Chair's Introduction

Welcome to the Autumn edition of Nature News – and our new-look electronic format, linking you to the latest information on national and international conservation.


I’m delighted to be able to tell you that Defra have reappointed me as Chair of JNCC for a further three years. The last three years have seen many challenges for JNCC and there are certainly more to be faced in the future. In particular, since the last issue of Nature News, the Spending Review has taken centre stage and will have a major impact on our priorities and the way we work. Exactly what it means for JNCC will become clear shortly. Despite the difficult circumstances, JNCC continues to make solid progress across a broad front thanks to the efforts of our staff and our partner organisations.


I was very pleased to present a keynote speech at the International Conservation and Management of Rivers Conference held in York in September. A similar conference was held 20 years ago and much has changed in the UK and the world since then – economically, politically, culturally and scientifically. Alas, the problems seen for some river systems 20 years ago are magnified now.  And yet there are also good news stories about the cleaning of rivers and return of species, especially fish.  The message is that we have more to do and must build on these successes to try and manage our natural world in a better way.


“Big Society” is the phrase of the moment and JNCC is ahead of the game having championed this approach to biological data collection for the last decade. Extensive networks of volunteers gather grassroots evidence which JNCC links together to create snapshots of UK and global biodiversity. The approach is explained in this edition’s citizen science feature.


UK seas have been in the headlines recently with the creation of fifteen new Marine Protected Areas. We’re proud of our input into this work and our involvement in the publication of Charting Progress 2, the largest and most comprehensive assessment ever undertaken of animals and plants in UK waters and the pressures that affect them.  


Enjoy this e-edition and explore the links from these pages, taking you to other useful information sources. Please feel free to contact the relevant project managers about stories we’ve featured this time around.  And of course, if you would like to , I’d be delighted to hear from you!


Peter Bridgewater, Chair, JNCC






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