The councils in north Devon are asking people for their views on the valued landscape around the Taw Torridge estaury. Please go to the consultation page:
The 4 year COBWEB (Citizen OBservatory WEB) project is developing an “observatory framework” that will make it easier for citizens to collect environmental data suitable for use in research, decision making and policy formation. The project is built around UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves, and Biosffer Dyfi Biosphere is the first test area.
Darganfod Dyfi is a project which has improved and waymarked a series of footpaths and bridleways throughout the Biosphere. It is available free as a pack of walks leaflets, which can also be downloaded from http://www.biosfferdyfi.org.uk/en/cerdded
North Devon's Biosphere Reserve has gained funding from the Englands Catchment Restoration Fund to improve water quality and fish stocks in the Taw Catchment. The project was submitted by the North Devon Biosphere Partnership and is being led by Westcountry Rivers Trust.
The project is called the Taw River Improvement Proejct (TRIP). The £1.9M grant will be used to improve land management in the catchment through a wide partnership of land use advisers (North Devon Biosphere Service, West country Rivers Trust, FWAG, Devon Wildlife Trust,) and small capital grants over 3 years. This project is the perfect counterpart to the Nature Improvement Area on the Torridge Catchment. Phophates, riparian habitats and barriers to fish migration are the key failure reasons within the catchment. Interventions will include floodplain and buffer strip planting, farm waste water and nutrient management, removal of dams and weirs.
Through a remit to support BRs internationally, expertise from UKMAB has been applied in East Africa. Support has been given to develop a Management Plan framework for the 3 existing BRs in Tanzania that links to the the statutory planning for the core areas.
A further manual has been produced to support the state bodies to make applications for new Biosphere Reserves and to mainstream gender and culture issues through the biosphere reserve and its management.Tanzania has an aspiration to nominate over 5 more reserves as testing grounds for sustainable development. The next 2 sites are expected to be Saadani (on the coast of mainland Tanzania) and Jozani Forest on Zanzibar.
In support of the governement's Natural Environment White Paper 2011 (England), North Devon's Biosphere Reserve has been chosen to be one of the small handfull of pilot areas in England to test approaches to Biodiversity Offsetting.
Offsetting is not a licence to trash. The partnership in the Biosphere Reserve regards the offsetting as thye last step in a design process that reduces as far as apossible any biodiversity loss arising from developments. Developers are asked to offset the residual loss of any development. The offsets are invested into creating or restoring habitats according to a spatial strategy that will ensure coherent ecolcogical networks for resilience. More information on the Defra website.
The community has expressed the wish to explore how they can be an operation Biosphere Reserve for mutual benefit to the community and the UNESCO programme. This willngness has meant that this site will not be removed from the Worldwide Network of Biosphere Reserves while progress is being made.
The study can be found at this link.
North Devon’s Biosphere Reserve in south west England has been chosen by Defra, the UK Government’s Department for
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, as one of only 12 pilot areas for 3-year Nature Improvement Area (NIA) projects in England. Defra established the NIA following the publication of the Natural Environment White Paper 2011.
The thinking behind Nature Improvement Areas is that the value of special, protected wildlife sites will degrade over time unless we create better conditions for wildlife between them. North Devon’s Biosphere Reserve is based on the catchments of the rivers Taw and Torridge and includes not just the special areas but also the land that is least well protected by existing mechanisms and that is under significant pressure. With its core purposes of conservation, sustainable development and learning the Biosphere Reserve is an ideal place to pilot the NIA approach.
Our Devon NIA focuses on a 20km length of the River Torridge Catchment which is about 30% of the land area of the Biosphere Reserve. Within the 72000 Ha target area, it will re-create and restore 1000ha of important habitats such as wet grassland and woodland and benefit critically endangered species such as the marsh fritillary butterfly and freshwater pearl mussel. This work is
vital to improving the quality of water courses, supporting flood mitigation and stimulating the local woodland economy.
The Galloway and South Ayrshire proposed biosphere reserve welcomed speakers from two European biosphere reserves and two 'new style' UK biosphere reserves at a public conference held in New Galloway on 20 May 2010. The conference brought together local communities, biosphere managers and experts from across Europe to explore the benefits that a biosphere could bring to Galloway and Southern Ayrshire.
The Galloway and South Ayrshire proposed biosphere reserve welcomed speakers from two European UNESCO biosphere reserves and two 'new style' UK biosphere reserves at a public conference held in New Galloway on 20 May 2010. The conference brought together local community representatives, biosphere managers and experts from across Europe to explore the benefits that a biosphere could bring to Galloway and Southern Ayrshire.Timo Hokkanen from Karelia Biosphere Reserve, Finland and Christian Diry from Wienerwald Biosphere Reserve, Austria joined Andrew Bell from North Devon's Biosphere Reserve, South England, and Allan Wynne Jones and Peter Frost from Biosffer Dyfi Biosphere, North Wales, to share perspectives from their areas on organisation, zonation, stakeholder participation, communication, education, research, and economic and social development. Members of the UK MAB Committee also attended the conference which provided them with an opportunity to discuss views with local community and business representatives.
All the conference presentations can be found on the proposed Galloway and South Ayrshire Biosphere website.
UK MAB News
News updates from members of the UK MAB Committee.