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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Silent Earth by Dave Goulson

I'm half way through my birthday book called Silent Earth written by Dave Goulson and it made me think immediately of Rachel Carson and her book Silent Spring which had made a big impression on me a few years ago! 

He introduces the book with a dramatic sub title "Averting the Insect Apocalypse "

Chapter 2 starts with a quote from EO Wilson American Biologist "If all mankind were to disappear the world would regenerate back to the rich state that existed 10,000 years ago. If insects were to vanish the environment  would collapse into chaos"

Chapter 6 quotes Wilson again  " Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal " 

am now on chapter 7 The poisoned Land,  which builds on the work of Carson with the latest research on the dangers of pesticides and herbicides.!


Of local interest for me is the management of our local wild flower meadow which buzzes with insect life all summer and we have just had a hay cut! Perhaps we should leave it uncut!? I should add that we dont use any herbicides or pesticides!

Back to Silent Earth now. 


Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Meadows and grasslands

Protecting and restoring meadows and grasslands is essential to the fight against climate change. Grasslands sequester carbon, enhance biodiversity and contribute hugely to the beauty of our natural environment. Tell the UK government to make meadows a priority at the COP26 climate conference.

In November of this year, world leaders will meet at COP26 in Glasgow to discuss the single most pressing issue facing the planet - climate change. 

Species-rich grasslands offer ways of reducing the impact of greenhouse gases that cause climate change. Protecting and enhancing grasslands, savannahs, plains, heaths, steppes and meadows must be part of both the discussions and the outcomes of COP26.

Despite their crucial importance, in the last 100 years, the UK alone has lost 97% of its meadows and other species-rich grasslands. Grassland maintenance and restoration are critical to delivering the Government’s commitments to net zero emissions, nature’s recovery and sustainable food production. Farmers and other land managers are amongst the key stakeholders to unlocking this solution, to benefit all, but they need support to do so. There is a huge leadership opportunity here.

We Are Plantlife

Wild flowers , plants and fungi are the life support for all our wildlife and their colour and character light up our landscapes. But without our help , this priceless natural heritage is in danger of being lost.

From the open spaces of our nature reserves to the corridors of government , we work nationally and internationally to raise their profile, celebrate their beauty, and to protect their future.

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I fully support this campaign by Plantlife.

Close to where we live in Somerset there are two meadows designated as Local Wildlife Sites and they both qualify as priceless natural heritage but are vulnerable to housing development!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2021

The. latest email from the Green Party! I need to teach myself to understand what it is all about!!



Questions!
What is  Doughnut Economics?
What does "biggering " mean?
What is the Lorax?
What did Dr Seuss ,writer of books for children, say about all this?
I have already used the good old internet to look for answers so I'll try to answer my own questions soon!

Image

Hi David,

 

Caroline Lucas MP and Kate Raworth, author of Doughnut Economics, are teaming up for an online event next week Thursday 2 September to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Lorax. They will be joined by Richard Benwell, CEO of Wildlife and Countryside Link, to explore how our obsession with economic growth (biggering) is destroying nature - and what we can do about it. 

 

We'll be asking:

 

🌎What does the economy have to do with saving nature and restoring biodiversity?

 

🌎What does The Lorax teach us about how we run our economy and what needs to change?

 

🌎Where does nature fit into Doughnut Economics?

 

And there'll be time for you to ask your questions and contribute ideas during the event too!

 

As Greta Thunberg told world leaders in 2019: “We are in the beginning of mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth”. Now is the time for governments to act.

 

Are you coming?

As Greens we know that the endless pursuit of economic growth is destroying our planet and accelerating rampant inequality. That's why we are asking you to sign a petition demanding that the government moves towards a Wellbeing Economy, putting people and planet first. We need 100,000 signatures for it to be debated in Parliament -- can you put your name down?

See you there!

 

-- Green Team 💚

Monday, August 09, 2021

Curry Woods Conservation Trust.

I visited the wood this morning to check its progress. 

Probably 90% of the new trees planted earlier this year are growing in their plastic guards, based on a quick survey. some are growing well and out of their guards others are looking alive but not showing much growth and a few are looking dead.

I counted several Ragwort plants growing well  and some thistles too. So maybe we need to control those. Of course as the new trees grow they will do the controlling for us. But in the area left as grass for perhaps hay making there will be a concern.

I'll add some photos soon.

IPCC report on Climate Change

The news reports are full of comments and summaries of the content of the IPCC report on climate change.

You can find the IPCC report on this link:

https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/

We all have to make our own minds up and then consider what we can do and that will be difficult!

Comment from the BBC today!

firesIMAGE SOURCEEPA

Human activity is changing the climate in unprecedented and sometimes irreversible ways, a major UN scientific report has said.

The landmark study warns of increasingly extreme heatwaves, droughts and flooding, and a key temperature limit being broken in just over a decade. 

The report "is a code red for humanity", says the UN chief.

But scientists say a catastrophe can be avoided if the world acts fast.

There is hope that deep cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases could stabilise rising temperatures. 

Echoing the scientists' findings, UN Secretary General António Guterres said: "If we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe. But, as today's report makes clear, there is no time for delay and no room for excuses. I count on government leaders and all stakeholders to ensure COP26 is a success." 

The sober assessment from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a group of scientists whose work is endorsed by the world's governments.

It leads a series of reports that will be published over coming months and is the first major review of the science of climate change since 2013. Its release comes less than three months before a key climate summit in Glasgow known as COP26.

In strong, confident tones, the IPCC's document says "it is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, oceans and land".

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Curry Woods Conservation Trust


Photos of trees have been lost! Will try again!

Peter Goodenough - Curry Woods Conservation Trust 

Comments on the progress of our newly planted wood


Oak showing Lammas growth 

Some trees will busily grow all summer and in most seasons keep on producing fresh leaves and shoots. Others such as oak and horse chestnut tend to produce a first flush of leaves and then, around June, stop growing. Their fresh shoots produce sugars that are stored for the winter, but if the weather is dryish no further new growth is made. However, if the weather is wet the trees suddenly start into new growth again, giving a spring like fresh green hue to the oak woods. This traditionally occurred around late July and early August and was known as Lammas Growth because it was close to Lammas Day. This day - 1st August - was a traditional day of celebration dating back many centuries when blessings were sought for the harvest. The word Lammas was derived from the Anglo Saxon Hlafmaesse which roughly translated means leaf mass. The very first ripe cereal grains were collected and bread baked from them, then crumbs from the loaf were sprinkled in the corner of barns to bring luck for the coming season. In our rather dry area Lammas Growth is rare but this year they could not wait for Lammas Day, they burst into new growth in early July - so they only briefly paused in their growth. This is good news for the Curry Woods as the newly planted oaks will not only produce plentiful new shoots and leaves but below ground the roots will be expanding through the damp soil much more easily than if it had been a dry summer. As roots push their way through the soil using hydrostatic pressure, dry weather baulks their progress in two ways, firstly hard dry soil is much more resistant to small roots and secondly the roots cannot take on board enough water to grow and expand. All root growth depends on the simple physics principle that liquids cannot be compressed - so hydrostatic pressure is very powerful in pushing through solids and gases, both of which compress. That is why roots are like JCB earth moving machines (other makes are available) as both rely on hydrostatic pressure to move solid material like soil. Roots grow by their cells dividing and the new cells filling with water and pushing aside the soil. This is so much easier when the soil is wet and roots grow fast as they experience little resistance. This opens  up many tiny channels in the soil and in the winter much more rain is absorbed by the soil than without trees - which is why our trees will play an important part in the future in retaining flood water that would otherwise run off towards the village! 



Rowan, grows throughout the season 

Monday, August 02, 2021

The Institute of Cancer Research at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria review of 53 safety studies of glyphosate.

A story in the Guardian! This could be important!

The European Court of Justice ordered the release of its bogus glyphosate studies to the public.

A new analysis of more than 50 previously secret, corporate-backed scientific studies is raising troubling questions about a history of regulatory reliance on such research in assessing the safety of the widely used weedkilling chemical known as glyphosate, the key ingredient in the popular Roundup herbicide.

In a 187-page report released on Friday, researchers from the Institute of Cancer Research at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria said a thorough review of 53 safety studies submitted to regulators by large chemical companies showed that most do not comply with modern international standards for scientific rigor, and lack the types of tests most able to detect cancer risks.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Appeal from Friends of the Earth

I see these appeals quite frequently and sometimes I respond by making a donation ( small) or by sharing them on Facebook or in other ways.
It would be interesting to me ,at least, to get a comment from anyone reading my blog. So over to you!!  I assume you can visit Friends of the Earth yourself if you want more information!!! This is just a part of their message.

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Dear David

Our natural world is crying out for stronger protection. But the government’s fundamentally flawed Environment Bill just doesn’t go far enough, fast enough – and the environment’s in grave danger. If we don’t act now, nature will pay the price. 

I'm Kierra and my team’s been campaigning to strengthen this legislation for the last 3 years. This environmental law was meant to be world leading. It was meant to restore and protect nature and give us hope for a greener, cleaner world. But right now, the bill does none of that. It’s just a token gesture. 

We need your help with what comes next. This law will dictate the future of our natural world. And it's due to be passed this autumn, so it’s crunch time. This is our last chance to prevent the devastation that ecological breakdown will bring. So we need to push the government to: 
  • Properly safeguard nature by closing the bill’s many loopholes. 
  • Introduce strong protections – from curbing plastic pollution to cleaning up toxic air. 
  • Bring in an independent watchdog fierce enough to make sure the rules are followed.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Nature- based solution for Climate Change.

GOV.UK

Friday, July 09, 2021

Rewilding! Europe with or without UK is making progress!

Extract from "rewilding Europe"


Rewilding is a progressive approach to conservation. It’s about letting nature take care of itself, enabling natural processes to shape land and sea, repair damaged ecosystems and restore degraded landscapes. Through rewilding, wildlife’s natural rhythms create wilder, more 

biodiverse habitats.


Nature’s own ways

Nature knows best when it comes to survival and self-governance.

We can give it a helping hand by creating the right conditions – by removing dykes and dams to free up rivers, by reducing active management of wildlife populations, by allowing natural forest regeneration, and by reintroducing species that have disappeared as a result of man’s actions.

Then we should step back and let nature manage itself.