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Launch of 2017 Park Protector Award - Campaign for National Parks

Launch of 2017 Award to celebrate projects that protect and improve the National Parks of England and Wales

Projects contributing to our beautiful National Parks could receive a £2,000 boost in recognition of their work thanks to the Campaign for National Park’s Park Protector Award. The Award celebrates the work being done in National Parks across England and Wales with the winner receiving a £2,000 bursary.

Nominations are being invited until Thursday 20 July. Nominated projects must be seeking to conserve or enhance the biodiversity of an area, restore heritage sites or protect an area in a National Park. 

For more information click here

Nominations are open until 20 July. Download an application form (PDF) 


Unauthorised structure on nature reserve removed - BBOWT

An unauthorised structure on Wildmoor Heath nature reserve near Crowthorne, that was used as a drinking den has been demolished by the local Wildlife Trust.

The Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust is responsible for the safety of all visitors to the nature reserve, and was very concerned about the unauthorised structure. It had been built by a local resident last autumn, initially for children to play on, but it had also attracted anti-social behaviour and vandalism.

The Wildlife Trust assessed the structure, which was found to be unsafe. Initial attempts to demolish it earlier this year were met with abusive and violent behaviour from people who did not want it to be removed.

Alex Cruickshank, Senior Land Manager for the Berks, Bucks, and Oxon Wildlife Trust, who assisted with the successful removal on Wednesday 21 June, said: “The whole area was littered with drink’s bottles and used condoms. The Fire Service had been called out to deal with three cases of arson in a week. It’s not something that we want on a nature reserve.”

Following the earlier attempt to remove the structure, vandalism on Wildmoor Heath had increased dramatically.


Trust to take care of Glenridding Common - John Muir Trust

Lake District National Park Authority agrees in principle to three-year management lease for Helvellyn and surrounding landscape  

Following an extensive public consultation, members of the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) have agreed to lease Glenridding Common to the John Muir Trust subject to final terms being agreed.

Striding Edge (image: John Muir Trust)Striding Edge (image: John Muir Trust)

In a statement on 21 June, Richard Leafe, Chief Executive of LDNPA said, “At the Lake District National Park’s Authority meeting on 21 June 2017, members agreed to lease Glenridding Common to the charity the John Muir Trust. This follows a period of consultation earlier this year, which gave the community and key stakeholders an opportunity to understand more about the proposal. During this period we continued our discussions with the two commoners who graze the land and representatives from the farming community made useful contributions towards the content of the draft lease. We will now formalise a three-year lease and we are aiming for this to be in place from August 2017. The John Muir Trust and the National Park are jointly committed to caring for the common, including working with the local community, and we look forward to seeing how the Trust’s management will enhance and improve the environmental quality of this land.”

Andrew Bachell, Chief Executive for the John Muir Trust said: “The recent consultation has shown there is substantial support for the Trust to manage this special landscape. It has also allowed us to speak openly with those who raised questions and it’s been important in starting to develop a relationship and dialogue with the local commoners, farmers, residents and business community.  We’re looking forward to finalising the details of a lease and then having further conversations with local people and organisations to agree a management plan that will enhance and benefit the local area. We take the responsibility of managing this special landscape and respecting its cultural traditions seriously and feel delighted and privileged to have been given the opportunity to do so.” 


Long-distance footpath celebrates Britain’s original National Park - Peak District National Park

A new long-distance footpath, celebrating Britain’s original National Park, has been launched by Friends of the Peak District.

The 190-mile route stretches from South Pennine moorlands to the gentle limestone scenery of the Derbyshire Dales, embraces the urban edges of Sheffield and Oldham and takes in the rugged moorland of Staffordshire and the undulating slopes of Cheshire.

During the day, teams of walkers completed 20 stages of the walk, ‘first-footing’ the course in its entirety. The walk is the brainchild of Julie Gough, a keen walker and Friends of the Peak District’s fundraising and marketing co-ordinator.  Over the last two years, Julie and other Friends members have worked with volunteer walkers and writers to complete the project, which has also been funded by Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme and Marston’s Brewery. “One of the reasons for devising the route was to raise awareness of the edge of the National Park and its magnificent landscapes – and to encourage people to cherish and protect them,” says Julie. “The walk follows existing paths and trails and takes you away from the usual ‘honeypots’, into quieter, less well-known corners of the Park, giving you a new perspective on the Peak District.”

A new guidebook to accompany the walk has also been launched, edited by Peak District National Park member and outdoor writer, Andrew McCloy. The 'Peak District Boundary Walk: 190 miles around the edge of the national park' highlights many of the historical and current challenges faced by the Peak District and how the Friends have fought to protect it.

Peak District National Park chief executive Sarah Fowler commented: “This project brings the past into the present. Just as those who originally mapped the boundary decided it was a landscape worth protecting, today we are encouraged to enjoy the National Park and to care for it for future generations.” 


Taking forward Wales’ sustainable management of natural resources - Welsh Government consultation

The consultation seeks views on new regulatory approaches to the sustainable management of natural resources in Wales. Proposals include:

  • promotion of the circular economy
  • nature-based solutions
  • new markets and innovative mechanisms
  • smarter regulation

Consultation End Date: 13 September 2017 Take part here. 


New look for updated Marine Code - Scottish Natural Heritage

A best practice code for watching marine wildlife around Scotland’s coasts has been revised, updated and re-launched by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

Dolphin watching (image: © Ben James via SNH)The Scottish Marine Wildlife Watching Code (SMWWC) aims to promote enjoyment of marine wildlife and raise awareness about the best ways to watch animals including dolphins, birds, seals, otters, whales and basking sharks. It provides guidance on how best to enjoy watching these animals without disturbing or harming them.

Dolphin watching (image: © Ben James via SNH)

The code, originally launched in 2006, has been updated to reflect changes in legislation, advances in technology and updated contacts.

The SMWWC is complemented by a 62 page Guide to Best Practice for Watching Marine Wildlife. Packed with superb photos, the guide provides additional information about the animals you are most likely to see in the seas around Scotland, along with practical guidance on responsible behaviour around these animals.

The Code and the Guide to Best Practice are available at www.snh.gov.uk/marinecode


Scientific Publications

Andrej Christian Lindholst, A review of the outcomes from contracting out urban green space maintenance: What we know, don’t know and should know, Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, Available online 23 June 2017, ISSN 1618-8667, DOI: 10.1016/j.ufug.2017.06.012. 


Pereira JL, Vidal T, Mendes C, et al. Invasive Asian clam distribution pattern reveals minimal constraints to downstream dispersal and imperceptible ecological impacts. Aquatic Conserv: Mar Freshw Ecosyst. 2017;1–12. DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2777 


Sacha K. Heath, Candan U. Soykan, Karen L. Velas, Rodd Kelsey, Sara M. Kross, A bustle in the hedgerow: Woody field margins boost on farm avian diversity and abundance in an intensive agricultural landscape, Biological Conservation, Volume 212, Part A, August 2017, Pages 153-161, ISSN 0006-3207, DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.05.031.


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