Connecting for Nature

Keeping Yorkshire folk in touch with their local biodiversity news


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Brompton Wildlife Day 2019

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On Saturday 21st September families are welcomed in Brompton-by-Sawdon, Scarborough from 1-4pm for the second ever village ‘Wildlife Day’, a free event held to raise awareness of important wildlife species in the village and to raise funds for their conservation. The first such event took place in 2018 and was deemed a great success, with guest speakers, wildlife activities and themed refreshments available in the village hall. Enjoy an afternoon with friends & family and learn about Water Voles, Turtle doves, freshwater invertebrates and a host of other cool wildlife to be found in the parish of Brompton. Local wildlife groups will be in attendance to share their knowledge of the natural world. The event promises to be a fantastic community afternoon with the main hub of the event in the village hall, Brompton, opposite the primary school.

Further details from Parish Councillor and event organiser Alison Tubbs 07818 554430

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Pollinator Champions

cropped-img_5763.jpgIf your local authority or community group has done something to help protect pollinators, we want to hear about it!

Your project does not have to be dependent upon a large financial investment; instead it must simply bring improvement to the site, either through improving habitats and / or improving the user’s experience of the site.

The following criteria will be considered:

  • Dedication to supporting pollinators
  • Innovation and creativity
  • Promotion to others / awareness raising of Bees’ Needs
  • Evidence of beneficial impact to pollinators

You can nominate your local authority or community group for a Year of Green Action Bees’ Needs Champions Award by downloading and filling in this application form and sending it to greenflagawards@keepbritaintidy.org

The closing date for nominations is Thursday 26th September 2019.

 

(This post is shared from the Association for Local Government Ecologists forum.)


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Transform grants – but be quick about it

Malton station platformAre you looking for funding for a community environmental project, especially one focussing on habitats, species, reducing carbon emissions etc? Are you within 10miles of a Transpennine Express train route or station? Here is a quick heads up for ‘Transform Grants’ – the Transpennine Express Community and Environmental Grants. These come around every year it seems and always have a very short window for applications. They can grant up to £5,000 for a stand alone project. You have to get your skates on though it either closes 30th Aug or 27th Sept, depending how you read their guidance! (The website headlines imply deadline up to 27th Sept. but the guidance doc when you get into it says midnight on 30th  August!)  Also, welcome to the video age! Shortlisted projects must prepare a 30sec video pitch for the final selection process.

https://www.tpexpress.co.uk/about-us/community/transform-grants 

Some of the key guidelines lifted from the guidance doc:

To be eligible to apply for a Transform grant, organisations must be a: • Charity registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales or the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) • Community Interest Company (CIC) registered in the UK with the Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies • Community Rail Partnership(CRP) • School, Parent/Teacherassociation or educational establishment.

To be eligible to apply for a Transform grant, proposed projects must be: • Located within 10 miles of any line of route served by TransPennine Express train services. A map of our network and services can be found on page 6 • New activity, above and beyond the day to day operations of the organisation. Grants cannot be utilised to cover or contribute to overheads/running costs (e.g. rent, transport) or act as a contribution to existing/larger projects. • Completed no later than 31st March 2021.

Unfortunately, we are unable to support any projects or organisation which: • Are associated with or promote a specific political party, or demonstrate a political bias • Are associated with or promote a specific religion or requires beneficiaries to be of a specific faith, convert to that faith or accept information or teaching about that faith as a condition of taking part in or benefitting from programmes and or services. • Could be deemed to have a controversial or negative impact on the reputation of FirstGroup PLC or TransPennineExpress.


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South Cliff Gardens Vacancy

South Cliff Gdns websiteAn exciting vacancy has arisen for a Community Engagement Officer to join the Parks for People “Saving South Cliff Gardens” National Lottery Heritage Fund project.

Scarborough Borough Council received a Stage 2 pass from the National Lottery Heritage Fund in April 2019 and has been awarded a Delivery grant to restore the gardens on the steep hillside above the seaside town’s South Bay. For the right person this job is a prime opportunity to implement ambitious aspirations for revitalising the iconic coastal green space.
The main duties of the posts will be to co-ordinate, develop, manage and deliver the Parks for People project activity plan at the South Cliff Gardens, Scarborough. The post-holder will develop a creative and annual program of exciting events and activities within the Gardens to engage with a wide range of audiences. Central to the role is to co-ordinate the recruitment and leadership of volunteers, to create an environment where everyone is welcome and to address barriers for involvement in the gardens and the Park’s activities. The Community Engagement Officer will need the experience to mentor existing volunteers, support and encourage their personal development keep them engaged in meaningful activities.

It is anticipated that this will be a 4.5 year project with a fixed term contract. Salary: £24,313 – £26,317 per annum. Post to commence 7 October 2019 to 31 March 2024. 
For more information and to apply online, go to https://www.scarborough.gov.uk/jobs

You may also wish to visit the website and blog for the Saving South Cliff Gardens project.


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Experts sought for National Trust Advisory Group

National Trust

Fancy a voluntary role providing advice to the National Trust on environmental matters? Read on. 

The National Trust is seeking applications from suitably experienced individuals from all walks of life who can commit to 10 days per year for their Natural Environment Advisory Group. Particular ecological expertise is welcomed in ‘Coastal Ecology’, ‘Ecological Data’ and ‘People and Nature’. If you think you know someone who might be interested in this opportunity please let them know. They have until 21st June to apply. The advert below has been circulated by the National Trust and is a nationwide opportunity.


“Who are we”

We look after the places and collections you love, from houses, buildings and gardens to coast and countryside. We exist because people share the idea that beautiful natural and historic places matter – for our spirit, our well-being and our relationships. We don’t seek to preserve or present one unchanging view of our country, rather we celebrate its variety. Whether it’s historic houses, farms, coastlines, woodlands, terraced houses or city parks, we stand up for the places that matter to people everywhere. We take our responsibility to protect very seriously, and we want beautiful places to look and feel amazing forever. We also believe that we need to be an organisation that puts people first. We are open to all, whether you love walking in the outdoors, campaigning for nature, immersing yourself in history or simply want to spend time in a beautiful place with family and friends. We want to make sure that, no matter who you are or where you come from, you feel welcome and able to make a difference to the places that matter to you.

“Who we’re looking for”

We are looking for new members to join the Natural Environment Advisory Group, to share their unique expertise and act as critical friends. Natural Environment is one of four voluntary Advisory Groups in the Trust providing advice and provocation to the discussion of strategic topics commissioned by members of the Exec team. The other groups are: Commercial, Collections & Interpretation, and Historic Environment which together cover the areas where external volunteer advice is greatly valued. These groups are highly respected professionals who give their time, both as individuals on site, and working as a group at bi-annual meetings, to advise on strategy, significant projects and acquisitions. Natural Environment Advisory Group members also act as a source of advice and peer review in relation to all aspects of land, outdoors and nature, be that rural or urban, including: coast, countryside and farmed land, wildlife, natural aspects of gardens or built structures, environmental change and impact of major infrastructure. The key areas of Trust strategy this group influences are Restoring a healthy beautiful natural environment and Looking after what we’ve got.

We are looking for new members who are capable of working at both a strategic level at group meetings, and in a detailed way on visits to regional Trust sites. Experience of working on landscape-scale projects and previous involvement in conducting or commissioning research is desirable. Volunteers will be expected to reflect the Trust’s Values & Behaviours at all times, providing insightful and constructive advice in a collegiate and professional manner during meetings and out on site.

We are looking for new members whose expertise and interests cover one or more of the following areas:

  • Ecology, with skills in land, habitat and species management and the adaptation of habitats and species to climate change.
  • Ecological Data with skills in the management and analysis of ‘Big Data’, understanding the place of citizen science in data procurement, and realising the full potential of remote sensing in ecosystem management and monitoring.
  • Coastal Ecology with skills in coastal zone management and the delivery of ecosystem services from coastal and offshore marine habitats and biotopes.
  • People & Nature, with experience connecting and engaging people with the natural environment. This may include citizen science and the role of the natural environment and outdoors in improving health and wellbeing.

We are looking for colleagues who have passion for and extensive knowledge in these areas, who possess a curious mind, and a collegiate outlook. The role requires a commitment of up to ten days a year and is for an initial term of three years, with the potential for a second term, pending agreement from staff and the volunteer in question. Advisory Groups each meet twice per year with an Advisory Groups Conference for all groups in the summer. Further to this, members can be invited to attend property visits to provide advice on specific projects or support strategic pieces of work. The positions are voluntary, but expenses are paid.

Applicants must submit a short CV and a covering letter expressing why they feel motivated to join the Group. This recruitment process is for terms beginning in Autumn 2019 and Spring 2020. There will therefore be one new member starting in October and a further three joining the group the following Spring.

For further information: Contact Isabel Gilbert, Advisory Groups Coordinator Isabel.gilbert@nationaltrust.org.uk  (01793 817574) To apply: Please send a CV and covering letter.

Closing date: 12:00, 21 June 2019
We are committed to equal opportunities.  The National Trust is for everyone and we welcome applications from all sections of the community.

Interviews: 12 & 19 July 2019

NEAG Autumn Meeting: 17 & 18 October 2019


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Helping Hedgehogs

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Hedgehogs are in trouble, declining due to a range of challenges, from habitat loss and road deaths to climate change and reduced availability of food through increased pesticide use in farming. Two conservation charities joined forces a few years ago to set up the Hedgehog Street campaign to inspire the great British public to help hedgehogs by making their gardens more hedgehog-friendly.

Hedgehog Street (Hedgehog Street ) is a joint campaign from the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and the People’s Trust for Endangered Species  They have just launched two free guides for local authorities, providing advice on how to help hedgehogs in your community. This is how they describe them in a recent mailing to local authority planners and countryside departments:

  • Hedgehog Ecology and Land Management – a free guide created for land managers, park rangers, recreational or cemetery groundskeepers, ecologists and similar. It covers the ecology of hedgehogs and tips on how to manage land more sensitively, to help hedgehogs – including advice about ground maintenance, mowing regimes and potential hedgehog hazards on site. It also provides advice on how to easily survey your greenspaces for hedgehogs. Download your free copy here: www.hedgehogstreet.org/hempguide
  • Hedgehogs and Development – a free guide created for developers, architects, planners and contractors. Hedgehogs are considered a species of Principle Importance under Section 41 of NERC, so it’s worthwhile including hedgehogs in your local plan, particularly as a way to achieve biodiversity net gain requirements and ecological enhancement. This guide provides free advice on how to easily incorporate hedgehogs into ecological surveys, and how to mitigate for hedgehogs before, during and after a build, including how to install Hedgehog Highways. Almost 500,000 people across the UK have signed a petition calling for Hedgehog Highways to be installed in all new developments. The public have spoken, so use this guide to get advice on how to support your local hedgehog population in any future development work, and how you can integrate this advice into your own Local Plan. Download your free copy here: www.hedgehogstreet.org/development


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Buckthorn for Brimstones

A new and innovative project, spearheaded by Whitby Naturalists Club is hoping to benefit the expansion of the breeding range of Brimstone butterfly by providing the foodplant for it to lay egg on. Brimstones are at the edge of their range here in North Yorkshire, though adults are regularly recorded in the Whitby area and across the region.

By planting Alder Buckthorn, a native but uncommon moisture-loving shrub (Frangula alnus confusingly neither thorny nor an Alder), the group hopes to provide stepping stones of habitat for it northward spread. A number of countryside sites including Calla Beck and The Cinder Track will be planted with Alder Buckthorn, with funds from Butterfly Conservation through their Yorkshire Branch, who are fully supportive of the venture. Scarborough Borough Council have obtained 300 bare-root whips of the shrub on behalf of the Club and already the first conservation task has begun the job of planting, with the help of  The Cinders volunteers on 7th March, as part of a habitat improvement task at Middlewood Lane, Fylingthorpe.

The next task with The Cinders, also involves alder buckthorn planting, at Ravenscar station and the approaches to the old tunnel, where Brimstones have been recorded. To join in with this task meet at Station Square in Ravenscar on 28th March at 10.30am, or contact volunteers@northyorkmoors.org.uk to register with the Cinders group for notifications of all their future tasks on the old railway line.

Numerous members of Whitby Nats have pledged to plant Alder Buckthorn in their garden or land. We may not know if this mission is successful for several years, but BC Yorkshire reps are confident there is every chance it will help the species expand its breeding range. Naturally if you do spot a Brimstone butterfly, do please report it using i-Record or your local Naturalist’s society recorder.

More info on this pdf article by Whitby Naturalists: http://whitbynaturalists.co.uk/files/buckthorn_for_brimstones_project_sheet.pdf

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The First Buckthorn for Brimstones tree planting site at Middlewood Lane, Fylingthorpe