Innovative farmers are adopting agro-ecological approaches to producing beef which they believe are better for biodiversity and soils. Lisa Norton (UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology) and colleagues investigated the validity of these claims by comparing their grassland to those across the wider countryside surveyed as part of the national GB Countryside Survey. Public concerns about the environmental impacts of meat production add to the … Continue reading Can pasture-fed livestock farming practices improve the ecological condition of grasslands?
In their new study, Allen et al. present a case study in Northern Ireland (NI) showing how selective culling can be less disruptive to badger social structures than indiscriminate culling. This method could be an effective and more socially acceptable means of controlling bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in wildlife. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has raised consciousness on the issue of human disturbance of ecosystems and how this … Continue reading Badger social structure maintained despite selective culling
Author Andrew Osborne describe his team’s study exploring the ecology of a peatland-specialist butterfly to ensure their successful reintroduction following the threat of severe habitat loss and degradation. A landscape scale peatland restoration project is being undertaken on Chat Moss, Greater Manchester, UK, with conservation translocations an important component of the work. Our study was undertaken to support a species reintroduction of the large heath … Continue reading Bringing back a peatland butterfly
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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