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News Report Page 15 of 17
Publication Date:- 2018-14-04
News reports located on this page = 2.

Charity appeals to public to survey endangered water voles

THE People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is calling on all wildlife enthusiasts to help monitor signs of the UK's disappearing water voles as part of its annual National Water Vole Monitoring Programme.

Affectionately portrayed as Ratty in childhood favourite Wind in the Willows, water voles were once a common sight along UK riverbanks and waterways. However, over the last century water voles have experienced the most severe decline of any wild mammal in the UK as they face threats from invasive American Mink, habitat loss, agricultural intensification and river pollution.

In response to this dramatic decline, PTES launched the National Water Vole Monitoring Programme (NWVMP) in 2015, appealing to members of the public to help look for signs and sightings of water voles. The annual survey starts again on 15 April 2018 and runs until 15 June 2018.

Emily Thomas, Key Species Monitoring and Data Officer at PTES explains:- "Volunteers are crucial to helping us collect robust data about the state of our water voles across the UK. We use the data gathered to monitor population trends year on year, which in turn help guide our conservation efforts and inform us where action is needed most."

Over 200 volunteers have taken part in the NWVMP since 2015, and last year volunteers collected data from 222 sites across England, Scotland and Wales, of which 82 had water vole signs present (48% of sites surveyed). The distribution of positive sites is encouraging, from Cornwall and Suffolk, up to the Highlands and across to the Isle of Anglesey. However, there are gaps in survey areas where PTES needs more help, including the South West, parts of Wales, southern Scotland and across the West Midlands.

Volunteers are asked to survey 1 of the nearly 900 pre-selected sites across the UK, recording all sightings and signs of water voles along a 500m length of riverbank once during the course of the 2 month period. Sites that are already being surveyed can also be registered with the NWVMP. Though no prior experience is required, volunteers will need to learn how to identify water vole field signs. A survey pack, including clear instructions on how to do your survey and a field signs ID guide, will be provided.

To find out more, or to take part in PTES's 2018 National Water Vole Monitoring Programme, visit:- PTES.Org/WaterVoles

If you want to support PTES' ongoing conservation work, you can donate ₤3 by texting:- 'PTES18 ₤3' to 70070.

Moon landing in Liverpool for Tall Ships Regatta

A giant, 23ft replica of the moon is coming to Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral as part of an extensive programme of events across the City over the final bank holiday weekend in May 2018.

Created by renowned British artist Luke Jerram, the stunning:- "Museum of the Moon" uses detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface and includes a sound composition created by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award winning composer Dan Jones. The art work forms part of the "Changing Tides" creative programme curated for the 3 Festivals Tall Ships Regatta, that is due to take place over 25 May to 28 May 2018.

Other programme highlights include a top secret, UK premier from European digital artists Visual Skin, which will be revealed in the week leading up to the event. There will also be a spectacular performance by Wired Aerial Theatre and the chance to cast off your shoes and step foot inside a 50ft inflatable sperm whale created by Circo Rum Ba Ba. A stunning new water ballet:- 'The Sun, The Moon and the Stars,' has been commissioned from House of Suarez and will be performed around the City Centre and the Pier Head.

Wirral Council is also preparing to bring a fantastic creative programme of entertainment along the New Brighton waterfront and Hamilton Square in partnership with Culture Liverpool.

Local sculptor Faith Bebbington is creating a 15ft high cat made entirely out of milk bottles, which will go on display at the Albert Dock chasing her famous: "Super Rat," which hit the headlines after it appeared on a rooftop in Liverpool's Baltic Triangle in 2016. She said:- "When I was asked to create something to coincide with the Tall Ships coming back to the City I was thinking about the problems of rats on ships and the idea of creating a Ships cat came to me. The fact that the sculptures are also made from milk bottles was important too as there is a real focus on the problem of plastic waste in our oceans currently."

Faith's sculpture is not the only project which will focus on the topical issue of marine pollution. Artist Lulu Quinn has been commissioned to create a huge message in a bottle sculpture, constructed from thousands of recycled plastic bottles containing personal messages from local School children about the future of the environment.

On the final day of the festival, the bottle will be transported by 1 of Tall Ships for the Parade of Sail, which sees the ships head out of the River Mersey and on to Dublin for the 2nd leg of the event. The bottle will eventually go on display in Bordeaux, France, where the Tall Ships Regatta finishes in June.

Claire McColgan, director of Culture Liverpool, said:- "The 3 Festivals Tall Ships Regatta in 2018 takes place between Liverpool, Dublin and Bordeaux and our creative programme aims to unite these port destinations. We will showcase the very best in local arts and culture alongside artists from around the globe through an exciting series of commissions, installations, sculptures, exhibitions and performances."

The link with Dublin and Bordeaux is further reflected in the programme with the Albert Dock acting as a stage for Celtic animation and entertainment and Pier Head hosting French inspired jazz and circus as part of the world's leading wine event Bordeaux Fete le Vin (The Bordeaux Wine Festival) visiting Europe for the 1st time.

Commissioned by Culture Liverpool and part funded by Arts Council England, this exciting programme of international and local art works, installations, music, dance and theatrical performances is part of the Liverpool 2018 programme, celebrating 10 years since Liverpool's reign as European Capital of Culture.

Full details will be announced over forthcoming weeks. For more information visit:- TallShipsLiverpool.Co.UK.

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