Biodiversity

Air quality filters accidentally collecting biodiversity data

A badger in the wild

Whatʼs going on here? Air quality monitoring stations dotted around the planet have been inadvertently collecting airborne environmental DNA (eDNA) without anybody noticing, finds a new report. The remarkable discovery reveals that thousands of filters routinely testing for pollutants are unintentionally breathing in trace eDNA shed by animals, plants, and fungi. What does this mean? In recent years, researchers have discovered eDNA…

I can show you the world… with satellites and citizen science

A photo of a satellite in space orbiting the earth with the sun rising

Earlier this month the Scottish government announced they were considering an annual LIDAR scan of all Scotland’s forests. The project would allow high-level and up-to-date monitoring of forest cover, giving insights into biodiversity and progress on climate targets. Large scale monitoring like this takes place all over the world, and is vital if we want to protect species and ecosystems for generations…

Back into the wild! Scottish wildcats to be bred in captivity as the population nears extinction

Scottish wildcat crouching in front of a brick wall

What’s going on here? The Scottish wildcat is close to extinction. Most wildcats in the UK are now hybrids: the result of breeding with feral and domestic cats. This summer, the first captive-bred individuals are due to be released into the Scottish highlands. What does this mean? NatureScot, a public body of the Scottish Government, has released the results of a five-year…

“It’s the coffee we have for breakfast, the chocolate we eat, the coal in our barbecues, the paper in our books.”

What’s going on here? These are the words of Pascal Canfin, of the European Parliament (environment committee) which has recently passed a law banning the importation of goods that are linked to deforestation. This approach aims to prevent products entering the European market which are produced at the expense of natural forests and habitats. What does this mean?  The new rules will…

No pollinators, no food: Saving the birds and the bees (mostly the bees)

Without bees pollinating our crops, we would be hard-pressed to grow much of anything without costly and time-intensive intervention. The relationship between bees and plants is a win-win. The plant provides the pollinator with nectar and pollen for food, and the pollinator transfers genetic material for the plant that allows it to reproduce. This makes another crucial bee fact particularly concerning: The…

Could rewilding be a natural solution for carbon capture and storage?

A photo of a wolf standing in a green forest

What’s going on here? A new study published in Nature Climate Change suggests that rewilding could have a bigger impact on climate change than previously thought. The study shows that protecting wild animals can act as a natural method for carbon capture and storage (CCS). What does this mean? The research shows that animals like whales, wolves, and sea otters can play…

How to fight climate change from your garden: ask an expert

From returning a lost temperate rainforest to the North-West of England, to the rewilding of a secret garden, to practical yet inspiring tips and recommendations for every gardener, this article taps into the knowledge of professional landscaper, Jake Sutcliffe of Farm Lane Landscaping.  Jake – always curious about the nature and plants that surround us – has used his homegrown knowledge of…

Beyond Veganuary: How climate change is affecting our food supply, and what we can do about it.

an aerial photo of two harvester machines moving across a wheat field

It is well documented that our addiction to meat and dairy is harming the planet, emitting nearly 15% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. Campaigns like Veganuary encourage us to switch to plant-based diets in order to reduce our impact on the climate. Because of this, veganism is on the rise and many of us, especially in January, are thinking more consciously…