Winners of The British Wildlife Photography Awards 2011

Posted on 29th September 2011

Now in its third year, the acclaimed BWPA competition has created another stunning showcase of British wildlife.

The winning image of a jellyfish was captured by Richard Shucksmith. His photo was taken at Sula Sgeir (meaning Gannet Rock) a small uninhabited Scottish island, 41 miles north of Lewis. The inhospitable area is home to exposed islands sustaining an astounding variety of marine life. The remoteness of these islands, as well as the challenge that comes with visiting them, makes Richard’s incredible photo all the more special.

Greg Armfield, Photography and Film Manager from WWF said “A truly beautiful shot of a jellyfish that perfectly captures its iridescent colours and magical qualities. All the more remarkable that it exists in UK waters. Fantastic.”

Competition judge Paul Wilkinson, Head of Living Landscape for The Wildlife Trusts, said “We are delighted to see how many people from around the UK were inspired by the competition to explore nature in their local area. This year’s entries reflected a real passion, and affection, for local wildlife. This competition is a special opportunity to give the natural world that surrounds us the recognition, and reverence, it deserves.”

The Winners are:


Richard Shucksmith, Jellyfish in the Blue Sea of Sula Sgeir, Scotland


Oliver Wilks, fox yawning (aged 16)
Walter Lovell, frog with spawn (aged 8)

3. CATEGORY WINNERS (£1,000 worth of prizes from Canon)

COAST AND MARINE, Richard Shucksmith, “Jellyfish in the Blue Sea of Sula Sgeir”

ANIMAL PORTRAITS, Mark Smith “Mystical Mist, Fallow Deer

Giving nature a place in planning

Posted on 22nd September 2011

Protection for Local Wildlife Sites needs strengthening

Areas of critical importance for wildlife are overlooked in the draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), say The Wildlife Trusts.

The Wildlife Trusts are concerned that under the proposed reforms Local Wildlife Sites will be left bereft of the protection they currently have. The current planning system is the principal means of protection for Local Wildlife Sites, which are not protected by law. There are more than 40,000 Local Wildlife Sites in England. All play a critical conservation role by providing wildlife refuges, protecting threatened species and habitats, and acting as links and corridors between designated sites.

It is crucial that any changes to the planning system continue to protect Local Wildlife Sites. However, they are not formally recognised in the draft NPPF. The Wildlife Trusts want the recognition of Local Wildlife Sites in national planning policy strengthened, as recommended in the report Making Space For Nature which reviewed England’s ecological networks.

Stephanie Hilborne OBE, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts said: “The proposed planning reforms leave Local Wildlife Sites without sufficient safeguards. It is imperative that the importance of protecting these sites is recognised. There is a real need to retain and strengthen the protection afforded to Local Wildlife Sites.

The Wildlife Trusts are calling for the Government to make the following changes to its planning proposals:
• Provide greater recognition and protection to Local Wildlife Sites: there are more than 40,000 in England, an area 4.5 times the size of Greater London. The protection for these sites needs to be maintained and strengthened.

Peter Marren calls for a new focus on wildlife (‘Our wildlife needs a voice’, 14 September.) Simon King replies

Posted on 20th September 2011

We agree wholeheartedly with the need for wildlife to have vociferous and effective advocates in the UK, and The Wildlife Trusts deliver precisely that.

Collectively, our 47 individual organisations focus on our bold and ambitious vision for recovering and restoring wildlife, both on land and at sea, with the Living Landscape and Living Seas initiatives. Guided by this vision we are transforming places for the benefit of wildlife – and people too. Individual Wildlife Trusts are delivering this collective vision, whether through practical action or influencing a myriad decisions on a local and national scale.

Nationally, we are taking the nature conservation agenda into new territory. We inspired government to form the Lawton Review to look at putting nature on the path to recovery and subsequently to produce its Natural Environment White Paper. In 2009, we led the charge for the first proper wildlife protection at sea and are now rallying popular support to secure protected areas around our coasts.

To inspire the legitimacy for action, people must care about nature. Through our more than 800,000 members and our connections with local communities, we inspire people to value nature in local places and urge them to take action for it. Their care for the wildlife on their doorstep has an immense national impact.

There is more work to do, and The Wildlife Trusts are fit for the challenge. In these ways, The Wildlife Trusts deliver a great deal more than the sum of our parts – we are a united and influential movement.

Simon King OBE
President, The Wildlife Trusts

Autumn 2011 Schools Newletter

Posted on 8th September 2011

Opal Bugs Count, Den Building and Seed Workshop are just some of the workshops on offer delivered by Trust staff. For more details download a newsletter from here.

Volunteers needed for meadow restoration

Posted on 7th September 2011

An ambitious project to restore wild flowers to Middlesbrough’s meadows has been unveiled.
The project is being run by the Boro Becks team and members of the public are needed to help make the project a success.
During September and October the meadows along four of Middlesbrough’s becks will be cut.
Cutting and removing hay helps keep grass under control and allows wild flowers to flourish.
On some of the becks in Middlesbrough this management hasn’t happened and so urgent action is needed.
The Boro Becks team has arranged for the hay to be cut but the team are in need of volunteers to help rake it up to remove from site.
Barry Jobson, Boro Becks Ranger, said: “Back when Middlesbrough was mostly farmland, the fields would have been meadows full of wild flowers, but sadly very few of these meadows remain.
“As well as looking beautiful, these wild flowers provide abundant nectar for bees and butterflies which have been declining in recent years, so we need to keep our meadows managed to help these pollinators survive.
“Once the hay is removed the volunteer rangers will also be sowing extra seed in meadows that are lacking in wild flowers, which ensure a wonderful display of colour and nectar-rich flowers in future years.
“Volunteering with Boro Becks is ideal for those wanting to keep themselves active, and is a great way to get out in the sunshine and see the wildlife Middlesbrough’s becks have to offer”.

Please see events calender for dates and times of meadow cuts.

To volunteer please ring the Boro Becks Team on 01642 515618 or email
Food and hot drinks will be provided. Please bring suitable clothing for the task and weather conditions.