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Volunteer required?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The birds are singing, the bees are out and about, and this morning I saw my first slug searching for the newly sprouted greens in my garden. This can only mean one thing – the season has kicked in.  Read More

Otters, the basics

Monday, March 06, 2017

With growing numbers of otters in the UK the chance of coming across one of these fascinating creatures has never been better. The Eurasian otter (lutra lutra) is a wide-ranging member of the mustelid family and is present throughout Europe, including the UK, large parts of Asia and northern Africa.  Read More

Can development ever be good for nature?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

I confess that in my younger days I was an idealist, believing that all development had to be stopped to save the world. Now, much longer in tooth, and wiser (I hope), I realise that a considerably more pragmatic approach is required. I am still passionate about nature and wildlife but recognise that new housing is needed to accommodate the UK’s ever growing population and along with that comes the associated new infrastructure – bigger roads and faster rail.  Read More

The Large Blue Butterfly makes a comeback

Thursday, February 16, 2017

A rare and enigmatic species, the large blue butterfly is one of two insects to be awarded European Protected Species status in the UK. The large blue has always been elusive, and even disappeared from UK shores in the late 1970s. However, the species was successfully reintroduced in a number of sites in south-west England and it is steadily increasing as reported in The State of the UK’s Butterfly 2015 report, published by the charity Butterfly Conservation. Read More

An unlikely ally

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

In the constant battle of survival that dominates the natural world an unlikely ally has come to the aid of the red squirrel - the pine marten. Pine martens are native to the UK and most of Europe, hunting both on the ground and in the trees. However, due to extensive woodland clearance and human persecution, the range of the pine marten has been dramatically reduced. Apart from small populations in Wales and northern England, the Scottish Highlands is their last real stronghold in the UK.  Read More

Help for hedgehogs

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) have declined by 97 per cent in Britain over the last 70 years, from 35 million in the 1950s to just under one million today.  Read More

Snap happy!

Monday, January 23, 2017

With the miniaturisation of electronics the camera trap has become an excellent survey technique, a 24 hour night or day recording service that can be used in its own right as a survey method or to supplement survey techniques in a variety of situations. The ultimate aim is to improve the accuracy of biological recording on a site in one, or multiple locations.  Read More

Discovering dormice

Monday, January 16, 2017

The third weekend in November marked the last dormouse nestbox checks of the year for the National Dormouse Monitoring Programme (NDMP). As the nights drew in and the frosts appeared, dormice, along with many other animals, started to hibernate. The NDMP will begin again in March with a spring clean of the nesting boxes.  Read More