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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 November 2017

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

Scottish Countryside Rangers Association

Countryside Management Association

logo: Plantlife 

Featured Charity:   Plantlife

Find out more about our featured charity here.

Including how to join and donate.



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

Use these links to navigate direct to each section.

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CJS Newsletters and updates:

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

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Noteworthy this month:

CJS Readers Survey, help us decide the future direction for CJS. Take part here.

A varied mixture of news this month including the RSPB Bird Crime report but our biggest story has to be CJ goes home! [click to find out who CJ is and why it's important for CJS.]

Conservation - History in the making; the final article for us from this year's featured charity Plantlife. Read it here.

British Wildlife Photography Awards 2017, winners announced, details here.

Looking to brush up your health & safety training or renew various certifications? This month's training celanedar includes details of short courses available on a regular or on demand basis.

Good practice stakeholder participation training, with a focus on the environment courses by dialoguematters. [more]


Fit for the future

As we approach our silver anniversary we want to be sure CJS is in the best shape ever and is providing the services you want and need in a way that is simple and easy to use. Your opinions matter and we do listen.  This survey is a little more in depth than previous ones, with quite a few open ended questions, as we work out how to ensure that CJS grows and remains relevant to you: our readers. We're not expecting essays just a few words or a sentence or two at most.  Please be honest - write your first response on reading the question.


Please note: We have made quite a few changes to the website in recent months, therefore, please make sure your responses relate to the most recent pages, thank you.


This Professional readers survey is running alongside our Online readers and CJS Weekly Subscribers Surveys, if you subscribe to CJS Weekly you may complete all three surveys for multiple chances to win the various rewards.


Rewards: *


Three eligible surveys drawn at random will receive a year's membership of Countryside Management Association, one survey will receive a year's membership of Plantlife

AND one survey will receive one year's subscription to CJS Weekly by email


logo: Countryside Management AssociationThe Countryside Management Association supports countryside management professionals throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland  

Members of the Countryside Management Association enjoy a wide range of services and privileges. These are some of them: lProfessional accreditation l Training and Study Days l CMA Magazine: published quarterly,the newly redesigned flagship ‘Ranger‘ magazine l CMA Facebook: a great forum for seeking advice, sharing experience and keeping in touch with colleagues around the country and so much more, find out more here.


logo: PlantlifePlantlife: Wild flowers, plants and fungi play a fundamental role for wildlife, and their colour and character light up our landscapes. But without our help, this priceless natural heritage is in danger of being lost.

Plantlife has been our featured charity this year, read their articles here. 

Find out more about this wonderful charity here: www.plantlife.org.uk 

As a member of Plantlife you receive: l Our stunning Plantlife magazine, three times a year l A handy wild flower ID guide l A "Grow your own wild flower meadow in your garden" leaflet l News and invitations to all of our events l A 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor

Woodland Warden

GreenAcres Chiltern, Beaconsfield, Bucks.
Full-time / 37.5 hours per week / 8am – 4pm
Permanent / £19,000 pa 

Do you enjoy working outdoors, helping people, improving biodiversity and working in a small team? 

For over twenty years GreenAcres has offered excellent customer service in beautiful natural settings, providing meaningful funeral services, celebrations and other events at our woodland parks across the UK.  

We are currently entering an exciting period of new growth and development and are looking for someone with great practical skills to join the Woodland Team at our Chiltern site, digging graves, maintaining the park landscape and helping to provide our customers with professional funeral and event services. 

Full training will be given for all machinery and tool use if qualifications are not currently held. 

Your duties will include:    ●   Grave digging using an excavator   ●   General grounds maintenance   ●   Being a point of contact for customers in the woodland   ●   Woodland management including coppicing and thinning, and the planting and transplanting of saplings and flora   ●   Hand-digging and back-filling ash interment plots   ●   Placing memorials and wildlife boxes   ●   Maintaining tools & machinery   ●   Helping to run volunteer days

Experience, skills and knowledge required:    ●   Good practical problem-solving skills    ●   Good customer service skills     ●   Adaptable team player   ●   Full clean driving licence   ●   Computer literate    ●   Experience with power tools and machinery preferred   ●   Advantage but not essential to have qualifications in the following: excavator, brushcutter, chainsaw (CS30/31), tractor, woodchipper and tree inspections. 

To apply please send a CV and covering letter by Friday 24th November to:

Rob Saunders, Woodland Supervisor, GreenAcres Chiltern, Potkiln Lane, Jordans, Beaconsfield, Bucks. HP9 2XB

Tel: 01494 872 158
Email: robert.saunders@greenacresgroup.co.uk

Interview date: Friday 1st December.

Logo: The Conservators of Ashdown ForestGrazing Officer

Hours: 37 hours per week

Salary: £18,036 – £22,617

(Plus on-call payments)  

We are looking for a dedicated stock person with a passionate interest in conservation grazing, rare breeds, and habitat management  

We are seeking an experienced and highly motivated person with a real understanding of the requirements of livestock, the practical skills to manage livestock, and the ability to coordinate a complex programme of grazing on a busy public open space.  

You will have a qualification in Ecology/Environmental Science, Livestock and/or Countryside Management and have extensive working experience of livestock management. You will be a good communicator with people management skills. Physically fit, you will be happy to work outside in all weathers, sometimes ‘out of hours’.  

Closing date: 27 November 2017         Interview dates: 6/7 December 2017  

For an application form and information pack (in pdf format) please email: conservators@ashdownforest.org or call 01342 823583 (Monday to Friday 08.30 to 16.30)  

The Conservators of Ashdown Forest, The Ashdown Forest Centre, Wych Cross, Forest Row, East Sussex RH18 5JP

logo: Oxfordshire County CouncilEmployer:         Oxfordshire County Council

Title:                 Officer (Countryside Access)

Location:          Kidlington, Oxfordshire

Contract:          Full time, permanent

Salary:              £20,661 - £28,485

Closing date:    26th November 2017 

An exciting opportunity to play a central role in providing, maintaining and protecting access to the wonderful countryside of Oxfordshire. 

We are looking for a knowledgeable and enthusiastic countryside access professional with proven experience of rights of way management to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team responsible for a 2600-mile countryside access network. 

The post is on a ‘career grade’ with a wide salary scale. Starting point on this scale is negotiable depending on skills and experience, but we are looking to appoint towards the top of the grade. 

To see if this is the job for you, click here for further information. 

For an informal discussion of the role, please contact James Blockley on 07917534291

Logo: Knighton Countryside Management LtdGeneral Workers and Chainsaw Operators 

Immediate Start 

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

A driving licence is essential. This position will require a high percentage of working away from Monday to Friday, with overnight accommodation and an allowance offered. Salary is dependent on experience.  

Temporary entry level position but permanent jobs and career progression available for suitable candidates. CSCS cards an advantage, but assistance can be offered in acquiring a card. 

Email: office@knightoncountryside.com or call 01305 848881  


Logo: The Bumblebee Conservation TrustA unique opportunity to join a successful and growing conservation charity!  

Pollinating the Peak, Admin and Finance Officer  

Salary £18,000 per annum (pro rata)

21 hours a week, fixed term until Oct 2020 

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT) is looking for a part-time Admin and Finance Officer to assist with the day-to-day management of the Heritage Lottery funded Pollinating the Peak project’s administrative and financial activities, including taking bookings from schools and the processing of expenditure and preparation of reports for funders. 

The successful candidate will have administrative experience and be at least part-qualified as an accounting technician (or equivalent relevant experience) and have at least 2 years’ experience of using an accounts system (preferably Sage) for general bookkeeping. 

You will be self-motivated and enthusiastic, with good communication and IT skills, excellent attention to detail and a high level of accuracy. Prior experience in producing financial reports would be beneficial. 

This position will be based from our office in Chesterfield. 

Please refer to the job description and person specification for more details of the role. 

For an application pack please visit our website 

To discuss the post informally, please contact:  Sally Cuckney, Project Manager, Tel. 07525115729  sally.cuckney@bumblebeeconservation.org   

Closing Date: 5pm, Sunday 19th November 2017

Interview date:  Friday 8th December, Chesterfield

Logo: The Bumblebee Conservation TrustA unique opportunity to join a successful and growing conservation charity!  

Pollinating the Peak, Education Officer 

Salary £26,000 - £28,000 pa

(depending on experience)

Full Time, fixed term contract until Oct 2020 

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT) is looking for a full time Education Officer to deliver the Buzzing Schools programme for the Pollinating the Peak project, which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

Lead on the delivery of a high quality curriculum based education programme focusing on learning about bees and pollination in an engaging, proactive and innovative way. 

Engage with schools, colleges, universities and other interested groups to deliver and deploy the Polli:lab initiative throughout schools in Derbyshire and the Peak District.  

The successful candidate will be an educational practitioner with experience of delivering to 11+ students with a focus on key stage 3.  A science qualification is highly desirable along with a teaching qualification. 

You will be self-motivated and enthusiastic, with excellent communication and IT skills, excellent attention to detail and a high level of accuracy. Prior experience of delivering an environmental educational programme within secondary schools is essential. 

This position will be based from our office in Chesterfield with travel to schools across Derbyshire and Peak District. 

The preferred candidate will be subject to a DBS check. 

Please refer to the job description and person specification for more details of the role.   

For an application pack please visit our website 

To discuss the post informally, please contact:  Sally Cuckney, Project Manager, Tel. 07525115729 sally.cuckney@bumblebeeconservation.org

Closing Date: 5pm, Sunday 19th November 2017 

Interview date:  Wednesday 6th December, Chesterfield 

Logo: ADASOutstanding Opportunity for an Ecological Consultant  

Role:            Ecological Consultant

Location:      Cambridgeshire

Salary:         Competitive

Contract:      Permanent  

With over 75 years’ experience RSK ADAS has an amazing track record of providing environmental consultancy and research expertise to an enviable range of clients both in the private and public sector.  We are a recognised and highly respected leader in the environmental and rural sectors.    

ADAS has recently been acquired by the RSK Group plc which is one of Europe’s leading multidisciplinary environmental consultancies and is ranked number 42 in the Sunday Times Fast Track 200 which rates the success of private companies in the UK.  There has never been a more exciting time to join.   

Our Ecology business comprises a highly skilled team focused on providing ecological services to a wide range of clients, particularly developers, utility companies and the renewable energy and rural industries.   

As a result of our continued success, we require an Ecological Consultant with the energy and drive to deliver ecological consultancy and mitigation works in a fast moving, client focused commercial environment.   

The successful candidate will join a team of Ecology professionals who work closely with colleagues in other disciplines, such as Planning, Landscape and Archaeology.  

A full Job Outline, details of how to apply and what we offer are available here

Logo: BASCWildfowling Officer  

Starting salary circa £28,000pa plus company car

BASC is looking for an individual who will provide pivotal support in developing wildfowling policy and help organise and contribute to the wide range of skills that BASC has at its disposal to safeguard the future of wildfowling.  

There will be the need for regular contact with wildfowling joint councils, non-shooting organisations, statutory agencies, public bodies and other stakeholders.  

The successful candidate will demonstrate:    ●   An in-depth practical knowledge of wildfowling    ●   A background in developing policy and influencing policy makers   ●   Ability to develop and manage partnerships    ●   Planning and organisational skills    ●   Good communication with written word and public speaking   ●   Enthusiasm, self-motivation and ability to motivate others    ●   Experience of writing articles, organising events and promoting specific aims   ●   A close connection with shooting sports and knowledge of the countryside 

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 WO/NOV/17. The closing date for receipt of completed application forms is 19/11/2017.  

Previous applicants need not reapply, applications will automatically be considered. 

Logo: BWB Consulting LtdEcological Consultant 

We have an opportunity for an Ecological Consultant to join our team in our Nottingham Office. 

About the role 

Our team is growing rapidly, and we want you to be a part of it. There is an exciting opportunity at BWB for someone that is seeking exposure to clients, challenging projects and career progression. Crucially, you will have a say in the future direction of the team. If you have at least two years of proven experience in ecological consultancy, then let’s talk! 

The role will provide an opportunity for an individual to demonstrate a broad range of skills by undertaking specialist technical work, whilst working as part of a small, integrated, progressive environmental team. Our work is varied and widespread - spanning the full lifecycle of a development - supporting our clients on projects both locally and throughout the UK. We value innovation, while always seeking to provide commercial solutions to complex environmental issues. 

Why choose BWB?  

It’s quite simple really. We invest in our people and give them fantastic career opportunities, that’s why!

It’s not just us who say that either. Look at what we have been recognised for recently:   ●    Investors in People Gold standard   ●    Ranked 59th in The Times Top 100   ●    ACE Training Initiative of the Year 2016 (which we won for the BWB Academy)   ●    ACE Best UK Business Performance for a Medium-sized Firm 2016   ●    Top 30 ranking in the country by New Civil Engineer 

Take a look at www.bwbconsulting.com where you can see a selection of the type of projects we work on, and there are some videos too which give an insight to what it’s like to work with us. 

We can offer you:   ●    An excellent career with a competitive salary   ●    Exciting and varied project design experience   ●    Close mentoring support through to Chartership   ●    25 days holiday plus additional holiday purchasing scheme   ●    1 paid day of volunteering for a company-nominated charity   ●    Cashback medical cover   ●    Rewards scheme offering discounts on shopping, cinema tickets, theme parks & gyms   ●    Regular social events 

What are we looking for? 

Ideally the successful candidate will be a graduate in an ecology related discipline or equivalent. Membership of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management is desirable,  as are protected species licences. Good communication skills, a clean driving licence and a willingness to  work with our clients to find the best solutions are essential. 

What do you do next? ...Come and be part of our journey 

If you are interested in applying for this role please visit our careers page to complete an online application.  

Logo: Horndean Parish CouncilHorndean Parish Council – Estate Warden                        

£18,241 pa. 

Horndean Parish Council is responsible for managing and maintaining 60 hectares of public land. We are currently recruiting a permanent full time member of staff, with grounds maintenance experience. The majority of the land is managed for nature conservation and public access, including four Local Nature Reserves and one Site of Special Scientific Interest. The remaining area includes parks, flower beds, play areas, sports facilities and amenity grassland, all of which are highly valued by local residents. 

Duties associated with the role will include tree and hedge maintenance, re-stocking and managing shrub/flower beds, as well as other routine grounds maintenance tasks.  The role includes the management of the nature reserves with brush cutting, scrub clearance and larger tree maintenance.  

We are looking for applicants who possess a practical skills base, be physically capable of undertaking all duties connected with the role and be able to work effectively, either using your own initiative or within a team.  The post holder will take pride in their work, completing tasks to a high standard and hold a full driving licence. 

Ideal applicant will be a good communicator and have in-depth knowledge of nature conservation and countryside management, as well as experience of managing public amenity areas. 

Closing date for Applications: Friday 24th November 2017 (No CV’s will be accepted, application form only). 

Interview date: Week commencing Monday 4th December 2017. 

For more information and to view a full job description and person specification, please visit the Horndean Parish Council website

Alternatively call Carla Baverstock-Jones – Chief Officer on 02392 597766 or email carla.baverstock-Jones@horndeanpc-hants.gov.uk 

Logo: The Wildlife Trust BCNConservation Manager (Bedfordshire & Northamptonshire) 

We’re looking for a strong operational leader to deliver nature conservation across nationally important landscapes and sites as well as unique ‘local treasures’, a mixture of mystical ancient woodlands, quiet churchyards, bustling flower-rich roadsides and more. You will help us think about how to be more effective, develop Living Landscapes and provide inspiration to the team. Your role will protect and preserve wildlife and help us to inspire our donors and prospective supporters. If you believe that conservation is really vital and have the experience and leadership skills to help us develop our 2 counties for wildlife and for people we’d like to hear from you! 

Please Note: CVs will not be accepted without a completed application form. 

For further information and to apply, please click here  

Closing date is Monday 20th November 2017

Logo: Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife TrustSenior Projects Officer

Location: Rutland Water Nature Reserve, Rutland

Salary: £25,437 + 7% pension

Basis: Full time - permanent position

Closing date: Monday 20th November 2017

Interviews: Thursday 7th December 2017 

Dynamic Senior Projects Officer required to manage, co-ordinate and develop the Rutland Osprey Project and other nature conservation initiatives, including programmes for wildlife monitoring, survey and recording at Rutland Water Nature Reserve an outstanding and internationally important wetland covering 400 hectares. 

You will have good ornithological and all-round natural history knowledge, together with experience of delivering nature conservation projects, species programmes, wildlife monitoring, survey and recording. With a proven track record of engaging people in nature conservation work, you will possess good interpersonal and organisational skills and be able to harness the commitment and enthusiasm of staff, volunteers and members of the public, to deliver on ambitious work programmes and initiatives. 

For more information and how to apply for the role, click here

Logo: Hart District CouncilSenior Ranger Visitor Services 

Salary 36 – 39 Scale Point.  

Fixed Term 1 year Maternity Cover.  

Hours per week - 37 

Job Outline – Senior Ranger Visitor Services, Fixed Term 

Hart District Council is pleased to announce that it is looking for a highly motivated individual to work as part of it's Environmental Promotion department in a one year fixed term maternity cover role. This position will be based at the Civic Offices in Fleet in the north east of Hampshire. The Hart District area covers part of the Thames Basin Heaths SPA and the Forest of Eversley Heritage area, including various SSSI's, commons, open spaces and Country Parks. The service holds three Green Flag Awards and one Heritage Accreditation.  

This role encompasses the requirement to contribute fully to the development of a high quality Countryside Service by leading and coordinating a small Visitor Services team. This includes a requirement to create opportunities to promote the Council positively and the development of an effective and high quality public service.  

You will report to the Ecology and Countryside Manager. The ideal candidate will:   ●    Have relevant project management experience, ideally gained within the environmental sector.   ●    Have experience of managing and monitoring budgets.   ●    Be able to manage, lead and motivate a small Visitor Services team.   ●    Have experience of procurement processes.    ●    Be enthusiastic and motivated, with excellent customer service and communication skills.    ●    Be happy to work outdoors, over various terrain and in all weather conditions.   ●    Represent the Council in a professional, competent and positive manner.    ●    Have a full UK driving license. 

For more details please contact Leigh Wallace on countryside@hart.gov.uk.  

Preferred contract start date: 2nd Jan 2018 

To apply click here  

Closing date 21st November 2017

Logo: Phlorum LtdTeam Leader/Principal Ecologist 


Phlorum Ltd Head Office, Unit 12, Hunns Mere Way, Woodingdean, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 6AH. 

Main Responsibilities: 

We are looking for an experienced Principal Ecologist to lead Phlorum’s busy and expanding ecological consultancy team.  

The work will involve: 

   ●    Managing and scheduling all necessary surveys for projects;   ●    Undertaking ecological surveys;   ●    Producing good quality ecological reports;   ●    Managing projects;   ●    Keeping existing clients happy; and   ●    Developing new clients. 

Phlorum operates at development/construction sites across the country, although the majority of projects associated with this post will be in the south-east of England.  


At least five years of professional ecology experience, preferably within an environmental consultancy setting.

The vast majority of our ecological consultancy work is repeat business, so we are particularly looking for someone  with excellent quality standards to ensure we maintain our existing client relationships. Good report writing and client management skills are essential. To help grow the team we also require the successful applicant to engage with new clients and develop new business.

A driving licence is essential for the role.  

Salary: £30k to £45k per annum (negotiable for exceptional candidates).

Closing date:    7 December 2017 

Please send your CV and a covering letter to: Richard Schofield, Phlorum Limited, Unit 12, Hunns Mere Way, Brighton, BN2 6AH (richard.schofield@phlorum.com

Logo: Guildford Borough CouncilParks and Countryside Services 

Trees and Countryside Section 

Assistant Countryside Warden (2 positions) 

Permanent, full time 

Salary range £20,759 - £ 22,924 per annum 

This is an exciting opportunity for you to use your passion for the outdoors to help enhance the quality of our countryside.  We are a small team committed to improving the parks and countryside within Guildford Borough and we have the budget to deliver. 

The Countryside Team maintains over 800 hectares of Countryside, including Chalk Downland, Heathlands, Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland, Local Nature Reserves, SSSI’s and pockets of urban green space.  Community involvement is an important part of the Assistant Countryside Warden Role who supervises volunteer groups and run events and activities.  

With experience of working in the countryside, you will have knowledge of countryside and habitat management, including the ability to carry out estate management, tree planting, tree felling, coppicing, fencing and other conservation tasks. As part of this front line service you will be required to work on your own initiative and be able to communicate enthusiastically and effectively at all levels. Working with community groups and volunteers is an important aspect of this role.   

A driving licence is essential for this role, and you will hold a National Certificate in Countryside Management or equivalent and NPTC certificate for basic chainsaw use.  

To apply for this position click here  

Closing date for applications: 5pm Friday 24 November 2017

Interviews: 6 - 8 December 2017

Estate Woodman

Meldon Park Estate, Morpeth, Northumberland 

Entry requirements

You’ll need:    ●    Practical experience working in amenity woodland and commercial forestry    ●    an understanding of different tree species and their characteristics

It would be beneficial if you have:

   ●    a relevant nationally recognised qualification.    ●    experience of planting, managing and growing Christmas trees    ●    working knowledge of small scale forestry and typical estate machinery    ●    an understanding of machinery maintenance

Skills required

   ●    Full driving licence    ●    Evidence of training and experience of timber and trees    ●    Relevant chainsaw and brush cutter certificates    ●    Relevant spraying certificates    ●    Telehandler and tractor driving experience and certificates    ●    Working with forwarding trailer and forestry winch   ●    Maintenance of machinery and tools   ●    Further arboriculture experience   ●    4x4 and trailer experience 

What you’ll do  

●    Ground based chainsaw brush cutter operations    ●    Felling and processing trees over 380mm    ●    Operation of forestry machinery including telehandler, tractor and implements   ●    Planting and plantation maintenance    ●    Amenity tree works around various properties on the Estate   ●    Estate fencing    ●    Assisting with other Estate activities as and when required    ●    Working alongside specialist contractors 


Circa £20 000 depending on experience A 2 bed cottage could be made available These figures are a guide. 

Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll work 39 hours a week, Monday to Friday plus overtime as and when requested.

This is a physically demanding job. You'll spend most of your time outdoors in the countryside in all weathers.

You'll need to wear protective clothing for certain jobs and a safety harness for climbing trees. 

Career path and progression

Your career will progress along with the business building the necessary team as and when required.  


For all interested please reply to james@flying-fox.co.uk  with a full CV clearly demonstrating your experience and reasons for applying.

Logo: Aire Rivers TrustART Project Officer

Location:  Bradford/Leeds area.  

Salary: £25K/year

The Aire Rivers Trust (ART) seeks a Project Officer for two purposes:

To deliver the River Aire Care River Stewardship project

To develop ART itself to have permanent staff  

Funding is available for an 18-month appointment, with the expectation that the postholder will work with the Trustees to secure long-term continuation of the post.  

The aim of River Stewardship for Bradford is to create a sustainable and active network of citizens looking after Bradford’s rivers and supporting flood risk and resilience activities on behalf of the community.  The Project Officer will work about 2/3 on this.  

The volunteer Trustees of the Aire Rivers Trust have made good progress since 2012 to improve the River Aire and its catchment for the benefit of society and the environment. The purpose of the other third of the Project Officer’s role is to work closely with the Trustees to build up ART’s income so that a permanent position for a Director can be created.  This is an opportunity to make a substantial contribution in driving forward and growing an ambitious Rivers Trust.  

The successful candidate will be qualified and/or experienced in community engagement and volunteer recruitment, will have a working knowledge of river ecosystems, flooding and recovery, and funding application.  As well as skills in leadership, networking and organisation, they will be able to work outdoors in all weathers, have good IT skills, a working knowledge of social media, a current driving licence and a vehicle suitable for travelling around the project area.  

Closing date: 20th Nov 2017.  Interviews: 30th Nov, Shipley area.

Full details click here  

Logo: River Thame Conservation Trust Now recruiting – Project Officer - River Thame Conservation Trust  

Are you an all-rounder who combines sound knowledge of freshwater ecology and citizen science with the ability to engage and communicate well with a wide range of people? Do you enjoy a varied role working part office based, part outdoors across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire where you have autonomy in your day to day work but also the support and guidance of a friendly team of experienced colleagues? Do you have a can do, enthusiastic attitude and track record of making things happen on the ground? 

If so, you could be just the person we’re looking for! An exciting opportunity has arisen for a freshwater scientist to join us in a rewarding and varied Project Officer role, based at the Freshwater Habitats Trust’s office in Headington, Oxford. You’ll play a leading role planning and delivering water quality improvement and biodiversity projects across the River Thame catchment. You’ll be involved in our thriving volunteer programme, managing citizen science and other data gathering and analysis to monitor change in our river and to report to funders. You’ll continue our good work of building constructive relationships with landowners, farmers, partner organisations and local communities to successfully deliver practical on the ground projects to make our catchment better for wildlife and people. 

The package - Salary £22,000 - £28,333 pa subject to experience, flexible working, 6% company pension, 30 days leave (annual leave and public holidays) and pleasant office surroundings within Bury Knowle Park, Oxford. (We’ll also provide some wellies!). This post is full time and initially a two-year fixed term contract with the intention to continue the post subject to funding.   

Applications: please see the full job description and person specification and if you think you fit the bill, send a current CV (max 2 sides A4) with a cover sheet (max 2 sides A4) outlining how your experience and expertise meet the job requirements we’ve outlined and why you’d like to work for RTCT to louise@riverthame.org  

Full details click here  

Closing date: Friday 17 November 2017  

Interviews: Friday 24 November 2017 in Oxford. 

Logo: ERAP (Consultant Ecologists) LtdGraduate / Assistant Ecologist

Location: Preston, Lancashire

Salary: Competitive 

Following another busy, interesting and rewarding summer season, ERAP (Consultant Ecologists) Ltd is looking for an enthusiastic Graduate / Assistant Ecologist to join our friendly team. 

ERAP is committed to encouraging and facilitating the careers of our team and the successful candidates(s) will play a key role within the company. 

We have a number of loyal clients which leads to a diverse workload and opportunity to contribute to a range of projects.  Our small, professional team enables us to provide a personal touch and effective liaison with our clients.  We work throughout North and North-west England, the Midlands and North Wales.  

We are seeking someone to work as a committed and integral member of the team, to enable us to continue to deliver the highest standards of technical work. The role will involve supporting the team of Ecologists on existing and new projects. The successful candidate will work closely with experienced Ecologists and will progress to managing their own projects. 

Main tasks will comprise: 

Phase 1 Habitat Survey; Map and report preparation often working within tight deadlines; Survey support, logistic planning and co-ordination of survey; Completion of desktop studies and data searches and analysis of data; Data analysis (wintering / breeding birds, bat activity survey data and monitoring schemes); Assistance with mitigation schemes (great crested newt, reptiles, water vole and bats); Contribution to tenders / fee proposals; Liaison with clients and provision of clear guidance; and Support to the Principal and Senior Ecologist.  

More information can be found at www.erap.co.uk/jobs 

Closing date: 30th November 2017

Staffordshire County Council

County Ecologist

37 Hours per week – Permanent

Salary £35,444 - £39,177 per annum 

Staffordshire County Council’s Environmental Advice Team provides high quality technical environmental support across the authority and externally.  We are looking for an experienced ecologist to join the team. 

As County Ecologist you will be the leading expert to the Council on all matters related to ecology and nature conservation. You will have significant experience of ecology and nature conservation practice, including policy and legislation, monitoring, mitigation and management. This should include ecological impact assessment and Habitat Regulations Assessment.  

Working as part of a multi-disciplinary team, you will lead ecological input to a range of functions, including planning and development, highways and flood risk management. You will also develop and support projects to conserve, enhance and promote Staffordshire’s rich natural heritage. You will have excellent interpersonal skills, be competent with IT packages including GIS, and have an organised and flexible approach to meet the demands of a busy and exciting role. 

For an informal discussion, please contact Sarah Bentley, Environmental Advice Manager, sarah.bentley@staffordshire.gov.uk or 01785 276047 

To apply, please click here  

Staffordshire County Council have made changes to the existing online application site.  Any existing log on credentials (username and password) expired on 1st September, and applicants will now need to create a new account to proceed with an application 

Closing Date: 19th November

Interview Date: Provisionally 11th  or 15th  December 2017

Role start date: late February 2018 

Please be aware, only application forms completed online will be accepted. We will not accept CV’s or Word application forms.

This Authority is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people/vulnerable adults and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

Logo: Art GeneLandscape Engagement Manager 

£25 000 per annum. (3 days pro rata) dependent on experience. 

The Islands and Bays of Barrow and Furness Coastal Team, in association with Art Gene are seeking a Landscape Engagement Manager, to join our award-winning team. 

The successful candidate will lead on the development of projects and funding streams focused on engaging communities in experiencing and understanding the value of and caring for, the landscape and natural environment across the Islands and Bays of Barrow and Furness, in Cumbria. 

The role is central in delivering visionary engagement projects contributing to the case for new infrastructure and environmental improvements which impacts on improved health and well being, in the area. 

The Landscape Engagement Manager will form a core part of the team at Art Gene, with artists and associates. Together with their diverse and creative skill set, they are able to revision existing regeneration models, further developing the nationally significant plan for health and the environment for the area. 

This 2 year fixed term contract, will be undertaken by an individual who:    ●    Is passionate about the environment and engaging people with their natural heritage and has a creative approach to project initiation, management and fundraising. 

This challenging and rewarding position will build on and facilitate our existing partnerships with, individuals and communities Locally, Regionally and (Inter)nationally. 

The Landscape Engagement Manager, will manage a suite of projects within a collaborative team led by Art Gene’s artist co-founder directors (Maddi Nicholson & Stuart Bastik) and lead associate architect (Charlie MacKeith). 

Bespoke training will be provided by Art Gene and our partners Cumbria Wildlife Trust & Natural England. The role will be further supported by our Coastal Team Board with extensive knowledge of the islands, their urban landscapes, local heritage and the communities who live across them, from many different perspectives.  

The Landscape Engagement Manager, will work collaboratively with the team to design, plan, manage, publicise and deliver hands-on engagement activity and events. The role will also involve planning, evaluating, report writing, and contributing individually and as part of a team to on-going fundraising activity to develop new strands of work, with the aim of continuing and growing the role beyond the contract period. 

The Landscape Engagement Manager, will develop a volunteer, friends group working across areas of wildlife value situated between designated nature reserves. These may include gap sites, wastelands and other green coastal areas. 

The Landscape Engagement Manager will produce an environmental improvement plan for a series of planned new park areas that will enhance the designated nature conservation areas and increase their value within the community.  

Application Procedure  

Supply a full C.V. and a letter of application stating how your knowledge and experience, your skills and abilities will bring added value to the coastal team.  

Email to:  artgenenorman@btconnect.com  by 9 am Monday 27 th Nov 2017

Or post to Art Gene, Bath Street, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. LA14 5TY 

Shortlisted applicants will be contacted by 1st Dec 2017 and invited for interview in Barrow-in-Furness on  6th Dec 2017 

Recruitment adverts elsewhere with CJS:

Volunteers: 38 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 259 job adverts, 228 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: updates and additions in October

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. 



GiGL Greenspace Information for Greater London   Add your wildlife sightings for the Greater London area. It will help inform decisions affecting wildlife in London and ultimately the conservation of species and habitats in the capital. http://www.gigl.org.uk/submit-records/


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


The Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly www.ERCCIS.org.uk works to collate, manage, interpret and disseminate a wealth of local biological and geological information to help improve the understanding of our natural environment. Report and share what wildlife you see on the Online Recording Kernow and Scilly database at http://www.ORKS.org.uk


Hampshire Pond Champion Surveys           Survey and research the wildlife and history of local ponds to contribute to our celebration of Hampshire's Ponds, and contribute to national monitoring schemes. Volunteer as little or as much time as you like, at a time and place to suit you. Contact 02380 402593 or by email hampshire-ponds@tcv.org.uk


The Crowd & the Cloud    Volunteer for science from anywhere! Join an online Citizen Science project and donate your time and skill to solving some of the world’s biggest problems. From researching diseases to identifying star-stuff, there’s something for everyone. Find a CitSci project you’ll love at http://CrowdAndCloud.org/join-a-project


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


Volunteer for London's Rivers with ZSL      The River Thames is home to an often unexpected array of wildlife, and ZSL is working to conserve and enhance this biodiverse ecosystem. We're enlisting the help of citizen scientist volunteers in our vital conservation work.  http://c-js.co.uk/2pRPQaB


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


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


Wild about Glasgow           Glasgow Museums BRC holds data for Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, East Dunbartonshire and West Dunbartonshire. In addition we have some data for parts of Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire, Stirling and Argyll & Bute. We are always keen to receive biological records from within these areas. biological.records@glasgowlife.org.uk http://c-js.co.uk/1LFWTTD


Moors for the Future Community Science Ongoing in Peak District and South Pennines area. Community Science has a number of surveys for you to get involved in. Help to monitor the moorlands and find out how they are responding to climate change by surveying hares, birds, butterflies, bumblebees, vegetation and upland environmental variables http://www.moorsforthefuture.org.uk/community-science


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


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


Alien Encounters!              You can report all sightings of non-native amphibians or reptiles. We are monitoring the occurrence and spread of non-native herpetofauna in order to assess their possible effects on our native amphibians and reptiles. http://www.alienencounters.narrs.org.uk/


Snappers wanted to capture changing views in Wester Ross              People across Ross-shire have been given the perfect excuse to visit and photograph some of the area’s most outstanding scenic places. Anyone with a smartphone, camera or tablet can get involved in the new citizen science project which focuses on six viewpoints across the Wester Ross National Scenic Area (NSA). http://c-js.co.uk/2pyM7hC


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


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


OpenLitterMap.com           Map, Log, Reveal & Communicate the spatial distribution of litter by uploading and processing geotagged images. All verified data is free to view and download by anyone. Expect updates. Currently no mobile app - works in the browser on any device. http://OpenLitterMap.com


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



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


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



Have you seen a stoat in Orkney?                 Stoats are thought to have first arrived in Orkney in 2010 and reported sightings give us an insight into their distribution across the islands, including the location of population ‘hotspots’. If you have seen a stoat in Orkney, either dead or alive, we would really like to hear from you. http://c-js.co.uk/2om5mau


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


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


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


Have you seen a hedgehog? Worcestershire Wildlife Trust needs your help to find out how Worcestershire's hedgehogs are doing. Please report sightings online http://www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk/hedgehogs


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


Cardiff University Otter Project     Otters are still vulnerable to pollution and are useful indicators of water contamination. We have been collecting otters found dead for over 20 years, from across the UK and perform post mortem examinations to investigate pollution, health and ecology. Report an otter found dead to http://c-js.co.uk/2fTa66k


Living with Mammals survey          PTES is calling for volunteers to take part in next spring’s survey of wild mammals in gardens and local green spaces. Choose a site close to home or place of work, and spend a short time each week looking out for wild mammals or the signs they leave behind. To receive a survey pack next March (2018), contact PTES. http://c-js.co.uk/2nchGIf


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


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



National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme (NARRS)              Help Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC) and ARG-UK collect the evidence needed to support the conservation of our widespread amphibians and reptiles, and find out about monitoring our rare and protected species! We are currently looking for folk who'd like to take on regular monitoring of a pond or reptile habitat over a longer period! http://www.narrs.org.uk


Reptile Slough Genebank                If you find reptile skins while UK surveying, please submit them to us to help create a non-invasive source of DNA for conservation research. Detailed instructions can be found here: https://www.arc-trust.org/genebank


The Record Pool is a dedicated recording system for amphibians and reptiles in the UK and Ireland. A partnership project between Amphibian and Reptile Groups of UK (ARG UK) and Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC) which collects amphibian and reptile records and makes them available to local recorders and the wider public for conservation purposes. Please record sightings at http://www.recordpool.org.uk/


logo: OPAL - explore naturePlants

OPAL Tree Health Survey                Learn to identify some of the most iconic UK tree species, assess their health, and keep your eyes peeled for pests and diseases that could affect them, including some of the biggest threats to our woodlands. Download our free resources, record your results and send them in to help Government scientists track the health of trees across UK http://www.opalexplorenature.org/treesurvey


Volunteers required for the Cornish Hedge mapping project. Based at Cornwall Wildlife Trust offices, the work involves cleaning ArcGIS data by comparing it against aerial photography. Volunteers must commit to half a day a week for a month. Please contact ERCCIS for more information laura.guy@cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk


National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS) will for the first time enable scientists to take an annual stock take of the UK’s wild plants and their habitats. We are looking for volunteers to carry out surveys of wildflowers and their habitats that will provide robust evidence of which widespread plants are increasing or declining. http://www.npms.org.uk/


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


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



WDC Shorewatch a network of trained volunteers monitoring the presence and absence of whales and dolphins at selected sites around the Scottish coastline, in order to raise awareness and capture vital data crucial to the long term future of these amazing animals. http://c-js.co.uk/24wOtvX


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


Become a Sea Watch Whale & Dolphin Surveyor. Join volunteers around the UK to survey for whales, dolphins and porpoises. No experience necessary and data submitted to our national database. Please visit our website. Report your casual sightings here: www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/sightingsform http://c-js.co.uk/2f92ImQ  


Join the Welsh Sea Watchers         Project helps to monitor whales, dolphins and porpoises around Wales. Primarily land-based, with boat opportunities on occasion. Training provided and opportunities to use your other skills in education, publicity, social media and data handling too. http://c-js.co.uk/1TrhT2R


Project Seahorse               A new app launched by the Zoological Society of London’s (ZSL) Project Seahorse offers hope for unique discoveries about some of the ocean’s most mysterious and threatened animals - seahorses. iSeahorse Explore allows anyone, anywhere in the world, to contribute to marine science and conservation via their smartphone. http://www.iseahorse.org


Whales, dolphins or porpoises       Sightings reports provide scientists with invaluable information on the health of whale and dolphin populations and their distribution in British waters. Please report here: http://c-js.co.uk/2f9axZK


Scottish Shark Tagging Programme            Marine scientists studying the world's largest skate species in the Loch Sunart to the Sound of Jura MPA are asking anglers to share any photographs they have of common skate, sometimes known as flapper skate, which were caught and released in the area during the last 10 years. https://skates.sams.ac.uk


Crab Watch is a new citizen science initiative in Europe developed as part of the Sea Change Project. It aims to harness the sense of excitement and wonder of finding a crab to raise awareness and enhance our knowledge of the changing distribution of native and non-native crabs, and thus inform environmental management. http://c-js.co.uk/2yotdhE



New Zealand Flatworm Survey      A new national Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) survey has launched to help find out how far the New Zealand Flatworm has spread and how big an influence it is having on the environment. http://c-js.co.uk/2eKnNQ9


London Butterfly Atlas Project.      Help survey and map the distribution of butterflies in urban Greater London with records from anywhere in London including streets, gardens, parks, churchyards and recreational paths.  London Natural History Society are working with other organisations throughout London. http://c-js.co.uk/2nvkpji


Urban Butterfly Project    We want your help so that we can find out more about the species living in towns and cities. This information will enable us to improve our conservation work for these and other important insects. http://c-js.co.uk/1rwOPAN


Buglife run insect surveys, current surveys include: Oil beetle survey, Scottish glow-worm survey, Seashell survey, Longhorn beetle survey, Various pollinator surveys, Ants nest survey, Bug home survey. Find out how to get involved on: http://c-js.co.uk/2eZ5c2V


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


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


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


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


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


image: i-record GrasshopperGrasshoppers, Crickets, Earwigs, Cockroaches and Stick Insects recording scheme   Contribute to the study and conservation of grasshoppers & crickets by sending your observations to www.orthoptera.org.uk/survey or www.brc.ac.uk/irecord. Log records on the go with the "iRecord Grasshoppers" app, which helps to identify species and their calls and now includes a "bat detector". Guides to common species are available at http://c-js.co.uk/2ghhMMN


'iRecord Grasshoppers' a free mobile app for identifying and recording the UK’s grasshoppers, crickets, earwigs, stick insects and cockroaches. The app lets you contribute to the Grasshopper Recording Scheme whose results have already shown the dramatic geographical expansion of several species. New in 2016: a ‘bat detector’, and making sound recordings and attaching them to records! http://www.orthoptera.org.uk


The British Dragonfly Society follows the fortunes of Britain’s dragonflies and damselflies using information collected by volunteers. Our current surveys include: The DragonflyWatch Monitoring Scheme · The Migrant Dragonfly Project · Willow Emerald Watch · Complete Lists & Adopt a Site. For these and more, visit: http://c-js.co.uk/1KnZ0sZ


National Moths Recording Scheme run by Butterfly Conservation the NMRS is the UK recording scheme for all moth species (micros and macros). Sightings should be submitted to the appropriate County Recorder or via the NMRS online recording system http://c-js.co.uk/2psf6Du


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


Clubtail Count 2017           The Common Clubtail Dragonfly is listed as Near Threatened on the British Red List. We have been growing increasingly concerned in recent years about its status. Because of its elusive nature the current records for the Clubtail Dragonfly are patchy and many of these are dated. In order to establish the status of the species, we need your help. http://c-js.co.uk/2lxa7Lx


Migrant Watch     The Painted Lady butterfly and Humming-bird Hawk-moth are arriving from Africa and becoming increasingly common in the UK. To find out just how common, we need your help. Butterfly Conservation is running a project to map the arrival, spread and departure of migrant insects online. http://c-js.co.uk/2nYwR9P


BeeWatch            Get involved and help researchers find out which plants bumblebees like. This new interactive tool helps you explore the plants favoured by all our different bumblebee species. You can use this for planting advice or just to learn more about plants, bumblebees and environmental concerns surrounding pollinator decline. http://www.abdn.ac.uk/research/beewatch


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


Butterfly Conservation keep an eye on the butterfly population, using surveys and are currently running the following: • Butterfly Distribution • Butterfly Monitoring • Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey • Moths Count • Migrant Watch • Garden Butterfly Survey  http://c-js.co.uk/2eYtSsi


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.



This is our final article from Plantlife, next month we'll be introducing our new Featured Charity!

Joe Costley, Plantlife's Reserves ManagerConservation - History in the making

Wild plants have suffered at our Greena Moor reserve, says Plantlife’s Reserves Manager Joe Costley. However, we all now have the chance to reverse their fortunes


Plantlife’s only Cornish nature reserve, Greena Moor, is located within a remote and sparsely-populated region known to geographers as The Culm. Nestled between the more celebrated areas of Dartmoor, Exmoor and Bodmin, this landscape and its inhabitants were vividly described by poet Ted Hughes in his Moortown Diary, and documented in exquisite photographs by James Ravilious. They describe a place of contrasts – there is the violence of nature, bleak winter scenes, rain-sodden fields and heavy toil. Yet there is also tenderness, genial characters and flowery meadows. 

Greena Moor

Greena Moor (image: David Chapman)

The Culm is typified by open expanses of plateaux farmland with sweeping views. It is a region of scattered hamlets connected by sunken lanes that snake beneath wind-sculpted hedgerows and many small but deep, wooded valleys. It is also distinguished by a characteristic suite of grassland habitats that are collectively known as Culm grassland. The high rainfall, carboniferous rocks and heavy clay soils have given rise to these delightfully scruffy and rather primaeval wet habitats where a fabulous diversity of herbs including saw-wort (Serratula tinctoria), meadow thistle (Cirsium dissectum), water mint (Mentha aquatica) and marsh violet (Viola palustris) grow among rushes and tussocks of purple moor-grass (Molinia caerulea).


Increasingly rare

Culm grassland has always had a restricted distribution, being confined to north Devon and north Cornwall, with similar grassland types found only in south Wales, south-west Scotland, north-west France and a few other places. Yet it is also increasingly rare; a staggering 92% has been lost in the past 100 years, with 48% disappearing between 1984 and 1991 alone. Greena Moor is one of the largest surviving fragments of Culm grassland in Cornwall. Yet even here, historical evidence from the Early Bronze Age indicates that the reserve is now only a fraction of what was once a much more extensive area of open, heathy downland, of uninterrupted flower-rich pasture.

It is only in relatively recent times (from the mid-19th century) that the moor was subdivided, and even more recently that much of the rough ground was tamed by modern agriculture. Wild plants have suffered but now we have an opportunity to bring about a change in their fortunes and to mark another turning point in the moor’s history. An amazingly generous response to a fundraising appeal, which Plantlife launched late last year, has allowed us to recently complete the purchase of a 46-acre extension to the original reserve, connecting two isolated areas of semi-natural habitat and taking the first steps to rebuild part of the more expansive Culm moor.


Wilder character

The extension to the reserve comprises three parcels, two of which are large fields that span the gap between isolated areas of Culm grassland. The fields have been agriculturally ‘improved’ and have a generally impoverished flora. However, one contains a substantial swathe of intact habitat with fen bedstraw (Galium uliginosum), gipsywort (Lycolus europaeus), wavy St John’s-wort (Hypericum undulatum) and tawny sedge (Carex hostiana) among others.

The fields also retain a rushy, waterlogged character and species such as greater bird’s-foot trefoil (Lotus uliginosus), ragged-Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi), lesser spearwort (Ranunculus flammula) and marsh ragwort (Senecio aquaticus) are present throughout, suggesting they ‘want’ a wilder character. Bringing back native plants to this commercial pasture will take time and will not be easy, but armed with experience from our Coronation Meadows project and a plentiful source of seed on the adjacent fields of the original reserve, we are well placed to make this work.

Acquisition of the extension also gives an impetus to address the reserve as a new, expanded whole, enabling rare species such as three-lobed crowfoot (Ranunculus tripartitus) to move beyond their existing ‘ghettos’, creating additional habitat for the threatened marsh fritillary butterfly and making improvements for our visitors to the site. A programme of activities is being compiled that will put these ideas into action. It includes plans for new infrastructure such as fencing, bridges, gates and visitor parking; habitat works including grazing, scrub management and scrape creation; and also activities to engage volunteers and people from the local community.

These are exciting times at Greena Moor, and even more so because we are working to deliver this project in a partnership with Cornwall Wildlife Trust who own part of the original reserve.


Bog asphodel (Joe Costley / Plantlife)
Bog asphodel (Joe Costley / Plantlife)
Nowhere better

Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to spend time with our tenant farmer, Ron Harris, talking about Greena Moor, its past and its future. Ron is now in his seventies, and has lived and farmed at Greena Moor all his life. As he chatted, I was reminded of those James Ravilious photographs, and I marvelled at the levels of skill and connectedness with the moor that he must have achieved through decades of toil in all weathers.

In the fields ahead of us were stands of yellow bog asphodel (Narthecium ossifragum), the white flowers of heath-spotted orchids (Dactylorhiza maculata) and a mass of whorled caraway (Carum verticillatum) – and everywhere we looked, marbled white butterflies were tumbling past. Ron doesn’t take holidays, and it was clear the concept made no sense to him. It was as if he was stating the obvious when he said: “Why go anywhere else, there is nowhere better on earth than this.”


For more information about our Greena Moor appeal, visit www.plantlife.org.uk/uk/blog/saving-culm-grassland-cornwall


To read the other articles from Plantlife click here.



BWPAThe British Wildlife Photography Awards 2017  

A Celebration of British Wildlife  

The British Wildlife Photography Awards proudly announce the winners for 2017.  The awards celebrate both the work of amateur and professional photographers and the beauty and diversity of British wildlife. Winning images are chosen from thousands of entries in fifteen separate categories including a category for film and two junior categories to encourage young people to connect with nature through photography.

In winter, pied wagtails roost communally in urban areas, both for protection and for the additional warmth given off by buildings and lights. This extra degree or two can make the difference in harsh weather. Here, a single individual out of hundreds is silhouetted by the lights of Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport.   

“Living near London I'm always amazed by how nature can benefit from urban areas. There are many urban pied wagtail roosts across the UK during winter and they are incredibly important for the birds survival during these harder times, both for the additional warmth our buildings generate but also because there's safety in numbers. I waited for a cold night when their numbers swell.  After about 30 minutes I hadn't seen a single wagtail, however, it wasn't long until hundreds were dropping in to the trees next to the terminal building, all calling away. It's an impressive site to see and once the initial excitement was over I spent time looking for birds I could isolate against interesting background lighting. The birds soon tuck their heads under their wing to sleep which doesn't make the silhouette as pleasing, you have to get lucky with one waking up briefly to have a look around.” Daniel Trim.   

Common Reeds, Lindow Common, Wilmslow, Cheshire, by Steve Palmer  

CJS is delighted once again to sponsor the Botanical Britain category, this year the winning image is by Steve Palmer of common reeds. 


Common Reeds, Lindow Common, Wilmslow, Cheshire, by Steve Palmer


Congratulations to all the winning photographers. It's lovely to recognise the names of some previous CJS subscribers amongst the winners!  Read more and see the CJS Team's pick of the winners here


Published tomorrow (7 November) The Book - British Wildlife Photography Awards 8 showcases the very best entries from the British Wildlife Photography Awards in 2017. This stunning coffee table book is a celebration of British wildlife as captured on camera by today’s best amateur and professional photographers. (Lovely Christmas present for all wildlife lovers!)

And watch out for the travelling exhibition of the photographs.

View all the photos here.


Land and Countryside Management

SNH project to tackle species including Japanese knotweed, giant hogweed and American mink boosted by National Lottery Funding - Scottish Natural Heritage 

Scottish Natural Heritage’s Scottish Invasive Species Initiative awarded National Lottery support

A partnership project to encourage communities to tackle invasive non-native species such as Japanese knotweed, giant hogweed and American mink in their local area has received a major financial boost from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Scottish Natural Heritage has received a grant of £1.59 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Scottish Invasive Species Initiative project, it was announced today. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the partnership project aims to establish community-based approaches to deal with non-native species in northern Scotland, working with 10 Fisheries Trusts/District Salmon Fisheries Boards and Aberdeen University. Invasive non-native species cost the Scottish economy at least £250 million each year.

Hogweed (image: SNH)Hogweed (image: SNH)

To combat the impacts of invasive non-native species, the project team will work with communities to establish local management of specific priority species such as giant hogweed, Japanese knotweed and American mink.  The target species will be managed in selected locations within a 29,500 km2 area of northern Scotland.  The project will focus on species associated with lochs and rivers, and aims to establish a volunteer network which will help to look after local freshwater biodiversity after the project has been completed.  Collaboration with charity Apex Scotland will provide a range of volunteering opportunities for offenders, ex-offenders and those recovering from addiction.  The project has also made links with the John Muir Trust to enable volunteers to work towards their John Muir Award through taking part in project activities.

Mike Cantlay, Chair of Scottish Natural Heritage, said: “The aim of this exciting and ambitious project is to raise awareness and understanding of invasive non-native species, biosecurity measures and the importance and sensitivity of our freshwater environment. Scotland’s fresh waters constitute more than 90% of the total volume of fresh waters in the United Kingdom and support a range of economic activities as well as ecosystem services such as drinking water, electricity generation and flood protection.

“This project will support us in working with local communities and organisations to help care for this precious resource. We’d like to thank National Lottery players for the funding which will help us to continue our work to create better places for people and nature across the whole of Scotland.”


River transfer project gives local communities more say – Environment Agency

Public drop-ins are launched for river transfer project, which will bring 'new wave' of responsibility for local communities.

A project designed to give local organisations and communities more say over the management of local watercourses has entered a new phase with the launch of public drop-ins in four pilot areas throughout October 2017.

The project is exploring the potential to re-designate several sections of selected ‘Main Rivers’ as ‘Ordinary Watercourses,’ (a process known as ‘de-maining’) where - in agreement with the Environment Agency - partners such as Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs) or Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs) are keen to take on the lead role of local watercourses.

The project is piloting these changes in 5 locations. 4 of these locations are now approaching the consultation stage of the process and drop-in events will be held in:

  • areas of Norfolk and Suffolk
  • Stour Marshes in Kent,
  • The Isle of Axholme in the East Midlands
  • South Forty Foot Catchment in Lincolnshire

The final pilot at Wormbrook and Allensmore Brook in the West Midlands will be running to a different timeline.

The project aims to bring significant benefits to local communities, allowing those who know the layout of their land to take control of their local watercourses, and could help pave the way for further de-maining opportunities throughout England.


Minister describes concerns over Future Landscapes proposals as ‘mischief -making’ - Snowdonia Society

Lesley Griffiths AM is Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs.  On 18th October during Assembly questions she was questioned about National Parks and AONBs.  In her answer she referred to concerns raised recently as ‘a lot of mischief-making’. This dimissive comment reveals a serious situation.  The concerns which the minister brushed aside as ‘mischief-making’ don’t come from crackpots.  They come from  respected organisations across Wales, and from thoughtful scrutiny of the ‘Future Landscapes Wales’ proposals and process for which she is responsible.  We provide a few examples of those concerns below.

The minister’s flippant comment suggests a lack of interest in the future of our National Parks and AONBs, unless she believes that she knows better than the organisations listed below.  It is time for proper oversight and governance of the Future Landscapes process.  The Future Landscapes report is shoddy and ill-conceived.

The finest landscapes of Wales are too important to be put at risk by the inadequate and illegitimate Future Landscapes process and its flawed report.

What the Royal Town Planning Institute Cymru has to say: ‘With the Future Landscapes Wales Working Group tasked with considering and advising on the way forward with the Marsden Report, it is difficult to understand how these key considerations, linking the Sandford Principle, the Silkin Test and the planning functions of National Parks came to be absent from the Future Landscapes: Delivering for Wales report. Accordingly, it would not be reasonable to accept that this report could provide the blueprint for the future of our landscapes. With such critical omissions, there are concerns that the Future Landscapes: Delivering for Wales report could expose the future of our designated landscapes to unacceptable risks.’ 

Click through more responses and a full list of consultees 


Restoration of 50 former quarry sites creates 1,000ha of land for nature - RSPB

  • Working in partnership CEMEX and the RSPB have transformed 1,000 hectares of former quarry site into grassland, woodland, heathland and more to provide much needed habitat for some of the UK’s most threatened species
  • Originally planned to take a decade the partnership has achieved its target in just eight years, with sites already providing homes to almost 50 species of birds that conservationists have identified as at risk of being lost in the UK
  • In addition to providing urgently needed new habitat for threatened species the former quarry sites are also attracting nature lovers and conservationists, with over 750,000 visitors enjoying the sites that are already open to the public

This month the restoration of Hopwas Quarry near Tamworth marks the completion of an ambitious project to create 1,000 hectares of land for wildlife from former quarry sites.

In 2010 building materials company CEMEX and the UK’s largest conservation charity, the RSPB, made a commitment to create 1,000 hectares of priority habitats within a decade. A combined area of land over twice as big as the 2012 Olympic Park in London.

As a priority habitat special attention was paid to restoring the land in such a way that would make it appealing and suitable for some of the UK’s most threatened species. The restoration has included 50 sites across England, Scotland and Wales and has created a diverse range of much needed habitats to encourage nature to return. 

1,000 hectares, has resulted in a diverse range of habitats including nearly 600 hectares of grasslands, over 177 hectares of woodland, 100 hectares of heathland and 190 hectares of ponds and open water.

The work of specialists at the RSPB and CEMEX has successfully transformed these sites, which are already providing homes for 46 threatened species of bird, including twites, choughs and turtle doves. The sites area also creating homes for other rare species such as otters, red squirrels and water voles along with plants, amphibians and more.  


Unique moment to save our seas – The Wildlife Trusts

Common cuttlefish, Devon ©Alex Mustard/2020VISIONNew report urges Government to tackle five challenges simultaneously

Common cuttlefish, Devon ©Alex Mustard/2020VISION

Today, The Wildlife Trusts publish a new report that identifies five unprecedented challenges for our seas which must be addressed before the UK leaves the European Union. The Government must ensure there is a clear vision for our marine environment. Its first responsibility is to ensure that we bring across existing European regulations which provide protective measures for our seas and sea-life – we need to safeguard existing protective law, as promised in the Withdrawal Bill. With that done, the following five challenges remain:

  • There are not enough protected wild places at sea – the network needs to protect the whole range of wildlife in our seas.
  • Fishing – after the significant reform of the Common Fisheries Policy we have begun to see some of our fish stocks recover. But there are still significant discard issues. We need to make sure that this process is continued which will benefit jobs, consumers and wildlife.
  • Lack of planning of competing interests – fishing, oil rigs, wind farms and gravel extraction from the seabed all take a huge toll on UK seas, fragile seabed habitats and the wildlife that lives in them; we need to plan our seas so that we have space for wildlife to recover and to provide certainty to industry as to where they can develop and fish.
  • Severe pollution – sewage, farming chemicals, plastic litter washed out to sea, abandoned fishing nets and noise pollution from new developments at sea are killing wildlife and adversely affecting human health.
  • Human behaviour – our success in tackling these threats ultimately rests on people’s understanding and accepting the need for change.

The Wildlife Trusts’ Director of Living Seas, Joan Edwards, says: “We are witnessing unprecedented pressures on UK seas and their fragile seagrass meadows, reefs and mud plains on which fish, dolphins and whales depend."

Download the new report by The Wildlife Trusts, The way back to Living Seas (PDF)


Natural flood management – part of the nation’s flood resilience - Environment Agency

The Environment Agency has published data, case studies and evidence about the role of natural flood management in reducing flood risk.

Holnicote, Somerset - National TrustHolnicote, Somerset - National Trust

The Environment Agency has today (31 October) published data, case studies and evidence about the role of natural flood management in reducing flood risk. Working with natural processes to reduce flood risk is not a new concept but this is the first time that all the evidence has been brought together, with the intention of enabling more uptake.

‘The evidence behind natural flood management’ contains more than 60 case studies from across England and explores how successful the approach is, how it could be used elsewhere and what research may still be needed. 

Natural flood management is when natural processes are used to reduce the risk of flooding and coastal erosion. Examples include: restoring bends in rivers, changing the way land is managed so soil can absorb more water and creating saltmarshes on the coast to absorb wave energy.  Natural flood management works best when a ‘catchment based approach’ is taken, where a plan is developed to manage the flow of water along the whole length of a river catchment from its source to sea. This way, natural processes can be used upstream and on the coast to compliment engineered flood defences – such as walls and weirs – in populated areas.  Natural flood management not only reduces flood risk it can also achieve multiple benefits for people and wildlife, helping restore habitats, improve water quality and helping make catchments more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

The Working with natural processes to reduce flood risk reports can be found here


TCV’s Green Gym is to be featured in a new study commissioned by BBC2’s Trust Me I'm A Doctor.- TCV

We are delighted that TCV’s Green Gym was selected to take part in the BBC2 programme, Trust Me I’m a Doctor’s new study into the effects of different activities on stress levels. This follows a survey by the BBC team which found that “how to beat stress” was people’s top mental health question.

The BBC commissioned this study, undertaken by the University of Westminster, to monitor changes to the level of the stress hormone cortisol in separate groups of participants taking part in Green Gym, Yoga and Mindfulness against a control group. The University will be writing up a full report on this study which is planned to be published in a peer reviewed journal.

The BBC chose TCV’s Green Gym due to our success in connecting people with the outdoor environment to improve health and wellbeing and tackle social isolation.

The University study showed that Green Gym participants reported higher levels of well-being and lower levels of stress, anxiety and depression.

Green Gym participants showed the greatest reduction in anxiety of all the groups when assessed by a validated questionnaire.

Importantly the Green Gym sessions were also appreciated by the participants, particularly the social aspect, they enjoyed meeting friendly like-minded people who cared about each other and the local environment. Participants also mentioned a great sense of achievement at the end of each session knowing that they had improved a place to benefit wildlife and to be enjoyed by the local community.


National Lottery support to transform the birthplace of conservation - Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust

A £4.1m National Lottery grant has been awarded to WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Gloucestershire, in a three-year project that will pay tribute to founder, Sir Peter Scott in a range of developments aimed at creating inspirational wildlife experiences.

Described as “the patron saint of conservation” by Sir David Attenborough, Scott’s pioneering instinct led to the inception of the Wildfowl & Wetland Trust (WWT) in 1946 at Slimbridge, not only as a centre for science and conservation but also, unusual for the time, opening its doors to the public. Scott was particularly enthusiastic about giving anyone and everyone the opportunity to get close to nature and, in turn, inspire them to take action to protect it. For this reason, Slimbridge is often referred to as the birthplace of modern conservation.

WWT Slimbridge development plans (image: WWT)WWT Slimbridge development plans (image: WWT)

The team at Slimbridge are looking to continue Scott’s legacy through a range of ground-breaking experiences that show how Scott’s work continues to influence modern conservation globally.

In addition to the celebration of conservation history, WWT is planning a ground-breaking multi-level, fully wheelchair accessible bird hide with open rooftop terrace. The tower hide will offer visitors spectacular access to thousands of waders and geese as well as breath-taking views of the River Severn. Seasonal walkways, viewing platforms and hides are being added to allow access right out to the edge of the estuary itself.

At the centre of the site, a walk-through aviary will allow visitors to experience a range of British wetlands and get up close to wetland species normally too secretive to spot.  Attached to the aviary, a Living Wetland Theatre will offer the perfect open-air venue for live demonstrations and activities. Elsewhere are interactive exhibits celebrating the close relationship between people and wetlands, telling the story of WWT’s pioneering conservation work, and conveying what it is like to be an intrepid conservationist carrying out work in the arctic tundra.

To keep up-to-date with developments, interested parties can keep an eye on the Slimbridge 2020 microsite at slimbridge2020.wwt.org.uk and find out more about what’s going on at WWT Slimbridge here.


National Parks

Make great memories in England’s National Parks - National Parks England 

England’s National Parks are delighted to have been awarded £1m from the Discover England Fund, complemented by £400k in match funding, to introduce a collection of National Park experiences designed to inspire overseas visitors from Australia and Germany. 

Make Great Memories in England’s National Parks is one of a number of successful projects to receive funding from the UK Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund. The Fund is administered by VisitEngland which will be working on a programme of activity to ensure that England stays competitive in the rapidly growing global tourism industry, by offering world-class English tourism products to the right customers at the right time. The Fund is a central government funded programme of activity, supported by match funding partners in the public and private sectors. 

The project “Make great memories in England’s National Parks” is a two year collaboration that will deliver a joined up, branded collection of signature experiences and a business support and trade marketing strategy to develop bookable tourism product across all the English National Parks. The core elements of this exciting project include: 

  • Development of an overarching experiential brand in England’s National Parks, designed to align the proposition and engage the, Australian and German visitors via the travel trade;
  • Development of a framework to engage local businesses and enhance the overall visitor experience;
  • Development of a travel trade strategy to stimulate partnerships that successfully connect the brand and product with our targeted overseas markets;
  • Creation and delivery of a range of compelling world-class experiences within the English National Parks highlighting the distinctive nature and assets of each national park.

The new product collection will be marketed to travel trade partners and through co-operative marketing activities including a range of trade missions and travel shows.   


£ 1 Million to Restore Wales' Important Peatlands - Snowdonia National Park

Thanks to a generous contribution of £ 1m from the Welsh Government's Sustainable Management Scheme, some of Wales' most important peatlands will be protected, maintained and improved.

Peatland (image: Snowdonia National Park)(image: Snowdonia National Park)

Wales has over 70,000 hectares of peatland and most of these are blanket bogs in the uplands. Following this new financial support, some of Wales' peatlands will be able to be sustainably managed which will bring many benefits to the country's ecosystems. Important carbon will be stored, it will provide opportunities to alleviate flood risk, it will provide clean drinking water and provide natural habitats for valuable biodiversity.

The Mawndiroedd Cymru (translated from Welsh means Wales’ Peatlands),  scheme is a joint scheme between the Snowdonia National Park Authority, the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, Natural Resources Wales and the National Trust, but will also be working with other organisations.   It will run until the end of August 2020 and will employ a Project Manager based in Snowdonia and two Project Officers - one based in Snowdonia and the other in the Brecon Beacons.

On behalf of the partnership, Rhys Owen, Head of Agriculture and Conservation at  Snowdonia National Park Authority said, “We are extremely grateful to the Welsh Government for its generosity in contributing towards a scheme which will help to ensure a prosperous future for Welsh peatlands. Peat restoration is beneficial to all elements of today's society as it reduces carbon emissions, improves water quality and improves river management. In addition, it will assist land managers in improving grazing opportunities, it will retain the distinctiveness of our historic landscapes and preserve prehistoric features.


Clean run the rivers - Northumberland National Park

This summer a major search was launched for a beautiful water plant to help check the health of rivers and streams in Northumberland National Park.

The extensive survey, which is helping to support Northumberland National Park Authority’s vision for the natural environment, saw a team of 17 National Park volunteers, supported by the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team, inspecting bodies of water across the Park for the plants.

‘Water crowfoots’ are aquatic plants related to buttercups that are native to the UK and are recognisable by their small, seasonal white flowers. Water crowfoots thrive best in unpolluted, moving water courses, such as streams and rivers and their presence has long been used as a natural indicator of clean water. There are several closely related species which are sometimes hard to tell apart.

Water Crowfoots in the National Park (image: Northumberland National Park)Water Crowfoots in the National Park (image: Northumberland National Park)

 Abi Mansley, Programmes Officer at Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “The water crowfoot survey is one of the activities we have carried out as part of our drive to enhance nature within the National Park. In addition to looking for water crowfoot, other things we plan to monitor include the range of the Mountain Bumblebee and Black Grouse, the number of high-quality hay meadow sites and waxcap grassland sites (special grasslands that support an array of colourful fungi). The River Coquet has long been renowned as a great place to see water crowfoot, alongside rivers and streams in the Tweed catchment in the north of the National Park, but the data we had was out of date and needed checking for accuracy. The aim of this initial survey is to collect new, more precise and up-to-date data and to set a benchmark from which we can measure future changes.”

The data collected during the water crowfoot survey are currently being collated and will eventually be shared with the North East Records Centre at the Hancock Museum in Newcastle.


New 5.5 million euro CANAPE project launches in the Broads – Broads Authority

Partners from Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands and Great Britain met in the Broads National Park this week to kick off a brand new 5.5m euro project. The Broads Authority is the lead partner of CANAPE (Creating A New Approach to Peatland Ecosystems).

The matched funded project will give the Broads Authority  over 700,000 euros from the European Regional Development Fund and will enable the Broads Authority to continue to deliver the ‘Hickling Vision’ and restore more areas of eroded reed bed at Hickling Broad. The project will see innovative geo-textile materials used to form a bunded wall into which sediments dredged from Hickling will be pumped and then planted with local reeds. The funding will also aim to use healthy peatlands in the Broads National Park to help regulate global climate change as the peatland naturally absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere when correctly maintained.

It is an opportunity for people working in the Broads to transfer new and innovative concepts about managing lowland peatlands across the North Sea region of Europe. Together partners will improve how to assess lake and peatland restoration options, as well as examining the multiple benefits of peatlands, including flood storage and carbon capture. Partners will also explored the creation of future jobs by the development of new wetland products and the economic benefits this approach could produce.

Senior Ecologist for the Broads Authority, Andrea Kelly said of the partnership meeting, “This is an opportunity to share our experiences with the CANAPE partners and benefit from working across borders with people who are experienced in similar issues. We aim to test new approaches to gain wider benefits of peatlands, including carbon and water management, as well as new potential economic benefits.”

Partners described the site visits as ‘highly important’ and ‘an opportunity for cooperation’ with Peter Hahn from the Ministry of Environment and Food in Denmark, saying, “This is a valuable opportunity to exchange knowledge and most importantly to have a really positive impact upon climate change.”

The CANAPE project is an opportunity for the Broads Authority to share their knowledge of lowland peatland management with their European partners. The event marks the beginning of a long term conservation partnership, to work for the benefit of the Broads National Park and the wider global climate.


Peak District project wins Park Protector 2017 – Campaign for National Parks

The Community Science project is run by the Moors for the Future Partnership and took home the top prize in the 2017 Park Protector Award. The Award, which is run by Campaign for National Parks, and the accompanying £2,000 grant was presented at a parliamentary reception on 11 October 2017. 

Sarah Proctor of the project said: “Moors for the Future Partnership’s Community Science team are delighted to have won the 2017 Park Protector Award and would like to thank Campaign for National Parks on behalf of our volunteers, partners and Heritage Lottery Fund, by whom the project is supported. 

Enabling local communities and visitors to identify, record and monitor the wildlife of the internationally important blanket bog habitats in the Peak District National Park and South Pennines, is a great way to build and share our understanding of this landscape. This insight will help us better protect important habitats and species now and in the future. Winning this award will help us reach new volunteers and funders and allow us to buy more equipment to support our wildlife surveys, including monitoring otters, mink and water voles in and around the Park.”


Google Street View launches for New Forest tracks – New Forest National Park

Miles of the New Forest’s approved off-road paths can now be seen from a new perspective using Google Street View.

The partnership between Google and the New Forest National Park Authority saw staff members and Forestry Commission volunteers photograph the Forest’s top tracks using the Google Trekker.

The Trekker backpack is four feet high, weighs 22 kilograms and is fitted with a 15-angle lens camera that takes 360-degree pictures every 2.5 seconds. The technology enables walking routes to be captured and digitised in the same In total, 102 miles of approved main tracks were photographed during summer 2016 and the images can now be accessed online through Google Maps.

Iconic areas that have been ‘Trekked’ include:

  • Blackwater Arboretum and the Forest’s tallest tree
  • Hurst Castle, a 16th century fort established by Henry VIII
  • Beaulieu River
  • Bolderwood waymarked walks
  • Knightwood Oak, the largest Oak tree in the Forest that is more than 500 years old.

As well as being available on Google Maps, the interactive tours will be embedded onto the National Park Authority’s walking and cycling website. This will allow people to explore their route before setting off, check it is suitable for them and keep to the main tracks to avoid disturbing wildlife.

Jim Mitchell, Interpretation and Outreach Manager at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘The trekker footage will help people plan their time outdoors in the National Park. The routes are carefully selected so that they both visit some of the best of what the New Forest has to offer and guide people to use approved rights of way, footpaths and more robust tracks.’ way Google Street View enables users to see 360-degree images of streets and roads.


£4M ‘Water, Mills and Marshes’ projects get the green light from the National Lottery – Broads Authority

The Broads Landscape Partnership has received a confirmed National Lottery grant of £2,437,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) through its Landscape Partnership (LP)programme for the Water, Mills and Marshes project, it was announced today.

This valuable funding, made possible by National Lottery players, will be matched alongside £1,519,999 from other partnership contributions to provide £3,957,499 enabling 38 individual projects over a 5 year period which will enrich and promote heritage sites in and around the Broads National Park.

Stones Mill © Broads AuthorityThe projects will not only help identify, preserve and improve the incredible heritage, environmental and archaeological assets within the Broads, they will provide opportunities for people to learn about them, contribute in practical ways to their upkeep and ensure access for future generations.

Stones Mill © Broads Authority

Water, Mills and Marshes will provide countless opportunities for thousands of people to connect with the unique landscape by deepening their understanding of how it came about. There will be many chances to gain new skills and hands-on experience from helping to restore historic mills to surveying wildlife habitats.

Trails, guided walks, events and exhibitions will be created and there will also be a small grants scheme introduced so local people can apply for funding for Broads heritage projects of their own.

Together all these projects will help conserve the breath-taking landscape of the Broads National Park for people to enjoy in the future.


National Parks delivering a better environment today and for future generationsNew Forest National Park

Larger National Parks and more young people learning in these spectacular landscapes. These are just some of the highlights in a new report published by National Parks England today (Monday 23 Oct).

image: New Forest National ParkImage: New Forest National Park Authority

The report shares the work that has been achieved to take forward the ambitions of the 8 Point Plan for England’s National Parks that was published by Ministers last year. 

  • Amongst many achievements, the report highlights:
  • Almost 100,000 – the number of young people who have been directly supported in visiting a National Park by the National Park Authority teams
  • 94 million – the number of visits to England’s National Parks
  • 5.5% - the increase in volunteer days achieved in one year
  • Announcements that have seen the expansion of the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District National Parks
  • The opening of the Northumberland Landscape Discovery Centre with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the country’s first
  • The decision by UNESCO to add the Lake District to the list of World Heritage Sites because of its cultural significance
  • A ground-breaking new partnership between the ten National Parks of England and Public Health England to promote health and well-being.

This work demonstrates the value that National Parks continue to provide society and their relevance as the Government looks to enhance the environment over the next 25 years.

Read the report here.


Proposals for a third National Park in Argyll & Bute - Scottish Land & Estates

Earlier this week it was announced that Argyll & Bute Council seeks to explore the potential to lobby the Scottish Government to consider designation of a new National Park focused on the western seaboard of mainland Argyll and extending west to include the Argyll islands. 

There is currently no firm proposal for a fixed boundary, though some initial work has been undertaken by the Scottish Campaign for National Parks (SCNP) and the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland (APRS). 

Click here for  more detail on the proposal.


Litter and Pollution

Deposit refund system could save councils £35 million a year - CPRE 

New study finds that local authorities stand to benefit from introduction of a DRS for plastic and glass bottles and aluminium cans.

A new report published today finds that local authorities across England could save up to £35 million every year if a deposit refund system (DRS) for drinks containers was introduced in England.  Analysis of data across eight local authorities, including those with high and low recycling rates, found that rather than losing income, the individual authorities could potentially make savings of between £60,000 and £500,000.

Some local authorities have expressed concerns that the introduction of a DRS would lead to a reduction in their income, as people use the scheme to recycle their bottles and cans rather than the local authorities’ kerbside recycling systems.

In response to these concerns, a consortium comprising Keep Britain Tidy, the Marine Conservation Society, Surfers Against Sewage, Campaign to Protect Rural England and Reloop, together with Melissa and Stephen Murdoch, commissioned Eunomia Research and Consulting to look into this issue.

The report finds that local authorities would lose some income as there would be a reduced number of cans and plastic bottles in the kerbside collections to sell to recyclers. However, the savings made from having fewer containers to collect and sort, as well as reduced levels of littering and reduced landfill charges will actually create savings that outweigh the loss of revenue. It makes recommendations for both government and local authorities on how kerbside services can be adapted to ensure that the savings resulting from a DRS are shared equally between county councils and district councils.

Download the Impacts of a Deposit Refund System on Local Authority Waste Services report


40% of rivers in England and Wales polluted by sewage – WWF

River health is one of the UK’s most urgent environmental crises.

Britain’s bountiful rivers offer refuges for people as well as a source of food to countless natural wonders. But far too many of our rivers are polluted with sewage, and water companies and government are not doing enough to prevent it.

On Monday 16 October we released the results of a nine-month investigation into the state of rivers in England and Wales. ‘Flushed Away' provides a river health check and reveals that, shockingly, 55% of our failing rivers are polluted with sewage. That’s about 40% of all our rivers in England and Wales.

Constant discharge from outdated sewage treatment plants is the main problem. These discharges are legal but the levels of treatment are not sufficient to protect river health.

What’s more, there are over 18,000 sewer overflows across England and Wales – and about 90% of them discharge raw sewage (mixed with rainwater) directly into rivers. Overflows are supposed to happen only during extreme rainfall, to prevent sewage backing up into homes. But we found 8-14% of overflows are spilling sewage into rivers at least once a week, and between a third and a half at least once a month.

Sewage pollution causes rapid algae growth, starving the river of the oxygen that wildlife needs to survive. This affects animals like otters and kingfishers that prey on aquatic life.

Regulations are clearly not good enough, and people are flushing things we shouldn’t down drains and sinks – including wet wipes, kitchen fats and sanitary products as well. These block sewers, increasing the frequency of overflows.


We launch a new litter partnership with Coca-Cola - Keep Britain Tidy

We are delighted to work with Coca-Cola to boost litter prevention and support our country’s #LitterHeroes. Coca-Cola will be a key partner in next year’s 2018 Great British Spring Clean, helping to support a network of #litterheroes to get outdoors and active cleaning up the country. 

Working together, we want to inspire volunteers to clean up not only our villages, towns and cities but also our rivers and beaches, creating a chain of litter picking activity from #Street2Sea. With 80% of marine litter originating from land, everybody can play their part in preventing littering not only in their local area but also in our rivers, beaches and seas.

Alongside this,  Coca-Cola is also supporting our award-winning Centre for Social Innovation to research beach litter and littering behaviour around the country. The research will help develop new solutions to the problem, which can be scaled up around the country, changing the behaviour of the small minority who enjoy visiting the beach but think nothing of leaving their rubbish behind. 

Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “We are thrilled that Coca-Cola Great Britain is giving the Great British Spring Clean a helping hand so that we can realise our ambition to mobilise up to half a million people next year. Littering blights every corner of our country and the help of partners is vital if we are to support all the #LitterHeroes who are willing to get out and clean up after those who still think it is OK to drop their rubbish on the ground.”


Warwick students help pull three motorbikes, 28 cycles and 40 trolleys from Leamington canal - University of Warwick

Volunteers and tyre (image: University of Warwick)Students from the University of Warwick were among the volunteers working to clear a stretch of the Grand Union Canal in Leamington Spa at the weekend

In addition to tyres, fishing line and plastic bags, the team pulled three motorbikes, 28 bicycles and 40 shopping trolleys from the watery depths, as well as several pushchairs, a pram, a complete ‘Pay and Display’ sign on a pole and the street sign for Llewellyn Road. The team were working with the Inland Waterways Association and the Canal and River Trust to remove rubbish that has been dumped in the waterway.

Volunteers and tyre (image: University of Warwick)

The 16 students are part of Warwick Volunteers, the organisation which gives students the opportunity to help and become involved with the local community by putting them in touch with organisations across the area. They joined two scout troupes and members of the local community to make an eighty-strong workforce at the weekend.

Olivia Hookings, a third year Law and Business student, said: “This was my third canal clean-up with Warwick Volunteers. It has been a great opportunity to meet like-minded people and it’s so rewarding to visually see how much we are helping as we drag motorcycles, bicycles and trolleys out of the canal. Any excuse to get stuck in and dirty!” 


One million reasons for action on fly-tipping now - Keep Britain Tidy

As the year's fly-tipping statistics are released today - the fact this rising problem has topped one million fly-tips in 2016/17 is shocking but perhaps not surprising. That is why we are calling for more cash for councils to tackle this national epidemic.

Fly tipping this year has topped 1,000,000 incidents across England, with associated clean up costs of £58 million (up from £50 million last year). Two-thirds of these incidents comes from household waste, with a third being a small van-load size of waste dumped.  

Fly tipped rubbish (image: Keep Britain Tidy)Fly tipped rubbish (image: Keep Britain Tidy)

The continuing cuts to local authority budgets present huge challenge for councils who are tackling this rising tide of waste at the same time as trying to provide social care, education and all the other services that people demand. 

We believe it is time to give councils the resources they need to educate the public on their responsibilities, keep household waste recycling centres open, offer an affordable bulky waste collection service and investigate and prosecute fly-tippers.  

Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “Enough is enough. It is time to give councils the resources they need to tackle this problem head-on, using some of the proceeds of the landfill tax.  We also need the people of Britain to stop treating our country like one giant tip, to take responsibility for their unwanted stuff and make sure that, if they give their waste to someone else to dispose of, they are going to dispose of it legally."


New steps to tackle littering announced – Defra

Maximum litter fines are to almost double to £150 from April next year as well as new fines introduced for owners of vehicles from which litter is thrown

Image: DefraNew steps will be taken to deal with litter louts and those few who mindlessly throw rubbish from their vehicles, Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey announced today.

Image: Defra

Cleaning up our streets and countryside currently costs the taxpayer almost £800 million a year and so maximum on-the-spot fines for dropping litter will almost double from April next year - from the current limit of £80 to £150 - in order to deter and punish the anti-social minority who continue to drop rubbish.

In future councils will also be able to impose these fines on the owners of vehicles from which litter is thrown, even if it was discarded by someone else. The government is clear these fines should not be abused simply as a means of raising money, so guidance on how fines should be applied will be issued to councils.

Environment minister Thérèse Coffey said: “Littering blights our communities, spoils our countryside and taxpayers’ money is wasted cleaning it up. Throwing rubbish from a vehicle is just as unacceptable as dropping it in the street and we will tackle this antisocial behaviour by hitting litter louts in the pocket. These new fines will make sure the perpetrators, not the local community, bear the cost of keeping our streets and roads clean.”


Exhibition highlights shocking cup and bottle waste in Scotland - Keep Scotland Beautiful

Thousands visit our exciting exhibit #SipDontTip in the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow on the 24 and 25 October highlighting the issues of litter and waste associated with single use beverage containers.

The exhibit aimed to raise awareness of the issues linked to our relationship with drinks packaging and to promote a step change in everyday consumption and disposal habits. Single use drinks containers are an almost inescapable part of modern life, and the exhibition aimed to shock visitors with the amount of litter and waste associated with these.  With drinks related litter noticed by 55% of people in their community and our recent audits highlighting that 74% of roads are spoilt by drinks related litter – we know it is a huge problem.

(image: Keep Scotland Beautiful)The centre piece exhibit was created by respected Littoral:sci-art project artist Julia Barton, depicting a massive sculpture made from coffee cups – highlighting the 208million single use coffee cups we use in Scotland each year. 

(image: Keep Scotland Beautiful)

Working in partnership with industry, Simply Cups and Recoup provided information and installations to showcase the recycling journey of both coffee cups and plastic bottles in to other useful items which were on display.  Visitors, from Scotland and further afield, were promoted to share their thoughts on single use drinks containers and pose potential solutions to the growing issue.  More critically, they were asked to commit to changing their behaviour following the exhibit.  The results will be summarised and shared in due course.


Arboriculture and Botany

The University of Manchester launches new interactive tree trail - University of Manchester

Image: University of ManchesterThe University of Manchester has launched a new interactive Tree Trail to encourage people to get outside and discover more about the trees around them.

The University is encouraging staff, students and the local community to get out and enjoy the physical and mental health benefits associated with nature and the outdoors and learn something new about the trees they may see every day.

Image: University of Manchester

The new Tree Trail is a project led by the Environmental Sustainability team which has worked closely with Urban Green and City of Trees to develop three distinct trails that highlight 50 of the 1,500 trees across Oxford Road Campus, North Campus and Whitworth Park. This initiative is part of the University’s Campus Masterplan, a ten-year project creating world-class facilities for staff, students and visitors to enjoy.


One of Dorset's rarest plants set to return to Dorset – Dorset Wildlife Trust

Starved Wood-sedge may not be one of the most striking plants to look at, but it is famed for not only having been one of the UK’s rarest plants, but also having made one of the most impressive comebacks.

This shy plant of woodland glades was actually feared extinct in the early 1980s, when the entire British population fell to just one plant.  Another © Dominic Pricepopulation reappeared in Surrey shortly after the great storm of 1986, and since then conservationists have worked tirelessly to get the population back over 100 plants.

© Dominic Price

The final piece of this work is set to happen this October, when plants reared at Kew Gardens are to be re-introduced to their former site in Dorset.  Starved Wood-sedge was last seen in Cranborne Chase in the 1920s, which only came to light when a specimen collected somewhere near Damerham was found in a University herbarium.  This find became somewhat of a holy grail to botanists who have combed the area over the last few decades looking for any live plants, but to no avail.

Bringing it back to Dorset is a key step in saving the species long-term

Director at the Species Recovery Trust, Dominic Price, said: “Despite our success with increasing the numbers of this plant in recent years it still remains at perilously low levels, and bringing it back to Dorset represents a key step in saving the species in the long-term. It will still take a lot or work to ensure this re-introduction works, but we are getting a lot better at looking after this species and are optimistic for success”


Pannage season extended in the New Forest - Forestry Commission 

Pigs in the new Forest (image: Forestry Commission)The Forestry Commission’s Deputy Surveyor announced today that the pannage season will be extended past the usual 60-day period until Sunday 17 December because there are so many acorns (this year pannage started on 11 September and was due to end on 12 November). Pannage is an ancient custom that is still used today by New Forest Commoners, who turn out their pigs into the Forest during the season.  

Pigs in the new Forest (image: Forestry Commission)

Pigs do a vital job of eating many of the acorns that fall at this time of year – acorns are tasty for them, but poisonous for the ponies and cattle that roam the area freely.

This autumn is a bumper year for acorns in the New Forest. Oak trees have produced more acorns than usual, one of nature’s mysterious events known as ‘masting’. This is a natural phenomenon where some tree species produce very large crops of seeds in some years, compared to almost none in others. 

It’s not known exactly why mast years occur, however they have been linked to various causes over the years, including weather and climatic.


Bee-friendly in Wild About Gardens Week - Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust

Can you imagine a garden without wild bees? The sights and sounds of bumblebees buzzing among pollen-laden anthers in open roses or sipping nectar from foxgloves are so evocative of a happy and friendly garden. Wild About Gardens Week from 23 to 29 October is a perfect time for people to plant up their gardens to give food sources for wild bees and bumblebees this winter and into next summer.

White-tailed bumblebee. Credit Penny FrithWhite-tailed bumblebee. Credit Penny Frith

Historically, bumblebees have thrived in the countryside, but the use of pesticides on crops and the loss of fields, hedgerows and woodlands to development, means there are fewer flowers for bees and other pollinating insects to feed from, and fewer places for them to breed and hibernate.

Autumn is the best time to plant shrubs that flower at different times of the year, giving bees nectar when they need it. These include winter-flowering honeysuckle, mahonia and pieris for instant scent and colour in the coming months. Hibernating bumblebees will emerge on warm and sunny days, when they need a top-up of nectar from these flowers to give them energy and help them go back into a dormant state.

You can also plant bulbs such as daffodils and crocuses that give bees nectar in springtime, and perennial summer flowers like foxgloves, lavender and hollyhocks. Plant roses now, especially single-flowered varieties to attract the buzz-pollinating bumblebees.


myForest supports landscape-scale deer management - Sylva Foundation and the Deer Initiative

Thanks to new online technology, landowners and managers will have the ability to create deer management plans and collect and share data more easily to manage and monitor deer population impacts across the landscape, helping to improve the environmental condition of woodlands.

Sylva Foundation has been working with the Deer Initiative to allow landowners and managers to create Deer Management Plans and collate annual monitoring data using the myForest Service.  The project has been jointly funded by Forestry Commission England and Natural England.

All six species of deer in Britain have increased in density and range over the last 40 years. As deer populations have increased, their impact on ground flora and the structure of woods is greater than ever before.

Collaborative management of deer populations at a landscape-scale is seen as critically important in helping to address issues arising from high deer populations in woodlands. Under this joint initiative, five priority areas have been identified in England where deer are having a damaging impact on important sites, such as woodlands designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest. In these priority areas landowners can receive additional support from the Deer Initiative to organise collaborative action across landscapes.

Operations and Research Director for the Deer Initiative, Alastair Ward, said: “The launch of these new online tools are an important step forward in managing deer collaboratively. The ability for users to share data (should they wish to) will also allow data to flow quickly and easily providing contemporary information on the impact of deer populations on the landscape.”

Read more about the deer management functions and sign up for a myForest account online.


2,500+ people vote for the UK's favourite tree species in Biology Week poll - Royal Society of Biology

The Horse Chestnut tree (Aesculus hippocastanum) has been crowned the UK’s Favourite Tree after winning a public poll of over 2,500 votes in Biology Week 2017.

The tree, surged ahead of the other contenders, securing more than a quarter of all votes cast.

The Horse Chestnut was introduced to the UK and is a well-loved feature of parks, gardens and village greens. The tree is famous for its seeds, which are used in the game of conkers.

Dr Laura Bellingan FRSB, RSB Director of Policy and Public Affairs, said of the result: “Trees are a valuable part of our culture and economy as well as the environment. They provide us with cleaner air, building materials, food and fuel, flood management; they are home to a wide range of wildlife, from insects to mammals; and they are beautiful. Urban trees can brighten up our cities, whilst many woodlands are beneficial and relaxing environments for thousands of visitors.  However, trees are at risk from a range of threats, including pests and disease. This includes a number of iconic species and we need to be alert to the possibility that our wild and green spaces could be significantly altered. It was tremendous to see so many people join the conversation and take part in this year’s poll.”

The Horse Chestnut beat 14 other trees to claim the title.


Ancient ferns highly threatened in Europe – IUCN Red List

A fifth of European fern and lycopod species, a group of vascular plants that underpins healthy ecosystems, are threatened with extinction and declining, as a result of urbanisation and expanding infrastructure, according to a new report published today by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Thelypteris pozoi (Hottentot Fern) - assessed as LC (©Fred Rumsey via IUCN)Thelypteris pozoi (Hottentot Fern) - assessed as LC (© Fred Rumsey via IUCN)

The new IUCN report – European Red List of Lycopods and Ferns – assesses, for the first time, the extinction risk 

 of all 194 European lycopod and fern species, 53 of which only exist in Europe. It shows that a fifth of these ancient species, which date back to over 400 million years ago, are at risk of extinction, with the same proportion showing a declining trend. Aquatic ferns and lycopods have been found to be more at risk than terrestrial species. This report shows that ferns and lycopods are the most threatened plant group of those assessed by IUCN so far in Europe. Previous European assessments have covered medicinal plant species, all other aquatic plant species and wild relatives of crop plants.

The findings reveal that European fern and lycopod species are primarily threatened by urbanisation and expanding infrastructure, which leads to the fragmentation and reduction of their habitats. For example, the Dwarf Moonwort (Botrychium simplex) is found in several countries including France, Sweden and Austria, and is now listed as Endangered as a result of habitat loss through land conversion to forest plantations or tourist developments.

Pollution from urban and agricultural waste also poses a serious threat to many ferns and lycopods. As a result, many terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems suffer from eutrophication – an increase in nutrients which causes local species to be outcompeted by other native or invasive alien species. This threatens aquatic species in particular, including the Critically Endangered Piedmont Quillwort (Isoëtes malinverniana). This species is endemic to Italy and has declined by more than 80% in the last 30 years, mainly as a result of pollution through inappropriate irrigation channel management.

Download the European Red List of lycopods and ferns report


Very rare ‘strangler’ fungus discovered…just in time for Halloween – National Trust

An extremely rare fungus with a lethal survival technique and eerie name has been discovered on our land – the Powdercap Strangler.

The Powdercap Strangler is a parasitic fungus that grows by body-snatching another grassland fungus.

Visitors taking part in an organised foraging hunt at Clumber Park made the unsettling discovery of the two-coloured toadstool, caused by the strangler infecting and eventually overcoming, its host.

Dr Gareth Griffith, Reader in Mycology at Aberystwyth University, said, ‘The Powdercap Strangler (Squamanita paradoxa) is an intriguing fungus. Rather like the monster in the film ‘Alien' it takes over the body of its host (Cystoderma amianthinum) and its mushroom erupts in place of the host's mushroom. This is a really exciting find.’


Government news, announcements and consultations plus reactions and response

Improving the protection of wild mammals - Scottish Government

Consultation on improving animal welfare announced.

A consultation on protecting wild mammals in Scotland has been announced by the Environment Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham. It follows a review of the operation of the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002, which was undertaken by the Rt Hon Lord Bonomy in 2016.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “This consultation seeks to explore recommendations to improve animal welfare legislation and the contributions we receive will be of considerable value in informing our thinking. Scotland led the way in 2002 by banning the hunting of wild mammals with dogs and we remain committed to improving animal welfare across the board.”  

Improving the Protection of Wild Mammals in Scotland - Scottish Government Consultation

Consultation Closes 31 Jan 2018

Overview: We recognised concerns about whether legislation on fox-hunting in Scotland is working properly. That is why we asked the Right Honourable Lord Bonomy to undertake a review to ascertain whether the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 is providing a sufficient level of protection for wild mammals, while at the same time allowing effective and humane control of mammals, such as foxes, where necessary.

Lord Bonomy’s report is an important milestone and represents a considered, objective and comprehensive examination of the issues. He outlines a significant number of potential improvements for the conduct of operations under the 2002 Act, and to the Act itself.

Take part here.


Major drive to bring new life to precious habitats – Natural Resources Wales

A major conservation project to improve some of Wales’ rarest and most important habitats gets under way this week.

Image: Natural Resources WalesNatural Resources Wales’ (NRW) £4 million project will bring new life to Welsh raised bogs - rare habitats created over thousands of years when plants in the bog turn into peat and build up into a raised dome.

The project will improve the condition of seven of the most important sites in Wales.

Image: Natural Resources Wales

These have been altered by centuries of peat cutting and drainage.

But, in peak condition, they help tackle climate change by storing vast amounts of carbon that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.

The drive to repair them will also improve drainage systems, cut invasive species, remove scrub and introduce light grazing – all in partnership with local communities, landowners and contractors.

NRW manages this site as well as Cors Fochno in north Ceredigion, the two largest sites in the project.

Restoration work will also take place at sites near Trawsfynydd, Fishguard, Crosshands, Crickhowell and Builth Wells.

Funding for the four-year project has come from an EU LIFE programme grant and NRW, with support from Welsh Government and the Snowdonia National Park Authority.


WWT proposes new accountability law - Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

A new law will be proposed at Westminster today (Wed 11 Oct) which would commit the Government to making the UK a little greener and healthier each year, or have to face up to Parliament and the public if they don’t.

The WWT will be urging MPs at a Committee room meeting to make the Government accountable for the country’s environmental performance through a statutory annual statement and debate – in the same way they do for its economic performance.

The new law would make the Government accountable for building – and not depleting – the value of services the environment provides for us all each year. This includes the value of our landscape providing clean air, natural materials, food and clean water and absorbing carbon, pollution and the effects of floods or drought. The Office of National Statistics estimated this at nearly £500bn in 2014 – which was roughly two-thirds the money spent on public services that year, which the Government is held accountable for.

The UK’s “natural capital” also includes the human health benefits a healthy British environment can bring. For example it’s estimated that every £1 spent on nature-based healthcare (e.g. doctors prescribing for sick people to spend time in green spaces) returns £3.12 of benefit in reducing the need for drugs and other treatments.

The proposed law is one of a number of recommendations in a WWT policy paper called Nature’s Way – The Environment for Success. The paper is timed to make politicians think about environmental factors as they design the UK’s post-Brexit policy framework.

Download the WWT policy paper Nature’s Way – The Environment for Success (PDF)


Government reaffirms commitment to lead the world in cost-effective clean growth - Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

The Clean Growth Strategy sets out an ambitious blueprint for Britain’s low carbon future.

An ambitious strategy setting out how the UK is leading the world in cutting carbon emissions to combat climate change while driving economic growth, has been published today (12 October 2017) by Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark.

‘The Clean Growth Strategy: Leading the way to a low carbon future’ builds on the UK’s strong progress to date. Carbon emissions in the UK have fallen and national income risen faster and further than any other nation in the G7 – since 1990, emissions are down by 42% while the economy has grown by 67%.

(image: DBEIS)The government’s strategy sets out how the whole country can benefit from low carbon economic opportunities through the creation of new technologies and new businesses, which creates jobs and prosperity across the UK, while meeting our ambitious national targets to tackle climate change.

(image: DBEIS)

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: "This government has put clean growth at the heart of its Industrial Strategy to increase productivity, boost people’s earning power and ensure Britain continues to lead the world in efforts to tackle climate change. For the first time in a generation, the British government is leading the way on taking decisions on new nuclear, rolling out smart meters and investing in low carbon innovation. The world is moving from being powered by polluting fossil fuels to clean energy. It’s as big a change as the move from the age of steam to the age of oil and Britain is showing the way."

Climate Change and Industry Minister Claire Perry said: "The impact of the Paris agreement and the unstoppable global shift towards low carbon technologies gives the UK an unparalleled opportunity. By focusing on Clean Growth, we can cut the cost of energy, drive economic prosperity, create high value jobs and improve our quality of life."


Scientific Research, Results and Publications

Scientists complete conservation 'atlas of life' – University of Oxford

An international team of scientists have completed the ‘atlas of life’ - the first global review and map of every vertebrate on Earth.

Led by researchers at the University of Oxford and Tel Aviv University, the 39 scientists have produced a catalogue and atlas of the world’s reptiles. By linking this atlas with existing maps for birds, mammals and amphibians, the team have found many new areas where conservation action is vital.

In order to best protect wildlife, it’s important to know where species live, so the right action can be taken and scarce funding allocated in the right places. With this in mind, an international group of researchers have produced detailed maps highlighting the whereabouts of all known land-living species of vertebrate on Earth.

Maps showing the habitats of almost all birds, mammals and amphibians have been completed since 2006, but it was widely thought that many reptile species were too poorly known to be mapped.

In research featured in Nature Ecology & Evolution, scientists from the University of Oxford School of Geography and Environment worked in close collaboration with colleagues from of Tel Aviv University and 30 other institutions to produce the new reptile atlas, which covers more than 10,000 species of snakes, lizards and turtles/tortoises. The data completes the world map of 31,000 species of humanity’s closest relatives, including around 5000 mammals, 10,000 birds and 6000 frogs and salamanders.

The map has revealed unexpected trends and regions of biodiversity fragility. They include the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant, inland arid southern Africa, the Asian steppes, the central Australian deserts; the Brazilian caatinga scrubland, and the high southern Andes.


Three-quarters of insect population have been lost in nature reserves over three decades - University of Sussex

 The loss of bees, butterflies and other flying insects from within protected nature reserves has been even more severe than previously feared, a new report has revealed.

The total biomass of flying insects in 63 nature reserves has decreased by more than 75 per cent since 1989 and above 80 per cent in the height of summer.  Researchers believe insect populations are becoming trapped on nature reserves surrounded by inhospitable farmland. Ecologists from Radboud University, who worked together with German and English colleagues including Professor Dave Goulson at the University of Sussex, said the rate of loss was not sustainable.

Hans de Kroon, project leader at the Radboud University in Nijmegen in The Netherlands, said: “The fact that flying insects are decreasing at such a high rate in such a large area is an alarming discovery.”

Entomologists in Krefeld, Germany, collected data over the past 27 years in 63 different places within nature reserves across Germany.  The researchers discovered an average decline of 76 percent in the total insect mass while in the middle of summer, when insect numbers peak, the decline was even more severe at 82 percent. 

Caspar Hallmann, from the Radboud University who performed the statistical analyses, said: “All these areas are protected and most of them are managed nature reserves. Yet, this dramatic decline has occurred.”

The exact causes of the decline are still unclear with changes in the weather, landscape and plant variety not sufficient to explain the rapid downward trend.

Caspar Hallmann added: “The research areas are mostly small and enclosed by agricultural areas. These surrounding areas attract flying insects and they cannot survive there. It is possible that these areas act as an ‘ecological trap’ and jeopardize the populations in the nature reserves.”

Investigators believe the results are representative for large parts of Europe and other parts of the world where nature reserves are enclosed by a mostly intensively used agricultural landscape. 

Access the publication:Hallmann CA, Sorg M, Jongejans E, Siepel H, Hofland N, Schwan H, et al. (2017) More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas. PLoS ONE12(10): e0185809. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185809/2656.12770 


Petals produce a 'blue halo' that helps bees find flowers – University of Cambridge

New study finds “messy” microscopic structures on petals of some flowers manipulate light to produce a blue colour effect that is easily seen by bee pollinators. Researchers say these petal grooves evolved independently multiple times across flowering plants, but produce the same result: a floral halo of blue-to-ultraviolet light.

(image: Univeristy of Cambridge)Latest research has found that several common flower species have nanoscale ridges on the surface of their petals that meddle with light when viewed from certain angles.

(image: University of Cambridge)

These nanostructures scatter light particles in the blue to ultraviolet colour spectrum, generating a subtle optical effect that scientists have christened the ‘blue halo’.

By manufacturing artificial surfaces that replicated ‘blue halos’, scientists were able to test the effect on pollinators, in this case foraging bumblebees. They found that bees can see the blue halo, and use it as a signal to locate flowers more efficiently.

While the ridges and grooves on a petal surface line up next to each other “like a packet of dry spaghetti”, when analysing different flower species the researchers discovered these striations vary greatly in height, width and spacing – yet all produce a similar ‘blue halo’ effect.

In fact, even on a single petal these light-manipulating structures were found to be surprisingly irregular. This is a phenomenon physicists describe as ‘disorder’.

The researchers conclude that these “messy” petal nanostructures likely evolved independently many times across flowering plants, but reached the same luminous outcome that increases visibility to pollinators – an example of what’s known as ‘convergent evolution’.

The study was conducted by a multidisciplinary team of scientists from the University of Cambridge’s departments of plant sciences, chemistry and physics along with colleagues from the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and the Adolphe Merkele Institute in Switzerland.

Acces the paper: Edwige Moyroud, Tobias Wenzel, Rox Middleton, Paula J. Rudall, Hannah Banks, Alison Reed, Greg Mellers, Patrick Killoran, M. Murphy Westwood, Ullrich Steiner, Silvia Vignolini, Beverley J. Glover. Disorder in convergent floral nanostructures enhances signalling to bees. Nature, 2017; DOI: 10.1038/nature24285


Life in the city: Living near a forest keeps your amygdala healthier - Max Planck Institute for Human Development

MRI study analyzes stress-processing brain regions in older city dwellers

A study conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development has investigated the relationship between the availability of nature near city dwellers’ homes and their brain health. Its findings are relevant for urban planners among others.

Noise, pollution, and many people in a confined space: Life in a city can cause chronic stress. City dwellers are at a higher risk of psychiatric illnesses such as depression, anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia than country dwellers. Comparisons show higher activity levels in city dwellers’ than in country dwellers’ amygdala — a central nucleus in the brain that plays an important role in stress processing and reactions to danger. Which factors can have a protective influence? A research team led by psychologist Simone Kühn has examined which effects nature near people’s homes such as forest, urban green, or wasteland has on stress-processing brain regions such as the amygdala.  The researchers found a relationship between place of residence and brain health: those city dwellers living close to a forest were more likely to show indications of a physiologically healthy amygdala structure und were therefore presumably better able to cope with stress. This effect remained stable when differences in educational qualifications and income levels were controlled for. However, it was not possible to find an association between the examined brain regions and urban green, water, or wasteland. With these data, it is not possible to distinguish whether living close to a forest really has positive effects on the amygdala or whether people with a healthier amygdala might be more likely to select residential areas close to a forest. Based on present knowledge, however, the researchers regard the first explanation as more probable. Further longitudinal studies are necessary to accumulate evidence.

"Our study investigates the connection between urban planning features and brain health for the first time,“ says co-author Ulman Lindenberger, Director of the Center for Lifespan Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. By 2050, almost 70 percent of the world population is expected to be living in cities. These results could therefore be very important for urban planning. In the near future, however, the observed association between the brain and closeness to forests would need to be confirmed in further studies and other cities", stated Ulman Lindenberger.


Vital role in carbon sequestration maintained - Utrecht University

Plant communities in peat bogs are affected by global change, but their ecological function is robust

If all peat bogs in the world were to disappear, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere would increase by two-thirds. A group of European biologists under the leadership of Utrecht University Prof Jos Verhoeven has studied how peat bogs react to climate change and increased levels of sulphur and nitrogen in the air. To their surprise, they discovered that these changes may cause plant species to disappear, but that these are replaced by others with a similar function in the ecosystem.

Peat bogs cover only 3 percent of the earth’s surface, but they are estimated to store around 500 billion tonnes of carbon. That is the equivalent of 67 percent of the amount of carbon in the earth’s atmosphere. “We know that the changing climate and increases in nitrogen and sulphur in the atmosphere cause certain plant species to disappear from areas. That may also have strong consequences for certain biological functions in the area, like carbon sequestration by peat bogs”, explains first author Bjorn Robroek. 

Recent research, however, has shown that the biodiversity of peat bog plant communities is less affected by climate change than, for example, in grasslands or dune ecosystems. “Our research confirms this, and may also provide an explanation for it”, according to Robroek, who worked on the study for four years.  

Access the paper: Bjorn J. M. Robroek et al  Taxonomic and functional turnover are decoupled in European peat bogs Nature Communications,  DOI 10.1038/s41467-017-01350-5 

Blog from CEH: Peat bogs ‘tougher than we thought’ but may still be vulnerable to rapid or extreme environmental change

Plant communities in European peat bogs are affected by environmental change, but their ecological functioning remains intact. Read it here. 


Research shows how environment plays key role in changing movement behaviour of animals - University of Leicester

University of Leicester mathematicians develop theory which helps to unravel long-standing mysteries of animal movement

  • Theory explains how animals such as bats, insects and birds adjust movement behaviour based on environment
  • Environmental cues which could change animal movement include seeking out food, avoiding predators and locating mating partners

Animals have to continuously exert force to overcome environmental drag and friction and adapt behaviour accordingly

Mathematicians from the University of Leicester have developed a theory which explains how small animals, such as bats, insects and birds, adjust their movement behaviour based on cues within their environment.

In a paper published in Scientific Reports, the researchers propose a unified theory of animal movement that relates the movement pattern to an animal’s biological traits such as its mass and body shape and to the properties of the environment.

The theory shows how different movement patterns may arise naturally from the interplay between an animal’s force, the environmental drag, and an animal’s behavioural response to the environmental cues. The cues include information about an animal’s movement environment, in particular the information about the location of food sources, predators and mating partners.

The theory works best for small animals such as insects, small fish and small birds.

The study, which is funded by The Royal Society, makes an important step to understanding animal movement behaviour and could help to provide answers to issues such as management of biological invasion, control of epidemics spread, and protection of endangered species.

Access the paper:  Paulo F. C. Tilles, Sergei V. Petrovskii & Paulo L. Natti.  A random acceleration model of individual animal movement allowing for diffusive, superdiffusive, and superballistic regimes. Scientific Reports, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-14511-9


Land Management, including coastal

Scientists develop tool which can predict coastal erosion and recovery in extreme storms - University of Plymouth

A traffic light system based on the severity of approaching storms will highlight the level of action required to protect particular beaches 

The damage caused to beaches by extreme storms on exposed energetic coastlines and the rate at which they recover can now be accurately predicted thanks to new research led by the University of Plymouth.  Working with the University of New South Wales, scientists have developed a computer model which uses past wave observations and beach assessments to forecast the erosion and/or accretion of beach sediments over the coming year. They believe it could be a sea change for coastal managers, giving them the opportunity to make decisions that could protect communities from severe wave damage.

In a study, published in Coastal Engineering, the academics say deriving sufficient knowledge and understanding to forecast erosion and accretion with a level of confidence is arguably the ‘holy grail’ for coastal scientists and engineers.

In seeking to address that, they have developed a traffic light system based on the severity of approaching storms, which will highlight the level of action required to protect particular beaches.

Dr Mark Davidson, Reader in Coastal Processes at the University of Plymouth, led the research. He said: “In the past, coastal managers have always tended to be responsive. They have been unable to fully predict how their areas might respond over periods of up to a year, and to assess any pre-emptive measures they could take. This research goes some way to changing that, enabling us to warn people in advance about how beaches will respond and helping officials take the steps they need to protect themselves and their communities.” 

The full study – Annual prediction of shoreline erosion and subsequent recovery by Mark A. Davidson, Ian L. Turner, Kristen D. Splinter and Mitchel D. Harley – will be published in the December issue of Coastal Engineering, doi: 10.1016/j.coastaleng.2017.09.008.


Forest grazing counteracts the effectiveness of trees to reduce flood risk - University of Lancaster

Planting trees can reduce flood risk, but a high intensity forest land use, such as grazing, can counteract the positive effect of the trees, a recently published study suggests.

As the frequency and severity of flooding becomes an increasing problem, land managers are turning to natural flood management measures, such as tree planting, to reduce the risk. 

The experimental agroforestry site in Scotland used for the research (image: University of Lancaster) The experimental agroforestry site in Scotland used for the research (image: University of Lancaster)

When rainfall exceeds the rate at which water can enter the soil it flows rapidly over the land’s surface into streams and rivers. Trees can help to reduce the risk of surface runoff by increasing the number of large pores in the soil through which water can drain more easily. Land use, such as grazing, also affects the soil’s ability to absorb water; however, while the effect of land use on surface runoff has been well studied in grasslands, little is known about the effect of land use in forests. 

The study, undertaken by Lancaster University and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and published in the journal Geoderma, investigated the rate that water infiltrated the soil under trees at an experimental agroforestry site in Scotland. Researchers found that infiltration rates were between ten and a hundred times higher under trees, when the forested area remained relatively undisturbed, compared with adjacent pasture. Where sheep were allowed to graze under the trees there was no observable difference from the pasture.  

Access the paper: K.R. Chandler, C.J. Stevens, A. Binley, A.M. Keith, Influence of tree species and forest land use on soil hydraulic conductivity and implications for surface runoff generation, In Geoderma, Volume 310, 2018, Pages 120-127, ISSN 0016-7061, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2017.08.011.


Scientists join forces with farmers, communities and local authorities in major flood mitigation research project – University of Reading

Choosing different crops, building soil organic matter and planting more trees could allow farmers to reduce the risk of nearby rivers from bursting their banks miles downstream, according to an innovative new research project.

Making changes to land management could help reduce river flooding (image: University of Reading)Researchers in a collaborative project led by the University of Reading will work with farmers, advisors, communities and local authorities across the West Thames area to learn how different land management methods impact on flood risk.

Making changes to land management could help reduce river flooding (image: University of Reading)

The LANDWISE (LAND management in loWland catchments for Integrated flood riSk rEduction) proposal was one of only three to be backed with funding from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)’s £4.1m Understanding the Effectiveness of Natural Flood Management (NFM) program, and will receive £1.25m.

A lot of attention recently has been given to ‘slowing the flow’ within river channels using wood to create leaky barriers. LANDWISE aims to look at the wider landscape and investigate ways to reduce the volume of water entering river channels in the first place, and to ‘slow the flow’ by enabling water to move slowly below the ground surface. This can be done by increasing the amount of water that can be absorbed by soil and returned to atmosphere through crops and trees, or stored in deep groundwater.

These more natural methods, including crop choice, land preparation, building soil organic matter and tree-planting, can reduce the amount of water that runs off the land surface. They improve soil structure to allow more rainwater to infiltrate below ground.

Dr Joanna Clark, Associate Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Reading, and project lead, said: “If you think about the land surface as a bucket, then these different land use and management methods can help us to increase the size of that bucket and help to empty it so that it can hold more water when it rains again. This is about making small changes over the large catchment area as a whole, rather than large changes in small areas where flooding occurs.


Wildlife / animals

Whales and dolphins have rich 'human-like' cultures and societies - London School of Economics and Political Science

Whales and dolphins (Cetaceans) live in tightly-knit social groups, have complex relationships, talk to each other and even have regional dialects – much like human societies.  

A major new study, published today (Monday 16th October) in Nature Ecology & Evolution, has linked the complexity of Cetacean culture and behaviour to the size of their brains.

The research was a collaboration between scientists at The University of Manchester, The University of British Columbia, Canada, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and Stanford University, United States.

The study is first of its kind to create a large dataset of cetacean brain size and social behaviours. The team compiled information on 90 different species of dolphins, whales, and porpoises. It found overwhelming evidence that Cetaceans have sophisticated social and cooperative behaviour traits, similar to many found in human culture. The study demonstrates that these societal and cultural characteristics are linked with brain size and brain expansion – also known as encephalisation.


 Birds reveal importance of good neighbours for health and ageing – University of East Anglia

Birds who live next door to family members or to other birds they know well are physically healthier and age more slowly, according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The research, conducted in collaboration with colleagues at the universities of Leeds (UK) and Groningen (the Netherlands), is published today (Tuesday 10 Oct) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Much like humans, many wild animals ‘own’ a private piece of land, or territory, that they rigorously defend against intruders. Having good neighbours that respect the territory boundaries means less work and stress for territory owners – but are some neighbours better than others? Good neighbours come in two varieties. Firstly, when neighbours are extended family members, they share genes and therefore refrain from fighting over space or intruding into each other’s territories. Second, if neighbours know each other well, they should keep the peace and cooperate with each other in order to prevent new neighbours, with whom they must resettle all the rules regarding territory boundaries, from moving into the neighbourhood.

Image credit: Sjouke Anne KingmaImage credit: Sjouke Anne Kingma

Scientists studied a population of Seychelles warblers, a small island bird endemic to the Seychelles islands, to test whether territory owners with more related, or more familiar, neighbours had more peaceful territories and better health as a result. Territory owners were sometimes observed fighting with their neighbours, but never with family members or neighbours that they were neighbours with in previous years.

Lead author of the research, Kat Bebbington of UEA’s School of Biological Sciences, said: “Defending territory boundaries is crucial if animals are to hold onto valuable food and other resources. Territory owners who are constantly fighting with neighbours are stressed and have little time to do other important things – such as finding food and producing offspring – and their health suffers as a result. Interestingly, we show that it’s not just relatives that can be trusted, but also neighbours you get to know well over time. Something similar probably occurs in human neighbourhoods: if you’ve lived next to your neighbour for years, you are much more likely to trust each other and help each other out now and then.”


Great tits may be adapting their beaks to birdfeeders - University of East Anglia

A British enthusiasm for feeding birds may have caused UK great tits to have evolved longer beaks than their European counterparts - according to a new study involving UEA researchers.

The findings, published in Science, identify for the first time the genetic differences between UK and Dutch great tits which researchers were then able to link to longer beaks in UK birds.

Using genetic and historical data, the research team also found that the differences in beak length had occurred within a relatively short time frame. This led them to speculate that there may be a link with the relatively recent practice of putting out food for garden birds.

Great tit (image: Lewis Spurgin, via UEA)Great tit (image: Lewis Spurgin, via UEA)

The findings are part of a long term study being carried out on populations of great tits in Wytham Woods, in the UK, and in Oosterhout and Veluwe, in the Netherlands. The team screened DNA from more than 3000 birds to search for genetic differences between the British and the Dutch populations. These differences indicate where natural selection might be at work.

Researchers at Oxford University have been studying the Wytham Woods great tit population in Oxfordshire for 70 years and so the team had access to a wealth of historical data which clearly showed that the British great tits’ beaks were getting longer over time. They were also able to access data from electronic tags fitted to some of the Wytham Woods birds, which enabled them to track how much time was spent at automated bird feeders.

“Between the 1970s and the present day, beak length has got longer among the British birds. That’s a really short time period in which to see this sort of difference emerging,” says Professor Jon Slate, of the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield. “We now know that this increase in beak length, and the difference in beak length between birds in Britain and mainland Europe, is down to genes that have evolved by natural selection.”

The team also found that birds with genetic variants for longer beaks were more frequent visitors to the feeders than those birds which did not have that genetic variation.

Dr Lewis Spurgin, from UEA’s School of Biological Sciences, said: “In the UK we spend around twice as much on birdseed and birdfeeders than mainland Europe – and, we’ve been doing this for some time. Although we can’t say definitively that bird feeders are responsible, it seems reasonable to suggest that the longer beaks amongst British great tits may have evolved as a response to this supplementary feeding.” 


Scientific Publications

Risely, A., Klaassen, M. and Hoye, B. (2017), Migratory animals feel the cost of getting sick: a meta-analysis across species. J Anim Ecol. doi:10.1111/1365-2656.12766


Lunja M. Ernst, Teja Tscharntke, Péter Batáry, Grassland management in agricultural vs. forested landscapes drives butterfly and bird diversity, Biological Conservation, Volume 216, December 2017, Pages 51-59, ISSN 0006-3207, DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.09.027.


Phillip P. A. Staniczenko, Owen T. Lewis, Jason M. Tylianakis, Matthias Albrecht, Valérie Coudrain, Alexandra-Maria Klein & Felix Reed-Tsochas. Predicting the effect of habitat modification on networks of interacting species. Nature Communications 8, Article number: 792 (2017)  doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00913-w


Brown, P. M. J. & Roy, H. E. (2017) Native ladybird decline caused by the invasive harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis: evidence from a long-term field study. Insect Conservation & Diversity. DOI: 10.1111/icad.12266


Roy, H. E.et al (2017)  Developing a framework of minimum standards for the risk assessment of alien species. J Appl Ecol. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.13025


Hallmann CA, Sorg M, Jongejans E, Siepel H, Hofland N, Schwan H, et al. (2017) More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas. PLoS ONE12(10): e0185809. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185809


Posledovich, D., Toftegaard, T., Wiklund, C., Ehrlén, J. and Gotthard, K. (), Phenological synchrony between a butterfly and its host plants: experimental test of effects of spring temperature. J Anim Ecol. doi:10.1111/1365-2656.12770


Pettett, C. E., Johnson, P. J., Moorhouse, T. P. Macdonald, D. W. (2017) National predictors of hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus distribution and decline in Britain. Mammal Review. DOI: 10.1111/mam.12107


Sullivan, M. J. P., Davy, A. J., Grant, A. & Mossman, H. L. (2017) Is saltmarsh restoration success constrained by matching natural environments or altered succession? A test using niche models. Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13033


Franziska Komossa, Emma H. van der Zanden, Catharina J.E. Schulp, Peter H. Verburg, Mapping landscape potential for outdoor recreation using different archetypical recreation user groups in the European Union, Ecological Indicators, Volume 85, February 2018, Pages 105-116, ISSN 1470-160X, doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2017.10.015. 


Nora-Charlotte Pauli, Jana S. Petermann, Christian Lott, Miriam Weber Macrofouling communities and the degradation of plastic bags in the sea: an in situ experiment R. Soc. open sci. 2017 4 170549; DOI: 10.1098/rsos.170549.   


Biró, M., Bölöni, J. and Molnár, Z. (), Use of long-term data to evaluate loss and endangerment status of Natura 2000 habitats and effects of protected areas. Conservation Biology. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/cobi.13038


Katarzyna Turzańska-Pietras Blue Tits Cyanistes caeruleus breeding in a House Martin Delichon urbicum nest  Bird Study doi: 10.1080/00063657.2017.1385592


Filip Harabiš, Aleš Dolný, Military training areas as refuges for threatened dragonfly species: Effect of spatial isolation and military activity, Biological Conservation, ISSN 0006-3207, doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.10.021.


Montambault, J. R., Dormer, M., Campbell, J., Rana, N., Gottlieb, S., Legge, J., Davis, D. and Chakaki, M., Social equity and urban nature conservation. Conservation Letters. doi:10.1111/conl.12423


Tom Finch, Nina O'Hanlon, Steve P. Dudley Tweeting birds: online mentions predict future citations in ornithology R. Soc. open sci. 2017 4 171371; DOI: 10.1098/rsos.171371.


Wildlife news 


New survey improves our understanding of bats in southern Scotland - Scottish Natural Heritage

Support from 275 volunteers – in one of the largest-ever volunteer-based surveys in Scotland – is giving a clearer picture of bat populations in Southern Scotland.

An encouraging finding was that Leisler’s and noctule bats were found to be more abundant than previously thought, although they are still among the five scarcest species of bat in Scotland.

A report commissioned by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), and published today, demonstrates the power of the volunteers in helping to better understand the distribution of rare and vulnerable species. Coordinated on behalf of SNH by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), the survey was carried out across southern Scotland and had huge support from enthusiastic volunteers throughout the area collecting data in the summer of 2016.

The collective effort generated over 1,500 complete nights of recording in just under 1,500 different recording locations. Almost 670,000 recording were collected which included just under 400,000 bat recordings.  In total, the survey collected data across 715 one-kilometre squares in southern Scotland – an area of more than 20,000 km² – making it one of the largest-scale volunteer-based surveys in the country.

The study focused on the distribution and abundance of three bat species – Leisler’s bat, noctule and Nathusius’ pipistrelle – because their preferred habitat and hunting styles make them particularly vulnerable to wind farms. It was found that the previous population estimate of about 250 bats per species can now be increased to thousands.

Access the SNH Commissioned Report 1008: A survey of high risk bat species across southern Scotland


Trust joins call for temporary ban on mountain hare culls - Scottish Wildlife Trust

A coalition of ten environmental and outdoor organisations including the Scottish Wildlife Trust have repeated their appeal to the Scottish Government to introduce urgent safeguards for mountain hare populations.

The group is asking for a temporary ban on all mountain hare culling on grouse moors until measures are put in place to ensure their numbers can remain at acceptable, sustainable levels.

The Scottish Government has a duty to maintain mountain hare populations in a state of good health, otherwise it may be in breach of its legally binding international obligations for this species. However, mountain hares are now routinely culled on a large scale across many grouse moors in Scotland.

Mountain hare (© Steve Gardner via SWT)Mountain hare (© Steve Gardner via SWT)

In 2014, the coalition warned the Scottish Government that the ‘voluntary restraint’ that was claimed to be in place was unlikely to protect these mammals from wide-scale culls on grouse moors, including in the Cairngorms National Park.  Since then, there have been multiple reports of culls being carried out across the country – suggesting that voluntary restraint has been ignored. These culls are believed to be having a serious negative effect on hare populations. In some areas it has been shown that the culls are leading to severe population declines and potentially even local extinctions.

Our Director of Conservation Susan Davies, Director of Conservation said: “Mountain hares are an iconic species that act as an indicator of the ecological health of our uplands, and seeing them gives much pleasure to hillwalkers and tourists alike. There has been continued and widespread culling throughout the period of voluntary restraint that was called for in 2015 to allow research to be carried out. This suggests that some grouse moor managers have no concern for the long-term viability of mountain hare populations. We believe that grouse moor managers have a responsibility for this important native species. Lethal control should be halted until there is both accurate information on the number of hares culled, and the true effect of these culls on the health of the hare population is known.” 

There is similar coverage from all ten coalition member  organisations. The organisations calling for action are the Scottish Wildlife Trust, RSPB Scotland, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Scottish Raptor Study Group, Badenoch and Strathspey Conservation Group, Cairngorms Campaign, National Trust Scotland, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, Mammal Society, John Muir Trust and Mountaineering Scotland.


Response: Scottish Moorland Group statement on mountain hares - Scottish Land & Estates

The Scottish Moorland Group has issued the following statement in response to criticism of the management of mountain hare populations. 

Tim Baynes, director of the Scottish Moorland Group, said: “Mountain hares populations are often very high on managed moorland in comparison to other upland environments. On occasion, it is necessary to cull some mountain hares to limit the spread of ticks, for the protection of trees and to maintain fragile habitats. Such management is comparable to organisations such as RSPB, SWT and John Muir Trust culling deer on land owned by their charities. 

“There is no evidence provided by the ten organisations to substantiate claims that periodic culls are endangering mountain hare populations. In 2014, we issued a joint statement with SNH which acknowledged the need for occasional culls but recognised the requirement to do so responsibly. Culls range from 14% to 5% of hare populations in years when culls are carried out, which is sustainable.


Mountain Hare Response - Scottish Gamekeepers Association

 A Spokesman for The Scottish Gamekeepers Association said: "The activist organisations constantly calling for this in press releases would be better to explain to the public why they themselves have such comparatively poor populations of mountain hares on their holdings and why their management is producing so few. This is the elephant in the room which has never been properly addressed, amidst the campaigns. When the new guidance on best methodologies to count mountain hares is published, the SGA will be asking Scottish Government to ensure hares are counted on all holdings, including nature reserves and re-wilding areas not just grouse moors, so the public can finally get a transparent picture of where hares are declining and why." 


Scottish SPCA successfully release three otters back into the wild – Scottish SPCA

Otter (image: Scottish SPCA)The Scottish SPCA has released three otters, named Eddy, Stream and Smoult, back into the wild following their rehabilitation at the charity’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross.

We have cared for 105 otters since opening our centre in Fishcross in 2012, 96 of which were cubs.

Otter (image: Scottish SPCA)

With the land owner’s permission we were able to release the trio into a freshwater loch at a secret location on Woodland Trust property in the Highlands.

Centre Manager Colin Seddon said, “We were successfully able to release Eddy, Stream and Smoult into the Highlands after they spent several months in our care.

“Otters were driven to near extinction throughout the UK between the 1950’s and 1970’s, however due to improvements in water quality and with otters now being protected they can be seen once again in Scotland and other parts of the UK.

Colin went on to say, “All three otters were orphaned as youngsters and came into the centre at around eight to ten weeks old. They were hand reared by staff who even had to play with them individually to prevent boredom before they were introduced to each other. There are many factors that need to be met before we can release otters back into the wild; the weather, site location, otter population in the area and land owners’ permission. All of these must be in place to ensure the best chance of survival. With help from the Woodland Trust we were able to access the remote release site in the Highlands in order to successfully release the otters. Without their help we would not have been able to access this site. Support feeding and shelter has been provided for Eddy, Stream and Smoult and they will be monitored using camera traps in the hope we will get some feedback about how well these otters are doing. This method was successfully used last year, at a release on Mull, and those otters are still doing well several months after their release.”


Clock change increases deer risk on roads – Scottish Natural Heritage

As the clocks turn back this weekend, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is warning motorists that collisions between deer and vehicles peak at this time of year.

With night falling earlier, the peak commuting time coincides with deer coming out to feed on grass verges near roadsides.

Because of this, SNH – in conjunction with Transport Scotland and Traffic Scotland – are placing warning messages on electronic variable messaging signs (VMS). From Monday, 30 October to Monday, 20 November, the signs will warn motorists at key locations on the main trunk roads. These messages will be seen on signs on the A9, A87, A82, A85 and the A835.

A report released earlier this year commissioned jointly by SNH and Transport Scotland revealed collisions between vehicles and deer have increased by 10% in Scotland since previous figures were collated.

The report showed that from January 2013 to December 2015 over 4,600 recorded collisions between vehicles and deer on Scottish roads were submitted. However, taking into account the many incidents which go unreported, the report estimates that the true figure could be as high as 9,000 per year, resulting in 50 to 100 human injuries. The highest number of collisions occurs in early evening through to midnight, with a slightly lower peak from 6am to 9am.

Over the past 50 years, the number and range of wild deer in Scotland have increased, while the volume of road traffic has almost doubled in the same period. This combination has led to higher deer-vehicle collision rates across the country, with the greatest increase occurring in Aberdeenshire, Fife and the central belt. This corresponds with the rise in the populations of roe deer, which are highly adaptable to lowland habitats.


Stormy weather leads to influx of seal pups at RSPCA wildlife centre - RSPCA

Recent stormy weather has led to an influx of seal pups at an RSPCA wildlife centre in Cheshire.

There are currently 10 seals at Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre, in Nantwich, who have been admitted after becoming stranded on beaches and separated from their mums due to high winds. It is the largest number of seals the centre has had at any one time.​

A diet of fish soup is being fed to them at least three times a day to help them gain weight. It is hoped that all of the seals will be released back into the wild, however it can take many months – sometimes as many as five – before they are well enough to be released.

Lee Stewart, manager at Stapeley Grange, said: “When seal pups arrive they are unable to feed for themselves and have to be tube-fed. The 10 seal pups in our care were all initially tube-fed a ‘rehydrate’ solution and then later moved across to their liquidised fish soup. After some time in care we will then try them on whole fish which can be quite a time-consuming process. They are initially tube-fed until they work out what they need to do. Once they are taking fish it’s then plain sailing with regards their care, as soon after they will be taking fish by themselves. We always worry for young seal pups at this time of year when the weather is bad because they are so vulnerable and can become separated from their mothers, as has happened with most of our seals. The storms cause real problems for the seal colonies.”

The RSPCA advises that if members of the public spot a seal on a beach that they observe them from a distance and do not approach them. Seals are wild animals and have a nasty bite. It is also advised they keep dogs on leads on beaches that have seal colonies too.​

If you see a pup whose mother hasn’t returned within 24 hours, is on a busy public beach, or if you think the seal may be sick or injured, please call the RSPCA’s 24-hour advice and cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.


Red squirrels travel on Cumbria cycle route - Sustrans

A group of red squirrels has been spotted using an off-road section of the popular long distance Sea to Sea (C2C) path which we maintain.

Our volunteers regularly see four red squirrels (one female and three males) at a feeding and monitoring station in Seaton to Broughton moor section, on the former iron ore railway line. They were a few miles away from their local stronghold in Broughton, which the team says is a clear sign the animals are using the linear path to travel between feeding grounds. 

A regular visitor to our Sea to Sea , a male red squirrel with a blonde tail. (Photo credit: Mike Mossop/West Lake Squirrel Initiative)A regular visitor to our Sea to Sea , a male red squirrel with a blonde tail. (Photo credit: Mike Mossop/West Lake Squirrel Initiative)  

We work with the West Lakes Red Squirrel Initiative, which monitors the feeder and sitings, and reports to a red squirrel data base across the North.

Sustrans Project Officer Nikki Wingfield said: “This is clear evidence that red squirrels are using the cycle and walking route to move away from their stronghold in Broughton. It is exciting as it means the path is acting as an important highway to link up isolated squirrel habitats. In the past we’d had reports that there were red squirrels on the cycle path and it’s brilliant we can now confirm that we are actively part of protecting red squirrels across the whole of the north of England. We really need to help protect red squirrels from the greys in this area so if you do spot a grey squirrel in this area please contact the West Lakes Squirrel Initiative.”



New report on the exposure of barn owls to rat poisons – Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

Second generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) are used to control commensal rodents (rats and mice) throughout the world. However, wildlife species are also exposed to these poisons, both through consuming bait and by eating poisoned rodents.

Concerns in the UK about effects on wildlife have resulted in stewardship for anticoagulant rodenticides. This is led by an industry consortium, the Campaign for Responsible Use (CRRU) UK. The aim is to change user behaviour so that unintentional wildlife exposure is reduced. 

Changes in wildlife exposure are assessed by measuring liver SGAR residues in the barn owl, a sentinel rodent-feeding species. Residue levels are compared with those in a pre-stewardship "baseline" period (2006-2012). Measurements are made on carcasses submitted to the Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme (PBMS); most of the owls have died from starvation or in traffic collisions.

The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) has now published its report of SGAR residues in barn owls that died in 2016, the year that stewardship was introduced.

The main findings were:

  • no significant change from "baseline" years in most indicators of SGAR exposure, although there was a decline in low level difenacoum residues
  • the most frequently detected SGARs in barn owls in 2016 were bromadiolone, difenacoum and brodifacoum, as in the 2006-2012 "baseline years"
  • overall in 2016, 78% of owls had liver residues of at least one SGAR, similar to "baseline years" but lower than in 2015

Lee Walker, coordinator for the PBMS, said, "The results for 2016 are generally consistent with the baseline years. Given stewardship was launched only part way through the year, it is probably too early to expect changes from baseline levels in liver SGARs in 2016.  If stewardship is successful, we expect to see reductions in liver SGAR concentrations in barn owls in future years."

The monitoring of SGARs in barn owls is conducted independently by CEH. It is funded by CRRU UK, who recently announced the publication of CEH’s report. All activities conducted under the stewardship scheme are reviewed by a government oversight group led by the Health and Safety Executive.


Tens of thousands of pink-feet counted at Montrose Basin – Scottish Wildlife Trust

Pink-footed geese at Montrose Basin Wildlife Reserve. © Harry BickerstaffUp to 80,000 pink-footed geese have been counted so far this season at Montrose Basin Wildlife Reserve and Visitor Centre.

Pink-footed geese at Montrose Basin Wildlife Reserve. © Harry Bickerstaff

Volunteers led by Montrose Basin Ranger Anna Cheshier took part in the annual UK-wide Icelandic-breeding Goose Census at first light on Sunday 22 October. They counted a total of 50,309 geese, compared to last year’s return of 42,840.

However, geese are still arriving from Iceland, and rangers estimated their numbers at 80,000 on Monday 23 October.

Anna Cheshier said: “The noise of the geese has been building on the Basin and in the skies over Montrose as more and more birds arrive from the Arctic. Their continued high numbers show that the surrounding farmland is providing plenty of food. The number of the geese on the Basin at any one time is highly variable. Most of the geese at Montrose Basin are passing through on their way south. While geese are still arriving here, many have already taken advantage of the recent strong winds to help them move on.”

Pink-footed geese make an annual 1,200km migration from Iceland to the UK. Montrose Basin is one of the first suitable stops for the geese after crossing the North Sea, and tens of thousands of birds use the reserve as a stopping point to rest and refuel before leaving for estuaries in the east of England.


Twists and ‘terns’ for one of the UK’s smallest and rarest seabirds - RSPB

One of the UK’s smallest and rarest seabirds has battled against the odds to record a remarkable breeding season after fledging more than 600 chicks in 2017.

Weighing no more than 55g – roughly the same as a tennis ball and half the weight of a blackbird – these seabirds undergo an epic migration journey every year flying more than 3000 miles from West Africa to raise their chicks on our single beaches. Sadly, the number of little terns in the UK has plummeted by 18% since 2000.

Arriving on our shores in April, the survey of key sites revealed 1077 adult birds battled through a number of natural and non-natural threats during the summer to raise 617 fledglings. The Norfolk coast remained a stronghold for the seabird with 260 chicks raised on sites across Winterton and Blakeney Point, while Gronant Beach in Wales also had a successful season with 202 young.

Susan Rendell-Read, RSPB Little Tern Project Manager, said: “You wouldn’t think when looking at it but every year this tiny bird, against all the odds, travels thousands of miles from Africa to raise a family here in the UK. Sadly, like many of our seabirds, the little tern is in trouble. Their numbers have dropped dramatically in recent years and they are at risk of disappearing completely from our shores.”

Little terns lay one to three camouflaged eggs on the beach, often close to the sea. This means that nests regularly get washed away if big tides are combined with stormy weather. Laying their eggs on the ground also makes the tern nests vulnerable to disturbance and damage.   As the nests blend into the beach substrates they can often be accidently disturbed by people walking by. Additionally, as this year proved, deliberate nest disturbance is one factor that is preventing tern numbers from making a full recovery. Colonies at Crimdon, near Hartlepool, and Kessingland in Suffolk, suffered acts of deliberate nest destruction with more than 60 eggs lost – decimating the number of fledglings at both sites. Tidal surges proved destructive to nests at Blackwater Estuary in Essex and Scolt Head Island in Norfolk, while chicks at Long Nanny in Northumberland suffered from predation by other species. 


Report reveals continued persecution of birds of prey in UK - RSPB

Without urgent action some of UK’s birds of prey face a bleak future after the latest Birdcrime report revealed a minimum of 81 confirmed incidents of illegal raptor persecution in 2016, without a single person prosecuted.

Birdcrime 2016 – the only report summarising offences against birds of prey in the UK – revealed 40 shooting, 22 poisoning, 15 trapping and four other incidents of illegal persecution against raptors. Among the victims were hen harriers, peregrine falcons, red kites and buzzards. However, evidence suggests these figures are just the tip of the iceberg with many illegal killings going undetected or unreported.

The report also revealed close to two-thirds (53) of the confirmed incidents took place in England, with particular concern for raptors in North Yorkshire. Over the last five years the county recorded the highest number of confirmed bird of prey persecution incidents in the UK, with 54 incidents since 2012 and 19 last year alone. 

The problem wasn’t confined to England, with the report highlighting confirmed case in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, where there is growing concern over the repeated suspicious disappearance of satellite tagged birds of prey. This year, a study by Scottish Government examined the fate of 131 golden eagles fitted with satellite tags between 2004-16 concluding that ‘as many as 41 (one third) disappeared, presumably died, under suspicious circumstances connected with records of illegal persecution.’

Increasingly, people in the UK are being robbed of the chance to see these spectacular birds because of these illegal incidents, yet in 2016, there wasn’t a single prosecution arising from a confirmed incident, the first time this has happened in 30 years.

For the full copy of Birdcrime 2016 report summarising the extent of illegal persecution offences against birds of prey in the UK, visit www.rspb.org.uk/birdcrime


NGO Responds to RSPB Bird Crime 2016 Report - National Gamekeepers Organisation

The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation has made the following statement in response to today’s (1 November 2017) publication by the RSPB of Birdcrime 2016 – A focus on raptor persecution in the UK.

A spokesman for the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation said: "The NGO is an active member of the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime, and it is well known that the NGO stands for gamekeeping within the law. It is also well known that the NGO believes in cultivating dialogue among stakeholders involved in rural issues. We sincerely wish therefore that the RSPB would take a leaf out of our book in working to promote consensus and, rather than seeking to demonise the many in game management that uphold the law, the RSPB should join with us in working to alienate the very few that operate outside it.

"To this end, it is disappointing that the RSPB persists in publishing its own uncorroborated figures on raptor persecution when they are signed up, alongside ourselves, to a formal protocol for publishing verified police data. The RSPB should be working with the rest of us to drive down all wildlife crime, not promoting their own agenda.”


BASC chairman calls for “honesty” in raptor debate - British Association for Shooting and Conservation

BASC chairman Peter Glenser has called for “plain and open” dialogue between all sides of the raptor debate.

Following an article in today’s (2/11) Times newspaper in which BASC’s acting chief executive Christopher Graffius highlighted the damage to shooting from the illegal killing of birds, Mr Glenser has spoken of the need for “honesty” if sustained change is to take place.  


Fish, amphibians and invertebrates

Gravel bringing salmon back to Devon river – Westcountry Rivers Trust

New spawning habitats are bringing salmon back to a stretch of the River Avon. In a five-minute spot survey this autumn, the Westcountry Rivers Image: Westcountry Rivers TrustTrust counted 21 juvenile salmon on a stretch of river where no salmon or trout were counted four years ago.

Image: Westcountry Rivers Trust

Over the last three years, the Westcountry Rivers Trust has added 700 tonnes of granite gravel to a 2.5 mile section of the River Avon, near Shipley Bridge on Dartmoor. Like many rivers, the Avon has lost a number of natural gravel beds because of obstacles, such as weirs or dams, which prevent stones from travelling down the river.

Funded by South West Water, as part of the National Environment Programme, the project aims to increase the number of salmon and trout by creating new gravel beds. Adult salmon lay their spawn in freshwater gravel beds, known as ‘redds’, in the autumn and the eggs hatch in the winter.

Matt Healey, Land and Fisheries Officer for the Westcountry Rivers Trust said: “We are absolutely delighted to have counted 21 juvenile salmon in a stretch of river where they were previously completely absent. These were juvenile fish, which hatched this year, so we know salmon are now spawning in our new gravel beds. This is an incredibly positive result.” 


Help protect our amphibians from disease - Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust

The emergence of diseases is increasingly recognised as a threat to amphibians. In 2013 researchers in the Netherlands described a new type of fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, often called “Bsal”, that eventually led to a 99% decline in fire salamanders in that country. Since then, we are gradually learning more about the fungus and the disease it can cause.

So far as we know, this fungus does not occur in the wild in the UK. It has unfortunately been found in some captive amphibian collections in the UK, as well as in the international pet trade. This is clearly a perilous situation, with the risk of the fungus being introduced to the wild via traded or captive animals.

Click through for information summarising and providing links to further advice on what you can do to limit the risk of this pathogen entering the UK and causing disease. 

If you see signs of sick or dead amphibians, please report them to the Garden Wildlife Health project, which acts as the UK reporting centre for this project.


Ivy lifeline for autumn moths – Butterfly Conservation

Despite Christmas being weeks away, wildlife lovers will be gathered around the ivy over the coming nights as they search for rare and spectacular moths looking for an autumn lifeline. 

Clifden Nonpareil (image: Butterfly Conservation)An immigration of rare moths from Europe is currently taking place across the UK with the scarce Silver-striped Hawk-moth and Radford's Flame Shoulder all seen in recent days.

These rarities have also been joined by spectacular immigrant species such as the giant Convolvulus Hawk-moth and Humming-bird Hawk-moth.

Clifden Nonpareil (image: Butterfly Conservation)

The Clifden Nonpareil, one of the UK’s most striking autumn moths has recently become established from Dorset to Kent but numbers have this year been boosted by dozens of immigrants from the continent.

As part of this year’s Moth Night, an annual UK-wide event to record moths, organisers Atropos, Butterfly Conservation and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology are asking the public to investigate their local patches of flowering ivy to help gather more information on the plant’s importance to moths.

Ivy provides a lifeline to moths, butterflies and other pollinators as it flowers late in the year when other nectar sources are unavailable.

Over the next three nights (Fri - Sun) wildlife lovers are being asked to take a torchlight safari of ivy flowers and count some of the moths that are on the wing in autumn.  


And finally -  

CJ goes home!

For many years CJS sponsored a tiny snail, that we nicknamed CJ, at Durrell, read more about him and when Niall actually met our little CJ.

Slow and steady wins the conservation race - ZSL 

Dispersing Partula snails on tree trunk on Moorea in French Polynesia (image: ©ZSL)Dispersing Partula snails on tree trunk on Moorea in French Polynesia (image: ©ZSL)

Conservationists are celebrating the successful reintroduction of thousands of tiny endangered tree snails to their former home in French Polynesia, thanks to a global breeding programme coordinated by ZSL London Zoo.

The release is the result of the international Partula snail conservation breeding initiative, an international collaborative conservation programme between zoos and collections across the world, including Bristol Zoo, Chester Zoo, Marwell Zoo, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and ZSL London Zoo in the UK.

Following three dedicated decades of joint work at 15 institutions, last month conservationists from ZSL supervised the release of more than 2000 snails on the islands of Moorea and Tahiti in the Pacific Ocean. These new arrivals follow hot on the snail trail of a group released in 2016, which the team have confirmed are showing promising signs of becoming established.


Send your news to CJS for inclusion: find out how 

Training:  January 2018,

This edition also includes details of courses available on a regular or on demand basis.



17/01/2018   Coastal Futures 2018   1 Day

Royal Geographical Society, Communications and Management for Sustainability. Contact: bob.earll@coastms.co.uk http://c-js.info/2ypcPO2

23/01/2018   Next Steps for Low-Carbon Energy in Scotland: Planning, Innovation and Skills   1 Day

Edinburgh, Holyrood Communications. Contact: enquiries@holyrood.com http://c-js.info/2glsbYR


Administrative and Office Skills.

09/01/2018   MapInfo Foundation Training   2 Day by exeGeSIS SDM Ltd

11/01/2018   QGIS Foundation Training   2 Day  by exeGeSIS SDM Ltd

16/01/2018   Arc Foundation Training   2 Day  by exeGeSIS SDM Ltd

18/01/2018   QGIS Intermediate Training   1 Day  by exeGeSIS SDM Ltd

 all  by exeGeSIS SDM Ltd courses held in Talgarth, South Wales Contact: 01874 713066 Carolbateman@esdm.co.uk http://www.esdm.co.uk/qgis-training-courses

Ideal for Environmental & Ecological Professionals

24/01/2018   Facilitation Training - London   1 Day

St. Lukes' Community Centre, Talk Action. Contact: 02073244775 training@talkaction.org http://www.talkaction.org/training/facilitation-training/http://www.talkaction.org/training/facilitation-training/

A unique day of interactive and participatory learning to build your skills and confidence as a facilitator, meeting organiser or workshop leader.

27/01/2018   Dealing with Data    4 Day

Aberystwyth University, Lifelong Learning, Aberystwyth University. Contact: 01970 621580 learning@aber.ac.uk https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/lifelong-learning/ecology/

The 3 day course taught over 2 weekends has an ecological focus and gives students the confidence to write a scientific report or project. This is of value to all science students and is useful for the successful production of many types of assessed work.

30/01/2018   Arc Intermediate Training   2 Day

Talgarth, South Wales, exeGeSIS SDM Ltd. Contact: 01874 713066 Carolbateman@esdm.co.uk http://www.esdm.co.uk/qgis-training-courses

Ideal for Environmental & Ecological Professionals

Contact for Details   

How to write highly cited papers   0.5 Day in Oxford, Reading, London & CEH Wallingford

Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. Contact: https://www.ceh.ac.uk/training/icp-ozone-and-plants

This interactive half-day workshop will boost your confidence and ability to write a great science paper that will be cited again and again. This workshop focusses on getting high citations. The workshop will study the following using group and individual exercises. £150.


Community Engagement and Environmental Education

23/01/2018   Beneath the Bark - Exploring how to use the therapeutic effects of the outdoors to improve mental health.   1 Day

Glyndwr University, Northop, Plas Derw Trust. Contact: 01385 2840955 info@plasderw.co.uk http://www.plasderwforestschool.co.uk

This course will provide you with opportunity for exploring and observing physical and mental health traits in young people, and will provide activities and ideas for assessing, improving and engaging with children and young people. This course compliments some of the KIVA scheme.

Contact for Details 

EarthCraftuk Level 3 Forest School Leader Training   9 Day

Near Faversham in Kent, EarthCraftuk Forest School. Contact: info@earthcraftuk.com http://www.earthcraftuk.com

9 days training time plus 1:1 personal delivery assessment.  Support offered after qualifying with 2 free days per year returning to us.  We also offer Outdoor First Aid, Outdoor Food Safety, KCC Camp Fire Management.

Forest School Training Levels 1, 2 and 3 2 or 5   2 Day

Across the South West, Cornwall, Devon, Taunton, Bath and Bristol South West, Nature Workshops. Contact: 01209 215211 forestschool@natureworkshops.co.uk http://www.natureworkshops.co.uk/learning/land

Offering free monthly Taster Days across the South West. Level 3 Training takes 12 months with initial training over 2 or 5 days. Includes monthly skill shares and personalised mentor meetings. Costs £900 Outdoor First Aid can be arranged for £90. Please visit the website to find out more about training with Nature Workshops.


Countryside Management Techniques

30/01/2018   Veteran Tree Management Course   2 Day

Hatfield Forest, Takeley, Nr. Bishop's Stortford, National Trust. Contact: 01279 870678 nickly.daniel@nationaltrust.org.uk http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hatfieldforest

This comprehensive two day Course is a must for anyone with veteran trees in their care, countryside managers, arborists and advisors.   Course fee £260 excl VAT


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

20/01/2018   Outdoor First Aid Course   2 Day at RATHO, Edinburgh International Climbing Arena, First Aid Training Co-operative.

25/01/2018   Outdoor First Aid Course   2 Day at Transition Extreme Sports Ltd, Aberdeen, First Aid Training Co-operative.

For both: 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.  Contact: 0333 4330731 courses@firstaidtrainingcooperative.co.uk http://www.firstaidtrainingcooperative.co.uk

Contact for details 

Outdoor First Aid    2 Day organsied by Outdoor First Aid Limited

Qualification valid for 3 years meets NGB regulations. Ideal course for ecologists, rangers and fieldworkers. Courses delivered throughout Scotland for groups of 4 or more. Outdoor First Aid courses approved by SQA and ITC. Practical, workplace based courses. Outdoor First Aid Limited meets the HSE Due Diligence requirements on all its courses.

Forest School Practioner First Aid   2 Day organsied by Outdoor First Aid Limited

Qualification valid for 3 years meets forest school practitioner regulations. Specially developed outdoor first aid course for course for forest school practitioners. Certificate valid for 3 years. Courses delivered throughout Scotland for groups of 4 or more. Outdoor First Aid Limited meets the HSE Due Diligence requirements on all its courses.

HSE First Aid at Work   3 Day organsied by Outdoor First Aid Limited

Courses delivered throughout Scotland for groups of 4 or more. Practical, workplace based courses. Qualification valid for 3 years meets HSE statutory regulations. Outdoor First Aid Limited meets the HSE Due Diligence requirements on all its courses.

HSE Emergency First Aid at Work   1 Day organsied by Outdoor First Aid Limited

Courses delivered throughout Scotland for groups of 4 or more.  Practical, workplace based courses. Qualification valid for 3 years meets HSE statutory regulations. Outdoor First Aid Limited meets the HSE Due Diligence requirements on all its courses.

Defibrillator Training   0.5 Day organsied by Outdoor First Aid Limited

Courses delivered throughout Scotland for groups of 4 or more.  Practical, workplace based courses. Qualification valid for 1 year. Outdoor First Aid Limited meets the HSE Due Diligence requirements on all its courses.

First Aid Refreshers / Basic Life Support   0.5 Day organsied by Outdoor First Aid Limited

Courses delivered throughout Scotland for groups of 4 or more. Outdoor First Aid Limited meets the HSE Due Diligence requirements on all its courses.

Paediatric First Aid   1 or 2 Day organsied by Outdoor First Aid Limited

This course meets Ofsted first aid requirements for registered childminders & the requirements for first aid for nannies under the Department for Children, Schools & Families Approved Carers Scheme. Certificate valid for 3 years. Courses delivered throughout Scotland for groups of 4 or more. Outdoor First Aid Limited meets the HSE Due Diligence requirements on all its courses. Available as a 6 or 12 hour course.

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

EarthCraftuk Forest School First Aid Training    2 Day

Near Faversham in Kent, EarthCraft CIC. Contact: info@earthcraftuk.com http://www.earthcraftuk.com

Regular programmes throughout the year. 16 hour (over two consecutive days) Outdoor First Aid Training for Forest School staff and Outdoor Professionals.  Covering also, emergency Paediatric elements.  Training all outside in woodland.  £170 per person

Emergency Forester First Aid Course (Forestry Commission Approved)   1 Day

East Peckham Sports Hall, Pippin Rd, East Peckham, Tonbridge TN12 5BT but we can come to you, Kent Woodland Employment Scheme. Contact: 0118 971 0158 susannah@kwes.org.uk http://www.kwes.org.uk

Emergency First Aid at Work - EFAW - the minimum standard anyone working in forestry should achieve. One day course £85.00 plus Vat per person. +F - One day course to provide additional skills to add onto the EFAW - £95.00 plus VAT per person.


Horticulture and Small Holding

27/01/2018   Permaculture Course   2 Day

The Concrete Gardens, Glasgow, Lusi Alderslowe. Contact: 07787376475 lusialderslowe@gmail.com https://lusialderslowe.wordpress.com/courses/

Permaculture is a design system based on ethics and principles deduced from observing nature. Permaculture is solutions-focussed, so you will learn something which you can then apply to your work, life, garden or projects. It can be a 2-day introduction or the first module of the 12-day Permaculture Design Course.


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Herpetology, Fish and Invertebrates

25/01/2018   Practical Vertebrate Trapping   1 Day

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

This course is aimed at pest controllers who want to add vertebrate trapping to their service portfolio. The course covers both theory and practical aspects of trapping vertebrate pests, such as moles, rabbits, grey squirrels, pigeons, rats and mice.

Contact for Details

Lake Ecology   5 Day

Lancaster, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Lancaster University. Contact: http://www.ceh.ac.uk/training/lake-ecology

Starting mid-October, this course is a regular, well established module of the Lancaster University Graduate School for the Environment Masters Programme. Non-students can register their interest now. The course introduces the principles of lake ecology and presents a holistic approach to the drivers and internal interactions that control water quality in lakes.

Beginners Guide to Butterfly and Reptile Surveys   1 Day

Delemere Forest, Northwich, Cheshire Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01948 820728 info@cheshirewt.org.uk http://www.cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/whats-on  Learn the techniques of surveying butterflies and reptiles at the mosslands in Delemere. Sign up to receive information on specific dates. Cost: free.


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Mammals

27/01/2018   Tracking Trails - An Introduction to Animal Tracks   1 Day

Findhorn, Wild things!. Contact: 01309690450 enquiries@wild-things.org.uk http://wild-things.org.uk/our-events/tracking-trails/

Explore the woodlands, where our instructor will lead you on an introductory journey exploring the tracks and signs left behind by our native animals. This event will give you the chance to discover these tracks and signs first hand and cover skills and knowledge in animal tracking.

Contact for Details

Bat Licence Training Course   10 Day

various - across Eng & Wales, BatTraining. Contact: 07711 848 174 richard@ecologyod.co.uk http://www.BatTraining.co.uk

The longest running bat licence course in the UK is Bat Licence Training Course. Core training plus additional bat related courses including handling, advanced techniques, mitigation.


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Ornithology

14/01/2018   Winter Bird Identification   1 Day

Attenborough Nature Reserve, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. Contact: 0115 972 1777 enquiries@attenboroughnaturecentre.co.uk http://www.attenboroughnaturecentre.co.uk/book

This day course focusses on the wildfowl, waders and other winter visitors at Attenborough. You'll improve your birdwatching and winter bird identification skills. 10am - 3pm   £35

21/01/2018   Wetland Birds of Surrey   1 Day

Aquasports, Merstham RH1 4EU, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk http://www.surreywildlifetrust.org/events/2017/08/22/wetland-birds-surrey?instance=0

Enjoy a day at Mercers Country Park learning about the huge variety of wetland birds we have in Surrey and identifying them in their natural habitat.

25/01/2018   Bird Survey Techniques   1 Day

Nower Wood, Mill Way, leatherhead KT22 8QA, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk http://www.surreywildlifetrust.org/events/2017/08/22/bird-survey-techniques?instance=0

Find out the best techniques to use when conducting a bird survey. We discuss how to start as well as developing best practice.


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Plants and Habitats

06/01/2018   Crazy About Conifers   1 Day

Findhorn, Wild things!. Contact: 01309690450 enquiries@wild-things.org.uk http://wild-things.org.uk/our-events/crazy-about-conifers/

During this conifer identification session we will spend time in an area of our local woodlands, exploring the key features used to identify different families and species of conifers. We will look at features such as leaves, bark, and cones, which can be used to identify the more common species.

Contact for Details  

Catchment Hydrology. Water Management using the Integrated Hydrological Modelling System, IHMS   3 Day

Wallingford, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. Contact: http://www.ceh.ac.uk/training/catchment-hydrology

This three-day course will run in autumn 2017 subject to sufficient sign-up. Register your interest now. The course is aimed at Hydrologists; catchment managers; practitioners, policy makers, business & researchers . It covers the Water cycle within the catchment, Impact of climate and land use changes & more.



13/01/2018   Wildlife Photography in the Winter   0.5 Day

Attenborough Nature Reserve, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. Contact: 0115 972 1777 enquiries@attenboroughnaturecentre.co.uk http://www.attenboroughnaturecentre.co.uk/book

Join professional photographer, Iain McMillan, for a morning of wildlife photography around the reserve. Learn how to get the best from your own equipment and use Iain’s extensive range of professional kit.  8.30am - 11.30am  £35


Practical Countryside Skills

13/01/2018   Natural Boundaries   2 Day

Cotesbach Estate, T & S Newton Farm. Contact: 01455 552697 info@cotesbach.net http://www.cotesbach.net/farm-woodland

Two days Hedgelaying for beginners on organic farmland with HLA accredited hedgelayer, £295pp also includes 2 nights accommodation in boutique bell tents with shower facilities on Cotesbach Estate with hearty breakfasts, hamper lunches, supper & convivial evenings round roaring fire, groups Max 6 persons per weekend, arrive Friday eve

22/01/2018   Introduction to Basic Hedge Laying   2 Day

Settle , Lowe Maintenance. Contact: 01729825132 info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk http://www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk

An introduction to the traditional art of hedge laying, you will be taught by champion hedge layer Andrew Kirkwood. You will lay a length of hedge in the regional style of where the course is being held using hand tools. An interesting and informative couple of days.


Practical Countryside Skills - Machinery

30/01/2018   Basic Tree Survey & Inspection (LANTRA)   1 Day

Nower Wood, Mill Way, leatherhead KT22 8QA, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk http://www.surreywildlifetrust.org/events/2017/08/23/basic-tree-survey-inspection-lantra?instance=0

Earn a LANTRA certificate of attendance once you complete this comprehensive survey and inspection course.

By Arrangement   

ROLO (Register of Land-Based Operatives) Training   1 Day

Guildford, Thomson Ecology. Contact: 01483 466066 Estelle.Spencer@thomsonecology.com http://www.thomsonecology.com

The ROLO training course is a pre-requisite for anyone applying for a LISS/CSCS card. The course is run from our head office in Guildford, Surrey. We can also provide training at your location if numbers are viable. Successful candidates will receive ROLO certificates produced by BALI.

Contact for Details

Water, land and crop management at field scale   3 Day

Wallingford, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. Contact: http://www.ceh.ac.uk/training/water-land-and-crop-management

This three-day course will run in autumn 2017 subject to sufficient sign-up. You can register your interest now. It will cover topics like Water transport, Nitrogen fertilizers management, Irrigation and Drainage, Crop growth and yield, Soil moisture, soil nitrogen and salinity status, Impact of climate change.

Run on a Regular Basis (various dates available)

NPTC - PA1 Foundation Module & PA6A Knapsack Sprayer   3 Day

Maidstone or Countrywide for groups, Ian Gower Associates Ltd. Contact: 07946 525298 / 01622 675130 ian@pesticides-safety-training.co.uk http://www.pesticides-safety-training.co.uk

This 3 day course includes the PA1 assessment. The practical PA6A assessment is held on a separate occasion. Courses are for a maximum of 8 people & they are run regularly throughout the year in Maidstone & on-site anywhere in the UK for groups of people.

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

This course covers safety features, preparing the chainsaw for use with correct fuel and lubrication and cross cutting timber accurately. This unit must be completed before progressing on to further chainsaw courses.

Level 2 Award in Felling and Processing Trees up to 380mm (CS31)   3.5 Day  at Brooksby Melton College

This course will further expand on your knowledge gained by the CS30 course (City & Guilds NPTC Level 2 Award in Chainsaw Maintenance and Cross Cutting). This course will take you onto felling trees up to 380mm in diameter, including performing tree operations using hand tools.

Level 3 Award in Felling and Processing Trees over 380mm (CS32)   3.5 Day  at Brooksby Melton College

This course further expands on the knowledge gained in CS30 and CS31. This course will take you onto felling trees over 380mm in diameter, including performing tree operations using hand tools. The felling technique will be appropriate to tree size, weight, condition and species.

Level 2 Award in Safe Use of Pesticides (Boom Sprayer Applicator) PA2   2 Day  at Brooksby Melton College

Completion of the assessment will give individuals a lifetime qualification and the commercial licence for the relevant units completed. This course would benefit anyone already working or considering working in a horticulture environment, agriculture or anywhere pesticides may need to be implemented.

Level 2 Award in Safe Use of Pesticides (Replacing Grandfather Rights)   2 Day  at Brooksby Melton College

This course enables students to learn about the practical and theoretical elements of how to safely use pesticides. Completion of the assessment will give individuals a lifetime qualification and the commercial licence for the relevant units completed, to allow for application of pesticides to their land only.

Level 2 Agricultural Tractor Operations   2.5 Day  at Brooksby Melton College

This course equips learners with the skills needed to work effectively where they are fully responsible for tractor operations.

Level 2 Safe Use of Ride-On Self Propelled Mowers   2 Day  at Brooksby Melton College

This course covers pre-use checks, maintenance, identification of controls and instruments, and operating the machine, taking in to account the type of cutting mechanism used (rotary, cylinder, flail or reciprocating knife).

 Level 2 Safe Use of Pedestrian Controlled Mowers   4 Day  at Brooksby Melton College

This course covers pre-use checks, maintenance, identification of controls and instruments, and operating the machine taking in to account the type of cutting mechanism used (rotary, cylinder, flail or reciprocating knife or greens machine with interchangeable units).

Level 2 Aerial Tree Pruning (CS40)   2.5 Day  at Brooksby Melton College

This qualification covers pruning operations off ground in trees, carrying out reductions, crown-lifting, re-pollarding, thinning and crown cleaning. It also focuses upon the high standards of health and safety involved with these operations.

Level 2 Safe Use of Pesticides (PA4S and G)   2 Day  at Brooksby Melton College

This course would benefit anyone already working or considering working in a horticulture environment, agriculture or anywhere pesticides may need to be implemented.

Level 2 Safe Use of Manually Fed Wood-Chipper   1 Day  at Brooksby Melton College

This one day course is theory based with a small practical element, aiming to provide delegates with the basic knowledge to understand the principles of best practice in operating a wood chipper. It also covers maintenance aspects.

Level 2 Safe Use of Stump Grinders   1 Day  at Brooksby Melton College

This one day course aims to provide delegates with the base knowledge to understand the principles of best practice in operating and maintaining Stump Grinders.

Level 2 Safe Use of Brush-Cutters and Trimmers    1 Day  at Brooksby Melton College

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 require employers to provide adequate training in maintenance and operation of brush cutters and trimmers and to ensure that equipment is operated only by employees who have received appropriate training in their safe use.

Level 2 Safe Use of a Powered Pole Pruner   1 Day  at Brooksby Melton College

This qualification is for the pruning of trees using pole mounted, long reach pruning equipment, which may include extendable pruning saws, powered pole pruners and loppers. The trees will be cut by removing branches using cuts that are finished to the current standard for pruning tree work.

Level 2 Using Pesticides Safely (PA1 & PA6)   2 Day  at Brooksby Melton College

The PA1 unit is a theory based course and covers the legislation, health and safety requirements, precautions, product label information and safe handling and use of pesticides. The PA6A practical unit covers the handling and safe use of pesticides using knapsack sprayers.

Brooksby Melton College is in Melton Mowbray. Contact: 01664 855444 shortcourses@brooksbymelton.ac.uk http://www.brooksbymelton.ac.uk


Updates and Additions to other sections of Training Directory this month

Longer courses


Kingston Maurward College: Level 2 Certificate in Agriculture,  Level 3 Extended Diploma in Agriculture and FdSc Agriculture Science


Kingston Maurward College: Level 2 - Technical Certificate in Forestry & Arboriculture

Botany and Horticulture

Brooksby Melton College:  Level 3 Horticulture (Garden Design), Levels 2 & 3 Apprenticeship in Horticulture, RHS Level 3 Principles of Garden Planning, Construction and Planting, RHS Level 2 Principles of Horticulture, RHS Level 2 Aspects of the Domestic Garden, RHS Level 3 Plant Growth, Health and Applied Propogation, Level 3 Computer Aided Garden Design

Kingston Maurward College: Level 1 Practical Horticulture Skills, Level 2 – Technical Certificate in Horticulture and Level 3 – Extended Diploma in Horticulture

Environmental Education

EarthCraftUK: Level 3 Forest School Leader Training in Kent and Levels 3, 2 and 1 Forest School Training

Hobby and Craft

Brooksby Melton College: Floristry Parts 1, 2 & 3, Level 3 Subsidiary Floristry

Kingston Maurward College: Level 1 Welding, Fabrication and Blacksmithing and Level 2 Welding, Blacksmithing & Fabrication

Land and Countryside Management

Level 2 Technical Certificate in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at Kingston Maurward College

Brooksby Melton College courses: Level 3 Subsidiary Countryside Management and Level 1 Practical Countryside Skills

Kingston Maurward College:  Level 1 - Introduction to Agriculture & the Countryside  and Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation

Marine and Coastal

Kingston Maurward College: Foundation Degree in Marine Ecology and Conservation, BSc (Hons) Marine Ecology & Conservation TOP UP and FdSc in Countryside and Coastal Conservation


Distance learning

Delve Deeper Introduction to Marine Biology by Newcastle University


Send details of your training courses.

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If you're running professional courses or events and would like details to be included here and in the online Training Directory click here for more information, email your details to us or for further information please contact the CJS Team.



Additions to the Grants and sources of funding listings.

Comic Relief

Greater Quantock Landscape Development Fund (Somerset County Council)

BBC Children in Need – Small Grants Programme (UK)

Funding for Heritage Projects (UK) from HLF

Dick Potts Legacy Fund from Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust 


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