The seventh annual symposium for New Networks For Nature took place in Stamford Arts Centre on 12th–14th November 2015.
It included talks by Ruth Padel and Germain Greer, a debate with Tony Juniper and George Monbiot, a film by John Aitchison and the Concrete Nature exhibition featuring artwork by Nik Pollard, Carry Akroyd, Dafila Scott, Elle Salt, Shelley Perkins, Kittie Jones, Richard Jarvis, Richard Allen, Matt Underwood, John and Jane Paige, Harriet Mead, Jo Ruth, Adele Pound, Lucy Stevens, Kate Foster, Esther Tyson, and Beatrice Forshall.
Smoke kills lichen. That is what happened in large areas of Britain during the 19th century due to rapid industrialisation. The light coloured lichens disappeared as the tree trunks were blackened by soot. Pale coloured moths which had been well camouflaged when they rested on tree trunks became very conspicuous and were eaten by birds. Rare dark moths, which had been conspicuous before, were now well camouflaged in the black background. As birds switched from eating mainly dark moths to mainly pale moths, the most common moth colour changed from pale to dark. The moths had evolved. The Peppered moth is one of the best examples of evolution by natural selection and is often referred to as ‘Darwin’s Moth’.
Having adapted so well to survive the earlier damages of industrialisation, this species is now declining overall. Between 1968 and 2002 numbers of the Peppered Moth in Britain fell by almost two thirds, although the causes are as yet unknown.
Peppered moth, Moorhen and Battersea Peregrine