Showing posts from June, 2017

Kingston's Apple Story

  This month we launched a 12 page Chap Book 'Kingston's Apple Story'. It has a three-fold intention: to promote the importance of the Tolworth Apple Store; inform of the orchard heritage in the borough; and increase the size and number of local orchards which are an important peri-urban habitat. Once a common sight within the landscape, the traditional orchard habitat is now under serious threat and for this reason the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) now includes Traditional Orchards in its list of priority habitats. Threats to old orchards include neglect, intensification of agriculture and pressure from land development. Particularly in urban areas, an orchard managed for biodiversity can be a proxy for ‘a mini wood pasture’, a most important habitat. The grass will be left longer and not mown becoming a haven for reptiles, wildflowers and an assortment of fungi. These sites are hotspots for biodiversity and have been shown to provide a refuge for over 1800 speci

CPRE (London Branch) AGM

    The CPRE LONDON AGM saw the launch of the GREEN LONDON MAP accompanied by a discussion on the future for green spaces in London. Entitled HERE TODAY, GONE TOMORROW?  Speakers included Sian Berry, London Assembly Member, Nicky Gavron, London Assembly Member, Mathew Frith of the London Wildlife Trust, and Michael Smythe of Bethnal Green Nature Reserve (photo above). The panel discussion included contributions from those who are fighting to protect and make better use of our valuable green areas, which face mounting threats from development, funding cuts, and commercialisation (i.e the private use of publicly owned assets).  The number of free school applications currently threatens 27 MOL/Greenbelt sites due to the Government Education Funding Agency acquiring protected sites in London on which to build. Similarly, 14 MOL sites (Metropolitan Open Land) are  earmarked for housing schemes after the weakening/reform of the planning system since 2012. Groups from Oakfields in

Bats and Green Light

Some migratory bats are attracted to artificial green light which may interfere with their flight paths, according to a study published May 31, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE  C. Voigt et al Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Free University of Berlin, Germany.  Migrating birds are also known to become disorientated, particularly by red and white light, risking collisions with light sources. This has led to recommendations to use blue and green light for illumination, but the effect of this light on bats had not been established. The authors  exposed bats migrating south along Latvia's shoreline  to  periods of artificial green light at a wavelength of 520nm, and analyzed bats' echolocation calls during lit and unlit intervals to assess the impact of the light. They  found that the two most abundant migrating bat species detected, Nathusius' bats (Pipistrellus nathusii) and Soprano bats (P. pygmaeus), were attracted to the green light, with a