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Bovine TB is above all about the cows themselves, and on-farm biosecurity (or the lack of it). Cattle in a farmyard in Pancross, Wales. Photo: Ben Salter via Flickr (CC BY).

Badger cull free TB eradication in Wales and Northern Ireland? The science demands it!

Lesley Docksey

6th December 2016

Al available science indicates that badgers have little if anything to do with bovine TB in cattle, writes Lesley Docksey. This is reflected in Wales's consultation on its 'refreshed TB Eradication Programme'. We must hope that Northern Ireland's bTB Eradication Strategy will be equally science based - and ready to campaign hard if it relies on cruel, ineffective and expensive badger culls. more...
Welsh Badgers at Dinefwr Park, Llandeilo. Photo: Neil Schofield via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Wales demands 'objective evidence' before killing badgers. Whatever next?

Lesley Docksey

21st October 2016

Wales has achieved enviable success in reducing bovine TB in its cattle herds without killing badgers, writes Lesley Docksey. The farming lobby is still demanding an England-style cull, but the Welsh government's 'refreshed' policy on bTB remains firmly science-based and no badgers will be killed without 'objective evidence' of infection. more...
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. more...
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. more...
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. more...
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. more...
The futuristic visitor centre planned for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon.

Swansea Lagoon is our promised green energy future - so why isn't it in the Energy Bill?

Stephen Tindale

4th May 2016

Tidal lagoons could generate 8% of the UK's electricity, writes Stephen Tindale, and go on doing so for 120 years to come. With the Hinkley C nuclear project looking ever more dicey, and with promises to shut down coal fired generation by 2025, a promised new tidal lagoon In Swansea Bay would come in very useful. So why hasn't the government included it in the Energy Bill? more...
Ffos-Y-Fran open cast mine, Merthyr Tydfil. Photo: Caradog Llywelyn via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Flesh against fossil fuels: let's shut down the UK's largest coal mine!

A Climate Activist

18th April 2016

Next month thousands will gather in Wales to shut down the UK's open cast coal mine at Ffos­y­fran, whose 3,500 acres abut both Merthyr Tydfil, one of Britain's most deprived communities, and the glorious Brecon Beacons national park. It will be one of dozens of coordinated actions across the UK, and around the world, to bring the age of coal to the rapid end it so richly deserves. more...
Aberthaw power station and adjacent cement works rise above the South Wales countryside. Photo: Ben Salter via Flickr (CC BY).

From pit mines to power plants, Wales must lead the UK out of coal

Gareth Clubb / FoE Cymru.

29th February 2016

Wales should lead the UK in bringing an end to the entire coal industry from opencast mining to highly polluting power stations, writes Gareth Clubb. A new report by Friends of the Earth Cymru shows the Aberthaw plant alone imposes social and environmental costs of nearly £1 billion per year on the country and global climate. more...
Landscape in South Wales, near Varteg, scarred by slag heaps from deep coal mining. Now coal mining companies want to start all over again with open pit mines. Photo: Nicholas Mutton via geograph.org.uk (CC BY-SA).

Coal companies trying to revive 'zombie' open cast mines in Wales

Guy Shrubsole / Greenpeace Energydesk

24th February 2016

A tangle of undercapitalised companies are coming forward to cash in on old deep coal mines in Wales, writes Guy Shrubsole - by digging them all out from above from huge open cast pits. But local communities, alarmed at the noise, pollution and destruction of landscape, increasingly see coal as an industry that's best consigned to the scrapheap. more...
Sand dunes and beach at Druridge Bay, Northumberland, where a huge new opencast coal mine is planned. Photo: Fiona in Eden via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

No coal, no fracking: end fossil fuel production on UK soil by 2020!

Guy Shrubsole / Friends of the Earth

16th February 2016

The government makes bold claims about tackling climate change and phasing out coal power stations, writes Guy Shrubsole. Yet it's 'relaxed' about two huge new coal mines that would produce ten million tonnes of coal, blighting landscapes and afflicting the health of vulnerable communities. It's time to say no to all onshore fossil fuel production. more...
Artist's impression of the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, which would, if built, generate almost 500 gigawatt hours of electricity per year. Image: preconstruct.com.

A green Wales is taking off - in spite of UK government policies

David Clubb

16th February 2016

Despite Cameron's promise to lead the 'greenest Government ever', the environment has taken a heavy bashing since the 2015 election, writes David Clubb - whether on oil, fracking, renewable energy or planning policy. But Wales is doing its best to follow a sustainable path, and demonstrating badly needed environmental leadership that the whole UK would do well to follow. more...

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Alice Hooker-Stroud, leader of the Wales Green Party, on a hill overlooking her home town of Machynlleth in West Mid-Wales. Photo: Alex Randall via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Communities at the heart of a Green Wales

Alice Hooker-Stroud

21st January 2016

This May the Greens are hoping to win their first seats in the Welsh Assembly, and become a strong force for social and ecological progress, writes Alice Hooker-Stroud, newly elected leader of the Wales Green Party. At the heart of the vision: sustainable, prosperous, empowered communities. more...
There's coal in them thar hills outside Merthyr Tydfil. But Caerphilly councillors have just voted to leave it where it is, under the ground. Photo: Stuart Herbert (CC BY-NC-SA).

Campaigners celebrate as Caerphilly councillors vote: the coal stays in the ground

Guy Shrubsole

7th July 2015

Caerphilly councillors yesterday refused permission for a huge open cast coal mine in South Wales that's fiercely opposed by local people furious at its impacts on air, landscape, tranquillity and climate, writes Guy Shrubsole. Coming so soon after the rejection of fracking in Lancashire, the message is clear: fossil fuels are best left safely underground. more...
Photo: Troed-Y-Rhiw Farm via Facebook.

To support 'green' farming, officials must learn that small is beautiful

Alicia Miller / Sustainable Food Trust.

16th June 2015

It's a hard life being an organic farmer, writes Alicia Miller - and specially when it comes to engaging with a bureaucracy that's trying to 'green' our agriculture. Should small scale farmers change their farming practices to fit in with it? Or the other way round? more...
Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station. Photo: Stuart Herbert via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Trawsfynydd and cancer: nuclear power kills

Chris Busby

9th June 2015

A study of cancer incidence downwind of the Trawsfynydd nuclear plant in Wales shows a doubling of risk, writes Chris Busby, mainly from breast cancer. People eating fish caught in Trawsfynydd Lake are also at elevated risk. It's yet more proof that the nuclear industry's favourite risk model is wrong, understating the actual dangers of internal radiation - ingested or inhaled - by a factor of 1,000 to 10,000. more...
Will walruses (Odobenus r. rosmarus) be stranded by melting ice in the Arctic? A herd of young males resting on a small patch of drifting ice at 80° North, off Moffen Island, Svalbard, Norway. Photo: Allan Hopkins via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Ice melt endangers Arctic mammals

Tim Radford

2nd April 2015

A survey of threatened Arctic mammals highlights melting sea ice as a prime threat to eleven keystone species, writes Tim Radford - meaning that efforts to conserve them may be doomed to failure unless we also tackle the causes of climate change. more...
The Welsh government's plans for the M4 'bypass' around Newport across the Gwent Levels SSSIs represent a £1 billion orgy of destruction. Photo: FoE Cymru.

Legal challenge to SSSI wetland-bashing M4 bypass begins

The Ecologist

10th March 2015

A Friends of the Earth Cymru legal challenge to the Welsh Government's 'irrational' plan to drive a new branch of the M4 motorway across the highly protected Gwent Levels wetlands begins in the High Court today. more...
Few whales survive a close shave with a ship’s propeller. This is one of the lucky ones. Photo: Alisa Schulman-Janiger, CC BY.

To save blue whales, move California shipping lanes

Luke Rendell

29th July 2014

Long after Blue whales have ceased to be hunted, their numbers have failed to record substantial increases, writes Luke Rendell. Are ship strikes to blame? A 15-year scientific study says the answer may be yes - and advises moving California shipping lanes. more...
Just outside the Brecon Beacons National Park in South Wales (pictured), on common land high above Ebbw Vale, developers want to build a 3.5 mile motor racing complex. Photo: Ross Merritt via Flickr.

The upland commons of South Wales are no place for a motor sports complex

Kate Ashbrook

14th June 2014

Developers are determined to build a massive motor sports complex on common land above the South Wales valleys, on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, writes Kate Ashbrook. But although they have planning permission, they can still be defeated ... more...
Contented cow at Three Cliffs Bay, Penmaen (near Swansea), South Wales. Photo: Mélanie via Flickr.com.

How Wales is defeating bovine TB without killing badgers

Jan Bayley

14th April 2014

Wales has an enviable record of declining BTB in cattle - without having to kill a single badger. Jan Bayley explains how Wales's combination of frequent testing and exacting biosecurity has succeeded - and how England can learn from Wales's experience. more...
North Atlantic Right whale three miles off Ponte Vedra Beach, FL on February 21, 2013. Photo: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission via Flickr.com.

Lawsuit demands 50,000 square mile Atlantic whale sanctuary

The Ecologist

11th April 2014

The US Fisheries Service has repeatedly failed to give highly endangered Right whales adequate protection. Now wildlife groups are suing the Agency to demand a more than tenfold expansion of 'critical habitat' to protect the species along the US's Atlantic coast. more...
Talis Kalnars in 1999, in the Dinam Estate woodlands in mid-Wales. Photos: Oliver Tickell.

An inspirational forester

Phil Morgan

14th May 2014

Talis Kalnars was a pioneer of 'continuous cover' forestry in Britain, writes Phil Morgan. His woodlands were not only beautiful but profitable, as he nurtured the 'natural capital' of the forest ecosystem, and only harvested the dividend of high value timber. more...
Watchkeeper UAV first flight in UK at MoD Aberporth. 14th April 2010. Photo: Think Defence via Flickr.com.

West Wales - the hills are abuzz with the sound of drones

Paul Mobbs

25th March 2013

In rural West Wales, with no public consultation, the Ministry of Defence and QinetiQ are about to launch a new era in drone technology and experimentation. Paul Mobbs reports on Wales's role in a legally dubious future of mass surveillance and remote killing. more...
The prop fouler is launched by bosun Daniel. Photo: © Adam Lau.

Hunting the hunters

Laurens de Groot

10th February 2014

In his new book 'Hunting the Hunters - at war with the whalers', Laurens de Groot recounts his adventures with Sea Shepherd in the Southern Ocean, saving whales from Japan's 'scientific research'. more...

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