One above-water deterrent deployed within the Küdema Bay © Andres Kalamees

Scientists have created an unusual floating-scarecrow device which could help reduce the amount of vulnerable seabirds from being caught by fishing nets.

The group of scientists, include Birdlife International and the RSPB’s Centre for Conservation Science, worked with marine engineers from Fishtek Marine and the Baltic Sea Conservation Foundation to develop the device. Thanks to funding from the National Geographic Society, they were able to test its effectiveness in real marine conditions in a collaboration with the Estonian Ornithological Society.

The device, known as a Looming-Eyes Buoy (LEB), was trialled in Estonia on long-tailed ducks and was found to reduce…


The aftermath of the attack © North Wales Wildlife Trust

The Brenig Osprey Project in North Wales was subjected to a mindless attack by someone who took a chainsaw to an osprey nest platform overnight. The nest was situated on a platform at Llyn Brenig, a North Wales Wildlife Trust nature reserve. The platform provided visitors with good views of the nesting Ospreys but now it has been felled in what has been described as an “act of vandalism.”

It would seem that the attack took place at 21:42, a fact born out by the footage captured of the event by the CCTV focused on the platform. Sadly, the footage…


Drone image of some of the future wildland. Photo © Dave Maric.

Almost 20 years after spearheading the reintroduction of the beaver to Scotland, Bamff Estate in Perthshire now aims to go further with a pioneering rewilding project to help tackle the nature and climate crises, while inspiring similar initiatives on other farms.

Led by a mother and daughter team, the family-run upland farm aims to create Bamff Wildland by rewilding of 450 acres — with 12 fields, six woods and some of the UK’s most impressive beaver territories transformed into a nature-rich connected area of land.

Sheep have been removed from the fields, and after a fallow year this land will…


Beaver © scotlandbigpicture.com

The Scottish Rewilding Alliance, a collaboration of 22 like-minded organisations that was established in 2019, share a mission to rewild at a scale new to Scotland. And today it has set out the five key choices the Scottish Parliment at Holyrood, will have to make during the next session to tackle the nature and climate crises. In each case Parliament will have to decide whether to persist with, what some might say is ‘a failing status quo’, or choose to make the bold changes the Alliance argues can protect and enhance biodiversity, help tackle climate change, and boost rural employment…


Lapwing chick ©Phil Pickin

The RSPB recently published a press release asking for all of us to look out for ground-nesting birds now that the spring is here and we can get out and enjoy it. The sentiments are good, and I fully support them because some of our most endangered birds are ground nesting species. One of the most enigmatic of these has to be the curlew, a bird that we are increasingly unlikely to see or, very sadly, hear. …


10 new projects contribute to 30% of land for nature by 2030

Sir David Attenborough backs new phase of 30 by 30 ambition

Woodlands spring bluebells © Jon Hawkins Surrey Hills Photography

The Wildlife Trusts have raised almost £8 million just six months after launching their 30 by 30 ambition to kickstart nature’s recovery across 30% of land by 2030. Funds will buy land to provide new homes for wildlife and allow nature to thrive in increasing abundance across wilder, joined-up places. The plan is to reverse decades of steep wildlife declines and threats to the natural world.

Today The Wildlife Trusts unveil ten new projects which are contributing…


Over recent weeks there has been the high profile case of Freddie the seal, who lost his life after a dog attack. And the case of a walrus that turned up on the Welsh coast only to be buzzed by a drone (according to social media reports).

So it is good to see that some action is being taken to highlight the risks posed by Joe Public to these creatures. Let’s just hope that Joe Public listens and acts responsibly.

On Friday 2 nd April 2021, the Seal Alliance launched a campaign, backed by Defra, aimed at educating the public…


Government voluntary target to stop peat compost sales was missed in 2020

Peat © Mark Hamblin 2020 VISION

The Wildlife Trusts call for an immediate end to peat sales

A new survey shows that only one of 20 leading garden retailers contacted by The Wildlife Trusts reported that it would eliminate peat from its shelves this year — and the survey reveals an overall lack of ambition by retailers to set targets to end peat sales. Last year, the voluntary target set by the Government to end sales of peat composts to amateur gardeners was missed.

This year the Government will decide if new legislation is…


The Wild Oysters Project. Conwy Bay © ZSL

1,300 native oysters have been returned to waters in River Conwy as part of an ambitious restoration project to bring back these ‘ocean superheroes’ from the brink of extinction. The Wild Oysters Project, a partnership between ZSL (Zoological Society of London), Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) and British Marine aims to help restore healthy, resilient coastal waters around the UK.

Earning themselves the title ‘ocean superheroes’, native oysters (Ostrea edulis) provide huge benefits to coastal waters by helping to clean our seas and acting as an important habitat for marine wildlife. …


New ways of mowing to benefit birds, bees, and waterways wildlife

Canal habitat ©CRT

It’s good to see The Canal & River Trust undertaking a trial, starting this month, to review the mowing frequency of the towpaths. These vital wildlife corridors need to be carfully looked after so it is hoped that this trial will prove beneficial for both boaters and nature.

Press Release.

The Canal & River Trust, the waterways and wellbeing charity which looks after 2,000 miles of waterways across England and Wales, is beginning a six-month trial looking at the benefits of changing the mowing regime along its towpaths.

The…

Phil Pickin

Freelance photographer and writer. The environment, conservation green energy, nature and waterways are my usual subject areas.

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