The capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) is a truly magnificent species, one that almost seems too significant and primeval to occur in the small remaining pockets of Caledonian pine forests in the 21st century.
It is heartening to read Julian Freeman-Attwood’s comments (letter, Jan 14) on the importance of wildlife corridors. Government policy must be bold and not just link farms, but get farmers working together to achieve the best for Britain’s wildlife.
The GWCT has long advocated the need to focus on soil health. At our demonstration farm, the Allerton project, we have undertaken much research to understand what constitutes a healthy soil.
The barn owl’s (Tyto alba) core breeding season, specifically from egg laying to chick fledging, is usually between April and August. But this timescale can vary due to various factors, such as weather conditions, prey availability and the experience of adults in rearing young.
In the wake of COP26, climate change is something many of us are thinking about – and rightly so. Following COP21 in 2015, 195 nations adopted the Paris Climate Agreement and committed to try and keep the global average temperature no more than 2°C warmer than pre-industrial levels, aiming for less than 1.5°C of warming.
Speaking at this year’s Oxford Farming Conference, NFU President Minette Batters hailed the positive impact of Britain’s farmers, describing them as working conservationists and urging politicians to remember the people who lay at the heart of a better future.
If you read the headlines around the recent Birds of Conservation Concern report, you’d have been rightly worried about the fate of many of our much-loved bird species. One group that is suffering more than most is aerial insectivores – birds that feed by capturing insects in flight, or ‘on the wing’ as it is more commonly known.
The crop drill has been busy here at the Allerton Project, with farmers across the country relieved to experience a ‘normal’ autumn drilling season for the first time since 2018 – or at least a ten day window into which frenzied work has been committed! The key winter crops of barley and wheat have been successfully established in good soil conditions – the single biggest factor in the ultimate success of any crop.
In the BEESPOKE Project which is coordinated by GWCT, one of our tasks is to investigate the extent to which farmers are interested in conserving pollinators and if not, then why not. To help with this we are looking for farmers to complete a short survey.
The Owl Box Initiative is delighted to be celebrating it’s one year anniversary and after a busy year for everyone involved, and particularly for the breeding barn owls across our study sites, we thought we would look back on an exciting year of conservation, monitoring and engagement.