London to build seven-mile ‘bee corridor’ to boost dwindling numbers of pollinators

The INDEPENDENT reports more than 97 per cent of UK wildflower meadows have disappeared since Second World War. A London council is growing a seven-mile long “bee corridor” of wildflowers in an effort to boost the numbers of pollinating insects this summer.

Brent Council in north London is sowing 22 wildflower meadows in the borough’s parks and open spaces, which together will form 50,000sq m of new flowering spaces and stretch seven miles in length. The council said it believed the initiative to be the first of its kind in the capital.

BBC Springwatch to enlist viewers for major data-gathering survey on Britain’s gardens 

The Telegraph reports BBC Springwatch is to enlist an army of nature-loving viewers to catalogue British gardens, as presenters set a weekly quiz question to gather data. The show will this series launch the biggest “Gardenwatch” survey of its kind, asking viewers to complete an assessments on bird behaviour, a register of common mammals, and a headcount of earthworms in their soil.

BBC Two’s Springwatch 2019 airs Monday to Thursday for three weeks from Monday May 27.

Natural England accused of setting farmers ‘impossible task’ over badger culls

The Sunday Telegraph reports Natural England has been accused of bowing to badger rights campaigners after setting farmers the “impossible task” of proving the cull poses no risk to ground nesting birds.

The row comes after Natural England lost its power to issue bird shooting licences amid a row with farmers who kill wild birds that attack livestock and decimate crops.

Photo by Tim Brookes under creative commons.

Common frog could become extinct in South East England

The I reports that research finds that by 2070 climate change will have spread deadly virus across much of Britain. The common frog could disappear from the south east of England within 50 years unless drastic action is taken to halt climate change, an alarming report warns today.

The amphibian, which is by far the most common frog species in the UK, could also become increasingly scarce in the North of England and parts of Scotland as rising temperatures increase the potency of a deadly disease, while spreading it more widely across the country.

Woodpeckers, redstarts and other rare birds are flocking to cities’ green spaces

The Times reports nature is reappearing in the most unlikely ways in Britain’s cities. In London rare butterflies, birds and even beavers are making a comeback. In July, Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, will launch a week of outdoor events to promote his quest for official designation as the world’s first National Park City. In Glasgow a campaign group will announce the same aim.

National Trust pub becomes first in UK to put carbon footprint by each meal on menu

The Telegraph reports a National Trust pub has become the first in Britain to put the carbon footprint of each meal next to the item on the menu. The greenhouse gas emission calculations were made by Professor Mike Berners-Lee, a leading expert on greenhouse gases, and the brother of World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee.

Sticklebarn in Cumbria – which is run by the National Trust – made the change earlier this year as part of their pledge to run a sustainable business.

Holland & Barrett bans wet wipes, putting pressure on Boots and Superdrug to follow suit

The I reports The health-food chain has become the first high-street retailer to banish wet wipes from all its branches internationallyHolland & Barrett is to stop selling wet wipes in all its stores, replacing them with environmentally friendly alternatives. 

The health-food chain has become the first high-street retailer to banish wet wipes from all its branches internationally, putting pressure on other well known companies such as Boots and Superdrug to introduce similar policies.

Government asked to ensure developers build bird boxes into new homes as swift numbers plummet

The TELEGRAPH reports the RSPB has urged the government to ensure developers build bird boxes into new homes amid fears swift numbers are plummeting.

The small bird, whose distinctive wings make it look almost like an arrow in flight, nests in nooks and crannies in buildings after flying over 6,000 miles from Africa in the spring. They are one of the fastest birds in the world, able to reach up to 70mph and often not touching the ground for up to three years at a time. Numbers of the animal have dwindled to fewer than 90,000 pairs, down from 150,000 pairs two decades ago.

Swift at box photo by fs-phil under creative commons.