Bad news for farmland birds, says RSPB

Smallholder: Skylark numbers are dwindling

2:00pm Thursday 30th October 2014

The RSPB has called on Defra to make “every pound count” in a new wildlife-friendly farm scheme as official figures reveal another huge drop in the number of bird species, such as turtle dove, skylark and yellowhammer, reliant on farmed landscapes

Christine Walkden champions tree planting this November


5:30pm Wednesday 29th October 2014

November is a great month to start thinking about the year ahead and is often considered as nature’s time to plant, due to moderate temperatures and rainfall. It is the perfect time as it allows plants to root and acclimatize before the onset of summer heat or the harsher temperatures of winter.

Andrew George reviews Penwith vaccination project


7:00pm Tuesday 28th October 2014

West Cornwall MP, Andrew George, showed Parliamentary colleague Baroness Kate Parminter how the Penwith badger vaccination project is progressing on Saturday 25th October. Baroness Parminter is a former executive of the RSPCA and former Chair of the Campaign for the Protection of Hunted Animals and has a strong interest in environmental and animal protection matters.

Farm charity benefits from wildlife research in Somerset


10:00am Monday 20th October 2014

The Somerset branch of the UK's leading wildlife charity has raised almost £1,000 for the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI), a charity dedicated to supporting farm-workers and their families through difficult times.

Nature campaign fronted by red squirrel called Bob gets 100,000 votes for nature in just six weeks

Smallholder: ADOPT: The native red squirrel – one can be ‘adopted’ in a scheme which is being supported by the John Lewis Partnership

5:40pm Wednesday 15th October 2014

A red squirrel has taken Westminster by surprise today [Wednesday October 15 2014], by handing more than 100,000 votes for nature to the three main political parties. Bob, a red squirrel who loves nuts and talking to his fans on Twitter and Facebook, publicly launched his campaign to get nature on politicians’ agendas ahead of the General Election just six weeks ago.

Gamekeeper found guilty of mass poisoning of birds of prey


8:00am Wednesday 8th October 2014

A Norfolk gamekeeper has been found guilty of offences after the grim discovery of at least eleven illegally poisoned birds on a game shooting estate in Norfolk in 2013.

Pig power helps birds


8:00am Tuesday 7th October 2014

The RSPB has recruited the help of some unusual volunteers to help restore heathland and give nature a home on one of its reserves. For the first time the charity has introduced a herd of six Mangalitsa pigs to ‘pig out’ at its Arne nature reserve, in Dorset, to help restore a seven hectare site back to its natural healthland through wild grazing.

Threatened birds of prey disappear without trace


8:40pm Tuesday 30th September 2014

Two young satellite-tagged hen harriers have vanished in Lancashire in unexplained circumstances. The female birds, named Sky and Hope, both fledged this year from nests on the United Utilities Bowland Estate in Lancashire where they had been protected around the clock by RSPB staff and volunteers.

New accord promises action on sea eagles

Smallholder: A white tailed sea eagle

6:40pm Tuesday 30th September 2014

A new joint statement of intent on balancing the needs of sheep farmers and crofters with the conservation of sea eagles has been announced by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and NFU Scotland.

Save a week in February for the birds!

Smallholder: Help our survey

12:30pm Tuesday 30th September 2014

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) has announced that its second Big Farmland Bird Count will take place between February 7 and 15 2015. This leading UK research charity is asking farmers, landowners, birdwatchers and gamekeepers to spend 30 minutes recording the species and number of birds seen on one particular area of the firm this coming winter.

New chance to rescue lost commons in Cumbria and North Yorkshire

Smallholder: Best of Southampton.

9:00pm Monday 29th September 2014

On October 1, for the first time in 45 years, the public can claim lost commons in Cumbria and North Yorkshire. These two counties are to be added to the list of seven pioneer areas in England where commons can be put back on the register, under part 1 of the Commons Act 2006.

Hedgehogs footprints key to survey


8:00am Sunday 28th September 2014

Scientists have devised a novel and accurate way to monitor the elusive hedgehog – using ink to track their footprints. By placing footprint tunnels at sites across the UK, researchers at Nottingham Trent University and the University of Reading found that for the first time they were able to identify the presence of the secretive mammals with almost complete accuracy.

Global importance of pollinators underestimated

Smallholder: New bio-pesticide raises hope for protecting honey bees

6:00pm Friday 26th September 2014

Declines in populations of pollinators such as bees and wasps may be a key threat to nutrition in some of the most poorly fed parts of the globe, according to new research.

On course to save a bird on the edge


2:00pm Wednesday 24th September 2014

Over the past forty years, the wild grey partridge - one of Britain's most iconic farmland bird species - has been in rapid decline. Grey partridge numbers have plummeted by more than 80 per cent and, tragically, because of habitat loss and a reduction in essential chick food insects, they have become locally extinct in many areas of the country.

CPRE warns that the countryside will be blighted by housing developments

Smallholder: A view across the countryside of Upper Wharfedale showing farms, drystone walls, hay meadows and sheep in the fields. (6707063)

6:00am Saturday 13th September 2014

A new research paper from the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) published today shows that steep targets for the amount of land councils must allocate for housing are opening the door to major housing developments in the countryside.

Perthshire children help celebrate tree-mendous support


2:00pm Wednesday 10th September 2014

Children from Perthshire went back to nature to celebrate ongoing support for Scotland’s trees and woods from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. The children helped to create a special thank you message by creating numbers from natural materials such as pine cones to represent the total at Moncreiffe Hill, a Woodland Trust Scotland wood near Perth.

RSPCA reacts to reinstatement of badger cull -


4:00pm Monday 8th September 2014

The RSPCA has issued a press release in reaction to the reinstatement of the badger cull. RSPCA head of public affairs David Bowles said: “We are saddened but unsurprised at the reinstatement of the badger culls. This action is flying in the face of public and scientific opinion.

Initial results of a new citizen science experiment show more bumblebees observed in urban areas

Smallholder: A healthy buff-tailed bumblebee

2:37pm Monday 8th September 2014

Initial results of a new citizen science experiment: children and their families observe more bumblebees in urban localities compared to suburban and rural settings. Approximately 30,000 people participated in the project this summer, resulting in just over 4,000 bumblebee data entries from all across the UK.

River Nene’s ‘dragons’ boosted by Heritage Lottery Fund support


1:30pm Sunday 31st August 2014

Amphibians and reptiles living in the River Nene in the East of England are celebrating today after the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) backed a project to conserve their habitats. Froglife, a wildlife conservation charity, has received a grant of £472,400 from HLF for its River Nene Dragon Finder project. Over the next four and a half years, people who live alongside the river will be brought together to work on improving, restoring and creating over 150 habitat sites for local wildlife.

First badgers vaccinated in East Sussex

Smallholder: Visible: A badger out and about

11:00pm Saturday 30th August 2014

Volunteers from the Sussex Badger Vaccination Project have been out vaccinating the first badgers to be vaccinated against Bovine Tb in East Sussex. Two badgers have been caught and vaccinated on land belonging to the Sussex Horse Rescue Trust, as well as two at a residential garden in Oakwood Drive, Uckfield.

Introduction of water voles to Cornwall sees them return to the every county in England for the first time since 1989.


12:04pm Thursday 28th August 2014

Wildlife experts at the Environment Agency have confirmed that water voles have returned to every county in England, following the final release of 60 captive bred voles within the Bude river catchment in Cornwall.

Wildlife trust to benefit from Cornwall open gardens scheme


12:26pm Thursday 28th August 2014

“We believe in keeping Cornwall green” says Mike Trustcott, owner of May Tree Garden in St Austell which opens for leading local wildlife charity Cornwall Wildlife Trust on Sunday 7th September as an inspiring finale to their popular Open Gardens scheme. All funds raised go towards protecting Cornwall’s wildlife and wild places.

Tips on how to make your garden wildlife freindly

Smallholder: The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch is back this weekend, and people are urged to sign up and look out for wildlife in their gardens

11:32am Thursday 28th August 2014

The RSPB has provided a series of tips to gardeners who want to make sure their outside space is as wildlife friendly as possible.

Inquiry launched into proposed wind farm on wild land

Smallholder: Campaigners in Pencombe are fighting plans for a large wind turbine in the village.

12:00pm Tuesday 26th August 2014

A wind farm which is proposed for peatlands in Cathiness has been described as visually shocking. by Highland Councillors who have unanimously opposed it. An inquiry, now under way into the controversial 24-turbine Limekin development near Reay, will be based on the new Government guidance on wild land.

A gift of free trees to commemorate the anniversary of the First World War


5:00pm Monday 18th August 2014

Schools, youth groups and community groups are invited to apply for free packs of trees for planting this autumn. This offer is part of the Woodland Trust’s Centenary Woods project – a UK-wide campaign to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

Dramatic cuckoo photo wins first prize


2:00pm Friday 15th August 2014

Shaun Barrow of Barnstaple in Devon has won the adult category of The Game & Wildllife Conservation Trust (GWCT) third annual Julian Gardner Award photography competition. His dramatic picture of a cuckoo secured him the prize.

Council responds to criticism

Smallholder: The overgrown footpath at Stretton Sugwas means residents are walking in the road instead.

1:00pm Friday 15th August 2014

A spokesperson for Caerphilly County Borough Council has responded to criticism from the Open Spaces Society regarding its duty to maintaining public rights of way.

Cattle helping to expand new woodland in the Trossachs


6:00am Thursday 7th August 2014

A herd of Luing cattle is helping to speed up natural regeneration of woodland in the Trossachs. The cattle have been given access to a large area of newly established native woodland on the Woodland Trust's Glen Finglas estate for the first time since it was planted fifteen years ago.

Cotswold farmer wins award for giving extra for conservation


7:00am Monday 28th July 2014

Richard Benyon, who was awarded the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust’s prestigious 2013 Cotswold Grey Partridge Trophy for the miles of wildlife habitats that he has created for this rare bird, recently passed on the baton to the latest winner of this coveted prize.

Bumblees benefit from Johnsons flower seeds


8:00am Friday 25th July 2014

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT), has once again benefited from sales of a dedicated seed mixture produced by Johnsons. For every packet of its Mixed Bumblebee Friendly Flowers seed purchased in the last year, 25p was pledged to the BBCT.

Cotswold farmer wins award for giving extra for conservation


7:00pm Thursday 24th July 2014

Richard Benyon, who was awarded the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust’s prestigious 2013 Cotswold Grey Partridge Trophy for the miles of wildlife habitats that he has created for this rare bird, recently passed on the baton to the latest winner of this coveted prize.

Think before you pull Ragwort, says Buglife


8:00am Thursday 24th July 2014

Buglife is asking people to think hard before they pull ragwort from local fields and meadows. Ragwort has been implicated in the poisoning of horses and other grazing animals, though poisoning is actually much rarer than people realise and generally occurs when ragwort has been cut within a hay crop and fed to animals.

Public urged to help support our bees’ needs


4:00pm Tuesday 22nd July 2014

Five simple actions to help pollinators such as planting more bee-friendly flowers and cutting grass less often were promoted today to protect the vital contribution these insects make to our economy.

Ancient woodland threat now hits Ambridge


7:00am Thursday 17th July 2014

It may be fictional but the latest storyline in the BBC’s longest running soap opera, 'The Archers', highlights the very real and growing threat to ancient woodland from development. The Woodland Trust has written a 'formal letter of objection' to the proposed relief road which is set to destroy Starley’s Copse, an ancient wood near Ambridge, the village in which the programme is set.

Contribution of countryside under valued, says Prince's Countryside Fund

Smallholder: A view across the countryside of Upper Wharfedale showing farms, drystone walls, hay meadows and sheep in the fields. (6707063)

9:00pm Tuesday 15th July 2014

Rural and “opportunity” are words not often associated together, but with 5.5 million people employed in the rural economy, and domestic food and drink contributing £22 billion to the UK economy, The Prince’s Countryside Fund says it’s time to rethink how we view the value of the countryside.

Badger vaccination programme underway at Cornish resort


2:10pm Monday 14th July 2014

The controversial subject of badger culling has been a hot topic in the West Country for a number of years. To cull or to vaccinate has split farmers and land owners across the country, leaving those with smallholdings confused by what options are available to them.

Landowners encouraged to grow more trees

Smallholder: Scheme to build hundreds of new homes on farmland revealed

3:00pm Monday 7th July 2014

Landowners and farmers are being invited to find out how sporting opportunities can be enhanced, flood risk reduced and crop pollination increased by planting trees on their land. Advisors from the Woodland Trust are set to demonstrate how well-sited woodland creation can provide habitats and shelter for a number of wildlife and livestock species at this year’s CLA Game Show.

Buglife says claims of Swedish oil seed rape yield loss are misleading


1:00pm Sunday 6th July 2014

NFU vice-president Guy Smith has publicly claimed that farmers in Sweden have reported a 70 per cent loss in spring oil seed rape yields. Similar claims appear on the NFU website and twitter and are central to the NFU's position that the ban on Cruiser (clothianidin) treated seeds must be lifted to prevent crop loss from flea beetles.

Plan dropped for massive wind-turbines in Cumbrian beauty spot

Smallholder: GV wind turbine (3632691)

12:00pm Friday 4th July 2014

The Open Spaces Society,Britain’s oldest national conservation body, is delighted that Banks Renewables has abandoned its plan to build three massive wind-turbines near Killington Reservoir in Cumbria (near junction 37 on the M6 motorway)—the gateway to the Lake District and the Western Fells of the Yorkshire Dales.

Fifteen winged saviours to take to the air

Smallholder: There has been a worrying decline in cuckoo numbers

1:00pm Friday 13th June 2014

In a bid to tackle the worrying decline in cuckoo numbers, 15 satellite-tagged individuals are to take to the air during the next week, and begin transmitting information of their incredible journeys to researchers at the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology).

A ray of light for ancient woodland in Northern Ireland

Smallholder: Woodland Trust's Project Officer, Michael Topping. Photo. Tracy Dorman

6:00pm Thursday 12th June 2014

Thanks to a £1.9 million boost from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Woodland Trust has embarked upon a UK-wide project which could see the restoration of up to 52,000 hectares (200 square miles) of damaged ancient woodland.

Britain's oldest conservation body publishes manifesto

Smallholder: The Open Spaces Society protects Britain's common land

11:06am Monday 9th June 2014

The Open Spaces Society, Britain’s oldest national conservation body, has published its manifesto for the 2015 Westminster election. The organisation, which campaigns to protect common land, village greens, open spaces and public paths, and people’s right to enjoy them, throughout England and Wales. calling on politicians of all parties to support these policies.

Parasite resistant tree bumblebee spreading across the UK

Smallholder: The European bumblebee has stronger resistance to parasite infections

2:00pm Sunday 8th June 2014

A species of bee from Europe that has stronger resistance to parasite infections than native bumblebees has spread across the UK, according to new research at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Scotland's WW1 heroes to be commemorated with new woodland

Smallholder: Soldiers from The Royal Highland Fusiliers, with Peter Hollins, (Ministry of Defence) and Carol Evans from Woodland Trust Scotland.  Pic: Helen Pugh

9:20am Tuesday 3rd June 2014

Scotland’s First World War heroes will be commemorated with new native woodland in the Pentland Hills south of Edinburgh.

New findings give hope to red squirrels

Smallholder: The Red Squirrel Initiative protects red squirrels

9:10am Thursday 29th May 2014

Research results published this week found that the culling of grey squirrels can both remove the competitive threat posed to red squirrels and also significantly reduces the disease threat to red squirrels from squirrel pox virus. Surviving grey squirrels show dramatically reduced levels of exposure to the virus.

Rescued hedgehog refuses to leave home

Smallholder: Sandy Boyd with Edinburgh at her fattest

12:00pm Tuesday 27th May 2014

A rescued hedgehog prefers domesticity to the wild and is refusing to leave home. Edinburgh, named after the city where she was found, grew to more than 2.26kg (5lbs) after falling in love with the mealworms she was fed. The chunky hog ended up at nearly twice the weight of an average adult hedgehog.

Appeal to public to count hedgehogs

Smallholder: Why so prickly?

9:00am Monday 26th May 2014

Hedgehog numbers have dropped alarmingly in the last ten years and the Suffolk Wildlife Trust fears up to a third of the UK's hedgehogs have been lost.

Can ‘Lapwing Envy’ trigger a wildlife revival?

Smallholder: From left to right: Professor Nick Sotherton, GWCT Director of Research, Richard Benyon MP and Charles Phillips from Macaroni Farm, Glos.

9:00am Sunday 25th May 2014

Nearly 200 policy makers, farmers, conservationists and scientists joined forces at a thought-provoking research conference that highlighted how wildlife recovery is within our grasp in the UK.

Woodland Trust wins silver at Chelsea

Smallholder: Sleeping Beauty is the theme of the Woodland Trust's exhibit

11:00am Tuesday 20th May 2014

The Woodland Trust's RHS Chelsea exhibit 'Beauty Sleeping', which highlights the need to protect and restore the nation’s irreplaceable ancient woodland, has been awarded a silver medal at the world famous flower show.

To feed or not to feed? - that is the question

Smallholder: Feed birds all year say the BTO  Photo: Josie Latus/BTO

7:20am Tuesday 20th May 2014

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) Garden BirdWatch (GBW) team often get asked during the summer whether, or not, to continue feeding garden birds. The answer is yes; the BTO’s advice is to feed all year round as garden birds may struggle to find food at any time of year.

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