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UHI North set to launch new peatland restoration training class
  • Caithness - county in the Scottish highlands including the most northerly mainland point in the UK.

    Peat - well the Wiki page would be a good start, I imagine.

  • www.bbc.co.uk 'No swim' warning issued after heavy rain in Southend-on-Sea

    A Southend councillor says sewage discharges are "one of the biggest scandals of our generation".

    'No swim' warning issued after heavy rain in Southend-on-Sea

    A councillor has branded sewage discharges "one of the biggest scandals of our generation" after a city beach had to be closed to swimmers earlier this month.

    A temporary warning was issued for Thorpe Bay, Essex, on 5 July due to heavy rainfall but has since been lifted, the Environment Agency said.

    Lydia Hyde, the Labour councillor responsible for climate, environment, and waste on Southend-on-Sea City Council, said: "It’s frustrating that we can’t take more action than we can to address it because the impact is on our coastline."

    1
    www.forestresearch.gov.uk Measuring how people value trees and woodland - Forest Research

    Newly published research explains a robust and tested measure to identify the social and cultural values people have for trees and woodland in England.

    Measuring how people value trees and woodland - Forest Research

    Newly published research explains a robust and tested measure to identify the social and cultural values people have for trees and woodland in England.

    The approach has been developed to support local authorities, charities and other organisations making decisions about how to manage trees.

    Developed by Forest Research and colleagues at University of York and at FERA, the method uses a composite measure to capture the social and cultural values of trees and woodlands. The measure includes a breadth and diversity of values relating to health and wellbeing, spiritual, aesthetic, historical, learning and social connections with trees.

    0
    www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk UHI North set to launch new peatland restoration training class

    A new peatland restoration project is to be launched to Caithness businesses in early September.

    UHI North set to launch new peatland restoration training class

    A new peatland restoration project is to be launched to Caithness businesses in early September.

    The ‘For Peat’s Sake’ project will commence with a series of classes taught by UHI North in conjunction with Peatland ACTION.

    Titled, ‘An Introduction to Peatland Restoration’, this new course will consist of practical and classroom learning in an effort to revive interest in the peatland sector which is in desperate need of new recruits and environmental protection across the Highlands.

    The course will offer lessons in local ecology, restoration techniques, and wildlife habits as well as hill working safety.

    4
    www.manchester.ac.uk Restoring eroded peatlands reduces flood risk for communities downstream

    Scientists from The University of Manchester, The University of Aberdeen and Newcastle University have found that the restoration of upland peatlands is a highly effective strategy for reducing downstream flooding. New modelling approaches combined with long-term data collection on the peatlands of ...

    Restoring eroded peatlands reduces flood risk for communities downstream

    Scientists from The University of Manchester, The University of Aberdeen and Newcastle University have found that the restoration of upland peatlands is a highly effective strategy for reducing downstream flooding.

    New modelling approaches combined with long-term data collection on the peatlands of Kinder Scout where restoration work has taken place have allowed the experts to demonstrate that meaningful flood protection can be delivered during large storms, and has the potential to offer significant protection to communities at risk of flooding in locations where traditional hard engineering may not be economically viable.

    The model was built using data from a field experiment conducted with Moors for the Future Partnership looking at the impact of restoration on runoff on Kinder Scout in the south Pennines. In 2022, the Kinder Scout National Nature reserve managed by National Trust was extended – partly in recognition of the importance of the scientific research that was taking place there. The new findings further emphasise the value of controlled long-term landscape experiments in understanding the impact of peatland restoration work.

    0
    news.sky.com Bumper breeding year for terns at Montrose Basin Wildlife Reserve as seabirds attempt to recover from killer avian flu

    More than 100 chicks have hatched at the Scottish Wildlife Trust's Montrose Basin Visitor Centre and Wildlife Reserve. It is the best year for terns at the Angus site since 2017.

    Bumper breeding year for terns at Montrose Basin Wildlife Reserve as seabirds attempt to recover from killer avian flu

    It's been a bumper breeding year for terns at a wildlife reserve as the species attempts to recover from avian flu that wiped out seabirds across the country.

    More than 40 breeding pairs of common terns have nested at Montrose Basin Visitor Centre and Wildlife Reserve, with more than 100 chicks hatched.

    The Scottish Wildlife Trust, which manages the site, said 87 of the chicks were ringed by volunteers from Tay Ringing Group.

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    Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust unveils new Business Pledge for sustainable future

    Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust is proud to announce the launch of its new Business Pledge, developed in collaboration with the charity’s key partner businesses.

    Signed by 14 leading companies, corporate members and partners from across the South region, this initiative underscores the Trust’s collective commitment to supporting environmentally conscious business and sustainable growth, together with achieving national goals for nature recovery.

    0
    www.wildlifetrusts.org New report reveals that nature-friendly farming budget is inadequate to meet climate and nature targets | The Wildlife Trusts

    - New report reveals that UK Government must significantly increase nature-friendly farming budget to meet climate and nature targets  - RSPB, National Trust and The Wildlife Trusts call for long-term investment to future proof British farming and support nature recovery  - Benefits of nature-friend...

    New report reveals that nature-friendly farming budget is inadequate to meet climate and nature targets | The Wildlife Trusts

    New economic analysis, published today, demonstrates that the current agricultural budget is significantly less than what is required for the UK farm and land management sector to help tackle the nature and climate crisis.

    The independent analysis1 – A Scale of Need – commissioned by RSPB, National Trust and The Wildlife Trusts, finds that increasing investment in nature-friendly farming to £5.9 billion per annum across the UK is essential to meet legally binding nature and climate targets, and improve the resilience of the UK farming industry. The current annual agricultural budget is £3.5 billion – which remains unchanged since 2013 – and approximately 20-25% is currently spent on agri-environment schemes that benefit nature2.

    0
    www.theguardian.com Scottish government selects Galloway as preferred site for new national park

    If approved, the region would become Scotland’s third national park and first to be made official in UK since South Downs in 2010

    Scottish government selects Galloway as preferred site for new national park

    Galloway has been selected by the Scottish government as the preferred site for Scotland’s third national park.

    The region, which came out top from a shortlist of five, will now be the subject of a consultation and an investigation into its suitability before potentially being made official by 2026. The unsuccessful candidate areas were Lochaber, Loch Awe, Scottish Borders and Tay Forest.

    If approved, Galloway will be the first national park to be established since the South Downs on the south-east coast of England in 2010.

    1

    Wildlife charity on the trail of the lonesome pine

    Northumberland Wildlife Trust is taking part in a major conservation survey to find out where pine martens, one of the UK’s shyest animals, are living in the region.

    A member of the weasel family, pine martens are mostly a chestnut-brown colour with a cream bib. Previously widespread, they declined dramatically due to persecution and habitat loss and by 1915 could only be found in a few isolated pockets, with their primary refuge in northwest Scotland.

    However, the good news is they are making a comeback to various parts of the UK. Having extended their range in Scotland, they moved down to the Scottish borders and then into Kielder Forest in Northumberland.

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    www.independent.co.uk Nature recovery projects to receive £150m National Lottery funding

    The National Lottery Heritage Fund said the money will go to about 20 large-scale projects across the UK as part of a decade-long initiative.

    Nature recovery projects to receive £150m National Lottery funding

    Projects that aim to boost nature recovery and “back the people who make landscapes thrive” will receive a share of £150 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

    The organisation said the money will reach about 20 large-scale projects across the UK as part of a new decade-long initiative, called Landscape Connections.

    The funding will focus on Britain’s protected landscapes, including national parks and national landscapes in England and Wales, areas of outstanding natural beauty in Northern Ireland, and national parks and other areas in Scotland.

    1

    Going Green: Love the natural spaces we have all around us

    National Marine week starts on the 27th July. It’s an initiative by the Wildlife Trust and this year’s theme is ‘sea connection’. The website has plenty of ideas on how you can get involved and what you can do to both protect and enjoy the seas and oceans that surround our little island and the globe.

    Interestingly though, Love Parks week starts on the 26th July so the end of the month is all about loving the natural spaces we have around us and making the most of them and appreciating them.

    0

    Wildlife charity launches £280,000 fundraising campaign

    Conservation charity Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust has launched a £280,000 fundraising campaign to protect the future of some of our best loved and familiar wildlife.

    The trust is the leading voice for conservation in the area, with more than 23,500 members and over 1,100 active volunteers supporting its work.

    As the charity launches its Wildlife in Crisis Appeal, Chloë Edwards, Director of Nature Recovery at Herts and Middlesex Trust, said: “We have the solutions and skills to reverse the devastating declines we are seeing and to restore nature.

    0

    Dorset environmental groups stage 'funeral for nature'

    ENVIRONMENTAL groups held a ‘funeral for nature’ in Purbeck over the weekend.

    Extinction Rebellion, Sustainable Wareham, Surfers Against Sewage, Christian Climate Action and Zero Hour gathered in Swanage to mourn the loss of nature to global warming.

    To a solemn drumbeat, formally dressed pall bearers carried a coffin high followed by a procession of mourners.

    Fifty people marched along in silence along Shore Road, with the coffin was topped with a wreath of single use plastic and a papier-mâché bird.

    0
    www.theguardian.com Where are all the bats? – alarm as numbers fall in England

    Decline blamed on washout summer driving down population of insects, butterflies and moths they feed on

    Where are all the bats? – alarm as numbers fall in England

    Conservation groups across England are seeing more malnourished bats, as wildlife experts warn the washout summer is driving down the insects, butterflies and moths they feed on.

    Groups across Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Worcestershire, Essex and South Lancashire said they are seeing an increase in the number of “starving” or “underweight” bats, often juveniles, who need to be rescued and cared for by volunteers. In some places, they are seeing fewer bats than they usually do in the summer.

    There has been a decline in UK insect populations for decades, linked to the climate emergency and widespread use of pesticides. Some believe it has been exacerbated by this year’s record wet weather.

    2
    www.theguardian.com ‘Some absolute gems’: £1.5m appeal to save rewilding haven Strawberry Hill

    Crowdfunding aims to protect central England’s largest area of scrubland in heart of intensively farmed Bedfordshire

    ‘Some absolute gems’: £1.5m appeal to save rewilding haven Strawberry Hill

    When new rules in the 1980s encouraged farmers to “set aside” some arable fields from crop-growing to reduce EU-wide overproduction, Hugh White rebelled.

    “He said: ‘If you don’t want my corn, I’ll put the whole lot in set-aside,’” remembers the farmer’s son, Graham White. And so in 1988, cultivation ceased abruptly on all 153 hectares (377 acres) of Strawberry Hill farm in rural Bedfordshire.

    Long before “rewilding” was invented, White’s wheatfields became rough grassland and a haven for barn owls.

    1

    Cumbria Wildlife Trust given permission to restore ecosystem

    PLANS to restore an area of raised bog ecosystem near Kirkbride have been approved by Cumberland Council's planning committee.

    The planning application was submitted by Cumbria Wildlife Trust to the local authority for the project at Solway And Duddon Mosses, Anthorn to Whitrigg.

    The work will create a network of cell bunding to retain water and 're-wet' the surface, blocking drainage ditches and clearing scrub that dries the peat.

    Committee members considered the plans at a meeting at the Copeland Centre in Whitehaven on Wednesday (July 17).

    0
    www.bbc.co.uk Natural history courses offered at Cornwall's Eden Project

    It is in collaboration with the Field Studies Council, an environmental education charity.

    Natural history courses offered at Cornwall's Eden Project

    >Natural history courses will be available at one of Cornwall's most iconic attractions. > >The Eden Project will offer courses across July and August aimed at people with an interest in British natural history, bosses said. > >It would be done in collaboration with the Field Studies Council, an environmental education charity, they added. > >Dr Jo Elworthy, chief science engagement officer at the Eden Project, said the aim would be "for everyone to learn about and reconnect with the natural world".

    The FSC page is here.

    1

    Expert says Lough Neagh plan 'not radical enough' - only radical phosphorous reduction will stop environmental disaster

    Stormont’s plan to fix the toxic algal blooms in Lough Neagh are not radical enough to avoid an environmental catastrophe and the total collapse of our drinking water system, according to an expert in the bacteria causing the problems.

    Stormont parties are agreed that there is no easy or quick solution – but an expert in the effect of slurry on the environment says the only solution is a radical and immediate cut in the amount of fertilisers ending up in the waterways and feeding the algae.

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    www.bbc.co.uk River Wye: Anger as bacteria found at The Warren swimming site

    High levels of e.coli and intestinal enterococci bacteria have been detected at the site.

    River Wye: Anger as bacteria found at The Warren swimming site

    Elevated levels of harmful bacteria have been found at Wales’ first official river bathing site, warn public health officials.

    Wild swimmers have been advised to stay out of the River Wye at The Warren, a pebble beach near Hay-on-Wye after high levels of E.coli and intestinal enterococci bacteria were found.

    The site was granted official bathing status last month, compelling Welsh environment watchdog Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to monitor water quality at the site.

    2
    www.bbc.co.uk Longleat beaver kits spotted on estate for first time

    Conservation manager, Dr Tom Lewis, called it an "incredible and a very rare sight".

    Longleat beaver kits spotted on estate for first time

    Two beaver kits and their mother have been spotted on camera for the first time at Longleat.

    The beavers arrived on the estate in 2021 and have since established three breeding territories, said conservation and research manager, Dr Tom Lewis.

    New footage shows them building dams, lodges and satellite lodges across the estate, boosting biodiversity.

    0
    £1.2bn plan to turn sewage waste into drinking water branded a ‘white elephant’
  • From the article:

    Bob Comlay, who runs the Havant Matters website, which details community concerns, and who is also vice-chair of the Solent Protection Society, said construction work to build the plant on the former landfill site risked contaminating groundwater which would flow into the Solent. There are also concerns about the environmental impact on the marine ecology of rejected contaminated water discharged into the sea.

    He said a Thames Water desalination plant which used the same technology had been mostly inactive since it was opened. “This is a vanity project,” he said. “It will be a white elephant.”

  • What is your favorite movie theater where you live?
  • Way back in the day it used to be Cinema City in Norwich: the only art-house one in the city and where I 'learnt' cinema. It was great.

    These days, I live between three small town cinemas in Suffolk, and they are all good in their own ways.

    The Riverside in Woodbridge often has a talk about the film or maybe even an interview with the director or one of the cast etc on stage afterwards. Aldeburgh Cinema is run by a charity, shows a good few NT live events and local films and also has a documentary fest each year, and Leiston Film Theatre is, as they say on their site, the oldest purpose built cinema in the county (110 years now), and had the advantage for a while of being about 150m from our back gate. It is the most commercial of three in terms of programme, but still has some interesting stuff.

  • Time Bandits (2024, showrunners Jemaine Clement and Iain Morris)
  • He has been involved to the extent of commenting on the "shortage of dwarves", but otherwise seemed fairly supportive IIRC.

    I am torn. One the one hand I automatically expect it not to be a patch on the original, but on the other, there are several people involved who I enjoy, and I must say that the trailer does seem to have hit the right notes.

    I am definitely going to give it a try.

  • UK General Election voting megathread
  • The tories have been incumbent for 116 years in my neck of the woods (the previous one was a whig). The surveys say that is likely to end this time. I am sooo looking forward to that.

  • 'Homes for Nature': Housebuilders promise bird-nesting bricks and hedgehog highways in new homes
  • An interesting point, but I don't think that is as clear cut as you suggest.

    The article mentions swift boxes, for example. Swifts, of course, return to the same nests each year anyway. There is a specific parasitic louse that is present in most swift nests, as I understand - but they appear to tolerate the parasitic load regardless.

    Bats, on the other hand, reduce parasite buildup by moving from one roost to another across the year - but they will reuse the same roosts and hibernaculae in subsequent years.

    I'm not sure exactly what they mean by insect bricks either, but assuming that it something like bee hotels, well, I am not very familiar with these overall, but having watched the red mason bees on the south side of my home for the last couple of years, they certainly seem to be using the same holes more than once.

    The critical thing, overall, will be whether they use designs that have been developed by organisations who have done their research - of which are many available, that they have trying to get the building industry to use for a good while now - rather than simply greenwashing gimmicks.

  • A bee orchid spotted in my front garden
  • They are extraordinary aren't they? Really lucky to have them in your garden.

  • See the top 4 locations in England with the most snakes
  • I'd say they probably were adders if you caught them basking on the path. In general grass snakes are more common, but they typically get out of the way at the slightest disturbance, so all you usually see of them is their tails vanishing in to the undergrowth. Adders aren't as quick off the mark, so are more often seen on paths. They prefer heathland and more open, sunny spots, where grass snakes go for longer grassy areas and often are near water.

    That is assuming that it was actually a snake. Slow worms are often mistaken for snakes and will also spend time basking on tracks. They are usually much lighter in colour and have a smooth pale, metallic bronze look.

    Adders are more obviously scaled and are a deeper grey or brown colour with a very distinctive dark zigzag pattern on their backs.

    They almost certainly won't have been smooth snakes or anything else though.

  • See the top 4 locations in England with the most snakes
  • Hmm - that's Yahoo for you. I try to avoid it as mush as possible. I couldn't find the same piece elsewhere at the time, but a month on this looks like the same article..

  • UK Nature and Environment Summer banner competition - voting thread
  • After a tense 3-way tie, a tie-breaking roll of the die resulted in this atmospheric woodland shot by YungOnions becoming the winner and our new summer banner.

  • What is thing thats digging a hole in my lawn? It happens overnight .
  • As /u/[email protected] suggests, that certainly looks like sand that has been washed out by water around the hole, so I don't know whether that's relevant.

    Either way, the hole itself doesn't look like a badger snuffle hole or latrine, so I'd say fox is more likely.

  • Will AI fully replace human friendship/companionship someday?
  • At the point where you and the AI can see someone straightening their tie in a certain way and you and the AI can exchange a single wordless glance and you both burst out laughing 'cos it was just like that thing that you both saw 6 months ago and found hilarious then - then maybe.

    Not before.