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Conservation headlines 23.12.2

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Old Monday 23rd December 2002, 10:09   #1
peter hayes

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Cool Conservation headlines 23.12.2

North Pole ice cap ‘will have melted in 80 years’

The icecap covering the North Pole will vanish in less than 80 years as climate change melts it away, say researchers at the Met Office. The area covered by ice has shrunk by 20% since the 1950s and its average winter thickness has reduced by 40% since 1970. From detailed measurements of the rate of melting, the Met Office’s Hadley Centre for monitoring climate change predicts that the icecap will disappear around September 2079.
More information - Times

Sea set to claim England's coastal treasures

For centuries, the fishing village of Porthleven has withstood all that the Cornish weather could throw at it. Its huge fortified harbour faces south-west, directly into the prevailing wind, leaving it at the mercy of mammoth waves. Tourists often gather to marvel at the ferocity of the waters striking the massive stone walls. But not for much longer. The village, along with hundreds of other British seaside landmarks, is to be told to concede defeat to a threat far graver than a battering from winter storms: global warming and the rising sea level.
More information - Guardian

Kyoto will have little effect on global warming - Lomborg

Life expectancy and prosperity will continue to rise and food production should keep up with population growth, but the Kyoto agreement will have little effect on global warming according to this week's Christmas issue of the BMJ. Using official statistics and global trends, Bjørn Lomborg, Director of the Danish Environmental Assessment Institute and author of The Skeptical Environmentalist attempts to draw a reasonably good picture of the true state of the world. Life expectancy for the developing world has risen from 41 years in 1950 to 64.7 years in 2002, and by 2020 is expected to pass the 70 years barrier. Prosperity has also increased by over 200% for both the developed and the developing world over the past 50 years.
More information - EurekAlert

Battle of Twyford Down

An extraordinary news story - an anti-road protest by a small number of people on a Hampshire hillside echoed around the world and seemingly forever changed government thinking. The epic M3 campaign at Twyford Down, which started ten years ago, was a time of powerful, almost surreal visual images. A man in a suit holding a child stands in front of a bulldozer; two young women in an inflatable dinghy on the River Itchen try to stop a digger dumping chalk in the water; 20 policemen in a line slowly climb a chalk embankment; security guards in fluorescent yellow jackets evict a protest camp on a foggy cold morning.
More information - This is Hampshire

Piggery fined £5,000 for huge slurry spill

A piggery was fined £5,000 today after the full force of two million litres of pig slurry burst through a sluice gate. Thousands of young trout and salmon died when a nearby burn and the River Uriewas polluted by a total of 500,000 litres of the foul smelling waste escaped. Today Carden Livestock Company of Oldmeldrum admitted causing the spill. It happened on November 29 last year at Mill of Carden, Pitcaple. Two months before the incident, the company had been fined £500 for a similar offence. Today Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard the company was devastated by what was described as "an accident waiting to happen".
More information - this is north scotland

Slurry pollution of stream costs Carmarthen farmer £1,200

Carmarthen farmer was fined £700 at Carmarthen Magistrates’ Court on 16 December 2002 after pleading guilty to causing polluting matter to enter the Nantrhydw and one of its tributaries at Bancycapel, contrary to section 85(1) of the Water Resources Act 1991. Christopher Ogwyn Evans of Fferm y Capel, Bancycapel, was also ordered to pay £500 legal costs to Environment Agency Wales, which brought the prosecution. The court was told three reports had been received by the Agency on 20 June 2002 indicating that the Nantrhydw had been polluted at Bancycapel. An Agency officer went to investigate and found the river to be polluted with farm effluent.
More information - Environment Agency

Reading company fined for polluting local watercourse

In a case brought by the Environment Agency on 17 December 2002, a Reading property company pleaded guilty to causing pollution of the Mill Brook, a tributary of the Thames, in Wallingford, Oxfordshire. Appearing before Didcot Magistrates Court, commercial property leasing company Portarlington (UK) Ltd of West Lodge, Streatley, Reading was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay £4,166.12 in costs to the Environment Agency. The company pleaded guilty to causing oil to enter the Mill Brook at Wallingford between 1 and 31 January 2002. The Mill Brook feeds via the Bradfords Brook directly into the River Thames.
More information - Environment Agency

Hunt begins for top gamekeepers

Nominations are being invited for the Gamekeeper of the Year, a title for which a North Yorkshire keeper, Graham Binns, of the Grimwith Moor Estate, near Pateley Bridge, was runner-up last year. It will be awarded at the Country Land and Business Association Game Fair, which is expected to draw 125,000 visitors to Harewood House, near Leeds, on August 1-3 next year. The judging panel comprises representatives from the CLA, British Association for Shooting and Conservation, the National Gamekeepers' Association, and Farmers Weekly magazine, who will visit shortlisted keepers.
More information - Yorkshire Today

Double recognition for seascape guide

A new guide to assessing the quality of the Welsh and Irish coast and sea has scooped this year's prestigious Landscape Planning Award, run by the Irish Landscape Institute. It has also been highly commended in the Royal Town Planning Institute’s planning awards for Wales. Written by the Countryside Council for Wales, in partnership with colleagues in Ireland, the "Guide to best practice in seascape assessment " is a world first method to define, describe and evaluate the landscape of the coast, both onshore and offshore. Its introduction is timely as the offshore wind energy industry starts to develop.
More information - Countryside Council for Wales

Council hits back at claims it has ignored beach oil spill

Wildlife campaigners have accused a council of not doing enough to help clear oil-polluted beaches near Mablethorpe following a mystery spill which has killed hundreds of seabirds along the East Coast. The RSPB said it had bagged up large quantities of solid oil which had come ashore at Tetney, but had not got the help and support expected from East Lindsey District Council. An RSPB spokesman said: "We were hoping for a more positive response from local authorities along with practical support and advice in dealing with the aftermath of this pollution incident." But the council said it had already spent up to £20,000 cleaning its beaches and that the RSPB had expected it to clean beaches outside its ownership for free.
More information - Yorkshire Today

Lundy seabird recovery project

Lundy Island receives national recognition and legal protection for the variety of wildlife it supports. The main seabird conservation priority is the Manx shearwater, a bird with a highly restricted global breeding range. Three quarters of the world population breeds on islands around the UK and only a small number of islands support significant numbers. Therefore, the UK has an international responsibility for this species. Surveys show that Lundy is supporting only around 10% of the Manx shearwater that it used to. Surveys that started over 60 years ago also show that puffins have declined almost to the point of extinction on the island.
More information - English Nature

When the red red robin comes bob bob bobbing along

At a time when many of our smaller songbirds are in decline, the RSPB is pleased to report that the robin, a favourite and familiar bird, is holding its own with 4.5 million pairs of robins breeding in the UK. The news is particularly welcoming at this time of year with people everywhere seeing red, with robins found on Christmas cards, wrapping paper and gifts, not forgetting gardens. With their distinctive red breasts, it’s difficult to ignore them. Listed below are some interesting robin facts: · The appearance of robins on Christmas cards goes back to Victorian times, when Christmas cards were first sent.
More information - RSPB

Tits bounce back

It should be a busy winter at Britain’s bird feeders, after bumper breeding seasons for many of our common birds. Blue Tits, for instance, produced twice as many youngsters in 2002 as they did in 2001. Figures released today by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) show that, after an appalling breeding season in 2001, many birds have bounced back in 2002. Data are collected by volunteer bird ringers taking part in the Constant Effort Sites Scheme (see notes to editors overleaf). The biggest increases in productivity are listed in the table below: SpeciesIncrease Blue TitUp by 118% Long-tailed Tit71% Blackcap65% Greenfinch62% Great Tit62% Chaffinch55%
More information - The British Trust for Ornithology

Legal protection promises brighter future for water vole

The Wildlife Trusts welcomes the recent recommendation by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) to increase the legal protection of the water vole. Water voles have disappeared from more than 89 per cent of the sites they occupied just 60 years ago. Simon Lyster, Director General of The Wildlife Trusts, explains: “The plight of the water vole has never been more urgent. Riverside building, changes in farming practices and the American mink have all contributed to the decline of the water vole. The Wildlife Trusts are urging the Government to accept the recommendation in order to help the water vole to survive.”
More information - The Wildlife Trusts

Turning back the clock for the River Cock

Environmentalists are cock-a-hoop with plans to turn the clock back for the River Cock. The river, a tributary of the River Wharfe that flows between Leeds and Tadcaster, was originally named after the term for a mature salmon. But years of industry took its toll on a stretch of river, which had once proved excellent spawning ground for salmon and trout. Now the Environment Agency is looking to give the river back its sense of identity – quite literally – by carrying out improvement works to encourage salmon to spawn there once again.
More information - Environment Agency

Scarce bog bush cricket faces last stand in Scotland

Scotland looks set to lose its last colony of the scarce bog bush cricket now that a proposed extension to a landfill site at Aucheninnes Moss, near Dalbeattie, has been given the go-ahead by Dumfries & Galloway Council, the Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT) stated today (13 December 2002). The council’s approval of the planning application to extend the landfill operation at Aucheninnes Moss now raises the real possibility that the only Scottish outpost of the bog bush cricket could be wiped out.
More information - Scottish Wildlife Trust

WREN grant helps Lincolnshire's wildlife

Lincolnshire's wildlife and wild places are set to benefit from extra funding from Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd. (WREN). The Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust is to receive £9,215 of gift aid funding from WREN derived from the Landfill Tax Credits of Waste Recycling Group plc. The funding will boost the work that the Trust carries out to protect and restore scarce habitats. "We are delighted to receive this money from WREN and will devote it to our Five Year Nature Reserve project which is now entering its final year", said Trust Director, Stuart Crooks. "The Trust has around 100 nature reserves throughout the historic county of Lincolnshire including some of the best examples of coastline, wetland, woodland and grassland in the county."
More information - Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

Barratt urged to build fewer homes on gasworks

The Fareham Society has urged developer Barratt Southampton to reduce the number of homes it plans to build on the former Bath Lane gasworks site. The plea came on the second day of a public inquiry into Fareham council's decision to refuse planning permission for the 20-home mini estate. Secretary Brenda Clapperton said the current number of homes proposed - 20 - was too high and should be reduced to 14 or 15. "The parking slots within the site are too tight and the housing very cramped," she said. "Some of the houses are too close to the sea wall and will dominate the coastal path," she said.
More information - This is Hampshire
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