Monthly Archives: July 2015

EU Birds and Habitats Directives

Small Skipper Butterfly

I really enjoy my nature; being out and about in the fresh air, seeing what’s around, being surprised and sometimes awed by amazing wildlife. I also take my nature seriously – it gives me pleasure, interest, a sense of place in the world – so if I can, I like to give something back.

There are so many pressures on our natural environment and these are only building as populations grow, people become ever greedier and the checks and balances that have been put in place to protect the environment are increasingly eroded.

Two of those checks and balances – the cornerstone of our environmental protection in Europe: the EU Birds and Habitats Directives – are currently being reviewed to see if they remain “fit for purpose” in the current economic climate.

Unfortunately, it appears that this review could lead to a serious weakening of the Directives, despite the fact that when all seven EU environmental directives (of which these are just two) were recently reviewed by the European Commission they were found to represent less than 1% of the total cost to business of all European regulation.

So in light of all this, I am doing my bit to stand up for the EU Birds and Habitats Directives by contributing to the consultation. If you think it is worth holding on to two of the most effective tools in the battle to protect our natural environment, then the easiest way to put forward your views is via the specially created page on the RSPB website.

We have until July 24 to make our voices heard.

Butterfly Bonanza

Ringlet Butterfly

Much as I love birds (and I really do), I am really into my butterflies at the moment, so it’s been very nice to see a fresh emergence of species over the last couple of weeks. I have seen my first Ringlets of the year, like the one above, as well as Large Skipper, Small Skipper and Meadow Brown. There were literally dozens of Ringlet at Gosforth Park Nature reserve at the weekend – I don’t think there is anything more uplifting than seeing large numbers of butterflies flitting around together.

Large Skipper Butterfly

Large Skipper nectaring on Meadow Cranesbill at St Nicholas Park in Gosforth.

Large Skipper Butterfly

Another Large Skipper at St Nicholas Park – the dark sex brand on each wing marks this one out as a male.

Meadow Brown Butterfly

This was my first sighting  of a Meadow Brown in 2015 – not one but two butterflies, locked together in a coital embrace!

Meadow Brown Butterfly

This male Meadow Brown posed nicely whilst soaking up some warmth in Gosforth Park.

Meadow Brown Butterfly

Speckled Wood Butterfly

A little frayed around the edges, this Speckled Wood still looked good basking in the sunshine last week.