08 May 2017 by Chris Cathrine | Comments: 0
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Caledonian Conservation sponsored The Wildlife Information Centre (TWIC) Spring Conference ‘Farming and Biodiversity in Scotland – An Essential Partnership’ at Musselburgh on Saturday 29th April. Niall Currie (Assistant Ecologist) reports...
The event was very well attended and allowed farmers, land managers, ecologists and biological recorders to meet and exchange ideas. The excellent range of topics varied from the experience of individual farmers carrying out conservation projects on their farms, to global issues such as planning how best to manage soils and the incredibly complex ecological communities they support.
Other talks included individual species conservation projects, such as the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust’s research into improving the survival prospects of grey partridge (Perdix perdix) on farms by increasing vegetation cover during the breeding season and over winter.
The break for lunch, gave attendees the opportunity to explore stands and learn about TWIC’s latest citizen science project - the Scottish Spider Search - which Caledonian Conservation has helped to develop in partnership with the British Arachnological Society and Buglife.
The afternoon session included an update from Pete Minting (Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust) on the exciting ‘Great Crested Newt Detectives Project’, which has been trialing new methods of using DNA samples of pond water to determine whether great crested newts, and to which Caledonian Conservation has also contributed by surveying remote ponds and providing control samples from known sites.
The conference was a great success, being the largest arranged by TWIC to date, and a ‘sell out’ (although Caledonian Conservation’s sponsorship allowed the conference to be free to attend).
13 April 2017 by Chris Cathrine | Comments: 0
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Caledonian Conservation Ltd is proud to sponsor The Wildlife Information Centre (TWIC) 2017 Spring Conference, to be held in Musselburgh on 29th April. The topic, Farming and Biodiversity, is always important but is brought in to sharper focus with the uncertainty created by Brexit.
Farming and biodiversity are an essential partnership – farming cannot succeed without the ecosystem services necessary to support it, such as pollination (by wild solitary bees, bumblebees, beetles, flies, butterflies and moths as well as domesticated honey bees), soil creation and recycling (by a variety of worms, springtails, symphylans, fungi – the list goes on!), clean water and natural pest control. Farming can also offer excellent opportunities to support biodiversity, for example birds (breeding habitat for farmland bird species, nesting opportunities for owls, foraging habitat for raptors and owls), mammals (foraging and roosting opportunities for bats), reptiles (hibernation sites in walls and foraging opportunities in field margins), amphibians (ponds and a mix of farmland habitats can be excellent for great crested newts), invertebrates and plants.
Reflecting this, the conference has a superb and varied programme with talks on soil communities (by Dr Tim Daniell of University of Sheffield / The James Hutton Institute), grey partridge conservation (by Fiona Torrance of The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust) and great crested newts (by Pete Minting of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust) amongst other topics.
Of course, members of the Caledonian Conservation Ltd team will also be at the conference, so it is an opportunity to learn more about the work we do.
The conference is free to attend, and includes a buffet lunch.
For more information on the programme and to book, visit the TWIC website.
We hope to see you there!