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ECN e-News - Latest news from ECN | www.ecn.ac.uk
Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to the latest news update from the UK Environmental Change Network, a multi-agency long-term, site-based integrated environmental monitoring and research network.
 

Release from sheep‐grazing appears to put some heart back into upland vegetation

Sheep. David Hofmann on Unsplash
Our currently featured publication is a study by a team led by Prof. Rob Marrs (University of Liverpool) and conducted at ECN Moor House in the English Pennine hills. Marrs and colleagues compared the nutritional properties of plant species in sheep-grazed and ungrazed upland plots. The study is based on long-term grazing exclosures at Moor House that are now coordinated by ECN and supported by the Ecological Continuity Trust (ECT).

Photo: © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.The topic of the paper is highly pertinent to the theme of rewilding – an approach to enhance the conservation value of marginal land. In upland Britain this often involves reducing or completely removing grazing livestock (principally sheep) with the aim of restoring and conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services.

The authors contributed the front cover image for this issue of Annals of Applied Biology.


 
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UK farmers' views on green recovery from coronavirus sought

Tractor in field. John Redhead © UKCEH. All rights reserved
ECN colleague
Dr Jan Dick, Senior Landscape Ecologist at UKCEH, is undertaking the survey to determine the views of UK farmers on the COVID-19 related challenges and potential solutions related to their business, and their thinking about the future of farming. The survey is anonymous, UK wide and across all farming sectors.
Find out more

Discover ECN long-term datasets

Graphic representing ECN data. Andy Sier © UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. All rights reserved.Our longest running terrestrial ECN sites began operating in 1992, making 1993 the first complete year of data collection. ECN data including meteorology, soil solution chemistry, atmospheric nitrogen, butterflies, moths, beetles, bats, bird and vegetation can be downloaded for free from the UKCEH Environmental Information Platform under an Open Government Licence. If you are engaged in ecosystem research or teaching, why not see if these datasets could support your work? Use the link below to quickly access our unique physical, chemical and biological datasets containing the complete run of data available from our terrestrial sites. Data for seven of the sites span the entire 23 year period up to 2015.
Discover ECN data
ECN sites - outdoor laboratories at which to study our changing environment
Wytham. Photo Denise Pallett © UKCEHThe wide range of regular environmental measurements, coupled with a wealth of historical data and the local knowledge of site managers mean that many ECN sites make excellent locations for field environmental research and teaching.

[Photo: Wytham Wood. Denise Pallett © UKCEH]
Explore ECN sites

Featured Publication


Marrs, RH., Lee, H., Blackbird, S., Connor, L., Girdwood, SE., O'Connor, M., Smart, SM., Rose, RJ., O'Reilly, J. and Chiverrell, RC. (2020). Release from sheep-grazing appears to put some heart back into upland vegetation: A comparison of nutritional properties of plant species in long-term grazing experiments. Annals of Applied Biology, 177, 152-162. DOI: 10.1111/aab.12591.

This study at ECN Moor House in the English Pennine hills compares the nutritional properties of plant species in sheep-grazed and ungrazed upland plots. The study is based on long-term grazing exclosures at Moor House that are now coordinated by ECN and supported by the Ecological Continuity Trust (ECT).

» Details...

Featured Site


Sourhope © James Hutton InstituteSourhope
The ECN site at Sourhope lies 15 miles south-east of Kelso near the head of the Bowmont valley on the western slopes of the Cheviot. The site covers an area of approximately 1100 hectares. The vegetation at the Target Sampling Site is representative of that across both the farm and many parts of the uplands in southern Scotland consisting of coarse grassland dominated by White bent (Nardus stricta) and Flying bent (Molinia caerulea). The site is relatively exposed and access can be difficult due to prolonged snow cover during the winter months.
» Details...
There's a lot more information about ECN on our website, including details of our long-term monitoring and research sites, the measurements we make and ECN-related publications.
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