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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)

Site Manager

RSPB

Forsinard (Full time)

Groundsperson Level 2 - Forestry

East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Base: Willerby, East Riding of Yorkshire (Contract: Permanent. Hours: Full-time, 37 hours per week + 2 hours contractual overtime)

Conservation Scientist

RSPB

UK Headquarters, Bedfordshire preferred but can be flexible within England (Full time, permanent)

Biosecurity Advisor - Turks and Caicos Islands

RSPB

Turks and Caicos Islands (Full Time, Fixed Term for 24 months)

Public Rights of Way and Experience Officer - Asset Management and Tourism Programme Delivery

Kent County Council

operate from both our East Kent Office at East Brabourne, near Ashford, and our West Kent Office based at Kingshill, West Malling

Public Rights of Way Officer - Asset Management Programme Delivery

Kent County Council

either our East Kent Team based at East Brabourne, near Ashford, or our West Kent Team based at Kings Hill near West Malling.

Ranger

Leicestershire County Council

Location: Estate office Broombriggs Farm, Woodhouse Eaves, Leicestershire, LE12 8SR (Full Time, Permanent, 37 hpw)

Head of Conservation Science, Scotland and Northern Ireland

RSPB

Location: Flexible within Scotland (Full time, permanent)

Woodland Outreach Adviser – Yorkshire or North East (2 roles)

Woodland Trust

Yorkshire,or North East of England or North Yorkshire

Agricultural Projects Officer

Ribble Rivers Trust

across the Ribble catchment

GIS and Projects Trainee

Ribble Rivers Trust

Site Operatives - Bristol/Southampton/Coventry

RSK ADAS Ltd

Bristol/Southampton/Coventry (This is a flexible role and various contract options are available – part time, fixed term contract and self- employed.)

Team Leader

RSK ADAS Ltd- RSK Habitats

UK Nationwide (This is a flexible role and various contract options are available – part time, fixed term contract and self- employed.)

Team Leader - Land Management

GE Consulting Services UK

(Full-time, Permanent)

Assistant Gardener

Slawston Grange Estate

Leicestershire, LE16 (Full time, Monday to Friday, 8 hours per day)

Operations Leader

The Conservation Volunteers

Based in: Manchester or Merseyside (35 hours per week)

Community Tree Planting Officer

Prospects Foundation

Based in Accrington, east Lancashire. (29.60 hpw  over 4 days, including some weekends.

Couple - Gardener / Estate Worker / House Keeper

KLP Estate

South Oxfordshire

Executive Director

Middlemarch Environmental Ltd

Triumph House, Birmingham Road, Allesley, Coventry, CV5 9AZ (Permanent, full time)

Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer

Natural England

Peak District Dales

Ecologist

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council

Location: Civic Centre, Ebbw Vale (permanent, 37 hpw)

Restoring Stover Park Project Officer

Devon County Council

Stover Country Park, Stover, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 6QG (Fixed term, 16 months, full time)

Restoring Stover Park Community Engagement Ranger

Devon County Council

Stover Country Park, Stover, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 6QG (Fixed term, 16 months, full time)

Restoring Stover Park Administration Assistant

Devon County Council

Stover Country Park, Stover, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 6QG (Fixed term, 16 months, part time)

Land Management Project Officer

East Sussex County Council

High Weald AONB, Flimwell Kent/Sussex border.(The working weeks and hours are flexible for this post.)

Farm & Countryside Maintenance Worker (two positions available)

CP Farming

South Gloucestershire and North Wiltshire. (30 hours/week/person, flexible hours/days, long term contracts)

Community Ranger post - Chalk, Cherries and Chairs project

Chiltern Rangers CIC

based at Chiltern Rangers, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. (Permanent, full time, 37.5hpw)

New Life on the Old West Project Manager

Cambridgeshire ACRE

Job Base: Homeworking (Full-time (35 hours per week), fixed term contract to 30-Sep-2023, immediate start)

Apprenticeships, Interns and paid trainee roles

Park and Woodland Assistant

Royal Forestry Society

Hatfield Estate, Hertfordshire (1 year fixed term)

Natural Prospects Traineeships

Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country

Birmingham and the Black Country  (Full Time, Fixed Term Contract)

 

Volunteers

14 adverts for volunteers posted online since the last Professional edition was published. [more]

How wonderful to see news about volunteer activities once again! A few adverts for voluntary roles are beginning to trickle in as well so we thought now would be a good time to remind you that you can advertise all unpaid posts with CJS free of charge, or simply add a listing indicating you may have voluntary roles available. [more]

  

Surveys and Fieldwork

Five new listings this month.

With regret this is the last regular update on additions to the Citizen Science pages.  During the quieter lockdown times we've reviewed website usage and as a result are retiring some pages and sections which are rarely used. You can still send us details of surveys and recording events which we will share.  [more]

However, we are delighted to recommend readers use the Nature Volunteers website which has a wide range of projects listed.  You can read more about the Nature Volunteers website in this article or jump straight in: www.naturevolunteers.uk .

 

CJS Information and other articles

CJS Photography Competition: The Winners.

After over a year we've finally reached the end of the competition. It's been incredible to see all your wonderful photos and we feel very privileged to have been able to share them with all our readers. [more] or click through to see all the winners from across the whole year on the website here.

 

CJS extends a helping hand, bounceback offers - the green shoots of recovery.

Offers from CJS to help with recovery from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown. All online listings only £100*, £50 for apprenticeships and voluntary roles.   More information here and see the offers here.

 

Features and In Depth Articles

COVID-19 – Return to the outdoors and looking ahead from Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland

Landowners and countryside managers in the United Kingdom and Ireland’s outdoors have faced a challenge like no other during 2020. The response to COVID-19 did not come with industry standards, best practice principles and guidelines, international research or case studies. The challenge was magnified by an exponential increase in demand for visits to outdoor spaces and in many cases a reduction of resources due to staff being placed on temporary furlough leave or lack of access to volunteer support. [more

Discover the Hidden Nature on your doorstep with Heritage Open Days from Heritage Open Days 

For more than 25 years, Heritage Open Days has been an important part of England’s cultural landscape. This year, it is the country’s landscapes and green spaces that are at the heart of the festival. [more]

What a difference a year makes by Tim Webb, Trustee of the National Park City Foundation 

An update on London National Park City. Back in August 2019, I shared our excitement at London being declared a National Park City and looked forward to a future where Londoners were all busy working together to make the capital greener, healthier and wilder. [more]

How Safepoint is protecting lone workers in rural settings

Whilst agriculture is often touted as one of the most dangerous sectors in the UK, less attention is paid to environmental and conservation work, which have some vitally important similarities. [more]

Lockdown litter is an exacerbation of a national problem by Heather McLaughlin, Campaign Officer

Scotland is facing a litter emergency. Annual surveys carried out by Keep Scotland Beautiful have shown that litter levels have been increasing significantly, with 2018 being the worst on record in over a decade. [more]

Towards an accessible countryside by David Shaftoe, Open Country

Open Country, gives people with a disability the chance to access and enjoy the countryside by providing a wide variety of outdoor activities, including walking, cycling, nature conservation projects, wildlife study and outings. We also offer a wealth of access publications, advice and training. We were established exactly 30 years ago to examine why so few apparently disabled people visited the countryside. Three decades on, the national picture is much brighter but there remains a substantial amount of work to be done to deliver a truly inclusive countryside. [more]

The work of Yorkshire Peat Partnership and why it matters by Lyndon Marquis, Communications Officer

The UK has 13% of the world’s blanket bog, and we estimate Yorkshire holds around 86,377 ha - around 24% of England’s total resource – storing over 38,000 tonnes of carbon. In addition to locking up millennia of carbon, healthy blanket bog helps to slow the flow of water from the uplands into rivers and streams, filters our drinking water and provides habitat for some amazing wildlife. Formed over thousands of years, it has taken just six decades to devastate Yorkshire's peatlands. [more]

Playing it Safe the art of safety communication by Adventure Smart

The lure of the great outdoors has never been greater. After months of lockdown people are heading to the coast and countryside for outdoor adventures in ever increasing numbers. This has to be a good thing, however, at the moment that’s hard to appreciate with social media full of images of litter strewn mountains and beaches and the RNLI / Mountain Rescue / H M Coastguard inundated with call-outs to the unprepared and ill-informed. Which brings me to the question which we have been pondering for the last 4 years - how do we communicate safety in a way that people will take notice? [more]

 

News

Land and Countryside Management

 

Ecology and Biodiversity

 

Sustainablity, Climate Change and Pollution

 

Green Recovery

 

Scientific Research, Results and Publications

 

Animal and wildlife news

 

Training

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

The calendar is beginning to fill up again, if you're planning your events and training course programme for 2021 please send details to Katie, either by email (training@countryside-jobs.com) or use the online submission forms here.

Basic listings are all free (including coverage here) but there are paid options if you want to add a logo, more text etc. Details here.

 

Classified

SALAR MEDIA SERVICES : Sustainable Communications Consultancy   

  

CJS Newsletters and updates:

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CJS Professional: 10 September 2020

  

Jobs: view all online jobs here

 

logo: RSPBRSPB

Site Manager

We are looking for someone to lead our wardening team both in terms of the planning and implementation of our ambitious conservation management objectives and on how we engage with our visitors and the local community. You must have a proven track record of strong people management skills, budget management, partnership working, community engagement, and ideally knowledge of open bog management, deer management and Highland estates.

Site Manager
Reference: A0570820
Location: Forsinard
Salary : £30,817 to £34,471
Full time

The Forsinard Flows National Nature Reserve consists of a huge expanse of designated blanket peatland, which is part of the largest terrestrial Special Area for Conservation in the UK.

This post leads in the delivery of all the habitat restoration, links strongly with research carried out here as well as the day to day running of the reserve and manages a team of dedicated Wardens. We are looking for someone with a proven track record of strong people management skills, contract management and ideally knowledge of forestry management, peatland ecosystems and Highland estates.

This post will help with the running of the Field Centre, education facilities and a laboratory, in order to help facilitate the continuation and growth of research work in the Flow Country, under the auspices of the Flows Research Hub. You will be based at the Field Centre and will need to oversee some aspects of running the building. The reserve also has a small visitor centre and a fantastic eye-catching lookout tower on the blanket bog.

Closing: 25 September 2020
Interview: 15 October 2020

To apply click here.


Logo: East Riding of Yorkshire CouncilEast Riding of Yorkshire Council

Groundsperson Level 2 - Forestry

Salary: £18795 + contractual overtime

Employer: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Contract: Permanent

Hours: Full-time, 37 hours per week + 2 hours contractual overtime

Base: Willerby, East Riding of Yorkshire

The Forestry Team are looking for a Groundsperson Level 2 with the appropriate skills and experience to carry out all aspects of tree maintenance works.

You must have:

   ●   experience of this type of work   ●   a good appreciation of health and safety   ●   a full driving licence.
The post is based at our depot in Willerby and will involve travelling to all areas within the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Benefits include the Local Government Pension Scheme, flexible working arrangements and discounted gym membership.

For an informal discussion please contact Andy Harper, tel (01482) 395863.

Application pack available here

Advert No: STRE000389

Closing Date: 21 September 2020

East Riding of Yorkshire Council is pursuing equality of opportunity in employment.


logo: RSPBRSPB

Conservation Scientist

Conservation Scientist
Reference number: A0540820
Location: UK Headquarters, Bedfordshire preferred but can be flexible within England
Salary: Starting at £26,212 to £29,321 per annum
Hours: Full time
Contract: Permanent

We are seeking a conservation scientist to work on a range of applied ecological research projects supporting conservation work mainly in England.
We are looking for a post-doctoral scientist with skills in study design, fieldwork, data analysis and a proven ability to publish in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.
We would particularly welcome applications from scientists with experience in one or more of the following areas: agricultural ecology, restoration ecology, wetland ecology, ecology & conservation of ground-nesting birds.
The role sits within the England and Wales section of RSPB's Conservation Science Department and is likely to require the supervision of field staff.
The preferred location is RSPB HQ in Sandy although other locations in England will be considered. If you are keen to apply your scientific skills and knowledge to the conservation of UK wildlife, this could be the perfect job for you.

For more information and to apply click here

Closing date: 16 September 2020
Interview date: 24 September 2020


logo: RSPBRSPB

Biosecurity Advisor - Turks and Caicos Islands

Reference number: A0480820
Location: Turks and Caicos Islands
Salary: Starting at £26,212 to £29,321 per annum
Hours: Full time
Contract: Fixed Term for 24 months

Want to help protect some of the most threatened reptiles on the planet and safeguard unique pockets of paradise? Keen to mentor and build the capacity of others? Would you be happy to be based in the Turks & Caicos Islands for two years? If so, this could be the job for you.
We are looking for an enthusiastic, passionate person to drive forwards a collaborative multi-sector partnership in the Turks & Caicos Islands, a UK Overseas Territory in the Caribbean. You will oversee and deliver conservation action to protect some of the most pristine patches of natural habitat left in the region - the homes of the Critically Endangered Turks & Caicos rock iguana.
Invasive non-native species are one of the greatest threats to biodiversity in the UK Overseas Territories; and biosecurity controls that minimise the risk of new arrivals are the most effective way of reducing this threat. Focussing on protecting the Turks & Caicos rock iguana, you will be working to mitigate the impact of invasive non-native vertebrates and uncontrolled tourism across 11 islands; spanning three national parks and three privately-owned islands. With a background in invasive non-native species management, you will strengthen biosecurity capacity across the Turks & Caicos Islands through developing and delivering a biosecurity training programme, recruiting and training a volunteer network whilst ensuring regular biosecurity checks are completed, newly arrived invasive species are responded to, and the resulting data are well managed.

Closing date: 25 September 2020

If you would like to apply and find out more about this position, click here to be directed to our website.


Logo: Kent County CouncilKent County Council

Public Rights of Way and Experience Officer - Asset Management and Tourism Programme Delivery

Starting salary £25,692 per annum

The EXPERIENCE project is funded by the Interreg VA France Channel England Programme. EXPERIENCE is a €23 million project to promote off season tourism in the Channel Area. There are 14 partners in France and England.

The Public Rights of Way and Access Service is responsible for the recording, protection and maintenance of Kent’s 6900 km network of footpaths, bridleways and byways. The network provides unparalleled access to Kent’s countryside and is vital in supporting the rural economy, tourism and health as well as access to amenities and services.

The Service is looking to recruit a motivated, experienced Public Rights of Way Officer to identify and deliver a programme of work through the EXPERIENCE Tourism project that improves the PROW asset in line with Rights of Way Improvement Plan priorities and encourages and supports off season tourism.

The role will operate from both our East Kent Office at East Brabourne, near Ashford, and our West Kent Office based at Kingshill, West Malling. The role requires close collaboration with the EXPERIENCE Project Manager and the North Downs Way Manager.

To be successful you will be confident, will enjoy working at many levels and with numerous partners. You will be able to represent the Service in an authoritative, diplomatic, helpful and confident manner, often in difficult situations. You will enjoy variety in your work and will learn quickly.

The post carries a high-volume workload. You will be able to display excellent organisation and communication skills, be able to prioritise and manage your time effectively. You will have excellent I.T. skills, including the use of Geographical Information Systems.

You will be required to work outside as well as in, in all weathers and undertake practical work. You will often be working in remote locations on your own around Kent and therefore need to be able to travel around without using public transport.

You will have either proven experience of working within PROW or civil engineering and be educated to A level standard or higher.

If this sounds like you, then we would like to encourage you to apply.

This post is considered by KCC to be a customer-facing position. The Council therefore has a statutory duty under Part 7 of the Immigration Act (2016) to ensure that post holders have a command of spoken English/Welsh sufficient for the effective performance of the job requirements. The appropriate standards are set out in the Job Description/Person Specification.

You may also be interested in the post - Public Rights of Way Officer - Asset Management Programme Delivery (REF/TP/370/535). If applying for both, please submit two separate applications.

Please note – if you are interested, please apply as soon as possible as the closing date for this advert may be earlier than stated should a number of suitably qualified candidates apply.

Contact Details

For further information on this role please contact Graham Rusling on 03000 413449

The vacancy reference number is REF/TP/370/538.

The closing date is Midnight on 17th September 2020.

Please click here to apply


Logo: Kent County CouncilKent County Council

Public Rights of Way Officer - Asset Management Programme Delivery

Starting salary £22,581 per annum

The Public Rights of Way and Access Service is responsible for the recording, protection and maintenance of Kent’s 6900 km network of footpaths, bridleways and byways. The network provides unparalleled access to Kent’s countryside and is vital in supporting the rural economy, tourism and health as well as access to amenities and services.

We want a motivated, experienced Public Rights of Way (PROW) Officer to join the Public Rights of Way and Access Service in either our East Kent Team based at East Brabourne, near Ashford, or our West Kent Team based at Kings Hill near West Malling.

We are looking for someone who enjoys variety in their work and will learn quickly. You will deliver programmes of work to maintain and improve the public rights of way network. These programmes make a real difference to the quality of life for residents and visitors to Kent. You will be confident and be able to work at many levels. You will be able to represent the service in an authoritative, helpful and confident manner, often in difficult situations.

The post carries a high-volume workload. You will be able to display excellent organisation and communication skills, be able to prioritise and manage your time effectively. You will have excellent I.T. skills.

You will be required to work outside as well as in, in all weathers and undertake practical work. You will often be working in remote locations on your own around Kent and therefore need to be able to travel around without using public transport.

You will be educated to A level standard or higher.

If this sounds like you, then we would like to encourage you to apply.

You may also be interested in the currently advertised - Asset Management Programme Delivery ‘Experience’ Project Officer, job reference REF/TP/370/538. If applying for both, please submit two separate applications.

This post is considered by KCC to be a customer-facing position. The Council therefore has a statutory duty under Part 7 of the Immigration Act (2016) to ensure that post holders have a command of spoken English/Welsh sufficient for the effective performance of the job requirements. The appropriate standards are set out in the Job Description/Person Specification.

Please note – if you are interested, please apply as soon as possible as the closing date for this advert may be earlier than stated should a number of suitably qualified candidates apply.

Contact Details

For further information on this role please contact-

Andrew Hutchinson 03000 418185 or David Munn 03000 414121

The vacancy reference number is REF/TP/370/535.

The closing date is Midnight on 19th September 2020.

Please click here to apply


Logo: Leicestershire County CouncilLeicestershire County Council

Ranger

Working Hours: Full Time, Permanent. Hours per week - 37

Salary: £21,591

Location: Estate office Broombriggs Farm, Woodhouse Eaves, Leicestershire, LE12 8SR

Reference: CR1020

Closing date: 25 September 2020 at midnight

Working as part of the Leicestershire Country Parks service your day to day work will involve site upkeep of the country park estate to include implementation of management plans, grounds maintenance, project delivery and resource allocation with a focus on habitats and community engagement.

Understanding and experience in appropriate health and safety is required. Duties also include working with livestock, production of interpretive material, working with the public and community groups and developing income sources.

The role is based primarily at Beacon Hill but you could be required to work at other country park sites across the county.

Essential Requirements:

   ●   Estate Maintenance   ●   Working with the public   ●   Organising work programmes   ●   Excellent communication and presentation skills   ●   Working out of doors and with the local community   ●   Working under pressure   ●   Tact, diplomacy and assertiveness   ●   Live close enough to respond to emergencies at all times   ●   Current driving licence
For informal enquires please contact James Lovatt, Tel: 0116 305 8791 Email: james.lovatt@leics.gov.uk

We particularly welcome applicants from black, minority, ethnic (BME) communities, disabled people and lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) communities, as they are currently under represented within our workforce.

To apply please click here


logo: RSPBRSPB

Head of Conservation Science, Scotland and Northern Ireland

This post represents an exciting opportunity to lead and support the development of an energetic and highly motivated team responsible for the science underpinning RSPB's work in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Head of Conservation Science, Scotland and Northern Ireland
Reference number: A0420820
Location: Flexible within Scotland
Salary starting at: £48,848 to £54,231 per annum
Hours: Full time
Contract: Permanent

There is currently a diverse portfolio of exciting work including seabird census, ecological and tracking studies, studies of individual species of high conservation concern, work to understand the nature conservation impacts of changing land use and management across the uplands and associated High Nature Value farming systems, and long-term studies of ecological responses to landscape-scale restoration work in spectacular landscapes including the Flow Country and the Cairngorms.

As a member of the Conservation Science Leadership Team, Science Portfolio Board and the Scottish Leadership Team, the post holder will have both a strategic input to the scientific work of the RSPB, and the opportunity to bring scientific support and insight to our operational teams.

There will be extensive opportunities to play a wider role as an ambassador for RSPB science in the scientific communities in Scotland and Northern Ireland, the scope and encouragement both to maintain personal scientific activity and to develop new research areas in support of RSPB's strategic priorities. Applicants must have the right to live and work in the UK, and have a PhD in relevant subject area with commensurate postdoctoral research experience.

Closing date: 18 September 2020
Interview date: 12 October 2020

If you would like to apply and find out more about this position, click here to be directed to our website.


Logo: Woodland TrustWoodland Trust

Woodland Outreach Adviser – Yorkshire or North East

2 x roles

Salary: £28,000 - £34,000

About Us

The Woodland Trust is the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity. We want to see a UK rich in native woods and trees, for people and wildlife. The Trust aims to engage and inspire people about woods and trees to help us meet our vision of creating, restoring and protecting woodland. We own and care for over 1,000 woodland sites across the United Kingdom and support the creation and management of woodland on land outside the Trust’s own estate.

The Role

The Woodland Outreach Adviser will help deliver a regional programme of woodland conservation activity including the creation, protection and restoration of woods and trees on land outside the Trust’s estate. This will involve identifying and engaging with landowners and other organisations to ensure the potential of trees and woods is maximised to deliver nature recovery within key landscapes in the north of England. A core element of the role will be the development of effective partnerships and to build and maintain excellent relationships with a range of stakeholders in order to deliver the best results.

The Candidate

You’ll need some experience of woodland creation and woodland management with experience of engaging with and advising landowners and partners to plant trees and manage woodland. You’ll have the ability to achieve delivery through others, including partnerships, contracts, professional consultants and volunteers.

You’ll need knowledge of land management and an ability to understand and engage with farmers and landowners from a variety of different land management practices and backgrounds. It would also be useful if you had knowledge of grants and other support mechanisms that facilitate woodland creation and management.

Please note the post holder is required to live in Yorkshire,or North East of England or North Yorkshire,though there will be some travel to other areas of the north of England.

What You Can Expect

There’s no other organisation like the Woodland Trust. Whatever you do here you will be supporting our work to protect and enhance woods and trees. In return we recognise and value our people. You'll have our full support, training and opportunities for professional development, along with a contributory pension, life assurance and good holiday entitlement

Closing date: 20th September

For further information and to apply, please visit our website


Logo: Ribble Rivers TrustRibble Rivers Trust

Agricultural Projects Officer

The Ribble Rivers Trust (RRT) is a partner in a number of programmes across the Ribble catchment (including the Forest of Bowland AONB’s Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership Scheme, Tidal Ribble projects, and Facilitation Fund Groups in the Loud and in Ribblesdale), delivering a range of activities to improve the condition, management, and awareness of the Ribble Catchment. As part of these projects the Trust is looking to recruit a technically competent, dynamic, and enthusiastic person to deliver a range of agricultural and environmental projects aimed at improving the water quality and habitat of the Ribble Catchment. The projects will seek to collaborate with farmers to deliver work that will bring about agricultural and environmental improvements; ranging from advice, through to soil structure improvements, and the creation and enhancement of Natural Capital.

Working within the Land Management and Conservation Team, this role will carry out farm visits to identify infrastructure and management changes that will improve the water and wider environment of the Ribble Catchment. Such actions include items such as improving water separation, manure storage and management (including nutrient application) as well as grazing changes, and habitat creation (particularly riparian habitats including woodland). The role will oversee development and delivery of actions, and in some instances support other team members and partner organisations to undertake delivery.

There will also be involvement and delivery of training and knowledge sharing events. It will be expected that the role will also contribute to the monitoring and evaluation of farm advice, and activity evaluation and reporting.

The activities will be delivered through a range of funding sources, including Countryside Stewardship and other governmental funding streams, but also through private and charitable funding streams.

The Trust are therefore looking for a confident and clear communicator with experience in engaging and working with farmer and landowners and delivering projects that reduce diffuse pollution, create habitat, and support sustainable farm practices. The successful candidate should have experience in agriculture and land management (including catchment management), agri-environment schemes, landscape-scale conservation, Natural Capital and ecosystem services. It is desirable that they have an understanding of the Water Framework Directive. All though a FACTS and/or BASIS qualification is desirable, willingness to work towards these qualifications is key, as the Trust will consider funding such qualifications for the right candidate.

For more information and to apply for this role please visit ribbletrust.org.uk/vacancies.

Please note that the closing date for applications for this position is the 18th September 2020 and interviews will commence the 28th of September.


Logo: Ribble Rivers TrustRibble Rivers Trust

GIS and Projects Trainee

Ribble Rivers Trust (RRT) is a local charity set up to conserve the Ribble Catchment, particularly its rivers and streams. The Trust works at catchment and project scales and is delivering a range of activities to improve the condition, management, and awareness of the Ribble Catchment. The Trust, working with the Forest of Bowland AONB and the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership, has a number of projects and activities to gather together the two sides of the hill and re-connect people with their landscape and their past; to safeguard the area's wildlife and heritage, to improve people's access to this popular countryside area, and to improve the rivers of the catchment, seeking to restore and improve ecosystem functions that will provide ecological and socio-economic benefits.

This is being achieved by providing opportunities for training and volunteering; by supporting research and devising digital interpretation to inspire a new generation about our heritage, by restoring important wildlife and landscape features, and by working with communities to re-tell the stories of radical Pendle people. This programme will increase pride in this special place and raise aspirations amongst communities, and it will bring in new investment to support the environment and the economy. Ribble Rivers Trust is particularly involved in the Pendle Woodlands and Invasive Non-Native Species (Pendle WINNS) part of the partnership, creating, connecting and improving woodlands across the project area, and tackling invasive species such as Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed.

Ribble Rivers Trust is a principally data and evidence led organisation, using partners’, our own, and citizen science data to focus and prioritise our work. As such, the Trust is looking to recruit a competent, dynamic, and enthusiastic person with a passion for landscape-scale conservation, particularly of rivers, and using data and evidence to aid conservation efforts. Principally this person should have experience in using GIS to analyse environmental data and to create map-based evidence sets that are understandable to all, and should be keen to learn how using such evidence can help to prioritise where conservation work is carried out. This person should also have some knowledge and experience in practical conservation and preferably working with volunteers and the public. They should be keen to further develop these skills though on-the-job training.

The role will work principally with the GIS Data and Evidence Officer but also the wider Trust team to gain experience in the range of activities carried out by RRT, and to learn how these activities integrate to achieve holistic catchment management. This will specifically include the Woodland Creation Officer, and the Volunteer Supervisor.

For more information, and to apply for this role please visit ribbletrust.org.uk/vacancies.

Please note that the closing date for applications for this position is the 18th September 2020 and interviews commence the 28th of September.


Logo: RSKRSK ADAS Ltd

Site Operatives - Bristol/Southampton/Coventry

RSK Habitat Management are a new and exciting business, providing practical ecological contracting solutions for our clients. We provide results-based outcomes for clients and biodiversity, with innovation at the heart of everything that we do. The successful candidate(s) will be joining a team of professionals who work closely with colleagues in other disciplines such as Ecology, Landscape and Arboriculture.

As part of the RSK Group, one of the UK’s largest environmental consultancies, we are able to provide our clients with an unparalleled combination of environmental assessment and management consultancy services.

We are ranked 42 in the Sunday Times Fast Track 200, which rates the success of private companies in the UK. There has never been a more exciting time to join.

The role:

We are looking for part-time / casual site operatives. They must be outstanding team players and who have a positive and professional attitude and are ready to work on projects locally and nationwide. You will have at least 1 years’ experience in undertaking practical site-based works and will have demonstrable experience in adhering to site health, safety, environmental and wellbeing standards.

The ideal candidates will have prior experience of working within one or more of the following industries: ecological contracting, landscaping, agricultural operations, and countryside management or vegetation clearance industries.

We are looking for real go-getters with a practical and determined approach and candidates who will help the business to grow and improve. There is the possibility that the roles may develop into a full-time opportunity for the right candidates and subject to workload.

This is a flexible role and various contract options are available – part time, fixed term contract and self- employed.

Successful candidates will:

   ●   Work onsite in the delivery and undertaking of ecological contracting work packages on site, helping to ensure that works are delivered on programme, on budget and with zero defects;    ●   Operate effectively in a dynamic working environment;   ●   Undertake general maintenance on small plant, tools and equipment, making sure that they are fit for purpose.   ●   Be highly organized and able to adapt to quick changes in a dynamic working environment;   ●   Adhere to site safety, environmental and wellbeing requirements;    ●   Be able to work independently or as part of a team;   ●   Communicate effectively with fellow team members and other site-based staff.   ●   Lead by example, maintaining the highest standards of quality;

Person specification:

Essential -   ●   CSCS    ●   1 year of experience working in practical land management   ●   Full driving licence, ideally with Trailer Licence (B+E).

Ideally the candidate will also have -   ●   FAAW qualification;   ●   PA1/PA6W herbicide spraying;   ●   CS30 & 31. Other chainsaw qualifications will be looked on favourably;   ●   LANTRA Woodchipper;   ●   LANTRA Brushcutter;   ●   Experienced in operating a wide variety of plant and equipment.

Salary and benefits:   ●   Salary £18 - £21k dependant on experience.    ●   Overtime and weekend supplement.   ●   Paid accommodation and subsistence allowance (when working away).   ●   Access to a company vehicle as required for onsite duties.    ●   Training may be available for the right candidates to increase their skillset.
Please click here for further information and to apply.


Logo: RSKRSK ADAS Ltd

Team Leader

RSK Habitats - UK Nationwide

RSK Habitat Management are a new and exciting business, providing practical ecological contracting solutions for our clients. We provide results-based outcomes for clients and biodiversity, with innovation at the heart of everything that we do. The successful candidate(s) will be joining a team of professionals who work closely with colleagues in other disciplines such as Ecology, Landscape and Arboriculture.

As part of the RSK Group, one of the UK’s largest environmental consultancies, we are able to provide our clients with an unparalleled combination of environmental assessment and management consultancy services.

We are ranked 42 in the Sunday Times Fast Track 200, which rates the success of private companies in the UK. There has never been a more exciting time to join.

The role:

We are looking for part time / casual Team Leaders, who are outstanding team players and who have a positive and professional attitude to join our team and undertake projects locally and nationwide. You will have at least 3 years’ experience in undertaking practical site-based works and will have demonstrable experience in adhering to site health, safety, environmental and wellbeing standards.

The ideal candidate will have prior experience of working within one or more of the following industries: ecological contracting, landscaping, agricultural operations, and countryside management or vegetation clearance industries.

We are looking for real go-getters with a practical and determined approach and someone who will help the business to grow and improve.

This is a flexible role and various contract options are available – part time, fixed term contract and self- employed.

The role has the possibility of becoming full time subject to workload.

Successful candidates will:

   ●   Lead on the delivery of ecological contracting work packages on site, helping to ensure that works are delivered on programme, on budget and with zero defects;    ●   Take responsibility for a small individual team, undertaking discrete work packages, ensuring that works are delivered on programme, on budget and with zero defects;    ●   Lead and motivate a small site team;     ●   Keep accurate daily diaries for all site-based works including other reporting as required.    ●   Monitor and track daily plant, labour, equipment and material allocations;   ●   Operate effectively in a dynamic working environment;   ●   Undertake general maintenance on small plant, tools and equipment, making sure that they are fit for purpose.    ●   Be highly organized and able to adapt to quick changes in a dynamic working environment;   ●   Adhere to site safety, environmental and wellbeing requirements;    ●   Be able to work independently or as part of a team;   ●   Communicate effectively with fellow team members and other site-based staff.    ●   Lead by example, maintaining the highest standards of quality.
Person specification:

Essential:   ●   CSCS    ●   Full driving licence, ideally with Trailer Licence (B+E).   ●   First Aid at Work qualification   ●   3 years’ experience of managing teams within a practical land management setting.

Desirable:    ●   PTS AC/DC   ●   SSSTS   ●   PA1/PA6W herbicide spraying;   ●   CS30 & 31. Other chainsaw qualifications will be looked on favourably;   ●   LANTRA Woodchipper;   ●   LANTRA Brushcutter;   ●   Experienced in operating a wide variety of plant with relevant tickets.
Salary and benefits:   ●   Salary £21 - £25k, dependant on experience.    ●   Overtime and weekend supplement.   ●   Paid accommodation and subsistence allowance (when working away).   ●   Access to a company vehicle for site duties   ●   Contributory Pension Scheme

Please click here for further information and to apply.


Logo: GE Consulting Services UKGE Consulting Services UK

Team Leader - Land Management

We are looking for an experienced arborist/landscaping contractor to head up our site based Land Management team. This individual will need to have strong experience and tickets for chainsaw, brushcutter and would ideally be a certified climber.

With most days involving tree works, hedge removal, scrub clearance or habitat creation this individual needs to be used to daily outdoor work that is physically demanding.

A strong record for health & safety needs to be demonstrated along with an understanding of sensitivities around wildlife. This individual needs to have a full driving licence, be confident and competent at leading a team of site based operatives and be a team player.

Full PPE, vehicle and high end tools are provided.

CSCS card is strongly desirable

Benefits:   ●   Bonus scheme   ●   Company events & social hours
Job Types: Full-time, Permanent

Salary: £23,000.00 per year

Please apply to: jobs@ge-consulting.co.uk


 Slawston Grange Estate

Assistant Gardener

Working on an estate within Leicestershire, LE16.

Full time, Monday to Friday, 8 hours per day.

Duties to include:

Please email you CV to sam@sge.farm.


Logo: TCVThe Conservation Volunteers

Operations Leader

Based in: Manchester or Merseyside
35 hours per week
Salary: £30,000- £33,000 per annum

Every day TCV works across the UK to create healthier and happier communities for everyone - communities where our activities have a lasting impact on people’s health, prospects, and outdoor places.

Being an Operations Leader in TCV provides the opportunity to make a real difference to people, communities, and green spaces.

We are looking for a strong, highly motivated, and capable manager who can lead a team of 6-8 staff to work with local communities and achieve optimum results in terms of quality, operational performance, financial performance and adherence with contract and funder requirements. The ideal candidate will have experience of developing, managing, and leading a successful, high-performing team and also the vision and enthusiasm to be able to generate new business across Greater Manchester and Merseyside. They will also have experience of green space volunteering and outdoor well-being programmes, such as Green Gym, community volunteering, and working with partners and funders to develop new activities.

You will be able to develop excellent relationships with funders and partners and create compelling and supported project proposals. You will effectively manage funder requirements to achieve our desired outcomes.

A bit more about us

We recognise that each community and the people living there have different needs. Whether improving wellbeing, conserving a well-loved outdoor space or bringing people together to promote social cohesion and combat loneliness, TCV works together with communities to deliver practical solutions to the real-life challenges they face.

For over 60 years we have adapted our work with volunteers to reflect the changing needs of communities in the UK and, by giving people a sense of purpose and belonging, we have empowered them to take control of their lives and outdoor spaces for the benefit of all.

Whilst our activities vary, our inclusive approach has remained consistent; bringing people and places together to create happy, healthy, and connected communities for everyone.

Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility and all employees are required to act in such a way that at all times safeguards the health and well-being of children and vulnerable adults. Familiarisation with, and adherence to, the organisational Safeguarding Policies and procedures is an essential requirement of all employees as is participation in related mandatory training

This post is subject to an enhanced DBS check.

Unfortunately, due to the necessity to keep our costs down we are not able to respond to everyone who applies to our vacancies. Therefore, if you do not hear from us by the interview date below, please assume that you have been unsuccessful on this occasion.

CVs will not be accepted.

For further information and to apply, please visit www.tcv.org.uk. Alternatively, email recruitment@tcv.org.uk or call 01302 388878.

Closing date for completed applications: 25th September 2020

Interview date: 5th October 2020. Interviews will be held in Doncaster or Virtually dependent on COVID restrictions.

Return completed application form to Operations Director England North Fiona Richards fiona.richards@tcv.org.uk


Logo: Prospects FoundationProspects Foundation

Community Tree Planting Officer

We are recruiting for a Community Tree Planting Officer. Based from our offices in Accrington, east Lancashire. The post is for 29.60 hours per week over 4 days, including some weekends.

The salary is £20,000 for 29.60 hours per week. The post is for 12 months at the moment, but we hope to extend the post for a further 12 to 24 months depending on successful funding bids.

The prime role is to engage the local community in tree planting on a range of sites across Hyndburn. Sites will vary in size, location and proximity to urban areas. Planting schemes will need to be developed in conjunction with the Hyndburn Borough Council and the local community to ensure as much engagement as possible. This programme is a direct result of Hyndburn Borough Council declaring a Climate Emergency in 2019, and this should be reflected in decision making and publicity.

All the information required to submit an application is available to download from the ‘Job Opportunities’ page of our website at www.prospectsfoundation.org.uk. Any queries please email info@prospectsfoundation.org.uk. Do not phone our landline as the offices are on reduced hours.

The post is being funded by the Hyndburn Windfall Fund and Hyndburn Borough Council through their Climate Emergency Fund.

The deadline for applications is 5.00pm on Monday 28th September with interviews taking place in Accrington on Thursday 8th October.


KLP Estate

Couple - Gardener / Estate Worker / House Keeper

South Oxfordshire

The position is for a couple to live on the Estate. The Estate comprises approx. 280 acres, a main 17th Century house set in 10 acres of garden, several houses and a mixed farming estate with woodlands and lakes. The Estate was purchased in 2018, the new owners have the vision of transforming the gardens and surrounding landscape back to their former glory.

This is an exciting chance to be involved at the start of the project, creating orchards, walled garden vegetable production for the house, etc. Working on the Estate and in woodlands. The position requires an enthusiastic, self-motivated couple with exacting standards.

The role would comprise:

Garden work: Grass cutting, Hedge trimming, path maintenance, security etc...

Estate work: Fencing maintenance, clearance of woodlands, tractor work, Bee keeping and assist with live stock.

House work: Assist in the main house when required for, Kitchen Duties, Household duties, Serving guests, Cleaning, etc.

We would require at least one of the applicants to be competent with garden machinery, chainsaw work, chemical spraying, tractor and Forklift use etc.. and to be prepared to attend training courses if required.

A Full Driving licence is required for both persons.

An attractive package available with two bedroom cottage, salary dependant on qualifications and experience.

Please apply to barry@klp.estate Tel: 07778212633


Logo: Middlemarch Environmental LtdMiddlemarch Environmental Ltd

Executive Director

Salary: Competitive plus benefits

Contract type: Permanent / Working hours: Full time

Location: Triumph House, Birmingham Road, Allesley, Coventry, CV5 9AZ

Middlemarch Environmental Ltd (MEL) has been providing biodiversity consultancy services as a wholly owned subsidiary of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust since 1989. Our team of 80 dedicated professionals work throughout the UK, generating a turnover of c. £5M in 2019. At MEL we take pride in our value-driven professionalism and expertise in biodiversity-led environmental consultancy. At an exciting time in our evolution, we are looking for an experienced, inspirational individual to join the MEL team and help to take us to the next level. We have an ambitious strategic plan, aiming to become the UK’s most trusted natural environmental consultancy.
Reporting to the Managing Director, the Executive Director will take on day-to-day responsibility for the running of the consultancy. We are looking for an exceptional individual who knows how to get the best from their team, how to coach, mentor and lead from the front. We also need that individual to have extensive experience of relationship management at a senior level and be committed to developing long term strategic partnerships with our key clients.
For further information and how to apply, please click here

Closing date: Sunday 27 September 2020


Logo: Natural EnglandNatural England

Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer

Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer for the Peak District Dales with Natural England

Are you passionate about sustainable farming? Want to work with farmers to improve water, air and soil quality and their farm businesses? Then we would love to hear from you.

The East Midlands Area Team in Natural England is looking to recruit a new Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer (CSFO) for the Peak District Dales catchment.

Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) is a partnership between Defra, Natural England and the Environment Agency which operates through a network of CSFOs and local partners in each priority catchment. CSF aims to help meet Water Framework Directive targets and drinking water quality standards by reducing diffuse water pollution from agriculture (DWPA).

The role of the CSFO in the Peak District Dales will be to:

Technical/specialist knowledge/qualifications

If you would like to make a positive difference and be a part of a successful partnership you can find more details and an application form on the Civil Service Jobs website here (the closing date is 21 September)


Logo: Blaenau Gwent County Borough CouncilBlaenau Gwent County Borough Council

Ecologist

Location: Civic Centre, Ebbw Vale

Directorate: Regeneration & Community Services

Position No: BG01061

Salary: Grade 8 (£33,782 – £37,890 per annum)

Hours: 37

Contract: Permanent

Job Summary

The post is responsible for providing a professional nature conservation service both within the Council and externally, ensuring compliance with relevant legislation and policy and to manage any biodiversity staff employed by the Authority.

Project development and management, for example Welsh Government Enabling Natural Resources and Well-being grant funded projects.

Working at a South East Wales / Gwent scale with partners in local authorities, NRW, charity sector and communities to create and enhance resilient ecological networks.

Expert technical input and sharing knowledge with Wales Nature Recovery Action Plan sub-groups and ALGE Wales as appropriate.

Responsible for LNR ecological management plans.

Full Advert

An exciting and fulfilling opportunity is offered to a suitable candidate in supporting Blaenau Gwent’s Natural Environment Team in its responsibility for protecting and enhancing biodiversity within the County Borough. While the main focus is on Blaenau Gwents wonderful habitats and green spaces we operate collaboratively with our partners across the Greater Gwent Area in a joint working arrangement to maximise our efforts.

The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate a collaborative approach to working with a range of partner organisations including NRW, neighbouring Local Authorities, third sector organisations and community groups as well as internal departments and be able to support policy development and proven ability to deliver successful project outcomes.

The position carries an Approved Casual Car User Allowance therefore access to a vehicle for work purposes is a requirement.

Thorough pre-employment screening is undertaken during the recruitment process. The postholder will be required to complete an application for a Disclosure of Criminal Records.

Closing Date: 17th Sept 2020 – 12:00am, midnight

Interview Date: 23rd Sept 2020 (tbc)

For further information and to apply, click here.


Logo: Devon County CouncilDevon County Council

Restoring Stover Park Project Officer

£28,672 - £32,234

Fixed term, full time

Stover Country Park, Stover, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 6QG

Devon County Council are recruiting for a 16-month full time post of ‘Restoring Stover Park Project Officer’ – a challenging and exciting role to oversee the Development Phase of the ‘Restoring Stover Park Project’, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF).

Based at Stover Country Park Local Nature Reserve near Newton Abbot, Devon, the project Officer will manage a project team, working with consultants and specialists during the project’s Development Phase, and write and prepare a Round 2 grant funding application to the NLHF in March 2022.

The Development Phase will explore the feasibility of conserving three Grade II Listed buildings, the de-silting of Stover Lake Site of Special Scientific Interest, the restoration of a section of the Ornamental Lake and historic views, the extension of the Country Park Visitor Centre to include a new café with associated interpretation, a network of new walking routes with sculpture trail, the trialling of community engagement events, activities and workshops for visitors including vulnerable sectors of the local community, and creating sustainable measures to tackle the carbon footprint and enhance biodiversity.

The Project Officer will oversee and coordinate the consultant team, develop the Activity Plan and the Conservation Management Plan, produce a Management and Maintenance Plan, Communications Plan and Business Plan, develop partnerships with organisations and community groups, chair the Stover Park Management Board meetings, plan the delivery and evaluation of education and community engagement activities, support the development of new volunteer roles, monitor project expenditure and produce financial reports, and report to the NLHF and other funders.

Dependent on the success of the Round 2 application there is the possibility of a three-year extension to the post to cover the Delivery Phase after a six month break, to oversee the project outcomes.

The Project Officer post combines interests in heritage, communities and biodiversity. The ideal candidate will be organised, able to work to tight deadlines, have excellent communication skills with the ability to interact with a wide range of people and media, and innovative to meet the community engagement targets in times of social distancing.

Logo: Lottery Heritage FundTo apply for the role or for further information, please click here

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults, and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

This role requires a DBS disclosure.

This role requires the ability to fulfil all spoken aspects of the role with confidence and fluency in English.

Closing date: 27 September 2020


Logo: Devon County CouncilDevon County Council

Restoring Stover Park Community Engagement Ranger

£24,012 - £27,041

Fixed term, full time

Stover Country Park, Stover, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 6QG

Devon County Council are recruiting for a 16-month full time post of ‘Restoring Stover Park Community Engagement Ranger’ – a challenging and exciting role to support the Project Officer and other professional and technical staff during the Development Phase of the ‘Restoring Stover Park Project’, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF).

Based at Stover Country Park Local Nature Reserve near Newton Abbot, Devon, the Community Engagement Ranger will work with consultants, specialists and volunteers to assist with the preparation of a Round 2 grant funding application to the NLHF in March 2022.

The Development Phase will explore the feasibility of conserving three Grade II Listed buildings, the de-silting of Stover Lake Site of Special Scientific Interest, the restoration of a section of the Ornamental Lake and historic views, the extension of the Country Park Visitor Centre to include a new café with associated interpretation, a network of new walking routes with sculpture trail, the trialling of community engagement events, activities and workshops for visitors including vulnerable sectors of the local community, and creating sustainable measures to tackle the carbon footprint and enhance biodiversity.

The Community Engagement Ranger will deliver a programme of activities that engage new audiences at Stover Park and will work with local community groups and organisations. The Ranger will be responsible for developing the skills and capacity of volunteers, trailing and providing a more varied range of public events, and work with partner organisations to develop targeted programmes for isolated communities and individuals. The Ranger’s role will support the development of the Friends of Stover Park group and will work closely with specialist consultants to develop an Activity Plan, Interpretation and Evaluation Plans. The Ranger will be responsible for producing new educational resources.

Dependent on the success of the Round 2 application there is the possibility of a three-year extension to the post to cover the Delivery Phase after a six-month break, to assist in overseeing the project outcomes.

The Community Engagement Ranger post combines interests in heritage, communities and biodiversity. The ideal candidate will be organised, able to work to tight deadlines, have excellent communication skills with the ability to interact with a wide range of people and media, and innovative to meet the community engagement targets in times of social distancing.

Logo: Lottery Heritage FundTo apply for the role or for further information, please click here

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults, and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

This role requires a DBS disclosure.

This role requires the ability to fulfil all spoken aspects of the role with confidence and fluency in English.

Closing date: 27 September 2020


Logo: Devon County CouncilDevon County Council

Restoring Stover Park Administration Assistant

£20,092 - £22,183 (pro-rata)

Fixed Term, part time

Stover Country Park, Stover, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 6QG

Devon County Council are recruiting for a 16-month part time post of ‘Restoring Stover Park Administration Assistant’ – a challenging and exciting role to support the Project Officer, Community Engagement Ranger and other professional and technical staff during the Development Phase of the ‘Restoring Stover Park Project’, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF).

Based at Stover Country Park Local Nature Reserve near Newton Abbot, Devon, the Administrative Assistant will work across a range of activities and provide administrative, business and technical duties to help deliver the programme of work in preparation for the Round 2 grant funding application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund in March 2022.

The Development Phase will explore the feasibility of conserving three Grade II Listed buildings, the de-silting of Stover Lake Site of Special Scientific Interest, the restoration of a section of the Ornamental Lake and historic views, the extension of the Country Park Visitor Centre to include a new café with associated interpretation, a network of new walking routes with sculpture trail, the trialling of community engagement events, activities and workshops for visitors including vulnerable sectors of the local community, and creating sustainable measures to tackle the carbon footprint and enhance biodiversity.

The Administration Assistant will support the production of all the plans and associated documents for the Round 2 application, along with assisting with delivering communication and consultation activities with new audiences, partnership organisations and stakeholders including social media and the project website. The role will include maintaining accurate records, financial and otherwise, assisting with monitoring and evaluation and collating data, supporting the coordination of the Stover Park Advisory Board meetings including taking minutes and distributing agendas, responding to public enquiries by telephone, email and social media, ensuring the communications within the Project Team are timely and efficient, and working flexibly to provide cover for other team members.

Dependent on the success of the Round 2 application there is the possibility of a three-year extension to the post to cover the Delivery Phase after a six month break, to assist in overseeing the project outcomes.

The Administration Assistant post combines interests in heritage, communities and biodiversity. The ideal candidate will be organised, able to work to tight deadlines, have excellent communication skills with the ability to interact with a wide range of people and media, and innovative to meet the community engagement targets in times of social distancing.

To apply for the role and for further information, please go to https://c-js.co.uk/3i8iETk

Logo: Lottery Heritage FundWe are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults, and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

This role requires a DBS disclosure.

This role requires the ability to fulfil all spoken aspects of the role with confidence and fluency in English.

Closing date: 27 September 2020


Logo High Weald AONBEast Sussex County Council

Land Management Project Officer

Kent/Sussex border

£28,000 - £31,000

As a highly motivated individual, you’ll join a growing team of ‘working with natural processes’ practitioners operating across the South East region to reduce flooding and drought and will play a leading role in a establishing and promoting Natural Flood Management (NFM) and Regenerative Agriculture (RA) techniques. You’ll have a passion for the water environment, and experience of working with farmers and other land managers. The role requires good GIS skills, project management experience and an ability to develop, cost and deliver land management projects.

Operating at a catchment and holding scale you will develop an intimate understanding of the water catchment’s landscape and will collate, analyse and ground-truth data, identify NFM and RA project opportunities and organise research and feasibility studies. You will help land managers use NFM and RA techniques to improve business resilience, recover nature, capture carbon and retain water. You will offer advice to a wide range of people, helping to embed NFM and RA in land management systems and in the approaches of catchment partnerships, local flood action groups and other relevant bodies.

The post is based in the High Weald AONB Partnership’s innovative office at Flimwell on the Kent/Sussex border.

The working weeks and hours are flexible for this post.

For more on the High Weald AONB visit www.highweald.org

For further information or to discuss this post please contact Gerry Sherwin, AONB Business Manager on 01424 723014 or g.sherwin@highweald.org

To apply for this post please visit our website.

Closing date: 27 September 2020.

East Sussex County Council is an equal opportunities employer. We welcome applications from all suitable candidates, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age. All applications are treated on merit.


Logo: CP FarmingCP Farming

Farm & Countryside Maintenance Worker (two positions available)

CP Farming is looking for two enthusiastic people with meticulous attention to detail to work across our mixed farming business at farms in South Gloucestershire and North Wiltshire. The successful candidates will be responsible for ensuring that an excellent standard of tidiness, upkeep and repair is maintained across all of our farms. They will be expected to provide assistance to the Farming Manager in implementing planned works and to provide additional support to farming activities as required. Successful candidates will work well as part of the CP Farming team and will positively contribute to the smooth running of the organisation and have aspirations for a long career with CP Farming.

Responsible to: Farming Manager

Hours of work: 30 hours/week/person, flexible hours/days, long term contracts

Salary: £12.50/hour

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

Additional Duties:    ●   Assisting the estate’s gardening team with heavy work    ●   Maintenance work at estate owned residential properties    ●   Moving/delivering equipment, machinery, furniture, antiques, etc   ●   General liaising with contractors    ●   Perform any other reasonable duties at the discretion of, and in consultation with, the Farming Manager
Essential Requirements:    ●   High level of attention to detail   ●   Rigorous attitude towards tidiness   ●   Strong organisational skills, including good punctuality   ●   Positive attitude, self-motivated, strong initiative and ability to work independently    ●   Working knowledge and demonstrable skills in repair and maintenance work   ●   A full UK driving licence (category B)

Desirable Requirements:   ●   UK towing licence (category B+E)   ●   Chainsaw Certificate   ●   Telehandler Certificate   ●   PA1 (pesticide application foundation) and PA6 (knapsack spraying) qualifications   ●   Previous experience within the agricultural industry    ●   Previous experience working with sheep or other livestock   ●   Any other relevant qualifications
To apply, please send your CV and a covering letter to info@cpfarming.com


Logo:Chiltern Rangers CICChiltern Rangers CIC

Community Ranger post - Chalk, Cherries and Chairs project

£21,000 annual salary

Permanent full-time post (37.5 hours per week)

Closing date: 5.00 pm 25th September 2020

Interview date: Monday 5th October (due to the current situation, interviews may take place by 'Zoom' or in person at a social distance at our HQ depending on the government advice at the time and personal circumstances.

Chiltern Rangers are working in partnership with the Chilterns Conservation Board to deliver an exciting new project across the Central Chilterns area. Landscape Connections will create, restore, manage and connect habitats across the Central Chilterns project area.

50% of your time will be delivering the Chalk, Cherries and Chairs project in partnership with the Chilterns Conservation Board. The other 50% of the time will be working with Chiltern Rangers on a variety of smaller community based conservation projects. You will be based at Chiltern Rangers, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

Are you passionate about preserving and extending the natural habitats of the Chilterns?

Are you experienced in practical, physical conservation work including knowledge in surveying species?

Are you a good communicator and have experience in organising volunteer conservation events?

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Chalk, Cherries and Chairs Landscape Partnership Scheme, the project seeks to support a wide range of NGOs, farmers, public and private landowners to manage habitat on their land through practical conservation tasks and work parties. As Community Ranger you and your volunteers will become a roving volunteer workforce which develops throughout the project area and get to work on a wide range of sites and habitats.

If you are interested in applying for this position download the Job description and application form here


Logo: Cambridgeshire ACRECambridgeshire ACRE

New Life on the Old West Project Manager

Job Base: Homeworking
Contract: Full-time (35 hours per week), fixed term contract to 30-Sep-2023, immediate start
Salary: In the range of £29,577 - £37,890 per annum. Please note that we only appoint above the mid-point of the range in exceptional circumstances.

Cambridgeshire ACRE has a vacancy for an experienced Project Manager to lead the successful delivery of its new National Lottery Heritage Fund-funded project ‘New Life on the Old West’.

The role will firstly involve working closely with project partners, contractors and stakeholders to successfully deliver a raft of planned habitat enhancements across a range of sites, including securing land access, obtaining any consents required and overseeing all works. The second key aspect of the role will involve supporting the successful delivery of a planned community engagement programme of training and volunteering, citizen science, public events and learning activities to engage a diverse audience in the project’s activities.

We are therefore seeking an experienced project manager, capable of working with multiple partners to deliver this complex three-year project. Knowledge of biodiversity and experience of the delivery of habitat enhancements is crucial, as is experience of working with landowners, community groups and volunteers and of employing biodiversity monitoring tools/techniques and analysing data.

The ability to develop excellent relationships with landowners, parish councils, natural heritage groups, volunteers and local community groups will be key to flourishing in this role and the successful candidate will also need to work closely with the Project Steering Group and Technical Biodiversity Group so that partner inputs are effectively utilised to enhance project delivery.

Logo: Lottery Heritage FundFor full job details and information about how to apply, go to http://www.cambsacre.org.uk/jobs.php.

The closing date for applications is 8am on Monday 5 October 2020. Initial interviews will be held via Zoom videoconference on Wednesday 14 October so please ensure you can be available via this method on this date when applying.

For an informal discussion about the role, please contact Kirsten Bennett, Chief Executive, on tel: 01353 865041. No agencies please.


Apprenticeships, Interns and paid trainee roles.

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Logo: Royal Forestry SocietyRoyal Forestry Society

Park and Woodland Assistant

Location: Hatfield Estate, Hertfordshire

Contract: 1 year fixed term

Salary: £17,000 pa

CPD: Up to 20 days paid release to attend fully funded CPD for relevant tickets

An outstanding one year traineeship for a college leaver starting in October/November.

We are seeking a passionate individual with a recognised level 2 or 3 qualification in Forestry, Arboriculture, Countryside or Environment management and an ambition to learn.

This is a hands-on, practical role based outside which will equip the successful candidate with the skills and experience to boost their career prospects.

For full job description and how to apply click here.


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:    ●   from a black or minority ethnic group, or   ●   a non-graduate, or   ●   in receipt of benefits/from an economically deprived area, you are eligible to apply.
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 


 

 

Volunteers.

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Volunteers: 14 adverts for voluntary posts added this month  see all of these online at: https://www.countryside-jobs.com/volunteers/intro

 

How wonderful to see news about volunteer activities once again! A few adverts for voluntary roles are beginning to trickle in as well so we thought now would be a good time to remind you that you can advertise all unpaid posts with CJS free of charge, or simply add a listing indicating you may have voluntary roles available.
If you need help with litter picking (how many of those will we need?) or a new trustee; require some assistance with your social media working from home or surveys on site there is someone reading CJS right now who will fit the bill.  Having offered free subscriptions to the class of 2020 graduates and more recently to our friends at the National Trust (and other sites) who are being affected by cost cutting we have a keen, enthusiastic and most important of all: knowledgeable readership ready and willing to pitch in.  We appreciate that the pandemic has affected many areas of our lives and know that many volunteer groups will be severely affected particularly those where your volunteers are from the older generation and may, of necessity, not be as available to help any more.

If you're not ready to restart your volunteering activities right now please keep our email and we hope you'll remember CJS when the time comes.

 

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Citizen Science, Surveys and Fieldwork: additions in August

Many conservation organisations appeal for volunteer surveyors to record and submit local sightings for a national wildlife survey.

Taking part in any of these surveys will give you useful experience and also help to extend the scientific knowledge of a species, so vital for appropriate conservation management. Some include training in survey techniques and some may even pay expenses. 

  

With regret this is the last regular update on additions to the Citizen Science pages.

During the quieter lockdown times we've reviewed website usage and as a result are retiring some pages and sections which are rarely used.  The Citizen Science pages will remain online until the next annual check at which time we'll delete the majority of the listings.  We are happy for species recorders as well as organisers of surveys and biobltiz type events to continue to send us details which we'll add to the website, share across social media and include in CJS Weekly, as before 50 words listings are free.  We are no longer actively seeking out and automatically adding listings.  However, we are delighted to recommend readers use the Nature Volunteers website which has a wide range of projects listed.  You can read more about the Nature Volunteers website in this article or jump straight in: www.naturevolunteers.uk

 

Invertebrates

Nurseryweb Spider Survey 

Female Nurseryweb Spiders, Pisaura mirabilis, are commonly seen in spring and summer, sometimes with large, spherical egg sacs or guarding nursery webs containing a dense ball of spiderlings. They can also have second broods – something we would like more information about. For details visit www.britishspiders.org.uk

 

Cellar Spider Survey 

If you're in your house more these days, we have a great opportunity for you to embrace some of your fellow residents – the Cellar Spiders. With just three species in Britain, they are easy to spot and identify. For details visit www.britishspiders.org.uk

 

Marine

Jellyfish ID Quiz 

By taking part in the Marine Conservation Society’s Jellyfish ID Quiz, participants can help the charity improve its sighting guide. The Jellyfish Survey, which has been running since 2003, has helped identify jellyfish hotspots around the UK. By improving the guide, the charity hopes for even more data in the future.

www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TRNS9ZB

 

Plants

The Deadwood Survey 

Community groups, schools, students, volunteers and nature enthusiasts are invited to complete a Scotland-wide deadwood survey to understand woodland health. Decaying and rotten trees, known as deadwood, are vital for woodland health. Spend time in your woodlands using our free resources to complete the survey. 

 www.tcv.org.uk/scotland/dead-good-deadwood-survey/survey

 

General

Thames WaterBlitz - 25 - 28 September 2020 

The Thames WaterBlitz is a free and fun event open to all in the Thames Valley running from 25th - 28th September. Be a scientist and collect data to protect your local waters. Sign up before 20 September 2020. Find out more: at earthwatch.org.uk/waterblitz

 

If you are interested in helping with any of the surveys please contact the person or see the website listed.

Please see the full listings online at: www.countryside-jobs.com/volunteers/citizen-science

 Logo: Nature Volunteers

Would you like to find UK volunteering opportunities that help nature which match your interests? Visit the Nature Volunteers website https://www.naturevolunteers.uk/ where conservation organisations offer free projects including single short events, placements and being part of a regular team. Projects range from practical management to citizen science and can be anything from a one-off morning beach clean to a weekly butterfly survey. They can be based anywhere in the UK and span a range of suitability from families looking for ways connect with nature, students and conservation professionals seeking to enhance skills to older people wishing to share their time and life experiences to help nature. To find projects that match your interests use the “Find Projects” tab, answer a few simple questions on your interests and the website will present you with all the available projects ordered by how well they match your interests.  You can filter by location and time too. The website provides information on each project and a contact link to the organisation leading the project. The website was created with funding from the Higher Education Innovation Fund and is run by staff and student volunteers at Bournemouth University as part of their way of helping people help nature.     

 

CJS Announcements and articles of interest.

 

CJS Photography Competition: The Winnerslogo: CJS Photography competition

After over a year we've finally reached the end of the competition. It's been incredible to see all your wonderful photos and we feel very privileged to have been able to share them with all our readers.

Each month selecting just one winner seemed to become ever more difficult so picking just one winner from all the entries was a huge undertaking, after narrowing it down to a shortlist of seven we ended up voting for first and second places using a CJS devised system of proportional representation! Ultimately, there were only two votes between first and second place.

Our overall winner: solitary bee (Andrena haemorrhoa) in gorse by Marco McGinty.

orange and black striped bee in the bottom right coner just peeking out of a bright yellow gorse flower (photo: Marco McGinty)


Second Place

antlered red stag walking up a muddy highland burn (photo: Val Gall)

Red stag by Val Gall.

See the full size image here.

When we awarded Val first place back in October for the Wildlife Theme we said: The red stag is a beautifully balanced, perfectly composed and in focus image. Every hair is visible, the texture of the antlers and the spikiness of the gorse, even the water running down the lifted stepping foreleg which together with the disrupted reflection in the water below all come together to create a sense of movement in what is a quite serene image.

Val was "over the moon to have second place" and says: “I was watching a dipper feeding on the edge of water when I heard splashing to my right. A beautiful red deer stag was walking through water heading straight towards me. A very precious moment”.

Overall competition Runners Up

standing stone with collie and walker on either side against a moody purple sky (photo John Johnes)

Lakeland Summer by John Jones

CJS said this is such an atmospheric image and captures a "typical" Lakeland summers day very well! The photo is beautifully balanced with the walker and collie on either side of the standing stone, both braced against the wind and the distant fells a moody purple.

sitting up bank vole holding a flower bud. (image: Adrian Dangerfield)

Bank Vole by Adrian Dangerfield

CJS said: Another great photo, once again in perfect focus from the little paws to every hair and whisker, the russet brown of the vole's fur is somehow made more intense by the bright fallen flowers which also illustrate just how small a creature it is. Adrian says: "the picture wasn’t taken with anything fancy, just my 5 year old Samsung Galaxy Smartphone. I enjoy getting out for walks with my camera but always have my phone with me as a standby. I read somewhere that the best equipment for a photographer is what they have at the time and this was certainly the case."

Readers Choice Winner

pipestrelle bat on green stems during the day (photo by Kim Bliss)

By a significant margin the clear winner is the lovely daytime pipistrelle by Kim Bliss.

Kim says she's: "happy to share this of a pipistrelle bat I found resting at Tilgate Park, woodland in Crawley, West Sussex. It was a rare find that made my day, especially when he had flown at dusk safely! (I hope!)"

The comments show how much this most unusual sight appeals:

Amazing picture and never seen a bat in the daylight.

The photographer must be very observant to have captured this shot. How wonderful to find a pipistrelle slumbering & looking so comfortable.

Beautiful photograph of a rarely seen bat, In daylight too, very impressive, what a great photographer

 

More about the reasons for us running a photography competition here.


See all the winning photos here.

And don't forget to follow our instagram.


CJS extends a helping hand

Offers from CJS to help with recovery from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.

As people begin to return to work and 'office life' starts to awaken from months long slumber here at CJS we recognise that the world we to which we are returning is very different from the one we left behind.  Nature continues on regardless but the organisations and people tasked with caring for the environment are struggling with many problems, not least of which is one of finances;  reduced income from donations and visitors and increased costs of dealing with what's been left behind.

To help with this CJS is offering some discounts in what we're calling bounceback offers - the green shoots of recovery.

For advertisers: All online listings are now only £100, £50 for apprenticeships and voluntary roles. (Basic short text ads are now just £60) For organisations with a small admin team we have a range of additional recruitment services such as a PO box service, then you don't need to worry about dealing with hundreds of applications and we've discounted these too by up to 50%.

For readers: there are the free subscription offers for the Class of 2020 and everyone affected by redundancies (more on these below).

See everything here.

Any new offers will be added here too.

 

 

Features and In Depth Articles.

 

COVID-19 Return to the outdoors and looking ahead

Logo: Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland

Landowners and countryside managers in the United Kingdom and Ireland’s outdoors have faced a challenge like no other during 2020. The response to COVID-19 did not come with industry standards, best practice principles and guidelines, international research or case studies. The challenge was magnified by an exponential increase in demand for visits to outdoor spaces and in many cases a reduction of resources due to staff being placed on temporary furlough leave or lack of access to volunteer support.

The Outdoor Recreation Network (ORN) and Visitor Safety Group (VSG) both provided excellent platforms for collegiate learning and sharing of information from the outset of the global pandemic. The connections forged through previous workshops, seminars and conferences providing the confidence to confide and share learnings.

Through their provision of secretariat services to these two key UK & Ireland wide industry networks, Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland (ORNI) has been well positioned to capture the learnings from the wide range of member organisations.

VSG COVID-19 Recovery Planning Guidance

A sub-group of VSG member organisations developed guidance which seeks to cover the key areas all landowners and countryside managers need to consider and assess when re-opening and managing outdoor public access sites / attractions and associated indoor / enclosed spaces during COVID-19 restrictions.

VSG Risk Control Spectrum diagram
VSG Risk Control Spectrum diagram

As the approach to lockdown and easing of restrictions differs in each jurisdiction, the guidance should be underpinned by the regulations, guidance and advice from the relevant Government. In turn, Government advice continues to constantly evolve so re-evaluation is essential.

When considering the need for, and level of, control measures it is recommended that sites are first assessed in terms of the VSG’s Risk Control Spectrum i.e. the level of staff presence at your site will influence the control measures that are reasonable and practicable to achieve.

This is further explored in ‘Managing Visitor Safety in the Countryside – Principles and Practice’ (3rd Edition), the guidelines consider the following Risk Control Spectrum

The VSG COVID-19 Recovery Planning Guidance considers:

The guidance was supported by a VSG COVID-19 Recovery Planning Webinar (playback and slides available) which provided practical examples applied by landowners and countryside managers.

Returning volunteers safely considerations (Jo Parry, Volunteering Innovation Manager, National Trust)
Returning volunteers safely considerations (Jo Parry, Volunteering Innovation Manager, National Trust)

Returning Volunteers Safely

In recognition of the major role volunteers perform for many landowners and countryside managers, ORN delivered a webinar entitled ‘Returning Volunteers Safely’ (playback and slides available) in which several organisations outlined their challenges and approaches. The webinar discussed the practical considerations for visitor facing and non-visitor facing volunteers.

In addition to the practical considerations, key learnings were excellently framed by Jo Parry, Volunteering Innovation Manager, National Trust

Looking Ahead – what are the public telling us and how do we react?

As we moved into August / September, many landowners and countryside managers began to reflect on the learnings and preparing for the next stages. Key to this reflection and planning was the analysis of results from consumer surveys undertaken during lockdown.

This ORN webinar (playback and slides provided) explored research from across the UK and Ireland looking at how people engaged with the outdoors during and after lockdown – the benefits they gained, the barriers they faced, and the implications for outdoor recreation stakeholders going forward. Insights were provided by Sport Ireland, Sport England, Natural England, 56 Degree Insight and Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland.

In summary, the research across the nations demonstrated an increase in engagement with the outdoors during lockdown i.e. more people are getting outdoors more often. In turn, those getting outdoors more often are experienced higher levels of life satisfaction, happiness and lower levels of anxiety. However, the research also collectively highlighted there is an increased polarization of access to the outdoors i.e. those from the most deprived areas are less likely to spend time outdoors every day.

The challenge for the sector is therefore how we harness the current growth in engagement with the outdoors and also tackle the inequalities that exist.

  

Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland provides secretariat services for both:

Outdoor Recreation Network https://www.outdoorrecreation.org.uk/

Visitor Safety Group https://vscg.org/


 

Discover the Hidden Nature on your doorstep with Heritage Open Days

Logo: Heritage Open Days
Albury Organic Vineyard (Heritage Open Days/Chris Lacey)
Albury Organic Vineyard (Heritage Open Days/Chris Lacey)

For more than 25 years, Heritage Open Days has been an important part of England’s cultural landscape. This year, it is the country’s landscapes and green spaces that are at the heart of the festival.

Uncovering the stories, sites, places and people that traditional history has missed or forgotten has always been at the heart of Heritage Open Days, which returns from 11-20 September.

River Keeper Mark Sankey (Winchester College)
River Keeper Mark Sankey (Winchester College)

The festival is England’s largest celebration of heritage and culture and each year, around 50,000 volunteers commit their time and effort to create events which bring communities together to celebrate the stories that connect them.

This year, with thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, people are being encouraged to open their gates as well as their doors and discover the country’s extraordinary natural heritage.

Annie Reilly, Head of Producing at Heritage Open Days, said: “This year’s theme is Hidden Nature. Over the last few months, as we have coped with various restrictions and limits on our lives, access to nature has become even more important to many of us.

Frog at Urb Farm at Wolverton (Florence Bryant)
Frog at Urb Farm at Wolverton (Florence Bryant)

“Organisers have created activities which are opening up areas of the countryside that aren’t normally accessible and reveal the stories of not just wide-open spaces, but smaller green environments such as community gardens, urban allotments, vineyards, and city farms.”

Hidden Nature highlights include:

Led by River Keeper, Mark Sankey, this tour of the water meadows on the banks of the River Itchen highlights the area’s significant biodiversity and explains how the river and floodwater are managed.

Discover Hidden Nature through historic legal cases heard at Otley Courthouse. Two special online storytelling sessions - tailored for both adults and children - will include bizarre stories about sheep, mice, pigs, chickens, horses and dogs!

Explore this haven for wildlife large and small which is frequented by foxes, toads, woodpeckers and hedgehogs who come to feed, live and find shelter.

Urb Farm at Wolverton (Florence Bryant)
Urb Farm at Wolverton (Florence Bryant)

Heritage Open Days is coordinated and promoted nationally by the National Trust with support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Every single Heritage Open Days event is free, including access to many sites that usually charge for admission.

Last year, 5,700 Heritage Open Days events were organised which welcomed more than 2.4 million visitors. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic means the festival will look a little different this year. For the first time ever, HODs is encouraging digital events, such as virtual tours and online activities, as well as in-person events.

Annie Reilly said: “People can experience virtual tours and take part in online discussions as well as visiting historic places and green spaces in person. This means visitors can just as easily explore events across England, as those on their doorsteps.”

Digital highlights include:

Journey through the historical cookbooks of drinks innovators, Proudfoot & Co. Participants for this live online recipe demonstration will learn about lost ingredients that can still be found in the wild, while learning how to make a variety of creative non-alcoholic drinks.

Discover what happens to your recycling once the bins have gone. The interactive online event will show participants how state of the art technology sorts and separates the recyclables, with a chance to find out more in a myth busting Q&A.

Join a virtual tour around the galleries and through the history of England’s oldest continually inhabited town, from the iron age to car manufacturing. Visitors can even join a live streamed character illustration masterclass with a local children’s author.

Logo: Hidden Nature

Heritage Open Days continues to flourish with more events every year, reflecting the rich and diverse cultural and natural heritage of England and its communities. It is a ‘national local’ festival which is shaped by the individuals and organisations that volunteer their time. There are always new stories to tell and new places to open and the Heritage Open Days team is keen to hear from potential event organisers.

Find events near you

Search for in-person events in your area and browse online activities at www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting

To ensure that visitors are safe and that events can keep to the latest government guidelines, all event details are subject to change or cancellation. Visitors should re-check details on the HODs website and read the festival COVID considerations before confirming their plans.


What a difference a year makes

Logo: London National Park City

by Tim Webb, Trustee of the National Park City Foundation  

Back in August 2019, I shared our excitement at London being declared a National Park City and looked forward to a future where Londoners were all busy working together to make the capital greener, healthier and wilder.

Then came the devastating impact of Covid-19, which didn’t just reveal the cracks in our society, it tore them apart and made them wider and deeper. Our inequalities and the fragility of our lives are now on full display and we were forced to rely upon the goodwill of our communities and the sanctuary offered by our parks and public green spaces.

Covid warning sign on Walthamstow Marshes, Lee Valley (© Tim Webb)
Covid warning sign on Walthamstow Marshes, Lee Valley (© Tim Webb)

In March, London National Park City had just recruited two volunteer coordinators, Ed and Floree, to work with a talented team of volunteer Ranger recruits. The idea was that this team of fifty or so would make the vision a reality by working with their communities sharing skills, motivating and inspiring more people to act.

The pandemic scuppered our first anniversary celebration plans and our Rangers regrouped and emerged with a new plan utilising technology. Physical gatherings gave way to virtual ones. In a way, it has been a levelling experience. Many people can’t attend meetings or find them intimidating. Joining via the safety of an internet connection allowed more people and more diverse people to add their voices and ideas.

Covid-19 is a virus. It has no intent. It recognises no boundaries. We currently have no cure and little in the way of defence. Hygiene and distancing are the key elements we have to protect ourselves. The National Park City vision is a social one and we are determined to keep that as a core value.

Instead of a celebratory first birthday we held a series of online events called A hundred voices. Over the course of three days we had a hundred people, individuals or representatives from all sorts of community groups including some of our own Rangers, giving a fifteen-minute presentation on how they are improving life in London. You can see some of these recordings on our website.

London National Park City 100 Voices virtual event ( © LNPC)
London National Park City 100 Voices virtual event ( © LNPC)

Of course, it’s not just a London thing. We’ve also been promoting the vision to other cities across the UK and around the world. This autumn we will be broadcasting 100 International voices from people sharing how they plan to make their hometowns National Park Cities. Expect people from Newcastle, Seoul, Coventry, Toronto, Cardiff, Adelaide, Belfast, and Glasgow. We aim to have a family of 25 National Park Cities by 2025.

We had good reasons for wanting to expand our family, but the global pandemic has made it more urgent. Greener, healthier and wilder cities are more resilient, better able to cope with future pandemics, climate change and economic strife.

Making better use of our green spaces means more people outdoors more of the time. Improving the number and quality of these green spaces is good for nature and allows us to make best use of the services nature provides, such as pollution and climate control, water management, food production, waste management and energy creation. Being outdoors also means we are more active and improve our own physical and mental wellbeing.

The worldwide outrage at the continued and everyday inequalities of life have added enormously to calls for something better. Sparked and fuelled by Black Lives Matter it welded together the environmental and social movements; No one and no place left behind in our quest for greener, healthier and wilder ways of living.

It is not an empty string of words. The body of evidence supporting the need to bring nature into our lives has grown and is now a strapping full size, hit you in the eye, hunk of muscle attached to a skeleton of steel forged from research, experience and scientific study. The carbon-fuelled world is killing us. I would say no government leader anywhere in the world could argue against nature-based solutions, but I’m sure we can all think of at least one!

Northala Fields, W London. absorbing A40 traffic noise & pollution while also providing amenity space and rainwater storage (© Tim Webb)
Northala Fields, W London. absorbing A40 traffic noise & pollution while also providing amenity space and rainwater storage (© Tim Webb)

Nature based solutions are where we harness the power of our environment to deliver things we need, such as clean air, quality food, energy, the insulating qualities of green roofs and walls, allowing public spaces to act as overflows and reservoirs to reduce flash flooding. They bring a raft of new jobs and economic opportunities. There are health benefits too.

In what could have been one of its last big reports, Public Health England published Improving Access to green space: A new review 2020. The PHE report states “…often greenspace is still seen as a liability rather than an asset.” It goes on to provide evidence for funding parks, including statistics such as:

In London, the return on that £1 investment quoted in the Sheffield example is around £27. Still a significant sum and Londoner’s average age is lower than that of Sheffield. Global trends suggest birth rates are dropping and people are living longer, so the average age across all populations will only rise, as will all the health costs that come with old age.

As I said in 2019. The National Park City vision is a long-term one to win hearts and minds, inspiring behaviour change. It is a licence for simple everyday actions like recycling or sowing seeds to be celebrated for the collective contributions they make to everyone’s lives. Our actions snowball and the impacts are amplified.

Based on recent history I will not attempt to predict where we will be in twelve months’ time. All I will say, is that National Park Cities enable communities to create better places for people and wildlife.

Find out more about London National Park City here


How Safepoint is protecting lone workers in rural settings

Logo: Safepoint

What are the risks?

(Safepoint)
(Safepoint)

Whilst agriculture is often touted as one of the most dangerous sectors in the UK, less attention is paid to environmental and conservation work, which have some vitally important similarities. For example, both industries run a high risk for the most common causes of workplace death: falls from a height, and being struck by a moving vehicle or object. Moreover, workers in these fields are, by their nature, more likely to work alone in remote, hard to access areas that make communication difficult.

How can you protect your lone working staff?

All organisations have responsibilities to their full time, part-time and (to an extent) volunteer workforce. What's more, many people who work within this field may be classed as ‘lone workers’, which simply refers to ’someone who works by themselves without close or direct supervision’. Companies have a legal duty of care to give all their staff reasonable supervision and protection, even if they are working in remote locations.

To start protecting your staff, you will need to create a robust risk assessment. When employing lone workers in rural areas, pay particular attention to their unique situations. Not only are these staff more difficult to reach, but they may be working at heights, or on uneven ground, they may be working with members of the public, or they may be working with animals. Take all these into account and speak to your staff about how to avoid or mitigate these risks.

Of course, some risks can not be avoided. A ranger cannot stop working in uneven ground, a conservationist cannot stop working with animals, and a tree surgeon cannot stop working at height. That’s why organisations must provide suitable supervision and communication should anything go wrong.

In our experience, many companies try to use a walkie-talkie or SMS-based check-in system but unfortunately, there are fundamental flaws with these choices. Not only can human error be a huge issue in these situations, but these manual systems can also fail if someone is knocked unconscious, is separated from their device, or is too injured to call for help. There is also no way to track these devices, nor is it easy for people to accurately describe where they are without access to house numbers or street names.

What is Safepoint and how can it help?

Tasks on the Safepoint app are monitored 24/7 by the GuardianPlus response team (Safepoint)
Tasks on the Safepoint app are monitored 24/7 by the GuardianPlus response team (Safepoint)

Safepoint is a solution for people who work in remote or high-risk areas, particularly lone workers. With their app, staff can quickly sync their daily tasks with their supervisors as well as a team of fully-accredited, expert responders. If a staff member runs into trouble or is unresponsive, an emergency alert is sent out, as well as their real-time location and safety data.

Safepoint’s fully accredited, state-of-the-art monitoring and alarm receiving centre is on hand 24/7/365 (Safepoint)
Safepoint’s fully accredited, state-of-the-art monitoring and alarm receiving centre is on hand 24/7/365 (Safepoint)

Safepoint has been designed to be incredibly easy to use but is packed full of clever behind-the-scenes features. For instance, Safepoint uses what3words technology, so that responders can easily pinpoint workers in remote locations (with up to 3m of accuracy). Safepoint also uses fall detection and time-based alerts. If connectivity is an issue, Safepoint can operate on the lowest levels of signal and data and, if a staff member goes into a complete black-spot, their first responders can still use historical data to map the user’s location.

Because of Safepoint’s unique ability to protect workers in rural locations, it was made an official partner of the AF group, the UK’s Leading farmer-owned buying group. Speaking of the new partnership, Michael Simnett, Communications Projects Lead for the AF Group, says:

“We have been looking for a system that gives farm owners and farm managers the ability to look out for the welfare of their staff, especially during tasks undertaken whilst working alone. Mental health and farm safety are key areas within the farming industry with owners looking out for the wellbeing of their staff. The Safepoint system is very user friendly, easy to navigate and a perfect for all types of memberships of our AF members”.

Agricultural worker Tim Kitson’s tragic accident led him to start using Safepoint’s staff protection system. Image from the EDP
Agricultural worker Tim Kitson’s tragic accident led him to start using Safepoint’s staff protection system. Image from the EDP

How is Safepoint protecting lone workers and high-risk staff?

Right now, Safepoint is protecting staff across the UK in a range of sectors. They are not only working with agricultural and environmental companies but also in construction, renewable energy, social care, utilities, property management and more.

What’s more, Safepoint is not just working with large companies but is also protecting independent workers. Tim Kitson is a Norfolk based potato adviser who started using Safepoint after suffering a serious injury on a farm. Mr Kitson was walking across a platform in a potato store when it gave way last autumn. He fell onto the concrete floor, breaking his skull, wrist and thigh. He was only able to access help after crawling out of the store and across a field, where he was able to shout out to another farmworker. Now Tim is one of the many rural workers protected by the Safepoint system.

If you’d like to try Safepoint yourself, you can sign up for a 14 day, no credit card required free trial through their website. In just a few minutes you can create a new account and start protecting your entire team. If you have any questions, you can also call Safepoint on 0808 178 0102.


Lockdown litter is an exacerbation of a national problem

Logo: Keep Scotland Beautiful
Our Campaign Officer Heather McLaughlin carrying out citizen science survey (Keep Scotland Beautiful)
Our Campaign Officer Heather McLaughlin carrying out citizen science survey (Keep Scotland Beautiful)

By Heather McLaughlin, Campaign Officer

Scotland is facing a litter emergency. Annual surveys carried out by Keep Scotland Beautiful have shown that litter levels have been increasing significantly, with 2018 being the worst on record in over a decade.

And while the challenging events of the last few months provided an opportunity for all of us to spend more time in our local area helping us to appreciate and value the places we live, it also gave us a unique opportunity to reflect on the declining environmental standards of our communities, to notice the litter and dog fouling that we might otherwise have passed by.

Our recent polling confirmed that 29% of people asked believed that the amount of litter had got worse over the lockdown period and that 34% believe that the amount of dog fouling had got worse during the same time frame.

Dog fouling social media card #FinishTheJobbie available (Bag it and bin it) (Keep Scotland Beautiful)
Dog fouling social media card #FinishTheJobbie available (Bag it and bin it) (Keep Scotland Beautiful)

This perceived decline has been sharply brought into focus as lockdown measures have begun to lift, with more people enjoying the great outdoors as their playground, often without understanding the consequences of their fun and the impact of their behaviours on others. We have all seen horrific images shared across the media of our iconic beauty spots trashed with abandoned campsites, tents, fires, litter and human waste left for others to clear. But, this issue isn’t just impacting our tourist hotspots, it is affecting communities across the country. And, sadly we have acknowledged that we all need to do much more, and in different ways, to tackle this behaviour.

And the issue is more important that some acknowledge. It is more than unsightly. Litter hurts our economy. Clearing litter in Scotland costs the public purse more than £1million a week. Litter discourages much needed visitors and customers to our town centres. It has indirect costs such as negative impacts on house prices and higher crime levels. And it can impact our health and wellbeing – physically and mentally.

Across Scotland many people we support have become enraged at the selfish actions of others and have started to consider how they might make a difference. We have heard heroic tales of communities and individuals becoming true ‘lockdown litter’ heroes, some of which we have been able to recognise with awards.

Linlithgow Loch Litter (Keep Scotland Beautiful)
Linlithgow Loch Litter (Keep Scotland Beautiful)

As a charity we have worked to make people aware of the consequences of littering behaviour for over 60 years. We know that litter is a complex problem. It divides communities into those that are frustrated and don’t understand the drivers behind the behaviour, and those that don’t seem to acknowledge their actions are illegal and effect people. Every community is different. This means every community has a unique set of problems, drivers and behaviours to tackle. But we also know, through our work across Scotland that every community can make an impact – sweeping up at the shop front, planting flowers to make the place cared for, carrying out litter picks and amplifying national campaign messages at a local level.

As the Scottish Government continues to ease aspects of the restrictions put in place to help tackle Covid-19 we all have an opportunity, personally and professionally, to get out and do something about lockdown litter. We all need to be positive, proactive and collaborative in tackling this problem and preventing it from getting worse.

We have been encouraged by take up of the national campaign ‘Scotland is Stunning. Let’s keep it that way’ led by the Scottish Government and Zero Waste Scotland with our support, and are encouraging our partners, local authorities, schools and community groups to get involved in sharing the messages to #BinYourLitter and #TakeItHome to protect and enhance the places they care about. We are also working with other partners, including VisitScotland and the national parks to organically share the #KeepScotlandBeautiful message via influencers online.

Yet, whilst it’s important to have a clear national campaign message and we welcome that this obvious gap has been filled after a long absence, bespoke activity is also needed on the ground to tackle the unique problems communities are facing and change the local behaviours causing them.

There has clearly been a lockdown litter effect, and we know that the national picture is one of decline, but we recognise that we can reverse these trends with people power, working with individuals, businesses and communities.

Parks #TakeItHome litter collateral available for download (Keep Scotland Beautiful)
Parks #TakeItHome litter collateral available for download (Keep Scotland Beautiful)

We want to empower people to use the new litter survey tool we launched in July and to approach us for support with template campaign materials and designing and implementing local interventions to target specific behaviours causing the problems they’ve identified from their surveys. We really believe, and have evidence, that there are tried and tested local solutions that can be communicated through localised campaigning and interventions once the true issues have been identified.

This September we are also joining forces with Keep Britain Tidy to encourage people to get out and organise a litter pick locally to them in family or small groups as part of the Great British September Clean.

If you’d like to join us as we work to support communities to tackle litter in the places they love, why not get in touch to find out how we can help you.

We know that preventing litter in our communities is key to protecting the places that matter to all of us. As we move towards the promised green and just recovery we must acknowledge the important role our local environments have to play in supporting our society’s health, wealth and wellbeing and recognise our collective responsibility to ensure we succeed in keeping Scotland beautiful.

www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org


Towards an accessible countryside

Open Country - celebrating 30 years of being out there together

By David Shaftoe, Open Country

Easy Going walkers at Burnsall in Wharfedale (Open Country)
Easy Going walkers at Burnsall in Wharfedale (Open Country)

Open Country, the Yorkshire-based charity for whom I work, gives people with a disability the chance to access and enjoy the countryside by providing a wide variety of outdoor activities, including walking, cycling, nature conservation projects, wildlife study and outings. We also offer a wealth of access publications, advice and training.

We were established exactly 30 years ago to examine why so few apparently disabled people visited the countryside. Three decades on, the national picture is much brighter but there remains a substantial amount of work to be done to deliver a truly inclusive countryside.

Open Country has always had a ‘can-do’ approach to improving ‘access for all’. Some staff members have been countryside managers themselves and we would rather work with oft-beleaguered land managers than against them. There is much to be gained from encouraging inclusive access, as disabled people are a powerful force for good in the countryside. Each year for example, our conservation work parties complete around 2,000 work days in the countryside – an in-kind contribution of volunteer time of over £100,000. At a difficult time economically, when many budgets are being re-evaluated, the countryside industry surely needs all the friends that it can get and encouraging more people to discover the great outdoors can only be beneficial for our Industry.

There can be a dearth of information on the subject of ‘access for all’. One good source is ‘By All Reasonable Means’ (2017) an inclusive access guide re-written by Natural Resources Wales as part of its Equality Act 2010 commitment to ensuring access to the countryside and open spaces is equally available to people of all ages, circumstances and backgrounds. It is designed to help countryside and natural resource managers improve accessibility of their sites, routes and facilities, particularly for people who have limited opportunities to enjoy these places. The aim is to provide a realistic, practical and effective approach to access improvements, creating more access, in more places, for more people. Most importantly for countryside managers, the publication has really useful access standards, which are easy to follow.

Open Country agrees with the principle that access improvements will benefit all visitors. ‘Accessibility’ should be addressed in its widest sense, embracing all the protected characteristics identified by the Equality Act (2010).

Harrogate Tandem Club on Harrogate Stray (Open Country)
Harrogate Tandem Club on Harrogate Stray (Open Country)

With just a small fraction of the countryside fully accessible, doing nothing is not an option. We espouse the principle of ‘Least Restrictive Access’ - an approach that aims for the highest standards reasonably possible for a particular piece of work. To illustrate the principle, a visitor attraction we use holds snowdrop walks for a few weeks each year. Clearly, undertaking major access improvement works is not an economic or realistic option. However they painted prominent tree roots and overhanging branches in brilliant white so that, at the very least, some visually-impaired people could navigate their way round the walk more safely. Disabled people do not expect heaven and earth to be moved for them; neither should they expect to be ignored.

Physical access is just one of the barriers facing disabled people wanting to access the countryside. However it remains the pivotal consideration. It is important to remember that any barrier, however well-intentioned, will be a barrier to someone. As an example, stiles are sources of despair and injury to walkers, both disabled and non-disabled, the country over. A phased replacement of all stiles nationally is surely long overdue? It is notable that sustainable travel charity Sustrans has a goal to remove or redesign all 16,000 barriers on the National Cycle Network to make it accessible to everyone, with no barriers in place, for continuous travel for everyone.

Moth trapping at Nosterfield Nature Reserve (Open Country)
Moth trapping at Nosterfield Nature Reserve (Open Country)

Other barriers to welcoming disabled people into the countryside can include a lack of accessible information, lack of support, lack of accessible transport and lack of financial resources. Thus it is important to think widely - a countryside manager could foreseeably have the most physically accessible site in the country and yet still have few disabled visitors if other access factors have not been considered.

There is no room for complacency. Improving access is a continuum and it is usually possible to enhance the visitor experience at sites that are already deemed ‘accessible’. Expectations of accessible infrastructure change and what were seen as ‘accessible’ barriers twenty years ago may now be met with scorn. Furthermore, evolving technology means that new developments like audio walks, off-road scooters and hand-cranked trikes are opening up hitherto inaccessible countryside to more disabled people.

Disabilities are legion and everyone is an Individual, so it is important to solicit as wide a range of views as possible. For example, an electric scooter user, however well-intentioned, may have little worthwhile to say on the experiences of someone with agoraphobia or an assistance dog. A truly inclusive approach to access by definition involves considering the needs of everyone.

It is important to listen, rather than presuming to know what disabled people want or need. For example, our tandem cycling clubs are now a cornerstone of our work and yet arose from one chance conversation with a member who sustained a brain injury from a cycling accident as a schoolboy and subsequently wished to cycle again. In trying to accommodate his needs as an individual, we unintentionally spawned something that now benefits hundreds of people each year.

‘Build it and they will come’. It’s true – adopt a positive attitude to inclusive access and you’ll rarely be disappointed! Time and time again we find that sites and organisations that invest time, thought and yes, money in improving access will reap the benefits in increased visitor figures by the disability community. To illustrate, both Redcar and Bridlington on the Yorkshire coast seem to have seen their access enhancement on their seafronts amply rewarded by more and more visitors using wheelchairs.

As we celebrate our 30th Anniversary, Open Country knows there is still much work to be done to achieve a truly accessible countryside. Contact us if you would like to work together. For more information about our work, visit visit www.opencountry.org.uk


The work of Yorkshire Peat Partnership and why it matters

Logo:Yorkshire Peat Partnership

By Lyndon Marquis, Communications Officer

The sundew has adapted to its nutrient poor environment by consuming insects (Lizzie Shepherd)
The sundew has adapted to its nutrient poor environment by consuming insects (Lizzie Shepherd)

Blanket bog is (in England) an upland peatland habitat, occurring from around 200m upwards, generally on flat or gently sloping ground where drainage is poor. Few plants are adapted to the acidic, infertile conditions found on the deepest peat (which can be several metres in depth) and sphagnum (bog mosses) and cottongrasses predominate. You will also find dwarf-shrubs such as heather, bilberry, cranberry and crowberry, and the carnivorous sundew.

The UK has 13% of the world’s blanket bog, and we estimate Yorkshire holds around 86,377 ha - around 24% of England’s total resource – storing over 38,000 tonnes of carbon. In addition to locking up millennia of carbon, healthy blanket bog helps to slow the flow of water from the uplands into rivers and streams, filters our drinking water and provides habitat for some amazing wildlife. Formed over thousands of years, it has taken just six decades to devastate Yorkshire's peatlands.

Most damage occurred between the 1950s and 1980s, when the government incentivised landowners to drain the land for “agricultural improvement”. Drainage channels – known as grips – were dug across vast tracts of blanket bog, which still criss-cross the landscape today.

The grips drained rainfall off the peat, lowering the water table dramatically. As the condition of the bogs deteriorated, running water gradually started to cut its own channels – gullies – into the habitat. Sphagnum and other peat forming plants struggled to survive in this newly drying environment; over 80% of Yorkshire’s blanket bog has been damaged in this way. As the surface vegetation dried out, the peat underneath was exposed, with two major impacts:

  • the carbon stored within the peat was released into the atmosphere
  • the peat was washed into the grips and then into our river systems.

As water ran into the grips and gullies, erosion spiralled with more flowing water creating deeper and wider gullies; leaving huge areas of bare, exposed broken peat landscapes.

Fleet Moss from the air - you can clearly see the grips as pairs of parallel lines (Alistair Lockhart)
Fleet Moss from the air - you can clearly see the grips as pairs of parallel lines (Alistair Lockhart)

Yorkshire Peat Partnership began in 2009, as an umbrella organisation led by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, to try to coordinate the restoration of the badly degraded blanket bog of northern Yorkshire. Since then, we have become the primary organisation coordinating the delivery of upland peatland restoration across the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the North York Moors National Park, Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and northern parts of the South Pennines. We are also delivering peatland restoration in parts of Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and work with other organisations on restoration sites across the North of England. We work closely with landowners, agents, gamekeepers, farmers and contractors to help restore Yorkshire’s internationally important blanket bog.

Restoring this habitat is hard work. Due to restrictions on accessing the land we restore (90% is privately owned), we have to work throughout the autumn and winter. In the wild, remote landscapes in which blanket bog occurs, weather conditions can be extremely harsh and the team must contend with snow, ice and freezing winds.

Before we begin work on restoring an area of peatland, we first need to understand exactly what the damage is and how the landscape works. This includes:

  • how water moves on the landscape when it rains
  • what vegetation is growing there
  • the depth and steepness of the gullies.

We spend a lot of time surveying a restoration site to obtain this information. With permission of the landowner, we go over a site on foot and also use Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to help us capture the data we need.

Coir logs holding back water in Bishopdale - you can see sphagnum growing up the logs (Lyndon Marquis)
Coir logs holding back water in Bishopdale - you can see sphagnum growing up the logs (Lyndon Marquis)

There are various techniques we use to help a degraded peatland to thrive again, but all restoration comes down to correcting the hydrology. Nothing can happen until we have brought the water table back to the surface.

By blocking grips and gullies, we raise the water table, which helps to re-saturate the land and provide conditions for re-establishing the habitat architect: sphagnum. Over 1,700 kilometres of grips and gullies have been blocked by Yorkshire Peat Partnership so far - more than the distance from Skipton to St Tropez!

We use a variety of materials to block the grips. We prefer to use peat or other material found naturally on peatlands, but sometimes the damage is so extensive that we need to use wood, coir (in the form of “logs”) or stone.

Sphagnum divinum - one of the key peat-forming species of sphagnum (Jenny Sharman)
Sphagnum divinum - one of the key peat-forming species of sphagnum (Jenny Sharman)

“Hagging” in gullies and grips is a problem – this is when slopes of bare peat are too steeply angled to allow vegetation to grow. We use diggers to “reprofile” these erosion features. This basically means lowering the gradient of the slopes and then covering them with a layer of vegetation. Shallower sloping and surface roughness slow the flow of water which, in turn, slows the rate of erosion and allows plants to recolonise. Our contractors’ diggers have been modified to spread out their weight to exert less ground pressure than a human foot.

We plant a range of sphagnum mosses and cottongrass on the bare peat so it is less vulnerable to erosion. The sphagnum will eventually form more peat, and helps to further slow the flow of rain running off the peatlands, as well as filtering our water.

Yorkshire Peat Partnership is managed by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust – all the staff are Trust employees – in partnership with Yorkshire Water, Natural England, North York Moors National Park Authority, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and the Environment Agency with support from the Moorland Association, National Trust, Nidderdale AONB, and the National Farmers Union.

Find out more at yppartnership.org.uk


Playing it Safe

Logo: Adventure Smart

The lure of the great outdoors has never been greater. After months of lockdown people are heading to the coast and countryside for outdoor adventures in ever increasing numbers. This has to be a good thing - the much cited mental and physical benefits don’t need reiterating to us outdoor professionals. Hopefully there are additional benefits to come from greater numbers with a love and respect for our environment. However, at the moment that’s hard to appreciate with social media full of images of litter strewn mountains and beaches and the RNLI / Mountain Rescue / H M Coastguard inundated with call-outs to the unprepared and ill-informed. Which brings me to the question which we have been pondering for the last 4 years - how do we communicate safety in a way that people will take notice?

Walkers in the Snowdonia mountains Copyright Nigel Shepherd
Copyright Nigel Shepherd

We’ve spent a lot of time looking at how UK organisations provide their safety information and we’ve looked further afield to see how they do it in Canada, New Zealand and Scandinavia. There is no doubt that the prospect of coming face-to-face with a cougar or grizzly bear tends to get peoples’ attention but unfortunately that is not a card we can play in the UK. Some organisations use number of call-outs and even number of fatalities to encourage people to plan for their trip but there is little evidence that this works - their teams are busier than ever. The truth is that many people are unaware of the potential hazards, unable to assess the risks associated with their chosen adventure and therefore clueless when it comes to knowing what action to take to stay safe. The ‘fear of death’ approach to safety comms can also have the unintended consequence of scaring those who might benefit from it most, into not heading out at all.

Two people riding mountain bikes in the countryside Copyright Tom Hutton
Copyright Tom Hutton

Out of all this pondering AdventureSmartWales was born. With the support of Welsh Government, many of the organisations with an interest in outdoor recreation put their combined heads together to take a fresh look at how we talk about safety. Our aim was clear; to reduce the number of avoidable call-outs to emergency services. Not wanting to re-invent the wheel we shamelessly cherry picked the best from the best and together we put together a set of messages which everyone could dip into to ensure that we gave consistent, good advice.

Word got around and in 2018 the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association offered to fund the expansion of AdventureSmart Wales into AdventureSmart UK. AdventureSmart UK isn’t an organisation, it’s a campaign driven by a small team of enthusiastic people, supported by a growing (currently 70+) partnership of outdoor and tourism organisations. Our ask is that our partners work with us to re-think how we talk about safety in the outdoors and adopt the AdventureSmart ethos in their safety comms. Our ambition is that AdventureSmart achieves awareness at a level similar to the Countryside Code, owned by no-one but used by all!

A group of walkers waling along a road Copyright Alun Disley
Copyright Alun Disley

Over the years, clarity has begun to emerge from the fog of safety messaging and AdventureSmart UK is built around the basic premise of whatever your adventure ask yourself 3 questions before you set off......

Do I know what the weather will be like?

As we are all used to in the UK, the weather has the potential to make or spoil your day. This doesn’t have to mean that a spot of drizzle or even a howling gale has to stop us in our tracks. Like a good Scout, being prepared and adapting your plans is the key to being in control of your day. Check the weather forecast – the Met Office is a good place to start.

PS Remember that most unusual occurrence of a cloudless sky can also cause problems (take care to avoid heat stroke!).

Do I have the right gear?

If that question prompts you to ask ‘what is the right gear?’ then you need help! Kit doesn’t need to be expensive but does need to keep you warm and dry and, in the case of boots, needs to fit well; there is nothing like a blister to ruin a good day’s walking! If your adventure involves heading out on the water then a well-fitted and well-maintained buoyancy aid is essential.

Do I have the knowledge and skills for the day?

Adventure allows us to step outside our immediate comfort zone and is a great way to repeatedly rediscover a zest for life. Being AdventureSmart simply means that you are thinking about your own experience and skills. Choosing an adventure that you know that is within you and your companions skillset is part of the fun – and if you want to do something that pushes beyond this, there are many ways to find a guide or instructor to help you.

Personal gorge scrambling Copyright Ray Wood
Copyright Ray Wood

If you score 3/3 on these questions, off you go, have a fantastic day! If not, go to AdventureSmart.uk to find the answers you need to be kitted up and in the know to be safe!

The benefit of all our partners singing to the same ‘safety hymn sheet’ is that the public gets consistency of messages, delivered in a friendly and positive manner. Another major advantage is that by working with AdventureSmart and by using the #beadventuresmart in your social media, other organisations will help share your messages, potentially reaching new audiences. From Oct 2019 to Feb 2020 #beadventuresmart had a reach of 1.76 million.

There is still a lot of work to be done. Currently we have two regions (Wales and Lake District) who have their own geographically specific information on AdventureSmart.uk; we would love to have other regions join so that we offer a one-stop-shop for safety information in the UK outdoors. We need to look at the data and become more evidence based. At present we take a common sense approach to matching messages to issues but that doesn’t always mean we get it right, for example people might be tripping due to low blood sugar levels rather than inappropriate footwear. Perhaps most importantly of all we would love to see an end to the ‘Safety Information’ tab. Chances are those who need the information most won’t click on it. Let’s work together as an industry to integrate our safety information into our online and printed materials.

If you would like to know more or are interested in becoming an AdventureSmart partner please contact Paul Donovan (escape.routes@btinternet.com) or Emma Edwards-Jones (emma@snowdonia-active.com)

 


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.

 

 Land and Countryside Management.

Five local authorities announced to trailblaze England’s nature recovery pilots - Natural England

Five pilot areas will test how the recovery of England’s landscapes and wildlife can be driven locally

Cornwall, Buckinghamshire, Greater Manchester, Northumberland and Cumbria local authorities have been selected by the government today [Friday 14 August] to help kick-start nature recovery on a countrywide scale.

The selected authorities will receive a share of £1 million of funding to set up ‘Local Nature Recovery Strategies’ (LNRS) pilot studies to help map the most valuable sites and habitats for wildlife in their area and identify where nature can be restored. This could see the creation of wildflower habitat for pollinators, green spaces for people, or new woodlands and wetlands which are important for both healthy communities and in the fight against climate change.

The pilots will enable local authorities to set out their local priorities for restoring and linking up habitats so species can thrive, and agree the best places to help nature recover, plant trees, restore peatland, mitigate flood and fire risk, and create green spaces for local people to enjoy.

The forthcoming Environment Bill will go even further – requiring all areas in England to establish LNRSs. This will help bring a broad range of groups together – from farmers to businesses to local communities – to deliver priorities for nature recovery at a local and national level. The pilots will also help kick-start the creation of over a million acres of habitats for wildlife.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “Coronavirus is shining a light on the importance of our natural world, and the positive impact nature can have on our health and well-being. These first pilots will be a key part of our green recovery and help kick-start the creation of over a million acres of joined up habitats that people can enjoy across the country.”

 

National land management charity, the Land Trust, leads call on Government for exemption under VAT Act 1994, to enable charities to deliver significant benefit to communities - The Land Trust

National land management charity, the Land Trust is leading a coalition of organisations calling on Government to add non-public bodies who manage public parks and green spaces for public benefit, to the list of exemptions under Section 33 of the VAT Act 1994, and thereby support those delivering significant benefits to communities.

In a joint letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Chief Executive of the Land Trust, Euan Hall, and the Chief Executives of Groundwork UK, Fields in Trust, Landscape Institute and The Conservation Volunteers, outlined the incredibly vital part that green spaces played during the Covid-19 lockdown, why charities such as the Land Trust should be allowed under Section 33 to recover VAT, and how doing so would enhance their work, enabling them to deliver significant further benefit to communities.

Section 33 currently prevents the organisation from recovering VAT incurred undertaking the management of parks and green spaces, despite them being managed for public benefit.

This recommended change would bring far reaching and life changing consequences to the health and wellbeing of much of the UK community.

 

Just published – London Green Spaces Commission Report - Parks for London

We warmly welcome the London’s Green Spaces Commission Report, which looks at a collaborative approach to securing the future of London’s parks and green spaces and improving access for all.

During this pandemic our parks and green spaces have been life savers for many Londoners. So publishing the London Green Spaces Commission Report now, is timely as landowners rethink how public space can be better designed, managed and accessed in the future.

We cannot take these cherished spaces for granted nor can we limit their reach to just the park boundaries. As we re-conceptualise these spaces it is important that we work collaboratively to weave green infrastructure throughout London’s urban fabric to reach all communities, to make London a healthier, fairer and more resilient city.

The report recognises the role of Parks for London as a key player in building greater collaboration and sharing good practice across London; and that the charity has a pivotal role in developing a more collective approach as to how London’s parks and green spaces are managed and funded in the future.

 

Legion of citizen scientists to work with leading conservationists in Cairngorms - Plantlife

© Laurie Campbell
© Laurie Campbell

A new ambitious 4-year project led by Plantlife Scotland, supported by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the Cairngorms National Park Authority and funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, is looking to channel people’s love of the Cairngorms to help save wildflower meadows, rare pinewood plants and arctic alpine flora of the internationally important Cairngorms.

The unique wild flora of the UK’s largest national park is severely threatened by habitat loss and climate change. Action will be taken for:

Rare and beautiful Caledonian pinewood plant species such as the elusive one flowered wintergreen – one of our rarest pinewood flowers, and the fairy like twinflower (pictured above), beloved for its tiny, pink, bell shaped flowers. The remaining isolated populations of these species are now on the verge of extinction, struggling to produce seed for future generations. These species will be the focus of the most dramatic translocation work to bolster populations and increase genetic diversity.

The mountain habitats of the Cairngorms are home to the most arctic alpine vegetation found in the UK, including extensive areas of arctic-boreal heaths in Britain, rich in cloudberry, reindeer lichen and bearberry. These hardiest of species shelter in snow-beds – at the edge of their natural range, and with nowhere left to go, they act as an indicator of climate change. Monitoring these species using new technology will help scientists understand the pressures on this fast-changing habitat from climate change and atmospheric pollution.

Cairngorms few remaining wildflower-rich acid grasslands are often overlooked and ailing but can support a myriad of wildflowers such as heath bedstraw, tormentil, devil’s bit scabious and harebell, whilst remnants of unimproved grasslands can sport colourful and rare waxcap fungi and the upland hay meadows are home to sweet vernal grass, wood cranesbill and melancholy thistle.

Our ambitions are to...

Plantlife’s Gwenda Diack, project manager, said “We want people to re-connect with the rich wild plant heritage of this truly special part of Scotland, whether through the rekindling of wild plant folklore, celebrating current uses or taking action to help save rare plants.The Rare Plants and Wild Connections project will harness the power of citizen science and our love for the Cairngorms to restore and protect some of the rare plants and fungi of our pinewoods, meadows and mountains”.

 

Put Working Conservationists at the heart of conservation policy, says the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust - Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT)

(image: Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust)
(image: Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust)

The unsung heroes of conservation are being celebrated by a new website, Working for Wildlife, launched by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT). The website profiles what the GWCT calls ‘Working Conservationists’: farmers and land managers across the UK who have made a long-term commitment to manage their land for the benefit of wildlife. The website also invites supporters to sign a pledge supporting the GWCT’s demand for a more positive approach to conservation, which empowers those working on the land and embraces the views of local communities.

Since its beginning in 1932 the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust has championed the idea of ‘Working Conservation’. The Trust’s scientific research was inspired by wanting to find practical solutions to reversing the decline of farmland biodiversity. It recognised early on that success depended on developing measures that fitted into farming regimes.

“It’s common to think of nature reserves when thinking of wildlife but, in fact, the majority of our wildlife lives on farmland, moorland, in woodland and in rivers outside nature reserves,” says Dr Roger Draycott, who advises farmers and land managers on behalf of the GWCT. “While the growing demand for food production has impacted on wildlife”, continues Roger, “there are lots of examples across the UK of local wildlife recovery where nature is thriving thanks to the efforts of the farmers and land managers who work in the countryside – but these successes often go unrecognised. The aim of the Working for Wildlife website is to highlight and build upon the efforts of these Working Conservationists.”

 

Arboriculture, Woodland and Trees

Wood that inspired Roald Dahl will be destroyed by HS2 this autumn - Woodland Trust

An important site for nature and for literature, Jones Hill Wood faces destruction in autumn 2020. Credit: Philip Formby / WTML
An important site for nature and for literature, Jones Hill Wood faces destruction in autumn 2020. Credit: Philip Formby / WTML

Nearly half of the wood said to have inspired Roald Dahl to write Fantastic Mr Fox will be destroyed for HS2 this autumn.

The author was known to be a regular visitor to Jones Hill Wood, near Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire, where some 0.7 hectares of the 1.8ha site – home to bats, badgers, tawny owls, bluebells, dog’s mercury, dog’s violet, primroses and of course foxes - will be dug up.

Sitting amongst rolling British farmland, Jones Hill Wood is dominated by beech trees with an understorey of mostly holly. The dense canopy of beech provides a unique setting which allows for moss and shade tolerant plants to thrive in the open glades between the trees. The carpets of beech nuts on the woodland floor provide a particularly satisfying crunch as you walk through this ancient wood.

It is one of 20 ancient woodlands across Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Staffordshire totalling 19.45 hectares that HS2 contractors will attempt to translocate from 1 October. Translocation is the moving of woodland soils from one place to another in the hope that the woodland will re-grow, but there is very little evidence of its success. Natural England guidance clearly states that an ‘ancient woodland ecosystem cannot be moved’. It is therefore not an appropriate alternative to conservation in situ.

 

Third Woodland Carbon Guarantee auction now open for applications - Defra

Land managers offered guaranteed income for tree planting after third auction of Woodland Carbon Guarantee is announced.

£10m available from the scheme’s £50m pot for farmers and land managers to create new woodlands to help tackle the effects of climate change.

Scheme gives land managers the option to sell Woodland Carbon Units to the government at a guaranteed price protected against inflation.

Previous auction helped stimulate 1,517 hectares of tree planting.

Farmers and land managers across England are encouraged to apply for the Woodland Carbon Guarantee scheme by 11 October, ahead of the next auction which will take place online between 26 October to 1 November.

The Woodland Carbon Guarantee is a Forestry Commission administered £50 million scheme that aims to help accelerate woodland planting rates and permanently remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

New tree planting projects are eligible for long-term payments for the amount of carbon a new woodland will store, providing new income for farmers and land managers.

 

Vote to crown England’s Tree of the Year 2020 - Woodland Trust

The Crouch Oak (Tess Chan)
The Crouch Oak (Tess Chan)

A sycamore laced with the shoes of jubilant students, a haunted oak bound in chains and a Hackney Plane facing the chop are just three of ten contenders for this year’s Tree of the Year title.

The Woodland Trust’s annual competition, now in its seventh year, throws the spotlight on the nation‘s best trees to help drive up interest in their value and protection. The contest, supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery, takes place across Britain, with Wales and Scotland also each to crown a winner.

Whittled down from hundreds of nominations sent in by the general public during lockdown, a shortlist of ten trees is now up for the public vote. By going online at http://woodlandtrust.org.uk people can choose their favourite and crown England’s Tree of the Year for 2020. Voting closes at noon on September 24.

 

Ecology and Biodiversity.

International declaration agreed - The Scottish Government

Calls for global biodiversity action at all levels.

The Scottish Government is leading a global push to ensure action is taken at all levels to protect biodiversity.

A statement of intent, known as The Edinburgh Declaration, has been agreed between subnational, regional and local governments across the world and calls on the Convention on Biodiversity to take bold action to halt biodiversity loss.

It also calls for greater prominence be given to the role subnational governments, cities and local authorities play in delivering a new global framework of targets, set to be agreed next year.

The Programme for Government 2019/20 committed to take account of the new post-2020 international biodiversity framework as part of work to address biodiversity loss. The Edinburgh Declaration is the result of a year-long collaboration across international governments and organisations. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Scotland’s commitment to host and lead an international workshop to drive these discussions moved to a ground-breaking online format over the summer.

Chief Executive of NatureScot Francesca Osowska said: “The Edinburgh Declaration puts Scotland on the international stage, a clear sign of our intent to tackle biodiversity loss and protect nature. This isn’t just about conservation, enriching our nature is also part of the solution to the climate emergency and is a vital part of a green recovery from Covid-19. Global targets for nature and climate change aren’t just set by nation states - it also needs the world’s subnational governments, agencies - and all of us - to push for transformational change.”

The Edinburgh Declaration is available to view on the Scottish Government website.

 

Drastic planning reforms could destroy nature’s future - RSPB

view across winterbourne Downs, grassland with orchid with in foreground RSPB Winterbourne Downs (photo credit: Patrick Cashman)
RSPB Winterbourne Downs (photo credit: Patrick Cashman)

The government is approaching a “fork in the road” that could “change the course of the future for nature” as it plans to shake up the country’s planning system, wildlife conservation charity the RSPB has warned.

Today the UK’s largest conservation organisation the RSPB is asking people to speak up for nature and ensure wildlife in their local area is protected and make sure the wildlife that brought us so much solace during lockdown is not endangered by proposals for a radically different planning system.

Alice Hardiman, Head of Policy & Advocacy, RSPB England said: “During the most restrictive parts of lockdown we heard how people across the country connected with the nature in their local area like never before and how those who lived in urban areas longed for better access to green and beautiful wildlife havens. But the wildlife that brought us so much solace is just a fraction of what should be there.”

Last month the government published dramatic proposals to transform England’s planning system which could see vital wildlife havens covered with concrete before we even know they are there, make it faster and easier to develop on local wildlife habitats and fail to deliver the greenspaces communities desperately need.

The government has the chance to step up as a guardian for nature and ensure every community has access to green spaces riches in nature or sacrifice vital legal protections and watch as the nature’s future is destroyed.

Alice added: “Some of the most important protections for the incredible nature on our doorstep come from planning laws and regulations. With one in ten UK species at risk of extinction and more than 50% in decline, the planning proposals put the country at a fork in the road."

 

Publication

NatureScot Research Report 1205 - Badger impacts on biodiversity and agriculture in Scotland - a literature review

This literature review details the work that has been published about badger predation and feeding activity in Scotland.

It reveals that there has been relatively little research in Scotland to identify how badger predation and feeding activity are impacting wildlife and agriculture in Scotland or how their impacts relate to changes in badger abundance/distribution.

Download the report (PDF)

   

Government Announcements, Policy and responses.

World-leading new law to protect rainforests and clean up supply chains - Defra

Legislation would make it illegal for larger businesses to use products unless they comply with local laws to protect natural areas.

Plans to clamp down on illegal deforestation and protect rainforests have been published by the government today (25 August) as it consults on a world-leading new law to clean up the UK’s supply chains.

The proposals would prohibit larger businesses operating in the UK from using products grown on land that was deforested illegally. These businesses would be required to carry out due diligence on their supply chains by publishing information to show where key commodities – for example, cocoa, rubber, soy and palm oil – came from and that they were produced in line with local laws protecting forests and other natural ecosystems.

Businesses that fail to comply would be subject to fines, with the precise level to be set at a later date.

Protecting forests is central to tackling climate change, with deforestation accounting for 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The vast majority of deforestation – 80% – is caused by the production of agricultural commodities and most deforestation – up to 90% in some countries – is illegal. The destruction and degradation of these vital habitats also increases the risk of extreme weather events, drives biodiversity loss, and exacerbates the spread of infectious diseases.

This approach is designed to work in tandem with the existing efforts of governments, communities and business in producer countries to enforce national laws, benefiting law-abiding producers and companies. The proposed legislation makes clear that illegally produced commodities have no place in the UK market, as we build back greener from coronavirus.

Responses to Defra's new deforestation law

Success as UK Government is compelled to act on overseas deforestation - RSPB

The UK is set to introduce globally-ambitious laws requiring companies to prove their products are not driving illegal deforestation in other countries.

The new legislation comes off the back of research published earlier this year by the RSPB and WWF, which revealed a massive 15% growth in the UK’s land footprint overseas compared to 2011–2015.

Riskier Business Report

The research showed how the overseas production of just seven commodities required an area equal to 88% of the UK’s total landmass, endangered thousands of globally-threatened species, and dramatically increased the UK’s carbon footprint. These products are: cocoa, palm oil, beef and leather, soy, timber, pulp and paper, and rubber.

Beccy Speight, the RSPB’s chief executive said: “Ahead of the UK hosting the crucial climate talks in 2021, the announcement is an important step in recognising that spending power can protect wildlife. Earlier this year the Riskier Business Report revealed that to create just seven imported commodities, the UK needs an area of land almost as big as the UK itself. The report also highlighted that everyday products such as soap, chocolate and biscuits are contributing to deforestation and habitat destruction. Introducing a Due Diligence Obligation into law will begin to answer consumer demands for businesses to acknowledge their environmental responsibilities throughout their supply chains. This is also an opportunity for the Government to make a bold statement ahead of making important trade deals and working with the international community to tackle the climate and nature crises.”

Defra’s proposed new law to curb deforestation is seriously flawed - Greenpeace UK

Commenting on Defra’s proposals for new legislation to curb deforestation and clean up the UK’s food supply chains, Elena Polisano, forests campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “Defra’s proposals to make it ‘illegal for larger businesses to use products unless they comply with local laws to protect natural areas’ is seriously flawed. We’ve all seen the way President Bolsonaro has championed the expansion of agriculture in Brazil at the expense of the Amazon rainforest. There is also nothing in the proposals to address the fact that some commodity producers may have one ‘sustainable’ line but continue to destroy forests elsewhere. This just shifts the problem into someone else’s backyard. We will never solve deforestation for commodities like animal feed soya and palm oil without tackling demand. Companies like Tesco, who sell more meat and dairy and use more soya for animal feed than any other UK retailer, know what they need to do to reduce their deforestation footprint. They must reduce the amount of meat and dairy they sell and drop forest destroyers from their supply chain immediately. “Proactively, the UK government and industry needs to support a just transition at home and in forest regions to food systems that work with nature, including the restoration of natural ecosystems.”

 

Recreation.

We are proposing active travel improvements for towpaths - Canal & River Trust

We have approached the Government with 30 towpath improvement schemes for inner city and urban areas, as the Government signalled plans for a walking and cycling 'revolution'

The proposed improvements include places such as Burnley, Wigan, Sheffield, Bradford, Birmingham, Leicester and London. We are seeking to secure a combination of government and local authority funding for the schemes.

Towpaths are ideally located to provide traffic-free routes in and through many of the country’s towns and cities, connecting people and places. The proposed investment will support more active travel - investment in walking is the most green (sustainable) as well as most inclusive (equitable/affordable) option - reducing obesity and encouraging lifestyle changes to support better physical and mental health, notably in the many disadvantaged communities with waterways on their doorstep.

Richard Parry, our chief executive, said: "Many of Britain’s historic canal towpaths saw a significant increase in usage during lock-down as people stayed local and discovered these green/blue linear parks on their doorstep. Post lock-down, for the eight million people living by a canal, this trend has continued."

 

Wildlife News.

Mammals

Call for fresh approach as Scotland’s beaver killing season begins - Trees for Life

Beaver © scotlandbigpicture.com
Beaver © scotlandbigpicture.com

The future of Scotland’s fragile population of wild beavers is at risk as this year’s beaver killing season begins, says the Scottish Rewilding Alliance, a coalition of 24 leading environmental charities, countryside access organisations, businesses and community groups.

Scotland’s baby beavers are officially seen as no longer dependent on their mothers from 17 August – meaning farmers with unwanted beavers on their land can again apply for licences to shoot beavers. Last year, 87 beavers, a fifth of the Scottish population, were shot. There are fears the scale of the killing could be replicated this year.

The Scottish Government says beavers cannot be relocated outside of their existing river catchments, and can only spread naturally from their ranges in Knapdale in Argyll and Tayside – leaving farmers whose crops are sometimes damaged by beavers with little option but to apply for a licence to kill the animals.

The Alliance says each beaver shot is a wasted life that could have helped to rewild Scotland. Beavers build small dams – creating nature-rich wetlands that support a wealth of wildlife and soak up carbon dioxide, and which reduce flooding and improve water quality. Beavers can also benefit local communities by becoming a tourist attraction.

“Beavers are brilliant for wildlife and people, but in Scotland they’re at risk as a species because the Scottish Government allows their legal killing. Needless bloodshed could be reduced by allowing beavers to be moved to where they would be welcome,” said Steve Micklewright, the Scottish Rewilding Alliance’s Convenor and Chief Executive of rewilding charity Trees for Life.

 

Cheshire Wildlife Trust are bringing beavers back after 400 years! - Cheshire Wildlife Trust

Cheshire Wildlife Trust are thrilled to be bringing beavers back to Cheshire after 400 years

Beavers are native to Cheshire but they became extinct in England in the 16th century, mainly because of hunting for their fur, meat and 'castoreum', a secretion used in perfumes, food and medicine. Despite centuries of absence from our landscape, evidence of their presence can still be seen. For example. Bar Mere in south Cheshire gets its name from the word beaver.

As part of a five-year project, a pair of beavers will be released into a 4.5 hectare enclosure near Hatchmere in Delamere. The beavers will create a new landscape as they adapt to their surroundings. Removing trees will break up the canopy, allowing sunlight on to ground vegetation and bringing the woodland floor to life. With their dams holding back water on the site, water flow is slowed, dropping out the polluted sediments that would otherwise flow into Hatchmere lake It will also make new space for insects, invertebrates and fish.

  

Long-term management plan for naturalised beaver populations is vital, NFU says - NFU

The NFU has contributed to the English Beaver Strategy Working Group and called for an English Beaver Strategy, a long-term plan for restoring beaver populations in the country. It follows Defra's decision to allow England’s first wild breeding population of beavers for 400 years to remain in their home in the River Otter in Devon.

The Working Group is led by the Beaver Trust and includes the NFU and other organisations such as the CLA, National Trust and RSPB.

NFU environment forum chairman Phil Jarvis said: “Any species introduction can have a massive impact on the countryside and farming. Beaver activity can undermine riverbanks and impede farmland drainage, making fields too waterlogged for cropping or grazing. This seriously hinders farmers’ ability to produce food for the nation. Following Defra’s decision for beavers to remain on the River Otter in Devon it is vital that Defra works with farmers and other organisations to develop a long-term management plan. Within this there must also be an effective exit strategy ready to be put in place if any major issues occur. We will continue to work with government and key stakeholders to ensure any potential impacts on farmland and the countryside are properly considered and mitigated.”

 

What’s the rush, Minister? Decision that beavers can stay on River Otter taken too early - Angling Trust

Rebecca Pow, the Environment Minister, has today (6th August 2020) announced that beavers on the River Otter can remain. Originally released illegally, they have been subject to a study looking at their impact on the river and the species that depend on it. When it comes to the impact on fish, that study was too narrow and flawed in a number of aspects.

In response, the Angling Trust, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, Salmon and Trout Conservation, the Atlantic Salmon Trust, and the South West Rivers Association, commissioned an independent assessment of the impact of beaver, and the European beaver in particular, on fish.

Mark Owen, Head of Freshwater at the Angling Trust, said, “There remain serious concerns around the impact the release of beavers could have on protected migratory fish species, such as salmon and sea trout. Many of these species have been lost from rivers such as the Otter. We wrote to the Secretary of State about our concerns that the fish impacts studies for the River Otter were flawed. We are disappointed the Minister has not waited for our report before making this decision. We don’t understand the rush and are saddened that the Minister has decided to favour an introduced species over species already present and in desperate need of more protection.”

As a recent WWF report found migratory fish populations have plunged by 76% in the last 50 years. Magnificent fish such as salmon and sea trout, once common in southern English rivers like the Otter have all but disappeared. They need more protection and to be a greater priority when it comes to the government’s ambitions to bring about a recovery of our biodiversity. Salmon are a key indicator species for the health of our rivers and play a vital role in supporting the rural economy. At a time when the country is facing its worst economic crisis, due to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, these further pressure on migratory fish could be devastating.

Dylan Roberts, Head of Fisheries for the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust said, “I’m deeply disappointed that Defra has made a decision based on a very weak evidence base. To say that the River Otter Beaver Trial considered the impacts on migratory salmonids in any serious way is disingenuous to say the least.”

Beavers could play an important role in restoring river ecosystems, but caution is needed and the full impact on the river ecosystem needs to be fully considered and carefully monitored. Beavers take 15-30 years to reach terminal population size in a specific area like the Otter and thus the overall impact is unlikely to been seen for some time yet. This rush to approve the status of illegally released beavers into an environment that has evolved over centuries of their absence, seems to ignore that caution and the need for a full understanding of their impact.

Read the announcement from Devon Wildlife Trust: Government says beavers can stay in their Devon home - Devon Wildlife Trust

 

Public encouraged to report sightings of Scotland’s beavers - Scottish Wildlife Trust

The Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), in partnership with the Mammal Society, are asking people to get involved with beaver conservation by reporting the signs of beavers that they see around the country.

Tracking these important ecosystem engineers as they spread across Scotland is vital, both for their future conservation and to help inform where further expert surveys should take place.

Beaver dam (Pete Haskell)
Beaver dam (Pete Haskell)

Thanks to the Mammal Society’s free Mammal Mapper app, anyone with a smart phone can easily record and report beaver signs and sightings while out and about.

Scotland’s beavers are concentrated in Knapdale Forest in Argyll and in the River Tay catchment. Populations are gradually expanding from Tayside, with recent sightings of beavers being reported in the River Forth around Stirling and Fallin, and as far afield as Loch Lomond and Glasgow.

Beavers are most active around dawn and dusk, so field signs are often more obvious than the animals themselves. The tell-tale clues of the presence of beavers include gnawed and felled trees with a characteristic pencil shape as well as dams and lodges. Freshly gnawed wood will often appear bright orange, making it stand out against the background.

The free Mammal Mapper app is available to download from the App Store and Google Play. You can find out more about it here.

 

Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust calls for potential badger cull to be stopped - Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust is shocked at the possibility of the county being included in this year’s badger cull

Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust is asking people to support their campaign to stop the potential cull coming to Lincolnshire by signing their online petition and contacting their local MP via their website.

Details of the latest badger culls in over 50 areas of England is expected to be announced in mid-September. Lincolnshire is being considered.

Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust has written to MPs and published an open letter to communities, expressing concern about the hardship farmers face from bovine tuberculosis but highlighting that culling badgers will not stop the spread of the disease.

Lincolnshire has been identified as a low risk area for bovine tuberculosis by the Government’s own agency, the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Earlier this year the Government said that it was committed to expanding and supporting vaccination of badgers and phasing out culling. Yet the reality is the complete opposite and for the first time, badgers could be shot in Lincolnshire this autumn

 

Fears the badger cull will be expanded and vaccinated badgers will be shot despite Government commitment to move away from lethal control - The Wildlife Trusts

The Wildlife Trusts are deeply concerned that healthy, vaccinated badgers will be shot in several new areas this autumn as the Government continues its annual culling of badgers.

Expanding the cull in this way would go against Government assurances in March this year that they would move towards vaccinating rather than culling badgers as part of their efforts to stem the spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB). According to a leaked report of this year’s upcoming cull zones, most of these new cull areas are not at high risk from the disease. Worse still, most are places where Wildlife Trusts have been vaccinating hundreds of badgers against the disease with the support of significant Government funding.

badger (image: unsplash)
badger (image: unsplash)

This week, the government published its response to a consultation on culling and vaccination in Edge Area counties – these are counties close to those where bTB is more widespread. Some of these areas will now be targeted for Government culling. In the recent consultation the Wildlife Trusts recommended a minimum of 7km between cull and vaccination areas. However, the new consultation response says the government will allow culling with only very small buffer zones of between 200 metres and 2 km.

The small size of the proposed buffer means that badgers which have been vaccinated and are healthy may be shot – despite the fact that government funding has helped Wildlife Trusts develop badger vaccination programmes.

The Wildlife Trusts oppose culling and believe the science used to justify the killing of thousands of badgers every year in the UK is flawed. Evidence shows that bTB is primarily a cattle problem, not a wildlife one. The main route of bTB transmission in cattle is between cattle.

At least seven new counties could see a badger cull starting this September. These include areas of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire. The new counties add to a growing list where the Government is allowing badgers to be shot resulting in a total of 54 areas of England allowing the shooting of up to 64,000 badgers.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust lead a flagship badger vaccination project coordinated with others and 50% funded by DEFRA. The Trust had hoped to expand the vaccination programme significantly over the coming year but a cull in the area will make expansion very difficult.

 

Government policy will see deer calves starve - Scottish Gamekeepers Association

A Scottish Government agency has sanctioned a controversial policy which could see young deer slowly starving to death this month in the nation’s forests.

The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) has been contacted anonymously by deer management contractors working for Forestry and Land Scotland who believe the new central policy is ethically wrong and contravenes animal welfare.

From September 1st, the government agency has asked contracted deer managers and employed rangers to begin shooting female red and roe deer in the nation’s forests, weeks before the start of the legal season on October 21st. The open season for females was established in law for animal welfare reasons in order to protect youngsters dependent on their mothers for survival. This new policy will lead to mothers, who are still heavy with milk, being killed under authorisation, with their orphaned youngsters dying through starvation, unless they are also shot. Furthermore, with game dealers refusing to take venison carcasses under a certain weight, it is highly likely any shot young calves, barely weeks old, will be left on the hill. The policy will be subsidised by Scotland’s tax payers, because Forestry and Land Scotland’s budget is allocated by Scottish Ministers. Contractors will be paid whether the venison enters the food chain or not.

The SGA has taken up the contractors’ cause, with some fearful of losing income if they whistle-blow. Those who have contacted the SGA say that, although the body will blame Coronavirus for delaying deer management, the policy change was mooted before the pandemic. An Independent Working Group report, which Scottish Government is yet to respond to, recommended controversial changes to deer protections which some professional deer managers warned they would ‘go to jail’ over.

The SGA understands some Forestry and Land Scotland contractors will refuse to carry out culls of females this month, on welfare grounds, and that many rangers, too, reacted in disbelief upon hearing of the policy from superiors.

With lots of vegetation available in the forest understorey, they do not believe females and young are causing significant damage to trees in September.

The blanket policy will also cover the whole of Scotland, rather than being targeted to areas where damage has been identified.

“If the Scottish public really knew the persecution and cruelty endured by Scotland’s deer population they would be appalled,” added SGA Vice Chairman, Peter Fraser.

 

Wildlife charity PTES launches Living with Mammals survey this autumn for the first time - People's Trust for Endangered Species

Photo by Robin Hamilton
Photo by Robin Hamilton

People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is, for the first time, running its Living with Mammals survey during autumn, from Monday 31st August until Sunday 29th November

Wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is, for the first time, running its Living with Mammals survey during autumn, from Monday 31st August until Sunday 29th November. This is the second time the survey has taken place this year, following a successful spring survey which proved popular during lockdown.

The survey, which usually only takes place once a year, asks people to record the presence of mammals in their gardens or local green spaces online. PTES saw record breaking numbers of volunteers taking part earlier this year. The charity wants to encourage those with a newfound love for wildlife-watching to join those who submit records every year, and take part again this autumn.

Volunteers across the UK – from Dorset to Denbighshire and from Carmarthenshire to Cambridgeshire – are asked to spend a little time each week looking out for wild mammals (or signs such as footprints or droppings) in gardens, local parks or other green spaces. Volunteers can record their sightings at www.ptes.org/LwM. Comparing the results with those from earlier surveys will enable conservationists to better understand how wild mammal populations nationwide are changing.

 

Birds

Statement on bearded vulture in the Peak District - Peak District National Park Authority

Bearded vulture in flight over the Peak District National Park. Credit: Austin Morley
Bearded vulture in flight over the Peak District National Park. Credit: Austin Morley

Sarah Fowler, chief executive of the Peak District National Park said: “In a year that was already written into the history books by the unusual and unprecedented, no-one in the Peak District expected our skies to be graced by one of Europe’s most magnificent and rarest birds.

The arrival of a bearded vulture to the Dark Peak has understandably become a source of wonder and excitement in recent weeks - not only for those who carry a passion for nature, but others who simply wish to marvel at a bird of prey larger than anything ever witnessed in our almost 70 years as a National Park.

The vulture’s appearance at a time when many of us were taking the first steps back into nature since lockdown has no doubt added to its popularity as a ‘must-see’ for wildlife watchers.

Such widespread interest also demonstrates the power of birds of prey as a gateway to a wider discovery of our wildlife. Witnessing the return of the osprey, white-tailed eagle and red kite to UK skies has in turn shown the multi-million pound economic contribution these species can make through nature-based tourism.”

 

Golden eagles breed at Highlands rewilding estate for first time in 40 years - Trees for Life

A pair of golden eagles has successfully reared a chick in an artificial nest at Trees for Life’s flagship Dundreggan rewilding estate in Glenmoriston between Loch Ness and Skye – marking the first known return of the spectacular birds of prey to breed at the Highlands site in 40 years.

The eagle chick flew from the nest for the first time last week – some five years after a Trees for Life team and renowned conservationist Roy Dennis MBE of the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation set up an eagle nest or eyrie at a prime location to entice the birds of prey back.

A golden eagle nest in Cairngorms National Park (© Mark Hamblin / scotlandbigpicture.com)
A golden eagle nest in Cairngorms National Park (© Mark Hamblin / scotlandbigpicture.com)

There was no certainty the project would work. Golden eagles build their own nests in remote and inaccessible places, and are highly sensitive to disturbance.

“This is a rewilding success story beyond our wildest dreams. I’ve been checking the eyrie regularly since we built it in 2015, hoping to see evidence that the eagles had returned – and now they have. As golden eagles may use their nesting sites for generations, we’re hoping they are back for the long-term,” said Doug Gilbert, Trees for Life’s Dundreggan Manager. “Four decades without golden eagles breeding or establishing themselves in this part of our wild and beautiful Highland glen have been four decades too long. When we built the artificial nest, we knew it was in a good location for eagles because we found the remains of an old nest at the site. We’ve been keeping our fingers crossed for the past five years, and it’s wonderful that our efforts have paid off like this.”

Golden eagles – regarded by many people as Scotland’s national bird – are regularly seen over Dundreggan, but until now there has been no sign of them nesting or setting up a territory.

Highland Raptor Study Group member and golden eagle expert Stuart Benn said: “This is terrific news – the first time golden eagles have definitely bred at Dundreggan since 1980. Eagles are undergoing a marked expansion in the Highlands just now, recolonising ground they haven’t been on for many years and even colonising some completely new areas.”

 

Best breeding season in decades for marsh harriers at National Trust’s Wicken Fen - National Trust

Juvenile marsh harrier ©Richard Nicoll
Juvenile marsh harrier ©Richard Nicoll

At least twelve marsh harrier chicks have successfully fledged at the National Trust’s Wicken Fen Nature Reserve in Cambridgeshire, making 2020 the most successful breeding year in decades.

Rangers at the reserve witnessed four nests of chicks successfully fledging over the past few months, two of which had been built in an area usually busy with visitors.

The harriers’ success is thought to have been helped in part by the extended period of lockdown across the country, which saw emboldened wildlife moving into places that would normally be busy with human activity.

A fifth nest is likely to have also fledged chicks, but its location meant staff were not able to fully monitor numbers.

The news comes as a welcome boost to marsh harrier populations, which are classified as Amber on UK conservation lists.

Despite there being only 400 nesting pairs in the UK, the species has made a positive recovery in recent years. In the 1970s, following years of habitat loss and persecution, there was believed to be just one nesting female in the whole country.

Marsh harriers are the largest of the harriers and are identifiable by their long tails and “V” shaped wings when in flight. Rangers at the fen first spotted a male with striking colouring on the Sedge Fen area of the reserve in the spring, and later spotted the bird performing aerial food passes to two females, making it clear that there were two nests in the reed beds.

Since then, a series of stunning images by photographer Richard Nicoll has shown the juvenile birds taking to the skies and catching food from their parents in mid-air.

 

A record-breaking year for hen harrier breeding - Defra and Natural England

Natural England has recorded the best year for hen harrier breeding in England since Natural England’s 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.

The success has been down to a number of factors including high numbers of voles which are a key food source, good weather, and strong partnership working between Natural England, RSPB, Forestry Commission, the Moorland Association, United Utilities, the National Trust, and others.

hen harrier nest with chicks (Photo credit to Stephen Murphy, Natural England.)
Photo credit to Stephen Murphy, Natural England.

Hen harriers were once found across upland and lowland Britain including throughout many English counties, however after 1830 it became an exceptionally rare breeding bird in England due to raptor persecution, which was then made illegal in 1954. The hen harrier is now one of England’s rarest birds of prey.

Hen harriers are one of our most distinctive birds, with a characteristic owl-like face and stiff facial feathers that direct sound toward their ears to enable them to hunt more effectively.

This year’s success means that 141 hen harrier chicks have fledged over the past three years alone. Natural England’s Hen Harrier Recovery Project was established in 2002 to monitor hen harriers and work towards improving their numbers in England.

Although persecution is thought to be the main factor limiting hen harrier numbers in England, other factors including the suitability of local habitats and food availability are also significant in some areas.

Natural England is involved in a number of initiatives to help ensure hen harriers recover including through Defra’s hen harrier joint action plan.

These include:

 

Successful second release of white-tailed eagles takes place in landmark English reintroduction project - Forestry England

The return of white-tailed eagles to England has reached its next key milestone with the successful release of a further 7 birds on the Isle of Wight. The five-year reintroduction programme now in its second year is led by Forestry England and the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation, and aims to restore this lost species after an absence of 240 years.

Over five years, up to 60 white-tailed eagles will be released with the aim of establishing an initial population of 6- 8 breeding pairs on the Isle of Wight and along the mainland coast. The first six birds were released last year. It will take several years for the young birds to become established and breeding is not expected to start until at least 2024.

Each bird is fitted with a satellite tracker to enable the team to monitor and track their progress. Evidence from similar reintroductions suggests that the rate of survival to breeding age is around 40%, and four of the six birds released last year have survived and are doing well.

As they mature the released white-tailed eagles have, as expected, begun to explore widely. Their journeys have taken them across much of England as they explore and learn about the landscape for the first time. Between these explorations, the birds have regularly been seen fishing for Grey Mullet in the estuaries of the Solent and observed in the skies over the Isle of Wight.

 

Gull licensing system requires a change of approach, says conservation charity - Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT)

(image: Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust)
(image: Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust)

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) is urging Defra and Natural England to consider compelling new practitioner-based evidence of the impact of changes to licences for the control of gulls on threatened wading birds, including curlew and lapwing.

Following concerns about the new licensing regime for gull control announced by Natural England in January 2020, 56 grouse moor estates across northern England carried out their own monitoring of gull predation on ground-nesting birds. During April and May 2020, 183 gamekeepers, shepherds and shoot managers witnessed and recorded incidents of gulls predating the nests and chicks of three wader species, two of which (lapwing and curlew) are ‘red-listed’ as species of the highest conservation concern. Their aim was to provide evidence to help support future licence applications and to quantify the impact of the 2020 licensing policy on ground-nesting birds.

They recorded a total of 1,355 incidents of gulls predating lapwing, curlew and golden plover. 93% of the participating estates reported incidents of lapwing nests or chicks being predated by gulls, 95% reported gull predation of curlew nests or chicks, and 73% of estates saw nests or chicks of golden plover being predated by gulls. Only witnessed events were recorded so the data does not reflect gull predation events that went unseen by estate staff. Although formal monitoring was only carried out during April and May, 96% of estates also witnessed gull predation of waders in June.

 

Fish, Herpetofauna and Invertebrates

Rarest butterfly boost: largest project to ‘bring back the blues’ hailed a success - The National Trust

The globally endangered large blue butterfly has been successfully reintroduced at Rodborough Common in Gloucestershire in efforts to halt the worldwide decline of this special insect.

The project marks the largest ever reintroduction of large blues in the UK with 1,100 larvae released on the 351 hectare (867 acre) site last August after five years of prepping the commons for their return. An estimated 750 butterflies successfully emerged on the site over the summer.

Large blue on Rodborough Common. (Credit Sarah Meredith.)
Large blue on Rodborough Common. (Credit Sarah Meredith.)

The commons, which are Sites of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation, were selected for release because they support all of the key elements and habitat required by the butterfly. As well as supporting fourteen species of orchid and the rare pasqueflower, the calcareous grassland is also home to a large number of rare and endangered insects including the duke of burgundy butterfly and rock rose pot beetle.

With a wingspan of more than two inches, the large blue is the largest and rarest of all nine British blue butterflies. It was last recorded at Minchinhampton and Rodborough Common 150 years ago and was declared extinct in Britain in 1979. The butterfly was then re-introduced from continental Europe as part of a long-term conservation project nearly forty years ago and since then has established a stronghold at several core sites and has naturally colonised others across southern England.

Partners worked together to create the right conditions for the butterfly’s survival including the introduction of an innovative grazing regime and programme of scrub control. Small, temporary grazing areas were created by using electric fences. This allowed cows, including Luing, Hereford and Long-horn cattle, to graze some of the slopes that were traditionally less attractive to the free roaming cattle throughout the year. The combination of restricted targeted grazing and scrub control provided the right conditions for the Myrmica sabuleti ant which is vital for the butterfly’s success, as well as encouraging growth of wild thyme and marjoram where the butterfly likes to lay its eggs. These are also the main source of food for the butterflies.

 

Volunteers strive to save rare butterfly in the Scottish Borders - Butterfly Conservation

A study of Northern Brown Argus in the Scottish Borders by wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation Scotland (BCS) has revealed the region to hold significant nationally important colonies. However, sadly 54 out of 92 butterfly colonies identified have been deemed as under long-term threat primarily from unsuitable grazing and afforestation.

The Northern Brown Argus is a small chocolate brown butterfly that has its UK stronghold in the Scottish Borders region. The butterfly is high priority species for BCS as its favoured habitat, species-rich grassland, is in severe decline.

In recent summers a team of BCS volunteers have been surveying many of the Northern Brown Argus colonies in the Scottish Borders and have found that almost half are at risk of being lost. Many sites are being lost to bracken and gorse invasion whilst the national drive to increase woodland cover is leading to the large-scale loss of pasture and hill-ground in the Borders to tree-planting, which if done insensitively, can lead to the loss of the butterfly’s habitat.

To combat this BCS’s volunteers in the Borders have been successfully working with landowners and woodland agents to adapt planting plans to leave pockets of species-rich grassland habitat for the Northern Brown Argus to survive.

 

Cambridgeshire to benefit from sustainable development initiative - Natural England

Protected: The great crested newt is the UK's largest species of newt. Credit Natural England / Peter Wakely
Protected: The great crested newt is the UK's largest species of newt. Credit Natural England / Peter Wakely

A district level licensing scheme making it easier for developers to protect threatened populations of great crested newts is being rolled out in Cambridgeshire.

Natural England’s district level licensing initiative helps put an end to the costly delays faced by developers building in areas where the iconic species is present.

In the past, landowners or housing developers in Cambridgeshire had to apply for a licence before building on or around the newts’ pond habitat – on a site-by-site basis.

 Now, licensing is applied at a district level. This ‘landscape-scale’ approach means that developers need only make a single application and payment to join their local, area-wide scheme.

The one-off payment covers the creation, restoration, maintenance and monitoring of ponds around the area for 25 years, in locations specially chosen to provide the best habitat and most benefit. 

This award-winning, evidence-based approach to licensing helps streamline regulation to better protect newts for the future, while enabling developers and local authorities to deliver on their investment and home-building plans.

Great crested newts are the UK’s largest species of newt. But their population has seen dramatic declines over the last 60 years.

Despite being protected under UK and EU law, the species suffered the loss of around 50% of its pond habitat in the 20th century.

 

Scarce bee discovered in Wales for the first time - Buglife

Buglife
Buglife

Buglife are pleased to report the discovery of the Carrot Mining Bee (Andrena nitidiuscula) in Wales for the very first time! Buglife Cymru staff undertaking bee surveys as part of the ‘Searching for Scabious’ project made the discovery during a recent visit to Lavernock Point Nature Reserve – a Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (WTSWW) reserve in the Vale of Glamorgan, south Wales.

The Carrot Mining Bee is just one of around 180 bee species known from Wales and is so-called because of its strong association with the flowers of Wild Carrot (Daucus carota), from which it collects pollen. Formerly restricted to the southern counties of England, this scarce bee has never before been seen in Wales – until now.

Liam Olds, Conservation Officer for Buglife Cymru, and who made the discovery said “Though unexpected, finding this scarce bee in Wales is very exciting and a fantastic output for our ‘Searching for Scabious’ project. This discovery highlights how little is still known about the bee fauna of Wales and how valuable funded projects such as our ‘Searching for Scabious’ project can be. Not only is this project improving our understanding of the distribution and conservation status of some of Wales’ most threatened bees associated with scabious-rich habitats, it is also discovering species never before seen in Wales. Now that the Carrot Mining Bee has been discovered at Lavernock Point, we hope to work with the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales to ensure this bee continues to flourish at this beautiful nature reserve.”

 

Pond project pays off for great crested newts in Essex - Natural England

A Natural England scheme has boosted Essex’s pond habitats in just five months, helping to protect the UK’s threatened population of great crested newts.

The district level licensing initiative has led to the creation or restoration of 40 ponds across the county since it launched in March this year.

Investing in habitat The scheme works by taking payments from building developers and investing them in four times the number of pond habitats that would have been impacted by their construction projects.

In the past, landowners and housing developers in Essex had to apply for a licence before building on or around the newts’ pond habitat – on a site-by-site basis. Seasonal restrictions led to delays and uncertainty over the costs and scheduling of planned development.

Largest scheme yet  Essex’s scheme is the largest district level licensing scheme to date, covering all 15 of the county’s planning authorities – an area of around 3,600 square kilometres.

The area has traditionally been a stronghold for the great crested newt, which are present in around 46% of the county’s ponds. But they’re under threat.

Despite being defended under UK and EU law, the iconic and rare amphibian has seen its preferred pond habitat decline by 50% over the last 60 years. And that’s contributed to the dramatic decline in the creature’s population. District level licensing aims to reverse that decline.

Essex was selected as a priority for the scheme due to the scale of development in the county.

Find out more about district level licensing and apply to join a local scheme.

   

Fresh insight into secret lives of basking sharks - Nature Scot

The first study to successfully track a basking shark using a robot camera has shed new light on the behaviour of the world’s second largest fish.

An autonomous ‘SharkCam’ underwater vehicle (AUV) was deployed in the UK for the first time last summer to observe and gather footage of the behaviour of basking sharks in the Inner Hebrides.

SharkCam basking shark project screenshot 3 ©WHOI
SharkCam basking shark project screenshot 3 ©WHOI

The REMUS SharkCam technology is owned and operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). The project is funded by WWF/Sky Ocean Rescue, NatureScot, WHOI and the University of Exeter.

Little is known about the underwater behaviour of the globally-endangered species, despite basking sharks being prevalent in the waters off the west coast of Scotland.

The SharkCam followed three basking sharks below the surface of the water, collecting video of their behaviour from a distance as they swam off the coast of Coll and Tiree.

The international team of researchers recently published their findings in the journal Animal Biotelemetry.

Detailed examination of the footage revealed the sharks spending an unexpected amount of time swimming near the seabed - a behaviour which has not often been reported for the species.

Notably the sharks were not seen to be feeding – which researchers believe adds weight to the theory that the species visits Scottish waters not to feed but to breed.

 

Record numbers and new site discovered for rare beetle - Buglife

Rock-rose Pot Beetles, one of England’s rarest beetles, have been found in record numbers and been rediscovered on a historical site

Rock Rose Pot Beetle (image: © Andy Brown)
Rock Rose Pot Beetle (image: © Andy Brown)

One of England’s rarest and most spectacular beetles has been seen in record numbers and has been re-discovered on a historical site thanks to the ambitious Limestone’s Living Legacies conservation project.

From its discovery in 1857 to 2003, there had been just 40 individual Rock-rose Pot Beetles recorded in the UK, with over half of these coming from sites within Gloucestershire. This endangered species had recently only been known from four locations, with two sites in Gloucestershire and the other two in Dorset and Hampshire.

With lockdown restrictions easing just in time for the start of this year’s survey season, the project was able to commence its 2020 surveys.

The 2020 survey results were nothing short of spectacular.

In a single visit to one of the Gloucestershire sites by Butterfly Conservation’s BftB Conservation Officer Julian Bendle, 39 Rock-rose Pot Beetles were recorded. This is equivalent to nearly the total number of beetles recorded in England over the past 150 years. Further visits by the project officers and Buglife, confirmed the presence of the beetles at both the Gloucestershire sites, with a total of 75 beetles seen in just five visits.

Project volunteers, Helen Taylor and her son, 15 year old Alasdair Hills, then found a single Rock-rose Pot Beetle at a third Gloucestershire site. The last record of the beetle at this site was 35 years ago and the species had been presumed lost from this location.

Subsequently finding a further 10 beetles at the site confirms that this elusive beetle is present on a third site in Gloucestershire, increasing the number of locations in England where it is found from four to five.

Scientists match unusual tadpoles to threatened horned frogs - Zoological Society of London (ZSL)

Giant horned frog adult (c) Luan Thanh-Nguyen
Giant horned frog adult (c) Luan Thanh-Nguyen

Scientists match unusual tadpoles to threatened horned frogs

Scientists at international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London), Indo-Myanmar Conservation, The Australian Museum and Hoang Lien National Park have identified the tadpoles of six species of Asian horned frogs found in Vietnam’s mountain forests.

This research helps solve one of the trickiest zoological puzzles: which tadpoles become which adult frogs. It is relatively simple in the UK where there are just four native species of frogs and toads, but in Vietnam there are more than 270.

“Frogs and their tadpoles look nothing like each other but it’s important to know which tadpole becomes which frog.” says lead author Benjamin Tapley, ZSL’s Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians. “It helps us detect the presence of a species, especially as adult frogs can be seasonally active and difficult to find, and allows us to identify which places might be important frog breeding sites that need protection.”

Researchers collected geographical data, took photos and morphological measurements of tadpoles, and compared their DNA to samples from adults of known frog species.

 

Sustainability, Climate Change and Pollution.

Net-zero for land virtually impossible without more ambition on peatlands, says CPRE - CPRE

Emissions from UK peatland could cancel out all carbon emissions reduction achieved through new and existing forests, unless the government takes action on restoring and rewetting our peatlands, according to new analysis from CPRE, the countryside charity.

Government plans to capture carbon emissions through tree planting will be severely undermined unless radical action on peatland emissions is taken, according to new analysis of land use figures from CPRE, the countryside charity. CPRE is therefore calling on the government to view nature-based solutions in the round and maintain current ambitions on tree planting but do much more to invest in peatland restoration and supporting the farming industry to shift to sustainable practices where farming on drained peatlands.

Less than one tenth of peatlands’ contribution to the climate emergency is currently accounted for in overall UK greenhouse gas emissions reporting. But at least 18.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, mostly carbon dioxide, are emitted from peatlands every year in the UK. England, with a quarter of the peatland area, is responsible for 55% of these emissions. Based on current government tree planting ambitions (30,000 hectares per year by 2025), an estimated 18.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions would be captured through new and existing forests annually, but not before 2050 to 2055. That’s why action to stop emissions from degraded peatland must go hand in hand with other natural solutions like tree planting.

Peatlands can store vast amounts of carbon in a stable form for millennia if not degraded forming some of the greatest carbon sinks on the planet. But the government’s current commitment to restore 35,000 hectares of peatland by 2025 does not go far enough. CPRE is calling for the government to commit to urgent and sustained action on peat and peatlands in its forthcoming England Peat Strategy by: • Bringing to an end further degradation of peat by 2030 in line with existing commitments to sustainably manage all soils by 2030 • Committing to ambitious national targets for rewetting and restoration of upland and lowland peatlands in England to secure their carbon stores by 2030 • Supporting a managed transition away from destructive use of lowland peat soils over the next decade as part of green recovery by investing in wet farming research, applied projects and developing new markets for wet farming products.

 

Morlais tidal energy project risks future of Anglesey’s marine wildlife - RSPB

RSPB Cymru is raising grave concerns over the proposed Morlais Tidal Energy Demonstration Zone off the coast of Anglesey.

The environmental charity fears that the political and economic pressures to complete the application are pushing this development to take unmanageable risks with our fragile marine environment.

We recognise that there is an urgent need for clean, renewable energy generation as an important part of the decarbonisation of Wales. However, poorly located or ill-designed renewable energy generation projects pose significant risks to our natural environment. As we face a dual climate and nature emergency, we must plan our low Carbon and renewable energy projects in harmony with the natural environment and avoid greater impacts on wildlife.

The Environmental Impact Assessment by Menter Môn states that the development has the potential to cause the loss of 60% of the breeding guillemots and 97% of the breeding razorbills from the sea cliffs at the South Stack nature reserve run by the RSPB – which with 250,000 visitors a year is a key tourist attraction on Anglesey.

RSPB Cymru Director, Katie-jo Luxton said: “If this project is serious about being a test bed for new marine energy generation technologies in an environmentally sensitive way, it must proceed in a step-wise manner, learning from each stage. However, our faith in this approach is jeopardised by Menter Môn seeking blanket, large scale consents. We are calling for the large 240MW scale proposal to be withdrawn and be replaced by a smaller scale initial ‘pilot’ project. A smaller scale permission reduces the risks of environmental damage and maximises learning about new technologies in this highly environmentally sensitive location.”

 

NRW study confirms Wales’ seas have massive potential for carbon offsetting to tackle the climate emergency - Natural Resources Wales

Carbon in Welsh Seas infographic from NRW
Carbon in Welsh Seas infographic from NRW

A new study commissioned by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has revealed the important role our seas and coasts play in offsetting carbon emissions by storing large amounts of carbon to help tackle the climate emergency.

Atmospheric carbon offsetting from woodlands and peatlands habitats are already well known. But, NRW’s new study confirms that marine habitats are important in storing “blue carbon”. According to its findings, each year, the marine environment in Wales locks away carbon amounting to the equivalent annual emissions of 64,800 cars or 115, 600 return flights from Cardiff to the Canary Islands.

It was found that marine habitats including saltmarshes and seagrass beds can place large amounts of carbon into long term storage each year and are as significant carbon stores as Welsh woodlands and forests. With the climate emergency likely to cause serious and irreversible impacts on communities in Wales and further afield, NRW’s study shows marine habitats have a big contribution to make in reducing greenhouse gases, alongside their well-recognised role in adapting to the impacts of the climate emergency.

What is clear from NRW’s study is that, in addition to carbon storage in woodlands and forests, our diverse coast and sea play an important role in carbon storage to help Wales tackle the climate emergency and protect our natural environment for future generations.

Click here to read the report.

More information in NRW's blog post: Wales’ Blue Carbon offsetting and the climate emergency

 

LGA launches report to help councils tackle climate change - Local Government Association

Councils across the country are leading local communities to combat climate change, the Local Government Association sets out today (21/8).

The LGA, which represents councils in England and Wales, has worked closely with the Centre for Public Scrutiny and has published a guide to help councils play a leading role in tackling the climate crisis at a local level.

The resource, which sets out 10 scrutiny questions, will help all councils and policymakers to embed the necessary environmental, social and cultural changes that communities need to see to build resilience to respond to climate challenges such as investment strategies and transport plans.

The LGA said that the 10 scrutiny questions in the report are designed to invite further questions from council officers and members which will help to identify and understand local needs, including how councils will be adapting their climate change action plans in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It said scrutiny can support councils to engage with partners to channel local views, as well as playing a formal accountability role as councils make public commitments to climate action.

Read the LGA’s 10 questions to ask if you are scrutinising climate change

 

War on plastic waste stepped up with extension of plastic bag charge - defra

The single-use carrier bag charge will be extended to all retailers and increased to 10p from April 2021 to further protect our oceans from plastic waste.

The Government has today (31/8) stepped up its fight against single-use plastics by confirming that the plastic carrier bag charge will be extended to all retailers from April 2021.

Since the charge was first introduced in 2015, the Government has successfully prevented billions of plastic bags being sold and ending up in the ocean and environment.

The latest statistics show the current levy, which stands at 5p and applies to any retailer employing 250 or more people, has led to a 95 per cent cut in plastic bag sales in major supermarkets since 2015.

Today’s announcement, which marks the latest move to clamp down on plastic pollution, will drive this success even further and take us closer to our ambition to eliminate avoidable plastic waste through our 25 Year Environment Plan and build back greener after coronavirus.

As a result of the carrier bag charge, the average person in England now buys just four bags a year from the main supermarkets, compared with 140 in 2014. By extending the charge to all retailers, ministers want to see bag usage cut significantly in small shops as well, with customers incentivised to use long-life bags made from more sustainable and environmentally-friendly materials.

The government will also introduce a new world-leading tax on plastic packaging which does not meet a minimum threshold of at least 30% recycled content from April 2022, subject to consultation, to encourage greater use of recycled plastic to tackle the problem of plastic waste and protect the environment.

Further information

Defra Consultation outcome: Single use carrier bags: extending and increasing the charge

Detail of outcome: We received 583 responses to this consultation. As a result of this consultation we will extend the single-use carrier bag charge to all businesses in England supplying goods and increase the minimum mandatory charge from 5p to 10p. The extension and increase of the charge will enter into force in April 2021.

Detail of feedback received: 14 June 2019: We received a high volume of responses to this consultation. We are currently considering these views and expect to publish the summary of responses together with the government response soon.

Download the Summary of responses and government response (pdf)

UK supermarkets could cut throwaway plastic by 50% 2025 by reducing plastic across 54 grocery categories - Greenpeace

Supermarkets could make big cuts to the amount of plastic waste they produce by zeroing in on just a few ‘problem products’ responsible for a big chunk of their plastic footprint, a groundbreaking new report has found.

The report from Greenpeace models how UK supermarkets could make significant reductions to the amount of plastic they produce, by focusing their attention on the packaging for 54 grocery categories. The analysis also shows that changing the packaging for just 13 of these categories, for popular groceries, like fizzy drinks, fruit and vegetables, and household detergents, supermarkets could reduce plastic by approximately 35%, remove 45 billion pieces of supermarket plastic, and remove more than 300,000 tonnes of plastic. This is the equivalent weight of more than 7,000 supermarket delivery lorries, that if lined up nose to tail could lead from Birmingham to Manchester.

Today’s report, Unpacked: How supermarkets can cut plastic packaging in half by 2025, shares brand new data analysis for the amount of plastic packaging our supermarkets are producing each year, based on 2019 supermarket figures. It features new calculations for the estimated weight, sales units and number of components (pieces) of plastic in our collective grocery shopping, and the numbers are representative of the entire UK supermarket sector, which has never been done before. Previous research has not detailed the number of plastic components, such as the individual lids, labels and films, and previous studies have not examined the plastic in terms of product categories, like bottled water, fizzy drinks, household detergents and vegetables.

Greenpeace’s report not only provides the most up-to-date calculations of how much plastic packaging our supermarkets are using, but also explains a model for how all UK supermarkets could cut their plastic packaging by 50% by 2025. Importantly, the report provides a unique sector-wide view for the first time. By identifying the “hotspot” product categories which the new data sets suggest put the most single-use plastic onto the market, the report points out the product categories that have the highest potential for plastic reduction.

Christina Dixon, senior oceans campaigner at the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), said: "Supermarkets are busily completing our annual survey about their progress in reducing single use and other unnecessary plastics from their operations, and later this year EIA and Greenpeace will report back on progress. The last two years have shown a year on year increase in the plastic footprints of UK supermarkets so we'd love to see some meaningful reductions that match the level of ambition required to radically reduce the amount of plastic pollution in our environment. A key priority for us is transparency and ensuring we get accurate data from supermarkets that truly reflect the scale of the challenge we are facing.”

The forthcoming Environment Bill is an opportunity for the government to take meaningful action on plastic pollution and set legally-binding targets for retailers to reduce single-use plastics by 50% by 2025. Ministers should put tax discounts in place for producers and retailers that sell their products in reusable and refillable packaging to incentivise the vital move away from disposable packaging to reuse systems. This would enable all retailers to benefit from reducing throwaway packaging by rolling out reuse systems, and wouldn’t mean this move is only an option for those with the greatest revenue or most control due to a high proportion of own-brand products.

Access the report highlight and download in full from here.

 

LGA and UCL launch Net Zero Innovation Programme - Local Government Association

Councils and universities can apply for a new Net Zero Innovation Programme to address climate challenges at a local level, the Local Government Association and University College London announce today.

It comes as councils across the UK lead action at a local level to reduce carbon emissions, transition to net zero and ultimately improve the quality of life of their residents and the local environment.

The Net Zero Innovation Programme will bring together partnerships of researchers and climate change officers from councils across all the regions in England for an initial period of 12 months.

The LGA, which represents councils in England and Wales, said that a pilot of the partnership workshops held in April this year, comprising of six pairings of councils and universities, was successful in building the tools and techniques required for this type of collaboration.

It said universities have been working in the climate change space for a substantial period of time and have invaluable research that can help councils in achieving their ambitions.

The LGA said that it hoped the varying expertise of local authorities to respond to the climate emergency creates a clear opportunity for engagement and knowledge exchange with the research community

 

Green Recovery.

Most people living in Scotland want a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic - Scottish Environment LINK

A new poll shows people in Scotland believe the Government should prioritise economic recovery measures that tackle climate change and enhance nature

A new poll released today shows three-quarters of people living in Scotland believe the Scottish Government should prioritise measures for a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The poll shows strong public support for measures that improve our quality of life, tackle climate change and enhance nature. It also reveals that 76% of people in Scotland have become more aware of nature in their everyday life during the recent lockdown.

Scottish Environment LINK, a coalition of leading environmental charities, has welcomed the results which demonstrate strong support for green projects, including enhancement of Scotland’s nature through woodland expansion and restoration, peatland restoration and new high quality and accessible green spaces.

The poll results also highlight strong public support for initiatives to deliver nature-friendly farming and enhanced re-use and recycling enterprises, reflecting concerns about access to food and higher levels of plastic pollution that have been raised during lockdown.

The charities are now calling for investment in ‘ready-to-go’ environmental projects to deliver these much-needed improvements to Scotland’s environment while creating new jobs and opportunities for traineeships.

Deborah Long, Chief Officer of Scottish Environment LINK said: “The poll results highlight how important nature has been for the wellbeing of many of us during the recent lockdown, with people spending more time in their local environment. It also shows the great importance the public is placing on an economic recovery to the pandemic to lead us to a fairer, greener Scotland, with greater levels of support for an economic recovery that prioritises green projects. At Scottish Environment LINK we have been working with members to gather information about where rapid investment in on-the-ground projects could lead to better environmental outcomes benefitting us all.”

Some of the projects proposed, where the charities believe rapid investment could lead to vital environmental benefits, include peatland restoration, woodland restoration, new urban green spaces, improving access to healthy food and tackling plastic pollution.

 

South Downs National Park launches major plan for nature recovery across South East - South Downs National Park Authority

An ambitious vision to help boost nature and drive a green economic recovery has been unveiled today by the South Downs National Park Authority and partners.

The bold strategy, covering the South East region, aims to create a connected network of “green infrastructure” that makes havens for wildlife, supports local economies, helps to mitigate climate change and gives local people all the health and well-being benefits of a better natural environment.

Twelve areas across the region – primarily on the edge or beyond the National Park’s boundaries – have been identified as key areas for long-term investment in more green infrastructure (see map below). The term “green infrastructure” embraces the network of natural and semi-natural features, spaces and water courses that can be managed to deliver wide-ranging benefits for people and wildlife. It can include parks, gardens, rivers and streams, roadside verges, street trees, hedgerows, churchyards, allotments and nature reserves as well as wider green spaces.

The detailed masterplan, called The People and Nature Network (PANN), has been produced in partnership with a range of organisations, including dozens of local authorities across Hampshire and Sussex, the RSPB, Wildlife Trusts, The Woodland Trust, English Heritage and the Environment Agency.

 

Nature’s recovery is crucial to Scotland's recovery - RSPB

Leading environmental charities set out 11 transformative actions vital for the recovery of Scotland’s nature and building a fairer future for all

RSPB Scotland, the Scottish Wildlife Trust and WWF Scotland have today launched a major new report which sets out 11 transformative actions for nature’s recovery in Scotland. The report has been supported by 22 other environmental charities and organisations.

Several of the #11Actions in the Nature Recovery Plan could be prioritised as part of Scotland’s green recovery from Covid-19, creating nature-based jobs for the long-term, contributing to local economies and delivering many other benefits to people, including for health and wellbeing.

The Scottish Government could invest immediately in five areas highlighted by the plan:

During the past months of disruption and tragedy, many people have turned to nature for solace and to support their wellbeing. Despite lockdown highlighting that access to nature is not equal, many people became more aware of their local wildlife through spending more time in greenspaces on their doorstep and through lower levels of human activity making birdsong easier to hear.

 

Good news for colleagues in Scotland

Scottish Government helps to stave off the crisis - National Trust for Scotland

We’re offering our profound thanks to the Scottish Government after it announced financial support that will help us avoid the feared worst-case scenario arising from COVID-19 and will save 197 jobs.

As a result of lockdown and subsequent restrictions, our conservation charity, which protects and cares for such iconic places as Glencoe, Culloden Battlefield, Mar Lodge Estate and Culzean Castle, has lost almost £30 million – half our expected income. We were poised to enact emergency measures that included making 429 staff redundant as well as delaying the reopening of some of the heritage properties in our care until 2021 or 2022.

The Scottish Government announced that it has offered a total of £3.8 million of financial support. This will be used to help underpin a new, resilient operating model for the Trust, which will allow us to survive short-to-medium-term issues, such as a prolonged national economic recovery and further COVID-19 spikes. The support also enables the Trust to reduce redundancies to the minimum possible, and open (or partially open) more properties than originally suggested.

 

Legally binding targets to help “build back greener” - Defra

The Government sets out how it will underpin key environmental commitments with legally binding targets, including for air quality, water, waste and biodiversity.

Today the government has set out how it will use ambitious, legally binding targets under its landmark Environment Bill to combat the environmental and climate challenges we face.

The government will introduce at least one long-term target in four priority areas to drive significant and lasting environmental improvements: cleaner air, cleaner water, less waste and more biodiversity.

To make sure we are continuing to tackle the most pressing or newly emerging issues - further priority areas and targets can be introduced at a later date, informed by the latest scientific evidence.

This major new step will make sure both this and any future governments continue to deliver a truly green recovery – meeting the Prime Minister’s commitment to “build back greener”.

These long-term targets will be supported by interim targets to ensure we stay on track – these will set out our five-year trajectory, and the government will report annually on our progress.

The four priority areas, and proposed objectives for targets, include:

National Trust responds to Government proposals to underpin environmental commitments with legally binding targets - National Trust

Our response to Government's announcement on the legally binding targets it is aiming to set to underpin environmental commitments announced on 19 August 2020

Rosie Hails, Director of Nature & Science at the National Trust said: “Strong, legally binding targets for climate change have played an extremely important role in helping to drive down the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. Now, we need a similar targets framework to help address the wider decline in species and our environment. Talk of exploring this and potential for that won’t be good enough. These targets have to lock in the healthier air, cleaner water, more fertile soils and recovering wildlife populations that people need and our economy will rely on. To be effective, any new environmental targets will need to cover both quantity and quality – for instance both the size and the condition of green spaces and nature reserves. But no matter how ambitious they are, these targets will fail without strong environmental principles enshrined in law. They also need to be accompanied by a strong and truly independent environmental watchdog and by environmental plans that clearly set out the measures that will be taken to meet those targets. The targets should also be supported, rather than undermined by any proposed changes to the planning system so that people can be confident that the green spaces they care about will be protected. The bodies charged with protecting nature, such as Natural England, and local authorities responsible for planning should be properly resourced so they can play a role in meeting these targets. It’s going to be especially important for the UK Government to work with the administrations in other nations to meet new, global biodiversity targets for 2030 that the UK will sign up to through the UN biodiversity conference next year.”

 

Wildlife in Lockdown - Snowdonia National Park Authority

Survey reveals how nature responded

The coronavirus lockdown had a profound effect on the natural world in north west Wales, a new environmental survey has revealed.

Undertaken over a three-week period in June at key sites in Snowdonia and Newborough on Anglesey, the survey shows that bird species and plant life flourished during lockdown due to fewer disturbances and less litter.

Naturalist Ben Porter was commissioned by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), Snowdonia National Park Authority and the National Trust to undertake the survey under the unique conditions experienced this spring.

With all relevant permissions in place, four uplands were surveyed - Snowdon, Cader Idris, Carneddau and Cwm Idwal – and the lowland areas of Coed y Brenin, Ceunant Llennyrch and Newborough/Llanddwyn.

Birds were found breeding on and near usually well-trodden paths, where plants and wild flowers could now flourish.

Less litter and picnic left-overs meant fewer predator species – such as herring gulls and foxes - which is likely to have given breeding birds a helping hand.

Insect life was also in abundance, due to the warm weather as well as the lockdown conditions.

Reflecting on the study, Ben Porter said: “It was an almost surreal experience to witness the absolute silence that pervaded the landscape in most of these sites, save for the sound of birdsong, trickling water and the odd bleating sheep or goat. One of the most obvious observations was the sheer abundance of species like meadow pipit and wheatear along the main pathways. Birds normally averse to the presence of people ‐ such as common sandpiper and ring ouzel - were seen nesting close to paths too. Herring gulls were virtually absent from their usual nesting colony on Snowdon. They usually subsist on food waste from visitors, so lockdown probably impacted their ability to exist in the area this season.”

A remarkable diversity of plants was recorded along usually well-trodden paths – such as the mossy saxifrage, wild thyme and stagshorn clubmoss in abundance on the ascent from Cwm Idwal.

At all three of the lowland sites, nesting birds were found in places where they most likely would not have been in usual circumstances.

Some birds have had a very good year – such as the ringed plovers which nest on the beaches on and close to Llanddwyn Island. Though they nest here regularly, they have successfully reared good numbers of chicks this spring for the first time in many years, bcause lockdown left these normally busy beaches peculiarly quiet.

The survey provides valuable information as Wales works towards a green recovery from Covid 19.

Read the full report here

 

Rural role in green recovery - Scottish Government

£160 million investment for forestry and agriculture.

Scotland’s rural economy will be at the heart of the green recovery, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said.

An additional £100 million was announced in the Programme for Government for Scottish Forestry to increase new planting, alongside £30 million to Forestry and Land Scotland to expand national forests and land.

A further £20 million has also been allocated to increase the supply of young trees.

Over 80% of all new woodland creation across the UK in 2019-20 was in Scotland and this further investment will increase planting targets to 18,000 hectares per year in 2024-25.

Ensuring farmers and crofters can also play a key role in a green recovery, a new £10 million fund will open for applications later this month. The Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme (SACGS) is a pilot and will run for five weeks, offering grants of up to £20,000 for farmers and crofters to purchase new equipment.

Mr Ewing said: “We are determined to build back better after coronavirus (COVID-19) with a green recovery, and Scotland’s rural economy will be at the heart of this. Having created more than 22,000 hectares of new woodland in the last two years, we are continuing to invest in nature-based solutions to climate change. The forestry sector makes a huge contribution to the rural economy - over £1 billion Gross Value Added and 25,000 jobs. This demonstrates the scale of activity in Scotland’s forests, and the potential for making a significant contribution to the green recovery. Forestry is not only an important natural resource, it provides spaces to improve personal health and wellbeing, and an ambitious programme of planting can contribute towards Scotland’s net-zero commitments.”

   

Scientific Research, Results and Publications.

University research records new love of nature during coronavirus lockdown - University of Cumbria

Nature has become more important to people since the start of the coronavirus lockdown and protecting it a higher priority, new University of Cumbria research has found.

A total of 704 adults from across England, Scotland and Wales have taken part in the study led by Tania Lemmey and carried out in association with the university’s research-led Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas.

Participants spent time outdoors during the months from March to early June, when the UK government instructed people to stay at home except for a few limited reasons.

‘Connection with nature in the UK during the COVID-19 lockdown’ has sought to investigate experiences of nature during lockdown, changes in attitudes and people’s perceived connections with nature resulting from their time living under movement restrictions. Lemmey also examined the qualities of local experiences of nature during lockdown.

Results of their survey responses show:

 

Younger generation fail to notice environmental decline due to generational amnesia which risks conservation longevity - Royal Holloway, University of London and Zoological Society London

Young people are not as aware of environmental changes compared to the older generation, according to a new report by Royal Holloway, University of London and international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society London) due to a phenomenon known as Shifting Baseline Syndrome (SBS).

The UK-based paper showcases a reduced awareness of issues such as the decline in bird biodiversity and abundance within their area compared to several years ago – meaning vital naturalist knowledge is being lost over generations without people noticing.

This worrying gap in knowledge and perception surrounding environmental data and conservation needs between the older and younger generation could hinder efforts to emphasise the urgent need for conservation action for declining species.

SBS describes a persistent downgrading of perceived ‘normal’ environmental conditions with every new generation, leading to under-estimation of the true magnitude of long-term environmental change on a global scale.

The presence of SBS could impact the validity of traditional and local ecological knowledge and participatory techniques as well as conservation target-setting. However, despite increasing recognition, there has been little empirical evidence for SBS, until now.

There is a wealth of experimental evidence recording people’s long-term impacts on the natural environment, from species extinctions and habitat loss to climate change. However, conservation baselines are often formed using more recent information.

By focussing on more recent timescales, we at more at risk of losing perspective on the true magnitude of long-term environmental change, as historical environmental information is lost over time and people do not notice.

 

New study from University of Northampton into the social and economic effects of grouse shooting in English moorland communities - Countryside Alliance

The Institute for Logistics Intelligence and Supply Chain Transformation at the University of Northampton has published a new study into the social and economic effects of grouse shooting in English moorland communities.

The study, authored by Prof. Simon Denny and Tracey Latham-Green, found that grouse shooting is part of a complex web of integrated moorland management practices. The study makes clear that it is the activities associated with grouse shooting that underpins those positive economic and social benefits brought to local upland communities, and the wider UK, by integrated moorland management.

It suggests that any policy that seeks to affect any part of this web should carefully consider what its impacts would be on a wide range of economic and social factors, at the start of the policy formation process. Failure to adhere to this approach would risk causing unintended but irreversible social and economic catastrophe to our upland communities.

The direct economic value of grouse shooting in England and Wales is estimated to be £67.7 million per annum.

76% of estate owners surveyed stressed the importance they attributed to carbon sequestration and peat restoration.

The report can be found here.

 

Common species mirror rare animals’ response to global change - University of Edinburgh

The populations of common animals are just as likely to rise or fall in number in a time of accelerating global change as those of rare species, a study suggests.

A study of more than 2,000 species reveals animal populations around the world – from the very common to endangered species – are going up and down as global change alters land, sea and freshwater ecosystems.

Animal populations: The findings highlight a need to look beyond only rare species in order to improve efforts to conserve global biodiversity, scientists say.

Critically endangered animals – such as the Hawksbill sea turtle – were previously thought to be at greater risk of decline than common species like red deer, but the study found a wide spectrum of changes in animal numbers.

Findings from the new study suggest the numbers within very common animal species are, in fact, as likely to increase or decrease as rare ones.

However, species with smaller population sizes were shown to be more likely to change from year to year, potentially increasing their extinction risk in the long term.

Until recently, scientists were still compiling data on how animal populations were shifting over time on a global scale across the different regions of the planet.

New perspectives: Making use of the newly available data, a team of University of Edinburgh researchers studied nearly 10,000 animal populations recorded in the Living Planet Database between 1970 and 2014 to provide a new perspective on animal population change. These include records of mammals, reptiles, sharks, fish, birds and amphibians.

The team found that 15 per cent of all populations declined during the period, while 18 per cent increased and 67 per cent showed no significant change.

Amphibians were the only group in which population sizes declined, while birds, mammals and reptiles experienced increases.

 

Land and Countryside Management 

Solent coastal habitats provide crucial environmental benefits - University of Portsmouth

Saltmarsh at Chichester Harbour (University of Portsmouth)
Saltmarsh at Chichester Harbour (University of Portsmouth)

They provide the equivalent of over £1.1 billion in environmental benefits every year

The Solent’s coastal habitats provide the equivalent of over £1.1 billion in environmental benefits every year, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Portsmouth and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

Excessive nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) are a global aquatic environmental problem and often cause large-scale algal blooms in the Solent. Similarly, global increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) and its strong influence on climate change, have led to marine ecosystems storing significant amounts of CO2 (often referred to as blue carbon) through accumulation in vegetation and burial in sediments, known as ‘sequestering’.

The Environment Agency funded study, published in the journal Science of The Total Environment, assessed the capacity of seven key coastal habitats – intertidal mudflats, mat-forming green seaweed, seabed sediments, saltmarsh, seagrass, reedbeds and native oyster reefs - to remove nitrogen and phosphorus from coastal waters and sequester blue carbon.

The equivalent monetary value of removing these was then calculated.

The researchers found that:

 

New research highlights what farmers want from new peatland strategy - Newcastle University

New research suggests the planned peatland grant scheme needs to ensure that farmers and land managers have the right level of funding and greater control than previous schemes in order to succeed.

Payment levels will need to increase substantially if the new scheme is to attract significant numbers of new entrants, and reflect the value of public goods we enjoy in society from well managed peatlands.

As Defra prepares to announce England’s largest ever peatland restoration scheme as part of its Nature for Climate Fund, new research commissioned by Natural England from Newcastle University suggests the planned grant scheme needs to ensure that farmers and land managers have the right level of funding and greater control than previous schemes in order to succeed. The new Nature for Climate Fund is expected to be a key part of Defra’s delivery of the England Peatland Strategy that is due to be launched later this year.

Professor Mark Reed, who led the research, said: “Payment levels will need to increase substantially if the new scheme is to attract significant numbers of new entrants, and reflect the value of public goods we enjoy in society from well managed peatlands. Overly prescriptive policies feel condescending at best and manipulative at worst. Therefore, policies need to target the competent majority, giving them flexibility to use their expertise to deliver outcomes that fit with local circumstances, and with training and support given to those who need it.”

While money is important, the research showed that land managers are also attracted to schemes for other personal and social reasons, for example if schemes enable them to collaborate with others, contribute to their local community or engage in activities that increase their sense of personal connection to the landscapes they manage.

 

Wildlife and animals   

New research shows pine martens predate on non-native grey squirrels more than native red squirrels - Queen's University Belfast and PTES

New research by Queen’s University Belfast shows that native European pine martens (Martes martes) predate on non-native grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) significantly more than red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris).

The findings, published in Mammalian Biology earlier this year and funded by UK wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES), also show that although both squirrel species are on the pine martens’ menu, pine martens predate on grey squirrels exclusively in spring and summer, during the squirrels’ breeding season.

A native pine marten. Credit Dr. Joshua P. Twining.
A native pine marten. Credit Dr. Joshua P. Twining.

As such, it’s now thought pine martens may raid grey squirrel nests (known as ‘dreys’), specifically targeting juveniles and females caring for young. This provides a plausible mechanism for the decline in grey squirrels seen across Ireland and Britain.

The research, led by Dr. Joshua Twining from the School of Biological Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast, also showed that pine martens do predate on native red squirrels, but at a much lower level. Red squirrels have adapted to live alongside pine martens in the evolutionary landscapes of Europe, thus, red squirrels appear to have a greater awareness of the threat posed by pine martens. Grey squirrels may also be energetically more valuable, and therefore preferable to predators like pine martens as they are larger and are found in higher numbers than red squirrels.

The paper, entitled "The dynamics of pine marten predation on red and grey squirrels", can be accessed here. To find out more about this project, click here, and to find out more about PTES’ internships visit here

 

Individual dolphin calls used to estimate population size and movement - University of Plymouth

Researchers and students from the University are part of an international project using technology to generate estimates of dolphin populations

An international team of scientists has succeeded in using the signature whistles of individual bottlenose dolphins to estimate the size of the population and track their movement.

The research, led by the University of Plymouth and Stellenbosch University, marks the first time that acoustic monitoring has been used in place of photographs to generate abundance estimates of dolphin populations.

Writing in the Journal of Mammalogy, researchers say they are excited by the positive results yielded by the method, as the number of dolphins estimated was almost exactly the same as estimated through the more traditional photographic mark-recapture method.

They are now working to refine the technique, in the hope it can be used to track other species – with a current focus on endangered species such as humpback dolphins.

Quicker information processing and advances in statistical analysis mean in the future that automated detection of individually distinctive calls could be possible. This can generate important information on individual animals and would be particularly useful for small, threatened populations where every individual counts.

Read the paper: Emma G Longden, Simon H Elwen, Barry McGovern, Bridget S James, Clare B Embling, Tess Gridley, Mark–recapture of individually distinctive calls - a case study with signature whistles of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), Journal of Mammalogy, , gyaa081, doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyaa081


Scientific Publications

Kühn Susanne, Booth Andy M., Sørensen Lisbet, van Oyen Albert, van Franeker Jan A. Transfer of Additive Chemicals From Marine Plastic Debris to the Stomach Oil of Northern Fulmars Frontiers in Environmental Science DOI=10.3389/fenvs.2020.00138 ISSN=2296-665X

 

Wood, K.A., Ham, P., Scales, J. et al. Aggressive behavioural interactions between swans (Cygnus spp.) and other waterbirds during winter: a webcam-based study. Avian Res 11, 30 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40657-020-00216-7

 

Bijnens, E. M., Derom, C., Thiery, E., Weyers, S. & Nawrotx, T. S. (2020) Residential green space and child intelligence and behavior across urban, suburban, and rural areas in Belgium: A longitudinal birth cohort study of twins. (open access) Plos Medicine. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1003213

Jochum, M., Fischer, M., Isbell, F. et al. The results of biodiversity–ecosystem functioning experiments are realistic. Nat Ecol Evol (2020). DOI: 10.1038/s41559-020-1280-9

 

Ruedenauer Fabian A., Sydow David, Spaethe Johannes and Leonhardt Sara D. 2020 Young bumblebees may rely on both direct pollen cues and early experience when foraging Proc. R. Soc. B.28720201615  doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.1615 (Open access)

 

Ellen Iona Fletcher, C. Matilda Collins, Urban Agriculture: Declining opportunity and increasing demand. How observations from London, U.K., can inform effective response, strategy and policy on a wide scale, Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 2020, 126823, ISSN 1618-8667, doi: 10.1016/j.ufug.2020.126823.
 

Bolton, M. GPS tracking reveals highly consistent use of restricted foraging areas by European Storm-petrels Hydrobates pelagicus breeding at the largest UK colony: Implications for conservation management. Bird Conservation International, 1-18. doi:10.1017/S0959270920000374

 

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.

 

Advertise your events to people just like you.

The calendar is beginning to fill up again, if you're planning your events and training course programme for 2021 please send details to Katie, either by email (training@countryside-jobs.com) or use the online submission forms here.

Basic listings are all free (including here) but paid options are available if you want to add a logo, more text etc. Details here.


 

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 November

 

Online Events

29/09/2020 NDG James Memorial Lecture 2020 at online 1 Day

Royal Forestry Society Contact: c-js.info/2Dkyf2Q events@rfs.org.uk 01295 678588

Join the 2020 NDG James Memorial lecture Trees for the Future by John Grimshaw - Director, The Yorkshire Arboretum. John is fostering the development of a diverse collection of trees and leading the project to build the UK’s first tree health training centre. 1 hour and 30 minutes. Free RFS members, £10 non members

14/10/2020 Forestry Conference 2020: Good for Business, Good for the Planet, Good for the Future at Online 1 Day

CLA Contact: c-js.info/2ZgpXkl

02/11/2020 National Tree Officers Virtual Conference 2020 at Online 28 Days

Institute of Chartered Foresters Contact: www.charteredforesters.org/event/national-tree-officers-virtual-conference-2020/

 

Online Learning - Short Courses

17/09/2020 iRecord LNHS 1 hour

Virtual, London Natural History Society 07725232190 virtualtalks@lnhs.org.uk c-js.info/31pzCq4

Virtual natural history talk. Keiron Brown will explain why iRecord is a great tool for collating records and sharing biodiversity data and show how the LNHS is now using it. Book via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/irecord-lnhs-by-keiron-derek-brown-tickets-115334803502

17/09/2020 QGIS: Introductory - (Online) 5 Days

Online, GeoData, University of Southampton 023 8059 2719 training@geodata.soton.ac.uk www.geodata.soton.ac.uk/training/

This online course offers the unique combination of giving you a solid introduction to the popular free and open source software QGIS and providing dedicated 1 to 1 support to get your own GIS project started. This course is intended for those who have little or no QGIS knowledge.

Cost £425

21/09/2020 Introduction to Carrion Beetles 1 hour Days

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

Free online talk introducing the Silphidae (carrion) beetles. There are only 21 species recorded in the UK and most of these are reasonably large in size, making identification a little bit easier than many other beetle families! Learn more about their unique behavior, ecology and how to identify them.

22/09/2020 Transforming Environmental Data in R 2 Days

Online, c-js.info/317vCcn

The 2-day interactive online course will help you understand the benefits of data transformation tools. You will learn about auditable workflows, repeatability, time-saving, improving efficiency & reduced risk of dataloss. You will participate in practical data transformation exercises using real environmental datasets to combine & manipulate datasets for analysis-ready data.

01/10/2020 Radioecology 2 Days

Online, c-js.info/2S2sPuG

This two-day course covers a number of aspects of environmental (non-human biota) radiological assessment, including the ERICA tool, radionuclide transfer, dosimetry, effects, benchmarks, dispersion and how to model atmospheric noble gases. For Regulators, industry, consultants and  researchers. From £875 Early Bird

Above two courses with UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. Contact: 01491 69 2225 UKCEHtraining@ceh.ac.uk

01/10/2020 Introduction to Reptile Identification & Surveying 1 hour

Virtual, London Natural History Society 07725232190 virtualtalks@lnhs.org.uk c-js.info/31pzCq4

Virtual natural history talk. Froglife will cover common and widespread UK reptiles providing an overview of their identification, and where and how to look for them. Book via eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/introduction-to-reptile-identification-and-surveying-by-ben-harris-tickets-116764093547

07/10/2020 Using drones to map habitats 2 Days

Online, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology 01491 69 2225 UKCEHtraining@ceh.ac.uk c-js.info/2vT2Ujq

This two-day interactive online course gives you skills in taking images collected from a UAV platform, processing images into a scene for image processing, generating classified images. You will learn steps to produce high quality and accurate maps for mapping vegetation and land forms.

29/10/2020 Avian Eavesdropping on Human Speech 1 hour 

Virtual, London Natural History Society virtualtalks@lnhs.org.uk c-js.info/31pzCq4

Free virtual natural history talk. Interspecific eavesdropping – which bird species listen to human speech, why they do it, and what  information they get out of it.

Free Course

02/11/2020 Linux Appeal -Command Line Tools for fast Processing 2 Days

Online, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology 01491 69 2225 UKCEHtraining@ceh.ac.uk c-js.info/2EXBZbD

This interactive online course will give you an introduction to Linux and its ability to process big data files fast. Exercises will show the speed and efficiency of Linux tools compared to other data processing tools such as R or Excel. Exercises will take place in in virtual breakout rooms.

10/11/2020 Hedgerow survey and assessment 0.5 Day

Online, The Species Recovery Trust 01722 322539 enquiries@speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk www.speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk

How to survey and assess hedgerows using the Hedgerow Regulations - Dominic Price, The Species Recovery Trust. This online tutorial will run through the Hedgerow Regulations (1997), then use a series of different scenarios on paper to help you get to grips with the regs. At the end you will be equipped to confidently survey a range of hedgerows, and accurately assess whether they do qualify as 'important' and are therefore protected by law. All proceeds from this course go to supporting our endangered species conservation work.

Cost £30

11/11/2020 How to write highly cited papers 1 Day

Online, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology 01491 69 2225 UKCEHtraining@ceh.ac.uk c-js.info/2vT2Ujq

This interactive online workshop will boost your confidence and ability to write a great science paper that will be cited again and again. This workshop focusses on getting high citations. The workshop will study the following using group and individual exercises. from £179. 2 morning sessions.

14/12/2020 Identifying Trees and Shrubs in Winter 0.5 Day

Online, The Species Recovery Trust 01722 322539 dominic.price@speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk 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.

Cost £50 (inc. set of twigs and book)

 

Short Courses: Face to face / on site

 

Access and Rights of Way

24/11/2020 Public Inquiries 3 Days
Knuston Hall, Northants, IPROW. Contact: training@iprow.co.uk https://c-js.info/3bLZrnw
Modification orders and public path orders commonly end up at a Public Local Inquiry and both good preparation for and performance at the Inquiry are critical to the success of the case. The course includes the immensely valuable and popular mock Inquiry in front of an Inspector as a chance to practise and become comfortable, as witness or advocate. This is a three day course: one day preparation (in your own time) followed by two days residential at Knuston Hall.

 

Administrative and Office Skills

02/11/2020 Linux Appeal -Command Line Tools for fast Processing 2 Days
Online, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. Contact: 01491 69 2225 UKCEHtraining@ceh.ac.uk https://c-js.info/2EXBZbD
This interactive online course will give you an introduction to Linux and its ability to process big data files fast. Exercises will show the speed and efficiency of Linux tools compared to other data processing tools such as R or Excel. Exercises will take place in in virtual breakout rooms.

10/11/2020 ArcGIS: 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 or who wish to undertake some formalized training in ArcGIS having been largely self-taught in the past.

11/11/2020 How to write highly cited papers 1 Day
Online, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. Contact: 01491 69 2225 UKCEHtraining@ceh.ac.uk https://c-js.info/2vT2Ujq
This interactive online workshop will boost your confidence and ability to write a great science paper that will be cited again and again. This workshop focusses on getting high citations. The workshop will study the following using group and individual exercises. from £179. 2 morning sessions.

17/11/2020 ArcGIS: 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 the basic functionality of the main elements of ArcGIS (ArcMap, Catalog and ArcToolbox) is expanded upon and some extensions are introduced. Topics covered include: geodatabases; advanced labelling and symbology; advanced editing; using model builder; GIS customization with Python; extensions, online data, manipulating coordinate systems and spatial analysis/statistics tools.

 

Community Engagement and Environmental Education

05/11/2020 Outdoor Numeracy & Literacy Training Courses 1 or 0.5 Day
Join us to explore a range of outdoor activity ideas focused on delving into the National Curriculum outdoors. Ideal for those working at EYFS, KS1 & KS2 with opportunities to differentiate as needed. Take away; ideas, confidence, written session plans, supporting risk assessments and some basic resources.

06/11/2020 Outdoor Science & Living History Training Courses 1 or 0.5 Day
Make your history lessons come alive by taking them outside. Join us to learn some easy to achieve curriculum linked activity ideas. Hands-on Science? the only way to learn, how about exploring these concepts outdoors? Join us to explore outdoor lesson plans. Ideal for those working at KS1 and KS2.

Above two courses with Wild Learning, Hampton Vale Primary School, Peterborough. Contact: 07807620976 sarah@wild-learning.com https://www.wild-learning.com

06/11/2020 Level 1 Award: Introduction to Forest School Principles 3 Days
Newcastle Upon Tyne, Scotswood Garden. Contact: 0191 275 0000 harriet@sncg.org.uk https://c-js.info/2Wb9xr7
The level 1 is suitable for people at the start of their forest school journey, giving an overview of the principles, introducing many of the skills, and providing a range of ideas for activities and games that learners can introduce in their own settings. Runs over 3 days November 2020

14/11/2020 General Forest School and outdoor learning skills day in the woods 1 Day
Park Farm, LE67 6PD, Park Farm Training Centre. Contact: 0777585722 kate@holmsdalemanor.co.uk forestschoolcourses.co.uk
Opportunity to learn or refine skills include shelter building, knots, making furniture, rope ladders and swing, fire lighting, campfire cooking, species ID and more!

16/11/2020 Forest School Refresher & Networking Event 0.5 Day
Forge Farm, Cropredy, Nr Banbury, Oxfordshire, Wild Learning. Contact: 07807620976 sarah@wild-learning.com https://www.wild-learning.com
Refresh some Forest School practical skills and network with like-minded others. We?ll provide the opportunity for you to get hands on with tools, fire, shelters and knots. Bring some lunch to cook on the campfire and some ideas to share.

16/11/2020 L2 Outdoor Learning Practitioner 2 Days
Two day course is designed to get you teaching outdoors. You will experience practical low cost outdoor activities linked to the EYFS, KS1 and KS2 curriculum. You will understand the benefits of holistic outdoor learning and understand the environmental impacts. You will plan and prepare sessions.

16/11/2020 L3 Coordinating an outdoor curriculum 4 Days
This four?day course is designed for those who are championing outdoor learning within their organisation. You will understand the background of outdoor learning and conduct?a review of research & practice in recent years. You will audit?existing provision and practice, create?procedures and best practice guidelines for making outdoor learning part of a whole school educational strategy. You will understand site planning,?sustainable management and be able to plan year round programmes. You will need to have a site and group identified as you will be expected to implement your outdoor learning programme.

Above two courses with Muddy Feet, Winslow. Contact: 07432611000 muddyfeettraining@gmail.com www.muddyfeettraining.co.uk

23/11/2020 Outdoor Learning Coordinator (Level 3) Training Course 2 Days
Forge Farm, Cropredy, Nr Banbury, Oxfordshire, Wild Learning. Contact: 07807620976 sarah@wild-learning.com https://www.wild-learning.com
A professional qualification which looks at the context behind outdoor learning, how to embed this as a whole school strategy, how to plan for an all year round programme of outdoor learning and how to cascade knowledge and enthuse others to get outside the classroom. Entry Requirements apply

 

Countryside Management Techniques

23/11/2020 Sustainable Woodland Management 5 Days
Machynlleth, Wales, Centre for Alternative Technology. Contact: 01654 704966 courses@cat.org.uk https://c-js.info/2ToTdmn
Learn how to make the most of our natural resources on this highly practical course. Gain a comprehensive overview of how to manage woodland sustainably, looking at biodiversity conservation and woodland management skills. This course covers both practical and theoretical aspects of managing a small wood, and you'll be spending most of your time in CAT's beautiful and sustainably managed woodland Coed Gwern.

25/11/2020 Practical Coppicing 1 Day
West Lothian, TCV Scotland. Contact: 01786 479697 Scotland-training@tcv.org.uk https://c-js.info/2yqbXdb
Gain practical skills and learn how to coppice a woodland with confidence. By the end of the course you will understand what coppice is, how coppice is organised & its history and its benefit to wildlife.

 

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

05/11/2020 Level 3 Award in Outdoor First Aid (RQF) 2 Days
https://c-js.info/3h0JpHS
Our two-day outdoor first aid course is accredited by Qualifications Network, an Ofqual Awarding body. The qualification appears on the Regulated Qualification Framework at level 3 and is suitable for outdoor NBGs including those from Mountain Training, Sports Leaders UK, BASI, British Cycling, RYA, and BCU/SCA.

07/11/2020 Level 3 Award in Outdoor First Aid (RQF) 2 Days
https://c-js.info/2FhdjKA
Our two-day outdoor first aid course is accredited by Qualifications Network, an Ofqual Awarding body. The qualification appears on the Regulated Qualification Framework at level 3 and is suitable for outdoor NBGs including those from Mountain Training, Sports Leaders UK, BASI, British Cycling, RYA, and BCU/SCA.

09/11/2020 Level 3 Award in Outdoor First Aid (RQF) 4 Days
https://c-js.info/35bnH1s
Delivered over 4 days, 19/20/21/22 Oct from 0900 - 1300. Our outdoor first aid course is accredited by Qualifications Network, an Ofqual Awarding body. The qualification appears on the Regulated Qualification Framework at level 3 and is suitable for outdoor NBGs including those from Mountain Training, Sports Leaders UK, BASI, British Cycling, RYA, and BCU/SCA.

14/11/2020 Level 3 Award in Outdoor First Aid (RQF) 2 Days
https://c-js.info/3i6gzqN
Our two-day outdoor first aid course is accredited by Qualifications Network, an Ofqual Awarding body. The qualification appears on the Regulated Qualification Framework at level 3 and is suitable for outdoor NBGs including those from Mountain Training, Sports Leaders UK, BASI, British Cycling, RYA, and BCU/SCA.

Above courses with The Adventure Academy CIC, 75 North Canal Bank Street, Glasgow, G4 9XP. Contact: 0141 628 8520 info@theadventureacademy.org.uk

19/11/2020 RSPH Level 2 Award in Pest Management 7 Days
This qualification provides the essential knowledge relating to the training of pest control operatives. It is aimed at both existing technicians and individuals looking to enter the field of pest control. The course covers Vertebrates and Invertebrates, as well as Health, Safety and Legal Aspects of Pest Management.

19/11/2020 RSPH Level 2 Certificate in Pest Management 7 Days
This qualification provides the knowledge relating to the training of pest control operatives and is aimed at both existing technicians and individuals looking to enter the field. The course covers both theory and practical aspects of Vertebrates and Invertebrates, as well as Health, Safety and Legal Aspects of Pest Management.

20/11/2020 RSPH Level 2 Award in the safe use of Rodenticides 1 Day
The RSPH Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Rodenticides provides learners with an understanding of why the purchase and use of rodenticides is controlled and why other rodent control methods should be considered before rodenticides are used.

Above courses with Pest Solution, Bury St Edmunds. Contact: 01284 766362 info@pestsolution.co.uk https://www.pestcontroltraining.co

21/11/2020 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.

26/11/2020 First Aid for Forest School 2 Days
Daventry Scout Centre, Daventry, Northamptonshire, Wild Learning. Contact: 07807620976 sarah@wild-learning.com https://www.wild-learning.com
A two day training course in First Aid, ideal for those working in Forest School, Outdoor Learning and anyone who spends a lot of time working with children outdoors. This course will provide you with two qualifications; paediatric level 3 and Forest School First Aid.

 

Horticulture and Small Holding

06/11/2020 Introduction to Permaculture 3 Days
FSC Juniper Hall, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01306 734501 enquiries.jh@field-studies-council.org https://www.field-studies-council.org/shop/courses/introduction-to-permaculture/
Permaculture is the design of more sustainable environments using nature as inspiration. In this course you will be introduced to permaculture, its history and origins and the core ethics and principles it is based on. We will then look at the gardens and features of Juniper Hall and how they fit into the permaculture model as well as learning about examples of permaculture projects from further afield.

07/11/2020 Growing apples, pears, plums and cherries 1 Day
West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, West Dean College of Arts and Conservation. Contact: 01243 818300 bookingsoffice@westdean.org.uk https://c-js.info/3gdetV7
Tutor: John Nash. Gain an understanding of Top Fruit production; how and when to undertake various tasks needed to grow apples, pears, plums and cherries. Learn the principles of fruit production and how and what to plant; gain an understanding of the methods of tree fruit growing.

13/11/2020 Introduction to Small Holding Management 3 Days
FSC Juniper Hall, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01306 734501 enquiries.jh@field-studies-council.org https://www.field-studies-council.org/shop/courses/introduction-to-small-holding-management/
Working from Juniper Hall and a 90 acre working farm in Carshalton, Surrey along the top of the North Downs ridge, this course will be run by the farm manager and will deal with all aspects of keeping sheep and cattle, touching on keeping other animals as well.

19/11/2020 Gardening for Wildlife 1 Day
High Elms, Bromley, idverde. Contact: 01689860571 beeche@idverde.co.uk www.bromleyparks.co.uk/bookings
This course aims to show how gardens can be used by wildlife and looks at ways to encourage and support biodiversity within garden settings. Taking an ecologist's perspective, the course includes classroom and outdoor sessions. Led by John Pemberton, Community and Education Development Manager for idverde Bromley.

 

Identification and Field Survey Skills - Herpetology, Fish and Invertebrates

28/11/2020 Discovering Diptera: Flies Under the Microscope 1 Day
FSC Epping Forest, Field Studies Council. Contact: 020 8502 8500 enquiries.ef@field-studies-council.org https://www.field-studies-council.org/shop/courses/discovering-diptera-flies-under-the-microscope/
This day course will provide an introduction to the Diptera, getting familiar with some of the major families and with a focus on some of the larger and more colourful species in the hoverfly, soldierfly, robberfly and related families.

 

Identification and Field Survey Skills - Mammals

14/11/2020 ORCA Marine Mammal Surveyor Training Course - Newcastle 1 Day
Life Science Centre, Times Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4EP, ORCA. Contact: 02392382565 info@orcaweb.org.uk https://c-js.info/39M9Aiy
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.

17/11/2020 Bats and Trees 2 Days
Forest of Bowland AONB, Chipping, Ecology Services UK Ltd. Contact: 07842 694 618 janette@ecologyservice.co.uk
A 2 day course suitable for all beginner and intermediate ecologists, woodland managers and arborists looking at how bats use trees and how and when to undertake professional bat surveys of trees.

21/11/2020 ORCA Marine Mammal Surveyor Training Course - Plymouth 1 Day
Marine Station, University of Plymouth, Artillery Place, Plymouth, PL4 0LU, ORCA. Contact: 02392832656 info@orcaweb.org.uk https://c-js.info/39M9Aiy
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.

26/11/2020 Assessing Trees for Bats 1 Day
Abinger Common, Surrey, Species Recovery Trust. Contact: 01722 322539 bookings@speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/assessing-trees-for-bats-2020-tickets-71356901413
A one day course giving participants knowledge of legislation relating to bat roosts, a better understanding of tree health and safety surveys and an opportunity to view and survey a range of trees on site.

 

Identification and Field Survey Skills - Ornithology

02/11/2020 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.

 

Identification and Field Survey Skills - Plants and Habitats

06/11/2020 Trees and Tree Identification: The Challenge of Early Winter 3 Days
FSC Flatford Mill, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01206 297110 enquiries.fm@field-studies-council.org https://www.field-studies-council.org/shop/courses/trees-and-tree-identification-the-challenge-of-early-winter/
This course is concerned with identification. Depending on weather conditions, much of Saturday will be spent at the centre, sorting through specimens and getting to grips with the terminology of the features of the bare stems, the winter buds and (in the case of the conifers) needle arrangement and cones. We shall also practise working with different keys to identification.

07/11/2020 Mosses and Liverwort ID with Microscopes 1 Day
Bushy Park, London, Field Studies Council. Contact: 01306 734501 enquiries.ldn@field-studies-council.org https://www.field-studies-council.org/shop/courses/mosses-and-liverwort-id-with-microscopes/
There are over 600 species of moss in the UK, some of which are endangered and they come in all shapes and sizes! They provide a vital role in ecosystems and indicators of habitat quality. Using microscopes and ID keys we will learn to accurately identify species. Based in Bushy Park.

10/11/2020 Hedgerow survey and assessment 0.5 Day
Online, The Species Recovery Trust. Contact: 01722 322539 enquiries@speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk https://www.speciesrecoverytrust.org.uk
How to survey and assess hedgerows using the Hedgerow Regulations - Dominic Price, The Species Recovery Trust. This online tutorial will run through the Hedgerow Regulations (1997), then use a series of different scenarios on paper to help you get to grips with the regs. At the end you will be equipped to confidently survey a range of hedgerows, and accurately assess whether they do qualify as 'important' and are therefore protected by law. All proceeds from this course go to supporting our endangered species conservation work.

28/11/2020 Winter Tree ID Workshop 1 Day
Sheffield, Wildscapes CIC. Contact: 0114 303 5123 info@wildscapes.co.uk
Learn the secrets of tree identification in winter with this day-long course run by our Wildscapes ecologist, Julie Riley. We will spend the morning in the classroom looking at winter identification features before heading out to a local park to practice identifying trees.

 

Updates and Additions to other sections of Training Directory this month

 

Training Centre / provider listings

British Botany

Bridgwater and Taunton College

 

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