For over 40 years, Sea Watch Foundation scientists as well as volunteer observers all around the UK’s coast have been reporting on whales, dolphins and porpoises –collectively known as cetaceans – to inform Sea Watch’s huge database of records.
The whole idea of North Sea oil was to make Britain rich, writes Simon Evans. At least that's how it all began. But now ... it cost UK taxpayers a massive £396 million a year in tax breaks and subsidies to keep the industry alive last year. And there's no reason to think that's going to turn around any time soon.
A Greenpeace investigation has exposed the massive efforts of global food and drink giant Coca Cola to defeat popular proposals to require deposits on single-use plastic bottles, writes Maeve McClenaghan. In fact, deposit schemes are working fine in many countries in which the company operates - it's a simple case of corporate profit before environment, oceans and wildlife.
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!
The Scottish government has announced that its wild beaver populations will be given the full protection of both UK and EU law. The decision has been welcomed by campaigners who point out all the benefits of beavers to biodiversity, water management and flood control. Now, they say, England and Wales should follow suit.
The jobs and quick money that fracking can generate may seem initially attractive, indigenous Canadian activist Caleb Behn told Jen Stout on his recent visit to Scotland. But after decades of oil and gas production, the ineradicable legacy is of fractured landscapes and long-term pollution. 'My land is bisected, divided, by pipelines, roads, well sites, pads, all that. It's really hard on my heart.'
A project to reintroduce red squirrels to isolated areas of regenerating forest in the Scottish Highlands gets under way this month. This will increase both the numbers and the range of red squirrels in the UK, and help to regenerate their native Caledonian forest habitat.
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.
The disappearance of a satellite-tagged hen harrier on a Scottish grouse moor and the loss of eight Golden eagles in five years provide the latest evidence for a ban on driven grouse-shooting, writes EDUARDO GONCALVES. But birds of prey are only the most high-profile victims of a cruel and ecologically destructive industry.
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.
Documents released to Wildcat Haven reveal the secret plans of the Scottish Wildcat Action Plan - funded by taxpayers and the National Lottery - to kill trapped feral cats by shooting them in the head with shotguns. Public documents mention only neutering, successfully carried out by Wildcat Haven to protect pure wildcat populations.
After beavers' reintroduction to Scotland, landowners have accused the native rodents of damaging the environment, causing floods, and worse, writes Louise Ramsay. But the public have rallied to the cause of these charming, beneficial creatures, leaving conservative landowners isolated. Could the shift in sentiment trigger long overdue change in the Scottish countryside?
Beavers are Britain's native aquatic engineers and their return to sites in Scotland and England is doing wonders for the local environment, write Nigel Willby & Alan Law: restoring wetlands, recreating natural river dynamics and ecology, filtering farm pollutants from water, and improving habitat for trout and other fish.
High levels of toxins mercury and cadmium have been found in all organs of the whales recently beached on Scotland's North Sea coast, including the brain. The research shows that rising mercury levels in the oceans leads to toxic stress in the long-lived marine mammals.
As climate change brings more rain, Britain is suffering from the extinction here of our native flood engineer - the beaver. Louise Ramsay says it's high time to re-introduce these charismatic rodents all over Britain.
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!
Native wild beavers in their natural range are meant to receive stringent protection under European and Scottish law, writes Louise Ramsay. But farmers have declared 'open season' on the small but growing population, shooting them at will, while the Scottish Government and its wildlife agency look the other way.
Fresh or dried wild seaweed may be on sale in a supermarket near you, writes Fiona Bird. But much better than supporting what may be unsustainable harvesting, gather your own at low tide on rocky shores, picking just enough for your needs. Once a poverty food, seaweed is now a sought after ingredient that expresses the 'fifth taste', umami.
Floating wind turbines offer huge falls in the cost of offshore wind power, writes Paul Brown, and could be generating power in UK waters at well under the cost of new nuclear by 2020, provided adequate support.
It may not be on tonight's telly, but there's only one story on the lips of SNP members at their party's conference in Aberdeen, writes Jen Stout - the grassroots revolt against the feeble land reform bill advanced by the party leadership, rejected outright by members in a decisive vote. Now the SNP must come up with a bill that's as 'radical' as Nicola Sturgeon's speeches.
New proposals on land reform in Scotland are a mixed bag, writes Craig Bayne: some good, some bad, and some downright ugly. Leading that last category is the failure to tackle offshore land ownership in tax haven shell companies, and force disclosure of the real landowners.
Scotland's decision to maintain its GM-free status is in the best interests of the country, its people and its farmers, 30 scientists write to Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead. It is abundantly justified by the scientific evidence and will support the sustainable, agroecological farming systems of the future.