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Latest news

Read on to find out what the Nature Partnership and its Partners have been up to recently. News for the current year is below and news from previous years can be found using the links on the left hand side.

LERC Search provides new future for access to ecological data

A pioneering new system which provides instant access to ecological data across Greater Lincolnshire has been unveiled.

LERC Search is the brainchild of the Greater Lincolnshire Nature Partnership (GLNP), a not-for-profit partnership which manages Lincolnshire Environmental Records Centre (LERC) for the provision of wildlife and geological information. The new web-based system will enable ecological consultants and local authorities to access the data held by LERC 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Once customers have registered for an account, LERC Search will provide access to more than five million species records together with habitat and site information. The data will be returned in a standard format for a single fixed price.

GLNP Chair, Richard Chadd, said: "The launch of LERC Search marks a huge step forward in data provision to ecological consultants and local authorities ensuring that this data can be better considered within the planning system.

"We have continually strived to provide customers with the best possible level of service and ensure the process of accessing environmental data is as simple as possible. While our process has been automated for several years now, this is the first time that we have been able to offer a round-the-clock web-based service which will return results to customers in a matter of minutes."

LERC Search was officially launched to delegates at the GLNP's Evolving evidence conference held at The Showroom in Lincoln on Wednesday, 31 October.

The conference programme brought together speakers from across the environmental sector to consider the innovative methods being used to support evidence-based policy and decision making for the natural environment.

Speakers included Dr Niall Burton from the British Trust for Ornithology on assessing the potential impacts of wind farms on sea birds and Tania Davey from The Wildlife Trusts on the challenges of underwater noise management for marine mammals. Nick Atkinson from the Woodland Trust looked at how historical changes in the Lincolnshire landscape are helping to inform future conservation priorities while Gareth Dalglish spoke about approaches to strategic licensing for great created newts.

For more information about LERC Search, click here.

31 October 2018

Booking now open for GLNP conference

The GLNP has announced the full programme for its forthcoming conference on new and innovative ways to make the case for nature.

The Evolving evidence conference takes place on 31 October at The Showroom in Lincoln and will consider current methods being used to support evidence-based policy and decision making for the natural environment.

Speakers will include Nick Atkinson of the Woodland Trust, Dr Niall Burton of the British Trust for Ornithology and Gareth Dalglish from Natural England.

The conference will also mark the launch of LERC Search a pioneering new website to provide access to ecological data for Greater Lincolnshire. The system will allow instant access to data for ecological consultants and local authorities 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This marks a huge step forward, ensuring that this data can be better considered within the planning system. Partnership Manager Fran Smith will explain more about the GLNP's development of the system and our hopes for the future. Try the page on our website for more information and a sneak preview of what it will look like.

Booking for the conference is essential, please email events@glnp.org.uk or ring 01507 528384 to book a place.

September 2018

GLNP contribution to natural capital

The GLNP's contribution to natural capital has been highlighted in the publication of a new report.

Analysis of the Partnership's eight workstreams has been undertaken to set current activities in a natural capital context. A series of non-technical case studies have been developed to provide an overview of each workstream's contribution while a technical report describes natural capital more widely and looks at how figures are produced.

With the growing trend towards natural capital in the environmental sector, being able to engage with this approach is becoming more important to both conserving and enhancing the natural environment. The inclusion of natural capital in the Government's 25 year environment plan suggests the concept is here to stay.

By undertaking an initial assessment of Greater Lincolnshire's natural capital and the contributions being made by the Partnership, the GLNP now has a sound basis for further work on natural capital in the future.

10 August 2018

Latest Annual Review now available

The Greater Lincolnshire Nature Partnership's 2017-18 Annual Review is now available.

In a year that saw the GLNP mark its fifth anniversary as a Local Nature Partnership, the publication reflects back on the achievements of the Team and Partners over the last 12 months and looks forward to what's to come in 2018-19.

From native crayfish translocations to a new leaflet on the geology of Greater Lincolnshire, development of a new system for data requests and the launch of an innovative new approach to pollinator conservation on farmland there has been plenty going on. Also included is an outline of the many health and tourism projects which have got underway this year as well as the usual Local Sites and Nature Strategy updates and reporting figures.

20 June 2018

​Government plans to remove protection for 2008 sites in Greater Lincolnshire

From the commons in the centre of Lincoln to Alkborough Flats in North Lincolnshire and Hubbard's Hills near Louth, sites of wildlife and geological value are scattered all across Greater Lincolnshire.

These sites are protected through Local Plans and are known as Local Wildlife Sites and Local Geological Sites. However a government consultation on the National Planning Policy Framework will remove all reference to these sites in the future, effectively removing protection for them. The 2008 sites in Greater Lincolnshire host a huge diversity of wildlife and geological features and make up part of the national network of sites numbering over 42,000.

If all of these sites were lost the impact on wildlife would be immeasurable.

The Wildlife Trusts is leading a campaign to make sure these sites continue to have protection and everyone can help. By submitting a response to the consultation you can have your say.

Just click to go to the Wildlife Trusts page and submit a response: https://e-activist.com/page/23394/action/1

30 April 2018

Launch of new low cost approach to help farmers increase wild pollinators on their land

A new low cost approach to increasing wild pollinators across the farmed environment has been launched by the Greater Lincolnshire Nature Partnership (GLNP).

Pollinators have three key requirements: food in the form of pollen and nectar, nesting sites and overwintering sites. The new resource includes a range of 24 measures that farmers can easily implement which will provide improved habitat to meet these pollinator needs.

The key feature is that all the options incur minimal outlay in terms of both initial financial cost and ongoing management and on top of this do not require additional land to be taken out of production.

The measures have been developed in conjunction with farmers in Greater Lincolnshire over the last 12 months as part of a project part funded by Defra through the National Pollinator Strategy. This has ensured that all the measures put forward are practicable within farm businesses.

Nature policy officer, Sarah Baker, said: "Pollinators contribute millions of pounds each year to the UK economy and yet despite the valuable work of farmers and land managers through agri-environment schemes and voluntary measures their numbers are still in decline.

"We saw an opportunity to explore whether a suite of measures could be developed that are simple and low cost for farmers to implement, taking a whole farm approach to maximising the benefits of the habitat available on their holding.

"What the project has shown us is that many farms already have existing areas of good or potentially good habitat but that farm managers aren't always aware of the value they could provide. This new resource helps highlight these areas and demonstrates how a simple change to management can become a conscious decision to improve the habitat for pollinators."

In developing the resource, the GLNP worked with two clusters of Lincolnshire farmers: one in the Fens and one on the limestone heath south of Lincoln.

In addition to the low cost measures, a simple survey form has also been developed to enable a quick assessment of current habitat provision, the pollinator groups found on the farm and to help highlight opportunities for improvements to be made.

Examples of the measures include identifying existing areas of nettles that can be topped mid-June (rather than sprayed off) to provide nesting habitat for butterflies, reducing the cutting frequency of trackways, verges and amenity grass around the farm to allow species to flower and maximising the benefits of maize game covers by using a sun-maize mix or replacing a single drill width with sunflower or other mixes.

Sarah added: "We hope that farmers can incorporate these simple measures as everyday solutions which become part of normal practice on their farm.

"If we can encourage these low level changes to be taken up at a landscape scale then we hope the cumulative impact on pollinator conservation will be greater."

The GLNP will be continuing to work with the farms involved in the project this summer through monitoring of the implemented measures.

The new approach is now available as part of an online resource which can be found at www.glnp.org.uk/your-land/pollinators and includes a summary of the measures, further details about why they are important and how to manage them and additional sources of information on pollinator conservation.

The GLNP is also offering free, 30-minute telephone consultations for farmers interested in learning more about the approach and how it could be used on their farm. To book call 01507 528384.

3 April 2018

New Countryside Stewardship offers open for applications

The 2018 Countryside Stewardship application window has now opened for agreements to start on 1 January 2019.

A range of modifications have been made to the scheme this year in a bid to encourage more farmers and land managers to apply.

Mid Tier has been enhanced to include eight options which were previously only available through Higher Tier. These options include:

  • BE4 Management of traditional orchards
  • BE7 Supplement for restorative pruning of fruit trees
  • GS6 Management of species-rich grassland
  • GS9 Management of wet grassland for breeding waders
  • GS10 Management of wet grassland for wintering waders and wildfowl
  • SP9 Threatened species supplement (only for corn bunting and brown hair streak butterfly)
  • WD4 Management of wood pasture and parkland
  • WT3 Management of ditches of high environmental value

There are strict eligibility criteria for these options and applicants will need Natural England approval before including them in their applications. Specific requirements for each option are included in the Mid Tier manual.

Another modification is the addition of four new offers: Arable, Lowland Grazing, Upland and Mixed Farming. These schemes are non-competitive and all farmers who meet the eligibility requirements can get an agreement to deliver as few as three options, up to as many as 14, depending on the offer applied for. Applications for the Arable offer can be made online from 20 February.

More information on all the options available can be found here.

17 January 2018

Get to know your farmland birds

A Farmland Bird ID day will take place in Lincolnshire on 2 February.

The event has been organised by Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust in the lead up to the 2018 Big Farmland Bird Count to help equip farmers and landowners with the knowledge needed to take part.

The ID day will take place at Hall Farm near Scunthorpe and will include a presentation by RSPB Conservation Advisor Chris Tomson prior to a farm walk to practice some bird identification.

At the end of the training it is hoped participants will be able to recognise the top 20 bird species likely to be seen on farmland during the winter and a colour ID guide will be provided for some of the harder to identify species.

The Big Farmland Bird Count itself will take place between 9 to 18 February. To take part, participants are asked to spend 30 minutes recording the species and number of birds seen on one particular area of the farm, ideally somewhere with a view of around two hectares.

For more information on attending the ID day or taking part in the count, visit the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust website.

3 January 2018