Natural England has today issued a licence permitting the trial of a brood management scheme of hen harriers with the long-term aim of increasing their numbers across England.The licence is time-limited for a 2-year period and places stringent conditions on the trial, which will take place in the northern uplands of England. Brood management will only take place with the permission of the land owner.Brood management is the sixth action within the Defra Hen Harrier Recovery Plan, ultimately aiming to reduce hen harrier predation of grouse chicks on driven grouse moors, leading to an improvement in the conservation status of hen harrier.The licence permits the removal of hen harrier eggs and/or chicks to a dedicated hatching and rearing facility, where they will be hand-reared in captivity, before being transferred to specially-constructed pens in hen harrier breeding habitat, from which they are then re-introduced into the wild in the uplands of northern England. This intervention may only occur where hen harrier nests have reached an agreed density.Natural England experts have rigorously scrutinised the licence application and will work closely with the licence applicant throughout the duration of the trial to ensure that all elements are carried out proportionately and effectively, to bring about the best possible outcome for hen harriers.Natural England Chairman, Andrew Sells, said: Amanda Anderson, Director of the Moorland Association said: GWCT research has over many years described the tension between grouse moor management and hen harrier conservation. We believe it important that the hen harrier recovery plan includes this practical trial of a well understood raptor conservation tool, the brood management scheme. If successful this approach should help hen harriers and red grouse thrive – in the interests of both, and of moorland. Further informationWe have published a redacted version of the full licence issued and the application submitted. Dr Adam Smith of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust said: Improving the conservation status of hen harriers across England is something I feel very passionate about. The principles of this trial have been carefully researched by those best-placed to understand the conflict which can occur between hen harriers and driven grouse moors. It is a complicated and emotive picture and we have considered this application very carefully. Licensing this trial will allow important evidence to be gathered which, I sincerely hope, will lead to a self-sustaining and well-dispersed breeding population of these beautiful birds across England. The Moorland Association is delighted that Natural England has issued a ground-breaking research licence to test if brood management will help improve the Hen Harrier population and range in upland northern England. The Hen Harrier Brood Management Group has sought to provide a pragmatic solution to a proven predator-prey conflict while safeguarding important land use. Moorland managed for red grouse contributes significantly to remote rural communities, businesses and treasured landscapes. This new wildlife management licence will give land mangers confidence that impacts of hen harriers breeding on their land can be minimised creating a win-win scenario.
Sometimes, the weekly ride isn’t about the ride at all. It’s about getting out of the house and knocking back a couple of beers and a burrito after a bit of exercise. It’s an escape from the routine. The irony, of course, is that the escape becomes a routine itself. Same trails, same beer, same burrito.It can go on like that for months at a time, without much of a variation in the routine. And then, out of nowhere, one of your riding buddies says he heard of a trail on the edge of the forest that none of us have ever ridden. All of a sudden, it’s a Wednesday night and you’re on an adventure. On a school night!Such is the scenario surrounding my latest weekly ride. We started on the same gravel road that we always start on, but instead of ducking onto familiar singletrack, we kept pedaling gravel, climbing far beyond our typical stomping grounds into the upper reaches of the forest. It was a brutal, 1,000-foot grind of a climb into a ridge of steep slopes. We picked up a faint trail just shy of the gap, and immediately started dropping elevation, first through a rhodo tunnel, then slaloming through big stands of trees. The trail gets ridden so infrequently, it was barely even singletrack. At times we lost it altogether in the leaves and underbrush, only to find it again 10 yards downslope. Before too long, the trail got too steep for us to ride as it traced the fall line straight down the side of the mountain. We hopped off our bikes and slipped every third step as the trail took an impossible line over downed trees that have been turned into huge kickers with landing zones that leave no room for error. Then the optional boulder drops began.Big, freaking boulder drops.The trail is nothing like anything else we ride in the forest, and honestly, we were only good enough to ride a tiny piece of it. But it felt good to be on new dirt, laughing and falling in foreign land. It felt like an adventure. On a Wednesday. After work.Inspired by conquering new territory, we hit up a different post-ride bar. A place that puts French-fries right on their sandwiches. I even ordered a new type of beer.– Graham Averill is a regular contributor to B.R.O. In between cleaning up spilled drinks and putting kids to bed, he enjoys mountain biking, drinking beer, and maintaining his personal blog Daddy Drinks.
After six weeks of joint training exercises in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the first Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) exercise between the 3rd U.S. Marine and Special Operations Command Battalion (USMARSOC) and the Brazilian Marine Corps’ elite Fuzileiros Navais concluded in late September. Lieutenant Colonel Jon Duke, Commander of the 3rd Marine and Special Operations Battalion explained that the JCET team has been preparing to increase their engagements with the Brazilian Marine Corps since 2010 with the purpose of deepening their relationship with their Brazilian counterparts. “Due to Brazil’s increasing role as a global power and important U.S. partner, the USMARSOC JCET team prepared, for this exercise for 18 months,” said LtCol Duke. The military-to-military engagement with the Brazilian Fuzileiros Navais focused on the exchange of tactics procedures including direct action and special reconnaissance tactics such as close-quarters battle skills. For his part, Colonel Fernando Jose Afonso Ferreira de Sousa, commander of the Toneleros, the special operations battalion within the Brazilian Fuzileiros Navais, stated, “The exchange between the units was important to learn from the experiences of each other.” Some of the highlights included seeing the different types of terrain that Brazilian Fuzileiros train and operate in, because the participating U.S. Marines were used to operating in the Middle East. “An overall lesson we all took back is that Marines are Marines all around the world,” stated LtCol Duke. Among others, the participants also trained in specific marksmanship skills, including sniper skills that are beneficial to both sides. “We were very impressed with the Fuzileiros’ professionalism and experience in reconnaissance skills,” said LtCol Duke when discussing the lessons the U.S. Marines took from their Brazilian counterparts. “The Brazilian culture is so rich, it was an impressive aspect of the overall experience, too,” he added. But in working together, the U.S. also left behind important lessons for the Brazilians. The integration of intelligence and operations at the team level and the integration of intelligence at a very tactical level were important aspects of the joint training that the U.S. Marines showed their Brazilian partners. “The MARSOC team provided the highest quality personnel, training, and capabilities, and developed a lasting camaraderie with the Toneleros”, added Col. Ferreira de Sousa. During the six weeks of training, the participants of both countries built solid relationships that will pave the way ahead for future engagements. By Dialogo October 12, 2011
continue reading » It is vitally important credit unions be designated essential services during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, CUNA wrote to state leadership organizations Monday.The Treasury issued guidance earlier designating financial services as essential critical infrastructure last week, and CUNA’s letter urges state leadership organization members to include credit unions in any policy their state or locality might enact to ensure they are designated as essential services.“Credit unions continue to help their members and communities through this economic uncertainty. From suspending loan payments to providing low interest short term loan options and financial counseling, our credit unions are proving real solutions and critical services to many who have been caught off guard by this crisis,” the letter reads. “More than 2,100 credit unions, serving nearly 46 million members, have a primary field of membership that includes school, military, health care, police, fire, transportation, utilities, and government employees. These credit unions and others are serving members who are on the front lines of helping to keep others safe during this crisis.” ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
A little over two years after the World Cup final in Moscow, France and Croatia are meeting again tonight in the second round of UEFA Nations League matches in Paris this evening.What should have been a festive full house at the Stade de France, a chance to relive the excitement of Les Bleus’ 4-2 win that July afternoon in Moscow, Russia, will be more downbeat, thanks to coronavirus.European football body UEFA has directed that all the games be played behind closed doors. The atmosphere in a stadium with no spectators will inevitably be flat and the teams on show will be markedly different as the coaches try to manage players who, because of the upheaval in the calendar over the last six months, are not fully fit.“I’m going to make a lot of changes because it’s very difficult to keep going,” France coach Didier Deschamps said after Saturday’s scratchy 1-0 win over Sweden in his side’s Nations League group 3 opener in Solna.“Already, playing 90 minutes with this deficit at the start is taking risks with the players.“It may go against cohesion and my instinct but I think I have no choice.”The Croats will be glad to welcome back their veteran midfield pair of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic who were rested for the 4-1 thrashing in Portugal on Saturday to be fresh for Paris.That means Kylian Mbappe, who scored with France’s only shot on goal to beat the Swedes, is likely to be the highest-profile absentee.Part of that is his fitness – the 21-year-old took a nasty blow to his right ankle which had barely recovered from a major sprain – and part of it is club/country politics.Mbappe is expected to be in Lens on Thursday as Paris Saint-Germain, who have lost six players including Neymar to positive Covid-19 tests, make a belated start to their Ligue 1 season.The promise and need for rotation may open some doors in Deschamps’ starting line-up.Manchester United’s Anthony Martial, who returned in attack in Solna after more than two years out of the reckoning, may have a further opportunity to press his claims.The same goes for Real Madrid midfielder Ferland Mendy if Lucas Digne is given a rest, and Lucas Hernandez who has been used sparingly at Bayern Munich.But the name that is garnering much of the attention is that of Rennes teenager Eduardo Camavinga.At 17 years and nine months, Camavinga missed out on a first cap on Saturday which would have made him France’s youngest player since World War II but there is every chance that will come in Paris this evening.To make the starting line-up, Camavinga will need to dislodge either Adrien Rabiot, who played in Sweden for the first time since his refusal to be a reserve for the 2018 World Cup, or N’Golo Kante who put in a big performance in Scandinavia.But Deschamps has all but promised Camavinga some game time, allowing the French to take a look at a young player who is likely to figure largely, alongside Mbappe, in the future.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Although some inter-county bosses don’t take the competition that seriously the Tipp supremo thinks there’s a lot to be gained by doing so.The Premier County open their campaign against Dublin at Semple Stadium on February 13th but will play two more prepatory games before that fixture.Michael says the players will gain a lot if they do well in the NHL.
“What godforsaken town are you in now?” Rick Pitino asked, a gentle mocking of his former assistant as Cronin climbed Division I’s coaching ladder.MORE: Twitterverse reacts to Pitino’s return Pitino, 67, has been to the top of that ladder — literally — twice in a head coaching career than began all the way back in 1978 when he was hired, at age 25, to coach the Boston University Terriers. He was a prodigy then, his talent so obvious it was as if he wore a neon sign that said “Future Hall of Famer.”Now, that current Hall of Famer will be the next head coach at Iona College.Pitino stumbled, in a sense, on that second trip to the top. The Louisville program he was running, which claimed the NCAA championship in 2013, became the center of a scandal through the publication of the book “Breaking Cardinal Rules,” which detailed stripper parties in the team’s residence hall that were allegedly funded by a basketball staff member. That cost U of L what had been its third national title banner.And more problems became apparent in 2017, when one of Pitino’s assistant coaches was caught on a federal wiretap in which another man discussed an apparel company making future payments to a Louisville recruit. Not long after that was revealed in an FBI complaint, Pitino lost his job.MORE: Pitino, Louisville settle lawsuits over dismissal Now, Pitino is willing to begin at what represents Division I’s bottom rung.Back when the question was relevant, in the immediate aftermath of his dismissal from Louisville, I would respond to those asking if Pitino would coach again in college by suggesting that it likely would occur only if he were willing to work again in a bus league.And so he has.If you needed a March upset, at least you’ve got this.Iona is a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The regular-season champion of this season’s MAAC, Siena, was expected to be a No. 16 seed in the 2020 NCAA Tournament, according to Sporting News’ Ryan Fagan. Siena is located in Albany, N.Y., which is a two-hour bus trip from the Iona campus. Quinnipiac is an hour up the road in Connecticut. The only genuinely long trip is across the entire state of New York to Buffalo, the location of Canisius College.Pitino has demonstrated he wants to coach badly — badly enough to move all the way to Greece and lead the Panathinaikos basketball club in the Greek Basket League and Euroleague. That he was willing to go so far afield to remain in the business, when he is far beyond doing it for the money, is more than surprising.Even though it offers the opportunity to live again in midtown Manhattan, if he wishes, it seemed highly unlikely he would be willing to coach in one of the college game’s most charming and balanced — but least glamorous — leagues, so well captured in a beautiful midseason column by New York Post sportswriter Mike Vaccaro.DeCOURCY: Hofstra, Mihalich have only pride this MarchThe MAAC itself has declined a bit in recent years. In 1990, it was home to a national player of the year, Lionel Simmons, and a La Salle Explorers team that went 30-2, earned a No. 5 NCAA Tournament seed and produced two other NBA players beyond Simmons.In 2012, Iona earned an at-large NCAA Tournament bid and appeared in the First Four opposite BYU, and under coach Tim Cluess the Gaels won the MAAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament the past four seasons and five times overall. In February 2004, on a Friday afternoon between games at Tennessee Tech and Austin Peay, Mick Cronin sat on a bus with his Murray State players behind him, his assistant coaches beside him and a couple of journalists along for the ride.Cronin’s cell phone rang. He answered without hesitation, probably because he knew the caller was important. Cluess missed the 2019-20 season, though, with an undisclosed illness and resigned earlier this week to serve as a consultant to the program and focus on his recovery.Iona is located in New Rochelle, N.Y., one of the American cities most challenged by the emergence of the coronavirus. There may be some who criticize Iona for insensitivity or poor optics, but this is a moment when Iona most needs prospective students to understand the college has a future.Now, that future will include one of the most gifted coaches ever to wear a pair of designer loafers in front of a college bench. One wonders if he will dress down a bit.
18 Dec 2019 World-class field set for Whittlebury Park George Groves will return in 2020 to defend his title at an expanded English Open Amateur for golfers with a disability.Next year’s EA4GD event will be staged at Whittlebury Park Golf Club, Northamptonshire on June 27-28 and promises to be bigger and better than ever before.World number one Groves claimed a five-shot triumph at the 2019 event held in September at Stoke by Nayland Golf Club and faces a stiff challenge to hang onto his crown.For the 2020 edition, competitors are being welcomed from all over the world and not just England.There will also be a women’s net event taking place within the championship for the first time.This is in recognition of the number of golfers looking to compete as well as reinforcing England Golf’s commitment to equality in the game.The event will also have world ranking points on offer reflecting the championship’s growing status.Jamie Blair, England Golf’s Inclusion and Wellbeing manager, said: “I look forward to Whittlebury Park Golf Club hosting this amazing event in 2020.“This year’s championship was the first time England Golf had staged the event and it proved to be a memorable occasion.“I’m pleased we will be raising the bar again by including a women’s net event for the first time in 2020.“As well as welcoming players representing their clubs from across England, we look forward to a number of international players travelling to make this event bigger and better.”The 2019 championship attracted 42 men and women from across the UK, France and the Netherlands.As a result of his win in last year’s championship, Groves earned a place at the EDGA Dubai Finale in November.The event was held the same week as the European Tour’s DP World Tour Championship and played over Dubai’s renowned Earth Course.Groves – from Horne Park Golf Club – followed up his national title by winning the Dubai Finale by three shots and maintained his status at the top of the world rankings.For more details and entry information about the 2020 English Open Amateur Championship for golfers with a disability please click herePhotograph credit: Leaderboard