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In brief …. 13 March 2015



Woodland Trust gets tree map

The Woodland Trust has purchased Bluesky's National Tree Map as part of its programme to assess the scale of tree cover, including in urban areas. The map details more than 280 million trees with details of location, height and canopy/crown size for all those over three metres tall.

"The data government has used to date to calculate statistics about woodland cover only includes areas of woodland above a specific size," commented Dr Nick Atkinson, senior conservation advisor at the Woodland Trust. "We already know from our initial assessment of the Bluesky National Tree Map data that this significantly underestimates total tree cover. In fact, something like a third of all cover is outside traditional woods, such as along rivers, field boundaries, roads and railways.

"These trees play an important but largely unsung role in providing habitat and linking woodland patches together. They also deliver important ecosystem services such as soil conservation, insect pollinator habitat and protection for crops and livestock."

The Bluesky data will be used alongside existing mapping within the Trust's geographical information system.

South Oxfordshire uses SMS in arson response

South Oxfordshire District Council rode the fall out of an arson attack recently by using a networked messaging solution to text messages to staff and residents.

After 85% of its premises near Wallingford, including the communication systems and servers went up in smoke, the council used ProcessFlows' Text Message Server to provide texts and emails. It was able to contact more than 400 employees using the 123-TXT SMS cloud platform with its contact distribution list, and reply numbers were set up so employees could respond and communicate with their managers.

Graham Reddie, ProcessFlows' development director, said: "It's proven that our SMS cloud platform has real value in emergency situations like this where communication is essential but potentially impossible."

Novosco wins new housing contract

Swan Housing Association has signed contracts worth £2.1 million with IT infrastructure company Novosco services including the provision of on-site technical services engineers and a remote service desk for 300 users across 12 locations. It will also install and manage a wide area network and associated services.

It is the latest in a series of large contracts in the housing association sector that the Belfast based company has won. Last year it secured a managed service contract with Manchester based Northwards Housing, which has 13,000 homes and over 330 staff across more than 30 sites.

Northern Ireland trust gets free wi-fi

The South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust has become the first in Northern Ireland to implement free wi-fi across all its hospitals and facilities, in collaboration with the BT Voice and Data Communication Partnership.

The service enables users to access the internet on personal mobile devices from in-patient areas or when visiting the trust's facilities. The trust said the service informs its Safety, Quality and Experience Programme, and that there is evidence of wi-fi access supporting the recovery of patients.

DfE backs 'find a sports coach' website

The Department for Education (DfE) has thrown its weight behind a new website developed to help primary schools find sports coaches.

The Coaching in Schools Portal, launched by non-profit body Sports Coach UK, provides advice for headteachers on how to recruit, develop and use coaches effectively using the £450 million available from the Olympic legacy fund.

Photo from BlueSky

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