Buzzards: Defra Management Techniques Study

Posted on 25th May 2012

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

“After years of persecution, people have welcomed the return of the buzzard to our countryside. The Wildlife Trusts are seriously concerned that this conservation success story could now be undermined, and will strongly oppose any attempt to weaken the protection afforded to this species. The fact the Government is considering these plans runs entirely counter to its aspirations for the recovery and restoration of nature. With our native wildlife facing so many pressures, Government should draw a line through plans to bully the buzzard.”


Call for Entries – Open from 1st February

Posted on 9th March 2012

Press Release – for immediate use

http://www.bwpawards.org
Call for Entries – Open from 1st February
Your chance to win a prestigious photography award and cash prize of £5,000. With an overall prize fund up to £20,000, winners and commended entrants will have their work showcased in a national touring exhibition and stunning book.
The British Wildlife Photography Awards were established to recognise the talents of wildlife photographers of all nationalities practising in Britain, whilst at the same time highlighting the great wealth and diversity of Britain’s natural history. The driving motivation to set up the Awards evolved through the nation’s growing awareness of the local environment and the need for its protection.
Now in its fourth year, this highly acclaimed and unique wildlife photography competition has captivated the nation with outstanding and beautiful imagery. It is a celebration of British wildlife as well as a showcase for nature photographers, both amateur and professional.

Categories http://www.bwpawards.org/categories

With twelve separate categories the subject matter covers everything from marine life and animal behaviour to creepy crawlies and urban wildlife. These include The Wildlife Trusts’ Living Landscape: Connectivity category.

Living Landscape: Connectivity
Many of our wildlife rich places are isolated and people are becoming more disconnected from the nature around them. Addressing these ‘connectivity’ issues is at the heart of The Wildlife Trusts recovery plan for nature, A Living Landscape. This category aims to encourage imaginative responses to capture this sense of connectivity or lack of it. Positive images illustrating how habitats, species, communities and individuals interconnect within urban and rural setting are encouraged.

Awards and Prizes


Society shows an appetite for change

Posted on 5th March 2012

12 sites should be the start of something big

As a dozen new large-scale nature conservation sites are announced today, The Wildlife Trusts say this should be the start of something much bigger.

The Wildlife Trusts believe that for this Nature Improvement Area concept to be successful, the National Planning Policy Framework must provide explicit guidance to planning authorities on taking a more strategic and integrated approach to the natural environment.

The 12 new Nature Improvement Areas have been chosen in a competition which received more than 70 applications. All were based on the recommendations of local people and with the aim of creating a step change in the recovery of the natural environment to benefit people, the local economy and wildlife.

Nature Improvement Areas have a role in helping to improve the health of the natural environment, to support food production and address habitat fragmentation, water quality, flood risk management and species loss.

The Wildlife Trusts, involved in 11 of the 12 areas, now urges the government to harness the positive momentum created through the competition process and extend the concept across England.

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

“We are delighted this competition has demonstrated a real appetite for putting nature back after decades of decline through the large number of applications but 12 Nature Improvement Areas are not enough. This concept should be driven forward everywhere across England and given formal recognition through the new planning process, expected next month, and agri-environment grants.


Growing Fruit and Vegetables in School

Posted on 2nd February 2012

Date 30/3/12
Margrove Heritage Centre and visit to local school
9.30-3.30

Aim
To enable teachers with little experience of fruit or vegetable growing to work with their children in setting up a successful food-growing area.
The course will look at setting up your own food-growing area and explain how to grow vegetables and fruit, supported by practical exercises and links to the curriculum

Learning Objectives
By the end of the day, teachers will:
1. Understand the personal and educational benefits to be gained from growing fruit and vegetables in school
2. Be familiar with the basics of growing a range of (a) vegetables and (b) fruit suitable for school gardens
3. Have the confidence to work with their children to plan, develop and maintain a food-growing area appropriate to their school
4. See the potential for delivering a wide range of curriculum topics through activities related to the food-growing area

Key Stages targeted: 1 – 3 (However all growing advice is relevant to all key stages).
Curriculum links National Curriculum links (http://curriculum.qcda.gov.uk/).
Science
Maths
English
Art & Design
Other curriculum areas will be discussed
Cost – £100
A Booking form can be downloaded for the link below


Invest in a love nest

Posted on 2nd February 2012

Care for wild creatures this Valentine’s Day

Gardeners are urged to give love a helping hand this Valentine’s Day, by The Wildlife Trusts and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).
By providing shelter, food, and wildlife corridors, gardeners can offer space for wild species to come together, and play a vital role for the next generation of UK garden wildlife.
Morag Shuaib, The Wildlife Trusts’ Big Wildlife Garden Awards Project Manager, said: “As mating season approaches, species from blue tits to butterflies are about to get busy building nests and laying eggs.
“With many a species looking to hook up and settle down, this is a great time of year to offer some hospitality and be in with a chance of winning The Big Wildlife Garden Competition, which closes on 20 May 2012.”

Helen Bostock, an RHS wildlife expert, said: “With just a few changes everyone can make their gardens wildlife friendly. Contrary to what some people think you don’t have to let your garden grow wild. Feeding birds, careful placement of nesting boxes and planting pollinator friendly plants are easy, straight-forward things to do that make an enormous difference.”

Here, The Wildlife Trusts and the RHS provide some tips for keen and caring wildlife landlords to help create the perfect love nests:

Avian abode
It’s estimated that each year around two million birds fledge from nest boxes. There’s an array of shapes and sizes to choose from, depending on the species you are providing for. To make a nest box extra appealing to couples looking to start a family, place it out of reach of predators. By leaving untidy patches in the garden, and growing a variety of native species, attract in the insects and grubs which will provide valuable food for chicks.

Speed dating


Response to Our Forests and Jonathon Porritt’s comments

Posted on 16th January 2012

Response to Our Forests and Jonathon Porritt’s comments about The Wildlife Trusts and the Public Forest Estate (11 January 2012)
Monday 16th January 2012

The campaign group Our Forests set out its ‘vision for England’s woods and forests’ in January 2012. Prior to this, it submitted a Freedom of Information request to Government, The Wildlife Trusts and other NGOs regarding the proposed sale of the Public Forest Estate in July. Below is our response to their statements published on 11 January.

On what Our Forests call the ‘shopping list’

We believe it is important to be in dialogue with the Government about issues that could have a profound impact on achieving our charitable objectives and our vision of A Living Landscape. Open and frank dialogue does not mean that we are in agreement with what a government suggests and we would never engage in deal-making that would go against the interests of nature or the people who love it.

From a very early stage The Wildlife Trusts made it clear to Government that there should be a proper long-term strategy for the Public Forest Estate. Our forests are an important element of what needs to become a resilient ecological network across England, whether they are in public, private or voluntary sector ownership. Land in public ownership offers the Government a key opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to securing nature’s recovery – as sought in the 2010 Lawton Review – a point we have consistently made.