Ocean acidification inquiry

(Posted 9 March 2017)

The Commons Select Committee has decided to undertake follow-up scrutiny on the issue of ocean acidification.

The Committee published reports on Marine Science in 2007ᅠ(PDF 845.71 KB) and 2013, noting the importance of combating increasing ocean acidification. The 5-year NERC UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme ended in 2015. In the same year, ‘minimising and addressing the impacts of ocean acidification’ was identified as one of the targets of UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 – ‘Life Below Water'.

The Committee would welcome written submissions which might address the following issues:

  • The role of increased CO2 emissions, and any other drivers or feedback mechanisms, on ocean acidification.
  • Whether ocean acidification and its impact varies regionally.
  • The main socio-economic, industry, ecosystem and environmental impacts of ocean acidification.
  • The level of understanding of the processes and impacts of ocean acidification. The gaps in terms of monitoring, prevention, mitigation, and adaptation. The impact of previous UK research work, and the sufficiency of research currently underway.
  • What areas of government policy-making are currently held back by insufficient knowledge/evidence on ocean acidification, and the risks this poses.
  • What policy interventions are needed to tackle ocean acidification – in terms of both the known science and the uncertainties – and what the barriers are to implementation.

Written evidence can be submitted through the ocean acidification inquiry page.

Read more here


Marine planning: first outputs for North East, North West, South East and South West marine plan areas

(Posted 9 March 2017)

The first outputs of the marine planning process are now available for the above areas.

The Marine Management Organisation is asking for feedback on these outputs in the development of the next phase of the plans. The questionnaire, which is open until 31 March 2017, asks for feedback on the recently published Issues Database, supporting evidence, proposed draft policies to date, as well as a new interactive format.

It’s the first opportunity for stakeholders to see how marine planning is progressing in north east, north west, south east and south west marine plan areas, marking an important milestone in the marine planning process. The questionnaire is part of an eight week programme of activity, which also includes a series of workshops.

The questionnaire and workshops are an opportunity to see how the issues and evidence gathered last year are being taken forward, and how proposed draft policies for the areas are being developed. A new proposed format for marine plans is also introduced, which takes a shorter, more digital, interactive approach, linking directly to our Marine Information System (MIS).

Access the outputs here

For information on how to give feedback:


Inquiry into the management of marine protected areas in Wales

(Posted 9 March 2017)

Marine Protected Area (MPA) is the collective term for all forms of protected nature conservation sites in the marine and coastal environment. Sites can be designated under domestic, European and international legislation. MPAs can have different levels of restriction, eg No Take Zones where many activities are prohibited, through to multi-use MPAs where lots of activities can be allowed if they do not have an adverse impact on the wildlife and habitats for which the site has been designated.  Wales does not at present have any No Take Zones, only multi-use MPAs. MPAs are the primary tool to conserve biodiversity whilst balancing the multi-use nature of the marine environment through the sustainable management of activities and natural resources.   

The seas around Wales make up over half the area of Wales. There are 128 MPAs, covering over 5500 square miles.

In its inquiry into marine policy in Wales, the Fourth Assembly’s Environment and Sustainability Committee expressed concern about the level of priority given to the marine environment by the Welsh Government. Amongst its recommendations, the management of MPAs was highlighted as a priority area for improvement. The Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee is calling for evidence to support its inquiry into the management of marine protected areas in Wales.

Objectives for the inquiry

  • To assess the management of Welsh MPAs with a view to identifying opportunities to maximise the economic, social, environmental and cultural benefits that can be derived from them.
  • To understand what the implications of leaving the European Union will be for MPAs and to identify any issues that will need to be addressed during the exit process.

The consultation ended on 10 February 2017.

You can see the background and the responses here:


Consultation – Banning the use of microbeads in cosmetics and personal care products

(Posted 9 March 2017)

Defra want to know what you think about their plans to ban the manufacture and sale of cosmetics and personal care products containing microbeads.

They are also looking for evidence of the effect of other sources of microplastics on the marine environment. This will inform future UK actions to protect the marine environment. They are aiming to change legislation by October 2017 and stop billions of tiny pieces of plastic ending up in our seas each year. Microbeads – added as exfoliators to face scrubs, toothpastes and shower gels – can cause serious harm to marine life, with one shower sending up to 100,000 beads down our drains.

The consultation closed on 28 February 2017. The outcome to the public feedback will be presented in due course.



Sea-Changers – grants now available

(Posted 9 March 2017)

If you are planning a marine conservation project, you may be eligible to apply for a grant from Sea-Changers. They give a number of small grants (generally under £1,000) and tend to support grass roots and community based projects.

Sea-Changers is a charity aiming to raise thousands of pounds for marine conservation in the UK.  Their vision is to create a world where the seas and shores are clean and healthy and marine species are protected. They work with partner companies such as dive companies, cruise holiday companies and marinas that rely on healthy oceans for their success.

Sea-Changers raises money for a range of primarily UK-based, marine conservation charities and not-for-profit organisations.  The projects funded all fall within one of the following marine conservation areas:

  • Marine Reserves/Protected Marine Areas
  • Direct Marine Clean-Up Action
  • Education, Campaigning and Awareness
  • Species Protection and Research

Funding is allocated on a six-monthly basis. The closing date for the next grant cycle is 31 March 2017 


Natural Course

(Posted 9 March 2017)

Natural Course is an EU funded LIFE Integrated Project, that will run for 10 years (subject to funding) to improve and protect the water quality of the North West.

Natural Course will build capacity to protect and improve our North West water environment, now and for the future. A total of 78% of our rivers in North West England are not considered healthy and many solutions are found to be too expensive to implement. Organisations from across the North West are working together to seek cost-effective solutions to improving water quality across urban and rural landscapes, sharing best practice across the UK and Europe.

Natural Course will:

  • Test and inform best practice in achieving UK and EU legislation in water quality.
  • Use the North West River Basin as a flagship project and share best practice with the UK and Europe.
  • Make better use of resources, share ownership of complex issues, reduce barriers and maximise outcomes, through a collaborative approach of organisations from public, private and third sector.


Plastic pellets found littering 73% of UK shoreline searched in latest citizen science survey

(Posted 9 March 2017)

Over 600 volunteers around the UK took part in The Great Winter Nurdle Hunt, from the 3–5 February 2017.  They scoured local beaches for tiny plastic pellets called nurdles and discovered them on almost three-quarters of the beaches surveyed.

Nurdles are lentil-sized plastic pellets, used as a raw material by manufacturers to make new plastic products. Up to 53 billion pellets are estimated to be lost to the UK environment each year, and spillage of pre-production plastics are thought to be the second largest source of primary microplastic to EU seas. If accidental spills are not dealt with correctly these pellets can end up in drains, watercourses, and at sea. Once in the marine environment, nurdles can be eaten by animals such and fish and seabirds. Like other microplastics, they can stay trapped in their stomachs and reduce appetite, affecting digestion and growth. Nurdles can also soak up chemical pollutants from their surroundings and release these toxins into animals that eat them.

Nurdles were found on shorelines from Shetland to the Scilly Isles. Not only are beaches affected, but also freshwater riverbanks, with reports from central London and inland Yorkshire. The largest number of nurdles counted was at Widemouth Bay in Cornwall. The weekend was organised by Fidra, a Scottish environmental charity, in collaboration with the Environmental Investigation Agency, Fauna & Flora International, Greenpeace, Surfers Against Sewage and the Marine Conservation Society. The data gathered will be fed into the current UK Government microplastics consultation. Fidra have been working with the UK plastics industry since 2012 to promote best practice to help end further pellet pollution.

Read more here


Wild seaweed harvesting: Strategic Environmental Assessment

(Posted 9 March 2017)

The wild seaweed harvesting sector has indicated its aspiration to develop industrial-scale harvesting around Scotland. In response, Marine Scotland contracted ABPmer to undertake a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the potential environmental effects of wild harvesting of seaweeds and seagrasses to inform future regulation. As part of the policy making process, this work has now been published and is available here.

This SEA shows how the nature and extent of any potential impacts, depends on the method and scale of harvesting, and the composition and sensitivity of the corresponding marine ecosystems. It also reveals the interdependence of licensing, the seaweed industry and its stakeholders, the processes currently in place, and the combined role that they will need to play to ensure the sustainable growth of wild harvesting industries into the future.

Marine Scotland now intends to prepare a guidance note for regulators and applicants. This note will include information on key issues associated with wild harvesting that have been identified in the SEA.

Read more here


Environmental charities receive over £1.5 million from businesses which broke environmental laws

(Posted 9 March 2017)

Companies which broke environmental laws – either by polluting rivers, breaching permit conditions designed to protect communities, or avoiding recycling – have agreed to make payments to a range of charities and have pledged to make improvements to avoid future offences.

Thirty charities and projects will benefit from the bumper pay-out of over £1.5 million. The money will be spent by local groups on projects that will make a direct positive impact on the environment. Stretches of rivers will be cleaned up, native species will be restocked into rivers, and communities groups will invest in parkland for everyone to enjoy. The Enforcement Undertakings list includes six companies that have agreed to make six figure payments. As well as making a suitable payment to an appropriate environmental charity, each company has accepted liability, demonstrated restoration of harm and invested to reduce the risk of similar breaches occurring in future.

Restoration projects are in addition to work initially carried out to minimise environmental damage caused by pollution. Companies or members of the public are urged to report pollution to the Environment Agency’s 24/7 hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

Read more here


UK’s rarest freshwater fish caught on film for the first time

(Posted 9 March 2017)

The Environment Agency, working with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, have captured a vendace on film for the first time while conducting a water quality survey in the Lake District.

Vendace (Coregonus albula) is the UK’s rarest freshwater fish and a relic of the ice age. Its UK habitat is in Derwentwater and it is an international conservation priority, just like lamprey, Arctic charr, spined loach, allis shad, twaite shad and smelt. The EA and CEH plan to do further surveying later in the year using more advanced filming technology.


Using natural features to capture silt run-off in the River Leven catchment

(Posted 9 March 2017)

A new project which uses natural features to capture silt run-off is aiming to improve the health of a north-east river catchment. The Northumbria Rural Diffuse Pollution Prevention Partnership (NRDPP) started in 2014, focusing on improving agricultural practices. The project now involves the Environment Agency, Tees Rivers Trust, Forestry Commission, EGGER Forestry and numerous farmers.

Last year the partnership installed features such as large upstream silt traps and log dams in commercial forestry areas to improve the ecology of the watercourses in the River Leven catchment. (The River Leven is a tributary of the River Tees in Teesside.) This is an example of the EA continuing to work closely with farmers, businesses and water companies to reduce pollution and improve water quality.

This NRDPP project will also see the partnership working with local farmers to improve land management through implementing rainwater harvesting techniques, and improving livestock fencing and crossing points to reduce the impact on watercourses.


Independent review of tidal lagoons

(Posted 9 March 2017)

On 12 January 2017 Charles Hendry published his final report and recommendations of the independent review of tidal lagoons.

Commenting, Charles said:

I was appointed in May 2016 to assess the strategic case for tidal lagoons, and the role they could play in the UK’s energy mix. I believe that the evidence is clear that tidal lagoons can play a cost effective role in the UK’s energy mix and there is considerable value in a small (less than 500 MW) pathfinder project. I conclude that tidal lagoons would help deliver security of supply; they would assist in delivering our decarbonisation commitments; and they would bring real and substantial opportunities for the UK supply chain.

Having looked at all the evidence, spoken to many of the key players, on both sides of this debate, it is my view that we should seize the opportunity to move this technology forward now.

The report makes over 30 recommendations for delivering a tidal lagoon auditory bringing maximum benefit to the UK, including:

  • An allocation by a competitive tender process for large scale tidal lagoons.
  • Informing the consenting process with a National Policy Statement for tidal lagoons similar to Nuclear new build, where specific sites are designated by the government as being suitable for development.
  • The establishment of a new body (Tidal Power Authority) at arms-length from government with the goal to maximise UK advantage from a tidal lagoon programme.

The final report is available in English and Welsh.

A summary of the report’s conclusions and recommendations can be found here.

The website can be seen at:


New Environmental Protection Act needed after Brexit

(Posted 9 March 2017)

MPs are warning the government that environmental protections must not be weakened during the process of leaving the EU or afterwards. The Environmental Audit Committee is calling on the government to introduce a new Environmental Protection Act during Article 50 negotiations to maintain the UK's strong environmental standards.

MPs looked at the legislative, trade, and financial issues and make recommendations for action to secure the future of the natural environment. They call on the government to allow full parliamentary scrutiny of its plans for the future of environmental legislation after Brexit.

Read the report summary

Read the report recommendations

Read the full report: The Future of the Natural Environment after the EU Referendum

Read more here (Environmental Audit Committee)


Latest phase of discard ban takes effect

(Posted 9 March 2017)

As of 1 January 2017, the next phase of the discard ban starts with fishermen now having to land cod and pollack.

The discard ban, also known as the landing obligation, requires fishermen to land everything they catch and will help bring an end to the wasteful practice of throwing dead fish back overboard. It has been gradually introduced to allow time to adapt, and two species – North Sea cod and North Western Waters pollack – have now joined the list of fish that must be landed. Existing bans for species such as sole, plaice and haddock have also been extended to include more vessels.

The latest phase of the discard ban follows the successful implementation of the ban to pelagic species such as mackerel and blue whiting in 2015, and the extension to demersal species haddock, sole and plaice at the start of 2016. The discard ban plays a crucial role in helping the UK achieve sustainable fishing levels by 2020.


Marine planning: issues and evidence database

(Posted 9 March 2017)

This database has been produced following public consultation (summer 2016) to gather information and feedback on the issues facing the north east, north west, south east and south west marine areas.

The database includes an overview of each issue, categorises the issue into key themes (economic, environmental, social and economic) and provides details of supporting evidence gathered. The database shows the range and complexity of marine issues that the different plan areas face, and will be used to develop the marine plan priorities and policies for the four marine areas.


Marine Conservation Zones in the Northern Ireland Inshore Region

(Posted 9 March 2017)

The designation of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) safeguards vulnerable or unique marine species and habitats of national importance in the Northern Ireland inshore region based on an ecosystem approach. These MCZs fulfill the obligations on The Marine Act (Northern Ireland) 2013 to contribute to an ecologically coherent UK network of MPAs as well as wider biodiversity commitments at European and global level.

DAERA Marine and Fisheries Division has designated four new MCZs in the Northern Ireland Inshore Region. These are Rathlin, Waterfoot, Outer Belfast Lough and Carlingford Lough.


Environment Agency report shows how £21 million of rod licence money helps angling

(Posted 9 March 2017)

The EA has released the annual fisheries report detailing how the £21 million income from rod licences was distributed by the Agency and its partners to protect and enhance angling and fisheries between April 2015 and March 2016.

In 2015/16, the EA used rod licence money to restock England’s rivers with 452,220 coarse fish, such as chub and barbel, from its fish farm at Calverton, Nottinghamshire; they also opened up 405 km of river for fish with 57 fish passes at locks and weirs. With partners including the Angling Trust, the Agency encouraged angling participation with over 35,000 people trying angling for the first time at events throughout the country. Rod licence money was also spent cracking down on fisheries crime; in 2015 the EA’s patrols checked 62,076 rod licences and brought 2,043 successful prosecutions for fisheries crime, such as poaching.


Celtic Seas Partnership

(Posted 9 March 2017)

The Celtic Seas Partnership is an international project that is part funded by LIFE+, the EU’s funding instrument for the environment. The project aims to draw people together from across the Celtic Seas to set up collaborative and innovative approaches to managing their marine environment.

Many of the partnerships stakeholders have said they would like to see face-to-face engagement at the Celtic Seas scale continue after the project finishes. The partnership says: In today’s economic climate getting the resources to make this happen will be a challenge; however, there are definitely risks and costs to not engaging at this scale. To support the case for resources we need to demonstrate the level of support that exists for engagement at this scale to continue. To do this we have created a statement of support that we are asking our stakeholders to sign-up to. We hope that the statement can then be used to encourage relevant organisations to provide the support and/or resources to make it happen.

You can sign-up on behalf of your organisation or as an individual. To sign-up send your name, organisation and logo (if applicable) to

Source of information:



New FARNET website (the European Fisheries Areas Network)

(Posted 9 March 2017)

FARNET is the community of people implementing Community-Led Local Development (CLLD) under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). This network brings together Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs), managing authorities, citizens and experts from across the EU to work on the sustainable development of fisheries and coastal areas.

The FARNET website has been updated to be more user-friendly, with improved co-operation and search tools to easily access information on projects and to get in touch with the Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs). Also this year MyFARNET is being launched, which is a tool to help the network stay closely in touch and work together on projects.

Fisheries areas across the EU are facing significant challenges. The continuous decline in income and employment in the fishing sector has underlined the need for innovative responses that are both sustainable and inclusive. Community-Led Local Development (CLLD) is a tool that enables local fisheries communities to address these challenges by proposing and testing new solutions. FARNET is there to help them make it happen.



Seagrasses keep waterborne pathogens in check, potentially benefitting people and coral reefs

(Posted 9 March 2017)

Seagrass meadows are the most widespread coastal ocean ecosystems in the world. Recent research has found that these plants can reduce the load of disease-causing bacteria such as Enterococcus in the surrounding seawater by up to 50%. In addition, coral reefs also show a 50% reduction in disease when seagrasses live nearby.

The meadows act as nurseries that shelter young animals, and provide permanent homes for creatures including fish, crabs and shrimp. The plants are also extremely useful when it comes to carbon sequestration. Now findings published in Science add a health-care component to the long list of ecosystem services that seagrasses provide. The authors didn’t investigate how exactly seagrasses neutralize bacteria. But they suggest several possible mechanisms: oxygen produced by the plants could kill certain bacteria; filter-feeding animals living in seagrass meadows might strain out pathogens; or microbes could end up being physically stuck to seagrass blades.

Read more at:


Volume of leachate and environmental impact from landfills reduced – but legacy effects remain

(Posted 9 March 2017)

Landfill leachate is the liquid that seeps through or out of waste deposits in landfill sites. A study on leachate management in Ireland has found that EU regulations, such as the Landfill Directive, have significantly reduced the volume of leachate produced. However, leachate, mainly from younger landfills in Ireland, is stronger since the legislation was implemented; the researchers state that the future treatment of leachate under stricter environmental protection regulations will continue to be a long-term concern for landfill operators and regulators.

Read more here


More co-ordinated legislation needed to ensure the Good Environmental Status of European seas

(Posted 9 March 2017)

A range of legislation, including the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), is designed to ensure the Good Environmental Status (GES) of EU seas by 2020. Researchers have assessed the MSFD in relation to existing maritime policies, concluding that coordination between directives is important to achieve GES.

The study reviewed key maritime policies for achieving GES. The researchers examined how Member States use and integrate existing legislation and policies to implement their Programme of Measures, the potential opportunities and difficulties associated with this, and external barriers to achieving GES. Case studies of three Member States were used (Greece, Spain and the UK).

The researchers say there are conflicting objectives within and between Member States in implementing the MSFD. For example, GES and its descriptor indicators are left to the individual interpretation of the Member States, which may lead to differences in implementation. Recommendations are provided to overcome gaps and barriers in legislation and meet GES. In particular, the researchers recommend increased coordination between related policy instruments. This could include common definitions, targets and data collection. They also say an overreliance on measures within existing legislation may be to the detriment of environmental protection. They recommend that Member States should consider new measures, where necessary, to achieve GES under the MSFD, although they acknowledge that this represents a challenge.

Read more here


Europe could suffer major shellfish production losses due to ocean acidification

(Posted 9 March 2017)

Ocean acidification threatens marine ecosystems worldwide, but economic assessments of its impact are lacking. A recent study has predicted the future cost of ocean acidification on mollusc production in Europe and showed that the highest economic impacts would be in France, Italy and Spain. For Europe overall, the annual damage could be in the region of €0.9 billion by 2100.

For more click here


Europe's rivers ‘highly contaminated’ with long-chain perfluoroalkyl acids

(Posted 9 March 2017)

Long-chain perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are persistent chemicals with proven toxic effects. This study estimated the emissions and concentrations of two such chemicals, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in 11 of Europe's most populated river catchments. Estimated emissions were lowest in the Thames and highest in the Rhine, while the EU environmental quality standard for PFOS was exceeded in all rivers. This study provides a picture of PFAAs contamination in rivers across Europe, and makes recommendations for achieving reductions.

To read more click here


Local Action Project: Ecosystem Services in Urban Water Environments

(Posted 9 March 2017)

Defra’s Local Action Project (LAP) aimed to work with local communities to enhance the value of natural capital in towns, cities and other urban spaces to improve people’s lives, the environment and economic prosperity. It has taken a partnership approach that will enable local communities and civil society groups to discover their vision for where they live and to help them to form effective stakeholder partnerships that can realise this.

The LAP has assisted in meeting the requirements of Defra’s 25-Year Plan to help individuals and organisations understand the economic, social and cultural value of nature, the impact that their actions have on it, and to use this knowledge to make better decisions and facilitate the design of sustainable financing models. The LAP has also provided research and development outputs that presents robust data, evidence and information on the benefits of green infrastructure and natural capital along with a method that helps communities build consensus, facilitate local decision-making and secure funding for natural capital improvements.

The work was funded by Defra (project number WT1580) and ran from March 2015 to May 2016 and was led by the Westcountry Rivers Trust.

The project has produced the following outputs:

  • Method for assessing opportunities to enhance or create new ecosystem services in urban areas
  • Toolbox of interventions to enhance/increase ecosystem services provision in urban areas
  • Cost-benefit assessment of the benefits and impacts of those interventions
  • Series of case studies piloting the mapping and cost-benefit tools, plus lessons learnt report
  • Suite of communication & visualisation tools and a database of good practice examples.

More information can be found at the project website

For further overview details from Defra and to access the report click here


Banned pesticides continue to affect toxicity in streams

(Posted 9 March 2017)

Many toxic pesticides have been banned by the EU. However, some can remain in the environment for many decades. Aquatic invertebrates are particularly vulnerable to pesticides, which can alter their feeding behaviour, growth and mobility. New research in Denmark has found that persistent, legacy pesticides (and the compounds produced as they break down) can increase toxicity in streams by up to 10,000 times compared to the residues of currently used pesticides. The researchers recommend these be taken into account when calculating overall toxicity. They also highlighted that pesticides bound to suspended sediments were found to be a major source of the predicted toxicity.

To read more click here


Payments for Ecosystem Services: review of pilot projects 2012 to 2015

(Posted 9 March 2017)

This review sets out the main findings, achievements, challenges and lessons learned from Defra’s payments for ecosystem services (PES) pilot projects between 2012 and 2015. The evidence from these projects will help to inform the government’s thinking on innovative funding in developing the 25 Year Environment Plan.


DNA based monitoring – method for fish in lakes

(Posted 9 March 2017)

This project develops a new DNA method that could revolutionise the way we monitor fish in lakes. It has been shown to detect 14 of 16 key fish species known to be present in Lake Windermere, compared to just four species found by conventional surveys.

The approach uses environmental DNA (eDNA) – the DNA that fish leave behind in the water from their skin, urine or faeces. This eDNA can be used to give us information on fish living in the lake. New technology allows all the DNA in a water sample to be sequenced and identified. This multi species identification method is rapid and sensitive and has real potential to change the way we carry out our ecological assessments.

The work is part of a wider programme of research by UK agencies to develop DNA based methods for environmental monitoring and decision making.


Ocean acidification, caused by climate change, likely to reduce the survival rate of Atlantic cod larvae

(Posted 9 March 2017)

The impact of ocean acidification, caused by increased carbon dioxide emissions dissolving in sea water, on Atlantic cod larvae has been assessed in a new study. The researchers estimate that, under scenarios which might be reached at the end of the century, ocean acidification could double the mortality rate of cod larvae, reducing replenishment of juvenile fish into cod fisheries to 24% of previous recruitment.

To read more click here



The Green Blue

(Posted 9 March 2017)

The Green Blue is the joint environment programme created by the Royal Yachting Association and British Marine launched in 2005 at the Southampton Boat Show. They help boat users, boating businesses, clubs and training centres to reduce their impact on coastal and inland waters. The Green Blue raises awareness, supports practical projects, runs bespoke outreach activities and offers easy to follow advice to make boating in the UK as sustainable as possible.

The Green Wildlife Guide for Boaters is their new publication which advises boaters on how to get the best experience out of their wildlife encounters by acting responsibly and cautiously to minimize the risk of disturbance while keeping participants and their boats safe.


A Place for SuDS? Assessing the effectiveness of delivering multifunctional sustainable drainage

(Posted 9 March 2017)

Surface water flooding is a growing threat to businesses, critical infrastructure and millions of people across England. As the government presses ahead with plans for a million homes, the problem of surface water flooding will increase unless development meets a high standard of resilience. At the moment, though, despite new planning rules, many new homes are built without sustainable drainage. The government’s current review of SuDS law and policy is a chance to simplify the range of approaches around the country and ensure that new homes are built with natural flood resilience in mind.

This report by CIWEM and WWT sets out new evidence on the quality of sustainable drainage in England and their recommendations for increasing uptake and upkeep of SuDS in a quick, affordable way.

See the report here:


CaBA booklet Working together for a healthy water environment

(Posted 9 March 2017)

The Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) brings people together to consider and enhance river catchments, as well as achieve the aspirations of local communities. More than 1500 organisations are now taking this approach in over 100 river catchments in England and Wales, and there have been many successes and achievements. To illustrate some of those achievements, CaBA has published a short booklet outlining their aims, together with some case studies.

Access the report here:


Marine Planning Newsletter, January 2017

(Posted 9 March 2017)

Issued by the Marine Management Organisation. This includes news on the draft South Marine Plan consultation and the next phase of the marine plans.

To access the newsletter click here


Seabird Population Trends and Causes of Change: 1986–2015 Report

(Posted 9 March 2017)

This report presents the latest analysed trends in population numbers and breeding success, productivity, survival and diet of breeding seabirds, from the Seabird Monitoring Programme (SMP), along with interpretive text on the likely causes of change based on the most recent research. This online report will be updated annually.

Trend information is presented at the UK level and separately for Scotland, Wales, England, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, all-Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. Interpretation of trends and reasons for change are given largely at the UK level, unless there is country-specific evidence.

Find out more at:


The Great British Beach Clean Report

(Posted 9 March 2017)

The September 2016 Great British Beach Clean saw almost 6,000 volunteers clean 364 beaches around the UK, recording the litter they found. The results have revealed a mixed picture.

A huge amount of rubbish was picked up – 268,384 individual pieces, although this is a little lower than last year. The number of plastic bags found have almost halved in a year! That’s clearly down to the charge at the checkout, which is now in place across the whole of the UK. There was, however, an astonishing rise in the amount of balloon related litter, up more than 50% on 2015. There were more drinks containers, bottle caps and lids, too – up more than 4% on the previous year.

Read the short report here


Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment – The national survey on people and the natural environment – Visits to coastal England

(Posted 9 March 2017)

This report, published by Natural England, presents the results of an analysis of the MENE findings from the first six years of fieldwork from March 2009 to February 2015 regarding visits to the coast.

The data enables Natural England, its partners and data users to:

  • Understand how people use, enjoy and are motivated to protect the natural environment.
  • Monitor changes in use of the natural environment over time, at a range of different spatial scales and for key groups within the population.
  • Inform on-the-ground initiatives to help them link more closely to people's needs.
  • Evaluate the impact and effectiveness of related policy and initiatives.
  • Measure the impact on, and inform policy relating to, the natural environment.

To read the report click here