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Knocking out Knotweed: Nature’s weapons

I am sure that a lot of you already know of knotweed – it is the big baddie of the invasive species, as its ability to dominate environments, by killing off and inhibiting the growth and reproduction of other plants (Clements et al., 2016), and by changing the soil chemistry to the benefit of invaders …

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Ecotourism: Is it as ‘green’ as it claims to be?

Ecotourism has been defined as the “responsible travel to natural areas which conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people” (The International Ecotourism Society). The term arose in the 1980s to highlight the connection between conservation and tourism, and the benefits that one can have on the other (Stronza et al., 2019). But …

Captivity: Conservation of Scottish Wildcats

The Scottish Wildcat* (Felis silvestris grampia) represents the last surviving wild member of the cat family in Britain (Fredriksen, 2016). It is a famously elusive and untameable species (Gartner et al., 2014), which resembles the domestic tabby cat, with a large black-tipped bushy tail. It is among the most endangered species in Britain, with under …

Ancient woodlands: why should we care?

Ancient woodland is an ecosystem in which more threatened wildlife than in any other UK terrestrial habitat dwells. Across Europe, ancient woodlands are rare, but can be found in the form of remnants of “wildwood” or primeval forests, such as the Białowieża Forest on the border between Poland and Belarus, which once spanned the European …

Why should we bring back the beaver?

The reintroduction of the Eurasian beaver is a topic much debated across Europe and the UK, given its effects as an ecosystem engineer in rivers and streams. The species, which used to be widespread across England, Scotland and Wales, became extinct in the 16th century after widespread hunting (Countryfile, 2018). However, in recent years it …