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From ornamental plants to invasive species

Monday, March 26, 2018

In the UK we spend millions of pounds each year purchasing ornamental plants for domestic and commercial landscaping. Although the control of the sale and distribution of invasive ornamental species has been vastly tightened over the past few decades, unfortunately this has not always been the case. Two species that have affected the UK the most are Japanese knotweed, and Himalayan balsam. Read More

Why we shouldn’t breathe easy

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The world’s tropical forests are often referred to as the ‘lungs of the planet’, taking up carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. However, these vast, green, breathing spaces may be running out of puff.  Read More

The Nathusius’ pipistrelle

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

In the British Isles, Nathusius’ pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus nathusii) is relatively rare but widely distributed. It can be found throughout Europe as far east as the border with Turkey, west towards Northern Spain and north towards Finland. Nathusius’ pipistrelle was first seen on the Shetland Isles in 1940 and then later in Ireland in 1996 when a single bat was found grounded in Belfast. The species was initially thought of as a vagrant species with no fixed abode. By 1991, the species was defined as a migrant winter visitor. Mating of this species was later confirmed and three maternity colonies were discovered between 1997 and 2001 in Lincolnshire and Northern Ireland.  Read More

Keeping a close eye on groundwater

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Whilst we all are hoping to see those long balmy sunny days and evenings arrive soon, there are concerns about the wish for a scorching summer.  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

Beavers are back

Monday, November 28, 2016

Last week the Scottish Government formally announced that the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) is to be officially recognised as a native species 400 years after being hunted to extinction.  Read More