Monk Parakeets to be Eradicated in Britain
Defra, so a BBC report says, intends to remove the Monk Parakeet from the wild in Britain. Although the numbers in Britain are not high (around 100), in their native South America they are regarded as an agricultural pest. The parakeet builds large nests which will be removed. The adults will be trapped and put into aviaries. Only if these measures fail will the birds be shot.
Monitoring woodpeckers from space
The BBC website carries a news item today (18th December 2010), about a scheme in the USA to monitor Woodpeckers. Entitled Space laser spies for woodpeckers I thought it sounded very interesting, but after reading the article, all the scheme does is measure the thickness of the vegetation giving clues as to the presence of suitable habitat for the Pileated woodpecker.
Similar work to this has been carried out for years, for instance see this work carried out at Monk's Wood.
Bentinck Void, a disused coal opencast site near Kirkby-in-Ashfield, has been given extra environmental protection. From the 22nd of June 2010, the size of the SSSI along with the adjacent Annesley Woodhouse Quarry is increased from 5.4 hectares (13.3 acres) to 34.6 hectares (85.4 acres).
Bestwood Country Park
The Rise Park Nottingham web site has had a facelift. It includes a good section on Bestwood Country Park and other local bird watching areas such as Colliers Wood close to the old Moorgreen Colliery. There is also a section on the old railway lines in the Bulwell/Bestwood area including mention of the Master Cutler express which ran between Sheffield and London. This brought back memories of waiting to see it on the way to school and observing the results of what it could do to pennies laid on the rails. Not my pennies of course – I was too tightfisted!
Jack upsets Cromwell
In the 9th October's 2009's edition of the Telegraph there is an article about Jack, an over friendly Jackdaw in the village of Cromwell in north-east Nottinghamshire. Jack apparently likes taking cycle rides and looking up men's trousers. His upbringing is unknown.
Ring-necked Parakeet now classed as a pest
The 30th of September 2009's edition of the Independent carries an article about Ring-necked Parakeets being classed as a pest and allowing a simplified procedure to be used to control their numbers by land owners and occupiers.
Although there aren't any licences likely to be issued in Nottinghamshire for control of Ring-necked Parakeets, some of Nottinghamshire's birds are affected, viz Canada Goose, Blackbird and Robin. A synopsis can be found on the original Natural England press release.
On the 31st July 2009 it was announced that Beckingham Marshes near Gainsborough, Nottinghamshire, has received £178,000 from WREN's biodiversity fund, to help create new wetland on the site. The grant was given jointly to the RSPB (who are turning the area into a wildlife marsh) and the Environmental Agency (who are responsible for the anti-flood precautions in the area.
A new Local Nature Reserve is due to be declared this summer (2009) in the Toton/Stapleford area. it is called Toton Fields. The web site is called Friends of Toton Fields
Monitoring program for Manx Shearwater
Scientists at Cambridge University are in the process of monitoring the lifestyle of British Shearwaters. It involves using RFID tags attached to the bird's ring. There are wireless sensors mounted in some of the breeding burrows on Skomer Island, which gather information on the birds including their weight. Also some Manx Shearwaters are carrying GPS tracking devices which will enable the scientists to gather the range and areas over which the birds feed.
The Sherwood Legend
Unfortunately, Sherwood Forest lost out to the Lycra clad Connect 2 campaign from Sustran for the cash from the Big Lottery fund. Let's hope that Sustran will have more environmental sympathy in their new tracks than they have shown in some cases previously. Also hopefully there will be more separation between cyclists and pedestrians for the latter's safety.
Leucistic Barnacle Geese
There may be up to four leucistic Barnacle Geese in the Solway Firth this year. Leucistic means lacking in colour and appearing very pale, almost albinistic. They should remain in the area until March 2008.
Great Bustards breed in Britain
In 2007 Great Bustards have laid eggs in England for the first time in 175 years. The Great Bustard Group (GBG) has been releasing birds on Salisbury Plain each year since around 2004. As part of the introduction programme Great Bustard chicks are raised in Russia from eggs which have been rescued from nests destroyed by cultivation. These chicks are then released in the Wiltshire countryside.
Enhancing Arable Biodiversity report published
A report from the Sustainable Arable Farming For an Improved Environment (or SAFFIE for short) was published in mid July 2007, SAFFIE has being carrying out a 5 year (2002-2007) study on improving arable farming activities to benefit wildlife. Six beneficial techniques were identified, three of them not included in the Entry Level Stewardship Scheme. These are:-
- Skylark plots (uncultivated areas) in crops.
- On light soils, where weeds are not a problem, use a selective herbicide on crops in spring.
- Add wildflower seed to grass margins around fields.
- Use scarification (stirring up the soil to make bare patches) on field margins if the sward is thick.
- Allow long grass in field margins (for grasshoppers, spiders etc).
- Use Gramincide or a similar selective herbicide in spring to reduce vigorous grasses.
More can be found on the SAFFIE web site.
Shooting on Local Nature Reserves
A man has been seen shooting on Netherfield reserve over the weekend of the 14th-15thApril. As far as I know no-one has shooting rights on any Nottinghamshire reserve, so it was being done illegally. If anyone sees a repeat of this or any other similar incident then they are asked to contact the local police (or the wildlife officer of the local force)or ring 0115 967 0999
Gales hit Nottinghamshire Trees
The gales of the 18th-19th January 2007 have caused the loss of many trees in Nottinghamshire with Sherwood Pines FP losing over 100,000. The trails will reopen on the 27th January. The damage is bad news for the Forestry Commission, but perhaps good news for Nottinghamshire’s Wood Larks and Nightjars. Meanwhile Clumber park is not reopening until the 3rd of February, because of blocked roads and paths. Even then parts will still be closed for some while to come.
Gedling Conservation Trust
A new organisation which has been set up to take over ownership and conservation of the former coal slurry lagoons at Netherfield. Anyone who wishes to take part in the conservation work then contact the Netherfield Wildlife Trust atNetherfield Wildlife Group, c/o 4 Shelburne Close, Heronridge, Nottingham, NG5 9LL
Last updated 26th April 2011