News archive

August 2018

Saturday, 4 August 2018

BREEDING LAPWING SURVEY RESULTS FOR ELMLEY NATIONAL NATURE RESERVE - APRIL TO JULY 2018

Independent surveyors, led by Mr R. Poppe, used the Bolton et al methodology - one count every 3 weeks undertaken five times over the breeding season.

The surveyors systematically cover the whole 3,000 acres of wet grazing marsh at Elmley NNR in an effort to identify adult Lapwing and their chicks at each stage of development from individual adults to nesting and through chick development to fledging using a peer reviewed and recommended methodology created by Bolton et al.

Despite the harsh weather of March, when birds were trying to establish territories and pair up, and the large volumes of rainfall in April and May the Lapwing appear to have thrived. To put the results in some perspective the target fledging rate for a stable lapwing population is 0.7 chicks per brood and a normal site would hold between 20-50 pairs.

Our results of 353 pairs fledging 467 chicks is the best we have achieved since beginning thorough surveys 10 years ago. The weather plays a critical role but to achieve these results the habitat including water levels, sward height and density, micro-topography etc has to be right. In addition, these ground nesting birds benefit from low densities of key predators including foxes, corvids, stoat and hedgehog (voracious eggs eater which are live trapped and relocated to suitable local habitat).

If you want more detailed information click on the link below.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

The Lost Words Project - reconnecting kids in Kent with nature

The Lost Words Project - reconnecting kids in Kent with nature

We all want to encourage children to be active in nature and receive all the benefits from being in forests, woods, meadows, gardens, and exploring their natural environment: seeing and hearing nature, feeling the ground beneath their feet, smelling the scents and touching the bark of different trees.

We all want them to get to know more about the ecological systems, and want to enjoy themselves and experience all the therapeutic and educational benefits such engagement gives.

We are not asking you to give any money. We are just making you aware of what is happening.

In 2007 The Junior Oxford Dictionary removed a whole host of words that relate to the natural environment from their new edition. Words like heron and magpie, wren and kingfisher, acorn and bramble were excluded. It happened because the dictionary chooses words using an algorithm based on the most popular words in children's daily language.

Of course, as words fall out of use, there is a danger that their meaning will be lost, and an increasingly urban and technological younger generation will lose touch with the natural environment and the language that describes it.

The Lost Words has been a catalyst throughout the country to encourage children to reflect upon, wonder about, enjoy, and be active in nature; thereby improving their well-being and developing their understanding of our connection with the natural world.

We aim to put a copy of The Lost Words and its teaching resources in to every primary and special school in Kent. To do so, we are crowd funding to raise £6,100.

To find out more about the project and how you can help, click on the link below.

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