Showing posts from December, 2015

Conservation: New Bornean Forest Reserve!

After visiting Sabah, Borneo in the summer, I was so pleased to see this article, posted on the Rainforest Trust website. Traveling from place to place, we drove for hours through miles and miles of palm oil plantations, which were a sad contrast to the lively rainforest, which is rapidly disappearing in Borneo. Which is why protection like this is so great:

The news is that, on 21st December, the Sabah State Assembly approved the converting of "a major logging concession" to "a 168,032 acre permanent sanctuary for wildlife", called the Kuamut Forest Reserve. What's more, this new reserve will link two major existing reserves, The Maliau Basin and the Danum Valley. This will create a vital area of lowland rainforest between the two reserves for animals to safely pass through from the valley to the basin and vice versa. 

Having visited the Danum Valley this summer, it was fantastic to see that this new protected area has been created next to it, to keep the wonder…

Wader Wonderland at Alkborough

We were back in Alkborough over the weekend, and included a few outings to the Alkborough Flats during our trip.

The area is flourishing. The reed beds have grown even larger, and now cover almost the whole area apart from the mud, water and the meadows. And, as you will see, the wildlife here is flourishing as well.

I'll start with the waders. The first hide along the main path at the flats offers a great view over the scrape, and every time we were down there, without fail, there were hundreds of birds covering the area. They included Dunlins, Redshank, Godwits and hundreds of Lapwing, who are obviously doing very well for themselves here.

And every five minutes or so, these birds would all take to the air, obviously spooked by something; probably the Marsh Harriers and Peregrines that call the flats home. It became a regular, beautiful aerial display, as the sky was filled with feathers.

Whilst the waders were feeding at flying at the front of the scrape, the Marsh Harriers were bu…

COP21: The Future of our Forests

The COP21 climate talks in Paris ended successfully with 195 nations agreeing on a deal in which they say that they "will attempt to cut greenhouse gas emissions to a level that will limit the global average temperature to a rise "well below" 2C". And, much to my delight, this deal directly addresses the role of the worlds forests.

This issue is addressed many a time during the document, namely in sections 1 and 2 of Article 5, where it says: "Parties should take action to conserve and enhance, as appropriate, sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases … including forests."Parties are encouraged to take action to implement and support, including through results-based payments… [and] policy approaches and positive incentives for activities relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation [REDD+], and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and the enhancement of forest carbon sinks in developing countries."

Chobham Warblers and Kites

Chobham Common is the largest national nature reserve in the south-east of the country and is one of the finest heathland areas left. The reserve is mainly recognised for its bird life, with around 100 different species having been recorded here. The common itself is a mix of small hills, bogs and patches of gorse and vegetation that provides great habitats for many an animal.

A visit to the common was long overdue when we decided to go back. Saturday morning seemed an appropriate time, so we headed off. The first ten minutes or so was relatively dead. But when we reached the first crossroads, we saw our first flurry of activity. There were numerous small birds hopping around on a muddy bank. But, unfortunately, when we got close enough to get a photo, 3 dogs came sprinting towards us, scaring all the birds away.

It was a while again until we saw more activity. We walked up one of the many hills on the common, seeing a couple of green woodpeckers on the way up. We then chose another pat…