• Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell admits Dubai trip was ‘a mistake’ and apologises to fans
    The Telegraph

    Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell admits Dubai trip was ‘a mistake’ and apologises to fans

    Chief executive Peter Lawwell has admitted Celtic’s controversial decision to go to Dubai was “a mistake” and has apologised to fans. Celtic had confirmed Christopher Jullien tested positive, but all others and staff members were negative after being checked following their return to Scotland last Friday. However, 13 other players, manager Neil Lennon and assistant John Kennedy were deemed to be close contacts and had to join the French defender in self-isolation. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon questioned whether the trip was essential and revealed doubts “based on some pictures I’ve seen whether adherence to bubble rules was strict enough”. Celtic fans themselves were leading the widespread criticism and amid a furore, it was a makeshift side which drew 1-1 at home with Hibernian on Monday night. Speaking in an in-house interview on the club’s official website, Lawwell addressed the issue and said: “It has been an extremely difficult few days and on reflection, looking back and with hindsight and looking at the outcome of the trip, clearly it was a mistake and for that I profoundly apologise to our supporters. “The rationale for the camp was very much with the best intentions. Things haven’t gone the way we wanted to and the outcome is clearly very regrettable.” The draw against Hibs did little to lift the mood of the fans as it left them 21 points behind Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership with three games in hand and with their bid for 10 in a row in jeopardy. Lawwell expanded on the thinking behind the mid-season break abroad. He said: “If you look back over the last four years, going to the camp in Dubai has been extremely successful. “What we planned to do was take them again to these facilities, which are world-class, after a very hectic programme in November and December which has in the past proven to be a great benefit in terms of performance after January, to get to that performance level again. “In terms of the facts surrounding the trip, we decided in November to go and were permitted to go. “Clearly the landscape has changed significantly, particularly in the run up of going to Dubai, particularly the infection rate and whatever. “Overall, the decision to go was for the right reasons, for performance and, of course, at the end of the day the outcome of that has been really disappointing.” Lawwell was asked about accusations of arrogance and the questioning of the club’s values. He said: “I don’t see that, I don’t agree with that and I think it is actually unfair.”

  • Bison rangers wanted to ensure beasts don't escape fenced off enclosure when they are reintroduced
    The Telegraph

    Bison rangers wanted to ensure beasts don't escape fenced off enclosure when they are reintroduced

    Bison rangers are being recruited to ensure Britain's first herd in 15,000 years do not escape from the woods where they are to be let loose to roam. The Kent Wildlife Trust and Wildwood Trust are searching for two rangers who have good people skills, experience with cattle - and preferably a gun licence. They will also be required to show visitors around the wood, in order to show the benefits of restoring land to how it was thousands of years ago. The Wildwood Trust said: "Bison releases have already proved very successful in European countries including Poland, Romania and the Netherlands, not only in restoring habitats but also giving people a truly wild experience. " Their reintroduction, planned for next year, is part of the Wilder Blean project to rewild Blean Woods, near Canterbury. The European bison, the continent's largest land mammal, is the closest living relative to ancient steppe bison that would have once roamed Britain and naturally managed the habitat, conservationists said. A close-knit herd of four European bison will be introduced into a 200-hectare (500-acre) fenced enclosure in the woods, in what is the first time the animals have been brought to a nature reserve to help wildlife in the UK. Despite their size, with adult males weighing up to a tonne, bison are peaceful, according to experts, and no other species can perform the job of engineering the habitat in the same way. They fell trees by rubbing up against them and eating the bark, creating areas of space and light in the woods and providing deadwood which will help other plants and animals. They create patches of bare earth by dust bathing, which can provide habitat for insects and lizards. Stan Smith, Wilder Landscapes Manager at Kent Wildlife Trust said: “This is a truly unique role for the UK, it’s a chance to manage a free roaming herd of Europe’s largest living land mammal and to develop an entirely new skill set which will enable the success of this and future wilding projects. “This is a first step to European bison becoming more frequent tools for the restoration of ecosystems in Britain and for two individuals to get to know these animals like no other. Whilst we are not expecting applicants to have significant experience with bison, this will be a demanding role requiring excellent ecological knowledge, deep understanding of animal behaviour and a passion to tell others about these incredible animals." The rangers will be sent to spend time with the infamous group ARK Natuur Ontwikkeling at several of their sites in the Netherlands. This will provide the necessary specific skills and understanding to manage free ranging bison in the Wilder Blean project which are currently unavailable in the UK. These rewilders have previously come under fire for allowing animals to starve to death in one of their projects.

  • Wanted: UK bison rangers, no previous experience expected
    The Guardian

    Wanted: UK bison rangers, no previous experience expected

    Wanted: UK bison rangers, no previous experience expectedProject using large beasts to help restore woodland offers unprecedented job opportunity