Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The disappearing act!

But first a brilliant photograph.

Gannet David Cookson

The Gannet and its offspring showing the art of photography at its best....Great stuff DC, much appreciated.

I don't reckon to know the up to date facts about the High Speed 2 rail line, it may well be underway or in the pipeline for all I know, what I do know is that in excess of 20 ancient woods need protection along the route of this speed-rail line. Another example of the kind of destruction faced by more ancient woodland in need of protection is that of more than 80 acres from a quarry in Kent, and there will be many more examples we don't know or hear about. 

Ancient woodland has formed part of our landscape since the Ice Age. In the 21st century it now covers less than 2% of the UK with lots of them - along with the animals that rely on them for survival - still under the threat of airports, new roads, and leisure facilities. Over 40 species associated with woodland died out in the UK last century and many more are at risk today in the UK which is one of the least wooded places in Europe. Only 12% of the UK's landscape is wooded compared with an average of 44% in other European countries.

Nearly 50% of the ancient woods that survived until the 1930's has since been lost or damaged by agriculture, development, or planting by non-native conifers for commercial forestry. A wide range of birds nest inside the cavities of the older trees and are dependent upon them for the bulk of their food. The Lesser-spotted Woodpecker needs a large territory full of insect-rich wood, a reduction of this is leading this bird to the brink of extinction and I wonder if the Lesser-spotted Woodpecker is perhaps one of the first casualties of our modern landscape. 

And finally....

Black Starling. Ana Minguez

The Black Starling, I love the contrasting colours between the birds yellow bill, red legs, and black plumage, and....

Thekla Lark. Ana Minguez.

The Thekla Lark, both of which - unless you travel outside the UK - you may never see. Thanks to Ana Minguez for the brilliant photographs. 

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