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There is light at the end of the tunnel...

Hello everyone,


We hope you are all keeping safe and well, and staying positive in these trying times. Hopefully we can brighten up your day a little with some good news about our BEE a Nature Guide training course!


Since we last posted a progress update at the end of August, we have been working hard to adapt the course programme in response to COVID-19, so that we can still deliver a high quality nature guide training course whilst making sure everyone remains safe and healthy.

In order to ensure your safety as well as the safety of our staff, we have restructured the course programme to remove all indoor face-to-face sessions. Most of our subjects will now consist of an outdoor guided walk, generally a half day every other Saturday, combining practical and theoretical components, followed by an online session covering the rest of the theory. A small number of the subjects will be online only. Additional learning resources and support will be made available to you through our new online learning platform.

Now that we have finalised the format of the Course, we are pleased to be officially accepting bookings and payments! Those of you that have previously registered an interest in the Course on our website will have received an email with further information, including our COVID-19 policy and risk assessment, which can be viewed here, detailing the measures we have put in place to keep you and our staff safe.


We are all very excited to finally be able to launch the first BEE a Nature Guide Courses! Initially run in two counties, Suffolk and Norfolk. The Suffolk course programme is scheduled to start on 16/01/2021, the Norfolk course programme on 30/01/2021.


You can read more about the Course and sign up here.


Please share this post with your friends, relatives, colleagues, or anyone you feel may be interested in learning more about nature and joining us.


We look forward to meeting you soon!


Anneloes, Lee, David and the BEES team

  • BEES

On 10/10/2020, the team at TED launched Countdown, 'a global initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis, turning ideas into action'. The campaign includes short talks from over 50 speakers across 5 organised sessions:

  • Urgency

  • Leadership

  • Transformation

  • Breakthroughs

  • Action

The videos are generally between 5 and 10 minutes long, so easy enough to fit into your lunch break, but packed full of information and ideas to help raise awareness of global climate issues, what we can do to solve them.


Protecting the natural environment is one of Prince William's key priorities for this new decade, watch his message below:


"We start this new decade knowing that it is the most consequential period in history," says Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge. Inspired by President John F. Kennedy's "Moonshot," he calls on us all to rise to our greatest challenge ever: the "Earthshot." A set of ambitious objectives for the planet, the Earthshot goals seek to protect and restore nature, clean the air, revive oceans, build a waste-free world and fix the climate - all in the next decade. To do it, we'll need people in all corners of the globe working together with urgency, creativity and the belief that it is possible to repair the Earth.


Here at BEES we believe that the better informed the public are the better our chances are of protecting our natural environment and biodiversity, in fact it's part of our ethos.


So get informed and get involved! Learn more at https://countdown.ted.com/


Our last post explored the role of citizen science in advancing the scope of ecological research whilst influencing public policy and engagement in important issues. Volunteers are utilised in scientific projects across the globe, but there is also a vast amount of research conducted at home, here in the UK.


Garden BirdWatch


The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) is just one of many organisations helping to understand and monitor changes in bird populations as a consequence of climate change (such as changes to migratory patterns, population declines, and breeding disturbances). Garden BirdWatch focuses on monitoring and research to build vast, robust datasets of native bird abundance/distribution.


Ongoing monitoring has allowed conservationists to determine the severity of population and range declines, as well as the number of breeding and wintering birds. Data gathered helps understand the drivers of change through determining the critical life cycle stage being impacted, is used to assess existing conservation initiatives and as a proxy for wider biodiversity trends. Combining bird watching with innovative analyses and the most up to date data-gathering technology, this scheme involves over 60,000 volunteers which can ultimately inform conservation policy through the vast quantity of data they collect.

Applications like BirdTrack allow birdwatchers to easily log and access their observations. The BirdWatch program itself involves recording the species and abundance of birds utilising resources in your garden then entering your data online. It’s a quick and easy way to improve our knowledge and help conserve these important ecological drivers! To find out more, visit here.


BeeWalk


BeeWalk is a standardised national survey of bumblebees set out to understand why Bumblebees are in decline across the UK. The data collected is fundamental in monitoring how populations are changing through time in response to changing land use, climate change and management, allowing scientists to identify early signs of population collapse and informing conservation policy.


So how does this work? Simply choose a set walking route (around 1-2 miles) and input onto the BeeWalk Website. Count and identify how many bumblebees you see along this route, once a month between March – October. All you need is some spare time and basic bumblebee identification skills (help on this is available here).


You can also check out the links below for ways to get involved with projects remotely from your own home!


https://www.volunteermatch.org/virtual-volunteering/Environment

https://www.nhm.ac.uk/take-part/citizen-science/project-plumage.html?fbclid=IwAR1dXo1tgZogkAOwEJECCdvn4fVIlftL1rY3Q6xDQYUwD1ygnYwEq3G8yVI

https://www.countryside-jobs.com/volunteers/volunteering-from-home?fbclid=IwAR1PiJuHyZuqHcmS93qY4VnGEzK58nDXKGBCjHe-q3fW7mHanN3LlyNv1NM

Elena

Sources:

https://www.ceh.ac.uk/citizen-science

https://www.beewalk.org.uk/

https://www.bto.org/how-you-can-help)

Bonney, R. et al., 2009. Citizen Science: A Developing Tool. BioScience, 59(11), pp. 977-984.

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