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Coronavirus – Guidance on access to green spaces - defra, Natural England, Environment Agency and Forestry Commission

Guidance on using green spaces and protecting yourself and others.

The government’s priority is to save lives and the best way to protect yourself and others from illness is to stay at home.However, exercise is still important for people’s physical and mental wellbeing, so the government has said people can leave their homes for exercise once a day.

Please use the following guidance in order to stay safe:

  • stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily
  • you should only go outside alone or with members of your own household
  • keep at least 2 metres apart from anyone outside your household at all times
  • gatherings of more than two in parks or other public spaces have been banned and the police will enforce this
  • if you have a garden, make use of the space for exercise and fresh air
  • take hygiene precautions when you are outside, and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors

Please see the latest government guidance on social distancing.

Bovine TB: summary of badger control monitoring during 2019 - Natural England Policy paper

Information and data on operations to control bovine tuberculosis in parts of England in 2019.

These documents provide:

  • a summary of the results of badger control operations during 2019
  • more detailed information in the annexes
  • advice on the outcome of supplementary badger control
  • a summary of badger vaccination during 2019

Click through to read the documents.

HS2 to start digging up ancient woodland from April - Woodland Trust

HS2 Ltd has confirmed to the Woodland Trust it will begin the futile act of attempting to move the soil from five ancient woodlands during April.

The move goes against both conservation principles and guidance from Natural England.

The five sites are Broadwells Wood, Birches Wood, Crackley Wood, and Ashow Road, all in Warwickshire, and Fulfen Wood in Staffordshire. The work will take around eight weeks.

Crackley Wood is among those to be destroyed by HS2. (Credit: Philip Formby / WTML)
Crackley Wood is among those to be destroyed by HS2. (Credit: Philip Formby / WTML)

Trust ecologist Luci Ryan said: “Instead of bursting into life, these irreplaceable ancient woodlands now face imminent death. Attempting to move ancient woodland soils from one site to another is flawed. Attempting it in April doubly so. Add into the mix that the contractor doing it has never translocated ancient woodland nor visited a translocated site and it’s a recipe for disaster. It’s like getting a bike mechanic to service a Boeing.”

Translocation is defined as the physical removal of a habitat from one location to another in an attempt to offset the impact of development on the ecological interest of a site. Unfortunately, it is increasingly being suggested as a form of environmental compensation for proposed developments. However, translocation is not feasible for ancient woodland because ancient woodland is defined as an irreplaceable habitat. Natural England guidance clearly states that an “ancient woodland ecosystem cannot be moved”. It is therefore not an appropriate alternative to conservation in situ.

National Trust launches #BlossomWatch to emulate Japan’s Hanami - The National Trust

apple blossom (pixabay)

The National Trust is asking people to celebrate the blossom season – emulating Hanami the ancient Japanese tradition of viewing and celebrating blossom as the first sign of spring.

The conservation charity is encouraging those who can see a tree in flower to take a moment to pause, actively notice and enjoy the fleeting beauty of blossom, and share their images on social media for those who can’t see blossom themselves - to kick off a new British tradition of #BlossomWatch. The move is part of the Trust’s campaign to help people of all ages to become more connected with everyday nature.

The charity said that blossom sweeping the country is one of nature’s key moments that could help lift the spirits during these uncertain times and enable people to celebrate nature and history together. The charity is asking those with trees in bloom in their gardens and on their streets to share pictures on social media using #BlossomWatch and tagging their location, so everyone can enjoy this year’s blossom season. And next year there are plans to develop a #BlossomWatch map.

The move follows the launch of the Trust’s Noticing Nature report last month, which demonstrated that for people to do more to protect nature, they need to have a closer everyday connection to it.

The Trust will be encouraging those who’d like to get involved to share and tag their images via @nationaltrust on Instagram and Twitter using the #BlossomWatch and also inserting the name of the place where they live. And plenty of blossom facts and images can be found at

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Disclaimer: the views expressed in these news pages do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of CJS.