Category Archives: Endangered Species

The National Trust’s Ram-Cam Set To Become Ewe-Tube Sensation

A unique 90 second video from the National Trust showing a ram’s eye view as he ‘meets’ his new flock of ewes is set to become a ‘ewe-tube’ hit, say online farmers.

The ram, named Peacland Paolo, is the latest arrival at the National Trust’s My Farmexperiment * at Wimpole Home Farm in Cambridgeshire which is aiming to reconnect people with where their food comes from.

Paolo, a Portland ram **, was fitted with a camera measuring 60mm by 42mm, weighing just 167 grams last week.

The film shows him exploring his new home, giving MyFarm farmers an exclusive ram’s eye view of tupping (mating).

He is expected to tup around 30 ewes over the next 4-6 weeks. The ewes will give birth to their lambs next spring ***.

Wimpole Farm Manager Richard Morris said: “It will be fascinating to see just what a day in the life of a ram is like.

“Although we have a good idea that most of his time will be spent grazing, sleeping and mating, it will be interesting to see it all from his point of view.

“We kept Paolo in a pen when he first arrived at the farm as part of his quarantine and so that he could adjust to his new home. But, we’ve now introduced him to the ewes and he’s outside enjoying the grass.

“It may seem a bit strange that we want to follow and even film Paolo as he goes about his business, but farming is all about breeding, growing and harvest – so it’s only right that we should come up with ram-cam. This is nature as it happens and we hope it will be seen as something that reminds people what it takes to get food on their plate. The pressure is now on Paolo to perform!”

Paolo is 18 months old and this is his first season of tupping. He is expected to mate with 2-3 ewes a day with this figure increasing to 6-8 ewes a day when he’s older.

The Wimpole farm team is keeping a close eye on Paolo to make sure the camera in no way hinders his daily life, or becomes stressful for him in any way.

If at any time the camera is suspected of bothering him, the ram will be caught and the camera removed.

There are nine other rams at Wimpole who have between them 260 ewes to mate with over the next two months.

Subscribers to MyFarm will be able to watch the results of Paolo’s efforts next spring in Wimpole’s very own ‘lambing live’ when 260-300 lambs are expected to be born.

For more information and to sign-up to join the MyFarm experiment, visit www.my-farm.org.uk.

Via EPR Network
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The National Trust Begins Search For The Nation’s Favourite Walk

The National Trust has launched its search for the nation’s favourite National Trust walk, backed by a line-up of celebrities, including the comedian Omid Djalili, the best selling crime-writer Val McDermid and Time Team’s archaeologist Francis Pryor.

 

 

As part of the National Trust’s nationwide Festival of Walking*, which is sponsored by PruHealth, eight celebrity supporters have nominated their favourite routes across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Hoping to inspire everyone whatever their age or ability to get out and explore the amazing outdoor places cared for by the National Trust, the celebrities’ walks cover more than 30 miles and range from Adam Hart-Davis’ invigorating walk along the Devonshire coastline, Paul Rose’s route through the spectacular scenery of the Lake District to some lesser known walks in the gardens and parks cared for by the National Trust.

Avid explorer and presenter, Paul Rose said: “Walking is just so amazingly simple. You need no special equipment, no special training, no special clothes; you just close your front door and go for a walk. It’s very easy, just go out and explore.

“Windermere is so accessible, you can just walk a few minutes out of town and yet it has a great sense of true wilderness. It’s a beautiful working environment. This is my local connection to nature right here.”

In contrast to the dramatic hills and lakes of Windermere, the actress and singer Toyah Willcox chose Capability Brown’s sweeping parkland, Croome Park in Worcestershire.

Toyah said: “Croome Park is just absolutely stunning. Worcestershire has beautiful rambling landscapes, gentle rolling hills, it’s agricultural land so it’s ever-changing and it has a very natural old-world feel about it. Croome is really cleverly designed. You look out across these rolling gentle hills and you see wonderful monuments, follies and statues and the lake in particular is really lovely. You truly feel you own the whole park while you walk around it.”

As well as videos of the stars lobbying for their chosen walk the National Trust are encouraging people to submit their own favourites. From October 20th, the public can join the debate online at www.nationaltrust.org.uk./walkingfestival. Everyone who nominates their own favourite will be entered into a prize draw to win National Trust walking boots.

 

Via EPR Network
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First Rate Farm Producers Win Coveted National Trust Awards

Twenty-two food and drink producers from across England and Wales are celebrating after winning a prestigious Fine Farm Produce Award from the National Trust.

The awards, now in their sixth year, celebrate the breadth and quality of produce grown, reared or made on land owned or managed by the National Trust, including tenant farms, orchards and gardens.

A total of 33 products from 22 producers – including dressed brown crab, red Devon beef, stoneground flour and light golden ale – have received Fine Farm Produce Awards. They will now be able to use the coveted Fine Farm Produce Award marque on their products. This year’s winning products were chosen from a very high standard of 47 separate entries.

Five new producers won an award this year and a total of 18 new products received the coveted stamp of approval for the first time, including the Red Devon beef from Big Red Cow in Somerset and Parke Farm apple juice.

The beef was extremely popular with all the judges who thought it was “full of flavour with a great texture”, whereas judges considered the juice to be “characterful”, with a “nice sharpness and distinctive taste.”

This year’s overall winner was hand-picked dressed brown crab, fished from the seas surrounding the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales.

Steve Harrison, who runs Aberdaron Seafood with his wife Natalie and business partner Idwal Moore, said: “This has been our busiest year ever and we’re very happy to have been chosen as overall winner this year. Winning in 2008 and 2009 really made a huge difference to our business. We supply a lot of businesses locally, but we even have a restaurant in London using our crab now.

“The award really is important to us. It’s good to have the recognition from the judges and it also really helps raise our profile.”

Rob Macklin, national agriculture and food adviser at the National Trust, said: “To even qualify for judging, all products meet strict criteria of provenance and environmental and animal welfare standards, and all primary ingredients must meet high production assurance.

“Products that successfully pass this check are subjected to a vigorous blind taste test by a panel of judges. The appearance, preparation, colour, aroma, texture and taste all have to be at least as good as a high quality, commercially available alternative, to win an award. Judging is therefore harsh but fair.”

The National Trust cares for half a million acres of farmland across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It works closely with its properties and tenants to help them develop high quality products.

Rob continued: “Since 2006, over 150 products have received a Fine Farm Produce Award and this year’s winners will join a group of some of the very best producers that the country has to offer.”

This year’s judging panel included Henrietta Green, food writer, broadcaster and founder of FoodLoversBritain.com; Karen Barnes, editor of delicious. magazine and Richard McGeown, chef patron at Couch’s Great House Restaurant in Cornwall.

Via EPR Network
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The National Trust Reports Disaster For MyFarm’s Shire Horse Foaling

The National Trust’s MyFarm team at Wimpole Home Farm in Cambridgeshire have been eagerly awaiting the foaling of Queenie, the only Shire Horse mare at Wimpole for weeks now.

As over 800 people or groups of people saw, Queenie went into her much anticipated labour. At 11.45pm she gave birth to a beautiful filly foal. Although she had a perceptible heartbeat when she was born she was not breathing. Emma, horse manager at Wimpole Farm, tried hard and long to get her to breathe with the help of farmer manager Richard Morris. A vet was on the phone throughout, talking the team through the procedures.

None of our efforts could save her and she peacefully slipped away a few minutes after her birth.

Richard said: “As you can imagine, we are all devastated by this awful and unexpected outcome. Although watchers of the foaling on the webcam saw the true, grim realities of animal husbandry this in no way belittles the personal sense of tragedy and loss we are all feeling. This bitter disappointment is tempered only with the fact that the filly foal did not suffer at all.”

As part of the National Trust’s MyFarm experiment, the birth was broadcast live over the internet. The project, which started in May, aims to reconnect people with the realities of life on a working, commercial farm allowing them to effectively become a farmer. The MyFarm Farmers can discuss and make decisions on every aspect of the farm: the crops grown, livestock, the new facilities to be invested in and the machinery to be used, much like a real life version of Farmville, the popular Facebook game.

As one MyFarm farmer commenting on the website just after the birth said: “I’m so sorry everyone. That was awful to watch, but I guess this is the reality of farm life sometimes. I felt so helpless watching the efforts to save her.”

Richard continued: “It was a huge decision for us to do a live broadcast of the birth. There was never a guarantee that the foaling would be straight forward and unfortunately, this proved to be the case. But we didn’t want to hide people from the risks involved – it’s fundamental to the purpose of this project – to reconnect people with the realities of farming to allow the possibility of lows as well as highs.”

In the morning, Queenie was doing well. She was turned out into her paddock to get some fresh air and Emma is speaking to the vet to find out the best way of stopping the milk production.

As Queenie is a fit and healthy mare, and due to it being prime horse breeding season, the team is keen that she gets back to the stallion again in approximately three weeks to see if she can become pregnant once more. There is no reason to believe that Queenie won’t foal successfully in the future.

Via EPR Network
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The National Trust Invites Public To Choose Sheep For Farm Experiment

The National Trust has revealed that members of the public will decide which flock of sheep will be bought by a working, commercial farm as part of the MyFarm* experiment which aims to re-connect people with the day-to-day realities of farming.

 

Under the banner ‘You choose the Ewes’, subscribers signed up for the experiment will be asked to choose between buying 100 commercial or rare breed sheep**, to expand the current flock.

They will be asked to consider the financial consequences, the implications for rare-breed bloodline and environmental impacts, as well as lambing rates and the time taken to rear lambs for market.

Once this decision is taken, the MyFarm community will decide on the specific breed of sheep to stock.

Last month, MyFarm Farmers decided to plant wheat on a 27 acre (15.4 hectare) field as part of the experiment being run by the National Trust at Home Farm on the Wimpole Estate in Cambridgeshire.

The charity aims to connect up to 10,000 people with farming and to better understand where their food comes from, to understand land management and the wider issues facing farmers today.

MyFarm farm manager Richard Morris said: “We’re basically saying to members ‘you choose the ewes’. Currently we have 250 rare breed ewes, 200 rare breed mature lambs and 300 lambs which were born this spring at Wimpole, and we now have the opportunity to increase numbers.

“Rare breeds offer continuity for our conservation work, but there is possibly a more efficient utilisation of forage and greater financial return from using more commercial breeds.

“The arguments both for and against rare breed and commercial are fascinating and I look forward to seeing how the debate unfolds over the next six days.”

Other people will be contributing to the discussions surrounding the vote including the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) and a professional chef.

The results of the poll will be posted on the MyFarm website.

 

Via EPR Network
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National Trust reveals 3.5 million investment results at Hidcote Manor

National Trust has announced that a newly restored semi-tropical plant house, a bathing pool and a summerhouse mural are just some of the results of 10 years of hard work and £3.5 million investment at Hidcote Manor garden in Gloucestershire.


The National Trust has now officially completed a major phase of reinstating many of the key historic structures in this world-famous garden thanks to the support of an anonymous donor, who matched every pound raised by the Trust up to £1.6 million.

Created by American-born horticulturalist Major Lawrence Johnston, Hidcote is one of the most inventive and influential gardens of the 20th Century. His creation was built around outdoor ‘rooms’ linked by views and design features influenced by the fashionable ‘Arts and Crafts’ style.

However, elements of the 10 acre garden fell into disrepair during the 1950s and as a result, 10 years ago, the National Trust set itself a target to recreate Hidcote as Johnston planned it.

National Trust gardeners and volunteers have spent a decade researching and piecing together Johnston’s original plans for his Cotswolds garden, putting in many thousands of hours of work into reinstating former structures and garden rooms which formed part of Johnston’s vision, with ‘habitats’ ranging from hi alpine to the sub-tropical.

Head gardener at Hidcote, Glyn Jones, who led the team working on the project, said:”This has been a huge undertaking but one that we’re very proud of. We really feel that we have managed to bring Johnston’s vision back to life. Visitors will be able to imagine Johnston and his guests enjoying the gardens, tennis courts and bathing pool back in the 1920s, 30s and 40s as they wander around.”

In Hidcote’s new incarnation, Johnston’s unique plant house has been given a new lease of life. It is once again filled with semi tropical plants such as citruses – orange and lemon – Fuchsias, South African Plumbago, Begonias and Oleanders. Fully glazed in the winter, in the summer the plant house was designed to have the panels along the front removed turning it into a floral arcade.

Mike Calnan, head of gardens and parks at the National Trust, said: “Hidcote is one of the most famous and important 20th Century gardens in Europe. It is of particular importance to the Trust because it is the first property acquired purely on merit for its garden.

“The team has done a fantastic job in turning the garden around, reinstating many structures, lost features and installing behind-the-scenes services to make it easier to maintain.

“Painstaking research has also been put into tracking down the plants Johnston used and reinstating former beds and planted areas. We may never know exactly how he arranged these to create the celebrated ‘Johnston’ style, but our challenge over the coming years is to move even closer towards that vision of perfection.”

Via EPR Network
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Rebuilding the Amazon Rainforest One Tree at a Time

What is Amazing Forest?

Yes, the Amazon rainforest is being cut down as you read this. 17% is already gone. The world’s lungs – as it’s referred to – is decreasing in size. Yes, everyone knows this. But what can we really do about it? The Amazing Forest is a chance to do something right from where you are, sitting in your chair, a few clicks and USD 60 away.

Amazing Forest is the venue where people from all over the world are combining their efforts into one single strain to restore the Amazon rainforest to its original state.

We sell trees. Not trees to be delivered to your door, but to be planted on your behalf, in your name, in a designated specific area of the Amazon rainforest. The trees being planted are new trees. So, instead of preserving already existing areas of the rainforest, the Amazing Forest is actually reversing deforestation. We take so much from Earth everyday; this is a way to give something back to it.

It’s a common saying that, to eternalise your passage in this life, one must have children, write a book and plant a tree. Well, the four tree species that are currently being planted in the Amazing Forest (they are native species typical of the region: jatoba, copaiba, ipe rosa and louro freijo) live in average 200 years.

And what’s cool about it, people get their own tree, which will never be cut down and remain throughout its life individualised by a name tag, with the name they choose for it.

“We want to give people the opportunity to make a difference for the environment while leaving their own positive footprint in the planet”, says Rodrigo Nascimbeni, the founding partner of the company, “a footprint so tangible and concrete that people can come and see it, show to their children, to their great-grand-children, to their friends…” he goes on referring to the fact that customers can visit their tagged trees in situ while walking inside the real Amazon rainforest.

Amazing Forest goes much beyond simply selling trees online, it is each person’s way to contribute to a better world and to guarantee that future generations will share the same bliss to live here on our planet.

And, better yet, this noble act of planting a tree and committing to a better world can be renewed as often as wanted. Each tree is sold for USD 60.

Besides doing your share of good for a better planet, people can buy trees either as a present for a loved one, a memorial, a way to mark an important occasion or as a simple and convenient method of offsetting their carbon emissions.

Amazing Forest launched on Monday the 23rd of May 2011. The first piece of land to be replanted is situated approximately 34 miles outside the city of Boa Vista, Roraima State in North Brazil (if you go to Google Maps, we’re right where the green arrow points to at these coordinates 2 29 44.40 N 60 56 40.85 W).

The Amazon rainforest is the world’s largest rainforest. It is the home of the world’s richest area of plant and animal diversity and an enormous source of potential lifesaving medicines. Not only that, it is a massive carbon sink that acts as the lungs of the world. Sadly, it is believed that “at current [deforestation] rates, 55% of [the Amazon’s] rain forests could be gone by 2030 – a looming disaster not only for the region’s plants and animals, but for the world”. (Quote Source: http://www.worldwildlife.org/what/wherewework/amazon/)

Who is behind Amazing Forest
Amazing Forest is the realisation of four guys. It all started when the Brazilian Rodrigo Nascimbeni and the New Zealander Ben Cook, two lifelong friends, decided to take on this journey.

“We don’t believe that the size of a task should limit your ambition,” says Ben Cook. “The sad fact is that over 17% of this forest which is so integral to the health of our planet has been devastated by deforestation. If we all wait for someone else to take on this problem then we might just be too late. Rodrigo and I believe we have the passion and the skills to make this project work as a viable business where we can have fun whilst using our respective abilities to actually do something positive for the world we live in.”

Before launching Amazing Forest, Rodrigo created something called a receivables investment fund, the first one in Brazil. He also started and managed a few companies in the financial sector – which means he probably just gave up a successful international career in Investment Banking to plant trees in the Amazon rainforest.

Ben, although he achieved an honours degree in Plant Science, is the co-founder of Shake Interactive, a digital marketing agency operating from South Africa and the UK.

The two met in 1993 when Ben took part in a Rotary youth exchange programme in the tiny town of Votuporanga in Brazil. What started as a mutual need to learn the others native tongue ended in a lifelong friendship. Both have always wanted to work together but their respective careers had taken them in opposite directions and to different hemispheres.

As Amazing Forest was boiling inside their minds, they met Manuel Haas and Florian Herzog, two German Forest Engineers – also lifelong friends – living in Brazil and widely experienced in rainforest management and regeneration. Manuel and Florian came on board at the founding stages and are now an integral part of the team.

Via EPR Network
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The National Trust Reveals Butterflies are Back this Summer

The National Trust has announced that this summer looks set to be the best for butterflies in more than 30 years as population’s boom, sales of butterfly products increase and butterfly imagery is adopted by big high street brands.

At the half way point in the butterfly season there has been a number of record breaking early appearances from spring species thanks to the warm and dry weather, especially in April.

The favourable conditions are also leading experts to predict that a number of species will produce extra generations this year.

Matthew Oates, wildlife adviser and butterfly expert at the National Trust said:
“It has been a fantastic start to 2011 for Britain’s butterflies with a White Admiral appearing at Bookham Common in Surrey at its earliest since 1893, the White-letter Hairstreak appearing more than two weeks early at Rodborough Common in Gloucestershire and Marbled Whites and Meadow Browns a week to ten days early atDenbies in Surrey and Exmoor.

“The populations of spring butterflies are as good as they can be. There may even be significant second broods for the Duke of Burgundy and Dingy Skipper butterflies – it’s all gearing up to what could be the best butterfly summer for a generation.”

Butterflies are also enjoying a revival in popular culture with sales of butterfly-themed products high and many large businesses such as John Lewis, Easy Jet, Samsung, Accessorize, Paper Chase, Laura Ashley and White Stuff using butterflies in their branding,

Rich Sutcliffe, Editor at Brand Republic said: “Butterflies are about reinvention and change, from caterpillar to a thing of beauty. Companies thinking about rebranding or repositioning a product have a clear message as they signify a natural new beginning.”

Butterflies are very popular in tattooing and are often created to mark a change in someone’s life. Famous names such as Cheryl Cole, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Drew Barrymore all adorn butterfly tattoos.

Lou Molloy, celebrity tattooist to the likes of David Beckham and star of ‘London Ink’, said: “Butterflies are one of the great recurring images in tattooing. I’ve tattooed them on many, many girls but they’re increasingly popular with men – I’ve recently finished a half sleeve that features four different types of butterfly and one of the most referenced photos from my website is another sleeve tattoo with a big Monarch in the centre. They’re one of the universally popular tattoo images.”

The first ever National Trust ‘Love Butterflies’ weekend will take place on the 6 and 7 August when the greatest number of species will be in flight.

Over the summer months the Trust will be encouraging people to upload their sightings and pictures of butterflies to its butterfly watch map. This can be done via twitter by entering the name of the species, postcode and #lovebutterflies. There will also be top tips on how to go butterflying and places to see butterflies on the National Trust website.

Via EPR Network
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The National Trust Announces Live Foaling at MyFarm

The National Trust has revealed that it will be broadcasting the birth of a foal live over the internet as part of its MyFarm experiment.

Queenie, the only Shire Horse mare at Wimpole Home Farm in Cambridgeshire is preparing to give birth, and the live streaming – which can be viewed now – is a key part of the MyFarm project, which aims to reconnect people with the realities of farming. It is the first major birth on the farm since the project started in May, and it was a huge decision to broadcast it.

Richard Morris, farm manager, said: “There’s no guarantee the birth will be straight forward, particularly as Queenie had a miscarriage last year and a previous foal had to be put down due to a deformity. We don’t want to hide people from the risks involved – it’s fundamental to our purpose in reconnecting people with the realities of farming to allow the possibility of lows as well as highs. If all goes well, MyFarm Farmers will be able to name the foal and so on, but not until it’s a few days old. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, but that’s reality.”

Shire Horses are increasingly scarce with only 900-1,500 breeding females currently in the UK**, and while they are no longer a core part of the working operations on the farm, this birth is a significant moment for the entire breed and for Wimpole’s work with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST).

With no way of knowing exactly when Queenie will foal, a webcam*** has been installed in her stable and MyFarm Farmers will be able to watch the whole birth as it unfolds, live on the MyFarm website. Infrared lighting is being installed to ensure that viewers will still be able to see the birth, even at night.

In the meantime, Queenie is being carefully monitored by Wimpole horse manager, Emma Warner.

Queenie will be looked after 24 hours a day until she gives birth and the farm’s vet will be on stand by in case he is needed.

Viewer can keep up-to-date with how Queenie is doing and watch the foaling live on the MyFarm website.

Via EPR Network
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The Co-operative Offers A Lifeline To Endangered And Protected Species

Endangered and protected species are being offered a lifeline by Britain’s largest farmer, The Co-operative Group.

The Group has set up a team of “Habitat Heroes” on six of its farms across the country, to help preserve some of the UK’s most iconic species, including water voles, otters, bats and red squirrels.

By launching the national wildlife initiative, The Group’s farming business joins leading environmental campaigners who are taking direct action to help preserve species under threat, in response to the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, and continuing concerns over a global decline in biodiversity.

The Habitat Heroes project aims to identify where The Co-operative Farms can make investments and adaptations on the six farms to improve the habitats, feeding and breeding opportunities for endangered or protected species, helping to safeguard them for the future.

The Co-operative Group is funding the project, whilst its farming business has harnessed the support of farm managers, local environmental groups and volunteers to carry out the vital environmental work to improve and sustain the habitats of species that are indigenous to the farms.

Christine Tacon, Managing Director of The Co-operative Farms, said: “As Britain’s largest farmer we feel we have a responsibility to lead the way environmentally. The Habitat Heroes project gives us the chance to look at ways we can really make our land work for local wildlife.”

She added: “The beauty of this scheme is that we can keep on re-visiting and revising it. As part of the scheme, we will conduct regular surveys into the wildlife on our land to find out what is working and where we are seeing positive results, to help guide the environmental work we commit to in the future.”

The six farms taking part in the Habitat Heroes project are Goole in Yorkshire, Coldham in Cambridgeshire, Tillington in Herefordshire, Blairgowrie in Perthshire, Down Ampney in Gloucestershire and Stoughton in Leicestershire. Several of the sites have webcams to study the targeted species.

Via EPR Network
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National Trust Encourages Government To Protect Coasts And Seascapes

National Trust has joined campaign groups in an effort to encourage the Government to recognise Britain’s coasts and seascapes as more than just a view.

More than sixty years after laws were passed to protect Britain’s landscapes the UK Government and devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland need to extend the same protection to the UK’s seascapes, campaign groups are urging.

Phil Dyke, coast and marine adviser at the National Trust, said: “As an Island nation it does seem strange that it’s taken us more than six decades to start thinking about how we protect our seascapes, these wonderful yet fragile places that mean so much to people.”

The UK Marine Policy Statement heralds the beginning of the development of a marine planning system across the UK however while seascapes are mentioned campaign groups fear that they are not given the prominence they deserve and so they have come together to launch a new manifesto for coasts and seascapes*.

The manifesto for coasts and seascapes is supported by the National Trust, Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW), Campaign for National Parks, the National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Europarc Atlantic Isles.

Neil Sinden, policy and campaigns director of the CPRE said, “Our marine area is becoming increasingly busy, with more shipping, military training, fisheries, energy production, port development and aggregate extraction. This is placing pressure on what’s left of the beauty and tranquillity of our coasts which are such an important part of our quality of life and national identity. That’s why we need a robust marine planning system that extends the protection that we have for our landscapes to our seascapes”

Three of the key areas that the manifesto focuses on in terms of early action by all levels of Government are to:

– Recognise coasts and seascapes as a key resource in the marine environment.
– Identify the character and distinctiveness of the coastline and seascapes.
– Identify areas that are of national importance and a means by which they can be conserved by the planning process.

In addition to the fundamental contribution to the economy and culture of Britain’s coastal communities, research by the National Trust found that two thirds of Britons said that visiting the coast is important to their quality of life**.

Current planning protection and designations only apply to land stopping at the low-tide mark, leaving seascapes vulnerable to pressures from human activities. Seascapes are, in just the same way as energy production, port activities and aggregates extraction, a key resource of the marine environment. The challenge is to ensure seascapes are safeguarded, linking their protection with that offered to adjacent areas of coast for the benefit of future generations. The new system of marine planning across the UK provides this opportunity.

Phil Dyke, added: “As a nation we clearly love the coast. We have to seize this chance to ensure a robust and sensible planning approach to one of the most precious and delicate resources we have. We should become a world leader in protecting our coastal and marine natural and cultural heritage for future generations.”

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National Trust Reports The Rise Of The Daycation

New National Trust research* reveals that the number of Brits taking a two-week holiday has decreased by 18% over the past five years with 51% of Brits not planning to take a fortnight’s holiday in 2011.

The study reveals a new trend for Brits taking multiple single day holidays throughout the year, as opposed to the traditional two-week break their parents worked towards.

Over a quarter (27%) of Brits are planning to take at least ten single days holiday – or ‘daycations’ – this year and a further 36% will take between five and ten. 48% of those polled cited the cost of a fortnight’s holiday as the main reason for not taking two weeks off work, whereas one in 12 hard-working employees blamed the inability to switch off from the job.

For time-poor Brits the growing daycations trend means they can split their time into smaller and more frequent holidays or days off and 42% of those polled cited this as the reason for favouring day trips. A further 64% said the daycation was a cheaper alternative to the traditional holiday and 57% believe they’re a lot less hassle.

Tony Berry, visitor experience director of the National Trust, commented: “Our research reveals an interesting trend for Brits taking multiple single days off work, making the most of their spare time – and enjoying these daycations, as we’ve coined them. Our visitor numbers for 2009-2010 also reflect this with over 17 million people enjoying our houses and gardens, and millions more exploring the swathes of outdoor spaces we care for.”

Despite those in fulltime employment having 28 days holiday on average each year**, the research also revealed that 34% of employees are unable to switch off from work at all during their time off and taking shorter breaks and single days off help them unwind as they don’t dread work piling up when they return.

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The National Trust And The Art Fund Launch Appeal To Save Brueghel

The National Trust and the Art Fund have launched a £2.7 million fundraising campaign to save an iconic Old Master painting for the nation.

‘The Procession to Calvary’ by Pieter Brueghel the Younger is the star attraction at Nostell Priory in Yorkshire, owned by the National Trust since 1954, where it has hung for over 200 years. Now, however, the painting, which is still owned by Lord St Oswald, has been put up for sale, with the risk that Nostell’s greatest work will no longer be accessible to the public.

Completed in 1602, and amongst Brueghel the Younger’s finest works, ‘The Procession to Calvary’ shows Christ carrying the cross on the way to his crucifixion. He is surrounded by over two hundred figures in a vibrant narrative, set in a contemporary Flemish landscape.

The fundraising campaign has been given an initial major boost with a £500,000 donation from the Art Fund, but it is hoped that the remaining £2.2 million can be raised by Christmas to secure the painting’s future.

Fiona Reynolds, Director-General of the National Trust, said: “One of the unique aspects of Nostell Priory is that the majority of its historical collections are intact and still in the setting for which they were acquired. It is exceptional to find a painting by Pieter Brueghel the Younger in a country house and especially one of such quality. To see it at Nostell – where it has resided for over two centuries – is a very special experience. We hope that the public will join with us and the Art Fund to raise the money we need to ensure that the Brueghel stays at Nostell forever.”

Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the National Trust for this major appeal, and are pleased to announce we are kick-starting the appeal with a £500,000 grant. Raising money to save works of art sits at the heart of what the Art Fund is all about and we very much urge all art lovers and those who have a fondness for Nostell to donate to this campaign and ensure that this remarkable painting remains where it belongs, for all to enjoy.”

To enable as many people as possible to see ‘The Procession to Calvary’ during the fundraising campaign, the painting will be displayed in London, at the National Gallery from 5th October – 9th November 2010, and then at the York Art Gallery from 18 November until Christmas.

The National Trust and the Art Fund are extremely grateful to both Nicholas Penny, Director of the National Gallery, and Janet Barnes, CEO of York Art Gallery, for their vital support during this campaign and in helping the painting to be viewed and experienced by as many people as possible.

Via EPR Network
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Environment press releases

Buy Wine, Help Save The Bees!

Banrock Station, the eco-conscious wine brand, has launched a range of three new wines available exclusively at The Co-operative from 18th August 2010. Money from the sale of every bottle of these wines will go to help preserve the British bee population as part of The Co-operative’s Plan Bee campaign to help save the Bees in the UK.

Five pence from every bottle sold goes towards the fundraising campaign with a target of raising £45,000. This money will fund Plan Bee projects in the UK. Launched in 2009, The Co-operative’s Plan Bee campaign aims to raise awareness of honeybee decline, fund new scientific research, and encourage people to help bees in their own gardens.

For over a decade Banrock Station has brought the pleasure of fine Australian wine and the message of conservation to the world. The winery uses the conservation expertise acquired from restoring the natural land of its own vineyards to select which projects to support. To date, Banrock Station has contributed £2.3million to 95 environmental projects around the world.

Banrock Station supports projects that share its philosophy of enhancing the natural environment. The humble honeybee pollinates a third of the food that we eat, meaning that we rely on them for apples, pears, raspberries, carrots and onions, among other everyday items. A fifth of our bee population died last winter alone and if it continues, the cost of food could increase significantly.

Clare Griffiths, Banrock Station, said: “We are pleased to be supporting The Co-operative’s Plan Bee campaign as the latest in a long line of important international conservation projects. The bee may be small but it does a big job for all of us. This initiative is vital to help restore the UK’s bee population to ensure that many of the foods that we take for granted don’t start to disappear.”

Via EPR Network
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Environment press releases

Caribou Extinction Is The Latest Environmental Threat To Oil Industry

The possible extinction of the woodland caribou in Alberta, Canada is the latest environmental disaster threatening to disrupt the oil industry, according to a new report issued today (15/7/10) by The Co-operative.

Woodland caribou, once common in the boreal forest of Alberta, are now threatened with extinction in the region by rapidly expanding developments extracting oil from the tar sands. Under Canadian law the government has a duty to protect the habitat of woodland caribou; however, to date, next to no action has been taken. In response Cree indigenous communities living in the area are now calling for an immediate moratorium with immediate effect, on all new industrial developments in those areas within caribou habitat.

This would have major consequences for oil industry expansion plans for the tar sands, including BP’s recently announced Kirby tar sands project which would lie within critical habitat.

As part of its Toxic Fuels Campaign as well as other environmental campaigns such as Climate Change Facts, The Co-operative is working with the Beaver Lake Cree Nation, a small indigenous community in northeast Alberta whose traditional territories cover 30 per cent of all existing Albertan tar sands operations.

An expert study by Dr Stan Boutin of the University of Alberta and funded by The Co-operative, looked at the two caribou herds within the Beaver Lake Cree’s traditional territories, an area the size of Switzerland. It found that only 175 – 275 caribou remain, down 10 fold on historic numbers, and that these herds are facing extinction by 2025 without immediate habitat protection.

Via EPR Network
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Environment press releases

National Trust Reports Puffin Sat-Nav Helping To Solve Mystery Of Feeding Flight Paths

Cutting edge technology is shedding light on the daily flight paths of puffins around the National Trust’s Farne Islands, off the Northumberland coast, and providing clues that could be vital to the seabirds’ survival.

Over the last year, scientists have used the technology to build up a picture of where the puffins are heading for when they take off from the Farne Islands each day. This shows that they are making a beeline for feeding ‘hotspots’ 20 miles out to sea.

Along with their established and protected breeding grounds on the islands, these hotspots may be important areas to conserve in order to ensure the puffin’s future survival.

Since last year, after a dramatic 30 per cent decline in puffin numbers had been recorded in 2008*, a team of researchers from Newcastle University have been working with National Trust wardens on Brownsman Island and deploying a whole raft of puffin technology to track their every move.

David Steel, National Trust Head Warden on the Farne Islands, said: “This new research and our ongoing puffin count are finally piecing together a complete picture of puffin behaviour.

“The puffins seem to be recovering slowly from the 2008 crash, with a five per cent increase in numbers recorded both this year and last.

“Technology is helping us to understand what steps need to be taken to secure their future, and that of all the seabirds that find a safe haven on the Farne Islands each year.”

Dr Richard Bevan from Newcastle University, who is leading the research, said: “The technology has come into its own here on the Farne Islands. Knowing where these seabirds go to feed is a vital factor in their survival.

Via EPR Network
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Environment press releases

The Co-Operative To Create An Army Of Urban Beekeepers

An army of new urban beekeepers supported by The Co-operative could help to reverse the worrying decline in the British honeybee population.

The Co-Operative To Create An Army Of Urban Beekeepers

As part of its on-going Plan Bee campaign, The Co-operative has today (1 March) announced a further £225,000 to fund bee research, as well as a step up in its support of the establishment of hives in city gardens and allotments across the UK.

More and more city dwellers are taking up beekeeping since the plight of the British honeybee population, which experts believe halved in England between 1985 and 2005, was publicised. Last year, The Co-operative piloted an urban apiary and beekeeping courses in Manchester parkland using a revolutionary lightweight plastic beehive. Now it is planning to roll out the idea to other inner city areas in London, Manchester and Inverness.

In addition to the new hives this will lead to, The Co-operative Farms also has 600 hives on its farmland.

Launched in January 2009, the £475,000 Plan Bee campaign aims to raise awareness of honeybee decline, fund research, and encourage people to help save the bees and plant bee-friendly wildflowers.

To date the research programme has sponsored investigations into the mapping of native British black honeybees and the impact of neonicotinoid pesticides in the UK. The initial findings of which are expected in the summer of 2010.

Paul Monaghan, Head of Social Goals at The Co-operative, said: ”Nature’s number one pollinating machine appears to be breaking down and no one knows for sure why. Urban beekeeping is becoming increasingly popular and could be a vital tool in the reverse of honeybee decline in the UK.

“Through our urban beekeeper projects we want to show people that you don’t have to have acres of land to take up beekeeping.”

As well as the Plan Bee campaign to save the bees the Co-operative Group is involved in a number of important causes that are well worthy of recognition such as Marine reserves and the opposition to extracting oil from unconventional sources such as tar sands.

Via EPR Network
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Environment press releases

International Masters Publishers, On Behalf Of Wildlife Explorer, Has Made A Donation To Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary

Reflecting its strong commitment to providing valuable information about wildlife and wildlife conservation efforts, International Masters Publishers, Inc. (IMP) recently announced its support for wildlife conservation and education programs. IMP has made a generous donation to the Missouri-based Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary.

Crown Ridge was founded in 2004 by Joe Scott Sr. with the mission of providing a safe and caring environment for exotic cats. Through both on-site and off-site presentations, tours, youth programs, and its website, Crown Ridge seeks to educate the public about the importance of habitat conservation and wildlife preservation.

“We are extremely proud to lend our support to an organization that shares the same values that we promote through our Wildlife Explorer® collection”, says Divanna Gilleaudeau, IMP spokesperson, “Our goal, which we share with Crown Ridge, is to educate young and old alike about the world’s most fascinating creatures and in doing so, remind us all to respect and protect the wildlife we live with.”

Via EPR Network
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Environment press releases

npower Volunteers Care For Coastline In Beach Clean Up

A group of wildlife enthusiasts from the npower graduate scheme has been giving Welsh beaches a boost in time for the British summer, donning their wellies to clean up the coastline in the Vale of Glamorgan.

brightergraduates

Graduates from npower’s power station in Aberthaw adopted a stretch of coast and spent a day carrying out a beach clean, working to guidelines provided by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), which is a UK charity dedicated to the protection of seas, shores and wildlife.

The group scaled the beach with a litter picking mission, helping to protect wildlife in the area and supporting the MCS’s campaign for cleaner seas, by providing campaigners with information about the litter found on the shoreline.

The Graduate Volunteers Day saw npower graduates support seven projects near to its operations across the UK. As a Volunteering England initiative in support of Volunteers’ Week (1 – 7 June) it is the latest drive from the organisation to encourage staff to support projects in their local community through its employee volunteering scheme.

Niall Moroney, team leader from npower, said: “Taking care of our shoreline is essential to the health of our seas and impacts greatly on marine life.

“The MCS has shown us that we can all do our part in protecting our beaches. Our work today mirrors our commitment to caring for the environment, keeping our beaches clean and safe for the next generation.”

Sue Kinsey from the MCS said: “We are delighted that this beautiful piece of coast has been adopted by the team. The results of their litter sweep will be essential in helping us determine the next step in conserving the area, and is a vital indication of the state of our oceans.”

In total 60 npower graduates volunteered on 4 June at projects in Swindon, Birmingham, Leeds, Didcot, Worcester and Aberthaw.

About npower:
RWE npower has been awarded the prestigious Community Mark from Business in the Community (BitC). npower is the only utility business, amongst 21 other companies in the UK, to receive this accolade. The Community Mark is a new BitC standard, created to recognise companies that are good investors in local communities and who have brought about real and positive changes. npower is one of Britain’s largest electricity suppliers and provides gas, electricity and related services to 6.6 million customers across the UK. npower is a market leader in renewable energy and sources green energy directly from renewable sources, at no extra cost. npower sponsors the 2009 Ashes Test Match Series in England, Women’s Test Series, the Twenty20 Cup and the Village Cup organised by the Wisden Cricketer.

Via EPR Network
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Welcome to EPR Environment News

EPR Environment News is a new blog, part of EPR Network, that is going to be focused on and will be covering the environment news and stories from press releases published on EPR Network.

EPR Network (EPR stands for express press release) is one of the nation’s largest press release distribution networks on Web. The EPR’s nationwide network includes 12 State based PR sites, one major PR forum and a number of industry specific PR blogs and what started as a hobby on Internet years ago turned out to be a rapidly growing business today. EPR Network is also known as one of the most trusted (human optimized, published, edited and monitored, spam/scam/low quality PR content free) PR sites on the web with more than 10,000 company and individual press releases distributed per month. EPR Network is putting your press releases on top of all major search engines’ results and is reaching thousands of individuals, companies, PR specialists, media professionals, bloggers and journalists every day.

EPR Network has thousands of clients around the world including global 500 corporations like Hilton Hotels, Barclays Bank, AXA Insurance, Tesco UK, eBay/Skype, Emirates, just to name a few. The network’s PR web sites are currently reaching from 150,000 to sometimes 500,000 unique visitors per month while our viral reach could possibly go to as much as 1M people per month through our presence across various social media sites. EPR Network was established in 2004 and as of May 2008 it had more than 800,000 press releases (pages) published on its network.

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