Category: Environment

Cheltenham marks ‘Clean Air Day’

Will Luker

If you didn’t know already, the 17 June 2021 is ’Clean Air Day’ with events held across the UK to highlight why the planet needs clean up its act. Cleaning up our air is the obvious reason why this day is very important but it is much more than just talking about why clean air […]

Distinguished Opponents of A303 Stonehenge Tunnel to speak at Webinar

A reader writes...

Dear Editor, On 23 June, a legal challenge against the Government’s plans for the Stonehenge Tunnel will come to court. It is the last chance to stop massive and irreparable damage being done to the archaeology and landscape of Britain’s most iconic World Heritage Site.  To say that the status of Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage […]

Eurostar under Threat

Hazel Pennington

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk Could there be a better way to get to Europe than the Eurostar? It’s an easy journey from St Pancras to the heart of Paris (two hours twenty minutes) or Brussels (just over two hours). From there the whole of our endlessly fascinating continent, a cornucopia of landscapes, architecture, languages, climates, […]

Space to Breathe

Will Luker

Write to us at editor@westenglandbylines.co.uk Political thinking in the UK is divided. Talk about current affairs, often enough leads to polarised thought. On all sides of the political divide and however we all vote is something that now seems to damage friendly debate. The political temperature especially during a pandemic and after a divisive referendum, is […]

Stonehenge Campaigners win a Three Day High Court Hearing

The Editor

Stonehenge Alliance heard last week (24 February) that Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site Ltd (SSWHS), the company set up to take forward its legal case against the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps’ decision to approve the A303 development through the World Heritage Site (WHS), has been granted a three day hearing at the High Court. This […]

Youth Ambassadors

A reader writes...

Dear Editor, On a relatively unremarkable, dreary lockdown Tuesday in mid-January, over 100 people in Cheltenham joined virtual workshops organised by Cheltenham Borough Council and local charity “Vision 21” to talk about climate change, emissions reduction and solutions. The resulting formation of the CheltenhamZero partnership aims to provide a collaborative group to support the council’s […]

We Need Smaller, Shorter and Slower Global Trade

Ed Sawyer

To achieve net-zero carbon emissions we need global trade to be smaller, shorter, and slower. To do this, we need to reconsider our dependence on materials and products sourced from around the world. As Brexit negotiations continue and the UK makes trade agreements with countries such as Vietnam, Japan and Singapore, it’s an important time to reflect […]

Love Local, Shop local, Eat Local

Martin Griffiths

When so much of our food and food influences have their origins in foreign fields, why should we shop local, buy local and eat local? International travel, Commonwealth legacies and European freedom of movement have developed our taste for a diverse range of flavours. Everyday products such as tea, coffee and spices, which were once […]

Food must become Political

George Richmond

In spite of some ropey internet connection and little chance to give a full speech, Luke Pollard MP stated very clearly that food must become more political. Pollard is the Labour MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport and the Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. He was speaking at the forward-looking […]

Meanwhile in the Countryside … Memories of Avian Flu

Marian Whittaker

Ed: With cases of Bird Flu reported on a turkey farm in Northallerton and now in the West England area, our countryside writer recalls her blog of the 2016 outbreak in Gloucestershire. It’s recently been announced that two swans have died at Slimbridge from Avian Flu (thankfully not a very virulent strain) and a local […]

Why banning beef is not the answer

George Richmond

The Students Organising for Sustainability’s (SOS-UK) statement, ‘Why banning beef is not the answer’ has finally opened up a more productive conversation about sustainable food policies within universities. SOS-UK published its statement on Thursday, 22 November. This is one of the first attempts by any university-centred organisation or institution to break the static narrative, where […]

Food for Thought

Martin Griffiths

A Meat Eater chews over some Food Dilemma Issues. The debate on food poverty has been a hot political potato but the dilemma is not only how do we eat well on a budget but how do we eat well and what do we eat? It’s a political hot potato! While multiple agencies, charities and […]

A Green Biden Presidency?

Guy Maughfling

I’ve wanted Boris Johnson to be Prime Minister ever since he publicly backed the Leave campaign in a direct challenge to David Cameron in March 2016. Not because of his politics and certainly not because of his character. I’m with Max Hastings, whose article for The Guardian as long ago as 2012 was headlined “For […]

The Stonehenge Alliance aims to stop the A303 tunnel

The Editor

The Stonehenge Alliance has been campaigning for several years to prevent the A303 tunnel scheme harming the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stonehenge. Prior to the ministerial decision on 13 November, Stonehenge Alliance issued this Press Release. Press Release: Wednesday 11 November 2020 In advance of a decision on the Stonehenge tunnel scheme, expected on Friday […]

Will the Lords Amendment save our Agriculture?

Hazel Pennington

To protect the quality of our food, the Lords have voted for a crucial amendment to the Agriculture Bill to enshrine in law the principle that food imports should meet domestic standards. This is strongly supported by the National Farmers Union (NFU) and by the British Veterinary Association (BVA). See Food Manufacture 24 September 2020. […]

Meanwhile in the Countryside: Smells Like the Countryside

Marian Whittaker

Ah that fresh country air!  It’s what we all look forward to when we come out to the countryside, right?  New-mown hay, the scent of wildflowers … breathe deep and enjoy.  However, there are some variations on this theme. At this time of year, it’s time for the farmers to enrich the soil with errr […]

Meanwhile in the Countryside: King of the River

Marian Whittaker

Swans mate for life don’t they? We all know that. But then, that’s said of humans too and I think it’s fair to say that not all of us match up to the ideal. Here on the River Coln we are witnessing a daily drama that looks set to run as long as “The Archers”, […]

The EU’s Green Deal is Good for All

Guy Maughfling

In decarbonisation lessons, one of the first thing you learn is a simple rule: with respect to greenhouse gas emissions coal is worse than oil, which is worse than gas. As a result, policy makers have consciously encouraged switching to lower emitting fossil fuels. This is low-hanging fruit: greenhouse gas emissions reduce without the cost […]