Annual Review 2021-22

Highlights of our achievements in the last 12 months as we continue to foster a vibrant ecological community.

Explore highlights from our Annual Review below or download the full review.

Download Annual Review 2021-22

A bright and inclusive future

The BES President Yadvinder Malhi looks back on his first year as president of our society, reflecting on the vibrancy and diversity of the ecological community.

I am pleased to see the British Ecological Society firmly committed to a more diverse future in every sense.

A major theme of this past year has been witnessing our BES networks for underrepresented and marginalised groups in ecology continue to grow.

“I am pleased to see the British Ecological Society embedded in this drive for change and firmly committed to a more diverse future in every sense.”

Yadvinder launched a project exploring the ‘Future of Ecological Research in the UK’ at the start of 2022.

“It’s not always easy reaching a consensus in charting a future for the discipline of ecology. We have made great headway and will be producing a report in the New Year that we can all get behind.

“This year has also seen a large amount of work on a new strategy for the Society for 2023-25. We have come up with an ambitious plan that the trustees of the BES are happy to invest £2.7m in over three years”

Read Yadvinder’s full introduction to the Annual Review.

Effective protected areas must be more than just lines on a map

In April 2021 we launched the Protected Areas and Nature Recovery report, examining the UK government’s pledge to protect 30% of UK land and seas by 2030.

The report urges caution over what should count towards the ‘30×30’ target and makes recommendations for the transformative changes required to ensure protected areas and surrounding areas are effective in restoring nature. Just months on the report is already having an impact, with experts from Natural England and Defra using the report to feed into ongoing policy discussions on the 30×30 target.

Connecting schools to nature

Schools across North-East England have undergone a green transformation – improving access to nature in an area where children spend less time outdoors than anywhere else.

Launched in January 2022, the ‘Connecting schools to nature in North-East England’ project has seen a fantastic response, with over 70 volunteer ‘Environmental Educators’ trained to deliver outdoor nature-based workshops to students and teachers at our 50 partner schools.

The route to greater ethnic diversity in our sector

In October, the BES signed up to a route map to a more ethnically diverse environment sector coordinated by the environmental umbrella group Wildlife and Countryside Link.

The British Ecological Society joins environment charities in committing to a route map towards empowering and supporting ethnic minorities in the sector. Sourced from the Wildlife and Countryside LINK.

Zenobia Lewis, Chair of the British Ecological Society’s Education, Training & Careers Committee, says:

“By signing up to the Link Route Map, the British Ecological Society has sealed its commitment to breaking down the barriers and removing the challenges that People of Colour face in our sector. I hope others will join us.”

Making the latest research methods accessible to all

Our journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution (MEE) began its transition to a fully open-access journal in summer 2022. From January 2023, no articles in MEE will be published behind a paywall.

This move will ensure that ecologists and evolutionary biologists worldwide can readily access the most robust and advanced methods to improve and accelerate their research.

Read more

These highlights are just a taster of all that we have achieved this year.