The National Trust are carrying out 25 BioBlitzes of coastal wildlife this summer. Copyright National Trust, credit Steven Haywood
This summer, hundreds of wildlife lovers and nature experts will help the National Trust to carry out its largest ever survey of coastal wildlife as part of the conservation charity’s year-long celebrations of the coast.
24 places along the 775 miles of coastline looked after by the National Trust across England, Wales and Northern Ireland will host a BioBlitz, a race against the clock involving rangers, experts and members of the public to record as many different species as possible.
A 25th BioBlitz will also be held at Kinver Edge in Staffordshire. Although land locked, this beautiful sandstone escarpment was once formed of ancient sand dunes and the survey will help uncover how some coastal wildlife can live away from the sea.
The Government has today launched a three month consultation on the next tranche of Marine Conservation Zones around the coast of England. Below is a joint response to the announcement from the National Trust and the Marine Conservation Society.
Second round of Marine Conservation Zone designation will leave English waters woefully under protected
Conservation charities say promised network of protection is not even close as vital sites don’t even get to public consultation
The UK’s leading marine charity says it is hugely disappointed that, in the same week the Government has been warned how England’s declining natural environment is harming the economy, it has failed to deliver on promises to better protect English seas.
37 sites had been proposed to go forward to a second public consultation on Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs), all identified by Government’s scientific advisers as vital to plugging “major gaps” that currently exist in the development of a UK network.
However, only 23 sites have made the final list when the consultation for potential new MCZs was launched on Friday 30th January. While MCS is keen that members of the public air their views to ensure that these sites become a reality, the charity has real concerns that English seas will not contribute a network of sites that we can be proud of in future.
This week businessman and former owner of Wolves football club, Sir Jack Hawyard, died aged 91. In the late 1960s Sir Jack helped the National Trust acquire Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel through a substantial gift.
Lundy Island – an island rich in human and natural history – bought by the National Trust in 1969
Rob Joules, General Manager for North Devon, said: “Sir Jack Hayward’s gift to the Neptune campaign in 1969 which enabled the National Trust to buy the magical Lundy Island was incredibly generous and allowed us to ensure that the public could continue to enjoy the island forever. Since 1969 tens of thousands of people have been over to the island and enjoyed it first hand; and many millions more have longingly gazed across at the island from the north Devon and south Wales coastlines. Sir Jack’s gift is a legacy that will live on for many future generations to enjoy this unique and very special place.”
Lundy Island is owned by the National Trust and managed by the Landmark Trust. In 1986 it became the first official Marine Nature Area in England.
Runners taking a break on the South West Coast Path, Studland, Dorset. Credit National Trust images, Chris Lacey.
As the Government announces a further £5 million will be committed to speeding up the creation of the coastal path around England, Simon Pryor, Natural England Director at the National Trust, gives his reaction to the news:
“Millions of us visit the English coast every year and we have a deep and strong emotional connection with the coastal places that we cherish.
“This financial back-up of the commitment to open up access to the coastline of England by 2020 continues the journey which has led to better rights of way, and the creation of national trails and National Parks.
“An all England coastal footpath will mean that people can see old favourites anew and connect with a part of the country that has shaped our national identity.”
The National Trust looks after 742 miles of coast in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, including one in three miles of the South West of England coast and five miles of the White Cliffs of Dover.