Prevention vs cure for nature

Using the UK as an example, Joseph W. Bull and  E.J. Milner‐Gulland join the BES Policy team and present their new model, designed to simulate prevention and cure tactics for decision makers.  The UK Government’s Environment Bill sets out a decision to legally require most new economic development projects to achieve ‘Biodiversity Net Gain’ – that is, to leave the natural environment better off than … Continue reading Prevention vs cure for nature

Editor’s Choice: 56:9 – Understanding the sensitivity of seabird populations to development pressure

As renewable energy becomes more prevalent in coastal environments, research by Julie Miller and colleagues provides important insights into the effects of anthropogenic influences on bird populations; both the risks and how these can be mitigated. Associate Editor Des Thompson and Scottish Natural Heritage ornithologist Andy Douse discuss issue 56:9‘s Editor’s Choice article. Of the globe’s birds, seabird populations are arguably among the most sensitive … Continue reading Editor’s Choice: 56:9 – Understanding the sensitivity of seabird populations to development pressure

Vegetation change in the uplands is slow, slow, slow

Using results from a long-term experiment at Glen Finglas in Scotland, Robin Pakeman and colleagues show that even substantial changes in grazing management take many years to play out, so forecasting change in the uplands is difficult. Here Robin explains more about their work. We set up the Glen Finglas experiment in 2002 to look at how changes to the European Common Agricultural Policy, specifically … Continue reading Vegetation change in the uplands is slow, slow, slow

Do wildlife-friendly farming subsidy schemes deliver their expected benefits?

Recently Michael MacDonald examined the impact agri-environmental schemes have had in the UK and, in particular, Wales. Now Associate Editor Peter Manning highlights the need to focus on evidence of these schemes’ effects when considering agricultural policy reform. There is now overwhelming evidence that agricultural intensification has proven disastrous for wildlife, and that policies encouraging intensification are a key driver in this process. In Europe … Continue reading Do wildlife-friendly farming subsidy schemes deliver their expected benefits?

Rewilding in Britain: a case study

Over the past few weeks, The Applied Ecologist’s Blog and Relational Thinking have been exploring the hot topic of rewilding from a number of different interdisciplinary and management angles.  Now Sophie Wynne-Jones and Chris Sandom turn their focus to the UK as a, perhaps unexpected, example of where rewilding has grown. If you ask someone in Britain whether or not they have heard of rewilding, … Continue reading Rewilding in Britain: a case study

Monitoring Welsh agri-environment schemes

Alongside the British Ecological Society Policy team, Michael MacDonald looks at the future of environmental funding in agricultural landscapes and discusses his new article, Have Welsh agri-environment schemes delivered for focal species? Results from a comprehensive monitoring programme. Agri-environment schemes (AES) have been European governments’ major attempt to reduce and reverse biodiversity losses on farmland. However, there have been criticisms of the performance of AES, … Continue reading Monitoring Welsh agri-environment schemes

Early career ecologists look to plot a safe course through the Brexit minefield

In the face of continuing uncertainty over Brexit and UK environmental policy, Andy Suggitt  from the British Ecological Society’s Conservation Ecology Group argues that now is the time for early career ecologists to engage and get involved in the process. We’ve all had that feeling about Brexit. It’s top of the newsfeed on our favourite social media site, it’s the first item on the evening … Continue reading Early career ecologists look to plot a safe course through the Brexit minefield

Managing sites with ash dieback to conserve functional traits

Adopting a technique generally used in the social sciences but rarely in ecology, Louise Hill (University of Oxford) et al. provide a new summary for land managers looking to predict and manage the effects of ash dieback. Their work was recently published in Journal of Applied Ecology: Maintaining ecosystem properties after loss of ash in Great Britain. Ash dieback, an invasive disease of ash trees, is … Continue reading Managing sites with ash dieback to conserve functional traits

A new way to reduce the introduction of exotic pests and diseases in trees into the UK

New research highlights the need for policies that encourage nurseries to produce home-grown plants and thus reduce the risk of importing tree pests and diseases that threaten the UK’s woodland. Author of Variability in commercial demand for tree saplings affects the probability of introducing exotic forest diseases, Vasthi Alonso Chavez and British Ecological Society Policy Manager, Brendan Costelloe explain more. A Spanish version of this … Continue reading A new way to reduce the introduction of exotic pests and diseases in trees into the UK

Using science to inform policy during adverse weather conditions

Andrew Hoodless discusses new research on the effect of cold weather on the Eurasian woodcock and the recent article Regulation of body reserves in a hunted wader: Implications for cold-weather shooting restrictions. Severe winter weather can place a strain on the energy reserves of birds, sometimes resulting in mortality if adverse conditions persist for more than a few days. There are relatively few studies that … Continue reading Using science to inform policy during adverse weather conditions