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

Published on the second Thursday every month – 11 May 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.


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Training

 


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:

How do you connect with CJS? We want to know the best way to share our information with you.

 Could you spare two minutes to answer six questions? Every reply will go towards planting trees with the Woodland Trust or sponsoring dormouse boxes with PTES. As an added incentive one reply drawn at random will receive a year's subscription to CJS Weekly by email; this could be a group subscription to share with your colleagues or volunteers. Take part here.

This month's calendar of training contains details of courses available on an ad hoc or regular basis.  There are also lots of insect and invertebrate identification courses and for plant survey techniques. [more

Our featured charity Plantlife is promoting their road verge campaign: Road verges are a refuge for some of our rarest plants. Read on.

CJS in-depth features: profile of HighGround, a charity started by Anna Baker Cresswell in 2013 to help Service Leavers, Reservists and Veterans to find jobs, careers and vocational opportunities in the land-based sector - outdoor stuff for outdoor people. [More]


Business Development Manager

Contract Type   Permanent

Organisation     Middlemarch Environmental Ltd

Location           Coventry, West Midlands

Salary               40,000 – 45,000 Plus Bonus

Hours               40 hours per week 

Job Details

If you love networking, get a thrill from growing business, enjoy using your ecological knowledge to provide solutions and have a passion for client satisfaction, this role may be just what you are looking for. 

As one of the leading ecological consultancy companies in the UK, Middlemarch Environmental specialises in providing Creative Ecological Solutions. We offer client focused, cost effective advice and understanding on all ecological issues that occur during the planning and building process.  

Currently we have over 40 professional ecologists, with additional contract staff and administrative support. As might be expected in a young company, there is considerable potential for personal development within the organisation as part of our continued growth plan for the next five years. 

The role of Business Development Manager is exciting and dynamic. You will be responsible for bringing confirmed briefs into the pipeline from new and existing clients. You will be searching for new business using your knowledge of the market, by using the marketing tools available to you and by making the most of personal networking opportunities. 

As well as a competitive salary, Middlemarch offers an exceptional bonus scheme whereby it is possible to boost your remuneration significantly. 

Candidates with at least five years of working within an ecological consultancy company as a work-stream manager, with a strong track record in client relationship management and sales achievement will be particularly favoured. - See more at: http://www.middlemarch-environmental.com/.  

For a copy of the skills/experience and accountabilities required for this role, please click here. Interviews will be held on 7th June 2017 at our head office in Coventry. 

To apply for this role, please contact us for an application form on admin@middlemarch-environmental.com or telephone 01676 525880  . Closing date for applications is 31st May 2017


Bodmin Town Council (Cornwall) seeks applicants for a Gardener to join the Parks & Open Spaces Team. This is a full-time, permanent position, with seasonal variation in hours. 

The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate a willingness to work alongside others; be able to support team members to perform at their best; be self-motivated when working alone; have commitment to a high level of customer service; demonstrate a passion and knowledge for nature and the environment, and have good knowledge of its correct management. 

Level 3 or above qualification in relevant area (e.g. Countryside Management, Conservation) is essential, as is a full, valid driving licence. 

Competence with machinery/equipment use and maintenance including strimmers, brushcutters, hedge cutters, wood chippers, pedestrian and ride-on mowers, trailers and tractors with accreditation as required for Health and Safety compliance is desirable, along with PA1 and PA6 pesticide accreditation. Experience in planning and delivering practical works such as seasonal planting and landscaping works is an advantage. 

Salary starts at £15,804 p.a. 

For full details including a job description and an application form please email recruitment@bodmin.gov.uk.  

Closing date for receiving completed applications is 9.00a.m. Friday 26 May 2017. 


Logo: Open Country‘Wild About Wakefield’ Project Officer 

Full time, fixed-term - initially for 2 years. Based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. Salary is £26,000, based on a 40 hour week (includes 3% pension contribution).  

Open Country is a Harrogate-based charity seeking to enable people with disabilities to enjoy the countryside. We achieve this through a programme of countryside activities, and the provision of information and advice. 

We seek someone to develop the work of our inspirational organisation by setting up a new outreach project in Wakefield. The Project Officer will be responsible for day-to-day running of the project, including volunteer recruitment, publicity, minibus management and programme delivery. They will lead groups on activities including nature conservation tasks, rambling and tandem cycling, welcoming a wide variety of disabled adults from Wakefield District. 

The successful applicant will be physically fit, dynamic, self-reliant, resourceful and have excellent people skills. They should have a good local knowledge of the countryside and the wildlife that lives there. Paid experience with a countryside or outdoor organisation is essential. A full driving licence is essential (D1 driving licence entitlement desirable). A First Aid qualification is desirable.  

Successful candidates will be checked through the Disclosure & Barring Service. 

For an informal discussion please contact David Shaftoe on 01423 507227 (24 hours answerphone). Or you can visit www.opencountry.org.uk 

To receive an application pack, please email info@opencountry.org.uk  or write to: David Shaftoe, Open Country, Community House, 46 East Parade, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 5LT.

Closing Date 19/5/17,  Interviews: week commencing 5/6/17. 


Logo: TACPTACP wishes to recruit an experienced Ecologist to join our busy team of ecologists, environmental, landscape and planning consultants in Cardiff, to work on an extensive and growing portfolio of infrastructure, development and management studies and projects.   

Applicants should be a full member of CIEEM with a range of experience and knowledge.  They should be able to work both independently and within complex multidisciplinary teams, demonstrating initiative and self-motivation. 

Desirable attributes and skills would include:   ●   All-round field survey skills, including Extended Phase 1   ●   Excellent report writing and communication skills   ●   Protected Species licences   ●   Environmental Impact Assessment   ●   Habitat Regulations Assessment   ●   Ecological mitigation design and implementation   ●   Good working knowledge of Environmental Legislation   ●   Experience of Public Inquiries   ●   Management of survey teams and sub-consultants   ●   GIS mapping experience   ●   Full drivers licence   ●   Whilst based in Cardiff, the capacity to work at sites throughout Wales and the rest of the UK 

This is a permanent full-time position. 

If you’re interested please forward a full curriculum vitae, along with any references to Sarah Murray at admin@tacp.co.uk. 

TACP, 10 Park Grove, Cardiff  CF10 3BN    T:  02920 228966    admin@tacp.co.uk     www.tacp.co.uk  


Logo: The Ribble Rivers TrustVolunteer & Apprentice Supervisor 

Purpose: To support the delivery of the Ribble Life Together activities and co-ordinate the work of volunteers and apprentices.

Reports to: Programme Manager

Responsible for: 2x Apprentices, volunteers

Location: Clitheroe (base), with work across the catchment         

Hours: 37.5 hours per week

Salary: £23,000-£25,000 

Contract: Until end September 2020 (with possibility of extension) The Ribble Rivers Trust (RRT) is the lead partner in Ribble Life Together, a catchment scale project delivering a range of activities to improve the condition, management and awareness of the Ribble Catchment. Funding for this project has come from a variety of partners and sources, including the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

RRT is now looking to recruit a Volunteer Supervisor to support our apprentice and co-ordinate our volunteer activities. The successful candidate will be a confident and clear communicator with experience in directly delivering a range of volunteer activities, including: tree planting, wetland creation, fencing, access improvements, habitat surveys, invasive species control and maintenance. Also activities that inform, engage and inspire people to be more actively involved in looking after their local environment, such as guided river walks. 

The role will involve leading diverse teams of volunteers from all walks of life, and supporting apprentices and those undertaking work experience or more formal voluntary placements. You will be responsible for planning our calendar of volunteer events, liaising with both internal colleagues and partner organisations and linking in with our other project activities and events.  

Successful candidates will be able to demonstrate the ability to plan and deliver a range of volunteer projects, work flexibly and enthuse diverse groups of people to make a practical difference to our rivers. 

Please click here for more details and information about how to apply. 

Closing date: 12noon Friday 2nd June 2017


Logo: The Ribble Rivers TrustSeasonal Survey Assistant (x 2) 

Purpose: To assist with annual monitoring programme Reports to: Catchment Science Co-ordinator

Location: Clitheroe (base), working across the catchment

Hours: 37.5 hours per week

Salary:  National Minimum Wage

Contract: 13 weeks, fixed term contract (June – October, depending on start date) The Ribble Rivers Trust (RRT) is the lead partner in Ribble Life Together, a catchment scale project delivering a range of activities to improve the condition, management and awareness of the Ribble Catchment. Funding for this project has come from a variety of partners and sources, including the Heritage Lottery Fund.

RRT uses a robust scientific approach to catchment conservation and will be guided by local knowledge and experience of the Ribble Life Partnership Board, but also the outcomes of monitoring, evaluation and surveys.   

As such we are looking to recruit two Seasonal Survey Assistants to aid in the collection of field survey data ranging from ecological surveys of vegetation, invertebrates and fish, to water chemistry and habitat surveys. One post holder will specialise in electro-fishing, but will be expected to carry out the full range of duties as required.  

The successful candidates will have experience of environmental surveying, including design, data collection and data entry. 

The seasonal survey assistant will be responsible for:   ●   Collecting field survey data as directed by the Catchment Science Co-ordinator   ●   Undertake data entry into appropriate databases    ●    Working alongside volunteers to provide support and training   ●   Contribute to the production of publicity and marketing media of the project    ●   Any other duties as required by the RRT. 

Please click here for more details and information about how to apply. 

Closing date: 12noon Friday 26th May 2017 


Logo: Ecology Solutions LimitedSeasonal Field Surveyors 

Based in the Cotswolds, Ecology Solutions is a leading consultancy with an extensive range of expertise, specialising in ecology planning solutions for numerous, diverse high profile clients within both the public and private sectors. 

We are seeking to recruit Seasonal Field Surveyors to be involved in protected species survey and translocation work in various locations across the UK. Basic knowledge of these fauna is advantageous, although full training will be provided. Use of own car is essential, as is a willingness to travel long distances, work evenings and occasional weekends and stay away from home overnight for the majority of the week.  

In accordance with the needs of the business work may be available until September/October. Please clearly state in your application when you are available to start. 

You will receive a competitive salary plus expenses, to include a subsistence allowance, mileage costs and accommodation at bed and breakfast establishments when an overnight stay is required.  

Please forward a copy of your CV together with a covering letter by email to: Kitty Cook  kitty.cook@ecologysolutions.co.uk  

Sorry, we are unable to take telephone enquiries regarding the role. 

No agencies please.


logo: Avian EcologyEcologist / Senior Ecologist (full time, permanent role) 

Avian Ecology is seeking an experienced ecologist to join our team of skilled professionals, based in our Lower Stretton (near Warrington) office. 

Over the last decade, Avian has earned a reputation for professional excellence and delivering services to the highest standards on projects across the UK. Our clients are from both the public and private sectors and our project portfolio is diverse and challenging. 

The successful candidate will principally be expected to provide support for our on-going project portfolio, and duties will include both fieldwork and report writing. There will also be opportunities to develop project management, client liaison and stakeholder negotiation skills. Key requirements are:

  • Demonstrable expertise in phase I habitat surveying. Experience in Phase 2 (NVC) botanical surveys would be advantageous.
  • Strong protected species survey experience. Survey and/or development licences (GCN, bats or dormice) would be advantageous.
  • An ability to deliver high quality and succinct technical reports.
  • Excellent communication skills.

Candidates will have a relevant degree and preferably be a CIEEM member. At least two years’ consultancy experience is required and this role will suit someone ready to move up in their career. A clear understanding of relevant legislation and policies is required. As with all of our team, the successful candidate will be diligent, passionate, professional and enthusiastic. 

This is a full-time permanent role. Salary will be dependent on experience. A full clean UK driving licence is essential. 

We offer a strong remuneration package in a friendly, dynamic and flexible working environment, where we support and encourage professional development and training. 

If you feel you have the experience and enthusiasm to work as part of our team, please submit your CV with a covering letter outlining your salary expectations to: Rachel.Hughes@avianecology.co.uk. Closing date for applications 26th May 2017.


https://fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-snc4/157900_265486556837461_873317245_n.jpgIlminster Town Council

Open Spaces Warden 

As part of the Open Spaces team this role contributes to the maintenance of the town’s open spaces which includes:   ●   Recreation Areas   ●   Play areas   ●   Cemetery   ●   Herne Hill (woodland and amenity area)   ●   Floral displays 

The post is permanent and full time; the salary will be within the range £15,246 – £15,613 

The successful candidate will have a clean driving licence and a good general understanding of horticulture and grounds maintenance together with at least 1 years’ relevant experience including the operation and maintenance of appropriate machinery and equipment. Other duties include general grounds, building and street furniture maintenance. 

The nature of the role means that the post holder will be interacting with members of the local community on a regular basis so good communication and customer care skills are very important.  

We welcome enquiries from everyone and value diversity in our workforce. 

Application packs containing a full job description and the main terms of employment can be downloaded from www.ilminster.gov.uk or phone Tel: 01460 52149 or E-mail: town.council@ilminster.gov.uk  

Closing date 19 May 2017 at 12noon


Outstanding Opportunity for a Wayleaves Officer 

Role:                Wayleaves Officer

Location:          Yorkshire / Lincolnshire

Salary:              £30,500 - £33,500

Contract:           Permanent 

With over 65 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 Wayleaves Team provide a professional service to the electricity supply industry and we are looking to appoint a highly motivated Senior Wayleave Officer with the energy and drive to deliver high quality work, whilst providing excellent customer service.   

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

Closing Date: 22 May 20017 at 9am


Learning Engagement Officer, Somerset.

Salary:  £18,000 - £23,000.

Permanent / Full time. 

Secret World Wildlife Rescue is the South West’s premier wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and release charity, helping over 5,000 animals each year.  One of our key objectives is to provide an educational / learning programme linked with the National Curriculum to enable educational delivery both on and off site.  

This role is pivotal in the delivery of a high quality wildlife, environmental and conservation/heritage learning programme to schools and youth community groups, including leading sessions at our on-site learning centre, running a programme of family engagement activities and training and managing a team of volunteers who will help facilitate these programmes. 

For more details and application pack see our website  

Closing date 19th May, Interviews 25th / 26th May.


logo: Yorkshire Peat PartnershipYPP Research Assistant and opportunity for post-graduate study at the University of Manchester 

£22750 p.a. plus up to 9% employee pension contribution 

The Yorkshire Peat Partnership, YPP, is a landscape scale peatland restoration partnership which delivers practical restoration throughout the Yorkshire Region. It has recently secured new funding from Yorkshire Water to develop a research programme to develop proxy methods to assess the ecosystem services impacts of different types of Sphagnum inoculation on degraded open blanket habitats and is now looking to appoint a Research Assistant. 

This post presents a very exciting opportunity to join a small and progressive team in a newly opened office in the market town of Skipton on the doorstep of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales National Park.  

You will be passionate about the application of research to major conservation problems with a high-level of problem-solving skills and a scientific approach analysing complex ecosystem interactions. You will have excellent written and verbal communication skills including capability to produce technical reports and documentation. 

If you are looking for a new challenge and would like to combine your knowledge, skills and understanding in a scientific research field and have a willingness to enrol for a part-time PhD at University of Manchester this could be the perfect role for you. 

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

Please note we don’t accept CVs 

Application closing date: 9 am on Tuesday 23 May 2017; interview date: Friday 2 June 2017 

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is an equal opportunities employer 

YWT Company 409650; Charity no. 210807. 


Logo: Yorkshire Wildlife TrustRegional Manager - North 

£34500 p.a. plus up to 9% employee pension contribution 

Are you a strong leader with proven experience of inspiring and motivating a diverse team? Do you have passion and enthusiasm for nature conservation? Would you like to combine your skills and interests to take up an exciting new challenge? 

YWT is a dynamic and rapidly growing organisation and we are seeking to appoint a Regional Manager for our northern team.  This role provides a crucial link between the Trust’s on the ground activities and the senior management team as we embark upon our next 5 year business plan. 

As well as being committed to our mission to create a Yorkshire rich in wildlife for everyone, you will be forward thinking and will thrive under the challenge of working in a multi-facetted role. You will be an adept project manager, ideally with specialist skills/training in project management as well as being IT literate with excellent communication and people management skills.  

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

Please note we don’t accept CVs 

Application closing date: 10 am on Wednesday 17 May 2017;   interviews: Wednesday 24 May 2017 

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is an equal opportunities employer 

YWT Company 409650; Charity no. 210807. 


Woods4sale Ltd 

Woodland Sales Manager 

Due to our continued success in the woodland sales market we now require a manager to join our team, working in South East England. 

The ideal candidate would have a good knowledge of woodlands and forestry, be highly articulate and have a good command of the written word, be fully IT literate, have experience of GIS mapping and a good knowledge of woodland management practices. 

The position would require the manager to be able to work from home to some extent, with regular weekly visits to our Head Office in Chester. The manager may be required to work across the South of England, but with an emphasis on the South East. An ideal location would be within reach of the M25. 

This is a full time permanent position. 

Salary range: £30,000 - £38,000 (depending on experience). A company car would be provided or a mileage rate would be paid if the manager preferred to use their own car. 

Please apply with full CV to Joe Fielding: joe@redrockforestry.co.uk 


Groundsman/Manager 

To join a team at a small estate in North Cotswolds 

To work on the maintenance of established formal and informal gardens, walled vegetable garden, wooded areas, lake and grazing fields.  Vermin control.  Occasional evening/weekend duties. 

There is an existing team of Head Gardener and part time assistant Gardener. 

Applicants should be well motivated, organised and experienced, consistently achieving a high standard.   

Must have a drivers license. 

A house is available in Shipston-on-Stour if required. 

References essential. 

Salary negotiable depending on qualifications and experience. 

Please Contact:  

deborah.williams@armscotemanor.co.uk 


Logo: Rockingham Forest TrustSeasonal Ranger 

£18000 - £20000 pro rata

Fixed Term – Immediate start - until 15/09/2017 with potential to lead to a full-time position

Based at Stanwick Lakes Nature Reserve 

This is an exciting opportunity for a Ranger to join our dynamic team for the summer season and possibly beyond. Based at the 750 acre Stanwick Lakes Nature Reserve and Countryside Attraction with all the fantastic facilities and activities it has to offer, the purpose of the role will be to manage the daily requirements of the central area of the site throughout the busy summer period, ensuring a great experience for our visitors. 

What we do:    Stanwick Lakes’ SSSI nature reserve and visitor attraction is managed as a social enterprise by Rockingham Forest Trust, an environmental charity that works to bring wide-ranging community benefits through creating and conserving special green spaces, and exploring local heritage, in ways which educate, involve and inspire.

What you will do:    The tasks involved will range from car parking and litter picking to health and safety inspections and assisting in educational sessions such as pond dipping and mini beasting, to name just a few. Our rangers are great at dealing with whatever situations arise to ensure the effective running of the site.

Estate management tasks such as grass cutting and clearance work will also be required to keep the site accessible for all the visitors. This is a position that will be different every day and will require a flexible approach. Weekend and evening working is essential to this role.

The possible full time position:    The possible extension to the Ranger role, outside of the summer period, differs greatly and will see the focus switch from visitor support to conservation management. Working in line with Natural England guidelines the site is managed to ensure the wide range of wetland habitats are maintained. The ideal applicant will have experience or a passion for the conservation element and would represent the Trust in this area.  

The position would suit an existing Ranger looking for new challenges or a graduate looking for a position that will allow them to develop over time.  

For more information and an application form please click here


Logo: Grosvenor EstateTeaching Trees Education Officer  

Grosvenor Estate is seeking a contractor to deliver woodland based school visits for primary aged children. The successful candidate will engage children in woodlands on Grosvenor’s Eaton and Abbeystead Estates to teach the value of trees for wildlife, environment, timber and for enjoyment.  

The Teaching Trees scheme is the Royal Forestry Society’s (RFS) outdoor education programme aimed at primary school aged children.  

We are seeking a well-motivated individual to work on a part time, freelance basis to deliver high quality education activities . The successful candidate will build contacts with local schools, develop and deliver up to 30 curriculum linked sessions, and support the growth of the project.  

The role can be based anywhere but will deliver approximately 75% of the education sessions on Eaton Estate near Chester and 25% at Abbeystead Estate near Lancaster.

Experience and knowledge of health and safety and child safeguarding is essential.  

You will be expected to attend training courses and meetings as required by the RFS education team and there will be some administration, such as record keeping, producing reports and invoices.  

Candidates will have experience of teaching or working with primary age children and familiarity with the new national curriculum at KS1 & KS2 will be beneficial. They will also have an appreciation of countryside as a working environment and a place for business and in particular the role of the forest industry.  

All candidates must have a higher education qualification in teaching, ecology or environmental science or a qualification in arboriculture or forestry as well as UK full driving licence.  

For more information please contact Greg Vickers on greg.vickers@grosvenor.com  

To apply, please send a covering letter and CV to recruitment.eeo@grosvenor.com, or contact a member of the HR team on 01244 684400. Closing date Friday 26 May.  


Recruitment adverts elsewhere with CJS:

Volunteers: 53 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 307 job adverts, 254 were for paid posts.  To see these you have to subscribe, find out how here.

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

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

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


Surveys and Fieldwork: additions in April

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. 

 

General

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  

 

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

 

DerwentWISE Wildlife Guardians Help by recording wildlife sightings & managing wildlife habitats. Attendees expected to make a minimum commitment of 1 day per month until October 2017 to carry out bee surveys at selected sites in the lower Derwent Valley as part of the survey programme. www.derwentwise.com

 

Birds

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. www.penguinwatch.org

 

Wader use of intertidal and coastal areas Many species of coastal wading bird have suffered recent population declines. We are interested in finding out which species of wading birds use intertidal and coastal habitats at different times throughout the year. http://c-js.co.uk/2pyNRaJ

 

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

 

House Martin Nest Study 2016-2017 with BTO This survey involves volunteers making regular observations at individual nests to collect information about nesting activity. After an initial visit, you need to be able to observe the nests for just a few minutes at least once a week to record any activity seen. http://c-js.co.uk/2f8UACU

 

Action for Curlew with GWCT The curlew is one of our most rapidly declining breeding birds, showing a 46% decline across the UK from 1994 to 2010. Help us to understand what is driving this decline. If you have, or have had, curlew on your land, please let us know by emailing or submitting details online. curlew@gwct.org.uk http://c-js.co.uk/2ox4gYg

 

Curlew Sightings The Wild New Forest survey team is now preparing for more fieldwork as the first migrating curlews arrive back in the New Forest. You can help by reporting any sightings of curlews and other ground nesting waders by email. The 2016 curlew survey report is available on the Wild New Forest website. wildnewforest@gmail.com http://www.wildnewforest.co.uk/new-forest-curlews-crisis/

 

Plants

Survey Wood Pasture We are calling for local volunteers to help survey wood pasture and parkland across Suffolk, as the first step towards preserving this key habitat.  Wood pasture is an ecologically important and iconic habitat home to many rare and threatened species, but we know surprisingly little about how much remains or what condition it’s in. Details or to request a survey pack http://www.ptes.org/wpp

 

The Big Bluebell Watch Over half the world’s population of these iconic wildflowers grow in the UK. Help us to find out where they are. Be part of our most accurate bluebell survey ever. Your records will help to monitor the status of the UK’s bluebells over time.   https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/bluebell-watch

 

Invertebrates

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

 

Team PollinATE needs Volunteers to help collect important data on which insects pollinate food grown in urban areas. Scientists at Sussex University are looking for allotment growers in Brighton & Hove. You will need to survey which insect pollinators are visiting the plants grown in your plot or community allotment, once every two weeks throughout the summer. Only takes 15 minutes. teampollinate@gmail.com http://www.teampollinate.co.uk

 

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

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

 


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CJS Focus 

CJS Focus on Fundraising and Promotion in association with Environmental Funders Network

Will be published on Monday 22 May.

Watch out for notices on the website, updates on social media or make a note to check back here

 


Trevor Dines (© Richard Williams Photography)logo: PlantlifeOur featured charity Plantlife is promoting their road verge campaign:

Road verges are a refuge for some of our rarest plants

By Dr Trevor Dines Plantlife’s Botanical Specialist

  

Driving around my local roads recently I started to wonder just how many plants grow on our verges? The buttercups, bluebells and oxeye daisies are easy to spot, quick ticks in the game of roadside botanical bingo. But others – such as betony (Betonica officinalis), ragged-Robin (Silene flos-cuculi) and early-purple orchid (Orchis mascula) – are more elusive, scoring more points in my head and a little sigh of relief that they’re still surviving.

Yarrow broomrape  © G Toone IWNHAS

Yarrow broomrape  © G Toone IWNHAS

And then there are the real rarities. To paraphrase the Great Bard, I know a bank where the wood bitter-vetch blows. Unfortunately, it’s not over-canopied with luscious woodbine, with sweet musk-roses and with eglantine, but is on the side of the A740 just past the nuclear power station. I always try and stop to check it out; the delicately painted flowers give me a moment of joy as the rest of the world hurtles past.

Tower mustard © Simon Williams/Plantlife

Tower mustard

© Simon Williams/Plantlife

Like many botanists, I form a mental map of the roads I travel. It’s a picture of what grows where and when, which verges have been mown and which might still harbour a treasure or two. There are very old friends – the knapweed broomrape (Orobanche elatior) on the road to Fullerton that I found as a child – and new ones, like the man orchid (Orchis anthropophora) that I saw on a verge near Plantlife’s Ranscombe Farm reserve in Kent for the first time last year.

 

The richness of our roadside flora is astonishing.

Our new road verges report brings this flora together for the first time – a national catalogue of all those species known to grow on verges and roadsides somewhere in the UK.

We’ve found that over 720 species grow on our road verges. This is an astonishing total. If we add in hedgerows and ditches, the total rises to over 800 species, representing nearly half our total flora. As well as highlighting the sheer diversity of our verges and roadsides, it really drives home their value for wildlife.

But unfortunately, the story of loss and destruction of road verge plants is a long one. In 1641 a road in Kent was widened, destroying the first colony of lizard orchid (Himantoglossum hircinum) ever recorded in Great Britain.

 

Crested cow-wheat © Sandy Wildlife

Crested cow-wheat © Sandy Wildlife

 

Today, nearly 100 ‘threatened’ or ‘near threatened’ species are found on our verges.

Many of these were once more abundant in meadows, pastures and woodlands. But today, with these habitats gone or in poor condition, we’ve found that road verges now represent their last refuge. For example:

  • The only remaining native site for fen ragwort (Senecio paludosus) is a road-side ditch in Cambridgeshire where it regularly suffers litter from a nearby burger van, traffic cones and even a burning car.
  • Over two thirds of sulphur clover (Trifolium ochroleucon) sites are on grassy road verges, having been lost from neighbouring meadows and pastures
  • Over half of crested cow-wheat (Melampyrum cristatum) records are on shaded and wooded road verges and hedgerows.

 

Proper management of our roadside verges is critical if these species are to avoid extinction. Please support our call for councils to manage their verges better for all our wildflowers and wildlife.

 

 


News.

 

CJS in-depthCJS in-depth features: profile of HighGround

HighGround is a charity started by Anna Baker Cresswell in 2013 to help Service Leavers, Reservists and Veterans to find jobs, careers and vocational opportunities in the land-based sector - outdoor stuff for outdoor people.
How can you help? If you can offer an ex military person a work experience opportunity which would make him or her more employable at the end than when they started (minimum 3 weeks), we’d love to hear from you.

 

 

Government news, announcements and policy plus reactions

Government publishes new anti-littering strategy - Defra & Department of Transport

 New Government Litter Strategy for England to curb littering with proposals for new enforcement, education and community engagement

Litter louts could be hit with £150 fines as part of ambitious new plans to tackle rubbish in England.

Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom unveiled the Government’s first Litter Strategy for England to reduce the near £800m burden to the taxpayer of clean-up costs.

Under the new measures, the most serious litterers could be hit with the £150 fines, while vehicle owners could receive penalty notices when it can be proved litter was thrown from their car – even if it was discarded by somebody else.

The new motoring rules, which are already in force in London, make owners liable even if they didn’t throw the litter themselves.

Further new measures drawn up by environment, transport and communities departments include:

  • Issuing new guidance for councils to be able to update the nation’s ‘binfrastructure’ through creative new designs and better distribution of public litter bins, making it easier for people to discard rubbish.
  • Stopping councils from charging householders for disposal of DIY household waste at civic amenity sites (rubbish dumps) – legally, household waste is supposed to be free to dispose of at such sites.
  • Recommending that offenders on community sentences, including people caught fly-tipping, help councils clear up litter and fly-tipped waste.
  • Working with Highways England to target the 25 worst litter hotspots across our road network to deliver long-lasting improvements to cleanliness.
  • Creating a ‘green generation’ by educating children to lead the fight against litter through an increased number of Eco-Schools and boosting participation in national clean-up days.
  • Creating a new expert group to look at further ways of cutting the worst kinds of litter, including plastic bottles and drinks containers, cigarette ends and fast food packaging.

Download the Litter Strategy for England (PDF)

 

Reducing litter: penalties for environmental offences - Defra Open consultation 

Seeking views on increasing fines for littering, graffiti, fly-posting and introducing new fines for throwing litter from vehicles.

We want to know what you think about whether to increase the on-the-spot fines for littering, graffiti and fly-posting in England. We are also proposing new fines for the owners of vehicles from which litter has been thrown.

This consultation closes at: 11:45pm on 18 June 2017 

Take part in the consultation here.

 

Response: We welcome country’s first-ever Litter Strategy - Tidy Britain Group

We have welcomed the launch of the Government’s Litter Strategy for England. 

The Strategy identifies Eco-Schools, the world’s biggest environmental education programme, which is run by Keep Britain Tidy in England, as a key mechanism to educate children and young people about the impact of litter. 

Last month more than 300,000 people, including thousands of school children, took part in Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean, clearing more than half a million bags of rubbish from our streets, parks, beaches and countryside.  

The Government has recognised the value of this initiative in the Strategy, not simply to remove litter from the environment but also to raise awareness that a growing number of people want to see an end to littering and are prepared to take action.

The charity also welcomes the Government’s pledge to introduce regulations that will allow local authorities to issue penalty charge notices to the registered keeper of a vehicle if litter is thrown from it, which will make it easier for local authorities to tackle the problem of roadside litter, which is difficult and costly to clear. 

Keep Britain Tidy has been at the forefront of developing and testing innovations to tackle littering, some of which are identified in the Strategy, and we are delighted that the Government has pledged to set up a Litter Innovation Fund to support the development of affordable and scalable solutions that are proven to make a difference.

 

Response: New national litter strategy will forge a more beautiful and resourceful England - CPRE

The Government has today launched its National Litter Strategy, which includes a concrete pledge to look into deposit return systems for drinks containers, measures to tackle roadside littering and greater analysis of packaging design.

With annual litter costs estimated at around £1 billion, it was essential that the Government sought to tackle this social, environmental and economic blight more effectively.

The strategy was led by Defra in partnership with DCLG and DfT, with input from an advisory committee of which Samantha Harding, CPRE’s litter programme director, was a member. Samantha today welcomes the Government's strategy as a strong vision that paves the way for a cleaner and more resourceful England.

The headline proposals include a Voluntary and Economic Measures Working Group to study the potential effectiveness of a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles and other drinks containers, as well as measures to tackle other types of commonly littered packaging. CPRE hopes that the group's investigations will provide clear recommendations to the Government on which measures will deliver the type of positive, universal change in behaviour delivered by the plastic carrier bag charge.

In similarly significant moves, the strategy lays out plans for an independent assessment of roadside cleanliness on trunk roads where responsibility is shared by Highways England and local councils. The strategy makes it clear that if litter clearance doesn't happen properly after these assessments then the Government will look at transferring all responsibility to Highways England.

As part of efforts to tackle superfluous, poorly designed or single-use plastic packaging, the strategy pledges to investigate better packaging design via a task force set up by the Advisory Committee on Packaging. This will include looking at design aspects such as detachable caps on plastic beverage bottles.

 

Related story: 2.5 tonne ocean plastic sculpture installed on doorstep of Coca-Cola HQ - Greenpeace

Coca-Cola Receive Ocean Plastic Pollution Sculpture in London (image: Greenpeace)This morning (10/4/17)Greenpeace activists have installed a 2.5 tonne ocean plastic sculpture on the doorstep of Coca-Cola’s London HQ, in protest at the company’s role in ocean plastic pollution.

Coca-Cola Receive Ocean Plastic Pollution Sculpture in London (image: Greenpeace)

The artwork, Plasticide, was created by renowned underwater sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor and features seabirds regurgitating plastic amidst a family beach picnic. Up to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic enters the sea every year, and plastic bottles and bottle tops form a major source of the plastic packaging found washed up on the world’s shorelines. But major companies like Coca-Cola are failing to take meaningful action.   

Download Greenpeace’s report on Coca-Cola’s plastic footprint (PDF)

 

Committee finds a worrying landscape in Marine Protected Areas - Environmental Audit Committee, UK Parliament

The Environmental Audit Committee is disappointed with the government's lack of ambition on designated Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

The Marine Protected Areas Revisited report published on Tuesday 25 April, found MPAs are not being effectively managed, and the Government needs to do more to protect vulnerable marine habitats, features and species once a site is designated as an MPA.

The Committee also expressed concern that the Government had moved the goal posts by setting unreasonably high standards of evidence for designating MPAs

The Committee also found a number of concerns about the Department for Environment Food, and Rural Affairs’ handling of MPAs.

Mary Creagh MP, Chair of Environmental Audit Committee Said: "It is worrying and disappointing the Government have still not got their act together on assigning the vulnerable Marine Protected Areas. The Government needs to focus on monitoring and protecting the current areas rather than moving the goal posts to create unachievable and over complicated demands on the management of susceptible areas. Without effective management, surveillance or monitoring our MPAs are just paper parks. The government needs to put firm plans in place to stop further degradation of our vulnerable ecological systems, before they are destroyed forever."

Marine Protected Areas create significant opportunities and benefits for marine habitats and wildlife. It was clear that few people were aware of these potential benefits. The Government must implement a robust communications strategy to raise awareness of the MPA network amongst businesses and the general public

Supporting documents

  

Response: The Wildlife Trusts back MPs' concerns over lack of marine protection

The Wildlife Trusts welcome today’s statement on Marine Conservation Zones by the Environmental Audit Committee and urge the government to press on with protecting these special places at sea

The Wildlife Trusts welcome today’s statement on Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) by the Environmental Audit Committee. The Committee rightly points out that the 2015 Conservative Party Manifesto committed to “complete the network of MCZs.” Yet only 50 MCZs have been designated so far — well short of the 127 sites originally recommended by the regional projects in 2011. In its report the Environmental Audit Committee says: “To fulfil this commitment, the third tranche of MCZs must be considerably larger and more ambitious than the previous two. The delay is unacceptable and we call on the Government to put in place this final piece of the protected area MPA (Marine Protected Area) jigsaw as soon as possible.”

We agree also with the Committee's findings that without effective management, surveillance and monitoring, protected areas are just lines on a map. Once a site is designated then its status as a protected area should be made the primary consideration for management and decision-making. The Government must act to protect protected areas properly by implementing a robust and well-coordinated management strategy.

Joan Edwards, Head of Living Seas at The Wildlife Trusts says: “Our seas are suffering from decades of overfishing, exploitation for resources and damage to natural habitats and so we welcome the EAC’s inquiry and its findings. There is no reason why the government could not designate the rest of the recommended Marine Conservation Zones right now and fulfil their 2015 manifesto commitment to achieving a ‘blue belt’ of protected marine habitats around the UK. But we don’t just want ‘paper parks’ – these special places at sea must be managed and the most damaging activities must be banned straight away. Only 50 MCZs have been created in English waters, falling far short of the amount of protection scientists say is needed to safeguard our seas. 50 further sites could help turn that around."

  

Response: BASC’s wildfowling evidence features in Committee report

BASC has reiterated its support of the government’s decision to exclude ‘reference areas’ from the third tranche of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZ) following publication today of a report by the Environmental Audit Committee.

BASC’s written submission to the committee’s Marine Protected Areas inquiry made it clear the association would not support the designation of highly protected marine areas where wildfowling takes place.

The decision reached by government is in line with the evidence presented by BASC, which has campaigned against reference areas on the grounds they would ban wildfowling by default in such areas.

Mark Greenhough, BASC’s wildfowling officer, said: “BASC has consistently fought against the imposition of reference areas. We do not want to see further restrictions placed on wildfowling and we will not support the designation of highly protected marine areas where wildfowling takes place. Our submission to the Environmental Audit Committee’s inquiry into marine protected areas asked for lessons to be learned from earlier, misguided proposals to introduce reference areas. We have consistently argued that marine conservation measures must take account of local traditional and cultural activities which provide a sustainable use of natural resources.”

 

Government corrects its breach of EU laws by giving extra protection to common land - Open Spaces Society

We have welcomed the Government’s decision to apply environmental impact assessment (EIA) to common land. The society led the campaign to change the regulations so as to protect common land.

New regulations were laid before parliament on 25 April and take effect on 16 May.

In future, works on common land—typically to erect fencing—will have to be assessed against the requirements of EIA. If applicants want to carry out works beyond a threshold, set out in regulations, they will have to seek an EIA screening opinion from the government’s adviser Natural England, to decide whether a full EIA is needed. The screening opinion, and an EIA, are in addition to the requirement for consent to works on common land under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006.

Commenting on the Government’s decision, our case officer Hugh Craddock said: ‘We are delighted that the Government has seen sense and applied the requirements of environmental impact assessment to commons. There has never been any lawful excuse for exempting commons from EIA, and England has been in breach of the EIA directives for decades. Now, proposals for extensive fencing on commons will be subject to the same holistic assessment process as on any other land—that is wholly right, but long overdue.’

 

New Action Plan to help regions defend biodiversity and reap the economic benefits of nature protection - European Commission

The European Commission has adopted a new Action Plan to improve the protection of nature and biodiversity in the EU, for the benefit of its citizens and the economy.

The Plan consists of 15 actions to be carried out by 2019 to rapidly improve the implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives, which are the EU's flagship nature policies.

These Directives establish the largest coordinated network of biodiversity-rich protected areas in the world (Natura 2000 network), covering more 18% of land and 6% of sea in the EU. These protected areas alone contribute between 1.7 and 2.5% to EU GDP through the provision of ecosystem services such as carbon storage, water purification, pollination and tourism. The Action Plan adopted today (27/4/17)  is about improving the management of these areas, connecting nature protection and socio-economic activities more broadly, and engaging with national authorities, stakeholders and young people.

The 15 actions, to be carried out between now and 2019, focus on 4 priority areas:

  • Improving guidance and knowledge and ensuring better coherence with broader socio-economic objectives
  • Building political ownership and strengthening compliance
  • Strengthening investment in Natura 2000 and improving use of EU funding
  • Better communication and outreach, engaging citizens, stakeholders and communities

For More Information: Action Plan for nature, people and the economy 

 

Wildlife news

UK wildlife haven created at Chester Zoo - Act for Wildlife

The Nature Reserve first opened in 2013 and is located outside the boundary of the main zoo near the visitor entrance.  It currently spans around 10,000 square metres of land, and contains an amphitheatre, a wildlife pond and a new woodland with 150 native trees. The site will grow to more than 50,000 square metres, creating and enhancing important fragile habitat.

Surveys have shown that the site is already home to lots of British wildlife, from rare polecats and the sharply declining hedgehog, to a range of bee and butterfly species and the great crested newt. Birds including reed-bunting, grasshopper warbler and skylark are already known to nest in the area, and threatened harvest mice were introduced to the area by conservationists at the zoo in 2002 and 2003.

Sarah Bird, Chester Zoo biodiversity officer, said: “We’re transforming land that has been used for agriculture into a more natural landscape that will feature wildflower meadows, ponds, beetle banks, trees and reedbeds. We will link into a strip of wetland along the canal, which is designated as a Local Wildlife Site for the animals and plants already present. We want to make a really great wildlife corridor allowing species to live at the reserve, and move through the landscape when they need to.

“We hope visitors will enjoy this oasis for UK wildlife when it opens in 2018. As well as helping threatened species, we want it to reconnect people with the natural world and inspire further conservation action.”

 

Invertebrates

Another new-to-Britain bee buzzes in to Greenwich - The Land Trust

A second new bee has been discovered around Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park and Southern Park – the small-headed resin bee (Heriades rubicola).

Female Small-headed resin bee, (image: © Natural History Museum)Female Small-headed resin bee, (image: © Natural History Museum)

The species was first spotted in the UK back in 2006 and reported then as an accidental introduction or vagrant. With two sightings in 2016, in Greenwich and Dorset, it is now officially recognised as a new species for Britain. It is widespread in southern Europe, north Africa and Asia, with the nearest populations to Britain in France and the Channel Islands, and could have been overlooked previously due to its small size. It is known as a resin bee because it builds its nest from plant resin.

Researchers David Notton of the Natural History Museum and Ian Cross explained in their paper in the British Journal of Entomology & Natural History: “The discovery of a second specimen 10 years later at a different locality suggests that it may have established in Britain at low density. It is an inconspicuous bee, and could easily have been established for some time without detection. There is no evidence to suggest how H. rubicola might have reached Britain although it could easily have been imported with wood products or horticultural plants with hollow stems containing nests. In time it may become widespread in southern Britain because it appears that its pollen host and nesting requirements can be easily met. The occurrence of this bee in Britain has been notified to the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat however, there is no evidence currently to suggest that it poses any threat to native bees.”

Read the full paper here.

Two other new-to-Britain species have been discovered in Greenwich in recent months – Viper’s bugloss mason bee and grass-carrying wasp. 

 

Fish stocks boost for endangered pearl mussel - Environment Agency

The Environment Agency releases sea trout with pearl mussel larvae attached in effort to increase numbers in the North East.

Close up of pearl mussel larvae (white dots) attached to the sea trout gills (image: Environment Agency)Close up of pearl mussel larvae (white dots) attached to the sea trout gills (image: Environment Agency)

Thousands of sea trout have been released into rivers in Northumberland to stock rivers for anglers and help protect the future of a critically endangered species, the freshwater pearl mussel. Pearl fishing and water pollution from industry have led to worldwide decline of the pearl mussel. A healthy population of endangered freshwater pearl mussels is important for water quality – each mussel filters 50 to 70 litres of water. They improve the quality of the habitat, increasing the ecological diversity, which includes juvenile trout and salmon numbers.

The Environment Agency’s Kielder Salmon Centre staff Richard Bond and Jess Anson have developed a technique to enable pearl mussel larvae to attach to the fish gills, replicating their natural life cycle in the wild. The larvae will drop off the sea trout gills towards the end of May where they will settle on to the river bed. Given the right conditions, these juveniles could survive into adulthood and live for up to 100 years.

 

Conservationists join forces to help incy wincy spider - Northumberland National Park

Another major conservation project is underway in the west of Northumberland National Park to protect an ancient peat bog which is home to a rare and diminutive species of money-spider.

The Lampert Mosses near Spadeadam, is a classified Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to its rich peat habitats and varied species of flora and fauna, including the rare cloud-living spider (Semljicola caliginosus).

The tiny spider, which grows to around 2mm in length, is one of the UK’s smallest and most elusive arachnids, favouring living conditions found in damp, moss-rich upland areas.

A recent ecological study which was funded in partnership by Natural England, Buglife and the British Archaeological Society, recorded a number of cloud-living spiders at Lampert Mosses, but the research also showed that the area required sensitive conservation and repair work to preserve the spider’s unique peatland habitat.

Now a team of volunteers led by Northumberland National Park and Tyne Rivers Trust are working together, using funding from Natural England, to help protect the cloud-living spider’s upland home by replacing eroded dam structures to preserve the Lampert Mosses’ peat bogs. 

Volunteers carrying out dam repair work (image: Northumberland National Park)Volunteers carrying out dam repair work (image: Northumberland National Park)

Programmes Officer at Northumberland National Park, Abi Mansley, said: “In the 1990s marine plywood dams were installed at Lampert Mosses to prevent the peat bogs from fragmenting and losing their peat.

“Now, over 20 years later, the original dams are delaminating and need to be replaced to safeguard this important habitat. We’re creating around 100 mini dams to prevent further fragmentation and to slow the water flow reaching the Tyne and Irthing rivers.

“The presence of the cloud-living spider at the Lampert Mosses site has made the preservation of the peat bogs even more important. With population numbers of cloud-living spiders in rapid decline due to habitat loss, the North of England is now home to a globally important population of cloud- living spiders which have special ecological significance in scientific communities.

  

Biodiversity ravaged by dredging at renowned Scottish dive site - Fauna & Flora International

The tragic and sudden loss of an important marine site in Scotland highlights the need for better protection of the country’s inshore waters.

Dead flame shell. Credit: Chris RickardA rare bed of flame shells (Limaria hians) off the north-west coast of Scotland has been devastated by the heavy mechanical teeth of a scallop dredger.

Dead flame shell. Credit: Chris Rickard

Scotland’s waters are rich in life and colour and home to a number of iconic species and habitats. The flame shell – a beautiful type of clam, whose rich red and orange colouration gives it its fiery name – is an iconic symbol of Scotland’s inshore waters. Flame shells are found across Europe, but some of the densest concentrations of this species are found in Scotland, where they create important reef-like habitat for other species.

Loch Carron, which lies on the Scottish mainland adjacent to the Isle of Skye, was renowned among biologists and divers as one of Scotland’s premier dive sites, with some of the most significant and spectacular reefs of flame shells in the country. However, this week saw the destruction of these flame shell beds – an acute reminder of the vulnerability of Scotland’s delicate and productive inshore ecosystems, and the damage that can be done by a single boat dredging in these poorly-protected areas.

 

BC welcomes B&Q move to drop neonicotinoids - Butterfly Conservation 

Butterfly Conservation (BC) has today welcomed the decision by retailer B&Q to stop using a type of pesticide that is harmful to bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

From February next year B&Q will no longer use neonicotinoid pesticides in any of their flowering plant range.

Previous research has shown that neonicotinoids are harming bees and birds and may be contributing to the decline of butterflies.

B&Q, who sponsor BC’s annual Plant Pots for Pollinators campaign and the Garden Butterfly Survey, said they decided to stop the use of the controversial pesticide so they could help support wildlife and address the declining bee population.

Neonicotinoids were introduced in the 1990s as a replacement for older chemicals. They are a systematic insecticide, meaning that they are absorbed into every cell in a plant, making all parts poisonous to pests.  The chemicals remain in the environment and can be absorbed by the wildflowers growing in field margins, many of which provide a nectar source for butterflies and food-plants for their caterpillars.

BC Chief Executive Julie Williams said: “We are delighted that B&Q is responding so positively to the growing scientific evidence that neonicotinoids are harmful to the environment. I hope that the Government can also respond similarly and extend and expand the neonicotinoid ban. Congratulations to B&Q for leading the way on this important environmental issue”.

 

Birds

Seabird hit by oil slick makes great recovery - Natural Resources Wales

Male common scoter (image NRW)A species of duck decimated by one of the UK’s worst ever environmental disasters more than two decades ago is making a remarkable recovery.

Male common scoter (image NRW)

Common scoters were the worst casualties of the Sea Empress oil disaster near Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire in 1996. Of a population of up to 10,000 birds, around 1,700 corpses were washed up on to the shore. By 2003 numbers had recovered to around 17,000.

But now surveys for Natural Resources Wales (NRW) reveal that it’s been a bumper year for the black sea duck with the population in the Carmarthen Bay Special Protection Area (SPA) more than doubling to nearly 36,000 last winter. Experts from NRW say this shows the resilience of marine wildlife and how we are working together in Wales to manage our marine environment in a way that helps wildlife thrive.

Carmarthen Bay SPA was the first fully marine SPA in the UK. It was created in 2003 purely for wintering common scoter.

 

Police and RSPB appeal for information after red kite found shot in Bedfordshire - RSPB

Bedfordshire police and the RSPB are appealing for information after a dead red kite was found near Toddington, Bedfordshire, containing as many as 10 pieces of shot. 

The bird was discovered by a member of the public at Daintry Wood and sent for post-mortem examination. Radiography using X-rays, carried out by Zoological Society of London (ZSL) revealed 10 pieces of lead shot lodged in the body.

Inspector Mark Farrant, who leads the Operation Sentinel Rural Team which has responsibility for all Bedfordshire wildlife crime matters, says: “This is a particularly worrying incident against a bird that is fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. I would ask anyone with information relating to this or similar incidents to call Bedfordshire Police.”

 

Record breaking numbers of migrant bird arrive on Tiree - RSPB

A record breaking 2,270 black-tailed godwits have arrived on the Isle of Tiree this spring, the highest number thought to have ever been counted in Scotland at one time.

These large wading birds often stop off in the Hebrides in April and May to refuel during their long migration to Iceland, where they breed.

The Isle of Tiree typically only sees a few hundred godwits, in their brick-red finery, dropping in to feed around the well-grazed loch edges and wet grasslands. The previous record was 1,320 birds back in 2013.

The new record, set in April 2017, almost doubles that, representing some 5% of the entire Icelandic breeding population. One of the flocks was spotted on an RSPB Scotland reserve, but the largest was recorded in a tiny field at Kilmoluaig, totalling 1,750 birds.

 

Osprey chicks return against the odds - Cumbria Wildlife Trust

Cumbria Wildlife Trust is delighted to learn that two osprey chicks, which were raised at Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve near Witherslack, have survived into adulthood and returned to the north of England for the summer.

Blue V3 (right) at Kielder, Northumberland. Photo: Forestry Commission EnglandA male osprey was spotted flying above the South Lakes last month and was identified by its leg ring as Blue 7A, one of three chicks raised by a pair of breeding ospreys at Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve three years ago.

Blue V3 (right) at Kielder, Northumberland. Photo: Forestry Commission England

Then earlier this week the Trust was informed by Kielder Ospreys in Northumberland that a female, Blue V3 (pictured above, right), was spotted on their web cam, trying to land on an already-occupied nest. As the photo shows, the incumbent female dispatched Blue V3 very dramatically! Blue V3 hatched at Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve in 2015 and it seems she was attempting to return to her ‘grandparent’ nest, as one of her parents hatched at Kielder.

Paul Waterhouse, Reserves Officer at Cumbria Wildlife Trust explains the significance of these sightings: “This is exciting and important news for us as these sightings are the first confirmation we’ve had that any of the osprey chicks raised at Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve since 2013 have survived into adulthood. Unfortunately 60-70% of osprey chicks don’t reach maturity - the arduous 2000-mile migration from the UK back to Africa or Iberia claims most of them. We’re delighted to see that at least two chicks have made it into adulthood, against the odds, and returned to the north of England. It also shows how invaluable the leg rings are, as they enable us all to identify the ospreys individually, keep tracks of their movements and understand the life history of these wonderful birds of prey.”

The parents of Blue 7A (White YW and Blue 35) recently returned to nest at Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve and Paul thinks that Blue 35 has laid at least one egg. Another female osprey (AK1) from Loch Eye, Easter Ross in Scotland has also been seen at the nature reserve recently, giving rise to speculation that she also may be looking for a future breeding ground.

 

Mammals 

BASC Scotland warns against tighter legislation on deer population management - BASC 

BASC is warning against tighter controls on deer population management in Scotland after a parliamentary report outlined recommendations that could radically affect the current voluntary approach.

Despite a decline in deer numbers in the last 10 years, the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Land Reform and Climate Change Committee has recommended consideration of a “statutory duty of sustainable deer management”.

This move, facilitated by the immediate effect of the use of powers under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016, could mean that Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) would intervene or lead on deer management planning, requiring land owners and deer managers to submit numbers to be culled.

Dr Colin Shedden, BASC Scotland director, said: “This report recognises the progress that has been made in recent years with respect to sustainable deer management, both in the uplands and the lowlands. However, it also states that a “step change” is still needed especially with respect to reducing deer impacts on the natural heritage. The prospect of new legislation, moving away from the current voluntary approach, may see land managers compelled to cull more deer than they would have otherwise wished as well as a review of the current close season for red deer stags."

 

Environmental groups call for a new approach to deer management – Scottish Wildlife Trust

A coalition of environment charities including the Scottish Wildlife Trust is urging the Scottish Government to move towards a modernised system that will help deliver national targets on biodiversity, climate change and woodland expansion.

Red deer in woodland © Lister CummingRed deer in woodland © Lister Cumming

This call comes ahead of a Scottish Parliament debate on 2 May 2017, which follows over four years of intense scrutiny of the current arrangements by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the cross-party Holyrood committees responsible for the environment.

The Trust’s Head of Policy Maggie Keegan said: “Overgrazing and trampling by deer has had a profound effect on the health and connectivity of Scotland’s ecosystems, especially in the uplands. We urge the Scottish Government to take on the committee’s recommendations on deer management. There is no time to lose to halt the loss of biodiversity and meet our 2020 targets.”

 

Scientific research, results and publications

New review charts evolution of climate change guidance for fluvial flood risk management in England – Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Scientists at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) have undertaken a new review which charts the past, present and future of climate Image: Centre for Ecology & Hydrologychange guidance for fluvial flood risk management in England.

The review was conducted in collaboration with the Environment Agency (EA) and documents how advances in the science of climate change and hydrology over the past 25 years have helped to manage flood risk. The principles can also be applied to drought management.

Image: Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

The paper, published in the journal Progress in Physical Geography, calls for further research on the potential impacts of climate change on floods including incorporating changes to more short-duration, extreme events.

Lead author Dr Nick Reynard, Science Area Lead for Natural Hazards at CEH, said, “This paper illustrates a good example of how science can provide the evidence for the development of environmental policy. CEH has provided data and tools to support climate change policy and decision-making for flood management, complementing the work we do for flood risk estimation through the Flood Estimation Handbook.”

Read the paper: Nicholas S Reynard, Alison L Kay, Molly Anderson, Bill Donovan and Caroline Duckworth, ‘The evolution of climate change guidance for fluvial flood risk management in England,’ Progress in Physical Geography, published 13 April 2017. Doi: 10.1177/0309133317702566

 

Light pollution has serious impact on coastal wildlife, research shows – University of Exeter

Scientists have recognised for some years that light pollution from buildings, vehicles and streetlights is a growing phenomenon that impacts on the behaviour and success of many animals including migrating birds, hunting bats and the moths they try to capture.

As the human population grows the problem is due to worsen and even remote coastal areas are now being affected by civilization’s tell-tale glow-in-the-sky. Turtles, disoriented as they return to their nesting beaches, or confused hatchlings struggling to find the sea, are iconic examples.

Dogwhelks are highly important inhabitants of the seashore. Image courtesy of Kelvin Boot (PML)Now, a new study conducted by scientists from the University of Exeter and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory and the University of Exeter looks at the true extent to which light pollution is affecting key marine wildlife in the UK.

Dogwhelks are highly important inhabitants of the seashore. Image courtesy of Kelvin Boot (PML).

The research team set up a series of laboratory experiments to determine whether the less well known, but highly important inhabitants of the seashore were also affected. Using the dogwhelk (Nucella lapillus), a key seashore species that modulates biodiversity and community structure of our coasts, they kept one group of dogwhelks in artificially-lit night sky conditions, while a control group experienced a more natural night/day cycle.

The research showed that those dogwhelks kept under artificial lighting conditions were less likely to seek out shelter and spent longer seeking food – putting them at exposed risk to predators and placing them in more stressful conditions. The study showed, for the first time, that night time light changes species interactions at the heart of the way in which natural food chains work, raising concern about how generalised these impacts may be for natural marine wildlife.

 

Eat wild venison to support native woodland birds, says ecologist – University of Newcastle

Wild deer in Britain should be hunted for venison to drastically reduce their populations and support the re-emergence of our native woodland birds, according to an academic at The University of Nottingham.
The comments follow the publication of a new study in the Journal of Applied Ecology which suggests that huge deer populations in England Deer (University of Newcastle)are damaging the important natural habitat which many ground-nesting woodland birds require.

Deer (University of Newcastle)

Dr Markus Eichhorn in the University’s School of Life Sciences, an expert in ecology, said: “Deer populations are at extraordinarily high levels due to a combination of factors including the absence of large predators, a decline in hunting and the autumn sowing of crops that produce winter food for foraging animals. It is clear from our research that if we want to encourage more woodland birds then we need to take action to restore the woodland structures they require but in many areas it will need a drastic reduction in deer to have any real impact.”

Read the paper Effects of Deer on Woodland Structure Revealed Through Terrestrial Laser Scanning is published in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

 

Want to get involved? 

Suffolk residents called to survey precious wood pasture & parkland sites across the county - People’s Trust for Endangered Species

Wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is launching a new conservation project this April to help protect Britain’s precious wood pasture and parkland habitats, which are home to several endangered species such as the lesser-spotted woodpecker, violet click beetle and the pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly. The first phase of this new project will be piloted in Suffolk, a county which is home to 1,250 of these ecologically important and iconic habitats. PTES is calling for local volunteers to help by trialling a simple survey that has been devised to assess the condition of these important habitats.

Fallen dead tree decaying (image: PTES)Fallen dead tree decaying (image: PTES)

With the help of local volunteers testing the survey, PTES aims to record the extent and condition of Suffolk’s existing wood pasture and parkland areas, the results of which will help refine the survey for wider use across England. The results from Suffolk will comprise the first comprehensive and robust inventory in the country, which PTES hopes will significantly improve the quality of information known about this habitat.

Megan Gimber, Key Habitats Officer at PTES said: “Despite the value of wood pasture and parkland, it is a habitat that is little understood and has historically been overlooked – often being mistaken for other habitats such as degraded woodland or grassland containing trees. Here at PTES we are excited to launch the first phase of this new project. This pilot in Suffolk is the first step towards preserving this key habitat. We believe Suffolk may have a plethora of remaining wood pasture fragments, so we hope that local residents will help us by surveying these sites.”

If you're not in Suffolk but would like to take in surveys like this have a look at the list of current surveys on the CJS website.

 

Arboriculture, forestry & trees

Sensing technology identifies trees affected by deadly larch disease - University of Leicester

Researchers from the University of Leicester have used remote sensing technology by Leicestershire-based aerial mapping company Bluesky in order to identify trees affected by a destructive disease.  Maps collected by airborne Laser sensors have, for the first time, been used to successfully pinpoint individual trees affected by the deadly larch tree disease.

The laser scanning surveys (LiDAR) were undertaken by aerial mapping company Bluesky and used to model tree canopy height as part of a wider study to prove the effective use of the technology for disease identification and monitoring.  Phytophthora ramorum is a fungus-like pathogen which causes extensive damage and mortality to a wide range of trees and other plants. Generically referred to as ramorum, the disease was first discovered in the UK back in 2002 and has now spread to sites from Cornwall to Scotland, causing destruction in high profile areas including Epping Forest and the Forest of Dean.

Professor Heiko Balzter, Director of the Centre for Landscape and Climate Research, lead investigator of the study at the University of Leicester and Co-investigator of the NERC National Centre for Earth Observation, said: “Invasive tree diseases pose a huge threat to Britain's forestry. Diseases like Dutch Elm disease and Sudden Oak Death can wipe entire tree species from our landscapes within a few years. Climate change increases the risk of new tree diseases spreading across the UK. We hope that better ways of monitoring the outbreaks and spread of these diseases in our forests will help the Forestry Commission and private land owners to respond more effectively to such outbreaks."

Read the paper (open access): Chloe Barnes, Heiko Balzter, Kirsten Barrett, James Eddy, Sam Milner and Juan C. Suárez.  Individual Tree Crown Delineation from Airborne Laser Scanning for Diseased Larch Forest Stands Remote Sens. 2017, 9(3), 231; doi:10.3390/rs9030231

  

Recreation and greenspace

Why green spaces are good for grey matter – University of York

Walking between busy urban environments and green spaces triggers changes in levels of excitement, engagement and frustration in the brain, a study of older people has found. Researchers at the Universities of York and Edinburgh say the findings have important implications for architects, planners and health professionals as we deal with an ageing population.

One of the volunteers taking part in the experiment. (University of York)The study is part of a larger project looking at mobility, mood and place and the role of the urban environment in promoting lifelong health and wellbeing.

One of the volunteers taking part in the experiment. (University of York)

The aim of the study was to understand how older people experience different urban environments using electroencephalography (EEG), self-reported measures, and interviews.

As part of the experiment, eight volunteers aged 65 and over (from a wider sample of 95 people aged 65 and over) wore a mobile EEG head-set which recorded their brain activity when walking between busy and green urban spaces.

The research team also ran a video of the routes the people walked, asking the participants to describe “snapshots” of how they felt. The volunteers were also interviewed before and after. The volunteers experienced beneficial effects of green space and preferred it, as it was calming and quieter, the study revealed.

 

Can you identify your swallows from your swifts? - RSPB 

The British public struggles to identify the nation’s birds according to new research commissioned by popular pre-school series Twirlywoos, in partnership with RSPB. 

The survey results revealed that over half of the respondents couldn’t identify a house sparrow and a third didn’t know a greenfinch from a goldfinch. It also highlighted that a quarter of adults thought penne was a  species of bird rather than a pasta and two in 10 thought that male and female mallards were completely different  species of duck.  Meanwhile a fifth of respondents weren’t aware a red kite was a bird - with some believing it was a baddie from batman and others under the impression it was a species of fish.  And when asked about the dawn chorus, a number of respondents thought it was the name of Gareth Malone’s latest choir.  However the news wasn’t all bad.   Nine in ten adults had heard of a swift and seven in ten adults knew that a waxwing was a bird - although some thought it was a waterproof coat.  And nine in 10 parents said they want their children to learn more about birds and British wildlife in general. 

The research of over 2,000 adults, which included 1,265 parents, was commissioned by Twirlywoos, to celebrate a new partnership with RSPB that aims to give families more confidence to get outside and enjoy nature with improved wildlife knowledge.

 

Marine mammals

'Shocking' levels of PCB chemicals in UK killer whale Lulu - Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust

A member of the small West Coast of Scotland group of killer whales – found dead and stranded on the Isle of Tiree in the Hebrides, Scotland, last year – had one of the highest levels of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) pollution ever recorded in the species, said the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme today.

The adult killer whale – identified by the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust as a well-known animal named ‘Lulu’ – died from becoming entangled in creel rope in January 2016, but subsequent analysis undertaken over the past year has shed further light on her case.  Analysis of Lulu’s blubber revealed PCB concentrations 80 times higher than the accepted PCB toxicity threshold for marine mammals. High PCB levels are linked to poor health, impaired immune function, increased susceptibility to cancers and infertility.  Work, undertaken in collaboration with the University of Aberdeen, found that Lulu was at least 20 years old. Based on analysis of the ovaries, it appears that she never reproduced, despite being much older than the average age for maturity in killer whales.

These findings do not bode well for Lulu’s small pod. This small group is usually seen off the west coast of Scotland, and numbers only eight individuals. These individuals never interact with other groups of killer whale, nor has a calf been recorded within the group in the 23 years it has been monitored. 

There is a growing concern amongst many cetacean scientists that, unless a much more proactive approach is taken to assessing and decontaminating PCB-contaminated sites to stop these pollutants leaching into the marine environment, then the effects we’re seeing with this small group of killer whales on the west of Scotland could become evident in many more of our iconic marine mammal species.

Dr Lauren Hartny-Mills, the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust’s Science Officer, said: “Monitoring the West Coast Community of killer whales is a concerted effort, with sightings reports and photographs from the public, wildlife operators and fishermen helping us better understand the group’s movements, range and social interactions. Anyone can help and if you are lucky enough to encounter a killer whale (or indeed any whale, dolphin or porpoise) please report it to us HERE

 

‘Inner city’ seals may suffer hearing loss - University of St Andrews

Seals may experience hearing loss from underwater vessel noise, according to new research from the University of St Andrews.

The study, led by ecologist Esther Jones, compares seals inhabiting the UK’s busy shipping lanes to humans living in noisy cities.

In a new paper published by the Journal of Applied Ecology, the St Andrews researcher says the noise can affect how sea mammals such as whales, dolphins and seals find food and communicate with each other.

(Image: Esther Jones, CREEM)(Image: Esther Jones, CREEM)

Dr Jones, a Research Fellow in the University’s Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling (CREEM), said: “Like humans living in busy, noisy cities, some seals live in areas where there is a lot of shipping traffic and associated noise. The UK has some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, and underwater noise has been increasing over the last 30 years.”

The St Andrews team developed maps showing the levels of risk of exposure to vessel traffic for grey and harbour seals around the UK.   The researchers found that 11 out of 25 Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) associated with seals had a high risk of overlap between seals and shipping.

The team then investigated the underwater noise levels generated by vessels that individual animals were exposed to in the Moray Firth, on the north-east coast of Scotland, using predictive acoustic noise models.  For 20 out of the 28 animals observed in the study, the levels of predicted noise were high enough that temporary hearing loss could occur (termed Temporary Threshold Shift, or TTS). Predictions from the acoustic models were compared to measurements from sound recorders to verify their accuracy.  Although there was no evidence that seals were exposed to ship noise levels high enough to cause permanent hearing damage, some sites were sufficiently noisy that seals living there could experience TTS in hearing ability.

Access the publication: Jones, E. L., Hastie, G. D., Smout, S., Onoufriou, J., Merchant, N. D., Brookes, K. L. and Thompson, D. (2017), Seals and shipping: quantifying population risk and individual exposure to vessel noise. J Appl Ecol. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12911

 

Birds

Puffins that stay close to their partner during migration have more chicks - University of Oxford

Many long-lived birds, such as swans, albatrosses or indeed, puffins, are known for their long-lived, monogamous, ‘soulmate’ pairings. Scientists have long understood that in these species, reproductive performance is influenced by pair bond strength and longevity, with long-established pairs usually better at rearing offspring. However, in species like puffins which have to migrate to distant wintering grounds during the non-breeding season, very little is known about how mates maintain their pair-bond and behave.

Over the course of six years, the team from Oxford’s Department of Zoology, in collaboration with the London Institute of Zoology, used miniature tracking devices called geolocators to track the migratory movements and behaviour of 12 pairs of Atlantic Puffins, breeding on Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire. Billing puffins (Image credit: Dr Annette Fayet)

Billing puffins (Image credit: Dr Annette Fayet)

While pair members migrated separately, their routes were notably similar during the first part of the winter. Partners would then follow separate paths at the later end of the season, but synchronised their timings of return to the colony in spring.  A key finding of the study is that pairs which followed more similar migration routes bred earlier and more successfully the following spring, showing that there is a clear benefit for puffins to migrate close to their mates. This proximity may make it easier for pairs to synchronise their return to the colony in spring.

The findings also reveal that while migrating close to its partner is key to a puffin’s reproductive success, there are other factors at play. Female puffins were found to forage more than males, proving critical to their breeding success the following season. Female puffins that foraged more over winter were able to lay eggs earlier and rear pufflings more successfully, most likely because they were in a better pre-breeding condition.

Download the open access publication (PDF): Annette L. Fayet, Akiko Shoji, Robin Freeman, Chris M. Perrins & Tim Guilford. Within-pair similarity in migration route and female winter foraging effort predict pair breeding performance in a monogamous seabird. Marine Ecology Progress Series Vol. 569: 243–252, 2017  DOI: 10.3354/meps12083

 

Latest figures reveal current state of UK's birds – RSPB

Golden eagle numbers have increased by 15% in the last 14 years Image: Bill PatonMore than one quarter of UK birds are in need of urgent conservation effort with curlew, puffin and nightingale joining the growing list of threatened species – but there is good news for some, a new report has highlighted.

Golden eagle numbers have increased by 15% in the last 14 years (Image: Bill Paton, RSPB)

The state of the UK’s birds 2016 (SUKB) report - the one-stop shop for all the latest results from bird surveys and monitoring studies - highlights how more than a quarter of the UK’s regularly-occurring bird species are now what conservationists refer to as ‘Red-listed’.

Many of these are due to severe recent declines in numbers and/or range in the UK.  And eight are considered at risk of global extinction.

Downward trends for upland species continue, with five added to the Red List; giving cause for concern. Europe’s largest and most distinctive wader – the curlew – has been added to the Red List and is joined by dotterel, whinchat, grey wagtail and merlin. This highlights the fact many of the UK’s upland species are in increasing trouble with the total number of upland birds red-listed now 12. 

 

Response: National Trust response to State of the UK Birds report

Responding to the report David Bullock, head of nature conservation at the National Trust, said: “Many British birds are in trouble. But the report also shows is that where conservationists and farmers work together to restore habitats we can bring beautiful birds like the cirl bunting, manx shearwater and red kite back from the brink.”

The National Trust last month committed to creating 25,000 hectares of new ‘priority’ wildlife habitats across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

 

Red-listed thrushes turn to gardens - BTO

Blackbirds were the most commonly seen bird in gardens during 2016, according to the annual results of British Trust for Ornithology’s (BTO) Garden BirdWatch. Good numbers of the Red-listed species Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush during the winter also provided a treat for Garden BirdWatchers. However, some birds did not fare as well and 2016 saw the lowest ever numbers of Greenfinches in gardens.

Mistle Thrush (Image: Jill Pakenham)Mistle Thrush (Image: Jill Pakenham)

The weekly records of BTO’s Garden BirdWatch allow us to track the yearly peaks and troughs of garden wildlife, and the annual results show a mixed picture for garden birds in 2016. The year started well, with a lot of bird activity and a bumper year for Siskins, which were reported in 27% of gardens in March, compared to an average (of all previous years) of only 18%. The proceeding mild winter is likely to have helped overwinter survival and high numbers of Wrens and Coal Tits were seen in gardens early in the year.

However, in early summer we were hit by outbreaks of rain, which we believe had a detrimental effect on our breeding birds. We know that many birds suffered from a poor breeding season in 2016, and preliminary results of the BTO Nest Record Scheme show that 12% fewer Blue Tits fledged the nest compared to the five year average. From the summer onwards, there were fewer sightings of some commonly seen species such as Blue Tits and Great Tits in gardens and we are interested to see whether numbers will recover in 2017.
It was also a bad year for seeing Greenfinches, a species which has been in severe decline. From October onwards counts dropped below one per garden on average for the first time. The main contributory factor in this decline is thought to be disease. 

BTO Garden BirdWatch annual results for 2016 are available here.

  

Can barnacle geese predict the climate? - Netherlands Institute of Ecology

The breeding grounds of Arctic migratory birds such as the barnacle goose are changing rapidly due to accelerated warming in the polar regions. They won't be able to keep up with the changes unless they can somehow anticipate them. A team of researchers from the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) employed models to assess the future prospects of the geese and their young. Results are being published online today by the scientific journal Global Change Biology.

Flying barnacle geese (©Jasper Koster)Flying barnacle geese (©Jasper Koster)

It's the time of year when barnacle geese and many other migratory birds prepare to depart for their breeding grounds above the Arctic Circle. From their wintering grounds in the Netherlands, the geese go all the way up to the Barentsz Sea in northern Russia, where they should arrive just as the snow has melted. But in the polar regions, the climate is warming much more rapidly than here - a phenomenon known as 'Arctic amplification'.

It's hard enough for humans to get to grips with the accelerated warming, let alone for barnacle geese, as an earlier NIOO-led study showed. After all, how can they tell from their wintering grounds if the snow has begun to melt thousands of kilometres away? So is it possible for the barnacle geese to advance their spring migration nonetheless, and predict climate change? 

Ecologist Thomas Lameris from NIOO says:  "Our results are probably valid for many more species of Arctic-breeding migratory birds, and certainly for other geese such as the white-fronted and the brent goose. On the whole, geese are clever birds. Goslings learn the migration route from their parents, including the best places to stop over and build up reserves. "So if they do change the timing of their arrival, it would be easy to pass that on to the next generation", Lameris argues hopefully. "The main question is whether geese and other migratory birds can adapt as fast as the climate changes, to keep up with the changes."  

Access the publication  Potential for an Arctic-breeding migratory bird to adjust spring migration phenology to Arctic amplification. Thomas K. Lameris, Ilse Scholten, Silke Bauer, Marleen M.P. Cobben, Bruno J. Ens, Bart A. Nolet, 2017. Global Change Biology, DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13684 (advanced online edition).

 

Lead fragments from shot wildlife threat to Golden Eagles - Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Golden Eagles face a known yet underestimated threat. Fragments from lead-based ammunition in carcasses and gut piles of shot wildlife eaten by Golden Eagles poison the eagles and deteriorate their flight performance. A ban of lead-based ammunition is vital, if we are to remove this threat to their survival.

The researchers took blood samples from free-ranging Golden Eagles in Sweden and equipped the eagles with transmitters.  Lead concentrations in blood of the eagles increased with the progression of the moose hunting season, a period when many Golden Eagles are scavenging and feed on lead-contaminated carcasses and offal of shot wildlife.  Thanks to the transmitter data, the researchers show that eagles with elevated lead concentrations moved less and flew at lower height than the eagles with lower lead concentrations. This behavioural effect was even evident at lead concentrations that so far have been considered as baseline levels.

The researchers also analysed the lead concentrations in the liver of dead eagles stored at the museum and the veterinary institute whose cause of death was identified. Their results indicate that even at low concentrations of lead, the risk of death due to e.g. starvation and collision with traffic was high.

The identified lead problem is most likely not restricted to Sweden but occurs globally wherever lead-based ammunition is used, and possibly also threatens other scavengers.

Access the paper: Frauke Ecke et al. Sub-lethal lead exposure alters movement behavior in free-ranging Golden Eagles Environ. Sci. Technol. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b06024 

 

Invertebrates & herpetology

Butterflies Crash In Fourth Worst Year On Record - Butterfly Conservation 

UK butterflies suffered their fourth worst year on record in 2016 with the majority of species experiencing a decline in numbers, a study has revealed. 

Heath Fritillary (image: Will Langdon, Butterfly Conservation) A mild winter followed by a cold spring contributed to conditions that saw both rare and widespread species struggle despite many parts of the UK enjoying a warm and dry summer. 

Heath Fritillary (image: Will Langdon, Butterfly Conservation) 

Some 40 of the 57 species studied recorded a decline compared with 2015, the annual UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (UKBMS) led by Butterfly Conservation, the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) revealed. 

The highly threatened Heath Fritillary had its worst year on record for the second year running, while the Grizzled Skipper, Wall, Grayling, White-letter Hairstreak and White Admiral all recorded their worst ever years.

Footage of the Large Blue and Wall, (credit: Butterfly Conservation) 

Research suggests that the UK’s increasingly mild winters are having a negative effect on butterflies as they may lead to increased disease, predation or disruption of overwintering behaviour.   Cold springs can also cause problems for butterflies by reducing or delaying emergence leading to shortened lifespans. 

Some species bucked the trend to record reasonable years. The previously extinct Large Blue, one of the UK’s rarest butterflies, recorded its second best year on record with numbers up 38% on 2015. The butterfly has responded to conservation work to improve the specific grassland habitat that it relies upon to thrive and has showed a significantly increasing population trend since its reintroduction in 1983. 

The widespread and migratory Red Admiral recorded a rise of 86% compared to 2015 and the Clouded Yellow, another mainly migrant species, saw its numbers rise by 35%.   

Professor Tom Brereton, Head of Monitoring at Butterfly Conservation, said: “Worryingly, not even the pleasant summer weather of 2016 was enough to help butterflies bounce back from a run of poor years. The results show that butterflies are failing to cope with our changing climate and how we manage the environment. As butterflies are regarded as good indicators of environmental health this is hugely concerning for both wildlife and people.”  

   

Environmental DNA helps protect great crested newts - University of Kent

Research by the University has revealed how tiny amounts of DNA (eDNA) released into water by great crested newts can be used to monitor the species. This can bring benefits for its conservation, and help protect great crested newts from major construction projects.

Pair of Great Crested Newts (image: Brett Lewis, University of Kent)Pair of Great Crested Newts (image: Brett Lewis, University of Kent)

It has also revealed, for the first time, how great crested newt eDNA varies throughout the year in relation to population size and environmental factors.

PhD student Andrew Buxton and a team from the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology in the University’s School of Anthropology and Conservation studied great crested newts on the Canterbury campus, where there are eight identical ponds.

Surveying the newts every 14 days throughout the year, Andrew Buxton and his team mapped the amount of DNA in the water as it changed through the seasons in relation to the number of newts and their behaviour – from their arrival in March through their breeding season in May, until the start of hibernation in October. During breeding, the newts are very active and release a lot eggs, sperm and DNA into the water. This results in a peak in DNA towards the end of the breeding period, which may be the best time to take water samples to detect the species. 

Read the paper: Andrew S. Buxton, Jim J. Groombridge, Nurulhuda B. Zakaria & Richard A. Griffiths Seasonal variation in environmental DNA in relation to population size and environmental factors. Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 46294 (2017)  doi:10.1038/srep46294

 

Online analytical tool launched to aid invertebrate conservation - Natural England

Natural England and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology launch analytical tool to aid conservation efforts on almost 12,000 invertebrates.

Natural England and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) have launched a new online database and analytical tool called Pantheon, which helps us better understand conservation status and habitat-related traits of invertebrates.

Green tiger beetle on Thursley Common National Nature Reserve (image: Natural England)From the weevils perched on the leaves of our trees to worms burrowed deep in the earth beneath our feet, invertebrates play a crucial role to improve the ecology of our natural environment.

Green tiger beetle on Thursley Common National Nature Reserve (image: Natural England)

James Cross, Chief Executive at Natural England said:

Pantheon is a fantastic example of how we are pushing the boundaries of science and IT to benefit invertebrate conservation. Researchers, ecologists and land managers will have access to a wealth of data.

This database will play an important role in identifying trends to better protect our natural environment.

Pantheon was developed to assist invertebrate nature conservation in England. Users import lists of invertebrates into the database, which then analyses the species, attaching associated habitats, resources and conservation status against them.

This information can then be used to assign quality to sites, assist in management decisions and prompt further other ecological study. This database will help site managers, researchers, ecological consultants and is also available to the public.

 

Caterpillar found to eat shopping bags, suggesting biodegradable solution to plastic pollution – University of Cambridge

A common insect larva that eats beeswax has been found to break down chemical bonds in the plastic used for packaging and shopping bags at uniquely high speeds. Scientists say the discovery could lead to a biotechnological approach to the polyethylene waste that chokes oceans and landfills.

Scientists have found that a caterpillar commercially bred for fishing bait has the ability to biodegrade polyethylene: one of the toughest and most used plastics, frequently found clogging up landfill sites in the form of plastic shopping bags.

Close-up of wax worm next to biodegraded holes in a polyethylene plastic shopping bag from a UK supermarket as used in the experiment. Credit: The research team.Close-up of wax worm next to biodegraded holes in a polyethylene plastic shopping bag from a UK supermarket as used in the experiment. Credit: The research team.

The wax worm, the larvae of the common insect Galleria mellonella, or greater wax moth, is a scourge of beehives across Europe. In the wild, the worms live as parasites in bee colonies. Wax moths lay their eggs inside hives where the worms hatch and grow on beeswax – hence the name.

A chance discovery occurred when one of the scientific team, Federica Bertocchini, an amateur beekeeper, was removing the parasitic pests from the honeycombs in her hives. The worms were temporarily kept in a typical plastic shopping bag that became riddled with holes.

Bertocchini, from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), collaborated with colleagues Paolo Bombelli and Christopher Howe at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Biochemistry to conduct a timed experiment.

Around a hundred wax worms were exposed to a plastic bag from a UK supermarket. Holes started to appear after just 40 minutes, and after 12 hours there was a reduction in plastic mass of 92mg from the bag.

 

Neonicotinoid pesticide reduces egg development in wild bumblebee queens - Royal Holloway, University of London

New research published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B has found that wild bumblebee queens are less able to develop their ovaries when exposed to a common neonicotinoid pesticide

The research was conducted by Dr Gemma Baron , Professor Mark Brown from the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway, University of London and Professor Nigel Raine, (now based at the University of Guelph).

The study investigated the impact of exposure to field-realistic levels of a neonicotinoid insecticide (thiamethoxam) on the feeding behaviour and ovary development of four species of bumblebee queen.

Bombus Terrestris Bee (image: Royal Holloway, University of London)Bombus Terrestris Bee (image: Royal Holloway, University of London)

Lead author Dr Baron said, “We consistently found that neonicotinoid exposure, at levels mimicking exposure that queens could experience in agricultural landscapes, resulted in reduced ovary development in queens of all four species we tested.  Impacts of neonicotinoid exposure on feeding behaviour were species-specific, with two out of four species eating less artificial nectar when exposed to the pesticide. These impacts are likely to reduce the success of bumblebee queens in the spring, with knock-on effects for bee populations later in the year”

As the first to examine the impacts of these chemicals across multiple bumblebee species, this study is an important contribution to understanding the potential costs of using this class of insecticides.

Dr Baron explained, “Previous studies have focused on a single bumblebee species and examined impacts in workers and established colonies. Bumblebee populations rely on spring queens to succeed, and by looking at the impacts of thiamethoxam on multiple species of spring queens, we have gained a step-change in our understanding”.

Read the paper: Gemma L. Baron, Nigel E. Raine, Mark J. F. Brown. General and species-specific impacts of a neonicotinoid insecticide on the ovary development and feeding of wild bumblebee queens. Proc. R. Soc. B 2017 284 20170123; DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.0123. Published 3 May 2017  

 

Scientific Publications

Støstad, H. N., Aldwinckle, P., Allan, A. & Arnold, K. E. (2017) Foraging on human-derived foods by urban bird species. Bird Study http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00063657.2017.1311836

 

Morganti , M., Rubolini, D., Caprioli, M. Saino, N. & Ambrosini, R. (2017) Rainfall, but not temperature, negatively affects the growth of Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus nestlings. Bird Study http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00063657.2017.1309006

 

Warren, P., Hornby, T. & Baines., D. (2017) Habitat use, nest-sites and chick diet of Grey Partridge Perdix perdix on hill farms in north east England. Bird Study http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00063657.2017.1306485

 

Steger, C., Butt, B. and Hooten, M. B. (2017), Safari Science: Assessing the reliability of citizen science data for wildlife surveys. J Appl Ecol. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12921 

   

Jacob M. Peters, Nick Gravish, Stacey A. Combes Wings as impellers: Honey bees co-opt flight system to induce nest ventilation and disperse pheromones  Journal of Experimental Biology 2017 doi: 10.1242/jeb.149476

 

L. M. Aplin, J. Morand-Ferron Stable producer–scrounger dynamics in wild birds: sociability and learning speed covary with scrounging behaviour  Proc. R. Soc. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2016.2872

 

Scopel, L. C. and Diamond, A. W. (2017), The case for lethal control of gulls on seabird colonies. Jour. Wild. Mgmt.. doi:10.1002/jwmg.21233

 

Albert, C. H., Rayfield, B., Dumitru, M. and Gonzalez, A. (2017), Applying network theory to prioritize multi-species habitat networks that are robust to climate and land-use change. Conservation Biology. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/cobi.12943

 

Pulsford, S. A., Driscoll, D. A., Barton, P. S. and Lindenmayer, D. B. , Remnant vegetation, plantings, and fences are beneficial for reptiles in agricultural landscapes. J Appl Ecol. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12923

 

Munsch, S. H., Cordell, J. R. and Toft, J. D. (2017), Effects of shoreline armouring and overwater structures on coastal and estuarine fish: opportunities for habitat improvement. J Appl Ecol.DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12906

 

Kärvemo, S., Björkman, C., Johansson, T., Weslien, J. and Hjältén, J. (2017), Forest restoration as a double-edged sword: the conflict between biodiversity conservation and pest control. J Appl Ecol. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12905

 

John Worthington-Hill and Greg Conway. Tawny Owl Strix aluco response to call-broadcasting and implications for survey design. Bird Study DOI: 10.1080/00063657.2017.1315047

 

Kazuhiro Takemoto, Miku Imoto Exosomes in mammals with greater habitat variability contain more proteins and RNAs

R. Soc. open sci. 2017 4 170162; DOI: 10.1098/rsos.170162.  

 

A. Hernando, J. Velázquez, R. Valbuena, M. Legrand, A. García-Abril, Influence of the resolution of forest cover maps in evaluating fragmentation and connectivity to assess habitat conservation status, Ecological Indicators, Volume 79, August 2017, Pages 295-302, ISSN 1470-160X, DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2017.04.031. 

 

Medl, A., Stangl, R., Kikuta, S. B. & Florineth, F. (2017) Vegetation establishment on ‘Green Walls’: Integrating shotcrete walls from road construction into the landscape. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ufug.2017.04.011

 

André Frainer, A., Polvi, L. E. Jansson, R. & McKie, B. G. (2017) Enhanced ecosystem functioning following stream restoration: the roles of habitat heterogeneity and invertebrate species traits. Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12932

 

Dainese, M. et al (2017) Managing trap-nesting bees as crop pollinators: spatiotemporal effects of floral resources and antagonists. Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12930

 

Connell, S. D., Fernandes, M., Burnell, O. W., Doubleday, Z. A., Griffin, K. J., Irving, A. D., Leung, J. Y.S., Owen, S., Russell, B. D. and Falkenberg, L. J. (2017), Testing for thresholds of ecosystem collapse in seagrass meadows?. Conservation Biology. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/cobi.12951

 

Jingwei Zhao, Wenyan Xu, Rujia Li, Visual preference of trees: The effects of tree attributes and seasons, Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, Available online 30 April 2017, ISSN 1618-8667, doi: 10.1016/j.ufug.2017.04.015.

 

Dorota Michalska-Hejduk, Michał Budka, and Bogumiła Olech Should I stay or should I go? Territory settlement decisions in male Corncrakes Crex crex. Bird Study doi: 10.1080/00063657.2017.1316700

 

Susanne Arbeiter, Elisabeth Franke, Angela Helmecke, and Franziska Tanneberger. Habitat preference of female Corncrakes Crex crex: implications for the conservation of breeding sites in a secretive species Bird Study DOI: 10.1080/00063657.2017.1318107

 

Christos C. Ioannou, Indar W. Ramnarine and Colin J. Torney High-predation habitats affect the social dynamics of collective exploration in a shoaling fish Science Advances DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1602682

 

Horticulture

The first permanent Hedgehog Street inspired garden is launched at RHS Harlow Carr, Yorkshire – PTES

A Hedgehog Street inspired garden at RHS Harlow Carr, Harrogate, North Yorkshire will be unveiled for the first time today [Tuesday 25 April Hedgehog by Ali Taylor2017], by wildlife charities People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS), who have successfully coordinated the Hedgehog Street campaign since 2011, and work tirelessly to conserve the UK’s native hedgehogs.

Hedgehog by Ali Taylor

Created by award-winning garden designer Tracy Foster, this new, permanent Hedgehog Street garden showcases a smorgasbord of hedgehog-friendly features designed to encourage visitors to RHS Harlow Carr to make the green spaces on their doorsteps a haven for these prickly creatures. The garden is made up of a series of individually themed gardens; one contemporary; one rustic; and one Mediterranean. The garden’s hedgehog-friendly aspects include nesting sites and Hedgehog Highways, providing access to neighbouring gardens, safe water features, planting and vegetation, to not only encourage hedgehogs, but also other wildlife and prey.

 

10 - 16 April was CJS In-depthNational Gardening Week - RHS

Theme this year is: Help New Gardeners to Grow

During National Gardening Week, 10-16 April 2017, we are encouraging new gardeners to get involved

In Goathland we like to start them young! Our local primary school recently had a groundforce day which involved the parents, teachers and children clearing an area of the playground to make a fenced gardening area. The new plot will have raised beds with vegetables, sensory plants and herbs.  Seating will provide the chance to enjoy the quiet. 

In his article, Wildlife Gardening – for biodiversity and people Dr Steve Head, Wildlife Gardening Forum Coordinator wrote: Gardens are where most children get their first experience of biodiversity and develop real sympathy and understanding of environmental issues.  Much more needs to be done to help parents and teachers make the most of this opportunity and for all, turn a developing interest into action for their local environment to develop sympathy and understanding of environmental issues in the young.   Studies in many countries are beginning to confirm the importance of contact with greenspace for mental and cardiovascular health.  Recent case studies have shown that enhancing biodiversity within cities can reduce vandalism and misbehaviour, while increasing human interaction and perceptions of wellbeing.  Getting these messages through to health agencies and planners is a timely and important task.

Read more.

 

Easter survey reveals the need for faster action on peat-free gardening  - The Wildlife Trusts

As the nation’s gardeners prepare for spring, a new survey reveals a lack of real choice for consumers looking for peat-free composts at garden centres and other outlets. It highlights the need for more determined action to phase out peat use from the gardening industry and to protect wild peatlands.

Gardening (image: Tom Marshall)Gardening (image: Tom Marshall)

In March, 238 volunteers responded to a survey by Friends of the Earth, Plantlife, RSPB and The Wildlife Trusts. They found that:

• only 19% of almost 1,300 products on sale were clearly labelled as peat-free;

• a third of respondents did not find peat-free compost clearly available;

• half of respondents who checked prices found peat-free compost to be more expensive than peat-based options;

• there was often little awareness or concern about the impact of peat among retail staff;

• most respondents reported a lack of product choice, price incentive or clear labelling to encourage consumers to buy peat-free.

The survey results show how difficult it still is for amateur gardeners to buy peat-free. This is despite the high profile of the peat-free gardening issue in the 1990s and early 2000s, the availability of quality peat-free alternatives and repeated commitments by the garden industry and UK government to phase out peat use.

While commercial peat extraction from Britain’s bogs has been reduced, our use of peat in gardens is now degrading bogs elsewhere. In 2015, more than half of our peat came from Ireland and around 7% from elsewhere in Europe (primarily the Baltic States) – leaving a third (around 700,000 tonnes) from peatlands in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.

Peatland is home to a variety of scarce and unique wildlife, and provides vital services for people. Peat bogs store vast amounts of carbon, which must kept in the ground to avoid contributing to climate change. A loss of only 5% of UK peatland carbon would be equal to the UK’s annual greenhouse gas emissions. These bogs also act like a sponge, soaking up rainwater, and can help to reduce flood risk.

 

Land and countryside management  

Tracking Scotland’s changing landscape - Scottish Natural Heritage

A new way of tracking and reporting on Scotland’s ever-changing landscapes has been launched today (Wednesday) by Scottish Natural Heritage.

Scotland’s Landscape Monitoring Programme (LMP) is accessible on SNH’s website allowing anyone to follow how our dynamic landscapes change over the years.

Scotland’s landforms have been shaped over thousands of years by a combination of natural processes and human activities. Over time, this has helped create the regional character and strong sense of place that the different parts of Scotland have, as well as the diverse and wonderful scenery that we see today and for which Scotland is rightly famous around the world.

Landscapes continue to evolve, strongly influenced by the choices that society makes about built development and land management. The LMP will set out a robust baseline and the information gathered through time will provide an accurate picture of change and help our understanding of Scotland’s changing landscape.

Led by SNH, the national programme has been developed working closely with a wide range of partners, through research, data review and pilot project work.

Pete Rawcliffe, SNH’s People & Places Unit Manager, said: “Our landscapes are an important part of our natural and cultural heritage. In contributing to our health and well-being, they help make Scotland a better place to live, work and visit. Our spectacular scenery is also an important economic asset, attracting investors, businesses, visitors and tourists, even Hollywood film makers, and providing jobs and helping to grow the economy.

“Scotland’s Landscape Monitoring Programme will help us to maximise these benefits and allow us to better assess how our landscapes are changing in a meaningful, practical and economical way. This will help us to identify key trends and their causes, and their significance in terms of how people feel about them and respond to them.”

   

New £10 million fund to restore peatland - Natural England

A £10 million grant scheme to restore England’s iconic peatlands has been launched by the Government today (14/4).

Peatlands cover 11 per cent of England’s landscape and provide a fantastic habitat for a wide range of birds such as the merlin, dunlin and golden plover.  They also provide 70 per cent of our drinking water and reduce greenhouse gases by locking away at least 3.2 billion tonnes of CO2.

The £10 million will be available for wildlife trust and charity projects to re-wet mosses, bring back missing plants and restore a thriving habitat to our peatlands across the country. This is in addition to the £4 million Defra has already allocated to existing Natural England peatland restoration schemes in England.  The funding will be available for projects that restore upland and lowland peatlands to their natural state, increasing their capacity to prevent carbon entering the atmosphere, reduce flood risk by slowing the flow of rain water and create habitats for vulnerable wildlife.

The scheme will open in May and funding will target sites with the greatest potential for greenhouse gas reduction. Projects that deliver better value for money and maximise environmental benefits will be favoured for funding.  Funding will be available for three years from April 2018 as part of Defra’s £100 million of capital funding for direct investment in projects that support the natural environment. More details, including how to bid for grants, will be provided when the scheme opens for bids.

 

Team to assess impact on wildlife following fire - Clinton Devon Estates 

Clinton Devon Estates would like to thank the Devon and Somerset Fire Service, the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths Wardens and the RSPB who worked closely together to tackle the 50-hectare fire on Colaton Raleigh Common at the weekend. The fire impacted on 5% of the total area of the heaths.

 Dr Sam Bridgewater, Head of Wildlife and Conservation for Clinton Devon Estates, will now lead a team to assess the impact on wildlife of the fire, the biggest on the Pebblebed Heaths since 2010.

He said: “We have recently recorded around 3000 different species of wildlife on the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths, including animals, insects, reptiles, birds and plants. We expect that most of the birds will have survived the fire simply by the fact they can fly away. At this time of year ground nesting birds such as Nightjars, and Dartford Warblers which breed in gorse, will be building their nests, so it’s a particularly bad time of year for the fire to happen.  However, there is still chance in the season for them to breed elsewhere.  Animals that are less mobile or slower such as reptiles, including adders, will have been more adversely impacted, with many individuals killed.

“It has taken nearly seven years for the landscape and habitats from the last big fire in 2010 covering nearly 100 hectares to recover. This site is only now becoming suitable for supporting populations of birds that were there prior to the fire.  Although we wouldn’t have wished for this recent fire to occur, nature is resilient, and heathland is adapted to coping with fire. We expect the current burn site to make a full recovery, but it will take decades. Later this year we will see grass shoots emerge, with gorse and heather sprouting in future years.  The landscape will look quite different for a while though.

More information about the fire including video footage from DevonLive: Fire crews fight Woodbury Common fire through the night 

 

Fire risk

Countryside Alliance raises awareness of the risk of wildfires - Countryside Alliance

Wildfires have the capability to devastate farmland, wildlife and protected habitats, as well as the lives of people living and working in rural communities. The risk at spring time is particularly prevalent as dead vegetation left over from the winter, higher temperatures and lower humidity levels can come together with deadly affect. The Countryside Alliance wishes to raise the awareness of the risk and potential damage of wildfires, and educate on the measures that can be taken to reduce those risks.

Fire risk tweet by North York Moors National Park  Tweet by North York Moors National Park on 4 May

Wildfires in the UK are fortunately few and far between; however, their ability to start in rural locations under difficult conditions adds a risk that rural fire and rescue services have to be prepared for. Successful partnerships and groups have been formed in high risk areas with great success; promoting cooperation and collaboration on wildfire issues.

Jack Knott, Countryside Alliance Campaigns Manager, said: “Wildfires can have potentially devastating impacts on farming and local communities, wildlife and protected habitats. It is essential that all steps are taken to reduce the risk, this includes increasing education for those that enjoy our beautiful countryside. Raising awareness is the key to reducing risk.

“Remaining vigilant, especially during spells of hot dry weather, whilst enjoying the British countryside is essential. Furthermore, disposing of litter correctly, in particularly smoking materials, can help prevent wildfires.” 

 

Fire threatens return of extinct butterfly - Lancashire Wildlife Trust

Arsonists are believed to be behind the devastation of one of the last few areas of lowland raised bog in Lancashire and put in jeopardy a project to restore a butterfly to the mossland where it has been extinct for more than 50 years.

Heysham Moss after the fire (image: Lancashire Wildlife Trust)Heysham Moss after the fire (image: Lancashire Wildlife Trust)

Three years ago the Large Heath butterfly was reintroduced to Heysham Moss as part of a joint project with Chester Zoo. The recent fire has swept across the Moss destroying much of the habitat that is currently supporting the establishing Large Heath colony.

While many of the plants will recover slowly over the next few years it is a serious blow to the ongoing restoration of this special place that is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Critically, the fire has also almost certainly wiped out any chance of survival of the Large Heath.

The reserve is owned by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust and LWT Reserve Officer Reuben Neville said: “The fire has probably destroyed the caterpillars which are active among the vegetation at this time of the year and any that have survived will struggle to find any remaining food plants."

Sarah Bird at Chester Zoo commented. “We are all devastated after all the work that’s been done restoring the site and raising and releasing the butterflies. It is particularly sad for the children that were so excited to help us with the butterfly releases in the last few years.”

 

National Parks

Major rights of way deal signed - Yorkshire Dales National Park

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) has assumed responsibility for an extra 300 miles of rights of way, following a legal agreement signed with Cumbria County Council.  A further 150 square miles of Cumbria, including Orton and the northern Howgills, became part of the National Park when its boundaries were extended in August last year.

The agreement, which came into effect on the 4th of April, means that National Park rangers are now formally the first port of call for any enquiries about rights of way in the extension area.

Cumbria County Council will make a one-off payment of £150,000 to the Authority, to help it carry out its new duties.

The YDNPA’s Chairman Carl Lis, said: “This has been a sensitive negotiation and it has been well handled. Cumbria County Council have been exceptionally good to work with, and I would like to thank them for their co-operation.  Now the National Park Authority can get on with maintaining and improving the rights of way network in this beautiful part of Cumbria. Well maintained rights of way are often cited as one of the advantages of being in a National Park. Everyone should benefit, as excellent footpaths help support the local economy and protect local facilities such as shops, pubs and cafes.”

The YDNPA has opened an office in Orton to provide a base for a newly created Western Ranger team. It has the task of making sure the surface of footpaths, as well as bridleways, restricted byways and byways open to all traffic, are safe and easy to use. 

 

New ‘top dog’ at New Forest National Park – New Forest National Park Authority

A new four-legged ‘apprentice’ is learning how to be a forest friendly dog with the National Park Authority ranger team.

Cooper the cocker spaniel has his own twitter account where people can see him going through his puppy training and New Forest adventures, learning how to behave around the Forest ponies and cattle and not disturbing rare birds.

Research shows an estimated 25% of homes in the South East have dogs and thousands of dogs are walked in the Forest every day. 

Cooper with owner Dawn Rayment, New Forest National Park Authority People and Wildlife Ranger (New Forest NPA)Cooper with owner Dawn Rayment, New Forest National Park Authority People and Wildlife Ranger (New Forest NPA)

Cooper’s owner Dawn Rayment, New Forest National Park Authority People and Wildlife Ranger, said: ‘As rangers we ask that people are responsible dog owners – but we often assume people know what that means. This is a great opportunity to help highlight certain situations, and people can share the highs and lows of training a forest friendly puppy with me. Our dogs have many distractions in the New Forest such as ponies and cattle roaming free on the land. There are also many visitors enjoying the Forest and not all want to be bothered by other people’s dogs (and dog mess!). The New Forest is home to some of the UK’s rarest ground nesting birds which are easily disturbed by dogs running loose. So it’s important to train our dogs to remain close by and be able to recall them at all times.’

 

CJS had an interesting article from Stephen Jenkinson ‘Walkers with dogs: new approaches to better management’ in CJS Focus on Access & Rights of Way Read it here

 Saplings ready for planting (image: NRW)

Arboriculture 

Restocking underway at Cwmcarn Forest - Natural Resources Wales 

Around 170,000 new, young trees are being planted at Cwmcarn Forest, as Natural Resources Wales (NRW) begins restocking areas which have been felled in recent years.

Saplings ready for planting (image: NRW)

The new trees have been grown from seeds that were previously collected locally from Abercarn. They will cover approximately 80 hectares of land across the southern part of the forest and will include a mixture of conifer and native broadleaf.  By planting a mix of different trees, it is hoped that the forest will be more resilient to climate change and disease in the future.  And while it might look different in years to come, it will mean it can remain an enjoyable place to visit in the future, while continuing to provide commercially marketable timber for local trade. 

The felling operation in Cwmcarn Forest continues as NRW battles to remove over 160,000 larch trees which are infected with Phytophthora Ramorum, or larch disease as it is known.  To date, approximately 30% of infected trees have been removed from the forest. 

 

National Forest Inventory: tree cover outside woodland in GB - Forestry Commission (official statistics)

 Areas under canopy, numbers of features and mean sizes of wooded features and individual trees outside National Forest Inventory woodland.

Reports on the areas and numbers of small woods, groups of trees, lone and hedgerow trees outside of main National Forest Inventory (NFI) woodland, with statistics broken down by category and sub-category (NFI woodland has a minimum size of 0.5 hectares.) Areas and lengths of hedgerows are also covered. Statistics are reported for GB, England, Scotland, Wales, individual NFI regions within England and Wales, and separately for urban and rural areas. Overall purpose is to quantify and characterise tree features outside woodland in GB for use in such areas as carbon sequestration, resource evaluation, tree pest and disease modelling and characterisation of urban and rural environments.

Visit the National Forest Inventory summary and statistical analysis reports on tree cover outside woodland in Great Britain  

 

Volunteers ‘guard’ juniper trees - Northumberland Wildlife Trust

A team of Northumberland Wildlife Trust volunteers made a return visit to a Northumberland nature reserve this week to help with the continued protection of a number of juniper trees.

Barrow Burn (image: Duncan Hoyle)Barrow Burn Wood, which lies 1 km south of Alwinton, to the north facing banks of the Barrow Burn, a tributary of the River Coquet is home to a mix of alder, willow, rowan, ash and oak trees. Bird life in the wood includes sparrowhawks, pied flycatchers, tree creepers and cuckoos.

Barrow Burn (image: Duncan Hoyle)

Nestling on the hillside are 20 - 30 juniper trees, which are quite unusual for this region and therefore included in the wildlife charity’s annual reserves plan.

Led by Estate Officer Duncan Hoyle, the team removed the tree guards from other successfully maturing trees elsewhere on the site and placed them around the juniper trees to protect them from deer and thereby ensuring they continue to flourish. The sun was shining and, as the site is sheltered, it made for a very pleasant conservation task.

 

Recreation, Rights of Way and Environmental Education

Newcastleton Wildlife Watch Group is best in Britain – Scottish Wildlife Trust

Newcastleton Wildlife Watch Group has been named Group of the Year 2016.

Newcastleton Wildlife Watch with their bug hotel (c) Gilly Fraser The group is an after school club that has met every Friday since 2013. Most of the members are aged 5-12, with a number of young people aged from 14-20 also taking a leadership role. They won the award by impressing a panel of expert judges with their enthusiasm for the natural world.

Newcastleton Wildlife Watch with their bug hotel (image ©  Gilly Fraser via SWT)

Our People and Wildlife Officer Catherine Leatherland said: “The judges were blown away with the entry and a number even asked if they could join the group! Newcastleton Wildlife Watch is a shining example of how to engage young people with the outdoors, by giving them a say in planning sessions and involving them fully in their activities.”

In 2016 they took part in a wide range of activities including guddling for fish on Liddel Water, building bug hotels, and maintaining a wildlife-friendly garden in the grounds of the village primary school.

Leader Wendy Patterson said: “Our group gives youngsters an opportunity to re-connect with nature. Not only are they learning about their local wild places and how to conserve our native wildlife, they are all learning life skills like cooking on an open fire, safe tool use, problem solving and team work.

  

Proposed merger between LEAF and FACE announced - FACE

A proposed merger between two of the leading farming and food educational organisations,   LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) and FACE (Farming & Countryside Education), has been announced today (Wednesday 12th April).

The vision for the proposed merger is to increase the impact and capability of the two charities’ work in improving education and understanding of farming, food and the environment.

The proposed merger will serve to combine the strength and expertise of the two organisations, to help drive forward an efficient and effective strategy that will directly improve education in and appreciation of, agriculture and food production.

Both organisations have charitable status, have worked on projects together such as Countryside Classroom and LEAF’s Open Farm School Days and share many common goals.  LEAF and FACE are working closely together to ensure that the proposed merger meets all necessary legal requirements and complies with all the required procedures and recommendations set out by the Charity Commission.  It is currently anticipated that subject to contract, due diligence and the proposed merger meeting all the necessary legal requirements, that the agreement will be signed during the summer of 2017.

Download the full press release (PDF)

 

Fields in Trust welcomes new API report into playgrounds

Fields in Trust welcomes a new report from the Association of Play Industries (API) into the state of England's playgrounds and supports calls for increased investment that will positively impact the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

Playground (image: Fields in Trust)Playground (image: Fields in Trust)

Fields in Trust Chief Executive, Helen Griffiths, said: "Play is the first step children take towards physical literacy and an active lifestyle and therefore investing in play spaces and securing their future should be a priority in combating the negative health impacts of a sedentary population. Parks and playgrounds are vulnerable to closure in these challenging times and it's important that we revalue the enormous contribution they make to our communities."

The report, published on Thursday (13/4), cites findings from the State of UK Public Parks 2016 report which found that 92% of local authority park departments have experienced budget cuts in the past three years and 95% of parks managers expect there to be further reductions in the next three years.

New research by the API found that 65 local authorities closed a total of 214 playgrounds between 2014 to 2016 whilst a similar number of closures were reported to be planned for the period to 2019. Reasons cited for closures included budgetary concerns, outdated equipment and anti-social issues.

Read the Nowhere to Play report from the Association of Play Industries 

 

85 years on from the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass rangers battle to restore the rare Peak District bog - National Trust 

A Peak District hillside that became a battleground ramblers’ right to roam is now at the centre of a new fight – as rangers battle to save one of the world’s rarest nature habitats.

This weekend walkers, campaigners and rangers celebrated the 85th anniversary of the Mass Trespass on Kinder Scout.

On 24 April, 1932, hundreds of walkers descended on the Peak District moor to draw attention to their inability to roam in the countryside. They were met by gamekeepers determined to stop them.

The trespass saw six ramblers arrested – but sparked a campaign that would eventually see law passed to allow people to walk freely over land in places like national parks.

One of the gritstone boulders standing amongst smaller stones on the heath, part of the Kinder Scout Rock formation in the Peak District, Derbyshire. (Image: Joe Cornish/National Trust Images)One of the gritstone boulders standing amongst smaller stones on the heath, part of the Kinder Scout Rock formation in the Peak District, Derbyshire. (Image: Joe Cornish/National Trust Images)

 When walkers retrace their steps today, they will trudge across a landscape that is changing rapidly.

The National Trust acquired Kinder Scout 35 years ago. Pollution and certain land management had seen the Scout become one of the fastest eroding peat bogs in the country – with a patch bare black peat equivalent to the size of over 80 football pitches.

But in the last seven years rangers from the conservation charity have worked with the Moors for the Future Partnership, Natural England and water company United Utilities to restore the blanket bog – a habitat rarer than the rainforest.

Rangers have re-seeded 80 hectares of bare peat, planted half a million bog cotton plants on the heather moorland and placed 20,000 trees in the deep valleys that surround the Kinder plateau.

 

First cycling for all festival – Lake District National Park Authority

A gathering geared to bring cycling to everyone beckons in the heart of the Lakes with Image: Lake District National Park Authorityspecially adapted wheels for riders with disabilities.

Showcasing the benefits of being mobile in the great outdoors, the Inclusive Cycling Festival is being staged at Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre on the shores of Windermere, on Friday 12 May.

Image: Lake District National Park Authority

Specially adapted cycles will cater for a wide range of abilities and people are being invited to roll up and have a go, while enjoying sensational scenery and beautiful grounds. The event is led by Cycling Projects, the charity behind nationally recognised programme, Wheels for All. By using specially adapted cycles, it provides quality, fun activities that are both physically and mentally stimulating for adults and children with disabilities and differing needs.

In the Focus on Overcoming Barriers we had an article from Pony AxeS, detailing a horse drawn transport system. Read the article here 

 

New path opens up ancient route to Broads visitors - Broads Authority 

Broads visitors can now follow in the footsteps of medieval monks with the opening of a new stretch of footpath.

The path will complete the link from St Benet’s Abbey to How Hill National Nature Reserve via Ludham Bridge.  And on Tuesday 2 May the ribbon will officially be cut on the long-awaited path prior to a free guided walk as part of the 2017 Broads Outdoors Festival.  The news means that visitors can now walk all the way from 11th century St Benet’s Abbey to How Hill along the picturesque riverside, just as the monks of the abbey once did.

A previous footpath existed some years ago but flood defence work meant the original route had changed.  Therefore the Broads Authority worked hard to negotiate with the landowner to get the access needed for the new path which was identified as a key link in the Authority’s Integrated Access Strategy.

Adrian Clarke, Senior Waterways and Recreation Officer, said: “The aim of the strategy is to open up links for public access across the Broads, particularly between land and water and so that visitors can easily get to village facilities, like those at Ludham, from moorings and other popular destinations. For years the only direct route between the abbey and How Hill had been by boat but now visitors could moor at either location and explore by foot, experiencing the wonderful landscape and the cultural heritage. We are very grateful to the landowners for helping make this happen.”

 

Sit Less; Move More it's time to get On your feet Britain

Take part in our national day (Friday 28 April) when workers across Britain unite together and participate in a variety of fun and simple activities to #SitLess and #MoveMore at work.

Despite working at Countryside Jobs Service we're all office bound staring at screens and bashing keyboards. We do try to be more active: regular tea and coffee making trips, only opening the post whilst standing up and our over-filled heads mean we're very good at forgetting things and have to make more than one trip to file paperwork or ask a colleague something - we do try to talk to each other rather than firing emails back and forth resulting in meandering between offices.  And then of course the office dogs ensure you pick your feet up to avoid tripping over them basking in the sunshine!

CJS In-depthSometimes though the day to day office grind can get you down and no matter how often you get up or move more you simply need a change of scenery as Jackie Kemp found out: "In the Autumn of 2007, following several years of working away from home I returned to the Glasgow area to alter my work/life balance."  Read about this leap of faith in the article: Conservation Volunteering; from Pastime to Pay Packet 

If you like the sound of some exercise in the outdoors and helping conserve a little area of nature then have a look at our list of work days and conservation tasks here: http://c-js.co.uk/VolWD  There are events in most areas.  If you run work days which are not on the list and would like to advertise your activities (free of course) then fill in the form here http://www.countryside-jobs.com/workdays/advertise or email Amy on ranger@countryside-jobs.com for more information.

  

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Training: July calendar plus details of courses available on an ad hoc or regular basis

 

Events

01/07/2017   Wild Flower & Orchid Count   1 Day

Caeau Tan-y-Bwlch reserve, near Clynnog Fawr, Gwynedd, Plantlife . Contact: 02920 376193 cymru@plantlife.org.uk http://c-js.info/2doORYH

Join Plantlife’s Dr Trevor Dines and the North Wales Wildlife Trust and experience the beautiful Caeau Tan-y-Bwlch reserve this National Meadows Day! Take part in the annual and help us check the health of the meadows. Booking not required. Please see the website for directions and parking details.

01/07/2017   National Meadows Day Celebration at Dinefwr   1 Day

National Trust Dinefwr, Carmarthenshire, Plantlife and National Trust. Contact: 02920 376193 cymru@plantlife.org.uk http://c-js.info/2doORYH

Come along and celebrate National Meadows Day at National Trust Dinefwr’s beautiful Castle Field. There will be activities for all the family including guided walks around the meadow, making wild flower bunting and bug hunts. Please visit the website for cost and booking details.

03/07/2017   FACE Farm Education Conference   1 Day

Harper Adams University, Newport, Shropshire, TF10 8NB, FACE. Contact: http://c-js.info/2qrZ3pA

06/07/2017   PCA Structural Waterproofing Conference   1 Day

The Slate Conference Centre, Warwick University, Coventry, Cambridge CV4 7SH, Property Care Association. Contact: 0844 375 4301 Sue@property-care.org http://c-js.info/2mXCk3d

07/07/2017   2017 Forest School Association Conference   3 Day

Northrop Campus, G l yndwr University, Mold. CH7 6AA, Forest School Association. Contact: enquiries@forestschoolassociation.org http://c-js.info/2njoHHl

08/07/2017   Plantlife Members & Friends Day   1 Day

Kenfig Nature Reserve Visitors Centre, Plantlife. Contact: 02920 376193 cymru@plantlife.org.uk http://c-js.info/2nOz4Xr

Discover the exciting projects and activities taking place across our nation including our Lichen Apprenticeship Scheme and new Great Orme sheep! There will also be an afternoon walk to explore Kenfig sand dunes. Non members are very welcome. Visit the website for details of costs and booking.

11/07/2017   The state of the Thames   1 Day

Huxley Lecture Theatre, Main Meeting Rooms, ZSL London Zoo, ZSL. Contact: 0207 449 6227 jennifer.howes@zsl.org http://c-js.info/2jRQFKg

 

Access and Rights of Way

01/07/2017   BHS Level Two - The next steps on recording equestrian routes, inc. documentary & user evidence  1 Day

Pant Memorial Hall, Pant, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY10 9QG.  Repeated 15/4 at Ty Nant, Cardiff CF15 8LB

The next step after BHS Level One training, (but not essential to have attended) to gain a more in depth knowledge of User Evidence, Documentary Evidence, Definitive Maps and Wider Access, in order to effectively protect and extend equestrian routes. Costs £10 to attend, inc.lunch. Spaces limited.

08/07/2017   BHS Level One training - How to protect and extend Horse Riding and Carriage Driving Routes    1 Day

The Plough Inn, The Roe, St Asaph, Denbighshire, LL17 0LU.

If you are interested in learning new skills to make a difference in your local area, make a bridleway accessible or ensure the routes you use will be there for future generations after 2026, this training is for you. Help us protect and extend equestrian routes before it is too late. Costs £10, inc.lunch. Spaces limited.

For The British Horse Society. Contact: 02476840582 access@bhs.org.uk http://c-js.co.uk/2kmsoLz

10/07/2017   Learn How to Navigate Course   1 Day

Greenock Cut, near Greenock, The Adventure Academy CIC. Contact: 0141 628 8520 info@theadventureacademy.org.uk https://theadventureacademy.org.uk/event/learn-navigate-10th-july-2017/

We adopt an relaxed approach on this one day course. We use a range of fun exercises, maps and activities to demystify the subject and build confidence. This course assumed that you have no prior knowledge making it ideal for anyone who would like to been their navigational journey!

11/07/2017   Bronze National Navigation Award Scheme   2 Day

Mugdock Country Park, The Adventure Academy CIC. Contact: 0141 628 8520 info@theadventureacademy.org.uk https://theadventureacademy.org.uk/event/nnas-bronze-11th-july-2017/

The National Navigation Award Scheme is designed to provide a nationally recognised framework for the development of a competent navigator. It is delivered over two days, and starts by looking at the basics including map setting, reading and basic use of the compass. It’s a great introduction to the subject.

13/07/2017   Silver National Navigation Award Scheme   2 Day

Kilpartick Hills, near Dumbarton, The Adventure Academy CIC. Contact: 0141 628 8520 info@theadventureacademy.org.uk https://theadventureacademy.org.uk/event/nnas-silver-13th-july-2017/

The Silver National Navigation Award is an intermediate course. It builds on skills taught on the Bronze Award and concentrates on the ability to work away from paths and tracks. It is the next step for those who have completed the Bronze award. The course is delivered over two days.

15/07/2017   BHS Public Inquiry Day 1 (of 2) - Theory (attendees must commit to both days)   1 Day

British Horse Society HQ, Abbey Park, Stareton, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2XZ, The British Horse Society. Contact: 0 2476840582 access@bhs.org.uk http://c-js.co.uk/2kmsoLz

Learn what to expect at a public inquiry, and the procedures and requirements necessary. Learn how to prepare a case, find out how to acquire evidence to submit a DMMO application. Attendees allocated to groups to prepare their cases at home for Day 2. Costs £10 to attend, inc.lunch. Spaces limited.

15/07/2017   Learn How to Navigate Course   1 Day

Greenock Cut, near Greenock, The Adventure Academy CIC. Contact: 0141 628 8520 info@theadventureacademy.org.uk https://theadventureacademy.org.uk/event/learn-navigate-15th-july-2017/

We adopt an relaxed approach on this one day course. We use a range of fun exercises, maps and activities to demystify the subject and build confidence. This course assumed that you have no prior knowledge making it ideal for anyone who would like to been their navigational journey!

29/07/2017   BHS Level Three - Advanced Highway Law   1 Day

Rooting Street Equestrian Centre, Little Chart, Ashford, Kent, TN27 0PZ, The British Horse Society. Contact: 0 2476840582 access@bhs.org.uk http://c-js.co.uk/2kmsoLz

The next step after BHS Level Two training, (but not essential to have attended) to gain a more in depth knowledge of Political Lobbying, Public Inquiries and Highway Law, in order to effectively protect and extend equestrian routes. Costs £10 to attend, inc.lunch. Spaces limited.

 

Administrative and Office Skills

04/07/2017   Good Practice Stakeholder Participation Training with a focus on the environment.   3 Day

East Brabourne, Dialogue Matters Ltd. Contact: 01233 813875 admin@dialoguematters.co.uk http://www.dialoguematters.co.uk

This course will: Recognise the benefits/challenges of involving stakeholders in decisions about the environment; Understand the principles/concepts of stakeholder participation; Learn and practice practical facilitation skills and how to design a participation process. We are able to offer ‘in house’ training, please get in touch for further details.

06/07/2017   Commons and Village Greens   1 Day

Barry, IPROW. Contact: training@iprow.co.uk http://iprow.co.uk/training/commons-and-village-greens/

12/07/2017   Management Training - London   1 Day

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

A leadership and management training programme that offers new and soon-to-be managers the opportunity to build confidence, learn key skills, and explore a variety of management techniques.

24/07/2017   Arc Foundation Training   2 Day

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

Ideal for Environmental & Ecological Professionals

 

Community Engagement and Environmental Education

02/07/2017   Bushcraft Essentials   1 Day

Gloucestershire | Wiltshire, Hands on Bushcraft. Contact: 07598 491989 info@handsonbushcraft.co.uk http://www.handsonbushcraft.co.uk

Learn key bushcraft skills, knife & saw safety including cutting techniques, build a weatherproof shelter (leaf litter), Identify useful trees and plants for food and medicine, learn to prepare wild game and cooking it over a fire. Source tinder and dark tinder for fire lighting and light a fire without matches.

04/07/2017   Managing Challenging Situations   1 Day

Stirling, TCV Scotland. Contact: 01786 476170 Scotland-training@tcv.org.uk http://bit.ly/2fiOP2z

This learning course aims to explore a range of challenging situations that arise or may arise in the volunteering setting.

04/07/2017   Advanced Facilitation Training - London   1 Day

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

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

22/07/2017   Coastal Activity Leader Training   7 Day at Findhorn by Wild things!. http://wild-things.org.uk/our-events/coastal-activity-leader-training/

Coastal Activity Leader Training is an accredited outdoor education and leader training course, developed specifically for beaches and coastlines. Learn to confidently lead Beach School and Coastal Classroom sessions. A course designed to inspire students to lead groups of children, young people and adults in the coastal environment. £525.

30/07/2017   Woodland Activity Leader Training   7 Day at Findhorn by Wild things!. http://wild-things.org.uk/our-events/woodland-activity-leader-training/

If you are interested in enhancing your skills to lead groups in a woodland environment, training to become a Woodland Activity Leader will provide you with the learning and knowledge you require Woodland Activity Leader Training is an accredited outdoor learning course and an alternative to forest school training. £525.

Contact Wild Things! Contact: 01309690450 enquiries@wild-things.org.uk

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

04/07/2017   Arboricultural Consultancy - two day (residential)   2 Day

Stonehouse, Arboricultural Association. Contact: training@trees.org.uk http://www.trees.org.uk/Training-And-Events/All-Courses

12/07/2017   Managing woodlands to improve biodiversity and sustainability   1 Day

Wetherby, Flora locale. Contact: 01488 686186 info@floralocale.org http://www.floralocale.org

This course on woodland management is designed for those considering buying a wood, woodland owners and those who want to promote woodland biodiversity. There will be an opportunity to discuss grant applications and entry into the Countryside Stewardship woodland support schemes. Your own projects can be discussed. 

17/07/2017   Valuing and managing veteran trees   3 Day

Epping Forest, Ancient Tree Forum. Contact: training@ancienttreeforum.co.uk http://www.ancienttreeforum.co.uk/events/valuing-and-managing-veteran-trees-a-three-day-advanced-course-for-trainers-epping-forest/

A three day advanced course aimed at those who would like to share their own knowledge and experience of veteran trees with colleagues, employees, volunteers and community groups. It will equip attendees with the skills, confidence and resources to be able to deliver the one day course ‘Valuing and Managing Veteran Trees’.

18/07/2017   Professional Tree Inspection Three Day Course   3 Day

Wokingham, Arboricultural Association. Contact: training@trees.org.uk http://www.trees.org.uk/Training-And-Events/All-Courses

19/07/2017   Woodland management for pollinators and sustainability   1 Day

Chippenham, Flora locale. Contact: 01488 686186 info@floralocale.org http://www.floralocale.org

This course is designed for woodland owners and managers who want to manage their woods while promoting biodiversity. On site we will look at practical examples of woodland products and sustainability and discuss public use and access in private and community woodlands

20/07/2017   Professional Tree Inspection Retake   1 Day

Wokingham, Arboricultural Association. Contact: training@trees.org.uk http://www.trees.org.uk/Training-And-Events/All-Courses

21/07/2017   Improving Meadows and Grasslands   1 Day

The Kingcombe Centre, nr Dorchester, Dorset Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01300 320684 kingcombe@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk http://www.kingcombe.org

Find out how to create a bountiful wildflower meadow or restore a species rich grassland using local seed and low impact techniques, with Nick Gray.

 

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

01/07/2017   First Aid + F   1 Day

Ironbridge, Smallwoods Association. Contact: 01952 432769 fayhurford@smallwoods.org.uk http://www.smallwoods.org.uk/

The course covers severe bleeds, eye injuries, electrocution, Weils disease and ticks, and discusses other challenges for a first aider in the outdoor and forest environment. Meets the criteria listed by the Forestry Commission /Natural Resources Wales required for workers on their forestry sites £75

01/07/2017   Outdoor First Aid Course   2 Day at RATHO, Edinburgh International Climbing Arena, First Aid Training Co-operative.

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.

01/07/2017   Outdoor First Aid Course   2 Day at Windermere, Lake District, First Aid Training Co-operative.

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.

04/07/2017   First Aid at Work   3 Day at Bristol, Remote First Aid. Contact: 01617310056 i

This course is suitable for those who need to be First Aiders in the Workplace in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The First Aid at Work course is run over three days and includes both theory and practical sessions.

07/07/2017   Emergency First Aid at Work   1 Day at Peebles, First Aid Training Cooperative.

07/07/2017   Emergency First Aid at Work+ Forestry   1 Day Peebles, First Aid Training Cooperative

Contact First Aid Training Cooperative: 0333 4330731 courses@firstaidtrainingcooperative.co.uk http://www.firstaidtrainingcooperative.co.uk

19/07/2017   Arb Approved Contractor Preparation Workshop   1 Day

York, Arboricultural Association. Contact: training@trees.org.uk http://www.trees.org.uk/Training-And-Events/All-Courses

Contact for details

Outdoor First Aid    2 Day run 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 run 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 run 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 run 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 run 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 run 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 run by Outdoor First Aid Limited

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

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.

Contact Outdoor First Aid Limited: 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.

Level 2 Using Pesticides Safely (PA1 & PA6)   2 Day

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

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.

 

Identification and Field Survey Skills - Herpetology, Fish and Invertebrates

01/07/2017   Damselflies and Dragonflies   1 Day

FSC Amersham, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

This course is aimed at anyone who wants to learn more about the basic biology of dragonflies and damselflies including lifecycles, flight,eyes, mating and egg laying. There will be a chance to visit likely sites to look for flying or emerging species.

01/07/2017   Butterflies training day   1 Day

Sutton Ecology Center, Carshalton, London, Sutton Nature Conservation Volunteers. Contact: 020 8770 4203 sncvvolunteers@hotmail.co.uk http://www.suttonnature.wordpress.com/events

One of the best studied animal groups in the UK, butterflies are iconic of spring and summer but their national declines are indicating worrying trends to our countryside and wildspaces. Join us for information on their identification, life histories and habitat requirements. Cost: £20

02/07/2017   Kentish Butterflies    1 Day

Tyland Barn , Kent Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01622 662012 info@kentwildlife.org.uk http://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/

Learn more about the butterflies and their habitats from an expert. Weather permitting, spot and identify some of the common and possibly rarer species of chalk grassland habitat at a mid-Kent reserve. Particularly suitable for beginners

02/07/2017   Dragonflies - Ecology & Identification   1 Day

Aquasports, Merstham RH1 4EU, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk http://bit.ly/dragonfly0717

Learn and improve your identification skills and enhance your understanding of the dragonflies and damselflies of Surrey.

03/07/2017   Introduction to Hoverflies   1 Day

FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

You won’t need any prior knowledge just a willingness to immerse yourself in the life of hoverflies for a day. There will be a mix of presentations, fieldwork and identification using guides. The day will be varied with lots of opportunity to learn about these fascinating and incredibly diverse insects. 

03/07/2017   Intro to Invertebrates   1 Day

Stirling, TCV Scotland. Contact: 01786 476170 Scotland-training@tcv.org.uk http://bit.ly/2fiOP2z

On this course you will be taught how to identify common invertebrate groups and species. We will also learn about their habitats and life histories.

04/07/2017   World of the Mini-Beast   1 Day

Findhorn, Wild things!. Contact: 01309690450 enquiries@wild-things.org.uk http://wild-things.org.uk/our-events/world-mini-beast/

World of the Mini-Beast. Discover the world of the small, the remorseful, the camouflaged and the cunning. We will be heading out on a mini beast safari, identifying creatures as we go along, learning about their behaviour, lifestyles and playing some educational games that highlight their function in our ecosystem.

04/07/2017   Bring Butterflies into your Garden   1 Day

Newlands Corner, GU4 8SE, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk http://bit.ly/butterflies1

Discuss the best ways of attracting butterflies into your garden and identifying them, before walking around Newlands Corner in search of local species.

05/07/2017   Field Identification of Spiders and Harvestmen   1 Day

FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

Many spiders and harvestmen can be identified and recorded in the field, with the aid a simple piece of kit called a spi-pot, before being released again. You will be introduced to the techniques of identifying live spiders and harvestmen. Supported by the FSC Tomorrow's Biodiversity project.

05/07/2017   Pond creation and conservation   1 Day

Little Wittenham, Oxford, Flora locale. Contact: 01488 686186 info@floralocale.org http://www.floralocale.org

This pond workshop will demonstrate why ponds are important and how making new ones can have an almost immediate effect on local biodiversity. The workshop will discuss basic pond ecology and construction techniques.

07/07/2017   Identifying Moths and Butterflies   2 Day at FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council.

A weekend introducing the identification and natural history of one of the most attractive insect groups, using live trapping techniques. Working through the moth catches will be followed by butterfly identification. Part of the University Certificate in Biological Recording run jointly with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

07/07/2017   Identifying Freshwater Invertebrates   3 Day at FSC Malham Tarn, Field Studies Council.

A course for both beginners and those who wish to improve their freshwater macroinvertebrate identification skills. It includes field collection techniques, preservation and curation of specimens, use of identification keys and information on life histories.

07/07/2017   Identifying Difficult Invertebrates   3 Day at FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council.

This course is designed to help students develop higher-level skills in the identification of insects and other invertebrates. There will be a blend of field and laboratory sessions with an emphasis on obtaining accurate species identifications. Part of the MSc Biological Recording jointly with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

08/07/2017   Introducing Hoverflies @ The Green Centre   1 Day at FSC Epping Forest, Field Studies Council.

This day will provide an introduction to hoverflies, probably the most popular and photogenic of flies. Many are common and can be found in gardens. This course will help you identify some of those you are most likely to come across. Held at Green Centre in Wat Tyler Country Park.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

08/07/2017   Introduction to Odonata    1 Day

Parc Slip Nature Reserve, Tondu, Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales. Contact: 01656 724100 m.lindley@welshwildlife.org http://www.welshwildlife.org

This course covers the conservation and survey methodologies for both dragonfly and damselfly (Odonata) species in Wales. The course will be delivered through a combination of classroom and outdoor sessions including a survey at Parc Slip Nature Reserve, where over 23 species of dragon and damselfly have been recorded.

08/07/2017   British butterflies    2 Day

Feed Bristol, Bristol, BS16 1HB, Avon Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01179177270 courses@avonwildlifetrust.org.uk http://www.avonwildlifetrust.org.uk/courses

Come and explore the colourful world of some of Britain’s most spectacular insects. This course covers butterfly identification, ecology including lifecycle, and conservation. It will help you to identify many of our native butterfly species such as the holly blue and the common blue. Starting at £60 for two days.

10/07/2017   Dorset's Butterflies and Moths   5 Day

The Kingcombe Centre, nr Dorchester, Dorset Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01300 320684 kingcombe@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk http://www.kingcombe.org

Discover the diversity of summer butterflies and moths across Dorset's famed landscape of chalk downlands, pastures, woodland and coast. Led by David Brown.

12/07/2017   Bumblebees and butterflies   1 Day

Eastern Moors, Eastern Moors Partnership. Contact: 0114 2891543 enquiries@easternmoors.org.uk http://www.visit-eastern-moors.org.uk/contact-us

Led by Moors for the Future, take a wonder over the Eastern Moors looking for and identifying butterflies and bumblebees. £5 per person. Booking essential.

12/07/2017   Bees for Beginners   1 Day

Reigate College, RH2 0QF, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk http://bit.ly/bees0717

Learn how to identify a variety of local bees and understand their life-cycle before going in search of them in gardens and parkland.

14/07/2017   Solitary Bees: Identification and Ecology   7 Day at FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council.

This course will introduce participants to the identification and ecology of solitary bees including nesting and foraging requirements, hosts and associated aculeate nest parasites. By the end of the course participants should be more confident in identifying the more commonly encountered families and genera.

14/07/2017   Identification of Dragonflies and Damselflies   2 Day at FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council.

We aim to introduce you close-up to many of the 31 Shropshire species of dragonfly and damselfly so that you will leave confident in your own abilities to identify them and make species records. Part of the University Certificate in Biological Recording run jointly with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

15/07/2017   Introduction to Butterflies in the Chilterns   1 Day at FSC Amersham, Field Studies Council.

A wide variety of butterfly species can be found in the attractive grasslands and woodlands of the Chilterns. We will help you recognise the different species, learn how they depend on their habitats, and find out how you can help conserve them.

17/07/2017   Butterflies and Moths   3 Day at FSC Malham Tarn, Field Studies Council.

The unique diversity of habitat close to Malham Tarn offers an interesting selection of Lepidoptera. Many nationally-scarce moths associated with fens, mosses and moorland can be found, as well as some special butterflies. Help will be given on identification and information on the ecology of nationally significant species.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

17/07/2017   Pond Ecology, Creation and Maintenance   1 Day

Hazlehead, Aberdeen (TBC), SCRA Grampian. Contact: 0 7799658209 jackie.cumberbirch@forestry.gsi.gov.uk http://

Lecture on pond ecology, viewing live specimens, lecture on pond construction, practical outdoor session etc.

18/07/2017   An introduction to Moths   1 Day

Nower Wood, Mill Way, leatherhead KT22 8QA, Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk http://bit.ly/moths0717

Begin with a review of the moths that were trapped the previous evening. You will then discuss handling identifying them, their life-cycle and ecology.

18/07/2017   All About Crayfish: Ecology, Monitoring and Conservation   2 Day

Mendip Hills, Nicky Green and Jen Nightingale. Contact: 01626853890 ngreencrayfish@gmail.com http://www.crayfishuk.org/training.html

This course is designed to give trainees a solid grounding in crayfish ecology & survey methods together with an insight into the latest conservation techniques. It covers all monitoring techniques will handle native white-clawed & invasive signal crayfish. Included are visits to captive breeding facilities & ark sites plus discussions on controlling invasive crayfish based on latest research. ​

21/07/2017   Finding and Identifying Beetles   2 Day at FSC Juniper Hall, Field Studies Council.

This exciting course will cover practical aspects of finding, identifying and recording beetles. The main focus will be on beetles found in chalk grassland, heathland and woodland. The course is not aimed at experts but those who would like to learn about beetles and skills in fieldwork techniques.

21/07/2017   Ecology and Identification of Dragonflies   2 Day at FSC Margam, Field Studies Council.

This course introduces this charismatic group of insects with a range of classroom-based and practical sessions. The course will introduce the group and cover key identification characteristics as well as field survey techniques of both adults and nymphs.

21/07/2017   Surveying Terrestrial Invertebrates   4 Day at FSC Orielton, Field Studies Council.

This course covers sampling methodologies, identification, selection of equipment, report writing, permissions and licences and the recently developed protocol for site assessment for invertebrate habitat quality. The course is particularly suitable for those working in conservation and consultancy.

21/07/2017   Identifying Leafhoppers   2 Day at FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council.

Leafhoppers, planthoppers and froghoppers are abundant insects in a wide range of habitats and are increasingly used in site quality assessment and monitoring. Field visits will be made to collect specimens for laboratory species-level identification. Part of the University Certificate in Biological Recording run jointly with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

21/07/2017   Moths of the Pembrokeshire Coast   4 Day at FSC Orielton, Field Studies Council.

This course is aimed at anyone who would like to learn more about identifying moths from coastal habitats. Weather permitting, we will trap moths at National Trust’s beautiful Freshwater West sand dunes and stunning Stackpole Head cliff top, in addition to trapping in the excellent wooded grounds of the Centre.

21/07/2017   Identifying Bees   2 Day at FSC Slapton Ley, Field Studies Council.

An opportunity to learn how to record and critically identify bees with Steven Falk, author of the new 'Field Guide to Bees of Britain and Northern Ireland'.

22/07/2017   Introduction to Butterflies   1 Day at FSC London Region, Field Studies Council.

What butterflies can be found in London? What do butterflies need to survive? How can you help conserve them? This course provides an introduction to butterfly natural history, identification and conservation, using a mix of indoor activities and presentations, plus fieldwork observing butterflies at Bushy Park.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

22/07/2017   Butterfly and Moth ID   1 Day

Near Wotton-under-Edge, Glos, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01452 383333 info@gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk http://www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk/events/2017/07/22/butterfly-and-moth-id-course?instance=0

Explore the beautiful butterflies and moths of Lower Woods with Peter Hugo and Sue Smith of Butterfly Conservation. From the large yurt, you will spend the day in this huge, secluded reserve learning to identify and record your finds, hopefully including rarities. Course pack and refreshments included. Open to all.

23/07/2017   Rocky Shore Invertebrates   3 Day at FSC Dale Fort, Field Studies Council.

This course gives practical experience in the identification of common rocky shore invertebrates, based on field characteristics. Part of the University Certificate in Biological Recording run jointly with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

24/07/2017   Introduction to Grasshoppers and Bushcrickets   1 Day at FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council.

As a group grasshoppers and bushcrickets are manageable for someone with an interest in natural history to get to know in a day. There will be a mix of presentations, fieldwork and identification using various guides.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

26/07/2017   Dragonfly & Damselfly Surveying Techniques   1 Day

Swanwick Lakes Education Centre, Swanwick, Southampton, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01489774406 Courses@hiwwt.org.uk http://shop.hiwwt.org.uk/product/dragonfly-damselfly-surveying-techniques/

27/07/2017   Hoverflies NEW   1 Day

Tyland Barn and local sites, Kent Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01622 662012 info@kentwildlife.org.uk http://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/

An introductory look at this group of attractive insects covering all the main tribes and with an in-depth look at the commoner species. The course covers the morphology, life-cycle, identification, observation and photography of hoverflies.

28/07/2017   Beetles: Serving the Ecosystem   3 Day at FSC Slapton Ley, Field Studies Council.

One animal in four is a beetle. Almost half a million species have been described, many being crucial to ecosystem function, so it is important to maintain their diversity. This course will familiarise you with beetle identification and the importance of beetles, both in recycling materials and in criminal investigations.

28/07/2017   Introduction to Identifying and Recording Adult Caddisflies, Stoneflies and Mayflies   3 Day at FSC Malham Tarn, Field Studies Council.

Stoneflies (Plecoptera), mayflies (Ephemeroptera) and caddisflies (Trichoptera) are three Orders of insects which are important to aquatic ecosystems. The course aims to familiarise moth trappers, and others, with these three groups and how they can go about getting into recording them.

28/07/2017   Identifying Solitary Wasps   7 Day at FSC Orielton, Field Studies Council.

This course will introduce participants to the identification and ecology of solitary wasps including nesting and prey requirements, hosts and associated aculeate nest parasites. Supported by FSC Tomorrow's Biodiversity Project.

28/07/2017   An Introduction to Moths and Butterflies   3 Day at FSC Slapton Ley, Field Studies Council.

Slapton is an ideal location for the study of butterflies and moths. The wide variety of habitats – woodland, reedbed, maritime grassland and coastal cliffs – will allow us to find a wide range of species. With luck we will see some of the most attractive moths and butterflies in beautiful locations.

29/07/2017   Identifying Dragonflies   1 Day at FSC Bishops Wood, Field Studies Council.

Dragonfly enthusiasts of all levels of ability welcome, come and learn more about these stunning insects. The day will start with a classroom workshop introducing this group of insects and identification, then head to the pools and hopefully introduce you close-up to a good number of local species.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

Contact for Details

Lake Ecology   5 Day

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

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.

 

Identification and Field Survey Skills - Mammals

01/07/2017   Beaver Ecology & Conservation   1 Day

Dunkeld, The Mammal Society. Contact: 02380010984 training@themammalsociety.org https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/beaver-ecology-conservation-tickets-27067055291

The day will involve a mix of classroom based teaching and a field session to identify beaver field signs, in a relaxed manner with plenty of discussion. We will be based in Dunkeld, surrounded by the stunning Perthshire scenery, wild beaver populations are established in nearby River Tay catchment.

06/07/2017   Beaver Ecology and Conservation    1 Day by Species Recovery Trust

A one day course giving participants the skills to carry out beaver surveys and gain a better understanding of their behaviour, ecology and conservation. The course will also cover reintroductions, and the impact that beavers can have on biodiversity

13/07/2017   Water Voles - Ecology and Survey    1 Day by Species Recovery Trust

Lifton, Devon, The Species Recovery Trust. Contact: 01722 322539 bookings@speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk http://www.speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk/Training.html

A one day course giving participants the skills to carry out water vole surveys and gain a better understanding of their behaviour, ecology and conservation

Both courses at Lifton, Devon Contact The Species Recovery Trust. 01722 322539 bookings@speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk http://www.speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk/Training.html

14/07/2017   Mammal Detective Weekend   3 Day

Upton Grange, The Mammal Society. Contact: 02380010984 training@themammalsociety.org https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mammal-detective-weekend-tickets-26821044466

Suitable for all mammal enthusiasts this weekend provides a unique opportunity to observe and learn about a wide range of British wildlife including; red and roe deer, badgers, horseshoe bats, water voles, otters, mink and even beavers.

15/07/2017   Introduction to British Mammals   2 Day

Feed Bristol, Bristol, BS16 1HB, Avon Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01179177270 courses@avonwildlifetrust.org.uk http://www.avonwildlifetrust.org.uk/courses

The courses are aimed at students, practicing ecologists, conservation volunteers and anyone who wishes to further their knowledge in natural history and biological recording. Starting at £60 for two days.

15/07/2017   Marine Mammal Medic Course   1 Day

Stranraer Marina Building, West Pier, Market Street, Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway, DG9 7RE., British Divers Marine Life Rescue. Contact: 01825 765546 info@bdmlr.org.uk http://www.bdmlr.org.uk/store/

Course includes morning classroom lectures in marine mammal identification, physiology, identification, first aid, and rescue techniques. Followed in the afternoon by practical demonstrations and hands on training. The cost of the course is £90 per person. Please refer to BDMLR website for further details.

17/07/2017   Arboriculture and bats: scoping surveys for arborists   1 Day

The Kingcombe Centre, Dorset, Bat Conservation Trust. Contact: 0207 820 7169 training@bats.org.uk http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/arboriculture_and_bats_scoping_surveys_for_arborists.html

One day awareness course for arborists to help them carry out tree works with consideration for the potential impacts on bats and their habitat. The course is Lantra registered, counts towards Arboricultural Association CPD and is in line with British Standard 8596 - Surveying for bats in trees and woodland.

18/07/2017   Bat Echolocation & Social Calls   3 Day

NTS Threave, Dumfries & Galloway, BatAbility Courses & Tuition. Contact: 01506 841628 neil.middleton@batability.co.uk http://www.batability.co.uk

The interpretation of behaviour aided by bat detectors, the understanding of bat echolocation according to habitat, and the analysis of recorded call data, collectively, is the most important skill to have as a bat ecologist. This event will increase your confidence and competence in all of these areas.

21/07/2017   A Weekend on Bats   2 Day at FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council.

This extensive course will introduce participants to the fascinating world of bats. Its content will provide a foundation for anyone wanting to satisfy an interest, or to become more involved in bat conservation, or to progress to achieving a bat survey licence or roost visitor licence, after gaining sufficient experience.

24/07/2017   An Introduction to British Land Mammals   4 Day at FSC Slapton Ley, Field Studies Council.

A course to introduce you to the wondrous variety of mammals we have in the UK, from shrews and dormice to badgers and otters, deer and bats. You will learn how to identify them by sight, and the tell-tale signs they leave behind as well some recognised survey techniques.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

28/07/2017   Mammal Identification Weekend   3 Day

Malham Tarn, The Mammal Society. Contact: 02380010984 training@themammalsociety.org https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mammal-identification-weekend-malham-tarn-tickets-26719958114

This course provides a great chance to learn the key distinguishing features of all UK mammal species. Classroom sessions will cover the key visual clues to identification, tracks, feeding signs, nests, burrows, sounds, droppings & skeletal remains. Successful completion of the course and assessment leads to the FSC accredited certificate.

28/07/2017   Bats: Introduction to Advanced Survey Techniques   2 Day

FSC Slapton Ley, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

An overview of British bats, their conservation and the methods we use to survey and study them. There will be practical demonstrations of a range of survey equipment. We will also run through the basics of identifying species in the hand.

29/07/2017   Wings around Winsford, Bat Walk   1 Day

Winsford Lower Flash, Saltscape Landscape Partnership. Contact: 01606 723 160 info@saltscape.co.uk http://www.saltscape.co.uk

Come and learn about some of the nocturnal residents of Winsford in this bat walk with local ecologist Jeff Clarke. Places limited - booking essential. Visit the website for more detail and more free events www.saltscape.co.uk

29/07/2017   A Natural History of Kent's Mammals    1 Day

Wildwood Trust, Herne, Kent Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01622 662012 info@kentwildlife.org.uk http://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/

This course will provide an overview of Kent's mammals, small and large, with a focus on their ecology, reproduction biology and conservation issues. Their habitats and distribution in Kent will also be covered as well as a behind-the-scenes tour of some of our captive breeding areas.

29/07/2017   Bristol Bats   2 Day

Feed Bristol, Bristol, BS16 1HB, Avon Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01179177270 courses@avonwildlifetrust.org.uk http://www.avonwildlifetrust.org.uk/courses

This introduction to British bats will be aimed at people with a general interest in bat ecology as well as environmental or land management professionals who seek a more thorough understanding of survey techniques and management practices to benefit bats. Starting at £60 for two days.

30/07/2017   Marine Mammal Medic Course   1 Day

Findhorn Marina, Findhorn, Moray, IV36 3YE., British Divers Marine Life Rescue. Contact: 01825 765546 info@bdmlr.org.uk http://www.bdmlr.org.uk/store/

Course includes morning classroom lectures in marine mammal identification, physiology, identification, first aid, and rescue techniques. Followed in the afternoon by practical demonstrations and hands on training. The cost of the course is £90 per person. Please refer to BDMLR website for further details.

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 - Plants and Habitats

01/07/2017   Our Native trees   1 Day

Hanningfield, Chelmsford, Essex Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01621 862960 reception@essexwt.org.uk http://www.essexwt.org.uk/events/2017/07/01/our-native-trees?instance=0

The course begins with an introduction to & history of native woodlands, looking at what defines a native tree & moving on to the state of our woodlands in the present day. It will focus on trees that are likely to be found in the woodlands & hedgerows of Essex & explain how we identify trees. Booking essential.

03/07/2017   Beginner's Botany   2 Day

Witley, Nr Guildford, Acorn Ecology Ltd. Contact: 01392 366512 training@acornecology.co.uk http://www.ecologytraining.co.uk/book-a-course/introductory/

This 2-day course aims to provide you with a basic knowledge of how to identify wild flowers using keys and field guides. During the course you will also become familiar with some of the most common flowering plants that you are likely to encounter.

03/07/2017   Sedge identification & mire ecology   2 Day

near penrith, Cumbria, Ptyxis Ecology. Contact: 1435 321199 enquiries@ptyxis.com http://www.ptyxis.com

The sedge family includes many species that are useful as indicators of habitat type, particuarly acid, mesotrophic and calcareous mires. The course materials include a new key to sedges in flower/fruit that avoids the most difficult characters and divides the species into easily recognised groups.

04/07/2017   Wildflower Identification - Grasslands and Meadows    1 Day at Old Sarum/Figsbury Ring, Salisbury by The Species Recovery Trust.

A one-day course giving participants the ability to identify a wide range of wildflowers in a range of habitats using simple features, good understanding of key indicator species and an introduction to yellow composites.

05/07/2017   Arable Plant Identification and Ecology    1 Day at Thriplow, Cambridgeshire by The Species Recovery Trust.

A one day course giving participants familiarity of several common and endangered arable plants and a chance to look at and learn about different conservation techniques and arable management options.

For The Species Recovery Trust. Contact: 01722 322539 bookings@speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk http://www.speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk/Training.html

05/07/2017   Chalk Grassland Flowers    1 Day

Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, Fackenden Down and Magpie Bottom reserve, Kent Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01622 662012 info@kentwildlife.org.uk http://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/

An introduction to plants of chalk grassland in Kent, the reasons why this habitat is so special, and the key plants that define the richest habitat. Classroom studies and fieldwork.

06/07/2017   Fens: Plant Identification and Survey    1 Day

Great Cressingham Fen, Norfolk, The Species Recovery Trust. Contact: 01722 322539 bookings@speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk http://www.speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk/Training.html

A one day course giving participants familiarity of several common and rare wildflowers, grasses and sedges of fens

07/07/2017   Discovering Mountain Flowers   3 Day at FSC Kindrogan, Field Studies Council.

Kindrogan is a superb location to introduce you to a wide range of plants that inhabit our mountain environment. In the field there will be an emphasis on identifying habitats and communities as a means to discovering the types of plants that occur in them.

07/07/2017   Grass Identification   3 Day at FSC Malham Tarn, Field Studies Council.

For those with limited or no experience the course will introduce the structure of grasses and terminology used in identification. Visits to local habitats provide experience using keys and identifying a range of grass species. Part of the University Certificate in Biological Recording run jointly with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

07/07/2017   Identifying Aquatic Plants   3 Day at FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council.

We will use a range of keys to identify plants to family, genus and species. Laboratory sessions will provide the opportunity to use microscopes and to see voucher specimens of a wider range of specimens. Part of the University Certificate in Biological Recording run jointly with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

07/07/2017   Lichens in the Dales   3 Day at FSC Malham Tarn, Field Studies Council.

The Malham Tarn area is rich in lichen species, occurring on rocks, trees, and soil, allowing the beginner to form a useful and informative collection of material. Methods of collection and examination will be explained and carried out.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

07/07/2017   Grass ID   1 Day

Bristol, Acorn Ecology Ltd. Contact: 01392 366512 training@acornecology.co.uk http://www.ecologytraining.co.uk/book-a-course/introductory/

This introductory course is aimed at anyone new to studying this group of plants, and will concentrate on the principles of grass identification.It will cover grass ID features and terminology, grass families, using keys and field guides, and will also include a field visit.

07/07/2017   Wild flower identification for improvers   1 Day

Broughton Down, Stockbridge, Hampshire, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01489774406 Courses@hiwwt.org.uk http://shop.hiwwt.org.uk/product/wild-flower-identification-for-improvers/

08/07/2017   Forensic Ecology   1 Day

FSC London Region, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

The use of environmental and botanical data in forensic science has a long history. It comes as a surprise to many that vegetation can be used to help understand how a crime was committed. Based in Bushy Park.

10/07/2017   Midsummer grass and sedge identification    1 Day

Old Sarum, Salisbury, The Species Recovery Trust. Contact: 01722 322539 bookings@speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk http://www.speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk/Training.html

A one day course giving participants confidence in identifying key grasses of neutral and unimproved calcareous grassland, a knowledge of using grass indicator species and a chance to learn memorable features allowing easy grass identification

10/07/2017   Beginner's Botany   2 Day

Shawford, Nr Winchester, Acorn Ecology Ltd. Contact: 01392 366512 training@acornecology.co.uk http://www.ecologytraining.co.uk/book-a-course/introductory/

This 2-day course aims to provide you with a basic knowledge of how to identify wild flowers using keys and field guides. During the course you will also become familiar with some of the most common flowering plants that you are likely to encounter.

10/07/2017   Phase 1 & Extended Phase 1 Habitat   2 Day

Edinburgh, TCV Scotland. Contact: 01786 476170 Scotland-training@tcv.org.uk http://bit.ly/2fiOP2z

The main focus of the course will be to learn how to correctly assess a habitat type using the Phase 1 survey methodology, to map and write this up competently and to understand how to read Phase 1 habitat maps.

11/07/2017   Wildflower ID - Chalk Grassland   1 Day at Howell Hill, Cheam SM2 7HR by Surrey Wildlife Trust.

Improve your flower ID skills on the diverse habitat of Howell Hill through the use of keys and survey techniques.

13/07/2017   Wetland Plant Identification   1 Day at Aquasports, Merstham RH1 4EU by Surrey Wildlife Trust.

Learn how to identify the plant species that survive in the wetland ad water bodies of Surrey.

For Surrey Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01372379523 adult.learning@surreywt.org.uk http://bit.ly/wildflower0717

14/07/2017   Trees and Shrubs in Summer   3 Day at FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council.

This course will mainly focus on the identification of broad-leaved trees and shrubs, however conifers will also be looked at. Features such as leaves, flowers, fruits and bark will be used as keys to identification.  

14/07/2017   Fens and Bogs: Plants and Processes   3 Day at FSC Malham Tarn, Field Studies Council.

Explore and investigate the fascinating variety of wetland habitats around Malham Tarn, from acidic peat bogs to calcium-rich springs, with tutor Ros Tratt. Learn to identify characteristic wetland plants, including bryophytes, and distinctive wetland plant communities.

15/07/2017   Traditional Orchards, Wildlife Orchards and Garden Orchards   1 Day at FSC London Region, Field Studies Council.

Traditional orchards are a cultural feature in the local landscape and a fascinating wildlife habitat. How can you design and create a community orchard or one in a garden? Why are rootstocks important, and how can one encourage the trees during the first few years? Based in Greenwich Park.

15/07/2017   Introduction to Mosses   1 Day at FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council.

This course will provide an introduction to field bryology and will include teaching familiarity with the characteristics of the main groups and basic identification of common species. There will be a mixture of fieldwork and laboratory sessions.

16/07/2017   Fern Identification   3 Day at FSC Kindrogan, Field Studies Council.

This three day course provides an introduction to fern identification and is suitable for the specialist as well as the keen amateur. Visits are made to woodland, moorland, montane scree and flushes, encountering over 30 species of ferns, horsetails and clubmosses.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

17/07/2017   Beginner's Botany   2 Day

Nr Exeter, Acorn Ecology Ltd. Contact: 01392 366512 training@acornecology.co.uk http://www.ecologytraining.co.uk/book-a-course/introductory/

This 2-day course aims to provide you with a basic knowledge of how to identify wild flowers using keys and field guides. During the course you will also become familiar with some of the most common flowering plants that you are likely to encounter.

18/07/2017   Introduction to Sedges (The Cyperaceae)   1 Day

FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

Providing an introduction to the identification of commoner sedges and their allies, this course is suitable for the keen beginner and improver. Emphasis is placed on showing the participants a range of key characters used to distinguish the different species.

19/07/2017   Identifying Yellow Composites   1 Day

The Gateway, Chester Street, Shrewsbury, SY1 1NB, Manchester Metropolitan University. Contact: 01743 355137 biorec@mmu.ac.uk http://www.sste.mmu.ac.uk/recording/

19/07/2017   The History of Winsford   1 Day

Red Lion, Winsford, Saltscape Landscape Partnership. Contact: 01606 723 160 info@saltscape.co.uk http://www.saltscape.co.uk

An illustrated talk by well known historian and author Tony Bostock looking at Winsford's industrial past. Places limited - booking essential. Visit the website for more detail and more free events www.saltscape.co.uk

19/07/2017   Seed collection and use for restoration and re-introduction   1 Day

Wakehurst Place, Flora locale. Contact: 01488 686186 info@floralocale.org http://www.floralocale.org

This day will review the science and practice of collecting, preservation and use of high quality seed samples for subsequent multiplication ex-situ.. During the afternoon, grassland enhancement techniques and initial results will be demonstrated.

20/07/2017   Aquatic Plant Identification: Beginners   1 Day

FSC Epping Forest, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

This course will provide an introduction to flowering plants that grow in and around ponds, lakes and streams. Participants will become familiar with the easily recognised non-critical species using a series of novel side-by-side synopses that summarise their main features.

20/07/2017   Wildflower grassland management   1 Day

Aberdeen, Flora locale. Contact: 01488 686186 info@floralocale.org http://www.floralocale.org

Based at Haddo Country Park this day will explore the introduction and management of wild plants in variety of habitats such as amenity grassland, meadow, pasture and woodland glades. This event is suitable for those who look after wildflower meadows and those are restoring wildflower grassland or starting from scratch.

21/07/2017   Introduction to the Flora of Box Hill   2 Day at FSC Juniper Hall, Field Studies Council.

Box Hill, loved by so many- have you ever wondered what the wild flowers are you are seeing whilst there? Here is your opportunity to find out with an introduction to the chalkland flora of Box Hill. Explore with fellow enthusiasts, see beautiful plants and learn how to identify them.

21/07/2017   Using a Flora   4 Day at FSC Slapton Ley, Field Studies Council.

This accredited course will be particularly useful to countryside professionals and is intended for those with some knowledge of botanical terminology wishing to have more practise in the use of botanical keys. Part of the University Certificate in Biological Recording run jointly with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

21/07/2017   Grasses, Sedges and Rushes   2 Day at FSC Juniper Hall, Field Studies Council.

This course covers the structure and identification of these important but difficult plants. We will explore a range of habitats around Box Hill, from chalk downland to damp acidic woodland, and will see many of the commoner members of all three families.

21/07/2017   Grass Identification   7 Day at FSC Kindrogan, Field Studies Council.

This course will help you to identify grasses both when they are in flower and not, see a variety of habitats and beautiful scenery with their associated grasses and other plants, practice using keys and learn tips and short cuts for identifying grasses.

21/07/2017   Grasses, Sedges and Rushes   3 Day at FSC Margam, Field Studies Council.

Grasses, sedges and rushes can be seen as a bewildering mix of similar looking plants; through this course you will be able to understand the structures and characters that each of the species has. Part of the University Certificate in Biological Recording run jointly with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

21/07/2017   Aquatic Plant Identification: Advanced   1 Day at FSC Epping Forest, Field Studies Council.

For those with some prior knowledge of aquatic plants who wish to learn the more critical groups such as water crowfoots, duckweeds, pondweeds, starworts and aquatic grasses.

21/07/2017   Aquatic Plants   2 Day at FSC Slapton Ley, Field Studies Council.

The course will concentrate on the identification and ecology of aquatic and vascular plants and stoneworts in habitats around Slapton Ley and South Devon including: ponds, lakes and rivers.

21/07/2017   Fern Identification   3 Day at FSC Rhyd-y-creuau, Field Studies Council.

The course will be spent looking at ferns and their allies in their natural habitats. Primarily involving identification of species, attention will also be given to basic fern ecology and factors affecting their survival. Part of the University Certificate in Biological Recording run jointly with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

21/07/2017   Mountain flowers   1 Day

Ben Lawers NNR, Loch Tay, the National Trust for Scotland. Contact: 01567 820988 benlawers@nts.org.uk http://www.nts.org.uk/Events/Ben-Lawers-National-Nature-Reserve/Mountain-flowers/

On this high-level guided walk we aim to see some of the arctic-alpine plants for which these hills are famous. The ascent and descent require a reasonable level of fitness and we will encounter some steep ground. Cost £25. Check our website for more details.

22/07/2017   Wildflower Identification   2 Day

Feed Bristol, Bristol, BS16 1HB, Avon Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01179177270 courses@avonwildlifetrust.org.uk http://www.avonwildlifetrust.org.uk/courses

A wonderfully diverse world of wild flowers surrounds us, yet their names and fascinating characteristics remain a mystery to many of us. Learning to identify our native flora gives new pleasures and an understanding of your environment every time you step outside. Starting at £60 for two days.

22/07/2017   Natural History of Veteran Trees in Epping Forest   1 Day at FSC Epping Forest, Field Studies Council.

Epping Forest is home to over 50,000 veteran trees providing vital habitats that contribute to the forest's SSSI status. This one-day course will look closely at these special trees and their associated organisms including management techniques and problems which these veterans face.

22/07/2017   Introduction to Chalk Stream Ecology   1 Day at FSC Amersham, Field Studies Council.

Learn about the geology of the Chilterns and visit chalk streams where you can enjoy the landscape and discover how to sample wildlife. Identify invertebrates and learn the importance of their monitoring for the health of our chalk streams in the Chilterns AONB.

23/07/2017   Ecological Introduction to Bushy Park   1 Day at FSC London Region, Field Studies Council.

An ecological introduction to the grasslands, ponds and streams of Bushy Park. We will get to know a range of the plant and butterfly species and also focus on the ponds and streams, doing some dipping for pondlife and taking in the wetland plants as well.

25/07/2017   Difficult Plants   3 Day at FSC Slapton Ley, Field Studies Council.

We will focus in particular on willows, sedges, ferns, goosefoots, docks and 'dandelions'. It will be assumed that participants will be fairly familiar with other 'easier' groups of flowering plants, but that they are beginners with these groups, having never tried before or tried and failed.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

26/07/2017   Flora and fauna of the hillside   1 Day

Ben Lawers NNR, Loch Tay, the National Trust for Scotland. Contact: 01567 820988 benlawers@nts.org.uk http://www.nts.org.uk/Events/Ben-Lawers-National-Nature-Reserve/Flora-and-fauna-of-the-hillside/

If you are a hill walker who would like to know more about the plants and wildlife around you or training to be a mountain leader, then this could be the walk for you. Familiarise yourself with some of the characteristic plants and wildlife on the lower slopes of these mountains.

28/07/2017   Coastal Plants   2 Day at FSC Slapton Ley, Field Studies Council.

Slapton is an ideal location for the study of coastal plants. Famous for the unique shingle beach of Slapton Sands and for the freshwater lake of Slapton Ley, it is also within easy reach of the cliffs of Start Point and the sand dunes and salt marshes of the Avon Estuary.

28/07/2017   Identifying Plants: Using Botanical Keys with Confidence   3 Day at FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council.

This course will focus on providing a good grounding on flowering parts and the vegetative structure of plants required to use botanical keys successfully and with confidence. This course is suitable for beginners (no previous knowledge will be assumed) and it is also suitable for improvers.

28/07/2017   Introduction to Rushes and Woodrushes (The Juncaceae)   1 Day at FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council.

Rushes belong to the family Juncaceae and are excellent ecological indicators making it important to identify them. The course will help participants should be able to identify many species understanding terminology and keys.

28/07/2017   Plants of Bogs and Mires   3 Day at FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council.

This practical course is aimed at anyone wishing to gain experience in the recognition of the wide range of plants associated with bogs and mires, from heathers to sedges. Part of the University Certificate in Biological Recording run jointly with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

31/07/2017   Marine Microbiology   4 Day at FSC Millport, Field Studies Council.

Utilising the research facilities at FSC Millport, including our research vessel, scanning electron microscope and microbiology laboratory, this course will provide a rounded introduction to marine microbiology.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

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 summer or 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.

 

Photography

01/07/2017   Wildlife Digital Photography for Improvers   1 Day

Tyland Barn , Kent Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01622 662012 info@kentwildlife.org.uk http://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/

A study day for those with some experience with digital SLR photography but wishing to learn more about wildlife photography. Classroom studies and practical demonstration.

01/07/2017   Digital Wildlife Photography Macro    1 Day http://shop.hiwwt.org.uk/product/digital-wildlife-photography-macro-summer/

15/07/2017   Digital Wildlife Photography Birds   1 Day http://shop.hiwwt.org.uk/product/digital-wildlife-photography-birds-summer/

Both at Blashford Lakes, Ringwood by  Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01489774406 Courses@hiwwt.org.uk

21/07/2017   Lightroom: How to Organise and Process your Digital Nature Photographs   2 Day at FSC Slapton Ley, Field Studies Council.

Adobe Lightroom is the software of choice for many to organise their photographs and enhance them. The course will use the local area for taking photographs and assistance can be given in attaining the best in-camera images.

23/07/2017   Extreme Close-up Photography   4 Day at FSC Slapton Ley, Field Studies Council.

Close-up photography reveals a whole new world. This course will not only enable you to understand the basics, but show how to get extreme close-ups just millimetres across. We will look at the lighting of small objects and how to achieve maximum focus.

31/07/2017   Macro and Extreme Close-Up Photography   4 Day at FSC Orielton, Field Studies Council.

Get stunning close-ups of wildlife and plants using DSLRs and compact cameras, exploring the methods used to photograph aquatic and terrestrial specimens.

31/07/2017   Digital Plant Photography   4 Day at FSC Slapton Ley, Field Studies Council.

The course will cover both technical and creative aspects, and is aimed at anyone with an interest in plants and photography. During the course emphasis will be made on the use of natural light and it's enhancement, looking at the use of reflectors, diffusers and flash.

For FSC Contact: 01743 852100 enquiries@field-studies-council.org http://www.field-studies-council.org/naturalhistory

Practical Countryside Skills

18/07/2017   Thatching - Taster Day   1 Day at Cotswold Discovery Centre, Northleach, Gloucestershire by Cotswolds Rural Skills.

This practical course is designed as a taster to introduce you to the skill of wheat straw thatching. During the course you can expect to learn about: a brief history of thatching, the materials used, splitting hazel to make fixings, methods of fixing a thatch coat onto a traditional wooden roof and trimming eves and gables using traditional tools.

22/07/2017   Dry Stone Walling - Beginners    2 Day at Lansdown, Bath by Cotswolds Rural Skills.

On the beginners course you can expect to learn about: dismantling walls, stone sorting, laying foundations, building up of the wall, adding through stones and copping stones, dressing the stone, different types of stone, the necessary tools and how to use them and much more! No prior experience required.

For Cotswolds Rural Skills Contact: 01451 862000 info@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk http://www.cotswoldsruralskills.org.uk/

22/07/2017   Scything Workshop   1 Day

The Kingcombe Centre, nr Dorchester, Dorset Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01300 320684 kingcombe@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk http://www.kingcombe.org

Learn the traditional skill of using a scythe on this practical course taught by Chris Riley.

 

Practical Countryside Skills - Machinery

05/07/2017   LANTRA Brushcutter/Trimmers - Maintenance and Operation   1 Day

Cotswold Discovery Centre, Northleach, Gloucestershire, Cotswolds Rural Skills. Contact: 01451 862000 info@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk http://www.cotswoldsruralskills.org.uk/

This one day course is designed for anybody with some experience of using brushcutters and/or trimmers or who has previously gained their LANTRA certificate and would like to refresh their skills.

06/07/2017   PA1 & PA6 (Pesticide)   2 Day

The course will enable you to work safely with Pesticides and Herbicides. It will provide you with all the training you need to apply for the PA1 (pesticide application) and PA6 (pesticide applicator) NPTC qualification.

20/07/2017   Brushcutters   2 Day

This course will teach you all you need to know about Brushcutters and Trimmers and will lead to a LANTRA certificate.

Both: at Stirling by TCV Scotland. Contact: 01786 476170 Scotland-training@tcv.org.uk http://bit.ly/2fiOP2z

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.

Run on a regular basis

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.

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 summer or autumn 2017 (detail tbc) 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.

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.

evel 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. 

For Brooksby Melton College contact: 01664 855 255 shortcourses@BrooksbyMelton.ac.uk http://www.brooksbymelton.ac.uk

 

Updates and Additions to other sections of Training Directory this month

Longer courses

Environmental Education

Forest School Training Level 3 by Fire and Air

Land and Countryside Management

Open College Network WMR Levels 1 and 2 Award and Certificate in Environmental Conservation and Heritage by Tame Valley Wetlands

 

Training Centre / provider listings

Lowe Maintenance Training [View All Adverts]
Lowe Maintenance offer high quality courses at affordable prices within Forestry and Landbased sectors, covering: Arboriculture and Forestry Chainsaw related qualifications; Pesticide/Spraying; First Aid; ATV’s; Brushcutter/Trimmer; Hedge Cutter; Chipper and many other short courses within Horticulture, Agriculture and Countryside skills, leading to nationally recognised qualifications (e.g. City and Guilds). info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk 01729 825132 www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk

 

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