BBC NEWS reports the elm tree can return to the British countryside, given a helping hand, according to a new report. More than 20 million trees died during the 1960s and 1970s from Dutch elm disease. In the aftermath, the elm was largely forgotten, except among a handful of enthusiasts who have been breeding elite elms that can withstand attack. The research is showing promise and there is reason to be hopeful, said the Future Trees Trust charity.
Report author, Karen Russell, said mature specimens have been identified that are hundreds of years old, and have mysteriously escaped the epidemic. And a new generation of elm seedlings are being bred, which appear to be resistant to the disease.
The GUARDIAN reports long-running survey finds 1976 heatwave boom has been followed by dropping numbers. Moths are declining in abundance by 10% each decade in Britain but the average weight of moths caught in traps is still double what it was in 1967, according to a new study.
Researchers studying the biomass of moths caught in the world’s longest-running insect survey said their findings suggested that if there had been an “insect armageddon” in Britain, it had occurred before scientific recording began in 1967.
THE GUARDIAN reports Britons are expected to generate record levels of food waste over Halloween this year. More than 8m pumpkins – equivalent to more than 18,000 tonnes of edible pumpkin flesh – will be heading for the bin because the majority of consumers will not eat it. About 40% of consumers buy fresh pumpkins to hollow out and carve to celebrate Halloween, but 60% of those admit they do not use the flesh, according to research by the stock cube brand Knorr and the environmental charity Hubbub.
The Guardian reports dozens of traditional orchards are to be planted across England and Wales by the National Trust in an attempt to tackle the dramatic decline of one of Britain’s most cherished habitats. The charity will create 68 new orchards by 2025 as part of a wider programme to boost the number of wildlife-rich areas.
Orchards are to be planted in places including the Penrose estate, in south Cornwall, and Mottisfont, in Hampshire. Gardeners will also plant apple, plum, pear and damson trees at spots including Gunby Estate, in Lincolnshire, and on the Gower peninsula, in south Wales.
The National Trust, which looks after nearly 200 orchards, said it was concerned that about 60% of small traditional orchards in England had disappeared since 1950 as a result of changes in agricultural practices, market forces, neglect and development.
The juveniles watched under the Woking Peregrine project started flying on Sunday 10th June. Unfortunately, one flew into a window. The injured juvenile female was taken for rehabilitation at Wildlife Aid (based in Leatherhead). She may be there for at least 3 weeks, possibly requiring an operation on the damaged wing. Let’s hope she recovers soon! For this and more information about the peregrines please visit www.wokingperegrines.com.