New Year, New Plans

Posted on 22nd December 2011

New Year, New Plans

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and The Wildlife Trusts are reminding people to remember wildlife when making New Year’s resolutions for 2012. Wildlife conservation in gardens is becoming increasingly important as more and more species are becoming endangered.

There are many easy and affordable ways in which to support nature in the UK. From budding city gardeners with limited outdoor space, to those with expansive lawns, New Year is a superb time to begin planning how to support wildlife and making green spaces more wildlife-friendly.

“We have seen gardeners become much more interested in the role their gardens have in helping UK wildlife,” says Helen Bostock, an RHS wildlife expert. “The New Year is the best time to plan how to make your garden more wildlife-friendly and joining the Defra-sponsored Big Garden Wildlife Competition is an excellent way to get yourself motivated.”

The charities suggest three ideas to attract wildlife:

– Setting up birdfeeders, nest boxes, ladybird lodges and feeding hedgehogs will attract wildlife and are superb ways of getting children interested.

– For smaller urban gardens, roof terraces or balconies having a window-box with flowering plants such as lavender will attract hoverflies, bees and butterflies. It is recommended to choose plants with the RHS ‘Perfect for Pollinators’ logo and to avoid plants with double flowers as these may lack nectar or pollen.

– For households with space, building a pond will provide a rich habitat that attracts lots of different insects and animals. Making a pond with different depths will encourage a greater range of insects such as dragonflies and water beetles, as well as toads and frogs. Very shallow sloping edges are important – this is where the largest variety of pond creatures is found. A pond is also the ideal place for birds to bathe.

Government must heed planning recommendations

Posted on 22nd December 2011

Media release
Immediate: 21 December 2011

Government must heed planning recommendations
Reforms must recognise nature’s importance to us

This is the crucial moment to get planning right for nature and the economy, according to The Wildlife Trusts.

As the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Select Committee publishes its recommendations for the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), The Wildlife Trusts welcome the call for the right balance between economic and environmental imperatives.

“Today’s report demonstrates it is not only those within the conservation movement who understand what’s at stake if we compromise our natural environment,” said Hazel Phillips of The Wildlife Trusts. “We must ensure the planning system recognises the economic benefits our natural environment provides, whether it be flood risk management or carbon storage, as well as the inherent value of our wildlife.

In order to achieve this, The Wildlife Trusts are urging the Government to make the following changes to its planning proposals:

• Require local plans to identify Nature Improvement Areas: The Natural Environment White Paper gave the go-ahead to identify large areas where nature’s restoration will have greater priority. Any planning framework will be critical to delivering this Government commitment- yet Nature Improvement Areas aren’t even mentioned in the draft NPPF.
• Provide greater recognition and protection for Local Wildlife Sites: there are more than 40,000 in England, an area 4.5 times the size of Greater London. The current planning system is the principal means of protection for Local Wildlife Sites, which are not protected by law. The draft planning framework does not recognise the value and importance of these local sites. Their protection through the planning system must be strengthened not weakened.

Vine house Farm donate £136,807 for Wildlife Trusts throughout the country

Posted on 21st December 2011

The Wildlife Trust work closely with Vine House Farm who supply wild bird food direct from a conservation award winning farm at low prices. 5% of all orders are donated to The Wildlife Trusts and this year they raised a staggering £136,807 for Wildlife Trusts throughout the country. The cheque was presented in to Stephanie Hilborne, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts and the Chief Executives of the local Wildlife Trusts at a recent conference. Nicholas Watts form Vine House Farm said ” I am delighted that we are able to donate such a large cheque to such a worthy charity as The Wildlife Trusts. They continue to stand up for wildlife on a local level which is so important to us now and will be for generations to come. A big thank you to all our customers for you continued support”. Jeremy Garside Chief Executive of Tees Valley Wildlife Trust said “We are really pleased to receive the donation, we thank all our members who buy bird food from Vine House Farm not only are they getting a good quality bird food from a supplier who has excellent environmental credentials you are support the work of our Trust.”

With winter setting in this is an ideal time to start feeding wild birds if you don’t already do so. You order you food through the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust website and you can find more information about what to feed birds and other wildlife gardening information at

Deadly Wildlife Detectives Needed

Posted on 16th December 2011

Deadly Wildlife Detectives Needed

Live and Deadly – Deadly Scene Investigation.

A wildlife whodunnit. Can you deduce who’s eaten who?

A nest box has been raided high in the tree. There is some fur around the box, as well as some tracks, Inside the box are some broken eggs. Suspicious characters have been near by.

Who ate the eggs?
Who did they belong too?

Your mission is to find the seven clues hidden in Woodhill meadows. The clues will tell you which four creatures were at the scene of the crime and will help you work which one was the culprit. Pop in any time between 10.00am and 3.00pm on Tuesday 20th December at Tees Valley Wildlife Trust – Margrove Heritage Centre, Boosbeck, Saltburn, TS12 3BZ.
In association with CBBC things to do – families welcome.

Visit for more information

For more details contact the Trust on 01287 636382

Cull decision is shot in the dark

Posted on 16th December 2011

The Wildlife Trusts today express disappointment and regret in advance of the Government’s expected decision to press ahead with a cull of badgers in pilot areas in England.

The Wildlife Trusts call on the Government to put biosecurity and vaccination at the centre of efforts to tackle this disease and avoid wasting more time and money on a badger cull.

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

“A badger cull is the wrong tool to address this serious and complex problem and a distraction from other measures to tackle bovine TB. An industry-led cull with open shooting in the countryside is untested and these pilots will not provide a scientific evaluation of the impact on bovine TB. The rationale for any cull of native species needs to be extremely clear and well proven. We do not believe this is the case with the proposed badger cull.”

The Wildlife Trusts believe that Defra should pursue the following as a matter of priority:
• Support landowners to improve on-farm biosecurity and the deployment of the injectable BadgerBCG vaccine;
• Continue to develop an oral vaccine for badgers;
• Complete development of a cattle vaccine and secure change to EU regulation to permit its commercial deployment.

Paul Wilkinson continues:

“The Government’s priority should be preventing transmission of the disease on-farm, through improved biosecurity, badger vaccination and making swift progress on a cattle vaccine.”

Earlier this year, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust was the first non-governmental organisation to begin deployment of the injectable BadgerBCG vaccine on seven of its nature reserves. The outcomes from this first year of a five-year vaccination programme are available in a published report at: