A robotic landing craft due to make the first ever touchdown on a comet on 12 November owes its name to an ancient Egyptian obelisk which stands in the grounds of Kingston Lacy in Dorset. Continue reading
Five hen harrier chicks have successfully fledged on National Trust land in the Upper Derwent Valley – the first time hen harriers have bred successfully in the Peak District for eight years.
This a result of a wide partnership of people and organisations that have worked together to protect the birds and their nest as part of the National Trust’s High Peak Moors Vision for the area, which aims to restore birds of prey as part of a rich and healthy environment.
Bee-eaters nesting on the Isle of Wight have raised eight chicks – the most successful breeding attempt by these birds, normally found in the Mediterranean, on record in the UK.
Three chicks have now fledged from one nest, on National Trust land, and another five chicks have fledged from a second nest.
An adult bee-eater was first spotted at Wydcombe on 15 July by National Trust dragonfly survey volunteer Dave Dana. And chicks were first sighted a month later on the 15 August. There were originally thought to be nine chicks but one has not survived.
Dave Dana, a National Trust Volunteer on the Isle of Wight, said: “I’d just come from counting golden-ringed dragonflies at a stream and I thought ‘that bird looks a bit different!’
“Its flight path seemed almost triangular. I didn’t really appreciate the bird until I got home and looked at the photos. I’d always wanted to see a bee-eater in this country but I never thought it would turn out to be a major wildlife event.”
Ten leading environmental and conservation NGO CEO’s signed the below letter that appeared in the Daily Telegraph today. This letter is about putting the Greener Britain agenda on that of all of the main political parties in the run up to the 2015 General Election.
Working together, the leading organisations from the environment and conservation sector have jointly developed seven goals for our next government that would have a profoundly positive impact on our country and the way we live.
From making an ambitious 2015 global climate change deal a key foreign policy priority to protecting vast areas of our oceans, both near and far from home; from an ambitious plan for nature’s recovery to making the energy efficiency of our homes an infrastructure priority; these and our other ideas are an exciting programme for the future.
Environmental policy making has been challenging in the last few years and the biggest challenge to achieving a greener Britain has been the hesitant approach of our political leaders. Some might feel that government can no longer tackle our biggest environmental problems; that we should leave international leadership to someone else; that our communities have become less interested in the nature around them and the quality of the green spaces they use.
We disagree. We know individuals and organisations with ambition and purpose have changed the world for the better, and that it will happen again. We also believe our political leaders can help us achieve it. It’s not certain that we will secure a global agreement to slow climate change next year in Paris. But a good agreement is more likely in 2015 than it has been for many years. It’s not certain that we will reverse the decline in British wildlife and countryside, but we are a country of nature-lovers, many millions of people are members and supporters of our organisations, and there is no shortage of ideas about how to ensure nature’s recovery.
We offer our political parties these ideas as they develop their general election manifestos, as a recipe for a greener, fairer, better Britain.
Shaun Spiers, Chief Executive, CPRE
Mike Clarke, Chief Executive, RSPB
John Sauven, Executive Director, Greenpeace UK
David Baldock, Executive Director, IEEP
David Nussbaum, Chief Executive, WWF UK
Helen Ghosh, Director General, National Trust
Stephanie Hilborne, Chief Executive, The Wildlife Trusts
Matthew Spencer, Director, Green Alliance
Stephen Joseph, Executive Director, CBT
Andy Atkins, Executive Director, Friends of the Earth