Biodiversity of Grasslands Webinar Review

17 Feb 2021

The 26th of January saw the launch of our brand-new two part ‘Biodiversity of Grasslands’ webinar series, which was focused on raising the profile and activating discussion on Diversity in Grasslands, with a specific focus on the British Isles. A collaboration between BSAS, BGS and the Stapledon Trust, the webinars proved to be an incredible success, with a record number of sign-ups. The virtual platform for the series allowed us to reach a wider audience and gave those who may not usually be able to attend, the opportunity to join in this important debate.

‘BGS have been delighted to partner with BSAS and SMT on the recent biodiversity in grassland webinars. The mix of both scientific and practical presentation and discussions explored many aspects of this complex topic, and highlighted the important role that grassland has in supporting sustainable production systems, - Tom Goatman (Chief Executive, BGS)

The first webinar, saw our expert panel, including Dr Lisa Norton (CEH Land Use Group), Prof Robin Pakeman (James Hutton Institute) and Dr Will Peach (RSPB Head of Conservation Science for England & Wales), debate the topic of: ‘The science: what is the state of grassland biodiversity and how might it be increased?’ while the second webinar focused on ‘Implementation: how policy and practice could reverse biodiversity decline.’ Again, attendees got to hear from a fantastic expert speaker panel containing Ian Boyd (Cotswold Beef), Clare Pinches (Principal Science Analyst, Natural England) and Chris Clark (Nethergill Associates). The Society would also like to extend its thanks to the event Chairs Kairsty Topp and Steve Peel and Co-Chair Maggie Gill, who ensured that the webinars were run smoothly and efficiently.

‘Sir George Stapledon highlighted the importance of grasslands in the economy in the mid-20th century and the 21st century grasslands still have a key role to play in meeting societal goals. As well as very informative talks, it was great to see so many researchers and colleagues working in the livestock industry having active discussions in the chat function about options for changing land management for environmental benefits. What works on one farm may not work on another and thus it is impossible for researchers to come up with a standard blueprint. Greater impact is likely to be achieved by involving interested farmers in research design and target setting for policy.’ Maggie Gill, Co-Chair.

If you weren’t able to attend the ‘Biodiversity of Grasslands Webinar’ series or wish to view them again, both events can be downloaded for free.

Webinar 1 click here Robin Pakeman kindly re-recorded his presentation to watch click here

Webinar 2  click here