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Ash dieback disease: a lament for a lost landscape - Telegraph

Ash dieback disease: a lament for a lost landscape - Telegraph | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

As ash dieback disease (Chalara fraxinea) takes hold, the indications are that the effects on our landscape could be even worse than the outbreak of Dutch elm disease in the Seventies. There are far more ash trees in Britain than there were elms – at least 125 million. Ash is the third most common tree species in the UK – only oak and birch rank higher – and it is found in just about every region from Caithness to Cornwall, Norfolk to Pembrokeshire.

 

Ashbourne in Derbyshire, Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire, Ashford in Kent, Ashtead in Surrey and Ashton-Under-Lyne in Greater Manchester all take their name from the tree and if you look at any British atlas you will find scores of other locations where this tree was predominant.

 

Ash is a member of the olive family, although this is not immediately obvious from its leaves, seeds and fruit. It is a large, elegant deciduous tree with light grey, relatively smooth bark and distinctive velvety black buds.

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How Spain Lost Millions of Common Birds During the Past Two Decades

How Spain Lost Millions of Common Birds During the Past Two Decades | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Over the past two decades, nearly 64.5 million birds have disappeared in Spain due to rapid loss of habitat, SEO/BirdLife Spain reports.


The findings, published earlier this month, were based off data collected by more than 1,000 citizen scientists from SACRE, the Spanish chapter of the European Breeding Bird Survey, between 1996 and 2015. The volunteers visited a local spot twice every spring and logged all the birds they saw and heard. In total, observations were inputted from 20,000 stations, Juan Carlos del Moral, research and monitoring coordinator at SEO/BirdLife Spain, says.


Farmland birds posted the biggest losses, but city birds didn't come away unscathed either. Between 1998 and 2005, common rural birds declined by 23 percent, while common urban birds diminished by 18 percent.

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Hedgehogs continue to disappear from British gardens, wildlife survey shows

Hedgehogs continue to disappear from British gardens, wildlife survey shows | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

The rapidly declining UK hedgehog population is estimated to number less than 1 million, down from more than 30 million in the 1950s. One-third of this loss is thought to have taken in the past 10 years. A 2015 report found rural populations had declined by at least a half and urban populations by up to a third since 2000.


Their long-term but poorly understood decline is attributed to the loss and fragmentation of their habitat in Britain’s towns and countryside, death on roads, and intensive farmland that provides few good foraging or nesting sites. Rising numbers of badgers, their natural predator, have also been cited as a possible cause.

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The week in wildlife – in pictures

The week in wildlife – in pictures | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
Tibetan antelope, tussling Indian rat snakes and Europe’s last primeval forest are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world
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24-inch stick insect clinches record for world’s longest 'bug'

24-inch stick insect clinches record for world’s longest 'bug' | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
While to some the idea of a two-foot long bug may be the perfect fuel for a total freak-out, no one can deny that the latest superlative insect discovered in China is nothing less than majestic!

 It is a remarkable stick insect measuring in at 62.4 centimeters – a 24.6-inch bug that looks like a twig, if not a branch. Nature never ever fails to impress.
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Peacock spiders species found in Australia

Peacock spiders species found in Australia | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Seven new species of Australian peacock spider have been discovered. Known for their bright colours and distinctive mating displays, tiny peacock spiders are more cute than creepy-crawly.


Scientist Jürgen Otto discovered the creatures, helped by spider expert David Knowles, and co-authored his paper on the new species with David Hill, editor of spider journal Peckhamia.

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Photo: Leaf-litter toad mimics the forest floor

Photo: Leaf-litter toad mimics the forest floor | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

While this leaf-litter toad photographed by Andreas Kay may stand out against a vibrant red leaf, against the mottled melange of the forest floor Rhinella alata blends right in.

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Watch these incredible green ants build a leaf castle

Watch these incredible green ants build a leaf castle | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Like an insect version of a barn raising, green ants (also called weaver ants) work together with incredible cooperation to pull leaves together and stitch them into place to create nests high in the trees. Linking their tiny bodies together to form chains from one leaf to another, their efforts are nothing short of Herculean!

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Spectacular bearded vulture spotted for first time in UK

Spectacular bearded vulture spotted for first time in UK | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

A spectacular bearded vulture, believed to be the first recorded in the UK, has been spotted soaring over the Severn estuary and moorland in Devon.


If it is confirmed that the vulture, also known as the lammergeier or ossifrage, is a wild bird, it will be the first of its species to be found in Britain and the sightings have already caused ornithologists to rush to the west country hoping for a glimpse.

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One in Five of World’s Plant Species at Risk of Extinction

One in Five of World’s Plant Species at Risk of Extinction | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
One in five of the world’s plant species is threatened with extinction, according to the first global assessment of flora, putting supplies of food and medicines at risk. But the report also found that 2,000 new species of plant are discovered every year, raising hopes of new sources of food that are resilient to disease and climate change.

The State of the World’s Plants report, by experts at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, reveals that there are currently 390,000 species of known plants, with more than 30,000 used by people.
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Wildlife Gardening Medicine

Wildlife Gardening Medicine | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Wildlife gardening medicine may just be the future trend needed to turn the tides on the environmental crisis. If people want to have as many native plants growing on their property as possible to ensure there are enough stock plants for their family’s medicinal use harvesting (ie, if people believe there’s something in it for them), then maybe our beloved native plants, even the obscure ones would finally become less marginalized in the landscape.

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Poison Ivy - Good?

Poison Ivy - Good? | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Poison Ivy is quite a beautiful plant. Just look at its scarlet leaves in the first photograph. This is the scarlet of spring, with leaves that are often very shiny, whether scarlet in spring, or green in summer. As spring turns to summer, the plant puts out flowers. Large clusters of soft, pale green, with brilliant school bus yellow centers.

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Xeriscaping and the Principles of Saving Water: Organic Gardening

Xeriscaping and the Principles of Saving Water: Organic Gardening | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
A xeriscape is a water-saving garden designed for a dry region and is especially useful in the western half of North America, where little rain falls in summer and gardeners depend heavily on irrigation. Learn the basic principles of making a drought-resistant landscape.
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The week in wildlife – in pictures

The week in wildlife – in pictures | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
Hitch-hiking crabs, frozen musk ox and bats bouncing back are among the pick of this week's images from the natural world
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2016 Great British Bee Count reaches halfway point - in pictures

2016 Great British Bee Count reaches halfway point - in pictures | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
The 2016 Great British Bee Count has reached the halfway point with more than 189,000 bees recorded so far. The annual count, which runs until 30 June, aims to help people learn more about bees, a key pollinator species that faces multiple threats. Here are some of the species spotted so far
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Beneficial insects

Beneficial insects | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
Insects can be the organic grower’s best friend. Whether pollinators or predators, they will help manage pests and keep your garden healthy.

We have chosen 7 friendly insect favourites for each day of the week. Whatever you do, don’t spray or squash them ……
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5 ways nature boosts happiness, according to science

5 ways nature boosts happiness, according to science | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

These studies show that a dose of nature does wonders for wellbeing.

Anyone who has ever stepped foot in the forest or dipped a toe in a lake likely knows this, but nature is a happy-maker. With its fresh air and soothing appeal to all the senses, it is a sly mesmerist who can erase stress and instill wellbeing in a manner of minutes.

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There are only 35 kinds of animal and most are really weird

There are only 35 kinds of animal and most are really weird | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Every animal on Earth belongs to one of about 35 groups called "phyla". Some are familiar, but others are profoundly strange. The number of species per phylum is always changing, as more animals are discovered.


In 2014 alone, over 1,400 new marine species were discovered, and the largely unexplored deep sea surely holds many more surprises. Also, seemingly separate phyla sometimes turn out to be the same.


As a result, this list of phyla is not definitive. But it is our best attempt to sum up the vast diversity of Earth's animal life.

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Top 10 new species include a bizarre array of wonders

Top 10 new species include a bizarre array of wonders | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
While we humans are helping to make mincemeat of other species at a worrisome rate, it’s heartening to remember that there are new ones constantly being discovered.

Although it’s a slippery number to confirm, scientists believe there are some 10 million species yet to be discovered, five times more than have already been identified. In 2015 alone, 18,000 new species were named during the course of the year.
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'Biting' plants discovered with teeth like ours!

'Biting' plants discovered with teeth like ours! | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

For the first time, researchers have found calcium phosphate in the structure of plants – in this case, used to harden the needle-like hairs used to defend against predators.

Revenge of the plants? It’s hard for the mind not to wander into B-movie territory when considering what researchers from Bonn University recently discovered: The first plants found to have calcium phosphate as a structural biomineral.


Calcium phosphate is widely found in the animal kingdom; it’s a hard mineral substance of which bones and teeth are largely comprised. Now the researchers have confirmed its presence in the stinging hairs of rock nettles (Loasaceae), a “well-defended” plant native to the South American Andes.

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The week in wildlife – in pictures

The week in wildlife – in pictures | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
A fleeing giraffe, a sleeping racoon and a close encounter with a great white shark are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world
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Is there any point in planting new trees? - BBC News

Is there any point in planting new trees? - BBC News | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Successive governments have made popular pledges to plant large numbers of new trees. But do these trees ever actually get planted and, where they do, does it ever achieve anything useful?


Woodlands have a vital role to play in our landscape. As well as being a valuable source of homegrown timber, trees store carbon, provide an essential home for wildlife, absorb air pollution, and are important spaces for pleasure and leisure.

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Wildlife Gardening Medicine, episode II

Wildlife Gardening Medicine, episode II | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

his is the concept that by adding native plants and eliminating chemical use in our properties (and by extension our ecosystems), we can seamlessly introduce habitat restoration to our communities. And the concept goes further- there is rich natural history in this country with almost all of our favorite native plants, the same ones used in a wildlife garden, these native plants have been successfully used medicinally for many generations.

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Why I'm Going Native in My Garden

Why I'm Going Native in My Garden | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

... A bigger problem than all of this direct destruction are the nonnative plants, insects and animals that are being transported by human beings all across the globe. Each and every island that we are trying to protect is failing. They are all being invaded by nonnative invasives and we don’t seem to be getting it. Intact ecosystems seem to do okay in battling the invaders, but all it takes is an “in” for them….a tornado….a hiker carrying in seeds on her shoes……a tree dying and a bird dropping a seed. ...

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Trading to extinction

Trading to extinction | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
Photographer Patrick Brown spent 10 years documenting the illegal trade in endangered animals in Asia.

 

On 14 February, the UK government is hosting an international conference on the illegal trade in wildlife, at which it hopes to obtain high-level political commitment from governments around the world to fight the issue.

 

According to the government, the illegal wildlife industry is worth more than £6bn each year, and it is growing. Rhino horns can sell for up to £40,000 ($65,000) per kg, making it more expensive than gold. According to Cites - the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species - more than 22,000 elephants were slaughtered for their tusks in 2012.

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A “Doomsday Book” for Scotland’s woods: real insight into the condition of Scotland’s native woods

A “Doomsday Book” for Scotland’s woods: real insight into the condition of Scotland’s native woods | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

For decades the Woodland Trust has championed the value of Scotland’s native-woodlands to the Scottish Government, the Forestry Commission, councils, landowners, and agencies such as Scottish Natural Heritage. To their credit, many of them did not take much persuading, but this week no-one in Scotland can be in any doubt as to the importance of native woodland to the country.

 

This comes with the unveiling of the final analysis of the Native Woodland Survey of Scotland after more than seven years of comprehensive fieldwork led by the Forestry Commission  to establish an “authoritative picture of Scotland’s native woodlands” covering, location, type, extent, composition and condition; and the results are fascinating. 

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