WildlifeXpo – Just the ticket for wildlife fans

Posted on 26th August 2011

A brand new wildlife exhibition is coming to London’s Alexandra Palace on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 October 2011. WildlifeXpo offers wildlife lovers an exciting combination of exhibitors, lectures and workshops.

Conservation is a key focus for WildlifeXpo. From each ticket sold, £2 will go to The Wildlife Trusts, helping to conserve UK wildlife. Each visitor is able to specify which of the 47 Wildlife Trusts they would like their donation to go to. And it’s not only buying a ticket that will benefit wildlife – at The Wildlife Trusts’ stands (15, 17 and 19) there will be the opportunity to:
• Sign a scale on Petition Fish, The Wildlife Trusts’ petition for Marine Protected Areas around the UK
• Learn how to help wildlife in your garden
• Join your local Wildlife Trust, helping to ensure the wildlife on your doorstep is protected

London Wildlife Trust (stand 1) will run outdoor wildlife-spotting activities for families, and Deputy Chief Executive Mathew Frith will give a lecture on London: a wild place.

Tickets for WildlifeXpo are £10 for one day, and £18 for both. After entry all entertainment is free, including presentations from natural history TV presenters Mark Carwardine and Chris Packham, David Lindo ‘The Urban Birder’ and artist David Shepherd CBE.

Over 70 of the winning and commended entries from the 2011 British Wildlife Photography Awards (BWPA) will be on display. The Wildlife Trusts are sponsors of BWPA, within which they have their own category; Living Landscape: Connectivity.

Powell Ettinger, chairman of WildlifeXpo, said: “With the growing public interest in wildlife conservation and an increasing desire to experience wildlife in the wild, both at home and abroad, we felt that a dedicated exhibition with expert advice and topical presentations would satisfy this need. Moreover, having it all under one roof at such a fabulous venue as Alexandra Palace makes it even more special.”

More information:

North Sea Video

Posted on 22nd August 2011

The Wildlife Trust’s North Sea Project, in conjunction with Yorkshire Diver Andy Jackson, has produced a short film to illustrate the beautiful and sometimes bizarre marine wildlife that lives in the North Sea.

The film produced for The North Sea Wildlife Trusts, available at www.northseawildlife.org.uk shatters the myth that the North Sea is both grey and lifeless. All species featured can be found right here in our cool Northern waters. Alongside footage of rich habitats such as kelp forests and rocky reefs, the film introduces us to some of the weird and wonderful animals that live beneath the waves. Molluscs include filter feeding mussels and scavenging whelks, while footage of crustaceans shows not only the familiar Edible Crab and Common Lobster, but also the delicate and easily overlooked spider crab. Anemones, starfish, seaweeds and brightly coloured fish also make an appearance, alongside the charismatic Grey Seal, with all footage shot on location here in the North Sea.

The video aims to provide an education about how rich the North Sea is for marine wildlife, and gather support for The Wildlife Trust’s Petition Fish Campaign, a campaign aiming to gather public support to ensure our UK marine wildlife gains protection through the creation of a network of nature reserves under the UKs seas.

Andy Jackson comments:

Be a part of the ‘Big Wildlife Garden’

Posted on 22nd August 2011

Everyone has the opportunity to help create the UK’s largest nature reserve from today (Friday 19 August) – with the launch of the ‘Big Wildlife Garden’ (BWG) competition.

The competition – a commitment in the Government’s recently published Natural Environment White Paper – is being run by The Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society, with funding from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The Big Wildlife Garden competition encourages everyone to do some wildlife gardening on their doorstep. Anyone is eligible to take part – including individuals, communities, businesses and schools – and no space is too small to be transformed; be it a window box, school playing field or retail park in a town, city or in the countryside. There are six categories[1] and entry is free via the BWG website.

It is hoped that, through showcasing some of the best wildlife gardens in the UK, the competition will inspire everyone to take action and turn their gardens into wildlife havens; a great way of getting active and fit.

The competition is being launched by Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for Defra, alongside the new England Biodiversity Strategy (EBS). The EBS will set out how the Government will aim to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2020.

Launching the competition, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman, said:

“No matter how big or small, every garden is a home for wildlife, and this competition gives gardeners the chance to be recognised for what their hard work has achieved, inspiring others to do what they can to make their gardens more wildlife-friendly. Ultimately, gardening for nature can create not just a local home for wildlife, it can help to connect habitats together from our neighbourhoods to our national parks.”

Paul Wilkinson, Head of Living Landscape for The Wildlife Trusts, said:

Heritage Open Days 8th – 11th September

Posted on 18th August 2011

Loftus Town Hall is opening its doors to the public once again for Heritage Open Days 8th – 11th September. Loftus Town Council is hosting the Alum, the magic mineral exhibition run by the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust. The exhibition is open from 10.30 until 4.30pm everyday This successful exhibition has been touring round telling the story of the Alum Industry from its roots in Alchemy in Ancient China through to the industry being set up in Cleveland and finally closing down in the 1870s. It was created as part of the Alum, Alchemy and Ammonites project supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Alum, Alchemy and Ammonites project has been working hard over the last 2 years to raise the profile of the alum industry in East Cleveland and tell the story of a Local Hero – Louis Hunton. Louis was born in Loftus and his family worked in the Loftus Alum works – he went on to make a very important contribution to the study of Geology across the world.

If you want to find out more about Louis, or the alum industry, learn how alum is linked to Harry Potter or why Thomas Chaloner, from Gisborough Hall, was cursed, then why not drop in and take a peek inside this wonderful building. There will be activities for children as well as a chance to learn more about the history of this significant building.

For more details then please contact Beth Andrews on 01287 636382 or email: beth.geo@gmail.com


Posted on 11th August 2011

The Mammal Group would like to acknowledge a grant from OPAL www.opalexplorenature.org which is funding our events for the year May 2011 – May 2012

Friday 19th August.
20.00h. (1½ hours)

Bats in Gosforth Park Nature Reserve.
Tina Wiffen

This will be an evening event starting around sunset and continuing till dark. There will be a short talk on bat biology and ecology, and as the sun is setting we will walk through the reserve looking for and listening to the bats we find. Wear strong footwear and clothes suitable for the conditions, which may be muddy. If possible, please bring a torch.

Contact NHSN office to book

Saturday 27th August.
10.00h (2 hours).

Small Mammals at Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve, Durham.
Veronica Carnell.

We will be examining bait tubes and Longworth live traps for signs and presence of small mammals (mice, voles and shrews), and members will be able to re-bait and reset the traps after examination if they wish. Accompanied children welcome. Please be prepared for mud and slippery, wet conditions underfoot.

Contact: Steve Lowe, zappa99@live.co.uk for further information

The Whole of September
Mammals Race. Throughout the region of Northumbria

A call to everyone to collect records of as many wild mammals as they can find in Northumbria (Northumberland, County Durham and the Tees Valley), during the month of September. Alive or otherwise, sightings or field signs – everything counts! Prizes awarded to the winners.

For more details: look on the mammal group web-link: www.northumbriamammalgroup.org.uk or see flyer

Saturday 3rd September.
19.45h. (1½ hours)

Bats in Gosforth Park Nature Reserve.
Jonathan Pounder

Seaweed Survey

Posted on 10th August 2011

First ever survey of seaweed on North Sea coastline

The first ever survey of seaweed along England’s east coast begins today (Monday 1 August), thanks to The Wildlife Trusts.

The conservation organisation is working with partners to coordinate Seaweed East, a scheme which will see a team of surveyors exploring 11 locations from Essex to Northumberland. Starting at Blackwater estuary in Essex, renowned marine biologists and Seasearch divers will work with a botanist and a wild food expert, spending an intensive period of 11 days exploring the locations, including several previously unsurveyed Wildlife Trust coastal nature reserves. At each site, all species of seaweed will be recorded, and samples taken.

The east coast is an under-surveyed section of the UK’s coastline, often due to the perception of the area being of little ecological importance. In fact, the North Sea supports two of England’s largest subtidal chalk reefs. It is hoped Seaweed East will provide vital evidence of the true variety of life this area supports.

There are around 650 species of seaweed in the UK. They are a hugely versatile resource, used in food, medicines and cosmetics. Seaweeds are equally important to marine life as they are to humans, providing food and habitat for creatures, such as the blue-rayed limpet which lives on kelp fronds.

Joan Edwards, Head of Living Seas for The Wildlife Trusts, said:

“Seaweed is mainly known for being slimy and squelchy but, like plants on land, it plays a vital part in marine ecosystems. Its health and abundance reveals a great deal about the overall health of a given environment.

“A seaweed survey coordinated by Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust last year recorded at least 150 species of seaweed. It greatly increased our knowledge of the marine wildlife around the area, and turned up some invasive species previously unrecorded there. We expect Seaweed East will bring similar surprises to light.”