The Essex Rivers Hub was formed in January 2014 and is hosted by Essex Wildlife Trust, funded through the Environment Agency and includes a wide range of partners from many sectors across the catchment. This has formed one of a number of Catchment Partnerships in England, set up to support and take forward activities relating to the Water Framework Directive.
Partnership website: http://www.essexrivershub.org.uk/
The latest version of the Seabird Monitoring Programme annual report, covering the period from 1986 to the 2013 breeding season, has now gone live at http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-3201.
Here we present the latest analysed trends in abundance, productivity, demographic parameters and diet of breeding seabirds, from the Seabird Monitoring Programme, along with interpretative text on the likely causes of change based on the most recent research.
Following the discovery of Himalayan balsam, an invasive non-native species, along the Roman River catchment south of Colchester in 2011, funding was obtained from the Environment Agency to manually pull up the plants along the river catchment to allow native species to recolonise the area. A summer of volunteer effort along the catchment in 2012 appeared to pay off, as by 2013 far fewer plants were evident in the area. So far so good.
Essex Wildlife Trust held two training courses for budding hedgerow surveyors this May, and our new volunteers are now ready to take part in our Living Landscape Surveys this summer!
Our hedgerow training courses use a standardised method to survey hedges to provide us with information on hedge type, management and condition. This helps us to flag up any potential problems and identify areas where we can work with landowners to improve the condition of hedges for wildlife - and for the landowner as well.
On Saturday 1 March 2014 the Conservation Team organised an event at Writtle College aimed at recruiting volunteers to carry out various surveys in the coming year. More than 60 people attended, showing interest in the work we are doing at Essex Wildlife Trust. Nearly everyone signed up to help with surveys and projects including Riversearch, River Wardens, The Badger Vaccinating project, Barn Owl monitoring, Hedgerow surveying and Grassland surveys.