Posts Tagged ‘Thorne Moors A Botanical Survey’

Natural Capital Report: Trick or treat?

November 1, 2015

On Halloween …. I finally got round to reading the Government’s response to the Natural Capital Committee’s third State of Natural Capital report (published September 2015).  Readers might judge for themselves if this is a trick or a treat by the Government?

The NCC’s third (73 page) report is glossy and is compiled by an interesting mix of experts.  The NCC’s membership comprises Prof. Dieter Helm (Chairman), Giles Atkinson, Ian Bateman, Rosie Hails, Kerry ten Kate, Georgina Mace, Colin Mayer and Robin Smale.  It has a supporting secretariat from defra of four.  The NCC was the product of the 2011 White Paper, The Natural Choice and it claims to have set out the building blocks “to be the first generation to leave the natural environment in a better state than it inherited”.  Its initial term was for three years but has received a six month extension to produce the third Report post the 2015 general election.

What does it tell us?  What does it tell us that we didn’t already know?  More importantly what is the Government going to do about the parlous State of Nature?

The State of Nature 2013 asked the question what needs to be done?  What has been done in the intervening period?  We understand that many of the original organisations and new ones have come together again to provide the answers and identify key actions needed to reverse the ongoing decline, this is to be reported shortly in a Response for nature (seperate issues for England, Scotland and Wales).  This is laudable, we can all look forward to another glossy launched at a grand event?  Will Iolo provide the opening speech, or will they wheel out a Government Minister who will refer to their response above?  It could be an opportunity for Government Ministers and Chief Executives to persuade any sceptics in the masses of their sincerity?  Would realists prefer underwritten guarantees given track records?

Ten NGOs have written to David Cameron expressing dismay at the weakening and cancellation by Government of ten environmental measures.  Stephanie Hilbourne, representing the Wildlife Trusts is reported to have said that “the Government’s stance is shocking and showed disregard for the health and wellbeing of current and future generations as well as the environment we all depend on”.  Dismay could be considered as a tame word, but then we remember the days when the late Stephen Warburton was active within the WTs and the conservation movement generally.  Today’s managers have understandably to keep an eye on the bank balance if they are to keep the ‘ships’ afloat?  They would be foolish if they were to bite the hand from which crumbs fall?

We can all do our bit, but at the end of the day it is our consumption of finite resources and our spending choices which allow the market economy to wreak havoc upon the natural environment across the globe.  Even if the UK Government provide funding for ‘project management’ to stem the tide …. I seem to recall that Cnute failed?  “Green Blobs” are set up to fail, simply by virtue of the disproportionate funds aka subsidies or state welfare payments to industry?  Neo-liberalism  survives by virtue of state support (Jones 2015).

The recent publication by Government, as part of its Rural Productivity Plan for England, is a 10 point plan for ‘boosting’ …. fundamental to my mind would be the requirement for broadband.  That is to say actual broadband, not necessarily 4G but a decent broadband connection?  Trick or treat, most definitely a cruel trick out here?  Oh, look they will look at satelite provision, ‘look’ just like years ago they were going to deliver but drip drip drip and watering down of words?  So, Mr Osborne & Ms Truss the plan falls at the first and as for the rest they read as more deregulation and therefore risk the very landscapes and natural environment so many of us living in rural areas value?  It would be interesting to access the research which evidences the need for these ten points?  As yet the underwriting of failure eludes readers, but perhaps it’s principally about the deregulation and maximising of private profit at the expense of communities and long term residents?

Like the aforementioned organisations, the Forum has in the main in a voluntary capacity, delivered reports on the state of the natural world on our doorstep.  It is important that we all do make contributions to the catalogue of change in our fauna and flora.  One of our best recent examples has been the Inkle Moor Invertebrate Survey undertaken in 2012.  As well as providing an update on the status of the invertabrate assemblage of this important piece of remnant lagg fen, it even delivered a first for the UK!  Streptanus okanensis a species of terrestrial Hemiptera (or ‘bug’ if you prefer).  The Survey was a tri-partite collaboration and has its origins in 2011 when a funding application to defra was successful and secured from them around £10,000.  The Forum contributed a further £5,000 from its own funds but the added value in kind saw the project deliver, at a conservative estimate, outcomes worth in excess of an estimated £115,000.  The statistics are pretty impressive too, but maybe it’s only entomologists who would appreciate them?  On the back of the findings from the Survey, funds were then found by an independent conservation charity to purchase Inkle Moor so a ‘win win’ situation delivered by a collaborative endeavour?

Similarly Thorne Moors A Botanical Survey initiated by Ian McDonald a local botanist and Colin Wall a local bryologist and for whom this represented something of a magnus opus and a project which the Forum were happy to be involved in and make available their extensive expertise in terms of editing and publishing, also working with other stakeholders to add value to the raw data by incorporating supplementary supportive chapters.  From very positive feedback received since its publication in last year those chapters have added value by providing previously unpublished information to researchers and the public.   Whilst the Forum was able to act as the lead in terms of project management and delivery through to publication, the initial idea was that of local naturalists.   Significantly this project provided the first ever published list of the flora (including bryophytes) of Thorne Moors.  The work started in 2010 and it details the flowering species found over the three and a half years of survey whilst the moss list provides the species known up until publication in 2014.

TMABS front scan

Both these projects demonstrate the value of volunteers and their expertise as amateur naturalists.  It is amateur naturalists who are committed to cataloguing the changes in the nature of Thorne & Hatfield Moors.  Without such contributions and data like these then there is the risk that statute might forget the value in biodiversity and the value in climate regulation, carbon storage etc.?

There are a few copies remaining and details of how to obtain one can be found here.

 

 

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‘Moor’ …. Thorne & Hatfield Moors Papers Volume 9

December 14, 2014

The Executive are pleased to announce the publication and availability of the latest edition of the Forum’s Journal Thorne & Hatfield Moors Papers Volume 9.  Edited by Dr P C Buckland, it comprises 144 pages (including 25 colour), so is another bumper edition and offered at only £5. See details below for postage options.

V9 front cover

 

Volume 9 features seven substantive Research Papers and six shorter notes and two book reviews and an overview of an electronic download.  A significant inclusion is that of “The ecology of the Hairy Canary: Phaonia jaroschweskii Schnabel & dziedzicki (Diptera: Muscidae) in England” by the late Peter SkidmoreFig. 1 on page 77 features a superb entomological illustration detailing puparium and adults of P. jarowshewskii by Peter Skidmore.  

Research Papers:

Michael Archer: The ants, wasps and bees (Hymenoptera: Aculeata) of Thorne and Hatfield Moors in Watsonian Yorkshire.

Ray Golder: Aquatic plants in the Selby Canal: a reflection of Humberhead Levels vegetation or a distinct canal flora?

Martin Hammond: Water bugs of the Humberhead peatlands

Colin Howes & Michael Oliver: Water table trends and the recent history of birch colonisation on Lindholme Old Moor, South Yorkshire.

Ian McDonald: There is no rush, germination trials on Scheuchzeria palustris

Peter Skidmore: The ecology of the Hairy Canary, Phaonia jaroschewskii Schnabl & Dziedzicki (Diptera: Muscidae) in England

Michael Szabor: Do the fragmented populations of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) at Hatfield Moors, South Yorkshire represent an evolutionary significant unit for conservation?

Shorter Notes:

Phil Lee: Five go ‘moffin’ on Crowle Moors in search of a long lost minor.

Phil Lee: Stegagostus rhombeus (Olivier, 1790) – a new beetle for Epworth Turbary, VC54, and possibly the Humberhead peatlands.

Phil Lee: Strongylogaster mixta (Klug, 1817): a new sawfly for Crowle Moors and the County of Lincolnshire.

Mark Lynes: Hard Fern, Blechnum spicatum on Hatfield Moor

Ian McDonald: Sphagnum magellanicum on Thorne Moors

Colin Wall: Orthotricum striatum on Thorne Moor

Review and Overview:

Paul Buckland: Ian D. Rotherham (2013) The Lost Fens. England’s greatest ecological disaster. History Books, Stroud (207pp.). £17.99 and (2010) Yorkshire’s Forgotten Fenlands. Wharncliffe Books, (181pp). £10.99.

Martin Limbert: Peat Exploitation on Thorne Moors. A case-study from the Yorkshire–Lincolnshire border 1626–1963, with integrated notes on Hatfield Moors. By Martin Limbert. MPhil thesis, Division of Archaeological, Geographical & Environmental Sciences, University of Bradford. 2011. Pp.[4] + 181 + six plates. Download from the website of the Thorne & Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum.

Mechanised Peat Winning and Transportation on Thorne Moors. By Martin Limbert and Peter C. Roworth. THMCF Technical Report No. 8. Second edition. Thorne & Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum. 2009. Pp.[1]–90 + frontispiece + 38 plates. Available for sale from the Forum. An accompanying compact disk of images is now accessible via the Forum website.

To obtain a copy, please send a cheque made payable to Thorne & Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum to T&HMC Forum (Publication Sales), P O Box 879, Thorne, Doncaster, DN8 5WU for either £6.68 (second class postage, incl. packaging) or £6.85 (first class postage, incl. packaging).

This latest publication is hot on the heels of the Thorne Moors A Botanical Survey, copies of which are still available but selling well.

If any reader is undertaking research or has observations of autoecological interest then please do consider offering them for consideration, see 2014 Notes for Contributors or contact the Editor, Dr Paul Buckland.  Good quality images or illustrations are also most welcome for inclusion with any submission, alternatively images (appropriately credited) would be appreciated for inclusion on the blog and for the Forum’s website which is currently under review and revision.

Advance notification: Volume 9 T&HM Papers

September 28, 2014

Hot on the heels of the well received Thorne Moors A Botanical Survey we are pleased to announce that Volume 9 of our Journal Thorne & Hatfield Moors Papers is now at the printers, and if all goes to plan then it should be out and available around the middle to the end of October!

Listed below are the contents of the volume which have been submitted, the volume will also include an Editorial and Acknowledgements which effectively provides a synopsis of Forum activity in the period from the previous Volume 8 until the current volume.  A5 in size, comprising 148 pages (124 B/w and 24 Colour), printed on 150gsm silk with a 300gsm
wrap round laminated cover to outside.  It is available at only £5 plus postgage at cost (£2.80 second class or £3.20 first class).  There is a limited print run so order your copy now, cheques made payable to Thorne & Hatfield Mors Conservation Forum and sent to: T&HMC Forum (Volume 9), P O Box 879, Thorne, Doncaster, DN8 5WU.

 

Research Papers

Michael Archer: The ants, wasps and bees (Hymenoptera: Aculeata) of Thorne and Hatfield Moors in Watsonian Yorkshire.

Ray Goulder: Aquatic plants in the Selby Canal: a reflection of Humberhead Levels vegetation or a distinct canal flora?

Martin Hammond: Water bugs of the Humberhead peatlands

Colin Howes & Michael Oliver: Water table trends and the recent history of birch colonisation on Lindholme Old Moor, South Yorkshire.

Ian MacDonald: There is no rush, germination trials on Scheuchzeria palustris

Peter Skidmore: The ecology of the Hairy Canary, Phaonia jaroschewskii Schnabl & Dziedzicki (Diptera: Muscidae) in England

Michael Szabor: Do the fragmented populations of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) at Hatfield Moors, South Yorkshire represent an evolutionary significant unit for conservation?

Shorter Notes

Phil Lee: Five go ‘moffin’ on Crowle Moorsin search of a long lost minor.

Phil Lee: Stegagostus rhombeus (Olivier, 1790) a new beetle for Epworth Turbary, VC54, and possibly the Humberhead peatlands.

Phil Lee: Strongylogaster mixta (Klug, 1817): a new sawfly for Crowle Moors and the County of Lincolnshire.

Mark Lynes: Hard Fern, Blechnum spicatum on Hatfield Moor

Ian MacDonald: Sphagnum magellanicum on Thorne Moors

Colin Wall: Orthotricum striatum on Thorne Moors

Review and Overview

Paul Buckland: Ian D. Rotherham (2013) The Lost Fens. England’s greatest ecological disaster. History Books, Stroud (207pp.). £17.99 and (2010) Yorkshire’s Forgotten Fenlands. Wharncliffe Books, (181pp). £10.99.

Martin Limbert: Peat Exploitation on Thorne Moors. A case-study from the Yorkshire–Lincolnshire border 1626–1963, with integrated notes on Hatfield Moors. By Martin Limbert. MPhil thesis, Division of Archaeological, Geographical & Environmental Sciences, University of Bradford. 2011. Pp.[4] + 181 + six plates. Download from the website of the Thorne & Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum.

Mechanised Peat Winning and Transportation on Thorne Moors. By Martin Limbert and Peter C. Roworth. THMCF Technical Report No. 8. Second edition. Thorne & Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum. 2009.

 

If readers have undertaken any research in the Humberhead Levels, then have you considered submitting papers for publication.  For more information on how then see ‘Notes for Contributors’ and most recently reproduced in Volume 8, pages 155 & 156.  Dr Paul Buckland is the current Editor of the Forum’s publications and he can be contacted via execsec@thmcf.org

Thorne Moors A Botanical Survey …. hot off the press & available now

July 29, 2014

Well, at long last it’s in print!  The first ever checklist of the botanical interest of Thorne Moors.  To Ian McDonald who initiated the project well done, to Paul Buckland as Editor a massive thank you for seeing it through the process and into print!  Many have extended blood, sweat and in all probibility a few tears over this mammoth undertaking but it is now to others to judge ‘a book not by its cover but its content’?

A considerable tome, some 265 pages many in colour with some superb photographs of the flora (including the bryophytes) and habitats found on Thorne Moors NNR — a bargain at only a tenner!  That price is thanks to financial support from JBA Trust and Natural England and the Forum Executive deciding to make this publication more readily accessible to students, researchers and local community at an affordable price.

Copies can be obtained by sending a cheque made payable to Thorne & Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum for either £15.75 (first class post) or £14.10 (second class post) to Thorne & Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum (TMABS) PO Box 879, Thorne, Doncaster, DN8 5WU.  Copies will be sent in Mail Lite padded bags through the Royal Mail small parcel system.  We will acknowledge receipt of orders & payment and upon diaptch will obtain a proof of postage, if potential purchasers require a ‘signed for’ or ‘special delivery’ service then please contact execsec@thmcf.org to make the necessary arrangements.

TMABS front scan

Regular readers of the blog will be aware that the Forum submitted a FoI request in respect of the Danvm Drainage Commissioners.   To update readers that Doncaster MBC has acknowledged receipt of our request for a copy of the DDC Audit Report.  Interestingly the notification asks you to update the status of the enquiry to indicate if the response contained useful information.  The reply was an acknowledgement of the enquiry, certainly not what we’d describe as a response, that will come in due course or more precisely “within 20 working days and in any case by the 15th August 2014”.

Readers can subscribe via WhatDoTheyKnow and follow the enquiry and already we have one such follower.

 

Some good news …. Thorne Moors A Botanical Survey

July 1, 2014

 

Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Dactylorhiza fuchsii (Image: Steve Hiner)

 

We are delighted to provide readers with advance notification that the long awaited Thorne Moors A Botanical Survey is with the printers and is expected by the end of the month!

Even better news is the amount of colour the publication contains.  Not only is there a photographic wraparound cover, there are also some stunning images of both the natural habitats and landscapes, both flowering plants and mosses and also the maps and other figures as well and it’s …. only £10 a copy!

This incredibly low price is made possible because we have received generous sponsorship from both JBA Trust and the local Natural England office and the Forum Executive feel that it needs to be made available at an affordable price to local people, students and researchers.  Please note that there is a limited print run, so reserve your copy now (postage to be advised).

All involved are to be congratulated, particularly Ian McDonald who initiated the project and also Colin Wall who made available the results of his extensive dataset on bryophytes. For more information and to reserve a copy download the Advance Notification

 

 


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