Category Archives: News

Woodland edges: why their structure is important for birds 

The patchwork of woods and fields seen across much of lowland Britain contain extensive lengths of woodland edge that could have a big impact on our woodland bird populations.

A new study between Bournemouth University, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and the RSPB looked at how the structure of trees and shrubs in Cambridgeshire woods affect bird populations.

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Woodland edges: why their structure is important for birds – Saving Species – Our work – The RSPB Community

RSPBNBLG Walk – Otmoor 6 May 2018

RSPB logoThe RSPB North Bucks Local Group are leading a field trip:

Location: Meet in the car park (free) a mile down Otmoor Lane from the Abingdon Arms, Beckley
Nearest postcode OX3 9TD)
SP 570 126

Postcode: OX3 9TD (Google map)

This historic wetland was restored from arable land – and our Group helps to fund it!

A May visit for special birds like Turtle Dove and Hobby. Come prepared for little shelter, no toilets and lengthy (though level) walking.

See the RSPB North Bucks Local Group website for more information

MKNHS is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites. You should check details of any events listed on external sites with the organisers.

To mow or to mow less?

Red-Tailed Bumblebee by Harry Appleyard, Tattenhoe 11 April 2016

Red-Tailed Bumblebee by Harry Appleyard, Tattenhoe 11 April 2016

Green spaces embedded within the urban matrix, particularly residential yards, could mitigate negative aspects of urban development and provide pollinator habitat.

Lawns represent a dominant green space, and their management consists of frequent mowing to inhibit the growth of ostensibly “weedy” species (e.g., dandelions and clover).

Since widespread population declines of bees and other pollinators from habitat loss are a growing concern, these spontaneous flowers could provide pollen and nectar sources throughout the growing season.

We experimentally tested whether different lawn mowing frequencies (1, 2 or 3 weeks) influenced bee abundance and diversity in 16 suburban western Massachusetts yards by increasing lawn floral resources.

Lawns mowed every three weeks had as much as 2.5 times more lawn flowers than the other frequencies. Interestingly, lawns mowed every two weeks supported the highest bee abundance yet the lowest bee richness and evenness. We suggest these patterns were driven by a combination of more abundant floral resources (compared with 1-week yards), easier access to lawn flowers due to shorter grass and a more drastic impact on grass biomass and floral resources (compared with 3-week yards), and the dominance of a few generalist bees overwhelming our samples, thus driving richness and evenness.

Our results highlight a “lazy lawnmower” approach to providing bee habitat. Mowing less frequently is practical, economical, and a timesaving alternative to lawn replacement or even planting pollinator gardens. Given the pervasiveness of lawns coupled with habitat loss, our findings provide immediate solutions for individual households to contribute to urban conservation.

Source: To mow or to mow less: Lawn mowing frequency affects bee abundance and diversity in suburban yards – ScienceDirect

The sun just developed three new holes

The sun is up to old tricks again, having recently developed three new coronal holes. And it’s us Earthlings that are bearing the brunt, occupying a planet hit by geomagnetic storms.While this might sound like I’m hailing the next rapture, I’m not. Solar holes aren’t uncommon, particularly given that we’re in the solar minimum – a stage in the sun’s 11-year activity cycle in which coronal holes are pretty regular.

Source: Holey moly! Three holes have burst open on the sun hurtling geomagnetic storms towards Earth | Alphr

Go wild for worms

The Wildlife Trusts and the RHS set up Wild About Gardens to celebrate wildlife gardening and to encourage people to use their gardens to take action to help support nature. Help us turn the UK’s estimated 24 million gardens into a network of nature reserves, and invite our wildlife back. This year Wild About Gardens is going wild about worms! These wriggly fellows are well known to gardeners all over.

Click on the link for more information: Wild About Gardens

Why Dutch dairy is becoming bird-friendly

For the last few years, VBN/BirdLife Netherlands has been working closely with Dutch farmers in the hopes of making the country’s world-famous dairy products as sustainable and nature-friendly as they are tasty. Gerrit Gerritsen tells us more about a most promising start.International studies recently showed Dutch men to be the tallest in the world, standing on average at 1.84 metres – re

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Milking the cow: why Dutch dairy is becoming bird-friendly | BirdLife

New Nature magazine April 2018 published

New Nature magazine April 2018

New Nature magazine April 2018

New Nature is the only natural history magazine written, edited and produced entirely by young people: by young ecologists, conservationists, communicators, nature writers and wildlife photographers each boasting an undying passion for the natural world. It is intended, foremost, as a celebration of nature, but also of the young people giving their time, freely, to protect it.

Click here to download the magazine

Gulf Stream current at its weakest in 1,600 years

The warm Atlantic current linked to severe and abrupt changes in the climate in the past is now at its weakest in at least 1,600 years, new research shows. The findings, based on multiple lines of scientific evidence, throw into question previous predictions that a catastrophic collapse of the Gulf Stream would take centuries to occur.

Source: Gulf Stream current at its weakest in 1,600 years, studies show | Environment | The Guardian

White Stork reintroduction project

There is significant evidence to show that White Storks were once a breeding bird of Britain, with an archaeological record stretching back 360,000 years.

White Storks are particularly associated with the county of Sussex. The Saxon name for the village of Storrington, near Worthing, was originally “Estorchestone”, meaning “the village of the storks”. A pair of white storks still features on the village emblem. Other place names in the area, such as Storwood and Storgelond, evoke the stork’s historical presence here.

Together with a number of private landowners in West Sussex, East Sussex and Surrey, and in partnership with the Roy Denis Wildlife Foundation, Warsaw Zoo and Cotswold Wildlife Park, Knepp Estate is helping to establish a breeding population of free-living White Storks in Britain once again.

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: White Storks — Knepp Wildland

Why are whales so big? 

Given the vast expanse of ocean on our planet, compared to the somewhat limited land space, you may be forgiven for thinking animals in water have the potential to grow bigger and bigger.  Yet new research has revealed that mammal growth is more constrained in water than on land, and we may have already reached the maximum.

Source: Why are whales so big? Study reveals secrets of giant mammals and why nothing will ever be bigger than a blue whale | Alphr

Nest Box Challenge

Bombus hypnorum nest site

Bird box ©Steve Brady

To get the most out of putting up your nest box, take part in Nest Box Challenge and help us to monitor the breeding success of birds in Britain’s green spaces. To take part, simply register your nest box online and then give us regular updates on whether it is used, what birds are using it, and the progress of any nests.

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Nest Box Challenge | BTO – British Trust for Ornithology

Restoration success of British floodplain meadows

The Floodplain Meadows Partnership started a national survey (England and Wales) of floodplain-meadow restoration in 2016 by visiting 52 restoration fields. These fields encompassed a wide range of restoration methods and histories, with different degrees of success when evaluated against MG4 grassland as the main target plant community. Of the 52 fields visited, 21 were considered to be progressing well, whilst the remaining 31 had at least one issue that obstructed successful restoration. These issues can be broadly classified as: suboptimal management (39%), excessive nutrient availability (26%), excessive waterlogging (19%) and use of suboptimal propagules (16%). Maintenance of the soil-nutrient balance within the range recommended for the MG4 community should greatly improve the success rate of restoration projects. If nutrient levels on the site are excessive, an early hay cut in June, or double hay cut, should be considered as the most efficient methods for bringing the nutrient balance to the target for the plant community. The survey showed that different species vary greatly in their rate of establishment. Vegetation of MG6, MG7 and MG9 grasslands, according to the National Vegetation Classification, was most widely represented on the restoration sites. MG4 and MG8 plant communities were each recorded in less than 3% of fields.

Click here to download the article.

BTO Bird Migration Blog

Spring migration has been a bit of a trickle so far, however, this is about to change. The forecast for the next few days, and into next week, is one of southerly and at times fairly light winds, the ideal recipe for migrants that have been held-up to finally arrive.

Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps should really be here in force now but as evidenced by the BirdTrack graphs they are running about two weeks late.

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: BTO Bird Migration Blog

Cold comfort for butterflies

The conventional wisdom among UK butterfly enthusiasts is that cold winters are generally good for butterflies. However, until recently there was little scientific evidence to support this perception. Indeed, previous analyses correlating butterfly population size measured by the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (UKBMS) with weather data had concluded that warm summer weather was the key positive factor associated with numbers of adult butterflies in most species

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Butterfly Conservation – Cold comfort

Wild birds suffer personality disorders due to ingestion of heavy metals

A team of researchers from the University of Antwerp has found evidence of heavy metal ingestion by wild birds causing changes in their personalities. In their paper published in Science of The Total Environment, the group describes the multiple ways they studied bird behavior near a site known for emitting cadmium and lead, and what they found.

Source: Study results suggest wild birds suffer personality disorders due to ingestion of heavy metals

Event to Save Butterfly World –  21 April 2018

Save Butterfly World is a community group that was established after hearing about the intended closure of the Butterfly World Project in St Albans.

The Save Butterfly World group was created on 10th January 2016 following considerable social media interest and the launching of a worldwide petition. This petition was set up to establish how much support there was for the Project, and now has over 60,000 signatures and local press interest. The Save Butterfly World group are made up of a number of volunteers, charity workers, professionals and friends of Butterfly World Project who desperately want to see the project survive.

Save Butterfly World charity is holding a prestigious day of wildlife lectures as part of the St Albans Sustainability festival to raise awareness of issues facing our wildlife and mankind’s reliance on the natural environment.

Use this link to find out more information and to book your tickets: “From Penguins to Pollinators” Tickets, Sat, 21 Apr 2018 at 09:30 | Eventbrite

MKNHS is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites. You should check details of any events listed on external sites with the organisers.

10 Plants for Butterflies

Butterflies are among our prettiest garden visitors, but many are dwindling in numbers.

According to a Butterfly Conservation report published in 2015, The State of Britain’s Butterflies, three-quarters of UK butterflies have shown a 10-year decrease in either their distribution or population levels.

You can you do your bit for butterflies by making them welcome in your garden. Adults feed on nectar, and are especially fond of plants with long, tubular flowers – so the more of these you can grow, the better.

Source: 10 Plants for Butterflies –

RSPBNBLG Walk – 21 July 2018 Salcey Forest

RSPB logoThe RSPB North Bucks Local Group are leading a field trip:

Location: Meet: Forestry Commission car park on South side of Hartwell—Stoke Goldington road. SP 811 509.
NB this is NOT the main visitor centre car park.

Wide rides are busy with flowers and insects, including white admiral, purple hairstreak and possible purple emperor butterflies. Easy walking.

Leader: Chris Coppock

All welcome

Time: 10 am to 1 pm

Price: Free

See the RSPB North Bucks Local Group website for more information

MKNHS is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites. You should check details of any events listed on external sites with the organisers.

Butterfly Conservation’s first edition of Science News has been published

Good science has always been at the heart of Butterfly Conservation. The data gathered by our world renowned recording schemes such as the United Kingdom Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (UKBMS), Butterflies for the New Millennium (BNM) and the National Moth Recording Scheme (NMRS) underpins everything we do.

Published twice per-year, this newsletter will bring you the latest news about the ground-breaking science and research produced by Butterfly Conservation’s team of ecologists and statisticians, often working in collaboration with universities and research institutions across the UK and Europe.

Click on the link for more information: Science News – Welcome to the first edition

City-dwelling blackbirds have poorer health

Blackbirds live longer in cities than in forests. But their telomeres, repetitive stretches of DNA at the ends of the chromosomes, show that these city birds have a much poorer health status than their rural cousins. These findings from a study in five European cities led by University of Groningen biologists were published in Biology Letters on 21 March.

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: City-dwelling blackbirds have poorer measures of health

BTO Garden BirdWatch Newsletter March 2018

March has been a busy month, with the Beast from the East bringing with it a flurry of birds to our gardens. It is now finally beginning to look like spring, and we’re starting to receive reports of nesting activity.

We’re also starting to record more invertebrates in gardens, and from April we’ll join in with the UK Pollinator Survey’s 10-minute flower-insect counts, in our garden at head office. I hope that many of you will also get behind the project, which aims to improve our understanding of pollinator populations.

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: GBW enews: Learning more about wildlife health

April is a great time to visit Iffley Meadows

The sight of thousands of purple and white chequered snake’s-head fritillaries at these ancient wet meadows will take your breath away.

Snake’s-head fritillaries have been flowering since early April this year, and are at their best over Easter. The annual count, which took place on 12 April, recorded 75,508 plants – the fourth highest number since BBOWT took on the management in 1983.

Click here to find out more about this special site: Iffley Meadows | Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust

Conserving arable farmland

More than 120 species of wildflowers grow in arable habitats and together make up one of the most threatened groups of plants in the UK. Flowers such as pheasant’s-eye were once picked from cornfields south of London and sold in Covent Garden as ‘Moroccan red’. Many of our most beloved plants – such as cornflower, corn marigold and corncockle – have drastically declined and no longer colour our farmland. However, they are an essential source of pollen and nectar for bees, butterflies and other pollinators and their seeds can support huge populations of small mammals and farmland birds.

Click on the link for more information: Plantlife :: Arable farmland

Open Sunday at Linford Lakes NR 15 April 2018

Linford Lakes Nature Reserve visitors enjoying an Open Sunday

Linford Lakes Nature Reserve visitors enjoying an Open Sunday

Open Sunday at Linford Lakes NR 15 April 2018 10:00-16:00hrs.

Tea and coffee, home-made cakes available.

Second-hand books on sale as well as crafts and bird seed.

Great views through the new windows.

Here’s hoping for some warmer dryer weather as this can be a busy time on the reserve with lots of new arrivals. Birds singing and nest building, bees a buzzin, crickets chirping and butterflies and flowers too.

Come and enjoy the reserve a new, now we are free of any current building plans to spoil our enjoyment.

What makes the invasive species ‘banned’ list?

Signal crayfishIn Britain, we have more than 3,000 invasive non-native plant and animal species. That’s a big figure, and they have a big impact on our environment, causing damage to property and infrastructure, affecting ecosystems, harming wildlife habitats and out-competing some of our native species. It is worth remembering that only a very small proportion of non-native species become invasive and establish themselves. Plenty of pets, livestock and ornamental plants that are not native to this country are brought here and cause no damage.

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: How to decide what makes the invasive species ‘banned’ list

Identifying flutter flies (Pallopteridae)

Palloptera muliebris (female) by Martin Cooper
(CC BY 2.0)

Steven Falk has produced an identification guide to Pallopteridae

Introducing flutter flies (Pallopteridae), a small family (13 British species) of some very attractive wing-waving. picture-winged flies, most of which are fairly easy to record. I’ve provides a wing chart and a scan of Alan Stubb’s 1994 key.

Click on the link to view the guide.

The chequered skipper will rise again

This May the small brown and gold wings of the chequered skipper will once again beat in the woods of England. Susannah O’Riordan from Butterfly Conservation is here in the butterfly’s spiritual home, the Chequered Skipper pub in Ashton, to reveal the plot to an enthusiastic audience of 80 or so.

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Country diary: with luck and help, the chequered skipper will rise again | Environment | The Guardian

RSPBNBLG Talk – The Nature of France 12 April 2018

RSPB logoThe RSPB North Bucks Local Group are hosting a talk:

“The Nature of France” – Dennis Furnell
Location: The Cruck Barn, City Discovery Centre, Bradwell Abbey, Milton Keynes

Postcode: MK13 9AP (Google map)

From birding near the Channel Ports to Southern France and the Champagne region, Dennis will tell us about his life as a naturalist, writer and broadcaster, working with French tourism regions to develop their wildlife potential. Expect Storks, migrant Cranes, plus flowering plants, butterflies – and much more.

Time: Doors open 7.15pm for a prompt 7.45pm start, ends at 10pm

Price: Group members £3, Non-group members £4, Children £1

See the RSPB North Bucks Local Group website for more information

MKNHS is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites. You should check details of any events listed on external sites with the organisers.

Butterfly Conservation 2017 Migrant Watch survey

The Migrant Watch survey has now been running for 10 years, 2008-2017. Over that time 58,811 reports of Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) and Humming-bird Hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) have been reported through the website. Surprisingly, Humming-bird Hawk-moth records (35,248 reports in total) considerably outnumber those of Painted Lady butterflies (23,563 reports). Indeed, in seven of the 10 years, there have been more reports of the moth than of the butterfly, and only in the amazing Painted Lady year of 2009 did butterfly sightings greatly outnumber those of Humming-bird Hawk-moth. More than half (54%) of all the Painted Lady reports ever submitted to Migrant Watch came in 2009!

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Butterfly Conservation – Results of 2017 Survey

Goshawks and gunshots

Guest blog by Howard Jones, RSPB Investigations Officer

Goshawk, credit Roy Mangersnes

My job as an investigations officer can take you into some privileged positions. One moment that particularly sticks in my mind, is the time when I arrived with a couple of my colleagues to check on an active goshawk nest in the Peak District that we had been a putting a considerable amount effort into protecting that spring. We were visiting the nest site on a regular basis under an approved license, every time expecting the worst to have happened and the nest to have failed – as has often happened to goshawks breeding in the Peak District.

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: The goshawks and the gunshots: a grim Easter story – Investigations – Our work – The RSPB Community

Provisional atlas of shieldbugs and allies published

Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina) by Peter Hassett, Old Warden Tunnel NR, 21 September 2016

Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina) by Peter Hassett, Old Warden Tunnel NR, 21 September 2016

A text summary and map is provided for each species. Maps were produced using DMAP for Windows v7.4 and are based on a dataset of 50,000 records collated up to 2014, which formed the basis of the recent IUCN status review (Bantock, T. A review of the Hemiptera of Great Britain: The shieldbugs and allied families (Natural England 2016). Since 2014 one additional species has been added to the British list, the pentatomid Sciocoris homalonotus.

Click here for more information.

Task Day at Linford Lakes NR 8 April 2018

FoLLNR logo

FoLLNR logo

Task Day at Linford Lakes NR

Please Note Change of Date!

The date has been changes as the Task Day fell on Easter Sunday.

Sunday 8th April. (not 1st April)

10:00- 13:00hrs.

Come and help tidy up and give a bit of a spring clean to the reserve.

Great way to keep fit, work with a friendly group of people.

Refreshments available for helpers.

BuBC trip – Floodplain Forest NR 8 April 2018

Oystercatcher ©Peter Hassett, Floodplain Forest NR 19 June 2017

Oystercatcher ©Peter Hassett, Floodplain Forest NR 19 June 2017

Buckinghamshire Bird Club will be hosting a field trip on

8 Apr 2018 – 09:30 to 13:00

at Manor Farm, Haversham Road, Wolverton (Lat/Long 52.0717 and -0.809521)

Waders and spring migrants
Meet at car park: SP817422 Post Code MK12 5RH

Click here for more information:

MKNHS is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites. You should check details of any events listed on external sites with the organisers.

Pollinator ID course for the national Pollinator Monitoring Scheme

The Flower-Insect Timed Count (FIT count) is a survey designed to collect data on the changes in numbers of flower visitng insects across the UK. It is one element of a wider set of studies for the National Pollinator Monitoring Scheme (PoMS), co-ordinated by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, in partnership with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, University of Reading and many more.

The course will be held on Wednesday, 9 May 2018 at 10:00

Click here for more details and to book your ticket: Pollinator ID course for the national Pollinator Monitoring Scheme Tickets, Wed, 9 May 2018 at 10:00 | Eventbrite

Invasive Species Week 23-29 March 2018

In 2015, the NNSS and Defra launched the first Invasive Species Week, bringing together a range of organisations to raise awareness of invasive non-native species and inspire people to #GetINNSvolved and stop the spread

This year Invasive Species Week is back and bigger than ever! We’re delighted to have Ireland, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey involved for the first time.

Click on the link for more information: Invasive Species Week – GB non-native species secretariat

An introduction to bird topography

Mandarin Duck ©Janice Robertson, Yarner Wood, Devon. 20 May 2016

Mandarin Duck ©Janice Robertson, Yarner Wood, Devon. 20 May 2016

The BTO have produced a course to help you identify bird topography

Our first experiment of #BSW18 focuses on learning bird topography. Do you know how to tell apart your underwing coverts from your axillaries? No worries if not – you’ll have this down in no time. Download the full experiment here

Hoverflies are effective pollinators of commercial strawberry

Winner. Hoverflies by Mark Strutton. 3 July 2016

Winner. Hoverflies by Mark Strutton. 3 July 2016

Recent declines in wild pollinators represent a significant threat to the sustained provision of pollination services. Insect pollinators are responsible for an estimated 45% of strawberry crop yields, which equates to a market value of approximately £99 million per year in the UK alone.

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Syrphine hoverflies are effective pollinators of commercial strawberry | Hodgkiss | Journal of Pollination Ecology

The Parks Trust Volunteers

Howe Park Wood Education and Visitor Centre

Howe Park Wood Education and Visitor Centre by Peter Hassett

The Parks Trust are looking for Volunteers to help with some activities if you have some free time.

If you are interested in helping please contact Carla Boswell

At  by Friday 30th March.

It’s the Annual Spring clean of the Canal in partnership with the Canal & Rivers Trust (CRT) and MK branch of the Inland Waterways Association (IWA).

Please note that CRT donate a minibus to take people back to the starting point if you have driven to Fenny Lock on Friday and Giffard Park on the Saturday, you will not be left stranded!

I am away on holiday for my birthday I couldn’t make this clean up but wanted to know if there was any interest in doing smaller sections again like last year, so I organise it with the Community Ranger Team the year please.

Friday 13 April 2018

  • 9.30am – 10.30 Simpson Area – deep cleanse with the local Simpson volunteer group, awaiting to hear if anyone is interest.
  • Woolstones grid area along the canal  10.45am – 1pm Ouzel Valley Park      

The Parks Trust Volunteers will aim to do a morning stretch of litter picking along the canal Broadwalk and in the bushes lead by The Community Ranger team, snacks will be supplied.

Meeting at the car park in Woolstones at 10.45am to collect & distribute litter pickers, high viz and bags before walking along the tow path south to Peartree Bridge and return, as it is unlikely to meet the Tea boat.  Car park is at the junction of Pattison and Marshalls Lane, MK15 0BS.

This is just over 4Km (4.3km or 3miles) walk in total litter picking.  Please remember sturdy walking shoes/boots and old clothes and no valuables.

 Saturday 14 April 2018

  • Stanton Low and Joan’s Piece 9am  – 11.30am

Meeting and parking at TPT Stanton Low car park off Newport road in New bradwell/Oakridge Park, next to Asda at Oakridge Park to concentrate on Joan’s piece woodland area and walk back along the canal to Stanton Low Park.  The canal boat tea stop is by Joan’s piece for 11.30am, timings approximate.

If anyone is interesting in joining the canal clean up with The Parks Trust sections or the IWA full stretches, please let me know by Easter weekend/ 30 March 2018, so I can make a decision on Tuesday 2 April and I can send you more details then.

I look forward to hearing from you shortly

Dear Volunteers

Thanks to those of you who came to the coffee morning on 1 March and signed up with a general interest for the River Warden Role.

For those of you not in the know, basically, this role falls under the Upper and Bedford Ouse Catchment Partnership and an is extension of the Volunteer Ranger role, in patrolling a section of the River Ouzel within your local park.  The Green Sand Trust Volunteers are already doing this upstream in Leighton Buzzard and The Trust has been contacted to get involved to help survey and monitor the next section of The River Ouzel.

What is the purpose?  This volunteer role will help to create a baseline data with local eyes and ears on the ground, as River wardens you will recognise any subtle changes to the river water, invasive species, wildlife and the channel itself over the monthly checks.  This data will build up picture to influence potential project, similar to those where we have placed willow bundles along the river to aid bank restoration in Ouzel valley park.

We are still looking to recruit some more volunteers to help survey the Ouzel in pairs once a month, which we have divided into 7 sections from Willen North to Caldecotte South.

We have now secured a training date with our Partners from The Green Sand Trust, The Environment Agency and The Wildlife Trust to deliver this expert training and advice on what to look out for on your walkover surveys and give you an overview of the partnership and cover the all-important Health and safety training for the role.

Training Date – Wednesday 18 April 12.30-5pm

Campbell Park Pavilion

Lunch provided

Walking shoes/wellies and outdoor gear for a short walkover site visit.


  • Walk over survey once a month, at minimum 4 per year.
  • Organised Training day
  • Initial walk over survey section with TPT staff (Community Rangers)
  • Upload survey data online following on-site survey

Equipment provided

  • Clipboard
  • Paperwork
  • Training/ID sheets and guides

If you are interest or would like to know more information then please do not hesitate to contact Me, Martin or Susi, who attended the training session today.

If you cannot make the 18 April training date, an alternative session will be provided at a weekend when I have an idea of numbers.

If you can respond to this email to register your interest by Thursday 5 April 2018 and what training session you can attend, simply state 18 April or weekend, that would be most helpful.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Kind regards, as always

Carla Boswell
Volunteer Co-ordinator
The Parks Trust
Campbell Park Pavilion, 1300 Silbury Boulevard, Campbell Park, Milton Keynes, MK9 4AD
Tel: 01908 255 388     Mob: 07770 646581

RSPBNBLG Walk – College Lake 4 April 2018

RSPB logoThe RSPB North Bucks Local Group are leading a field trip to College Lake, Near Ivinghoe, Buckinghamshire
Location: Meet in the car park (Suggested donation £3 to support BBOWT’s work). Signposted off the B488 Ivinghoe to Tring road

SP 936 138
Postcode: HP23 5QG (Google map)

This flagship Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust reserve has a fine visitor centre and cafe – and the flooded chalk pit always holds a good range of birds. An easy walk around site on (mostly level) paths.

Toilets on site, picnic area. All welcome.

Leader : Brian Lloyd

Access information : Two Tramper mobility aids are available to hire which can take visitors around the whole site on the main track. To hire a Tramper (no fixed charge but donation welcome), it’s best to’phone ahead to book one and, if you’re a new user on this site, you’ll need to register – so please arrive early & bring ID.

Time: 10 am to 1 pm

Price: Car park donation

See the RSPB North Bucks Local Group website for more information

MKNHS is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites. You should check details of any events listed on external sites with the organisers.

Happy World Sparrow Day

House Sparrow by Harry Appleyard, Furzton Lake 28 December 2016

House Sparrow by Harry Appleyard, Furzton Lake 28 December 2016

20th March 2018 is World Sparrow Day.

You can see the results of the BTO Garden BirdWatchers results here.

Use this link to learn how to spot the difference between a House and Tree Sparrow.

‘Winterkill’ in Amphibians

Common Frogs by Harry Appleyard, Howe Park Wood 01Mar16

Common Frogs by Harry Appleyard, Howe Park Wood 01Mar16

Infectious diseases are not the only cause of amphibian mortality. Dead amphibians, sometimes in large numbers, can also be the result of non-infectious events such as ‘winterkill’. Some amphibians, mostly common frogs (Rana temporaria), might overwinter in the silt and vegetation in the bottom of ponds, which usually does not harm the animals. However, sometimes they don’t survive hibernation due to winterkill, which usually occurs if the pond becomes frozen over. The exact cause of this is not yet known, but it is thought to be caused by lack of oxygen or potentially the toxic effect of gases produced by decomposing organic material beneath the ice during long cold spells. Alternatively, winterkill can affect frogs overwintering in very shallow ponds if the entire water body freezes.

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: ‘Winterkill’ in Amphibians – Garden Wildlife Health

Colour in the Margins Project

Stock Dove by Harry Appleyard, Howe Park Wood 13 February 2017

Stock Dove by Harry Appleyard, Howe Park Wood 13 February 2017

The colourful hues of cornfield flowers were once a familiar part of our arable landscape. Sadly they are also the fastest declining suite of plants in the UK. Fascinating, sometimes rare, and often overlooked – they are frequently threatened by the arable farming on which they depend. This has a knock-on effect for other wildlife, including ground beetles, bats and birds.

Click on the link for more information: Colour in the Margins – Back From The Brink

‘Extinct’ flutter-wing fly  found in Scotland

A rare flutter-wing fly, Palloptera laetabilis, not seen in the UK for over 100 years has been found at Den of Airlie Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a woodland in Angus.  This is also the first time this fly has ever been found in Scotland.The rare fly was presumed to be extinct, but was found during site condition monitoring surveys completed by Caledonian Conservation under contract to Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) in 2015.  The discovery has since been confirmed and published by Steven Falk (the fly expert on the project team) in the most recent issue of Dipterists Digest.Den of Airlie SSSI is only the fifth site that this species has been recorded at in the UK, and the only one in Scotland.  The other four sites are all located in England, with the last record being from Oxfordshire in 1907.Chris Cathrine, Director of Caledonian Conservation and project leader for the 2015 invertebrate site condition monitoring project said:  “Finding a species last recorded over a century ago is very exciting.  That this is also the first record for the species in Scotland makes this all the more special.  We found a great number of rare species during our surveys across Scotland.  While Palloptera laetabilis is undoubtedly the most exciting, we hope to publish records from all 25 sites, including the Isle of Rum, in the future.”The invertebrate records collected by Caledonian Conservation during these surveys (including Den of Airlie SSSI) are available on NBN Atlas at: more about SNH’s work in Scotland at: Falk’s paper on Palloptera laetabilis is available on the Caledonian Conservation publications page, or directly here.Steven Falk was contracted by Caledonian Conservation to complete surveys for this project through his previous role at Buglife – the Invertebrate Conservation Trust.  For more information on Steven Falk’s work and photography, please visit: more information about the Dipterists Digest visit:  Female Palloptera laetabilis from Den of Airlie Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) © Steven Falk

Source: ‘Extinct’ flutter-wing fly last seen 100 years ago found in Angus, Scotland

Why We Need To Put Meadows Back On The Map

In the UK, our most intensively farmed land is a wasteland for biodiversity.

It pains me to say this as a botanist but far too often plants are seen as no more than a backdrop, an out-of-focus green screen in front of which our more ‘charismatic’ wildlife can appear. This apparent ‘plant blindness’ shrouds the ultimate truth, as set out by Sir David Attenborough: “plants capture energy from the sun and all life on land, directly or indirectly, depends on them. So, ultimately, plants fuel the diversity of life on earth.”

Click here to read the link to read the rest of the article: Recolouring The Countryside – Why We Need To Put Meadows Back On The Map

Addressing the generational skills gap

In 2016 the Field Studies Council (FSC) was awarded a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop a project to address the lack of people able to identify and record difficult species groups, with a focus on the West Midlands and South East regions of England. We spent nearly a year consulting with a wide range of professionals and volunteers involved in the natural history sector and something become very clear: professionals and volunteers alike expressed their concerns that not enough young people were joining the ranks of biological recorders and it is widely recognised that a generational skills gap is developing in field and identification skills, largely due to changes in the way biology and ecology is taught at all levels of the education system.

Source: Addressing the generational skills gap | Biodiversity Projects