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Message from our Chair

Recovery is a word we are going to hear a lot about in the coming months, and never has there been a greater urgency to ensure that the well-being of people and nature is at the centre of the economic future that we need to create to bounce back from the crisis of the pandemic and the consequential losses that many have endured in some way. Taking this challenge and putting it front and centre in our thoughts was the starting point of our recent conference.

I was heartened to see so many people from the cultural, business, industry, nature and third sector listening and sharing experience, knowledge and a common purpose to make the world a better place. At once elated, moved and inspired in many cases I was proud to have been part of the day that was made all the more powerful by the delegates. If you weren’t lucky enough to join us, please have a look at our videos, and if you were there, feel free to re-live the moment. I would ask if you have been holding back from reaching out to any of our speakers with a view to collaboration please let us know and we will use the power of our Partnership to accelerate a natural and inclusive recovery in the Tees Valley. May all beings have a happy and healthy summer.

Timothy Crawshaw, MA MRTPI FRSA
Chair TVNP; Vice President RTPI
Latest News from TVNP
Tees Nature Conference 2021
The theme of this year’s Tees Nature Conference was -  "What can Nature Do for Us?".

Highlights included:
  • Keynote speech from Emma Marsh Director of the RSPB
  • Address from Paul Booth OBE; Chair of Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, Teesside University Governor and Environmental Justice Commissioner
  • Talk from Shahda Khan, Director Borderlands Creative People & Places Programme
  • Address from Chris Davis; National Nature Recovery Network Partnership Manager Natural England
  • Nature Recovery - why it matters to both community & cultural sectors. Findings from the Research & Development Project for FestivalUK 2022 with Beatrix Schlarb-Ridley, Head of Innovation at the British Antarctic Survey;  Shahda Kahn, Director of Borderlands arts program; Internationally acclaimed artists Mikhail Karikis and Simon Mckeown; internationally acclaimed curator Sarah Perks; and Dominic Luscardi, Non-Exec Director Animmersion
If you couldn’t make the conference or missed any of the talks you can catch up with the conference recordings here.  
New TVNP Member

We are thrilled to welcome the National Trust as the newest addition to the list of Tees Valley Nature Partnership Members.

Gail Buzzard, General Manager at Ormesby Hall, Middlesbrough told us 'the National Trust are the biggest conservation charity in Europe. We protect and care for places so people and nature can thrive. We look after hundreds of houses and close to a million objects, along with vast areas of coastline, countryside and green spaces, for everyone’s benefit. We are proud to have a presence in the Tees Valley and are excited to join this dynamic and creative partnership.

If you want to find out more visit the National Trust Website
New Local Wildlife Site is in sight 
Middle Marsh, just next to the A66 near Middlesbrough Football Stadium seems rather unassuming at first glance. However local enthusiast Colin Conroy and a group of other naturalists saw something in this area of grassland, wetland, woodland, and scrub along a 1.5km stretch of Ormesby Beck. Since 2016, Colin and the group all keen ecologists, botanists, and birdwatchers, have been visiting the site and compiling records of the flora and fauna there.

They took their findings to Middlesbrough council and multiple other groups with the proposal that the area should be protected for its wildlife value for the community. The proposal was eventually brought to the TVNP Natural Assets Group who look at the evidence and propose   Local Wildlife Sites for the Tees Valley. The Nature Partnership made a formal recommendation to Middlesbrough Council who will now include the site as one of the suite of Local Wildlife Sites identified in their Local Plan.

TVNP wish Colin and the rest of the group congratulations and well done for their efforts to protect this site for nature and people.

You can read more about the Middle Marsh Nature Area on their Facebook page
TVNP Managers' Quarterly Report

With work escalating as our partnership develops we have started a quarterly managers report to keep you updated of the work behind the scenes.
You can read this summers full report here.
News From Our Partners

The Festival of Thrift is aiming to bring the community back together this autumn in a major celebration of sustainable living.
Visitors can expect a warm welcome as the festival returns to the woodland setting of Kirkleatham, near Redcar, on September 25 and 26 after last year’s event was forced online due to the pandemic.

With the ongoing roll-out of vaccinations and accompanying easing of restrictions, organisers hope it will be one of the first large-scale family events to be staged in the North-East.

Planning for the festival is already well-advanced – with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Tees and Young Architectural Practitioner’s Forum (YAPF) having launched a competition among it's members to create an eye-catching and eco-friendly main entrance pavilion. TVNP are planning on a dynamic presence this year too we'll keep you posted as we approach the event...

You can find out more on the Festival of Thrift Website
Tees Rivers Trust Bio-control Work Begins
Tees Rivers Trust has begun bio-control work to tackle two invasive species along the River Tees and two of its tributaries. The organisation has just begun the first set of a series of bio-control releases at sites along the length of the river to combat two highly invasive species; Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam.

A typical 100m transect of a stretch of the Tees in its middle and lower reaches contains approximately 60 -100 species of flora and fauna. A similar sized stretch colonised by invasive plants comprises little else other than these invasive species and they can also leave river banks open to erosion too.

What's the bio-control? The trust's team will release a rust fungus that exclusively attacks Himalayan balsam plants and a psyllid (a tiny, sap-sucking insect that is a Japanese knotweed specialist!). These fungi and insect allies will stop the spread of these pernicious plants and help establish native flora to the environment instead.

Jennifer Grant, Tees Rivers Trust Project Coordinator says 'both the natural and cultural heritage of the River Tees and its tributaries are at risk due to the presence of invasive non-native species'. We say keep up the great work! 
Some National News

Nature on the World Stage

There are 3 big international events in 2021:
  1. IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) World Conservation Congress. Held once every four years, the IUCN World Conservation Congress brings together several thousand leaders and decision-makers from government, civil society, indigenous peoples, business, and academia, with the goal of conserving the environment and harnessing the solutions nature offers to global challenges.
  2. UN (United Nations) COP15 Convention on Biological Diversity held every 2 years
  3. UN (United Nations) COP26 Climate Change Conference is the big one in the news as the UK holds the presidency and is hosting the live event in Glasgow this November. When COP26 was delayed last year we held our own Tees Nature and the Climate Crisis there were some fantastic contributions you can revisit via out YouTube channel.

Biodiversity 3.0 metric launched in new sustainable development toolkit

Natural England unveils the Biodiversity Metric 3.0 to help developments achieve biodiversity net gain and give back to nature. This July Natural England (NE) launched three new tools to help developers measure biodiversity net gain and ensure new developments are “nature positive”.

Where a development has an impact on biodiversity, it will ensure that the development is delivered in a way which helps to restore any biodiversity loss and seeks to deliver thriving natural spaces for local communities.

As proposed in the Environment Bill, biodiversity net gain must be measured using a recognised biodiversity metric. The new Biodiversity Metric 3.0 will provide a way of measuring and accounting for nature losses and gains resulting from development or changes in land management.

Also announced  is the Small Sites Metric (SSM), a beta version designed to simplify the process of calculating biodiversity net gain on smaller development sites. The Environmental Benefits from Nature Tool (EBNT) was also launched to give developers a way of exploring the benefits habitats bring to people, such as improvements to water quality, flood management services and carbon storage.

Full article

The Economics of Biodiversity - critical review published

The Dasgupta Review is an independent, global review on the Economics of Biodiversity led by Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta.

David Attenborough says in the forward 'Economics is a discipline that shapes decisions of the utmost consequence, and so matters to us all. The Dasgupta Review at last puts biodiversity at its core and provides the compass that we urgently need. In doing so, it shows us how, by bringing economics and ecology together, we can help save the natural world at what may be the last minute – and in doing so, save ourselves.'

The Review was commissioned in 2019 and published in February 2021 by HM Treasury and has been supported by an Advisory Panel drawn from public policy, science, economics, finance and business. The Final Report - The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review is available in full and a 10 page headline messages!

STOP PRESS: World Bank report The Economic Case For Nature £Trillion's saved by protecting nature.
Green light for 'net zero'
equivalent for nature
The government has promised to "halt the decline of nature" as part of a new drive to improve the environment.

More trees are to be planted, the sale of peat will be banned and new targets will be set to return species such as wildcats and beavers to the countryside. The measures include a legally binding 2030 target to address wildlife loss.

Environment Secretary George Eustice described the move as "a huge step forward". In a speech from Delamere Forest, in Cheshire, he said: "We hope that this will be the net zero equivalent for nature, spurring action of the scale required to address the biodiversity crisis."

The legally binding target will apply to England only, with devolved administrations able to set their own policy.

Full article

UK Climate Policies Falling Short

The UK Climate Change Committee says government needs to ‘step up very rapidly’ to meet ‘historic’ targets.

In the 2021 Progress Report to Parliament the government’s independent advisers on the climate warned that "The Government has made historic climate promises in the past year, for which it deserves credit. However, it has been too slow to follow these with delivery. This defining year for the UK’s climate credentials has been marred by uncertainty and delay to a host of new climate strategies. Those that have emerged have too often missed the mark. With every month of inaction, it is harder for the UK to get on track."

The report showed that the UK is falling behind on its key goal of 78% cuts to greenhouse gases by 2035 and made a set of recommendations on how to get back on track before legislation falls too far behind. You can read the full report here
Sales of peat compost to gardeners to be banned from 2024
In April, gardening experts, conservationists and scientists called on the UK government to ban the sales of peat compost by the end of 2021, after its goal of a voluntary phasing out by 2020 – set in 2011 – proved an “abject failure”.

On the back of this the environment secretary, George Eustice, announced £500m to fund a tripling of tree planting in England to reach 7,000 hectares a year by 2024 and said a new 2030 target for wildlife populations would be set. A species reintroduction taskforce was also unveiled, to take forward work on recovering species lost to England, such as wildcats and beavers.

Restoring peatlands and increasing woodlands are vital to tackling global heating and boosting biodiversity.
Active Hope Foundations Training

Video-based training in Active Hope Foundations is free of charge and you can start at any time. It's designed as a seven-week course that takes you on a journey through seven areas that can nourish our ability to make a difference in the world. While we suggest a week for each module, you can do it at your own pace and take longer if you prefer.

We're still at work finishing the videos for the last parts of the course, but there's plenty here to engage with already, with the first four weeks of the course available so far, and the remaining videos being added week by week.
For more information go to



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