Magazine article Geographical

In Brief

Magazine article Geographical

In Brief

Article excerpt


Britain's national mapping agency, Ordnance Survey, and Joint Information Systems Committee have joined forces to ensure Ordnance Survey data is available on line to UK colleges and universities. Research staff, lecturers and students will be able to freely use map data of Britain in teaching and research projects. A basic on-line service will be up and running by January 2000, with the full service in place by September 2000. Higher Education Institutions can register by emailing


Animal Defenders, the group responsible for securing the conviction of Mary Chipperfield and Roger Cawley for animal cruelty, have launched a campaign to ban them from keeping animals in the future. The group is calling on celebrities, MPs and supporters to lobby the two authorities responsible for issuing Chipperfield's Performing Animal Registration and her Dangerous Wild Animals Act Licence. "We urge the authorities concerned to look at the powers they have under current legislation," said Jan Creamer, director of Animal Defenders.


Environment minister Michael Meacher has announced two sets of guidelines aimed at minimising disturbance to whales, dolphins and porpoises. The guidelines are for tour operators and people involved in whale watching, as well as those who may incidentally encounter cetaceans. They say people should avoid making erratic movements, not drive through or between groups, always allow a clear escape route and avoid animals with young.


A national survey to assess the status of all breeding seabirds in Britain and Ireland will be carried out by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) in conjunction with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Seabird 2000 hopes to improve our knowledge of seabird species that are very difficult to monitor, including the British storm petrel and Leach's petrel. Project coordinator Dr Ian Mitchell said that the survey will set a sound scientific basis on which conservation decisions can be made in the new millennium. You can follow the survey's progress via JNCC's website at


Numbers of Britain's most secretive bird, the bittern, remain at a dangerously low level, reports the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). …

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