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Book review: The Flow: Rivers, Waters and Wildness

The Flow is an exploration of moving water, and the wildlife and people that make use of it: the varied springs, streams and rivers that are found across Britain. We walk the banks, glide across the surface (in the author’s beloved kayak), push through the water itself and enter the hidden depths below. Either by

Twitcher in the swamp

“Where they lack a name in everyday discourse, botanists ride to the rescue with such beauties as Eight-stamened Waterwort (uh, is ‘stamen’ a verb? Spellcheck doesn’t think so) or Medium-flowered Wintercress (I hope you all know what a medium-flower is?) or Grass-wrack Pondweed (grass what?).”

Conservation news

Conservation news discusses the efforts to eradicate Mink in East Anglia, the updated Scottish Biodiversity Strategy, the Boothby Wildland rewilding project, and much more.

Wildlife reports

February’s wildlife reports highlight a new species of slime mould split from the bright orange Trichia decipiens, a rare sighting of a blue-phase male Lesser Emperor dragonfly, the discovery of the Greater White-toothed Shrew in Britain, the usual updates on butterflies, sawflies, molluscs, and much more.

How to be wild

“I have no doubt that every reader of this magazine has experienced awe in nature, even if we prefer to shut up about it. Awe probably got you into this in the first place.”

Letter from Caledonia

“When conservationists insist that the panacea for Scotland’s natural heritage is fewer grazing animals, I want to take them to Inninmore: look, please, to see living proof that the effects of grazing are not universally bad.”

Wild story

“So, when I see tirades about littering, trampling, loose dogs, and other perceived threats to wildlife I understand the moral outrage, but when it is used as a stick with which to beat ‘the public’ I want to roar.”

Progress towards 30×30

Agreed as Target 3 in the new Global Biodiversity Framework, the 30×30 agenda to protect 30% of the land and sea for nature by 2030 could be an opportunity to halt and reverse the decline of wildlife. Richard Benwell reviews the UK’s progress, and discusses the need to reform National Parks and AONBs and improve

Habitat management news

Habitat management news discusses a study based in the Teutoburger Wald, in north-west Germany, that investigated the extent to which wild Fallow Deer contribute to the maintenance of semi-natural calcareous grasslands. The findings of a study exploring the role of five different major semi-natural habitat types in supporting communities of wild bees in agricultural landscapes

Natural reflections

“Birdwatchers’ Year provided all I needed in a wonderfully readable introduction to bird behaviour, ecology and fieldcraft. It was as if these diarists were with me, gifting me with their knowledge, as I explored my new patch.”

Book review: Peter Scott and the Birth of Modern Conservation

Peter Scott was one of those rare people who are exceptionally good at everything they do. He took up sailing and won a bronze medal at the 1936 Olympics (to this day he is the only Olympiad who also became a Fellow of the Royal Society). He was a glider champion, and pretty good at

Twitcher in the swamp

“Schadenfreude, for example, or Zukunftangst, meaning ‘fear of the future’, a useful word just now. Or Angstmutter, the ‘mother of all crises’, another word with a strong contemporary resonance, and much better than the phrase that we, in our dead-eyed literalism, call ‘climate emergency’.”

Conservation news

December’s conservation news covers the Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference (COP 27) that took place in November, the National Trust’s new initiative to establish species-rich grassland across 70 miles of the North Devon countryside, an analysis of the REUL Bill, and much more.

Wildlife reports

December’s wildlife reports highlight fern specialists of the Channel Islands such as Guernsey Spleenwort, the finding of the ant-mimic jumping spider Leptorchestes berolinensis, a sighting of a Blackburnian Warbler on the Isles of Scilly, updates on bats, freshwater fish, bryophytes, and much more.

View from the Highlands

“I want to pass my remaining years travelling and enjoying the natural world while I still can, but I will work with the Editor to ensure that Scottish issues continue to get appropriate coverage in BW.”

Henry Williamson: nature writer and conservationist

Henry Williamson is known to many as the author of Tarka the Otter and Salar the Salmon, and was one of the first to alert the public to the impending conservation crisis. John Akeroyd describes Williamson’s role in advocating for the British countryside, how his part in the First World War shaped his perspectives, and

The Strawberry Tree

“The past is a guide, but not a very good one. We therefore need to use the fragments of evidence we have, along with our knowledge of how ecosystems work, patchy as this is.”

Wild story

“I’ve often wondered what it would take for the massive membership organisations to which so many of us subscribe to make serious political waves, and in September we found out.”

Habitat management news

December’s habitat management news discuss the benefits of effective roost management for horseshoe bats and the factors that can lead to improved occupancy rates of bat boxes.

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