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Message from our Chair 
Photograph of TVNP Chair Timothy Crawshaw
We're already a few months into 2022 and things are looking a little brighter in the Tees Valley. We have had our first in-person Steering Group meeting in over two years which was a 'challenge session' on the engagement work of TVNP. We are part of a national arts and nature pilot 'Natural Futures' which is leading up to a national nature recovery conference that will be hosted in Tees Valley this summer, and we have scheduled the Tees Nature Conference for 2022.

In our newsletter, you will find some crucial national updates that have come out of the new Environment Bill including biodiversity 'net gain' in planning, local nature recovery strategies, and the forthcoming Nature Recovery Green Paper. At a local level, we have again awarded the next round of small grants - well done to the recipients.

We've got updates from many of our partners including events, annual reports, and consultations. I look forward to hearing about further work from the partnership and for further updates on national and local events in Tees Valley!

I hope you enjoy the newsletter and as always many thanks to the team and our partners for making TVNP one of the most effective and innovative nature partnerships in England.
Timothy Crawshaw, MA MRTPI FRSA
Chair TVNP; RTPI President for 2022
Latest News from TVNP
NRN Conference 
Save The Date - Very Important National Event
Tees Valley has been selected to host the first national Nature Recovery Network (NRN) Delivery Partnership conference convened by Natural England. Details of the event are below. We are extremely fortunate to have been chosen it’s a great opportunity to showcase our area and all the fantastic organisations and work within it.
‘Natural England is incredibly excited to be holding its first annual Nature Recovery Network (NRN) Delivery Partnership conference in Tees Valley this Summer. Tees Valley is a hub of innovative action for nature recovery that brings together the natural and cultural heritage of the area, and we are sure will prove to be inspirational for attendees' Jamie Lock, Nature Recovery Team, Natural England

The conference will be held over 2 days; 12th and 13th of July. We have exclusive use of The National Trusts Ormesby Hall on Wednesday 13th. If you or your organisation would be interested in being involved as part of the marketplace on the 13th please contact Louise at

Tees Nature Annual Conference Date Change 

As you know we had planned for this years' Tees Nature Conference to complement the national Nature Recovery Network (NRN) conference mentioned above. We decided that the best way to do this was to have a Tees Nature Conference that reflects on the events of the NRN conference and the next steps that need to be taken locally. 

Due to this the new date for the Tees Nature Conference will be in November we'll send more information about this conference soon.

National Recognition for the work of
our partnership

To launch the exciting new phase of support for England's nature recovery efforts through new legislation and policy (see the article on the Environment Bill below) Natural England are hosting a parliamentary reception at the end of March -
'Building partnerships for people and places:
An integrated approach to nature recovery''

TVNP Manager, Rachel Murtagh has been invited to join the panel to share the work of the partnership with our fantastic and diverse collaborations. This is a great opportunity to 'talk up Tees Valley' and the commitment and passion we have for local nature recovery.
Local Group Focus

Magic in the Burn Valley

On Saturday 2nd April between 1.00pm and 3.00pm, Family Time and partners will be spreading some magic for families to explore and be active.  There will be a community litter pick with Hartlepool Big Town Tidy Up, Scouts, and volunteers. Supporting the scouts to earn the environmental badge. Those who can't attend will have their houses collected brought to the park so they can all be put in together. 

The idea behind the fairy village is to encourage families to be more active by wanting to visit and spend more time outdoors together. They have had several groups/organisations come forward including the Woodturning Workshop Hartlepool, Bob an 80+ year-old resident, who makes bird boxes/feeders and donates the proceeds to Springwell School, Hartlepool Scout Units 9th and 18th, Community Hubs and pupils from High Tunstall School. 

They have had some amazing houses that have been created including a fairy library and goblin jail!

If anyone would like to get involved by helping on the day or creating their own magical creature dwelling please contact

Paula Carroll & Louise George - Hartlepool Borough Council
Cleveland Beekeepers Association

The last year has been a mixture of ups and downs.  The very wet and cold January followed by a cold spring meant a slow start to the beekeeping season, it eventually took off and the season was capped by a surprisingly good crop of heather honey.  We only hope that the Heather Beetle outbreak will be curtailed for 2022.

Our Introduction to Beekeeping course was called off in 2020, however, almost all the members transferred to the 2021 course which had 40 participants. The lockdown gave us the opportunity to involve more members in practical small group teaching, rather than the previous large sessions. This proved to be both popular and successful, we have over 30 people registered on the 2022 course.

If you would like any more information please contact John Canning at if you have a possible site.

Looking forward to 2022 we hope to be able to hold a honey show again this year as well as attend a number of public events where we can explain more about bees and their environment as well as show bees in action in an observation hive.

John Canning - February 2022

An Orchard Wassail in
Hurworth on Tees

Hurworth group EPICH (Eco-People in Croft and Hurworth) held its first Wassail in January, in the village’s Community Heritage Orchard. The Orchard had recently benefited from an interpretation panel, funded by a TVNP grant, giving information about the fruit varieties and their uses.

Over a hundred people turned out for the wassail held on January 17th at dusk.  They enjoyed a wassail cup of mulled local cider provided by Clervaux Garden School, and a range of spiced apple cakes made by EPICH volunteers. 
Pat Simpson said “We have an ongoing plan to generate wider interest and knowledge about this little orchard of heritage fruit trees – pear, plum, apple, damson, and quince - all with northern origins,” says Pat.  “Friends of the Community (Hurworth) did a great thing when they planted it over ten years ago, and EPICH, as the successor group to FoC wants to make sure that their efforts are built on and that these trees are still here well into the future and enjoyed by everyone who uses The Grange.

Learn more about EPICH here.

Pat Simpson - Eco People in Croft and Hurworth
Photograpy © Peter Baron Media
News From Our Partners
Going Green Together Peer Support sessions
In September 2021 the VONNE Climate Action Alliance (a group of 17 organisations based in the North East) launched the Going Green Together campaign to support North East VCSE organisations at the start of their journey towards Net-Zero. Part of the work they have been doing to engage organisations is hosting monthly peer support sessions. 

The sessions have been a great place for organisations to come along and have an informal chat about how they’re getting on with taking climate action. 

“Something that seemed impossible seems achievable now after friendly chats with peers. Gave me the courage to make a start!” – Michelle Cooper, Chief Executive, County Durham Community Foundation.

Some of the sessions have focused on key challenges organisations face on their journey towards Net Zero such as engaging beneficiaries and making climate action relevant to organisational aims. You can read more about the previous sessions on the Going Green Together Medium page

Going Green Together want to encourage as many organisations as they can to Go Green with them. Start your organisation’s climate action journey and get involved. Come along to a peer support session by registering on the Going Green Together MeetUp and find out more about the campaign on the Going Green Together website.   

Georgia Goncalves - VONNE 
RSPB Saltholme Rewilding 
Earlier this year, 100 hectares of land- previously grazed by sheep and cattle- returned to Saltholme’s management. Surveys of the land (by our own staff and by researchers at Teesside University) have revealed that there are currently not many species living in this field. So, we have decided to return this land to nature! 

"Returning this land to nature" means there will be minimum human intervention on this land over the coming years. After some initial work to break up the grass sward and establish some scrub and hedgerow, we will take a step back and let nature take over. We hope to use this land for guided walks and events once the wildlife is established, but the land will need a little time to settle before this happens. 

The plan is to update you all on our, or nature’s, progress over the coming years. We will continue to monitor the area to keep track of which species are moving in and how the land is changing. We hope that this project will lead to much higher biodiversity on both this land and, by extension, the entire Saltholme reserve. So, watch this space! 

Chris Francis - RSPB Saltholme 
Our Bright Future - Young people are calling for the opportunity to learn in and about nature every day Show your support
Tees Rivers Trust INNS Progress

The Tees Rivers Trust Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) team had a great few days virtually attending the yearly Local Action Group workshop, organised by the Non-native Species Secretariat (GB NNSS). 

We presented a brief update on our INNS projects and this presentation which is now available to watch on our YouTube channel above. 

Cleveland Bird Report 2020  
   Teesmouth Bird Club

November of 2021 saw the publishing of the club’s 47th Annual Report. Over the years, this project has grown both in detail of content and attractiveness in presentation. Eleven compilers and an editor were involved in its production, together with 120 contributors of records and high-quality photographs. 

You can learn more about the Teesmouth Bird Club on the club’s website.

Copies of the report are free to club members or can be purchased from J Fletcher, 43 Glaisdale Av, Middlesbrough TS5 7PF (tel. 01642 818825).

Alistair McLee - Teesmouth Bird Club 
Teesside University Summer Internships Scheme 2022

Open for Company Applications
We are now accepting proposals from employers for the Summer Internships scheme. This year internships will run for 11 weeks from July to September 2022. Interns are paid directly by Teesside University and can come from any discipline. They will join their host organisation to complete a discrete project or piece of work. Interns can be based at their host’s premises, at home or a hybrid of the two. This is an excellent opportunity for local companies to work with some of Teesside University’s talented graduates. 

Question and Answer Session on MS Teams – Open to all employers
To learn more about the scheme and enable employers to ask specific questions I will be running a Q and A session for employers. This will be hosted on MS Teams on Thursday 24th March from 11 am – 12 noon. At the time of the meeting, any organisations that are interested can please Click here to join the meeting

The deadline for us to receive role proposals from organisations is 30th March. Interested organisations can complete the form via this link Summer Internships 2022 (if you wish to put forwards more than 1 role please note you must complete a separate copy of the form for each internship).  
Wildlife Trusts Nature for Everyone Campaign - Learn more here

The Green Shoots Project - funded through the Heritage Lottery by the
Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

Green Shoots has been working hard these recent 10 months in some of Middlesbrough's most beautiful green spaces. The team of partners consisting of staff from Middlesbrough Environment City, The Other Perspective, ACTES, and Hemlington Linx partnered up and have been working hard with volunteers from ethnic minority backgrounds and young adults 16 – 24 years old.

We have been working to connect participants with nature, develop their skills and knowledge, whilst improving the habitat quality and state of the becks by managing vegetation growing alongside some of Middlesbrough’s most important becks and carrying out regeneration and management of native wildflower meadows and glades. This work is aimed to improve habitat quality specifically for Water Voles and two species of butterfly – Dingy Skipper and Grayling.

The project is coming to completion at the end of March but since February 2021 the project has been able to achieve so much, you can learn more here.

Casper Scallen - Middlesbrough Environment City

Cowbar Wildlife Survey 
Cowbar residents asked the council to reduce verge mowing along Cowbar Lane to one cut a year in the autumn, to protect insect life. After last year’s cut, they collected the arisings to reduce phosphorus and allow more delicate wildflowers a chance amongst the coarse grasses. Kevin Wilson, Biodiversity Officer for Redcar and Cleveland Council, commissioned an environmental survey, carried out by Katherine Knox, East Cleveland Ranger, which you can read here.

Residents are very grateful to Kevin, Katherine and Jo Mead, Redcar and Cleveland Council’s Community Development Officer, for their knowledge and support as they continue their efforts to protect the plants and creatures on Cowbar, enhance the habitat and increase public appreciation and understanding of this beautiful wild headland.

Nicola Woodfin - February 2022
Teesmouth Field Centre Annual Review
Woodland creation in Tees Valley

Funding and support available
Financial and practical support is available through the Forestry Commission and its partners. For example, the flagship England Woodland Creation Offer supports new woodland creation that is at least one hectare in size by covering standard capital costs up to £8,500/ha, providing annual maintenance costs of £300/ha/year for 10 years, with additional contributions available up to £8,000/ha when delivering wider environmental and social benefits.
The local Forestry Commission team is available to help those in Tees Valley decide whether woodland creation is right for them. This includes providing free whole-holding assessments to understand how woodland creation may fit with land and business aspirations, advising on funding options, and supporting with next steps.  The team is also keen to partner with other organisations on outreach and engagement activities.
For further information and 1-1 discussion please contact Nick Prince, Business Development Advisor on / 07442 829942 

Sarah Wright - Forestry Comission 

Here are some ways you can get involved with SeaScapes in the Tees Valley area: 
  • Many of you will be keeping your eyes peeled for the return of the Seaton Carew Little Terns colony this spring. To give these special visitors the best chance of breeding success, SeaScapes is supporting volunteers to work alongside Durham Wildlife Trust to protect the site and positively engage people on why they need to be given space.  If you are interested please contact Vicky Ward at 
  • Do you live in, or have connections with Clavering in Hartlepool? We are looking for people from Clavering to get involved with a coastal defence community archaeology project. Tees Archaeology, in collaboration with SeaScapes, is undertaking a community archaeological survey and excavation/dig of the known site of the sound mirror on Clavering Road.
Contact for more information.

All of our volunteering opportunities and events can be found on 

Karen Daglish - Seascapes
National News

 Environment Act 2021

The much anticipated Environment Bill was published in November 2021 after the amendments were accepted and the bill received royal assent.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said:
'The Environment Act will deliver the most ambitious environmental programme of any country on earth...It will halt the decline of species by 2030, clean up our air and protect the health of our rivers, reform the way in which we deal with waste, and tackle deforestation overseas."

For nature the Bill creates new measures to support its recovery through the local authority planning system making a 10% biodiversity net gain mandatory in new developments. It also sees the creation of a national nature recovery network which means at a local level the duty to produce a Local Nature Recovery Strategy. Tees Valley will be one area amongst 30 or so which will create a continuous patchwork covering the whole of England.

You can read the full bill here. To find out more about Biodiversity Net Gain and Local Nature Recovery strategies visit our YouTube channel


New, long-term environmental targets were announced last week by the government. The proposed targets are a cornerstone of the government’s Environment Act which was passed into law in November last year.

They will drive action by successive governments to protect and enhance our natural world.

The proposed targets cover water, air quality, and the diversity of our wildlife, including:

  • Improving the health of our rivers by reducing nutrient pollution and contamination from abandoned metal mines in watercourses and improving water use efficiency; and

  • Cleaning up our air through a target to reduce exposure to the most harmful air pollutant to human health – PM2.5 – by over a third compared to 2018 levels; and

  • Halting the decline in our wildlife populations through a legally binding target for species abundance by 2030 with a requirement to increase species populations by 10% by 2042.


Nutrient neutrality and the
planning system

A growing number of local planning authorities including all our in the Tees Valley and the rest of the river Tees catchment have just learned from Natural England that development in some catchments cannot proceed if it increases levels of nutrients. Their advice is that development can only proceed if it is "nutrient neutral".

PAS - The Planning Advisory Services  are starting a new programme of work to support the latest cohort of councils learn from the experience of councils before them. TVNP along with our regional Natural England colleagues  will continue to aid our local planning authorities to support best practice for the best outcomes for our area.

Help Shape the Future of

England's Nature
DEFRA, the government Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs is responsible for improving and protecting the environment. It is a ministerial department, supported by 33 agencies and public bodies including our partners; Natural England, The Environment Agency, Forestry Commission and the North York Moors National Park Authority.

They want our views on some proposed big changes for new tools to nature recovery happen:
  1. How biodiversity net gain system in planning will work in practice.
  2. New targets that we think will deliver environmental outcomes in the areas where there are some of the greatest problems...targets beyond the legal minimum...with additional proposals on: biodiversity; water; marine; and woodland cover. 
  3. Proposals set out in this Green Paper support governments ambitions to restore nature and halt the decline in species abundance by 2030.
Biodiversity Net Gain Regulations & Implementation - ends 05/04/22
New national environmental targets
Nature Recovery Green Paper: Protected Sites and Species



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