This post is by Matt Shardlow, chief executive of Buglife. It is an extract of a longer piece published by Buglife.
Last Friday, just when journalists were clocking off and the Saturday papers were being compiled for print, Defra announced it would allow farmers to once again use environmentally destructive neonicotinoid seed treatments on sugar beet. This small administrative decision has huge environmental repercussions. It is seen by the public as a bellwether environmental issue, and also highlights profound inadequacies in pesticide decision making. No wonder the announcement was made at the most muffled moment in the government’s weekly media diary.
In 2018 I carried out a series of interviews with family farms in the North York Moors. I was researching what impact the twin changes of leaving the EU and transitioning to a ‘public money for public goods’ subsidy system could have on their lives. Those I visited welcomed me with open arms and, although many had struggled in recent times, they were keen to make the new system work. And we need this system to work. A new RSPB report reveals a “lost decade” for British wildlife. Restorative land use takes time, so we really don’t have many more opportunities to get it right.
This post is by Oliver Tanqueray, co-ordinator of the Sustainable Seafood Coalition in the UK.
Responsible businesses buy responsibly sourced seafood, but many UK fisheries don’t meet the sourcing standards of the country’s biggest buyers. That’s why the members of the Sustainable Seafood Coalition are desperate to see change. In a letter to government, leading supermarkets, brands and processors recently highlighted the importance of sustainable fishing limits, remote electronic monitoring of vessels and responsible management of shared stocks.
This piece is by Ruth Wescott, climate and nature emergency and sustainable fish cities co-ordinator at Sustain.
The public overwhelmingly wants a green recovery from Covid-19. Last month a report and poll from the UK’s Citizen’s Assemblies found that 80 per cent supported Covid recovery policies that bring the UK to net zero greenhouse gas emissions, findings supported by RSPB research Read more
This post was first published by Business Green.
As the recent surge of armchair epidemiologists would suggest, we all know a lot more about viruses than we did last year. But as well as becoming more familiar with the dynamics of a global pandemic, I’d guess that many of us have also improved our understanding of the global food system. Read more
This post is by George L Young of Curtis Farm, Fobbing, Essex, a zero-tillage mixed farm. It is a shorter version of a post on his own blog.
There are many issues with the current farming and food system. Long, convoluted supply chains dilute nutrition, and farmers can be an undervalued and underpaid part of the chain. Read more
This post is by Tom Lancaster, head of land, seas and climate at the RSPB. A version of this post has also been published on Wildlife and Countryside Link’s blog.
For the organisations involved in Greener UK and Wildlife and Countryside Link, the new Agriculture Bill, announced this week, is one of the most important pieces of legislation for years. Read more
“Beef is like a loaded gun, pointed at the living world.” So began George Monbiot’s response to the publication of the IPCC’s report on land use, which cited dietary change alongside 28 other interventions that could end the roughly one third of total greenhouse gas emissions that come from the food system. Read more
While travelling with my dad from Little Rock to Springdale, Arkansas, we took the scenic route through the Ozark National Forest. My lungs, eyes and ears were refreshed by the clean air, bright blue skies and green trees, and the sounds of animals and insects. As someone who has lived in cities for the past seven years, I was reminded of the beauty of the natural environment.
To fully enjoy the scenery, we decided to stop at a local kayak business. With classic southern hospitality, the store owner insisted that he would keep the store open for an extra two hours for us to ride down the Mulberry River. As his colleague drove us up the mountain to our mini adventure, the typical small talk arose. Read more
As we hit the hottest winter temperatures ever in the UK, it‘s clear that the imperative to tackle climate change is becoming ever more urgent. We need to look at every aspect of how our economy is run to find new ways to cut carbon and attention is now turning to the role that land use and farming can play. Read more