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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

BBC News - UN report: Cities ignore climate change at their peril

BBC News - UN report: Cities ignore climate change at their peril

If you read this news report on a UN report presented in London at the London School of Economics you may conclude that mass marches in London because of belt tightening by government or fighting in Libya are both pretty small fry in terms of the effects of our continued and growing pollution of our one and only atmosphere.
Here is an extract:

Urban areas are set to become the battleground in the global effort to curb climate change, the UN has warned.
The assessment by UN-Habitat said that the world's cities were responsible for about 70% of emissions, yet only occupied 2% of the planet's land cover.
While cities were energy intensive, the study also said that effective urban planning could deliver huge savings.
The authors warned of a "deadly collision between climate change and urbanisation" if no action was taken.
The Global Report on Human Settlements 2011, Cities and Climate Change: Policy Directions, said its goal was to improve knowledge of how cities contribute to climate change, and what adaption measures are available.

Worrying trend
Joan Clos, executive director of UN-Habitat, said the global urbanisation trend was worrying as far as looking to curb emissions were concerned.
"We are seeing how urbanisation is growing - we have passed the threshold of 50% (of the world's population living in urban areas)," he told BBC News.
"There are no signs that we are going to diminish this path of growth, and we know that with urbanisation, energy consumption is higher.
According to UN data, an estimated 59% of the world's population will be living in urban areas by 2030.
Every year, the number of people who live in cities and town grows by 67 million each year - 91% of this figure is being added to urban populations in developing countries.
The main reasons why urban areas were energy intensive, the UN report observed, was a result of increased transport use, heating and cooling homes and offices, as well as economic activity to generate income.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nicola Chrascina is fundraising for Nowzad Dogs

The great news (11.04.11) is that Nicky completed the MDS in great style and with badly blistered feet and is now back home in Somerset. It was nerve racking following her progress on the MDS web site Over £1500 raised do far for her charity. You can catch up with videos of all of the 6 stages covering 151 miles of desert running on the MDS web site Click here for the link.

 Original post  below.

I'm showing this message on behalf of a friend who I sometimes run with in Somerset and who is about to fly to Morocco to run in the desert. I'll try to find out more about wildlife in the Sahara which Nicky might bump into! I hope the video works , see below.

Nicola Chrascina is fundraising for Nowzad Dogs

Langport Runners.
Our Club has often donated money to local charities but this time it’s personal.
Three members of Langport Runners are training hard for three quite different challenges and all raising money for charities connected to our Army, Navy and Air Force.
We have a Blog about marathon running:
Nicky has already appeared on the front page of the Western Gazette, been interviewed for half an hour on BBC Somerset Sound on Thursday 24th March ( listen again on iPlayer) and has a date lined up with Heart FM for Monday! She flies out to Morocco on Thursady 31th to prepare for the start of the race on 1st April. (That’s not a joke!!)
Nicky is running 151 miles across the Moroccan Sahara Desert, avoiding poisonous snakes, spiders and scorpions, coping with the heat and the sand, to raise money for a small charity set up by Sergeant Pen Farthing Royal Marines after his service in Afghanistan for stray and abandoned dogs and other animals in need of care in war zones in Afghanistan.

This is Nicky’s profile from her Blog.

About Me

My Photo
Love a challenge. Some reckon I have a death wish!! Have completed 27 sky dives, dived with sharks, done the highest commercial abseil in the world, bungee jumped, climbed Kilimanjaro, run the Inca Trail, lots of white water rafting including the Zambezi, cycled Lands End to John O Groats, completed 19 marathons, 6 ultra marathons & a mountain marathon! Whew! I'm exhausted thinking about it. Have a place for the 2011 MdS.
Donate to support Nicky at:
Official notice to supporters. Nicky’s Race Number is 702
Remember to tell your family, friends and sponsors that they can leave you messages during the MARATHON DES SABLES, but only from 24 to 30 March 2007. Go to the website and follow the instructions.
section "écrire aux concurrents/write to competitors"
After 30 MARCH, this email service will no longer be operational.
Only messages with surname, first name and race ID number will be transferred.
Do not send attachments (e.g. photos). This will cancel the message. Messages will be given to competitors on the bivouac every day.
Mel Munday, married to Richard serving in the Royal Navy, will be running her first marathon in London on April 17th to raise money for SSAFA,
Pete Jones was in the Royal Navy and a member of the crew of HMS Coventry when it was attacked and sunk whilst supporting the Falklands campaign. He will be completing the Forces March starting on 25th May by running 5 marathons in 5 days. Money raised will go to supporting serving, retired and related members of the armed forces including Help for Heroes.
You can also find out more about these runners and donate to their charities by visiting our web site at
or tel Pete Jones, Club Secretary, on 01458 652513
Club news contact: David German 01458 259688

Thursday, March 24, 2011

News update from Somerset Wildlife Trust

Been seeing a few regular specimens of this lovely Brimstone butterfly. Plus Small Tortoiseshell and the Peacock

A regular feature of running our local Wildlife Group is to take part in meetings with SWT officers to review and comment on issues, plans and choices for future action.
Today's meeting looked at Business plans for 2012 and beyond and big hopes for a living landscape project to cover our Somerset urban area of Taunton.This is a new challenge for us and the local area group.The emphasis this time is to get the community fully involved at the start rather than work up a scheme and hope to implement it. Funding for such a project will be a major aspect of any plans and it will all take some time, probably years, to fully implement.
The Trust also has been working up schemes to get more involved with a living sea project on our northern coastline. Hinkly Point nuclear power station replacement must feature in any plans.
Amongst other matters was the Plantlife International project to "save our meadows" which is important for Somerset
As if that wasn't enough we also reviewed the Trusts understanding of the Big Society.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wildflower Meadow

Our meadow is really starting to come to life after its winter rest. Here are a few "ordinary" pictures taken today showing some of the early signs. It was also good to see two species of butterfly in the field close to the tall hedge on the Eastern side, Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell. The latter was feeding on the Celandine.

Across the middle of the field following the route of a hedge which was shown on the 1839 tithe maps is a line of Lessor Celandine ( Ranunculus ficaria) The petals glistening bright yellow in the afternoon sunshine. They don't appear anywhere else in the field

This display of Blackthorn blossom is gradually appearing on more and more of our 3 year old hedge plants as each day passes.

Looking like gold nuggets  this picture shows a  branch in a nearby hedge. I assume its a form of lichen but have no idea what its name is so any suggestions are welcome.

Finally a view along half of our new hedge which if you look carefully is now gradually coming into leaf Amongst the first plants to show leaves are the privet and Hawthorne.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Summer Programme

If your waiting for the SWT events booklet here are our next two events. The photo shows a group on one of our previous visits to Beer Wood

Sunday 10th April 2pm – 5pm
in Beer Wood followed by afternoon cream tea at
Wishell Meadow, Henley

Grid Ref. ST 440 313 Post code TA10 9AZ
Meet at Turn Hill Grid Ref. ST 414 315
1.45pm for 2pm start
Cost £2.50

This photo shows the flower of Goatsbeard,  ( Tragopogon pratensis). We see a lot of it in our local meadow. This photograph taken by John Bebbington who will be leading the workshop detailed below.

Sunday 1st May 10.00am – 5.00pm
High Ham Village Hall
Post Code TA10 9DE Grid Ref. ST 426 312
Covering the plants, the photograph, the camera and field work in Beer Woods with review in Hall
With John Bebbington FRPS
and Julian Comrie FRPS
Cost £10.00
Booking essential

Saturday, March 12, 2011

wild flowers

Yesterday on March 11th I noticed first flowering of our 3 year old hedge. Blackthorn is flowering on one of the 1000 hedge plants we planted nearly 3 years ago and at the edge of the field in just one small area were the first cowslips flowering. The photos are not brilliant partly because the sky was overcast and the light poor.