Inspector ’Poo-seau’ investigates!
The water vole image was taken by Andy Bate near Marshside
VOLUNTEERS at RSPB Marshside
nature reserve, on the shores of the Ribble estuary near Southport,
are investigating what you might think of as the most unsavoury of
clues as they search for evidence of an elusive creature - the water
vole. Just by looking at water vole poo, deposited on three
special man-made rafts at the nature reserve, they are building up a
clearer picture of the creature’s activities on the site. From the
patterns of the poo, they can work out the size of the creature’s
territory and discover how many there might be. RSPB
volunteer, Janet Cooper (aka Inspector Poo-seau!) has been leading
on surveying water voles at Marshside for the past year. She says:-
“It’s important for us to get an idea of how many water voles
there might be here, so that we can manage the habitat for them
correctly. They’re shy and you’re more likely to hear a ‘plop’ or
see a pile of poo. Seeing them is quite difficult – but it’s a real
bonus if you catch even a fleeting glimpse. Why not come down to try
and spot one for yourself? If you do see one please let us know!”
Water voles are legally protected in Britain and recent evidence
shows that they have suffered a long-term decline in numbers, with
disappearance from 94% of their former sites. Predation by the
introduced American Mink has had a severe impact on water vole
populations as well as habitat degradation and pollution.
Janet Cooper, volunteer, checking
the water vole raft
at Marshside taken by Graham Clarkson.
Janet is also studying part-time at
Myerscough College for a foundation degree in Ecology and
Conservation Habitat Management. She says:- “I love Marshside!
It’s such a special place full of rare wildlife and it’s great to
get the opportunity to come along and help make a difference to this
wonderful nature reserve.”
Saving threatened species like the water vole is a key part of the
RSPB’s Letter to the Future campaign, which is a direct call to
politicians to do more to protect our wildlife, countryside and the
environment. You can sign the letter at your nearest RSPB reserve,
where you'll be adding your name to hundreds of thousands of others
determined to ensure future generations inherit a world worth living
in, or sign
MFH - DEAN HODGSON
MERSEYSIDE Police are getting
increasingly concerned about the safety of Dean Hodgson who has been
missing from his home in Old Swan since Monday, 22 February 2010.
Mr Hodgson, 35, from Lister Drive has not been in touch with friends
or family since 22 February 2010.
He is described as white, 5ft 6 ins tall, of slim build with short
brown hair and is usually unshaved. He was last seen wearing a grey
and white fleece and black tracksuit bottoms.
Mr Hodgson requires medication for a medical condition and his
condition may deteriorate if he does not take his medication. This
may make him vulnerable.
He is known to frequent the Old Swan, Whiston and Huyton areas.
If members of the public recognise Dean they should not approach him
directly, but should make contact with police on the numbers given
Anyone who has seen Mr Hodgson, or knows of his whereabouts, is
asked to contact Merseyside Police on:- 0151 777 4351 or Missing
People on:- 0500 700 700.n
HEALTH WORKERS TO BENEFIT FROM SAFER NEEDLES RULES
UNISON, the UK’s largest health
union, has welcomed a new EU Directive to help protect nurses,
midwives and health care assistants from the agony of needle stick
injuries and infections.
The Directive* backs up a framework agreement set out in June last
year, which included guidance for training, support and prevention
of needlestick injuries. It will make the use of safe needles
routine across the EU, which will help stop injuries from used and
dirty needles . Up to 100,000 UK health workers are injured in this
way every year, and it is estimated 1million injuries occur Europe
Karen Jennings Head of Health for UNISON who led the EU negotiations
on behalf of EPSU said:- “This directive is a breakthrough for
health workers, who live in fear of infection and injury from dirty
needles. Safer needles cost little more than their dangerous
alternatives, and backed up with training, support and prevention,
this guidance will make a real difference to the safety of health
workers and patients. UNISON has fought long and hard to bring in
safer needles and we will be continue working with hospitals and
managers, to make this Directive part of day-to-day life for health
* The new Directive implements in law a framework agreement on
prevention from sharps injuries in the hospital and healthcare
sector. The agreement was signed in July 2009 by the European Public
Services Union (EPSU) and the European Hospital and Healthcare
Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) - European Social partner