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Latest news

Read on to find out what the Nature Partnership and its Partners have been up to recently. News for the current year is below and news from previous years can be found using the links on the left hand side.

Smartphone app aims to prevent Asian hornet invasion

Smartphone technology is being used as the latest weapon in helping prevent the spread of an invasive species.

A new app has been launched to enable quick and easy reporting of possible sightings of the Asian hornet – a highly aggressive predator of native insects, in particular honey bees.

The Asian hornet was discovered in Gloucestershire in autumn 2016 but Government bee inspectors were able to track down and destroy the nest, containing any further outbreak. There are fears the pest could reappear this spring, so members of the public are being urged to report any sightings.

Asian hornets can be distinguished from their native counterparts by their abdomens which are entirely dark except for a single band of yellow (native hornets' abdomens are predominantly yellow).

People will be able to use the free app, called Asian Hornet Watch, to record sightings and send pictures of suspect insects to experts at the National Bee Unit.

Public affairs manager at the British Beekeepers' Association, Martin Smith, said: "This new app launched by Defra is a welcome addition to current reporting methods that have enabled beekeepers and members of the public to report possible sightings.

"The key to containment is catching outbreaks as early as possible and allowing fast tracking of the insects back to their nest. We will certainly be encouraging all our 25,000 beekeepers to install the app and use it if they see what might be an Asian hornet near their hives."

The interactive app, developed by the Great Britain Non-native Species Secretariat and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, will help people to judge whether they've seen an Asian hornet; with pictures available of other insects that it could be confused with and helpful information about their size, appearance and the times of year they are most likely to be spotted.

The app can be downloaded from Apple and Android stores.

30 March 2017

Time to take part in the Big Farmland Bird Count

Farmers, gamekeepers and landowners are being encouraged to take part in the 2017 Big Farmland Bird Count.

The survey takes place between Friday 3 February and Sunday 12 February and is the fourth annual count, coordinated by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT).

The survey provides an opportunity to demonstrate the benefit of conservation schemes being managed by landowners such as supplementary feeding or growing wild bird seed and game cover crops.

Recording sheets are available to download from the GWCT website and results can either be submitted online or returned by post.

The survey asks participants to find a location on the farm with a good view of around two hectares and spend 30 minutes recording the species seen such as skylarks, yellowhammers, corn buntings and grey partridges as well as the number of birds present. A few details about the habitat and cropping around the site will also need to be noted.

Free ID guides are available to download from www.gwct.org.uk

1 February 2017

Farmers urged to complete annual environmental land management survey

Farmers are being encouraged to take part in an online survey to highlight voluntary land management practices taking place to benefit the environment.

The annual Survey of Land Under Environmental Management is undertaken by Defra to assess the level of awareness of the Campaign for the Farmed Environment (CFE).

Headline figures from previous surveys showed 97% of farmers see protecting farm wildlife as important and demonstrated that farmers have invested an average of 400,000ha in environmental measures over a three-year period through CFE.

The deadline for completion of the survey is 31 March 2017. A link to the survey can be found here.

11 January 2017

Health and environment professionals inspired by Being well with nature conference

Benefits to health from the natural environment was the subject of the Greater Lincolnshire Nature Partnership's (GLNP) annual conference.

Representatives from both the health and environmental sectors came together at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln on 9 November to discuss how access to the great outdoors can be good not only for our wellbeing but also provide a better and more cost effective choice for patients and healthcare professionals.

The GLNP's fifth annual conference, entitled Being well with nature, was opened by Stephen Pintus, Director of Public Health in North East Lincolnshire and Interim Director of Public Health in North Lincolnshire.

Mr Pintus said: "The natural environment is a huge resource to tackle mental and emotional distress but we need to level the playing field for the benefit of everyone."

More than 100 delegates from Greater Lincolnshire and further afield attended the conference including a range of health practitioners, environmental organisations, social enterprises and local authorities.

Jane Jobarteh, Health and Wellbeing Manager for Public Health England, East Midlands presented the evidence for health and nature and was followed by Mathew Frith, Director of Conservation at London Wildlife Trust who set out the strategic case for bringing communities and nature closer together.

Two examples of successful projects were then outlined, firstly from Kate Mitchell of Hill Holt Wood whose health programme is helping to deliver mental wellbeing and then by Sue France of the Green Estate – a neighbourhood regeneration programme which helps to make a difference in areas of severe multiple deprivation.

GLNP Chairman, Richard Chadd, said: "The current interest in understanding more about health benefits from the natural environment is evident from the wide range of organisations that were represented at our conference and we have been delighted by the response.

"In terms of patient wellbeing, anecdotal evidence is not enough and it's vital that we can clearly demonstrate the effect that projects such as those outlined can have in making a real difference to people's lives.

"This conference has marked the launch of the GLNP's work on Being well with nature and we now need to continue this momentum to ensure that the value of nature in health and wellbeing in Greater Lincolnshire is recognised."

Key facts and figures

  • An inactive person is likely to spend 37% more time in hospital and visit the doctor 5.5% more often than an active person.
  • In 2007, physical inactivity was estimated to cost the NHS somewhere between £1bn and £1.8bn.
  • Children living in deprived areas are nine times less likely than those living in affluent areas to have access to green space and places to play. Boys living in deprived areas are three times more likely to be obese than boys growing up in affluent areas, while girls are twice as likely.

10 November 2016

GLNP conference on being well with nature announced

Being well with nature has been announced as the theme for the GLNP's annual conference which is now open for bookings. The event will take place on 9 November at Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln and consider health benefits from natural environments which can provide a better choice for patients and health professionals.

The conference will be opened by Stephen Pintus, Director of Public Health in North East Lincolnshire and Interim Director of Public Health in North Lincolnshire. This will be followed by Jane Jobarteh of Public Health England describing why we need to be active and the evidence base for the effectiveness of the natural environment. Two examples will be given of how nature has improved health, the first from Kate Mitchell of Hill Holt Wood and then from Sue France from the long running Green Estate project in Sheffield.

Booking for the conference is essential, please email events@glnp.org.uk or ring 01507 528398 to book a place.

September 2016

New habitat management leaflets published

The GLNP has published the first of its new habitat management leaflets aimed at Local Wildlife Site owners.

Lowland meadows, lowland calcareous grassland, wet woodland and hedgerows are the first four leaflets to be made available with more being developed over the coming months. Hard copies will soon be available from the GLNP team.

Each leaflet has been designed to highlight the importance of the habitat in Greater Lincolnshire while giving some general tips for site management and links to further information.

The GLNP is not able to provide bespoke advice for individual sites but it is hoped that these new leaflets will provide a starting point for landowners interesting in managing their site for the benefit of nature conservation.

For more details on Local Wildlife Sites in Greater Lincolnshire see our webpage. A new guide which highlights the vital importance of Local Wildlife Sites across the UK has also been published recently by The Wildlife Trusts.

5 September 2016

GLNP improves data request system

A core area of the GLNP's work is providing species and habitat information to ecologists, conservation organisations, local authorities, researchers and others. This information is provided by the Lincolnshire Environmental Records Centre (LERC) through a data request system and through consultation with many of the users of the system it has been improved.

The new system is an online form, with a fixed cost, that will return a standard set of species and habitat data in just an hour!

While LERC always had a fast turnaround of just a few days this timing will mean a same day service during work hours. The online form is also easier to fill in as the type of data returned does not have to be specified – this is already fixed. All LERC needs to know is:

  • The grid reference of your site;
  • The size of the buffer around your site – 2 or 5km;
  • And your contact and payment details of course.

For those with more complex requests, such as a very large or oddly shaped site that cannot be encompassed with a simple buffer just use our custom data request form and email it into us for a quote. Around half of these requests are charged at the one hour rate and should take a couple of days to come back to you.

For more details on both types of data request see our webpage.

1 August 2016

Information Officer vacancy

Based in Horncastle, Lincolnshire

£16,500-18,500pa

12 month contract with possibility of extension for up to 8 months

Looking for the first step in your career? Are you technically skilled with computers, good with databases and GIS but not sure where to use those skills?

We have an opportunity for a recent graduate or someone looking for a career change to make a difference in the nature conservation sector. This role uses the data generated by those working outdoors and turns it into useful information. A desk-based position, you must love working with computers and data. An ability to get on with others will be a clear advantage as the GLNP is a partnership working with a large number of organisations and people.

Knowledge of Local Sites systems, Local Environmental Records Centres, British wildlife or nature conservation will also be an advantage but is not required as training in all aspects will be provided. This is an ideal opportunity to develop technical and work based skills as well as an introduction to other organisations in the sector.

A full current UK driving licence is also required.

The GLNP is a government accredited Local Nature Partnership and the Information Officer is a replacement role.

For further details and an application form please contact:

Greater Lincolnshire Nature Partnership

Banovallum House, Manor House Street, Horncastle LN9 5HF

01507 528398 info@glnp.org.uk

www.glnp.org.uk

Closing date for applications: 11am on Wednesday 20 July 2016

Job advert Job description Person specification Application form

28 June 2016

National Meadows Day - Saturday 2nd July 2016

National Meadows Day takes place every year on the first Saturday of July. It is a chance to visit meadows at their best, to celebrate them, have fun and raise awareness of this forgotten habitat.

There are up to 100 events taking place across the UK this year which is fantastic as this is just the second annual National Meadows Day. A range of meadow and grassland based events and activities will be taking place at nature reserves, country parks and other sites across the UK that are aimed at the whole family. Events include guided walks, open days with family activities, kids craft days, scything activities, photography walks and much more!

This year Lincolnshire will be celebrating National Meadows Day with four events at:

Everyone is welcome to come along and find out more, with lots of activities planned.


24 June 2016

GLNP Annual Review

The Annual Review for 2015-16 is now available. Take a look and see what the Team and the GLNP Partners have achieved over the past year.

Covering all of our work areas the Annual Review sums up some of the achievements of the year from our data digitisation project, to our annual assessment of BAP targets and last year's new Building stones of Greater Lincolnshire leaflet. Also included is an overview of our policy work including our responses to consultations and our engagement with agricultural and tourism agendas.

May 2016

Gates opening for Open Farm Sunday

Farmers across our region will be welcoming visitors onto their farms next month as part of Open Farm Sunday.

The annual event, managed by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) takes place on Sunday, 5 June and will give people the opportunity to learn more about food production and the management of our countryside.

Several farms across Greater Lincolnshire have signed up to take part and activities range from machinery displays and tractor and trailer rides, through to demonstrations and nature walks.

To find your nearest participating farm, visit www.farmsunday.org

17 May 2016

The results from the RSPB's big garden Birdwatch 2016 are in

Across the UK a whopping 8,262,662 birds were counted. Across the UK the most frequently counted bird was the house sparrow followed by the starling, then blue tit. These results are nearly the same in England but with the blue tit in second place and the starling in third. Lincolnshire tells a slightly different story however.

In Lincolnshire the most frequent bird is the same, with house sparrow topping the charts, but up next is the blackbird with starling at number three. Apparently the blackbird was the most widespread garden bird overall, appearing in 88% of gardens. However, their numbers have declined since the first Birdwatch in 1979.

Find out more on the RSPB's website: www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/discoverandlearn/birdwatch/results.aspx

13 April 2016

Job vacancy - Information Officer

Information Officer

Based in Horncastle, Lincolnshire

£16,500-18,500pa

Permanent

We have an exciting opportunity for a data specialist to further develop the Local Sites system in Greater Lincolnshire. The Information Officer will also contribute to the wider data needs of the GLNP acting as an ambassador for biological information.

The Information Officer will have excellent IT skills; experience of developing databases and working with GIS will be an advantage. A clear understanding of the conservation sector is important as is the ability to work with a range of stakeholders. Knowledge of Local Sites systems or Local Environmental Records Centres is important although training will be provided. A full current UK driving licence is also required.

The GLNP is a government accredited Local Nature Partnership and the Information Officer is a replacement role providing the successful applicant with an opportunity to make their mark in nature conservation.

For further details please download the information below or contact:

Greater Lincolnshire Nature Partnership

Banovallum House, Manor House Street, Horncastle LN9 5HF

01507 528398 info@glnp.org.uk

Closing date for applications: 11am on Friday 19 February 2016

Job details Job description Person specification Application form


28 January 2016

Take part in Big Garden Birdwatch - the world's largest wildlife survey!

If you love wildlife and want to do something to help then now is your chance to get take part in something that really counts.

The RSPB is inviting you, your friends and family, to get involved in this year's Big Garden Birdwatch which takes place over the weekend of 30-31 January.

All you need to do is count the birds in your garden or a local park for one hour then tell the RSPB what you see.

More than half a million people took part in 2015 and counted 8,546,845 birds in total.

To request a free pack, or register your details, visit www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch

22 January 2016