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

Published on the second Thursday every month – 12 October 2017

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

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CJS Newsletters and updates:

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Noteworthy this month:

This edition includes CJS Focus on Volunteering in association with RSPB Click here to read or here to download a PDF.

Big news stories - start of the latest round of badger culling met with mixed reaction [more], action on plastics and consultation into deposit schemes was more widely welcomed.  [more]

Logo: Cornwall Wildlife TrustFarm Advisor - Perranporth 

The Trust is looking for an adaptable, enthusiastic and approachable Farm Advisor to work as part of an Enforcement Undertaking grant in the Perranporth area.  

A suitable applicant will facilitate the improvement of the water quality in the Bolingey catchment via positive involvement with the local farming community. The applicant will manage the delivery and administration of the grants scheme to communicate with farmers, provide supporting advice and arrange part-funding for farm infrastructure improvements. 

This role is a 1-year fixed term contract based on 3 days (22.5 hours) a week and typical hours are 8.30am - 4.30pm. Occasional weekend work may be required for which TOIL will be granted. 

The Trust will consider flexible working arrangements and is content for the role to be taken as a secondment. 

The salary for this role is between £22,000 and £24,500 pro rata, based on experience. 

Location: Cornwall Wildlife Trust HQ, Five Acres, Allet, Truro, TR4 9DJ 

Information Pack and application form available here  

To apply send completed application form (CVs and covering letters not accepted) to recruitment@cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk   

Closing date: Sunday 29th October 2017   

Interview date: Friday 17th November 2017 at CWT HQ, Allet. 

logo: Forestry Commission EnglandForest Enterprise - Managing Forestry Commission Woodlands for People, Nature and Economy 

Planning & Environment Manager 

North England Forest District, Bellingham, Hexham, Northumberland 

North England Forest District is the largest in England, covering some 86,000ha, made up of 61,000ha of forest and 25,000ha of open land in Northumberland, Gateshead, Durham, Cumbria, and Lancashire.  Annual timber production is in the region of 600,000m3. The District has 45 SSSIs covering over 10,000ha and is a major contributor to nationally significant biodiversity projects which help red squirrels, water voles, ospreys, red kites, forest re-wilding, limestone woodland and blanket bog restoration. Our built and agricultural estate is extensive and we are engaged in a programme of business development which will create opportunities for additional revenue.  Our visitor offer and experience is focussed on our five Forest Centres; Grizedale, Gisburn, Hamsterley, Kielder and Whinlatter. The public forest estate in North England District attracts over one million visits per annum with a high proportion of these from tourists as opposed to day visitors. 

Salary £32,811- £35,703 

Purpose of the Job: To lead the Planning & Environment team in North England Forest District.  Building and utilising excellent professional relationships with internal and external stakeholders to maximise natural capital delivery within a commercially underpinned business model across all activities. Working positively and collaboratively with all district and national staff and functions to improve outcomes.  Delivering excellence in sustainable forest management for people, nature and economy.
For more details and application form visit: www.forestry.gov.uk or www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk (Job ref: 1557778) 

Click here to apply 

Closing Date: 22nd October 2017

Logo: Wokingham Borough CouncilEstate Worker

Wokingham Borough Council

Salary £18,070 - £20,138 per annum

Full time/Permanent  

Estate worker required to join our friendly team at Dinton Pastures Country Park, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG10 0TH.   

Looking after 22 sites throughout Wokingham Borough, including Country Parks, Nature Reserves, SANGS and 143 miles of Public Rights of Way.  

Duties to include general maintenance, health and safety inspections, conservation tasks and working with volunteers and the public. Applicants should have a keen interest in land management and working outdoors.  

Full driving license and previous experience is essential. Chainsaw, brush cutter, tractor driving experience would be desirable. Training would be offered to the successful candidate.  

DBS would be required. Wokingham Borough Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and expects all staff, other workers and volunteers to share this commitment. All successful candidates for this role will be subject to Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) checks along with other relevant employment checks. 

Closing date for applications: 12th November 2017.  Interviews will be held on 20th/21st November 2017.    

For further information and to apply please click here

For more information about the post itself please contact Lucy Jellis on 0118 934 2016. 

Logo: Butterfly ConservationButterfly Conservation is a leading wildlife charity working across the UK to conserve butterflies, moths and our environment. 

Grant and Trust Fundraising Manager 

From £28,353 - £32,155 (band D) dependent on experience, plus 5% pension contribution 

This is an exciting opportunity to make a big difference to a dynamic and growing conservation charity. Butterfly Conservation has ambitious plans to expand our conservation activities but we need to secure substantial funding to fulfil current and future programmes of work.  

We are looking for a Grant and Trust Fundraising Manager who can lead and oversee our grant and trust fundraising programme. The role will work closely with our Conservation Officers in developing conservation projects to secure funding from a wide range of funders including the Heritage Lottery Fund, Landfill Communities Fund, Postcode Lottery and Charitable Trusts. 

Previous experience of leading fundraising teams, project development and submitting successful funding applications is essential along with an understanding of nature conservation.  

Closing date for applications: noon on Friday 27 October 2017 

Interviews will be held at Butterfly Conservation’s Head Offices in Dorset on Wednesday 8 November 2017 

Download an application pack here call 01929 400209 or email HR@butterfly-conservation.org  

Butterfly Conservation - Company limited by guarantee, registered in England (2206468)

Registered office: Manor Yard, East Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset BH20 5QP

Charity registered in England & Wales (254937) and in Scotland (SCO39268) 

Logo: Butterfly ConservationButterfly Conservation is a leading wildlife charity working across the UK to conserve butterflies, moths and our environment.

Project Officer – Woodland Wings (part-time 0.4fte)

Fixed term contract for three years (December 2017 to November 2020)

From £23,714 - £27,397 (band C) dependent on experience, plus 5% pension contribution 

We are seeking an experienced and motivated individual to lead the delivery of our Woodland Wings project to target threatened woodland butterflies and moths across Northamptonshire. 

You will be responsible for engaging local communities in active conservation and building capacity through volunteer training workshops, and running a programme of practical woodland habitat management and monitoring. 

Good knowledge of Lepidoptera, habitat monitoring techniques, experience of working with volunteers and external partners, and exceptional communication skills are essential. 

Logo: Heritage Lottery FundedClosing date for applications: noon on Thursday 26 October 2017

Interviews will be held at Butterfly Conservation’s Head Offices in Dorset on Monday 6 November 2017 

Download an application pack here, call 01929 400209 or email HR@butterfly-conservation.org  

Butterfly Conservation - Company limited by guarantee, registered in England (2206468)

Registered office: Manor Yard, East Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset BH20 5QP

Charity registered in England & Wales (254937) and in Scotland (SCO39268) 

Logo: Central Scotland Green NetworkFalkirk Woodland Officer

12 Month, Temporary Post

Salary circa £27000 pro-rata 

The Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) seeks to change the face of Central Scotland, by restoring and transforming the landscape of an area stretching from Ayrshire and Inverclyde in the west, to Fife and the Lothians in the east. 

In partnership with Falkirk Council we are seeking applications from a suitably qualified and experienced individual to undertake a management planning exercise for all Falkirk Council’s owned woodlands and produce a 5-year work plan for priority sites. 

Applications are sought from individuals with a degree in Forestry, or equivalent qualification, who have a track record of producing Long Term Forest Plans and Urban Woodland Management Plans. Applicants must have excellent communication skills, be computer literate, and confident in using GIS. They should also be solution-orientated self-starters. 

As the majority of Falkirk’s woodlands are peri-urban, applicants should have experience and enthusiasm for managing WIAT woodlands.  

This is a temporary 12 month post (35 hours per week) based in our offices in Shotts, North Lanarkshire. We offer flexible working arrangements and will consider part time hours for this position. Travel within Central Scotland will be required; a clean driving license and access to a car are essential. 

Application Process 

Make our recruitment greener by downloading your application form here. Additional information about CSGNT and the appointment is also available for download.  

Please send your completed application form along with your CV and any other supporting material in PDF format to recruitment@csgnt.org.uk 

The closing date for applications is Friday 20 October 2017

First interviews will be held on Monday 6 November 2017

If required, second interviews will be held on Wednesday 8 November 2017  

For particular queries relating to the post, please contact recruitment@csgnt.org.uk

Regional Manager Logo: Yorkshire Wildlife Trust- East 

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

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is one of the UK’s fastest growing environmental organisations and seeks to appoint a Regional Manager for the East Region. This is an exciting opportunity for the right candidate to lead the Eastern Team as it pursues it Living Landscape vision.   

The Regional Manager is responsible for a range of frontline conservation programmes which aim to improve habitats and involve people in nature conservation through the development of gateway sites and reserve management. In particular they will be responsible for significant investment in habitat creation and access infrastructure at North cave Wetlands and Spurn NNR. 

You will be forward thinking with a proven record of leading and inspiring a team and will thrive under the challenge of working in a multi-facetted role. You will have an understanding of and a passion for nature conservation, 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 Tuesday 24 October 2017; interviews: Monday 6 November 2017 

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is an equal opportunities employer 

YWT Company 409650; Charity no. 210807. 

Temporary Self Employed Field Surveyor vacancies in London and surrounding area 

A number of tree health surveying opportunities to start from 17 October, initial 6 weeks work until 1 December and a further 8 week period from mid January, with potential opportunity for follow up work.  

Work involves inspecting trees for oak processionary moth nests on behalf of the Forestry Commission with 40 hours a week available on a self-employed basis.   

£13.75/hour. Must provide your own 8 x 42 binoculars,  GPS and smart phone.  

Training is provided. Working in a small team, but might involve lone working. 

Applicants should be fit, practical and reliable and be comfortable working outdoors. Experience of environmental work and/or an environmental qualification desirable.  

Work is in various locations across London and surrounding area.  

Please send a full CV and covering letter stating your relevant experience and suitability for this role as soon as possible by email to gordon@acreswildwoodlands.co.uk and cc. simon@coombeforestry.co.uk

Logo: Devon Wildlife Trust Devon Wildlife Trust

Torridge Headwaters Project Officer  

Salary: Starting salary £21,218 rising to £23,909, plus 5% pension

Closing date: 26 October  

Do you have a good understanding of wildlife and environmental issues on farm? Do you know and love the landscape of North Devon? Do you enjoy organising events, talking to farmers and looking for solutions that work for the farmer and for the environment?   

As Project Officer you will have a varied, challenging role engaging with farmers in the Torridge Headwaters primarily through a programme of 20 workshops and events per year, providing specialist training, as well as advice and support on Countryside Stewardship schemes to improve the quality of the farmed environment. 

You will have good knowledge of the agricultural calendar, grassland and woodland ecology and agriculture related water quality issues, as well as previous experience in delivering training workshops and advice to farmers across a range of environmental topics.  

This post will play a significant role in the second phase of the Northern Devon Nature Improvement Area programme which is working to deliver a step change in nature conservation, with a local partnership which has a shared vision for their natural environment. The project is driving the restoration and re-creation of habitats at a landscape scale, and securing multiple benefits for both wildlife and people through the sustainable management and use of natural resources.  

This is a permanent post, with funding secured until June 2020.  

You can download an application pack here 

For further details and to request an application pack directly please email jobapps@devonwildlifetrust.org or telephone 01392 279244.   

Northamptonshire Biodiversity Records Centre Manager 

Salary: £24,000 - £26,000 (FTE) dependent on experience 

Closing date: Monday 30th October 2017 

Location: Lings House, Billing Lings, Northampton, NN3 8BE 

We are looking for a driven and innovative candidate to manage the Northamptonshire Biodiversity Records Centre (NBRC). Hosted by the Wildlife Trust BCN, the NBRC provides access to information about species, habitats and wildlife sites for public, research and commercial users. 

The role of the Centre Manager is to ensure the strategic vision, financial stability and sound management of the Northamptonshire Biodiversity Records Centre. The successful candidate will provide day to day management of the centre and help to generate and maintain business. 

You will be responsible for overseeing the development of policies, work plans and contracts and the management of the NBRC finances. You will have direct line management of three part-time Data Officers and volunteers. The role will also involve promotion of the NBRC services and activities and Fund-raising to support the work of the NBRC. It will also be essential to liaise with biological recorders; other data providers, other record centres and the National Biodiversity Network. 

We are seeking someone with a keen interest in and commitment to wildlife and environmental issues and an understanding of biological recording and the functions of a biological records centre. The successful candidate would also have experience of project management, fundraising, budgeting, databases, and staff management. 

Hours: 22.5 (part-time) 

Equality and Diversity: We value diversity and welcome applications from all sections of the community. 

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

For further information and to apply, please click here

Logo: Somerset Wildlife TrustHead of Nature Reserves

£30,000 to £33,000 per annum according to experience

Full-time role, based in Taunton or Cheddar   

Somerset Wildlife Trust seeks a senior conservation land manager to lead the development and delivery of the Trust’s nature reserve operation; managing the human, financial and equipment resources to achieve the best possible outcomes for wildlife and people on the Trust’s nature reserves. The operation comprises 1,700 hectares spread over 70 sites including some exciting habitat creation projects in the Avalon Marshes. Working closely with other conservation team leads, you will manage a team of experienced nature reserves managers to move us closer to realising our goal of creating ecological networks which rebuild Somerset’s natural environment and inspiring people and communities to value and protect nature. 

You will work with the Senior Leadership Team to reshape, progressively the Trust’s landholding and its operation to enable the Trust to be more resilient and impactful in the face of future uncertainty about funding that will exist for wildlife-friendly land management. 

You will have at least 5 years’ post-qualification experience as a land manager working with nature conservation organisations in the public and/or voluntary sectors, with an in-depth knowledge of the practical management of a broad range of UK habitats and species. We are particularly interested in applicants with a strong background in wetland habitats and their management, and previous experience managing change. You will be an experienced manager of people, projects and budgets.  

This is a varied and complex role that requires a resilient, confident and self-motivated individual who is a great team leader. In return the Trust offers the flexibility of being based in either Taunton or Cheddar and therefore within easy commuting distance of Exeter or Bristol. It is a role that will deliver new challenges daily and the opportunity to build on your skills as a land manager within an organisation that is passionate about nature conservation.  

Please apply by supplying:

  • A covering letter stating why you want the job
  • A maximum two page supporting statement that fully addresses the criteria listed in the person specification.
  • A completed application form – candidates to note that when completing the word document the application form must remain on three pages.

Send to: recruitment@somersetwildlife.org 

The full job description can be found here  

All applications must be received by 9am Monday 23rd October 2017.

Interviews held at Taunton, on Friday 3rd November, 2017

If you would like a confidential discussion about the role please call Michele Bowe, the Director of Conservation on 01823 652400 

Recruitment adverts elsewhere with CJS:

Volunteers: 31 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 x232job adverts, 201 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 September

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. 



National Mammal Week is organised by the Mammal Society and takes place in the last week of October each year, including both weekends.  The 2017 National Mammal Week will be from the 21 - 29 October. http://c-js.co.uk/2fnEenT  


Hedgehog Housing Census Hedgehog Street has just launched a national census of hedgehog houses to try and find out more about them. This survey is specifically about structures designed for hedgehogs to nest in at any time of year. Closes on the 31st October 2017. hedgehog@ptes.org http://c-js.co.uk/2eFWRqp


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


It's Lumberjack Day26 September was Lumberjack Day! (also dubbed National Pancake Day)

Do you sleep all night and work all day? Then you might be singing: "I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK" Monty Python fans, all together now, "I cut down trees, I eat my lunch…."

OK it's a silly day with a silly song but we have some serious information.

When I went to see the careers teacher at school and said I wanted to be a forester all I got was blank looks, and eventually "wouldn’t you rather be a secretary or an engineer? I've information on those". No, I didn't; so I went away and did my own research, I ended up as an ecologist (thanks to some wise words from CJS founder Niall, he won’t remember) - my second choice was to sit on a Scottish hillside and count red deer!  CJS FocusIf you're thinking of a career surrounded by trees then don't miss CJS Focus on Forestry and Arboriculture due out in November.  If you have something that might be of interest to budding Lumberjacks (and jills!) or for established Tree Officers then see the free advertising options available (click here) or contact Amy on focus@countryside-jobs.com

Why pancake day? Not sure, maybe because anything under felled lumber ends up thin as a pancake?

logo: CJS 

Countryside Jobs Service

Focus on Volunteering

logo: RSPBIn association with RSPB

18 September 2017 

Get clarity, save nature and boost your career with The RSPB


Is figuring out what you want to do as a career challenging? Talking to your career guidance advisor at school, looking for the first job

Taking small actions such as Big Garden Birdwatch will increase your interest in conservation and help build your knowledge (Rahul Thanki rspb-images.com)

Taking small actions such as Big Garden

Birdwatch will increase your interest in

conservation and help build your knowledge

(Rahul Thanki rspb-images.com) 

after university or college, or thinking about a complete career change later in life can be daunting with so many options. You may be considering volunteering to find out more about your chosen career or organisation you are interested in, but not everyone has the time or the resources to be able to volunteer for long intense periods.


If you’re looking to volunteer to gain experience in your chosen field or hoping for clarity on your career choices, it’s good to remember that the RSPB has many ways to find out more about us as an organisation and work out if a career in a charity is really for you. A little of your time really does go a long way and you don't have to leave home for 6 months to do it (unless you want to of course - more on that later).


If you have an hour or less then micro volunteering sees people coming together to each give small amounts of time that join up to make real change. The RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch every January is a great example of this. Just one hour to count the birds in your garden may seem like a small amount of time to give, but taking regular actions to help nature and wildlife shows you are committed to conservation and will show prospective employers that you are taking opportunities to grow your knowledge and develop your interest in nature.


For busy professionals working full time, volunteering is becoming increasingly popular. Taking the opportunity to get involved with one-off interesting projects at a time and commitment that suits you can help you meet other similar professionals involved in your chosen area of work. You only give as and when you can meaning you can fit your volunteering around your day job. At the RSPB we have a medical panel which includes doctors, pharmacists, physiotherapists and legal experts as well as learning and development professionals working together as coaches and leadership experts, all giving their time and guidance on developing our workforce of employees and volunteers. Regular phone conference meetings allow them to network with each other about their volunteer mentoring and the work they are doing as a volunteer team.


Schools on reserves and Schools Outreach are also areas you can get involved in (Eleanor Bentall rspb-images.com)

Schools on reserves and Schools Outreach are also areas you can

get involved in (Eleanor Bentall rspb-images.com) 

And it's not just about birds at the RSPB, there are opportunities around the organisation in areas you wouldn't normally think of as being somewhere you can volunteer. Marketing, communications, corporate services, information technology, human resources and outdoor learning/working with children are all areas that have volunteering opportunities and one day a week volunteering can help give you essential experience. Keith Leonard volunteered with the IT team at RSPB Headquarters before moving into a permanent paid role as a Systems Engineer “Volunteering allowed me to gain knowledge in a subject that interested me while playing a small part in saving nature”.


Opportunities to live and work on a reserve give volunteers important skills and experiences to take forward into their chosen career. Our Residential Volunteering scheme has been running since the late 70s and sees over 600 volunteers each year staying at 46 reserves around the UK Countries. From one week to six months or a year, there are opportunities to suit your time frame. Ieuan Davies volunteered at Lake Vyrnwy for two weeks “The experience has given me an insight into the world of conservation and enabled me to see first-hand how people are trying to protect threatened birds”. Gavin Chambers, who volunteered at Mersehead before moving on to become an Assistant Warden at Lake Vyrnwy also felt the experience helped give him essential experience “The variety of work I have been involved in, from manning the visitor centre to counting thousands of geese, has been the perfect stepping stone to a career in conservation”.


Many organisations give their employees time out from work to volunteer (Heather Stuckey rspb-images.com)

Many organisations give their employees time out from work to

volunteer (Heather Stuckey rspb-images.com) 

If six months to a year does appeal to you as a volunteering opportunity, we have residential and non residential volunteering internships available. Sophie King’s career in conservation started with becoming a volunteer intern “I knew that if I wanted a career in conservation, then first I needed some real, tangible work experience”.  Sophie used the experience she gained from volunteering to move into a paid position as an RSPB Membership Development Officer in northern England “I’ve been supported throughout my internship, from getting to grips with the role and developing the skills I need for a career in conservation, to advice and encouragement in applying for jobs”.


And let's not forget the feel good factor of volunteering. Many organisations now offer their employees the opportunity to give back to their community as part of their role, giving them some opportunities for personal development along with the satisfaction of knowing they are making a difference to their local community.


Whatever your age, skills and free time, whether you only have a little time to volunteer or can donate your time and talents to give a year to live and work on a reserve, there is an opportunity at the RSPB that could work for you.


Rhoda Ludford, Volunteering Development Coordinator, contact: rhoda.ludford@rspb.org.uk

To find out more information on our 600+ opportunities have a look at:

Volunteering opportunities: www.rspb.org.uk/volunteering 

Residential volunteering: www.rspb.org.uk/residentialvolunteering 

Big Garden Birdwatch: http://www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch/ 



REF        2831-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        Ongoing               


PAY        Training / expenses


DES        Any full day Monday to Thursday. We are looking for volunteers to work with our Reserves Project Officer based at Dundee to undertake a varied range of outdoor practical tasks on our nature reserves such as grassland, woodland & peat bog management.   Travel from Dundee to the work sites & back is provided.   BUT   You should be interested in the environment & carrying out physical work outdoors sometimes in poor weather.  Willing to work as part of a team.   ASK   Peter Gilbert pgilbert@scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk


REF        2832-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        Ongoing

LOC        GRANGEMOUTH (covering East Central Scotland)

PAY        0


DES        Any day Monday to Thursday. You are free to choose your commitment but if you volunteer, you must be available for a full day. A varied range of outdoor practical tasks on our nature reserves such as grassland, woodland & peat bog management.   Travel from Grangemouth to the work sites & back is provided.   BUT   You should be interested in the environment & interested in carrying out physical work outdoors sometimes in poor weather. Willing to work as part of a team.   ASK   pgilbert@scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk


REF        671-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training / travel expenses


DES        You will be assisting & learning from the current volunteer & senior project officer. You could spend your time trying a variety of practical conservation skills travelling to community gardens, parks & reserves around Edinburgh, or engage with communities & schools. As confidence & skills develop, you will take a leading role on the practical volunteering days helping load & maintain tools & supervise other volunteers. When appropriate you will do extra days supporting us with advertising & administrative tasks.  You will gain excellent work exp valued by employers, develop a whole range of transferable skills, & best of all join a friendly & supportive team in a camping park in the South of Edinburgh.   BUT   Willing to lead a group; work well in a team; passionate about the environment & conservation; time management skills; willing to drive the mini-van of volunteers; full driving licence held for a year.  Knowledge & exp in practical conservation; conservation & ecology; community & public engagement; exp leading a group or team.   ASK   Please contact Diane Obst diane.obst@tcv.org.uk 07824 522314 


REF        2833-FOCUSR-27/10


BE4        30/10/17


PAY        Training / expenses / accomm


DES        2 – 3 days per week incl some weekends. We are a small business offering ecological consultancy & training services. Key role of the ecological assistant: technician / practicing GIS; promotion of our ecology courses & training events; ornithological surveys & assessment; general admin; support on surveys, mammals, plants & invertebrate ecology as required; supporting on Ecological Clerk of Works ECOW as required.     BUT   Honours degree in ecology or biology & be able to carry out fieldwork in remote areas of Scotland. Some knowledge of ecological survey techniques & hillwalking exp is essential. Ideally a background in ecology or conservation work with expertise in GIS mapping & assessment.  Knowledge of Scottish birds, survey techniques & assessment procedure. First aid qual & clean driving licence.     ASK   CV & names of 2 references (within last 2 years) to Adrian naiadecology@hotmail.co.uk


REF        2834-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training / expenses


DES        A minimum commitment of half a day per week over a 12 week period is desirable.  We require volunteers for our employability skills programme. We will support disadvantaged young people & vulnerable adults to develop skills in working as a team, basic woodland management, growing & cooking healthy food & green woodworking techniques. You will be part of a friendly team & receive regular training & support.  Sessions take place in a woodland in all weather & will be based mainly in the Galashiels area.   BUT   No exp required as you will receive necessary training but you should enjoy working with people in the outdoors in all weathers.   ASK   Jan 07711 837485 info@natureunlimited.scot


REF        525-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training opportunities available


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


RiverLife: Almond & Avon are looking for volunteers to help with activities in & around the Almond & Avon rivers. Activities include tree planting, bench painting, step/path repairs & bank protection work. The project runs until 2020 so lots of opportunities to get involved! To find out more email l.oldershaw@fishforth.co.uk


Would you like to volunteer to help take care of the incredible natural environment of the Cairngorms National Park? From path maintenance & species monitoring, to tree planting & habitat management, there’s something for everyone! To find out about opportunities across the Park visit www.cairngorms.co.uk/volunteers or call 01479 870566.


Join our Midweek Conservation Volunteers to carryout practical conservation tasks across the beautiful central belt. From woodland management, wildflower meadow sowing, removing invasive species, school grounds development…the list goes on!  All activities are led by a fully trained leader, no experience needed but always welcome! Contact: Rosie Walker rosie.walker@tcv.org.uk   01786 476170


3 - 5 November Conservation Holiday: Hedge-Laying Try your hand at the traditional rural skill of hedge-laying. We’ll learn to lay the hedge, fix it with hazel sticks & bind the top with willow. Accommodation in our brand-new Treehouse Residential Centre. Taster price of £40 full-board for weekend. Contact Jess on jessica.wharf@east-ayrshire.gov.uk


Join Glasgow Seven Lochs Green Gym & take part in practical conservation volunteering. Green Gyms are suitable for all, no previous experience necessary. Great for anyone who would like to gain experience working outdoors or anyone who would like to spend more time outside. Preferably ages 16 - 24. Contact alice.kenny@tcv.org.uk  


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


Whitmuir Community Farm is home to the 2000m² project where we run a food waste composting service, a series of cookery courses & grow organic vegetables. There are lots of ways to get involved - visit our website for more information: www.whitmuircommunityfarm.org/volunteer or activities@whitmuircommunityfarm.org or 07709 191889.


Volunteer Opportunities at Finlaystone Country Estate

We can offer "on-the-job" training in maintaining our 400 acre woodland or 100 acre gardens.  You can also get involved with on-site biodiversity surveys. Find out more on www.finlaystone.co.uk


Every Tuesday    Healthy Outdoors Team (HOT)

NTS Brodick Castle Ranger Centre, Arran, National Trust for Scotland   Contact: 01770 302462

10am to 1pm.  No experience needed.  Wear old outdoor clothes that can get mucky, & wellingtons or sturdy boots.  Work gloves, tools, materials, refreshments (tea/coffee, biscuits) & chat all provided. 


logo: A Focus on NatureThe ‘V’ Word – why you shouldn’t turn your back on volunteering

by Elliot Newton, Creative Director at A Focus On Nature


Volunteering, a word that can strike dread in those looking to pursue careers in conservation, ‘’not another unpaid position, what are my parents going to think!?’’. This to some may be seen as an exploitation, however in a sector which is so competitive and where experience is so highly revered volunteering can be a fantastic opportunity.


I can speak about volunteering from my own personal experiences, having volunteered over the years with a number of organisations. All have been very positive and enjoyable experiences, which I have been very grateful for, they provided me with essential skills that have enabled me to work in conservation.


Volunteers enjoying getting out doors and restoring habitats (The Environment Trust) 

Volunteers enjoying getting out doors and restoring habitats

(The Environment Trust) 

One of the great things about volunteering is that you can seek out opportunities that you think will be most beneficial to you. For example, when I wished to learn more about the inner workings of conservation organisations I volunteered with Save the Rhino International which gave me a great insight into how a small organisation can have a great global impact. When I wanted to get more experience with practical conservation with UK wildlife, I was able to volunteer with the Environment Trust, learning first hand all manner of conservation techniques. These opportunities not only provided opportunities to learn, but also opportunities to network and prove myself and without these I am sure I would not have been able to access the educational and vocational chances that I have had.


There are opportunities to volunteer across the breadth of the nation some are advertised through organisations such as the Countryside Job Service and we at AFON help to raise the profile of some opportunities through our social media and newsletter too. These range from practical opportunities with organisations including the Wildlife Trusts, Trees for Life and The Conservation Volunteers, as well as other administrative volunteering roles with organisations including the Zoological Society of London and don’t forget us at A Focus on Nature which is run solely by young volunteers. I would also advise a proactive approach, as there is never any harm in contacting organisations that you would like to volunteer with, enquiring to whether they have any opportunities.


logo: Now for NatureAt AFON we are now kicking off our ‘Now for Nature’ campaign, this will showcase young people across the United Kingdom, (and further afield) who are working tirelessly to better our environment. This of course can be achieved through a multiple of ways, and volunteering enables you instantly to have a positive impact; through practical conservation days helping to restore, enhance or create habitat, or working behind the scenes to help administrative cogs turn. Alternatively, there are many opportunities to help with public facing events helping to raise either awareness or funds for conservation projects. It would be fantastic to hear from you if you are currently volunteering, so please do get in touch.


So, the next time you have an opportunity to volunteer do not be quick to turn your back, consider the bigger picture. It may be frustrating to not be thrust into the world of employment straight away, though volunteering can provide an array of experiences and even when you are lucky to get a paid position you should never be afraid to volunteer. You never know the doors that it could open, the people you could meet, the skills it could provide and the things you may learn. 


Find out more about AFON on http://www.afocusonnature.org/ or email Elliot on ElliotNG@hotmail.co.uk



Every Sunday      Workdays

Cardiff, Cardiff Conservation Volunteers       Contact: www.cardiffconservation.org.uk

We are a welsh conservation group.  Every task is different & we teach skills such as dry stone walling, hedge laying, woodland maintenance, pond/step/footpath building, planting, clearance work etc. No experience necessary, just enthusiasm & eager to learn. We provide hot drinks, biscuits & cake.


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


Please help us to continue our restoration & maintenance of the woodlands, wildlife & gardens at Penllergare. Join the 'Friends of Penllergare'. Just £15 a year (£20 family). Call into our Coffee Shop 10am - 4pm daily, where we also need volunteers or please visit www.penllergare.org/become-a-friend/


REF        2835-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Travel expenses / training


DES        2 days / week for 12 weeks or 1 full week.  Learn how to build paths, coppice woodland, build simple structures, identify species & more. Accredited training in a range of skills for persons who are unemployed, under-employed, disabled etc. Supportive environment. Free woodland skills training while volunteering with the charity Tir Coed.   BUT   All levels welcome incl people with disabilities or long-term health problems; some minimum criteria (age, benefit status) are in place for some opportunities due to funding restrictions. Must live in / near to Ceredigion, Powys, Pembrokeshire.   ASK   www.tircoed.org.uk


REF        2836-FOCUSR-2/3


BE4        28/2/18


PAY        Training / travel expenses (up to 25 miles)


DES        We are looking for a small team of 4-6 local history enthusiasts to study, maintain, & raise awareness of the historic features at RSPB Cors Ddyga Reserve on Anglesey. This site is a fascinating reserve that is becoming better known to the public. It has a wealth of historic features incl the Berw Colliery Scheduled Ancient Monument, which provide an additional avenue of interest to the wildlife importance of the reserve.  Meet once a month to inspect & maintain the historic buildings. Research & possible restoration projects may take more time, but will largely be up to the team. RSPB Cors Ddyga has received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to support this volunteering opportunity.   BUT   Enthusiasm & a willingness to learn & an ability to undertake historical research.   ASK   Eva Vazquez-Garcia, Community & Volunteer Development Officer - North Wales 01248 672850 eva.vazquezgarcia@rspb.org.uk  http://c-js.co.uk/2wDZFJc


REF        2837-FOCUSR-2/3


BE4        28/2/18


PAY        Training / travel expenses (up to 25 miles)


DES        1 / 2 days per week. RSPB Cors Ddyga: we require volunteer help with habitat management & reserve maintenance on the North Wales wetland reserves. Tasks incl controlling invasive non-native plants, hay cutting, fencing, track maintenance & nest-box building. This can be muddy work, but also very rewarding. Be part of a cheerful team that meet weekly & work amongst some of the finest wildlife on Anglesey!  RSPB South Stack: on Fridays we have a team of local volunteers that come & help with general maintenance & conservation work on the reserve such as fence building, path work & heather burns. Some opportunities arise in ad hoc assistance with this. We also have the occasional project work such as chough surveys.   BUT   Enthusiasm & a good level of fitness essential! No special skills are needed although exp of surveying, habitat management & estate maintenance welcome. An up-to-date tetanus injection & enjoy working in a team.   ASK   Eva Vazquez-Garcia, Community & Volunteer Development Officer - North Wales 01248 672850 eva.vazquezgarcia@rspb.org.uk   


REF        2838-FOCUSR-2/3


BE4        28/2/18


PAY        Training / travel expenses (up to 25 miles)


DES        Min 1 day per week. In spring 2017 we created a small nature garden as an example of what people could do in their homes to create a home for nature. Funded by Tesco we would love for someone to maintain & help us to develop it further. So, if you have a few hours a week to help during the growing season, we would love to hear from you.   BUT   Basic gardening skills, reliable & happy to work on your own or as part of a team in all weathers without close supervision. Own transport.   ASK   Eva Vazquez-Garcia, Community & Volunteer Development Officer - North Wales 01248 672850 eva.vazquezgarcia@rspb.org.uk   http://c-js.co.uk/2gIUsvW


REF        2839-FOCUSR-2/3


BE4        28/2/18


PAY        Training / travel expenses (up to 25 miles)


DES        Saturdays 11am - 1pm.  Lead guided walks at South Stack for groups of visitors & give an understanding of the wildlife & plants on the reserve as well as help with bird ID.   BUT   You will need a desire to help people & a great enthusiasm for wildlife at South Stack. An outgoing personality with good knowledge of wildlife & clear communication skills.   ASK   Eva Vazquez-Garcia, Community & Volunteer Development Officer - North Wales 01248 672850 eva.vazquezgarcia@rspb.org.uk   http://c-js.co.uk/2xJ3wF4


REF        2840-FOCUSR-2/3


BE4        28/2/18


PAY        Training / travel exp / clothing


DES        1 day or half day per week. We want to inspire visitors to RSPB Conwy nature reserve about wildlife & to encourage families to explore nature. Your help is needed to engage with visitors to discover nature e.g. by encouraging them to look through a telescope from one of the hides, by providing the chance for children to go on a bug hunt, & simply to point out some of the amazing nature that can be found right by the trails. We need you to help visitors to have an enjoyable, informative & inspiring nature experience. RSPB Conwy has received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to support this volunteering opportunity.   BUT   You'll need to have the confidence to strike up conversations with members of the public, knowledge & enthusiasm about wildlife & conservation, but most important of all, you'll need a friendly demeanour.  You'll be prepared to get involved in a hands-on way & enjoy meeting the public!   ASK   Eva Vazquez-Garcia, Community & Volunteer Development Officer - North Wales 01248 672850 eva.vazquezgarcia@rspb.org.uk   http://c-js.co.uk/2exzPyA


REF        2841-FOCUS-OK3


BE4        ?


PAY        0


DES/BUT               The role is broad & varied, from designing flyers & posters to planning events – there is a lot of planning & preparation involved, but this is often as fun as the final event. National Whale & Dolphin Watch is a major part of the role, ten days over July & August during which there is a push to get as many members of the public involved with watching for whales, dolphins & porpoises as possible. There are events to plan for every day but you will get plenty of help from staff & interns. There is the opportunity to get involved with the data collection side of Sea Watch, conducting land watches, & boat surveys.   ASK   http://www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/internships/


logo: Countryside Management AssociationNobody can do everything, but everyone can do something


With all the current pressures on the countryside, parks and wildlife, the Countryside Management Association welcomes everyone who wants to make a difference. If you’re looking to put your skills, talent and enthusiasm to work, the Countryside Management Association (CMA) has some options that might hopefully appeal to you. Apart from our administrator, all the ‘officers’ of the CMA (Board, National Committee, Regional Co-ordinators) take on the roles as volunteers, so you’d certainly be in good company……


As the CMA grows from strength to strength, there are many opportunities to improve what we offer to members and we’d really welcome your help! Many volunteers have already joined as members but you’d be more than welcome to ‘try us out’ and work with us on any of the suggestions given. We’d love to hear from you!


You can now take a very good photograph with your phone (Photo by Maria Shanina on Unsplash)

You can now take a very good photograph with your phone

(Photo by Maria Shanina on Unsplash) 

CMA would love to have:

A photo library to call on: As crazy as it might sound, the CMA sometimes struggles to find the right photographs for use in our quarterly magazine ‘Ranger’, on the web site, in powerpoint presentations or in various other articles sent to the media. Photographs of species, habitats, people at work, events, signage, ‘action’ photos, and interpretative displays and so on; the list could be endless. CMA would really benefit from a bank of photographs to use copyright free (but credited to you of course). Handy with a camera? Enjoy photography? Photos taken with a decent mobile phone can be just as good as a camera so if you think you could help, just contact us and we can discuss the types of photographs likely to be needed.


Video footage: similarly, various length video clips or relevant footage would be great additions to the web site and/or Facebook page.


Your input to our regular Study Days: all across the land, different CMA regions offer Study Days on a variety of countryside management topics throughout the year (check out the web site). You will have lots of knowledge and experience from your volunteer work so why not consider organising a Study Day for CMA? It’s all about exchanging experiences, showing off what you do and meeting others in the profession. Study days are always great fun and an informal and brilliant way of networking. We’d be only too happy to share with you how we easily set these up and promote them.


Design and artwork input for regional and national publications: Apart from the UK-wide ‘Ranger’ magazine, each region can produce its own newsletter. Whilst there’s lots of news, not everyone in CMA has the skills to design and illustrate a newsletter. Could you help? Likewise, CMA needs more promotional banners and sometimes additional publications or flyers for events. Not only would new design and artwork be of great benefit to CMA, your work would be seen and appreciated by many hundreds of members across the UK.


Some help with finding, negotiating and drawing down sponsorship: As a membership organisation, CMAs primary source of funding is from annual subscriptions. From those, CMA offers a wide range of Study Days, regional and national publications, bursaries to assist attendance at seminars (including European and international events) and an Annual Conference. An increase in commercial / other sponsors could help enormously in providing improved and increased benefits for members. In return, sponsors gain promotion and publicity at Conference, in ‘Ranger’ magazine, the web site and social media. Do you have a knack for that kind of work?


Media articles / press release expertise: In this ever-changing world, the work we all do and the importance of it, needs to be constantly promoted. At the 50th Anniversary CMA Conference in 2016, delegates agreed that most countryside practitioners are not always too great at ‘shouting about’ what we all do and why. If you have the skills and experience in putting together press release or articles to send to a variety of media, we’d very much like to hear from you. Linking up with either Regional Co-ordinators for regional news or the CMA Board for national or international items would see your PR/media experience used to great effect.


Why not come and help out (Photo by Olesya Grichina on Unsplash)

Why not come and help out (Photo by Olesya Grichina on Unsplash) 

‘World Ranger Day’ assistance: World Ranger Day (WRD) is 31st July each year. It is held to remember rangers who have lost their lives in the line of duty across the world and celebrate the work of rangers and allied staff across the globe. Across the continents, all kinds of events are held to commemorate and celebrate. Funds raised that day are donated to the Thin Green Line Foundation; an international fund that supports the widows and families of those who have lost their lives. WRD events or activities are almost impossible without the help of willing volunteers, so if you’d like to volunteer your services, whatever they may be, please contact us.


Help with research: Sometimes a topic is raised at a meeting or is covered in the Ranger magazine that warrants further details being researched. The additional information can then be placed on our web site for those who wish to delve into or read up on that topic further. Topics can arise relating to innovative management techniques, new equipment or that are perhaps species-specific. If researching, finding and collating information is up your street, do get in touch!


A short film highlighting the work of different rangers across the country: This is a somewhat bigger project to organise….. but if a budding film-maker, contact us for a chat.


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



In the first instance, please do email chairman@countrysidemanagement.org.uk  


Or specifically for Study Days:

http://c-js.co.uk/2xOzhg9 gives a list of Regional Co-ordinators. Contact the Co-ordinator closest to you or email training@countrysidemanagement.org.uk for our National Training Co-ordinator


CMA web site: www.countrysidemanagement.org.uk  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CsideMA/   

Twitter: @RangerCMA

Join the CMA and be inspired, informed, respected, connected


Northern Ireland: 

REF        2842-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        Ongoing

LOC        Castle Ward Estate, Strangford, Northern Ireland

PAY        In house training


DES        10am - 4pm weekends. As part of your responsibilities you will carry out car parking & visitor orientation duties as required on a daily basis. You will be part of a broader team of Staff & Volunteers assisting as required with Events &/when necessary supporting the Visitor Experience Team & assisting with Event Set-up. You will conduct routine litter patrols & keep the site tidy & presentable for all visitors.   BUT   Have a friendly & enthusiastic manner & enjoy working with family visitors in particular. This role can be physically demanding & you may be on your feet all day.   ASK   Kim McMonagle castleward.volunteering@nationaltrust.org.uk


REF        2843-FOCUSR-27/10


BE4        31/10/17


PAY        WWT benefits & discounts


DES        Assist the Learning Team (made up of staff & volunteers) to engage visitors through the medium of arts & crafts. A key focus of your role will be to assist with the organisation of, & delivery of, arts & craft themed activities throughout the year. Providing centre support through the preparation of arts & craft materials & resources for activities & seasonal events. Liaising with the Learning Manager on all aspects of what is required to carry out arts & crafts activities i.e. ordering stock, material preparation, storage of material etc. Adhering to WWT procedures, such as Data Protection compliance, Health & Safety etc.   Work during some weekends & public holidays to ensure the objectives of the centre are met. You must be able to get yourself to & from the centre. You will need: an interest in arts & crafts & those relating to children specifically; working knowledge of artistic mediums; good artistic skills & experience of arts & craft prep for small & larger public events; experience working with a variety of age groups; experience of craft resourcing & material preparation with attention to detail & creativity; confident friendly attitude &/or experience of successful face-to-face contact with the public; an interest in & enthusiasm for the work of WWT & the natural world; good listening skills, with the ability to adapt your approach to suit your audience; ability to work on your own initiative under the direction of the Learning Manager.   ASK   Amy Hannan, Volunteering Development Officer amy.hannan@wwt.org.uk 01704 891224 http://c-js.co.uk/14HPJyH


REF        2844-FOCUSR-27/10


BE4        31/10/17


PAY        Training, free entry to WWT sites & discounts


DES        In this role you will engage visitors, both young & old, during seasonal events throughout the year. You may also be called upon for some weekend storytelling sessions. We are seeking volunteers for school holidays & for some weekends. To be discussed. You will deliver storytelling sessions to young children & families using entertaining stories relative to the season or subject matter, bringing the stories to life through the use of different voices, costumes, props & pictures, preparing in advance by helping to source & adapt stories & equipment to be used in the delivery of the sessions where possible, weaving in WWT's key wetland conservation message.   BUT   Outgoing & friendly with some relevant experience of working with children & performance, or demonstrable skills in these areas. Able to work independently & proactively to manage an audience & capture the attention of families & children in an outdoor setting.   ASK   Amy Hannan, Volunteering Development Officer amy.hannan@wwt.org.uk 01704 891224 http://c-js.co.uk/14HPJyH


REF        2845-FOCUSR-27/10


BE4        31/10/17


PAY        Training


DES        Term time weekdays, public holidays & occasional weekends. We believe that the best way for children & adults to understand & connect to wetlands is to exp them, so we bring awe-inspiring nature up close. School children & teachers should feel part of something amazing & be motivated to make a difference. You will support the learning team in organising & running the delivery of our learning programmes throughout the year & help to run logistical & practical elements of schools visitation.   BUT   Good communication skills & an outgoing personality.  A willingness & ability to talk to teachers & all age groups of school children.  An interest in learning rel activities & enthusiasm for the work of WWT & the natural world. To be a good listener, with the ability to adapt your approach to suit your audience. The ability to work on your own initiative under the direction of the Learning Manager & their staff. You must be able to get yourself to & from the centre. We regret that we are not in a position to reimburse expenses incurred for travel to the site.  

ASK   Amy Hannan, Volunteering Development Officer amy.hannan@wwt.org.uk 01704 891224 http://c-js.co.uk/14HPJyH


TCV in Northern Ireland are recruiting volunteers for environmental projects across Belfast & North Down. Flexible opportunities available with the Conservation Action Teams with accredited training available (subject to eligibility). Volunteer Leader positions also available. Contact Helen Tomb, h.tomb@tcv.org.uk 028 90645169


The Tree Nursery in Bangor, BT19 1RN is looking for friendly, enthusiastic & dependable volunteers to become involved in growing native trees from seed. This time of year is focused on seed collection, seed processing & the preparation of seed beds for next spring. Activities run from 9am-1pm & 9am-4pm. Contact: jeremy.turkington@tcv.org.uk


Murlough is a hugely valuable nature reserve which we manage in South Down. We depend on & value our volunteers, which are a must for Murlough. During September to March we need help with scrub clearance & ragwort pulling July/August so if you have a group that would like to get involved we need your help. Find out more castleward.volunteering@nationaltrust.org.uk


logo: WWT - Wetlands for lifeVolunteer Photographers with WWT


The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), has such a wide, diverse mix of volunteer roles from canoe safaris to storytelling and bird surveys. But one role is now becoming more and more popular at our centres and that is the role of volunteer photographers.


Volunteer photographers on Steart Marshes (WWT)

Volunteer photographers on Steart Marshes (WWT) 

The WWT is always on the lookout for ‘the perfect shot’ to use in our publicity etc. so it made a lot of sense to ask for the help of volunteers to do this.


The volunteer photographers might be asked to take a list of specific shots from around the centres. This might include shots of visitors enjoying the different activities or it might be of staff and volunteers interacting with the public. It could be that the volunteers are asked to take specific shots of the collection or grounds. There are also some volunteer photographers that focus specifically on the wildlife on the reserves. This might involve trying to get a shot of a rare bird or just a well-framed shot of one of the more common species.


One centre that has recently recruited more Visitor Experience volunteer photographers, is Washington in the North East. This is because the original photographers have proved to be so successful. This has been instigated by Deborah Nolan, one of the Marketing & Communications Managers.


“Our volunteer photographers are just fantastic! They’re a massive help with regards to publicity and they really support the Trust in capturing the energy and excitement that visitors can expect when they come here, as well as the wildlife that can be seen. This helps promote the centre in a positive way while benefiting our volunteers by expanding and potentially improving their portfolios!”


One of the Volunteer Photographers, Ian Henderson was happy to answer some questions about his role.


Redshank (Ian Henderson)

Redshank (Ian Henderson) 

What do you enjoy about the volunteer photographer role?

“Why I enjoy it – the people, opportunity to make a difference, always improving my knowledge and skills, the whole experience of belonging to an organisation like WWT, the insight in to conservation, forever changing. Spent a day with Sacha Dench covering her visit to Washington WWT before her Flight of the Swans adventure!


Great balance to my “day job”. Helps me relax. Keeps me sane”.


What does the role involve?

“Between 2 and 6 hours most weeks. Mostly at the reserve but some at home working on processing. Some specific events by mutual agreement. Imagination, attention to detail, a sense of humour and the desire to do well.

The media team at Slimbridge provide a list of subject matter and Deborah and Leanne give me a ‘hit list’ most weeks. I get asked to take shots to assist in the living collection and reserve management. I have covered several visitor events and opening ceremonies. I am invited to join in the regular team development and social events. I also have the flexibility to contribute my own choice of subject matter.”


Otter (Ian Henderson)

Otter (Ian Henderson) 

How long have you been volunteering for?

“2 years and 15 days’.


Where my photos have been used – the highlights have been having my photo on the front cover (and April) of the WWT 2017 Calendar and the 2015 / 16 winter WWT advertising poster on the Tyne and Wear Metro network. My work has also appeared in Waterlife as well as regular coverage in WWT Washington social media releases. It is also used in press releases and in feedback to sponsors.”


The WWT has always worked with volunteers and they are an integral part of the organisation and historically always have been. Volunteers receive an induction process and training. They are invited to social events including a summer BBQ and sometimes a Christmas lunch. All volunteers receive a role description and are offered a review.


The Volunteering team are constantly creating new volunteering opportunities along with the centre staff. This role just shows the variety of skills the Trust is looking for and the type of diverse opportunities on offer.


For more information and to see all the roles for which we are currently recruiting, visit the WWT website.



North East: 

logo: Steel Valley ProjectREF        2846-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        Ongoing               


PAY        Training / workwear / travel expenses


DES        1 day per week - 8.30am-4.30pm. Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. To assist in the practical management of local public greenspace sites by the Steel Valley Project.  Tasks include: practical habitat management of sites such as, woodland, heathland & grassland habitats; the installation & repair of countryside access & boundary infrastructure; the development & planning of practical work;  undertake training where necessary. Recent projects include vegetation cutback along local public rights of way, wildlife pond installation, dry stone walling, various habitat management tasks to favour the woodland 'willow tit' bird, woodland step & path installation & tree planting. New projects include more of the same plus numerous small woodland management projects aimed at improving woodland conditions throughout the area to benefit wildlife & public access.   BUT   No formal quals or exp required. However, volunteers should have a desire to work outdoors in all weathers & be willing to learn new skills. Volunteers should be able to communicate well, work as part of a group & have a reasonable level of physical fitness.   ASK   info@steelvalleyproject.org kate.hughes@steelvalleyproject.org    0114 2830880 www.steelvalleyproject.org


REF        2847-FOCUS-OK3


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training / expenses


DES        The work takes place on our reserves, in & around Sheffield & Rotherham from Blacka Moor & Wyming Brook on the edge of the Peak District to Centenary Riverside, a flood alleviation scheme & nature reserve on an ex steel works site, on the edge of the River Don near Rotherham town centre. Our current living landscapes project, Rotherham Rivers, funded through Waste Recycling Environmental, sees us visiting & improving sites, managed by other organisations for the benefit of wildlife, such as water voles, kingfishers & otters, in & around Rotherham, including Rother Valley Country Park, Don Island, Kilnhurst Ings & Whiston Meadows. This role would suit someone who is keen to engage in a range of practical conservation work, including site maintenance such as fencing, & habitat management such as woodland & heathland. Volunteering with the Land Management Team helps people develop practical conservation skills, build knowledge about local wildlife habitats, keep physically active & is a great place to start developing a career in the sector. In return we can cover expenses, on the job training & funding for relevant external courses such as brush-cutter & first aid at work.   ASK   http://www.wildsheffield.com/volunteer 0114 2634335


REF        2848-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training

FOR        Land of Oak & Iron (through Groundwork NE & Cumbria)

DES        Approx. 1 day / month. Provide support to the Land of Oak & Iron staff team & partner orgs in organising & helping on the day at a range of events to promote Land of Oak & Iron & opportunities for local people to take part. Tasks may incl event planning & publicity, setting up on the day, running activities & talking to members of the public.   BUT   Individuals need no prior experience, just enthusiasm & passion for the area.   ASK   Kath Marshall-Ivens kath.marshall-ivens@groundwork.org.uk 01207 524883 / 07966 330028


REF        2849-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        ?

LOC        MORLEY, LS27 7JQ

PAY        Expenses / training


DES        Min 1 day per week for several months. WYES is the Local Ecological Records Centre for West Yorkshire. The objective of this post is to research protected/notable species & habitat data & input this data from a variety of sources into the WYES databases.  Records are input into Excel & then imported into Recorder 6, an ecological recording package. These are then exported to a Mapinfo GIS system so that they can be viewed spatially.  This will provide exposure to professional ecological survey reports, use of Recorder 6 & GIS packages & rel work exp. Records need to be entered accurately at the highest spatial resolution possible following WYES data structures.   BUT   Keen interest in a career in ecology or similar discipline & be computer literate in the use of Microsoft Excel. The position would be ideal for under graduates or recent graduates looking for rel work exp.   ASK   If you would like to be considered please email a CV to Robert Masheder robert.masheder@wyjs.org.uk.


REF        544-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        N/A


PAY        Mileage expenses & personal protective equipment


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


REF        825-FOCUS-OK3


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training


DES        We are looking for Wildlife Champions to cover the Coast to Coast track from Washington to Consett.  You will be responsible, along with others, for monitoring the biodiversity along this route.  This involves collecting data that enables us to record, improve & promote the diversity of wildlife on walking & cycling routes.  You will be expected to monitor your allocated section every month to allow us to gain an accurate picture of the area’s biodiversity.  This should take no more than a few hours.  In addition you will need to dedicate a day or two a year to supporting or organising an engagement event in your area. You will be supported by a local Group Coordinator & receive an induction pack with full instructions, guidance notes & resources & staff will be on hand to provide support & dedicated training.   BUT   You don’t need to be a wildlife or biodiversity expert to take part!  All we need is your enthusiasm & dedication.   ASK   volunteers-north@sustrans.org.uk 0191 2616160


Every Monday     Regular volunteering: Work Day

Various in Land of Oak & Iron in NE England, Land of Oak & Iron

Contact; 07484 093411, pdownes@durhamwt.co.uk, www.landofoakandiron.org.uk/whats-on

10.30am - 2.30pm Practical woodland and access tasks in Land of Oak & Iron; tools, equipment and gloves will be provided. Contact Peter Downes


Second Wednesday of each month               Hauxley Wildlife Group

Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre, Northumberland, Northumberland Wildlife Trust         Contact: 01665 568324 

Brand new group. WT members can register free for exclusive access to illustrated talks by local experts, guided walks & hands on wildlife activities. To register as a member please contact the Centre so we can add your details to our e-mailing list.


1 weekend day every quarter of the year    The Springhead Park Volunteers

Springhead Park, Rothwell, Leeds, LS26, Leeds City Council                  Contact: springheadparkvolunteers@gmail.com

Looking for new members to help with practical activities, group management, publicity & fund raising. We undertake a variety of practical activities in the park. For example litter picks, river clean-ups, tree planting, creating new paths through woodland & invasive species management.


Every second & fourth Thursday of the month          Practical Group

Gotts park, Armley Ridge Rd, Leeds LS12 3NP, Friends of Armley & Gotts Park  Contact: Joe Walker, 07891 277006, joseph.walker@leeds.gov.uk, www.facebook.com/wadesranger

Do you enjoy the outdoors, being active & learning new skills, then why not join us? Practical action days 10 - 2pm to carry out vital conservation work in both parks. All tools, materials & hot drinks provided. Please bring own water, wear sturdy footwear, old clothes & bring waterproofs as necessary.


The North York Moors National Park is holding a volunteer recruitment day on 29th September from 10am to 3pm at The Moors Centre, Danby. Drop by & learn about all of the exciting outdoor & indoor volunteering roles that you can get involved with at the Park. Email volunteers@northyorkmoors.org.uk to learn more.


Hartlepool Countryside Volunteers offers the opportunity to work on conservation, community & access tasks two days a week, as well as assist in Coastal Designated European Site surveys during the winter.  Our Wild Green Spaces Friends Group offers the opportunity to get involved in organising events & activities as well. countrysidewardens@hartlepool.gov.uk, 01429 853325, http://c-js.co.uk/2gQNQvw



logo: Canal & River TrustHow practical work days can benefit you

Canal & River Trust explain the advantages of volunteering

By Leon Thomas

Litter picking by boat, Bumble Hole on the Dudley Canal (Canal & River Trust)

Litter picking by boat, Bumble

Hole on the Dudley Canal

(Canal & River Trust)



12.7 million people volunteer in England once a month and 19.2 million once a year[1]. Practical working days can offer a wide variety of benefits, from developing new skills and abilities to an improved quality of life.


The reasons behind volunteering vary from person to person, while a large number of volunteers want to make a difference in their local communities, others simply choose to join volunteer groups in order to gain or build on a specific skillset.
All of them however, benefit from the social aspect of volunteering and the ability to meet new and like-minded people.


For those who volunteer to genuinely make a difference in their community, on a frequent basis they are able to sit back and take glory out of all their hard-work paying off.
Iain Jack a volunteer for the Canal & River Trust said: “For me it is a win-win-win-win situation. I get to work outdoors in some wonderful countryside after years spent mainly indoors at the office or in the factory.”


A study published in 2009[2] showed that volunteering can actually be better for a person’s health – with reports showing that those who volunteer are more likely to have a better quality of life, better social integration and support and increased self-esteem and confidence.


Towpath repairs on the Brynich aqueduct on the Monmouth & Brecon Canal (Canal & River Trust)

Towpath repairs on the Brynich aqueduct on the

Monmouth & Brecon Canal (Canal & River Trust) 

“Towpath Taskforce work days help to keep me physically fit in my advancing years; I get to hang out with like-minded people from all walks of life (the banter alone is worth it). I am also learning all sorts of new skills I have previously admired from afar, for example boat handling, hedge laying and lime mortar work,” continued Iain.


One of the largest components of volunteering is being in a position to not only learn but to also share skills; this is something that organisations are more than keen to encourage when investing in volunteer workers, Tom Freeland, national volunteer co-ordinator at the Canal & River Trust said: “The work achieved is a fundamental part of the day to day delivery for most charities and land-managing organisations, and is largely built on the efforts of volunteers.


Maintaining the shrub beds at the National Waterway Museum, Ellesmere Port (Canal & River Trust)

Maintaining the shrub beds at the National Waterway

Museum, Ellesmere Port (Canal & River Trust) 

“I’ve been involved in conservation work days for a range of organisations over many years, and I’ve always found them to be a joy: a day out on a beautiful (or maybe just interesting) site, working with like-minded people for a shared goal, and the satisfaction of a job well done at the end of the day. 


“Practical work parties helped save & restore many canals, and now Towpath Taskforce volunteers are the heart of our efforts to keep the waterways a special place for everyone to enjoy, now and into the future.”

Whether it be for personal reasons, social development or general curiosity, volunteers are the unsung heroes of many organisations and the backbone to a lot of British countryside communities.


For further information on volunteering for the Canal & River Trust visit https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/volunteer and for further information about the health benefits of volunteering visit http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/volunteering/Pages/Whyvolunteer.aspx

[1] According to the Community Life Survey, Cabinet Office (2014)

[2] The Gerontologist, Volume 49, Issue 1 p. 91–102, (2009)


North West: 

REF        553-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        N / A


PAY        Training


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


REF        554-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        N / A

LOC        Martin Mere Wetland Centre, Burscough, West Lancashire

PAY        Training


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


REF        2850-FOCUS-OK3


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training


DES        We believe that the best way for people to understand & 'connect' with wetlands is to experience them, so we bring awe-inspiring nature up close. You will be directly involved in shaping children's unforgettable experience through the warm welcome you give them, your interactions with them & the information that you provide. We need enthusiastic people to help deliver our education programmes to school groups & in doing so ensuring that they feel part of something amazing.  You will help out with school groups, lead selected guided learning sessions & interact with children in a sensitive & responsive manner.  Attend training sessions & meetings & be aware of procedures regarding child protection.  Friendly & approachable to visitors, especially children.   BUT   Exp in an education setting, confident / exp in delivering enquiry based learning to school groups.  Ability to communicate well to a diverse range of audiences & work well in a team of staff & volunteers.  Familiar with Martin Mere Centre. Own transport.   ASK   Amy Hannan amy.hannan@wwt.org.uk http://c-js.co.uk/14HPJyH


REF        2852-FOCUS-OK3


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        0


DES        We have been working in the region for over 50 years & manage 45 nature reserves with habitats ranging from grasslands & wet meadows to reedbeds, coastal dunes & wetlands. Our reserves provide a refuge for rare species incl natterjack toads, great crested newts, the bittern & a wide range of dragonflies & butterflies. We carry out practical habitat management on our reserves & require assistance from volunteers in doing so.   BUT   No specific quals required, we just ask for a good level of fitness, a love for the outdoors with an ability to work in all weathers & have your own transport.   ASK   Download a volunteer registration form at www.cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/volunteering & email to volunteering@cheshirewt.org.uk


REF        2853-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Training


DES        School holidays & / or weekends (11am - 4pm).  You will deliver wildlife activity sessions to families e.g. pond dipping, bug hunts. Help with seasonal children's activities such as pumpkin carving, Christmas crafts or even being an elf!  Assist with uniformed groups, engage with visitors in a friendly & confident way & interact with children in a sensitive & responsive manner.  Incorporating WWT conservation messages in the right place & in the right way.   BUT   No prev exp required as training provided. Exp either in an educational setting or in an environment involving children would be an advantage.  Reliable, commitment to volunteering & confident in talking to the public. Able to work in a team of staff & volunteers  & keen to give our visitors a first class experiences.  Able to communicate well to a diverse range of people, young & old. A love of wildlife & the outdoors. Own transport.   ASK   Amy Hannan, Volunteer Development Officer amy.hannan@wwt.org.uk  http://c-js.co.uk/14HPJyH


North Lancashire winter work parties 2017-18. Join our team of volunteers carrying out woodland work on our Warton Crag nature reserve near Silverdale, creating habitat for rare butterfly & moth species. For details contact sryder@lancswt.org.uk, or phone 01524 855030.


Are you looking to get into employment & struggling? Cheshire Wildlife Trust is running Access groups to provide skills that will aid the step into employment. This group runs on Mondays & Tuesdays for 6 weeks with minibus pick ups. We are recruiting in Chester & Congleton, volunteering@cheshirewt.org.uk for more information.


Join Chester National Trust Volunteers for a day. CNTV do voluntary work at NT sites across Cheshire, Marches, Wirral - three days per fortnight. Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday groups. Previous experience unnecessary, job for everyone, Tools provided, friendly welcome. Contact Brian Payne briansue.payne@btinternet.com https://chesterntv.wordpress.com/


Every Thursday  Health & Wellbeing Group

Northwich & Winsford, Cheshire Wildlife Trust             Contact: volunteering@cheshirewt.org.uk

We have a mini bus that picks up participants from Northwich & Winsford on Thursday mornings & takes the group to local nature reserves to carry out practical conservation work. To register your interest please email.


First & third Friday of every month                Volunteers

Meet on Lowfields Avenue, Eastham, Wirral, Friends of Lowfields Woodland      Contact: kfeeney@cheshirewt.org.uk

Help carry out practical conservation work on the woodland. If you might be interested in taking part email Kevin Feeney from Cheshire Wildlife Trust.


logo: Scottish Countryside Rangers AssociationRangers helping Rangers - Is the answer in our hands? 


The Scottish Countryside Rangers Association is the Professional organisation for Rangers and Countryside Staff in Scotland. The Association since its creation in 1974, today develops through its members volunteering in delivering and creating what we have achieved over the last forty years.                                                     


Through also receiving support from ranger employers such as  from National Parks, Local Authorities, NGO, Private, and Communities allow their staff to be involved in SCRA in all we provide collectively for our members’ Training, Conferences,  Qualifications, Award Programmes, Regional Groups and representation on other organisations at national level.


We are currently in the process of developing a new Market Strategy and a new Website. This will allow SCRA to be able to deliver a more professional service to members through achieving our goals into the future of rangering in Scotland, such as submission to a Petition Committee of the Scottish Parliament seeking to highlight the loss of ranger posts across Scotland.


We urgently need more Volunteers to help share the workload and assist council to continue delivering a professional service.


SCRA also provides a public “supporter membership category” for anyone who is interested in supporting the work of Rangers across Scotland.


What you can expect is a friendly welcome and volunteering for SCRA can be short or longer periods, covering an array of topics in the advancement of the membership. You don’t need to be an expert  If you feel you have time to help; it will be very welcomed and hopefully rewarding by enhancing your knowledge in gaining Committee Skills and putting learning outcomes towards a SCRA Continual Professional Development (CPD).


SCRA has mutual affiliation with CMA which was established forty years ago this year.

SCRA has a long standing twinned programme with the Icelandic Ranger Association.


We need hands (Bob Reid)

We need hands (Bob Reid) 

The International Rangers’ Federation was founded in Scotland. As a member you belong to the global family of Rangers.  We are also members of the European Rangers’ Federation which is IRF at a regional level which take in 30 countries including Russia and Israel.


SCRA last month, sent equipment to Rangers in Uganda through Nature Frontline.


So, there are many topics to get involved with, be it working groups covering Education, Health, Interpretation, Scottish Junior Ranger Award and the SCRA Challenge Award.


Get involved in delivering the journal SCRAmble and communication on Twitter, Facebook and  Skype etc  or help convert the SCRA  Archives  to digital to be accessed through our website.  Get involved in supporting your Regional Group programme.


We live in a world where profile is so, so important, and as rangers we can rely on SCRA to represent our collective views, on many issues as it affects you being a ranger ,and maintaining the future of rangers into the future.


If you wish to Volunteer, please contact Bob Reid at rangerbobreid@gmail.com www.scra-online.co.uk   




Volunteer Wildlife Surveyor - Brockhampton Estate, Herefordshire for National Trust. Take part in bat & bird surveys, butterfly transects & a wide variety of other wildlife & habitat monitoring programmes. No experience is necessary, just a passion for the outdoors & a desire to study wildlife. http://c-js.co.uk/2vlDCoh or email craig.cooper@nationaltrust.org.uk for more information.


Join the Friends of Hartham Common & make a difference to this vibrant green space at the heart of Hertford.  Get involved in the practical conservation volunteering on Saturdays, help with promotion or run events.  Gain experience plus meet new people & get active. Contact isabel.crozier@hertfordshire.gov.uk 01992 556094


Help local wildlife - come long & volunteer! People from all walks of life volunteer with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. You could be helping with practical conservation, assisting our Education team, manning our Centres or lending a hand with events. There is something for everyone! Contact amanda.evans@wkwt.org.uk to find out more.


Volunteers are an essential part of our team.  If you would like to learn new skills, keep fit & active or simply wish to meet new people we have volunteering opportunities for you on our weekly conservation & woodworking volunteer groups based in the Wyre Forest, Bewdley. Email kate@wyreclt.org.uk


Third Sunday in the month               Conservation work parties

Meet at Tithby Road bridge, Bingham, Friends of Bingham Linear Park Contact: linear_park@hotmail.co.uk

October - March at 10.00am. Tools provided.


Every Friday        Princethorpe Woodlands Living Landscape Volunteer

Meeting at Brandon Marsh Nature Centre, CV3 3GW, & travelling out to sites, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust    Contact: volunteer@wkwt.org.uk mention you are interested in volunteering with the Princethorpe Woodlands Living Landscape team.

9:30 - 15:30. The scheme has received over £1 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help reconnect Warwickshire’s ancient woodlands, hedgerows & grasslands. Join us to get stuck in with practical habitat management & surveying in this beautiful area.


Every Thursday Volunteer Group

Worcester Woods Country Park, Worcestershire County Council             Contact: Tanya Feasey or Rob Stevenson 01905 766155  10am - 3pm. Mixed conservation tasks, everything from coppicing to path clearance.


Fortnightly on Tuesdays                   Work party

Newbold Quarry in Rugby, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust              Contact: volunteer@wkwt.org.uk

Do you live in Rugby & want to help wildlife? Keen to learn new skills? Meet local like-minded people? We’re setting up a new work party 10am - 1pm. Email if you're interested!


REF        560-FOCUS-OK3


BE4        Ongoing

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

PAY        Travel expenses


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


REF        561-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        Ongoing


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


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

REF        559-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        N / A


PAY        Fuel expenses, in-house training


DES        At least once a month. Rangers love the countryside & being out in the fresh air, so they know what our visitors need. They’re great at taking care of the wildlife & stunning landscapes of Brockhampton Estate, for ever, for everyone.   BUT   We need people who are outdoorsy; able to be out whatever the weather’s doing; reasonably fit & healthy – you don’t need to be Superman but you’ll do a lot of walking & practical tasks. Keen to work with people & animals! Keen to learn about countryside management.   ASK   Apply through myvolunteering on the National Trust website, http://bit.ly/2bOf56Y or contact nicholas.hinchliffe@nationaltrust.org.uk for more information.


REF        563-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        Ongoing               


PAY        Genuine expenses plus*


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


REF        2854-FOCUSR-29/12


BE4        31/12/17


PAY        Training / travel expenses to £5


DES        Min 4 weeks, 1-2 days per week. Volunteers are needed to help the WBRC with delivering the digitisation of the VC38 County Computer Mapped Flora Files. Birmingham Natural History Society & the Botany Department of the University of Birmingham were co-sponsors of the Vice County 38 Mapped Flora survey when it began in 1950. This was a co-operative study, involving a team of amateur & professional botanists in many hours of field work over 15 years & a book of computerised distribution maps was published in 1971. Although the results of this survey work were summarised & published in computerised distribution maps in the book, the original paper records have never been entered in a currently accessible database in the detail they are needed today. It is estimated that data files contain approximately 175,000 records. Volunteers are needed to help WBRC to scan the files & enter the records into the WBRC database so these records can be used in current distribution maps in order to monitor landscape & environmental change over the recent decades in Vice County 38.   BUT   An interest in botany & nature conservation.  Degree in botany or ecology would be advantageous. Willingness to interpret handwritten notes & use & develop  IT skills.  Familiarity with biological recording & botanical scientific names would be advantageous but not essential.    ASK   Angi-Louiza Arampoglou wbrc@warwickshire.gov.uk 01926 418028



REF        2856-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Appropriate training will be provided             


DES        Looking for people who wish to volunteer their time to helping our Nature Reserve be the best it can be. We have a strong team of vols who help with everything from running the shop, talking to visitors, helping with admin, social media, patrolling the reserve, doing odd jobs & helping our Wild Learning Officer. The role is very flexible & you can give as much or as little time as you have available. We are a very welcoming place & if you think you may be interested then please get in touch. Volunteering with our Wild Learning Officer will be mainly weekdays but we welcome whatever you can give.   BUT   Friendly person, happy working with the public & able to spread our wildlife message. Experience of working with young people pref when becoming involved with learning but not essential. We have many roles at Lackford & many of our vols help within a number of roles.   ASK   lackford.education@suffolkwildlifetrust.org or lackford.centre@suffolkwildlifetrust.org 01284 728706.


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


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


Suffolk Wildlife Trust is the county's leading nature charity. It is supported by volunteers in all areas of its activities. Roles include conservation internships, environmental education support, species monitoring & regular practical work parties. Visit suffolkwildlifetrust.org for current volunteering vacancies.


logo: Kent Wildlife TrustNew ways of finding volunteers


Like so many conservation organisations, here at Kent Wildlife Trust we would simply be unable to carry out our work if it were not for our amazing volunteers.  65% of our 1,063 volunteers join us on our reserves across the county and

Heather and Christine checking for evidence of voles (© Heather Brown)

Heather and Christine checking for evidence of

voles (© Heather Brown)

carry out a huge range of practical conservation activities. In the last four years we have seen the age of our volunteers dropping as well as decreasing in the length of time our volunteers remain with us.   We know that whilst our work to protect Kent’s wildlife will continue, the way in which we attract new people to help us do this must change.  Our volunteer pool has traditionally been made up of retired people who we are fortunate to have as long serving volunteers. However, we, along with the volunteers themselves, are looking to the future for these teams.  One of our volunteers, Selwyn, told us: “The long term commitment of the volunteers does have its downside, though. We are not getting any younger and we have joked that, in time, we will be arriving on mobility scooters!”


As a volunteer-involving organisation,

Volunteers carrying out ecological surveys (© Paul Tinsley-Marshall)

Volunteers carrying out ecological surveys

(© Paul Tinsley-Marshall) 

we have seen that traditional methods for recruitment, training and recognition of our volunteers are no longer achieving what they did now that the motivations for volunteering have changed.  Gone are the days where volunteers are looking for ways to fill their spare time, and for many of our new volunteers, we find that we can provide a potential route into a career in conservation, or a way in which to spend time outside and away from work or home life constructively.  These new volunteers may not wish to commit as much time to their volunteering, or may move on to other organisations or roles once they have gained experience; and we are proud to celebrate being part of someone’s journey into the conservation sector, knowing that we have played a part in that. 


As part of our work to encourage more people to volunteer with us, we’re trying new

Volunteers clearing scrub at Sandwich & Pegwell Bay (© Dee Govan)

Volunteers clearing scrub at Sandwich & Pegwell Bay (© Dee Govan) 

things.  We advertise volunteer roles on our website and through do-it.org.uk (the national volunteering database) as well as through Countryside Jobs.  More and more, we rely on social media, advertising directly with colleges and community organisations and, in 2017, we are hosting a number of introductory sessions on our reserves across the autumn season. 


By encouraging new volunteers to come and have a go at our activities, we’re hoping to show that volunteering with us does not require expert wildlife knowledge; that we look after our volunteers; and demonstrate the impact of the work that can be achieved by joining us; and to also show what practical conservation work is (it’s not all about planting trees!). 


By hosting these sessions, we’re aiming to alleviate any expectation the potential volunteers have of needing to make a commitment - s

Volunteers about to take a break at Hothfield Heathlands (© Kent Wildlife Trust)

Volunteers about to take a break at Hothfield

Heathlands (© Kent Wildlife Trust)

omething which can be off-putting - and provide an opportunity for potential volunteers to get to know the teams they’ll be working with.  A large proportion of our task day teams are male, and we’re delighted that many women are signing up to the introductory sessions, so we’re hoping that these will encourage diversity and create a welcoming session which inspires the attendees to return. 


We’ll be ensuring there are plenty of hot drinks and biscuits (an army of volunteers is, as we all know, powered mainly by cake!) and providing demonstrations of the work we do; explanations of why we’re doing what we’re doing; and a very warm welcome.  We’re asking attendees to sign up prior to attending, and this way, we will be able to follow up with them afterwards and provide a pathway into joining our volunteer family. 


We’re confident that through these sessions, we will bring in new volunteers to help us as we work with people to restore, save and enhance our natural heritage. More information about our volunteering programme can be found on our website: http://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/volunteer


Carly Whyborn, Volunteer Development Officer, Kent Wildlife Trust



REF        2857-FOCUSR-3/11


BE4        1/11/17


PAY        Up to £5 travel expenses


DES        Weekly session (Monday or Thursday afternoons), 1pm-5pm, for two months. We are a community interest company that grows delicious crops & cut flowers, & supports local young adults in accessing training & employment. We are looking for volunteers to bring their enthusiasm & willingness to help us grow the beautiful Audacious Veg site.  Learn about growing & harvesting an exciting range of edible & beautiful plants using permaculture & organic principles, meet some amazing people, & help Audacious Veg change the lives of young people.   Tasks include sowing & growing plants, weeding & digging, harvesting & general plant maintenance.  This placement is perfect for anyone who wants to learn about growing food & flowers, who wants to become part of a warm & friendly community, & who wants to support a budding social enterprise.   BUT   Committed to creating a supportive atmosphere that welcomes & empowers our beneficiaries. A positive attitude, a willingness to learn, & a commitment to treating all other volunteers & staff with respect.   ASK   https://audaciousveg.org  Natalie Baker 07757 469939 hello@audaciousveg.org


logo: Forestry Commission EnglandREF        573-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        Ongoing               


PAY        Full training & uniform


DES        We want volunteers to join our Visitor Services Team at busy times, to greet members of the public & provide information about the Pinetum & Forest.  We want you to give directions, advice & a warm welcome.   BUT   Volunteers need a friendly open personality, good communication skills, enjoy meeting people & like working as part of a team.   ASK   susan.baines@forestry.gsi.gov.uk 01580 879820


REF        2858-FOCUSR-OK12


BE4        15/12/17


PAY        Expenses


DES        2-4 days per month. CPRE is a national charity which fights to protect & enhance the English countryside for everyone to value & enjoy. We are looking for a volunteer to help us plan events to raise funds & awareness of our work. You'll help organise & run the day at events such as county fairs, farmers markets & planning workshops, booking speakers, organising logistics, following up on fundraising leads & communicating our message creatively through printed & social media.   BUT   Some exp of running events, comfortable contacting people by phone, computer literate, well organised & can work to deadlines. Care about protecting the countryside & the environment & are able to communicate with confidence.    ASK   F Lahiguera, CPRE Buckinghamshire Trustee, falahiguera@gmail.com


REF        586-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        N / A


PAY        Training & travel


DES / BUT             Want to volunteer outside & help vulnerable residents? Then join Groundwork’s Green Aiders team! Put your skills into action with weekly gardening sessions in gardens across Hertfordshire, Harlow, Essex, Cambridgeshire & Bedfordshire. Get buckets of experience – two new gardens every time. Free training in gardening & power tool use. All PPE, tools, equipment, lunches & travel costs covered.   ASK   www.groundwork.org.uk/east To book a place, arrange a taster day or for more info Emma Reynolds, 01707 255177 emma.reynolds@groundwork.org.uk  


REF        2859-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        Ongoing               


PAY        Training / expenses


DES        Two or three days a month. Our two Swingbridge boats provide a wonderful environment for people to learn new skills & develop confidence.  Swingbridge1 & Swingbridge2 together are accredited as a training centre by the National Community Boats Association, & Swingbridge2 is also a base for environmental volunteering.   BUT   Enjoying time on the water, an aptitude for the practical side of boats, an enthusiasm for environmental work & above all the ability to motivate & enthuse others. Our supported volunteers need support from others in the team.   ASK   swingbridge@surreycaretrust.org.uk


REF        587-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        N/A

LOC        SURREY & HAMPSHIRE (near Farnham & Hazeley Reserves)               

PAY        Travel expenses

FOR        RSPB

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


REF        2860-FOCUS-15/12


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Full Induction. Travel expenses

FOR        RSPB

DES        At least 1 day a fortnight. Do you remember the thrill of finding your first ladybird? Introduce primary school children to the bugs, plants, & habitats in their school grounds. Help us inspire the next generation to save nature! After shadowing the Schools Outreach Officer you’ll take the lead on delivering our hands-on, pre-designed workshops with classes of primary school children & their teachers.   BUT   Enthusiastic & energetic with experience of working with children; bags of enthusiasm & a natural at communicating your passion for nature to children; resourceful, flexible & creative approach to working with primary-aged children of all abilities; gifted communicator; keen interest in wildlife, conservation & nature along with some basic identification skills; great at working in a team & on your own & enjoy working outdoors in all weathers for up to 5 hours a day; willing to travel; able to store & transport equipment from home to use in your sessions; keen to learn new skills; computer literate, ability to use email, internet, & MS PowerPoint.   ASK   Jodie Palmer 01273 775333, brightonschoolsoutreach@rspb.org.uk


REF        585-FOCUS-OK3


BE4        N / A

LOC        ESSEX

PAY        Work experience


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


REF        2861-FOCUSR-13/10


BE4        17/10/17


PAY        Training / expenses


DES        One of our primary objectives is to get as many people out enjoying the countryside as possible. The countywide Hertfordshire Health Walks scheme is designed to do just that; promote walking & encourage more people to get active & reap the benefits, & all for free. As part of the National Walking for Health initiative, Hertfordshire Health Walks are short, brisk walks, & if participated in regularly, have the ability to benefit health & wellbeing. They differ from a normal walk by having the routes & details planned in advance & they are led by trained volunteer walk leaders. Walks are graded to suit a range of abilities & can last in duration between 20 & 90 minutes. The role of the walk leader incl leading a variety of walks on a regular basis as frequently as you wish. Researching & planning routes, & being aware of possible alternative routes & making walkers feel welcome & safe. Ensuring the necessary simple paperwork is kept up to date.   BUT   Walk Leaders are friendly & approachable. Applicants must be willing to lead walks whatever the weather.    ASK   01992 588433 healthwalks.cms@hertfordshire.gov.uk


REF        589-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        N / A


PAY        Travel expenses


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


REF        592-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        Ongoing               


PAY        Uniform, tool training


DES        Volunteers attend conservation tasks supervised by the Ranger Team & Volunteer Leaders to carry out management of the Lee Valley Park. Help to undertake management Plan & Biodiversity Action Plan driven tasks & activities to benefit conservation, the environment, fauna & flora, & visitors in the Lee Valley Park. Please see the latest Conservation Tasks Programme for more examples.    BUT   Time commitment is flexible. You should be of an active nature.  Knowledge & experience of conservation management helpful.    ASK   volunteers@leevalleypark.org.uk 01992 709867


REF        2863-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        Ongoing               


PAY        Training & materials provided

FOR        Countryside Management Service, Hertfordshire CC

DES        1 or 2 hours per week. Man stalls at health & wellbeing awareness events; give talks to community groups & orgs who are potential advocates (GP patient participation groups etc.) or to potential walkers (diabetes, pulmonary rehab or cardiac support groups etc.); actively seek out opportunities for promotion & building partnerships within your local community to increase awareness of & signposting to the Health Walks initiative; lobby locally, use social media & engage with press to promote the Health Walks locally; support new walks & struggling walks to ensure sustainability long-term;  attend 3 x yearly Ambassador steering groups with CMS & provide feedback for the 3 x yearly Health Walk Leader meetings in your area; maintain a stock of up-to-date promotional literature (programmes, flyers, posters etc.) at libraries, GP surgeries, tourist information etc.   BUT   This role requires & can help to develop the following skills: ability to think creatively & communicate the health & wellbeing messages supporting the initiative; public speaking experience & confidence speaking in front of groups; ability to motivate others into action; proactive & organised; ability to plan ahead & see a project or task through to the end.   ASK   01992 588433, healthwalks.cms@hertfordshire.gov.uk


Duke of Burgundy Butterfly Conservation Sessions

Join us this Autumn for this exciting conservation project at sites in Bledlow and Prestwood to help one of the UK’s most declining butterflies. To register for these sessions please contact info@chilternrangers.co.uk or call 01494 484486


Get stuck in with practical work restoring habitats on the Eastern Yar river on the Isle of Wight - including pulling Himalayan balsam & clearing scrub - as part of the ongoing Down to the Coast project. Contact steve.egerton-read@hiwwt.org.uk for more information & upcoming work party dates.


Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday                 Task Days

North Surrey & Kingston areas, Lower Mole Partnership            Contact: www.lowermoleproject.org.uk; Lower Mole Partnership Facebook; @ExploreSurreyUK; 01372 743783. 

Enjoy seasonal scrub clearance, path maintenance, woodland management, signage making (carpentry in our Horton Country Park workshop) & pond restoration task days with our great conservation crew.


Second Sunday of the month          Monthly weekend conservation group

Snows Farm nature reserve, near Stroud      Contact: volunteering@gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk

We are looking for more volunteers to assist over autumn & winter, to manage this important calcareous grassland reserve.  The group is a great way to spend a few hours helping wildlife.


Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays  Biodiversity Action Team

East & Mid Sussex, The Conservation Volunteers (Hastings)    Contact: 01424 444675 volunteer-sussex@tcv.org.uk

If you want to gain hands on conservation experience, volunteer with our Biodiversity Action Team! 9.30am to 4pm (tea & biscuits included).


First Saturday of every month        Task Days

Ashford, Kent, Ashford Community Woodland Volunteers        Contact: Jenny Tippen 01233 622070, jhclayton1948@gmail.com

We maintain some 15 hectares of woodland & meadow on the outskirts of Ashford, Kent. Refreshments are provided. New volunteers are always welcome.


Sunday 15 Oct     “Chalkland Champions”

Leybourne Lakes Country Park, Kent County Council                Contact: Hilary 0300 019486, hilary.hunter@kent.gov.uk, www.oldchalknewdowns.org.uk

11am - 3pm. A celebration of Kent’s Chalk Downland, its rare species, traditional skills & the people who love it all. There will be exhibits; demonstrations; stalls; produce. 


Sunday 15 Oct     Conservation Work Parties

South Downs Way in West Sussex, Graffham Down Trust         Contact: jimkirke@hotmail.com, https://www.facebook.com/GraffhamDownTrust/

Events repeated Sun 10 Dec, Sun 14 Jan, Sat 17 Feb, Sat 17 Mar, Sat 7 Apr. 70 acres of reserves that need regular volunteer help to manage.  Meet 9.45 at St Giles Church Graffham GU28 0NJ. The Saturday in April is a volunteers BBQ.  Lifts to reserves, cake, tea & coffee available. 


Every Wednesday & fortnightly on Saturdays            New, Forest of Dean volunteer group

Woorgreens Nature Reserve, Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust      Contact: 01452 383333, volunteering@gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk

Become part of the team manage this beautiful sites richly diverse healthlands, marshes, & lakes. We run sessions from 10.00am - 1.00pm.


One Saturday a month      Conservation Volunteer

Allen's Field (off Liddel Way), South Ascot, SL5 9UX, Groundwork South              Contact: Laura Howles, 07736 133467 laura.howles@groundwork.org.uk

9.30 - 12.30 to enhance Allen's Field, in partnership with the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead. Tasks vary depending on the season, but have recently included refurbishing steps & removing invasive laurel from the woodland. Work here will be interesting & varied. Refreshments provided.


Every Thursday                  Volunteer Group

Belhus Woods Country Park, Essex County Council   Contact: 01708 865628, belhuswoods.countrypark@essex.gov.uk

Would you like to join our volunteer group & learn new skills, whilst helping the environment & wildlife? Join our Rangers on Thursday mornings from 9:30am till 12:30pm. Suitable outdoor clothing needed.


We’re looking for volunteers to help monitor deer density at our Lower Woods nature reserve in South Gloucestershire. Volunteer teams will collect deer dung over 10 quadrats and then monitor how long it takes for dung to return. Aim, studying deer distribution and favoured feeding areas. More information contact volunteering@gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk.


Enjoy seasonal scrub clearance, coppicing, path/step work & pond restoration task days with our great conservation crew. Task days run Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs & 1-2 Sundays/month in NE Surrey, Croydon & Sutton areas. Also voluntary livestock checker/farm helper opportunities. Info: www.downlandsproject.org.uk; Downlands Partnership Facebook; Twitter @downygrazers; 01883 341140. 


Free accredited 12 week Practical Diploma in Groundsmanship & Land Management, lunch included, travel expenses reimbursed. Eligibility: aged 16-24, below level 3 qualified. Get apprenticeship ready; gain high quality practical skills; stand out to employers. Developed in partnership with the National Trust & T&M Community Sports Club. Email Morden Hall, London hattie.clayton@nationaltrust.org.uk.


We're recruiting volunteers for practical conservation work starting in October to create & improve habitats for threatened species like willow tits & Duke of Burgundy butterflies, within the Basingstoke & Deane borough area. To find out more, email matthew.smith@hiwwt.org.uk


Whether you have an hour, a day or a week to give, & whatever your skills, there’s an opportunity for you to volunteer with us. Visit http://www.bbowt.org.uk/how-you-can-help/volunteer to find out more about how you can get involved.


The South London Botanical Institute is based in Tulse Hill, South London with botanical garden, herbarium, library, & lecture room. We run a variety of talks, courses, workshops, open days & school visits & 2 funded projects.  We often need volunteers. See www.slbi.org.uk Contact us: info@slbi.org.uk


This autumn & winter we will be dealing with Sycamore & Rhododendron invading woodland, & scrub management on various sites. Also there's our annual visit to water meadows on the River Itchen to maintain the network of channels. Hampshire Conservation Volunteers Phone 023 92325570 or see www.hcv.org.uk


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


Volunteers needed to help deliver in-stream river restoration work across Wiltshire during September & October 2017. Contact water@wiltshirewildlife.org or call 01380 736066 for more information.


CCV is always seeking new volunteers to join their regular Sunday conservation tasks in nature reserves around the Chichester area.  Lifts can be arranged.  Training & tools will be provided.  Physically fit volunteers of any age over 16 will be welcome. Contact Scott Robertson: 01243 552113, scottrob293@hotmail.co.uk


Groundwork is launching a citizen science project to monitor the health of the River Lea, Luton. Volunteers will have the opportunity to select a local site convenient for them to carry out practical monitoring. All training & equipment is provided free of charge. For more information please contact andrew.irving@groundwork.org.uk


Conservation volunteers are needed across the Braintree District. Help to make improvements to benefit both people & wildlife on public open space & local nature reserves. Volunteering provides many benefits: meeting new people, building self- esteem, work experience, keeping fit & learning more about the environment. Contact Amanda: amatu@braintree.gov.uk


logo: Dean Castle Country ParkVolunteering at Dean Castle Country Park – something for everyone

Jessica Wharf with stories by Alexander Black, Daniela Senatore and Stuart Hay


Dean Castle Country Park in Kilmarnock is perhaps not your typical conservation volunteering destination but thanks to a Heritage Lottery funded project, a growing volunteer programme is now in place. East Ayrshire has the second lowest volunteering numbers in Scotland with just 20% of adults volunteering c

Alec cleaning a scythe (Jess Wharf)

Alec cleaning a scythe (Jess Wharf)

ompared to a national average of 27% (Scottish Household Survey 2015). The Country Park itself, run by East Ayrshire Leisure, is in an area of multiple deprivation and in the past has had only occasional volunteers.


The HLF volunteer programme, which kick-started last year, aimed to get local people more involved in the park, to increase environmental awareness and to improve the park’s biodiversity. The funding enabled the park to have a dedicated volunteer coordinator and natural heritage officer and from there, the volunteering grew. Here are the stories of some of our volunteers.


Alec: Practical Conservation Volunteer

I was studying at Ayrshire College last year and part of the curriculum involved volunteering at Dean Castle Country Park. Although I live locally, I’d avoided going to the park as it didn’t feel like the kind of natural environment I was interested in; in fact it felt more like a big swing park. Neal and Jess, who supervised our volunteering, explained that changes were being made to increase biodiversity through volunteers. This encouraged me to do extra volunteering, as I could see the bigger picture for the future. Since I started volunteering at the park, I’ve taken part in both wildlife and plant surveys as well as habitat improvement. I’ve also been given the chance to learn traditional skills, such as hedge-laying and scything. I now look

Dani (middle) on a Bumblebee Survey in the Park (Jess Wharf) 

Dani (middle) on a Bumblebee Survey in the Park

(Jess Wharf) 

forward to going to the park and feel that it will become a fantastic learning resource and a place that the residents of Kilmarnock will be proud of. I’ve enjoyed working with like-minded people, and feel that in the management and staff, the park is in good hands. Whatever work I’m involved in gives me another reason to visit the park in the future to see the results of what has been done.      


Dani: Survey Volunteer

I started volunteering at Dean Castle Country Park to gain more competitive experience to look for a conservation job. Initially I conducted surveys with a group of other volunteers which increased my knowledge about many taxa I wasn’t familiar with, such as raptors, moths, butterflies, and bumblebees. Although I started survey volunteering, I got involved in other tasks like building an owl box, planting a willow maze and hedge-laying. The volunteers are led by two dedicated members of the staff who are always available to answer volunteers’ questions to better understand how to manage a country park for the sake of its wildlife and visitors. There is at least one volunteering day a week but you can also do some surveys on your own, as I am currently doing for raptors and butterflies. In this way, I always manage to volunteer a few days every month while doing a full-time job. Alongside learning so much about wildlife, I have also met many people with my same passion for nature which have made my volunteering experience even more enjoyable.


Stuart: Rural Skills Volunteer Trainee

Stuart (middle) learning to lay hedges (Jess Wharf)

Stuart (middle) learning to lay hedges (Jess Wharf)

My first experience of volunteering at Dean Castle came last autumn when I came along for a volunteering event at the park. It was great fun working with the other volunteers and getting stuck in getting our hands dirty – in fact, I remember being disappointed that I had to leave early for work! Although I’ve always enjoyed the beauty of the outdoors I confess that I didn’t actually know too much about it and I wanted to change that! I thought volunteering at the park would be a fun way to learn more about nature. Since then I’ve been volunteering regularly and have had chances to gain skills and knowledge in all sorts of areas. One day you could be learning the lost art of hedge laying, the next you could be surveying the plant life in a sunny meadow, or be out on a rainy night hunting for newts in the ponds. No matter what’s to be done around the park it is always a relaxed and fun day and the feeling that you’re doing something positive for the inhabitants (human and non-human!) of your local area only adds to that. I’ve actually enjoyed my experiences so much that I’m now actively pursuing a career in the countryside sector and start studying at college this September! But even if you’re not looking for a career change, I’ve found conservation volunteering to be a fantastic experience. It keeps you active, gives you opportunities to learn new skills and meet new people, and is really just very relaxing and good fun – I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to try it.


From a low base of practically zero, we’ve built our annual volunteer visits to over 600 since the start of the HLF programme. It’s given the park a resource of committed and passionate people keen to champion the park’s wildlife and get stuck in doing practical things to help this cause. Looking at the volunteers who have contributed their stories to this article, they have one thing in common; they started volunteering in one volunteer role and became drawn into all sorts of different aspects of the park. This feels like the key to success in conservation volunteering both for volunteer managers and for volunteers: offering or seeking the chance to grow outside of an initial role and expanding skills and interests to keep them coming back. For volunteers, this is the path to the broad skill-base that this sector demands and for those of us lucky enough to be already working in the sector, we get to spend our time with dedicated and enthusiastic people ready to help whatever the task in hand.


Join our volunteer team at Dean Castle Country Park or just have a go on one of our conservation volunteering holidays: email Jess at jessica.wharf@east-ayrshire.gov.uk


South West: 

Volunteer working holidays available on the island of Lundy, Bristol Channel, undertaking a variety of conservation activities. The work undertaken is a mixture of tasks that support the protection of the ecology & natural beauty of Lundy. See www.lundy.org.uk or email workingparty@lundy.org.uk. Places allocated on first come, first served basis.


Help save some of the rarest butterflies & moths in Britain. A range of volunteering opportunities available on Exmoor, Dartmoor & Bodmin Moor; including surveying, practical conservation, & engagement. All welcome, training provided. To find out more please visit www.butterfly-conservation.org/allthemoor or Megan Lowe mlowe@butterfly-conservation.org


Every Thursday  Conservation volunteers at Sharpham Trust

Ashprington, Totnes, Devon, Sharpham Trust              Contact:  01803 731802, volunteer@sharphamtrust.org,

www.sharphamtrust.org                     If you like gratifying, physical work outdoors, you can help us with the conservation of Sharpham’s breath-taking parkland – thought to have been laid out by Capability Brown – which surrounds Sharpham House, a Grade 1-listed Georgian villa. No experience necessary.


Every Tuesday    Get Gardening at Sharpham Trust

Ashprington, Totnes, Devon, Sharpham Trust              Contact:  01803 731802, volunteer@sharphamtrust.org,

www.sharphamtrust.org                     If you’d like to learn more about gardening, tree-care & horticulture, join our team of garden volunteers. Join in all kinds of active, hands-on tasks in our 18th century walled garden, or our sublime formal & woodland gardens. No experience necessary, warm lunch included.


REF        2864-FOCUSR-20/10


BE4        18/10/17


PAY        Travel expenses


DES        At least half a day per week on Wednesdays, Thursdays &/or Fridays.  We are looking for one or more volunteers to support the delivery of My Wild Child wild play sessions for 2-4 year olds & their families. Wild play sessions are delivered in green spaces around Bristol & will include wildlife conservation activities, wild art, mini beast quests, wild songs, stories & more!   BUT   You will be confident, with good communication skills & enjoy working outdoors in variable weather conditions throughout the seasons. Exp working with children or within a community group setting desirable.   ASK   http://c-js.co.uk/2eOoIFb sara.turrill@avonwildlifetrust.org.uk


logo: MagdalenREF        1206-FOCUS-OK3


BE4        N / A


PAY        Accom. incl meals & training


DES        A 132 acre organic educational & therapeutic centre that welcomes c 5,000 visitors of all ages & abilities in a residential & day visit capacity. For the last 25 years we have engaged with & educated visitors using nature & the farming environment as our resource; it is fun, inspirational & innovative. Most of the help required is horticultural. There is also animal care which involves feeding up & putting our lovely poultry to bed! We always have the need for help with conservation & construction such as building wooden bridges. Time: 3 weeks to 2 months. We teach volunteers basic animal care, seasonal horticultural skills & organic vegetable growing. Join different lessons on the farm, such as hands on farming, survival in the wild & river dipping, in order to get an overview of the outdoor education programme.   BUT  Experience not essential as we can teach you.  As we are in a rural setting & not a community you will need to be fairly self-sufficient & being sociable is really important too. Self-motivated, enthusiastic, committed & willing to get involved.   ASK   rebecca@magdalenfarm.org.uk to request a volunteer application pack.


REF        594-FOCUS-OK3


BE4        N/A


PAY        Training


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


REF        593-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        0


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



The Environment Now is an exciting new opportunity from O2’s Think Big that will fund 17-24 year olds with a grant of up to £10,000 to create their unique digital ideas to help the environment. Support provided by The Environment Now team, professional mentor & other sustainability partners whilst on 10 month programme. http://c-js.co.uk/2j8NaSX 


REF        514-FOCUS-OK3


BE4        N / A

LOC        UK

PAY        Accom, travelling expenses & training


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


REF        515-FOCUSR-OK3


BE4        N / A

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

PAY        Full induction & training, travel & subsistence expenses

FOR        RSPB

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


Use quick kits to find out if your local ponds, streams & ditches are good enough for wildlife. Take part to help to find fantastic freshwater free from pollution & contribute to current scientific research. For more information on Clean Water for Wildlife please visit www.freshwaterhabitats.org.uk/projects/clean-water/


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



Conservation Volunteers Australia offers projects starting weekly across Australia, ranging from urban to outback, from desert to coast & everywhere in between! Activities are team based & include tree planting, habitat restoration, wildlife surveys, track building, seed collection etc. Reasonable cost for meals, accommodation & project-related travel applies. bookings@conservationvolunteers.com.au www.conservationvolunteers.com.au


REF        F2865-FOCUS-OK3


BE4        Ongoing

LOC        COSTA RICA       

PAY        Accomm & other benefits


DES        1 month min.  The sanctuary is looking for volunteer help year round with animal care, construction & gardening work. Volunteer activities range from daily leaf collection for howler monkeys to planting saplings.   BUT   Caring, positive attitude & cheery.   ASK   www.volunteerlatinamerica.com/ info@volunteerlatinamerica.com


REF        FHOL-FOCUS-16/2


DATE     Ongoing               




DES        1-3 months.  Take part in daily & weekly biodiversity monitoring tasks, as well as species inventory work. You'll be involved in radio-tracking, camera trapping, bio-acoustics & active searching activities in the understudied south of Paraguay. You'll learn to collect & process data, contributing substantially to what little is known about this extremely biodiverse, but little-understood country.   BUT   Over 18 with a keen interest in nature & conservation, good level of fitness, willingness to work long days in field conditions. Desired: working towards or in possession of a life sciences qualification at any level, Spanish language.   ASK   karina@paralatierra.org & quote "CJS" for further information.


REF        F2866-FOCUS-OK3


BE4        Ongoing


PAY        Accomm / uniform


DES        3 months min.  University students & professionals from around the world have the opportunity to exp the uniqueness of the Galapagos & directly participate in conservation actions, management practices, & sustainable development of the Islands. Numerous positions are available, ranging from teaching English to the rangers of the Galapagos National Park to the nesting monitoring of the Green Tortoise.   BUT   Applicants should be university students or professionals. Previous exp may be required for some positions. All candidates should be able to easily adapt to adverse climatic conditions, be in excellent physical condition, & have intermediate Spanish skills.   ASK   http://www.volunteerlatinamerica.com/ info@volunteerlatinamerica.com


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

BE4        Application closing date IV = Interview date                                     LOC        Location

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

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

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


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

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

This CJS Focus was published on 18/9/17.


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

Next edition will feature Forestry and Arboriculture, published 20/11/17

The next edition featuring Volunteering will be published in February 2018 and will be from teh employers perspective.




New report links volunteering in nature with better mental health - Wildlife Trusts

Today The Wildlife Trusts (2 October) publish a new report which examines the effects of volunteering in nature on people’s mental health. 

The study was carried out by the University of Essex and found:

  • 95% of participants who were identified as having poor levels of mental health at the start, reported an improvement in 6 weeks, which increased further over 12 weeks
  • The mental wellbeing of more than two-thirds (69%) of all participants had improved after just 6 weeks.
  • Improvements were greatest for people new to volunteering with The Wildlife Trusts and those who had poor levels of mental health at the start.
  • Participants also reported significantly enhanced feelings of positivity, increased general health and pro-environmental behaviour, higher levels of physical activity and more contact with greenspace.

 The study The Health and Wellbeing Impacts of Volunteering with The Wildlife Trusts was the third phase of scientific research carried out by the University of Essex on behalf of The Wildlife Trusts.

Dominic Higgins, Nature and Wellbeing Manager at The Wildlife Trusts says: “The results of this structured research project make a powerful case for nature having a larger role in people’s every-day lives. The evidence is loud and clear – volunteering in wild places while being supported by Wildlife Trust staff has a clear impact on people’s health; it makes people feel better, happier and more connected to other people. Participants also reported increases in their sense of connection to nature. The Department of Health should take note – our findings could help reduce the current burden on the National Health Service because they illustrate a new model of caring for people that does not rely solely on medication and traditional services.”

See here for a 4-page summary pdf of all three phases of the University of Essex’s research for The Wildlife Trusts  and here for the The Health and Wellbeing Impacts of Volunteering with The Wildlife Trusts. The appendix on page 31 describes the projects.


Government Announcments, policy, publications and consultations, plus reaction.

Future sea-level rise will increase potential flood risks in Firth of Clyde area - Scottish Natural Heritage

Sea levels will rise by up to 0.47m by 2080, a new report published by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has highlighted.

Sea-level rise will present a challenge in terms of managing potential effects on certain low-lying coastal areas of the Clyde. The report identifies more than 100 developed areas, designated sites, and roads and railways where action should be taken to avoid potential impacts.

And planning is already underway in many areas to identify ways in which the risk can be managed. This includes making use of the natural coastline where possible.  Coastal communities which could be affected are areas within Greenock, Gourock, Campbeltown, Lochgilphead, Dunoon, Faslane, Inverkip, Largs, Stevenson, Irvine, Troon, Prestwick, Ayr, Girvan, Rothesay and Kelburn. Major elements of coastal infrastructure could be at risk in the long term.

These include parts of the Faslane naval base, home to the Trident nuclear weapons system, and pressure on Prestwick International Airport railway station, and potentially, the airport car park.

There are potential impacts at protected areas important for nature including the Inner Clyde Special Protection Area (SPA). Birds use the mudflats and saltmarsh in this area for feeding and nesting and the risk of losing these important habitats is higher because of climate change.

The report also considers opportunities for managed realignment at four sites in the Firth of Clyde. Three of these were considered to have potential for phased realignment: Erskine South, Newshot Island, and Holy Loch.  Managed realignment is a technique in which river, estuary and or coastal water is deliberately allowed to extend beyond current flood defences. This procedure has been followed in Scotland at Nigg in the Cromarty Firth. 


Government pledges £500,000 for new action group to grow future of public parks – Department for Local Communities and Government

New Parks Action Group launched to help England’s public parks and green spaces meet the needs of communities now and in the future.

Parks and Green Spaces Minister Marcus Jones today (19/9) launched a new Parks Action Group to help England’s public parks and green spaces meet the needs of communities now and in the future.

Image: Gov.ukThe new Parks Action Group will include experts from the world of horticulture, leisure, heritage and tourism, and will be tasked with bringing forward proposals to address some of the issues faced by public parks and other green spaces across England. To support them, government is providing £500,000 funding to kick start their work.

Image: Gov.uk

The action group will propose what steps can be taken in line with the government response to the recent House of Common’s Communities and Local Government Select Committee report into the future of parks and green spaces.

Parks and Green Spaces Minister Marcus Jones said: We recognise the value of parks and green spaces to local communities – including reducing loneliness, increasing wellbeing, and revitalising town and city centres. But we need to do more to make sure future generations are continuing to enjoy their benefits. That is why we have announced a new expert-led Parks Action Group to work closely with the sector to find the right solutions.”


Public has little faith in Government to build ‘right homes in right places’ - CPRE

With Government planning to increase housing numbers in expensive areas, a public poll reveals little public faith in either Government or large developers to meet local housing needs.

A YouGov poll commissioned by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) shows that just 5% of people think that the national Government is doing a ‘good’ job of determining local housing needs. Forty-two percent of respondents, by contrast, believe the Government is doing a ‘bad’ job. 

Of the Conservative voters polled amongst the total sample of 4,931 respondents, just 8% believe the Government is doing a good job. Three percent of Labour voters and 2% of Liberal Democrat voters agree. Twenty-two respondents out of nearly 5,000 rate the Government as doing a ‘very good’ job.

The Government’s recent consultation on housing – Planning for the right homes in the right places – sought to provide a new methodology for local authorities to calculate housing need. One clear intention, publicised by ministers, is to require local councils in expensive areas to set higher housing targets in the hope of improving the affordability of housing in the area.

CPRE is concerned that this process will do little to make sure we are building more of the type and tenure of homes local people actually need, while leading to a further and unnecessary loss of countryside. To many, including CPRE, the reliance on large private developers to build affordable homes in particular has perpetuated the housing crisis. Recent CPRE research has illustrated a death of affordable housing in rural areas, with a forecasted shortfall of 33,000 rural affordable homes over the next five years.


UK takes world stage in fight against marine plastic Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Today Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey is at the Our Ocean conference in Malta.

Copyright: Natural EnglandEnvironment Minister Thérèse Coffey has set out how the UK is taking action to tackle marine litter and protect oceans from the effects of climate change at today’s ‘Our Ocean’ conference in Malta.

Coral (image: © Natural England)

Speaking in front of heads of state, ministers and NGOs from around the world, the Environment Minister pledged her support to help small island developing states with marine science, research and conservation projects – alongside setting out how the government is continuing the fight at home against the eight million tonnes of plastic that make their way into oceans each year.

The UK’s ban on microbeads has been lauded as one of the toughest in the world and nine billion fewer plastic bags have been distributed since the government introduced a 5p charge. This week the government also issued a call for evidence on the benefits of reward and return schemes for plastic bottles in a bid to clean up our oceans.

Speaking from Malta, Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: "Around the world our oceans are suffering from the blight of plastic pollution and the impacts of climate change. The UK continues to be a global leader in protecting oceans and marine life – our 5p plastic bag charge has taken nine billion bags out of circulation, our microbeads ban is one of the toughest in the world, and we are now exploring what more we can do to reduce the impact of plastic bottles. But there is always more we can do – which is why I am meeting with my counterparts in Malta today to pledge my continued support for marine conservation and discuss how we can work together to protect our precious oceans and marine life for future generations."

The Our Ocean Conference, held in Malta from 5-6 October, brings together heads of state, governments, industry and NGOs to discuss marine conservation and agree actions to protect seas and oceans around the world.


Consultations and inquiries

Campaign for National Parks raises significant concerns about proposals for the Welsh National Parks - Campaign for National Parks

Campaign for National Parks has responded to Welsh Government proposals which could have significant implications for National Parks.

In a response to the Welsh Government’s proposals on sustainable management of natural resources, Campaign for National Parks has raised worrying issues for the future of Wales’ three National Parks. The response recognises that National Parks have a key role to play in the sustainable management of natural resources, but argues that their existing protections must be maintained and strengthened if they are to do this effectively.

Key points in our response include:

  • A call for the Sandford Principle to be maintained. This principle ensures that priority is given to the conservation of National Parks where there are irreconcilable conflicts between the purposes.
  • That there is insufficient evidence to justify amending the purposes of designated landscapes.
  • That there is much that could be achieved by building on existing structures and mechanisms such as National Park Management Plans.
  • A recommendation that there should be a stronger requirement on all relevant organisations to contribute to National Park purposes when undertaking activities which affect these areas.

Read the full response from CNP here (PDF)


Views sought on reward and return schemes for drinks containers - defra

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has launched a call for evidence on how the littering of plastic, metal and glass drinks containers could be reduced

The government today (2/10)  invited views on how reward and return schemes for drinks containers could work in England by issuing a call for evidence.

More than eight million tonnes of plastic are discarded into the world’s oceans each year, putting marine wildlife under serious threat.  Up to 80% of this is estimated to have been originally lost or discarded on land before washing out to sea, and plastic bottles are a particular concern - with figures showing just 57% of those sold in the UK in 2016 collected for recycling.  This compares to a record 90% of deposit-marked cans and bottles that were returned to dedicated recycling facilities in Denmark, and a return rate of almost 80% of beverage containers in South Australia, both of which have a form of deposit return scheme.

To improve these numbers and increase recycling, Environment Secretary Michael Gove has asked organisations and individuals to share their views with the government on the advantages and disadvantages of different types of reward and return schemes for plastic, metal and glass drinks containers that could help reduce the number of bottles entering our waterways.

The call for evidence opens today for four weeks and ministers have asked the Voluntary and Economic Incentives Working Group, set up as part of the Litter Strategy, to accelerate its work and report back early in the New Year.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: "We must protect our oceans and marine life from plastic waste if we are to be the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we found it. That means tackling the rise in plastic bottles entering our waters by making it simpler and easier to recycle and dispose of them appropriately.

Today we are launching a call for evidence to help us understand how reward and return schemes for plastic bottles and other drinks containers could work in England." 

Take part in the consultation:  Call for evidence on voluntary and economic incentives to reduce littering of drinks containers and promote recycling

Consultation closes 30 October 2017


Disposable Packaging: Coffee Cups and Plastic Bottles inquiry launched - Environmental Audit Committee, UK Parliament

The Environmental Audit Committee is relaunching its predecessor’s inquiry into Disposable Coffee Cups and Plastic Bottles. The previous Committee’s inquiry received over 100 submissions of evidence. The General Election was called before the Committee could complete its inquiry.

Coffee Cups : The UK throws away approximately 2.5 billion coffee cups every year, of which less than 1 in 400 are recycled. To make coffee cups waterproof the card is fused with polyethylene, a material that cannot be separated out again in standard UK recycling mills. This coating makes both composting and recycling of paper cups uncommon and there are only two sites in the UK that have the capacity to separate the plastic film from the paper, allowing recovery and recycling into new paper products.

Plastic Bottles: Only 57% of all plastic bottles are recycled. The Scottish government has already commissioned a detailed study into a deposit return scheme (DRS) and on the 5th September the First Minister confirmed that Scotland would be introducing a deposit return scheme for drinks containers. The design for Scotland’s new system has yet to be finalised.

The new Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has said a DRS would be a “great idea”, but said that it is important to make sure it would work properly before guaranteeing its implementation.

Other countries such as Germany, Norway and Sweden already have Deposit Return Schemes in place. The German deposit scheme cost around three times as much per container as household-based collection systems and Germany recycled over 90% of its PET bottles in 2015.

Submissions should be made by 5 pm on Friday, 29 September. Late submissions will be accepted, but may be too late to influence oral evidence hearings.

Click through to find out how to submit your evidence.


New consultations invite you to get involved in shaping 21st century Scottish environment regulations - Scottish Environment Protection Agency 

Everyone with an interest in Scotland’s environment, health & wellbeing, and economy is being encouraged to take part in important consultations that will shape the future of environmental regulation.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Scottish Government have published consultation documents for the next stages of the journey to an integrated authorisation framework - designed to bring real benefits to the environment, communities, businesses, and SEPA itself.

SEPA is currently consulting on three key areas:

  • A ‘Public Participation Statement’ - how SEPA will involve you in its decisions on environmental authorisations.
  • Guidance on who can hold an authorisation - ensuring only legitimate individuals and businesses that take their environmental responsibilities seriously are given an authorisation in the first place.
  • An Authorisation Guide setting out how the integrated authorisation framework will apply to the management of radioactive substances.

Everyone is encouraged to make their views known, whether you respond to all questions or only the areas you are most interested in.

The consultation is in two parts:

The integrated authorisation framework will bring together environmental authorisations relating to water, waste, radioactive substances and pollution prevention and control. The regulations will standardise, simplify and streamline the process for complying with environmental legislation in Scotland, providing clarity for businesses about the authorisations they need and what is required of them to comply - and a better understanding for communities about how we will regulate the sites they live beside. 


Land and Countryside Management

Unsustainable land use threatens European landscapes - European Environment Agency

Accelerating rates of construction, changing demographics, technological changes, and climate change are some of the key drivers influencing the use of Europe’s vast landscapes. A European Environment Agency report published today says that the continent’s land use increasingly sees striking changes and conflicts over land demand which will require reconciling place-based management and macro policies to foster responsible land use.

The EEA report 'Landscapes in transition: an account of 25 years of land cover change in Europe,' takes a closer look at the emerging trends over the last two and a half decades in land use and their environmental impacts. The dominant trend is the continued and accelerating shift from rural to urban use, influenced mostly by economic activities and urban lifestyle demands — such as high mobility and consumption patterns.

The increased covering up of fertile land with buildings, transport infrastructure and industry offers economic benefits but also highlights the need to maintain Europe's natural and landscape resources. Pro-active and integrated policies on land planning, agriculture, recreation, tourism, transport, energy and other sectors can limit the negative effects of land take. In cities, smart and sustainable solutions for urban development — such as recycling old industrial lands into new uses and creating more green spaces — will be needed, the report says.

The report also highlights that good land management can lead to a wide diversity of land use between rural and urban settings. It can also protect fertile lands for food and biomass production by ensuring effective means to promote soil functions, such as carbon storage and prevent soil erosion. As such, managing the land resource well is essential for a wider societal transition to sustainability, the report argues.

People's surrounding physical landscapes can be useful for monitoring changes in society and the environment. However, there are still significant gaps in the knowledge and policy responses to manage land in Europe in an environmentally and societally sound way. One key element to fill these gaps is Copernicus, the European satellite system for monitoring the Earth, which will increase the precision and relevance of land-monitoring data.

Download The EEA report Landscapes in transition: an account of 25 years of land cover change in Europe


Once-abundant ash tree and antelope species face extinction – IUCN Red List

North America’s most widespread and valuable ash tree species are on the brink of extinction due to an invasive beetle decimating their populations, while the loss of wilderness areas and poaching are contributing to the declining numbers of five African antelope species, according to the latest update of The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™.

White Ash (Fraxinus americana) (image: The Morton Arboretum via IUCN)White Ash (Fraxinus americana) (image: The Morton Arboretum via IUCN)

Today’s (14/9)  IUCN Red List update also reveals a dramatic decline of grasshoppers and millipedes endemic to Madagascar, and the extinction of the Christmas Island Pipistrelle bat.  The IUCN Red List now includes 87,967 species of which 25,062 are threatened with extinction.

“Our activities as humans are pushing species to the brink so fast that it’s impossible for conservationists to assess the declines in real time,” says Inger Andersen IUCN Director General. “Even those species that we thought were abundant and safe – such as antelopes in Africa or ash trees in the U.S. – now face an imminent threat of extinction. And while conservation action does work, conserving the forests, savannas and other biomes that we depend on for our survival and development is simply not a high-enough funding priority. Our planet needs urgent, global action, guided by the Red List data, to ensure species’ survival and our own sustainable future.”

“The real challenge that the Red List poses to the conservation community is to make sure that these alerts result in action to address the pressures on the increasing number of species under threat of extinction,” says Matthew Hatchwell, Director of Conservation, at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). “We can’t stop at just cataloguing their decline.”

Download summary statistics here  

Response: Plant species going into the red on the IUCN Red List - Botanic Gardens Conservation International 

In the IUCN Red List update more plants than ever are listed as threatened with extinction. Some of North America’s ash species that are on the brink of extinction due to an invasive beetle decimating their populations and all the European Sorbus species are now assessed.

The IUCN Red List now includes 23,074 plant species of which 12,102 (52%) are threatened with extinction. “This latest release of the IUCN Red List highlights the fact that it is not only rare species but even some of the most common species around us are at risk of going extinct. In addition to looking after these threatened species in the wild, it is essential that we ensure these species as well as their genetic diversity are backed up in ex situ collections, such as botanic gardens, arboreta and seed banks for the future” says Malin Rivers, Red List Manager at Botanic Gardens Conservation International.  

North America’s ash trees on the brink. Five once-widespread North American ash tree species are newly assessed as Critically Endangered and a sixth species assessed as Endangered

European rowans and whitebeams fully assessed. All European rowans and whitebeams (Sorbus) species are now also included on the IUCN Red List. In total 190 species of Sorbus are found in Europe, with 181 (95%) of species being endemic and not found outside the boundaries of Europe. Out of the 190 species, 143 (75%) are listed as threatened with extinction.


Estates and farms ask for the public’s help in tackling flytipping - Scottish Land and Estates

Farms and rural estates are giving their backing to a new campaign aimed at tackling flytipping and littering in rural Scotland.

Flytipping posterCare for the Countryside, an initiative launched by Scottish Land & Estates, is focusing on the scourge of rubbish dumping, a problem which is estimated to cost more than £50million per annum.

The organisation, which represents land-based businesses across Scotland, launched Care for the Countryside in response to persistent difficulties that have been identified by those who live and work in rural areas. Other topics for the public awareness campaign include responsible dog ownership – including action around livestock worrying - and responsible mountain-biking, looking at the problem of unauthorised trail building on rural land.

Care for the Countryside’s work around flytipping is designed to ask for the public’s help in reporting incidents of rubbish dumping whilst also understanding the huge cost implications for rural businesses who fall victim to flytipping on their land.

Flytipping has been an increasing problem for farms and estates across Scotland, especially for those located in urban fringe locations. The majority of flytipping incidents in Scotland occur on private land, with landowners left to bear the responsibility and cost of the clean-up operation which can often extend to thousands of pounds and in the process, create financial problems for businesses already operating on tight budgets.


Birthday celebrations to go off with a bang as Lackford Lakes land appeal hits £100k – Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s campaign to raise £200,000 towards the purchase of new land at Lackford Lakes nature reserve has hit the half-way point, just two weeks after launching.

Lackford Lake (image: Mark Gosbee)The acquisition, in what is the 30th anniversary of the reserve’s foundation, will allow the Trust to safeguard a place where rare species such as stone curlew have been breeding.

Lackford Lake (image: Mark Gosbee)

The wetland edge of the new land alongside the River Lark also provides important habitat for nightingales. 

Will Cranstoun, West Suffolk Sites Manager for Suffolk Wildlife Trust, said the Trust had been overwhelmed by the level of support for the vision to make Lackford Lakes bigger and better for wildlife and people.

“Since Lackford Lakes was founded 30 years ago it has become a real wildlife haven, offering a myriad of habitats for different species and renowned nationally for its kingfishers, dragonflies and winter wildfowl. But also it has become a place where people can really get a close-up experience of nature.

“This appeal shows how people have taken Lackford to heart and how strongly they feel about protecting the open Breckland landscapes of Suffolk.”

Julian Roughton, chief executive of Suffolk Wildlife Trust said he wanted to thank everyone who had donated to the appeal so far. “This really is an opportunity to ensure that a unique part of Suffolk’s natural heritage is protected for future generations to enjoy. The fact that so many people have supported and shared the Trust’s vision for a bigger, wilder Lackford Lakes is truly inspiring.”

The 77 acre parcel, which neighbours Lackford village, adjoins similar fields that the Trust purchased in 2005. Linking them together will create a significantly bigger area for specialist Breckland species, such as unusual solitary bee and wasps, ground beetle and stone curlew, to flourish.


Aberdeen bypass to provide safe wildlife travel – Transport Scotland

Special wildlife bridges, the first of their kind on a Scottish trunk road, are being constructed by Aberdeen Roads Limited on the Aberdeen Image: Transport ScotlandWestern Peripheral Route/Balmedie-Tipperty (AWPR/B-T) project to ensure animals can safely access areas on either side of the road once it opens to traffic. 

Image: Transport Scotland

Two dedicated wildlife bridges are being constructed over the new road at Kingcausie and Kirkhill, where there are large surrounding areas of woodland habitat. Mammal-proof fencing will guide animals towards the bridges providing them with safe crossing points which will join up habitats and connect colonies. Small trees and shrubs will also be planted on and around the bridges to provide cover for wildlife.

The decking areas of these two bridges will be covered with topsoil in varying depths, with planting to replicate the natural habitats of deer, badgers and red squirrels and encourage wildlife to use the routes.


New peatland restoration toolkit launched – Moorland Association

A new toolkit has been launched to enhance land managers’ understanding of the current condition of blanket bog and allow them to implement peatland restoration methods to make improvements.

There is currently more carbon stored in the UK’s peatland than in the combined forests of Britain and France, representing 42% of the UK’s soil carbon stock, so it is vitally important to keep the UK’s peatlands healthy.

The guidance, which was launched at this year’s BogFest 2017 in Edale, has been collaboratively produced by representatives of the Uplands Management Group in response to a request from DEFRA’s Uplands Stakeholder Forum for best practice guidance.

It is imperative to assess the current condition of blanket bog and this new toolkit categorises it into six different states, ranging from bare peat bog which will entail complete revegetation, to blanket bog where regular monitoring is required to ensure a favourable state is maintained.


Gwent Wildlife Trust M4 campaign - Gwent Wildlife Trust

Gwent Wildlife Trust (GWT) is battling to save Wales’ own equivalent of the Amazon rainforest - the Gwent Levels.

On September 26-27, GWT gave our final evidence to the Public Inquiry into a new M4 motorway across a large area of precious wetlands. It is the UK’s most damaging road building scheme currently under consideration.

Water vole on Gwent Levels (image: © Neil Aldridge via Wildlife Trusts)Water vole on Gwent Levels (image: © Neil Aldridge via Wildlife Trusts)

GWT has been trying to halt plans to put a new six-lane motorway - a proposed bypass around Newport - over 15 miles of the Gwent Levels.

Chief Executive of Gwent Wildlife Trust, Ian Rappel said: “In ecological terms the Gwent Levels is Wales’ very own version of the Amazon rainforest and should be protected for people and wildlife, now and for future generations.  Welsh Government say that the proposed M4 scheme is ‘sustainable’ but admit that the scheme does not have ‘respect for environmental limits’. However, ‘not respecting environmental limits’ is the very definition of unsustainability. “The motorway would rupture the essential cohesion of the Gwent Levels, acting as an impermeable barrier to all flightless wildlife and a dangerous permeable barrier to flying wildlife such as rare bats and bumblebees. It would snap the protected habitat like a cracker in two, isolating wildlife populations on either side of the divide, devaluing the habitat on both sides of the motorway making both populations smaller and more vulnerable to local extinction.”

You can read some of the evidence and submissions by experts here.

The Inquiry is now expected to run until the end of the year and we eagerly await the Inspector’s recommendation to the Welsh Government Minister Ken Skates, who has the final say on whether or not the M4 project goes ahead. Mr Skates can agree or disagree with the inspector whichever way he recommends, so ultimately the decision will be a political one.


BASC chairman highlights benefits of shooting ahead of start of pheasant season - British Association for Shooting & conservation

 BASC’s chairman Peter Glenser has extolled the virtues of shooting ahead of the start of the pheasant season.

He said: “The game season unites those who have a common love for shooting, the countryside and the traditions that make our sport such a fantastic presence in our lives. The start of the season is such an exciting time. It’s a chance to look forward to fantastic days with fantastic company. Shooting takes us to such special places we would likely not otherwise see and personally, I’m looking forward to introducing others to my sport over the course of the season. Throughout the season we should use every opportunity to highlight sporting shooting’s undeniable benefits to our health, conservation and to rural economies.”

Game shooting provides habitat and conservation management, delivers high-quality landscapes and provides tasty food.

More than 280,000 people work on shoots each year. The effort put into game management and pest control is equivalent to 7,800 full-time jobs and predator control contributes to reversing the declines seen in farmland birds.

A BASC infographic highlighting the benefits of game shooting can be found here. (PDF)


Work begins on multimillion pound Green Infrastructure projects - Scottish Natural Heritage

Close to £20 million will be spent transforming urban green spaces, says Scottish Natural Heritage

Work has begun on one of seven major urban greenspace projects that have been awarded Green Infrastructure Funds (GIF) by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). SNH is delivering this funding on behalf of Scottish Government, using money from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The Aberdeen City Council project is in one of Scotland’s most disadvantaged urban areas and, along with six other proposals, will benefit from a total investment of just under £20 million, including £5.8 million of ERDF awarded through the GIF.

The GIF aims to enhance the lives of those living in urban areas by improving the quality, accessibility and quantity of green infrastructure in major towns and cities, especially in areas with a deficit of greenspace for community use. As well as the development of derelict sites into natural spaces, the project will improve entrance points, paths, viewpoints and signage to enhance community access.

Mike Cantlay, Chair of Scottish Natural Heritage, said: “The impact of a robust green infrastructure on a community can be revolutionary, from improving physical and mental health, attracting business to an area, to reducing flood risk and improving biodiversity. The Green Infrastructure Fund provides a unique opportunity to create better places for people and wildlife on an unprecedented scale across urban Scotland. It is inspiring to see work begin on these exciting projects today in areas where this type of transformation is most needed.”

Click through for more on some of the projects receiving funding. 


Ghost hunters leave Woodland Trust in bad spirits - Woodland Trust

Ghost hunters and vandals at a Kent wood have forced the Woodland Trust to stump up nearly £50,000 in security and clean-up costs.

Dering Wood litter (Photo: WTML/ Clive Steward)Over the last three years, the conservation charity has spent just under £41,000 employing a security firm at Dering Wood in Pluckley, near Ashford, which has a reputation as one of Britain’s most haunted hotspots due to screams heard in the night.  Between 2012 and 2016 the Trust has also spent £6,070 on regular litter picks, clearing away rubbish and cleaning or replacing vandalised signs. 

Dering Wood litter (Photo: WTML/ Clive Steward)

Site manager Clive Steward said: “Dering has always attracted ghost hunters due to the noises that come out of the woods but the screams they hear are nothing more than amorous foxes. The damage being caused by these overnight visits is unsustainable. We have to employ security guards to evict people from the wood after dark and then we have to break up camps and deal with the damage caused by fires or vandalism. We want people to enjoy the woods, but to consider other users and treat the site with the care it deserves.”

Dering Wood is an ancient, semi-natural woodland. It harbours an amazing array of plants as well as wonderful wildlife, such as nightingales, dormice and many species of butterfly – but no ghosts.


National Parks news   

National Parks for National Health - National Parks England

England’s National Parks are vital resources that will sit at the centre of plans to improve physical and mental wellbeing thanks to a new partnership between Public Health England and the nation’s ten National Parks. Free to access and open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, these inspiring protected landscapes are key to improving people’s physical and mental wellbeing.

The partnership – in the form of a Joint Accord – follows recent research showing that six million people in the country are not even managing to take a ten-minute brisk walk once a month. It will build on work already being carried out to encourage more people to experience the many health benefits of getting out and active in National Parks. The Joint Accord was launched by Steve Brine MP, Minister for Public Health in the South Downs National Park on Friday 8 September.

Public Health Minister Steve Brine said: “Physical activity helps to prevent and manage over 20 chronic conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, mental health problems and musculoskeletal conditions. So I am delighted to help launch this Accord, and I cannot think of a better place to get active than in our National Parks.”

National Parks Minister Lord Gardiner said: “England’s National Parks are not only some of our most stunning landscapes – they connect people across the country with nature and have a crucial role in improving our physical health and mental wellbeing. This accord is a great step forward and shows how we can harness our natural environment to keep our communities well and healthy.”

Download the National Parks England and Public Health England Joint Accord 


Water, river & flooding

Natural water management scheme could be important new source of profit for upland farms post-Brexit, and protect vulnerable communities from flooding - Green Alliance

England’s struggling upland livestock farmers could earn over £15,000 profit a year by entering into private water management contracts with businesses and organisations in areas susceptible to flooding, according to new analysis by Green Alliance and National Trust. 
Upland farmers are losing £10,800 a year, on average, and it is feared that many will go out of business when Common Agricultural Policy subsidies end in 2022. But a new report shows that a new private market in water management services could be a source of profit for upland farmers, ensuring they can continue as the stewards of some of the UK’s most treasured and inspiring landscapes. The market would be based on a new model called a Natural Infrastructure Scheme, first proposed by Green Alliance and the National Trust in 2016, centred on the provision of ecosystem services such as natural flood management. 
Drawing on the latest data and modelling, the analysis uses a hypothetical scheme in north west England to demonstrate how it could work and who would benefit. This area is home to nearly 1,800 upland livestock farms.  The new report urges the government to help this new market to take off, including encouraging alternative approaches to flood risk planning and procurement and setting a framework and targets in the forthcoming 25 year plan for the environment to stimulate the market.
There is also a key role for post-Brexit agricultural policy, in nurturing new market-based mechanisms to support sustainable farming and land management. In 2017-18 the National Trust and Green Alliance will be working with leading land managers and water companies to test the NIS concept in a real setting.


Flood risk reduced and wildlife brimming over on the Ribble - Natural England

Combining 2 nature reserves at Hesketh in Lancashire marks great step forward for conservation and flood resilience.

Redshank (image: © Nick Goodrum Flickr)A new scheme that will improve flood protection, boost wildlife habitats and create 160 hectares of new saltmarsh, was opened today (Thursday 21st September).

Redshank (image: © Nick Goodrum Flickr)

The new reserve not only creates new saltmarsh habitat but strengthens sea defences. The £6 million scheme at Hesketh, in Lancashire, is a partnership project between the RSPB, Natural England and the Environment Agency.

The RSPB’s Hesketh Out Marsh Reserve and Natural England’s Ribble Estuary National Nature Reserve (NNR) are a real world demonstration of the newly-launched joint strategy for NNRs. The Environment Agency has breached the banks at Hesketh Out Marsh East. This important work has been made possible by:

  • almost £2 million funding from Landfill Communities Fund monies from FCC Environment through WREN
  • £3.7 million government funding to reduce flood risk

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: "Hesketh is an inspiring project, creating fantastic new habitats for wildlife and providing increased flood protection for hundreds of people living around the Ribble Estuary. This £6 million scheme shows how embracing new ideas and working with partners can create tremendous benefits for the environment." 

Natural England’s Chairman, Andrew Sells, said: "England’s National Nature Reserves are the most special places for nature, which also help improve the wellbeing of people making more than 17 million visits every year. Uniting these two reserves on the Ribble will create wonderful new habitat, reduce the risk of flooding and enhance the area’s appeal to wildlife."


New report reviews role of trees in flood alleviation - Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Further calls for the inclusion of natural solutions in flood alleviation schemes were made following the severe floods in Cumbria, December 2015. Acknowledging ongoing debates around the evidence for tree cover as an effective flood mitigation measure, the UK’s Centre for Ecology & Hydrology today have published results of a systematic review of the current evidence in order to inform policy and planning decisions, and to identify knowledge gaps and areas for priority research.

The review, conducted in collaboration with Forest Research, the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), National Trust, Woodland Trust, WWF-UK, Environment Agency, Coed Cymru and Lancaster University Environment Centre, looked specifically at the influence of trees in a catchment on flood peak (the maximum river discharge recorded during a flood event). Based on the 71 studies examined by the authors, there is broad support for the conclusion that increased tree cover in catchments results in decreasing flood peaks, while decreased tree cover results in increasing flood peaks.

Considering just observational studies (approximately half of the total number of studies), the authors note that the difference between the numbers of studies reporting an influence and those reporting no influence of trees on flood peak becomes less clear. Analysis of the small number of observational studies that differentiate on the basis of flood magnitude suggests that whilst there is strong evidence of an influence during small floods, the majority of observational studies relating to large floods report that trees have no observable influence on flood peak.

The authors call for an examination of the role of key factors including those associated with characteristics of the forest, catchment and climate, which might explain the more mixed results from observational studies. There is also a need for more empirical data and improved measurement of high flows, to better quantify the effects of woodland creation and evaluate flood risk model outputs.

Lead author, Charlie Stratford, cautions against “the expectation that tree planting is the panacea to all flooding and recommends further research to better understand optimal deployment of natural solutions, their likely downstream impacts on flows, and the role they play in an integrated approach to flood risk management.”

Download the ‘Do trees in UK-relevant river catchments influence fluvial flood peaks?’ report


Awards and Competitions

Shortlist for 2017 Park Protector Award revealed - Campaign for Parks

Campaign for National Parks’ Park Protector Award has shortlisted five projects for their outstanding contribution to the UK’s National Parks. 

National Parks are home to some of our most important wildlife and sites of cultural heritage, we believe this makes them worth protecting. The annual Park Protector Award aims to celebrate those projects making a big difference in England and Wales’ National Parks. 

This year we received lots of high quality nominations but the judges have decided five stand above the others for the big impact they are having and the innovative approaches they are taking.  We are pleased to reveal the five as the following:

  • River Barle Signal Crayfish Project - Exmoor
  • Fell Care Days - Lake District
  • Explorers Club - North York Moors
  • Community Science - Peak District
  • Pembrokeshire Marine Code - Pembrokeshire Coast

Click through for more about the nominees 


Keep Britain Tidy Network awards invites applications from parks - Green Flag Awards 

The prestigious Keep Britain Tidy Network Awards are back. With a glittering ceremony at their annual conference, in Brighton next February, the Network are now accepting applications for ten award categories.

Three new awards celebrate the charity's wider campaigns, and are especially relevant to the parks sector. These awards are open from nominations from any English local authorities - celebrating the community groups, individuals, teams or partnerships going the extra mile in support of our campaigns and their green spaces. 
As so many Green Flag Award parks supported these campaigns and have their own armies of #LitterHeroes, the Network would love to receive applications from park managers for these new awards.

  • Great British Spring Clean award
  • Litter hero award
  • Love Parks award

Seven awards are exclusively open to Network members - with many Local Authorities already a part of the Network, you may be eligible to enter these awards too. They celebrate the teamwork, achievements and improvements happening on the ground everyday.

Further information about the awards, and how to apply can be found here


Awards: Search to find the UK's Best Park, as voted by YOU! 2017 launched – Fields in Trust

Do you think that your local park, playground or playing field is the best in the country? Here's your chance to prove it. National charity Fields in Trust have launched this year's campaign to find the UK's Best Park, as voted by YOU! This unique award is open to all public green spaces across the UK through a simple online nomination. It might be that your local park is great for a Sunday afternoon stroll, your neighbourhood playground is a hive of activity for children, or a nature reserve provides a stress-free space to relax. This is your chance to help your favourite space gain the recognition it deserves.

In advance of hosting the Awards Ceremony, sports presenter and journalist Jacqui Oatley launched the campaign saying: "I am delighted to be hosting this year's Fields in Trust Awards and can't wait to hear stories of the fantastic work being done on green spaces across the UK."

Nominations for the UK's Best Park open as new research from Fields in Trust is published which demonstrates a direct and statistically significant link between publicly accessible parks and green spaces and health and wellbeing. Based on new analysis of existing data from Defra and Natural England and a new primary data (sample size 4,033) Fields in Trust have established, for the first time at the national level, a link between an individual's use of parks and greenspaces and an improvement in health and wellbeing (covering General Health and the four ONS wellbeing questions - life satisfaction, sense of worth, happiness and anxiety).

UK's Best Park is a unique award open to all local green spaces across the UK. A simple online nomination form allows anyone to suggest their favourite local green space. This will be followed by a public vote with the winner announced at the Fields in Trust Awards ceremony on Wednesday 29th November.


Arboriculture, trees and woodland

Appeal to save ice age heritage of Scotland’s national tree - Trees for Life

Trees for Life has launched an initiative to save ancient Scots pines across the Highlands of Scotland from becoming the last generation in a lineage of trees dating back to the last ice age.

Image: Gleann na Ciche & Loch Affric © Alan Watson Featherstone; Trees for LifeThrough its Caledonian Pinewood Recovery Project, the conservation charity wants to help restore 50 areas of remnant and neglected pinewoods – mainly made up of lone, ancient ‘Granny’ pines which are over 200 years old but dying as they stand, with no young trees to succeed them.

Image: Gleann na Ciche & Loch Affric © Alan Watson Featherstone; Trees for Life

The fragments – scattered over a large area – face growing threats from overgrazing by deer, tree diseases and climate change, and are at risk of disappearing forever over the next few years. If they are allowed to die, the extraordinary wildlife dependent on them – such as crossbills and capercaillie – will be lost too.

Thanks to support from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Trees for Life has already raised £150,000 for the ambitious project. It now needs to raise at least £20,000 from the public to be able to start the work.

“The Scots pine is Scotland’s national tree and symbolizes the Caledonian Forest – but the last fragments of these ancient pinewoods are dying. Without action, the chance to bring back the wild forest could slip away forever, with only the skeletons of these special trees revealing where a rich woodland once grew,” said Steve Micklewright, Trees for Life’s Chief Executive.


Major drive to beat the pine weevil - Natural Resources Wales

Natural Resources Wales has embarked on the largest programme in the UK to tackle a pest that lives on conifer trees in an environmentally friendly way.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) will spray microscopic worms known as Nematodes into and around conifer tree stumps to combat the pine weevil.

The work starts in the Tywi Forest, near Llandovery in Powys before moving northwards to the Hafren Forest, and finishing in Clocaenog Forest in Denbighshire.  The total area covered will be nearly 500 acres – an area the size of 276 football pitches.  The programme is due to be completed next week.

Neil Muir, Forest Manager for NRW said: “Pine weevils can have a devastating impact on young trees. We are trying to move increasingly towards using this biological control method to combat them and create more resilient forests. The nematodes eat the weevil grubs tackling the problem at source. Reducing the overall population of weevils in the forest block which will reduce the damage to young trees and create a more resilient forest. We will monitor the work closely to see if the method can be applied even wider in future, cutting down further on the use of chemicals.”


Plant! reaches 300,000 tree milestone – Natural Resources Wales

A tree planting initiative dreamed up by a Cardiff schoolgirl nine years ago has led to the creation of 15 new woodlands in Wales with the planting for the 300, 000th tree.

(image: Natural Resources Wales / Plant!)In 2008 the Welsh Government made a pledge to plant a native Welsh broadleaf tree for every child born or adopted in Wales. The scheme is called Plant! – the Welsh word for children. 

(image: Natural Resources Wales / Plant!)

Every month, Natural Resources, who run the programme on behalf of Welsh Government Wales and the Woodland Trust, receives the numbers of babies born and adopted in Wales, and arranges for a mixture of native broadleaf trees to be planted, including oak, ash, birch, cherry, rowan and willow.  Every baby is given the location of the woodland which contains their tree.

They also receive a certificate soon after their birth or adoption, stating that a tree has been planted for them.  Kate Thomson, Plant! Co-ordinator for Natural Resources Wales said:  “Trees are an important part of our environment. They soak up floodwater, absorb carbon and other pollutants, provide a home for wildlife, help us enjoy the outdoors as well as providing a source of sustainable energy and house-building material.  Plant! is helping to create new community woodlands for the children of Wales to visit with their families and watch them grow as they do. We hope it will encourage young people to think about their environment and the role they have in managing it sustainably." 

Rebecca Good, the Woodland Trust’s site manager for Coed y Foel, one of the Plant! sites, says:  “What better way is there to mark that most important of events, the birth or adoption of a child, than to plant a native tree, one that will grow with the child and help to create a beautiful and sustainable environment for the future, enriching everyone’s lives. If you have a child, born or adopted in Wales from 2008 onwards, why not visit their Plant! site and connect them with their legacy?” 

For more information on Plant! please visit the website


Wildlife news 

Overeating animal products is devastating wildlife - WWF

  • Biggest environmental impact of a meat-based diet comes from growing the livestock’s crop-based feed
  • An area 1.5 times the size of the European Union would be saved from agricultural production if the amount of animal products eaten globally was reduced to meet nutritional requirements
  • Intensive animal farming also results in less nutritious food: six intensively reared chickens today have the same amount of omega-3 as found in just one chicken in the 1970s

Diets rich in animal protein are having dire effects on the environment, with the largest impact from producing crops, such as soy, to feed livestock. This puts an enormous strain on natural resources and drives wide scale wildlife loss.

A new WWF report ‘Appetite for Destruction’, launched today at the Extinction and Livestock Conference, highlights the vast amount of land that is needed to grow the crops used for animal feed, including in some of the planet’s most vulnerable areas such as the Amazon, Congo Basin and the Himalayas. Protein-rich soy is now produced in such huge quantities that the average European consumes approximately 61kg each year, largely indirectly through animal products like chicken, pork, salmon, cheese, milk and eggs. In 2010, the British livestock industry needed an area the size of Yorkshire to produce the soy used in feed. If the global demand for animal products grows as expected, it’s estimated that soy production would need to increase by nearly 80% by 2050.

With 23 billion chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks and guinea fowl on the planet – more than three per person - the biggest user of crop-based feed globally is poultry. The second largest feed crop consumer, with 30% of the world’s feed in 2009, is the pig industry. In the UK, pork is the second favourite meat after chicken, with each person eating on average 25kg a year in 2015 – nearly the whole recommended yearly intake for all meats.  Fish is also contributing to environmental issues on land. The global appetite for fish has almost doubled in 50 years, from 9.9kg in the 1960s to 19.7kg in 2013, and is projected to continue to rise. With wild fish stocks already under pressure, an ever-increasing amount of seafood is now farmed.



Badger vaccination scheme relaunched in fight against bovine TB - defra

New measures announced to help tackle bTB in England

A government-backed badger vaccination scheme has been relaunched today (11/9/17) by Farming Minister George Eustice to help stop the spread of bovine TB (bTB) in England.

The relaunched Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme, which was suspended for two years following a global vaccine shortage, opens for expressions of interest today, with projects set to start in spring 2018. Successful applicants will receive a government grant for 50% of their costs from a fund worth £700,000 over four years.

The government also announced a contract has been awarded to deliver a new bTB advisory service which will offer clear, practical advice to help farmers protect their herds from the disease and manage the impacts of a TB breakdown on their farm.

Both measures are key parts of the government’s strategy to eradicate bTB in England, which includes one of the most rigorous cattle surveillance programmes in the world, strong movement controls, promoting good biosecurity, and badger control where the disease is rife.

Farming Minister George Eustice said: Bovine TB not only has a devastating impact on our beef and dairy farms, but causes harm and distress to infected cattle. We have a clear plan to eradicate the disease over the next 20 years and this year we are restarting the government-backed Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme to stop the disease spreading to new areas. Vaccination is just one part of our comprehensive strategy, which also includes tighter cattle controls, improved biosecurity and badger control in areas where bTB is rife to tackle the reservoir of disease in wildlife. While our eventual aim is to eradicate the disease completely, farmers are facing the reality of bTB on their farms every day, which is why we are also launching a new bTB Advisory Service to offer advice to all farmers on limiting on-farm disease risk.


Bovine TB: authorisation for badger control in 2017 - defra correspondence

Licence and authorisation for badger control in Devon, Cornwall, Wiltshire, Somerset, Cheshire, Dorset, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.

Natural England has confirmed that all criteria have been met to allow 11 new badger control licences to be issued to companies. Eight companies met criteria to allow the continuation of their cull in 2017, in the following counties: Devon, Cornwall, Wiltshire, Somerset, Cheshire, Dorset, and Herefordshire Gloucestershire.

Operations in these areas will be carried out under 4-year licences which allow culling to take place every year between 1 June and 31 January (inclusive).

Start dates for culling activity within this period will be decided by the licensed companies.

Natural England has confirmed to licensees the permitted maximum and minimum numbers of badgers that will be subject to control operations.

Defra’s guidance to Natural England, dated July 2017, specifies the criteria Natural England must take account of in developing and issuing licences.

Licences only permit badger control to take place outside of the close seasons:

  • controlled shooting – 1 February to 31 May
  • cage-trapping and shooting – 1 December to 31 May
  • cage-trapping and vaccination – 1 December to 30 April

Click through to see the letters.


More information also published today


Response: Badger culling can’t be justified on any grounds - Wildlife Trusts

Call for cattle vaccine to be top priority to tackle Bovine Tuberculosis, not badger culling

Badger cull hits new areas. (Image © Jon Hawkins - Surrey Hills Photography (via Wildlife Trusts))Badger cull hits new areas. (Image © Jon Hawkins - Surrey Hills Photography (via Wildlife Trusts))

As a fresh wave of badger culling begins over a much wider area than in previous years, The Wildlife Trusts are calling on the Government to stop killing badgers. This will not eradicate Bovine TB in cattle.

Badger culls have been given the go-ahead in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Cheshire and Somerset. Almost 15,000 badgers have been killed since culls began in 2013. The Wildlife Trusts are concerned that this culling is putting local populations of badgers at risk in affected parts of the British countryside. We urge Natural England to publish the information they hold on the impact of the badger cull on the wider environment.

The Wildlife Trusts’ Director Steve Trotter says: “A healthy wildlife rich natural world is valuable in its own right, and badgers are an important part of our countryside and culture. We work closely with many farmers, day in, day out, and we recognise the pain and hardship of those whose cattle herds have been devastated by bovine tuberculosis (bTB), but killing badgers will not solve the problem. Badgers are not the primary cause of the spread of bTB in cattle: the primary route of infection is cattle-to-cattle contact. The Government's badger cull is flying in the face of science. It should be putting more resources into speeding up the development of an effective cattle vaccine, amongst other measures.”

In the absence of cattle vaccination, The Wildlife Trusts believe that vaccination of badgers is a more humane and effective solution to helping stop the spread of bTB than culling. A shortage of BCG vaccine put a temporary halt to badger vaccination in 2016 and Defra did not find alternatives. But this year some Wildlife Trusts sourced vaccine independently - these Wildlife Trusts are now re-commencing badger vaccination. The latest figures† show that on average it costs a Wildlife Trust just £82 to vaccinate an animal, as compared to the cull which cost £6,800 per badger between 2012-2014.
The Government spent almost £450,000 on communications equipment alone to support the culls between 2016-2017. This money could have been invested in cattle vaccine research or used to vaccinate nearly 5,500 badgers.


Mammals other than badgers:

The reds are back! – Forestry Commission Scotland

Recent feeder box monitoring and camera trapping carried out in Countesswells and Foggieton Woods, near Aberdeen, indicates a rosy future for red squirrels.

Image: Forestry Commission ScotlandThe work by Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES) and Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels (SSRS) builds on many years of conservation work and monitoring and indicates that red squirrel numbers in the area are increasing - and that the woods are free from non-native grey squirrels!

Image: Forestry Commission Scotland

Philippa Murphy, Environment Manager for the FES team in the area, said “We put some sticky tape on the feeder boxes to collect hairs and these, once analysed, showed that the number of red squirrels recorded in these woodlands are increasing year on year, suggesting more and more red squirrels are taking advantage of the free treats on offer. But the best news is that we’ve got no trace of grey squirrels, which tend to drive reds away from local habitats. It’s a great pat on the back for all the hard work that has been put into this project by all the SSRS partners. It’s a great reward for us too – it’s like getting a thumbs up from the red squirrels for our sensitive management of the forests around Aberdeen.”

As well as following best practice to manage the woodlands for red squirrels, other measures taken include minimising the amount of large clearfell sites and maximising the tree species favoured by red squirrels.


Squirrel Nutkin thrives again: Conservation project revives squirrel population from 99% grey to 100% red – National Trust

Threatened red squirrel numbers are thriving against the odds on one of Britain’s largest estates after painstaking work by a National Trust ranger.

image: National Trust

image: National Trust

The population of reds at Wallington, Northumberland, almost disappeared entirely in 2011 after grey squirrels moved into the area, bringing with them the deadly squirrel pox virus.

However, the estate is now home to over 170 red squirrels and is one of the most popular places to visit by tourists eager to spot the animal made famous by Beatrix Potter’s Tale of Squirrel Nutkin.

Across Britain, the plight of red squirrels is rife and, with only 15, 000 left in the England, conservation projects are the only way to safeguard their future.

Threatened by disease and a loss of habitat, red squirrel numbers have fallen in the UK from approximately 3.5 million and those that remain are constantly under threat from non-native greys. 23rd September marks the beginning of Red Squirrel Awareness Week, designed to highlight the decline.

The National Trust’s largest agricultural estate was overrun by grey squirrels until a conservation initiative transformed it to contain only reds. Wallington Hall is one of the last remaining strongholds for red squirrels in England.

In Glen Graham, the Trust recruited its first red squirrel ranger to head a new conservation project to revive the native reds. Former neighbourhood investigation officer Glen began monitoring the numbers of both species and co-ordinated grey squirrel control. The work had dramatic effects, the red squirrel population gradually began to resurface, and greys were eventually eradicated entirely.


New report shows worrying increase in dolphin deaths in Cornwall – Cornwall Wildlife Trust

A worrying increase in dolphin deaths has been observed in Cornwall in the last year, highlighted by Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s 2016 Marine Common dolphin stranded on Maenporth beach (Emma Theobold)Strandings Network (MSN) report which has been released today (19/9).

The report, summarising the work of the vital marine conservation project in Cornwall and available to download off the Trust website, has highlighted an astounding 50% increase in cetacean (dolphins, porpoises and whales) deaths in 2016 compared with 2015.

Common dolphin stranded on Maenporth beach (Emma Theobold)

A total of 205 animals stranded in Cornwall in 2016, compared with only 10 in 2015. Amongst the 205 recorded, 113 were short-beaked common dolphins and 61 were harbour porpoises. Of particular stranding interest in 2016 were both a female sperm whale which stranded and was post mortem on Perran Sands, north Cornwall, in July 2016, and a bottlenose dolphin which stranded on the Isles of Scilly and was recorded on the 30th November 2016. A minke whale also stranded further north at Compass Point near Bude on the 13th July 2016.

Abby Crosby, Marine Conservation Officer at Cornwall Wildlife Trust, says “The Trust has been collecting data on marine mammal strandings for over 25 years, so we can clearly identify peak levels of strandings. Seeing this recent increase is extremely worrying and highlights the importance of ensuring this work continues into the future whilst we discover what is happening out at sea.”


Galloway forests home to rare bat roost  - Forestry Commission Scotland

Galloway Forest Park is the home to Scotland’s second confirmed maternity roost for the rare Leisler’s Bat.  Although widely distributed throughout the British Isles, the Leisler’s bat is not common, especially in Scotland, and to find maternity roosts is very rare. The first ever recorded find of a maternity roost was in Culzean Country Park back in 2012 where 40 adult females were found.  Galloway’s roost has at least 27 adult females. The finding of such a maternity roost is a good sign that Galloway’s plantation forests are playing an important part in allowing this rare bat to flourish.

Gareth Ventress, Environment Forester with Forest Enterprise Scotland said: “Since 2010, a group of bat experts and volunteers have been trying to find out more about the rare Leisler’s Bat in Scotland. At first we knew that bat boxes on the National Forest Estate were being used by Lesisler’s bats in the Cree Valley and Glentrool area of Galloway.  Unfortunately there was no evidence of breeding at all. Over the next few years, research continued but it proved difficult to find any signs of breeding. In 2016 we did find a juvenile male Leisler’s in Galloway which confirmed that there must be a roost nearby.  The team decided to come back again this July and were successful in finding lactating Leisler’s bats with the help of sonic lures and specialist bat nets. We radio-tagged three adult female bats and were able to track them to their maternity roosts. We’re really pleased that our forests are providing a safe haven for this wonderful and rare bat.”


Boost for Knapdale beavers – Scottish Wildlife Trust

The Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), the lead partners of the successful Scottish Beaver Trial, have been granted a species licence to reinforce the population of Eurasian beavers in Knapdale Forest, mid-Argyll.

Beaver swimming on Buic © Philip PriceUp to 28 beavers will be released into lochans on land managed by Forest Enterprise Scotland at Knapdale over the next three years. The idea behind the project is to give the small Knapdale beaver population the best possible chance of thriving in the long-term and to increase the genetic diversity of the population.

Beaver swimming on Buic © Philip Price

The beavers will be sourced from a variety of locations. All beavers will be screened to ensure that they are healthy and free from disease before their release into the wild.

The reinforcement will be carried out by Scottish Beavers, a new partnership between the Scottish Wildlife Trust and RZSS created to continue the work of the Scottish Beaver Trial, under licence from Scottish Natural Heritage.

Sarah Robinson, Head of Conservation Programmes and Science for RZSS, said: “We are delighted that Scottish Natural Heritage have granted us a licence to continue the important work that we started with the Scottish Beaver Trial.”


Invertebrates, Fish & Herpetology

Rare butterflies found on Dover nature reserve - Kent Wildlife Trust 

During a recent guided walk around Old Park Hill nature reserve in Dover - one of Kent Wildlife Trust’s newest nature reserves - Adonis blue butterflies were recorded for the first time since it became a reserve in 2012. 

Adonis blue © Kent Wildlife TrustAdonis blue (© Kent Wildlife Trust)

The walk was organised to showcase what the Trust has achieved in restoring this beautiful area of chalk grassland on Dover’s doorstep.

Lizzie Talbot, the Outreach Officer for the Hill at the Heart Project for the reserve, led the walk up the hill from the Monk’s Way entrance, through the southern part of this 40-hectare site.

Amongst several other species of butterflies, four Adonis blues were seen basking on grassland alongside the footpath, providing excellent views for all those present.

These beautiful turquoise blue butterflies, with black and white chequered wing margins, are rare in the UK, confined to unimproved chalk grassland in Southern England. For this reason, they were chosen to represent Kent Wildlife Trust on its logo.

Lizzie said: “The Adonis blue butterfly only lives in grassland containing its caterpillar’s food-plant, the horseshoe vetch, and amazingly, it was while I was explaining this to the group on the guided walk that I spotted the first one perched close by. The reserve is now home to ten Highland cattle - a firm favourite with visitors - which are helping keep the scrub down, allowing the vetch to flourish and thus encouraging the Adonis blues to colonise the area."


Good news for lobsters as England set to ban landings of egg bearing females – Marine Conservation Charity

Following a consultation on the prohibition of landing eggbearing lobsters and crawfish in England, which included a response from MCS, the Government has announced that it will introduce a ban by October 1st this year. 

(image: Paul Naylor / marinephoto.co.uk)The Government said it had considered the  155 responses to the consultation, the majority of which supported the proposal, and had therefore decided to proceed with the introduction of a ban.

(image: Paul Naylor / marinephoto.co.uk)

Protection of egg-bearing females essential for stock recovery.

MCS Head of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Samuel Stone, says it's great news for lobsters: "There's concern over the exploitation rates of these species and this ban will help to reduce overfishing and give the best chance for the lobsters to successfully reproduce and contribute top their populations. We have long urged people not to buy egg-bearing females (also known as berried), so a ban is great news and brings the whole of England into line with best practices already in place in some of the English Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs). 

The ban will apply to any berried lobster or crawfish caught within English waters by British or Scottish fishing boats or landed in England by a British or Scottish fishing boat. Enforcement of the ban will take place either where the lobster is landed or at sea. Inspectors will decide what action is appropriate if berried lobsters or crawfish are found on-board. The ban will also apply to any  lobster or crawfish that can be shown to have been carrying eggs when it was fished and in order to enforce this the Marine Management Organisation and local Inshore Fishery Conservation Authorities will invest in kits that detect whether eggs have been removed after they have been landed.


Salmon in Derbyshire river a first since Industrial Revolution - Environment Agency

Salmon population spreading in Derbyshire due to improved water quality and removal of barriers

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/salmon-in-derbyshire-river-a-first-since-industrial-revolutionSalmon have been discovered on the River Ecclesbourne, a first since Industrial Revolution (image: Environment Agency)

Atlantic salmon have been discovered on the River Ecclesbourne, a tributary of the River Derwent, Derbyshire for the first time since the Industrial Revolution following work carried out by the Environment Agency and its partners.  The discovery comes following the installation of fish passes on the River Derwent by the Environment Agency and Trent Rivers Trust which have helped to improve fish migration and allow the salmon to move upstream through the river.  The installation of fish passes is just one of a programme of actions carried out by the Environment Agency and its partners to remove barriers to migration and help restore salmon stocks throughout England.

Fisheries Specialist at the Environment Agency, Matt Buck, said: "Salmon is an important species and after two decades of work to improve water quality and the habitat for fish in the Trent catchment area, we now have a recovering population of salmon. We are particularly excited to have found juvenile salmon in the Ecclesbourne for the first time in living memory, which indicates the success of salmon in this part of the river."


Partnership Project Releases Britain’s Rarest Lizard Back into the Wild in Surrey – Amphibian & Reptile Conservation

As part of efforts to restore Britain’s biodiversity, the sand lizard conservation partnership led by Marwell Wildlife and Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, has released 80 juvenile sand lizards onto Eelmoor Marsh Site of Special Scientific Interest, near Farnborough.

Credit: Paul N DraneThis is the first stage in a three-year release plan, which will see these rare animals restored to their natural habitat and historic range, as part of the sand lizard reintroduction strategy.  

Credit: Paul N Drane

Working alongside the University of Southampton and the Surrey Amphibian and Reptile Group, the sand lizard population will be closely monitored after their release by Marwell Wildlife and University of Southampton PhD student, Rachel Gardner, who is working hard to continually assess the existing reptile community on site and the habitat suitability.  Rachel hopes the exercise will not only offer the opportunity to return the species to its indigenous range but also help answer some key questions surrounding its dispersal, use of microhabitats and survivorship: “As part of the close monitoring of the lizards after the release we hope to radio tag a portion of the population next year, in order to follow individuals more closely. In total we intend for 240 individuals to be released during this reintroduction programme to establish a self-sustaining population at the site indefinitely.”

Despite occurring widely across Europe and Asia, the sand lizard (Lacerta agilis) is threatened in the north western part of its range and had disappeared from much of its former habitat in England and Wales prior to concerted conservation efforts.


Releasing butterflies at weddings – Butterfly Conservation

Butterfly Conservation has several major concerns about the growing interest in releasing butterflies at weddings and other functions:

(image: Butterfly Conservation)Interference with recording - Releases affect butterfly recording and the efforts of thousands of people who submit records, by making it unclear if any future record of the species is truly wild or has been seen as a consequence of such a release. 

(image: Butterfly Conservation)

This has the potential to divert limited conservation resources as it makes accurate mapping and h conservation work for that species difficult, as we don’t then know where it occurs naturally.

This concern has been largely addressed by ‘confetti’ releases by the use of widespread and migratory species, however any research on the fascinating phenomenon of migration is now far more difficult.

Genetic concerns - The released specimens have been bred in captivity and therefore each generation of butterfly is more genetically suited to breeding in captivity and not in the wild.  Therefore when released specimens breed with wild individuals they have the potential to affect the genetic makeup of the species in the wild. This is probably a small threat, particularly in northern Europe where the species released don’t survive the winter, although with global warming this threat is likely to increase.

Spread of disease - There is a major concern over the potential for natural diseases to be more prevalent in the high butterfly densities present in rearing cages, diseases that are then spread to wild populations.

Sending the wrong message - Butterflies are declining drastically through loss of habitat and intensification of farming and forestry.  Releases deflect attention from this and large scale releases may risk changing public attitudes to the conservation of ‘wild’ populations.  This is a major concern of Butterfly Conservation and we feel that using butterflies as confetti may encourage a dangerous attitude to wild creatures that are boxed, transported and released into areas whatever the suitability.


Asian hornet identified in Devon - defra

An Asian hornet has been found in the Devon area.

An example of an Asian hornet. (image: defra)An example of an Asian hornet. (image: defra)

The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting of the Asian hornet at an apiary near Woolacombe in Devon.

The Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than a bee. However, they do pose a risk to honey bees.  This is the first confirmed sighting since last year, when a nest was discovered in the Tetbury area in Gloucestershire. That Asian hornet incursion was successfully contained by bee inspectors who promptly tracked down and destroyed the nest.

Work to identify, destroy and remove any nests is already underway, which includes:

  • setting up a surveillance zone around North Devon
  • opening a local control centre to coordinate the response
  • deploying bee inspectors across the area who will use infrared cameras and traps to track hornets and locate any nests
  • readying nest disposal experts who will use pesticides to kill the hornets and destroy any nests


Summer of discovery for rare insects in the Cairngorms – RSPB

Future conservation efforts for two endangered species of insect have been given a boost after important discoveries in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. The pine hoverfly and the small scabious mining bee were being surveyed by the Rare Invertebrates in the Cairngorms, a three year partnership project between RSPB Scotland, Cairngorms National Park Authority, Buglife, Butterfly Conservation Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage, launched earlier this year to save six of Scotland’s rarest insects.

A nest site of the small scabious mining bee has been recorded for the very first time in the Cairngorms. This means that more can be learnt about the bee’s life cycle and the conditions it needs to breed due to the observations of it made by volunteer surveyors, and a film of a bee entering its burrow being recorded, a first for Scotland. Further survey work also located three new sites for these bees with a nest recorded at all of them.

Small Scabious Mining Bee (image: Gabrielle Flinn)Small Scabious Mining Bee (image: Gabrielle Flinn)

This year’s surveying is not due to finish until October but it’s already been an incredibly successful summer for the project with all six invertebrates surveyed and located, including a new Aviemore location of the shining guest ant, with much of this down to the dedication of volunteer surveyors and the support from local landowners. The huge amount of data being collected by the surveys means that next year’s ones will be even bigger in scale. Outside of the national park, survey work by Butterfly Conservation Scotland located a population of Kentish glory moth in Perthshire, where they hadn’t been recorded since 2000.


Urban Buzzing Birmingham Success – Buglife

Birmingham has been buzzing for the past 21 months with Urban Buzz providing a variety of new feeding image: Buglifeand nesting opportunities for a number of different pollinators throughout the city. Working closely with many different volunteer groups from ‘Friends of Groups’ to regeneration trusts and scouts, as well as partnering with the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country and Birmingham City Council Urban Buzz has been in prime position to help drive the pollinator agenda further to forefront of local people, facilitating workshops and training events making people aware of how important bees, butterflies, beetles and other pollinators are to us, and what people can do in their garden or local open space to help conserve them.

image: Buglife

Urban Buzz created 115 buzzing hotspots throughout the city consisting mainly of vibrant wildflower patches and meadows bursting with pollen and nectar, with other key sites including plug planting in young woodlands, wetland planting along brooks and streams, bee bank creation in nature reserves and honeycomb planted planters in Birmingham’s business district.


Diamond spider presumed extinct discovered for the first time in almost 50 years - National Trust

A spider presumed extinct in Britain for almost half a century has made a remarkable comeback thanks to habitat restoration.

Two National Trust volunteers were astonished to find the rare Diamond spider (Thanatus formicinus) while searching for arachnids in heathland at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire.

Diamond spider (image: © Lucy Stockton via National Trust)Diamond spider (image: © Lucy Stockton via National Trust)

The spider has only been recorded in the UK on three occasions, all of them in the South of England, and not since 1969. The discovery was made by volunteer rangers as part of ongoing ecological monitoring of the park.

Lucy Stockton, who made the discovery with fellow volunteer Trevor Harris, says, “The spider ran away from me twice but with persistence and some luck I caught it; at the time I had no idea that it would turn out to be such a rare find. Upon closer inspection our spider had a conspicuous ‘cardiac mark’, a black diamond shape on its abdomen, edged with white that helped us to identify it. We were thrilled to have discovered this new resident of Clumber Park and to prove that this species is definitely not extinct in the UK.”


Portuguese man o' war found washed up on Dorset beaches – Dorset Wildlife Trust

Portuguese Man O’War (image: Sarah-Hodgson)Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) has received sightings of the Portuguese man o’ war being found washed up on Chesil, Kimmeridge and Charmouth beaches this week.

Portuguese Man O’War (image: Sarah-Hodgson)

This follows sightings of the same creatures in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset recently.  They are thought to have arrived on the South Coast via the Gulf Stream, due to the strong south westerly winds that have been pounding our coastlines recently, bringing with them an influx of marine wildlife usually found in the open Atlantic Ocean.

Whilst swarms of these beautiful creatures in Dorset are unusual, the Portuguese man o’ war has appeared before.  The largest swarm was recorded in August & September 2008, with reports spanning Charmouth to Swanage.  A much smaller swarm was recorded the same time the following year and in 2012.  Until now, there have been no known Portuguese man o’ war in Dorset.  However, each year DWT do frequently record individuals from seven other oceanic jellyfish species in Dorset.

The Portuguese man o’ war is not a true jellyfish, but floating colonies formed by coral-like hydroids living joined together to create venom filled stinging tentacles reaching 10-30m long - perfectly adapted for capturing prey fish.  These tentacles hang from a large gas-filled iridescent float capable of angling itself to catch the wind on the seas surface.  Records state this float can measure up to 30 cm long and 10 cm wide.  Whilst they can cause a very painful sting, they are rarely serious, and only fatal in a few rare cases.

Marine Conservation Officer, Emma Rance said, “Whilst they have been described as ‘invading’ our beaches, so far, only a handful have actually been sighted in Dorset this Autumn.  If you find one, we advise that you do not touch them, as they can sting even when dead.  These are fascinating and beautiful creatures and are only seen in very rare cases on our seashores, so Dorset Wildlife Trust is really keen to hear about any sightings in Dorset.”



Early observations indicate a poor breeding season for the Bewick’s swan - WWT

Our experts travelled over 2000 miles to the tundra to ring Bewick’s swans but sighted just five cygnets over nine days.

The team managed to tag 86 of the magnificent birds but are concerned unseasonably cold weather may have affected numbers.

However they will have to monitor wintering flocks before a conclusion can be reached.

image: Wildfowl & Wetlands TrustKane Brides, monitoring assistant at WWT Slimbridge, explained: “We would usually expect to see 30 to 40 cygnets in our study area but only saw five. The birds were very small which suggests a delayed start to the breeding season.This could be related to the weather. There was snow and very cold temperatures in the second week of July out there which may explain why, but we need to wait and determine the proportion of cygnets in the wintering flocks before coming to a final conclusion on the swans’ breeding success in summer 2017.”

Image: Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

Ringing Bewick’s swans is vital. Understanding how they breed, feed and migrate give us a better understanding of how to protect them.

He added: “If we can monitor Bewick’s swans and determine the reasons for any changes in their distribution, migratory patterns, survival and breeding success we can better safeguard them through our conservation work. This is part of WWT’s ongoing commitment to Bewick’s swans.”

The team, along with staff from the Nenets Nature Reserve, caught 95 birds in total including five whooper swans and four mute swans.


UK free from Avian Influenza - The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust

THE UK has declared itself free from Avian Influenza, it has been announced by the Government's chief veterinary officer.

Nigel Gibbens confirmed that the UK has met international requirements to be free from bird flu (H5N8), but is urging poultry keepers to remain vigilant.

The disease continues to circulate in Europe and, as winter approaches, the risk of migratory wild birds infecting domestic poultry will rise.

(image: GWCT)The UK was previously declared free of avian flu in April 2016 but the disease returned in December that year. 

Declaring the UK free from AI means trade discussions on UK poultry and poultry products can restart with existing and potential new trading partners.

(image: GWCT)

However, bird flu was recently found in a mute swan in August. This prompted the British Veterinary Poultry Association to urge egg producers to be ready to protect themselves from the threat of avian influenza "all year round".

Between December 2016 and June 2017, 13 cases of AI were confirmed in kept poultry in the UK.

In all cases, the Animal and Plant Health Agency put movement restrictions in place to limit the spread of disease and carried out investigations into the source and possible spread of infection.

The government also introduced UK-wide measures to protect poultry from infection from wild birds, including a requirement to temporarily house birds and a ban on bird gatherings.

Head of advisory services at Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) Roger Draycott says “while it is good news that the UK is now free from bird flu, we urge all shoot managers, gamekeepers and game farmers to remain vigilant, report sightings of sick or dead birds and ensure high bio-security standards and procedures at all times”.

The government continues to carry out surveillance in poultry and wild birds and publishes regular disease updates.


Project celebrates churring storm petrels on the Shiants – RSPB

Calling storm petrels have been recorded for the very first time on the Shiants this summer, an important milestone for the Shiant Isles Recovery Project, which is working to attract these small seabirds to nest on the islands. The characteristic “churring” call of storm petrels was heard from burrows, their breeding habitat, an encouraging sign that the project’s conservation work is paying off.

The EU LIFE+ funded partnership project between RSPB Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, and the Nicolson family, the custodians of the islands, began in 2014 to provide safe breeding grounds for Scotland’s globally threatened seabirds on this cluster of islands in the Minch, five miles off the coast of Harris. A population of invasive non-native black rats on the islands were thought to be limiting the breeding success of the colonies of puffins, razorbills and guillemots, whilst storm petrels and Manx shearwaters were not found there at all.

Following a rat eradication programme in the winter of 2015/16 the project has been focused on monitoring how the wildlife has responded, ensuring the biosecurity of the islands, and attempting to attract storm petrels and Manx shearwaters to breed, as there is ideal nesting habitat for them. It will be March 2018 before the islands can be officially declared free of rats, provided none are found between then and now.  


West Wales rescue efforts helped 220 Manx shearwater - RSPCA Cymru

Some 220 Manx shearwaters were rescued in West Wales by RSPCA Cymru last week, following stormy weather conditions – and the public are being urged to be on the look-out for more.

Rescued Manx shearwater (image: RSPCA)The new figure follows an initial rescue operation on Newgale beach, where some 144 of the seabirds were saved following a mass landing.

Rescue efforts continued – with a further 50 seabirds rescued from Pembrokeshire’s Druidstone beach, in addition to many more on Tenby’s beaches, and some found in jeopardy in-land.

Rescued Manx shearwater (image: RSPCA)

Sadly, the rescues are necessitated by the struggles Manx shearwaters often face on land. They are very able in flight, or on water – but their shape means walking on land presents challenges, and they can become stranded.

The 220 Manx shearwaters were taken into RSPCA care, with the majority going to specialist wildlife facilities for rehabilitation at the RSPCA’s West Hatch Wildlife Centre in Somerset.

RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: “This was a major rescue operation, with many RSPCA officers working in challenging conditions to rescue so many troubled Manx shearwaters. Thankfully, the rescue has proven a success – with the birds, after rehabilitation, starting to be returned to the wild – ahead of migration to South America. All birds released will have rings attached, so vital information can be gained on a bird should they be found again in the future.  Sadly, some of the Manx shearwater transferred to our specialist facilities didn’t make it. However, a big majority of them are expected to be released, safe and well, which just highlights the vital nature of the RSPCA’s work here, along with the many volunteers and others agencies who kindly supported our efforts.”


General licences restricted in light of wildlife crimes - Scottish Natural Heritage

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has restricted the use of general licences in two separate cases this week. The decision was made on the basis of evidence provided by Police Scotland of wildlife crime against birds.

These are the third and fourth such restrictions imposed by SNH. A property in Perthshire and an individual will have their licences restricted. They may still apply for individual licences, but these will be closely monitored.

General licences allow landowners or land managers to carry out actions which would otherwise be illegal. This includes controlling common species of wild birds, by shooting or trapping, to protect crops or livestock. General Licences are a light-touch form of regulation and they rely on trust. In situations where that trust has been lost, General Licences are not appropriate.

Mike Cantlay, SNH chair, said: “We’re working hard to protect our birds of prey. Raptor persecution doesn’t just damage Scotland’s nature, it also affects tourism which in turn impacts on the economy. Yet, because of the remote locations where most wildlife crime takes place, it’s often difficult to prove. We’re committed to stamping out wildlife crime in Scotland, and will continue to work strongly in partnership with Police Scotland and other members of the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW Scotland).”

Nature-based tourism is worth £1.4 billion a year to Scotland’s economy.

See the full licence restrictions details here.


Response: Video evidence supporting restrictions revealed - RSPB Scotland

RSPB Scotland has welcomed the announcement by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) today of two restrictions imposed on the use of General Licenses on a sporting estate in Perthshire and on an un-named individual. These follow previous similar restrictions imposed on grouse moors in Stirlingshire and the Scottish Borders.

Duncan Orr-Ewing, Head of Species and Land Management for RSPB Scotland said: “We are pleased to read the SNH announcement restricting the use of the General Licence in these cases. In May 2017, the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment announced a package of new measures designed to protect birds of prey, including the consideration of all legal measures that could be used to target geographical areas of concern, and this is part of that approach. We look forward to hearing soon what other measures are to be implemented to act as meaningful deterrents to the continuing crimes against our vulnerable birds of prey. We believe that these current measures also need to be allied to an effective licensing scheme for driven grouse shooting in particular, where any illegal and bad practice substantiated by the public authorities, would also result in the ultimate sanction of licence removal.  We envisage that any licensing system could work along similar lines to those that SNH have used here for Open General Licence removal, that is based upon stringent checks and balances of police evidence and SNH advice, to provide safeguards for those sporting businesses which work within the law and follow best practice”

Video evidence supporting these restrictions is available to view on Vimeo here.


Scientific Research, Results and Publications

The only good one is a dead one, or is it? - WildCRU

When I began research on red foxes in the early ‘70s, the most common refrain, whether from vet’s battling rabies, gamekeeper’s rearing pheasants or shepherds was “the only good ones a dead one”, so it’s a great pleasure to find that a generation of research hints at non-lethal control actually working, writes David Macdonald in this report of a collaboration led by Lily van Eeden of the University of Sydney. Lily led a distinguished team seeking to find a consensus answer to the question: How should we manage conflict between large carnivores and livestock? In a detailed and meticulous review of evidence from a libraryful of technical papers, they conclude that the very slowly accumulating evidence is that nonlethal methods can be more effective than culling carnivores.

Throughout human history, large carnivores have attacked and eaten livestock. The threat of attack has resulted in widespread persecution of carnivores on all continents, such that large carnivore populations have been reduced and even eradicated throughout some of their range. Today, as support for large carnivores conservation is increasing, some are re-establishing their former distributions including in human-dominated landscapes. Ways of fostering co-existence, and of reducing the anxieties of doing so, are a top priority for the conservation biologists toolkit.

From the published studies, which may or may not reflect reliable generalisations, livestock guardian animals had demonstrated the most success in reducing attacks on livestock. This was followed by lethal control, although this traditional approach was characterised by the greatest variation in outcome between studies (in some, unsurprisingly, it appeared to make things worse). One side of the coin is reducing livestock losses; the other is discouraging retaliatory killing of carnivores (especially if it doesn’t work), and the review indicated that sometimes financial incentives reduced peoples’ tendency to seek revenge. 

Access the paper: van Eeden, L. M., Crowther, M. S., Dickman, C. R., Macdonald, D. W., Ripple, W. J., Ritchie, E. G. and Newsome, T. M. (2017), Managing conflict between large carnivores and livestock. Conservation Biology. doi:10.1111/cobi.12959


Plants and Landscape including marine

Study to expand knowledge of ectomycorrhizal fungi in Scotland – The James Hutton Institute

Researchers at the James Hutton Institute and the University of Aberdeen are exploring the relationship between ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi and native tree species in Scotland. The study will also determine which climatic and environmental factors influence their distribution.

ECM fungi form beneficial associations with the roots of many plant species, in particular trees: the fungi take up nutrients from the soil and pass on some of these to the host plants in return for sugars. The fungi are therefore essential components of many terrestrial ecosystems.

The data recorded from the study will contribute to the limited information currently available on the subject in Scotland. Existing records show that there are approximately 900 ECM species recorded in Scotland. This is only about one-half of the species recorded in Scandinavia.

A combination of traditional morphological approaches as well as modern molecular analyses will be used to identify the fungi. The project will provide valuable information for forest management and woodland expansion policies.

World's botanic gardens contain a third of all known plant species, and help protect the most threatened – University of Cambridge

The most in-depth species survey to date finds an “astonishing array” of plant diversity in the global botanic garden network, including 41% of all endangered species. However, researchers find a significant imbalance between tropical and temperate plants, and say even more capacity should be given to conservation, as there is “no technical reason for plant species to become extinct”.

Cambridge University Botanic Garden (CUBG) Cambridge University Botanic Garden (CUBG)

The world's botanic gardens contain at least 30% of all known plant species, including 41% of all those classed as 'threatened', according to the most comprehensive analysis to date of diversity in 'ex-situ' collections: those plants conserved outside natural habitats.

The study, published today (25/9) in the journal Nature Plants, found that the global network of botanic gardens conserves living plants representing almost two-thirds of plant 'genera' (the classification above species) and over 90% of plant families.

However, researchers from the University of Cambridge discovered a significant imbalance between temperate and tropical regions. The vast majority of all plants species grown ex-situ are held in the northern hemisphere.

Consequently, some 60% of temperate plant species were represented in botanic gardens but only 25% of tropical species, despite the fact that the majority of plant species are tropical.

For the study, researchers analysed datasets compiled by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI). They cross-referenced the working list of known plant species – currently sitting at 350,699 – with the species records of a third of botanic gardens on the planet, some 1,116 institutions. They say this provides a "minimum estimate" for the plant diversity held in botanic gardens.


Scientists call for more research on how human activities affect the seabed – University of Southampton

A group of UK scientists, co-ordinated by the University of Southampton, has published extensive research into how industry and environmental change are affecting our seafloors, but say more work is needed to help safeguard these complex ecosystems and the benefits they provide to people for the future.

CTD device used to measure Conductivity, Temperature and Depth being recovered to RSS Discovery (Credit: Rachel Hale)CTD device used to measure Conductivity, Temperature and Depth being recovered to RSS Discovery (Credit: Rachel Hale)

Researchers from eight institutions and organisations have worked together to examine areas of sea or ocean located on the UK continental shelf to understand the sensitivity of these systems to human activities. The societal importance of these ecosystems extends beyond food production to include biodiversity, carbon cycling and storage, waste disposal, nutrient cycling, recreation and renewable energy.
Martin Solan, lead principal investigator and Professor in Marine Ecology at the University of Southampton, comments: “Our seafloors are teaming with life, from microscopic organisms to larger creatures such as fish and crabs. All interact as part of a complex system which plays a vital role in maintaining the health of the seabed and the rest of food web.


New survey on street trees - Woodland Trust

Almost three-quarters of city people want access to greenspace or parkland within walking distance from their home, a new survey shows.

Seventy-eight per cent believe that trees are essential for relaxing and making them feeling happier. A similar percentage cited their importance for health and removing air pollution.

The survey (click through to see more results) was commissioned by the Woodland Trust and comes as it launches a nationwide 'neighbourhood watch scheme' for trees – to inspire city people to value and protect the natural wonders on their doorstep.

People are urged to join forces with their neighbours and apply for one of 500 Street Trees Celebration Starter Kits. They’ll get bunting, badges and funky wheelie-bin transfers to show their appreciation for their trees. The scheme was initially piloted with success in Wrexham, Leeds and Glasgow, with some exciting events already taking place.

Joseph Coles, Project Lead for Street Trees, said the scheme, which is funded by a £500K boost from players of  People’s Postcode Lottery, aims to rally people to look after threatened trees on their doorstep. A recent report showed Councils are felling more than 50 trees a day nationwide.

He said: “Street Trees face unprecedented threats. Be it climate change, tree disease, development or council budgets. However, they bring a huge array of benefits to people – from recreation to combating pollution. With 80 per cent of the UK’s people living in urban settlements, street trees are their main daily contact with nature. If we are to keep people connected with nature we need to preserve it on their doorsteps. 

More results from the survey.


Climate change, sustainability & pollution

New techniques allow scientists to predict the impacts of climate change on marine non-native species – CEFAS

Climate change is expected to create conditions for marine non-native species to survive further north around northwest Europe in the future, with a range of economic and ecological consequences according to predictions developed through new modelling approaches developed by scientists. 

New research by a cross-disciplinary team from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), the Met Office, The University of Exeter and the University of East Anglia increases the chance that marine non-native species, that have caused damage in other Pacific oyster (Paul Brazier)regions, can be identified earlier as they are able to become established in areas which were previously unsuitable.

The marine non-native species identified in the paper include the slipper limpet which can reduce biological diversity and can affect growth of commercial shellfish, and the Pacific oyster, which could offer potential commercial opportunities.

Pacific oyster (Paul Brazier)

This new study, published in Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, modelled how marine climate change could affect future establishment of the potentially most impactful species in northwest Europe, to enable scientists to understand the potential impacts to anticipate and plan for such establishing populations. Marine species can be accidentally transported via a range of activities but can only become established if environmental conditions are suitable.


Report suggests love of the seas could be the key for plastic pollution solution – Plymouth University

The study, published in Nature Human Behaviour, builds on research demonstrating marine litter can undermine the benefits of coastal environments

Tapping into the public’s passion for the ocean environment could be the key to reducing the threats posed to it by plastic pollution, a new report suggests.

Millions of tons of plastic particles accumulate in our seas each year as a result of human behaviour, and once there they have a potentially detrimental effect on marine life.

But reversing this trend, and finding ways to maintain both the health of our oceans and the human benefits associated with it, is a complicated task.

Writing in Nature Human Behaviour, academics from the University of Plymouth and the University of Surrey identify recent examples where public pressure has led to policy change, including levies on single-use plastic bags and bans on the use of microbeads in cosmetics.

But while these are steps in the right direction, they are not addressing either the root causes or lasting effects of the problem, with the report saying there needs to be a more joined-up and interdisciplinary approach going forward.

Dr Sabine Pahl, Associate Professor (Reader) in Psychology and lead author on the report, said: “The public’s love of the coast is obvious, so it stands to reason that they would play a role in preserving its future. Plastic pollution is a problem for all in society and while there are solutions out there, they must be socially acceptable as well as economically and technically viable. We need to work together across disciplines and sectors to build on the strength of humans to facilitate change.”


University of Exeter trees remove pollution equivalent to emissions from 798 family cars – University of Exeter

The thousands of trees at the University of Exeter remove pollution equivalent to emissions from 798 family cars from the atmosphere every year, research shows.

New calculations show the 5,000 trees surveyed, from 328 species and six continents, capture 36 tonnes of carbon annually. They also stop 4,217 m³ a year of water – two Olympic swimming pools – from flooding local rivers and remove two tonnes of pollutants from the air.

The trees provide more than £20,422 of environmental benefits each year and take away from the environment the equivalent of nitrogen dioxide caused by 90 family cars and sulphur dioxide from 798 family cars annually.

The figures were calculated using computer software which estimates environmental benefits based on the size of the trees. The total area of the leaves of all the trees surveyed on campus is estimated to be 1,501,000m2. If all the layers of leaves within the tree canopies were spread out, they would cover an area greater than 168 football pitches.

One Monterey Pine alone produces 6,340kg of oxygen a year and filters more than 1kg of airborne pollutants, as well as capturing 3m3 of rainwater, reducing surface run-off.

Trees also support other plants and animals. One Oak supports 300 species of lichen, more than 200 species of insect and 30 species of birds every year.

The environmental benefits of the trees are emphasised this week with new signs on display around campus, to coincide with the University hosting the Arboricultural Association’s National Amenity Conference.


Wind farms and biodiversity: are they on a collision course? - BTO

A newly published study, funded by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI), has shown the potential vulnerability of birds and bats around the world to collide with wind turbines. In order to help reduce the potential for conflict between solutions for a greener future and healthy biodiversity, the results identify which species are most vulnerable and where these species are concentrated.

Wind Farm, Cornwall (image:Dawn Balmer / BTO)As part of efforts to combat climate change, there is a rapid growth in renewable energy production around the world. However, one of the major forms of renewable energy, wind farms, can have negative impacts on biodiversity through mortality associated with turbines. Although known about from studies in Europe and North America, there is little information from other regions where wind farms are expanding rapidly. This new study, published in Proceedings Of The Royal Society B identifies for the first time the potential vulnerability to collision mortality of bird and bat species around the world and suggests how collisions may be avoided. To achieve the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) led a review of published papers documenting collision rates with onshore wind turbines. In order to extrapolate these observations to less-well studied species, rates of collision were modelled in relation to factors including birds’ migratory behaviour and ecology, and wind turbine height and capacity.

Wind Farm, Cornwall (image:Dawn Balmer / BTO)

Collision rates of the 769 bird species tested were affected by habitat, migratory strategy and dispersal distance. Birds using artificial habitat, such as farmland, had a higher risk of collision with wind turbines, potentially because more wind farms are placed there than in other habitats, and because such habitats tend to be more open. Migrant birds and bats that dispersed further had a higher risk of collision. Birds of prey (Accipitriformes) were the most vulnerable birds, which is problematic as many such species are slow to reproduce and have populations that are highly sensitive to reductions in survival rates. Collision rates in general were predicted to be higher for bats than for bird, with a number of North American species such as hoary bat and Eastern red bat particularly vulnerable.

Importantly, the results suggest that building fewer, large turbines may actually reduce the risk of collision for birds for a given amount of energy generated, although turbines with a capacity over 1.25MW were associated with higher collision rates for bats.

Access the paper: Chris B. Thaxter et al Bird and bat species' global vulnerability to collision mortality at wind farms revealed through a trait-based assessment  Proc. R. Soc. B 2017 284 20170829; DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.0829.


A stinging report: FSU research shows climate change a major threat to bumble bees - Florida State University

New research from a team of Florida State University scientists and their collaborators is helping to explain the link between a changing global climate and a dramatic decline in bumble bee populations worldwide.

In a study published Friday, Sept. 29, in the journal Ecology Letters, researchers examining three subalpine bumble bee species in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains found that, for some bumble bees, a changing climate means there just aren’t enough good flowers to go around. 

Bombus bifarius, one of the three species of bumble bees studied by researcher Jane Ogilvie and her team. (image: FSU)Bombus bifarius, one of the three species of bumble bees studied by researcher Jane Ogilvie and her team. (image: FSU)

The team analyzed the bees’ responses to direct and indirect climate change effects.

“Knowing whether climate variation most affects bumble bees directly or indirectly will allow us to better predict how bumble bee populations will cope with continued climate change,” said FSU postdoctoral researcher Jane Ogilvie, the study’s lead investigator. “We found that the abundances of all three bumble bee species were mostly affected by indirect effects of climate on flower distribution through a season.”

As the global climate changes gradually over time, delicately poised seasonal cycles begin to shift. In the Rocky Mountains, this means earlier snowmelts and an extended flowering season.

On the surface, these climatic changes may seem like a boon to bumble bees — a longer flowering season might suggest more opportunity for hungry bees to feed. However, Ogilvie and her collaborators found that as the snow melts earlier and the flowering season extends, the number of days with poor flower availability increases, resulting in overall food shortages that are associated with population decline.

Access the paper: Ogilvie, J. E., Griffin, S. R., Gezon, Z. J., Inouye, B. D., Underwood, N., Inouye, D. W. and Irwin, R. E. (2017), Interannual bumble bee abundance is driven by indirect climate effects on floral resource phenology. Ecol Lett. doi:10.1111/ele.12854 



Glass fronts can be acoustic illusions for bats - Max Planck Institute for Ornithology

Bats fail to detect smooth, vertical surfaces when they are in a rush

Sometimes bats perceive a smooth, vertical surface as an open pathway. A dangerous error in times of buildings with glass facades, shown by injured or dead bats next to birds found underneath. The smooth surface reflects the echolocation calls away from the bat until shortly before collision and therefore acts like an acoustic mirror. Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen studied echolocation and flight behaviour of three bat species experimentally and in the wild. They observed them trying to fly through a smooth, vertical plate. However, bats seemingly also manage to avoid these collisions. Here, the number of echolocation calls and the time the animals spent in front of the surface influenced the probability of collision.

Bats mostly rely on their echolocation calls for foraging, orientation and navigation. In our modern world, however, they encounter many sensory traps that lead to dangerous errors in interpreting their environment.

Mouse-eared bat image: © MPI f. Ornithology/ S. GreifThe greater mouse-eared bats and other bats often detect smooth glass surfaces only at the last moment. This is why there are frequent collisions with glass façades of buildings.  (image: © MPI f. Ornithology/ S. Greif)

In a former study, the researchers showed, that smooth, horizontal surfaces are perceived as water by bats. The smooth surface is easy to recognize by echolocation calls as it acts like a mirror, reflecting calls away from the bat except for a strong perpendicular echo from below. In a natural landscape, lakes and rivers are the only spatially extended, smooth surfaces a bat might encounter. This information for water seems to be so hardwired that bats in the study did not give up trying to drink from a metal plate the researchers presented, despite of several unsuccessful trials.

Now, a new study, that smooth surfaces placed in a vertical position can be perceived as open flyways and not as obstacles when bats approach them. To this end, the researchers studied greater mouse-eared bats (Myotis myotis) in a flight room. They put a smooth, 1,2x2m metal plate against the wall and, with infrared-cameras and microphones in the dark, observed that 19 out of the 21 studied bats collided at least once with the plate within the first 15 minutes they spent in the room. None of the animals tried to drink from it. When the researchers placed the plate on the ground, however, they did not observe any collision but 13 animals tried to drink from the surface.

Click through for video of the experiments.

Access the paper: Stefan Greif, Sándor Zsebők, Daniela Schmieder, Björn M. Siemers. Acoustic mirrors as sensory traps for bats.  Science DOI: 10.1126/science.aam7817



Bird-eating raptors reap rewards of city life – Nottingham Trent University           

Bird-eating raptors are adapting just as well – and in some cases better – to life in towns and cities than their natural habitats, research by Nottingham Trent University suggests.

Peregrine falcons are thriving in towns and cities (Nottingham Trent University)Peregrine falcons are thriving in towns and cities (Nottingham Trent University)

A plentiful supply of food means specialist bird predators such as peregrine falcons, Cooper’s hawks and northern goshawks are thriving in their new urban environments. 
It’s not such good news for their mammal-eating counterparts, however, who typically struggle to adjust to their new urban homes where food is more scarce. 
Bird-eating raptors are breeding more successfully, with bigger clutch sizes and more chicks fledging the nest, the researchers found.
The study – led by the university’s School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences – involved comparing more than 30 studies of urban and rural populations of raptors across the world.
While mammal-eating birds, such as kestrels and owls, might flourish in rural environments, they fared less well in urban surroundings due to a lack of available prey and – in some cases – increased human activity, the study suggests.

Access the paper: Kettel, E. F., Gentle, L. K., Quinn, J. L. & Yarnell, R. W. (2017) The breeding performance of raptors in urban landscapes: a review and meta-analysis. Journal of Ornithology


Why aren’t house sparrows as big as geese? – Norwegian University of Science & Technology

A group of researchers spent twelve seasons making some house sparrows bigger and others smaller. Their experiment yielded some important answers.

Why are house sparrows (Passer domesticus) the exact size they are? Why aren’t they hummingbird size or as large as geese?

Biologist Henrik Jensen releases a house sparrow in Namsos, in an area where house sparrows are confirmed to exist. Photo: Thomas Kvalnes, NTNUBiologist Henrik Jensen releases a house sparrow in Namsos, in an area where house sparrows are confirmed to exist. Photo: Thomas Kvalnes, NTNU

It sounds like a strange question to ask, but it’s actually an overarching question of evolution. It may be able to tell us something about how we adapt to changes in the environment. Our planet is changing and we need to change with it.

Why have we evolved as we have? Evolution theory says that we’ve adapted to our conditions. So sparrows are probably as big as they should be, according to their living conditions.

But can we prove that? Researchers have run experiments in laboratories, but never in nature. Could it be done?

Fiddled with evolution

A group of researchers at NTNU wanted to attempt that exact experiment. First they would tamper with evolution to see if they could change the size of the sparrows. They would do that by capturing wild birds on islands and rejecting individuals with undesirable characteristics.

After releasing the selected birds back into the wild, the researchers wanted to see if their size would revert back to normal through evolution’s natural selection process.

“It’s the first time in the world that anyone has conducted artificial selection on birds from a wild population,” says Thomas Kvalnes, a postdoctoral fellow at NTNU’s Department of Biology.


Plenty to be chirpy about, Slimbridge survey reveals – WWT

Small birds have had a fantastic year, according to our latest year’s ringing at our Constant Effort Site (CES) in the decoy at Slimbridge.

WWT volunteers and staff catch and ring passerines (perching birds) throughout spring and summer as part of a national scheme organised by the British Trust for Ornithology which contributes to the overall monitoring of populations and breeding success.

The latest results have put huge smiles on the faces of our conservationists.

WWT long-term volunteer Maurice Durham has organised the Slimbridge effort since the early 1990s. He said: “Slimbridge is famous for its geese and swans, but it’s also home to a wealth of other wildlife as these results show. We are very pleased to have recorded one of our best years since the study started in 1990. It is important that we record bird populations so that we can ensure our conservation work is well targeted.”

The key factors logged are the number of juvenile birds, the number of adult birds and year to year survivals. These figures are then used to calculate the changes which are happening and to look for the stage of life cycles most affected by environmental change.

Our experts handled a record number of ‘new for year’ birds, ringing 556 birds – 208 adults and 348 juveniles – and beating our previous best of 529 birds in 1992. This was closely followed by 525 in 2004.

The standout species was the chiffchaff. 90 juvenile chiffchaffs were caught, exceeding the previous best of 76 (in 1990 and 2011) by some margin.


The country hawk and the city hawk - RSPB

Scientists have found that city sparrowhawks in Scotland are more successful than their country cousins, in a first of its kind study on these raptors.

Researchers from RSPB Scotland and the Scottish Raptor Study Group examined differences between populations of the birds in Edinburgh and in the Ayrshire countryside over four years from 2009 to 2012.

They found that territories in the urban environment (Edinburgh) were occupied far more frequently than those in the rural study area (Ayrshire) and that the city hawks also had significantly higher breeding success than the country hawks.

Of the twenty breeding attempts that failed, only two were recorded in the urban study area, the rest in the rural. The number of nest desertions was also much higher in the latter. It was this complete failure of numerous nests that caused lower breeding success in the rural sparrowhawk population.

In total, 195 sparrowhawk pairs were located in the two study areas across 117 separate sites or ‘territories’. The paper has been published in the journal Écoscience.

Michael Thornton, lead author of the paper and member of the Lothian & Borders Raptor Study Group, said: "This study clearly shows that urban green spaces, such as parks, gardens and golf courses provide both suitable nest sites and an abundance of prey species to support high breeding success in this charismatic predator, and it is important that we protect these areas for urban wildlife and for our own health and wellbeing."


Pheasant roadkill peaks in autumn and late winter - University of Exeter

Chickens’ motives for crossing the road are often questioned – but pheasants should probably avoid it altogether, new research suggests. 

Researchers from the universities of Exeter and Cardiff compared roadkill figures from the 1960s and 2010s – before and after the start of mass release programmes of pheasants for shooting – and found pheasants remain disproportionately likely to be run over compared to other birds.

“There may be a number of reasons why pheasants are so commonly killed on the roads, including their short flight distances and relatively small brains,” said Dr Joah Madden, of the University of Exeter. “Our research shows that large-scale release of pheasants has not changed their likelihood of being killed, but it has changed the times of year when they are being killed.” 

dead pheasant (photo Bev Milne)Pheasants are commonly roadkill, but the recent increase in their artificial rearing and release has changed the time of year when most fatalities occur (photo Bev Milne)

The peak times of year for pheasant roadkill have changed from early summer in the 1960s to autumn and late winter now.  These twin peaks coincide with times in the year when captive-bred pheasants are released from pens, and when supplementary feeding ceases following the end of the shooting season.

Dr Madden added “Roadkill first peaks in September-November as pheasants disperse from release pens. It then declines over winter, but when supplementary feeding ceases in February, we see a second peak. Captive-bred pheasants may be at risk after release from pens because they have not learned survival skills.  Being raised in the absence of parents, they simply lack the opportunity to learn.” 

Access the paper: Joah R. Madden, Sarah E. Perkins.  Why did the pheasant cross the road? Long-term road mortality patterns in relation to management changes R. Soc. open sci. 2017 4 170617; DOI: 10.1098/rsos.170617.


Fish and Invertebrates 

Red Admiral thrives despite wet summer - Butterfly Conservation

One of the UK’s most striking and widespread butterflies, the Red Admiral, has experienced a record summer despite soggy weather conditions causing problems for other species, results from the Big Butterfly Count have revealed.

Red Admiral (image: Butterfly Conservation)Red Admiral (image: Butterfly Conservation)

The Red Admiral saw its numbers rise by 75% compared to 2016, with more than 73,000 seen during the Count’s three-week recording period.

This number is as many as were counted in the last three years of the Big Butterfly Count put together and the highest number by far for the butterfly since the project began.

Big Butterfly Count 2017 – top 10 species ranking

  1. Gatekeeper                       93,171 seen
  2. Red Admiral                      73,161
  3. Meadow Brown                 69,528
  4. Small White                       61,812
  5. Large White                       61,064
  6. Peacock                            29,454
  7. Comma                             22,436            
  8. Small Tortoiseshell            20,267
  9. Common Blue                   19,567
  10. Speckled Wood              18,639
But wet July and August weather meant that 2017 was not a vintage summer with the UK’s three common species of white butterfly all experiencing declines.

The admiral boom was helped by a good year in 2016 followed by a mild winter and warm spring this year.  Red Admirals that had overwintered in the UK and fresh immigrants arriving in spring from southern Europe enjoyed an early and successful breeding season giving rise to a bumper summer brood.  Although a common sight in gardens, a few decades ago the Red Admiral was strictly a summer visitor to the UK. Butterflies arrived from warmer parts of Europe in the spring and summer, bred here and then their offspring flew south before winter.  While migration is still a major feature of the Red Admiral’s lifestyle, many now overwinter in the UK and it is the most commonly recorded butterfly during the winter months.

Results can be found at www.bigbutterflycount.org


Noise pollution found to be disruptive for schooling fish - University of Bristol

New research from scientists at the University of Bristol has found that noise from human construction projects can disrupt the schools that are so impressive in marine fish.

Human activities, like spreading cities, transport and construction, generate a lot of noise that travels faster in water than in air.  But cohesion and coordination in fish schools are essential in helping some animals avoid predators and exchange information socially.  Recordings of pile-driving, used in the construction of marine infrastructure like windfarms and piers, were played back to small schools of seabass.  The fish became less cohesive and coordinated during the playbacks, compared to when only normal ambient sea sounds were played to them.

Dr Christos Ioannou from the University’s School of Biological Sciences, said: "By using state-of-the-art computer tracking software, we were able to measure and analyse the movement of individual fish and the shoal as a whole in great detail. This is one of the few studies to explore how pollution from human activity impacts schooling behaviour in fish.  Previous work has mostly focused on the effect of noise on the physiology and behaviour of individual animals."

The changes in the fish’s behaviour when exposed to noise suggests they may be more susceptible to predators, as schooling behaviour is so useful in avoiding being eaten.

Now changes due to noise are established in the lab, the next step is to test this under natural conditions.

Click through for recording of Seabass responding to anthropogenic noise (youtube)

Access the paper: James E. Herbert-Read, Louise Kremer, Rick Bruintjes, Andrew N. Radford, Christos C. Ioannou Anthropogenic noise pollution from pile-driving disrupts the structure and dynamics of fish shoals Proc. R. Soc. B 2017 284 20171627; DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.1627.


Scientific publications

Tonietto, R. K. & Larkin, D. J. (2017) Habitat restoration benefits wild bees: a meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13012


Saulius Rumbutis, Daiva Vaitkuvienė, Gintarė Grašytė, Mindaugas Dagys, Deivis Dementavičius & Rimgaudas Treinys. Adaptive habitat preferences in the Tawny Owl Strix aluco  Bird Study doi: 10.1080/00063657.2017.1369001


Ferrer, M., Morandini, V., Baguena, G. & Newton, I. (2017) Reintroducing endangered raptors: a case study of supplementary feeding and removal of nestlings from wild populations. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13014. Journal of Applied Ecology


Thompson, M. S. A. et al (2017) Large woody debris ‘rewilding’ rapidly restores biodiversity in riverine food webs. Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13013


Hauke Koch, Philip C. Stevenson Do linden trees kill bees? Reviewing the causes of bee deaths on silver linden (Tilia tomentosa) Biol. Lett. 2017 13 20170484; DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2017.0484.


Manu E. Saunders, Meghan A. Duffy, Stephen B. Heard, Margaret Kosmala, Simon R. Leather, Terrence P. McGlynn, Jeff Ollerton, Amy L. Parachnowitsch Bringing ecology blogging into the scientific fold: measuring reach and impact of science community blogs  R. Soc. open sci. 2017 4 170957; DOI: 10.1098/rsos.170957.


Carboneras, C. et al (2017) A prioritised list of invasive alien species to assist the effective implementation of EU legislation. Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12997 


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Training:  December



02/12/2017   Annual Research Seminar   1 Day

Slapton Ley Nature Reserve and Field Centre, Field Studies Council. Contact: http://c-js.info/2tJYNQm

02/12/2017   ARC-BHS Joint Scientific Meeting 2017   1 Day

Bournemouth Natural Science Society, 39 Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, BH1 3NS , ARC & BHS. Contact: john.wilkinson@arc-trust.org http://c-js.info/2xDvbdg

06/12/2017   Interpreting Scotland’s Outdoor Heritage: new ways to look at old places   1 Day

Battleby Conference Centre, Scottish Natural Heritage. Contact: 01738 458555/6 sgp@snh.gov.uk http://c-js.info/2fJYyDn

Interpreting the history and archaeology of outdoor heritage sites in Scotland helps to increase understanding and enjoyment for visitors. At this fully participative event, attendees will discuss the range of options available for interpreting outdoor heritage sites, understand when sites are appropriate for interpretation and the variety of approaches available.

11/12/2017   International Conference on Energy, Environment and Economics (ICEEE2017)   3 Day

Edinburgh Conference Centre, Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, World Energy and Environment Technology Ltd. Contact: conference@weentech.co.uk http://c-js.info/2ev15RD

13/12/2017   European Coral Reef Symposium   3 Day

University of Oxford, Reef Conservation UK. Contact: rcuk@zsl.org http://c-js.info/2xjm3Yo


Administrative and Office Skills

05/12/2017   Protected species law   1 Day

Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Ptyxis Ecology. Contact: 1436 321199 enquiries@ptyxis.com http://www.ptyxis.com

This beginners course provides an introduction to the law and policy in England and Wales relating to protected and priority species. We cover offenses, defenses and licensing under the criminal law and the duities of public bodies in relation to wildlife under administrative law.

05/12/2017   QGIS Foundation Training   2 Day

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

Ideal for Environmental & Ecological Professionals

05/12/2017   Good practice stakeholder participation training, with a focus on the environment   3 Day

Brabourne, nr Ashford, Dialogue Matters. Contact: 01233 813875 training@dialoguematters.co.uk http://www.dialoguematters.co.uk

06/12/2017   Advanced Facilitation Training - London    1 Day

London, Talk Action. Contact: 0207 324 4775 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.

12/12/2017   Arc Intermediate 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

12/12/2017   Evidence Synthesis to inform policy and business decision-making   1 Day

Edinburgh, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. Contact: https://www.ceh.ac.uk/training/evidence-synthesis-inform-policy-and-business-decision-making

For PhD students and Early Career Researchers.Evidence reviews (ERs) inform environmental research and set environmental policy in government and inform decision-making in business. ER skills include: statistics, data management, review types and methods, the nature and application of different synthesis methodologies, policy research, evidence mapping and meta-analysis. Free

12/12/2017   Arc Intermediate Training   2 Day and 14/12/2017   QGIS Intermediate Training   1 Day

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

Ideal for Environmental & Ecological Professionals


Community Engagement and Environmental Education

14/12/2017   Managing Challenging Volunteer Situations   1 Day

Stirling, TCV Scotland. Contact: 01786 476170 Scotland-training@tcv.org.uk http://c-js.co.uk/2ysVU9j

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


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

02/12/2017   Outdoor First Aid Course   2 Day

Mugdock Country Park, First Aid Training Co-operative. Contact: 0333 4330731 courses@firstaidtrainingcooperative.co.uk http://www.firstaidtrainingcooperative.co.uk

Practical, NGB-suitable training courses across Scotland, from the country's leading provider. Founded by experienced outdoor practitioners, First Aid Training Co-operative specialises in outdoor first aid. Our 2 Day Outdoor First Aid Course covers all the requirements of National Governing Body (NGB) Instructor Awards. 16 hours.

06/12/2017   Emergency First Aid at Work (1 Day)   1 Day

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

The HSE recommends that all low risk workplaces have staff with an Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) qualification on duty. The 6 hour EFAW course is designed for low risk workplaces, and covers Basic First Aid skills and the roles and responsibilities of the Appointed Person.

07/12/2017   Arb Approved Contractor Preparation Workshop   1 Day

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

12/12/2017   RSPH Level 2 Award in the safe use of Rodenticides   1 Day

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

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


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Herpetology, Fish and Invertebrates

02/12/2017   Discovering Diptera: Flies Under the Microscope   1 Day

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

Flies are all around us, but are often overlooked or even actively discouraged. In fact the true flies, or Diptera, are found in all habitats and have fascinating life cycles and ecology. This course will provide an introduction to identifying Diptera.

05/12/2017   Great Crested Newts, Licensing and Mitigation   2 Day

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

Designed for ecologists with knowledge and experience of great crested newt survey techniques and limited experience of licensing and mitigation projects. It will include case-study, syndicate exercises, site visits and demonstration techniques. In partnership with Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust.


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Mammals

07/12/2017   Winter bats   1 Day

Bowland Wild Boar Park, Chipping, Lancashire , Ecology Services UK Ltd. Contact: 01995 61492 info@ecologyservice.co.uk http://www.ecologyservice.co.uk

A course suitable for all abilities covering, bat ecology and bat surveys in winter. Participants will develop skills and experience in finding, identifying and conserving hibernating bats


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Ornithology

01/12/2017   Birds of Prey of the North Kent Marshes   1 Day

Isle of Sheppey, Kent Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01622 662012 info@kentwildlife.org.uk http://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/

Spend a day observing birds of prey. Learn how to identify different species and more about their characteristics, habitats and behaviour.

14/12/2017   Wild Bird Identification   1 Day

Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre, Colchester, Essex Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01621 862960 Reception@essexwt.org.uk http://www.essexwt.org.uk/events/2017/12/14/wild-bird-identification?instance=0

A chance to study and better identify those waders, wildfowl and gulls that grace our shores during the winter period. Divers to geese, Pintail to Knot will all be in the area. £30 donation per person. Booking is essential.

28/12/2017   Bird Ringing Demonstration   1 Day

Shillito Wood car park, Eastern Moors Partnership. Contact: 0114 2891543 enquiries@easternmoors.org.uk http://www.visit-eastern-moors.org.uk

Learn all about your favourite garden visitors and get to see them up close and personal whilst they are expertly ringed. Build a bird box to take home for £5 or leave it with us to put up in the woods. £3 donation. Just turn up.


Identification and Field Survey Skills - Plants and Habitats

01/12/2017   Identifying Trees in Winter   1 Day

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

Identification by the buds, twigs, bark, shape and size. Challenging but possible. Classroom and field studies

03/12/2017   Beginners Wildlife Recording & Monitoring   1 Day

Groundwork, Northwich, Saltscape Landscape Partnership. Contact: 01606 723 160 info@saltscape.co.uk http://www.saltscape.co.uk

Join us for a day of wildlife recording to help add to Cheshire's recording database. We will be starting at the Groundwork Office for a short masterclass in how to record for beginners then we'll be heading to Marshalls Arm, a local nature reserve to put in to practise what we've learnt. Children accompanied by and adult are welcome. Places limited- booking essential. Visit the website for more free events! www.saltscape.co.uk

04/12/2017   Marbury Hall History Walk   1 Day

Marbury Country Park, Northwich, Saltscape Landscape Partnership. Contact: 01606 723 160 info@saltscape.co.uk http://www.saltscape.co.uk

An easy guided walk for all ages around Marbury Country Park - where Marbury hall once stood. Join us for a little bit of history of the family who once lived there and the parkland landscape. Places limited - booking essential, free. Visit the website for more free events www.saltscape.co.uk

05/12/2017   Winter Tree Identification    1 Day at Woodford Valley, Wiltshire and 07/12/2017 at 

The Species Recovery Trust. Contact: 01722 322539 bookings@speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk Natural History Museum, London http://www.speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk/Training.html

A one day course giving participants the skills and confidence to identify trees and shrubs when not in leaf, a chance to see the majority of British native trees, a full set of twigs to label and take home and a free copy of the FSC Aidgap Winter Trees guide.

07/12/2017   Winter Twigs Workshop   1 Day

Ryton Pools Country Park, Princethorpe Woodlands Living Landscape. Contact: 024 7630 2912 anna.jennings@wkwt.org.uk http://c-js.co.uk/2gvkmDq

Come and learn some handy tips and tricks for identifying trees in winter when they have lost their leaves. There will be an indoor session followed by a practical session in the Country Park and Ryton Woods. Refreshments provided, but please bring a packed lunch, weather-appropriate clothing and sturdy footwear.

09/12/2017   Winter Tree Identification   1 Day

Idle Valley Nature Reserve, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01777 858 245 askidlevalley@nottswt.co.uk http://www.attenboroughnaturecentre.co.uk/book

Learn how to identify common trees in winter, without using leaves. Includes analysis of a wide range of samples followed by a field session on the reserve. 10am - 3pm   £35



02/12/2017   Wildlife Photography in the Winter   0.5 Day

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

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


Practical Countryside Skills

04/12/2017   Introduction to Basic Hedge Laying   2 Day

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

An introduction to the traditional art of hedge laying, taught by champion hedge layer Andrew Kirkwood. You will lay a length of hedge in the regional style of where the course is being held using hand tools. This course is part funded through the Stories in Stone project T&C’s apply.

09/12/2017   Natural Boundaries   2 Day

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

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


Practical Countryside Skills - Machinery

01/12/2017   Safe Use of Pesticides for Vertebrate Pest Control for Rats and Mice (Rat and Mice Poison) NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day by Lowe Maintenance Training

Any one who uses rat/mice poison as a professional (farmer/gamekeeper/pest controller etc) will need a certificate of competence from Spring 2016. This one day course plus one day assessment upon achievement will enable you to purchase the rodenticides you require for pest control

04/12/2017   Chainsaw Maintenance, Cross Cutting and Felling and Processing of Trees up to 380mm (formally CS30 and CS31) NPTC / City and Guilds    4 Day by Lowe Maintenance Training

Four days training plus a fifth day for the assessment. Covering the maintenance of a chainsaw, cross cutting and felling and processing trees upto 380mm in diameter Ideal for those new to chainsaws or those needing certificates of competence evidence.

Lowe Maintenance Training courses held in Settle BD24 9DN . Contact: 01729 825132 info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk http://www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk

04/12/2017   Aerial Tree Rigging (replaces CS41)   6 Day

Dorking, Surrey, Land Skills Training & Assessments Ltd. Contact: 01306 876404 office@landskills.co.uk http://www.landskills.co.uk/training/tree-based-training/aerial-tree-rigging/

A course for people who are experienced in using a chainsaw from a rope and harness, who wish to develop their skills to remove branches and/or whole trees in confined spaces.

05/12/2017   ROLO (Register of Landbased Operatives) Bali    1 Day

Settle BD24 9DN, Lowe Maintenance Training . Contact: 01729 825132 info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk http://www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk

This one day course is a pre requisite for anyone within the land based industries who require a CSCS card to work on sites

05/12/2017   CLVA11X Lantra Awards Sit in ATV conventional steer   1 Day

Yellison Farm Barns, Broughton Hall Estate, Skipton , Land Rover Experience North Yorkshire . Contact: 01756 611060 sophie@lre3.co.uk http://www.yorkshire.landroverexperience.co.uk

ATVs are versatile machines. This one day course is designed for anyone using an ATV machine for work or leisure purposes. HSE compliant Lantra certification on completion

06/12/2017   Safe Use of Aluminium Phosphide for Vertebrate Pest Control (Phostoxin and Talunex) NPTC / City and Guilds   1 Day by Lowe Maintenance Training

Phostoxin and Talunex for the control of rabbits, rats and moles requires you to hold a certificate of competence to buy and apply the product. This one day training plus one day assessment will enable you to do so upon achievement.

11/12/2017   Emergency Tree Work Operations (formally CS50) NPTC / City and Guilds   3 Day by Lowe Maintenance Training

Three days training plus one day assessment, covering how to deal with emergency tree work operations. Techniques, winching and safe operation.

11/12/2017   PA1 - Principles of Safe Handling and Application of Pesticides NPTC / City and Guilds   1 Day by Lowe Maintenance Training

This is a pre requisite for other pesticide application units, assessment is through on online multiple choice exam. Grandfather Rights unit 1 can be run along side this course

12/12/2017   PA6a - Safe Application of Pesticides Using Pedestrian Hand Held Equipment (knapsacks/lance from a tank) NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day by Lowe Maintenance Training

This course is for people who use knapsacks or hand lances from a tank, the pre-requisite is PA1. Training is one day plus one day for the assessment.

13/12/2017   PA2a - Safe Application of Pesticides Using Self-propelled, Mounted and Trailed Boom Sprayers NPTC / City and Guilds    1 Day by Lowe Maintenance Training

This course is for people who use mounted, trailed boom sprayers, the pre-requisite is PA1. Training is one day plus one day for the assessment. Grandfather Rights Unit 3 can be run along side this course.

Lowe Maintenance Training courses held in Settle BD24 9DN . Contact: 01729 825132 info@lowe-maintenance.co.uk http://www.lowe-maintenance.co.uk

19/12/2017   Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Aluminium Phosphide for Vertebrate Pest Control   1 Day

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

This course aims to prepare trainees for the Level 2 Award assessment in The Safe Use of Aluminium Phosphide (Phostoxin or Talunex) for Vertebrate Control. It is designed for those new to the use of aluminium phosphide or as refresher training to those already using aluminium phosphide without a certificate.


Updates and Additions to other sections of Training Directory this month

Training Centre / provider listings

Butser Ancient Farm

Sallerton Wood - Courses in green woodworking


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Classified adverts with CJS.

Liz Proctor Fundraising Ltd

Professional Fundraising Consultancy & Freelance Fundraising, specialising in conservation and the environment. Dedicated, professional, knowledgeable about your sector and the challenges you face, with an excellent track record in raising funds, advising, training and coaching.

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Additions to the Grants and sources of funding listings.

Tesco Bags of Help administered by Greenspace Scotland

Mendip Hills Fund from Mendip Hills AONB opens on 1 October

Field Studies Council have two new sources available: a Young Environmentalists Fund and FSC Bursary

Marine Conservation Grants from Sea-Changers

Woodland Trust tree giveaway

The Green Futures Youth Environmental Action Fund from Yorkshire Dales NPA

Landscape Partnerships Grant Programme (UK) is the latest offering from Heritage Lottery Fund

Aviva Community Fund

The Oakdale Trust

Burbo Bank Extension Community Fund from Burbo Bank Extension Offshore Wind Farm


See the adverts by Clicking Here

The next edition of CJS Professional will be published on: 9 November

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