Category Archives: News

Fly of the month – St Marks fly

St. Mark’s Flies (Bibio marci) are so called because they emerge around St Mark’s Day on 25th April every year and can be seen in flight in May. They are found around woodland edges, hedges, rough grassland and wetlands and can be seen throughout the UK in spring.

Click here for more information.: Bug of the month | Buglife

Bee-fly Watch 2019

Bee-fly Watch is now into its fourth year, and the bee-flies celebrated by appearing earlier than ever before – the first one was seen on 17 February, about two weeks before their normal emergence date! These distinctive furry flies will be on the wing through to June, often hovering over flowers and using their long ‘nose’ (proboscis) to feed on nectar.

Click here for more information.

RSPBNBLG Talk – What’s happening now in conservation 9 May 2019

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

Location: The Cruck Barn, City Discovery Centre, Alston Drive, Bradwell Abbey, Milton Keynes
Postcode: MK13 9AP (Google map)

As RSPB’s Conservation Director, Martin is perfectly placed to update us on key conservation issues – he and his team are often at the very heart of some of the key issues for the RSPB. Martin will talk about the species, locations and habitats that are RSPB’s current priorities and what the Conservation team at RSPB are hoping to achieve over the coming years. Sure to be a topical, informative and entertaining evening.

*** This illustrated talk will be preceded by our short Annual General Meeting ***

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.

NERC invests £1.3 million  public engagement project

An innovative project that will see researchers collaborate with diverse communities on issues in environmental science has been awarded £1·3 million through NERC’s Engaging Environments programme. The award is NERC’s largest single investment in public engagement, with project partners pledging a further £235,000 of in-kind contributions.

Source: NERC – NERC invests £1.3 million to engage the UK public on big issues in environmental science

Wild Justice wins its first legal challenge

Yesterday afternoon (23 April), nearly 10 weeks after Wild Justice launched a challenge to the legality of the 2019 General Licences (on 13 February), Natural England announced that it was revoking  2019 General Licences 04/05/06 on Thursday (25 April) after deciding to do so at its Board meeting of 15 April.

After nearly four decades of unlawful casual killing of millions, tens of millions, of birds, sanctioned by a succession of government statutory conservation agencies over the years, the current system has been shown to be unlawful by the tiny and fledgling wildlife organisation, Wild Justice.

Click here for more information.:
Statement by Wild Justice
NewScientist

Mass killing of geese on Islay must cease

The shooting of thousands of geese on the island of Islay leaves many to suffer a slow death, contaminates the environment and is founded on “poor science”, according to a new scientific study.

Independent bird experts have concluded that the mass culling of geese that fly in every October from Greenland is unnecessary, unsustainable and does not deliver value for money. They have called for the killing to end.

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Mass killing of geese on Islay must cease, say scientists | The Ferret

Garden Butterfly Survey for 2019

The Garden Butterfly Survey allows you to record and report the butterflies that visit your garden over the course of a year. Create a free account, submit your sightings and help us learn more about how butterflies are faring in UK gardens.

Click here for more information.

Why Solitary Bees are Such Amazing Pollinators

The relationship between bees and flowering plants goes back to the early Cetaceous period, and different species of bee have, over 100 million years or so, developed a number of different physiological adaptations and behavioural traits to enable them to collect pollen.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Silphidae Recording Scheme

The silphid beetles are a very interesting group of insects, many of them associated with carrion. Species in genus Nicrophorus, commonly referred to as Sexton beetles, are well known for their habits of burying small vertebrate carcasses. This group also display bi-parental care, a rare trait among beetles and for this reason are increasingly being used in behavioral research. Other carrion dwellers include Necrodes littoralis and the Thanatophilus species. The very distinctive species Oiceoptoma thoracicum is less specific, and can be found on carrion, dung and fungi. The group also contains some predatory species; Phosphuga atrata (hunts snails) and Dendroxena quadrimaculata(hunts caterpillars).

Click here for more information.

Butterfly Easter Eggs

Every one of the beautiful butterflies that grace our gardens and countryside during the year began life as an egg. So while butterfly eggs may lack the glamour of adult butterflies, they are an essential part of the life cycle; no eggs, no butterflies.

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Easter Eggs

 What’s your diet’s carbon footprint?

Avoiding meat and dairy products is one of the biggest ways to reduce your environmental impact, according to recent scientific studies.

But what is the difference between beef and chicken? Does a bowl of rice produce more climate warming greenhouse gases than a plate of chips? Is wine more environmentally friendly than beer?

Click here for more information.: Climate change food calculator: What’s your diet’s carbon footprint? – BBC News

Counting orangutans using star-spotting technology

A ground-breaking collaboration is harnessing technology used to study stars, to carry out detailed monitoring of orangutan populations in Borneo.

Liverpool John Moores University (LMJU), WWF and the HUTAN orangutan conservation programme came together to examine ways of detecting the great apes in the Bornean forest canopy.

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Counting orangutans using star-spotting technology – Discover Wildlife

Largest ever survey of England’s forest wildlife

To celebrate its centenary, Forestry England is encouraging people to discover and celebrate its woodlands’ wildlife with a new citizen science survey.

The Big Forest Find aims to collect data from forests across the country and provide experts with the information needed to manage the land.

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Largest ever survey of England’s forest wildlife – Discover Wildlife

Moth Id – Yellow Horned

The English and scientific names of this moth are derived from the distinctive yellowish colour of the antennae. The forewings of the English subspecies are grey or greenish-white with a large pale spot near the centre of the leading edge. The Scottish subspecies is a darker grey.

The caterpillars can be found from mid-May to mid-July feeding at night and resting between two leaves spun flat together during the day. They overwinter as pupae on the ground amongst leaf litter.

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Yellow Horned

April Tips from the Secret Gardener

On a sunny summer’s day you might have noticed day-flying moths in your garden, such as the Humming-bird Hawk-moth buzzing around the Buddleia, but have you been out after dark with a torch to see which flowers the night-flyers are favouring?

Some adult moths don’t feed at all, such as the Eyed, Lime and Poplar Hawk-moths, but most moths do have to consume nectar to give them the energy needed for flying. While visiting plants they accidentally carry pollen between flowers, so playing an important role in pollination. Flowers that have evolved to attract moths as pollinators are often shades of white, lilac or pale pink so they can be seen at night and they emit their scent more strongly after dark.

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Dig it – April Tips from the Secret Gardener

Campaign to save oceans maps out global network of sanctuaries

Academics have mapped out a network of sanctuaries they say are required to save the world’s oceans, protect wildlife and fight climate breakdown.

The study, ahead of a historic vote at the UN, sets out the first detailed plan of how countries can protect over a third of the world’s oceans by 2030, a target scientists and policy makers say is crucial in order to safeguard marine ecosystems and help mitigate the impacts of a rapidly heating world.

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Campaign to save oceans maps out global network of sanctuaries | Environment | The Guardian

Giant Tesco and the Tiny Swallow

Despite the rather unsettled weather, spring is definitely in the air. In just a matter of weeks migrating birds will be making their way back to the UK, and wintering birds will be heading to the Arctic. The annual migration that some of our most loved birds take is often rather hard to comprehend. Take the Swallow…

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Giant Tesco and the Tiny Swallow | RDS Conservation

Bees can do arithmetic

Honeybees can learn to add and subtract, according to research showing that while the insects have tiny brains, they are still surprisingly clever.

Researchers behind the study have previously found that honeybees can apparently understand the concept of zero, and learn to correctly indicate which of two groups of objects is the smaller.

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Spelling bees? No, but they can do arithmetic, say researchers | Environment | The Guardian

Petition – Grant legal protection to Swallow, Swift and Martin nest sites not just nests. 

Live bird nests have legal protection, but nest sites do not. Swallows, Swifts and Martins return to the same nesting site year after year. If these nesting sites are destroyed, with few alternatives available, local extinctions are likely.

Click here for more information.: Grant legal protection to Swallow, Swift and Martin nest sites not just nests. – Petitions

Go wild for ponds!

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. Many of our common garden visitors – including hedgehogs, house sparrows and starlings – are increasingly under threat. But together we can make a difference.

Help us turn the UK’s 24 million gardens into a network of nature reserves, and invite our wildlife back.

Click here for more information.

EU bans UK’s most-used pesticide

One of the world’s most common pesticides will soon be banned by the European Union after safety officials reported human health and environmental concerns.

Chlorothalonil, a fungicide that prevents mildew and mould on crops, is the most used pesticide in the UK, applied to millions of hectares of fields, and is the most popular fungicide in the US. Farmers called the ban “overly precautionary”.

Click here to read the rest of the article.: EU bans UK’s most-used pesticide over health and environment fears | Environment | The Guardian

Moth Id – Red Sword-grass

When at rest the Red Sword-grass is brilliantly camouflaged as a bit of wood. Indeed its scientific name Xylena vetusta means ‘old wood’. It is a widespread species in northern and western parts of the UK, but is capable of long-distance flights so can turn up anywhere.

Red Sword-grass moths hibernate through the winter, starting to emerge in March. The moths visit early blossom such as sallow to drink nectar as well as feeding on the sap of birches.

Click here for more information.: Red Sword-grass

New study models the proposed reintroduction of the Eurasian lynx to Scotland

Researchers used state-of-the-art tools to help identify the most suitable location for lynx reintroduction in Scotland – and how this choice might affect the size of a population and its expansion over subsequent decades. Significantly, they believe their model will inform and enhance decision-making around large carnivore reintroductions worldwide.

Click here to read the rest of the article.: New study models the proposed reintroduction of the Eurasian lynx to Scotland | About | University of Stirling

Sexism in conservation

Sexism. Is it a dirty word? It often feels that way – something that people don’t really want to talk about, or if they’re going to, they do it quietly. There’s no doubt that sexism continues to persist in many areas of society – but what about nature conservation? Is our house in order?

Click here to read the rest of the article.: “We must inspire women to fight for nature” – Lucy McRobert discusses sexism in conservation – Discover Wildlife

Deadly skin-eating fungal disease wipes out 90 amphibian species in 50 years

A deadly disease that wiped out global populations of amphibians led to the decline of 500 species in the past 50 years, including 90 extinctions, scientists say.

A global research effort, led by the Australian National University, has for the first time quantified the worldwide impact of chytridiomycosis, or chytrid fungus, a fungal disease that eats away at the skin of amphibians.

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Deadly skin-eating fungal disease wipes out 90 amphibian species in 50 years | Environment | The Guardian

The Great Fen Newsletter April 2019

Water Works Project Awarded £1 million

The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire working with partners Cambridgeshire ACRE, the University of East London and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology has been awarded £1 million by the People’s Postcode Lottery Dream Fund to pioneer sustainable wet farming in the Cambridgeshire Fens and create a Fen Biosphere.

Click here to read the newsletter: £1million for new project, wildlife sightings and upcoming events

Fungus Walk Hockeridge Wood 28 April 2019

Hockeridge Wood (Royal Forestry Society). On the Bucks / Herts border, this site has an interesting mix of trees with some unusual species. Meet at SP 974 064 at the gated entrance towards the southern end of the wood, parking judiciously on the verge in John’s Lane. From the Chesham direction turn left off the A416 at Ashley Green into Hog Lane, then first right into John’s Lane. From the Berkhamsted direction turn left off Shootersway into Denny’s Lane, pass under the A41, then left fork into John’s Lane, continuing half a mile or so to the gate on your left. (NB Please note that this is NOT where we’ve met in the past at the northern end of John’s Lane at the fork!). Leaders Kerry Robinson, Derek Schafer & Penny Cullington.

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.

Climate change is pushing wildlife ‘out of sync’

The Orange-tip butterfly is in flight as much as three weeks earlier than it was 40 years ago

The Orange-tip butterfly is in flight as much as three weeks earlier than it was 40 years ago

Climate change has advanced the natural cycles of many species in the UK but timings vary markedly across the country, according to a major study of wildlife’s seasonal events over the past 50 years.

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Climate change is pushing wildlife ‘out of sync’ | Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Rare bumblebee to get boost from bilberries in cages

One of the UK’s rarest bumblebees is being given a boost – by putting the flowers it feeds on in cages.

Conservationists and volunteers have planted 1,000 bilberry plants inside specially-designed metal cages that will protect them from grazing so they can provide food for the bilberry bumblebee in its Peak District stronghold.

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Rare bumblebee to get boost from bilberries in cages – ITV News

RSPBNBLG Walk – Nightingale time at Paxton Pits 27 April 2019

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

Location: Paxton Pits, Little Paxton, TL 195 629
Postcode: PE19 6ET (Google map)

Our visit to this vast and still expanding gravel pit complex is timed for nightingales. Paxton Pits is one of thr best remaining sites for this declining species, and they can be amazingly bold, even in daylight. Paths level but variable quality. Toilets after 10.00 when visitor centre opens.

Meet in the car park. off High St, Lt Paxton for an 8.30am start
Walk Leader – Pete How

Time: 8.30am to 12 noon

Price: Free event

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.

Specialist abseilers remove parts of controversial cliff netting at Bacton 

Work has started to remove some of the netting put up over cliffs at Bacton in North Norfolk. The nets were put up ahead of a multi-million pound scheme to stop coastal erosion.

Environmentalists claimed it was putting migrating sandmartins at risk. Today they welcomed the removal of some of the netting but said it could have come too late for the birds.

Source: Specialist abseilers remove parts of controversial cliff netting at Bacton | Anglia – ITV News

Moth Id – Orange Underwing

The Orange Underwing flies around the leafless canopy of mature birch trees on sunny, still days in early spring. The moths rarely descend low enough for close inspection and are best observed through binoculars. They appear orange in flight, although as the name suggests this colour is largely restricted to the hindwings. The forewings are blackish-brown with white markings.

Click here for more information.: Orange Underwing

Inland Waterways Association MK branch winter programme 2018-19

Inland Waterways Association MK branch, winter programme meetings from September 2018 to April 2019.  All take place at the Bletchley Royal British Legion, Melrose Avenue, MK3 6PU

A map is available at: https://www.waterways.org.uk/miltonkeynes/pdf/britishlegionhall-map

Thursday 20 September, 7.45pm
Vintage waterway videos, with David Tucker.

Thursday 18 October, 7.45pm
The Uttoxeter & Caldon Canals, talk by Steve Wood
Steve will tell us about the Caldon Canal and the plans that are afoot to re-open part of the Uttoxeter Canal near the head of navigation.

Thursday 15 November, 7.45pm
The Chesterfield Canal, talk by John Lower.
John will tell us about the history of the canal and the ongoing plans for full restoration.

Thursday 17 January, 7.45pm
The Shrewsbury & Newport Canals, with Brian Nelson.
Brian will tell us about the history of these canals and the features on them. He will outline the progress being made towards their restoration.

Thursday 21 February, 7.45pm
Branch Annual General Meeting, and
Canal Boatmen, their origins & development, talk by Roger Squires.

Thursday 21 March, 7.45pm
The Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust, with Jane Hamilton (Trust Chairman).
Jane will update us the progress made so far and the plans for the near future. This project is very much in the news, over the refusal of the Local Authorities to incorporate a culvert for the waterway under the about-to-be-dualled A421.

Thursday 25 April, 7.45pm
The Manchester Ship Canal; a talk by Richard Thomas
Richard will examine the history, building, development and rise and fall of the largest man-made waterway in England.

If you would like more information please contact our Social Secretary: David Tucker, email david.tucker@waterways.org.uk

Breeding ground correlates the decline of the Common Cuckoo

Juvenile Cuckoo

Juvenile Cuckoo by Harry Appleyard

Many migratory bird species are undergoing population declines as a result of potentially multiple, interacting mechanisms. Understanding the environmental associations of spatial variation in population change can help tease out the likely mechanisms involved. Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus populations have declined by 69% in England but increased by 33% in Scotland. The declines have mainly occurred in lowland agricultural landscapes, but their mechanisms are unknown…

Click here for more information.: Breeding ground correlates of the distribution and decline of the Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus at two spatial scales – Denerley – 2019 – Ibis – Wiley Online Library

Moth Id – Dotted Border

The male of this common species has a brownish forewing that is quite variable but can be distinguished by a row of black dots along the edge of both fore- and hindwing. The similar looking Mottled Umber lacks these markings and are less conspicuous in the Scarce Umber.

Click here for more information.: Dotted Border

Get Bucks Buzzing

Tree Bumblebee by Harry Appleyard, Tattenhoe 24 February 2017

Tree Bumblebee by Harry Appleyard, Tattenhoe 24 February 2017

Welcome to Bucks Buzzing, and your chance to help the insect pollinators that help all of us.

Pollinators come in a range of shapes and sizes from bumblebees to butterflies, moths, hoverflies, and of course, honey bees.

We depend on pollinators for much of our food including apples, pears, strawberries, plums, peas, beans, and for other important plants like wildflowers.

But our pollinators are falling in numbers and are in severe decline across Buckinghamshire and nationally.

You can help!

Click here for more information.

Danish billionaires plan to rewild large swath of Scottish Highlands

The Danish billionaires who are now Scotland’s largest private landowners are trying to restore the Highlands for generations to come, one of their closest advisers has said.

Tim Kirkwood said that Anders and Anne Holch Povlsen, who own more than 80,000 hectares (200,000 acres) across Sutherland and the Grampian mountains wanted to become pioneers of rewilding by reversing years of mismanagement by previous lairds.

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Danish billionaires plan to rewild large swath of Scottish Highlands | UK news | The Guardian

Caring for the common frog

Some say the common frog, our most familiar amphibian, is no longer quite so common.

While the common frog (or Rana temporaria to use its formal scientific name) is distributed throughout the UK and Ireland and can be found almost anywhere with suitable breeding ponds nearby, its habitat is shrinking and facing pressures such as development, lack of habitat management and disease.

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Hop to it: caring for the common frog | The Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust

Distribution trends of European dragonflies under climate change 

A new study by Tim Termatt et al examines shifts in dragonfly species distribution across Europe in response to a warming climate. Data from a total of 10 European regions and 99 species were studied and compared to changes in climate over recent decades.

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Distribution trends of European dragonflies under climate change | british-dragonflies.org.uk

Dead whale had 40kg of plastic in its stomach

A young whale that washed up in the Philippines died from “gastric shock” after ingesting 40kg of plastic bags.

Marine biologists and volunteers from the D’Bone Collector Museum in Davao City, in the Philippine island of Mindanao, were shocked to discover the brutal cause of death for the young Cuvier’s beaked whale, which washed ashore on Saturday.

Source: Dead whale washed up in Philippines had 40kg of plastic bags in its stomach | Environment | The Guardian

Deaf moths employ acoustic mimicry against bats

Emitting ultrasound upon hearing an attacking bat is an effective defence strategy used by several moth taxa. Here we reveal how Yponomeuta moths acquire sophisticated acoustic protection despite being deaf themselves and hence unable to respond to bat attacks. Instead, flying Yponomeuta produce bursts of ultrasonic clicks perpetually; a striated patch in their hind wing clicks as the beating wing rotates and bends. This wing structure is strikingly similar to the thorax tymbals with which arctiine moths produce their anti-bat sounds. And indeed, Yponomeuta sounds closely mimic such arctiine signals, revealing convergence in form and function. Because both moth taxa contain noxious compounds, we conclude they are mutual Müllerian acoustic mimics. Yponomeuta’s perpetual clicking would however also attract bat predators. In response, their click amplitude is reduced and affords acoustic protection just as far as required, matching the distance over which bat biosonar would pick up Yponomeuta echoes anyway – advanced acoustic defences for a deaf moth.

Source: Deaf moths employ acoustic Müllerian mimicry against bats using wingbeat-powered tymbals | Scientific Reports

Moths to see in spring

Spring is the perfect time of year to start paying more attention to our magnificent moths. There are far more spring moths around than butterflies, so there is plenty of interest, but the variety and numbers have not yet built up to the sometimes dizzying diversity of summertime moth watching.

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Moths to see in spring

National Moth Recording Scheme

Taking part in the National Moth Recording Scheme is simple and everyone is welcome. Any larger (macro-) moth that you see, whether you are moth trapping on a Scottish mountain or relaxing in your garden, can be recorded and submitted to form part of this important scheme.

Click here for more information.

Save endangered species by culling invasive animals

A new study suggests that removing invasive species, such as mice, goats, cats, dogs and pigs, from islands around the world would benefit over nine per cent of the most endangered species.

The introduction of invasive species, usually by humans, has been responsible for hundreds of extinctions, with the majority of these being on islands.

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Save endangered species by culling invasive animals – Discover Wildlife

Which birds dominate your feeders?

Tree and female House sparrows ©Janice Robertson, RSPB Ouse Washes 12 January 2019

Tree and female House sparrows ©Janice Robertson, RSPB Ouse Washes 12 January 2019

When studying dominance between different species at bird feeders, House Sparrows were found to be the most dominant species among the smaller birds. 

Click here to download the BTO Bird Table article on this research.

WaderQuest Spring Quiz – Linford Lakes Study Centre 29 April 2019

Aerial view of Linford Lakes Study Centre

Aerial view of Linford Lakes Study Centre

Calling all Quizzers!

WaderQuest is a locally based charity which raises funds for the conservation of wading birds world wide. It is run by Rick and Elis Simpson, who will be known to Society members for the very enjoyable talks that Rick has given us in recent years (and indeed, another one in the pipeline for 2020!)

The Parks Trust is hosting a special fund-raising quiz night for WaderQuest at Linford Lakes Study Centre on the evening of Monday 29thApril (7.30 to 10pm). Tickets are priced at £5 and snacks and soft drinks will be served (and quizzers can bring their own wine or beer if they chose). All profits from the night will go to wader conservation.

If you are interested in coming along, please contact Martin Kincaid and order your tickets; mkincaid1971@outlook.com

Garden Butterfly Survey 2018 Results

The third year of Butterfly Conservation’s Garden Butterfly Survey (GBS) spanned some extremes of the UK climate. The two ‘Beast from the East’ episodes brought very low temperatures and extensive snow to the UK in late winter and early spring, followed by a long, hot spell that ran from May into July. August to October were about average, but then the final two months of the year were very mild.

Click here for more information:
Butterfly Conservation
Discover Wildlife

Ireland’s Curlew Crisis

In their paper in Wader Study, the journal of the International Wader Study Group, Barry O’Donoghue and his colleagues reveal the results of the 2015-17 survey of breeding Curlew in the Republic of Ireland. The emerald isle used to be a haven for Curlew but there are now dire warnings that the species could be lost as a breeding species. Various estimates suggest that there were between 3,300 and 12,000 pairs in the 1980s but the current number may be as low as 138 pairs. That’s a fall of 96% in about thirty years.

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Ireland’s Curlew Crisis | wadertales

Rock and Fossil Day – Bucks County Museum 13 April 2019

Rock & Fossil Day at Bucks County Museum Church Street, Aylesbury, HP20 2QP: Explore hands-on geology displays, discover fossils from the Museum’s collection and bring your own mystery objects. No need to book – just drop in. Entry to the County Museum is by donation to help support the Buckinghamshire County Museum Trust, registered charity 1153345. Contact Mike Palmer for further information – email: mpalmer@buckscountymuseum.org – Tel: 01296 325223

Click here for more information.: Events – Bucks County Museum

Natural England issues licence to release white-tailed eagles

Natural England has issued a licence to allow the release of white-tailed eagles on the Isle of Wight.

The release is part of a project, led by the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation and Forestry England, to establish a breeding population of white-tailed eagles in southern England.

Click here for more information:
BBC
Discover Wildlife
Natural England press release
Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation

Open Sunday at Linford Lakes NR 21 April 2019

Linford Lakes Nature Reserve visitors enjoying an Open Sunday

Linford Lakes Nature Reserve visitors enjoying an Open Sunday

Open Sunday (Easter activities) at Linford Lakes NR 10:00 – 16:00hrs

Tea and coffee, home-made cakes available.
Second-hand books on sale as well as crafts and many other items.
The weather is getting warmer and our spring migrant birds are arriving.
Bring friends and family to enjoy the reserve.
Take part in our Easter Duck Hunt (prizes for children).
Organised walks at 11.00 hrs from the Centre around the reserve.

Medicines for livestock linked to bird declines by reducing insect food sources

Islay, Oronsay and Colonsay are the southernmost islands of the archipelago known as the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. They provide habitat for many permanent and migratory species of birds and are the sites of the only remaining breeding colonies of red-billed chough (chough, Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) in Scotland. The islands are characterised by very heterogeneous geology, soil, habitat and land-use patterns. Much of the land is grazed by sheep and cattle in low-intensity, ‘high nature value’ farming systems1. This system of grazing, which fosters a combination of short grassland vegetation and a rich soil, dung and epigeic invertebrate fauna, is ideal for chough. However, in recent years the population of chough on Islay, Oronsay and Colonsay has been in severe decline, considered likely to be due to declining feed resources

Click here to read the rest of the article.: Adverse effects of routine bovine health treatments containing triclabendazole and synthetic pyrethroids on the abundance of dipteran larvae in bovine faeces | Scientific Reports

Say no to the mow

One of the best ways to encourage wildflowers in your garden is to forget the lawnmower and just let your grass grow.

Leave a patch of lawn to its own devices during spring and summer, and the chances are that at least some wildflowers will appear in your new mini-meadow.

What comes up in your no-mow mini-meadow depends very much on what you start with.

If, like me, your lawn is old, rather weedy, and probably hasn’t encountered weedkillers or fertilisers for years, a bit more conscious neglect could transform it into a thriving mini-meadow.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

World’s largest bee, missing for 38 years, found alive in Indonesia

As long as an adult thumb, with jaws like a stag beetle and four times larger than a honeybee, Wallace’s giant bee is not exactly inconspicuous.

But after going missing, feared extinct, for 38 years, the world’s largest bee has been rediscovered alive on the Indonesian islands of the North Moluccas.

Click here to read the rest of the article.: World’s largest bee, missing for 38 years, found alive in Indonesia | Environment | The Guardian