Report on UK land use from UCLs Simon Lewis

I've copied the Executive Summary from Simon Lewis's excellent report on UK land use below. Read the full report here: Green New Deal for Nature What land provides is becoming increasingly important. The climate emergency makes new demands on land, including the possibilities of using it to remove carbon from the atmosphere. Responding to the biodiversity …

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Cirl bunting and chough reintroduction to the Isle of Wight

Plans are afoot to reintroduce both cirl buntings and choughs to the Isle of Wight. The intention to reintroduce cirl buntings to the island was first signalled by the UK Biodiversity Action Plan for the species which, in the 1990s, identified the establishment of a second UK population, well away from the far south west, …

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Tropical Reserve Networks – a highly effective conservation tactic

In the face of the global extinction crisis, working out what you, as an individual, can do to have a real impact can be daunting. To my mind, supporting the establishment of tropical reserve networks is the single most effective action you can take. Numerous small civil society and non-profit organisations, based in the tropical …

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A Community Wildflower Nursery in every District?

We need to reduce our dependence on imported tree and shrub whips and wildflower seed sourced from the other side of the country if not Europe. One possibility is for the planning system to enable developer contributions to finance a Community Wildflower Nursery in every District. This wouldn't cost much. District councils could pool developer …

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Yellowhammers and rewilding

I once worked with farmers to enhance the opportunities for declining 'farmland' birds. A quintessential, rapidly declining 'farmland' bird is the yellowhammer. Conducting some field work this summer, it's striking how closely yellowhammers are associated with arable farmland. Where did yellowhammers hang out before humans came along and started to cultivate landscapes, creating the arable …

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Landscapes without megafauna are haunted by human folly

We have driven a suite of ecosystem engineers out of British landscapes. Some are globally extinct - aurochs and European wild horse, for example. Some still survive elsewhere - elk, lynx, wolf. Some are making a comeback, even in hostile Britain - wild boar, white-tailed eagle. We need to make space for wild nature on …

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Which water buffalo?

Rewilding Europe is using a domesticated version of the Endangered Asian water buffalo in European rewilding projects, as a surrogate for the globally extinct European water buffalo (Bubalus murrensis). Why not use wild, rather than domestic, Asian water buffalo (i.e. Bubalus arnee)? I don't have an answer to this question! But the wild Asian water …

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Shooting in an age of accountability

Excellent piece by Matt

Countryside Controversial

There have been many stupid, arrogant interventions in the general licence row from ‘our’ side. Jeremy Clarkson, safe in his ability to jet off and go skiing if they ban shooting, decided to encourage people to break the law, which was spectacularly unhelpful. Endless social media fools opined about what must be done. But surely the worst, the vilest, the most arrogant, the most moronic, was the sight of Godfrey Bloom guffling and huffing his way through a two-minute harangue on Facebook.

Bloom, gun slip over his shoulder and wearing a flat cap and wax jacket despite being indoors, demanded to know “Why are jack-in office clerks & urban nancy boys telling us what to do in the countryside?” Nevermind that his reference to ‘minor damage’ showed he clearly did not understand the General licenses. The former fund manager at Mercury Asset Management and Financial Economist cited his expertise as…

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Another compelling reason to rewild some of our uplands

Benedict MacDonald, author of this brilliant book, Rebirding: Has written a compelling case for rewilding some of our scorched upland grouse moors: