Securing a healthy natural environment for today and the future

The most recent meeting of the Observatory’s Environment topic group reviewed evidence to “Identify Regional Natural Environmental Priorities for the West Midlands”. Evidence highlighted by the group will inform work by the region’s Defra Agenda Group (DAG) to identify regional environmental priorities. The DAG comprises Government Office for the West Midlands, the Environment Agency, Natural England, Forestry Commission, Advantage West Midlands and Animal Health.

Continue reading

State of the natural environment in the West Midlands

West Midlands Biodiversity PartnershipOn Thursday 23rd April 2009, I attended the Annual Biodiversity Conference organised by the West Midlands Biodiversity Partnership (WMBP) at the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham.

Key speakers included Olwen Dutton (Chief Executive of the West Midlands Regional Assembly), Roger Owen (Regional Director of Natural England), David Pape (Head of Ecology, Hampshire County Council), Conor Kretsch (Director of Cohab Initiative) and Heather Webb (Coordinator at Bedslife).

During the day the speakers highlighted the key role that biodiversity plays in the development of the West Midlands.

Continue reading

Regional habitat data project

Woodland sceneThe Regional Habitat Data Project is managed by the West Midlands Biodiversity Partnership and aims to create a reliable spatial representation of all known priority BAP habitat across the West Midlands region.

This project intends to pull together all the existing reliable national, regional and local data sets, making them available as a regional resource as a tool for future planning and development of strategies.

Continue reading

Urban bird spotting

Birds on a wireThe OPAL (Open Air Laboratories) project in the West Midlands is currently out and about putting small coloured and metal rings around the left leg of 12 species of birds in Shire Country Park and Sutton Park. This is part of a wider study into the biodiversity of the region.

By finding out where these marked birds are being seen they can answer questions such as:

  1. How far are birds moving?
  2. Where are birds moving to in Birmingham?
  3. Which bird species are moving to and from other patches of Birmingham?
  4. Do birds in parks utilise garden food resources or remain in parks?

 If you see a ringed bird, let OPAL know by submitting a record.