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                                                                          Newsletter - Autumn 2018

September has arrived! After a very warm and dry summer, we now have the chance for a cooler look forward to our own Autumn programme, albeit against the background of continuing pressures on our natural environment. With historically very high rates of extinction of plants and animals, due to climate change, population pressures and changes in agricultural practices internationally, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimate a very large decline, of 67 per cent on average, since 1970 in wildlife populations by 2020 (see: http://assets.wwf.org.uk/custom/lpr2016/). Like the canary in the coal mine, the rapidly declining state of our wildlife is likely to have important messages for the health of the human population too, with the risk on the horizon of a “hothouse earth” in which world sea levels rise by a catastrophic 10-60 metres emphasised in a recent Stockholm report1, unless much greater remedial action is urgently taken on reducing our emissions of greenhouse gasses and on many other environmentally important policy fronts.

 Placing much greater value on wildlife and on our appreciation of the importance of biodiversity is one of the main themes in our forthcoming Autumn indoor presentation on Wednesday 7th November by Dr Amy-Jane Beer, who is a biologist and a writer with a strong love of both words and nature. She has edited the Wildlife World magazine for the People’s Trust for Endangered Species and has made many contributions to the BBC Wildlife magazine and the Yorkshire Post, as well as co-authoring The Illustrated World Encyclopedia of Marine Fish and Sea Creatures, The Encyclopedia of Mammals, and the Encyclopedia of Endangered Animals: An Essential Guide to the Threatened Species of Our World. Living near York, she has also made well-crafted contributions to the Guardian’s literary jewel of its Country Diary, on the delights of observing nature locally near Kirkham Abbey, Welburn and the River Ouse (see: www.theguardian.com/profile/amy-jane-beer

We will have a chance for our own observation of wildlife at the Rodley Nature Reserve on Saturday 6th October, as well for a healthy cycle ride on Saturday 22nd September, and to get involved in our own practical monthly conservation working parties in Hagg Wood to improve our own local environment. The further details of these and all our new Autumnal events are given overleaf, so please do put them in your diary to avoid missing them. Inside the wood you can also enjoy seeing the magnificent new Welcome Board we have designed and which the Forestry Commission has recently erected near the corner of the Millennium area and the main north-south footpath through the wood. This is near the bench at the end of the Stone Track which gives walkers the chance of a rest, with hopes too that we will soon have a replacement bench installed in the main woodland crossroad of footpaths further north.

 Please also e-mail our membership secretary on elainehudson@talktalk.net or give Elaine a call on York 481520 if you have not yet renewed your subscription for 2018-19.

 1 www.stockholmresilience.org/research/research-news/2018-08-06-planet-at-risk-of-heading-towards-hothouse-earth-state.html 

 

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