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  • Kate Calvert 6:03 pm on July 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    The Benefits of Trees 

    An article from 2015 prompted by the loss of street trees in Sheffield but summarising the multiple benefits of trees https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/aug/15/treeconomics-street-trees-cities-sheffield-itree.

    Sadly in the heat of the 2017 summer newly planted trees have been struggling so well worth getting out there to water them if you can –

     
  • Adam Hardy 4:23 pm on July 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    I will challenge age-old law that man cannot live on bread alone, thanks to awesomeness of bread-by-bike bread 

    We went to see the bakery and met the baker Andy Strang, while the kids scoffed all the salami and houmous canapes that were provided for the official opening day. This was three weeks ago.

    He needs to establish himself, and then start training and sending out bakers all over the country to start up bakeries everywhere.

    It has only just occurred to me after eating the bread for about 3 years that it’s probably not organic. Shame. Will have to a word in his ear – although I think if I’d bought his “bread bond” on his kickstarter campaign, I might have more influence (one of his bread bonds supplies you with bread for a year).

    Baker on the left, my child on the right, steadfastly refusing to sing “pat-a-cake pat-a-cake”.

     
  • susan640 11:03 pm on June 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: boiler scrappage; GLA; Getting Warmer; Caroline Russell   

    London boiler scrappage scheme extended till 31st Aug for homeowners on benefits with broken boilers. 

    Eligible homeowners should take advantage of this scheme, details are here:,
    https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/housing-and-land/improving-quality/better-boilers

    Many renters are also in desperate need of better boilers, but the Greater London Assembly has produced a report “Getting Warmer” : https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/getting_warmer.pdf which puts forward ideas for action in the rental sector We are pleased to see that Islington’s Caroline Russell (Green Party candidate in the recent election), and sole non-Labour Councillor, AND Green Party GLA member is also Deputy Chair of the GLA’s Environment Committee, who produced the report, which has a great many positive proposals on all aspects of greener energy. We look forward to seeing the Mayor take these ideas forward into reality.

     
    • Ayam Jago 1:09 am on June 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Great info. Lucky me I discovered your site by accident (stumbleupon). I have book-marked it for later!

  • susan640 8:16 pm on June 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Transition Highgate; climate change; air quality: manifestos   

    #TransitionHighgate: analysis of parties’ positions on #climatechange, the Paris Agreement, energy transition, air quality 

    Transition Highgate have done an analysis of the political parties’ positions on climate change, C02 reduction, air quality, and energy policies, as stated in their manifestos, which can be seen here http://transitionhighgate.org/2017/05/general-election-of-june-2017/#more-4894

    Apart from UKIP, which takes a Trumpian position (that says it all, really) of wanting to repeal the Climate Act, leave the Paris Agreement, and the European Emissions Trading Scheme, all the other parties wish to support our CO2 targets, but the Conservatives are keener to keep prices down, and consequently (as shown by their actions in government) go slow on moving towards carbon reduction sufficient to keep the planet to only a 2 degree temperature increase, never mind a 1.5 degree increase. The Campaign against Climate Change states that fracking on any significant scale would harm the UK’s chances of keeping within its carbon budgets – but the Conservatives as everyone knows are encouraging the development of fracking.

    Unfortunately the Brexit debacle is taking political attention off climate and environmental issues, which get very little attention in the mainstream media anyway.

     
  • susan640 10:22 am on June 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    #Politicalparties’environmentalpositions, by #MarkAvery 

    The environment, upon which we all depend, has hardly featured in this current election. So here is a bid to spread some information around. Mark Avery, who was the RSPB’s Conservation Director for many years, has analysed the Parties’ environmental positions.

    His comments are here: “What will environmental protection look like in the post-Brexit world? Labour, LibDems and the Greens promise to keep the current level of environmental protection and build on it whereas the Conservatives and UKIP say they will throw away the bad bits and keep the good bits without telling us which is which. That seems to be the same level of clarity on Brexit that those most keen on it have had since the EU referendum campaign started and it simply isn’t good enough. In particular, since we might get a Tory government but we won’t get a UKIP one, it’s completely unacceptable for them to be so vague. What has Defra been doing for the past year if it can’t tell us how the environment will be protected?

    And I don’t trust a Conservative government, particularly with the current characters, to protect our environment. If we re-elect the Tories then I believe we will see watering down of site protection (SPAs, SACs, SSSIs etc) to make way for cranky economic developments. Our coast and our countryside, and our seas too, will be opened up for development with little legal protection. Species protection will also be watered down – you wouldn’t want to be a Great-crested Newt, Fox, Badger, Hen Harrier, Buzzard or Nightingale under a Conservative government free from the sanction of the EU courts. This is an absolute red line for me and it means I could not possibly vote Conservative or UKIP even if I loved to bits everything else in their manifestos (I don’t).

    So how will I vote? I’m a Labour party member living in a Conservative-held Tory/Labour marginal seat so it’s not very difficult for me, I’ll be voting Labour.

    How should you vote? Well, I hesitate to recommend anything because it depends on the candidates etc etc but if you care about the environment please consider voting for whoever might beat the Conservative candidate.

    Quick guide to the party manifestos’ environmental content (click on the party names for more information):

    Labour: B+

    LibDems: B+

    Greens: B+

    UKIP: D

    Conservative: D-

    SNP: little environmental content as SNP Westminster MPs do not engage, no rating

    Plaid Cymru: little environmental content as SNP Westminster MPs do not engage, no rating

    DUP: little environmental content, DUP MPs tend to vote with the Conservatives, no rating

    Other political parties are available.

    To keep up with Mark on all matters connected with keeping our biodiversity in one piece, please go to http://markavery.info/blog/ Mark Avery powered by WordPress and Shaan

     
  • susan640 10:19 am on June 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    The environment, upon which we all depend, has hardly featured in this current election. So here is a bid to spread some information around. Mark Avery, who was the RSPB’s Conservation Director for many years, has analysed the Parties’ environmental positions.

    His comments are here: “What will environmental protection look like in the post-Brexit world? Labour, LibDems and the Greens promise to keep the current level of environmental protection and build on it whereas the Conservatives and UKIP say they will throw away the bad bits and keep the good bits without telling us which is which. That seems to be the same level of clarity on Brexit that those most keen on it have had since the EU referendum campaign started and it simply isn’t good enough. In particular, since we might get a Tory government but we won’t get a UKIP one, it’s completely unacceptable for them to be so vague. What has Defra been doing for the past year if it can’t tell us how the environment will be protected?

    And I don’t trust a Conservative government, particularly with the current characters, to protect our environment. If we re-elect the Tories then I believe we will see watering down of site protection (SPAs, SACs, SSSIs etc) to make way for cranky economic developments. Our coast and our countryside, and our seas too, will be opened up for development with little legal protection. Species protection will also be watered down – you wouldn’t want to be a Great-crested Newt, Fox, Badger, Hen Harrier, Buzzard or Nightingale under a Conservative government free from the sanction of the EU courts. This is an absolute red line for me and it means I could not possibly vote Conservative or UKIP even if I loved to bits everything else in their manifestos (I don’t).

    So how will I vote? I’m a Labour party member living in a Conservative-held Tory/Labour marginal seat so it’s not very difficult for me, I’ll be voting Labour.

    How should you vote? Well, I hesitate to recommend anything because it depends on the candidates etc etc but if you care about the environment please consider voting for whoever might beat the Conservative candidate.

    Quick guide to the party manifestos’ environmental content (click on the party names for more information):

    Labour: B+

    LibDems: B+

    Greens: B+

    UKIP: D

    Conservative: D-

    SNP: little environmental content as SNP Westminster MPs do not engage, no rating

    Plaid Cymru: little environmental content as SNP Westminster MPs do not engage, no rating

    DUP: little environmental content, DUP MPs tend to vote with the Conservatives, no rating

    Other political parties are available.

    To keep up with Mark on all matters connected with keeping our biodiversity in one piece, please go to http://markavery.info/blog/ Mark Avery powered by WordPress and Shaan

     
    • Adam Hardy 8:58 pm on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I fear the Tory plan to save the planet is to build nuclear powerstations. If they were sincere about reducing climate change, they should know that the 10 years for the nuclear energy to come online will be far too late.

  • Adam Hardy 3:10 pm on May 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Swifts are back although declining – lots over our houses in Finsbury Park 

    http://www.standard.co.uk/comment/letters/es-views-wild-london-a-swift-s-feet-barely-touch-the-ground-a3537746.html

     
    • meghowarth 8:54 am on May 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Adam. Posted link on Twitter to – ditto the hedgehog one which appears on same Evening Standard page – Finsbury Park folk.

    • Adam Hardy 7:47 pm on May 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Yes it’s very interesting. I tried to contact London Wildlife Trust about hedgehogs but got no reply – seems email isn’t their thing.

    • susan640 9:59 am on June 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Glad you have seen some. Have not seen any (yet) myself in Whitehall Park.

    • Adam Hardy 8:52 pm on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You mean swifts? You generally hear them before you see them, unless they are high up.

  • susan640 11:43 pm on May 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Nox: Islington Air Pollution readings; Green Party; Tufnell Park Parents   

    Latest terrible #airpollutionreadings in #Islington, and #IslingtonGreenParty launches #CleanAirPolicies – 8 May 

    This piece is pinched unashamedly from the Green Party’s website as it shows exactly how bad Islington’s air pollution problem is, and how it is getting worse. Conservatives in central government and the Labour Party in Islington have presided over this problem, without dealing effectively with it, and the EU has let the car manufacturers run rings round them.

    To look at the pollution readings in many locations round Islington, and to examine the Greens’ website, please go here: https://islington.greenparty.org.uk/news/2017/05/08/green-party-reveals-shocking-new-pollution-levels-across-islington/

    “Today, Islington Green Party launched four key pledges to improve the air we breathe and tackle the rising levels of pollution across the borough.

    The pledges are the first set of policy announcements from Islington the Green Party in the run up to the General Election on 8th June. The Greens, Islington’s second party, have promised to:

    Create a new Clean Air Act: tackle the sources of modern day air pollution, enshrine the right to breathe into UK law, and ensure the UK becomes a world leader in the new technologies and industries that will help us clean up our air
    Fine the cheating car manufacturers : set out a plan for how companies who cheated emissions testing would be fined. Despite a $14.7bn settlement in the US, Volkswagen, for example, has yet to pay any damages in the EU – an equivalent fine in the UK could raise more than £8 billion from Volkswagen alone
    Expand the proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ): limit the most polluting vehicles from entering London’s ULEZ and ensure that it covers the whole of Islington before the current proposal of 2021 and extend it to outer London as well
    Enable walking and cycling across the borough: Islington residents and visitors need to have convenient and safe alternatives to driving their cars so we need to review our streets and transport infrastructure to enable safe walking and cycling for all.

    Islington Greens Reveal Our General Election Pledges on Air Pollution

    The pledges coincide with new air pollution monitoring data revealed today by the Greens and Tufnell Park Parents that showed that the air in the borough is worse than ever and is breaching EU standards.

    100 diffusion tubes were installed by concerned residents across Islington to measure levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2). A key aspect of air pollution, nitrogen dioxide is linked to a range of respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses that are particularly harmful to children, older people and those with existing health conditions such as asthma and heart and lung disease. Road vehicle emissions, and particularly diesel engines, are major contributors to NO2 in the air.

    Once analysed, 55 of the diffusion tubes showed that NO2 levels had breached EU legal limits. The legal limit for NO2 is 40ug/m3. Four of the tubes indicated NO2 levels at over twice the legal limit, with one showing NO2 levels at almost three times the EU maximum level.

    Public Meeting

    The testing follows a public meeting in February, organised by Islington Greens in association with Tufnell Park Parents to discuss and find solutions to Islington’s heavily polluted air. The meeting heard from Rod Gonggrijp of Tufnell Park Parents who have been conducting their own ‘citizen science’ projects to measure pollution levels across the borough since 2012 with the latest results from their testing in March revealed today.

    As well as hearing about NO2 testing carried out at the end of 2016, the Green Party meeting also distributed another 16 diffusion tubes to concerned residents who installed them at various points across the borough. They were then analysed by students at UCL and these results are also being revealed today.

    Islington’s Air is Becoming More Polluted

    Comparing the data from the recent community testing to results taken in 2013, 15 out of the 17 repeated testing spots showed an increase of NO2 of up to 156% which suggests that the levels of NO2 in Islington’s air are getting worse.

    Green Party councillor and parliamentary candidate for Islington North, Caroline Russell, said: “Islington’s air pollution is getting worse year on year and action must be taken now. Only last week the Government was forced by the High Court to issue plans for how it will reduce air pollution levels after years of stalling and using the current election to delay action even longer. Their feeble plans simply do not go far enough. We need a new Clean Air Act, we need to bring forward and expand London’s proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone to make it cover the whole of the capital and we must invest in public transport, walking and cycling. With air pollution responsible for the early deaths of around 9,000 Londoners per year, it is crucial that politicians take the decisions that will clean up our air so we can trust the air we breathe.”

    Tufnell Park Parents Demand Action

    Rod Gonggrijp of Tufnell Park Parents, said; “The Tufnell Park Parents’ pollution testing was carried out by local residents worried about their health and that of others; especially the elderly and the young. They were taking matters into their own hands because they did not feel that the growing concern around air pollution was being taken seriously enough by the national government and local authorities.

    “Citizen science projects such as these are leading the way in community efforts to combat air pollution but action must be taken at national and local levels. There was a lot of interest in the project across the area and more than 20 people, including several children, participated in putting up the measuring tubes and then retrieving them three weeks later. Air pollution is affecting the health of us all and our families and we are calling on politicians to take real action and not delay or dilute the action that is desperately needed.”

     
  • susan640 10:11 am on May 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Islington Gardeners; Gardening; Olden Garden   

    #IslingtonGardeners Plant Sale Sunday 14 May in the Olden Garden, Highbury 

    Islington Gardeners’ Plant sale will take place in the beautiful Olden Garden, Whistler St, Drayton Park, N5 1NH (gate is opposite 22 Whistler St) on Sunday 14 May from 2 – 4.30 pm. Plants, pots, teas, homemade cakes, for sale. Free entry to IG members/Olden Garden members, £2 to non-members.

    Plants come from IG members’ gardeners, so this is very much an event of local people. Plant donations very welcome – plants for donation need to be brought in either the Saturday morning before between 10 -12 or the Sunday morning 10 -12.

    Islington Gardeners’ website is here: https://islingtongardeners.org.uk/

    The Olden Garden is a well-loved community garden and the website is here: http://www.oldengarden.org/ which includes a map of the area viewable via the address in the middle of the front page.

     
  • susan640 5:38 pm on May 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: green waste; Islington Council   

    #Islington Council abandons plans to end doorstep collections of domestic food and gardening waste! 

    After a year of worrying about increased difficulty in disposing of the gardening cuttings from both my own garden and my local “Forgotten Corner” garden, I am pleased to discover that Islington Council has concluded that replacing the weekly doorstep collection of household food and gardening waste by requiring residents to take these these wastes to local communal bins should not go ahead. I had dreadful visions of trying to stuff vast bags of pyracantha cuttings into already full skips, which we used to do some 20 years ago, surrounded by other people’s discarded green waste etc.,

    Strapped for cash due to central government’s continuing reduction of funds, Islington was trying to save money by reducing the number of rubbish vehicles going round the Borough. They ran a pilot scheme in Tollington Ward in 2015 to trial new collection arrangements for the communal collection of food and garden waste to see if there was potential to develop a more efficient/cheaper way of recycling food and garden waste. The Council’s report (see below) says that the active participation of local residents meant that the amount of food and garden waste collected was comparable to recycling levels from doorstep collections. They then did an analysis to see if communal food and garden recycling could be extended across Islington to reduce costs, but this concluded that more vehicles would be needed to empty the communal bins than originally expected, which would significantly reduce savings – and make the new arrangements not worthwhile financially. So the existing arrangements are to continue – three cheers!

    The Council will be making the savings by rearranging the driving routes and organisation of the lorries instead.
    .
    The decision can be read here: https://democracy.islington.gov.uk/documents/s9468/WMRAP%202016-17.pdf

    This issue was covered in Going Green in Pooterland here, which also includes Councillor Webbe’s letter about it: https://agreenern19.wordpress.com/2015/08/02/reorganisation-reduction-of-the-green-and-food-waste-collection-arrangements-trial-in-the-area-of-sussex-way-n19/

     
    • meghowarth 7:10 pm on May 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      This is excellent news, Sue, and thank you for the update. Estates’ residents, and all those without gardens, would have been particularly badly hit as they lack the facilities for home-composting.

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