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Biodiversity News October 2007

The Newsletter for Biodiversity

Action Partners
Issue 40 October 2007

Biodiversity News

2 Biodiversity News October 2007
News updates
Second Time Lucky For Beaver Trial
Award For Harmondsworth Moor
Osprey Chicks Take To The Skies
7 Million To Give Nature A Bigger Helping Hand
Montrose Goes Live And Global
Its OfficialWe Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside!
CIWEM Welcomes New Presidential Team
News publications
Defra Publishes English Biodiversity Strategy Report
CIWEMs Journal Tackles Flood Risk
Launch Of Let Our Gardens Live
Ground Beetles And Agricultural Land Change
Moorland Is Important Sanctuary For Snipe
New Research Aims To Make The Countryside Buzz
Nowhere Left To RunHow Development Destroys
AstraZenicaWorking With Biodiversity
Pioneering Project Inspires UK-Wide Effort To Save

Local and Regional
ConservationThe Common Goal
LBAP Seminar September 2007
New Nature Reserve For Maibe
Local Business Gives Local Support To Reserve
Raising The Roof For Wildlife
Group Updates
Back From The Brink Plan To Save Grey Partridge
Plan Updates
Ministers Approve Priority Species And Habitats List
Diary 2007
British Wildlife and Climate Change
Adaptive Management and Offshore Energy

Dear Reader,
Welcome to the October 2007 edition of Biodiver-
sity News; my first as editor.
In this issue hyperlinks have again been included to
each section, so they can be accessed more easily.
There is also a Contents link at the top of each
page, which returns the reader to the Inside this
issue section.
Theres more information on the revised Biodiver-
sity Action Plan list and its launch on page 23, and
news of the inaugural flights of osprey chicks, the
potential re-introduction of beavers to Scotland
and details of the new presidential team at The
Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental
Management (CIWEM).
In News Publications details are included on the
MONARCH report, page 8, and amongst the Group
Updates is news of a new wildlife gardening mani-
festo, page 10, and information about The UK Bio-
diversity Research Advisory Group (UK BRAG).
The Features section is packed with articles on the
threat land drainage poses to wader birds, ground
beetles, information on the SAFFIE project and a
report on the national decline of hedgehogs,
amongst others.
Local and Regional contains information on the
British Association for Shooting and Conservations
(BASCs) Green Shoots project, whilst details of
The Game Conservancy Trusts plans to save the
waning populations of the grey partridge can be
found in Group Updates.
Finally, the Diary section offers an opportunity to
expand your knowledge of biodiversity with a series
of free lectures on British Wildlife and Climate
Change and a conference on Adaptive Manage-
ment and Offshore Wind Energy.
Thank you to all the authors who contributed arti-
cles for this issue.
Tom O'Hanlon
UK Biodiversity Policy Unit
Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Zone 1/07
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Temple Quay
Bristol BS1 6EB
Inside this issue:
Once again we wish to thank Natural
England & BTCV for the contribution
of the line drawings in this issue.
Note: The Views expressed in Biodiversity News are the views of individual contributors and are not
necessarily the views of the UKBG or the organisations involved.

3 Biodiversity News October 2007
Second Time Lucky for Beaver Trial?
Minister Confirms He Will Consider New Proposal
for Scottish Beavers
Nearly two years after the
first proposal by Scottish
Natural Heritage (SNH) for a
trial re-introduction of bea-
vers to Scotland was re-
jected, two leading Scottish
conservation bodies; the
Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT) and the Royal Zoologi-
cal Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed the news
that Mike Russell MSP, Environment Minister, is con-
sidering returning beavers to Scotland.
Speaking on BBC Radio Scotlands Out of Doors pro-
gramme, the Minister revealed that he would like to
make a decision this year and if at all possible, Id
like to make sure it [a trial beaver re-introduction]
happens. He continued A lot of European countries
have successfully introduced the beaver. It is native
to Scotland and there is no reason it [the beaver]
shouldnt be herean opportunity exists to bring it
back and there are some technical issues in the last
application in relation to the European Habitats Di-
rective that need to be looked atIm keen to see
this happen.
SWTs Chief Executive Simon Milne said: This is very
encouraging news; the Scottish Wildlife Trust wel-
comes Mike Russells positive comments about re-
storing beavers to Scotland. The beaver is a keystone
species whose re-introduction can bring a wide range
of benefits to the countryside including improving
the ecology of Scotlands wetland habitats and asso-
ciated birds, insects, fish and animals, reducing
downstream flooding and improving water quality.
We are currently in discussion with other partners to
ensure that the support being given by the Scottish
Government is harnessed so that this project can be
moved forward as quickly as possible.
David Windmill, Chief Executive of the RZSS which
runs Edinburgh Zoo and
Highland Wildlife Park, said:
We hope that this re-
i ntroducti on can be
achieved as soon as possible.
Beaver re-introductions in
over 20 other European
countries have been very successful, bringing both
environmental benefits and a boost to tourism in
rural areas. A successful trial will create the confi-
dence to spread the reintroduction to suitable
habitats throughout Scotland. Bringing the beaver
back will hopefully encourage the public to take a
greater interest in the Scottish environment.
Approval for the scientific trial would see beavers
living in Scotland for the first time since they were
hunted to extinction in the sixteenth century. As
part of the European Unions Habitats Directive,
the UK government is obligated to consider the res-
toration of extinct species. In January 2007, the
first indication of the Governments commitment to
returning the beaver to Scotland was revealed
when its conservation advisors (SNH) launched their
strategy for conservation action (Species Action
Framework) which included in it the restoration of
the beaver to Scotland. As for the site for the pos-
sible trial, the Minister in his interview mentioned
Argyll as a location but no further details have
been given.

For further information, please contact:
Clara Govier, Communications Manager, SWT
Tel: 0131 312 4747 or email:
Maxine Finlay, Press Officer, RZSS
Tel: 0131 314 0312 or email:

4 Biodiversity News October 2007
British Airways has been awarded The Wildlife
Trusts Biodiversity Benchmark for the parkland sur-
rounding its Waterside headquarters at Heathrow.
The rigorously audited Biodiversity Benchmark has
been given to British Airways in recognition of its land
management of the Harmondsworth Moor site, a for-
mer industrial waste site that has been transformed
into a haven for the natural environment and
Harmondsworth Moor features several miles of
attractive riverbank, lakes, ponds and acres of
grassland and young woodland in which lives a
wealth of wildlife. Several rare and endan-
gered species have been identified, from in-
sects such as stag beetles to river and marshland
plants, bats, skylarks and harvest mice. These, and
many more plants and animals, are being encouraged
to enhance the parklands various habitats through
careful management of the area by the Parkland
Ranger team provided by contract partner, Glendale
Managed Services.
The site, which has already achieved ISO14001 and a
Green Flag award, was originally awarded the Biodi-
versity Benchmark in October 2003 during a pilot
phase of the scheme. Since that time the award has
undergone an extensive review, making the Require-
ments of the scheme significantly harder to achieve.
British Airways is just one of four companies so far to
have received the new award.
The pioneering Biodiversity Benchmark enables
organisations across the country to assess the
quality of their land management, improve their
contribution to the environment and demonstrate
their commitment to biodiversity. Similar to
other standards for management systems, the Bio-
diversity Benchmark is composed of a set of de-
tailed requirements which an organisation
must be able to meet.
Amy Underwood, Biodiversity Benchmark
Manager, The Wildlife Trusts, said:
Extensive and notable work has been car-
ried out at Harmondsworth to ensure the
site thrives as a haven for wildlife. To
have achieved the Biodiversity Benchmark shows
a genuine commitment by British Airways for the
long-term protection and enhancement of the
On receiving the award, Kevin Morris, Manager
Environmental Affairs, British Airways, said: "The
requirements for the 'new' Biodiversity Bench-
mark have been considerably tightened up and it
has brought a new focus to everything we do in
the Parkland, and our management of it has defi-
nitely benefited as a result."
More information on the Biodiversity Benchmark,
including the Requirements and how to apply, can
be found on
Tay and Tummel, the two newly
named osprey chicks at the Scottish
Wildlife Trusts (SWT) Loch of the
Lowes Wildlife Reserve near Dunkeld
took to the skies at 1.00 pm today
(Friday 13 July 2007) for their first-ever flight.

At 54 days old, the two remaining chicks from a brood
of three, have been growing at speed and their flying
skills have been improving on a daily basis with both
youngsters practicing flapping their wings and jump-
ing in the air over the last week. With a 50-foot drop
from the nest should one of the chicks take a tumble,
stress levels of staff and volunteers have been rising,
as the chicks readied themselves for their potentially
life-threatening first flying adventure.

Over the last few weeks significant changes have
taken place to the appearance of the osprey chicks as
they move ever-closer to adulthood. The chicks
have finished their dark reptilian phase and if you
visit the webcam you can now see that they are
now quite light and speckled, said Andrea Wil-
liams, SWTs Perthshire Reserves Ranger. The cam-
era used by staff and volunteers 24-hours a day to
monitor the birds against any potential harm, is si-
multaneously beamed into the visitor centre and
Friday 13
Lucky for Some as Osprey Chicks Take
to the Skies
Michael Davidson
Harmondsworth Moor Receives Award for

5 Biodiversity News October 2007
Biffaward is launching a new
drive to encourage more en-
vironmental and community
groups to apply for funding
to help protect and rebuild
the UKs biodiversity up to 2.4 million a year will
be available over the next three years.
Biffaward is a national fund, managed by the Royal So-
ciety of Wildlife Trusts, which uses landfill tax credits
to support worthwhile community and biodiversity pro-
jects. Over the last 10 years, Biffaward has supported
more than 1000 projects with 85 million of funding.
This includes many biodiversity projects which are al-
ready benefiting nature in the UK. However, with the
UKs wildlife facing increasing pressure from climate
change and habitat loss, Biffaward aims to expand the
proportion of funding available to projects designed to
benefit UK species and habitats.
Martin Bettington, Chairman of Biffaward, said The
UKs ecosystems are facing ever greater challenges and
we want to encourage more funding applications which
are going to help our wildlife. Biffawards support for
projects such as The Great Fen and the Lower Lee Ot-
ter Project show that funding can play a vital role in
restoring habitats and protecting species. However we
feel that we are not receiving as many applications
from environmental groups as we would like. So over
the coming months we will be aiming to increase
awareness of the funds available for biodiversity pro-
jects and I hope that many more groups will be en-
couraged to apply to us in the future.
Biffaward can help all kinds of biodiversity projects,
great and small with funding available from
5,000 to 500,000. Rebuilding Biodiversity pro-
jects which have recently received funding in-
1.32,628 for heathland restoration on Sandy
Ridge, Bedfordshire: This project is providing
practical habitat restoration needed to return 43
ha of newly acquired land, adjacent to the RSPB's
headquarters, to a mixture of woodland and
prime heathland, helping to meet priority Biodi-
versity Action Plan targets for these habitats and
the species that depend on them.
2.389,930 for The Great Fen Project - re-
storing a Living Landscape. In order to help
wildlife adapt to the effects of climate change,
The Wildlife Trusts have embarked upon a strat-
egy for large-scale habitat restoration. In the
front line of this campaign is The Great Fen Pro-
ject which aims to restore over 3,000 hectares of
all but vanished wildlife habitat. Biffaward has
provided funding to improve the conditions within
the Holme Fen National Nature Reserve, create up
to 26.5 acres of wet grassland, and restore up to
3km of ditches for conservation benefit. It has
also paid for the development of a unique vehicle,
the fen harvester, which enables a much more
environmentally friendly system of managing fen
3.41,918 for the Lower Lee Otter Project
heralds the return of one of Britains favourite
species to the capital. This project is helping the
European otter re-colonise the Lower Lee Valley,
live onto SWTs website at
Tay is the boss in the nest and is the one who
seems to want to try everything first so he was the
one that took the plunge first, Williams continued;
but brimming with sibling rivalry, Tummel was hot
on his heels and soon gave her brother some lessons
in aeronautical skills. Its brilliant to watch and
thanks to CCTV its like watching your own soap op-
era unfold before your eyes it is so addictive and
we have people saying that they cant stop watching
the osprey family on the webcam.

Loch of the Lowes has witnessed the birth of 69
chicks since 1969, with 49 chicks produced by the
current female. After the sadness of recent losses at
Loch Garten, staff and volunteers are relieved that
Tay and Tummel have survived to fledge. But once
the pair has mastered flying, fishing is the next skill
on the mission to become independent of mum and
dad. Then, much to joy of volunteers and staff,
tinged with a wee bit of sadness, the youngsters will
take on the hardest journey of their short lives; a
3,000 mile journey back to Africa. The question al-
ways remains, will they ever return to their first
home in Perthshire and will a maturing mum be
back again next year to raise her 50
chick? Well
know in March 2008.
For further information, please contact: Clara
Govier, Communications Manager, SWT
Tel: 0131 312 4747 or email:
Michael Davidson
7 Million to Give Nature a Bigger Helping Hand

6 Biodiversity News October 2007
but sometimes can be overshadowed by other more
well known tourist areas. The wildlife here is di-
verse and interesting yet you do not have to be a
wildlife enthusiast to enjoy the scenic panorama of
the Montrose Basin towards the beautiful Angus
Glens now on offer on and at
The webcam at Montrose Basin will be on site for
three years and is fully supported by funding from
the Angus Ahead campaign. For those who think
once seen there is little reason to return, the cam-
era has several viewing options to ensure the view
changes online. If this camera is anything like the
live footage available on SWTs website of the os-
preys at Loch of the Lowes, it will be only a short
time before this feature becomes top of the clicks!
otters. Biffaward can help to rebuild biodiversity by
funding species recovery projects as well as habitat
management, preservation and restoration.
From halls, museums and play areas to ponds and
nature reserves, Biffaward is able to award funding
to help transform plans into reality for full details
of the funding available and how to apply visit
Biffa provides a range of
public sector, commer-
cial and industrial waste
collection services as
well as the management
of 33 operational landfill
sites across the UK. The
multi-million pound a
year Biffaward fund has
been set up, using tax
charged on waste taken
into landfill sites, to
help finance environ-
mental projects near
Biffa sites.
Visitors to the Scottish Wildlife
Tr us t s ( SWT) webs i t e at are now able to
enjoy views of Montrose Basin and
its wildlife 24-hours a day for the
first time thanks to funding from Angus Ahead and
Angus Council. A live webcam link on the site allows
visitors to see views of the estuary and some of the
wildlife hotspots for free as part of a campaign to
encourage web surfers to delve deeper and see what
Angus has to offer.
From garden birds at the feeding stations to mud liv-
ing with eider ducks, grey herons, oystercatchers
and goosanders, Caroline Hendry, Visitor Centre
Manager at Montrose Basin hopes that this initiative
will help virtual visitors realise the benefits of the
area and visit in person. Angus has so much to offer
Montrose Goes Live and Global!
close to London. Local people are being supported
in implementing essential habitat improvement ini-
tiatives that provide otters with feeding sites, ref-
uge areas and safe access routes through the busy
4.295,668 for the Calke Abbey National Na-
ture Reserve Biodiversity Development Project,
Derbyshire. In September 2004, 79 ha of Calke Ab-
beys wood pasture of ancient oaks was designated
as a National Nature Reserve (NNR); Biffaward
funding is bringing about many community benefits
as well as habitat improvements for species such as
the Spotted Woodpecker, Kingfisher, the threat-
ened native White-clawed Crayfish, rare insects
and fungi.
Gillian French, Assistant Fund Manager for Bif-
faward at The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts says
Biffaward is well-known for funding environ-
mental and community projects throughout the UK
but less familiar is the scope of work that can be
undertaken to help our native species. Already
there are projects underway helping protect prior-
ity species such as water voles, brown hares and
Woodwalton Fen
Thomas Sisman
Its Official We Do Like to be Beside the Seaside!
Whether its somewhere to enjoy
the holidays or a resource for the
food we eat, the results of a re-
cent survey by The Wildlife Trusts
show just how much we have come
to depend on our marine environment. More than
1,200 people from across the UK took part in the
telephone survey commissioned by The Wildlife
Trusts to examine public attitudes to our seas.
Opinions were sought from all over Scotland. When
asked to choose from a list of six options*, a day at
the seaside topped the poll as peoples favourite
leisure activity and over three quarters had spent
time at the coast in the past year. 93% felt the sea
is important for fish and other wildlife, and 94%
rated the health and well-being of marine wildlife
as important. More than two-thirds felt that there
are fewer fish in the sea than 20 years ago. 87%
felt that restrictions on commercial activity such as
industrial fishing or dredging should be in place
where sea life was under threat. They believed

7 Biodiversity News October 2007
A new Presidential team at
the Chartered Institution of
Water and Environmental
Management (CIWEM) is help-
ing to achieve a more clean,
green and sustainable world.
David Rooke MBE has taken
over from Bob Sargent and is
joined by Alastair Moseley as
the new Vice-President and Malcolm White as Presi-
David Rooke is the Environment Agencys Head of
Flood Risk Management for England and Wales, with
more than 27 years in flood and environmental man-
agement. David was heavily involved in the recent
floods emergency response.
David has been involved with CIWEM in many differ-
ent guises since 1986, from being Chairman of CI-
WEMs Rivers and Coastal Group, a member of Coun-
cil, Vice-President of CIWEM and now a Fellow of CI-
WEM. One of his first official jobs will be to welcome
delegates to CIWEMs annual conference, The Global
Environment, held between 9
and 11
October. The
Global Environment is providing the first showcase
of Davids presidential theme and major new CIWEM
initiative, Arts and the Environment, which encour-
ages dialogue and collaboration between the arts,
science, technology, business and the environment.
President-Elect Malcolm White is Managing Director
of Mott MacDonalds Water and Environment Busi-
ness. Malcolm is a Civil Engineer and a Fellow of CI-
WEM, with specialist expertise in the planning and
design of sewerage and wastewater systems and ex-
tensive international experience managing multidis-
ciplinary projects. Malcolm has worked on a whole
range of projects in countries as diverse as the UK,
Pakistan, China, Hungary, Indonesia, Nigeria and
the Middle East, so complements CIWEMs global in-
Alastair Moseley, UK Water Sector Director at WSP,
is CIWEMs new Vice President. Alastair recently
joined WSP, after leaving his position as the Direc-
tor of the Water Environment Capability at Hyder
Consultings Birmingham Office with a wide portfo-
lio of work embracing sewerage, water networks,
(Continued on page 8)
CIWEM Welcomes New Presidential Team
that 29% of the sea is already protected, but felt
this proportion should be much higher, at 58%.
Dr Becky Boyd, Marine Policy Officer with the Scot-
tish Wildlife Trust (SWT) said:
The poll shows that Scots are very switched on to
the pressing need to protect the health of Scot-
lands seas. They are concerned not just about en-
joying a day at the seaside, but about falling fish
stocks and the protection of marine wildlife. In the
survey, people thought that 29% of UK seas are
already safe in marine reserves. In fact the real
figure is only 0.01%!. This UK wide survey sends a
strong message to both Holyrood and Westminster
that we urgently need to bring forward robust ma-
rine legislation to protect and manage our seas so
they can recover and become abundant and pro-
ductive for future generations.
Our coasts and seas contain 50% of Scotlands wild-
life with an estimated 8,000 species of marine
plants, invertebrates, fish, birds and mammals.
Scotland has one of the longest coastlines in
Europe at over 11,000 km supporting the largest
gannet colony in the world, 36% of the worlds grey
seals and 24 species of whales, dolphins and por-
poises. Despite having 14 nationally and interna-
tionally important coastal and marine habitats in
Scotland, our seas are poorly protected compared
to habitats on land, are under increasing pressure
from human activities and are struggling to cope
with rapid climate change.
SWT has been campaigning for a Marine Bill for Scot-
land for many years and was heartened by a state-
ment in June this year from Cabinet Secretary Rich-
ard Lochhead saying the Executive hoped to an-
nounce plans for a new single piece of streamlined
legislation to protect marine and coastal environ-
ments soon. SWT hopes a more formal announce-
ment on the Bill will be made soon and looks forward
to working with the Executive and other marine
stakeholders on its content.
Jonny Hughes, SWTs Head of Policy added, A Scot-
tish Marine Bill is now urgently required to deliver a
marine planning system, a Scottish Marine Manage-
ment Organisation and a network of Marine Reserves
for the protection of our increasingly vulnerable ma-
rine wildlife. Dolphins and fish clearly do not stay
within administrative boundaries so it is also vital
that Westminster brings forward its plans for a Ma-
rine Bill as soon as possible.
For further information, please contact: Clara
Govier, Communications Manager, SWT
Tel: 0131 312 4747 or email:

8 Biodiversity News October 2007
There is already evidence from sources like the UK
Phenology Network and distribution records that
many species are responding to changes in the cli-
mate. The MONARCH report illustrates the potential
impacts of climate change on some of our most rare
or threatened species, under different projected lev-
els of greenhouse gas emissions to the 2080s.
The MONARCH programme studied the projected
change in suitable climate for 120 species that are
currently being conserved through the UK Biodiversity
Action Plan. Thirty-two of these were explored in de-
tail and it was found that 29 are likely to experience
changes in the location and/or extent of areas where
the climate will meet their requirements. Eight are
projected to lose substantial climate space: in the
case of six of them, all suitable climate space or
the vast majority of it is lost by the 2080s under a
High climate change scenario. The projections also
show a northward shift in climate space for six spe-
cies, while 15 have the potential to extend their
range within Britain and Ireland. The latter may be
particularly important if species are simultaneously
losing climate space and declining further south,
including in their continental European range.
The changes in suitable climate space projected by
MONARCH suggest that many species will need to
sewage treatment, water treatment, river manage-
ment, hydrology, water resources, pollution preven-
tion control, environmental impact, integrated water
management and leakage control. Alastair has been a
member of CIWEM for 12 years and is currently
Branch Secretary of West Midlands Branch, as well as
former Branch Chairman.
During his induction speech, David Rooke acknowl-
edged the honour of becoming President and cele-
brated CIWEMs leadership role in our adaptation to
climate change, saying:
Those of us with professional skills have a special
role to play. We can provide the leadership, the
science and solutions to protect the earth against
the forces of nature invigorated by mans use of
fossil fuels.
And the visual and performing arts present so
many opportunities to advocate the environmental
and sustainability agenda. CIWEM is bringing the
mind and soul together to achieve a safer, sustain-
able world.
The Presidential Inauguration took place at CI-
WEMs AGM on Thursday 6
For more information contact Emily Doyle, CIWEM
Press and Marketing Officer, on 020 7831 3110 or
As BAP Species Respond to Climate Change, What
Might the Future Hold for Them and What are The
Key Messages for Biodiversity Conservation?
On International Biodiversity Day, May 22, Defra
published England Biodiversity Strategy: towards
adaptation to climate change. This report reviews
the evidence for direct and indirect impacts of cli-
mate change on biodiversity in England and consid-
ers options available for adapting policies in order
to reduce these impacts. Copies are available from
the Defra website:
Defra publishes England Biodiversity Strategy

9 Biodiversity News October 2007
disperse to survive. Many species will find it very dif-
ficult to disperse successfully unless action is taken at
multiple scales to address fragmentation of semi-
natural habitats, specifically BAP habitats. All species
whose potentially suitable climate space moves may
benefit from adaptation measures to aid dispersal to
and establishment in new locations.
MONARCHs projections reinforce the urgency for
management interventions and dramatic reductions in
our greenhouse gas emissions. Whilst the changes in
climate space projected for most species by the 2020s
are relatively limited, by the 2050s many are substan-
tial. However, there are inherent uncertainties in all
computer simulation models. The quality and diver-
sity of biological input data and the sophistication of
data manipulation both affect the robustness and reli-
ability of results. Careful interpretation of such cli-
mate space model outputs is vital and they cannot be
used to prescribe necessary action or timetables on a
species-by-species basis. The outputs are indicative
rather than accurate, and adaptation for nature con-
servation must be inherently flexible enough to work
under a range of circumstances. Plans must be drawn
up with such uncertainty in mind and further monitor-
ing of BAP species at risk of climate change impacts is
The Climate Change and Environment Minister, Ian
Pearson, summarising the report when it was
launched in May said MONARCH highlights the need
to consider biodiversity issues in all adaptation plan-
ning across the UK. Successful adaptation measures
for nature conservation need decades to become ef-
fective. That is why adaptation planning must start
now. This must be combined with meaningful in-
ternational efforts to reduce emissions, such as in-
vestment in clean energy technologies and action
to reduce energy consumption and increase effi-
Copies of the report can be ordered or downloaded
from the UK Climate Impacts Programme website:
while for any further information about the pro-
ject, please contact Clive Walmsley
CIWEMS Journal Tackles Flood Risk
Recent floods in the UK dam-
aged up to 1.5 billion worth
of assets. With more ex-
treme weather events pre-
dicted for the future, the
Chartered Institution of Wa-
ter and Environmental Man-
agement (CIWEM) is provid-
ing a unique resource to dis-
cuss global strategies for flood risk management.
With Blackwell Publishing, CIWEM is launching the
Journal of Flood Risk Management. This online-
only journal will provide an international platform
for knowledge sharing and information dissemina-
tion across the range of disciplines where flood re-
lated research is carried out.
The journal will cover a wide range of topics includ-
ing modelling, infrastructure management, hydrol-
ogy, flood forecasting, land use management, policy
and legislation, as well as uncertainty analysis and
The first paper submitted was by Columbia Univer-
sity, School of Earth and Environmental Engineering
USA, examining rainfall patterns and modelling se-
quences from eight rain stations in the Everglades
National Park.
Editor in Chief, David Balmforth, who is leading an
international team of associate editors, says:
"Given the potential impacts of climate change,
flooding poses one of the biggest challenges to hu-
manity for its future well being. CIWEMs new jour-
nal will share solutions which could improve our re-
silience to flooding in the future.
The journal, supported by Arup, MWH and Royal
Haskoning, is now open for paper submissions and
the inaugural edition will be published in March

10 Biodiversity News October 2007
On Wednesday 18 July, representatives from more
than thirty leading wildlife and horticultural organi-
sations, including Sir Martin Doughty, Chair of Natu-
ral England and Helen Phillips, Natural England Chief
Executive, together with representatives from Defra,
the Wildlife Trusts, Butterfly Conservation, RSPB,
Buglife, Living Roofs and the Royal Horticultural Soci-
ety signed a wildlife gardening manifesto, at an
event held by Natural England, to mark a united
commitment to do more for species that rely on
pockets of habitat for survival.

Gardens act as a food supermarket for visiting and
breeding birds and mammals. They are the place
where children make their first contact with the
natural world and are often the only place where
adults encounter wildlife that isnt on a screen.

Sir Martin Doughty, Chair of Natural England said:
Gardens cover up to a quarter of the land surface in
our towns and cities and they are under threat. In
London an area twenty two times the size of Hyde
Park has been lost through gardens being paved over.
This reduces habitats, contributes to global warming
and exacerbates the impact of flash flooding.
Through this manifesto, Natural England is calling to
action businesses, organisations and the public to
play their part and give gardens a future for the
benefit of our health and the survival of the endan-
gered species that live on our doorsteps.
Although the Minister for Biodiversity, Joan Ruddock,
was unable to attend, a senior Defra official John
Robbs, took her place. Besides being Director of
Wildlife and Countryside at Defra, he chairs the Eng-
land Biodiversity Group and also the UK Biodiversity
Partnership Standing Committee.
The launch received a massive amount of media cov-
erage, including articles in four national and 14 re-
gional newspapers, interviews on BBC Radio 4, Ra-
dio 5 Live, 17 BBC local radio stations and even one
on News Talk Radio from Ireland. It was also the
subject of interviews on both BBC TV and ITV.
At the time of the launch, 28 organisations had
signed the manifesto:

Since then, these have been joined by ten others:

An up to date list of signatories (as well as the
manifesto itself) will always be found at http://
www. nat ur al engl and. or g. uk/ campai gns/
Launch of Let our Gardens Live: a Manifesto for
Gardens, People and Nature
Baines Environmental Ltd
Beechcroft Developments
Bumblebee Conservation Trust
Cottage Garden Society
Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens
Living Roofs
Mammal Society
Snowdonia Wildlife Gardening Partnership
Woking Local Agenda 21
The signatories with the manifesto
Steve Berry
Amateur Entomologists Soci-
British Dragonfly Society
Buglife Butterfly Conservation
Chester Zoological Gardens Countryside Council for Wales
Department of Animal and
Plant Sciences, University of
Environment Agency
Environment and Heritage
Garden Organic
National Society for Allotment
and Leisure Gardeners
National Trust Natural England
Natural History Museum Notcutts Garden Centres Ltd
Peoples Trust for Endangered
Pond Conservation Royal Entomological Society
Royal Horticultural Society RSPB
The Herpetological Conserva-
tion Trust
The Wildlife Trusts
Wiggly Wigglers Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
Woodland Trust Zoological Society of London

11 Biodiversity News October 2007
Ground Beetles and Agricultural Land Change
The interactions between invertebrate communities can vary
widely according to crop type and season. Invertebrate communi-
ties are made up of mites, spiders, beetles, springtails, flies and
other groups. Changing farming techniques and practices will al-
most certainly impact on these invertebrate groups, some more
than others. Much information is therefore required on what long-
term effects are likely to arise from changing land-use practices
and of their environmental significance. Many species that were
once common inhabitants of farmland have become rare or even
have disappeared. Much of the focus on biodiversity within agri-
cultural landscapes has been on the conservation of rare species.
However, other issues have now become equally prominent,
namely whether or not increased biodiversity or species richness
enhances ecosystem functions such as primary productivity and
nutrient retention or ecosystem services such as pollination and
biological control. Non-crop habitats on farmland are usually more species diverse than cropped fields and
intensive grasslands and even sometimes become islands of species-richness if dispersal across suitable habi-
tat is limited.
Ground beetles or Carabidae are one of the most numerous and diverse groups of arthropods found in agro-
ecosystems, contributing to both pest control and acting as a major food source for farmland birds. They
are also known to be important indicators of environmental change and may act as good indicators of
change imposed by human activity more quickly than plants. The ecology and environmental factors affect-
ing ground beetles have been extensively studied and periodically reviews of this work have appeared. Since
the 1950s ground beetles inhabiting agricultural land have been more intensively investigated and much is
now known about the ecology and habitat requirements of many individual species. Many factors will deter-
mine and influence the diversity and abundance of ground beetles within agricultural systems. Many of
these factors are well documented but because the beetles respond to a wide variety of environmental fac-
tors it is often difficult to quantify the impact of any individual factor. This major group of invertebrates
are known to be sensitive to a range of agricultural practices including livestock grazing, pesticide applica-
tion and cropping regimes.
Management practice, vegetation structure and duration to harvest vary among crops and can all affect in-
vertebrate communities. Numerous studies have revealed that beetle fauna differs with crop type, with
patterns in assemblage composition occurring in response to the differing spraying regimes associated with
particular crops and the amount of ground cover. Changes in invertebrate communities in relation to crop
type is likely to be a result of the husbandry practices associated with a particular crop and especially the
type of soil cultivation employed, rather than movement and active selection, although some species may
prefer the microclimate provided by a particular crop. No beetle species has particularly been associated
with particular crops though some associations have been recorded. The presence of ground cover has been
shown to promote beetle communities. Greatest differences in beetle fauna composition are known to oc-
cur between winter sown and spring sown crops, for example, winter wheat can have higher densities of
The common carabid, Pterostichus niger
Dr Roy Anderson, AFBI)

12 Biodiversity News October 2007
New Study Reveals that Moorland is an Important
Sanctuary for Snipe
beetles than the early successional stages of set-aside because it provides more cover. Spring root crops
usually have lower abundance and diversity of beetles. The planting of trees on agricultural grassland is
known to increase beetle diversity and richness (Cuthbertson & McAdam, Biodiversity News, 31: 17-18). The
trees increase the level of environmental heterogeneity and hence the number of opportunities for species
colonisation to increase.
Soil disturbance can affect both species assemblage of ground beetles and also the phenology and behaviour
of individual species. Beetle diversity varies in response to tillage, even a particular species may respond
differently to the same tillage treatments in different sites. Uncultivated habitats can be important over-
wintering sources of natural enemies for cultivated fields. Soil cultivation tends to reduce populations of
beetle larvae and can influence community structure by selecting against species with long larval stages.
Since species with longer lived larvae are often larger bodied, this can result in intensively managed habi-
tats being characterised by smaller beetles than extensively managed habitats.
For further information concerning invertebrate biodiversity contact: Dr Andrew G. S. Cuthbertson,
Central Science Laboratory, York YO41 1LZ (e-mail:
A new study by The Game Conservancy Trust, which will be published in
the July edition of the international science journal Bird Study, published
by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), highlights the threat that land
drainage can have on important wader bird species, particularly common
The common snipe is a particular favourite of bird-watchers,
especially during the breeding season when males can be
heard giving their 'drumming' or 'beating' display on spring
mornings and evenings.
However, these small waders, recognizable by their 6.5cms
long straight bills that are used for probing wet grassland for
prey, have declined by about 62% over the past 20 years in
lowland Britain due to the loss or deterioration of their wet-
land habitat. As a consequence they are now designated an
Amber List species.
To understand whether snipe are fairing better in upland ar-
eas, the Trust's study investigated both habitat use and the
food preferences of breeding snipe Gallinago gallinago on moorland in northern England. This scientific
study is part of The Trust's long-term Upland Predation Experiment, which is investigating the effects of
predation on breeding populations of upland waders, such as golden plover, lapwing and curlew.
On lowland wet grassland, the snipe's breeding season is determined by the duration for which the soil re-
mains soft enough for the birds to probe for food such as earthworms and tipulid larvae (daddy long legs or
mosquito larvae).
However, since the 1940s the serious population decline in lowland areas has been driven by the loss of this
soft wet grassland habitat through increased land drainage aimed at creating more arable land, as well as
increased livestock grazing.
On Britain's moorland, however, the study revealed that densities of snipe were comparable to those in the
Alexis de le Serre

13 Biodiversity News October 2007
Mix together a healthy selection of seed bearing arable flowers such as
fat hen, field pansy, black bind weed, knotgrass and chickweed, with a
typical selection of ground dwelling insects such as grasshoppers, cater-
pillars and leaf beetles and you have a perfect winter and summer ban-
quet that will boost our declining farmland birds and their offspring.
However, a recently completed five-year study has just concluded that
arable crops contain a third less insects than needed to sustain declining
farmland birds such as grey partridges, yellowhammers and white
The study was carried out by entomologists from The Game Conservancy
Trust in conjunction with ADAS and the Central Science Laboratory, and
forms part of a 3.5 million Defra funded project called SAFFIE - Sustain-
able Arable Farming for an Improved Environment project - which aims
to enhance farmland biodiversity by developing more wildlife-friendly
farming techniques.
Dr John Holland, head of The Game Conservancy Trust's entomology de-
partment, said, "Within the crop, arable flowers and seeds are key foods
for farmland birds, insects and small mammals all year. The flowers
seeds are an important food source during winter, while insects are an
essential food for many young farmland bird chicks. But getting the balance right to benefit wildlife is diffi-
cult because any approach at reducing chemical controls should not unduly affect the practicalities of farm-
As part of the SAFFIE project, the Trust's entomologists studied the impact that weed killers were having on
arable flowers, which are an important food source for a range of invertebrates. The aim was to discover
whether using lower amounts of herbicide would boost these important arable plants while not affecting
the quality of the crop.
Dr Holland explains, "The decline of many farmland birds such as skylarks and grey partridges is linked to
the loss of their food supply. Boosting the number of arable flowers in a crop encourages more insects and
thus more farmland birds. But many species of plant, once regarded as 'weeds', have also declined because
New Research Aims to Make the Countryside Buzz
best lowland habitats in England and Wales. Moorland is clearly an important habitat for the British snipe
population, notably because it is far more extensive than the remaining suitable lowland habitats. The
availability of suitable wetland feeding areas on moorland appears to be the main factor determining breed-
ing densities.
However, between 1980 and 1990 the number of sheep in the uplands more than doubled, resulting in a
shift from heather-dominated habitats to heather/grass mosaics in many areas. Although this might have
made some moors marginally more attractive to breeding snipe, it is likely to have resulted in increased
trampling rates of snipe nests - one of the major factors that caused snipe to decline in lowland wet grass-
lands. In addition, the agricultural improvement of pasture fields adjoining moorland is detrimental to most
breeding waders, including snipe, and improved grass held the lowest snipe densities within the study sites.
Dr Andrew Hoodless, carried out this research on The Game Conservancy Trust's study sites at Otterburn in
Northumberland and said, "Because of its specialist feeding requirements, snipe are very susceptible to
habitat change. Given the poor status of breeding snipe in lowland Britain and the emerging evidence of
declines on upland marginal grassland, we need to ensure that any future upland habitat management prac-
tices are beneficial to snipe and do not result in further deterioration of their important moorland habitats.
For more information, contact Morag Walker, Head of Media, on 01425 652381
Dr John Holland
The Game Conservancy Trust

14 Biodiversity News
sized fields appear better for hedgehogs. So
hedgehogs have been forced out of the countryside
by the industrialisation of agriculture, and are now
finding the refuge of suburbia is also being swamped
by development. The good news is that hedgehogs
are still widely distributed. The majority of hedge-
hog sightings were in peoples gardens but were also
seen in pasture, arable land, woodlands, village
greens, parks, moorland and heathland.
The jury is still out on whether the increase in badg-
ers has any part to play in the hedgehogs decline.
It would be easy to blame badgers, said Hugh
Warwick of the British Hedgehog Preservation Soci-
ety, but hedgehogs and badgers have co-existed
for millennia, still live side by side in some parts of
the country and where the decline in hedgehogs is
As the hedgehog joins 1149 species and habitats on
the Biodiversity Action Plan so HogWatch reveals
the extent of the decline in this much loved spe-
cies. A report, published recently, shows hedgehogs
are in national decline.

All over the country hedgehogs are vanishing. Over
half of the respondents to the HogWatch survey are
seeing fewer hedgehogs, and this is backed up by a
report published today by leading scientists from
the University of London. HogWatch was launched
in response to findings that hedgehogs have de-
clined by as much as 50% in some regions (1). This is
potentially catastrophic.
Nearly 20,000 people took part in HogWatch report-
ing sightings and non-sightings of hedgehogs in 2005
and 2006, making it the largest mammal survey of
its kind. The information from these amateur natu-
ralists has allowed HogWatch to produce a distribu-
tion map for hedgehogs. It shows a clear east-west
divide in England. You are more likely to see a
hedgehog on the eastern side of England than the
west. (see map)
But evidence gathered previously from the Mammals
on Roads study revealed that the east of the coun-
try is where the disappearance of the hedgehog is
at its fastest (1). If this is the case then hedgehogs
really are in trouble and we need to urgently find
out what is causing this decline.
Commenting on why hedgehogs are more widely dis-
tributed in some areas than others, study coordina-
tor Dr Paul Bright said, Increasing urbanisation and
tidier gardens are pushing hedgehogs out from the
places where most of us live. In the wider country-
side landscapes which apparently have smaller-
Places where hedgehogs were seen (green dots) and not seen (red
dots) in gardens, on farms and throughout the wider countryside
of increased use of herbicide, improved seed-cleaning and changes in crop types and sowing dates. This
project is therefore, very exciting as it works towards achieving a balance between controlling weeds to
ensure an economic crop whilst maintaining ecological biodiversity."
The research particularly highlighted the need to target control specifically at pernicious weeds, such as
black grass and wild oats, and not the non-competitive 'arable flowers' favoured by birds and insects.
Dr Holland explains, "Our research showed that many fields have higher levels of beneficial arable flowers
than pernicious weeds and it is therefore possible to reduce herbicide inputs substantially, particularly
where pernicious weeds are not posing a threat. Indeed, by firstly identifying that pernicious weeds are ab-
sent and then reducing amounts of herbicide sprays accordingly, could benefit farmers financially. The
study showed that a single spring spray application of amidosulfuron (Eagle) allowed the most beneficial
arable flowers to survive and frequently this treatment supported the most skylark food items. When com-
bined with the creation of skylark plots, this treatment could be of huge benefit to the declining skylark
For more information on SAFFIE, visit:
Nowhere Left to Run How Development Destroys

15 Biodiversity News October 2007
For more information, please contact Nida Al Fu-
laij on 020 7498 4533
ASTRAZENECA Working with Biodiversity
As one of the worlds leading phar-
maceutical companies, AstraZeneca
recognises the importance of long-
term sustainable development,
based on good financial, social and
environmental performance. These
foundations are the same as those
underpinning the Convention on
Biological Diversity (CBD) signed in Rio de Janeiro in
AstraZeneca is developing a biodiversity strategy
aimed at the preservation and enhancement of local
ecological interest within boundaries of its sites and
preserving links with the surrounding environment
via green corridors. The company is in the early
stages of developing Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPs)
for all of its major properties around the world.
These will be based on a pilot project that is now
nearing completion at one of AstraZenecas main
research and development sites in Cheshire, in the
Data from field surveys carried out in 2006 and 2007
have been combined with a large volume of historic
records to produce a very comprehensive collection
of information on habitats and species. The work has
included monitoring all of the sites habitats as well
as surveying populations of significant species such
as the extensive colonies of bluebells, the diversity
of butterflies and birds and the monitoring of nu-
merous bird nesting boxes. In-house computing ex-
pertise has been used in combination with Species
Recorder and Computer Aided Design (CAD) software
to store the data in an easily accessible and visual
format and to produce a BAP for the site. Although
the BAP is still under development, the information
collected so far has already proven valuable.
Changes in meadow management on the site has
resulted in a 50% increase in grass species in some
areas, monocultures of conifers are being replaced
by a diversity of indigenous deciduous species and
prior knowledge of active badger setts has assisted
engineers in planning a major site development pro-
ject which will have no impact on these animals.
The Cheshire Wildlife Trust has been involved in the
project from the outset. The AstraZeneca initiative
shows just what can be achieved when major com-
panies use their commercial and technical expertise
to support biodiversity. The company has set a stan-
dard which we hope others will follow, says Kathe-
rine Walsh, the Trusts Reserves Officer.
Following the success of the pilot scheme, initial
ecological studies have now begun on other Astra-
Zeneca sites. The companys Leicestershire property
has been found to be particularly important for
dragonflies and has a thriving Sand Martin colony
breeding in a specially constructed nesting bank.
Continuing ecological surveys at the Bristol site are
yielding a great diversity of species, especially those
associated with the sites extensive drainage ditches
or rhines, as they are known locally. These are tradi-
tional habitats for water voles and a variety of drag-
onfly species, but recent surveys have confirmed the
presence of reed warblers, grass snake and probably
water shrew.
European sites in France and Sweden have produced
records ranging from crested tits to nesting red-
backed shrikes and wart-bitter bush crickets to
brown hairstreak butterflies. Preliminary work on
AstraZeneca properties in some of the worlds
biodiversity hot spots report a wide range of even
more exotic flora and fauna; with indigenous anole
lizards and endemic birds in Puerto Rico and mon-
keys and mongooses on sites in southern India.
Currently the companys database and draft biodi-
versity plans are only available in-house, but it is
eventually planned to make this large store of infor-
mation more widely accessible, especially to the
Wildlife Trusts and other conservation organisations.
highest, there are fewer badgers. It seems likely
that the way we have altered the environment is at
the heart of the problem.
HogWatch is part of a wider research project to es-
tablish the status of hedgehogs across the UK, coor-
dinated by Dr Paul Bright, Royal Holloway, University
of London, and funded by the Peoples Trust for En-
dangered Species (PTES) and the British Hedgehog
Preservation Society. PhD student Anouschka Hof
(pictured) carried out the fieldwork.
1.The PTES survey Mammals on Roads found that between 2001
and 2005 hedgehog numbers had declined by 20% and as much as
50% in some places.
(Continued from page 14)
Hugh Warwick

Pioneering Project Inspires a UK-Wide Effort to
Save 'Ratty'
The release of 600 captive-
bred water voles on the River
Dore in Herefordshire by The
Game Conservancy Trust in
the past year, plus the recent
injection of nearly 200,000
from funders such as SITA Trust and the John Eller-
man Foundation will help to ensure the future for
British water voles.
Immortalized as the charismatic 'Ratty' in Ken-
neth Graham's book 'Wind in the Willows', the wa-
ter vole has been part of Britain's native wildlife
since the last Ice Age, but today it is in deep trou-
ble. Characteristic of idyllic clean, green river-
banks, the water vole is now one of Britain's fastest
declining mammals and has vanished from 85% of
sites nation-wide in just seven years.
This decline is partly attributable to the wide-
spread degradation of riverside habitat, but preda-
tion by American mink has had an overwhelming
impact. The North American mink was brought to
Britain in the 1930s for fur-farming, escaped from
numerous locations and has since colonised the
whole of mainland Britain.
The Game Conservancy Trust's pioneering project
on the restored River Dore in Herefordshire will
give renewed hope to conservation organisations in
other regions where the water vole is already ex-
tinct and unlikely to re-colonise. The habitat has
been restored, mink have been eliminated from the
river and 600 captive-bred water voles have been
Dr Jonathan Reynolds, a senior research scientist at
the Trust said, "The significance of the River Dore
project is both its large scale and the fact that for
the first time we have addressed all the key factors
that have contributed to the loss of water voles on
an unprecedented scale. During 2003-6, the GCT
restored more than 90 km of riverbank in the Mon-
now catchment, of which the River Dore forms one
part. Now we have addressed the predation prob-
lem using the GCT Mink Raft to keep the river
mink-free, and released a large founding stocks of
voles in two successive years."
The innovative GCT Mink Raft was introduced in
2002, and since then this deceptively simple device
has been enthusi asti cal l y
adopted by Water Vole Biodiver-
sity Action Plan Steering Groups
and conservation bodies through-
out the UK. Jonathan Reynolds
said, "Until 2002, the mink issue
was thought to be unmanageable. The GCT Mink Raft
has shown that a meaningful impact on mink numbers
can be made in a short time at reasonable cost." The
Trust's research on mink control has set a new pace
and agenda, particularly as decades of trapping and
hunting had not previously prevented the colonisation
of mink throughout Britain.
The additional funding now received from SITA Trust
and the John Ellerman Foundation marks the final
three-year stage of this inspiring project. Now that
water voles are once again established on the river,
the Trust is keen to ensure the population is sustain-
able. Jonathan Reynolds explains, "As a research
charity it is important that we address the
'sustainability' of water vole conservation. In practi-
cal terms this means that we will extend the mink
eradication zone (currently 40 km of river), so that
the re-introduced water vole colony can expand natu-
rally into mink-free space on neighbouring tributaries.
In this way, the entire upper Monnow catchment will
become a mink-free water vole sanctuary, which
should be maintainable with relatively ordinary fund-
To ensure the long-term future of water voles on the
River Dore, the Trust will work with local conserva-
tion bodies to establish the means to monitor and
maintain the status quo once the Trust's funding ends
in 2010. Jonathan Reynolds said, "We are hoping that
this project will be an inspiration for others to follow.
It highlights to policy makers and practitioners the
'art of the possible' in restoring this charismatic spe-
cies to rivers throughout the UK."
For more infor-
mation, contact
Morag Walker,
Head of Media,
on 01425
David Mason

17 Biodiversity News October 2007
Conservationists come in many different forms; some
that like to go swimming, some that like to jog; some
that like to climb mountains, some that prefer to walk
in the lowlands; there are those that like to get knee
deep in mud volunteering for conservation work, and
those who prefer to support financially; there are
those that shoot, and those that do not. What is the
difference between all of these? Nothingthey are all
as important as the next in achieving conservation tar-
gets. In north Wales there are 330 shooting conserva-
tionists taking part in BASCs Green Shoots project; a
unique collaboration between shooting and non-
shooting conservationists, supported by the Country-
side Council for Wales, Environment Agency Wales and
FWAG Cymru, that brings delivery of biodiversity tar-
gets in to the wider countryside.
The eyes and ears of the countryside
If you want to know something about an area of land,
you generally speak to the landowner. However, with
farmers becoming busier and the workload more in-
tense, very often farmers do not get the chance to
look up and appreciate their surroundings and monitor
wildlife as they once did . This is where the shooting
community are different; they are the eyes and ears
of the countryside due to the quantity and quality of
time they spend in the countryside. BASC members
have a wide array of sporting interests which include:
deer stalking; rough shooting; driven shooting; wild-
fowling and predator control, to name a few. These
disciplines are very different and require the person to
be out at many different times of the day and night.
Therefore they are there to see the full variety of
wildlife on the land.
So, how does the proj ect work?
Green Shoots draws on the knowledge that our mem-
bers absorb on a day to day basis. To get an idea on
what habitats, species and management occurs on our
members land we sent out a survey asking our mem-
bers about where they shot over in North Wales. It
demonstrated the wealth of knowledge about the
countryside that BASC members in north Wales had
hold of. The survey asked about 23 species and 9 habi-
tats, all of which are found on the Local Biodiversity
Action Plans (LBAP) of north Wales, and asked them
to indicate on a map where the species and habi-
tats occurred. The results were amazing; 19% of
north Wales is shot over by BASC members and
9000 biological records were generated. With this
wide coverage it has been commented that it is
one of the most comprehensive wildlife studies
carried out in north Wales.
The survey is used to select specific members for a
project, depending on the habitats or species rele-
vant to the LBAP targets. The following projects
outlined are a glimpse of Green Shoots over the
past year.
Marsh Fritillary..UK BAP species
During 2006 Butterfly Conservation and BASC got
together to look over the Green Shoots survey data
in order to survey sites that could be suitable for
this rare butterfly. Those sites that were close to
existing marsh fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia) popu-
lations were visited to check for their presence
and give management advice to improve the site
and hopefully attract this butterfly in coming
years. These sites will be re-surveyed to see how
the sites have developed and whether they have
been used by the marsh fritillaries. The overall
aim is to increase and enlarge the range of the
marsh fritillary.
Pine Marten- The elusive mammal
Perhaps the most exciting project is the pine mar-
ten (Martes martes). The survey indicated there
were 23 sightings of pine martens on BASC mem-
bers land. To avoid spending too much time chas-
ing these invisible mammals, the VWT - (Vincent
Wildlife Trust) developed a phone interview tech-
Conservation: the Common Goal
A new pond dug on a Green Shoot in Flintshire. Alex Hatton

18 Biodiversity News October 2007
nique that scores sightings. The 23 Green Shoots
sightings are being scored using this method. Those
which score highly will be followed up with on the
ground work. One series of sightings on a rough shoot
in Snowdonia National Park is looking very promising.
Breeding boxes have been built and erected in woods
surrounding the sightings. A reason for decline is that
our woodlands are very young, with old trees not be-
ing left, therefore restricting the cavities available to
den in.
The water vole, under threat by the misguided
As the number of water voles plummets, making it
the fastest declining mammal in Britain, ambitious
partnerships are evolving in north Wales to combat
the American Mink (Mustela vison), its main predator
and one of the causes of the decline, released from
mink farms by misguided activists. The Environment
Agency Wales part funds Green Shoots owing to the
help BASC members have in helping with mink trap-
ping and deploy mink rafts.
Mink workshops have been run on Anglesey, with the
aim of training fishing clubs and BASC members how
to efficiently use mink rafts (originally designed by
the GCT) to trap mink. Water vole ecology and land
management is also covered, as habitat loss is the
other main cause of the decline. To date four mink
workshops have been organised through the Green
Shoots programme in conjunction with Mentor Mn
and the Environment Agency Wales, all targeted at
saturating Anglesey with mink rafts.
The aim is to create a cordon sanitaire, a line of
traps, across Anglesey. This will help trap the few re-
maining individuals before moving this line across the
rest of north Wales, leaving mink free areas behind.
The hope is that this large scale approach can be
adopted elsewhere, perhaps for a Wales wide project.
The summer of 2007 will see the project extend into
the eastern catchments of north Wales
Ecological connectivity and habitat work
With global warming looking to be another obstacle
for our wildlife to overcome, wildlife corridors are go-
ing to become more important to allow our wildlife to
adapt to the changes. Following Conwy Countryside
Service successfully acquiring funds for biodiversity
work, it was obvious the Green Shoots programme
could help to find members who were willing to carry
out work.
A farm walk was run by BASC, Conwy Countryside Ser-
vice and Coed Cymru on a Green Shoots site, which
showed BASC members and local farmers how the
farm had developed to the benefit of wildlife without
impacting, and in fact improving the shooting/
farming. On this particular site 1410m of fencing was
installed in 5 different areas; 7825 trees planted in 4
areas totalling 1.57 ha. It has helped to improve a
hillside into a prime shooting and wildlife area. The
shooting interest makes it sustainable and will en-
courage active management. Following the walk
several other projects are developing on Green
Shoots sites that will improve biodiversity in the
Habitat managed for shooting are rich in food for
barn owls
Land used for shooting is naturally very good for
species such as the barn owl (Tyto alba). Well
linked species rich hedges, field margins and graz-
ing marsh are habitats often found on shoots that
are looked after to allow game birds to disperse
around the land as well as attracting wild birds
such as woodcock (Scolopax rusticola) and snipe
(Gallinago gallinago). As these habitats are kept in
prime condition they are rich in insects, small
mammals and songbirds which in turn attract the
predators. It is not surprising that the original sur-
vey returned 353 records of barn owls, second only
to the number of woodcock sightings (557 records)
renowned for being attracted to rough un-grazed
habitats. With an active partnership in north east
Wales comprised of the Raptor Study Group and
Biodiversity Officers, BASC members have been
able to significantly extend where both internal
and external boxes have been erected, which
should increase their numbers over the next few
The future of Green Shoots.
The project has lifespan but it will leave a sustain-
able legacy for biodiversity. Over this time the pro-
ject will, and has already, achieved biodiversity
targets, but in the long term making links between
the conservation bodies and BASC members who
will carry on the work. As barriers and preconcep-
tions are destroyed, it will continue to open areas
of the countryside up that were previously unex-
plored by conservation professionals.
Ultimately we must make long lasting benefits to
biodiversity through sustainable projects. By filling
out the survey our members have indicated their
interest in becoming involved in conservation pro-
jects. The key to long term biodiversity gains is to
involve the shooter/landowner so that it becomes
their project and if it benefits the shoot it stands
more of a chance of surviving indefinitely. A good
example is with the water vole project; by provid-
ing training to people interested in mink trapping,
groups of people form who can be encouraged to
manage themselves. These groups will far outrun
the project as they are the ones who have the
vested interest in the land.
This project is succeeding because of the support
Green Shoots has received from LBAPs, conserva-
tion professionals and organisations in north Wales.
Shooting conservationists have always done a lot
for conservation, but with more help and direction

19 Biodiversity News October 2007
in the biodiversity process they are making even more
measurable gains to biodiversity in North Wales.
Alex works full time for The British Association for
Shooting and Conservation in North Wales. If you
have a project that you would like to work on/
develop with him or more information on the pro-
ject, contact him on 01244 573024/ 07971 432680
Some of the UK's most endangered butterflies are
getting better protection thanks to the opening of a
new nature reserve in Mabie Forest, near Dumfries.

Both Forestry Commission Scotland and Butterfly
Conservation have teamed up to help create the
right habitats in the forest to attract and boost but-
terfly numbers.
Mabie Forest is one of the richest sites for butter-
flies, with over 20 species being recorded. The for-
est is the home to three of the most endangered
butterflies in the UK, the Pearl-bordered Fritillary,
Dingy Skipper and the Forester Moth.
The reserve will also be a safe haven for other im-
portant species such as dragonflies, damselflies,
owls, bats, woodpeckers and the 'churring' nightjar,
a bird which is rarely seen but often identified by its
unusual call.
Robin Fuller of Forestry Commission Scotland said:
"Mabie forest is very popular with visitors and is of-
ten known for being a great place for the family to
go and enjoy scenic and peaceful walks or a fun
mountain bike ride. However, Mabie is also a hidden
oasis for many really interesting and rare creatures.

"Butterflies are just one of the special species that
the new nature reserve aims to protect, yet we be-
lieve that it's possible that over 500 different spe-
cies of moth live in the forest. By creating the per-
fect environment, we can reduce the decline of
many important species and give a welcome retreat
to many other fascinating animals."
Forestry Commission Scotland staff have worked
hard to support the right ecosystems to let the many
species of Mabie forest flourish. Ponds and wetland
habitats have been enhanced or protected and pock-
ets of woodland have been cleared to encourage
September 2007 Local and Regional Biodiversity
Action Plan Seminar
The University of Exeter was the venue for the third
of the recent series of Local Biodiversity Action Plan
Seminars on 18, 19 and 20
September this year.
Over 170 delegates met to renew friendships, make
new contacts, and exchange ideas and practical ex-

The conference was sponsored and organised by De-
fra, Natural England and the Wildlife Trust. A var-
ied programme with speakers from a wide range of
organisations attracted representatives from Local
and Regional BAP partnerships across the UK.

The first day opened with an update on recent policy
developments. This was followed with presentations
on the NERC Biodiversity Duty, and a session on LBAP
engagement with Local Authorities. Victoria Ches-
ter, Chief Executive Plantlife, gave an entertaining
and informative speech at the conference dinner on
the evening of the first day.

The second day started with a detailed look at the
UK BAP targets review followed by workshops giving
the opportunity for representatives of the priority
Habitat Action Plan Steering Groups to meet with
those working to deliver their HAPs on the ground.
In the afternoon presentations on the upcoming
communication strategy for the England Biodiversity
Strategy and on the BBC Breathing Places pro-
gramme informed delegates about wider communi-
cation matters. Concluding communication work-
shops ended the formal part of the day. A cruise
on the River Exe and harvest supper of local produce
ended a busy day.

On the third day, delegates discussed a range of is-
sues including landscape scale approaches to biodi-
versity action and implementation of agricultural
projects and initiatives.
Conference Proceedings will be produced by the end
of 2007. Copies will be available from Donna Radley
(see below).

Any queries or requests for further information
about the September Seminar from:

Donna Radley, England Local & Regional Biodiver-
sity Coordinator, Natural England
Telephone: 01733 455106
New Nature Reserve for Maibe

20 Biodiversity News October 2007
Macrae Edinburgh, part of the Youngs Seafood Group
is lending its support to the Scottish Wildlife Trusts
(SWT) Tailend Moss Wildlife Reserve in Bathgate.
With its brand new premises adjacent to the reserve,
Macrae is giving 5,000 a year for the next three
years to help improve biodiversity and public access
on the site.
Simon Milne, SWT Chief Executive said: This local
funding for Tailend is especially appropriate and its
good to see a successful Scottish company being
thoughtful about this wildlife site and its potential
for the local community. We are very grateful to
Stephen and Macrae Edinburgh for making this
three-year commitment and look forward to work-
ing with them to make this project a success for
wildlife and a useful amenity for local families.
A rare lowland raised bog, Tailend Moss supports a
great variety of interesting plants and insects that
thrive in the damp conditions. Thanks to an abun-
dance of food many species of birds can be seen
including a large black-headed gull colony, snipe
and short-eared owls in winter.
Operations director for Macrae, Stephen Cameron,
said: We are delighted to be supporting SWT in its
valuable work at Tailend Moss, which will benefit
both wildlife and the local community. Lowland
peat bogs are an internationally important habitat
and it is vital they are protected. Sustainability
and environmental protection are at the very
heart of our business ethos and this makes us espe-
cially proud to be playing our part in helping to
protect vulnerable wildlife.
Over the next three years, a program of improve-
ments is planned including access works, new
dams, signage and woodland management which
will be undertaken by SWT staff and volunteers.
For information, please contact:Bill Gardner,
Donor Development Manager, SWT. Tel: 013 312
4711 or email: Simon Milne and Stephen Cameron at Tailend Moss
Prior to the school holidays, the pupils of Castle Pri-
mary School in New Cumnock put in a hard days work
at the Scottish Wildlife Trusts (SWT) Knockshinnoch
Lagoons Wildlife Reserve alongside SWT staff and vol-
unteers. The children were keen to contribute to the
conservation of this site in a practical way and earn a
John Muir Award in the process. With guidance from
SWT, they planned and carried out a whole range of
useful tasks themselves: creating a living roof on the
bird hide, clearing up litter, removing Japanese knot-
weed, listing the birds, insects and plants, complet-
ing a visitor questionnaire and
making insects homes.
The hardest but most satisfying job
was camouflaging the bird hide. Its
corrugated roof was not particularly pleasing to the
eye and did nothing for wildlife. It now has a grassy
and flowery covering that blends in well with its
surroundings and is less visible to the hundreds of
birds nesting on the nearby lagoon. Rennie Mason
(Continued on page 21)
Raising the Roof for Wildlife
more shrubland, ideal for nightjars. Even roadside
vegetation has been designed in a way to support a
range of wildflowers which support butterflies and
other insects.
"This site shows that with sensitive management, we
can make our woodlands suitable for a wide range of
Scotland's wildlife," said Paul Kirkland, Director of
Butterfly Conservation Scotland.
"For example, Pearl-bordered Fritillaries are in deep
trouble in England and Wales, but this well-managed
reserve in Scotland proves that we can conserve this
species effectively. The butterfly needs sunny wood-
land glades. Without either active woodland man-
agement or grazing, the glades become too shady
for the butterfly and the plants upon which they de-
During the next few years, a number of sculptures
and interpretation boards will be installed along the
route of the reserve. This new interpretation is de-
signed to educate visitors of all the wildlife found at
Mabie Forest and entice more people further into
the forest. The reserve will also be an important as-
set for school outings and other outdoor events.
Media enquiries to Diana McGowan, Forestry
Commission Scotland press office 0131 314 6507.
Local Business gives Local Support to Reserve

21 Biodiversity News October 2007
This has been the wettest summer since detailed re-
cords began in 1914. This bodes particularly badly for
the wild grey partridge, which has already suffered a
massive 86% decline in the past 30 years and is on
the brink of extinction in many areas of the country.
"The wet summer has been a total wash-out for
young partridge chicks struggling for survival and ur-
gent conservation action needs to be taken by all
those with a responsibility for managing the British
countryside," warns Dr Nick Sotherton, head of re-
search with the Trust.
Many factors have contributed to the decline of grey
partridges such as the introduction of herbicides and
pesticides into modern farming (causing the loss of
important chick food) and also the loss of suitable
habitat for brood-rearing and nesting.
A rise in the number of predators such as foxes, rats,
stoats, magpies and crows, are also a major factor
behind the decline of grey partridges, especially as
the number of gamekeepers providing protection has
halved over the past 30 years. Many of the Trust's
studies have revealed the importance of predator
control and in a six-year experiment on Salisbury
Plain, the Trust's research showed that predator
control increased grey partridge breeding stock in
spring by 35% each year and resulted in an in-
creased number of birds in August by 75% each year.
Dr Sotherton explains, "Without the right sort of
habitat, partridges and their young have nowhere to
hide and are therefore extremely vulnerable to pre-
dation. Many predators are opportunistic, and as a
result an entire family can be knocked out in one
go. However, predator control needs to be selec-
tive and only carried out when necessary."
In Edwardian times there were more than a million
grey partridges roaming the British countryside, by
the early 1990s this had dropped to 145,000 grey
partridges, and today estimates suggest that this
figure has halved again. However, the Trust, as
lead partner in the Government's Biodiversity Action
Plan for the grey partridge has devised a five-point
plan for saving this once familiar farmland bird.
"It's not difficult," explains Nick Sotherton, "Indeed,
many small things added together will make a huge
di f f er ence
and we urge
all those
with an in-
terest in sav-
ing this mag-
nificent bird
to imple-
ment our
f i v e - p o i n t
plan. We
have the sci-
Back from the Brink - Trust Urges Immediate Action
to Save the Grey Partridge and Launches a Five
Point Plan
Laurie Campbell
from SWT said The children worked hard on what
was quite a complicated task. They should be very
proud of what they have achieved.
Elsewhere, armed with binoculars, butterfly nets and
bug boxes, the bing, Birchwood and burn were
scoured for new species. Results have still to be ana-
lysed but the best finds of the day has to be an or-
chid, a large mushroom and beautiful ploom moth.
Kyle from Castle School Primary said I loved shaking
the trees to see what strange insect would drop
Despite a distinct lack of sunshine, many walkers
were politely quizzed for their opinions on why
they visited the reserve and what improvements
they would like to see. Gill Smart, SWT Reserve
Manager, enthused feedback from reserve visitors
is essential. All the work carried out by Castle Pri-
mary today is genuinely relevant to the future
management of Knockshinnoch Lagoons for the
wildlife and the people who enjoy the reserve.

22 Biodiversity News October 2007
ence; we just need to turn this science into action."
The Trust's five point plan to save the grey partridge
1. HABITAT: Create suitable habitat - partridges
need both nesting cover and brood-rearing cover for
food and shelter. Farmers and land managers can
benefit financially under the Government's Entry
Level Scheme (ELS) and Higher Level Scheme for
creating habitats for grey partridge and other farm-
land birds.
2. PREDATION: Carry out predator control. Grey
partridges are ground-nesting birds and are there-
fore more susceptible to a greater range of preda-
tors. Predation causes the largest losses when hens
are nesting.
3. WINTER FOOD: Provide additional winter food
during the leanest months of winter by placing feed-
ers at strategic points.
4. KEEP COUNTING: Join The Game Conservancy
Trust's Grey Partridge Count Scheme. This is the
largest farmer-led monitoring scheme in Europe and
it is showing a 40% increase in partridge numbers on
land managed by farmers who have adopted the
Trust's recommendations.
5. BE SELECTIVE WITH SPRAYS: The Trust's 30-year
research into the impact of insecticides shows that
they are particularly harmful to farmland bird chicks
as they are dependent on a variety of insects when
they first hatch. To help farmland bird chicks the
Trust advises that the use of these insecticides, es-
pecially organophosphates should be reduced to
benefit farmland birds.
But it's not all bad news for the grey partridge as
Nick Sotherton explains, "We now have more than
1,000 people counting partridges across the country.
In addition, they are making an astonishing recovery
on our Grey Partridge Recovery Project on farmland
near Royston in Hertfordshire. Since the introduc-
tion of habitat management, predator control and
feeding, there has been an extraordinary six-fold in-
crease in grey partridges. But a lot more needs to be
done to reverse the national decline. We hope this
message today will act as the catalyst that will in-
spire more people to get involved in saving this de-
lightful gamebird."
To obtain copies of The Game Conservancy
Trust's free 'fact sheets' outlining how to restore
wild grey partridges, please contact, Louise
Shervington, The Game Conservancy Trust, Tele-
phone 01425 651002 or email: lsherving-
The UK BRAG serves as the UKs
National Biodiversity Research
Platform. It exists to:

Identify, promote and facili-
tate biodiversity research to
support UK and individual
country biodiversity action
plan commitments;
Coordinate effective and effi-
cient UK engagement with
European biodiversity research issues, fulfilling the
role of a national biodiversity research platform;
Contribute to effective biodiversity research net-
working in the UK, leading to increased interdisci-
plinary capacity;
Support knowledge transfer activities in relation to
biodiversity research.

The UK BRAG does not act as a funding body for biodi-
versity research in the UK, and the success of the
Group is not tied to formalised performance meas-
ures. Effectiveness is assessed in terms of:

Improved networking within and between re-
searcher, policymaker and practitioner com-
Increased capacity for biodiversity research in
the UK, particularly interdisciplinary ap-
proaches; and
More effective knowledge transfer, including
science-to-policy, facilitated by the Groups

Research Themes

The work of the UK BRAG has addressed a number
of major cross-cutting themes, and responding to
new, developing areas of research. Thematic pa-
pers detailing research needs are available for:
Climate Change Adaptation
The Role of Biodiversity in Ecosystem Function
Genetic Conservation
The Impact of Non-Native Species
Socio-Economic Issues
Habitat and Ecosystem Management
Monitoring of Biodiversity and Evaluation of
The UK Biodiversity Research Advisory Group

23 Biodiversity News October 2007
Ministers Approve Priority Species and Habitats List
to Focus Future Conservation Action
On 28
August the Minister for Biodiversity, Joan Ruddock launched
a new priority list of 1149 species and 65 habitats at Brentlands
Farm orchard in Gloucestershire. Traditional Orchards are among the
priority habitats newly included on the list and have been reduced
by 60% since 1950. In addition to the Minister and the orchards own-
ers, representatives from Defra, Natural England, National Trust,
Wildlife and Countryside Link and Peoples Trust for Endangered
Species all attended the event. The list was approved by the Gov-
ernments of all four UK administrations prior to the event on the 28

The Minister said: Conserving biodiversity is essential if we are to
pass on a healthy environment to the next generation. The new list
will help us to target our resources and efforts where they are needed, and demonstrates our commitment
to publish new priorities, targets and plans for halting biodiversity loss by 2010
The list, intended to aid the prioritisation of conservation action under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan
(BAP), will supersede the old list compiled 10 years ago, which included 577 species and 49 habitats. This
increase in number is primarily due to a more rigorous analysis of a broader range of habitats and species,
and better attention being paid to lesser known species. Some species are newly included as they are under
threat or in decline, such as the garden tiger moth, house sparrow, hedgehog and grass snake, amongst oth-
ers. Some species have been removed from the list, however, such as the Killarney fern and the prickly
sedge, as the action plan objectives for them have been met.
The Scottish and Welsh environment Ministers, Michael Russell and Jane Davidson, both welcomed the pub-
lication, and noted its use in informing revisions of their own biodiversity lists.
Sir Martin Doughty, chair of Natural England and Dr Nigel Bourn, chair of Wildlife and Countryside Links Bio-
diversity Working Group, were also praising.
Joan Ruddock also thanked the various experts, many unpaid, involved in the review, who worked tire-
lessly over the last three years to bring it to completion.
The new Biodiversity Action Plan List can be found at
For more information, please contact
Joan Ruddock at the orchard Phil Lewis

In addition, the recommendations from the UK
BRAGs work on these themes are available in a re-
port summarising the Groups work between 2003-
2006 (
Collaborative activities
The UK BRAG undertakes national reviews on key
topics to inform the BioSTRAT project
(, which in turn supports the
European Platform for Biodiversity Research Strat-
egy (
In order to optimise Knowledge Transfer activities,
the UK BRAG is working closely with the British Eco-
logical Society (;
and contributes ideas to the Environmental Research
Funders Forum, through its Research Coordination
working Group ( Through a
shared Secretariat, UK BRAG has a close relationship
with the Global Biodiversity Sub Committee (GBSC)
of the UK Global Environmental Change Committee
( While the UK BRAG focuses on
the UK and Crown Dependencies, the GBSC considers
global biodiversity issues and the needs of the UKs
Overseas Territories.
To find out more about the UK BRAG and its ac-
tivities, please contact the Secretariat:
01733 866820
Richard Ferris

24 Biodiversity News October 2007
Climate change is causing a significant and increasing impact on UK wildlife. Some species are under stress,
while others are expanding their range. What new species will arrive in Britain? This must have profound
consequences for conservation and management. Appropriate actions need to be discussed and developed
This lecture series will inform this debate. National experts will discuss topics such as phenology the tim-
ing of natural events, and will examine the way that climate change is currently impacting on British plants
and animals, and on terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Adaptation and mitigation actions to maintain maxi-
mum biodiversity in open spaces and the environment will be debated.
Full details of the speakers and the scope of their presentations will available on the Societys website in
the autumn.
Join the debate. All welcome. Free ticket admission.
The lectures will be held in Birkbeck, University of London, WC1
For free tickets and venue details, contact tel: 020 7679 1069, or e-mail:
For queries on lecture content, contact tel: 020 7485 7903, or e-mail:;
All lectures are from 6.30 to 8.30 pm on the following Fridays. Doors open at 6.00pm.
12 October Harmless Pastime or Serious Science? What does phenology tell us about the impacts of
a changing climate?
Dr Tim Sparks, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
19 October Climate Warming and Species' Ranges: who will be winners or losers?
Dr Jane Hill, University of York
Free Public Lecture Series, Autumn 2007
British Wildlife and Climate
What is happening? Can we do anything?
Birkbeck, University of London
in conjunction with the
Ecology and Conservation Studies Society

25 Biodiversity News October 2007
26 October The British Flora: effects of habitat modification and climate change
Dr Chris Preston, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
2 November Can Birds Fly from Climate Change?
Dr Humphrey Crick, British Trust for Ornithology
9 November Adaptation for High Biodiversity under Climate Change
Dr John Hopkins, Natural England
16 November Case Studies of Adaptation and Mitigation Measures on Specific Sites
Burnham Beeches. Andy Barnard, City of London Corporation
River Restoration London. Dave Webb, Environment Agency
Landscape Scale Projects and Ecological Networks. Dr Tony Whitbread, Sussex WLT
These case studies will be followed by a panel question and answer session chaired by
Richard Clarke, Course Director of the Ecology and Conservation Programme, Birkbeck

The Ecology and Conservation Studies Society welcomes new members. Details of the Society and ap-
plication forms will be available at the door, and are on our website at:

Adaptive Management and Offshore Wind Energy
November 1
2007, SOAS London

Environmental impact assessment, SEA, monitoring and research studies into activities using the marine en-
vironment are now normal practice. However, the information gained from this work is collected at consid-
erable cost. The better regulation and adaptive management agendas suggest that this information should
be being used to refine regulation. The aim of the conference is to assess our current understanding of the
environmental impact and benefits of offshore wind to pose the question of whether EIA, SEA and monitor-
ing requirements can be revised in the light of existing knowledge.

Conference fee: 145 excluding VAT: concessionary rates available
For details contact: Bob Earll, CMS, Candle Cottage, Kempley, Glos. GL18 2BU
Phone / Fax 01531 890415;
or conference programme
Please send in any dates of courses, meetings, conferences, events for young people or any other dates of
relevance that could be included in our Diary.

26 Biodiversity News October 2007