Tees Valley Nature Partnership(TVNP) is one of 47 local nature partnerships across England designated by the Secretary of State. We work strategically to conserve and enhance a healthy and robust natural environment, proven to aid our well-being and provide the natural assets vital for a healthy economy. Linking organisations in the Tees Valleys environmental, business and health and well-being sectors we form an influential partnership.
Welcome to a colourful Autumn 2018 TVNP newsletter. Read below and catch up on some of what has been happening since the summer. Click on the pictures to follow the links. Don't forget to subscribe and forward on to your contacts.
Thanks to an HLF Resilient Heritage Grant this year the TVNP has undergone a thorough review. The outcomes and ambitions for the years ahead are captured in our forthcoming business plan to be launched this November. Our 3 main ambitions are:
Support policies and projects that ensure the protection and enhancement of the Tees Valley’s natural environment
Embed a Natural Capital approach across the Tees Valley
Help more people realise the health benefits of engaging with the natural environment.
Tees Valley Welcomes Eminent Environmentalist
On 25th October a meeting held at the Tees Valley Combined Authority explored the concept of natural capital, and how it can be developed in the Tees Valley. The Tees estuary was discussed as a unique opportunity to spearhead this approach to influence the national agenda.
Dr Paul Leinster, CBE one of eight expert members of the Natural Capital Committee, and formerly Chief Executive of the Environment Agencygave his support and expert advice.
Local Sites* Progress
Local Wildlife Sites provide wildlife refuges for most of the UK’s fauna and flora. They complement other protected sites and represent local character and distinctiveness. They do not have legal protection but have policy protection through the Local Plan of each Local Authority. The updated National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) reinstated LWS protection in July after a campaign by over 25,000 people lead by The Wildlife Trusts. Here in the Tees Valley we have updated out local process to ensure consistency across the 5 local authorities. *Local Wildlife Sites and Local Geological Sites
NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Teesmouth and Cleveland Coast SPA, Ramsar Site and SSSI Consultation
Natural England has reviewed the suite of nature conservation designations in the Teesmouth and Cleveland Coast area, including seven Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and the Teesmouth and Cleveland Coast Special Protection Area (SPA) and Ramsar Site.
They have now notified an enlarged SSSI that includes the majority of the area of the seven previous SSSIs, linking and combining them with substantial extensions. Part of one SSSI (Seal Sands) is not considered to be of special interest and is therefore proposed for de-notification.
Natural England has also recommended to Government that the existing SPA and Ramsar Site be revised to include extensions and additional qualifying interests. Ministers have asked them to consult formally on these proposals.
Accordingly, Natural England is seeking views on:
notification of the enlarged Teesmouth and Cleveland Coast SSSI;
proposed de-notification of part of Seal Sands SSSI;
proposal to extend Teesmouth and Cleveland Coast Special Protection Area (SPA); and
proposal to extend Teesmouth and Cleveland Coast Ramsar Site.
The team will discover, catalogue and promote industrial heritage across East Cleveland, specifically at ironstone mining sites currently in serious states of decline such as Kilton, Lingdale, North Skelton, Brotton, Liverton Mines and Skinningrove.
Wildlife enthusiasts, conservation volunteers and naturalists from across the Tees Valley participated in the fourth Tees Valley Wildlife Recording Conference on Sunday 21st October at Preston Park Museum. The day was a huge success with 9 dynamic presentations from Slow Worms to nest boxes. Organised byTees Valley Wild Green Placeswhere all the presentations from the day can be found and theEnvironmental Records Centre North East (ERIC NE).
Tees Elver Monitoring Programme
Since April the Tees Rivers Trust 'Fish For Tees' Project ran in partnership with River Tees Rediscovered, has been drawing people down to the Tees Barrage, but not for the reasons you would imagine. Every week volunteers have been monitoring the young European Eels that have been coming upstream after their 5000km migration across the Atlantic Ocean from their spawning grounds.
Each eel has been counted with a sample during each monitoring period being measured and their life stage recorded. The season has now ended but if you would be interested in getting involved in the elver monitoring programme next year, get in touch via email@example.com or drop us a message on our Facebook page.
New Horizons for ‘One Planet Pioneer’ Apprentices
At the end of November, the team (left to right; Emily, Jess and Zannah) who have been training full time for a year with the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust as One Planet Pioneer apprentices, will be taking their skills and confidence to prospective employers. They have worked very hard towards completing a Level 2, City and Guilds qualification in Environmental Conservation learning a wide variety of practical skills for managing habitats and assisting with a busy programme of community-based events. All members of the project staff wish them all the very best for the future.
Looking ahead, the Our Bright Future – One Planet Pioneer Project will continue with Big Lottery Funding until 2021. Becky Stanley is looking to recruit a new team of four young people aged 16-21 who will start their training in January 2019.
If you would like further information on training or volunteering with this project, please get in touch with her:firstname.lastname@example.org
Natural Choice for Tees Valley Youth
The North York Moors Young Rangers were one year old this October. The group of 11 to 17 year olds meet once a month in various locations around the National Park and complete practical tasks and fun activities whilst gaining the John Muir award.
In the picture the Young Rangers are working on the Cleveland Way at Coate Moor (Kildale). The group located the task area and worked to clear the path. They cleared low branches, nettles and drainage systems ready for the autumn and winter months.
If you’re interested in joining the Young Rangers then please contact the National Park Authority on: email@example.com
England Natural Environment Indicators - just published
In January 2018, the government published their 25 Year Environment Plan. The plan sets out government actions to help the natural world regain and retain good health. It aims to deliver cleaner air and water in our cities and rural landscapes, protect threatened species and provide richer wildlife habitats. It calls for an approach to agriculture, forestry, land use and fishing that puts the environment first.
As part of this the government has made a commitment to develop a set of metrics to assess progress towards the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan. They will then report on progress annually and refresh the plan periodically to make sure that actions continue to target the right improvements and make a real difference.
Here in the Tees Valley we are looking to develop our own local indicators so watch this space...
Landmark Agriculture Bill to Deliver a Green Brexit
Legislation to deliver a cleaner and healthier environment for future generations after nearly half a century under EU rules was introduced to Parliament in September.
The Agriculture Bill sets out how farmers and land managers will in future be paid for “public goods”, such as better air and water quality, improved soil health, higher animal welfare standards, public access to the countryside and measures to reduce flooding.
This will replace the current subsidy system of Direct Payments, which is ineffective and pays farmers based on the total amount of land farmed. These payments are skewed towards the largest landowners and are not linked to any specific public benefits. The top 10% of recipients currently receive almost 50% of total payments, while the bottom 20% receive just 2%.
In its place, a new Environmental Land Management system will start from next year. The government will work together with farmers to design, develop and trial the new approach. Under the new system, farmers and land managers who provide the greatest environmental benefits will secure the largest rewards, laying the foundations for a Green Brexit.
If we had a photo competition the prize would most certainly go to Rob Scaife for capturing this image of an unusual mole (sadly dead) whilst out walking in Coatham Wood. Kenny Crooks, Conservation Officer at Tees Valley Wildlife Trust explained that moles have the greatest colour variation of any British mammal, or perhaps the fur had been dyed by the soil it had been excavating?...
WE NEED YOUR NEWS! Lets spread the word of all the nature developments and successes across the Tees Valley. Send your details to Rachel Murtagh, Tees Valley Nature Partnership Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org