What would you like in yours?
If you live in Shropshire – this is a question we would like you to answer.
The RSPB, Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Natural England and the Environment Agency are working with farmers and landowners to revitalise the wetlands of the Weald Moors and Baggy Moor to enable wading birds (like the lapwing, pictured) and lots of other wildlife to flourish.
Wetlands also play an important part in our everyday lives supplying us with fresh water, helping to control flooding and mitigating the effects of climate change.
If you live in the area, here’s a chance for you to find out more about the project and share your thoughts and ideas.
There are four consultation sessions planned – you can drop in anytime during the session.
Saturday 8 January 2011 – Wellington Leisure Centre, Committee Room 9.00 AM to Midday
Saturday 15 January 2011 – Parish Rooms, Newport. 9.00 AM to 1.00 PM
Wednesday 26 January 2011 – Ruyton XI Town’s Memorial Hall 6.00 PM to 9.00 PM
And, in addition, on Wednesday 2 February 2011 (which is World Wetland Day) at Wall Farm – details will be available nearer the time.
For more information on any of the events please contact Sarah Wheale on 01952 433211 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
At each event there will be displays and people from the project team – there will be a chance to get stuck into a range of activities at each of the sessions. As each one works on a drop in basis you can spend as much or little time there as you would like.
They are free and there will be tea and coffee – so do come along if you can, I know you would be most welcome.
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At the dawn of 2011 - here's a list of things that need to happen to ensure that our special places and the wildlife they support are safe and cherished for the future.
Hang on that’s only 9! Go on, what would be your tenth?
Happy new year!
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It’s a hundred years since we started working in Wales – by that stage the fledgling RSPB was 21 years old and on the brink of seeing it’s first campaigning success – the legal probation of the importation of feathers and the end of the massive fashion trade in bird plumes that had prompted out founding by Mrs Williamson in Didsbury in 1889.
We were founded by women outraged at an international industry that was destroying breeding populations of egrets – women that had no voice in the world of Victorian ornithology. And at the start of our history in Wales – women were leading the way. You can find out more here. If there’s a film to be made – I nominate Julie Walters in the role of Mrs Jones (follow the links and see if you agree!)
We’ve been to Wales a few times in the course of this blog – mainly looking at the issues around the Severn estuary (here’s a link and here’s another). And I will be bring you more stories during the year.
My chums and colleagues are convinced I’m a bit obsessed with waders (and looking back over recent posts there are a lot of them!) so I’m delighted that a priority for our Welsh centenary is the curlew (pictured); they are in a parlous state and urgent action is needed to stop and reverse the slump in their breeding numbers.
Last year bitterns nested in the reeds at our Dungeness reserve for the first time – a great compliment to the habitat creation work that the reserves team have put in place. A habitat without its characteristic species is a bit like a stage without the cast – something to look at but not the full show.
Anyway – after the booming calls of the male bittern last spring – a new bittern record has been set for the reserve with at least 11 of these elusive birds wintering on site. They won’t be the same birds – most of these will be visitors from the continent – and they have been very visible to visitors.
I was watching one at New Year, just a few feet away, feeding in thin reeds at the waters edge. Even though I knew exactly where it was, as soon as it stopped its camouflaged plumage melted into the background. Now you see it, now you don’t.
The BBC has covered the story – and you can read more here.
Countdown to the public inquiry.
We’re less than a month away from the start of the Lydd airport public inquiry – so still time to object, as an individual – you can find out how here. Do consider visiting the reserve – especially for the first time or if you haven’t be there for a while. It’s a great way to find out what all the fuss is about!
Meet Dunge (he's the one in the middle) – the Olympics have Wenlock and Mandeville, we’ve got Dunge, he spent years rolling along the south coast before he settled at Dungeness, just a stone’s throw from some of our reserve ... keep an eye out for him and his friends throughout our coverage over the next few weeks.
Next Wednesday (2 February) is World Wetlands Day, it is 40 years since the seminal international conference held in Ramsar, Iran, established the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance.
The early years of the 1970s saw a blossoming of environmental awareness of which the Ramsar conference was a significant part. In many ways it marked the dawn of the modern era of nature conservation – it is a significant anniversary.
I hope to come back to the Ramsar story next week – but in the meantime, here’s an event I can thoroughly recommend taking place in Shropshire organised by the Lapwing Meadows Project to celebrate World Wetlands Day.
And here's a couple of lapwings showing off
On Wednesday, 2nd February 2011 the RSPB, Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Natural England and the Environment Agency are holding a public consultation event and celebration of World Wetlands Day at Wall Farm near Kynnersley.
RSPB, Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Natural England and the Environment Agency are working together with farmers and landowners to revitalise the wetlands of the Weald Moors and Baggy Moor in Shropshire to enable breeding wading birds and a host of other wildlife to flourish in the area. The project has been dubbed ‘Lapwing Meadows’; to reflect the type of landscape and wildlife we hope to see more of in the future.
Wetlands are a vital part of our countryside, they are essential wildlife habitats and interesting places for people to visit. They also play an important part in our everyday lives supplying us with fresh water, helping to control flooding and mitigating the effects of climate change.
To celebrate Ramsar’s World Wetlands Day the project will be hosting a special event between 3pm and 8pm at Wall Farm, near Kynnersley. Throughout the afternoon there will be opportunities to learn more about wetlands with activities for all ages. There will be a guided walk at 3pm giving you the opportunity to visit a successfully managed wetland area and see the positive difference it makes to wildlife. There will also be a talk from our own RSPB Wetlands Advisor Mike Shurmer at 5.30pm.
As well as providing opportunities to find out more about wetlands and the animals who live in them, the event will be used to share the vision for the project with the people who live and work in and around Weald Moor and to help us understand the views of the local community. Members of the project group will be in attendance and provide further information about the project and answer questions. There will also be activities and opportunities to share ideas and raise any issues or concerns.
The event is free with tea, coffee and light refreshments provided and all are welcome. If you would like further information, please contact Sarah Wheale on 01952 433211 or email email@example.com.It’s a good few years since I visited Wall Farm, it’s a special place and fantastic example of the best mix of farming and conservation.