Box Moor Trust
The Box Moor Trust is a charitable trust responsible for the management of nearly 500 acres of land within the parishes of Hemel Hempstead and Bovingdon, in Hertfordshire, England. The Trust was founded in 1594 in order to ensure that the land in the Boxmoor area remained free for residents to use and enjoy; as a result all of the land that comprises the Box Moor Trust estate is open access, with just over a quarter being common land. In 1574 Queen Elizabeth I gifted certain Hertfordshire lands to the Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, some of the grounds in question had once formed the estate of the Monastery of Ashridge. Robert Dudley did not keep hold of the lands for long as, on 11 May 1574 he sold them to Francis Russell, 2nd Earl of Bedford and Peter Graye of Segenhoe, Bedfordshire. Peter Graye subsequently acquired both shares of the property, passed them down to his son, Richard Grey, it was from Richard Grey that Yeomen John Rolfe and William Gladman, as well as Landlord and Shoemaker Richard Pope acquired the lands for £75 on 26 May 1581.
They had feared the common land would be enclosed and townspeople would be denied grazing rights: the price had been raised by secret public subscription. In 1594, ownership of the pastures was transferred to 67 local inhabitants, "whereby their heirs and assigns might and should for thereafter have and enjoy the said meadows and all the commodities that might or should arise thereof"; the Trust, a legal entity formed in 1594, has survived over 400 years up to the present day. Twelve of the 67 Feoffes were appointed as Trustees with the powers to make Orders and Bye-laws that they deemed necessary. New Trustee appointments were made in 1659, 1711, 1757 and 1787; the highwayman Robert Snooks was hanged and buried at the scene of his crime on Boxmoor for the robbery of a postboy on the Sparrows Herne Turnpike which crossed the trust land. Snooks was the last man to be executed in England for highway robbery on 11 March 1802; the Trustees placed a grave marker in 1904 at the approximate spot, a subsequent footstone was added in 1994, as part of the trusts 400 year anniversary.
The field in which the stones lay is, named Snook's Moor. St John's Church was built in 1874, on land the Trust had provided in 1829; the trust is an independent charity rather than a government institution. Founded and overseen by feoffees, the Boxmoor Act of 1809 formally established the Box Moor Trust; as a result, the trust is governed by a twelve-strong board of trustees, all of whom are elected by the beneficiaries of the trust. The Trustees hold and operate the grazing land on behalf of the beneficiaries, it having been transferred to them by the remaining inheritors of the original feoffees; the Boxmoor Act of 1809 was subsequently updated by a Charity Commission Scheme in 2000, aside from when Charity Commissioners' approval is needed for major expenditure, the Trust is independent of other authorities and does not answer to local or central government. There have been changes to the land. Although a rare occurrence, parcels of the trust estate have, over the years, been sold or compulsorily purchased for a transport scheme.
The first instance was in 1797 when parcels of land were sold to the Grand Junction Canal Company, in order for the construction of the Grand Junction Canal to go ahead. The money received enabled to the trust to construct a Wharf. Boxmoor Wharf played a key part in the continued existence of the trust due to the fact that it became the transport hub of the town; the main coal wharf for the town, it became associated with spirits and wine, in particular port and sloe gin. The Wharf was operated for nearly 40 years by L. Rose and Co who were one of the last companies to use the canals for carrying cargo, which, in this case, was Lime Juice; the site is still named Boxmoor Wharf and leased to DIY retailer B&Q. The construction of the London and Birmingham Railway was another instance in which a corridor of land was purchase from the trust, with the price being £85 per acre; the money raised from the construction of the Railway was used to purchase the plot of land now known as Blackbirds Moor. A second railway line, the Hemel Hempstead to Harpenden Railway, was built on a parcel of Trust land, for which the trust received £2000 in 1870.
Most the construction of the A41 Bypass resulted in an exchange of land, with the trust receiving parcels of land now known as Gee's Meadow, Further Roughdown. There have been additions to the Box Moor Trust estate, the most recent and notable of which are listed below; as part of the trust's 400 year anniversary celebrations, 167 acres of land at Westbrook Hay was purchased. This site borders the grounds of Westbrook Hay School and was part of the Ryder family estate as well as being the site of the Westbrook Hay Hill Climb; the purchase of this site brought the total acreage of the trust to 400 acres. The Old Barn is a part of the Westbrook Hay site, is used as the base for the trust's Education programmes. Built in c. 1820, the Old Barn was renovated to its current state in November 2000. Not long after, in January 2000, the trust added a further 36 acres with the acquisition of the former Bovingdon Brickworks site, making this the first area of the Estate to reside in Bovingdon; this former clay quarry has its own team of dedicated volunteers and is grazed by sheep as an organic management tool.
Pixie's Mere, a 4-acre fishing lake was acquired by the trust in 2003 and is operated under licence
Owls are birds from the order Strigiformes, which includes about 200 species of solitary and nocturnal birds of prey typified by an upright stance, a large, broad head, binocular vision, binaural hearing, sharp talons, feathers adapted for silent flight. Exceptions include the gregarious burrowing owl. Owls hunt small mammals and other birds, although a few species specialize in hunting fish, they are found in all regions of the Earth except some remote islands. Owls are divided into two families: the true owl family and the barn-owl family, Tytonidae. Owls possess large, forward-facing eyes and ear-holes, a hawk-like beak, a flat face, a conspicuous circle of feathers, a facial disc, around each eye; the feathers making up this disc can be adjusted to focus sounds from varying distances onto the owls' asymmetrically placed ear cavities. Most birds of prey have eyes on the sides of their heads, but the stereoscopic nature of the owl's forward-facing eyes permits the greater sense of depth perception necessary for low-light hunting.
Although owls have binocular vision, their large eyes are fixed in their sockets—as are those of most other birds—so they must turn their entire heads to change views. As owls are farsighted, they are unable to see anything within a few centimeters of their eyes. Caught prey can be felt by owls with the use of filoplumes—hairlike feathers on the beak and feet that act as "feelers", their far vision in low light, is exceptionally good. Owls can rotate their heads and necks as much as 270°. Owls have 14 neck vertebrae compared to seven in humans, they have adaptations to their circulatory systems, permitting rotation without cutting off blood to the brain: the foramina in their vertebrae through which the vertebral arteries pass are about 10 times the diameter of the artery, instead of about the same size as the artery as in humans. Other anastomoses between the carotid and vertebral arteries support this effect; the smallest owl—weighing as little as 31 g and measuring some 13.5 cm —is the elf owl.
Around the same diminutive length, although heavier, are the lesser known long-whiskered owlet and Tamaulipas pygmy owl. The largest owls are two sized eagle owls; the largest females of these species are 71 cm long, have 54 cm long wings, weigh 4.2 kg. Different species of owls produce different sounds; as noted above, their facial discs help owls to funnel the sound of prey to their ears. In many species, these discs are placed asymmetrically, for better directional location. Owl plumage is cryptic, although several species have facial and head markings, including face masks, ear tufts, brightly coloured irises; these markings are more common in species inhabiting open habitats, are thought to be used in signaling with other owls in low-light conditions. Sexual dimorphism is a physical difference between females of a species. Reverse sexual dimorphism, when females are larger than males, has been observed across multiple owl species; the degree of size dimorphism varies across multiple populations and species, is measured through various traits, such as wing span and body mass.
Overall, female owls tend to be larger than males. The exact explanation for this development in owls is unknown. However, several theories explain the development of sexual dimorphism in owls. One theory suggests that selection has led males to be smaller because it allows them to be efficient foragers; the ability to obtain more food is advantageous during breeding season. In some species, female owls stay at their nest with their eggs while it is the responsibility of the male to bring back food to the nest. However, if food is scarce, the male first feeds himself before feeding the female. Small birds, which are agile, are an important source of food for owls. Male burrowing owls have been observed to have longer wing chords than females, despite being smaller than females. Furthermore, owls have been observed to be the same size as their prey; this has been observed in other predatory birds, which suggests that owls with smaller bodies and long wing chords have been selected for because of the increased agility and speed that allows them to catch their prey.
Another popular theory suggests that females have not been selected to be smaller like male owls because of their sexual roles. In many species, female owls may not leave the nest. Therefore, females may have a larger mass to allow them to go for a longer period of time without starving. For example, one hypothesized sexual role is that larger females are more capable of dismembering prey and feeding it to their young, hence female owls are larger than their male counterparts. A different theory suggests that the size difference between male and females is due to sexual selection: since large females can choose their mate and may violently reject a male's sexual advances, smaller male owls that have the ability to escape unreceptive females are more to have been selected. All owls are carnivorous bi
Reed beds are natural habitats found in floodplains, waterlogged depressions, estuaries. Reed beds are part of a succession from young reeds colonising open water or wet ground through a gradation of dry ground; as reed beds age, they build up a considerable litter layer that rises above the water level and that provides opportunities for scrub or woodland invasion. Artificial reed beds are used to remove pollutants from grey water. Reed beds vary in the species that they can support, depending upon water levels within the wetland system, seasonal variations, the nutrient status and salinity of the water. Reed swamps have 20 cm or more of surface water during the summer and have high invertebrate and bird species use. Reed fens have water levels at or below the surface during the summer and are more botanically complex. Reeds and similar plants do not grow in acidic water. Although common reeds are characteristic of reed beds, not all vegetation dominated by this species is characteristic of reed beds.
It commonly occurs in unmanaged, damp grassland and as an understorey in certain types of damp woodland. Most European reed beds comprise Phragmites australis but include many other tall monocotyledons adapted to growing in wet conditions – other grasses such as reed sweet-grass, Canary reed-grass and small-reed, large sedges, yellow flag iris, reed-mace, water-plantains, flowering rush. Many dicotyledons occur, such as water mint, skull-cap, touch-me-not balsam and water forget-me-nots. Many animals are adapted to living around reed-beds; these include mammals such as Eurasian otter, European beaver, water vole, Eurasian harvest mouse and water shrew, birds such as great bittern, purple heron, European spoonbill, water rail, purple gallinule, marsh harrier, various warblers, bearded reedling and reed bunting. Constructed wetlands are artificial swamps using reed or other marshland plants to form part of small-scale sewage treatment systems. Water trickling through the reed bed is cleaned by microorganisms living on the root system and in the litter.
These organisms utilize the sewage for growth nutrients. The process is similar to aerobic conventional sewage treatment, as the same organisms are used, except that conventional treatment systems require artificial aeration. Treatment ponds are small versions of constructed wetlands which uses reed beds or other marshland plants to form an smaller water treatment system. Similar to constructed wetlands, water trickling through the reed bed is cleaned by microorganisms living on the root system and in the litter. Treatment ponds are used for the water treatment of a small neighbourhood. Organisms used in water purification South Milton Ley
Carl Linnaeus known after his ennoblement as Carl von Linné, was a Swedish botanist and zoologist who formalised binomial nomenclature, the modern system of naming organisms. He is known as the "father of modern taxonomy". Many of his writings were in Latin, his name is rendered in Latin as Carolus Linnæus. Linnaeus was born in the countryside of Småland in southern Sweden, he received most of his higher education at Uppsala University and began giving lectures in botany there in 1730. He lived abroad between 1735 and 1738, where he studied and published the first edition of his Systema Naturae in the Netherlands, he returned to Sweden where he became professor of medicine and botany at Uppsala. In the 1740s, he was sent on several journeys through Sweden to find and classify plants and animals. In the 1750s and 1760s, he continued to collect and classify animals and minerals, while publishing several volumes, he was one of the most acclaimed scientists in Europe at the time of his death. Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau sent him the message: "Tell him I know no greater man on earth."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote: "With the exception of Shakespeare and Spinoza, I know no one among the no longer living who has influenced me more strongly." Swedish author August Strindberg wrote: "Linnaeus was in reality a poet who happened to become a naturalist." Linnaeus has been called Princeps botanicorum and "The Pliny of the North". He is considered as one of the founders of modern ecology. In botany and zoology, the abbreviation L. is used to indicate Linnaeus as the authority for a species' name. In older publications, the abbreviation "Linn." is found. Linnaeus's remains comprise the type specimen for the species Homo sapiens following the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, since the sole specimen that he is known to have examined was himself. Linnaeus was born in the village of Råshult in Småland, Sweden, on 23 May 1707, he was the first child of Christina Brodersonia. His siblings were Anna Maria Linnæa, Sofia Juliana Linnæa, Samuel Linnæus, Emerentia Linnæa, his father taught him Latin as a small child.
One of a long line of peasants and priests, Nils was an amateur botanist, a Lutheran minister, the curate of the small village of Stenbrohult in Småland. Christina was the daughter of the rector of Samuel Brodersonius. A year after Linnaeus's birth, his grandfather Samuel Brodersonius died, his father Nils became the rector of Stenbrohult; the family moved into the rectory from the curate's house. In his early years, Linnaeus seemed to have a liking for plants, flowers in particular. Whenever he was upset, he was given a flower, which calmed him. Nils spent much time in his garden and showed flowers to Linnaeus and told him their names. Soon Linnaeus was given his own patch of earth. Carl's father was the first in his ancestry to adopt a permanent surname. Before that, ancestors had used the patronymic naming system of Scandinavian countries: his father was named Ingemarsson after his father Ingemar Bengtsson; when Nils was admitted to the University of Lund, he had to take on a family name. He adopted the Latinate name Linnæus after a giant linden tree, lind in Swedish, that grew on the family homestead.
This name was spelled with the æ ligature. When Carl was born, he was named Carl Linnæus, with his father's family name; the son always spelled it with the æ ligature, both in handwritten documents and in publications. Carl's patronymic would have been Nilsson, as in Carl Nilsson Linnæus. Linnaeus's father began teaching him basic Latin and geography at an early age; when Linnaeus was seven, Nils decided to hire a tutor for him. The parents picked a son of a local yeoman. Linnaeus did not like him, writing in his autobiography that Telander "was better calculated to extinguish a child's talents than develop them". Two years after his tutoring had begun, he was sent to the Lower Grammar School at Växjö in 1717. Linnaeus studied going to the countryside to look for plants, he reached the last year of the Lower School when he was fifteen, taught by the headmaster, Daniel Lannerus, interested in botany. Lannerus gave him the run of his garden, he introduced him to Johan Rothman, the state doctor of Småland and a teacher at Katedralskolan in Växjö.
A botanist, Rothman broadened Linnaeus's interest in botany and helped him develop an interest in medicine. By the age of 17, Linnaeus had become well acquainted with the existing botanical literature, he remarks in his journal that he "read day and night, knowing like the back of my hand, Arvidh Månsson's Rydaholm Book of Herbs, Tillandz's Flora Åboensis, Palmberg's Serta Florea Suecana, Bromelii Chloros Gothica and Rudbeckii Hortus Upsaliensis...."Linnaeus entered the Växjö Katedralskola in 1724, where he studied Greek, Hebrew and mathematics, a curriculum designed for boys preparing for the priesthood. In the last year at the gymnasium, Linnaeus's father visited to ask the professors how his son's studies were progressing. Rothman believed otherwise; the doctor offered to have Linnaeus live with his family in Växjö and to teach him physiology and botany. Nils accepted this offer. Rothman showed Linnaeus that botany was a serious sub
The Wildlife Trusts
The Wildlife Trusts, the trading name of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, is an organisation made up of 46 local Wildlife Trusts in the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man and Alderney. The Wildlife Trusts, between them, look after around 2,300 nature reserves covering more than 98,000 hectares; as of 2017 they have a combined membership of over 800,000 members. The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts is an independent charity, with a membership formed of the 46 individual charitable Trusts, it acts as an umbrella group for the individual Wildlife Trusts, as well as operating a separate Grants Unit which administers a number of funds. Charles, Prince of Wales serves as the patron of the Wildlife Trusts. Tony Juniper became president in 2015; the chief executive is Stephanie Hilborne. Wildlife Trusts are local organisations of differing size and origins, can vary in their constitution and membership. However, all Wildlife Trusts share a common interest in wildlife and biodiversity, rooted in a practical tradition of land management and conservation.
All Wildlife Trusts are significant landowners, with many nature reserves. Collectively they are the third largest voluntary sector landowners in the UK, they have extensive educational activities, programmes of public events and education. The Wildlife Trusts centrally and locally lobby for better protection of the UK's natural heritage, by becoming involved in planning matters and by national campaigning through the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts; the Trusts rely upon volunteer labour for many of their activities, but employ significant numbers of staff in countryside management and education. Thanks to their work promoting the personal and social development of young people, The Wildlife Trusts is a member of The National Council for Voluntary Youth Services; the Wildlife Trusts offer a Biodiversity Benchmark scheme through which companies can be assessed and recognised for their contribution to biodiversity. The assessment covers the organisation's performance under the headings of "Commitment, Planning and Monitoring and Review".
The Wildlife Trusts are one of the steering group partners of Neighbourhoods Green a partnership initiative which works with social landlords and housing associations to highlight the importance of, raise the overall quality of design and management for and green space in social housing. Today's Wildlife Trust movement began life as The Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves, formed by Charles Rothschild in 1912, it aimed to draw up a list of the country's best wildlife sites with a view to purchase for protection as nature reserves, by 1915 it had drawn up a list of 284, known as Rothschild Reserves. During the early years, membership tended to be made up of specialist naturalists and its growth was comparatively slow; the first independent Trust was formed in Norfolk in 1926 as the Norfolk Naturalists Trust, followed in 1938 by the Pembrokeshire Bird Protection Society which after several subsequent changes of name is now the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales and it was not until the 1940s and 1950s that more Naturalists' Trusts were formed in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire.
These early Trusts tended to focus on purchasing land to establish nature reserves in the geographical areas they served. Encouraged by the growing number of Trusts, the Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves began in 1957 to discuss the possibility of forming a national federation of Naturalists' Trusts. Kent Naturalists Trust was established in 1958 with SPNR being active in encouraging its formation. In the following year the SPNR established the County Naturalists' Committee, which organised the first national conference for Naturalists' Trusts at Skegness in 1960. By 1964, the number of Trusts had increased to 36 and the Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves had changed its name to The Society for the Promotion of Nature Conservation. In recognition of the movement's growing importance, its name was changed to The Royal Society for Nature Conservation in 1981; the organisation is now known as the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts. The movement continued to develop throughout the 1970s, and, by the early 1980s, most of today's Trusts had been established.
In 1980 the first urban Wildlife Trust was established in the West Midlands followed by others in London and Sheffield. This was a watershed for the movement, it was during this period that some Trusts changed their names from Naturalist Societies to Trusts for Nature Conservation, to Wildlife Trusts. The badger logo was adopted by the movement to establish its common identity; as the number of Trusts grew, so did their combined membership, from 3,000 in 1960 to 21,000 in 1965. Membership topped 100,000 in 1975, in that year Wildlife Watch was launched as a children's naturalist club. By the late 1980s membership had reached 200,000, increasing to 260,000 in 1995, over 500,000 by 2004; the combined membership for 2007 stood at 670,000 members, 108,000 belonging to the junior branch Wildlife Watch. By 2012, membership was over 800,000, with over 150,000 Wildlife Watch members. List of Conservation topics Conservation in the United Kingdom The Wildlife Trusts Charity Commission. Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, registered charity no. 207238.
The National Council for Voluntary Youth Services
The wildcat is a species complex comprising two small wild cat species, the European wildcat and the African wildcat. The European wildcat inhabits forests in Europe and the Caucasus, while the African wildcat inhabits semi-arid landscapes and steppes in Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Central Asia, into western India and western China; the wildcat species differ in fur pattern and size: the European wildcat has long fur and a bushy tail with a rounded tip. The wildcat and the other members of the cat family had a common ancestor about 10–15 million years ago; the European wildcat evolved during the Cromerian Stage about 866,000 to 478,000 years ago. The silvestris and lybica lineages diverged about 173,000 years ago; the wildcat has been categorized as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List since 2002, since it is distributed, the global population is considered stable and exceeding 20,000 mature individuals. However, in some range countries both wildcat species are considered threatened by introgressive hybridisation with the domestic cat and transmission of diseases.
Localized threats include being hit by vehicles, persecution. The association of African wildcats and humans appears to have developed along with the establishment of settlements during the Neolithic Revolution, when rodents in grain stores of early farmers attracted wildcats; this association led to it being tamed and domesticated: the domestic cat is the direct descendant of the African wildcat. It was one of the revered cats in ancient Egypt; the European wildcat has been the subject of literature. Felis silvestris was the scientific name used in 1777 by Johann von Schreber when he described the European wildcat based on descriptions and names proposed by earlier naturalists such as Mathurin Jacques Brisson, Ulisse Aldrovandi and Conrad Gessner. Felis lybica was the name proposed in 1780 by Georg Forster, who described an African wildcat from Gafsa on the Barbary Coast. In subsequent decades, several naturalists and explorers described 40 wildcat specimens collected in European and Asian range countries.
In the 1940s, the taxonomist Reginald Innes Pocock reviewed the collection of wildcat skins and skulls in the Natural History Museum and designated seven F. silvestris subspecies from Europe to Asia Minor, 25 F. lybica subspecies from Africa, West to Central Asia. Pocock differentiated the: Forest wildcat subspecies Steppe wildcat subspecies: is distinguished from the forest wildcat by being smaller, with comparatively lighter fur colour, longer and more sharply-pointed tails; the domestic cat is thought to have derived from this group. Bush wildcat subspecies: is distinguished from the steppe wildcat by paler fur, well-developed spot patterns and bands. In 2005, 22 subspecies were recognized by the authors of Mammal Species of the World, who allocated subspecies in line with Pocock's assessment. In 2017, the Cat Classification Task Force revised the taxonomy of the Felidae, recognized the following as valid taxa: The wildcat is a member of the Felidae, a family that had a common ancestor about 10–15 million years ago.
Felis species diverged from the Felidae around 6–7 million years ago. The European wildcat diverged from Felis about 1.09 to 1.4 million years ago. The European wildcat's direct ancestor was Felis lunensis, which lived in Europe in the late Pliocene and Villafranchian periods. Fossil remains indicate that the transition from lunensis to silvestris was completed by the Holstein interglacial about 340,000 to 325,000 years ago. Craniological differences between the European and African wildcats indicate that the wildcat migrated during the Late Pleistocene from Europe into the Middle East, giving rise to the steppe wildcat phenotype. Phylogenetic research revealed that the lybica lineage diverged from the silvestris lineage about 173,00 years ago; the wildcat has pointed ears, which are broad at the base. Its whiskers are white, number reach 5 -- 8 cm in length on the muzzle. Whiskers are present on the inner surface of the paw and measure 3–4 cm, its eyes are large, with yellowish-green irises. The eyelashes range from 5–6 cm in length, can number six to eight per side.
The European wildcat has a greater skull volume than the domestic cat, a ratio known as Schauenberg's index. Further, its skull is more spherical in shape than that of the jungle leopard cat, its dentition is smaller and weaker than the jungle cat's. Both wildcat species are larger than the domestic cat; the European wildcat has longer legs and a more robust build compared to the domestic cat. The tail is long, slightly exceeds one-half of the animal's body length; the species size varies according to Bergmann's rule, with the largest specimens occurring in cool, northern areas of Europe and Asia such as Mongolia and Siberia. Males measure 43–91 cm in head to body length, 23–40 cm in tail length, weigh 5–8 kg. Females are smaller, measuring 40–77 cm in body length and 18–35 cm in tail length, weighing 3–5 kg. Both sexes have two thoracic and two abdominal teats. Both sexes have pre-anal glands, consisting of moderately sized sweat and sebaceous glands around the anal opening. Large-sized sebaceous and scent glands extend along the full length o