Archive for April, 2014

This week, we received a letter from the Scottish Government promoting “Fit in ’14” which is a nationwide initiative to encourage us to become more physically active, in and out the workplace.

The benefits of a more active workforce are listed as:

– lower levels of staff illness, absence and quicker recovery times
– reduction in stress
– increased satisfaction at work
– a more productive workforce

We have to register online to take part and support activities to be more active including getting off the bus a couple of stops early, and cycling to work.

Details available at: fitin14.org/getting started

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As part of Climate Week event, people involved in the Fork to Fork Learning and Training Project met up with Anthony McCluskey, Outreach Officer of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust at Capability Scotland, West Lane Gardens, Johnstone. 

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Anthony gave a very informative talk about how bumblebees have been declining because of changes in agricultural practices that have largely removed flowers from our farms and local landscape, leaving the bumblebees with little to feed upon. Most UK species of bumblebee have greatly declined in recent years, and two have become extinct in the UK since 1940.

Across the UK, there are 24 species of bumblebee but only eight are found in most areas. Bumblebees are found in a variety of habitats and it is possible to attract them to gardens provided there are appropriate flowering plants.

Anthony highlighted that some species are less common and are only found in a few places. For example, the Great yellow bumblebee is now only found on the north coast and some islands of Scotland. This species previously had a wide distribution throughout the UK, but habitat degradation has seen its numbers decline dramatically in most places.

To learn more about bumblebees, please log on to: http://bumblebeeconservation.org/about-bees/

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The People’s Trust for Endangered Species has written to highlight that their survey shows that “hedgehogs have declined by a third in the UK over the last ten years and by as much as half in some regions”.

There is an ongoing campaign known as “Hedgehog Street” which is making progress but there is still much more to be done.

The reasons for the decline are given as  poor hedgerows, larger agricultural fields, use of pesticides, and busier roads.

It is especially important to restore hedgerows to provide shelter and for field margins and grasslands to be sensitively managed.

For more information, please log on to:http://www.hedgehogstreet.org/

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