River and wetland management - unleashing nature

Lecture Theatre B33, Birkbeck, University of London,
Torrington Square,
United Kingdom

River and wetland management - unleashing nature

Speaker: Dave Webb, Environment Agency

Friday 21st March, 18.30 - 20.00

Lecture theatre B33, Birkbeck College, Torrington Square, London

Dave Webb is a Biodiversity Technical Specialist for the Environment Agency. He has been involved in river restoration in London since the early 1990's, in that time he was responsible for the development of the London Rivers Action Plan and provided technical advice on numerous restoration projects. Dave worked on secondment to the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, providing scientific advice to policy divisions on a range of biodiversity issues, with particular emphasis on climate change, where he represented Defra on the MONARCH project steering group. He chaired the London Biodiversity partnership. More recently Dave has become a trustee for the Wandle Valley Regional Park Trust.

The lecture will cover how and why rivers have been managed, and how this has changed in the last 20 years. It will describe how ecology has become central to evaluating the success of river management and how river managers can ameliorate pressures on rivers from our other activities. An understanding of the influence of physical and biological processes shows these to be as important as restoring the physical form of rivers. We can apply some of these lessons to other wetland habitats.

This event is free and open to all, registration is not required.

Management of wildlife habitat

Free lecture Series, Birkbeck, Ecology and Conservation Studies Society, supported by the Linnean Society of London

In a crowded island how do we make space for a diverse wildlife? Until recently, the management of wildlife habitat was by mimicking traditional economic management, in an attempt to preserve rich remnants of the past and deter alien invaders. Dissenting voices, however, argue that we can create large blocks of wilderness, where natural processes allow native species to manage themselves with minimal intervention by us. Another view is that tradition is too focussed on birds, bees and wild flowers, ignoring most other biodiversity. Yet others find value in mixtures of both native and established exotic species and argue that it's difficult and unnecessary to strive purely for natives. This series asks whether our traditional management prescriptions needs an update?