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Funding of £20,000 has been announced for projects to engage young people with nature at an event to celebrate Scotland’s Youth Biodiversity Panel - Scottish Natural Heritage 

The Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) Future Routes Fund is aimed at those aged 11-26 and supports young people to connect with nature and make a positive impact on the environment in Scotland.

Future Routes aims to help young people improve their local environment, increase their knowledge and understanding of Scottish biodiversity and provide more opportunities to connect with nature. 

The ReRoute panel with SNH staff (©Young Scot)The ReRoute panel with SNH staff (©Young Scot)

A partnership with Young Scot, the fund is designed and delivered by the Youth Biodiversity Panel, ReRoute.

The latest round was announced at an event in Edinburgh to celebrate the achievements of ReRoute over the last year.

The group of young people aged 14 – 24 from across Scotland have volunteered more than 1,000 hours over the past 12 months.

Following the publication of ReRoute’s first report in 2018, the panel has been working with SNH to take forward its recommendations on environmental volunteering and jobs; outdoor learning and environmental education; junior rangers and kit libraries and urban nature parks.

Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot, said: “Young people always tell us that they want a bigger say in the decisions that affect their lives, and that’s why projects such as ReRoute are so important. It’s fantastic to see the young people working in partnership with staff from Scottish Natural Heritage to implement their ideas. This partnership will help to ensure that the panellists’ friends and peers engage more with Scotland’s stunning natural environment.” 

 

UK natural capital accounts: 2019  - The Office for National Statistics statistical bulletin.

The ONS has today published new Natural Capital figures. The aim of these estimates is to value all the UK’s natural assets – such as plants, mountains, rivers and trees.

While the figures do not yet cover all environmental goods and services, these new estimates include the impact of green spaces on house prices (which were published on Monday) the cooling of cities provided by trees and ponds and the noise reduction provided by woodland.

Today’s figures show:

  • In 2016 the partial asset value of UK natural capital was estimated to be £951bn
  • On average annually, people in Wales spend over three times longer on outdoor recreation than people in England
  • In 2018, feedstock and grazing for livestock made up 61% of UK agricultural biomass
  • The cooling shade of trees and water saved the UK £248m in 2017 by maintaining productivity and lowering air conditioning costs on hot days
  • 1,238 years of life were saved through vegetation removing air pollution in 2017
  • Renewable energy generation grew from 5% of all electricity generated in 2008 to 35% in 2018
  • Driven by Scotland, UK timber production has increased 51% between 2000 and 2018

View release and supplementary documents.

 

Children get to learn “Moor” as pioneering project boosted by £37k BASC legacy funding - British Association for Shooting and Conservation 

The future of the pioneering upland education initiative Let’s Learn Moor has been secured and strengthened by a grant from the UK’s largest shooting organisation.

Building on the first three successful years, the £37,000 legacy funding from the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) will enable the initiative to continue to grow over the next three years and achieve its ambitious educational aims.

Let’s Learn Moor is a multi-partnership free education experience for school children in upland areas.

This summer the initiative welcomed 1,400 children to seven moorland locations in the north of England. They were introduced to and educated by more than 30 partner organisations including conservation groups, national park and AONB authorities and local produce businesses, water utility companies, the emergency services and farmers.

All of the events were hosted on grouse moors with gamekeepers and regional moorland groups acting as coordinators and one of the key attractions. Events were held at locations across Yorkshire, Lancashire, the Peak District and the northern Pennines.

At its heart, the project aims to show children the variety of wildlife on our uplands and the importance of creating a balanced and healthy moorland for future generations. The funding will allow phase two of the initiative to begin, creating further opportunities to allow local organisations to engage and educate children.

 
And finally

Birds put on spectacular autumnal show at Scotland’s nature reserves - Scottish Natural Heritage

Photographers have captured stunning images of wild geese and waders flocking to Scotland.

Images taken at Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) national nature reserves at Forvie, Loch Leven and Caerlaverock reveal the mass migration of wild birds from Iceland, Greenland and Svalbard.

Stuart MacQuarrie, SNH’s Head of Nature Reserves, said: “To see a flock of geese as they lift off from their night-time roost is one of Scotland’s greatest wildlife spectacles. It’s such a remarkable aerial display, made even better by the chorus of their high-pitched calls. These amazing birds migrate as far as 3,400 miles to reach Scotland for their winter feeding, before returning to more northern climes in the spring. And there’s plenty of time for people to come out to one of our nature reserves over the next few months and see this marvellous display for themselves.” 

 

Scientific Publications 

Hannes A. Schraft, Shannon Whelan, Kyle H. Elliott Huffin’ and puffin: seabirds use large bills to dissipate heat from energetically demanding flight Journal of Experimental Biology 2019 : jeb.212563 Short Communication doi: 10.1242/jeb.212563 Published 17 October 2019

 

Soyeon Bae, Shaun R. Levick, et al Radar vision in the mapping of forest biodiversity from space.  Nature Communications volume 10, Article number: 4757 (2019)  doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-12737-x  open access

   

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