Sunday, 31 May 2015


It was a delight to see children amongst the 27 people who turned up at the Whisby Reserve for an evening walk and listen through the woods and around the lakes. 15 of us were from Louth, 10 came from other LWT areas whilst a couple of people out for a stroll joined us during our tour!
Our guide, Warden Grahame Hopwood, was able to tell us about the project management to increase the density of vegetation, particularly Blackthorn, to provide good nesting sites for our target species for the evening - the Nightingale. However, our visit was late in the ‘singing time’ and despite the best efforts of Graham’s ears we only heard Blackcaps, Blackbirds and a Garden warbler calling. We kept reassuring him that we did understand and that we were enjoying the sight of a mass of purple Marsh orchids and an island full of gulls and waders.

In fact the Black-headed gulls were in very good voice, if somewhat raucous! They had fluffy chicks as did the Canada geese but we not sure whether the 3 Mediterranean gulls were nesting or resting. The tiny Great crested grebe chicks spent a lot of time hopping on and off their mother’s back. The gull chicks stayed on land away from the pike which are the primary predators of young and small birds that use the lake.

Apparently the peak time for hearing Nightingales is around St George’s day and at about 8 o’ clock in the morning. Maybe we can organise a trip in mid-April 2016 to listen to these ferocious little birds defending their territories and then have breakfast in the cafĂ©. RW

Bird list – mostly seen on the island and around the lake near to the Visitors’ Centre: Great crested grebe, Mute swan, Greylag goose, Canada goose, Shelduck, Gadwall, Mallard, Tufted duck, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Mediterranean gull, Black-headed gull, Swift, Swallow, Blackbird, Blackcap, Garden warbler, Chiffchaff, Magpie, Rook, Wood pigeon.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Politics and Nature Consevation

"State of nature in the EU: biodiversity still being eroded, but some local improvements observed"

That's the headline introducing the latest reports on wildlife and habitats across the European Union.  If we are genuinely interested in and concerned about our wildlife we need to get political.

"The majority of habitats and species in Europe have an unfavourable conservation status despite significant improvements for many species in recent years, according to a new technical report published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) today. The report presents the most comprehensive European overview on the conservation status and trends of the habitats and species covered by the European Union’s (EU) two nature directives. Building on the reports submitted by EU member states, the report contributes to policy discussions in the context of the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy."

These two reports show the invaluable work that the EU has been doing over recent years and the importance of the continuation of the work into the future.

Follow these links for more information:

State of Nature in EU
SOER 2015 — The European environment — state and outlook 2015

And get the full reports here:

Download Synthesis Report

Download Technical Report

The synthesis report informs future European environmental policy in general and its implementation between 2015 and 2020 in particular. It includes a reflection on the European environment in a global context, as well as chapters summarising the state of, trends in, and prospects for the environment in Europe.


The European environment | State and outlook 2015

The European Union has provided global environmental leadership for
some 40 years. This report synthesises the information resulting from
four decades of implementation of a well-defined and ambitious EU policy
agenda. It represents the tip of the knowledge available to EEA and its
network, Eionet.
The overall findings point to successes in reducing environmental pressures.
These achievements are especially remarkable when seen in the context of
vastly changed European and global settings over the past decades. Without
a strong policy agenda, the large growth of the economy over this period
would have resulted in much stronger impacts on ecosystems and human
health. The EU has demonstrated that well designed, binding policies work
and deliver huge benefits.
In the 7th Environment Action Programme, 'Living well, within the limits
of our planet', the EU formulates an engaging vision of the future to 2050:
a low carbon society, a green, circular economy and resilient ecosystems, as
the basis for citizens' well-being. Yet, looking ahead, this report, like its 2010
predecessor, highlights major challenges linked to unsustainable systems
of production and consumption and their long-term, often complex,
and cumulative impacts on ecosystems and people's health. In addition,
globalisation links Europeans to the rest of the world through a number
of systems that enable the two-way flow of people, finance, materials and
This has brought us many benefits alongside concerns around the
environmental impacts of our linear buy-use-dispose economy, our
untenable dependency on many natural resources, an ecological footprint
that exceeds the planet's capacity, external environmental impacts on
poorer countries, and unequal distribution of the socio-ecological benefits
from economic globalisation. Achieving the EU 2050 vision remains far from
self-evident. Indeed the very idea of what it means to live within planetary
limits is something that we have a hard time grasping.

What is clear, however, is that transforming key systems such as the
transport, energy, housing and food systems lies at the heart of long‑term
remedies. We will need to find ways to make them fundamentally
sustainable, by decarbonising them, making them much more resource
efficient and making them compatible with ecosystem resilience. Also
relevant is the redesign of the systems that have steered these provisioning
systems and have created unsustainable lock-ins: finance, fiscal, health,
legal and education.
The EU is leading the way through policies such as the 7th Environment
Action Programme, the 2030 Climate and Energy package, the Europe 2020
Strategy and the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. These
and other policies share similar goals and in different ways seek to balance
social, economic and environmental considerations. Implementing and
strengthening them smartly can help to push science and technological
frontiers in Europe, create jobs and enhance competitiveness, while
common approaches to solving shared problems make full economic sense.
As a knowledge actor, the EEA and its partners are responding to these
challenges by designing a new knowledge agenda that links supporting
policy implementation to an increased understanding of how to achieve
more systemic long-term objectives. This is guided by innovations that
break out of silo-thinking, facilitate information sharing and integration and
provide new indicators to enable policymakers to compare economic, social
and environmental performance. Last but not least, foresight and other
methods will be increasingly used to inform the pathways towards 2050.
The opportunities and challenges are equally huge. They require common
purpose, commitments, efforts, ethics and investments from all of us.
Starting in 2015, we have 35 years to ensure that the children born today
will live on a sustainable planet by 2050. This may seem like a distant future,
but many of the decisions we make today will decide whether and how we
are going to deliver on this societal project. I hope that the content of the
SOER 2015 will support everyone who is looking for evidence, understanding
and motivation.
Hans Bruyninckx,
Executive Director

Monday, 4 May 2015


As Saturday 2 May was dawn Chorus Day and as I had woken at 6.00 am and on the move by 6.30 am I decided to go outside to appreciate the bird song. The wind had dropped and the sun was shining. By the time I had gone round the corner of the house I could heard a Robin and a Wren. One of the four resident Blackbirds was on good voice in the neighbours Ash tree where he was soon joined by a Chaffinch. The other Blackbirds were hopping around in the grass waiting for an apple core or some bread crumbs.
After a short time I walked down Charles Street where as always I was greeted by a cacophony of noise from about 20 Sparrows that live in the hedges opposite the tennis courts. I saw but did not hear a small charm of Goldfinches that flitted over my head. Blue tits and a couple more Robins were declaring their territorial boundaries and of course the Mallards were in good voice on the river - I am not sure whether they count as part of a dawn chorus!
I was amazed to see how many market traders were ready for business. The sight of St James spire over the roof tops reminded me about the nesting Peregrines. I kept looking up and saw the pigeons on the stone work - then a streak of white with sleek wings and tail crossed the lens of my binoculars. I had seen one of the Peregrines moving fast towards the west.
The Great tit shouting,'..teacher, teacher' form my garden fence and the noisy Collared doves and Wood pigeons were quite an anti-climax after the flashing falcon. Nevertheless I recommend a stroll around the garden in the very early morning at this time of year.

Ray Woodcock