Tony Carter: A Mission to Ainsdale

Caloscypha fulgens (Tony Carter)

I received a request from Kew Herbarium to collect some specimens of the morels that can be found at the Ainsdale Sand Dunes Reserve. They are recorded as Morcella elata (Black Morel), an uncommon species.  A recent European molecular study has revealed some new species. There is a distinct possibility that the Ainsdale dune collections and British sand dune collections in general, belong to a species not previously recognised in Britain.

Dr Phil Smith: Wildlife Notes February 2017

Phil Smith

The driest autumn and winter in living memory continued for the first part of the month with measurable rainfall on only three days up to the 17th. Finally, more normal Atlantic conditions reasserted themselves, with high winds of storm “Doris” rattling in on 23rd. At last, some proper rain fell on each day from 21st to 28th. Nevertheless, this had minimal impact on the depleted water-table. At the Devil’s Hole, I found the level had risen by only 4cm by the end of the month, being still 12cm below the ground surface. A Common Frog was hiding in my measuring hole!

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.

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