Sir David Attenborough
warns of climate ‘crisis moment’
“The moment of crisis has come” in efforts to tackle climate change, Sir David Attenborough has warned.
What does Sir David mean by ‘the moment of crisis’?
He’s highlighting the fact that while climate scientists are becoming clearer about the need for a rapid response, the pace of international negotiations is grindingly slow.The most recent talks – in Madrid last month – were branded a disappointment by the UN Secretary-General, the British government and others.
Decisions on key issues were put off and several countries including Australia and Brazil were accused of trying to dodge their commitments.
The UK is hosting what’s billed as a crucial UN summit, known as COP26, in Glasgow in November. Ahead of that gathering, governments worldwide are coming under pressure to toughen their targets for cutting emissions.
Assuming promised changes are delivered as promised (and there’s no guarantee of that), there could still be a rise in the global average temperature of more than 3C by the end of the century, compared to pre-industrial levels.
The latest assessment by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) lays bare the dangers of that. It suggests that a rise of anything above 1.5C would mean that coastal flooding, heatwaves and damage to coral reefs would become more severe. The latest figures show that the world has already warmed by just over 1C.
Sir David has a blunt explanation for why this matters: “We actually depend upon the natural world for every breath of air we take and every mouthful of food that we eat.”
“We’re already living in a changed world,” according to Professor Ed Hawkins of the University of Reading, a scientist whose depictions of global warming have often gone viral on social media. A landmark report last year warned that as many as one million species of animals, insects and plants are threatened with extinction in the coming decades.
First stranded Orca found in almost 20 years
in the Wash
The first stranded Orca in England and Wales since 2001 has been found by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).The 15ft (4.5m) long juvenile male killer whale was discovered in the Wash on the coast of Norfolk and Lincolnshire.
ZSL said it was likely the whale died a few weeks ago and it has taken blubber, liver, muscle and kidney samples.
Researchers also found a large fragment of plastic in the whale’s stomach, but it was not the cause of its death.Orcas are a priority species for research by ZSL as they are top predators that can absorb significant concentrations of marine pollutants.The team also collected teeth to accurately age the animal and said genetic analysis will help determine which population the animal came from.
ZSL said: “As this is such a rare case, subsequent analysis will inform UK marine mammal research for years to come.”
125 years of the National Trust, nationwide
12 January – throughout 2020
12 January marks 125 years since the National Trust was founded, an anniversary celebrated by a year-long exhibition at Croome Court. Titled The Acorn to Oak Exhibition, the exhibition will showcase artist Jilly Oxlade-Arnott’s paintings of National Trust properties. Another exciting development is the planned transformation of Birmingham’s Roundhouse, a former 19th-century canal-side stables that will become a centre for anyone wishing to explore the city’s famous canals in 2020.
Read the latest Newsletters from the Seahorse Trust
Parents Countryside Survey
A recent survey of 2,000 parents, carried out by OnePoll, on behalf of CPRE revealed that:
85% of parents in England think that every schoolchild should be able to experience the countryside first-hand as part of the national curriculum.
96% think it is important for children to spend time in the natural world, including the countryside (with 69% saying this is very important and 27% saying it is quite important)
Views with which BNA would concur.
Freshwater Habitats Trust, Conference
European Pond Conservation Network
18-23rd May 2020, London
The 9th European Pond Conservation Network (EPCN) conference will be held over 18-23rd May 2020 at University College London (UCL), London, UK. The conference will combine pond biology, hydrology and landscape ecology with pond conservation practice and welcomes both scientists and conservation practitioners to the meeting. The conference will include a field trip, hosted by the Freshwater Habitats Trust, to the New Forest National Park, which harbours many ancient ponds and rare species.
The latest management guidelines have been launched this week and are being sent to all councils and highways authorities across the UK
Click the report below to read
Sir David Attenborough Honorary Fellow and Vice President of BNA, has made a short film about the latest warnings of declines in wildlife
Please read the report below
State of Nature UK 2019 – Full Report
Read the report on how human impacts are effecting nature
Moth myths and misconceptions
When Butterfly Conservation teamed up with YouGov to ask the public what they really think of moths. The poll revealed that around three-quarters of the UK population (74%) have some negative opinion of moths. Many people believe the majority eat clothes, 17% of respondents describe moths as ugly and 12% believe they are scary. Fewer than a third of all the people surveyed believe moths are important (21%) and interesting (29%).
Far from being pests, the vast majority of moths play vital roles in the food chain and as pollinators. Butterfly Conservation are on a mission to change people’s minds by demonstrating how marvellous the UK’s moths really are.
Find out more on www.butterfly-conservation.org
Beavers in Yorkshire
In April this year, Forestry England brought a pair of Eurasian Beavers
from Scotland to Cropton Forest in Yorkshire for a revolutionary trial in
natural flood management.
Cath Bashforth, Ecologist, Yorkshire Forest District, Forestry England said:
“We have already seen changes to the landscape, the beavers have blocked a
leak in the top pond raising the water level, dug some channels to aid
their movement in the silted bottom pond and have started building a dam
in the river. They have also started opening up the edges of the ponds
and river by tree removal to let more light in.”
Forestry England expect that the beavers’ activity in Cropton Forest will improve biodiversity in their new 10-hectare home and may have the potential to reduce the impact of flooding locally. Monitoring will continue on site throughout the five-year project to assess these
IFAW celebrates its 50th anniversary
Fifty years ago, IFAW took on one problem that threatened one species in one part of the world. Since then, IFAW has taken on more problems threatening more species in more than 40 countries including our own.