Trip gives an insight into
BBC Online news 23 May
Six gamekeepers from
estates around the Cairngorms and representatives from the Cairngorms
National Park Authority (CNPA), the Royal Society for the Protection of
Birds (RSPB), Forestry Commission Scotland and Dee Salmon Fishery Board
went to Norway and spent eight days in Hedmark county looking at how
beavers are managed.
The trip was funded by
the EU Nature Exchange programme. The park authority said information
gathered could add to the debate on whether beavers should be
re-introduced to Scotland. They also studied land and deer management
A spokesman for CNPA,
which organised the trip, said: "The visitors were given the opportunity
to see the species in their natural habitat as well as the landscape
impacts they can create.
"It also provided them
with new insights and understanding of beavers, their management and
habitats, which they will now be able to share in the debate in Scotland
about re-introduction and possible locations.
"The group felt that if
there was re-introduction in Scotland, a similar management approach to
Norway needs to be adopted."
The Beaver was hunted to
extinction in Scotland more than 400 years ago
guidance published today
Bulletin Ref: 143/07 22 May 2007
Guidance on the
biodiversity duty under Section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural
Communities Act (NERC), has been published today by Defra.
The aim of the
biodiversity duty is to raise the profile of biodiversity in England and
Wales, eventually to a point where biodiversity issues become second
nature to everyone making decisions in the public sector.
All public authorities
are affected, including over 900 public bodies local authorities, fire,
police and health bodies, museums and transport authorities.
In recognition of the key
role local authorities play with regard to conserving and enhancing
biodiversity, there are two sets of guidance:
The guidance is intended
to assist public authorities to implement the biodiversity duty. It
provides advice on different activities and functions of public sector
organisations and includes a number of case studies which illustrate
what can be done to have regard to biodiversity.
The guidance is available
on the Defra website at:
Forests group gets £50,000
this is Scotland 15 May
The conservation charity
Trees for Life has received a £50,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery
Fund to plan work required for its Dundreggan project at Glen Moriston.
surveys and a management strategy will be undertaken for the 10,000-acre
estate, which the Findhorn-based charity expects to complete the
purchase of shortly.
Founder and executive
director Alan Watson-Featherstone yesterday welcomed the "significant"
"It is powerful
recognition of the biological importance of the Dundreggan estate, with
its outstanding juniper woodlands and rare species such as wood ants and
"This grant is a major
boost for the long-term recovery of the Caledonian Forest there, and it
will help to establish a native woodland corridor linking Glen Moriston
with Glen Affric," he said.
Trees for Life aims to restore the Caledonian Forest in the Highlands to
its former majesty. Today, just 1% of the original forest remains. The
charity has already planted over 500,000 trees since its foundation in
1991 and has won several awards for its conservation work.
this is North Scotland
No-fishing zones 'help
Daily telegraph 14 May
No-take zones - where
fishing is banned - can help restore coral reefs damaged by pollution
and global warming. A study in a marine reserve in the Bahamas found
that the number of young corals doubled in areas in which native fish,
such as parrotfish, were protected from being caught.
Young corals are needed
to replace older corals that have been killed by storms, disease or the
bleaching effect caused by excessive sea temperatures. The study, by
scientists from Exeter university, showed that in the reserve enabled
young corals survived exceptionally well because marauding seaweeds were
controlled by grazing from plentiful numbers of parrotfish.
The study published in
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences was carried out in the
Bahamas' Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, which at 265 square miles, one of
the largest and most successful marine reserves in the Caribbean.
Irish badger culling 'is futile'
BBC news online 14 may
A new report claims the
"virtual extermination" of badgers in the Republic of Ireland has failed
to stop the spread of bovine TB. Badgerwatch Ireland and the UK Badger
Trust have reviewed documents relating to the systematic destruction of
badgers in the so-called Four Areas Project which operated in Cork,
Monaghan, Donegal and Kilkenny from 1997 to 2002. Although so many
badgers have been killed that they are extinct in many areas, the level
of TB in cattle is twice as high as in Britain, it says.
The groups believe their
assessment supports the view that bovine TB in Ireland is largely spread
by the movement of cattle. They say the disease rocketed in Ireland when
pre-movement TB testing for cattle was abandoned in 1996.
In Britain, the
government-backed Randomised Badger Culling Trial (also known as the
Krebs Trial), which ended in 2003, showed that culling could make the TB
Reactive culling raised
TB incidence by 25%. A proactive regime lowered incidence inside the
target zone, but resulted in an increase in surrounding areas.
Farmers' Union accused the groups of being highly selective in their
choice of figures.
Red squirrel dies from deadly
BBC news online 11 May
The first case of a red
squirrel dying in Scotland as a result of the squirrel pox virus has
been confirmed. The animal, which was displaying classic symptoms of the
virus, was found near Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, on Tuesday. It
was put down following an examination at the South of Scotland Wildlife
Hospital, Dumfries. Edinburgh vets confirmed squirrel pox, a virus
carried by non-native grey squirrels. Although the virus is fatal to red
squirrels, greys remain unaffected by the disease.
been working hard to try and stop the virus coming over the border into
Scotland, and until now had been successful. Intensive control measures
have been in place since its presence in Scotland was first detected in
invasive populations of grey squirrels in May 2005. Scottish Natural
Heritage currently has two grey squirrel control officers working in the
south of Scotland.
Local red squirrel
conservation officer Ann-Marie MacMaster urged the public to report red
or grey squirrels which appeared to be ill. "Once red squirrels develop
lesions, they are extremely infectious," she said.
"We would also ask people
in the Lockerbie area especially not to encourage the two species of
squirrel together through the use of feeders as this may facilitate the
spread of the disease."
The red squirrel is one
of the most threatened species of mammal in the UK with 75% (121,000
animals) of the population estimated to be found in Scotland.
In February 2007, the
Scottish Executive awarded a two-year contract to investigate the
development of a vaccine against squirrel pox virus.
Anger at beauty spot 'vandalism'
Craven Herald 11 May 2007
A Dales resident has been
horrified by what he calls "vandalism" carried out by the National Trust
in a sensitive area of Malham. Stuart Gledhill, who has lived in
Malhamdale all his life and is a member of the National Trust, said he
could not believe his eyes when he came across broken limestone pavement
and metal fence posts at Janet's Foss, a well-known beautyspot.
The land is owned by the
National Trust and lies within the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Gordale Beck runs over the foss (a Nordic word for waterfall) and is
visited by thousands of people each year.
Mr Gledhill, a life-long
member of the National Trust, immediately got in touch with the charity.
He also contacted the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority which
looks after the land.
"I eventually spoke to
the national park's area ranger Kat Kilner, who was as surprised as me,"
said Mr Gledhill. "It seems it is a joint venture by the National Trust
and the national park authority and while she said she was aware the
work was to go ahead, she did not know it had started and that the posts
were not supposed to be in the line of sight from the bottom of the
"I appreciate the need to
make some areas accessible for everyone, but there are places where this
is not practical. Damaging the limestone in the Dales is wrong. What has
been done up there I would class as vandalism," he said.
However, Martin Davies,
the National Trust's countryside property manager for the Yorkshire
Dales, played down the severity of the situation. Mr Davies said he was
due to meet Mr Gledhill at Janet's Foss yesterday (Thursday) to look at
ways to address his concerns.
Damaging the rare
limestone pavement is an offence and Natural England has said it will
investigate the damage.
Outrage as patch of
Bracknell News 10 May
Outraged neighbours are
in talks with the authorities after a large portion of woodland was
removed in Martin's Heron. The woodland was cleared within a few hours
two weeks ago.
Mary Combs,of Allsmoor
Lane,said said: "It is the amount of forest that they have cut down
which has concerned me. Also it is horrible that they did this during
bird breeding season."
Ms Combs is so concerned
about the incident that she is starting a campaign to protect the green
corridors in Bracknell. As well as being in the process of setting up a
website (www.greencorridors.org), Ms Combs has pinned aerial and
landscape photos - along with posters titled Blot on the Landscape and
Our Goals - to a billboard at the end of her garden. Anyone using the
path behind her house can see the photos and read up on the group's
The woodland was cut down
by the private landowner and is currently under investigation from the
Forestry Commission, which is responsible for the protection of the UK's
forests and woodlands.
Changing face of Ashdown Forest
this is Kent 10 May 2007
The Ashdown Forest has
become a place where dog walkers and nature lovers feel they have been
left out of the loop. Residents who regularly use the forest have
complained about gorse being taken, tree felling and, more recently,
sheep grazing, which they say is destroying the landscape.
They feel they are being
patronised by never being told what is happening to the protected
heathland and that they are becoming an inconvenience to the
Conservators of the Ashdown Forest. When they ask questions, they say
there are never satisfactory answers.
This week it was
announced that the forest had won part of £5.5million Lottery money to
reveal its hidden history.
Clerk to the conservators
Hew Prendergast said the money would fund a more informative Forest
Centre where people could learn about its wildlife and history.
This could either worry
people further as being another scheme they had no idea about or it
could be a turning point where the centre becomes a place where
residents can reveal the hidden answers to their questions.
this is Kent
Ancient forests get lottery
The Argus, 8 May 2007
Lottery cash has been set
aside to restore treasured ancient areas of Sussex countryside. Weald
Forest Ridge, which stretches from Tonbridge to Horsham, is due to
benefit from a £5.5 million package from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The
area, in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, includes
Ashdown Forest, near East Grinstead and St Leonard's Forest, near
partnership applied for about £2 million to improve the area's natural
habitats and restore fragments of four medieval forests.
Broadwater Warren, a lost
forest dating back to the Middle Ages, is due to become the largest
heathland restoration project in the South East under the scheme.
The Weald Forest Ridge
Landscape Partnership, including district and county councils in Sussex,
the Countryside Agency, the Department for Environment Food and Rural
Affairs and English Heritage, has already contributed £1,327,093 to the
scheme. It aims to make the area accessible to 350,000 people living in
Horsham, Crawley, Haywards Heath, East Grinstead, Crowborough, Uckfield,
Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge.
Weald Forest Ridge, which
in Roman and Tudor times was a heartland for the iron industry, contains
some of Britain's oldest woodland.
Barry Gardiner, the
Government minister for biodiversity, landscape and rural affairs, said:
"Our landscapes are vital for lots of reasons - for our countryside, for
people, for wildlife, for the economy and for the environment.
"The money awarded today
by the Heritage Lottery Fund will help people and communities to work
together to create tomorrow's living landscapes, protecting and
enhancing habitats and local environments for the benefit of all."
£3m to preserve area's
BBC news online 8 May
More than £3m is being
spent on helping to preserve and restore two of the region's most
At least £1.8m is being
given to the Wyre Forest in Worcestershire, a large surviving area of
ancient woodland, by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Another £1.4m is going
to Cheshire's Sandstone Ridge, a beauty spot which has existed since
A lottery spokesman said
the money would help communities to protect habitats and local
The Wyre Forest has been
used in the past as a chase, a Royal hunting forest and producer of
charcoal and bark for the leather industry. It also has a history of
coal mining, fruit growing and farming. If the 280 fragmented fruit
orchards are revived it would help conserve the 1, 200 species of
butterflies and moths which can be found there.
Ridge has seen it being used for agricultural and industrial purposes.
Its pits of silt and clay are now ponds and wetlands, supporting a range
of mosses and wildlife.
poisons were found after dying birds discovered
this is North Scotland 1
The head gamekeeper at a
Moray estate was found with banned pesticides after dying birds were
discovered on farmland on the estate, a court heard yesterday.
Michael Royan's home on the Innes Estate near Elgin after moribund
buzzards and crows were found in a nearby field. The birds contained
traces of carbofuran, an insecticide outlawed since 2001. The search at
Innes Home Farm on November 29 last year revealed quantities of
carbofuran, and banned pesticides cymag and alphachloralose.
During the search police
also found 168 rounds of ammunition in an unlocked garage in breach of
Royan's obligations as the holder of a firearms certificate.
The gamekeeper was fined
£1,000 after he admitted being in possession of the three pesticides and
failing to comply with a condition of his fire - arms certificate by
storing ammunition in an unlocked garage.
this is North Scotland