|Vol 22 No. 6 - August 2011|
From carrots to cranes: the creation of RSPB Lakenheath Fen, Suffolk
Norman Sills and Graham Hirons
In the late 1990s, RSPB purchased blocks of arable land near Lakenheath, in west Suffolk, with the intention of creating a wetland site that would provide a suitable habitat for Bitterns, a species that was at risk of being displaced from its coastal reedbed breeding sites in East Anglia by rising sea levels. This article traces the story of how and why Lakenheath was created, and what it has achieved.
The long-staying dolphins of Loch Carron
Michael and Sue Scott
In the summer of 2007, a pair of Short-beaked Common Dolphins arrived in Loch Carron, north-west Scotland. Unusually, this pair took up residency in this Scottish sea-loch until the summer of 2011, regularly interacting with local fishermen, boat-operators and tourist boats, allowing their behaviour and habits to be observed and recorded.
Classic Wildlife Site: Parsonage Moor and Cothill Fen, Oxfordshire
Keith Porter, John and Barbara Ismay, and Judy Webb
The history, management, flora and fauna of these valley fens, lying just 7 miles south-west of Oxford, are described. Despite the small size of Cothill Fen and Parsonage Moor, the underlying geology provides a rich mixture of conditions that support both lime- and acid-loving plants, creating a wonderful, rich mosaic of vegetation and associated fauna.
Killer Shrimps in Britain: hype or horror? The facts about our latest invasive animal
Genevieve Madgwick and David C Aldridge
In September 2010, the first Dikerogammarus villosus was recorded in Britain at Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire, followed a few months later by two more records from Wales, and was quickly dubbed the ‘Killer Shrimp’ by the media. This article presents the facts about this species, the story of its spread, its ecology and assesses the likely threat to conservation interests.
The Defra White Paper on the Natural Environment: laudable ambitions, but timid actions
Graham Tucker and David Baldock
Despite some recent conservation successes, the status of British wildlife remains an issue of considerable concern. The authors examine the Government’s recent White Paper, ‘The Natural Choice: securing the value of nature’, the rationale and ambitions behind it and the actions and resources proposed to achieve this.