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CJS Professional

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

Published on the second Thursday every month

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

Please remember: If you are interested in a particular advert or item please contact the advertiser, not CJS, and remember to tell them you saw their advert in CJS Professional.

Featured Charity: Mammal Society

Find out more about our featured charity here.

Including how to join and donate.

Contents:

Click the headers to browse each section, or click on each item (or the [more] button)

 

Jobs

Title

Employer

Location (basis / contract details)

Biodiversity Information Manager

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust

WWT Head Office, Elm Tree Court, Devizes (Full Time Permanent – 37.5 hours/week)

Conservation Social Scientist

RSPB

Location: Flexible (Full time for 18 months)

Outdoor Learning Officer

The Prospects Foundation

based at our offices at 54 Broadway, Accrington, east Lancashire (22.20 hours per week over 3 days)

NB short date

Forest Manager/ Senior Forest Manager

Scottish Woodlands Ltd

Covering North West Scotland working out of Fort William

Operations Officer

NatureScot

Location: Fort William

Harvesting & Marketing Work Site Supervisor

Forestry and Land Scotland

Durris or Huntly

 

Maintenance Team Member

Princes Risborough Town Council

Naturally Native Project Manager

Durham Wildlife Trust

Based at Durham Wildlife Trust’s Head Office: Rainton Meadows, Houghton-le-Spring, DH4 6PU (Fixed term contract for 3 years, part time, 0.8 FTE)

Project Coordinator: Climate Action Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough Environment City

Middlesbrough (37 hrs per week – 3 years initially (may be extended for a further 2 years))

Horticulture / Wildlife Supervisor

Alternatives West Dunbartonshire Community Drug Services

(28hrs/week variable, including some evening and weekend working)

Wildlife Ranger

Forestry and Land Scotland

Based in Hawick

Visitor Services Manager

Forestry and Land Scotland

South Region - Scotland

Nature Targets Advocacy Officer

Wales Environment Link

Location: Some home working involved, along with co-working membership of Tramshed Tech in Central Cardiff (Part-time contract (28 hrs per week) until 31st May 2021)

Climate Action Lead

Sussex Wildlife Trust

Location: Woods Mill / Home Working (Fixed term (9 months) 35hpw)

Aire Project Manager - Full Time

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

(Full time)

Reserve Warden, Ainsdale Sand Dunes NNR

Natural England

Ainsdale Sand Dunes National Nature Reserve, Merseyside (Permanent, full time)

Apprenticeships, Interns and paid trainee roles

Natural Prospects Traineeships

Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract

 

Volunteers

The Outdoor Recreation Network (ORN) is seeking to appoint a new Chair to succeed Fiona Groves who will step down as Chair in mid-October.

 

Features and In Depth Articles

5 Steps to a Green Recovery for parks and green spaces

The COVID19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way we live our lives now and for the foreseeable future. During the ‘lock down’ parks became the only public open spaces where millions of people could exercise, relax and meet others for the limited periods allowed.  ‘Making Parks Count – The Case for Parks Case’ was completed just prior to the COVID19 lock down. Its primary purpose was to demonstrate the value of parks to communities and government in England and set out how local places could make their parks count. [more

Skomer Marine Conservation Zone’s special history, as it celebrates 30 years of designation this year

Thirty years ago, very few people knew about the unique and hidden underwater world off the Pembrokeshire coast. To most it was just out of sight, out of mind. Now, as the only Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) in Wales, Skomer is a very special site that is home to a wide range of marine life. [more]

Forming the Sheffield Street Tree Partnership

From the initial campaign to protect the Street Trees of Sheffield, it seemed unlikely that opposing sides would ever reach an agreement. Over the last five years perseverance has unearthed common ground between campaigners, council and contractors, and now a partnership with representatives from all parties has agreed a working strategy to sustain and maintain the city’s network of street trees for the future. [more]

Green Action Trust – Scotland’s leading environmental regeneration charity by Derek A. Robertson, Chief Executive, Green Action Trust

To ensure we can play our part effectively in delivering the nation-wide action on environmental regeneration we need, we have come to what has felt like a natural milestone for the charity, the launch of our refreshed identity as the Green Action Trust.  [more

GoParks.London: A treasure trove of healing emerald and golden gems 

GoParks.London has more than 4,000 parks and green spaces featured on its interactive map and we know there are others out there not yet registered (if you know of one please help us out by registering it). Every one of the 4,000 entries have their own page detailing the facilities with some history and notes on the nature you might find when visiting. There are also details on the management and contacts for any volunteer group. [more

Transforming the modern Ornithologist By Niamh Bothwell

However, despite many positives to being a birder, it’s not always easy being an ornithologist, especially if you are a woman, and a young woman at that. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the field, the hobby is largely dominated by white, older men. Despite the RSPB being created in 1891 by three women: Eliza Philips, Emily Williamson and Etta Lemon (who weren’t even allowed to vote in those days) the inadvertent sexism continued. [more

 

CJS Focus

Change in focus for CJS Focus!  Due to the Coronavirus outbreak we paused CJS Focus publications and have taken the time to look at how they are used by both readers and advertisers.  We are relaunching the publication in 2021 starting with CJS Focus on Volunteering due out in February. Now is the time to send in your sueggestions. [more

 

CJS Information and other notices

Advance notice: 3 November a Facebook live session with Simon Roper from Ambios talking about changing career [more]

The Nature Friendly Farming Network have launched their very own podcasts hosted by Ben Eagle and Will Evans. [more]

RSPB's new campaign: Revive Our World – take action for nature [more]

On Tuesday, 29 September the RSPB launched their Green Recovery Plan, CJS was invited to attend the (virtual) launch, we were able to ask a couple of questions of the experts, one was answered during the panel the other followed by email, see both and the replies here.

From our 2020 Featured Charity: The Mammal Society. National Mammal Week 2020 – 23 October to 1 November 2020 [more]

 

New Section: Job Profiles Whilst CJS doesn’t want to turn away any genuine potential countryside workers we do want people to know it's not all sunshine and roses and in so doing perhaps help organisations from receiving speculative enquiries and make sure the recruiter's task is made easier by ensuring they receive only relevant applications from suitable candidates who have done their homework and know exactly what it is they're looking at and applying for. [more] Submit your own job role profile, details here.

 

News 

Animal and wildlife news

Ecology and Biodiversity

Land and Countryside Management

Lockdown and Green Recovery

Funding and Appeals

Sustainablity, Pollution and Climate Change

Scientific Research, Results and Publications

Community, Recreation and Volunteering

 

Training

Recently added online events and learning including calendar of short courses happening in December

 

Classified

SALAR MEDIA SERVICES : Sustainable Communications Consultancy  

 


CJS Newsletters and updates:

CJS Weekly: subscription only weekly newsletter. Receive details of all vacancies and information advertised with CJS. Find out more here. Instant access here.

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CJS Professional: 8 October 2020

   

Jobs: view all online jobs here

 

Logo: Wiltshire Wildlife TrustWiltshire Wildlife Trust

Biodiversity Information Manager

Reporting to: Head of Conservation

Based: WWT Head Office, Elm Tree Court, Devizes

Contract: Full Time Permanent – 37.5 hours/week

Salary: £30,000

The Trust is looking for an experienced, enthusiastic leader and manager who is committed to the development of Wiltshire & Swindon Biological Records Centre (WSBRC). The post holder will be someone who is able to use their ecological knowledge and their understanding of the major issues facing the natural environment to interpret and engage with key policies and strategies and work with diverse stakeholder groups to support nature’s recovery.

We are looking for a candidate who is organised and motivated, with an entrepreneurial outlook. They will be an excellent networker, able to build and maintain strong working relationships with key stakeholders.

The role will oversee all aspects of WSBRC’s work programme and budgets, setting the strategic direction and developing products and services. They will have line management responsibility for a team of staff and office volunteers.

For the past 35 years the WSBRC has catalogued and stored biodiversity information. The WSBRC promotes and supports biological recording and monitoring and is part of a national network of Local Environmental Records Centres. It gathers, manages, interprets and disseminates a wide range of biological and geological information and produces Wiltshire’s State of the Environment Report. It also works with a range of partners to deliver recording, monitoring and citizen science projects within Wiltshire.

Closing Date: 9am - Monday 12th October 2020

(Successful candidates will be notified by Wednesday 14th October. We regret we are unable to provide feedback to candidates who are not selected for interview).

Interviews: Monday 19th October 2020 at Elm Tree Court, Devizes

A full job description and application pack is available to download from our website

If you would like to discuss this opportunity informally, please contact Samantha Stork, Head of Conservation, at sams@wiltshirewildlife.org

(Please note: Applications will only be accepted via our Application Form. When completing the form please ensure you use the ‘supporting statement’ section to evidence how you believe you meet the essential and desirable criteria detailed in the Job Description. This information will be used in our short-listing process).


logo: RSPBRSPB

Conservation Social Scientist

Location: Flexible
Salary: £26,212 to £29,320 Per Annum

Hours: Full time
Contract: 18 Months

The RSPB Centre for Conservation Science is looking for a talented person to join our People Conservation Science section. You will be providing social science research and evidence to inform a new project working with first-time UK home-buyers to investigate gardening behaviours. The project is looking at motivations around the use of greenspaces (personal and public), barriers to engagement with wildlife in these spaces, interventions (particularly digital) that may help address some barriers, and how information, activities and behaviours spread throughout communities.
This is a new, exciting, 18-month fixed-term post, reporting directly to our Principal Conservation Social Scientist, Dr Joelene Hughes. The post requires you to have a doctorate, a good working knowledge of relevant subjects, for example social network theory and analysis methods, and preferably some experience of problem-solving research work. An understanding of the UK conservation context would be desirable.
The researcher will be working with RSPB colleagues from outside the science department, and an external business partner who is funding the research. The post-holder will be expected to balance their own project work with some provision of general evidence-based social science advice to the RSPB project team. You will be expected to use appropriate communications to effectively communicate science to different audiences, inform funding, policy and other key decisions. You will have experience of conducting experimental and quasi-experimental research using both qualitative and quantitative methods and be skilled in using face-to-face interview techniques e.g. Key Informant interviews or leading focus group discussions, to collect unbiased data from individuals or small groups.

Closing date: 14 October 2020

For further information and to apply click here


SHORT DATELogo: Prospects Foundation

The Prospects Foundation

Outdoor Learning Officer

We are pleased to announce that we have secured funding for a 3-year part-time post to deliver a programme of work to enthuse and support local people to engage with the natural environment, gain a greater understanding of environmental issues and drive sustainable behaviour change.

The post is for 22.20 hours per week over 3 days and will be based at our offices at 54 Broadway, Accrington, east Lancashire. The salary will be £15,000 per annum for 22.20 hours per week. This is based on a full-time equivalent salary of £25,000 for 37.00 hours per week.

The post is funded by the Ernest Cook Trust, Hyndburn Windfall Fund and the D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust.

The deadline for submission of completed applications is 5.00pm prompt on Monday 12th October.

Shortlisting for interviews will take place between Tuesday 13th and Thursday 15th October and we will then let ALL applicants know (by e-mail) if they've been selected for an interview or not by the end of Friday 16th October.

Interviews will then take place in Accrington on Thursday 22nd October.

Please visit out Outdoor Learning Officer job page to find all the documents you will need to submit an application. If any of the links do not work please contact us on the e-mail below and we will send them direct to your e-mail address. Please do not phone the office number as, due to covid-19, we are only using our offices on very reduced hours at the moment.

Once complete, either post the application to our address (found on the application form) or send it by e-mail to info@prospectsfoundation.org.uk.

Applications submitted by e-mail will receive an e-mail confirmation within a day or two. If you send an application by e-mail and DO NOT receive an e-mail reply within a couple of days assume it has not got through and either e-mail it again, hand deliver or post a paper copy.


Logo: Scottish Woodlands LtdScottish Woodlands Ltd

Forest Manager/ Senior Forest Manager

Scottish Woodlands Ltd is a leading forestry management company with a long tradition of serving forest owners and investors in Scotland and the rest of the UK. We provide a comprehensive range of forest, estate and land-related services underpinned by our in-depth market experience, knowledge base and commitment to quality. The business is largely employee owned, and this encourages a dedication and commitment to the highest standards of professionalism and customer focus. Our aim is to understand each client’s specific objectives and then to provide a service which is both flexible and personal. We are currently seeking candidates for the following position:

Forest Manager/ Senior Forest Manager
North West Scotland

Due to our increasing activities and expanding work programme in North West Scotland, an exciting opportunity has arisen for an experienced Forest Manger/Senior Forest Manager to join our progressive team to service both our existing client base and expanding business. We service this area from our Fort William office.

Reporting directly to the Regional Manager, the role involves all aspects of woodland establishment, restructuring and management from planning through to harvesting. The position includes the requirement to liaise directly with a range of clients, prepare and manage budgets, report writing, grant scheme applications, cost control, planning of operations and site supervision.

To be successful in this role, you must be self-motivated and capable of working on your own initiative and as part of our expanding professional team. You should have demonstrable operational experience and have had consistent exposure to all aspects of the role described above with the confidence to work independently. Professional membership of the Institute of Chartered Foresters or progressing towards attaining chartered status would be preferred.

In addition, you should have a good working knowledge and understanding of site planning, working with contractors and site safety management, along with good communication skills and organisational ability. Applicants should have relevant academic qualifications and hold a current full valid driving licence which is essential for the role.

Scottish Woodlands offers an attractive salary and benefits package commensurate with experience. This includes pension scheme, life assurance, private health care, company vehicle and the opportunity for equity participation. The company has a unique structure and is 80% owned by staff. Applicants will also be given excellent personal and career development opportunities and will be part of a highly professional and motivated team. For more information on working with Scottish Woodlands or for details of information gathered during our recruitment process, please see our Job Applicant Privacy Notice on the careers section of our Webpage.

To apply for this role, please submit a cover letter along with your CV to: hr@scottishwoodlands.co.uk

Closing date: Sunday 8th November 2020

www.scottishwoodlands.co.uk

Growing a sustainable future.


NatureScotLogo: Scottish Natural Heritage

Operations Officer

37 hours a week

Permanent

Salary £27,136 per annum

Location: Fort William

(Ref: 1016-331)

Job Purpose Summary

You will contribute to delivering Scottish Natural Heritage’s objectives for a nature-rich future for Scotland and an effective response to the climate emergency primarily within South Highland Area. You will work collaboratively with other Areas and Activities, particularly in Argyll and elsewhere in the north.

The focus will be on (a) working in a team to deliver SNH’s development advice service, advising consulting authorities on the implications of proposals for Scotland’s nature, and (b) advising land managers on their protected areas.

Your work will have a geographic focus in Lochaber but you will also work flexibly throughout South Highland and beyond as priorities and resources dictate.

You should have an HND or equivalent qualification in an environmental discipline. Alternatively you should be able to demonstrate qualification by relevant practical experience. You should be familiar with the main terrestrial, marine and coastal habitats, species and landscapes in the Highlands which contribute to the area’s key natural heritage assets, and how they can be affected by development and land management activities.

For further information go to www.nature.scot/about-snh/working-us

Closing Date: midnight 18 October 2020

Interview Date: 2 November 2020


Logo: Forestry and Land ScotlandForestry and Land Scotland

Harvesting & Marketing Work Site Supervisor, Durris or Huntly

£25,138 - £26,525, plus benefits

Background Information

The FLS team in North East Scotland manage approximately 58,000Ha of woodland from the coastal pine woods of Moray, the large productive forests across Aberdeenshire and the busy urban woods on the edge of Aberdeen. Harvesting is divided in to 4 teams each led by a Forester and a Works Supervisor. FLS produces 400,000m3 of timber per year in NE Scotland.

FLS are an executive agency of the Scottish Government and are the largest producer of timber in Scotland. We offer opportunities for a whole career in the forestry industry and offer benefits such as flexible working, sick pay, 25 days holiday a year (rising to 30 days after 5 years’ service), together with 11.5 days public holiday per year and a generous pension scheme.

As an inclusive employer FLS are striving to achieve a diverse and gender balanced workforce. We would welcome applications from females as they are currently under represented in our organisation and the wider forestry sector, as well as those from other protected characteristic groups.

The key responsibilities for the role will include:

You will be working as part of a small team supervising harvesting operations across Aberdeenshire. You will supervise a mixture of FLS owned machinery, contracts and standing sales. Your key focus will be on ensuring our work meets stringent Health, Safety and Environmental conditions but also on meeting requirements from customers – maintaining the timber supply chain.

For more information and to apply, please visit our website: www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk

hr@forestryandland.gov.scot

Please quote ref 74320.

Closing date: 21/10/2020, 23:55

No recruitment agencies please.

We are committed to providing equal opportunities for all sectors of our diverse community.


 Logo: Princes Risborough Town CouncilPrinces Risborough Town Council

Maintenance Team Member

Princes Risborough Town Council is looking for a maintenance team operative. With a love of the outdoors and a passion for ensuring that our parks and town verges are presented in first-class order, you will be practical in nature and be comfortable with the safe use of an array of grounds maintenance tools. You will support in the inspection and maintenance of play areas, litter picking, grass cutting, and fencing/bench repair, along with a variety of vegetation management.

Job Summary

A competent individual to carry out a high standard of garden and clearance work to include but not limited to grass cutting, strimming of grass and hedge cutting, weeding, and tree pruning.

Main Tasks & Responsibilities

Work to include:   ●   Cutting of grass with a rotary mower or ride-on mower (dependent on location) and tidying area after.   ●   Strimming of gardens and grassed areas.   ●   Litter picking grassed areas before cutting grass.   ●   Cutting of hedges and pruning when required, taking care and attention.   ●   Sweeping of paths, leaving the area clean and tidy.   ●   Cleaning of all tools and equipment after use.   ●   Various grounds maintenance tasks.
The Princes Risborough Town Council is an equal opportunities employer and all applications will be considered.
For an application form please click here or contact The Clerk to the Town Council on 01844 275912 or email towncouncil@princesrisboroughtowncouncil.gov.uk


Logo: The Wildlife TrustsDurham Wildlife Trust

Naturally Native Project Manager

Salary £30,000 pro rata

Part Time (0.8 FTE)

Fixed term contract for 3 years

Closing date for applications is: 9am Friday 23rd October 2020

The Wildlife Trusts in the North East of England (Durham, Northumberland, Tees Valley) have brought together a wide range of organisations to restore water vole populations across this wide area. The Naturally Native project will tackle the 2 major causes of water vole decline, predation by American mink, an introduced non-native species, and habitat fragmentation. The Project Manager will be based with Durham Wildlife Trust.

We seek an experienced Project Manager to direct the delivery of this ambitious project. Co-ordinating staff as they undertake species and habitat monitoring, invasive species control and volunteer and stakeholder engagement. The Project Manager will oversee communications strategies and engagement activities, key to encouraging communities and landowners to actively participate in the project. They will be responsible for ensuring the overall aims and outputs of the project are reached and milestones achieved on time and to budget. The Project Manager will work with external consultants who will inform and evaluate project delivery and performance, and develop a legacy plan.

Based at Durham Wildlife Trust’s Head Office: Rainton Meadows, Houghton-le-Spring, DH4 6PU, with an opportunity to work on occasion from partner Trust offices. Currently home working may be required.

We are an inclusive employer and actively seek applications from underrepresented groups. We are committed to creating a diverse environment and are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, colour, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

For a detailed job description and how to apply go to www.durhamwt.com/jobs or email jobs@durhamwt.co.uk. Further queries on the content of the role may be directed to Mark Dinning on 0191 584 3112.

Logo: Lottery Heritage FundInterviews for the shortlisted candidates will be held on Wednesday 4th November via video conference.

Please return your completed application form along with your CV and covering letter by email to jobs@durhamwt.co.uk no later than 9am Friday 23rd October 2020.


Logo: Middlesbrough Environment CityMiddlesbrough Environment City

Project Coordinator: Climate Action Middlesbrough

Salary: MEC Band 10 (£25,124 to £27,056) 37 hrs per week – 3 years initially (may be extended for a further 2 years)

Middlesbrough Environment City (MEC) is an independent charity that promotes healthy and sustainable lifestyles using the ten principles of One Planet Living. We have an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic and dynamic coordinator to support a partnership of organisations to deliver Climate Action Middlesbrough, a new initiative to engage Middlesbrough’s communities in taking action to address the climate crisis. The project will work with partner organisations and the wider community to develop community leadership and support changes locally including at a policy, environmental, community and individual level.

You will be responsible for the day to day management of Climate Action Middlesbrough including project planning, staff supervision, monitoring of outcomes and budgets, coordination with the project partner organisations and evaluation.

With a sound understanding of the climate crisis, you will have previous experience of running community-based projects and have the ability to motivate, providing inspiration and leadership to others. You will require excellent communication and organisational skills and a have commitment to a community-led approach to addressing climate change locally.

If you feel that you have the skills and attributes for this position, then we would like to hear from you. For further details and an application form please contact Middlesbrough Environment City on 01642 579820, email info@menvcity.org.uk or download an application form from our website at www.menvcity.org.uk. The programme is funded by the National Lottery through the National Lottery Community Fund Climate Action Programme.

logo: National Lottery Community FundClosing Date: 10am Monday 19th October 2020

Interview Date: Thursday 22nd October 2020

This project is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund through the Climate Action Fund.


Alternatives West Dunbartonshire Community Drug Services

Horticulture / Wildlife Supervisor

Here is an exciting new opportunity to really make a difference.

The post of Horticulture/Wildlife Supervisor with Alternatives West Dunbartonshire Community Drug Services is on offer, as part of the safe, therapeutic provision of work placement and qualification opportunities for the Alternatives clients in recovery, working with the wider community.

NB. The post includes positive discrimination, in that it is only open to female applicants, due to the need for some work with groups of vulnerable girls and young women – mixed groups the rest of the time.

The post is 28hrs/week variable, including some evening and weekend working. The salary is £23,960 FTE, pro rata to £19,168 per annum.

To receive a copy of the job pack, please email: mhairi@alternativeswd.org


Logo: Forestry and Land ScotlandForestry and Land Scotland

Wildlife Ranger

Based in Hawick

£25,138 - £26,525 plus benefits

Background Information

It’s an exciting time for us here at Forestry and Land Scotland. As we continue to grow as a new agency of the Scottish Government, we are looking for a Wildlife Ranger to join us on our journey.
This is a great opportunity to work in an area of Scotland that is renowned for its stunning scenery and land based outdoor pursuits, so if you are passionate about working on the land and wildlife management we want to hear from you.
Our South Region provides the greatest volume of timber to local and national supply chains, supporting economic development. We also have areas that provide significant environmental and recreational value, such as the Glentress & Newcastleon 7stanes mountain bike centres.
The wildlife team consists of 11 Wildlife Rangers and 4 Wildlife Ranger Managers, responsible for wildlife control of four deer species - Roe, Fallow, Sika and Red, along with a population of feral goats and pigs.
Responsibilities

Supervisory Duties

Health & Safety

Work Plans and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Representation

For more information and to apply, please visit our website:

www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk

hr@forestryandland.gov.scot

Please quote ref 74799

Closing date: 25th October 2020, 23:55

No recruitment agencies please.

We are committed to providing equal opportunities for all sectors of our diverse community.


Logo: Forestry and Land ScotlandForestry and Land Scotland

Visitor Services Manager

South Region - Scotland

£42,668 - £46,480 plus benefits

Background Information

Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) is an agency of the Scottish Government, and manages Scotland’s national forests.
Nationally, we are a major provider of outdoor recreation opportunities across Scotland. We manage a wide-ranging portfolio of visitor destinations including six Forest Parks. The work we do makes a significant contribution to the local and national visitor economy as well as ensuring our national forests deliver a wide range of social benefits. We will play a key role in supporting the post-Covid economic recovery in rural tourism.
The Visitor Services (VS) Team, which this role leads, is responsible for providing a high quality visitor experience through managing the recreational facilities and engagement with visitors, on-site business and event organisers and participants.
Projects and partnerships often require working at pace with a clear vision of best outcomes for FLS and Scottish Government. This role plays a pivotal role in these projects as the main Regional lead with project managers, partners and stakeholders. Projects currently in development and planning include the redevelopment some of our key sites - for example; the Glentress masterplan and Borderland 7stanes project - part of the Borderlands inclusive growth deal.

The key responsibilities for the role will include:

You will lead a team of professionals, planning and managing a quality visitor experience.
You will work with a wide range of high level stakeholders, such as Scottish Government, regional tourism and business leads, local authorities, visitors and communities and partner businesses, together with national VS teams and other regional staff colleagues. You will report directly to the Regional Manager to ensure integrated working with Land Management activities and operate as part of the Leadership team for the South Region.

Responsibilities

For more information and to apply, please visit our landing page.

Please quote ref 73681

Closing date: 18 October 2020, 23:55


Logo: Wales Environment LinkWales Environment Link

Nature Targets Advocacy Officer

Wales Environment Link (WEL) is a network of 30 diverse NGOs with environmental, countryside and heritage interests, most of which have an all-Wales focus.

As an umbrella body WEL represents the shared interests of its member organisations. Its role is to support the many exciting and varied environmental organisations working in Wales to help them achieve their collective aims. WEL does this by facilitating collaborative working amongst its members and with like-minded partner organisations; and by presenting their joint positions on issues to government and key decision makers in Wales.

Nature Targets Advocacy Officer

Location: Some home working involved, along with co-working membership of Tramshed Tech in Central Cardiff

Position type: Part-time contract (28 hrs per week) until 31st May 2021

Salary: £28,590 pro rata

This is an excellent opportunity for someone with experience of coordinating and motivating groups, and of working with policy and decision makers to build support for key environmental issues. The ideal candidate will be personable and diligent with the tenacity to progress difficult discussions between WEL members in order to achieve mutual decisions. The post holder will work closely with WEL members and Environment Links UK (ELUK) colleagues to develop WEL statements and briefings in an efficient and effective manner. You will be responsible for organising suitable events and opportunities to advocate agreed WEL/ELUK policy positions to decision makers in Wales.

As one of the main points of contact for our Working Group Chairs, other group members and Welsh Government officials you will be a confident, self-motivated, approachable, organised and meticulous coordinator and an extremely effective communicator with a demonstrable enthusiasm for the work of environmental campaigning organisations.

We warmly welcome applications from black and minority ethnic candidates. We also welcome secondments.

Applications

Full job descriptions, person specifications and job application forms can be downloaded from www.waleslink.org/recruitment. Alternatively they may be requested by email: karen@waleslink.org.

Closing date: Monday 19th October (9.00am)

Interviews: Via Zoom videoconference, Thursday 22nd or Friday 23rd October


Logo: Sussex Wildlife TrustSussex Wildlife Trust

Climate Action Lead

Location: Woods Mill / Home Working

Salary: £21,860.89 £29,147.85 pro rata

Contract Type: Fixed term (9 months)

Hours: 35 hours per week

Closing Date: 30th October 5pm

Interview Date: 11th November

The Role

Sussex Wildlife Trust has a target to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions by 2030, but needs to understand its overall emission and sequestration figures as soon as possible, ideally reaching net zero emissions significantly sooner than 2030. Net Zero for Sussex Wildlife Trust is set against a backdrop of a deeper understanding of the current and future role of our own Estate in carbon storage and potential sequestration. This work sits under a broader organisational Climate Action Plan.

In order to embed the fast evolving national Carbon Agenda in Sussex Wildlife Trust policy and practice we are looking for an experienced and talented individual to work with technical experts within the Trust to take the numerous strands of this work forward over a nine month period.

The Person

You will have a degree or significant experience in environmental management or equivalent subject.

You will have extensive working knowledge and experience of project management, with particular experience in environmental and energy management, understanding climate projections, with a sound, demonstrable understanding of Climate Change and associated issues and responses.

Demonstrable experience of the development of environmental strategies and policies with proven ability in effectively managing multiple projects and demonstrate the impacts of the above including baselining performance and the production and presentation of a range of targets and metrics.

You will have significant experience of working collaboratively across and organisation with a range of colleagues and disciplines

You will have excellent communication skills with proven expertise in creating plain English interpretations of complex topics

For further information, please click here


Logo: Yorkshire Wildlife TrustYorkshire Wildlife Trust

Aire Project Manager - Full Time

£29,700 p.a. Plus up to 9% Employer Pension Contribution

Would you like to play a part in creating a Yorkshire rich in wildlife for everyone? Would you like to combine your passion for the environment with your ability to develop a range of new initiatives and projects to improve water quality, restore habitat and engage local communities?

If so, we are looking for an Aire Project Manager to join our dynamic West Yorkshire Team to help develop, manage, and deliver our portfolio of projects on the Aire making sure we are bigger, better and more joined up! The post holder will be responsible for the smooth running of projects as well as leading and inspiring your team, and designing and developing new projects and partnerships.

The post holder will be personable and engaging to build great relationships with everyone you work with. You must have a good understanding ecology and conservation as well as having a flair for developing and moulding new ideas into viable projects.

See www.ywt.org.uk for more details or for an application pack e-mail hr@ywt.org.uk

Please note we don’t accept CVs

Closing date for receipt of completed application forms and accompanying equal opportunities monitoring form is 9am Monday 19 October. Please note that applications received after the closing deadline will not be considered

Logo: Wild About InclusionClosing date: 9am Monday 19 October 2020

Interviews: Wednesday 4 November

We are committed to creating a Movement that recognises and truly values individual differences and identities. We value diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive culture where everyone is able to be themselves and to reach their full potential. We want our people to flourish, just like nature.

No agencies

YWT Company 409650; Charity no. 210807.


Logo: Natural EnglandNatural England

Reserve Warden, Ainsdale Sand Dunes NNR

Salary: £20,760

Location: Ainsdale Sand Dunes National Nature Reserve, Merseyside

Contract type: Permanent, full time including some weekend working

Closing date: 19th October 

Interview date: 3rd November 

The role

Natural England are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated independent worker to deliver a wide range of practical management responsibilities across some of England’s most important places for nature - Ainsdale Sand Dunes, Cabin Hill and the Ribble Estuary National Nature Reserves. This is a physically demanding but hugely rewarding role. The successful candidate will spend a large proportion of their time working outdoors throughout all seasons, engaged directly in the practical management of these internationally important coastal wildlife sites.

The reserves

You will be joining Natural England’s Cheshire to Lancashire Area Team. Working as part of a dedicated National Nature Reserves team based at Ainsdale Sand Dunes, you will support the Reserve Managers and Senior Reserve Manager to help ensure our NNRs on the Merseyside and Lancashire coast are managed to an exemplary standard. Ainsdale Sand Dunes NNR and its sister site Cabin Hill NNR are two of the most important coastal dune reserves in the UK, and part of the vast Sefton Coast sand dune system stretching for 12 miles to the north of Liverpool. A little further north, the Ribble Estuary NNR is the 3rd largest National Nature Reserve in England and Britain’s most important estuary for birds.

Key requirements

Apply before 11:55 pm on Monday 19th October 2020 at the Civil Service Jobs website Job reference numbers: 74793

 

Apprenticeships, Interns and paid trainee roles.

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Logo: Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black CountryWildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country

Natural Prospects Traineeships

Birmingham and the Black Country

£9,000 bursary + £1,000 training budget and £250 PPE budget

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract

www.bbcwildlife.org.uk/naturalprospects

Closing date: Monday 2nd November 2020

Do you love wildlife and working outdoors? Are you practical and want to learn new skills? Thinking about a career in wildlife conservation?

The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country are providing six vacancies in a series of one-year practical conservation training placements to highly motivated individuals with a keen interest in wildlife and conservation.

If this is you and you are looking to start your conservation career in Birmingham or the Black Country, you could be eligible for a Natural Prospects Traineeship. So if you are age 18 or over, based in Birmingham or the Black Country, and either:

Further information can be found here and the role descriptions on our website.

Salary: Bursary £9,000 + Training budget £1,000

Contact details:

For more details or enquiries please contact Jen on jennifer.j@bbcwildlife.org.uk or call on 0121 523 0094 or 07791 070895


 


CJS Focus Change in focus for CJS Focus!

 

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak we paused CJS Focus publications and have taken the time to look at how they are used by both readers and advertisers.  As a result we are scaling back from quarterly publications to two or three per year, however we are publishing many more in depth articles every week across a wider range of subjects.  CJS Focus will become more career orientated and the most popular edition each year is the one on volunteering. So that's where we're starting again with CJS on Volunteering to be published in February 2021.  All things being equal (i.e. no more lockdowns!) it will be out on Monday 22 February.  If you have any suggestions for subjects to be considered, case studies to publish, project tools to promote or a volunteers group to praise please contact Amy in her Focus Co-ordinator role with your suggestions or to enquire about this edition. 

 

 

Volunteers.

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Volunteers: 13 adverts for voluntary posts added this month  see all of these online at: https://www.countryside-jobs.com/volunteers/intro

 

logo: Outdoor Recreation NetworkORN to appoint new Chair

The Outdoor Recreation Network (ORN) is seeking to appoint a new Chair to succeed Fiona Groves who will step down as Chair in mid-October. This is an important moment in the growth and influence of ORN as we continue with our renewed focus and purpose as set out in the Action Plan. The ORN Executive Committee is now seeking to recruit a driven and enthusiastic Chairperson to this exciting role. It will be essential to secure an individual of the right calibre, experience, and outlook to the role of Chair who can take a strategic lead in the development of ORN.

Applications are invited from anyone, including members and non-members. Further information on the position, person specification and selection process are included within the Chair Recruitment Pack. Applications should be sent to elizabeth@outdoorrecreation.org.uk before the deadline of 16:00 on Monday 19th October 2020.


Advertise your voluntary roles with CJS - it's free! Click here.

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CJS Announcements and articles of interest.

 

logo: AMBIOSAdvance notice: 3 November a Facebook live session with Simon Roper from Ambios talking about changing career

Simon says: "The nature conservation sector encompasses many different areas of work, all of which require slightly different skills sets.  This means that, in reality, whatever your background there is a position for you somewhere in our sector.  There may be staff working for Charities and NGOs in finance, recruitment, campaigning, legal, human resources, design, communications, education, volunteers, health and safety (I could go on) - in addition to those who are working with wildlife and land management.  As an example, if you come from an arts background with a degree specialising in sculpture and you have a flare for photography and design, you could land up producing promotional materials and project logos for Ambios before you go on to engage with the film industry (true story).  All previous learning experiences are valuable - whatever it was, it adds to the story you can tell when applying for that dream job in the nature conservation sector."

Simon has been working in nature conservation for over 30 years,  his passion for wildlife and communication led to him to set up the not-for-profit Ambios Ltd with a group of like minded friends in 2001.  Ambios is focused on nature conservation training and helping people achieve their goals for nature, science, education and employment. It does this through grant funded or trainee-pay models with an emphasis on providing practical wildlife identification, survey and communication skills leading to successful employment in the sector.  

Follow us on social media and look for more details nearer the day.


logo: RSPBRevive Our World take action for nature

In 2020 the importance of having nature in our lives has never been clearer, but the crisis facing nature is huge. So huge that our wellbeing, our economic future, and our very survival depend on the choices we make now. If everyone works together, we have time to turn it around. And when we say everyone, we mean everyone. We need politicians with the power to make big changes to help us build the world we want to live in.

There are four things that will make the biggest difference to reversing the declines in UK wildlife and creating a sustainable future for us all. Add your voice to the RSPB’s campaign and get us a step closer to securing targets for nature’s recovery. We are calling for...

Nature is in crisis. Join the RSPB's campaign and demand legally binding targets to Revive our World

For more information visit rspb.org.uk/ReviveOurWorld

 

Cover of the RSPB Green Recovery PlanOn Tuesday, 29 September the RSPB launched their Green Recovery Plan, CJS was invited to attend the (virtual) launch.

You can watch the launch event on youtube here.

And read the report here (PDF)  

 

At the launch event, Amy asked panellist Matthew Argarwala, Environmental Economist at the Bennett Institute at the Uni of Cambridge if they are seeing an increase in commercial investment in the environment and green recovery bearing in mind that there is only a finite amount of money provided by government. He said quite rightly that for businesses to invest in something they have to see a return, whether that be in monetary terms or measurable environmental benefits and currently there just isn't enough measuring and reporting of outcomes from investment.

 

We also submitted a question before the event however it wasn't read out but the good people at RSPB have been kind enough to answer it for us

We asked: “Regarding point 2 – Invest in Nature (see the report).  It would be great to see a spend of £375m annually on a new national Nature Service employment and training scheme. How do you see this being delivered – the management of the countryside is carried out by cash strapped local authorities and national parks along with a large number of charities who all struggle to offer paid positions, even before the pandemic. I hope money will be targeted to those already on the ground rather than in creation of new organisations where money will be swallowed up with no real training or employment outcomes. How do you envisage the distribution of this money, will the jobs created be only short term contracts or are there targets for creating permanent posts within our sector?”

And RSPB replied: The NNS funding (£425M per year in final estimate - see briefing attached) would be targeted to organisations already working in this area, inc. eNGOs, LAs, National Park Authorities. Projects would be additional to their normal work and with full cost recovery. There would need to be a small central co-ordinating body, e.g. a unit in Natural England, but we are not looking to create any new organisations to deliver the projects.

There would be professional and transferable skills training and employment outcomes for participants. Trainees would have 12-month contracts while supervisors and experts could have contracts for the length of the service (3 years). In each case the skills and experience gained would help them obtain future paid employment in the nature or other sectors. There could be up to 70,000 on-going jobs in nature created over the coming years between the Government’s Tree strategy and Env & Ag Bill proposals, which participants could move into. Also, research shows that green investments are often more effective at job creation than conventional ones and that natural infrastructure is one of the top investments (University of Oxford).

You can read more about the National Nature Service proposals in this article written by Richard Benwell, Chief Executive at Wildlife and Countryside Link

More here: https://www.nationalnatureservice.org/

 


The Nature Friendly Farming Network (NFFN) have launched our very own podcasts hosted by Ben Eagle and Will Evans. Farmers from across the UK will be sharing their nature friendly farming stories the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month. Season 1, Nature Means Business, will focus on how farming with nature and the environment can help your farm business with real examples of success stories. Listen now at: www.nffn.org.uk/farmer-stories/nffn-podcasts/


 

Job Profiles in white lettering over a photo of a path through woodlandNew Section: Job Profiles

Whilst CJS doesn’t want to turn away any genuine potential countryside workers we do want people to know it's not all sunshine and roses and in so doing perhaps help organisations from receiving speculative enquiries and make sure the recruiter's task is made easier by ensuring they receive only relevant applications from suitable candidates who have done their homework and know exactly what it is they're looking at and applying for.

  

This new section has profiles of some of the many varied job roles you might find across the sector. Written by people actually working in the field explaining exactly what the job entails, the qualifications and skills they need and offering a little advice to people looking at a similar career. Read them here.

  

Huge thanks for everyone who has sent in a job profile questionnaire so far.  If you would like to submit a profile of your job role (it can be anonymous, most of them are) there are more details here.

 


 

From our 2020 Featured Charity: The Mammal Society. National Mammal Week 2020 – 23 October to 1 November 2020

Logo: National Mammal Week

National Mammal Week is organised by the Mammal Society as a celebration and awareness week of mammals and their conservation in Great Britain.

This year’s dates are Friday 23 October – Sunday 1 November (inclusive) and the theme for this year’s event is habitats.

A reduction in suitable habitats is one of the big reasons for mammal population decline in Britain. Some of our most at-risk mammals, including harvest mice, voles, hedgehogs, hazel dormice, and several species of bat have been adversely affected by changes to the quality or scope of their normal habitat. By highlighting this and explaining more about why mammal presence in particular habitats is so vital for biodiversity we aim to raise awareness and bring about change.

Every day, beginning with Friday 23 October, our bloggers will be looking at a new habitat, from urban areas through to swamps, and the mammals we might expect to find there.

During the week we’ll also be launching a special version of our Mammal Photographer of the Year competition, so if you’re handy with a camera be sure to check our website at www.mammal.org.uk.

National Mammal Week promotion image showing red squirrel, mouse, bat and hedgehog

This Mammal Week we will, as always, be encouraging everyone to get outdoors or look out of the window and tell us what you see. Whether you are a walker, cyclist, horse-rider or commuter we want you to download the Mammal Mapper app (or complete our online form if you would prefer) and let us know about the mammal signs and sightings you spot. Whether you are a passenger in a car and spot dead badgers and rabbits on your commute or regularly see foxes outside your home, we would love to hear from you but please be sure to check on the specific local Covid-19 restrictions for your area before heading out.

We’d like to make this Mammal Week the biggest week ever for mammal records in the UK!

For more information about National Mammal Week and to find out about special discounts, special offers and competitions, keep an eye on our webpage at www.mammal.org.uk/national-mammal-week and on social media #MammalWeek. Want to keep up with Mammal Society news? Sign up here to receive our regular newsletter.

 

 

Features and In Depth Articles.

 

5 Steps to a Green Recovery for parks and green spaces.

Logo: The Parks and Green Space Network

The COVID19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way we live our lives now and for the foreseeable future. During the ‘lock down’ parks became the only public open spaces where millions of people could exercise, relax and meet others for the limited periods allowed. At the time these spaces were quite rightly championed by politicians and scientists (including the Prime Minister and each of the devolved nation’s Chief Medical Officers) as key to maintaining people’s physical and mental health as evidenced by numerous studies over many years. Many people used their local parks for the first time during the ‘lock down’ and as restrictions were eased parks became busier than they had ever been previously. Not only has the pandemic changed the relationship between people and their local parks for ever it has underlined the multiple and proven benefits these spaces provide for health and wellbeing as well as the environment.

Signpost in a park with person on a bike and people sitting on the grass Credit: Landscape Institute
Credit: Landscape Institute

‘Making Parks Count – The Case for Parks Case’ was completed just prior to the COVID19 lock down. Its primary purpose was to demonstrate the value of parks to communities and government in England and set out how local places could make their parks count. It is a business case for parks showing that for every £1 spent on parks in England an estimated £7 in additional value is generated for the health and wellbeing of local people and the local environment; that parks provide natural benefits to the communities valued at £6.6bn annually including £2bn of avoided health costs; and that these benefits are worth £140 per year for every urban resident. The case is clear - parks are a really smart low-cost investment in infrastructure. But for places to make these smart investments they must understand why parks matter in the first place. Over the last decade parks budgets have been cut, the quality of some parks has fallen, the amount of urban green space reduced and opportunities for seizing the proven benefits lost. To turn this around local places must recognise and demonstrate the true value of parks and the benefits these key natural assets provide to local people. They must provide the local leadership to create a shared vision for their parks and ensure future investment decisions are made based on the value they create not how much they cost. But local places cannot do it alone – central government has a huge role to play in creating the conditions that will allow parks to prosper once more.

As we move from managing the pandemic to planning the recovery the government recently set out its commitment to a science-led, clean and resilient ‘green’ recovery aimed at creating employment in the industries of the future whilst ensuring the linked challenges of public health, climate change, and biodiversity are addressed. We now have the opportunity to make parks and green spaces a central part of this green recovery recognising their role in improving public health, addressing climate change and restoring nature. But to seize this opportunity, they need to be built into the Government plans from the outset. This means government doing five things:-

path through a park with walkers and runners Credit: Landscape Institute
Credit: Landscape Institute

To guarantee that the multiple benefits of parks are secured for the next generation parks must be part of the Green Recovery. After years of underfunding and neglect they need investment to bring them up to standard and ensure that everyone can enjoy and benefit from a great park. This can only be achieved through a new partnership between local places and central government. A truly ‘Green Recovery’ will invest in the green space sector as an industry of the future uniquely placed to tackle the 21st century challenges of public health, climate change and environmental protection and one that provides a significant return for the investment made.

Find out more at https://www.theparksalliance.org/

Contact – Rob Pearce - Parks Development Manager The Landscape Institute (Robert.pearce@landscapeinstitute.org)

The Parks and Green Space Network

Earlier this year the Boards of The Parks Alliance and The Landscape Institute agreed in principle to bring their organisations closer together in order to create a stronger voice, avoid duplication and to better support the parks and green space sector. Members of the network supported the publication of ‘A Green Recovery for Parks and Green Spaces’ aimed at making parks and green spaces a central part of the nation’s economic and social recovery, recognising their role in improving public health and in addressing climate change and restoring nature. The full reports can be found here 

 


 

Skomer Marine Conservation Zones special history, as it celebrates 30 years of designation this year

Logo: Natural Resources Wales

Thirty years ago, very few people knew about the unique and hidden underwater world off the Pembrokeshire coast. To most it was just out of sight, out of mind. Now, as the only Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) in Wales, Skomer is a very special site that is home to a wide range of marine life.

A Grey seal cow and her pup on one of the beaches at the Skomer marine conservation zone © NRW
A Grey seal cow and her pup on one of the beaches at the Skomer marine conservation zone © NRW

This year, Skomer MCZ celebrates its 30th Anniversary. For those 30 years, it has been a focus of study of underwater life helping us better understand, protect and enhance Wales’ marine environment as well as the creatures living within it.

Its journey to MCZ status was neither easy nor quick – it started back in 1971 thanks to a group of local naturalists and biologists from the Field Studies Council. But it took nearly twenty years and a change in wildlife legislation to achieve designation as a Marine Nature Reserve. Further changes in legislation meant that it became Marine Conservation Zone in 2014.

Our marine officer, Kate Lock, with a framer during some monitoring © NRW
Our marine officer, Kate Lock, with a framer during some monitoring © NRW

Today, a team of four NRW marine scientists work at the Skomer MCZ. Unlike any other Marine Protected Area in the UK, the team are responsible for the overall management of the site. They also complete the extensive marine monitoring programme which has built on the marine biological surveys started in the 1980s. The work involves many duties common to managers of terrestrial Reserves such as outreach, interpretation and collaborations with academic institutions. It also covers visitor management and staff being out on the water at weekends to provide information. This is all the more important when you consider that many of the site’s protective mechanisms are voluntary.

These voluntary codes of conduct help protect the site and some aspects of the separately managed Skomer Island National Nature Reserve. They prevent the use of anchors other than in certain areas, control the recreational taking of shellfish and restrict access to sensitive areas at critical times to prevent disturbance to cliff nesting seabirds and breeding seals. We are very fortunate at Skomer that these measures are well adhered to and accepted by commercial and recreational visitors.

One of our monitoring team measuring scallops from the Marine Conservation Zone © NRW
One of our monitoring team measuring scallops from the Marine Conservation Zone © NRW

There are also more conventional legal measures such as a speed limit byelaw and fishery byelaws. These prohibit fishing by beam trawling or dredging or the taking of scallops by any means.

The site is also unusual for its array of monitoring work. It covers underwater and shore species and habitats, and marine mammals, as well as oceanographic and meteorological data, and the recording of recreational visitors and commercial activities such as fishing and tourism. These additional elements of data helps the team interpret the biological monitoring data within the context of local environmental conditions and levels of human activity. The monitoring work provides long-term data sets which for some projects extend back 35 years. With this breadth of work, it is recognised as the most comprehensive marine monitoring programme in the UK.

The sheer volume of monitoring work would not be possible for the MCZ’s small team to carry out on their own. We rely heavily on contributions from volunteers. Whether they be suitably qualified divers able to supplement our own diving team or volunteer diving teams who have surveyed more than 180,040 square metres of seabed over the last 30 years looking at scallops, fish, urchins and eel grass. Volunteers have also helped crew the boat at weekends and with shore and seal surveys.

Skomer MCZ is situated where northern and southern species overlap and has a wide range of seabed and shore habitats - everything from sheltered fine sediments to bedrock reef exposed to Atlantic storms. The tidal range of 7m creates strong currents around the site and large intertidal exposures. This all contributes to the site’s very high biodiversity, making it a great place to study and monitor changes in the marine environment.

One of the team measuring a scallop as part of the monitoring project © NRW
One of the team measuring a scallop as part of the monitoring project © NRW

There have been both positive and negative changes seen over 30 years:

With climate change and other challenges facing the marine environment, it is more important than ever that Skomer continues to flourish as a place of learning and conservation.

Today, the Skomer MCZ team produces NRW marine monitoring evidence reports on all its projects. These provide evidence to support the management of the Skomer MCZ, the management of Pembrokeshire Marine Special Area of Conservation and the marine environment in Wales’ ‘State of the Environment’ reporting.

To see the reports, you can follow this link.


Forming the Sheffield Street Tree Partnership.

Logo: Sheffield Street Tree Partnership

From the initial campaign to protect the Street Trees of Sheffield, it seemed unlikely that opposing sides would ever reach an agreement. Over the last five years perseverance has unearthed common ground between campaigners, council and contractors, and now a partnership with representatives from all parties has agreed a working strategy to sustain and maintain the city’s network of street trees for the future.

The issue

Dr Nicky Rivers campaigning to save Sheffield Street trees ©wildsheffield.com
Dr Nicky Rivers campaigning to save Sheffield Street trees ©wildsheffield.com

Streets Ahead is a £2billion city-wide highways maintenance contract being delivered by Amey to improve Sheffield’s roads, pavements, street lights, verges, street trees, bridges and other ‘street scene’ furniture. As part of the Streets Ahead contract, Amey’s Tree Team are tasked by the City Council with managing the 36,000 trees on the road network across the city.

During the first five years of the Streets Ahead contract, around 5,500 trees were felled on a ‘remove and replace one for one’ basis. An unprecedented number of street trees were felled in a relatively short period time, often concentrated in residential areas where mature trees are a well-loved feature of the street.

Many local residents, including many of our members, were greatly concerned about the scale of the tree felling programme and its impact on the city’s wildlife as well as the significant reduction in the other environmental benefits that city trees provide.

The main areas of protest and controversy have been in relation to proposed or actual felling of healthy mature trees, significant trees such as memorial trees and distinctive individual trees or avenues of trees. By 2015 the approach to communication, transparency, consultation and handling of the felling decision process increasingly involved the police, security guards, security fencing and court cases against protestors, actions which gained nationwide coverage.

A Natural Capital Assessment of the trees in Sheffield carried out by Ian Dalton, a London Local Authority Tree Arboricultural Officer, using the CAVAT assessment tool (available from https://savesheffieldtrees.org.uk) valued the healthy Sheffield street trees still due to be felled at more than £11 million and estimated the total value of the healthy trees felled and still to be felled at more than £66 million.

Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust directly questioned Sheffield City Council and their contractors Amey about particular tree issues, particularly focusing on issues of wildlife concern. We raised awareness and our concerns about a colony of the rare white-letter hairstreak butterfly Satyrium w-album on a surviving Huntingdon elm tree in Nether Edge, seeking the best possible outcome for wildlife.

After extensive protests in some areas of the city particularly affected by the tree felling programme, the Council and Amey called a pause to the work.

Saving the white-letter hairstreak

White letter hairstreak ©Ben Keywood
White letter hairstreak ©Ben Keywood

Despite considerable efforts by Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust and many other interested parties to seek a more sympathetic approach to the management of the Chelsea Road elm tree, Sheffield City Council decided to carry out pruning in February 2018, with a view to felling the tree in future. The proposed felling of this tree illustrated many of the wider ongoing issues the Trust raised with the Council about the street tree programme, including the impact of such a large and rapid felling programme on the city’s wildlife and natural environment. As Trust CEO Liz Ballard said at the time, “the colony of nationally important and endangered white-letter hairstreak butterflies will be lost through canopy reduction and felling, and keeping the elm tree is the simplest approach to retaining the butterfly colony it supports.”

However, in an effort to try and save the colony of this declining priority species, the Trust agreed to assist the Council with the translocation of white-letter hairstreak butterfly eggs from the pruned branches as part of a butterfly mitigation plan, involving our staff who have previous experience of White-letter Hairstreak egg relocation, hoping to improve the chances of success for securing a future for the butterfly colony.

When the Council’s contractors Amey began the pruning, the Trust saved the high canopy cuttings, searching for white-letter hairstreak eggs to set aside and relocate to suitable receptor trees. Sheffield Council Ecology Unit committed to monitoring into the future to assess the success of the egg relocation, which cannot be guaranteed.

The ask

We asked Sheffield City Council and Amey to work together with us, local partners and communities, using mediation if necessary, to develop and deliver an agreed, 20-year partnership Street Tree Strategy for Sheffield. The new strategy would:

As well as:

We accepted that there is a need for tree management across the city’s road network, however, removal of a tree should always be the last resort and every effort should be made to retain trees that are identified as being of significant wildlife value. Mature trees offer many important benefits to people: clean air, noise reduction, flood alleviation, carbon storage and are also fantastic wildlife habitats for bats and other protected species.

Coming together

Shaping a new strategy - credit Sheffield Street Tree Partnership
Shaping a new strategy - credit Sheffield Street Tree Partnership

In December 2018 Sheffield City Council released a statement regarding Sheffield’s street trees, which was cautiously welcomed by the Trust. We were especially pleased to see in the ‘new street tree proposals‘ that the Vernon Oak and Chelsea Road elm tree are no longer scheduled for felling, something we had repeatedly called for in our letters and meetings with Sheffield City Council, along with a longer term street tree strategy.

By September the following year, an agreement had been reached between Sheffield Tree Action Groups (STAG), Sheffield City Council and Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust to develop a Partnership Street Tree Strategy for Sheffield. The group of partners including representatives of Sheffield Tree Action Groups (STAG), Sheffield City Council (SCC), Amey, independent experts from Natural Capital Solutions and Leeds City Council as well as the Woodland Trust, with Liz Ballard, Chief Executive of Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust in the role of Independent Chair.

As part of the strategy development, the group collated and commissioned baseline data for Sheffield’s street trees. This included commissioning an ’i-Tree Eco Inventory Report’ based on an inventory of Sheffield’s highway trees and drawing on over 35,000 records from the ‘Streets Ahead’ database to value the ecosystem benefits of Sheffield’s street trees.

Over the next 10 months, the groups met regularly to discuss and develop the strategy (you can see meeting notes and referral documents here).

A new partnership

The working strategy document - a guide to the future management of Sheffield Street Trees - credit Sheffield Street Tree Partnership
The working strategy document - a guide to the future management of Sheffield Street Trees - credit Sheffield Street Tree Partnership

In March 2020 the first Partnership Street Tree Working Strategy for Sheffield was released and recommended to Sheffield City Council for adoption.

The Working Strategy recognises the contribution of street trees to health and wellbeing, air quality and other ecological and environmental benefits. It outlines new ways of working around six outcomes to ensure the city’s network of street trees is well-maintained and sustained for the future by:

Logo: Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust

The Partnership set out to develop an exemplary Street Tree Strategy for Sheffield which values street trees for the benefits they bring to people, the city and the wider environment. As part of the group we wanted to produce something positive and visionary – for the city to collectively view street trees as an asset, helping us to improve air quality, reduce flood risk, support wildlife and store carbon. It’s been a great example of how different organisations working collaboratively can learn together from the past in order to deliver our vision for the future of Sheffield’s street trees.


Green Action Trust Scotland’s leading environmental regeneration charity

Logo: Green Action Trust

By Derek A. Robertson, Chief Executive, Green Action Trust

Visualising the Central Scotland Green Network - Temporary Greening of Vacant and Derelict Land (Green Action Trust)
Visualising the Central Scotland Green Network - Temporary Greening of Vacant and Derelict Land (Green Action Trust)

One of the benefits of lockdown has been the space it has given us to think about what is important to us. The imposed restrictions have led to creativity and innovation, exploring our local spaces and community, taking better care of ourselves and each other – and in many instances we will want to keep changes we have made in order to be safer, because they have also been a positive and welcomed imposition.

For our charity, as we placed a temporary pause on some of our operations, it made space for us to think about the strategic response required to meet the climate challenges we face. If we are to help Scotland build more sustainable communities and a greener country, and make the necessary shift to a green recovery, our work has never been more important.

To ensure we can play our part effectively in delivering the nation-wide action on environmental regeneration we need, we have come to what has felt like a natural milestone for the charity, the launch of our refreshed identity as the Green Action Trust.

When we consulted with key partners and stakeholders, we came to realise that we hold experience and skills that are, in areas, untapped. Our new identity will help us to unlock this potential so we are better placed to work with the Scottish government, local authorities, businesses and communities to help ensure that Scotland's environmental challenges can be met, supporting our ambition to be at heart of Scotland’s environmental regeneration.

While this change signifies an exciting new outlook for the charity, our work in many ways will remain the same. We will continue to coordinate and drive the delivery of the Central Scotland Green Network Plan, the largest greenspace project in Europe, and support the development of the Scottish government’s fourth National Planning Framework. We will also continue to work closely with and on behalf of the network of partners we have developed over the years. But our new identity expands our mission to a national perspective, opening opportunities to work with more partners and support climate change action right across Scotland.

Urban Roots community growing project in Toryglen (Green Action Trust)
Urban Roots community growing project in Toryglen (Green Action Trust)

When we were hit by the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year, we were gathering ourselves to face down the climate emergency. With the right ambitions and thinking for our green recovery post-Covid19, we will emerge better prepared to meet this challenge.

At the crux of our work is improving greenspaces in both urban and rural settings, which provides us with a variety of resources to help tackle climate change and mitigate against its effects. The far-reaching benefits of green networks and green infrastructure also cut across Scottish Government policy and agendas. Our existing and future partners have much to gain as we pursue our refreshed ambitions for Scotland and its residents, and we anticipate our continued and new partnerships to include the following areas of vital work.

Forth Valley Royal Hospital Woodlands (Green Action Trust)
Forth Valley Royal Hospital Woodlands (Green Action Trust)

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Scotland had been celebrating a successful year of tree planting with the increase in woodland creation exceeding the Scottish government’s target of 10k hectares by 12.1%. It is a significant step in a green network’s offering of carbon sequestration opportunities, which can also include peatland restoration and wetland creation and management. The forestry sector’s contribution to mitigating the effects of climate change is set to rise further as the government’s Climate Change Plan 2018-32 commits to an increased target of 15k hectares from 2024-25.

The pandemic has also focused our attention on the quality of our local environments, highlighting the vast number of vacant and derelict sites throughout our town and cities and out into the rural areas. There is great potential to breathe life into these unused or underused spaces trough temporary or permanent greening. And we are beginning to recognise and capture the wider value of land and of action to improve it. The Scottish Conservation Finance Project’s £1 Billion Challenge Route Map includes proposals for a privately financed Vacant and Derelict Land Fund generating investment returns from environmental and social benefits.

Dorrator Woods Access Project (Green Action Trust)
Dorrator Woods Access Project (Green Action Trust)

While the climate change emergency continues to intensify, green networks and green infrastructure contribute through a range of mechanisms to reducing the impacts of the climate change which is already happening. At a landscape scale, green infrastructure includes natural flood risk management approaches such as increasing riparian woodland and re-naturalising river corridors. And more locally (particularly in urban areas) rain gardens, green roofs and other sustainable drainage systems increase permeability of surfaces and reduce flood risks from surface water runoff. ‘In street’ green infrastructure also has the potential to reduce air pollution including particulates.

With the coordinated and strategic approach we want to achieve, we will be creating an ecologically coherent network of habitats, with improved management and increased connectivity. Here, species can move more easily in response to the changes in climates and larger populations are more resilient to change, and well-managed, large areas of habitat are also more likely to be able to survive in the face of climate change. So, by developing green networks, we will be increasing the resilience of natural systems to climate change.

Derek Robertson's contact details

To capture and maximise this environmental regeneration potential as part of our green recovery, we want to increase our work in new ways and with new partners. Under our new identity, we will provide a vast array of services, enabling a range of private, public and third sector partners to turn their own green ambitions into reality – bringing about tangible change and helping to deliver a greener country.

To learn more about the Green Action Trust and its ambitious plans visit www.greenactiontrust.org.


GoParks.London: A treasure trove of healing emerald and golden gems

Logo: GoParks.London

Autumnal colours and piles of leaves are starting to dominate London’s parks and green spaces as the season slides out of summer, oblivious of the changes the world has had to make through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Autumn leaves © Tim Webb
Autumn leaves © Tim Webb

Parks became and remain a constant. Fields or spaces of tranquillity and near normality. One of the few places where you can imagine nothing has changed. Look closer though and you should notice that there are no groups with more than six people.

a woman skipping in a park with other park users sitting on a bench and walking © Tim Webb
Skipping © Tim Webb

GoParks.London has more than 4,000 parks and green spaces featured on its interactive map and we know there are others out there not yet registered (if you know of one please help us out by registering it). Every one of the 4,000 entries have their own page detailing the facilities with some history and notes on the nature you might find when visiting. There are also details on the management and contacts for any volunteer groups.

It’s no secret that a trip outdoors, even a gentle walk, is good for your health, the medical evidence is compelling. Spending time in parks, woodland or green spaces boosts our physical and mental wellbeing. Some Doctors even prescribe walks in gardens to reduce depression, anxiety and fatigue. They are now adding obesity, diabetes, coronary disease and stroke to the list of ailments that regular trips to the park can help address.

One lesson we have learned during this pandemic is that we need more green space in London and better funding to maintain and improve our existing ones. It is not just a London issue, the total proportion of urban greenspace in England declined by 8% between 2001 and 2018, from 63% to 55%.

When it comes to the issue of access to green space, London is in a league of its own. The Office for National Statistics [ONS] claims about one in five households in the capital don’t have access to a private garden and even where they do, garden sizes are smaller than the national average. In London, the median garden size is 140m2 compared with 188m2 across the rest of Great Britain. The ONS went on to say, “the average park in Great Britain serves just under 2,000 people, although some parks in densely populated areas cater for many more. Around 46,000 people have Clapham Common as their nearest park, more than 20 times the average.”

2 people playing table tennis in a park © Tim Webb
Table tennis © Tim Webb

In May 2020, Fields in Trust released the latest version of their Green Space Index [GSI], which is a measurement of the amount of green and play spaces available per 1000 people across Great Britain. A GSI of 1 means there is adequate provision. London came bottom of the table of eleven regions with a GSI of 0.55. Scotland came top with a GSI of 1.26. Fleshing that out a bit, Scotland has 43.48 square metres of parks and play space per person. In comparison, London has less than half of that with just 18.96 square metres per person.

Parks are a social asset, an important part of our national infrastructure. We should treasure and value them for all they give us. Lockdown in London was tough but bearable over the summer months thanks to our parks. Councils and support groups did all they could to keep those parks open while simultaneously looking after vulnerable members of our communities, leaving local authorities out of pocket. More central government money is needed just to keep the current provision going, let alone improving them and providing more green spaces and play areas.

Pre-Covid parks saw dog-walkers, runners and weekend sports clubs dominate the list of visitors. Now it’s teens, twenty-somethings, sporty people, families on walks or picnics, business-like execs taking a screen break between Zoom calls, or sometimes making Zoom calls from parks, and lots more people escaping the confines of home.

Covid-19 has already changed parks and how we use them. The long-term impact is not yet known as society is still trying to find ways to live with the virus. There have been three recent reports from landlords, estate agents and the GLA all claiming people of all ages are moving out of London. Numbers of increased enquiries for suburban or rural homes suggest the capital could lose anything from a quarter to a third of its population! Having realised they can shake free the anchor of their office desks to work remotely, people believe there is a better world outside London. They want access to more green space, gardens or bigger homes. Many cite the commute, polluted air and overcrowded spaces as considerations.

Abney Park Cemetery showing grave stones © Tim Webb
Abney Park Cemetery © Tim Webb

Future historians will look back at this pandemic as the catalyst that changed the way we live and plan our cities. I’m optimistic that parks will continue to play a central role in our lives and be fully recognised for their contribution to our health and wellbeing, community resilience and the various “eco-system services” they provide like cleaner air and water, flood protection, oxygen, carbon storage, biodiversity support and more.

What if future cities were perceived as nurture reserves? Places where people, creativity and communities came together to work and play in smart parks, full of inspirational wildflowers, art and cultural activities. Places where it was safe and easy to get around on foot, bike, scooter or clean energy vehicles. Locations where you can sit in quiet contemplation or meet in shared spaces to explore new opportunities for jobs and zero-carbon industries and enjoy international cuisine using ingredients grown nearby.

This change comes with a heavy bill of almost 42,000 Covid deaths recorded so far. We cannot go back to how things were before the pandemic. Future London and the UK must be greener, healthier and wilder for all. GoParks.London has a wealth of features on London’s parks and the people working to improve green spaces, alongside articles on the latest research and initiatives. It feels as though Parks would be a suitable place to remember all those we have lost and those we will lose to the coronavirus pandemic.

GoParks.London is a partnership project funded by City Bridge Trust and the Mayor of London. Partners include: CPRE London, Greenspace information for Greater London (GiGL), London Friends of Greenspaces Network (LFGN), Revolution Consultancy and Design, London National Park City and the London Parks and Gardens Trust.

Find out more: www.goparks.london 


Transforming the modern Ornithologist.

Ringing of a Greater Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) at Farnborough Airport.  © Colin Wilson
Ringing of a Greater Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) at Farnborough Airport. © Colin Wilson

By Niamh Bothwell

From as young as I could remember I have always had a passion and love for birds, especially European species. When I was home taught from the age of 6 by my parents until I was 12, the main theme of my education consisted of engaging in nature. We created ponds, butterfly gardens, bird-boxes and, as we had a motor-home, we travelled a lot around the UK visiting nature reserves.

My favourite, and most regularly visited site, was Titchwell Marsh Nature Reserve located in North Norfolk. During our visits to the marshes, I fed robins, chaffinches and blackbirds from my hands and spotted species that were just out of this world, such as bearded tits, little egrets, cuckoos and hen harriers. How can nature make such spectacular and delicate creatures?

Islands of the Common Terns (Sterna hirundo) at the Institute of Avian Research, Germany © Niamh Bothwell
Islands of the Common Terns (Sterna hirundo) at the Institute of Avian Research, Germany © Niamh Bothwell

This is when I decided I wanted to become an ornithologist. My eagerness to learn helped me to quickly identify birds through my binoculars by their colour, song, shape, and their “jizz” (a term used to describe a bird’s actions). I even learnt some of the Latin names and participated in bird-ringing, where I had the privilege of getting up close and personal with an array of species, including multiple finger nips from feisty little great tits and blue tits. Don’t mess with them!

However, despite many positives to being a birder, it’s not always easy being an ornithologist, especially if you are a woman, and a young woman at that. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the field, the hobby is largely dominated by white, older men. Despite the RSPB being created in 1891 by three women: Eliza Philips, Emily Williamson and Etta Lemon (who weren’t even allowed to vote in those days) the inadvertent sexism continued.

For instance, sometimes my parents and I would be at our local birding sight, Eyebrook Reservoir (a great stop-off for migrating birds) and a couple of times we would be interrupted by other birders asking what we had just spotted, majority were “Twitchers” praying for some juicy rare bird to tick off their long list of top 10 to see. Even though me and my mum would have spotted and identified the species, the birders would always turn to ask my dad (who is a feminist) what he had seen and completely ignored us. This wasn’t the only time, it happened on multiple occasions.

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) parents provisioning their chick © Andrea Parisi
Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) parents provisioning their chick © Andrea Parisi

I didn’t just experience this when I was at home but it continued throughout university, particularly during my Masters, and even witnessed it happening to my friends. Once, we had just finished a lesson and somebody had spotted a bird perched high up on a conifer chittering away. As we could only see its silhouette from a distance the male student couldn’t identify the species; however, from its jizz, the tree it had landed on and the sound it was making, I was able to identify it as a goldfinch. Despite my certainty, the male student disbelieved me and continued to search through their binoculars, only to find out that I was in-fact correct. Would they have believed me if I was a man? Or if I was older with more experience? Who knows, but it makes me realise how daunting it is to be a female who has a hobby like birdwatching!

I know from speaking to my friends, there are also other barriers such as vulnerability which discourages young women from going to their local parks, as they don’t feel safe walking alone. Although I don’t experience this fear walking, I do ensure I am cautious and vigilant on my walks by always making sure I have my phone on me and by letting family or friends know where I’m going before I leave.

It is a sad reality, as women should be encouraged to birdwatch and supported to join the nature community. A fairer representation of women in birdwatching on social media, as well as more opportunities for women to get careers in the field would benefit the next generation greatly. Therefore, there needs to be more female role models to support women in this industry.

In the future, I hope we can inspire the next generation of birdwatchers and naturalists, where, no matter what your sex, age or ethnicity, you can be just as great as any naturalist.

Niamh is on LinkedIn

 


News.

We collate together news from across the internet; sent out in real time via twitter and each day we pick a handful of stories of interest which are included on the Headlines page, the daily email update and here grouped according to subject.

 

Click on the headline to read more.

 

Wildlife and animal news. 

WWF’s Living Planet Report reveals two-thirds decline in wildlife populations on average since 1970 - WWF

LPR 2020 cover page © WWF Int
LPR 2020 cover page © WWF Int

- Causes include same environmental destruction - such as deforestation, unsustainable agriculture and the illegal wildlife trade - which contributes to virus outbreaks like COVID-19
- WWF is calling for urgent action to set nature on a path to recovery 2030 by ending the destruction of natural habitats and reforming our food system
10 September, [Gland] – Global populations of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish have suffered an average two-thirds decline in less than half a century due in large part to the very same environmental destruction which is contributing to the emergence of zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19, according to WWF’s Living Planet Report 2020, released today.
The Living Planet Index (LPI), provided by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), shows that factors believed to increase the planet’s vulnerability to pandemics - including land-use change and the use and trade of wildlife - were also some of the drivers behind the 68 per cent average decline in global vertebrate species populations between 1970 and 2016.
“The Living Planet Report 2020 underlines how humanity’s increasing destruction of nature is having catastrophic impacts not only on wildlife populations but also on human health and all aspects of our lives,” said Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International. “We can’t ignore the evidence – these serious declines in wildlife species populations are an indicator that nature is unravelling and that our planet is flashing red warning signs of systems failure. From the fish in our oceans and rivers to bees which play a crucial role in our agricultural production, the decline of wildlife affects directly nutrition, food security and the livelihoods of billions of people.”
He added: “In the midst of a global pandemic, it is now more important than ever to take unprecedented and coordinated global action to halt and start to reverse the loss of biodiversity and wildlife populations across the globe by the end of the decade, and protect our future health and livelihoods. Our own survival increasingly depends on it.”

 

Mamals

Critically endangered wildcat kittens born at Highland Wildlife Park - Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) is celebrating the birth of four critically endangered wildcat kittens at Highland Wildlife Park, near Aviemore.

Visitors now have a better chance of spotting the four playful kittens, named Strom, Eilein, Druim and Vaara, after the wildlife conservation charity reopened wildcat viewing areas at the park this week. Guests will be encouraged to wear a facemask in these areas to help keep the animals and others safe.

Wildcat kitten looking out from behind a tree trunk (photo: Alyson Houston/RZSS)
Wildcat kitten (photo: Alyson Houston/RZSS)

Keith Gilchrist, animal collection manager at Highland Wildlife Park said, “We are thrilled to welcome the birth of four kittens, who were born during lockdown in May, to mum Fiain and dad Blair.

“We have one male, Strom, and three females, Eilein, Druim and Vaara. It has been great watching them grow and it is fantastic to now be able to welcome visitors to meet them too.”

Wildcats are one of Scotland’s rarest and most threatened mammals and RZSS is leading a new partnership project, Saving Wildcats, which aims to secure a future for this iconic species by breeding and releasing wildcats into the wild.

David Barclay, Saving Wildcats ex-situ conservation manager, said, “Following a sad history of habitat loss, persecution and, more recently, breeding with domestic cats, wildcats are on the brink of extinction in Scotland but it’s not too late. By bringing together the expertise and skills of national and international organisations, the Saving Wildcats project can secure a future for the Highland tiger by breeding and releasing wildcats into the wild, so every birth is a potential lifeline for the species.”

 

2020 badger control licences published - Natural England

Badger in the grass ©Andrew Parkinson 2020 Vision
Badger ©Andrew Parkinson 2020 Vision

Natural England has published licenses for areas that will undertake badger control operations in England this autumn.

Natural England has today (Monday 7 September) published licences for areas that will undertake badger control operations in England this autumn, in accordance with statutory guidance given by the Secretary of State. This includes the reauthorisation of licences for 33 existing areas alongside licences for 11 additional areas.

Earlier this year, the government published its response to the Godfray Review which sets out the next phase of its 25-year bTB eradication strategy. The response outlines out the government’s intention to phase out intensive badger culling in the next few years, while ensuring that wildlife control remains a tool that can be deployed where the scientific evidence supports it. Bovine TB remains the greatest animal health threat that England faces today, with more than 30,000 cattle slaughtered each year due to infection.

This operational publication is a continuation of the long-term strategy to tackle the animal disease Bovine TB which was published in April 2014.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “Bovine TB is one of the most difficult and intractable animal health challenges that the UK faces today, causing considerable trauma for farmers and costing taxpayers over £100 million every year. No one wants to continue the cull of a protected species indefinitely. That is why we are accelerating other elements of our strategy, including vaccination and improved testing so that we can eradicate this insidious disease and start to phase out badger culling in England.”

In response

Government U-turn on promises to end badger culling - The Wildlife Trusts

Largest ever cull authorised this autumn – bringing the total shot to 35% of UK’s badger population

The Wildlife Trusts are aghast that more than 70,000 healthy badgers will be shot this autumn in the government’s largest ever seasonal cull.

The move comes despite the government’s promise just six months ago to support badger vaccination and move away from shooting this protected species.

The cull will result in the deaths of badgers which have been vaccinated by volunteers in government-funded programmes.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust leads the country’s most extensive vaccination programme — Derbyshire is one of 6 new areas where culling has never previously taken place under government licences.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s CEO, Dr Jo Smith, says: “This is a staggering government U-turn and one which will result in thousands of healthy badgers being shot across England this autumn. In March — following a review by Professor Godfray — the government promised to move away from lethal control. However, after seven years of badger culling, the government has failed to act on its own advice and is expanding its culling programme into new regions including Derbyshire, Oxfordshire, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire into what will be the biggest cull yet.”

 

Funding boost leads to water voles arriving on River Rea - Environment Agency

Water voles are this week settling into a new home along the Rea Brook in Shropshire.

Once a common sight along the country’s waterways, water voles have been in decline in the UK since the 1960s. But, this week, the Environment Agency has released more than 100 of them along the Rea Brook.

The project came after the Severn Rivers Trust secured nearly £34,000 in funding from Severn Trent for the Agency to carry out the work, and a farmer agreed to allow his land to be used for the release. The Agency worked with a consultancy specialising in water vole releases and breeding on the project, and a further release is due to take place next spring.

Water vole populations have declined due to habitat loss, pollution and the introduction of American mink and in Shropshire numbers have fallen since mink arrived in the 1980s.

Known to be ecosystem engineers, water voles’ burrows are often used by small mammals, reptiles and amphibians. They also carve out riverbanks, creating small meanders and bare banks suitable for birds such as kingfishers and sand martins. The re-profiling of the farm is also likely to encourage wetland birds and plants.

 

Beaver survey to begin - NatureScot

European Beaver (Castor fiber) swimming. ©Lorne Gill/SNH
European Beaver (Castor fiber) swimming. ©Lorne Gill/SNH

NatureScot will next week kick off the most comprehensive and authoritative survey of beaver numbers and their range ever conducted in Scotland.

Work will begin on October 1 to gather detailed and up-to-date information on the locations of active beaver territories, as well as assessing the health and spread of the overall population, which will help inform future beaver work.

It is thought that since a first assessment in 2012, beavers have spread from where they originally established on the Tay, as far as the Forth and the Clyde.

The nature agency is asking the public to help by reporting their beaver sightings.

The survey will cover Tayside and the surrounding river catchments, including the Forth and river systems in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. NatureScot will be working with experts at the University of Essex to conduct the survey this autumn and winter.

This is the first survey conducted since beavers gained protected status as European Protected Species in Scotland and will investigate some areas where beaver sightings have recently been reported but not confirmed.

In the last survey in 2017, approximately 1,300 km of river and loch shore were surveyed. The new survey will cover an even larger area as beavers have been sighted as far afield as Loch Lomond and Glasgow to the west and Fife to the south east.

Roo Campbell, NatureScot project lead, said: “From sightings so far this year, it looks like beavers are spreading even further in and around Tayside – there’s even been a beaver spotted in the west of Glasgow. This is wonderful news, as beavers play a vital role in creating habitats such as ponds and wetlands where other species thrive, alleviating flooding and improving water quality. But sometimes beavers can cause problems particularly on prime agricultural land, which is principally found on low lying farmland particularly in the east of the country. “We expect to see the beaver population expanding away from the high conflict areas where their release or escape was unauthorised, and into more suitable habitat where they can thrive and enrich Scotland’s nature. In fact, this survey will tell us if that is starting to happen already.”

 

Plea to help protect red squirrels as National Trust warns discarded litter could lead to squirrel pox outbreak - The National Trust

The National Trust is urging its visitors to help protect endangered red squirrels from a deadly disease by taking their litter home with them, after one of the protected animals was photographed taking a plastic food carton to its nest at Formby, Merseyside.

red squirrel climbing a tree carrying an empty white plastic tub in its mouth.
Red squirrel at Formby. (image: Andrew Lakin)

As the charity marks Red Squirrel Awareness Week, Trust rangers are warning that dropped packaging and food could lead to the spread of squirrel pox – a disease which wiped out 80% of red squirrels in one its last strongholds in 2008.

The coastal site of Formby sits within the North Merseyside and West Lancashire Red Squirrel Stronghold, one of only a few refuges left for red squirrels across the UK.

Beauty spots across the UK have reported large numbers of visitors this year, leading in many places to an increase in litter being left behind.

“Of course, we all know that litter is a huge problem for our environment,” said Kate Martin, Area Ranger at National Trust Formby, “but we’re especially concerned at the impact it can have on our wildlife. Autumn is a particularly active time for Formby’s red squirrel population. It is part of their nature to forage for food to store in preparation for winter. If they are collecting food packaging dropped by visitors, that could really affect our ability to restrict the spread of squirrel pox.” Kate continued: “The best thing our visitors can do to help us protect our much-loved red squirrels is to avoid feeding them or leaving any litter, especially litter that may contain food. While visitors could feed the squirrels in the past, the rangers found that this behaviour encouraged the squirrels to group together and come into more contact with each other, increasing the risk of spreading infection. Squirrels are also susceptible to diseases caused by bacteria humans carry on our skin. It’s important to remember that the woodland at Formby is full of food for the squirrels to forage, including berries, lichen, fungi and pine cones. With the help of our visitors, we can continue to look after this habitat and see our red squirrel population thrive once again.”

 

Birds

Rare birds raise chicks in Suffolk for first time in over 300 years - RSPB

Conservationists are celebrating the incredible sight of spoonbill chicks taking flight for the first time in three centuries in Suffolk after a wildlife haven was revamped to protect the island from storm surges.

Rare birds, spoonbills, have successfully raised chicks for the first time in Suffolk since 16681. The birds were discovered nesting on RSPB Havergate Island nature reserve, Suffolk’s only island. The RSPB have been working over the last 15 years to encourage spoonbills to breed on the island.

After a huge tidal surge in 2013, the RSPB, with funding from Defra, lowered spillways into Havergate so it became a natural flood defence to accommodate climate-change related increases in the frequency and magnitude of North Sea surges. Over 500m of sea wall was reduced half a metre in height to allow water to flood into natural lagoons around it during storm surges. This protected the seawall around the island from mass failure and also helped protect nearby residents with additional flood storage in the lower Alde-Ore.

The Environment Agency said in 2013 the work was being carried out as part of research to develop their understanding of how natural flood management can protect residents from the risk of increased flooding in the future.

Aaron Howe, RSPB South Suffolk Sites Manager said: “We never gave up the hope spoonbill fledglings would take that very first, special flight from Havergate island once again. During lockdown at the RSPB we heard time and time again from people how they reconnected with the wildlife on their doorstep like never before and found solace in nature. We hope the news that these rare and incredible birds had a breakthrough after 15 years work will help raise people’s spirits.”

 

Over 100 water voles to be released into Nidderdale AONB - Yorkshire Water

Yorkshire Water is set to release more than 100 water voles at Timble Ings Woods in the Washburn Valley, part of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Water Voles are believed to be one of the fastest declining mammals in Britain, losing 97% of their former geographical range and are identified as a key species for conservation in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Timble Ings Woods is owned and managed by Yorkshire Water and is a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation. Work carried out by the water company has kept watercourses free of tree coverage and allowed bankside vegetation to grow, making it ideal for water voles.

Lee Pitcher, head of partnerships at Yorkshire Water, said: “As Yorkshire’s second largest landowner we’re committed to ensuring our land protects the management of water, but also to benefits the environment by delivering exceptional land for the people of Yorkshire. One of the aims of our Land Strategy is to enable plants and wildlife to thrive on Yorkshire Water land. The work we’ve undertaken at Timble Ings Woods makes it a fantastic habitat for water voles and is important for the protection of this vulnerable species.”

 

‘High hopes’ for Arctic terns dashed as lockdown and extreme weather hampers conservation work - National Trust

Arctic tern at Long Nanny standing on a branch (2019) ©National Trust Images Derek Hatton
Arctic tern at Long Nanny (2019) ©National Trust Images Derek Hatton

Arctic terns at one of the UK’s largest breeding sites have failed to fledge young for the first time since the species started breeding at the site in 1980, after lockdown restrictions and extreme weather hindered conservation efforts.

The Arctic tern, which has the longest migration of any bird in the world, returns annually from Antarctica to nest on the Long Nanny shorebird site in Northumberland. In recent years, it has been watched over 24 hours a day by a team of five rangers and seven volunteers. In 2019, over 400 chicks fledged the site.

Rangers had high hopes for the Arctic terns again this year after a high sand spit formed to the south of the estuary during winter, expected to provide defence against high tides.

But this year saw a breeding season fraught with adversities. Exceptionally high tides in June, exacerbated by strong onshore winds, washed away half of the nests.

Many of the remaining nests were preyed upon by rats and stoats as rangers were unable to provide their usual round-the-clock care due to travel restrictions imposed by the lockdown.

By the end of June, the remaining Arctic terns started to desert their nests at dusk. The Trust’s rangers believe this was caused by predators and disturbances from people walking through the colony, and a loose dog is thought to have been the final straw, seeming to cause the Arctic terns to desert the site entirely.

Countryside Manager, Gwen Potter said: “Lockdown made our conservation work with the terns so much more difficult this year, but the team did everything they could within the restrictions. It has been really sad to see our Arctic terns abandon the site, but we’re hopeful they’ll be back next year. They are an amazingly hardy species, with an epic migration, but as ground-nesting birds they’re also extremely vulnerable. It goes to show how important this conservation work is in protecting our declining species.”

 

More Hen Harriers Being Bred While Raptor Persecution Continues - Yorkshire Dales National Park

Natural England has recorded the best year for hen harrier breeding in England since its hen harrier recovery project was established in 2002, with 60 chicks fledged from 19 nests across Northumberland, Yorkshire Dales, Cumbria and Lancashire in early summer 2020.

Ian McPherson, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Member Champion for Natural Environment, said: “It’s great to see that more hen harriers have bred this year. Within the Yorkshire Dales National Park itself we know of 6 nesting attempts, the highest in decades, 2 of which were brood managed.

“But while it’s good to see the steady improvement – with more nesting attempts each year – there is still a long way to go”.

As Tony Juniper, Chairman of Natural England, observed: “Too many birds still go missing in unexplained circumstances. Hen harriers remain critically endangered in England and there is a long way to go before the population returns to what it should be”.

Four of this year’s satellite-tagged young birds are already missing, ‘fate unknown’. This includes a female that was tagged in the Yorkshire Dales on 4 June 2020.

Mr McPherson said: “The Yorkshire Dales is an important area for hen harriers outside the breeding season as well, with birds from across the country coming to winter on the moors and fells. It’s crucial that these birds not only have safe nesting sites, but also survive the winter, hopefully to breed next year. We want to keep these stunning birds in our skies – where they belong – and we’re appealing to the public to help us stamp out raptor persecution once and for all.”

   

First successful sea eagle breeding in Deeside for around 200 years - Cairngorms National Park Authority

Sea eagle in flight (Dorothea OLDANI on Unsplash)
Sea eagle photo by Dorothea OLDANI on Unsplash

A pair of sea eagles have bred successfully in Deeside for the first time in around 200 years, fledging two chicks.The pair nested on Mar Estate, one of six estates in the East Cairngorms Moorland Partnership. Although sea eagles have been in the area for several years, this is their first successful breeding attempt. The pair is one of 5 territorial pairs in the Cairngorms National Park this year, of which 3 have fledged young.

Sea eagles, also known as white-tailed eagles, are thought not to have bred in this part of the Cairngorms since the early 1800s. The species became extinct in Scotland in 1918 but, after an absence of almost 60 years, they were reintroduced to the west coast in 1975, using Norwegian birds. Further reintroductions in Wester Ross and then Fife have resulted in the national population gradually expanding to around 130 pairs, with pairs in the National Park tending to be a mix of birds from the east and west. The pair on Mar Estate is made up of a male released in 2011 as part of the Fife re-introduction and a female believed to be from the west coast. Colonisation of the east of the country has been slower than hoped, due in part to ongoing raptor persecution in some areas. It is therefore welcome news that this pair has successfully established on an estate managed principally for deer and grouse.

Mark Nicolson, a proprietor of Mar Estate, said “We are delighted to have successful breeding of sea eagles on the estate. Sea eagles have been present for several years, mainly providing spectacular aerial battles with our long resident golden eagles. Our hopes that they might settle and breed have been realised, and we look forward to their return next year. After some local input, we have named the young fledglings Victoria and Albert.”

Grant Moir, CEO of the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) said “Raptor conservation is a key element of the work of the East Cairngorms Noorland Partnership (ECMP). Around 50 pairs of moorland raptors (golden eagles, peregrines, hen harriers and merlins) breed in the ECMP area. We are keen to see more raptors in the area so this news is very welcome.”

 

National Park to address decline of moorland waders in new Management Plan - North York Moors National Park Authority

Curlew by Colin Carter
Curlew by Colin Carter

The North York Moors National Park Authority’s latest census has revealed that three out of four species of wading birds across moorland areas of the National Park have declined slightly since the last survey in 2014.

The Authority’s fifth study since 1996 on the moorland breeding populations of waders, including golden plover, Eurasian curlew, northern lapwing and common snipe, has raised concern among Authority staff who will now consider the results as part of the new North York Moors National Park Management Plan.

This is a process that the Authority takes every five years by setting out what priorities and actions need to be taken by the Authority and others with a stake in the future of the North York Moors.

Speaking on the results of the 2019 census, Elspeth Ingleby, Ecologist for the Authority, said: “Whilst golden plover numbers are shown to have declined since a peak in 2014, the population remains higher than found in earlier surveys. In contrast however, curlew and lapwing have both shown a gradual but statistically significant decline since peaking in 2000. This is concerning, although snipe numbers have seen an apparent slight increase.”

 

Private land managers drive lapwing recovery in key breeding ground - Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT)

Lizzie Grayshon and lapwing (image: GWCT)
Lizzie Grayshon and lapwing (image: GWCT)

A remarkable project to restore lapwing to an English valley has shown that, given the right funding, advice and encouragement, and by working together, farmers can boost biodiversity in the UK’s countryside.

The LIFE Waders for Real project, set up by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), has managed to reverse the downward trend of lapwing and other waders in the Avon Valley between Salisbury and Christchurch. Now a new booklet, Saving our Lapwing: A Guide to Successful Working Conservation, documents their success and describes the conditions lapwing need to thrive. Central to that success has been the commitment of 40 local land managers working together on a landscape scale to help their lapwing population

By starting with existing breeding populations of lapwing, incorporating predator control alongside habitat creation and, most importantly, involving local land managers, the LIFE Waders for Real project has succeeded in increasing the number of lapwing in the Avon Valley, from 61 pairs in 2015 to 105 in 2019. Crucially, the project has also succeeded in improving breeding success. To remain stable, a local population needs to fledge an average of 0.7 chick per pair each year. Prior to the project, lapwing productivity had dropped as low as 0.4 young per pair. By 2019, the figure was 0.96, safely exceeding the critical level for sustainability. The project has also seen remarkable success with the redshank population. Redshank have increased from 19 pairs in 2015 to 35 in 2019.

 

New report: birds provide hopeful message on targets to save nature - Birdlife

You may have heard about the world’s catastrophic failure to meet global biodiversity targets. But there's hope. A new landmark report from BirdLife International uses bird conservation successes to outline recommended solutions that could help the next set of targets to succeed.

Today, BirdLife released a new report, Birds and Biodiversity Targets, which builds on the recent coverage of the world’s catastrophic failure to meet global targets to save biodiversity. While there is plenty of doom and gloom around this subject, there have also been numerous successes over the past decade that demonstrate how achievable – and affordable – nature conservation can be with sufficient political investment.

Birds and Biodiversity Targets, part of our flagship State of the World’s Birds series, uses our extensive global research to provide a road map to ensure the 2020s are not just another “lost decade for nature”. As well as outlining the shortfalls of each of the targets, this publication also brings a message of hope to the world, using bird conservation successes to show that solutions exist for the problems facing the biosphere, and that nature can recover swiftly when these are enacted.

The report aims to dispel the idea that the governments failed because the targets were unachievable, outlining the actions needed to plot a course where, by 2050, nature and humanity can live in harmony.

   

Birdcrime: The law has failed our birds of prey - RSPB

Self-regulation from within the grouse shooting community has failed, and urgent action is needed to prevent protected birds of prey being illegally killed and to bring this industry into the 21st century and to help address the nature and climate crises.

That’s the message from the RSPB’s Birdcrime report, out today (1 October), which demonstrates that birds of prey continue to be systematically killed, particularly where land is managed for driven grouse shooting.

The report reveals 85 confirmed incidents of bird of prey persecution, involving birds such as buzzards, red kites, peregrines, golden eagles and hen harriers being shot, trapped and poisoned. The highest concentration of these occurred in upland areas of the North of England and Scotland, with North Yorkshire emerging as the worst county for the sixth year running. Half of the confirmed incidents occurred within protected landscapes.

All birds of prey are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. To intentionally kill or injure one is a criminal offence and could result in an unlimited fine or up to six months in jail depending on the jurisdiction.

Yet in the past 10 years, there have been over 1000 confirmed incidents of bird of prey persecution in the UK. Despite hard work by police forces, RSPB Investigations and volunteers who monitor birds of prey across the UK, the law is failing to protect these birds.

 

Herpetology 

Two hundred baby sand lizards released at Puddletown Forest - Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust

A major effort is underway to boost numbers of the UK’s rarest lizard after a huge forest fire in Dorset this summer devastated one of the country’s remaining sand lizard habitats.

ARC has been working with Marwell Wildlife and Forestry England in Dorset to release more than 200 young sand lizards back into the wild at Puddletown Forest following an exceptional breeding year at the zoo.

Dorset is a stronghold for this protected species but a recent wildfire at Wareham Forest, which burned for more than two weeks, destroyed over 220 hectares of vital wildlife habitat. A team of volunteers were able to rescue and relocate some reptiles in the days after the fire but hundreds of sand lizards were impacted. The fire, which was thought to be caused by a disposable barbecue or camp fire, burned for more than two weeks and took four million litres of water to extinguish.

Marwell Wildlife, dedicated to the conservation of species and habitats locally and globally, has been home to a captive breeding population of sand lizards at Marwell Zoo for over thirty years, supporting efforts to reintroduce this species to restored former strongholds. Working in partnership with the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation and with support from Natural England, Marwell Wildlife has contributed more than 2000 young lizards to 22 release sites across Southern England, continuing this year at Puddletown Forest. Last year the charity refreshed and increased the size of its captive breeding facility, to increase capacity for young lizards and expand research opportunities in order understand more about this rare reptile and safeguard its fragile populations.

 

Invertebrates 

Asian hornet identified in Hampshire - Defra and Animal and Plant Health Agency

Asian Hornet identification guide (defra/APHA)
Asian Hornet identification guide (defra/APHA)

Beekeepers and members of the public were today (10/9) asked to remain vigilant after an Asian hornet was spotted in the Gosport area of Hampshire.

The National Bee Unit has confirmed the sighting and monitoring is underway to detect any other Asian hornets in the vicinity.

The Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than our native wasps and hornets. However, they do pose a risk to honey bees and work is already underway to monitor for any hornet activity and to identify any nests nearby.

This is the first confirmed UK sighting since October 2019, when two related nests were detected and destroyed near Christchurch, Dorset.

It is important to take care not to approach or disturb a nest. Asian hornets are not generally aggressive towards people but an exception to this is when they perceive a threat to their nest.

If you suspect you have seen an Asian hornet you should report this using the iPhone and Android app ‘Asian Hornet Watch’ or by using our online report form. Alternatively, e-mail alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk.

Please include a photograph if you can safely obtain one.

   

Big Butterfly Count 2020 sees lowest numbers of butterflies recorded in 11 years - Butterfly Conservation

Wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation has today released data about the number of butterflies counted in this year’s Big Butterfly Count (17th July – 9th August 2020). Worryingly this summer’s Count has seen a reduction in the average number of butterflies logged per count of -34% in comparison with 2019 and the lowest average number of butterflies logged overall since the event began eleven years ago. In all, during this year’s Big Butterfly Count, over 1.4 million butterflies were counted across the UK.

Dr Zoë Randle, Senior Surveys Officer at Butterfly Conservation said: “Unfortunately, this summer has not seen an abundance of butterflies, across the UK. We do see peaks and troughs of butterfly numbers each year (last year for example we saw a huge influx of migrant Painted Lady butterflies), so the data from the Big Butterfly Count is an important snapshot which, along with our other monitoring schemes, helps our understanding of the rates of decline of butterflies and moths”.

She went on to say: “Coming so shortly after the recent WWF and UN reports on the global biodiversity crisis these 2020 results illustrate the perilous state of wildlife in the UK. However, the fact that so many people take part in this exciting citizen science initiative is encouraging and makes a huge difference to our understanding of how the natural world is responding to the crisis it is in. Now we need to see initiatives both here and across the world to put nature on a path to recovery”.

 

Publications

Defra Research and analysis Hen harriers: tracking programme update

Data collected since 2002 on hen harrier dispersal behaviour. 

Read the Hen harrier tag update September 2020  (Open Document format)

 

Ecology and Biodiversity.

Wildlife protection plan to unlock Hampshire housebuilding - Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Natural England, Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government,

Trailblazing new government-backed scheme to benefit both people and wildlife in the Solent.
Defra has today (11 September) announced £3.9 million to unlock housing growth in south Hampshire in a scheme that will reduce harmful nitrates and aid wildlife recovery.Housing growth has stalled in the Solent area for over a year due to concerns that nitrates were causing a range of negative environmental effects. These include excessive growth of green algae which smothers and damages rare habitats and wildlife, including the Solent’s internationally protected estuaries, salt marshes and seagrass beds, as well as protected birds including curlews.

Image of Eurasian Curlew bird walking on mud with green plants in background. (image: Natural England)
(image: Natural England)

The government will invest £3.9 million in the first-of-its-kind project to set up an online ‘nitrate trading’ auction platform. Through this, housing developers will buy credits to create new habitats such as meadows, woodlands and wetlands - which will prevent harmful levels of nitrates from new housing from reaching the Solent’s rare wildlife and habitats. This will also provide more outside spaces as part of government ambitions for a green, nature-based recovery from coronavirus.

Alongside this, a new nature reserve at Warblington Farm – a site covering 60 hectares of new woodlands and wetlands - opened this week, which will be funded through the credits which housing developers purchase. The new farm will help remove nitrates and in turn reduce pollution impacts on the Solent.

If the pilot is successful, it could be extended and rolled out to a number of other areas, providing a vital wider application to other parts of England. This will also inform the government’s wider work on market-based solutions to environmental issues – such as carbon offsetting, biodiversity net gain, water quality and flood risk management.

RSPB calls out UK’s lost decade for nature as the UN reveals ten years of missed targets - RSPB

UK failure on international environmental targets revealed by the RSPB on eve of major UN report 

RSPB analysis of the UK’s self-assessment reveals the picture may be worse than reported, raising doubts some targets have not been met and highlighting areas where the UK has regressed

The UK must recognise the opportunity to make urgent changes at home which can be used to provide international leadership ahead of negotiating the next global plan to save nature and the climate in 2021

To get nature’s recovery back on track the RSPB is launching the Revive Our World campaign, pushing for legally binding targets to restore nature by 2030 and ensure there is not another decade of failure

On the eve of a major United Nations report, which will show the international community has failed to halt environmental decline over the last 10 years, new analysis from the RSPB has revealed the UK’s self-assessment is overly optimistic as high environmental ambitions have not led to real progress being made.

The Global Biodiversity Outlook 5, published tomorrow (12 September) by the United Nations, will contain no country-level breakdowns of how the UK has fared, but an RSPB report ‘A Lost Decade for Nature’, will reveal our true performance.

With UK wildlife continuing to decline and vital habitat being lost or degraded the ability of the governments of the UK to revive our world will depend on an honest assessment of the work needed. While the UK Government believes it has met a third of its targets, RSPB analysis shows the UK may have met as few as just 3 of the 20 international targets it agreed to a decade ago, and in six areas the UK has actually gone backwards.

 

Failure on global and UK nature targets a wake-up call that UK governments must answer - Wildlife & Countryside Link

Nature charities across the UK are urging our governments to begin a ‘new era for nature’, following the confirmation by the UN today on the failure of the international community and UK governments in a decade-long effort to halt environmental decline. Environmental charities in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland are writing to the leaders of their national governments today to call for the UK to lead the charge for new targets and concerted global action to reverse our nature crisis.

The Global Biodiversity Outlook 5, published today by the United Nations, has confirmed that the international community will fail its global targets to reverse losses in wildlife and the natural environment by the end of 2020.[1] This announcement follows hot on the heels of research from RSPB which highlights that the UK’s performance on restoring nature may be considerably worse than previously thought, and WWF and Zoological Society of London (ZSL)’s Living Planet Report 2020 which shows animal populations globally have plunged by 68% in the last 50 years.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is being urged to commit to a new UK era for nature by announcing at the UN biodiversity summit on 30 September that the government will: protect at least 30% of land and sea for nature by 2030, and support a new global target and action plan to restore species and habitats with equivalent targets to be set in UK law under the Environment Bill.
Richard Benwell, CEO of Wildlife and Countryside Link said: ‘The failure to meet these targets is a wake-up call for nature that our leaders must answer before it is too late. Sometimes losses have been sudden, sometimes they have been slow, but the unassailable trend in our wildlife populations is down. Unless we turn things around, we face economic and environmental catastrophe. We are calling on the Prime Minister to help start a new era for wildlife, fighting for a strong global target and worldwide action, matched with a clear legal commitment, increased investment and ambitious programmes to restore nature at home.'

 

Government’s planning reforms must address the nature and climate crisis - The Wildlife Trusts

The Wildlife Trusts call for a new designation - Wildbelt - to allow nature’s recovery
Public urged to rewild planning system by responding to consultation

New analysis of the Government’s White Paper, Planning for the Future, has revealed that, as they currently stand, the proposed reforms will increase the threat to nature in England and do little to create better homes and communities for wildlife and people.

Based on their analysis, The Wildlife Trusts are calling on the Government to commit to five principles to be applied to future planning which would ensure the reforms can address the climate and ecological crises and people’s need for nature around them. One of these principles would, for the first time, protect new land put into nature’s recovery. For this, The Wildlife Trusts propose a new protection mechanism called Wildbelt.

Craig Bennett, chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts, says: “We’re in a climate and ecological crisis and we cannot afford to lose any more wildlife – we need a new Project Speed for nature. We must keep the environmental protections that we have – but even that is not enough. Protections must be strengthened, and the Government needs to take a big step towards helping nature to recover everywhere. The new planning reforms currently propose an algorithm-based system that’s dependent on non-existent data. That’s a system that will fail nature and lead to more loss. Evidence shows that healthy communities need nature and the government must map out a Nature Recovery Network across every one of their proposed zones, whether it’s a growth, renewal or protected area. We’re proposing five principles to ensure the planning system helps nature and we want to see a bold new designation which will protect new land that’s put into recovery - we’re calling this Wildbelt.”

 

Natural History Museum infographics demonstrate the impact of COVID-19 lockdown - Natural History Museum

Infographic detailing which animals we saw more of during lockdown Source: BRC at UKCEH. Data entered into iRecord (Natural History Museum / Beyond Words Studio)
Source: BRC at UKCEH. Data entered into iRecord (Natural History Museum / Beyond Words Studio)

The Natural History Museum has collaborated with data visualisation company Beyond Words Studio to illustrate some of the changes in the movement of people, air and noise pollution and wildlife sightings in the UK.

The graphics, drawing on a variety of open source data and scientific databases, document the dramatic drop in driving and public transport use, the resulting reduction in air pollution and noise levels and the changes to sightings of both animals and birds.

The release of these graphics is part of ‘Nature in Lockdown’ a Natural History Museum public engagement initiative which is seeking to crowdsource research ideas and discover the top three environmental impacts of COVID-19 which people are most interested in.

The project, which has received funding from the Natural Environment Research Council, culminates in a live interactive virtual ‘Lates’ event on Friday 25th September at 7.30pm in which audiences can pose questions to young and emerging researchers about those topics.

The Natural History Museum’s Executive Director of Engagement Clare Matterson says: “These fascinating visualisations, the result of a collaboration between scientists, our digital teams and Beyond Words, bring to life some of the astonishing impacts lockdown has had on our environments and how we noticed and experienced nature in a new and different way. ”

Animal sightings

In the first 100 days of lockdown, there were nearly half a million wildlife sightings submitted to wildlife spotting website iRecord, an increase of 54% compared to the same period last year.

Bat sightings soared the most, with 2.4 times as many bats seen in lockdown as the same time last year.

The most popular lockdown animals were butterflies (129,000 sightings) and moths (90,000 sightings).

 

Spend £6 million a year to save £2.7 billion on nature invader costs to the economy by 2040 - Wildlife and Countryside Link

Environment groups are urging the Government to commit in the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review to spend £6 million a year on preventing invasive plants and animals establishing in the UK. New research estimates this investment would save a whopping £2.7 billion for our economy over the next 20 years by preventing damage from new invasive species – giving an economic return of £23 for every £1 spent.

New estimates and a new report from Wildlife and Countryside Link, the largest environmental coalition in England, also demonstrate that increasing the invasive species defence budget from the current spend of just under £1 million per year, to £6 million per year would:

Dr Richard Benwell, CEO of Wildlife and Countryside Link, said: ‘Ships clogged by mussels, crops and timber ruined by pests, and waterways blocked by weeds all come at a heavy economic price. Invasive species are costly for the economy as well as exacting a toll on wildlife. A relatively small Government investment of six million pounds per year offers a triple win, supporting jobs, preventing the cost from invaders rocketing, and protecting vulnerable UK wildlife.’

 

Bristol unveils first ever ecological blueprint - Bristol City Council

cover of the one city ecological emergency strategy document

Organisations from across Bristol have come together in the first coordinated drive to protect natural life in and around the city.

Following on from the declaration of an ecological emergency in February this year, the One City Ecological Emergency Strategy has been launched. It unveils a 10-year plan to protect wildlife, ecosystems and habitats in the face of the rapid decline in wildlife locally and globally.

A series of discussions have been held this week with city partners to examine the four key areas the strategy covers, which are defined by its goals:

  1. Space for nature – at least a third of land in Bristol is to be managed for the benefit of wildlife by 2030. This means finding new spaces for nature to thrive throughout the city’s urban landscape.
  2. Pesticides – reduce the use of pesticides in Bristol by at least half by 2030. This means challenging their use at all levels and finding alternatives.
  3. Pollution – 100% of Bristol’s waterways to have water quality that supports healthy wildlife by 2030. This means reducing pollution contaminating water.
  4. Our wider footprint – people and businesses to reduce consumption of products that undermine the health of wildlife and ecosystems around the world. This means finding ways to help everyone better understand the impact of their actions.

The strategy confronts the ecological emergency and puts forward solutions that match the urgency and scale of the issue. It has been developed through the One City Approach, which brings together public, private, voluntary and third sector partners within Bristol, together working to make Bristol a fair, healthy and sustainable city. It builds on successful work to protect nature, but aims to substantially increase the scale and speed of action.

Ian Barrett, Chief Executive of Avon Wildlife Trust and Chair of the One City Ecological Emergency Strategy working group, said:

“It’s not too late to reverse the declines in wildlife that are undermining our planet’s natural life support systems. We know the changes that are needed to restore wildlife and ecosystems and, where they’re in place, they’re working. Over the next ten years, we need to put these changes in place in Bristol and surrounding areas to ensure that people and wildlife can survive and thrive.”

Download the Strategy Plan document (PDF)

 

PM commits to protect 30% of UK land in boost for biodiversity - Defra

Over 4,000 sq km of new land in England will be designated and protected.

The Prime Minister is committing today (Monday 28 September) to protect 30% of the UK’s land by 2030.

Existing National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and other protected areas already comprise approximately 26% of land in England. An additional 4% – over 400,000 hectares, the size of the Lake District and South Downs national parks combined – will be protected to support the recovery of nature.

The government will work with the Devolved Administrations to agree an approach across the UK, and with landowners and civil society to explore how best to increase the size and value of our protected land.

The announcement comes as the Prime Minister is set to sign the Leaders Pledge for Nature at a virtual United Nations event later today, committing to put nature and biodiversity on a road to recovery by 2030.

Boris Johnson will warn that countries must act now to reverse devastating biodiversity loss and prevent more species from being lost forever, with a 68% decline in global wildlife populations since 1970 alone.

Addressing the virtual signing ceremony today, the Prime Minister will say: “We must turn these words into action and use them to build momentum, to agree ambitious goals and binding targets. We must act now – right now. We cannot afford dither and delay because biodiversity loss is happening today and it is happening at a frightening rate. Left unchecked, the consequences will be catastrophic for us all. Extinction is forever – so our action must be immediate.”

 

Cairngorms Nature project a first for the UK - Cairngorms National Park Authority

An exciting and ambitious project to find out how nature is doing in the National Park is about to be launched by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA). For the first time in the UK, the Cairngorms Nature Index (CNI) will use an ecosystem based approach to assess nature within a National Park.

Following a review of international approaches the CNI will build on a successful method that has been used in Norway. Over the next 18 months CNPA will be working with Atmos Consulting Ltd and a Project Advisory Group to develop an approach tailored to the Cairngorms.

The new method involves the selection of indicators that can reveal the health of our ecosystems in the National Park, by looking at how they respond to pressures such as climate change, pollution and land use. For example snow bed cover, aquatic invertebrates and stream temperature are indicators which can tell us about water quality and the impact of climate change on our freshwater and alpine systems.

Dr Sarah Henshall, CNI Project Manager at the CNPA explains “We want to achieve a National Park that is richer in nature, understanding how nature is doing and what is driving change is hugely important. It can act as an early warning system allowing us to target the right conservation action in the right place to mitigate impact or reverse decline.”

 

Land and Countryside Management.

The Parks Alliance and Landscape Institute unite to create a stronger voice for parks -

logo: The Parks and Green Space Network

The two organisations have joined forces to support a partnership of 50+ organisations and leading practitioners, creating a new Parks and Green Space Network (PGSN) to better support the parks sector

The Network’s vision is ‘…for everyone to have access to quality green spaces that improve their physical and mental health, are inclusive, that contribute to the sustainability of their community and the world, and that support the economic vitality of their neighbourhood, town or city.’

The Network aims to provide a voice for parks, representing and empowering the people and organisations that create, maintain, invest in and use public green spaces.

Working collaboratively and inclusively across the sector, the Network will promote parks and green spaces at every level – from local to international – to ensure the very best for these vital public assets.

The Network includes over 50 leaders and experts from public, private and voluntary organisations across the UK. These leaders will decide the Network’s priorities, and members will be able to support delivery according to their interests.

To find out more about the Parks and Green Space Network, its mission, goals, principles, immediate work areas, and inaugural members, visit www.theparksalliance.org.

 

Official figures reveal not one river or lake in England is in good health - Wildlife and Countryside Link

New figures from the Environment Agency have been released today revealing that 0% of river, lakes and streams are classed as in good health in England, despite a target for all waters to be in good health by 2027. When figures were last published in 2016, 16% of waters were classed as good.

The change represents more accurate measurements, that reveal the true poor state of our waters, rather than a change in underlying condition, where there has been no progress. Environment experts say the figures demonstrate that the Government needs to urgently invest in turning our failing rivers into thriving blue corridors.

The new Environment Agency figures show that:

• Every single surfacewater body monitored by the Environment Agency in England has failed stricter new chemical standards, meaning that none have a clean bill of health overall

• The failure rate on many other measures of good water health has shown little or no improvement, the most important being assessments of Ecological Status. Only 16% of English waters were classed in good ecological health for in 2016, with the figure remaining 16% in 2019.

• The figures released today show that the proportion of English waters in good health is one of the worst in Europe, with a European average of 40% of surface water bodies in good health

• Our rivers and lakes are also the least healthy in the UK, with waterbodies in Scotland at 65.7%, rivers in Wales at 46% and 31.3% of rivers in Northern Ireland classed in good health

• The Governments’ target in its 25 Year Environment Plan for 75% of waterbodies in England to be in good condition ‘as soon as possible’ (ahead of the 2027 target for all waters) is now all but unachievable

• Current monitoring overlooks many of the highest quality waters - headwater streams, ponds and small lakes - so we have little idea how these are faring

Richard Benwell, CEO of Wildlife and Countryside Link, said: ‘Chemicals, sewage, manure, and plastic are polluting our rivers, invasive weeds are choking them, and climate change and over-use are drying them out. Urgent investment is needed now to turn our suffering waters into thriving blue corridors for wildlife. It means investment, industry change, and improved standards are essential, with the legal underpinning in the Environment Bill to make our waters well again.’

 

Collaborative working on the future of Wales’ uplands the key to its enduring legacy - Natural Resources Wales

Thinking differently and working collaboratively should be the key drivers towards delivering a strong and resilient upland landscape for Wales’ future generations.

That will be the message from Chief Executive of Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Clare Pillman when she takes to the virtual stage to address delegates on the opening day of the Environment Evidence 2020 conference on Monday.

The event, hosted by Environment Platform Wales, will explore the theme of resilience in the Welsh uplands with a particular focus on what the next decade holds for the landscape from a range of environmental, social and economic perspectives. It will bring together stakeholders from across the public, private and third sectors to discuss the challenges and opportunities and explore how the latest research can help shape the policies of the future.

Delivering the keynote address on day one of the conference, Clare Pillman will say: “Wales’ upland environment means so many different things to so many, evolving over centuries of our interaction with nature. From food sources to clean water supplies, thousands of people depend on these landscapes to sustain our way of life. Sustainable management of the uplands and their habitats can help to mitigate flood risk and provide the essential support systems of a range of wildlife. They are the places where people flock to live and to work and, as we’ve seen over recent weeks, they are also the places people have come to escape and to enjoy as lockdown restrictions have eased. However, the environment, and the vital benefits and services it provides, is under pressure – from climate change, from Brexit, from changing social and economic circumstances, and from the impacts of unsustainable use. The challenges, but also the opportunities that the uplands face over the coming decade are likely to be greater than anything we’ve experienced over the last century. That is why I hope the discussions we will be having this week will enable us to think and to act differently and encourage us to be braver in our aspirations for how we manage our uplands in the future.”

 

NRW launches £6.8 million LIFE Dee River project - Natural Resources Wales

view of the river at Llangollen Weir (Credit: Natural Resources Wales)
Llangollen Weir (Credit: Natural Resources Wales)

Today (Friday 18 September), Natural Resources Wales (NRW) launches its multi-million pound river restoration project to transform the River Dee and its surroundings, to help improve declining fish populations and rare wildlife in the area.

The £6.8 million, cross-border project will bring multiple benefits to the environment, particularly improving the numbers of salmon, lamprey and freshwater pearl mussels, helping them become more sustainable in the future.

With a catchment area of more than 695 square miles (1,800 km), the Dee is one of the most highly regulated rivers in Europe. Along with Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake) it has been designated a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

Conservation work carried out during the project will help the entire river ecosystem, by improving fish migration, biodiversity, and habitats for birds and mammals. It will also improve water quality and the safety of recreational use.

Working in partnership with local communities, landowners and contractors, the project will include weir removals, constructing fish passages, improving the river channel, and adapting farming and forestry practices. It will also focus on rearing and releasing the critically-endangered freshwater pearl mussel, until the population is re-established.

 

Outdoor use of metaldehyde to be banned to protect wildlife - defra

Restrictions on the use of metaldehyde

The outdoor use of metaldehyde, a pesticide used to control slugs on farms and in gardens, is set to be banned in Great Britain from the end of March 2022 in order to better protect wildlife and the environment, farming Minister Victoria Prentis announced today (18/9).

The decision takes into account advice from the UK Expert Committee on Pesticides (ECP) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) about the risks that metaldehyde poses to birds and mammals.  

Metaldehyde will be phased out by 31 March 2022 to give growers and gardeners appropriate time to switch to alternative slug control measures. It will be legal to sell metaldehyde products until 31 March 2021 with use of the products then allowed for a further 12 months until 31 March 2022. Small quantities of product for gardens should not be disposed of at home and can be disposed of through local authority waste facilities.

While slugs can cause significant damage to farmers’ crops and gardeners’ plants, pesticides containing ferric phosphate can provide effective control without carrying the same risks to wildlife as metaldehyde slug pellets.

Alternative methods of pest control also include cultural techniques like planting slug resistant crop varieties, selectively timing irrigation and harvest and sowing seeds more deeply into the soil.

 

Critical evidence is missing from Sizewell C application say wildlife charities - RSPB

The RSPB and Suffolk Wildlife Trust (SWT) say that critical evidence is missing from EDF’s Sizewell C Development Consent Order (DCO) application and must therefore conclude that the build must not go ahead.

Without this evidence, the charities say they can’t properly assess the application and all its potential impacts on nature and the environment at RSPB Minsmere, Sizewell Marshes SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and beyond.

The lack of evidence is causing concern as it leaves an uncertain future for several protected animals including: otters, water voles, marsh harriers, bats, natterjack toads, red-throated divers and more.

In some cases, plans to mitigate the impacts on these species either don’t exist or are seriously lacking in detail.

The charities say that Sizewell C will result in catastrophic losses for nature, not a net-gain for nature as EDF claims.

The RSPB and Suffolk Wildlife Trust (SWT) are deeply concerned that critical evidence is missing from EDF’s Sizewell C DCO application. Without this evidence, the charities say they can’t properly assess the application and all its potential impacts on nature and the environment at RSPB Minsmere, Sizewell Marshes SSSI and beyond.

During recent public consultations, the RSPB and SWT raised concerns about several potential environmental impacts where critical evidence was missing or inadequate, meaning EDF’s assessments are incomplete. Conservationists were therefore disappointed to find that this evidence is still missing from the final application.

 

HS2 on Calvert Jubilee nature reserve: Statement from Butterfly Conservation - Butterfly Conservation

On Tuesday 22 September a team from HS2 took possession of a large part of the Calvert Jubilee nature reserve in Buckinghamshire. This was done without giving promised notice to BBOWT (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trusts), whose staff and volunteers have spent decades building the reserve up to encourage biodiversity. The HS2 team are now engaged in a process of destroying much of this valuable habitat. The reserve is one of only a small number of special sites that are a haven for all five Hairstreak butterflies found in the UK.

At a time when biodiversity is in crisis and species like the Hairstreaks are at risk, Butterfly Conservation is shocked that HS2 has seen fit to act in such a manner. At the very least, they should have agreed upon and be delivering positive mitigating actions to offset the damage being done along the whole route. Butterfly Conservation has an excellent track record of working with developers to get the best mitigation possible. We are, therefore, very disturbed by the ongoing failure of the team at HS2 to engage in such best practice by working with us to find the best ways to offset destruction and maintain important species found at sites such as Calvert Jubilee.

If no mitigation is carried out in this area, we will lose habitat and wildlife which we cannot afford to do. At a time when the world is failing to protect nature and biodiversity is plummeting, we wonder why HS2 is consistently failing to prevent this happening?

 

HS2 to host webinar on the new habitats created for local wildlife in the West Midlands and Warwickshire - HS2 Ltd

Finham Brook Pond (HS2 Ltd)
Finham Brook Pond (HS2 Ltd)

In the West Midlands, HS2’s landscape and ecology programme will create bigger, better and more joined up wildlife habitat including woodland, along with community spaces around the new railway for people to enjoy for years to come.

Around 250,000 trees will be planted in the West Midlands and Warwickshire by HS2’s enabling works contractor LMJV (Laing O’Rourke and J. Murphy & Sons Ltd) and their team of ecologists and landscape architects, with 80,000 already planted. In addition, 40 ponds and many acres of wetland, heathland and meadow in the region have been created. New wildlife habitats in a variety of locations include new badger setts, bat houses, bird boxes, reptile banks and bug houses to help local wildlife populations thrive.

The new woodlands will be part of HS2’s ‘green corridor’ which will see up to 7 million new trees and shrubs planted between London and the West Midlands, and which will support delicately balanced local ecosystems running through the spine of the country.

 

Scientists launch key principles to preserve Scots plant health - James Hutton Institute

Scotland’s plants underpin the health of the nation, but plant pests and diseases can cause major economic, environmental, and social costs. Increased global movements of plants and soil, coupled with the effects of climate change, are allowing novel pests and diseases to take hold or endemic ones to flourish. To raise awareness of these issues, and coinciding with the UK Plant Health Week (19-27 September), Scotland’s Plant Health Centre has launched a set of five Key Principles, which outline important steps to protect Scotland’s plant resources.

close up photo of an emeral ash borer (image by Kent Loeffler, Cornell University)
The emerald ash borer is not yet in the UK but remains a threat (image by Kent Loeffler, Cornell University)

Scotland’s five Key Principles for Plant Health are:

These principles will be the focus of a series of short stories, released over the course of UK Plant Week, to bring the Principles to life and celebrate Scotland’s plant-based assets. These will go live on the Plant Health Centre website (www.planthealth.scot) starting on Saturday 19th September.

 

Mayors, councils, local communities, and RSPB unite in support of the call to urgently ban peatland burning on grouse moors - RSPB

The RSPB is today calling on Government to implement an immediate end to the burning of precious peatlands on moors managed for grouse shooting. The call, which comes on the first day of this year's burning season, is being supported by city mayors, councils, and local communities. A ban is also supported by a wide range of environmental NGOs.

Beccy Speight, RSPB Chief Executive Officer, said: “In a climate and ecological emergency, the continued burning of precious peatlands is simply not acceptable and undermines the UK Government’s legal obligations to restore nature. The Government has long promised to end the burning of peat, it has widespread public support, and the Secretary of State, George Eustice, now needs to make good on this pledge.”

Healthy wet blanket peat bogs are home to peat-forming sphagnum mosses, cotton-grasses, and carnivorous plants, which support a diverse range of breeding birds, including breeding dunlin and golden plover. They are also a crucial carbon store. UK peatlands (in the uplands and lowlands) store an estimated 3,200 million tonnes (Mt) of carbon.

However, the RSPB says that one of the most significant pressures on these places is that they are routinely and deliberately burned, largely to support a single industry – grouse shooting.

 

ARC welcomes peat extraction refusal - Amphibian and Reptile Conservation

Dumfries and Galloway Council has refused a planning application to extract more peat from Lochwood Moss, near Moffat in Scotland. This decision is likely to be beneficial for wild reptiles, which often suffer from the loss of lowland bog habitat when peat is extracted. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) objected to the application and NatureScot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage) also recommended against approval.

This appears to be the first instance where SEPA has objected to a time extension application for peat extraction on climate change grounds, so it may set an important precedent. SEPA, NatureScot and the local council all cited incompatibility with climate change policies as a reason for not supporting the application. Peat is an important store of carbon and its removal, disturbance or burning contributes to global warming. In this case, the peat was destined for use in horticulture (most garden centres now offer peat-free compost as an alternative).

 

Forestry, Woodland and Arboriculture

Natural regeneration key to doubling woodlands and saving Britain’s crippled forests - Rewilding Britain

view of natural regeneration, tree saplings on open grass and moorland at at Eastern Moors, Derbyshire (copyright Alastair Driver, Rewilding Britain)
Natural regeneration at Eastern Moors, Derbyshire (copyright Alastair Driver, Rewilding Britain)

Government’s draft England Tree Strategy ‘woefully inadequate’

Allowing trees to naturally establish over huge areas could massively expand Britain’s woodlands more effectively and at a fraction of the cost of tree planting, according to research by Rewilding Britain.

It says the Government’s draft England Tree Strategy, open for public consultation to 11 September, is woefully inadequate for tackling the climate and nature crises. More ambitious targets and a fresh approach are needed. With Britain one of Europe’s least wooded countries, Rewilding Britain supports a doubling of the country’s woodland cover over the next decade, from 13 percent now to at least 26 percent. This could help absorb 10 percent of current UK greenhouse emissions annually, and help declining wildlife. But the Government’s draft strategy for reforestation in England fails to set any tree targets, and at best would raise English woodland cover from 10 percent today to just 12 percent by 2050. The Government’s unambitious plans also focus on manual tree planting as a quick fix. But a Rewilding Britain study to be published later this year shows that allowing and enhancing natural regeneration – supported by native tree planting in suitable sites – would be the most effective long-term approach for landscape-scale reforestation.

“We urgently need an expansion of nature’s recovery across Britain that matches the scale of the threats from accelerating climate heating and species extinction – with clear and bold targets from the Government,” said Rebecca Wrigley, Rewilding Britain’s Chief Executive. “We can’t replace our lost woodlands by planting alone. Protecting ancient woodland fragments, and allowing and assisting trees to naturally regenerate on a big scale, is the most effective way of reversing the sorry fortunes of our crippled forests and woodlands, and so benefiting people, nature and the climate.”

Letting trees and shrubs naturally regrow over much of their former landscapes – with a helping hand where needed, such as preparing the ground when necessary or sowing tree seeds when naturally available seed sources are too far away – would create woodlands better able than plantations to soak up carbon dioxide, support wildlife, and adapt to a changing climate. Costs and management, imported tree diseases, and plastic tree guards would all be reduced. A doubling of Britain’s woodland cover would include areas of land over which young trees are naturally establishing, and which will grow into the forests and wildwoods of the future. Major barriers to natural regeneration are attitudes towards scrub – a superb habitat and nursery for young trees, but often seen as a waste of space or untidy – and over-grazing of trees by herbivores.

The Government’s new Environmental Land Management Scheme should address these challenges by offering landowners financial incentives for allowing natural regeneration of trees – avoiding the pitfalls of previous schemes which penalised landowners for unmanaged areas – and support marginal upland farming in shifting from low-productivity sheep and deer ranching to rewilding.

For more details and to comment on the Government’s draft England Tree Strategy, see rewildingbritain.org.uk/blog/tree-strategy.

 

Sheep farmers could profit by shifting to forest, research shows - Sheffield University

Sheep farmers would no longer need government subsidies if they allowed land to return to forest, University of Sheffield research finds.

Sheep farming is currently unprofitable without subsidies, but farmers could earn money by growing trees and selling carbon offsetting certificates

Research comes as UK government shifts to paying farmers for public goods through a new Environmental Land Management scheme

British sheep farmers could profit from allowing their land to naturally regenerate into forest, according to new research from the University of Sheffield.

Experts at the University’s Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures found that farmers would no longer need to rely on government subsidies if they allowed native trees to return to their land and sold credits for the carbon dioxide (CO2) the forest absorbs.

The study, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, calculated that most sheep farms in the UK make a loss without government subsidies, with only the most productive breaking even. The authors found that farmers with at least 25 hectares of land could turn a profit if they allowed it to naturally regenerate into native woodland and were paid as little as £3 per tonne of CO2. If farmers were paid £15 per tonne of CO2 by businesses and individuals looking to offset their emissions, forests of any size would make a profit.

The National Sheep Association begs to differ

NSA challenges short sighted research on replacing sheep farming with forests - National Sheep Association

The National Sheep Association (NSA) has hit back at claims from new research that suggest traditional farming methods should be halted, with trees planted where sheep now graze.

The suggestions come from a new report by the University of Sheffield that claims British sheep farmers would profit from allowing their grasslands to regenerate into forest. Recommendations that the NSA strongly disagree with.

NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker comments: “There are a number of fundamental flaws in the suggestions thinking that sheep farmers would be better off by planting forests. The report assumes all sheep farmers are still receiving the old style of subsidy but the reality is that farmers don’t get subsidies anymore. They were withdrawn over 10 years ago with the transition to the basic payment scheme from previous production support. Since then farming businesses have received Government income, but in recognition for keeping land in good environmental and agricultural condition, and for doing specific environmental works through schemes such as Countryside Stewardship. This became a public investment in incentivising and rewarding good environmental land management.”

NSA is also still concerned over the lack of unity over the subject of food and farming, with ideas being proposed without the thought of our national food strategy. Mr Stocker continues: “To expect sheep farmers to give up farming sheep and plant forests ignores two basic facts; firstly sheep farming is more than just a business, it is part of our culture and heritage and farmers get huge pride and satisfaction from farming sheep; secondly, it’s really easy for scientists to justify the planting of forests through a carbon calculation alone because it is easy to measure how much carbon is in a tree and then apply an offset value. What these scientists ignore is that we have to look at land management on a multi- functional basis, not just one metric of carbon.”

 

Further £10m boost for forestry in Wales - Confor

A new funding package of £10 million for the Glastir Woodland Scheme in Wales will further boost confidence in the sector, Confor's National Manager believes.

Anthony Geddes said he was delighted with the support for round 10 of the Glastir Woodland Creation and Restoration scheme, as well as a new round of the Timber Business Investment Scheme.

Mr Geddes said: "This is tremendous news and will give real confidence to investors, landowners and managers to create new woodland in Wales. We know there is significant demand to plant - more than than 4200 hectares of applications this year already - and this new funding means we can look forward to a strong planting pipeline developing in 2021."

He thanked Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, for her commitment to forestry and Wales’s rural future.

Mr Geddes continued: "This is another significant step towards meeting decarbonisation targets - and it goes hand in hand with the economic benefits this will bring to our rural areas and our preparation to grow more timber to meet a future surge in demand. We will see vital new jobs in rural Wales, and this funding will pump-prime investment into planting to start heading towards the target of creating 4000 hectares of new woodland every year as soon as possible."  Mr Geddes also welcomed the timber business investment scheme and said he hoped it would continue the work of the Forest Industry Recovery Scheme, launched recently.

The announcement was part of a three-year funding package for rural development of Wales of more than £100 million.

 

Innovative tree tape system trial a ‘phenomenal’ success - Forestry and Land Scotland

Forestry and Land Scotland’s (FLS) full scale field trials of a revolutionary new seed propagation and planting system have proved to be a huge success – achieving an almost 2000 percent increase in per person productivity compared with conventional methods.

The trial at the FLS Newton Nursery (near Elgin), featured a new system called 'TreeTape', a modification of leading vegetable growing technology that was designed by Michael Ashby (Director of Cumbria Tree Growers) and Brian Fraser (Director of Oakover Nurseries Ltd).

Josh Roberts, FLS Innovation Manager, said; “The majority of trees that foresters plant are actually first grown in dedicated forest nurseries. Here, seed of known origin is germinated and grown to a suitable size before being taken to be planted at a future forest site. While in the nursery, one of the most labour intensive jobs involves carefully uprooting the tiny seedlings after their first year and then replanting them at the right spacing for another years’ growth. The existing system used for that job by Forestry and Land Scotland allows nursery staff to plant up to 60,000 seedlings in one day. The TreeTape system however has demonstrated during trials that it can plant 1 million trees in the same time and with fewer operators. What would have taken us weeks, with several teams on the go, was achieved in just four days.”

 

British Woodlands Survey 2020 report published - Sylva Foundation

An independent report released today highlights that those who care for woodlands and forests across Britain are increasingly aware of the threats from environmental change, especially drought, wildfires, and pathogens, such as ash dieback and acute oak decline, yet there’s little evidence of action being taken overall to improve woodland resilience.

The 2020 edition of the British Woodlands Survey, funded by the Forestry Commission and co-ordinated by the Sylva Foundation, attracted the views of 1,055 woodland owners, agents, and forestry professionals, representing 3% of privately-owned woodland in Britain. With environmental change as its main theme, the research team from Sylva Foundation and Forest Research explored awareness, action, and aspiration among the private sector which owns 74% of forested land in Britain.

Hand-in-hand with increasing awareness and observation of environmental threats, the report highlighted concerns that many of those who own or manage woodlands are not actively planning or managing in ways which would make woodlands more resilient in future. For example, a minority of respondents had considered local climate change projections or studied the soils that support their woodlands. A key indicator that an owner or manager has considered threats from environmental change while planning to make a woodland more resilient is having a management plan compliant with UK Forestry Standard. The report’s authors highlighted that a minority (31%) of respondents had a UKFS management plan in place.

 

Marine

Only 5 out of UK’s 73 offshore marine protected areas moving towards conservation targets, Greenpeace report reveals - Greenpeace UK

After revealing that supertrawlers spent 5590 hours fishing in UK offshore protected areas in the first half of 2020, a new Greenpeace analysis has found that only 5 of the UK’s 73 offshore protected areas ‘may be’ progressing towards conservation targets.

21 offshore protected areas are ‘unlikely’ to be progressing towards conservation targets. The remaining 47 lack any information on their progress. Just 2 out of 73 offshore protected areas have long-term site condition monitoring available.

This analysis was conducted by compiling each protected area’s ‘Progress Towards Conservation Targets’ as listed on the Joint Nature Conservation Committee’s MPA Site Information Centres, which hold up to date information on each of the UK’s offshore MPAs.

These findings are revealed today in a new Greenpeace report, Bright Blue Seas [embargoed copy available on request]. The report, which features a foreword by Chris Packham, examines the state of the UK’s network of offshore protected areas, those more than 12 nautical miles from the coast, and the destructive industrial fishing activity which continues to take place with alarming regularity inside them.

Greenpeace’s report focuses on offshore protected areas because the UK Government will have new powers to regulate fishing in offshore waters after Britain’s departure from the Common Fisheries Policy. Greenpeace’s ship, the Esperanza, will set sail this month to bear witness to some of the destructive practices taking place in the UK’s failing protected areas.

 

Deep-Sea Marine Reserve Designated - Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust

Good news! The Scottish Government has announced the designation of a new Deep-Sea Marine Reserve off the west coast of Scotland.

It will be the largest Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the North-East Atlantic (located in national waters), covering over 100,000 sq km. and reaching depths of 2.5km. It will safeguard vulnerable habitats and species, protecting the entirety of the Anton Dohrn seamount and deep sea sharks.

However, whilst this news is welcome there is much more that needs to be done to protect vital sites for basking sharks, minke whales, Risso’s dolphins and seabirds in our coastal waters.

Further action is urgently needed to designate four proposed Nature Conservation MPAs (ncMPA); sites first proposed by HWDT, WDC and CRRU in 2011, and based on data collected on board our research vessel, Silurian.

Several years after the Scottish Government received scientific advice to designate these four ncMPAs, and following repeated promises to designate these sites in the last three Programmes for Government (PfG), we are still waiting.

In 2019, HWDT responded to a long-awaited Scottish Government consultation on these proposals – as did many others - highlighting strong public support. In September, together with members of Scottish Environment LINK, we wrote to the Cabinet Secretary to seek assurance that these promised sites will be designated.

 

Lockdown and Green Recovery.

LI launches new policy paper on a green recovery from COVID-19 - Landscape Institute

Atkins's design of Queen’s Promenade in Kingston Upon Thames. Image © David Millington
Atkins's design of Queen’s Promenade in Kingston Upon Thames. Image © David Millington

The new publication puts landscape at the heart of the UK’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, exploring how we can restart the economy while addressing entrenched health inequalities and tackling the ever-accelerating climate crisis.

‘The economic and social recovery from COVID-19 must be green‘, argues a new policy paper from the Landscape Institute (LI).

Building on the public stimulus announcements made in July 2020 and ahead of the Autumn Statement, the LI urges the UK Government to seize a ‘once-in-a generation chance’ to invest for a truly green recovery. In its new report, Greener Recovery: Delivering a sustainable recovery from COVID-19, the Institute describes what role the landscape sector can play in contributing towards a sustainable economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and what more the government needs to do to enable this.

Access the policy paper here

 

84% of you told us that lockdown gave you the opportunity to further connect with wildlife - Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust

Connecting with wildlife provided a much needed boost to health and wellbeing during lockdown © David Bocking
© David Bocking

The results of a recent ‘Wild in Lockdown’ survey by Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust showed that lockdown gave people the opportunity to further connect with wildlife. The Trust received some wonderful stories with many of you enjoying activities such as; daily walks in local green spaces, bird watching, wildlife gardening, talking to children about wildlife and completing DIY projects such as building hedgehogs homes, insect hotels and creating mini ponds.

Connecting with wildlife provided a much needed boost to health and wellbeing during lockdown and many of you shared your wild in lockdown memories – here are some of the Trust’s favourite stories you shared.

“This was a very special, memorable spring. I walked for an hour a day locally and each day saw different things to make me feel glad and privileged to live where I do on the edge of Sheffield, bordering the Derbyshire countryside. It re-enforced the knowledge and feeling that we need to return in a massive way to connecting with nature, re-wilding and protecting it. We need to pave the way for a new kind of living that puts this at its centre.” Deborah

“Seeing the birds in my garden every day, I’m working from home and have had more time to spend in my garden. I made a wildlife pond and a bug hotel.” Sharon

“Watching fox cubs playing in our garden; spotting a reed bunting on the rocky shore of a moorland reservoir near us; hearing masses of willow warblers; spotting a family of mergansers…adults and 12 or more chicks on the River Rother; spotting flowers on a walk down Coombs Dale, Derbyshire; and above everything else, the arrival of the swifts.” David

It is clear from the survey results that wildlife was vitally important to many during lockdown and it gave people an escape from the worries of the Coronavirus pandemic. It allowed people to take the time to notice and appreciate the small wonders of nature on their doorstep; noticing the cheery daffodils of spring and carpets of bluebells in summer, and simply enjoying the wildlife all around us.

 

Public love for nature during Covid-19 highlighted by new survey - Natural England

Survey revealed that during April-June 2020 almost nine in 10 adults in England reported that protection of the environment is important to them personally.

People walking in a woodland. Credit Natural England
People walking in a woodland. Credit Natural England

Natural England’s new People and Nature Survey has revealed that during April-June 2020, almost nine in 10 adults in England reported that protection of the environment is important to them personally. Nearly three quarters of adults were concerned about biodiversity loss in England.

The nation’s gardens, parks, woodlands and rivers have played a huge part in helping us all through the coronavirus pandemic, with almost nine in 10 of adults in England reporting that being in nature makes them very happy. Four in 10 adults reported spending more time in nature than before the coronavirus pandemic, with health and wellbeing being amongst the main reasons for getting outside.

However, the research indicates clear inequalities in opportunity for engagement with nature. Some adults were not getting outside very often (if at all) with one in three not visiting a natural space in a two-week period, and one in five adults not having visited nature in a month.

The research also shows how important local parks and green spaces are to the nation’s mental and physical wellbeing, with urban green space (such as a park, field or playground) being the most frequently visited natural environments.

    

83% of public say Government should offer nature jobs to those unemployed in COVID-19 crisis and beyond - Wildlife and Countryside Link

Nature groups are calling on the PM and Chancellor to announce a major funding package to provide new green jobs and training through nature recovery work, as part of their spending review. The proposals, known as the National Nature Service, would offer living wage jobs on nature projects to those unemployed, as an alternative to Universal Credit, helping to tackle our employment and nature crises, boost our green recovery from COVID-19 and leave a legacy of healthier, greener communities.
The calls come as new research shows there is overwhelming support for the idea that Government should pay for employment in restoring nature and highlights public concerns over the Government’s performance, and lack of investment, in tackling the nature and climate crises. It also follows an alarming series of reports in the last few weeks of UK failures for nature.
The new YouGov research for Wildlife and Countryside Link has found that:

 

New Funding and Appeals.

Government’s £40 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund opens for applications - Natural England

A view of the English countryside with fields (Credit: Natural England)
Credit: Natural England

A fund of up to £40 million that will create jobs in nature recovery and conservation opens today.

Grants from £50k to £5 million are now available to help the nation build back greener from the coronavirus pandemic, the government announced today [14 September].

The £40 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund, part of the government’s wider green economic recovery, jobs and skills package, brings forward funding for environmental charities and their partners to start work on projects across England to restore nature and tackle climate change.

The fund will help create up to 3,000 jobs and safeguard up to 2,000 others in areas such as protecting species, finding nature-based solutions to tackling climate change, conservation rangers and connecting people with nature. Up to 100% of project costs will be available.

The fund will be delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.

All projects must contribute to at least one of the following themes of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund:

Projects will be favoured that create or retain jobs, creating opportunities and benefits for all ages, including young people. The fund is open to environmental charities and partnerships that include at least one environmental charity, while projects from both rural, urban and inshore marine areas are welcomed.

 

Funding boost for the great outdoors - Welsh Government

Projects to improve access to the countryside and boost the sustainability of Designated Landscapes are to receive funding of £7.2m, Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hannah Blythyn announced today (14 September).

£4.7m has been awarded to National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) to be invested in green infrastructure such as electric vehicles, retrofitting existing buildings with energy efficiency measures, and restoring peatland and woodlands.

£100,000 has also been awarded to Pembrokeshire Coast NPA to allow them to lead on the National Landscape Partnership which will foster a closer working relationship across all Designated Landscapes in Wales. This will help ensure National Parks and AONBs are able to develop more joined-up approaches to the challenges and opportunities they have in common.

A further £1.76m has been awarded to Local Authorities to improve Wales’s network of footpaths and bridleways, making them easier to use and more accessible to all. This is in response to people rediscovering local footpaths and trails as part of their daily exercise during the recent Covid lockdown. £337,000 has also been awarded to eleven projects to improve recreational access to water and £309,000 to community orchards and allotments to support community growing projects.

  

The Wildlife Trusts launch £30 million appeal to kickstart nature’s recovery across 30% of land and sea by 2030 - The Wildlife Trusts

Hedgehog © Tom Marshall
Hedgehog © Tom Marshall

Today (28 September) The Wildlife Trusts launch 30 by 30, a public appeal to raise £30 million to start putting nature into recovery across at least 30% of land and sea by 2030.

Nature has suffered serious declines for decades with 26% of UK mammals in danger of disappearing altogether and hedgehogs, red squirrels, bats, turtle doves, cuckoo, water voles and basking sharks all at risk. It is not only individual species that are threatened; the collapse in the abundance of nature also means many of our ecosystems are not functioning as they should.

 

Sustainability, Pollution and Climate Change.

Lockdown did not reduce “most harmful” type of air pollution in Scotland - University of Stirling

The significant reduction in vehicle journeys during the COVID-19 lockdown did not reduce the level of toxic fine particles in Scotland’s air, according to experts at the University of Stirling.

Analysis of fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5) in the first month of restrictions found little change – despite a 65 per cent reduction in the number of vehicles on the country’s roads.

The team that led the research, from Stirling’s Institute for Social Marketing and Health, say their findings suggest that traffic is not a key contributor to outdoor air pollution in Scotland – and, in fact, that people may be at greater risk from air pollution in their own homes.

Dr Ruaraidh Dobson, who led the study, said: “It has been assumed that fewer cars on the road might have led to a decline in the level of air pollution outdoors and, in turn, reduce the number of cases of ill health linked to this pollution. However, our study – contrary to research from places such as Wuhan in China, and Milan – found no evidence of fine particulate air pollution declining in Scotland because of lockdown. This suggests that vehicles aren’t an important cause of this very harmful type of air pollution in Scotland – and people may be at greater risk from poor air quality in their own homes, especially where cooking and smoking is taking place in enclosed and poorly ventilated spaces.”

Access the paper, Dobson, R. & Semple, S. Changes in outdoor air pollution due to COVID-19 lockdowns differ by pollutant: evidence from Scotland, is published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2020-106659

 

UK path to net zero must be underpinned by education, choice, fairness and political consensus, urges Climate Assembly - Climate Assembly UK

The first UK-wide citizens’ assembly on climate change publishes its final report today, setting out a clear, internally consistent and timely path for how the UK can reach its legally binding target of net zero emissions by 2050.

Six Select Committees of the House of Commons commissioned the citizens’ assembly to understand public preferences on how the UK should tackle climate change because of the impact these decisions will have on people’s lives. Today Climate Assembly UK hands its work back to the committees with their final report, The path to net zero, issuing strong calls to Parliament and the Government to rise to the challenge of achieving the net zero target in a clear, accountable way.

Read the report here.

 

Pollution report is much-needed ‘wake-up call’ for urgent action on the Ribble - Environment Chief - Ribble Rivers Trust

September 22, 2020 - Chief executive of Ribble Rivers Trust joins demands for urgent action after new research showed recent improvements in water quality had stalled.

The latest set of figures released by the Environment Agency revealed that just 15 per cent of England’s rivers achieved the results needed to reach ‘good’ ecological status - an increase of just 1 per cent from similar surveys conducted in 2016 and 2019.

In the Ribble Catchment, the 96 rivers, canals and lakes assessed followed a similar trend with NONE meeting the chemical standards required, and 76 per cent failing to meet ‘good’ ecological status.

Additionally, for the first time, NONE of England’s rivers achieved ‘good’ chemical status. This is down from 97 per cent in 2016’s results – although changes have been made to the process with new, more stringent standards. The results suggest that pollution from sewage discharge, chemicals and agriculture are the main factors impacting river health.

In addition to highlighting the full spectrum of environmental challenges facing our rivers, the data also highlight the most urgent priorities for tackling pollution at its source to protect our rivers from polluters.

Jack Spees CEO of Ribble Rivers Trust said: “The results published by the Environment Agency should be the wake-up call that not only is change needed for our rivers, but our environment as a whole. Rivers are the best indicator of how we are using our whole environment and this doesn’t paint a pretty picture. But it’s not too late. Working in close collaboration with the Environment Agency, we have delivered a lot of improvement work in recent years and our monitoring shows that these activities have seen two of our water bodies return to good ecological status over the last three years. Our rivers belong to everyone, they are the blood in the veins of the rich habitats they support, and together we can protect them, for wildlife and people. But we need to do more if we are to reverse the decline. This means everyone doing their bit to help, because together we can, and need to, make a difference for where we live and work, and the environment.”

Despite the negative national picture, the Ribble Catchment has seen significant improvements to its rivers, landscape and habitat thanks to Ribble Rivers Trust and their partners.

Working alongside the Environment Agency, the Trust’s extensive annual monitoring programmes, combined with project-specific river monitoring, have shown that in many places wildlife has responded well to the Trust’s work, with increases in species numbers and range, and habitat health.

   

Network Rail introduces coffee cup recycling: passengers encouraged to Sip, Save and Recycle to help make stations greener - Network Rail

Network Rail Recyclable Cups
Network Rail Recyclable Cups

Region & Route: National

Coffee loving commuters are being encouraged to Sip, Save and Recycle their cups in Britain’s biggest and busiest stations, as Network Rail rolls out the first of their new coffee cup recycling bins at King’s Cross, Leeds, London Bridge, Waterloo, Liverpool Street, Charing Cross and Cannon Street.

As passenger numbers slowly increase and with 60% of station retailers now open, those travelling by train or visiting the stations can make use of the bright orange bins to recycle any paper coffee cups purchased during their journey.

Recycled cups are turned into upcycled reusable cups and other products including tissue and packaging, reducing waste and encouraging a circular economy.

Partnering with environmental charity Hubbub and working closely with waste provider, Interserve, Network Rail will be installing specially designed bins at all managed stations - including Birmingham New Street, Bristol Temple Meads, Edinburgh Waverley, Manchester Piccadilly and 11 London stations - by the end of October.

The rollout comes as a new YouGov study commissioned by Network Rail reveals that consumers want to recycle cups but often do not know how:

The initiative follows Network Rail’s launch of their new sustainability strategy, which includes ambitions to make stations greener.

 

Single-use plastic straws, stirrers and cotton bud sticks banned in England from today - Marine Conservation Society

Cotton bud sticks on Sand Beach
Cotton bud sticks on Sand Beach

From today it is illegal for businesses to supply single-use plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds to customers in England as the government’s ban comes into force. The long awaited ban, which had been delayed for six months, will slow the tide of plastic polluting the UK’s beaches.

These small single-use plastic items are commonly found polluting British beaches at our annual Great British Beach Clean, but there are signs the tide is turning. In 2017 we found an average of 31 cotton bud sticks per 100m of beach, in 2019 we found just 8 per 100m on beaches in England. This reflects a movement by many companies which are looking for alternatives to single-use plastic products, and it’s making a difference.

We hope that the wider ban will have a similarly noticeable impact on the litter we see on UK beaches.

It is estimated we use 4.7 billion plastic straws, 316 million plastic stirrers, and 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds in England every year, many of which find their way into our ocean. By banning the supply of these items, we can further protect our marine wildlife and move one step closer to eliminating avoidable plastic waste.

While making this important step to help the environment, disabled people and those with medical conditions will also be protected, and will be able to request a plastic straw when visiting a pub or restaurant and purchase them from pharmacies.

Plastic cotton bud sticks often find their way to the coast as a result of being disposed of incorrectly, with people opting to flush them rather than throw them in the bin. No matter where you live, your actions can, and do, have a lasting.

 

Scientific Research, Results and Publications.

At least 28 extinctions prevented by conservation action - Newcastle University

The Iberian Lynx is one of the species that has been saved. Picture credit: Nathan Ranc
The Iberian Lynx is one of the species that has been saved. Picture credit: Nathan Ranc

Conservation action has prevented the global extinction of at least 28 bird and mammal species since 1993, a study led by Newcastle University and BirdLife International has shown.

Extinction prevention

Publishing their findings in the journal Conservation Letters, an international team of scientists have estimated the number of bird and mammal species that would have disappeared forever without the efforts of conservationists in recent decades.

The species include Puerto Rican Amazon Amazona vittata, Przewalski’s Horse Equus ferus, Alagoas Antwren Myrmotherula snowi, Iberian Lynx Lynx pardinus, and Black Stilt Himantopus novaezelandiae, among others. The researchers found that 21-32 bird and 7-16 mammal species extinctions have been prevented since 1993, with the ranges reflecting the uncertainty inherent in estimating what might have happened under hypothetical circumstances.

The study has highlighted the most frequent actions to prevent extinctions in these bird and mammal species. Twenty-one bird species benefited from invasive species control, 20 from conservation in zoos and collections, and 19 from site protection. Fourteen mammal species benefited from legislation, and nine from species re-introductions and conservation in zoos and collections.

The research team, involving experts from Sapienza University of Rome, Italy and the Zoological Society of London, among others, identified bird and mammal species that were listed as threatened on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List.

Bolam, F.C, Mair, L., Angelico, M., Brooks, T.M, Burgman, M., McGowan, P. J. K & Hermes, C. et al. (2020). How many bird and mammal extinctions has recent conservation action prevented? Conservation Letters, e12762. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12762

 

New woodlands can help reduce flooding risk within 15 years - University of Plymouth

Pasture and native woodland sit side by side at Colly Brook on Dartmoor (Credit Paul Lunt, University of Plymouth)
Pasture and native woodland sit side by side at Colly Brook on Dartmoor (Credit Paul Lunt, University of Plymouth)

A study by the University has shown native broadleaf trees can have a marked impact on soil’s response during extreme weather events

The planting of woodlands in upland areas could play a significant role in preventing the flash flooding which has increasingly affected communities across the UK in recent years.

A new study by the University of Plymouth has shown that within just 15 years of being planted, native broadleaf trees can have a marked impact on soil’s response during extreme weather events.

It means the huge quantities of rainwater generated can be more readily absorbed, rather than it simply running over the surface and into rivers where it subsequently causes severe flooding.

Writing in Land Degradation & Development, scientists say their findings show the establishment of more native woodlands in upland areas could be an effective and natural flood management tool.

This nature-based solution could be extremely timely, given the Government commitment to planting 30 million trees a year by 2025 and other environmental schemes designed to enhance carbon retention, biodiversity and flood prevention. They caution however, new woodlands will require careful placement if the benefits are to be maximised.

There have been a number well-documented extreme rainfall and flooding events in recent years, and they are predicted to increase in both frequency and severity in the coming decades as a consequence of human-induced climate change. In fact, researchers from the University previously showed* the UK’s uplands could see significantly more annual rainfall than is currently being predicted in national climate models.

This new research, completed with funding from the Environment Agency as part of the Dartmoor Headwaters Natural Flood Management Project, compared the physical and hydrological properties of surface soils across four flood vulnerable upland headwater catchments in Dartmoor National Park.

Access the paper here: Murphy et al: Taking the higher ground: Deviation between projected and observed precipitation trends greater with altitude, doi: 10.3354/cr01583.

Climate change threatens breeding birds - Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior

Tree swallow. Early breeding birds of the species run the risk of losing their chicks because of increased risk of poor weather conditions (MPI of Animal Behavior/ Shipley)
Tree swallow. Early breeding birds of the species run the risk of losing their chicks because of increased risk of poor weather conditions (MPI of Animal Behavior/ Shipley)

Birds risk starvation in bid to ‘keep pace’ with climate change

Surviving on a warming planet can be a matter of timing—but simply shifting lifecycle stages to match the tempo of climate change has hidden dangers for some animals, according to new research from the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior and Cornell University.

The study, published in PNAS, has uncovered drastic consequences for birds that are breeding earlier in lockstep with earlier starts of spring: chicks hatching earlier face increased risk of poor weather conditions, food shortages and mortality. The researchers, who examined decades of data on weather, food availability and breeding in Tree Swallows, say that the timing of when to breed and when food is available is becoming decoupled for some animals—highlighting the complexity behind how organisms respond to climate change. “Simply moving dates earlier to track climate change isn’t necessarily risk free. Riskier conditions earlier in the year can expose animals to unintended consequences when responding to bouts of unusually warm spring weather,” says Ryan Shipley, postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior and first author on the paper.
In recent years, studies have raised concerns about whether or not species can adapt, or “keep pace” with climate change. Particular emphasis has been placed on phenology—the timing of life cycle events such as breeding and migration—and the importance of adjusting this to track rising temperatures and earlier arrivals of spring. But the authors say that breeding earlier may place animals at greater risk of exposure to inclement weather events that tend to occur more frequently earlier in the year. They found that Tree Swallows had been advancing breeding by three days every decade for the last 30 years, but earlier-hatching offspring were at greater risk of exposure to inclement weather, which in turn reduced the availability of the flying insects they rely on for food.

Failure to tap into the myriad uses of plants and fungi is costing people and planet, says new report - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Kew’s State of the World’s Plants and Fungi 2020 report released.

RBG Kew’s fourth State of the World’s report, released today, takes a deep dive into the state of the world’s plant and fungal kingdoms globally. The new data, the result of a huge and unprecedented international collaboration bringing together 210 scientists from 42 countries, show how we are currently using plants and fungi, what useful properties we are missing, and what we risk losing.

Plants and fungi are the building blocks of life on planet Earth. They have the potential to solve urgent problems that threaten human life, but these vital resources are being compromised by biodiversity loss. The report highlights the pressing need to explore the solutions that plants and fungi could provide, to address some of the pressures facing people and planet.

This landmark report is the first time plants and fungi have been combined in one global State of the World’s assessment, with the underlying data also published today in a series of scientific research papers made freely available in the leading journal Plants, People, Planet.

Professor Alexandre Antonelli, Director of Science at RBG Kew, says: “The data emerging from this year’s report paint a picture of a world that has turned its back on the potential of plants and fungi to address fundamental global issues such as food security and climate change. Societies have been too dependent on too few species for too long. At a time of rapid biodiversity loss, we are failing to access the treasure chest of incredible diversity on offer and missing a huge opportunity for our generation. As we start the most critical decade our planet has ever faced, we hope this report will give the public, businesses and policymakers the facts they need to demand nature-based solutions that can address the triple threats of climate change, biodiversity loss and food security.”

The State of the World’s Plants and Fungi report is publicly available here.

 

Scientific Publications

Bladon, AJ, Lewis, M, Bladon, EK, et al. How butterflies keep their cool: Physical and ecological traits influence thermoregulatory ability and population trends. J Anim Ecol. 2020; 00: 1– 11. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.13319

 

Community, Recreation and Volunteering.

Equine rangers are relaunched - South Downs National Park

A dedicated team of equine rangers have been relaunched by Sussex Police and partners to help tackle a rise in rural crime.

Equine Ranger on horseback flanked by police chief and national park officer (image: SDNPA)
Equine Rangers relaunched (image: SDNPA)

The Sussex Equine Rangers now have 14 volunteers who will be tackling rural crime and anti-social behaviour in collaboration with Sussex Police’s newly-formed Rural Crime Team.

The team of specially trained horse riders have swung back into action to help combat the rise in rural crime during lockdown and beyond. The team was originally launched in 2015 as a pilot project.

Rural crime has risen in the last six months by 20 per cent, increasing from 429 incidents recorded in January 2020 to 533 in June. Burglary, theft of equipment and fly tipping are some of the offences affecting communities.

A new rural crime team made up of two sergeants, eight constables and six police community support officers (PCSOs) was launched in June. In two months, they patrolled over 10,000 miles of rural roads in Sussex and made 181 intelligence logs. They have also successfully executed several warrants including the recovery of stolen, culturally significant historic items.

However, there are areas that cannot currently be easily accessed by these police officers on foot or in 4×4 vehicles. The new team of Equine Rangers will support the police by reaching areas like the South Downs National Park and increase vigilance by being able to see over hedges, into gardens, ride along bridleways and through wooded and more remote areas. The riders will patrol on their own horses over various areas, acting as eyes and ears for the police. Every volunteer has been supplied with an application on their phones to facilitate quick reporting and information sharing.

 

Canal & River Trust launches its largest ever citizen science project to record the benefits of being beside water - Canal & River Trust

The Canal & River Trust has teamed up with partners, including King’s College London, and is appealing for people aged 16 or over to take part in its largest ever study of the wellbeing benefits of spending time beside water.

The academic study will enable the Trust to better understand the health benefits of waterways and will help make the case to partners and funders of the importance of looking after and investing in Britain’s former industrial canals and rivers.

Those taking part download an app onto their smart phone. Then, three times a day over the following two weeks, they are prompted to answer ‘in the moment’ questions about how they feel and the environment around them. On each occasion it takes about one minute to complete the survey.

Those taking part are able to access an individualised report summarising their experiences. This could shed light on how being in different types of places, such as being close to birds, trees and water, affects their mood, as well as contributing to the wider study of the impact of different environments on mental health and wellbeing.

Jenny Shepherd, research and impact manager at the Canal & River Trust, comments: “Those of us that know and use the waterways feel instinctively that spending time beside water is good for our wellbeing. With our academic partners, and with the help of the public, we’re able to collect our own bespoke data to record how people are affected by their environment and how this changes when they are on or beside water. This scale and scope of this research is a first for the Trust. And, with the help of those taking part, we can emphatically demonstrate to decision makers and funders the importance of canals and the vital role they play, particularly in our towns and cities where green and blue space is at a premium. We’d like as many people to take part as possible – having taken part myself, I know it literally takes a minute or so just three times a day. It’s a fascinating area of study, both to find out about your own individual mood influencers, and for the wider social implications of the environment on wellbeing.”

 

The grass isn't greener for everyone - Ramblers

Being able to walk to in nature-filled green spaces close to where we live is more important to us than ever following the COVID-19 lockdown. But the pandemic has also highlighted the sharp disparity between those who have easy access to green space, and those who don’t according to a new Ramblers’ report, The grass isn’t greener for everyone: Why access to green space matters, published today.

While millions of us have found comfort in walking and nature during the pandemic, it’s not the same story for everyone. With one in eight households having no access to a private or shared garden, many people felt the lack of a park or nearby green space keenly during the restrictions of lockdown. We are calling on the government to introduce legally binding targets to guarantee everyone, everywhere can easily walk in nature-filled green spaces, wherever they live.

Green space is important to almost everyone

We did some research with YouGov, which found that green spaces are important to almost everyone, with the top reason being that they are a good place to walk (78%). In fact, lots of us intend to walk more than they did before, when lockdown restrictions have ended.

Two thirds (65%) of adults reported that being able to access green space in their local area had always been important to them, with an additional one in five adults (19%) saying that green space in their local area was more important to them now than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Access to nature isn’t equal

Only 57% of adults questioned said that they lived within five-minutes’ walk of green space, be it a local park, nearby field or canal path. That figure fell to just 39% for people from a black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) background and 46% for those with a household income of under £15,000 (compared to 63% of those with a household income over £35,000 and 70% over £70,000).

 

Volunteers receive warm welcome back - Norfolk Wildlife Trust

Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s volunteers do amazing things for wildlife, from surveying wild areas to improve local knowledge to greeting visitors and showing them why Norfolk is such a special place for nature. After many months of necessary hiatus, NWT is thrilled to announce it is able to welcome volunteers back to their roles, starting at three of its biggest nature reserves.

NWT is supported by an incredible 1,400 volunteers a year, giving more than 50,000 hours of their time to help conservation in Norfolk. Although it will take a while to be back up to full capacity, many volunteers in the visitor centres at Cley Marshes, Holme Dunes and Hickling Broad have restarted, following safety assessments. The Trust hopes to soon welcome practical volunteer work parties back to the nature reserves to undertake habitat management.

Volunteers have a varied and stimulating role in helping to run the visitor centres, which includes welcoming visitors, sharing wildlife information and promoting the work of the Trust. Most volunteers help out for one day a week, and full training and on-going support is provided.

   

Investing in nature is an investment in the NHS, says Environment Agency Chief Executive - Environment Agency

Access to a healthy natural environment could save the NHS billions of pounds a year, Sir James Bevan will say in a speech at UCL

In a major speech, the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency will today (Tuesday 8 September) say that universal access to a healthy natural environment could save the NHS billions of pounds a year in treatment costs if everyone in England had access to good quality green space.

Sir James Bevan will highlight evidence which shows the physical and mental health benefits of good environment, and make the case for “levelling up” access to the environment as part of the green recovery from coronavirus. He will also lay out the steps the Environment Agency is taking to protect and enhance our precious green and blue spaces, while adapting to the threat of a changing climate.

The speech coincides with the publication of the Environment Agency’s ‘The State of the Environment: health, people and the environment’, which shows the green inequality in society.

The report – which brings together a wide range of evidence – finds that people living in deprived areas are not only more likely to have poorer health outcomes, they also have poorer quality environments and access to less green space. One study found that city communities with 40% or more black, Asian or ethnic minority residents have access to 11 times fewer green spaces locally than those comprising mainly white residents.

  

Nature conservation and tourism can coexist despite conflicts - University of Eastern Finland

Two people sitting on a rock in Koli National Park, Finland (UEF / Varpu Heiskanen)
The concept of sustainable nature tourism has played a key role in mediating conflicts between tourism and nature conservation in Koli National Park, Finland (UEF / Varpu Heiskanen)

The concept of sustainable nature tourism plays a key role in mediating conflicts between tourism and nature conservation, a new study from the University of Eastern Finland shows.
The study takes a geo-historical approach to analysing the environmental conflict surrounding the founding of Koli National Park in Finland, where the idea of sustainable nature tourism was used as a way out of the conflict. In Koli National Park, sustainable nature tourism has proven to be useful concept for conflict resolution.

“Adopting the principles of sustainable nature tourism helped the national park’s management to reach nature conservation goals. Moreover, the hopes and wishes of local residents and companies on how to develop tourism and the economy were also taken into consideration as part of sustainability, and this fostered a positive attitude towards the national park among locals,” Researcher Jani Karhu from the University of Eastern Finland says.

The study was published in Tourism Geographies. The researchers interviewed managers and designers of Koli National Park, and they also analysed local newspaper articles.

National parks are a key instrument of nature conservation, and one of the most recognised institutions in nature tourism worldwide. Koli National Park was founded in 1991. The founding of the park was preceded by heated debate over whether the area should be developed into a modern resort for mass tourism, or whether its unique national landscape and nature should be protected. In Koli, the approach to solving the conflict was through sustainable nature tourism.

   

How to get your news to us:

Send your press releases to newsdesk@countryside-jobs.com or email a link to items on your website.

If it's time sensitive we can embargo the details to a specific date, let us know when you'd like it to be published. 

 


Training.

Browse the Training Directory online here for short courses (up to 10 days long), or here for longer courses, distance learning and centres and providers

The Directory includes a wide range of courses providing certification in practical skills such as chainsaw use, need to learn how to identify dragonflies, or want to find out the best way to get the community involved in your project then this is the section to read.    We include details of many professional courses in the online short courses pages. There are also sections for longer courses, training centres and other events (eg conferences).

Search for your next CPD course here.

 


Recently added online events and learning including calendar of short courses happening in December

 

Online Events

13/10/2020 State of the World's Plants and Fungi Virtual Symposium at Online 3 days Days

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Contact: c-js.info/3ktosYb

Join international experts to discuss actions for protecting and sustainably using the world’s plant and fungal biodiversity for the benefit of people and the planet.

27/10/2020 Scottish Conference at Online via Zoom 1 Day

CIEEM Contact: c-js.info/3jmBQ0k enquiries@cieem.net 01962 868626

The CIEEM 2020 Scottish conference will be a virtual conference on the challenges in reconciling the differing land use objectives in Scotland.

28/10/2020 Horror Stories from the Field at Online 1 Day

Bristol Zoo Gardens Contact: c-js.info/36Xc4dA

26/11/2020 Communicate 2020 at Online 2 Days

The Natural History Consortium Contact: www.communicate2020.org.uk

Join the UK’s environmental communicators on 26-27 Nov for a packed digital conference. Communicate will explore a year defined by change, shining spotlights on new opportunities and challenges in environmental communication. In recognition of 2020’s exceptional circumstances, we are working with our supporters to offer heavily subsidised tickets from £25+VAT.

 

Online Learning - Short Courses

12/10/2020 Natural History Live: Conserving the Grey Long-eared Bat 1 hour Days

Online, Field Studies Council biolinks@field-studies-council.org c-js.info/2Y0kn5L

Craig Dunton will be talking about the Back from the Brink and the grey long-eared bat species recovery project, covering ecology and habitat requirements of the grey long-eared bat, work progress to date, successes and challenges with habitat restoration and monitoring.

Free Course

15/10/2020 Vegetation Survey Techniques: Extended Phase 1/Phase 2 Using NVC 2 Days

Online via Zoom, c-js.info/3jhiysX

This one day course delivered as two online sessions across two days will help participants understand how to conduct a vegetation survey using Phase 2 habitat survey techniques (also referred to as Extended Phase 1) and the National Vegetation Classification system. Training includes a virtual field survey.

Cost Varies: see website

19/10/2020 Introduction to Bat Ecology and Bat Surveys 2 Days

Online via Zoom, c-js.info/3n6uy2I

The course provides an introduction to key skills, experience and knowledge necessary for undertaking professional bat work in the UK.

Cost Varies: see website

20/10/2020 Mental Health Awareness in the Work Environment 2 Days

Online via Zoom, c-js.info/3l0yVKS

This training benefits the learner by raising awareness of common mental health problems related to work such as depression, stress and anxiety, eating disorders, self-harming and suicide. This is aimed at lone or remote workers and may spot key points to identify issues when they meet or come into contact their colleagues.

Cost Varies: see website

Above courses with CIEEM. Contact: 01962 868626 enquiries@cieem.net

21/10/2020 World Earthworm Day 2020: Earthworms & Composting (webinar) 1.5 hours Days

Online, Field Studies Council biolinks@field-studies-council.org c-js.info/3caLEaI

World Earthworm Day 2020 is celebrating the relationship between man, waste and worms! This webinar includes a series of compost-related talks followed by a live Q&A for anyone interested in learning about vermicomposting and the important role that earthworms can play in helping us deal with our waste.

Cost £5 - £10

21/10/2020 Hazel Dormouse: Handling and Survey Methods 2 Days

Online via Zoom, c-js.info/3ikhWS6

This course will be delivered as two three-hour Zoom sessions and will provide a basic introduction to dormouse ecology, with more detailed information on survey and handling techniques.

Cost Varies: see website

22/10/2020 The Importance of Meres and Mosses 2 Days

Online via Zoom, c-js.info/348hbGU

This course will help participants understand the environmental importance of meres and mosses, with particular emphasis on Sphagnum moss bogs. Participants will learn to identify and recognise different types of peatland and bog habitat. We will look at case studies of existing and historical wetland projects and different management techniques.

Cost Varies: see website

27/10/2020 Fieldwork workshop - Bioprofiles 1 Day

Webinar, Learning through Landscapes +447818424476 rstaples-rolfe@ltl.org.uk c-js.info/3jwHlta

Part of the Bioprofiles Erasmus + project this workshop will look at ways to take 10-15 year olds outdoors for fieldwork using IT to assess their environment. We will share case studies from schools and introduce the range of resources that will free to download.

Free Course

29/10/2020 Vegetation Survey Techniques: Extended Phase 1/Phase 2 Using NVC 2 Days

Online via Zoom, CIEEM 01962 868626 enquiries@cieem.net c-js.info/33hIyz3

This course will help participants understand how to conduct a vegetation survey using Phase 2 habitat survey techniques and the National Vegetation Classification system. Participants will also learn about floristic composition and the different methods for recording species abundance and biodiversity. Training includes a virtual field survey.

Cost £Varies: see website

04/11/2020 Badger Survey, Impacts and Mitigation 2 Days

Online via Zoom, c-js.info/2G36hu4

This course will be delivered as two three-hour online sessions and will provide an overview of Scottish badger legislation, ecology and survey. Impacts to badgers and mitigation options will be discussed, to include sett exclusion, destruction and artificial sett construction.

Cost Varies: see website

Above courses with CIEEM. Contact: 01962 868626 enquiries@cieem.net

12/11/2020 Wilder Gardening without upsetting your neighbours 1 Day

Tyland Barn, Kent Wildlife Trust 01622 662012 studydays@kentwildlife.org.uk c-js.info/3i3UJnj

Online course - An introductory workshop on how to make your garden more wildlife friendly

Cost ££5 per person (suggested donation)

16/11/2020 An Introduction to Appropriate Assessment in Ireland 2 Days

Online via Zoom, c-js.info/3iki2Js

This introduction to Appropriate Assessment for ecologists covers the background to the designations, the legislation and the steps in Appropriate Assessment.

Cost Varies: see website

23/11/2020 Intermediate QGIS for Ecologists and Environmental Practitioners 4 Days

Online via Zoom, c-js.info/33gZCow

This intermediate level event focuses on using QGIS as a tool for data analysis and producing more complex maps accurately and efficiently. The course offers ideal progression from our entry level QGIS training and includes some pre-event work to help ensure all delegates have a similar level of QGIS knowledge prior to attendance.

Cost Varies: see website

Above courses with CIEEM. Contact: 01962 868626 enquiries@cieem.net

14/12/2020 Endangered Species Recovery 5 Days
Online, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Contact: academy@durrell.org https://c-js.info/34jVxzl
A unique, specially designed course, delivered by world-renowned experts and scientists in the field of Endangered Species Recovery (ESR). This five-day, online interactive learning experience introduces the issues and practical skills involved in saving threatened species from extinction. You will develop a critical understanding of biodiversity conservation, the issues it raises and how they may be addressed, as well as practical research skills to inform conservation action.

Cost £450

14/12/2020 Identifying Trees and Shrubs in Winter 0.5 Day
Online, The Species Recovery Trust. Contact: 01722 322539 dominic.price@speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk https://www.speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk/
Identifying Trees and Shrubs in Winter - Tutor:Dominic Price, co-author of the FSC Aidgap Winter Trees Guide. A half-day online course giving participants:  the skills and confidence to identify trees and shrubs when not in leaf; a set of c.20 labelled UK native twigs posted to your address prior to the course; a free copy of the FSC Aidgap Winter Trees guide.

 

Short Courses: Face to face / on site

 

Administrative and Office Skills

01/12/2020 QGIS: Introductory 2 Days
Southampton, GeoData, University of Southampton. Contact: 023 8059 2719 training@geodata.soton.ac.uk http://www.geodata.soton.ac.uk/training/
This course introduces the underlying principles of Geographical Information Systems and examines the processes involved in the capture, storage, analysis and presentation of spatial data. This course is intended for those who have little or no GIS knowledge and who wish to use FREE software developed by the Open Source community.

01/12/2020 Zero Carbon Britain 2 Days
Machynlleth, Wales, Centre for Alternative Technology. Contact: 01654 704966 courses@cat.org.uk https://c-js.info/2V25pZq
To stay within internationally agreed 'safe' levels of global warming, the world must reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. And we must start now. This course offers an in-depth look at CAT's flagship research project, Zero Carbon Britain, exploring the radical changes needed to rise to the climate challenge.

08/12/2020 QGIS: Advanced 2 Days
Southampton, GeoData, University of Southampton. Contact: 023 8059 2719 training@geodata.soton.ac.uk http://www.geodata.soton.ac.uk/training/
In this course delegates are introduced to advanced analysis techniques using both raster and vector data. The course includes a basic introduction to server database PostgresSQL/PostGIS. The course is designed for existing users of QGIS that want to expand their knowledge and carry out higher-level analysis.

17/12/2020 MapInfo Intermediate Training - 1 day course 1 Day
Talgarth, South Wales, exeGeSIS SDM Ltd. Contact: 01874 713066 Carolbateman@esdm.co.uk http://www.esdm.co.uk/mapinfo-training-courses
Ideal for Environmental & Ecological Professionals

 

Community Engagement and Environmental Education

04/12/2020 Learning Beyond the Classroom Level 3 1 Day

A 1 day accredited course, developed with input from the IOL and CLOtC, for those wishing to support learning beyond the constraints of a classroom- suitable for teachers, scout/guide leaders, plus those working in conservation education, field studies, NGOs. It aims to break down barriers and empower educators.

20/12/2020 General Forest School and outdoor learning skills day in the woods 1 Day
Opportunity to learn or refine skills include shelter building, knots, making furniture, rope ladders and swing, fire lighting, campfire cooking, species ID and more!

Above courses with Park Farm Training Centre, Park Farm, LE67 6PD. Contact 0777585722 kate@holmsdalemanor.co.uk forestschoolcourses.co.uk

 

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

12/12/2020 Expedition Care Programme First Aid 1-2 Day
Surrey, Adventure Lifesigns Ltd. Contact: https://c-js.info/2VO51jY
This is a one or two day first aid course developed for those who will be travelling remotely or may have limited access to emergency services. These would all be based at our head office in Surrey.

 

Identification and Field Survey Skills - Herpetology, Fish and Invertebrates

01/12/2020 ARC Great Crested Newts, Licensing and Mitigation 3 Days
FSC Preston Montford, Field Studies Council and ARC. Contact: 01743 852040 enquiries.pm@field-studies-council.org https://www.field-studies-council.org/shop/courses/arc-great-crested-newts-licensing-and-mitigation/
This course has been designed for those 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 to help participants understand license application and mitigation projects. There are many different approaches to mitigation licensing, and the course will explore all the options available, including application of reasonable avoidance measures, licensing policies, low impact class licensing and district licensing.

 

Identification and Field Survey Skills - Mammals

06/12/2020 ORCA Marine Mammal Surveyor Training Course - Southampton 1 Day
National Oceanography Centre, European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, ORCA. Contact: 02392832565 info@orcaweb.org.uk
During our one day course you will: Learn how to identify and record cetaceans during offshore surveys and how to interpret their behaviour; Find out about the species encountered in European waters; Understand ORCA’s distance sampling survey protocol preparing you for travel at sea.

08/12/2020 Winter Bats 1 Day
Forest of Bowland AONB, Chipping, Ecology Services UK Ltd. Contact: 07842 694 618 janette@ecologyservice.co.uk
A 1 day 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

04/12/2020 Birds of Prey of the North Kent Marshes 1 Day
Tyland Barn, Kent Wildlife Trust. Contact: 01622662012 studydays@kentwildlife.org.uk https://c-js.info/3iWJjmq
Spend a day observing birds of prey. Learn how to identify different species and more about their characteristics, habitats and behaviour.

06/12/2020 Avian Egg Incubation Workshop 5 Days
Jersey, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Contact: academy@durrell.org https://c-js.info/2DF6uSW
This five-day workshop is aimed at curators, keepers, veterinarians, serious private breeders and field biologists involved in managing breeding birds, both in captivity and in the wild. Whether new to egg incubation or experienced with managing eggs, participants gain a broad range of skills necessary to ensure optimal hatchability both in the incubator and in the nest.

 

Updates and Additions to other sections of Training Directory this month

Distance learning

Project Management for Wildlife Conservation with WildTeam

 

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