Wales Biodiversity Partnership

Support Team update 

WBP Support Team Newsletter October 2012

 In this edition:

< 1. Living Wales Programme update>

< 2. Convention on Biological Diversity Update

< 3.Wales Biodiversity Partnership Academics Research Workshop>

< 4.Spatial framework for assessing evidence needs for operational ecosystem approaches -JNCC Report>

< 5. Large trees the forgotten heroes of the built environment? and Woodland Trust tree give away >

< 6.Marine Education Camp>

<7. Topical Items>

< 8. Consultations>

<9. Events>

<10. Standing items>

Welcome to the October 2012 edition of the WBP Support Team update. Firstly a reminder that the WBP SG Meeting takes places on teh 14th Nov and includes papers on the Wales Biodiversity Implementation Framework- how we approach the 2020 targets, an LBAP paper highlighting the range of LBAP projects throughout Wales; an update on the LIFE Natura 2000 Programme, a BARS update and the outputs from the recent academics workshop outputs. There are consultations ongoing- the 'Law Commission Wildllife Law review which closes on the 30/11/2012 and the 'River Basin Planning consultation which closes on the 22/12/2012.  In keeping with the season, a survey by the British Mycological Society is asking people to report sightings of six common species, and the mystery of where painted lady butterflies go in the winter is revealed - further details and the findings of a public opinions on biodiversity policies are under 'Topical Items'.

Living Wales Programme Update

Chief Executive of the Single Body appointed
Dr. Emyr Roberts has been appointed as as its Chief Executive of the Single Body. He will take up his post from the 1st November.
After working with the National Farmers’ Union, Emyr joined the Welsh Office in 1991. Since then he has held a number of posts within the Welsh Government including Director of the Department for Social Justice and Local Government and Director General, Public Services and Local Government Delivery. He is currently Director General of Education and Skills.

Reminder- Summary of responses from the Sustaining a Living Wales consultation is available 
A summary has been published of the responses to the consulatation on the Welsh Government website.The responses to the consultation will be used to inform the Welsh Government's work in taking forward the Living Wales programme

Consultation Responses (scroll down to 'Consultation Report' )

Related Link: Living Wales Programme


UN Convention on Biological Diversity update

The UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s eleventh convention in Hyderabad, India last week saw a pledge to Increase funding to support efforts in developing states towards meeting the internationally-agreed Biodiversity Targets and to substantially increase domestic expenditures for biodiversity protection by 2015. New measures to factor biodiversity into environmental impact assessments linked to infrastructure and other development projects in marine and coastal areas was also announced
A parallel summit of Cities and Local Authorities  saw the launch of the first major worldwide assessment of the impacts and interactions between biodiversity and cities including the launch of a report:
City and Biodiversity Outlook - Action and Policy: A Global Assessment of the Links between Urbanisation, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, and the executive summary makes concise and important reading and the detailed evidence base has also been made available on the CBD-CBO website.
One particular note of optimism is that the arguments around urban green infrastructure for improving the health and wellbeing of people and to provide environmental resilience to help mitigate against overall climate uncertainties are being increasingly considered at all levels of governance. City planners are beginning to see the significance of giving as much consideration to the ‘green and blue’ natural services infrastructure, as they do to the ‘grey’ buildings, transport, waste and communication systems.

Cities article adapted from UK Friends of the UN Decade on Biodiversity bulletin

 Wales Biodiversity Partnership Research Workshop
Wales Biodiversity Partnership (WBP) led a successful Research Workshop on 11 September at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff. The Workshop centred on how the academic community in Wales, WBP, and Welsh Government could work together to address evidence gaps within both: 1) Welsh biodiversity, and 2) in our understanding, of how we best deliver the Ecosystem Approach in Wales.  
Thirty-six delegates attended, with representation from across Welsh academic institutions (Bangor, Swansea, Cardiff,& Glamorgan Universities, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology [CEH], Wales Environment Research Hub [WERH], Welsh Government officials from the Living Wales Programme and Land, Nature, Forestry and Marine Division, and from EAW, CCW, and WBP. Shaun Russell Wales Environmental Research Hub (WERH) chaired the day. Leads were agreed for work arising from the workshop, from within the pool of academics, WBP, and WG. A draft research strategy has since been produced, which the WBP Steering Group will be asked to agree at their meeting 14 November and a report will be made available on WERH and WBP website.

 Spatial framework for assessing evidence needs for operational ecosystem approaches - JNCC Report
The project demonstrates the process and outcomes of taking a pragmatic approach to assessment of ecosystem services, with emphasis placed on utilising the large body of data already available to inform policy decisions at national, regional and local levels. Using these datasets, an ecosystem service ‘spatial framework’ has been developed to assist users and demonstrate what is currently possible when it comes to mapping and modelling of ecosystem services. The resulting framework sets out the data and information about the relevant habitat that will be important in helping to quantify and map its role in ecosystem service mapping. Behind the rationale of the work is the basic premise that every parcel of land affects the delivery of many ecosystem services in some way, even if this contribution is only small (or has a negative effect on that service). The framework shows how to link the physical and biological characteristics of habitats and the major ecosystem services that they provide. 
This research builds on earlier projects for Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) and Bridgend County Borough Council undertaken by Environment Systems Ltd can best be mapped using existing datasets, so that policy makers and others can begin to appreciate the spatial extent of the ecosystem services presented
Report 469 Spatial framework for assessing evidence needs for operational ecosystem approaches

Large trees- the forgotten heroes of the built environment?- free seminar
6 November 2012, Cardiff
12.30 – 14.00 
Sponsored by the Rt Hon John Griffiths, Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development, Welsh Government
Want to gain insight into benefits and challenges gained by presence of large trees?
Construction projects, regeneration opportunities and rethinking of the urban landscape increasingly require the provision of large species trees. UK Government reports and initiatives recognise that large species trees (>15m) convey the greatest financial, social and environmental benefits. In addition, the importance of trees in green infrastructure far outweighs whole life costs of planting and maintenance. 
At the more “local” level, planning and approval bodies are also driving the tree agenda in the context of climate change mitigation. The opportunities for “treescaping” our urban environment are enormous. 
This CIRIA event will:
• focus on the impacts large trees have on the built environment 
• highlight the challenges and benefits to be gained by their presence
Delegates will:
• take away useful insights on how working with nature can be a cost effective exercise 
• discuss the recently released CIRIA publication, The benefits of large species trees in urban landscapes: a costing, design and management guide (C712) which investigates how trees, especially large species, play a vital role to our financial health and wellbeing.
Who should attend? 
Contractors, clients, developers, local authorities, landscape architects and tree specialists.
Further details

Free Tree Give away from the Woodland Trust
On a related topic, Woodland Trust have trees to give away and the tree packs come in three sizes – 30 saplings, 105 saplings and 420 saplings in various themes (wildlife, wild harvest, year-round colour, future firewood and wetland) and you can find out more about them at . The packs are due to be delivered week commencing 5 March 2013 (the deadline for applications is Christmas 2012).The offer is open to community groups, youth groups and schools.
This year the tree giveway is designed to help bees by encouraging groups to plant species that are beneficial through their nectar or pollen. If you have any questions at all please do get in touch with Beverley Gormely.
Beverley Gormley
Community Tree Packs Project Manager
0845 293 5861

Marine Education Camp 
16th-18th November 
Dale Fort Field Centre, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, SA62 3RD. 
Are you an educator or trainee who would like to learn new ways to use the marine environment to teach, in or out of the classroom?
If so, the Marine Biological Association of the UK invites you to a FREE (including meals and accommodation) residential training weekend. 
Welcome dinner and introduction on Friday evening (from 5pm) and finish at around 3pm on Sunday. A limited number of £100 bursaries are offered to support participants’ costs on a first come first served basis. 
Participate in interactive classroom and seashore based workshops to increase your knowledge of the marine environment and seashore life and provide you with ideas to help incorporate the marine environment in your teaching.
Training in the delivery of our interactive ‘Life Around the Turbines’ workshops, (exploring marine renewable energy, technology and decision making in the marine environment) is included. 
For more details and to book, email: or phone: 01752 633336

Topical Items
Results of an ambitious world-wide consultation gathering public opinions on biodiversity policy issues have been published this week.
The World Wide Views on Biodiversity (WWViews on Biodiversity) initiative, in May, gathered 3,000 citizens from 25 developed and developing countries including the USA, India, Brazil, Zambia and France in parallel day-long meetings which took place on the 15th September.
The first meeting started at 9am in Japan on 15th September and the last finished 25 hours later in Arizona. In all sessions, participants were given the same unbiased information informing them about biodiversity and about the international frameworks designed to halt its decline. After discussion and deliberation with fellow citizens, participants offered their views on the current state of biodiversity and the policy measures intended to protect it.
The overwhelming message was a plea to policy makers for more to be done to stop the decline of biodiversity. However, details of the responses reveal some interesting results:
The importance and impact of biodiversity loss:
Almost 85% participants across the globe said that most people in the world are seriously affected by biodiversity loss and nearly half of citizens in developing countries felt that their own country is seriously affected. Overall, three quarters of citizens were ‘very concerned’ about the loss of biodiversity and a further 22% were at least ‘somewhat concerned’.
The solutions
Assessing possible solutions to biodiversity loss, approximately 75% of participants favoured the creation of new protected areas, although 45 – 50% gave the caveat that where ‘very important economic aims’ are at stake, these should be prioritised. This emphasis on economic gain was greater for citizens of developing nations, but there was still strong support for protected areas, suggesting recognition that environmental and economic improvement are inextricably linked. 
Preferred methods of improving biodiversity protection were; greater public education, incentivising stakeholders to adopt protection measures and incorporating biodiversity issues in other planning activities. Over one third of participants also supported the enactment of stricter national laws.
Tackling resource use
Considering resource use, citizens in developing nations supported the intensification of farming within existing agricultural land to spare land elsewhere, whilst developing nation participants advocated eating less meat. There was also consensus that incentives and subsidies causing overfishing should be abolished, but with developing nations emphasising the need to phase these out slowly to allow adaptation.
Shared responsibility
Citizens advocated that the costs of protecting biodiversity should be shared between all nations; 97% said that the protection of coral reefs must be the responsibility of all countries, not just those containing the habitat, and although 65% of participants felt developed countries should pay a larger proportion of protection costs, 85% of citizens from developing nations said their own countries should also be obliged to pay.
This unique world-wide consultation reveals widespread understanding amongst international citizens of the critical importance of biodiversity. Support for the prioritisation of protected areas, an adjusted approach to farming and fishing and a willingness to share the costs of biodiversity protection reveal an important message for policy-makers – global citizens want more to be done to protect biodiversity.
The results of the consultation are intended to inform politicians and interest groups engaged in the ongoing discussions under the Convention on Biological Diversity, as well as wider discussions concerning biodiversity protection targets and the plans to achieve them. 

View the Report

British Mycological Society Common Fungi Project 
The British Mycological Society are asking people to report sightings of six common species: fly agaric, jelly ear, yellow stagshorn, birch polypore, blushing bracket, and stump puffball. 
The aim is to gather data on the distribution, times of fruiting and ecological associations of common, easily identifiable fungi. For further information about the project go to  Full colour photographs and a key to all six species of fungi can also be found on the website.  
Data submitted should include: name, date, site name, grid reference, vice-county, tree species under, on or near to which the fungus is growing, including on which kind of wood it is growing. Where a fungus is growing near different tree species, list them all, with the nearest first. The name of the recorder is important so that suitable acknowledgements can be made. No specimens need be sent. The details may be sent in any form, as records on paper, or as an Excel or Access file, by post or by e-mail. Records from previous years will be welcome as long as the ecological details are available. Please send records to:
Bruce Ing,
Tigh na faoileige,
IV26 2TJ
Or e-mail:
Further details on the website 

Painted Lady Migration secrets revealed

One of the longest standing mysteries of migration has finally been solved after scientists discovered where the UK’s Painted Lady butterfly population goes each autumn
The butterfly, a common immigrant, migrates from the continent each summer to UK shores in varying numbers.But up until now scientists did not know if the Painted Lady made the return journey at the end of the summer, like the closely related Red Admiral, or simply died in the UK.In one of the largest citizen science projects ever conducted, scientists from Butterfly Conservation, the University of York, the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and Rothamsted Research amongst others, have discovered exactly what happens to Painted Ladies each autumn.More than 60,000 public sightings of the butterfly during 2009 were collected across Europe including radar images tracking butterfly movements across southern England with 10,000 British observers taking part.
Scientists discovered that the Painted Lady did indeed migrate south each autumn but made this return journey at high altitude out of view of butterfly observers on the ground.
Full article on the Butterfly Conservation website
Article taken from Butterfly Conservation website


Law Commission Wildlife Law Review
The overarching aim is to make the law work better for all concerned with wildlife. This includes ensuring that the statutory framework for wildlife management can facilitate the policy decisions of Government and allow for the appropriate balancing of human and animal interests.
Next steps
Following the public consultation, we will analyse the responses and plan to publish a final report with our recommendations and draft Bill by mid 2014.
Consultation closing date: 30/11/2012

Law Commission Consultation

River basin management consultation

Working Together consultation – how do you want to shape the future management of water? 
Environment Agency has just published the first consultation on how it will update the river basin management plans in 2015. 
Environment Agency would like to know how it can work with partner organisations to develop, over the next three years, ambitious and sustainable plans to protect and improve the water environment for the benefit of communities, businesses and wildlife. 
 “Working Together” - consultation link to copy and paste into your browser:
Consultation closing date: 22/12/2012


Have a Wild Weekend for Wales 26 -28 October 2012

Do something wonderful for wildlife this Autumn and have a Wild Weekend for Wales! Apply for Free Homebase vouchers up to £200 to create a new wildlife habitat in your community. Have a Wild Weekend for Wales aims to improve biodiversity by helping people to undertake small projects to benefit native species and create new wildlife havens. You can help improve the biodiversity of Wales doing something simple such as planting trees and flowers or building a bug box. To get a copy of the application form and for lots more information about Wild Weekend, go to the Keep Wales Tidy website  or contact us them on  029 2025 6767 or email

Wales Amphibian and Reptile Symposium Llandrindod Wells on the 3rd November 2012
Open to anyone with an interest in Welsh herpetofauna and their conservation. Limited spaces, reduced fee for early booking .Further information and booking link.

Renewable Energy & Biodiversity Impacts, Cardiff, 7-8 November 2012
Tony Juniper will be the keynote speaker at the event.
Tel: 01962 868626 / Web:

Wales Dormouse Workers’ Day National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, 17 November 2012
Cost: £13.50 including lunch or £5 without lunch
An opportunity for Wales’ dormouse workers to come together for a seminar hosted by The Mammals in a Sustainable Environment Project  (MISE) - A major date for your dormouse diary!
 Pat Morris discusses the use of wildlife bridges; Paul Chanin debates dormice and fragmented landscapes and Catherine O’Reilly delves into dormice, diet and DNA. Priority registration for those living in Wales is now open and from 13th August registration will be open to all. Spaces are limited so early booking is advisable. Provisional programme and booking information


Standing Items

BARS update and Training
The WBP Support Team has begun drafting an initial outline following feedback and discussion with users. A draft will be circulated for consultation in the next few months and we would encourage all to respond.If you have any questions or would like to feedback any specific problems or suggestions for development please contact Alys Edwards, WBP Technical Officer ( . Please also contact Alys if you require training and she will be happy to arrange it.

Wales Biodiversity Weeek 2013
The dates for Wales Biodiversity Week are 8th - 16th June. 

invasive Plant Tracker tool 

A new on-line invasive plant tracker tool created by Bristol University, the EA and CEH, in close partnership with the GB non-native species secretariat. You can download a free App (PlantTracker), which allows you to take a photo of the plant in the wild with your smart phone, and upload the image (and location automatically) to a central database. If you don't have a smartphone, you can also use the website 
On the website there is also a map which shows you the current (uploaded) distribution of each species. It is very easy and quick to use, and your data get verified and sent to the NBN. 
Ancient Tree Hunt
The Ancient Tree Hunt ATH) is a living database of ancient trees which began in 2004 and to date has recorded over 100,000 across the UK. The tree information you record can be used locally or nationally to highlight the importance of trees, promote their value and encourage their conservation. Find details of ancient trees near where you live or places that you visit frequently using the Ancient Tree Map. There are still lots of amazing ancient trees still to be discovered and recorded. 

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Wales Biodiversity Partnership