England

The Essex Foxhounds in 1994. Photo: League Against Cruel Sports.

Tell Mrs May: Foxhunting must remain illegal!

Eduardo Gonçalves
| 18th May 2017
It's election time and the race is on for public support, writes Eduardo Goncalves. So why on Earth did Tory leader Theresa May come out in favour of foxhunting - an activity loathed or disliked by over 80% of voters - at this crucial time, offering MPs a free vote on repealing the Hunting Act? Now let's put pressure on our candidates to keep the law against this cruel, archaic pastime.

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Everyday life at the Preston New Road fracking site. Photo: Mat Hope / DeSmog UK (CC BY).

Battered but steadfast: dispatch from Lancashire, England's fracking frontline

Mat Hope
DeSmog.uk
| 8th May 2017
The months-old protest at Preston New Road, Lancashire, is no longer just about fracking, writes Mat Hope. This dispute is now about London versus the North. It is about the government failing 'the people' from which it has become detached. It is about people sensing hopelessness and helplessness and trying to find a means to resist. And it is about holding on, steadfast, in spite of it all, knowing this is the forgotten frontline of a far greater struggle.

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Scale representation of the incinerator in situ, near Junction 12 of the M5, providing a highly dubious 'welcome to Gloucester', adjacent to the AONB. Image: GlosVAIN.

Up in smoke: the fight to block Gloucestershire's unwanted incinerator

Dan Hinge
| 24th April 2017
Activists in Gloucestershire are battling to block the construction of a massive incinerator that they see as a blight on the landscape, costly, polluting, wasteful and undermining recycling, writes Dan Hinge. Now the fight, backed by superstar actor Jeremy Irons, just entered a new phase after a tribunal forced the County Council to reveal essential details of the contract it had signed.

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Another 100,000 English badgers could be shot because of fake science and faker statistics. Photo: Tom Langton. Note that no badgers died or suffered to produce this photograph!

Lies, damned lies and twisted statistics - fake science set to kill 100,000 English badgers

Tom Langton
| 13th April 2017
The government / NFU badger culling policy is based on a single study, the Randomised Badger Culling Trials (RBCT), which found that area-wide badger killing reduced TB 'breakdowns' in cattle herds. But a robust reanalysis of the RBCT data reveals that culling is entirely ineffective, writes Tom Langton. The only scientifically valid conclusion is that culling badgers has no effect on TB in cattle. Defra and Natural England must think again!

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Badger trying to keep out of trouble in the Somerset cull area, September 2015. Photo: Somerset Badger Patrol via Facebook.

Putting the 'con' into consultation and the 'fiction' into science: England's badger cull

Lesley Docksey
| 27th February 2017
We know the outcome of Defra's latest 'public consultation' on killing badgers long before the results have even been analysed, writes Lesley Docksey. Environment secretary Andrea Leadsom has already promised farmers to extend the cull 'even further' - although it brings no proven benefits. Welcome to the new world of 'alternative facts' that's driving UK government policy.

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Photo: Somerset Badger Patrol Group via Facebook.

'You'll never walk alone': highs and lows of badger patrolling against the cull

Lesley Docksey
| 17th February 2017
If you love wildlife and enjoy country walks, you've got the makings of a badger patroller, writes Lesley Docksey. You can walk at night if you want to, but daytime observation on country lanes and footpaths is no less important, watching out for the signs of cullers at work. And with the trust and warm friendship that builds among badger patrollers, you'll never be without congenial company.

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Greenpeace's 100% subsidiary Frack'n'go! sets up its rig in Parliament Square beneath the windows of the House of Commons, 9th February 2016. Photo: DAVID HOLT via Flickr (CC BY).

Time to give the chop to fracking: FraXit now!

Professors Peter Strachan
Alex Russell
| 19th December 2016
Fracking has no social licence in the UK, will contribute little to the economy, will have a huge adverse impact on other sectors, will be a disaster to climate and the environment, and won't even improve energy security, write Peter Strachan and Alex Russell. Do we really want to see 16,000 or more shale gas wells drilled in the British countryside? Let's FraXit now!

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Breath of a Woodwose. Original drawing by Bill Rogers via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Beast of Beckermet against the nuclear menace? a Lakeland story for All Hallow's Eve

Marianne Birkby
| 31st October 2016
As the nuclear juggernaut drives the destruction of the Cumbria coast at Sellafield with nuclear waste dumps, boreholes, dredged-out rivers and a massive new nuclear power station, Marianne Birkby recalls ancient legends of the Woodwose, the Green Man, and the Beast of Beckermet. Can these forces of untamed nature be called upon to combat the growing nuclear menace?

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Ineos gas tanker at port. Photo: ineos.com.

Challenging the delusion of cheap, safe shale gas extraction

Alex Russell
Peter Strachan
| 20th October 2016
The UK government's insistence of pursuing fracking is based on a flawed and utterly misinformed vision of our future, write Alex Russell and Peter Strachan. Rather than delivering the prosperity they promise, large scale fracking would cause massive pollution of air and water, undermine vital export industries, and leave us with an irretrievably damaged economy and natural environment.

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Much, much more of this to come? Anti-fracking campaigners at Cuadrilla drilling site at Balcombe, West Sussex. Photo: Sheila via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Cuadrilla fracking decision: shale industry's battle is beginning, not ending

Michael Bradshaw
| 7th October 2016
Sajid Javid's decision to allow shale gas wells to go ahead in Lancashire marks a new phase in the industry's development, writes Michael Bradshaw. But it will also trigger a new phase of organisation, protest and resistance among impacted communities. Cuadrilla, IGas and other companies may just find the 'social licence' they thought they didn't need is essential, after all.

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Old landfill site at Cow Lane, Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire. Photo: Peter O'Connor aka anemoneprojectors via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Zane: the lethal conspiracy of silence over contaminated land must end

Paul Mobbs
| 6th September 2016
The shocking death of Zane Gbangbola, killed by toxic gas from a 'forgotten' landfill under his home, exposes the UK's dangerous legacy of contaminated land, writes Paul Mobbs. Without action, these polluted sites will damage health and even kill for centuries to come. But governments, local authorities, landowners and developers are united in a shameful policy of silence and denial.

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English badger. Photo: Kentish Plumber via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

England's £100m badger cull extensions condemned

The Ecologist
| 23rd August 2016
England is about to extend its badger cull policy to five new areas of the country, proving that only that science is a dead letter to May's conservative government as it was to Cameron's. While bovine TB infections in cattle rise in the existing cull areas, Wales has just achieved a cull-free 14% reduction.

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You think English badgers have it tough? Try France! Dead badger found on the Col de Planchamp, Haute Savoie, France. Photo: lechoucas via camptocamp.org (CC BY-SA).

The Eurobadger coalition - fighting for badgers Europe-wide

Lesley Docksey
| 10th June 2016
Badgers are having a rough time in England, writes Lesley Docksey. But it's no better in most other European countries, where they enjoy no specific protection and digging, baiting and shooting are widespread. Hence the new Eurobadger coalition formed to campaign for them Europe-wide. The one shining example is Holland - TB-free since 1999 without killing a single badger!

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"We must move away from viewing soil merely as a growth medium and treat it as an ecosystem in its own right." Photo: John Quinton.

Save our soils!

John Quinton
| 3rd June 2016
Britain's soils are in a bad way, writes John Quinton, and the government is doing little to help - indeed its policies are making the problems worse. So concludes yesterday's Environment Audit Committee report on soil health. But are ministers bothered?

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Ruth & Alex at the Steepholding, Greenham Reach. Photo: Walter Lewis.

Feeding body and soul - an exploration of Britain's new age landworkers

Walter Lewis
| 12th May 2016
For most of 2015 Walter Lewis travelled around England and Wales meeting and photographing people producing food outside the confines of mainstream agriculture - working out of a passion for the earth and the Earth rather than for commercial gain. He completed his exploration inspired, and determined to spread word of quiet revolution under way across the fields of Britain.

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On 15th August 2015 climate protestors in Germany occupied and closed down a massive open pit coal mine in their 'Ende Gelände' action. Photo: Tim Wagner / 350.org via Flickr (CC BY).

Reclaim the power! Progress towards a fossil-free UK

Guy Shrubsole
| 29th April 2016
Momentum is gathering behind the UK's transition to a fossil free society, writes Guy Shrubsole. We know we need to leave at least 80% of proven fossil fuel reserves in the ground to avert catastrophic climate change. Here's a quick run-down of progress to date - and the key upcoming fights, including an invasion of the UK's biggest coal mine this weekend.

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A pair of beaver dams in Bamff, Perthshire. Photo: Paul Ramsay.

Carlisle floods: bring back the trees, and the beavers!

Oliver Tickell
| 7th December 2015
The key to reducing the risk of more floods like those in Carlisle is to realise that conventional 'flood defence' can never provide security against the ever more extreme weather events that global warming will bring. We must embrace natural solutions to holding back flood waters: more trees; and bring back the beavers!

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Photo: hxdyl / Shutterstock.com

A U-turn too far!

Natalie Bennett
| 18th December 2013
The UK Government's U-turn on new airport capacity in England defies all logic, argues Natalie Bennett. We must end our obsession with 'high speed projects' and invest in low-speed sustainable transport.

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Alde Garden

Review: Alde Garden

Rachael Stubbins
| 26th April 2012
From the DIY ‘treebog’ to the solar powered fairy lights, bell tents and yurts, Suffolk’s Alde Garden is the perfect place for an eco-friendly weekend break. Rachael Stubbins paid a visit

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The Peregrine

The Peregrine

Mark Newton
| 26th April 2012
A masterpiece of nature writing, J.A. Baker’s ‘The Peregrine’ is well worth revisiting, says Mark Newton, not just for the prose but also to help us re-engage with the natural world

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