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Tayside Biodiversity e-news Winter 2019/2020
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Tayside Biodiversity E-News Winter 2019/2020

Tayside Biodiversity
Tayside Biodiversity
Tayside Biodiversity
Tayside Swifts
Tayside Wildlife Recorders
Tayside Amphibian & Reptile Group

Contents

Who to Contact

Catherine Lloyd – caglloyd@pkc.gov.uk

Tayside Biodiversity Partnership,
c/o Pullar House,
35 Kinnoull Street,
Perth, PH1 5GD.

 



Don’t forget to let us have your swift sightings from 2019 -  http://www.taysidebiodiversity.co.uk/tayside-biodiversity-surveys/tayside-biodiversity-survey-first-sightings/. Can’t tell a swift from a swallow? The same link will show you the difference!




Keep up to date with all the TayARG news via our Tayside Amphibian & Reptile Facebook page
 




Download your free BeeWild “Making Way for Nature” booklet via www.taysidebiodiversity.co.uk

Dates For Your Diary

21st March
Tayside Wildlife Recorders Day,
Perth Museum.

11th January
Commemorative tree planting
to remember the life of Dennis Dick, MBE, past TBP Chairman, Kinnoull Hill Woodland, by Perth - everyone welcome. The meeting point is past Balnacraig School (above Branklyn Gardens)

17th January
Celebratory Get-together
in Carnoustie for everyone involved in the Small Blue Butterfly Project - contact caglloyd@pkc.gov.uk for further details.

5th March
Angus Species Champions
Get-together - contact DempseyK@angus.gov.uk for further information.

12th to 21st June
Wild Waters Festival - Perth and Kinross (further details available soon)


Award winning project!

It’s been an astonishing time recently for the Tayside Biodiversity Partnership – an invitation to a conference in London culminated in our Angus Small Blue Project being lauded as the Winner in the UK Biodiversity Project Award category of the ALGE (Associated of Local Government Ecologists’ Local Government) Silver Anniversary Awards. A day later, in Edinburgh and along with 400 other guests, we attended the prestigious 2019 Nature of Scotland Awards. These annual Awards are for “recognising the people, projects and organisations dedicated to protecting Scotland’s natural heritage”.
 
In total 11 winners were announced after a record-breaking year of nominations. We were amongst them!  We won the Community Initiative Award – again for our “Back from the Brink – Saving our Small Blue Butterfly” project.
 
Those who chose us as Winners for both these awards knew the breadth of community input this project has achieved - so many individuals, local groups, businesses and organisations were mentioned and that is what this is all about. Everyone deserves to be congratulated. There are some 70+ biodiversity projects in Tayside, but this is the project that has caught the imagination as not only is conservation at the heart of the initiative, but people are too. One would not happen without the other and this has now been recognised. Thank you everyone!  http://www.taysidebiodiversity.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Small-Blue-Awards-2019-FINAL.pdf

Image Copyright: Simon Williams

CIEEM Webinar 
As news of our amphibian ladder projects spreads across the UK, we were really pleased when the Chartered Institute of Ecology & Environmental Management (CIEEM) asked the Partnership to run a webinar on the subject.  Some 85 CIEEM members signed up to “Amphibian Entrapment in Drains: A New Approach to Mitigation”. We gave an introduction to the event and Trevor Rose - inventor of the ladders and founder of Friends of Angus Herpetofauna - gave a fact-filled presentation on his solutions to prevent amphibians (and other small animals) dying in gullypots. This was very well received and there was excellent feedback followed by a stream of questions. Afterwards we  fielded enquiries from all over the UK, plus one from Washington State!  Check  https://cieem.net/  and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNJvglSzzx4
Tayside Wildlife Recorders’ Day
A date for your diary: Saturday 21st March. Our 13th Recorders’ Day will be held at Perth Museum – bookings will be available on line in mid-January. As ever there will be a number of talks and presentations on Tayside’s wildlife and everyone is welcome, whether you are a complete beginner or a seasoned species recorder. Enquiries to taysidebiodiversity@pkc.gov.uk.
Cecil the Swift at Perth Roadshow
At the end of September Perth & Kinross Heritage Trust and its partners hosted a two-day roadshow in the middle of Perth to raise awareness of Scotland’s traditional buildings and the specialist skills needed to maintain them. Catherine and Daniele shared the hosting of a Tayside Swifts stand at the event which drew the attention of housing associations, architects and property owners.
 
It was a great opportunity to raise awareness about how to safeguard existing nest sites in buildings, but also how to be proactive in incorporating new nest sites in buildings both new and old. Daniele met the Cabinet Secretary for Education, John Swinney MSP, and nearly 80 young people had the opportunity to try their hand at the trades on show. Further information: http://www.taysidebiodiversity.co.uk/2017/07/20/snh-swift-best-practice-advice-notes/
Crieff Swift Conservation Project
Thanks to funding from the Community Environment Challenge Fund we will be able to work jointly with Crieff Swifts to roll out our swift conservation project to businesses, schools and individuals. If you are in Crieff and know you have swifts in the neighbourhood please contact Daniele Muir at dmuir@taysideswifts.co.uk who will discuss how best to survey them next summer and if a nestbox might be relevant for your site. We are planning a number of events throughout 2020 and everyone is very welcome to come along to find out more. A programme of events will be available via www.taysidebiodiversity.co.uk from the end of January.
Mind the Gap Hedgehog Project
Where are the hedgehogs in Carnoustie and Barry? Do they need a little bit of help where gaps in garden fences are concerned, or hibernation places tucked away at the back of a garden? Having launched our Mind the Gap project at Turfbeg in Forfar a year ago, we have now turned our focus to the coast where local community groups and individuals are discussing how to welcome wildlife into their gardens, allotments and school grounds. 
 
Because of some very welcome funding from the Carnoustie Golf Links Community Benefits Programme we will be arranging a Wildlife Gardening Workshop in due course with an emphasis on how to encourage hedgehogs to use our green spaces.  If you are local to Barry or Carnoustie, have a garden or know you or your neighbour have hedgehogs, please let us know – caglloyd@pkc.gov.uk.  
 
Everyone within Barry and Carnoustie is welcome to take part in the project and if you can make a gap in your garden fence or hedge to allow hedgehogs to explore their surroundings you will receive a free “hedgehog highway” sign and an information pack.  
 
In the meantime, everyone is encouraged to become part of the UK-wide Hedgehog Street so that we can all report hedgehog sightings and pledge to make our gardens “more hog-friendly”!  

https://www.hedgehogstreet.org
Bats and Lighting Good Practice in Scone
As a new access road cuts through an ancient woodland used by bats, the Street Lighting Partnership, Perth and Kinross Council, recently met with PKC’s Tree & Biodiversity Officer, Joanna Dick, to discuss options to safeguard the species. A street lighting control system now enables the lights to be dimmed within the woodland during the period around dusk when the bats are active. A bat survey taken before the installation of the lighting – and another one afterwards – will demonstrate how the system works for the bats.

Image Copyright: Mike Chandler
 
Angus Coastal Festival 2019
The summary report will be published in due course, but we again enjoyed some fantastic events and many people of all ages were involved. We enjoyed a number of fascinating geo-walks, a seaweed identification event, Pondamonium for families and a ‘life history of cetaceans’ walk.  Many of the coastal libraries also hosted Festival exhibitions and ensured that their children's storytelling sessions had a Marine theme.

During the upcoming Year of Coasts & Waters 2020 there will be a number of events throughout the year, including the new Wild Waters Festival across Perth and Kinross Council (from 12th to 21st June). Angus Council is planning events too so watch this space.
PKC Biodiversity Ambassadors
The monthly lunch time meetings continue to welcome people from across the council to find out more about biodiversity. Throughout the summer, regular informal training sessions took part in Perth’s parks and at the award-winning Perth Station Biodiversity Garden (including dragonfly, bumblebee and moth ID).  Later in the year, the Ambassadors enjoyed a bat talk and a brainstorming session about the Wild Waters Festival.

A gardening sub-group is now helping the nearby sheltered housing complex, with an unusual task being to clear out an area to make a fernery. Tree planting at Viewlands Resevoir also took place at the culmination of the annual National Tree Week – 88 hazel, rowan and hawthorn trees were planted. Anyone within the local authority who would like further details, please contact Patrick Higgins on PHiggins@pkc.gov.uk or look for the Ambassadors on PKC Yammer.

Image Copyright: P Higgins
With thanks to all the contributors for sharing their news. This edition has been compiled by Catherine Lloyd.
Feedback and contributions are very welcome (max 100 words) : please email here.
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