Last week, over the 28th and 29th October 2019, the final Valuing Nature (VN) Programme Conference was held at the Royal Society in London, under the watchful gaze of Sir Isaac Newton. The VN Programme, supported by a consortia of UK Research Councils including the AHRC, ESRC and NERC, funded seven research projects orientated around two research enquiries; the impacts of potential ecological tipping points for natural resources within the UK and the importance of nature for human health and wellbeing for British citizens. The WetlandLIFE team have been involved in the latter research area, human health and wellbeing, through their collaborative work within the WetlandLIFE project, which is drawing to an end in January 2020.

Peter Coates, Professor of American and Environmental History at the University of Bristol, and a co-investigator on WetlandLIFE, reflects on a paper he gave recently at the 3rd World Congress of Environmental History in Florianópolis, Brazil. The World Congress of Environmental History has met every 5 years since its inaugural meeting in Copenhagen in 2009.

There are 34 known species of mosquitoes in the UK, with an array of appearances, behaviour, favourite meals and preferred habitats. A type of landscape known for its association with mosquitoes are the wetlands, which include marshes, swamps, bogs and fens, among other types. On this World Mosquito Day, 20th August, together with the interdisciplinary team of the ‘WetlandLIFE’ project, we are taking a closer look at mosquitoes, considering both the benefits and the risks they can bring to wetland environments. Reported by Gillian Summers, University of Greenwich.

Dr Sharanya Basu-Roy, a wetlandLIFE Research Assistant in Economic Valuation from Cranfield University, shares her thoughts on recent field work visits to Alkborough Flats in North Lincolnshire and the Somerset Levels, two of the project's main case study sites and both great example of wetlands providing a multitude of benefits to people and the environment.

WetlandLIFE researcher Dr Mary Greary meets Dr Maureen O'Connor from University College Cork’s Scoil an Bhéarla (School of English) to talk bogs and their social representation in Ireland.

Dr Mary Gearey, Senior Research Fellow from the School of Environment and Technology at the University of Brighton and WetlandLIFE project partner reflects on her latest conference presentation and participation at AAG Washington 2019.

WetlandLIFE researcher Adriana Ford reports from the 13th Ramsar Conference of the Parties in Dubai, where she and other wetlandLIFE team members ran a side event to explore the role of film and the arts in understanding the value of wetlands.

Dr Mary Gearey, Senior Research Fellow with the School of Environment and Technology at the University of Brighton, shares her experiences of visiting the Mai Po nature reserve in Hong Kong’s New Territories – a wildlife haven surrounded by over 20 million local residents.

On a recent visit to one of our case study wetlands, Shapwick Heath (part of the Avalon Marshes system of wetlands that lie within the Somerset Levels close to Glastonbury) one of the team’s researchers, Dr Mary Gearey from the University of Brighton, met up with a local artist, Margaret Micklewright, to find out more about what delights her in this very special wetland.

Writing in May 2018, WetlandLIFE researcher Mary Gearey, a human geographer from the University of Brighton, reflects on the persistence of human artefacts in our three in-depth case study sites in Somerset, Bedford and Alkborough, and how these tie people to valued wetland landscapes, both in the distant past and the here-and-now.