Saving England's most threatened species from extinction

The Lateset Lowdown on Shifting Sands

 There's loads going on here in the Brecks - we have lots of new volunteering opportunities and events! Read on to find out more…

 

In the Kings Forest, archaeology and wildlife surveys are being undertaken ahead of tree-felling this Autumn. This will widen forest corridors, providing benefits to many rare and declining open-habitat species.

Join Butterfly Conservation’s Sharon Hearle in the Kings Forest for moth trapping and a butterfly walk on Thursday 19th July 10am – 2pm. The beautiful Forester Moth might be found! All welcome and suitable for beginners. Full details can be found here on the Back from the Brink website, along with all other project events.

 

(Opening the moth trap on 10th May at the north Stow car park, Kings Forest. Our work to widen and connect open forest corridors in the Kings Forest should benefit rarities like the Dingy Skipper Butterfly and its food plants.)

 

In partnership with Plantlife and Elveden Estate we’ve completed ground disturbance works on five sites which will benefit several rare Brecks plants. One of these is Prostrate Perennial Knawel, which currently exists nowhere else on Earth and requires areas of open, bare ground to survive. Alongside this we are busy planning works at around another thirteen sites this autumn.

We would love for you to get in touch if you fancy volunteering for the Brecks Flora Group –there are lots of opportunities to up-skill and survey rare Brecks plants. Found out more here.

(Tim Pankhurst from Plantlife surveying our ground disturbance plot at Deadman’s Grave Site of Special Scientific Interest in Suffolk. The site is owned and managed by Elveden Estate and is partially accessible via the ancient Icknield Way route, although closures to minimise disturbance for nesting Stone Curlew are possible.)

 

Rabbits are also getting a helping hand on five Brecks sites where they have declined. Widely perceived as a pest elsewhere, rabbits are a keystone species on our heaths. They maintain the short swards and patches of bare ground so essential to the Brecks steppe-like ecosystem. We will be undertaking some groundworks this Autumn to encourage burrowing and to create brash piles for predator cover.

Watch out for rabbit volunteer workdays being advertised on the Back from the Brink website soon!

 

Finally, our inaugural public event has just been scheduled for Saturday 18th August 2018 and will be held at the restored Engine House in Brandon Country Park – a fantastic venue and past Heritage Lottery Fund beneficiary! Come along for a nature-filled day of fun and inspiration for all ages. Learn about and get close to some of the rare species in the Brecks we're trying to bring Back From The Brink. Activities will include opening moth traps and identifying species, a guided walk, talks by global experts and family fun - face-painting and nature trails. From 11am; Indoor and outdoor; Refreshments and facilities available five minutes’ walk away in the Park.

 

Phoebe Miles
Project Officer

 

You can find out more about the Shifting Sands project and the Back from the Brink programme here. Or get in touch with the project manager: Phoebe.miles@naturalengland.org.uk.

Would you like to help this incredible species? There are numerous ways in which you can:

  • Why not volunteer for Back from the Brink? Check out our events page for opportunities near you.
  • Help us to spread the word of this species, and the others we will be helping over the next 3 years, by sharing our message across our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages. Follow us: @naturebftb.
  • Finally - help support the work we do across England by donating. Our impact will be greater with your help.

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