Government seeks views on proposed Marine Conservation Zones

Posted on 13th December 2012

The Government is pressing ahead with its plans to create Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) to protect the UK’s rich marine environment, Natural Environment Minister Richard Benyon announced today.

A consultation outlining the proposals for the first set of sites has been launched today, and will give coastal communities and those with an interest in the marine environment, the opportunity to have a say in its future.

Visit here for more details
http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2012/12/13/marine-conservations-zones/


How to spot an Otter

Posted on 30th October 2012

Media Release
Immediate: November 2012

How to spot an Otter

Catching a glimpse of a wild otter is something only few are lucky enough to experience. You can start searching for one of the UK’s rare natural success stories with The Wildlife Trusts’ new guide Great places to see Otters.

The Wildlife Trusts’ new online guide provides suggestions of 34 places to look for this elusive and beautiful animal – including Tees Valley Wildlife Trust’s Nature Reserve Portrack Marsh.

Following near extinction during the middle of the twentieth century as a result of persecution and poisoning from pesticides, otters are now present in every English county, as well as Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Wildlife Trusts have been at the forefront of conservation efforts to restore otter populations. Improved water quality, habitat management and increased protection for otters have all played a part in this remarkable conservation success story.

Sightings are far from guaranteed and to increase your chances you’ll need to get up early! Please remember that otters are highly sensitive animals – disturbing otters or their habitat is an offence under the Wildlife & Countryside Act so tread carefully and quietly.

The Wildlife Trusts’ Vice President, Bill Oddie, said: “It is still a difficult task but you are more likely to get lucky in spotting an otter now than ever before. The main fact is that you now stand a pretty good chance of coming across an otter virtually anywhere in the country. I don’t mean up and down the roads or hills but in the rivers – there are now otters recorded in every county – that’s fantastic – and undoubtedly as a result of conservation efforts of Wildlife Trusts and others.”


WANTED – Large House spiders

Posted on 17th September 2012

from Tyne & Wear, south-eastern Northumberland and north-eastern County Durham, Hartlepool and Darlington.
Can you help with a research project investigating the distributions of species of Large House spider in North East England?

These large, brown spiders are mostly seen in August through to October when males run across floors and frequently become trapped in baths and sinks. They have a body length of 1 to 1.5 cm and long legs (see right). If you, or a relative or friend live in the regions of interest, and are prepared to capture spiders alive, I’d be extremely grateful.

They should be sent in individual containers (e.g. half a toilet roll tube sealed at the ends) punctured with a few small air holes and containing a scrap of damp, not wet, tissue. Pack the tube(s) in a crushproof container and post to: Dr Geoff Oxford, Department of Biology (Area 14), University of York, Wentworth Way, Heslington, York YO10 5DD. Please supply your name and address and for each individual write on its container the date found, the post code it was found at and exactly where it was found e.g. inside a house, garden shed etc. It may also be possible to identify dead, dried individuals.

All material will be acknowledged and postage costs reimbursed.

For more information, please e-mail: geoff.oxford@york.ac.uk



Win tickets to see Planet Earth in Concert!

Posted on 24th August 2012

WATCH THE BBC HIT SERIES COME TO LIFE
Emmy award winning British composer George Fenton conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra and special guest soloist Haley Glennie-Smith, in a breath-taking production of Planet Earth in Concert. This stunning performance combines emotional and provocative live orchestra music with awe-inspiring reworked HD footage from the landmark series Planet Earth.

For your chance to win a pair of tickets to see Planet Earth in Concert at a venue of your choice, you just need to answer the following question
What was the title of the last episode of Planet Earth?
a) Ocean Deep
b) Ocean’s Eleven
c) Ocean Colour Scene
Please submit your answer using the online entry form here: www.wildlifetrusts.org/planetearth by 5pm on Thursday 30 August 2012.
The winner will be drawn from the correct answers. Two runners up will receive a Planet Earth goody bag consisting of Planet Earth CD, DVD and book .
You can view performance times and rules of the competition here: www.wildlifetrusts.org/planetearthinconcert.

If you are not successful, don’t miss your chance to take advantage of an exclusive offer where you can receive a 25% discount off all adult tickets*. Just call the box office and quote ‘wildlife’ to book your discounted tickets now! Visit www.planetearthinconcert.com/ for more information. *Tickets are subject to availability and the offer is not valid on performances at the Wales Millennium Centre.


North East Wildlife Photography Competition 2013

Posted on 26th July 2012

A flyer with all the details can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

Northumberland, Durham and Tees Valley Wildlife Trusts have joined forces with the Natural History Society of Northumbria (NHSN) and the Great North Museum: Hancock to launch a brand new photography competition.
The competition is now open for entries and it’s your chance to win a prestigious award and some great prizes, including the first prize of £250! All winners and runners-up will be showcased at the Great North Museum: Hancock and on tour around the region.
Competition categories

A maximum of five images can be entered, which must be captured in the north-east of England. Entrants must state which competition category they are entering and can submit more than one image per category. The closing date for entries is Thursday 31 January 2013.

Wildlife portraits – photos that capture the character, essence or traits of a species
Wildlife behaviour – photos that capture interesting, funny or amazing behaviour
Wildlife in the landscape – photos that show wildlife in its habitat, landscape or setting
Botanical – photos of plants, fungi and lichens
Young person’s – photos of flora and fauna taken by anyone aged 16 or under

Prizes

The competition is open to amateur and professional photographers of all ages, with some wonderful prizes on offer:
Overall Winner

£250 and Opticron IS 60 ED digiscoping kit for DSLR cameras (comprising IS 60 scope, 17x eyepiece, photoadaptor and T-mount, worth £450)
Young Person’s category

1st prize: Opticron Savanna WP 8×30 binocular (worth £99)
Runner-up prize: Savanna ’54 8×23 compact binocular (worth £79)
Other Prizes


Leadership needed for nature’s recovery

Posted on 17th July 2012

One year on from the publication of the Natural Environment White Paper, The Wildlife Trusts welcome the Efra Select Committee report into the White Paper, published today.

Paul Wilkinson, Head of Living Landscape for The Wildlife Trusts, said: “We agree with the Committee that leadership from the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, along with the Cabinet Office, is essential if Government is to fulfil its desire to be the ‘greenest government ever’. It is particularly encouraging that the Committee has recognised the importance of nature to our lives and the economy. A fundamental part of that is the successful delivery of the Natural Environment White Paper.

Though progress has been made on delivery of some White Paper commitments, The Wildlife Trusts share the Committee’s concerns that Defra has not published an overarching action plan for delivery of the Natural Environment White Paper’s aims and commitments.

The Wildlife Trusts welcome the conclusion within the Efra Select Committee report that Defra should use the pilot stage for Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs) to clarify their specific objectives. However, Paul Wilkinson added: “The current priority should be for Nature Improvement Areas to be part and parcel of the planning system. They should be included in every new Local Plan and be identified as part of local ecological networks everywhere across England. We will keep up pressure on the Government to deliver against its vision to secure nature’s recovery.”

The Wildlife Trusts initiated the call for a White Paper in the run up to the last election believing that the time had come for the state to show leadership in securing nature’s recovery. In addition, following on from the publication of the National Ecosystem Assessment, it has called for the integration of the value of the natural environmental across Government policy and decision-making.

Contact information:

Anna Guthrie (Media & PR Manager)


Show us the best of the Region’s wildlife

Posted on 9th July 2012

Three north-east Wildlife Trusts – Northumberland, Durham and Tees Valley have joined forces with the Natural History Society of Northumbria (NHSN) and the Great North Museum: Hancock to launch a brand new photography competition.

The competition, which has Nestlé Fawdon as the main competition sponsor, with Opticron and Hawk’s Head Photography providing prizes for category winners, will be a wonderful opportunity for entrants to showcase the best of the Region’s wildlife.

There are five competition categories to enter:

• Wildlife portraits – photos that capture the character, essence or traits of a species
• Wildlife behaviour – photos that capture interesting, funny or amazing behaviour
• Wildlife in the landscape photos that show wildlife in its habitat, landscape or setting
• Botanical: photos of plants, fungi and lichens
• Young person’s – photos of flora and fauna taken by anyone aged 16 or under

A maximum of five images can be entered in total; entrants must state which competition category they are entering and can submit more than one image per category. The closing date for entries is midnight, Thursday 31 January 2013.

The competition is open to amateur and professional photographers of all ages, with some wonderful prizes on offer, including £250 and an Opticron IS 60 ED digiscoping kit for DSLR cameras for the overall winner. The competition is open to entrants outside of the North East, but only photographs taken in the region will be eligible.

In March 2013, the winning and runner-up images will also be displayed
in the Galleria at the Great North Museum: Hancock in Newcastle before going on tour around the region.


Nurturing the next generation of nature adventurers

Posted on 28th May 2012

Three of the UK’s largest nature organisations will today join forces to inspire a new generation of nature-loving Scouts from across the UK.

The Cub Scout Naturalist Activity Badge pack will launch at the Natural History Museum’s Big Nature Day on Sunday 27 May. This new suite of resources has been created by the Natural History Museum, The Wildlife Trusts and the National Trust to help Scout volunteers to deliver exciting programmes in a flexible way.

Emily Peters, Cub Scout aged 9 from 4th Enfield Scout Group, said,”I have tried out lots of activities in the Cub Scout’s activity pack and the Naturalist Badge has helped me learn about nature all around me. I have found out about plants and animals that I didn’t know existed near where I live”

Lucy Carter from The Natural History Museum said of the new resource pack, “It’s really exciting for us to work with The Wildlife Trusts and National Trust to get young people outdoors exploring nature and discovering the incredible variety of plants, animals and fungi right on their doorstep. The resource pack sets Cub Scouts on the road to becoming naturalists and shows them how to take part in surveys that help our scientists with real research.”

Available online from Sunday 27 May, the resource pack offers many challenges to bring Cub Scouts closer to nature, whether in an urban or rural setting. The activities will transform Cubs into bug hunters, bird detectives and tree trackers, getting them out into gardens, parks, and nature reserves managed by The Wildlife Trusts and the National Trust. To earn the Badge, Cubs must complete three tasks from a choice of six, including:
• Surveying a local hedgerow to find out which plants and animals live there
• Making a bird feeder to put in their garden then recording which birds visit the garden
• Taking part in a pond dip to identify the different pond invertebrates.