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Welcome to our Summer Newsletter!


As lockdown restrictions ease, we hope you have been able to get out and safely enjoy some of the beautiful nature and green spaces Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes has to offer.

It has been a busy few months behind the scenes as we carry on our work throughout the lockdown period. We have been continuing to develop our Biodiversity Accounting process, as well as collaborating with many of our partners on the new Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) for Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes.

The BAP is an important document to protect the many species of flora and fauna we have in our county and we are consulting with many organisations on the 10-year vision for biodiversity across our patch. The current BAP, Forward to 2020, can be found on our website. More details regarding the new BAP will be announced in the autumn.

Updates from our Partners

 

Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust


Do you want to take positive steps for wildlife in your parish?
BBOWT are collaborating with a number of partners to support parish councillors, clerks and volunteers to discover how they can improve the local area for wildlife and residents through a series of webinars. Each webinar will focus on a specific topic offering information and advice about how you can manage areas and green spaces for wildlife.
  • Thurs 6 August: Local planning with biodiversity and wildlife in mind
  • Thurs 13 August: Road verges and meadow management
  • Thurs 20 August: Hedgerows and woodland management
  • Thurs 27 August: Pond management
  • Thurs 3 Sept: Engaging with your local community
For more information on the webinars and how to book your place, please visit: www.bbowt.org.uk/wildparishes
 

Buckinghamshire Council


Job Opportunity: Ecology Officer
Do you want to develop your career in Ecology in one of the most beautiful counties in Britain, boasting a wealth of wildlife?  If so, then Buckinghamshire Council has an exciting opportunity for an Ecology Officer to join our Environment Team within the Planning and Environment department, with a focus on the Chiltern and South Bucks area. For more information about the role and how to apply, please visit the Buckinghamshire Council website.


Chilterns Conservation Board


New social distance-friendly walks announced!
The Chilterns Conservation Board and Chiltern Society have developed a series of 23 walks across the Chilterns which are social-distance friendly, avoiding crowded ‘honey-pot’ locations and narrow paths where possible. Between 2 and 6 miles long, the walks start in market towns or villages, with good public transport links or parking facilities. Many of the walks are stile-free and most are under 4 miles long, making them accessible to many. A great way to discover new locations, views and local interest in the Chilterns: read more.

A new planner for the Chilterns
The Chilterns Conservation Board is pleased to announce that Matt Thomson has been appointed as the new Planner for the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Matt will play a key role in influencing national planning policy to help protect the Chilterns special landscape: read more.

Public asked to save water to protect supplies and the environment as demand rises to unprecedented levels
With May's weather being exceptionally dry and lockdown restrictions meaning that many people have been working from home, water use has increased significantly causing groundwater levels and rivers flows to decline quickly. With more hot, dry weather on the way and demand forecast to rise still further, Affinity Water is asking its customers to help reduce demand to make sure there is plenty of water for the essentials such as drinking, washing and cooking and also to help leave as much water in the Chilterns precious chalk streams and wetlands, as possible: read more.

River Thame Conservation Trust:

Nature Inspires Sustainable Solutions to Flooding in Buckingham


The River Thame Conservation Trust is working with Buckinghamshire Council to deliver Natural Flood Management (NFM) schemes to reduce the flood risk in Buckingham. This NFM project is being delivered over the next 2 years. We are currently searching for landowners across the Upper Ouse area (shown below) who would like to work with us and host NFM features on their land.

By restoring natural processes, Natural Flood Management addresses flood risk whilst providing multiple benefits to the environment such as helping biodiversity, reducing pollution and reducing soil and sediment loss.

NFM works by creating and restoring natural landscape features to slow the flow of water over land. This gives water more time to infiltrate which increases the amount of water stored in the ground. NFM can come in many forms such as leaky woody dams in streams, ponds in or at the corner of fields, or areas of woodlands and many others. These can be made to suit many different land types.

NFM not only helps flood risk - it provides benefits to the wider environment too. By increasing infiltration, soils and plants absorb pollutants when water passes through them. Slower water helps reduce erosion and soil and sediment losses. These both help to improve water quality in streams and rivers. The NFM measures themselves also create new wetland habitats which help to support wildlife and improve biodiversity.

NFM is a recognised technique and is now integrated into the DEFRA agencies delivery of environmental stewardship grants e.g. Natural England Countryside Stewardship and Forestry Commission English Woodland Grant Scheme. The new Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMs) is likely to reward holding water on your land - so getting involved in Natural Flood Management now could pay off later!

The River Thame Conservation Trust has funding to deliver NFM schemes in the Upper Ouse area as shown on the map below. Please contact us or visit our website to find out what we could do with you, or click here to download the project leaflet.

Bucks Buzzing update


During the lockdown period, many of us found ourselves with more time to spend in the garden and if you're considering ways to improve your outdoor space, we have some new guides in our Bucks Buzzing Resources to help you! 

We hope you enjoyed following along with us for our 30 Days Wild project in June on Twitter or Instagram, but if you missed out you can find all of our Random Acts of Wildness on the Bucks Buzzing website.
 

New addition to our Conservation Directory:
Buckinghamshire Mammal Group

This group has formed to bring together people with a shared interest in the ecology and conservation of mammals.
The aims of the group are:
  • To survey, monitor and research Buckinghamshire mammals
  • To organise training for members to gain essential skills in mammal identification and survey methods
  • To raise awareness of mammals through education, research and outreach
You can find out more about the Buckinghamshire Mammal Group and many other conservation organisations across Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes in our Conservation Directory.

A final remembrance


We regret that we have some sad and difficult news to share: the recent passing of our colleague and friend Alan Holmes.

Alan was the excellent and hardworking independent Chair of our Delivery Group for many years, as well as a fount of local knowledge. His insightful ideas, along with his many creatively-coloured maps, were a delightful and helpful addition to NEP meetings, and he always had a friendly ear, ready to provide advice and a new perspective on practically any subject.

Alan will be sorely missed by friends and colleagues across our partnership and beyond, as of course will his knowledge and invaluable contribution to the work of the NEP as we go forward. 
That's all from us for this issue. If you would like to contribute a news item or article to our Autumn issue, please contact us. You can read more about the NEP and our work on our website:
 
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Copyright © 2020 Bucks & Milton Keynes Natural Environment Partnership, All rights reserved.


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