BBC announces brand new series presented by David Attenborough, Life In Colour

Sir David Attenborough phot by ukhouseoflords under Creative Commons

The BBC reports Life In Colour, made by Bristol-based Humble Bee Films and Sydney-based SeaLight Pictures, will explore the many ways animals use colour throughout their lives. Colour plays a vital role in the daily interactions of many species, but the colour we can see tells only part of the story. Using new cameras built specifically for this series, Life In Colour will reveal a world of colour normally invisible to human eyes.

The series will start on Sunday 28th February at 19:00. See here for trailers and more details.

Britain’s rivers should be returned to their ‘natural state’ to help save the endangered eel, says WWF

The Daily Telegraph reports Britain’s rivers should be returned to their ‘natural state’ with fewer man-made weirs and dams in order to help save the eel, the WWF says in a new report.

A third of freshwater fish globally are threatened with extinction due to a lack of care for our rivers, according to new findings from the animal welfare charity. WWF is calling all governments, including the UK’s, to back the implementation of a global Emergency Recovery Plan for freshwater biodiversity, as part of an ambitious agreement at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity conference later this year.

We know FNW members will feel this one close to their hearts as they fell in love with eels during the excellent Zoom talk by Kathy Hughes.

Overground stations transformed into solar-powered green spaces

iNEWS reports just a few meters away from the Overground rail track at Brondesbury Park, in north-west London overgrown, dilapidated surrounding land has been transformed by the company, Energy Garden, into a biodiverse, productive garden powered by solar. A sign attached to a fence invites anyone to come in and water the plants with a solar powered hose. This station is one of 34 to be similarly renovated. 

‘Absolutely ridiculous’: top scientist slams UK government over coalmine

The Guardian reports one of the UK’s most eminent environmental scientists has called the government’s failure to block a new coalmine in Cumbria “absolutely ridiculous”. Prof Sir Robert Watson said the UK’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 to tackle the climate crisis was “wonderful”, but that there had to be a focus on immediate actions.

The UK is hosting a UN climate summit and Boris Johnson has pledged to lead a green industrial revolution. 

UK nature map: Where you can go in the UK to see red squirrels, whales and even sharks

The Express reports the British Isles are home to thousands of different animal species, but some are inevitably harder to find than others. While the country is mostly known for its hedgehogs, foxes, badgers and vast array of wild birds, tourists can also see sharks, whales and otters in the island’s waters. And despite almost being wiped out completely in the Victorian era, red squirrels still exist in various parts of the UK.

A map devised by the team at Lease Car UK shows spots in the UK where some of the most uncommon species can be seen first hand.

‘Superplant’ shrub absorbs 20pc more pollution than other hedges

The Daily Telegraph and iNEWS report one metre of dense hedge will mop up the same amount of pollution that a car emits over a 500-mile drive. Plant scientists at the Royal Horticultural Society have advised growers choose bushy, hairy-leafed alternatives, as these have been found to remove more air pollution.

Researchers tested three hedges for pollution removal in traffic hostpots;  Cotoneaster franchetii, Thuya plicata (Western red cedar) and Crataegus monogyna (hawthorn). They found that the cotoneaster franchetti was by far the most effective at cleaning the air, and that in just seven days a one metre length of well-managed dense hedge will mop up the same amount of pollution that a car emits over a 500 mile drive. 

Botanists in race to save rare flower from extinction

The Times reports one of the rarest plants on a Scottish mountain celebrated for its botanical riches could become extinct in the wild. Experts are now planning a rescue mission for the mountain sandwort, which has delicate white flowers, after a big decline in numbers.

The most recent count of the plant on Ben Lawers, Scotland’s tenth highest Munro reveals a fall of more than half in just 15 years. Botanists will gather seeds on the Perthshire mountain this summer to grow in a safe place and ensure the plant’s survival.

Edinburgh aims to become sanctuary for swifts as numbers decline

Swift at box photo by fs-phil under creative commons

The BBC reports conservationists are hoping to turn Edinburgh into a sanctuary for swifts after a drastic decline in the bird’s population. Numbers fell by more than 50% in the UK between 1995 and 2016, when the estimated average population dropped from 125,500 to 59,000.

One of the biggest challenges that the species faces is the loss of nesting sites in older buildings, which are often blocked off during renovation work or lost when buildings are demolished.