Dr Phil Smith: Wildlife Notes January 2017

Mediterranean Gull, Southport Marine Lake (Phil Smith)

The driest autumn and winter in living memory continued throughout January with only six rain-days. Total precipitation for the Northwest was said to be 50% of normal but I suspect it was much less than that here. At the end of the month, the Devil’s Hole water-table was 16cm (6 inches) below the ground surface, a full 54cm (21 inches) lower than last year. Of course, this has major implications for our wildlife, especially the Natterjack Toad which will have very few places to breed unless there is a deluge in February and March.

Merseyside BioBank Active Naturalists are re-launching fresh for 2017

The survey below is time limited so please complete at your earliest opportunity! Merseyside BioBank Active Naturalists are re-launching fresh for 2017 with an updated group constitution and a rejuvenated sense of purpose. We are keen to connect with existing group members and with volunteers who have shown an interest in the past. The purpose of this survey is to reach out and gain some initial feedback which the committee can then assess to help make the group re-launch as soon as possible.

Dr Phil Smith: Wildlife Notes December 2016

Tulostoma brumale (Dr Phil Smith)

In complete contrast to last year, this desperately dry autumn and winter continued throughout December, with only nine days producing measurable rainfall. Much heralded in the media, two named storms were little more than damp squibs, producing an hour or two of light rain and a fresh breeze.

Launched: Biodiversity Net Gain – Principles and Guidance for UK Construction and Developments

biodiversity net gain

Biodiversity Net Gain is development that leaves biodiversity in a better state than before. A partnership between CIEEM, CIRIA and IEMA, these professional bodies are developing new guidance to help professionals and UK industry address this challenge and to achieve ‘Net Gain’ targets for biodiversity.

Dr Phil Smith: Wildlife Notes November 2016

Waxwings at Range Lane (Phil Smith)

 

After an exceptionally dry early autumn, it was expected, even hoped, that the heavens would open during November. In the event, there was significant rainfall on 12 days during the first three weeks, though in no great quantity, high pressure then returning, with dry conditions and frosty mornings.

Hugh Harris: A Liverpool Conservation Area

 

CRESSINGTON PARK and GRASSENDALE PARK

Running inland from the North Shore of the River Mersey lie private parks – Regency, Victorian and Edwardian houses within a setting of forest trees, isolated from the rows of by-law properties by their own park gates – Grassendale and Cressington are two of these parks which extend into gracious boulevards and ‘well-treed’ areas of suburban South Liverpool.

Dr Phil Smith: Wildlife Notes October 2016

Smooth Newt (Dr Phil Smith)

 

October is traditionally the wettest month of the year but this one was the driest in living memory with measurable rainfall on only three days. It was also milder than usual with no frost. This was caused by persistent high pressure over Scandinavia, a pattern that in the recent past has often switched in winter to low pressure with westerly winds and high rainfall, as in 2015/16. We shall see.

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