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Archive news 2013

All the news from the Nature Partnership from 2013

CAP funding announced

Today, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has announced spending decisions following the consultation on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) that closed on the 28 November this year.

The amount of funding transferred from farmers' direct payments to the budget for environmental and rural growth schemes will be increased from 9% to 12%. The demand for environmental schemes and the competiveness of English agriculture will be reviewed in 2016, with the intention of moving to a 15% transfer in the final two years of the CAP period.

This decision may be seen as a compromise as environmental groups sought a 15% transfer for the entire period and farming groups had sought a 9% not 12% initial transfer.

The press release is available here, along with the full Government response to the consultation.

20 December 2013

Natural values: The contribution of the natural environment to growth and the economy

The second conference of the Greater Lincolnshire Nature Partnership was held at the University of Lincoln's Riseholme College on 17 October 2013.

The conference demonstrated the value of the natural environment to economic growth and society in Greater Lincolnshire and how this can be incorporated within spatial planning, which is one of the main focuses of the GLNP.

The keynote from Professor David Hill, Chairman of the Environment Bank and Deputy Chair of Natural England, on the environmental markets and the contribution of natural capital to GDP. That was followed by talks from Paul Learoyd Chief Executive of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, and Nathan Vear Head of Neighbourhood Improvement at North East Lincolnshire Council.

The day concluded with the launch of the Central Lincolnshire Biodiversity Opportunity Mapping study. Dominic Watkins of Chris Blandford Associates environmental consultants gave a talk on Establishing a Green Infrastructure Network for Central Lincolnshire and the role of Biodiversity Opportunity Mapping. The report and related maps will influence planning policy development in the area. One part of the report focussed on Witham Valley Country Park and the opportunities to bring people closer to wildlife in and around the City of Lincoln. Dominic Watkins described the event "as a stimulating conference and a great opportunity to get stakeholders together from across the social, environmental and agri-business sectors."

Environment Bank Chair, Professor David Hill said "The huge attendance at the conference demonstrates the rapid growth in interest in the area of natural capital and how society needs to account for impacts on it if we are not to create catastrophic problems in the future - for example, 40% of global GDP inherently relies on the things that nature provides for us. Government Treasury departments and corporate entities need to properly understand this link."

Richard Wills, Executive Director for Communities at Lincolnshire County Council and board member of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership commented that "At last there is the prospect of the environment being taken seriously; not just for its intrinsic value but as a significant contributor to economic prosperity. The GLNP has demonstrated its intention to shape and influence the growth plans for Greater Lincolnshire."

Over the past year the GLNP has moved from strength to strength, gaining six new partners and developing the business and advocacy plans. These plans will determine the GLNP's delivery and strategy work over the next five years and have been produced in consultation with all 45 current partners.

Published 18 October 2013


Central Lincolnshire Mapping consultation closed

Consultation on the Central Lincolnshire Biodiversity Opportunity Mapping has now closed. Thanks you to everyone who submitted comments.

Following workshops in February, the draft report and all the maps have been produced and comments from the consultation are now being incorporated. This represents a huge amount of work to bring together all the available information and present the best opportunities for nature at both the Central Lincolnshire broad scale and the detailed Lincoln/Witham Valley County Park scale.

The final report is to be launched at the GLNP conference on the 17 October at Riseholme College.

Published 17 September 2013

GLNP conference 2013

Natural values: The contribution of the natural environment to growth and the economy

The conference will demonstrate the value of the natural environment to economic growth and society in Greater Lincolnshire and how this can be incorporated within spatial planning. The day will conclude with the launch of the Central Lincolnshire Biodiversity Opportunity Mapping study.

The keynote from Professor David Hill, Chairman of the Environment Bank and Deputy Chair of Natural England will be followed by talks from Paul Learoyd Chief Executive of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, Nathan Vear Head of Neighbourhood Improvement at North East Lincolnshire Council and Dominic Watkins of Chris Blandford Associates environmental consultants.

To book your place please email Fran.Hitchinson@glnp.org.uk

Or to see the full programme click here

The conference will be followed by the annual forum for all Partners.

Published 13 September 2013

Police force joins Greater Lincolnshire Nature Partnership

The GLNP gained a member at the Lincolnshire Show this year taking the total to 43 Partners. The Lincolnshire Police signed up to the Nature Partnership via PC Nick Willey the Wildlife Crime Officer. Preventing and prosecuting wildlife crime is an essential part of achieving more for nature and one that must not be forgotten.

A key part of Lincolnshire Police's strategy in this area is Operation Galileo, over the autumn and winter of 2012 this coordinated programme has brought down the illegal hare coursing activities reported to the police and resulted in 186 prosecutions. The continuation of Operation Galileo in 2013 seeks to achieve more.

For further details contact: PC Nick Willey 01522 731897 or visit: www.lincs.police.uk/Advice/Wildlife-and-Rural-Crime/Hare-Coursing-Offences-Operation-Galileo.html

Published: 24 June 2013

One year on

Today marks the one year anniversary of the recognition of Local Nature Partnerships by Defra Ministers. After a hectic time of bringing organisations together and filling in applications, nearly 50 potential partnerships heard the good news- us among them.

So what have we done in the last year? We have been keeping very busy with ongoing work on Local Sites, the Record Centre and on the Nature Strategy. We have also been working with our Partners to develop the Terms of Reference for this newly accredited Partnership along with a vision and a Business Plan. In addition work started on the Planning with nature and Farming with nature workstreams, more details of which can be found in our Annual Review.

Defra is also celebrating the one year anniversary and an article, which features a case study on the GLNP, can be found on the Sustainable Development in Government website.

Published: 17 July 2013

A report published today highlights the state of nature

A report published today highlights the state of nature. For the first time ever, 25 of the UK's wildlife organisations have joined forces to undertake a health check of nature in the UK and its Overseas Territories.

Working side-by-side, wildlife organisations have compiled a stock take of all our native wildlife in a groundbreaking research report. The report reveals that 60% of the species studied have declined over recent decades. More than one in ten of all the species assessed are under threat of disappearing from our shores altogether.

However, the report illustrates that targeted conservation has produced inspiring success stories and, with sufficient determination, resources and public support, we can turn the fortunes of our wildlife around.

Sir David Attenborough launched the report and in the foreword said: "This groundbreaking report is a stark warning – but it is also a sign of hope."

"This report shows that our species are in trouble, with many declining at a worrying rate. However, we have in this country a network of passionate conservation groups supported by millions of people who love wildlife. The experts have come together today to highlight the amazing nature we have around us and to ensure that it remains here for generations to come."

Go to the press release

Go to the 'State of Nature' report

Published: 22 May 2013


Minotaurs in Greater Lincolnshire!

No, not the part man part bull of Greek mythology, but the aptly named minotaur beetle (Typhaeus typhoeus), a member of the dung beetle family. Until the beginning of May this year, the minotaur beetle hadn't been seen in Greater Lincolnshire since 2008.Then Matthew Blissett, a warden for Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, spotted a male and female together at Scotton Common nature reserve and was quick to let the county beetle recorder know.

Unlike many other beetles which can be found in the summer, the minotaur beetle is more active during the winter months when it feeds on the dung left by animals. It also uses this dung to provide a food store for its developing young, dragging it back to their nest which is built underground. Only the male has the 'bull horns', which it uses to defend the nest and joust with other males.

The minotaur beetle can be found on sandy grasslands and heathlands from autumn to the following spring. Look out for a large (up to 2cm) black beetle ambling across your path – and be careful not to step on them!

Have you seen a minotaur beetle in Greater Lincolnshire? Let us know !

Published: 15 May 2013

Bitterns, bats and newts mapped for first time

Three new reports from the Greater Lincolnshire Nature Partnership (GLNP) map sightings of bittern, bats and newts for the first time in Greater Lincolnshire.

Using data from the Lincolnshire Environmental Records Centre, the reports map all of the recorded sightings of each species made over more than three decades:pre-1991, 1991-2000, and 2001-2012. The changing patterns of dots on the maps give an indication of the distribution of the species as well as interest in the species and technological advances. The Greater Lincolnshire Nature Partnership has worked closely with the Environment Agency, Lincolnshire Bird Club, Lincolnshire Amphibian and Reptile Group, Lincolnshire Bat Group and Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust in producing these reports.

Bittern have been continuously recorded since 1979 when the Lincolnshire Bird Club was formed. This long and consistent surveyor effort means that the bittern maps are an accurate reflection of a species distribution. Therefore changes on the maps are actual changes in species distribution caused by changes in habitat, predation and breeding success.

The newt report covers three species of newt: smooth, palmate and great crested. The newt maps are more indicative of surveyor effort rather than a true representation of distribution. The gaps in distribution such as the Isle of Axholme represent a shortage of records being submitted rather than a lack of newts.

The maps for the twelve bat species indicate increased technological ability to tell bats apart and an increased interest in recording bats. For pipistrelle bats the maps pre-1991 are blank as common and soprano pipistrelles were not separated into two species until 1995, when DNA analysis showed a clear difference between them. They can now be identified with 'bat
detectors' as they call at different frequencies.

In order to be able to better protect species and their habitats and prevent declines, it is important to have an accurate picture of the distribution and population status of a wide range of species. The reports will be used to inform conservation action on the ground and identify trends for species but they also highlight areas where more recording is needed.

More information is needed on:

  • Bittern sightings and booming activity
  • Newt sightings or a lack of newts where there were previously newts
  • Bat sightings and location of roosts/suspected roosts

This information, as well as records of other species, can be submitted to Lincolnshire Environmental Records Centre. For more information on sending in your sightings see the website: www.glnp.org.uk/getting-involved/your-sightings/

For any record it is important to include as much information as possible, in particular:

  • What – the species (and number if more than one)
  • When – the date seen
  • Where – the location of the sighting (a grid reference or postcode is best)
  • Who – contact details in case any further details are needed

The reports will be updated every five years to give an estimate of change and trends.

The reports can be downloaded from the Greater Lincolnshire Nature Partnership website: www.glnp.org.uk/our-publications/biodiversity/

Published: 8 April 2013

Launch of Local Wildlife Site Guidelines

The GLNP are today pleased to announce the launch of the 3rd edition of the guidelines and criteria for the identification and selection of Local Wildlife Sites in Greater Lincolnshire. This edition of the guidelines includes updates and minor revisions, together with clarification of the survey, decision making and selection procedures. First published in 2006, this document has already led to the selection of almost 900 Local Wildlife Sites.

Local Wildlife Sites, along with biological Sites of Special Scientific Interest, are the most important places for wildlife at a local level. The GLNP seeks to identify every site that satisfies the selection criteria presented in this document, thus recognising a comprehensive suite of sites.

This launch represents a culmination of two years' work, including extensive testing and a pilot programme in the 2012 survey season. Five completely new criteria have been written, one for brownfield mosaic, three for grazing marsh and one for notable plants. There was also a major overhaul of the woodland criteria to enable more equitable assessment of ancient, secondary and wet woodlands.

This document is intended for use by local authority planning departments and Local Wildlife Site surveyors, but most importantly by the GLNP's Local Wildlife Site Panel as they assess each candidate site. Developing and agreeing criteria in this way helps to establish a robust evidence base for designating these sites within Local Plans, and ensures a transparent and consistent approach across Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire.

The guidelines can be found on the Local Wildlife Sites page or in Our publications.

For more information contact Sarah Baker, Information Officer at sarah.baker@glnp.org.uk or 01507 528380

Published: 2 April 2013

Consultation on Marine Conservation Zones ends on 31 March

The Government are proposing to designate 31 of the 127 Marine Conservation Zones put forward by stakeholders in 2011.

Marine Conservation Zones are a new type of Marine Protected Area designation. Experience from across the world has shown that Marine Protected Areas provide economic and social benefits that far outweigh the costs of designation and management.

The Wildlife Trusts need your help to ensure that these Marine Conservation Zones around our coast are just the start and that the Government remains committed to creating a full network of special places.

You can help by explaining that you want our seas to be protected and how important it is that these 31 sites are only the first step.

There is lots of information about how important the Marine Conservation Zones are on the Wildlife Trusts website and information on how to respond to the consultation. Visit: www.wildlifetrusts.org/haveyoursay

Published: 15 March 2013

Butterflies take to the wing

Spring is just round the corner which means butterflies will start appearing soon. But it's also that time of year when we receive updated datasets from the county recorders.

So far we've received updates to six datasets: shieldbugs, spiders, pseudoscorpions, harvestmen, beetles and butterflies. What's interesting about this years update to the butterflies dataset in particular is the number of records - it's down by almost 30% compared to 2011. The number of people looking for butterflies hasn't changed; so why the dip? It's been widely reported that the wet weather during 2012 has caused a massive drop in the number of butterflies (and other insects) seen nationally and this appears to have been mirrored in Greater Lincolnshire.

Published: 25 February 2013

Give a bird a home during national nest box week

Starting on Valentine's Day the British Trust for Ornithology organises a week of events to encourage everyone to put up a nest box and make a feathered friend.

Many natural nesting sites have been lost so nest boxes give birds somewhere to breed and should help secure a future for many of our species.

Since National Nest Box Week was launched in 1997, thousands of enthusiastic naturalists across the UK have put up boxes to compensate for this loss. It is estimated that there are now 5-6 million boxes in gardens across the UK.

Find out more information and even learn how to make your own nest box at http://www.bto.org/nnbw/index.htm

Published: 14 February 2013

The future for forests

Today (31 January) the government announced its future plans for the nation's forests. This is the government's response to the Independent Panel on Forestry's final report, published in July 2012.

Secretary of State for the Environment Owen Paterson said:

"I want to put the future of our public forests on a clear and firm footing. Our forests and woodland will remain secured in public ownership for the people who enjoy them, the businesses that depend on them and the wildlife that flourishes in them. A new, independent body will ensure our woods are held in trust and managed for the long term benefit of future generations, nature and the economy."

The announcement has been welcomed by some organisations but
more detail is called for.

Full details can be found at: www.defra.gov.uk/rural/forestry/

Published: 31 January 2013

Get ready for the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch on 26-27 January

All you need to do is count the birds in your garden or a local park for one hour then tell the RSPB what you see.

If you love wildlife and want to do something to help, this is your chance to get involved in something that really counts.

Over the weekend of 26-27 January 2013, the RSPB would love you, your friends and family, to get involved in Big Garden Birdwatch - the world's largest wildlife survey!

There is a sheet you can download from the RSPB website to help you keep track of the birds you see and all sorts of other events in the run up to the big weekend.

To register or find out more go to www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch

Published: 14 January 2013