Do you know anyone with an interest in wild plants or who would like to learn more about them? As the weather warms and the days get longer we are looking for people to help us.
The National Plant Monitoring Scheme is helping us to understand what is happening to different habitats across the UK and is set to run for a number of years. The Scheme has been running for two survey seasons and over 900 volunteers have signed up and been out surveying. One of the reasons the scheme has enjoyed such good success in attracting volunteers is because of the support of local parish councils. Many of these volunteers are new to plant surveying and have found the scheme accessible, are enjoying taking part and are exploring places to close to them and finding out new things. Volunteers are supported by materials which are sent to them, online resources and free training courses.
Do you know somebody who enjoys being outside? There are still opportunities to get involved with the scheme as a volunteer. In fact the more volunteers we have the more information is generated allowing us to get an even better understanding of what is happening in the landscape.
Who we are and what we need:
This scheme is a partnership between Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI); JNCC; Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) and Plantlife and is backed by the government. Volunteers are recruited and supported to survey 5 plots in a kilometre square close to where they live. The plots will be surveyed twice a year. The kilometre squares to monitor have been identified by stratified random sampling. The plants have been chosen as indicators of the health of individual habitats. There are 3 levels volunteers can participate at depending on confidence and knowledge and support will be provided both through training; web and telephone.
More help please:
Across Kent there are still 58 squares available to survey.
There is increasing activity in all communities (but mainly affecting people in poorer areas) from ‘Loan Sharks’. A Loan Shark is a person who is unregistered, illegal and unregulated, who preys on vulnerable people who are desperate for money. They charge exorbitant rates of interest, and the victims (who could be you or me) are often frightened and desperate. If you, or someone you know….
-have been offered a loan without paperwork.
-have been threatened when they couldn’t pay,
then help is at hand by a national organisation, supported by HM Government, who will help, support and chase ‘Loan Sharks’ through the courts. In confidence call 0300 555 222, or email email@example.com
Following a rise in the number of vehicles being broken into throughout the County please be aware of the following crime prevention advice:
. Not leaving doors or windows unlocked when vehicles are unattended.
. Making sure items which could contain valuables, such as jackets or bags are concealed away from view, or better still not left in the vehicle at all. Remember to also remove stereo fascias and sat navs.
. Activating any security devices when leaving your car unattended.
. Removing valuable items from vehicles overnight.
Police are warning people to be on their guard against distraction burglars after a woman talked her way into the homes of three pensioners. Detectives are linking the three incidents and are urging people not to be taken in by the woman.
The first incident took place between 8.20pm and 8.45pm on Tuesday 24 January at an address in George Street, Dover.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Kirsty Gee said: ‘The offender rang the bell and asked the occupant, a woman in her 70s, if she could use her phone because she had locked her keys in her car.
‘It was only after she had left that the victim realised her own car keys had been stolen, as had her car, a grey Seat Arosa.’
The woman was described as white, in her 20s, about 5ft 6in tall of a slim build with dark brown hair. She was wearing a white beanie-style hat, a beige jacket with a long-sleeved top underneath and jeans and she was carrying a small, light-blue handbag. She had an English accent.
The second incident is reported to have taken place between 8.15pm and 8.45pm on Wednesday 25 January at an address in Foord Road, Folkestone.
The offender asked the occupant, a man in his 70s, to lend her £20. When he declined, she grabbed his wallet. During an altercation he suffered a minor injury to his face. The woman made off with the wallet.
She was described as white, of a slim build, about 5ft 4in tall and with wavy hair and was wearing white trainers, dark trousers, a dark-coloured tee-shirt, a black fluffy jacket, a white scarf and a white bobble hat.
The last incident took place at an address in Telegraph Road, Deal, at around 9pm on Sunday 29 January.
Detective Constable Gee said: ‘Once again the offender claimed she had locked her keys in her car and asked to use the phone. After she left the victim, a woman in her 70s, realised her purse had been stolen.’
The offender was described as in her 20s, white, of a slim build, with long, dark brown hair and an English accent. She was wearing a long black coat.
Detective Constable Gee said: ‘Distraction thieves prey on a person’s good nature and often ask the occupant for a glass of water or to use the phone so they can gain access.
However, there are ways you can protect yourself.’
. Ensuring rear doors and windows are shut and locked when answering your front door
. Considering fitting extra security measures such as spy holes, door chains, door locks and intruder alarms
. Always checking the ID of cold callers – a door chain or spy hole will help you do this without letting anyone into your home. Don’t be afraid to turn people away
Detective Constable Gee urged people to be vigilant and to look out for elderly and vulnerable neighbours and relatives.
‘We would also like to hear from anyone who recognises this woman’s description or who has information about the incidents,’ she said.
If you can help, please phone Kent Police on 01843 222289 or Kent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 quoting reference number ZY/3265/17.