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Welcome to the Spring issue of the Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Natural Environment Partnership newsletter.

Our newsletter contains updates on some of the projects we are working on, as well as relevant local and national news with an impact on the natural environment.

Let's get Bucks Buzzing!

Global insect decline has been making headlines in recent weeks, which underlines the importance of helping the insects that help us. Bucks Buzzing is a project that encourages everyone to help pollinators and the habitats that support them.
Everyone can do something to help: building a bug hotel, mowing less frequently, avoiding pesticides, or growing wildflowers.

To help you get started, Bucks Buzzing is providing free wildflower seeds to residents and organisations in Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes. Get involved by signing up on the Bucks Buzzing website: www.bucksmknep.co.uk/bucks-buzzing
 
On the website you can also find information and advice on how you can help, and share photos and tips from your own projects. Bucks Buzzing also supports schools, street associations and community groups; if your group has a project in mind, please email: nep@buckscc.gov.uk

Our Voice in Planning & Consultations - Latest Responses

The NEP actively engages with local planning issues as well as with regional, national or infrastructure planning issues and other consultations that affect Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes and which relates to our priorities for the environment in the NEP area. Our most recent responses include:
                Defra’s Net Gain Consultation
                Landscapes Review (Glover Report)
                Network Rail East West Rail Transport for Works Order
 
To see more of our responses, please visit our website: http://bucksmknep.co.uk/projects/publication/local-plans/

Oxford to Cambridge Expressway Update


In our last newsletter, we had an item on the legal challenge to the Expressway decision by the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust. In mid-January the High Court refused permission for BBOWT’s claim against the government. BBOWT appealed this decision, and in mid-February had a successful permission hearing where the refusal was overturned and it was ruled that BBOWT could bring our claim to the government.  More information is available on the BBOWT website: https://www.bbowt.org.uk/wildlife/nature-matters/oxford-cambridge-expressway

The NEP continues to work with our partners and neighbouring Local Nature Partnerships (LNPs) on a natural-capital based vision for the Oxford to Cambridge Corridor.

HS2 Woodland Fund


The HS2 Woodland Fund (managed by the Forestry Commission) re-opened on the 18th of March.  A further £4 million of funding is available to commit to native woodland creation and/or PAWS restoration projects within 25 miles of the HS2 Phase One route, over the next 4 years.  New applications are now being accepted and it is worth noting that the fund is no longer operating under ‘de minimis’ rules; for this funding, an enterprise is no longer excluded from applying if they have received over €200,000 as de minimis aid over three financial years.
 
More information and application forms are available on the HS2 Woodland Fund website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hs2-woodland-fund

Oak Processionary Moth


Towards the end of last year, 20 or so trees in the Iver area were infested by the Oak Processionary Moth and so the Forestry Commission will be undertaking chemical control as well as further surveying/pheromone traps later in the summer. For more information about OPM, the FC has a comprehensive guide to this moth and its presence in the UK on their website: https://www.forestry.gov.uk/oakprocessionarymoth

Upcoming Event: BMERC Annual Recorders’ Seminar

11th May 2019, The Gateway Conference Centre, Aylesbury
This year's seminar will take place on Saturday, 11th May. It is free to attend and open to all those interested in recording in Buckinghamshire so visit the BMERC website for more information on how to book: http://www.bucksmkerc.org.uk/news/
This year the theme is Fresh Water Habitats. Topics will include: aquatic habitats and invasive species, water quality, aquatic species, wetland creation, and more, along with updates from recording groups across Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes.
That's all from us for this quarter. To stay up to date on our projects and activities, visit the NEP website: www.bucksmknep.co.uk/news
Copyright © 2019 Bucks & Milton Keynes Natural Environment Partnership, All rights reserved.


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