Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

DAVE BRAUND-PHILLIPS: Lundy Island, Britain's First Marine Conservation Zone – but not the last.

Lundy Island is a regular sight for us here on the North Devon Coast. Lundy is the largest island in the Bristol Channel. It’s three miles long and about 0.75 miles wide. The island itself is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Now the waters around the island have been noticed as well.

The waters surrounding the island contain a vast array of wildlife. Grey seals (Halichoerus grypus), lobsters, pink sea fans (Eunicella verrucosa) and a huge range of fish. Not to mention all the birds that live on the island that the marine life sustains. There is also an established coral life and a range of habitats including reefs, seacaves and sand banks.

On 21st November 1986 the waters around Lundy were made a statutory reserve with part of the area being made a No Take Zone. This has remained the case until 2009 when the government launched The Marine and Coastal Access Act, which has been specifically aimed to preserve important habitats and species. It seems they can do something right! As a result, yesterday Lundy was the first of apparently many places around the British Isles to become a fully-fledged Marine Conservation Zone. This means that the areas around the island has heavily restricted (if any at all) fishing, boat activity and dropping anchor, all helping to further preserve the marine habitat. The lobster population has been increasing over the years with the help of the previous no-take zone. Now all the marine life can flourish.

Hopefully Lundy will set a good example for the rest of the country and more of these conservation zones will start to appear.

SYD HENLEY: Blackmail by Nottingham City Council

Hi Jon,

The following may well be of interest to many CFZ members and others who read the bloggo.

As you will see from the link below, in Nottingham we have a small inner-city farm within easy walking distance of the city centre. This is a community project, which assists various community groups and individuals by providing educational facilities and work experience relative to small scale agriculture and horticulture to physically and mentally disabled and vulnerable people. Produce is also grown and sold on cheaply to local people. School parties and other children's groups can be offered classroom and hands-on experience with small animals: goats, ducks, rabbits etc., as well as seeing some of Britains wildlife (insects, frogs, etc.) in a natural habitat. This farm as been operating since 1979 and now attracts around 10,000 visitors.
The farm's web site is http://www.stonebridgecityfarm.com/index

It appears that this very worthwhile place is now under threat from the council who own the land and lease it to the farm committee. It seems that the council, as a condition of renewing the lease, are now pressurising the farm to give up 10% of the land that has been cultivated, so that it can be covered in tarmac and used as a car parking area for some residents of the neighbouring council housing estate. If the farm does not get the lease renewed, they will meet further problems in getting funding for the farm project.

A petition opposing this BLACKMAIL by the council has been organised and I would ask any CFZ readers to show their disgust at the destruction of the land by signing it at http://www.gopetition.co.uk/online/33312.html

Syd Henley