rabbit and pigeon are becoming increasing popular and this course is designed with that in mind. You will be shown and get hands on with the butchery of large and small game as well as fowl.

13/05/2017   Level 3 Award in Outdoor First Aid (RQF)   2 Day

Craigholme Sports Complex, Glasgow, The Adventure Academy CIC. Contact: 0141 628 8520 info@theadventureacademy.org.uk https://theadventureacademy.org.uk/event/outdoor-first-aid-13-14-may/

Our two day outdoor first aid course is accredited by Qualifications Network, an Ofqual Awarding body. The qualification appears on the Regulated Qualification Framework at level 3 and is suitable for outdoor NBGs including those from Mountain Training, Sports Leaders UK, BASI, British Cycling, RYA, and BCU/SCA. 

22/05/2017   Level 2 Award in Food Safety (Outdoor Emphasis)   1 Day

Nower Wood, Mill Way, Leatherhead, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk http://bit.ly/food-safety-17

You will learn all of the necessary information to gain the Level 2 Award in food safety. This will be followed by a session preparing and cooking lunch over a fire where you will put into practice all of the safety issues discussed throughout the morning.

24/05/2017   Arb Approved Contractor Preparation Workshop   1 Day

Stoneleigh, Arboricultural Association. Contact: training@trees.org.uk http://www.trees.org.uk/Training-And-Events/All-Courses


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Herpetology, Fish and Invertebrates

03/05/2017   Working Towards a Great Crested Newt Licence   2 Day at FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory  

The course provides a balance of classroom and field-based sessions for those interested in acquiring a great crested newt licence. Coursework covers: species identification, the legislative framework and the ecology of great crested newts.

04/05/2017   Great Crested Newts - Ecology, Survey and Conservation    2 Day   

Dorking, Surrey, The Species Recovery Trust. Contact: 01722 322539 bookings@speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk http://www.speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk/Training.html

A two day practical course giving participants an introduction to the identification and ecology of Great Crested Newts, the legislation protecting them, survey standards and interpretation and application of survey results

04/05/2017   Reptile Surveying and Handling   1 Day

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

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

05/05/2017   Ecology, Conservation, Surveying and Recording of British Amphibians and Reptiles   2 Days at FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

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

06/05/2017   Great Crested Newt Survey: Working Towards a Licence   2 Day

Peterborough, Froglife Ltd. Contact: 01733 602012 katie.rowberry@froglife.org http://www.froglifeltd.co.uk

06/05/2017   Reptile Survey Techniques   1 Day at FSC Juniper Hall, Field Studies Council Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

This one-day course will cover reptile identification and ecology, an introduction to legislation, survey methods and survey planning. It will give participants a good understanding of the principles behind reptile surveying and will include a site visit to demonstrate best practice. In partnership with Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust.

06/05/2017   Reptile Ecology and Surveying   1 Day

Wildwood Trust, Herne Common, Herne Bay CT6 7LQ, Wildwood Trust. Contact: 01227 711471 courses@wildwoodtrust.org https://wildwoodtrust.org/wildwood-kent/conservation/conservation-courses

An introduction to native British reptiles covering identification, basic ecology and survey techniques. Find out how to identify the best places to look for reptiles and what habitat features they require. Must book. £15 per person.

10/05/2017   Great Crested Newt Ecology and Surveying   1 Day

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

The course will be taught by Lindsay Carrington BSc DPhil MCIEEM who is an ecological consultant with many years of experience of working with great crested newts on development projects. It covers licensing and legislation, survey requirements, mitigation techniques and includes a case study workshop session.

11/05/2017   Great Crested Newts and Development   1 Day

Langton Matravers, Nr Swanage, Acorn Ecology Ltd. Contact: 01392 366512 training@acornecology.co.uk http://www.ecologytraining.co.uk/book-a-course/advanced/

The course will be taught by Lindsay Carrington BSc DPhil MCIEEM who is an ecological consultant with many years of experience of working with great crested newts on development projects. It covers licensing and legislation, survey requirements, mitigation techniques and includes a case study workshop session.

12/05/2017   British Reptiles and Amphibians: Identification, Survey Techniques and Mitigation   2 Days at FSC Margam, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

An introduction to the ecology and identification of British reptiles and amphibians, as well as non-native species, that occur. In partnership with Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust.

12/05/2017   Amphibian Survey Training   1 Day

Arnhall Moss, Aberdeen, Froglife. Contact: 07972 593603 james.stead@froglife.org http://c-js.co.uk/2j1WO7Q

Want to learn how to spot and identify amphibians? Froglife are hosting a training evening teaching basic survey techniques for frogs, toads and newts. Session based outdoors (8.45pm - 10.30pm), introducing you to native amphibian species and 3 survey methods. Booking essential, please contact to book your place, spaces are limited.

13/05/2017   Pollinator Identification for Beginners at Edinburgh Zoo   1 Day at Edinburgh Zoo with Field Studies Council.

This short course is an introduction to the identification of common groups and species of flower-visiting insects, which will cover the fascinating world of pollination ecology and some of the issues facing pollinators today. In partnership with Royal Zoological Society of Scotland taking place at Edinburgh Zoo.

13/05/2017   Introduction to Reptiles and Amphibians   1 Day at FSC Bishops Wood.

You will learn identification skills, key features of reptile and amphibian habitats and find out more about the behaviour and ecology of these animals to help you locate them in the field. Please note this course is not designed for consultants. In partnership with Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust.

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

16/05/2017   Great Crested Newt Ecology and Surveying   1 Day

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

Introductory level course suitable for those working in consultancy or conservation, covering ID, ecology and habitat requirements of GCN's, as well as legislation on survey techniques. There will also be field visits to undertake a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) assessment, as well as bottle trapping, torching and egg-searching.

17/05/2017   Reptile Habitat Management Training   1 Day

Lochinver, Froglife. Contact: 07972 593603 james.stead@froglife.org http://c-js.co.uk/2j1WO7Q

Join to learn about native reptile species and how to manage habitats for them. Session runs 1pm - 6pm covering theory and heading outdoors on a walk to see managed areas and look for any reptiles. Booking for this event is essential, please contact to book your place, spaces are limited.

18/05/2017   Creatures of the Shore   1 Day

Findhorn, Wild things!. Contact: 01309690450 enquiries@wild-things.org.uk http://wild-things.org.uk/our-events/creatures-of-the-shore/

Creatures of the Shore is a one-day introduction to rock pooling. From Sea Anemones to Shore Crabs, discover the coastal creatures and sea life inhabiting our rock pools. You will learn about this unique and dynamic ecosystem, and discover the incredible variety of creatures which call it home.

18/05/2017   Reptile Ecology & Survey   1 Day

Witley Centre, GU8 5QA, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk http://bit.ly/reptiles17

You will be introduced to the reptiles of Britain & their ecology. Enjoy a field visit to a reserve to see them in their native habitat.

18/05/2017   Amphibians and Ponds   1 Day

Lochinver, Froglife. Contact: 07972 593603 james.stead@froglife.org http://c-js.co.uk/2j1WO7Q

Join to learn about native amphibian species and how you can manage ponds for wildlife. Session runs 2pm - 4pm, with one hour spent indoors and one hour spent outdoors at the newly created ponds. Booking for this event is essential, please contact to book your place, spaces are limited.

19/05/2017   Great Crested Newt Survey: Working Towards a Licence   2 Day

Peterborough, Froglife Ltd. Contact: 01733 602012 katie.rowberry@froglife.org http://www.froglifeltd.co.uk

20/05/2017   Reptile Survey Techniques   1 Day

Peterborough, Froglife Ltd. Contact: 01733 602012 katie.rowberry@froglife.org http://www.froglifeltd.co.uk

20/05/2017   Identifying Hoverflies   1 Day at FSC Bishops Wood.

In Britain we have around 280 hoverfly species. Although a good number of species can be readily identified, the majority require closer examination before a specimen can be reliably named. This one-day workshop provides an introduction to key characters used in determining hoverfly species.

20/05/2017   Slug Identification   1 Day at FSC Bishops Wood.   

This course includes an introduction to slugs and a review of the 45 or so species now present in the UK. This is followed by advice on species identification.

20/05/2017   Spiders Identification @ The Green Centre   1 Day at FSC Epping Forest.   

An introduction to the British families within the Araneae (spiders). Learn how to recognise these spiders to family level, gain an insight into their varied biology and become familiar with field techniques to find them. In partnership with Essex Field Club at Green Centre in Wat Tyler Country Park, Essex.

20/05/2017   Frogs, Toads and Newts   1 Day at FSC Preston Montford.   

Discover more about the habits and life-cycles of Britain's frogs, toads, and newts and what makes them unique! We will practice identification in the classroom and, subject to weather, with field sessions on campus and to nearby sites. In partnership with Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust.

21/05/2017   Introduction to Butterflies and Day Flying Moths   1 Day at FSC London Region.   

The course will cover the different stages of butterfly and moth life-cycles and lifestyles, focussing on the importance of larval food plants and flowers for nectaring. Participants will have a chance to search for a variety of species in the mixed habitats of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and given guidance on identification.

26/05/2017   Beginners Moth Identification   2 Days at FSC Juniper Hall.   

The course will start from basics and show you how to identify live moths caught during your stay at the Centre. In addition it will take you through how to choose the best moth trap to use, what field guide to buy and useful websites for help.

26/05/2017   Developing your Skills in Entomology   2 Days at FSC Juniper Hall.   

Insects are fascinating creatures: many are attractive, and have amazing life histories and behaviour. They also play important roles in ecosystems, making the decline of many insect species a cause for concern. Using a mix of field trips and microscope work this course will explore the huge variety of insects.

26/05/2017   Reptiles and Amphibians   3 Days at FSC Preston Montford.   

Learn how to identify all the UK's native amphibians and reptiles, as well as established alien species. The focus will be on diagnostic characters and practical experience of identification in the field. Part of the University Certificate in Biological Recording run jointly with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

27/05/2017   Butterfly and Moth Identification   6 Days at FSC Blencathra.   

Countryside walks will be used to study the special species of butterflies and moths in this beautiful area. Help on identification and information on the species and their habitat requirements will be provided. Light traps will be used and inspected each morning.

27/05/2017   Learn to Love Spiders   1 Day at FSC Preston Montford.   

If you’re interested in spiders but never felt ready for a beginner’s ID workshop, then this day is for you! It’s a day for people who are fascinated by spiders but don’t know where to start with them. Supported by FSC Tomorrow's Biodiversity project.

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

31/05/2017   Habitat Creation, Restoration and Enhancement for Amphibians   1 Day

Peterborough, Froglife Ltd. Contact: 01733 602012 katie.rowberry@froglife.org http://www.froglifeltd.co.uk


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Mammals

02/05/2017   Dormouse Ecology and Surveying   1 Day

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

This course is a first step towards gaining your dormouse licence, and the trainer will usually be prepared to act as one of your referees for this purpose. Course includes dormouse ecology and conservation, survey techniques, best practice in handling dormice (demonstrated) and a dormouse nest box check.

03/05/2017   Hedgerow Surveying   1 Day

Danbury Sports Centre, Chelmsford,, Essex Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01621 862960 reception@essexwt.org.uk http://www.essexwt.org.uk/events/2017/05/09/hedgerow-surveying?instance=0

Find out more about hedgerows within the UK and within Essex. This course covers the standard Defra hedgerow surveying methods and in the field surveying. This course will be run by Lorna Shaw MCIEEM, Biological Records Officer at Essex Wildlife Trust. Lorna also runs the Essex Wildlife Trust Biological Records centre. £30 donation. Booking essential. 10am-4pm

05/05/2017   Dormouse Ecology & Conservation   1 Day

Callow Rock, The Mammal Society. Contact: 02380010984 training@themammalsociety.org https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dormouse-ecology-conservation-callow-rock-tickets-26998848282

This one day course is recognized as the definitive course on dormouse ecology and monitoring. Ideal for those working towards their Dormouse Handling Licence. Including a visit to check nest boxes, information on relevant legislation and often the opportunity to handle dormice under supervision with guidance on best practice.

06/05/2017   Marine Mammal Medic Course   1 Day

University of Hull, Scarborough Campus (Room C18), Filey Road, Scarborough, YO11 3AZ, British Divers Marine Life Rescue. Contact: 01825 765546 info@bdmlr.org.uk http://www.bdmlr.org.uk/store/

Course includes morning classroom lectures in marine mammal identification, physiology, identification, first aid, and rescue techniques. Followed in the afternoon by practical demonstrations and hands on training. The cost of the course is £90 per person. Please refer to BDMLR website for further details.

09/05/2017   Bat ecology and conservation   1 Day

Juniper Hall FSC, Surrey, Bat Conservation Trust. Contact: 0207 820 7169 training@bats.org.uk http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/bat_ecology_and_conservation.html

Designed for those new to bat work, this course gives a comprehensive foundation to bat biology, ecology and conservation. You will learn about the different UK species, range, distribution, bat conservation and threats, bat taxonomy, physiological adaptations, life histories, foraging ecology, life cycle, roosting requirements and bat identification.

10/05/2017   Introduction to Bats and Acoustic Identification   1 Day

The Gateway, Chester Street, Shrewsbury, SY1 1NB, Manchester Metropolitan University. Contact: 01743 355137 biorec@mmu.ac.uk http://www.sste.mmu.ac.uk/recording

11/05/2017   Dormice - Ecology, Survey and Conservation    1 Day

Dorking, Surrey, The Species Recovery Trust. Contact: 01722 322539 bookings@speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk http://www.speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk/Training.html

A one-day practical course giving participants an introduction to the ecology of dormice, the legislation protecting them, survey techniques and standards, handling and identification, interpretation and application of survey results and mitigation and habitat management

12/05/2017   Mammal Identification Weekend   3 Day

Juniper Hall, The Mammal Society. Contact: 02380010984 training@themammalsociety.org https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mammal-identification-weekend-juniper-hall-tickets-26718328239

This course provides a great chance to learn the key distinguishing features of all UK mammal species. Classroom sessions will cover the key visual clues to identification, tracks, feeding signs, nests, burrows, sounds, droppings & skeletal remains. Successful completion of the course and assessment leads to the FSC accredited certificate. 

12/05/2017   Mammal Identification Weekend   3 Day

Juniper Hall, The Mammal Society. Contact: 02380 010984 training@themammalsociety.org https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mammal-identification-weekend-juniper-hall-tickets-26718328239

12/05/2017   Bat Sound Analysis Course   2 Day

Crichton House, Cardiff Bay CF10 5EE, Acer Ecology. Contact: 02920 650 331 enquiries@acerecology.co.uk http://www.acerecology.co.uk/bat-sound-analysis-course/

The course is designed for professional or amateur bat surveyors who would like to learn how to undertake evening bat survey and improve their bat call analysis skills.

12/05/2017   Water Vole Surveying Techniques   1 Day

Winnall Moors, Winchester, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01489 774406 Courses@hiwwt.org.uk http://shop.hiwwt.org.uk/product/water-vole-survey-techniques/

14/05/2017   Marine Mammal Medic Course   1 Day

Bewl Water Outdoor Centre, Bewlbridge Lane, Lamberhurst, Kent, TN3 8JH, British Divers Marine Life Rescue.

14/05/2017   Marine Mammal Medic Course   1 Day

Hope Rooms, 34 Forth Street, North Berwick, East Lothian, EH39 4JD, British Divers Marine Life Rescue.

For British Divers Marine Life Rescue Contact: 01825 765546 info@bdmlr.org.uk http://www.bdmlr.org.uk/store/

Course includes morning classroom lectures in marine mammal identification, physiology, identification, first aid, and rescue techniques. Followed in the afternoon by practical demonstrations and hands on training. The cost of the course is £90 per person. Please refer to BDMLR website for further details.

16/05/2017   Sound analysis and species identification (bats)   1 Day

AgeUK, Leeds City Centre, West Yorkshire, Bat Conservation Trust. Contact: 0207 820 7169 training@bats.org.uk http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/sound_analysis_and_species_identification.html

This one-day course, for professionals or interested amateurs, focuses on the analysis of calls recorded on full spectrum, broadband time expansion or frequency division bat detectors. It includes analysis and identification of British bat calls, using BatSound as primary software - illustrated identification features also apply to other software.

17/05/2017   Automatic species identification (bats)   1 Day

AgeUK, Leeds City Centre, West Yorkshire, Bat Conservation Trust. Contact: 0207 820 7169 training@bats.org.uk http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/automatic_species_identification.html

This course follows on from BCT’s Sound analysis and species identification. It covers the principles of automated identification to analyse large volumes of data and looks at currently available software.  It also covers issues around using automated identification systems and how to optimise workflow for dealing with large datasets.

18/05/2017   Arboriculture and bats: scoping surveys for arborists   1 Day

Richmond Park, Surrey, Bat Conservation Trust. Contact: 0207 820 7169 training@bats.org.uk http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/arboriculture_and_bats_scoping_surveys_for_arborists.html

One day awareness course for arborists to help them carry out tree works with consideration for the potential impacts on bats and their habitat. The course is Lantra registered, counts towards Arboricultural Association CPD and is in line with British Standard 8596 - Surveying for bats in trees and woodland.

19/05/2017   Den boxes for pine martens – design, installation and checking   1 Day

Galloway, The Mammal Society. Contact: 02380010984 training@themammalsociety.org https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/den-boxes-for-pine-martens-design-installation-and-checking-tickets-29481106784

One constraint affecting populations is the scarcity in modern woodlands of elevated, insulated den sites in which pine martens prefer to rest and breed. Purpose-built artificial den boxes have been developed, tested and refined in Galloway Forest since 2003.

19/05/2017   Arboriculture and bats: secondary roost surveys for arborists (incl endoscope use)   1 Day

Richmond Park, Surrey, Bat Conservation Trust. Contact: 0207 820 7169 training@bats.org.uk http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/arboriculture_and_bats_secondary_roost_surveys_for_arborists_incl_endoscope_use.html

Follow-on arborist course, it teaches participants how to undertake a secondary roost survey. You will explore the practical skills and methods that can be used to rule out bat potential, learn the appropriate use of endoscopes and receive guidance on what can and cannot be done without a bat licence. 

20/05/2017   Animal Skeletons   1 Day

Wildwood Trust, Herne Common, Herne Bay CT6 7LQ, Wildwood Trust. Contact: 01227 711471 courses@wildwoodtrust.org https://wildwoodtrust.org/wildwood-kent/conservation/conservation-courses

Find out how animals' bones help them to run, fly and jump. Decipher the clues that help you to identify mammal skulls from their shape and teeth, find out what skulls can tell us about their original owners' ages, gender and their causes of death. Must book. £30 per person.

20/05/2017   Tracking & Field Signs   1 Day

Hanningfield, Essex Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01621 862960 reception@essexwt.org.uk http://www.essexwt.org.uk/events/2017/05/20/tracking-and-field-signs?instance=0

Turn wildlife detective to learn how to spot the tell-tale signs of illusive wildlife, whether in woodland, by the water’s edge or on grassland. Learn about the ecology of illusive animals and where they live and feed, then put the training into practice on an Essex Wildlife Trust nature reserve. 10am-2pm. Booking essential.

24/05/2017   Small Mammal Identification and Ecology   1 Day

The Gateway, Chester Street, Shrewsbury, SY1 1NB, Manchester Metropolitan University. Contact: 01743 355137 biorec@mmu.ac.uk http://www.sste.mmu.ac.uk/recording/

26/05/2017   Bat Ecology (Beginners to Intermediate)   2 Day

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

The course will be of interest to the keen amateur as well as those training towards roost licenses and consultants and professionals in wildlife fields.

26/05/2017   Bat Ecology   1 Day

Hanningfield Visitor Centre, Chelmsford, Essex Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01621 862960 reception@essexwt.org.uk http://www.essexwt.org.uk/whats-on

The course will focus on the ecology of UK bats and is suitable for complete beginners or those who wish to know more about bats. 4pm-9.30pm Booking Essential

30/05/2017   Bat Ecology and Surveying   2 Day

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

This introductory course is aimed at those who are starting to work towards their bat licence. The course covers bat biology, ecology, conservation and survey techniques, and includes a species ID workshop as well as an evening bat survey using detectors.

30/05/2017   Roe and Red Deer   1 Day

Forestry Commission Scotland Office, Portsoy Road, Huntly, AB54 4SJ, SCRA Grampian. Contact: 07799 658209 jackie.cumberbirch@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

Understanding basic biology and habitat requirements for Roe and Red Deer.

31/05/2017   Undertaking Preliminary Roost Inspections in Buildings   1 Day

Crichton House, Cardiff Bay CF10 5EE, Acer Ecology. Contact: 02920 650 331 enquiries@acerecology.co.uk http://www.acerecology.co.uk/ecology-training-courses-2017/

The preliminary roost inspection course will provide an introduction to undertaking roost inspections


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Ornithology

03/05/2017   Bird Survey Techniques   1 Day

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

Introductory level course suitable for both ecologists and conservationists. The course covers different bird survey techniques that can be used, the methods involved and how to present and interpret the results. Techniques covered included breeding bird surveys, single species surveys, transect surveys and point counts.

03/05/2017   Bird Identification   1 Day    Minsmere RSPB, BTO.     Identifying birds by sight

04/05/2017   Bird Identification   1 Day    Minsmere RSPB, BTO.     Increasing your repertoire and ID by sound

04/05/2017   Bird Identification   1 Day    Scottish Dolphin Centre, Fochabers, BTO.    Learn how to identify a range of birds by sight

For BTO courses Contact: 01786 466 560 anne.cotton@bto.org http://www.bto./org/training

04/05/2017   Bird Language and Nature Awareness   1 Day

NTS Castle Fraser, Inverurie, AB51 7LD, SCRA Grampian. Contact: 07458048513 twatt@nts.org.uk

Outdoor workshop teaching games and activities for teaching bird ecology and behaviour

05/05/2017   Identifying Birds by Sight and Sound   3 Day

The Kingcombe Centre, nr Dorchester, Dorset Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01300 320684 kingcombe@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk http://www.kingcombe.org

Improve your skills through watching, listening and using the latest app technology to build your knowledge in the field, with Edward Jackson.

05/05/2017   Bird Identification   1 Day    Nagshead Reserve, Parkend, BTO.     Learn how to identify a range of birds by sight

06/05/2017   Bird Identification   2.5 Day    Dale Fort FSC, Pembrokeshire, BTO.   

The complete package, gain confidence identifying birds by sight and sound, focusing on seabirds and coastal species.

For BTO courses Contact: 01786 466 560 anne.cotton@bto.org http://www.bto./org/training

06/05/2017   Birds of Woodland in Spring    1 Day

Tudeley Woods RSPB Reserve, Kent Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01622 662012 info@kentwildlife.org.uk http://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/

Study of the songs and calls of birds of mixed woodland and how the woods are managed for wildlife.

07/05/2017   Dawn Chorus Walk & Rustic Breakfast   1 Day

Nower Wood, Mill Way, leatherhead KT22 8QA, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk http://bit.ly/dawnchorus1

Join us on National Dawn Chorus day at 5 am for a guided walk through the woods identifying birds through their song. Afterwards enjoy a rustic breakfast around an open camp fire.

08/05/2017   Bird Surveying   2.5 Day    The Kingcombe Centre, Dorchester, BTO.    Contact: 01786 466 560 anne.cotton@bto.org http://www.bto./org/training  

Learn about BTO surveys, their value to science and how fun and easy they are to do.

10/05/2017   Dawn Chorus   1 Day

Eastern Moors, Eastern Moors Partnership. Contact: 0114 2891543 enquiries@easternmoors.org.uk http://www.visit-eastern-moors.org.uk/contact-us

Be out on the moors as the birds begin to sing. Learn how to identify woodland species by their call. £5 per person. Booking essential.

11/05/2017   Spring Birds   4 Day

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

May is an important month for both resident and migratory species. We will visit coastal, woodland and wetland habitats, learning to identify birds by sight and sound and examining general ecology. Includes opportunities to visit Skomer Island with its internationally important seabird colonies and the world famous gannetry on Grassholm.

11/05/2017   Bird Identification   1 Day    Mungrisdale Village Hall, Penrith, BTO.     Contact: 01786 466 560 anne.cotton@bto.org http://www.bto./org/training

Learn how to identify a range of birds by sight

13/05/2017   Introduction to Bird Survey Techniques   1 Day

BBOWT Thatcham Nature Discovery Centre, Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre. Contact: 01865 815451 caroline.coleman@oxfordshire.gov.uk http://www.tverc.org/cms/content/training-courses

Providing an overview of some of the approaches taken whilst monitoring birds. Aimed at people with some identification skills but limited experience of surveys who want to widen their knowledge. You will learn about Breeding Bird Surveys and territory mapping among other techniques.

13/05/2017   An Introduction to Bird Identification    1 Day

Parc Slip Nature Reserve, Tondu, Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales. Contact: 01656 724100 m.lindley@welshwildlife.org http://www.welshwildlife.org

If you are curious to find out more about birds and how to tell the species apart, then this is the course for you. This training course will provide an introduction to the ways in which you can identify different birds and how this information can be used for conservation.

16/05/2017   Spring Bird ID   1 Day

Fingringhoe Wick Visitor centre, Colchester, Essex Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01621 862960 reception@essexwt.org.uk http://www.essexwt.org.uk/events/2017/05/16/spring-bird-identification?instance=0

A practical session discovering spring birds in the North East Essex based at Abbotts Hall Farm and Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve. The course will start at Fingringhoe Wick and will move onto Abbotts Hall farm (Great Wigborough, Colchester, CO5 7RZ) for the afternoon. £30 donation. Booking essential. 9am-3pm

17/05/2017   Bird Identification (Wetland Bird Survey/WeBS)   1 Day    Hams Hall Environmental, Coleshill, BTO    Contact: 01786 466 560 anne.cotton@bto.org http://www.bto./org/training

Learn how to identify waterbirds and about WeBS

17/05/2017   Breeding bird survey methods, songs and calls for beginners    1 Day

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

An introduction to breeding bird survey methods, emphasising the importance of learning to identify birds by their calls and songs in order to detect their presence in the breeding season. The course is designed to develop bird surveying skills particularly for participants wishing to volunteer with KWT 'Ecology Groups'.

18/05/2017   Bird Identification   1 Day    Sands of Forvie NNR, Ellon, BTO.    Contact: 01786 466 560 anne.cotton@bto.org http://www.bto./org/training

Learn how to identify a range of birds by sight

19/05/2017   Bird Survey Techniques   3 Day    FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

This course covers collecting bird data to contribute to accurate, long-term, surveys. Aimed at keen amateur ornithologists and wildlife professionals who would like to learn some basic bird survey techniques, it will include a dawn survey. Part of the MSc Biological Recording jointly with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

20/05/2017   Identifying Birds by Sight and Sound   1 Day   

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

Whether you're new to birding or have some previous experience, come and spend a day in Constable Country learning how to identify the resident and migrant birds found around Flatford Mill.

20/05/2017   Bird Identification   1 Day    Monikie Country Park, Dundee, BTO.    Contact: 01786 466 560 anne.cotton@bto.org http://www.bto./org/training

Learn how to identify a range of birds by sight

21/05/2017   Introduction to Birdsong   1 Day

Wildwood Trust, Herne Common, Herne Bay CT6 7LQ, Wildwood Trust. Contact: 01227 711471 courses@wildwoodtrust.org https://wildwoodtrust.org/wildwood-kent/conservation/conservation-courses

Learn how to identify birds by their songs and calls. Find out how they make such a variety of sounds, what they mean and some tips and tricks as to how to identify the birds by sound. Must book. £30 per person.

21/05/2017   Bird Watching for Beginners New Forest Woodland   1 Day

Lymington, New Forest, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01489774406 Courses@hiwwt.org.uk http://shop.hiwwt.org.uk/product/bird-watching-for-beginners-new-forest-woodland/

26/05/2017   Birds of the North Wales Coast, Woodlands and Uplands   3 Days at FSC Rhyd-y-creuau.

With the breeding season well underway, this is an ideal long weekend for birdwatching in the dramatic landscapes of North Wales. We will explore the coastal cliffs and estuaries, visiting seabird colonies on Anglesey and the RSPB Reserve at Conwy, glaciated valleys and higher ground.

26/05/2017   Bird Language and Nature Awareness   3 Days at FSC Kindrogan.

Reading ‘bird language' is the ancient art of interpreting bird calls and behaviour, and is closely related to tracking. We will discover how interpreting bird vocalisations can help us become much more aware of what is happening in the wider landscape.

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


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Plants and Habitats

01/05/2017   Sphagnum identification & ecology   2 Day

near penrith, Cumbria, Ptyxis Ecology. Contact: 1435 321199 enquiries@ptyxis.com http://www.ptyxis.com

This is a field-based course aimed at beginners. We will key out roughly 15 of the most common and ecologically important species using a field key. Essential start for anyone wishing to conduct mire or wetland NVC surveys, or anyone working in peatland conservation.

05/05/2017   Introduction to Phase 1 Habitat Surveys   1 Day

Coombes Valley RSPB Nature Reserve, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01538 381356 n.dyas@staffs-wildlife.org.uk http://www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk/events/2017/05/05/introduction-phase-1-habitat-surveys?instance=0

05/05/2017   Woodlands in spring   1 Day

Wherwell, Andover, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01489774406 Courses@hiwwt.org.uk http://shop.hiwwt.org.uk/product/woodlands-in-spring/

06/05/2017   Woodland Flowers in the Chilterns   1 Day at FSC Amersham.   

Woodlands are a feature of the Chiltern Hills and woodland flowers are at their peak at this time of year. Most of the day will be spent in the field, exploring nearby fields and woods and one of the fine ancient woodlands in the area.

06/05/2017   Identifying Spring Wild Flowers   1 Day at FSC London Region.   

An introduction to wild flowers, this practical day will help you identify some of those found in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Most of the day will be spent outside. The location, a blend of urban park and wildlife haven will surprise in its diversity.

06/05/2017   Ponds: Freshwater Habitats and Ecology   1 Day at FSC Epping Forest.

This course will provide a basic introduction to freshwater pond habitats for beginners with a focus on sampling and identifying freshwater invertebrates.

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

06/05/2017   Wildlife gardening - Mini-habitats   1 Day

Testwood Lakes near Southampton, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01489774406 Courses@hiwwt.org.uk http://shop.hiwwt.org.uk/product/wildlife-gardening-mini-habitats/

07/05/2017   Wild Flower and Tree Identification   1 Day

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

An introduction to the habitat creation undertaken at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, for the 2012 Olympics and beyond, in its grasslands, intriguingly designed pond system, scrublands and the River Lea. We will also consider what we can learn from this to take back to our own patch at home.

08/05/2017   Photography - Woodland Flowers & Bluebells   1 Day

Nower Wood, Mill Way, Leatherhead, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk http://c-js.info/2mX65Bh 

May is the perfect time to photograph the beauty of the woodland wildflowers. The Nower Wood Nature Reserve is one of the finest places in Surrey to witness the awe inspiring native bluebells that carpet the floor of this entire area. Adrian Davies, www.adriandaviesimaging.com, will guide you throughout the day.

08/05/2017   Introduction to Phase 1 Habitat Survey   2 Day

Frosterley, Co Durham, Ptyxis Ecology. Contact: 01434 321199 enquiries@ptyxis.com http://www.ptyxis.com

This course will enable you to conduct Phase 1 habitat Surveys. We focus on survey methodology, rather than plant identification. Day one covers survey planning, mapping techniques and identifying habitats. On day two you will conduct your own survey and discuss best practise in reporting.

09/05/2017   Early season/vegetative grass and sedge identification    1 Day

Old Sarum, Salisbury, The Species Recovery Trust. Contact: 01722 322539 bookings@speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk http://www.speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk/Training.html

A one day course giving participants confidence in identifying key grasses when not in flower, a good feel for grass groups of neutral and unimproved calcareous grassland and their use as indicator species, and a chance to learn memorable features, allowing grasses in any condition to be identified.

09/05/2017   Plant Identification for Phase 1 Surveyors   1 Day at FSC Preston Montford.

Accurate Phase 1 surveys require the surveyor to be a good field botanist, able to identify a wide range of common species. This course will cover those species important for separating out the major habitats (particularly grassland, woodland and heathland).

11/05/2017   Woodland Conservation and Management   4 Days at FSC Orielton.

This course is aimed at professionals and amateurs with an interest in the ecology and history of woodland, and practical management techniques. We will visit a variety of woodland sites to examine their different management regimes and the effect on woodland flora and fauna.

Above Field Studies Council courses contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

11/05/2017   Grasses, Sedges & Rushes for Phase 1 Habitat Survey   2 Day

Frosterley, Co Durham, Ptyxis Ecology. Contact: 01435 321199 enquiries@ptyxis.com http://www.ptyxis.com

An intensive 'kick-start' course for complete novices, covering the 'must-know' species, plus distinguishing improved, semi- & unimproved grasslands. We concentrate on the top 10 grass indicator species. Much of the course focuses on vegetative grass identification - the easiest way to start with grasses (see also the June course).

12/05/2017   Wild Flower Identification: The Top 20 Flower Families   3 Days at FSC Flatford Mill.

A course for anyone with an interest in wild flowers. By close examination and gaining an understanding of floral structure of the major flower families that make up over three quarters of our British flora, you will gain huge strides forward in your confidence and competence as a field botanist.

12/05/2017   Introduction to Lichens   2 Days at FSC Kindrogan.

This introductory course explains what lichens are, how they are distributed and function in the landscape, and how they can be distinguished in the field. Covering the basics of lichen biology, ecology, identification and collecting, and some time using microscopes and keys.

12/05/2017   Botany for Improvers   2 Days at FSC Margam.

This course is aimed at those people wanting to progress from picture book identification onto proper ‘Floras’. This course will introduce simple techniques and the use of keys to enable identification of a wide variety of plant families and species.

13/05/2017   Limestone Woodland Flowers of Llynclys   1 Day at FSC Preston Montford.

Llynclys Common nature reserve is one of the richest botanical sites in Shropshire. The day will be spent exploring this large reserve with its network of paths and small quarries, identifying a wide range of wild flowers, mosses and ferns.

13/05/2017   Trees and Bees at Regents Park   2 Days at FSC London Region.

A wonderful opportunity to learn about the trees and pollinators at Regents Park. We will attempt to identify and list all the trees types. We will simultaneously try to identify and list all the species of pollinators flying in May.

13/05/2017   Mosses and Liverworts: Bryophytes for Beginners   1 Day at FSC Epping Forest.

This one-day beginners' course will introduce you to ‘non-vascular plants’ and aim to give you a greater understanding of our 'lower plants'. Although a beginners course some general botanical knowledge is expected.

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

13/05/2017   Saltscape Kids Tree Day!   1 Day

Marbury Country Park, Northwich, Saltscape Landscape Partnership. Contact: 01606 723 160 info@saltscape.co.uk http://www.saltscape.co.uk

A fun tree walk for kids to spark their wild side! The walk will encourage them to be able to identify key tree species through fun activities including tree bingo and bark rubbings! Children must be accompanied by an adult. Places limited - booking essential. Visit the website for more detail and more free events www.saltscape.co.uk

13/05/2017   Wildlife-rich Meadows NEW    1 Day

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

Wildlife rich meadows are a fast disappearing feature of our living landscape.  Even the smallest can be managed and restored to support plants, animals and vital pollinators.  This study day provides an introduction to these fascinating habitats.  It outlines how to manage, enhance and ultimately enjoy and celebrate them.

13/05/2017   Plant Identification for Beginners   1 Day

Wildwood Trust, Herne Common, Herne Bay CT6 7LQ, Wildwood Trust. Contact: 01227 711471 courses@wildwoodtrust.org https://wildwoodtrust.org/wildwood-kent/conservation/conservation-courses

Participants will learn to recognise the parts of plants and the useful features that will enable them to decide which family a plant belongs to and help them gain confidence in how to identify plants to species level. The use of basic keys will be introduced. Must book £30.

13/05/2017   Wildlife gardening - Meadows   1 Day

Testwood Lakes near Southampton, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01489774406 Courses@hiwwt.org.uk http://shop.hiwwt.org.uk/product/wildlife-gardening/

14/05/2017   Lichen Identification   6 Days at FSC Kindrogan.

This course will focus in detail on understanding the most important characters for identifying lichens, so that participants can gain confidence in using keys and identification guides for themselves. Over the years Kindrogan has recorded more than 250 species, so there will be plenty to see.

16/05/2017   Ancient Woodland Plants   1 Day at FSC Preston Montford.

An introduction to identifying woodland plants and understanding their role in the woodland. By the end of the course participants will be able to recognise the major groups, and identify the key characters of those they are unfamiliar with.

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

16/05/2017   Livestock Management in the Uplands   1 Day

Skipton, North Yorks, CIEEM. Contact: 01962 868626 enquiries@cieem.net http://www.cieem.net/events/1212/livestock-management-in-the-uplands

This course is designed to provide an over-view of the practicalities and economics of upland farming. It will be based on a working upland farm, delivered by NE staff and by an upland farmer experienced in education and training. It will provide an understanding of farming constraints, opportunities and pressures and the impact that they have on conservation of the uplands.

17/05/2017   Introduction to Flowers - half-day course    0.5 Day with The Species Recovery Trust.

A half-day course aimed at introducing beginners to the wonderful world of wildflowers, with an introduction to some of the key families to learn, and a chance to see a wider range of flora of different habitats.

17/05/2017   Introduction to Grasses - halfday course    0.5 Day with The Species Recovery Trust.

A half-day course aimed at introducing beginners to grasses, sedges and rushes, and a chance to learn 20 of the most common species.

Both Species Recovery Trust above at Natural History Museum, London. Contact: 01722 322539 bookings@speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk http://www.speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk/Training.html

17/05/2017   Introduction to Grasses   1 Day

The Gateway, Chester Street, Shrewsbury, SY1 1NB, Manchester Metropolitan University. Contact: 01743 355137 biorec@mmu.ac.uk http://www.sste.mmu.ac.uk/recording/

18/05/2017   Woodland Plants - Identification and survey    1 Day

Garston Woods, Dorset, The Species Recovery Trust. Contact: 01722 322539 bookings@speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk http://www.speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk/Training.html

A 1 day course giving participants the skills and confidence to identify a wide range of woodland plants (including grasses and bryophytes) and the knowledge to carry out Phase 1 and NVC woodland survey.

18/05/2017   Wildflower identification   1 Day

Coombes Valley RSPB Nature Reserve, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01538 381356 n.dyas@staffs-wildlife.org.uk http://www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk/events/2017/05/18/wildflower-identification?instance=0

19/05/2017   Wild Flower Identification: The Top 20 Flower Families   3 Days at FSC Flatford Mill.

A course for anyone with an interest in wild flowers. By close examination and gaining an understanding of floral structure of the major flower families that make up over three quarters of our British flora, you will gain huge strides forward in your confidence and competence as a field botanist.

20/05/2017   Introduction to Broad-Leaved Trees   1 Day at FSC London Region.

Trees form an imposing and ecologically important part of the landscape of the British Isles. During this course, in Bushy Park, we will look at features such as leaves, bark, flowers and fruits which can be used to identify the more common species throughout the summer months.

20/05/2017   Introducing Lichens   1 Day at FSC Malham Tarn.

A day focusing on identifying lichens, explaining what lichens are and how they can be distinguished in the field. In partnership with British Lichen Society.

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

20/05/2017   Introduction to Orchids    1 Day

Tyland Barn and visits to sites in Mid Kent, Kent Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01622 662012 info@kentwildlife.org.uk http://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/

Find out about wild orchids: life cycles, pollination techniques, mycorrhizal associations, distribution, rarity and protection, habitats and aids to identification. The day will include field visits to orchid sites in mid Kent

20/05/2017   Wildlife Gardening Wild About Ponds   1 Day

Blashford Lakes, Ringwood, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01489774406 Courses@hiwwt.org.uk http://shop.hiwwt.org.uk/product/wildlife-gardening-wild-about-ponds/

21/05/2017   Identifying Trees in Leaf   1 Day

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

This day will focus on identifying common British trees as well as some non-native species. By the end of the day you'll be able to identify common trees to species level with confidence. 10am - 3pm   £35

21/05/2017   The building stones of Kent   1 Day

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

Discover the geological context and properties of Kent's building stones during a morning classroom session. This will be followed after lunch by a walk around Maidstone to see them used in local buildings.

22/05/2017   Phase 1 Habitat Survey   1 Day

Bristol, Acorn Ecology Ltd

An introductory level course, relevant to both consultancy and conservation. Our day long course includes: introduction and background to Phase 1 habitat surveys, field experience of identifying and recording habitats, basic identification of dominant plant species and preparation of habitat maps in the classroom.

23/05/2017   Preliminary Ecological Appraisal   2 Day

Bristol, Acorn Ecology Ltd

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

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

23/05/2017   Wild flower identification for beginners   2 Day

Houghton-le-Spring, Co. Durham, Ptyxis Ecology. Contact: 1436 321199 enquiries@ptyxis.com http://www.ptyxis.com

Aimed especially at those without plant identification experience who need to conduct Phase 1 Habitat Surveys. We focus on recognising the top 10 plant families and common species useful as indicator species for Phase 1 . We also cover using plant identification keys, so that you can continue.

24/05/2017   Sedge Identification    1 Day

Hartland Moor, Dorset, The Species Recovery Trust. Contact: 01722 322539 bookings@speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk http://www.speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk/Training.html

A 1 day course giving participants the skills and confidence to identify a wide range of sedges, a range of simple techniques to identify sedge species and a knowledge of sedges as indicator species

24/05/2017   Using a Flora   4 Days

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

A practical course for those wishing to gain more experience in accurate plant identification. Naming plants correctly can be difficult. The answers can be found by using a flora. Part of the University Certificate in Biological Recording run jointly with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

25/05/2017   Identification of Sphagnum mosses    1 Day

New Forest, The Species Recovery Trust. Contact: 01722 322539 bookings@speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk http://www.speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk/Training.html

A 1 day course giving participants an introduction to field identification of Sphagnum mosses and other heath and mire bryophytes.

26/05/2017   Identifying Woodland Plants   3 Days at FSC Preston Montford.

A course for botanists wishing to hone their skills in woodland plant identification concentrating, not just on trees and colourful woodland herbs, but also on traditionally difficult groups such as woodland grasses, sedges and ferns. Part of the University Certificate in Biological Recording run jointly with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

26/05/2017   Trees and Tree Identification in Summer   3 Days at FSC Flatford Mill.

Summer is a great time for looking at broad-leaved and coniferous trees. The course will provide a background in tree ecology but primarily focuses on developing and/or improving identification skills in the field.

26/05/2017   Tree Identification   3 Day at FSC Rhyd-y-creuau.

Introducing and focusing on the skills needed to identify trees native to the British Isles, as well as many common non-native species. Over the weekend both the broad-leaves and the conifers will be covered.

26/05/2017   Woodland Plants   3 Days at FSC Slapton Ley.

Devon's woodlands should be at their richest in May, a treasure-trove to explore with a wealth of plants to study and identify, from carpets of spring flowers, to graceful canopies and trees now in full leaf. Part of the University Certificate in Biological Recording run jointly with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

26/05/2017   Graduate Fieldwork and Identification Skills   2 Days at FSC Margam.

This course is designed for all undergraduates or recent graduates who would like to gain experience in ecological fieldwork skills and identification of species in a variety of ecosystems. The aim is to gain experience useful when entering environmental careers such as ecological consultancy, research or teaching.

26/05/2017   NVC: Woodlands   3 Days at FSC Kindrogan.

We will visit local woods to study the vegetation, classify findings using the NVC and consider how they fit into the patterns of variation among British woods generally. There will also be three evening sessions.

26/05/2017   iRecord Marine Wildlife   2 Days at FSC Millport.

Current methods of biological recording involve the use of smart phone technology and Apps to record and identify species. This course develops your expertise in the use of mobile phone technology, GPS receivers and web resources for biological recording, whilst undertaking a range of surveys of marine vertebrates.

26/05/2017   Marine Plankton   3 Days at FSC Millport.

Forming a key pillar of the marine food web, plankton is an essential element of marine eco-systems. This course will introduce aspects of the biology and ecology of both zooplankton and phytoplankton, and include practical identification sessions using keys.

26/05/2017   Big Tree Country: Introduction to Tree Identification   2 Days at FSC Kindrogan.

This course aims to get you started or, if you know a bit already, to consolidate your knowledge. Perthshire is ‘Big Tree Country’, the scenery is terrific and May is an ideal time of year for all woodland plants.

27/05/2017   Introduction to Ferns at Edinburgh Zoo   1 Day at Edinburgh Zoo with Field Studies Council.

This course gives an insight into the amazing life-cycle of ferns; where they come from, how they spread, how to identify them. We will spend some time outside looking at nearby common species of native ferns. In partnership with Royal Zoological Society of Scotland taking place at Edinburgh Zoo.

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

27/05/2017   Geological Walk Around Middlewich   1 Day

Middlewich, Saltscape Landscape Partnership. Contact: 01606 723 160 info@saltscape.co.uk http://www.saltscape.co.uk

Geological walk around Middlewich with Cheshire RIGS, focusing on the building stones and architectural features. Places limited - booking essential. Visit the website for more detail and more free events www.saltscape.co.uk

27/05/2017   Introduction to Phase 1 Habitat Survey part 1   1 Day

Wildwood Trust, Herne Common, Herne Bay CT6 7LQ, Wildwood Trust. Contact: 01227 711471 courses@wildwoodtrust.org https://wildwoodtrust.org/wildwood-kent/conservation/conservation-courses

Learn how phase 1 habitat surveys are conducted and recorded. You will learn how to identify key indicator plant species, distinguish broad habitats and how to write target notes. This day is divided between classroom and field. Must book. £55 per person (£100 if booked with part 2).

28/05/2017   Big Tree Country: Tree Identification for Improvers   4 Days at FSC Kindrogan.

Visiting woods and estates in Perthshire’s ‘Big Tree Country’ this course will build up your confidence and tree identification skills. Native, naturalised and exotic conifers and broad-leaved trees will be encountered in their spring glory.

29/05/2017   Identifying Coastal Plants   3 Days at FSC Dale Fort.

Designed to help the beginner, this course will give participants practical experience in the identification of saltmarsh and sand dune plants. Part of the University Certificate in Biological Recording run jointly with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

30/05/2017   Identifying Freshwater Invertebrates for Biological Surveying and Recording   3 Days at FSC Flatford Mill.

This course is designed to help professional surveyors and amateur naturalists increase their understanding of the diversity of invertebrates that inhabit our rivers and ponds. Illustrated talks and field excursions will lead to practical collecting, preserving and identification.

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

30/05/2017   Wildflower ID   1 Day

Abbotts Hall farm, Colchester, Essex Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01621 862960 reception@essexwt.org.uk http://www.essexwt.org.uk/events/2017/05/30/wildflower-identification?instance=0

Learn how to identify wild flowers with the aid of books and keys. The day will include time for a field visit to look at varying habitats. It is suitable for complete beginners who wish to know more about the wild flowers around them, and those who want to improve their skills. Booking essential.

31/05/2017   Using a Flora   4 Days at FSC Preston Montford.

A practical course for those wishing to gain more experience in accurate plant identification. Naming plants correctly can be difficult. The answers can be found by using a flora. Part of the University Certificate in Biological Recording run jointly with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

31/05/2017   Advanced Bryology Laboratory Course   4 Day at FSC Preston Montford.

A course for experienced enthusiasts to explore special techniques, critical species and new developments in their subject. Emphasis will be placed on indoor work using microscopes, with short field excursions to provide an insight into topics of ecological significance.

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



06/05/2017   Introduction to Wildlife Photography in Spring   0.5 Day

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

Join professional photographer, Iain McMillan, for a morning of wildlife photography around the reserve. Learn how to use your own equipment and use Iain’s extensive range of professional kit. The course uses the unique hides at Attenborough to capture the best shots.   8.30am - 11.30am £35

07/05/2017   Spring Digital Photography in Pembrokeshire   4 Day

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

Planned to get the most out of Pembrokeshire's spectacular landscape and natural history, we will visit a number of different locations shooting fantastic landscapes and plant and animal life. Prior photographic knowledge is useful to get the most out of the course, but advice and guidance are on hand.


Practical Countryside Skills

05/05/2017   Dry Stone Walling   4 Day

TCV Hollybush Conservation Centre, Leeds, The Conservation Volunteers. Contact: 07747136764 / 07801081705 c.powell@tcv.org.uk http://www.tcv.org.uk/hollybush

Learn the traditional countryside craft of dry stone walling on this four week introductory course. Covering the tools and techniques involved, heritage, benefits to people and wildlife, practicing dry stone walling itself and more. Tools and boots provided. Sessions run 9:30-16:00 over 4 weeks. £60 per course, or free to those on benefits.

17/05/2017   Pruning & Felling Small Trees   0.5 Day

Rotherham , Steel Valley Project for Don Catchment Rivers Trust. Contact: 01302 796173 info@dcrt.org.uk http://www.dcrt.org.uk

This half day training session will show you how to prune and fell small trees. Part of the Living Heritage of the River Don project the training is aimed at volunteers that work around rivers. (Free for volunteers)

06/05/2017   Dry Stone Walling - Beginners    2 Day

Burford, Oxon, Cotswolds Rural Skills.

On the beginners course you can expect to learn about: dismantling walls, stone sorting, laying foundations, building up of the wall, adding through stones and copping stones, dressing the stone, different types of stone, the necessary tools and how to use them and much more! No prior experience required.

13/05/2017   Lime Mortar - Beginners   2 Day

Ebworth Centre, Glos, Cotswolds Rural Skills.

This course is designed for those wishing to grasp some of the basic skills of working with lime mortar. The course will look at lime putty and hydraulic lime, sands and the use of horse hair. Mixes and recipes for different applications. Hands on experience of pointing, plastering, (onto stone and laths) rendering, and stone repairs. We will look at mixing and applying limewash and mixing colours.

20/05/2017   Dry Stone Walling - Beginners    2 Day

Tetbury, Glos, Cotswolds Rural Skills.

On the beginners course you can expect to learn about: dismantling walls, stone sorting, laying foundations, building up of the wall, adding through stones and copping stones, dressing the stone, different types of stone, the necessary tools and how to use them and much more! No prior experience required.

20/05/2017   Thatching - Taster Day   1 Day

Cotswold Discovery Centre, Northleach, Gloucestershire, Cotswolds Rural Skills.

This practical course is designed as a taster to introduce you to the skill of wheat straw thatching. During the course you can expect to learn about: a brief history of thatching, the materials used, splitting hazel to make fixings, methods of fixing a thatch coat onto a traditional wooden roof and trimming eves and gables using traditional tools.

31/05/2017   Introduction to Scything   1 Day

Cotswold Discovery Centre, Northleach, Gloucestershire, Cotswolds Rural Skills.

After this course, you should be able to tackle your own vegetation situation.   Instruction is provided on how to set up a scythe optimally for a person’s stature, how to keep it sharp, and how to mow with an efficient movement.

Contact: Cotswolds Rural Skills on: 01451 862000 info@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk http://www.cotswoldsruralskills.org.uk/


Practical Countryside Skills - Machinery

01/05/2017   Chainsaw Maintenance, Cross Cutting and Felling and Processing of Trees up to 380mm (formally CS30 and CS31) NPTC / City and Guilds    4 Days with Lowe Maintenance Training.

This course is being part funded through the Stories in Stone project. 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.

02/05/2017   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

03/05/2017   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.

04/05/2017   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.

08/05/2017   Aerial Cutting of Trees with a Chainsaw Using Free-Fall Techniques (formally CS39) NPTC / City and Guilds    2 Day with Lowe Maintenance Training.

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)

09/05/2017   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.

10/05/2017   ROLO (Register of Landbased Operatives) Bali    1 Day with Lowe Maintenance Training.

This one day course is a pre requisite for anyone within the land based industries who require a CSCS card to work on sites

11/05/2017   Safe Use of Aluminium Phosphide for Vertebrate Pest Control (Phostoxin and Talunex) NPTC / City and Guilds   1 Day with Lowe Maintenance Training.

Phostoxin and Talunex for the control of rabbits, rats and moles requires you to hold a certificate of competence to buy and apply the product. This one day training plus one day assessment will enable you to do so upon achievement.

12/05/2017   Safe Use of Pesticides for Vertebrate Pest Control for Rats and Mice (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

12/05/2017   Safe Use of Manually Fed Wood Chipper NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day with Lowe Maintenance Training.

One day training plus one day assessment covering pre use checks, maintenance and safe use. Ideal for those in industries such as horticultural, landscaping, grounds maintenance sectors.

15/05/2017   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.

15/05/2017   Emergency Tree Work Operations (formally CS50) NPTC / City and Guilds   3 Days with Lowe Maintenance Training.

Three days training plus one day assessment, covering how to deal with emergency tree work operations. Techniques, winching and safe operation.

17/05/2017   PA6aw - Safe Application of Pesticides Using Pedestrian Hand Held Equipment to or near water (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 on or near water only, the pre-requisite is PA1. Training is one day plus one day for the assessment.

18/05/2017   PA2f - Safe Application of Pesticides Using Self-propelled, Mounted and Trailed Weed Wipers NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day

with with Lowe Maintenance Training.

This course is for people who use mounted, trailed 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.

All Lowe Maintenance Training is in Settle BD24 9DN. Contact: 01729 825132 info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk http://www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk

18/05/2017   LANTRA Brushcutter/Trimmers - Maintenance and Operation   1 Day

Cotswold Discovery Centre, Northleach, Gloucestershire, Cotswolds Rural Skills. Contact: 01451 862000 info@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk http://www.cotswoldsruralskills.org.uk/

This one day course is designed for anybody with some experience of using brushcutters and/or trimmers or who has previously gained their LANTRA certificate and would like to refresh their skills.

22/05/2017   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

29/05/2017   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 is in Settle BD24 9DN. Contact: 01729 825132 info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk http://www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk


Updates and Additions to other sections of Training Directory this month

Longer courses

Land and Countryside Management

Nature Conservation Traineeship from Ambios Ltd                 

Cairngorms National Park Wildlife Identification with Speyside Wildlife


Training Centre / provider listings

The Adventure Academy CIC

Updated listing from:

Woodland Ways


Send details of your training courses.

Send your training course information today to training@countryside-jobs.com or submit online here.

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Take Care of Your Trails Weekend 2017

image: Team Scotland ( Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland)Across Europe the mountain biking community is gearing up for the largest ever concerted voluntary trail repair effort.

The weekend of Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd April 2017, is ‘Take Care of Your Trails’ weekend.   Trail repair groups from Scotland to Poland, Sweden to Spain will engage in friendly competition to see which country can get the most amount of volunteers to work on paths and trails per head of population.

It will be the first ever pan-European coordinated weekend of volunteer-based trail maintenance events and will be centrally co-ordinated by IMBA Europe who will collate each countries results at the end of the weekend.

The weekend is based on a successful plot running for 2 years in Scotland by Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS).

IMBA Europe and DMBinS are calling out for groups across Europe to get involved. Find out more here

Additions to the Grants and sources of funding listings.

The David Colegrave Foundation is a charity supporting the development of students studying horticulture in the UK

Green Infrastructure Community Engagement Fund

See the adverts by Clicking Here

The next edition of CJS Professional will be published on: 13 April

Got something to share or want to advertise? The deadline is: 5pm Monday 10 April

Contact us by email: ranger@countryside-jobs.com

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