Tidal power could be 15% of Britain’s electricity

Oxford Today discusses tidal fence technology in the Bristol Channel.

…tidal power overall could potentially contribute around 15 per cent of the UK’s electricity supply in 25 years’ time, with barrage technology…

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Composting and methane uptake

EU researchers have found that adding compost to agricultural land increases the methane taken up by the soil.

Science for Environment Policy

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Bees on your stamps

Royalmail have brought out a series of stamps showing different kinds of bees.  The presentation pack includes a lot of information about bees, including short articles on rare bees: the Scabious Bee, the Great Yellow and the Bilberry Bumblebee, the Northern Colletes Bee, the Large Mason Bee and the Potter Flower Bee.

The variety and importance of bees
Many people erroneously think that there is just one species of bee, which lives in a hive and produces honey.  In fact, there are over 19,500 known species, almost all of them wild creatures that go largely unnoticed by humans.  There are bumblebees, leaf-cutter bees, carpenter bees, mason bees, mining bees, orchid bees, stingless bees and many more, all of them pollinators of plants and all important in their unique ways.
Some bees live in social groups with a queen and workers, including honeybees and bumblebees, but many are solitary species.  In those cases, the female individually builds a small nest in which to lay her eggs, in a particular place such as a hole in a tree or a burrow in the soil.  Some bees even nest inside abandoned snail shells.
Many wild bees are important crop pollinators.  Together with domestic honeybees, they pollinate three-quarters of the crop species we grow in the world and account for roughly one in every three mouthfuls of food we consume.  Without bees, we would have no tomatoes, no coffee, no strawberries, courgettes, peppers or blueberries and much, much more.

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Prince Charles on biodiversity and rural communities (Radio 4)

Episode 1

When His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales first visited Transylvania nearly 20 years ago, he was captivated by the region’s “timelessness”, and said it reminded him of stories he read as a child. Bears roam the forested slopes of the Carpathians, mountain pastures tinkle with the sound of cowbells and farmers scythe their hay meadows by hand. But for Prince Charles it wasn’t just about storybook images – it was biodiversity at its very best. He saw a landscape teeming with wildflowers, cacophonous with insect-life and untouched by modern farming methods.
The Prince has been spending holidays in Transylvania ever since and, for this special edition of On Your Farm, he invites Charlotte Smith to join him. He talks passionately about biodiversity – a word mistaken for a new type of washing ingredient when he first started campaigning for its preservation in the 1990s. He is open about his fears for the environment and, with a little help from Robert Byron, describes the natural world he wants his grandchildren and all future generations to inherit.
We also look at environmental projects The Prince of Wales is supporting in Romania and back home in the UK.
Read more »

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More opportunities to invest in biodynamics

Hammonds Farm at Hawkwood, Stroud

Hammonds Farm is a 180 acre arable and beef farm within close walking distance of Stroud, for sale from 1 June. It surrounds Hawkwood College land on the North, West and South. The Biodynamic Land Trust is working with Stroud Community Agriculture, Hawkwood College, the biodynamic and Stroud communities to see if the BDLT can secure at least Lot 3 of the land as a community asset.  Sufficient pledges were made by 18th June and we now go forward with this venture.

This is a rare opportunity to secure a beautiful area of land on the doorstep of Stroud town for environmental, economic and community benefits and we still need your help to make it happen.

This is an opportunity to support the growth of sustainable agriculture.

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Denmark’s solar record

On Thursday, Denmark produced between 116% and 140% of its national electricity from wind turbines, without their even operating at full capacity.

Guardian report

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Healing with songs and plants

Read about the Wachiperi tradition from the Andes.

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Wildlife Trusts

Avon Wildlife Trust

This Trust is based in Bristol.  Recent projects include:-

  • B-Lines with Buglife, developing wide strips of permanent wildflower-rich habitats which link existing wildlife areas to create a network of habitats.
  • Carbon Gordano, Bristol’s first community-based solar farm
  • Wild Schools, inspiring children in and out of the classroom with eels, pollinators and predators
  • Wildlife, the Trust’s newsletter
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Heart of England Forest

The Heart of England Forest, a registered charity, is dedicated to planting the largest new native Forest right in the heart of the country.

We’ve already planted over 1 million trees, but our goal is to create a huge, unbroken 30,000 acre woodland,  Surrounded by urban areas, the Forest will be a refuge from the modern world where people can rediscover nature, wildlife can flourish and children can learn about the natural world.

It’s an ambitious vision but one that we’re determined to achieve, one tree at a time.

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“Sow, Grow, Repeat”

Guardian podcast on composting

Presented by Alys Fowler and Jane Perrone with Jeff Lowenfels, Emma Cooper and produced by Alice Williams
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