Wyre Forest becomes largest protected woodland in England
The Wyre Forest has become the largest woodland National Nature Reserve (NNR) in England after a decision to bring more land within its boundaries.
It has been extended by almost 900 hectares, more than doubling its size to 1,455 hectares. The NNR, in Worcestershire and Shropshire, has seen visitor numbers increase since the Covid pandemic. Natural England said the status would give the newly-included land greater protection. The area is owned by a number of landowners, including the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, and managed by Natural England and the Forestry England. It includes a range of habitats, including grassland, old orchards, areas of scrub and steep-sided valleys.
Britain’s most endangered animal species
A recent study scientists at London’s Natural History Museum revealed that Britain has lost almost half of its biodiversity since the Industrial Revolution, and that the nation is one of the worst rated in terms of the extent to which is ecosystems have retained their natural biodiversity. But some of the UK’s precious wildlife is still hanging on in key strongholds across the country.
Britain’s cranes have most successful year since 1600s
Cranes had their most successful year in the UK since the 17th Century with a record-breaking 72 pairs, conservationists said.
The common crane was absent as a breeding bird for 400 years due to wetland drainage and hunting. But now the UK’s tallest bird has made a strong comeback since a small number returned to Norfolk’s Broads in 1979. Damon Bridge, chairman of the UK Crane Working Group, said: “The population is rapidly expanding.” Adult cranes stand at around 1.2m (4ft) tall and are known for their complex “display” behaviour, where they perform bows, pirouettes and bobs. The crane is thought to have been a common breeding bird in Britain during the Middle Ages. English place names with the prefix “cran”, such as Cranfield in Bedfordshire, refer to areas frequented by the birds.