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Don’t undermine the laws that protect nature, say nearly half a million European citizens.

BBCT are members of the Wildlife and Countryside Link, Scottish Environment Link and Wales Environment Link. This press release was issued by the RSPB on behalf of Link member organisations. 

Calls to defend nature beat the record for responses to European public consultations.

Don’t undermine or wreck the laws protecting nature. That’s the clear and powerful message to the President of the European Commission and his Commissioners from the majority of nearly half a million people [note 6] across Europe (with around one in five of those coming from the UK) who have so far responded to the consultation on the future of two of Europe’s nature laws: the Birds and Habitats Directives.

As the three-month consultation draws to a close at midnight tonight [Friday 24 July, 2015], conservation and wildlife groups across Europe are delighted with the level of public support which has exceeded all previous consultations on any other European law. In Europe, four environmental networks, comprising WWF Europe, BirdLife International, the European Environmental Bureau and Friends of the Earth Europe, came together in May launching the Nature Alert campaign [note 2] in response to the EU Commission’s suggestion to evaluate whether the existing EU nature laws should be changed.

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Update on the Government’s decision to allow the use of banned neonicotinoid seed treatments

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust is disappointed to learn that the Government has agreed to allow farmers to plant oilseed rape seeds treated with the currently banned neonicotinoid pesticides this autumn, albeit on only 5% of the total OSR area.

To read our current policy position on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides click here.

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Innovation Park Provides Perfect New Habitat for Eco Charities

Two fast growing environmental charities have selected Stirling University Innovation Park as their new home. The Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Grounds for Learning have snapped up sought after business space on the scenic campus.

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust, which will soon celebrate its ten year anniversary, is the UK’s leading charity devoted to reversing bumblebee decline; while Grounds for Learning, the Scottish arm of UK Charity Learning through Landscapes, has successfully transformed outdoor play and learning for thousands of Scottish school children over the past fifteen years.

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‘Thurso – Gateway to the Great Yellow’ wins Heritage Lottery Fund support

We are delighted to announce that Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT) has received £116,880 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, ‘Thurso – Gateway to the Great Yellow’ in Caithness. Working with communities in Caithness, this project will establish Thurso as the UK’s first Great yellow bumblebee town. The project is match-funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, the Postcode Community Trust and the Caithness and North Sutherland Fund.

Great yellow bumblebee, Bombus distinguendusGreat yellow bumblebee (Bombus distinguendus) on clover.
Photo credit: Gordon Mackie

The project will create a strong sense of community ownership of this enigmatic rare bee and encourage grassroots support for bumblebee conservation. Through education, outreach, interpretation and wide-ranging practical measures, BBCT will engage local communities right across Caithness to raise awareness of the unique natural heritage of Caithness, create and manage habitats for the Great yellow bumblebee and other pollinators, and carry out vital survey work to inform our understanding of the current population status of bumblebees in Caithness.

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100 voluntary organisations Unite to Defend Nature

100 voluntary organisations across the UK, including Bumblebee Conservation Trust, have joined forces to call for the protection of Europe’s natural environment.

You too can lend your support with just one click via the ‘Nature Alert’ electronic tool - www.naturealert.eu

EU legislation – the Birds and Habitats Directives – exist to protect the most important wildlife species and habitats in the UK and Europe. However, these laws are now under review and at risk of being weakened.

The ‘Joint Links group’, representing 100 voluntary organisations across the UK, has published a position statement warning that the European Commission’s REFIT ‘Fitness Check’ of the Birds and Habitats Directives is the single biggest threat to UK and European nature and biodiversity in a generation. The organisations raise concerns that the Directives are under threat of being weakened by those who mistakenly regard them as a block on business and economic growth. In the current political context any revision of the Directives would expose them to prolonged uncertainty and leave the long-term future of Europe’s biodiversity vulnerable to short-term political priorities.

Chair of the Joint Links’ Habitats and Birds group Kate Jennings, (RSPB), said:

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