The IALE European Congress kick-started the autumn for many landscape ecologists. This engaging and inspiring congress brought together almost 400 delegates from across the world, and got us all actively thinking and discussing new ideas for managing European landscapes. Congress themes and ideas were also explored during field excursions held in and around the breathtaking scenery of Greater Manchester.  

Developing integrated landscape-scale management is essential if we are to square the needs of society and our economy with the even more fundamental need to sustain the environment on which we all depend. For example, continuing declines in farmland bird numbers reinforce pressure on governments to find ways of promoting sustainable intensification through appropriate implementation of the reformed Common Agricultural Policy and development of future environmental schemes.  

The challenge has certainly been taken up by the Nature Improvement Areas in England, whose rousing first annual report is highlighted in this edition. Natural England has also announced investment of almost £1million in their Species Recovery Programme, targeted to make a significant contribution to delivery of the Biodiversity 2020 strategy through creating resilient landscapes for wildlife.  

As winter draws in, you will find there are plenty of exciting events coming up of relevance to landscape ecology to keep you enthused and motivated.

Wrap up warm and have a good Christmas!