British Wildlife

David Brear dbrear at
Sat Aug 22 12:17:42 EST 1998

            Volume 9 Number 6 August 1998
        341 Environmental Change and its Effects on Wildlife:
            the Role of the Environmental Change Network
            Clive Bealey, Oliver Howells and Terry Paff
The Environmental Change Network is the official body which
runs data-gathering projects to illuminate Britain's changing
climate. The authors confirm that it IS changing, and how the
Network collects information, how it is tied-in with European and
international bodies, what biological indicators may be used by
decision-makers and stress the importance of this continuing
        348 Through a naturalist's eyes
            Robert Burton
The limitations of the English language when applied to birds.
        349 Comment - Wild Fungi and the Controversy over
Collecting for the Pot
            Maurice Rotheroe
Consider whether we can spare fungi for our restaurants. The
history of this current food fad is considered, with its extent, the
possibility of a decline in species and future policies.

        357 Habitat Management News
            Compiled by Andrew Branson
Using Yellow Rattle to contain invasive plants in grassland;
building calcareous springs; the 'Wet Grassland Guide'; sharing
machinery and grazing resources in conservation.

        359 Identification - Bindweeds
            David Green
The five British species, native and introduced, with a field key,
drawings and photos.
        362 A Short History of Butterfly-collecting in Britain
            Peter Marren
It began in the seventeenth century, reached its zenith about 1900
and declined after World War 1. Marren describes the equipment
and personalities involved.

        371 Variation on a Theme - Butterfly Aberrations
            Richard Revels
Some beautiful photographs - the author is also a photographer -
illustrate many of the unexpected colour schemes found on British
butterflies. Revels explains the genetic basis for aberration,
together with seasonal, geographical and environmental
aberration. He concludes with a few words on further study.

        378 Managing Your Own Wildlife Site - The Extent of Private
Nature Reserves (PNRs)
            and their Potential Contribution to Conservation in England
            Angus & Ian Davies
Possibly the most important article in the current magazine, this is
ground-breaking work which may be the way conservation in
Britain will go next century. Based on a Somerset study, the
authors show how private landowners are prepared to further
biodiversity on their own patches but require more support to get
the best out of them. Much more work is needed to confirm the
validity of the suggested figures on likely national involvement but
the outlook is good.

        384 Wildlife Reports
            Compiled by Andrew Branson
Weather: warm and wet in May and June.
Mammals: Dormice on the way out unless we help. Gardens: A
survey to assess their importance as wildlife refuges. A Yorkshire
Mammal Group meeting on 24th October.
Birds: House Martins follow Dormice: later and fewer. Stone
Curlews: BDA success! Tits: a bad start to the season.
Yellowhammer: one-third drop in population in the last 10 years.
Peregrine: in London?!
Reptiles and Amphibians: African Clawed Frogs: the lifestyle of
British populations. Natterjacks: 3 new Solway sites.
Dragonflies: Early Vagrant Emperors; May migrants; Red-veined
darter at Spurn; Odonata rarities Committee (Email Adrian Parr,
adrian.parr at; erratic June; websites for dragonflies
Butterflies: early setbacks in the south; lengthened flight-times;
dismal June.
Moths: discouraging weather reduces records; searches for
Reddish Buff anf Bright Wave; late influxes.
Molluscs: all about mae(umlaut)rl and its importance to a fragile
marine habitat in the Fal estuary. Expanding snails. 
Flowers: a new orchid cross; 2 new sites for Three-lobed Water-
crowfoot; Hairy Mallow in Essex; more orchids; some
Broomrapes; Stoneworts; the BSBI and a new President; and the
late Lewis Frost. A nice long Flowers section, after a period of
rather sparse ones.

        399 Conservation News
            Compiled by Sue Everett
'Making Biodiversity Happen'; 'Land for Life'; the transport white
paper; EN reviewed; no more sales of FC woodland; Countryside
Commission reprts to govenment; BTO cuts; DNA-tracking otters;
RSPB new man; native new trees. Agriculture: no more money for
conservation; Whernside shows SSSI failures; supermarket's
Biodiversity Action Plan. Europe: Natura 2000 news; Planta
Europa in Uppsala confirms farming pressure on wild flowers;
Europe in Britain, Water: unnatural watercourses, even in
uplands; clay quarrying in Devon and river diversion; wetland
report identifies information gaps; new rules for water abstraction;
salmon problems; road runoff; fishery conservation; damaged
wetlands. Marine: beach cleaning leads to crustacean decline;
reduced sewage and its impact on wader populations; quotas on
skates and rays; no more dumping of drilling muds; Marine
Conservation Review, at a price; new safeguards for coastal sites.

        406 Book Reviews
            Compiled by Peter Marren
The Wild Flowers of the British Isles, Plant Crib 1998, Collins'
How to Identify Trees, Fungi of the New Forest: A Mycota, Long-
eared Bats, Grazing Management Planning for Upland Natura
2000 Sites: A Practical Manual, The Natural History of Dorset, A
Key to the Adults of British Lacewings and their Allies, Provisional
Atlas of the Ground Beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae) of Britain.

        408 Twitcher in the Swamp
            Peter Marren
Tiger on the menu; 50th birthday party.

                *               *               *

I have no connection with the publishers of British Wildlife, which
'an independent bi-monthly magazine covering all aspects of
natural history and conservation'. I hope this summary may be of
interest; any opinions expressed here are my own.         
David Brear

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