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Friday, July 29, 2011

The Natural Choice. HM Goverment White Paper

Looking for a reaction from the Wild Life Trusts about this new legislation I found these videos on the subject.
If my photograph appears on top of the clip its just a layout problem I must sort out but dont let it put you off!
The Wildlife Trusts also make the following comments:

The Natural Environment White Paper - what happens next?
The much anticipated Natural Environment White Paper has been published. This marks the culmination of effort, pressure and engagement from The Wildlife Trusts and its members on Government to recognise the need to make the natural environment a priority. However, this pivotal moment just marks the first step of the journey on nature’s road to recovery.
In the build up to the 2010 General Election, The Wildlife Trusts called for a White Paper on the Natural Environment to identify the policy changes needed for nature’s recovery. We were delighted when the Coalition Government committed to produce a White Paper. A consultation over the summer 2010 resulted in Defra receiving more than 15,000 responses - the most a Government White Paper has ever received!
The Wildlife Trusts’ members were fundamental in demonstrating to the Government just how much people value their natural environment and that nature is worth protecting and restoring. Thank you for your engagement so far – it has made all the difference.
The Wildlife Trusts have pushed for Government to take leadership and to establish a framework to enable people and communities to value, and take action for, wildlife. We want to see the recovery and restoration of the natural environment happening everywhere in the UK.
We now need to keep up the pressure on Government to ensure they meet their commitments set out within the White Paper. Please continue to support The Wildlife Trusts at this exciting time, not only for wildlife and the natural environment but for each and every one of us, as we embark on nature’s road to recovery.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Apologies for absence

Here are a few photographs from John Bebbington which show why I find wildlife so fascinating. We have to take three days off this week for family reasons and its never convenient because of the never ending work to help the fight for wildlife conservation.
I have had to miss a regular meeting of our "Private and Community Nature Reserve Network" committee which was set up some years ago to help individuals and community groups with advice and information about the management of small areas of land. These sites are defined as not intensively farmed land and not a garden. They vary from less than an acre to tens of acres of woodland. In case your wondering , an acre is 4046.86 square metres.
On Wednesday there is a " Living Seas " conference organised by the Wildlife Trust. All the counties in the South West of England have a coast line and are involved in the campaigning to protect our coastal waters. This session should give some direction to work by all the involved groups in the south west. I will read reports of the proceedings with interest.
Our local Area Group of the Somerset Wildlife Trust had its last organised walk in a woodland local reserve last Sunday in slightly gloomy weather. The variety of flowering plants was the highlight in the circumstances.
Last week we had the last of our 2010-2011 Botany Group study meetings and so putting it all together we might get a welcome break from the endless round of meetings and project work.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Conservation of meadows

We held a Wildlife Trust site visit on Sunday 10th July which was a great success. The weather was warm and dry and 16 members arrived to explore the plants and insect life. No sooner had I said that I knew that the Great Green Bush Cricket was usually found in the field and one appeared on cue for photographs.

The photographs shown here are a common sights in our meadow: Marbled White butterfly, Common Ragwort and Bee Orchid , this latter now finished flowering and hence difficult to spot. Examples were found showing the seed pods well developed hopefully to provide a good population next year.

Two groups were led around the paths kept mown to reduce the impact of random walking except for occasional inspections of particular plants. Dr Anne Bebbington led the exploration to identify flowering plants and John Bebbington FRPS led a group looking for insects of which there were many. Including day flying moths.Almost every time we do such an inspection we find new species.
Well over 100 plant species, large and small have been found in the 4 acres including 15 grasses.

Following the visit we agreed that the site was worthy of an annual visit by our Botany Group to carry out a formal transect survey probly each June. This would use a fixed and permanent line on the long axis of the field with a half metre square  examind at fixed locations along the line. The records would be kept for comparison from year to year.  A long term project!

Because the Bee Orchid photo is out of focus here are two Pyramidal orchids of which there are many still in flower in the meadow.

Monday, July 04, 2011

British Dragonflies

A recent local report from " a usually reliable source" has caused the equivalent of a twitcher frenzy for a rare migrant bird.

The link shown above gives an impression of a Norfolk Hawker,   Aeshna isoceles,  which whilst reported outside Norfolk is not thought to be present in Somerset.

To try to check for any other sightings  I'm seeking news of any other possible sightings in Somerset. Please contact me if you think you can help
Here is some information about this Dragonfly taken from the Natural History Museum web site.
Aeshna isosceles, Norfolk Hawker. © R Jurecek
This dragonfly is restricted to one area of Britain - the broads district of Norfolk. It has been scarce and local in Britain since records began.
It is now categorised as endangered in Britain and is listed in schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
In Britain, this endangered species of dragonfly is found only around the Norfolk Broads, but it is also found in other parts of Europe and North Africa. In Norfolk, it prefers to live close to waterways where the water soldier plant - Stratiotes aloides grows. Its name Aeshna isosceles relates to a distinctive triangular marking on its abdomen