“‘I welcome this plan – not because it is perfect, it isn’t – but because it reflects real potential for progress on one of the most deep-rooted conflicts in conservation. We needed action. The prize is that the landowners are now part of the conversation. The test will be if we succeed in getting the hen harrier flying again over upland England. This is progress,’ said Martin Harper, director of the RSPB.” (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jan/14/long-awaited-plan-to-save-englands-hen-harrier-gets-green-light)

Potential for progress, is, as Mark Avery succinctly puts it, inaction.

The petition to ban driven grouse shooting has over 30,000 signatures and only a few days left…



“Recently in the UK, the government has been taken to court by WWF and other NGOs because of their failure to work with the agricultural sector to tackle diffuse pollution, which is undermining the restoration of nature.” (http://www.wwf.org.uk/about_wwf/press_centre/index.cfm?uNewsID=7687)

Why the UK government wants out of Europe: to stop being held to silly laws that hold back the vital intensification of farming.


“Along the Pacific Rim of Fire, vast beds of manganese nodules hold promise…” (http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/09/29/us-newzealand-ocean-idUKKCN0RT07K20150929)

A bed of nodules often promises, er, a rim of fire.


“It is vital that Scottish Natural Heritage be given powers to draw up Deer Management Plans on behalf of those owners and occupiers that fail to do so in a timely manner. More worryingly, action by SNH can only be taken when damage has already occurred; the classic closing the stable door after the horse has bolted scenario.” (http://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/article/deer-management-provisions-in-land-reform-bill-welcome-but-fall-short/)

Unstable deer numbers mean they will continue to bolt the scenery.

Shady Meals

“You may want to consider whether those coffee or cocoa beans were grown in the shade or open sun. Choosing the shade grown variety can offer huge benefits to tropical birds, their ecosystems and farmers.” (http://news.mongabay.com/2015/0521-buelna-shade-coffee-birds.html)

Look out for coffee and chocolate products sporting the new Shadetrade symbol.


“Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has proposed a 39-turbine development at Strathy South in Sutherland, which would only operate for a maximum of 25 years … [and yet] could take up to 24.8 years to ‘pay back’ the carbon impacts of its construction … [because it] would be situated on a peatland site.” (http://www.rspb.org.uk/media/releases/398890-sse-windfarm-at-strathy-south-could-take-over-20-years-to-become-carbon-neutral)

Renewable — capable of being renewed, on a 25 year contract, without perceivable benefit.