1 Grassington, Yorkshire dales Length: 11 miles½ hoursmap/OS Explorer OL2) Anyone who grows up in or around the Yorkshire dales ends up carrying it with them. There’s something about the crumpled-duvet landscapes of emerald field and heathery fell, about encountering its sudden, Shire-like valleys threaded with muscular peat rivers, about stumbling across a ruined abbey at dusk or drinking well-earned beers by pub fires that forever sticks in the head and the heart. One of the national park’s greatest pubs has to be the Craven Arms at Appletreewick (mains from £8.95). Tucked into the fell above the river Wharfe, and the halfway point of a wonderful 11-mile circular walk from Grassington, it could go toe to toe with anywhere for the title of “perfect country pub”. Its standout feature is the “cruck barn” at the back, built by the owner using traditional materials and the first in the dale for 400 years. Reaching the Craven Arms from the … [Read more...] about 20 great pub walks, chosen by nature writers
Dismal harmony natural area map
The countries most likely to be responsible an outbreak of a contagious killer virus such as Zika or dengue have been revealed by scientists. Researchers have created heat maps to show viral hot-spots around the world, by working out which animals are most likely to spread illnesses and where. The maps show where existing flaviviruses – infectious viruses spread mostly by mosquitoes and ticks – or similar new ones are most likely to surface and spread in the future. For example, Japanese encephalitis is most likely to break out in Western Europe, while the West Nile Virus is a major threat in North America. Information about thousands of bird and mammal species was involved in the study and researchers say it will help predict and track viruses around the world. Scientists from the University of California, Davis, have examined animal and bird species data to figure out where they think the next virus outbreaks could happen – … [Read more...] about Where will the world’s next Zika, West Nile or dengue come from? Scientists release a series of ‘hot-spot’ maps to warn of the regions most likely to harbour killer viruses
The Big Forest Find, England Forestry England’s Big Forest Find is the country’s largest survey of forest wildlife. Volunteers can download the free iNaturalist app, then use it to take and upload photographs of animals and plants in their local forest, identifying the species they find. This can be anything from lichen and other fungi to birds, butterflies and mammals. These observations are verified by experts and added to national records on biodiversity. Accurate records help ecologists, scientists and rangers provide homes for wildlife and care for the forests. There are also expert-led activities, such as one in Savernake Forest, Wiltshire, on 5 October. The Big Forest Find is part of Forestry England’s centenary celebrations – the Forestry Commission was founded in 1919 to restore the nation’s woods and forests after the first world war, and is now focusing on preparing for the climate crisis. • Until 31 October, free, forestryengland.uk … [Read more...] about Good nature: citizen science trips and holidays in the UK
Dark clouds loom over the Tundayme bus station where José Isidro Tendetza Antún said goodbye to his family for the last time. The moody skies above the Cordillera del Condor would have been a familiar sight to the indigenous leader as he set out on 28 November to join a protest meeting against a huge Chinese-backed mine being carved out of his ancestral homeland. He never arrived. Four days later, his son Jorge found Tendetza’s body in an unmarked grave, showing signs of torture and strangulation. Six months on, that murder continues to reverberate among the residents of this jungle mountain range straddling Ecuador’s Amazon frontier with northern Peru. Tendetza was a prominent critic of President Rafael Correa’s government, which he accused of making a U-turn on its pledge to respect nature and indigenous lands. In 2008, Ecuador became the first country in the world to legally recognise the rights of nature in its constitution, but it has since approved a … [Read more...] about Was this indigenous leader killed because he fought to save Ecuador’s land?
Hessy the humpback whale was struck by a ship causing fatal injuries, experts have revealed. The 27ft-long juvenile female, nicknamed Hessy, was spotted in the River Thames near Greenhithe, Kent earlier this week, sparking international attention. But a post-mortem revealed she suffered catastrophic injuries to her jaw and a large wound to her head, and that a ship strike was the main cause of death. Rob Deaville, of the Zoological Society of London, said the strike is thought to have happened in open sea rather than in the river. He added that the post mortem revealed the animal had not eaten for some time and was 'nutritionally compromised', but no signs of any ingested plastics were found. Hessy died after her journey and her bloodied carcass is pictured above after it was hit by a ship. She was found dead after 5pm on Tuesday A post-mortem revealed she suffered catastrophic injuries to her jaw and a large wound to her head (shown), and that a ship strike was the main cause … [Read more...] about Hessy the humpback WAS killed by a ship: 27ft baby whale died in Thames after boat hit her in FACE causing ‘catastrophic’ wounds, post-mortem reveals