Nature Matters

    01 2018

    BADGER CULL

    Cull may be rolled out across countryThe Telegraph

    The controversial badger cull may be rolled out across the whole of England under proposals announced by Michael Gove yesterday.

    The Government has launched a consultation on whether to remove a cap which limits the number of new areas of the country where killing the animal is permitted.

    The cull began in pilot areas in parts of Gloucestershire and Somerset in October 2013 in an attempt to control the spread of bovine tuberculosis, which devastates cattle stock, and it now takes place in 20 areas.

    In a letter to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, Mr Gove said emerging evidence from two of the zones indicate that incidence of the disease is decreasing and that “further steps” now need to be considered because “none of us wants to be culling badgers forever”.

    It comes days after Labour said badger culling should be banned, as well as figures in December revealing that nearly 20,000 badgers had been shot in the previous three months, more than the tally from the previous four years.

    The consultation, which runs until April 15, also considers whether to allow badger culling even in parts of the country deemed to be at low risk from bovine TB.

    A government-approved badger cull has led to almost 4,000 badgers being shot in the past three years. The controversial measure is said to significantly reduce tuberculosis in cows.

    Where? Trials began in parts of Gloucestershire and Somerset in October 2013 and were repeated the following year before being rolled out to Dorset. Farmers have called for the culls to be extended, citing what they described as a “desperate situation”.

    The case for: The Conservatives have said they will do "whatever it takes" to tackle bovine TB, which has been described as "the greatest threat to our beef and dairy industry, endangering our food security". Supporters insist that the issue is not the badgers themselves but the disease. They include the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal and Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis.

    The case against: Campaigners claim the cull policy is “expensive, cruel and ineffective” and that the vast majority of those killed are TB-free. Opponents include animal rights activists and celebrities such as Dame Judi Dench, Brian Blessed and Brian May. READ MORE

  • 02 2018

    WIND ENERGY

    The fight for onshore wind just stepped up a gear - tell the government to act.10:10 Climate Action

    Back in 2015, under pressure from backbench MPs, the government shut down onshore wind.

    Since then, they've been virtually silent. But at the end of last year, new climate minister Claire Perry revealed her department was working on a way to bring it back. And this week, the backbenchers who first blocked onshore wind have stepped into the fight - which means they think the government might be about to act.

    A massive 74% of the British public want onshore wind powering the UK. But some MPs don't get it - and they're doing everything they can to block new projects.

    Right now, a message of public support for action could give ministers the confidence they need to bring onshore wind back. That's why we're delivering a letter to Claire Perry next week - and we're already taking 17,000 names with us. Will you add yours?

    For 18 months, we've been pushing the government to undo the blocks on onshore wind - raising our voices, signing petitions, writing to MPs, and fighting for local wind projects.

    And it looks like it's working. The MPs who've spoken out against onshore wind this week have been pretty quiet for two years - because they thought they'd buried it. But now we've put the debate back on the table.

    We've come so far since we started this campaign. But with a handful of influential MPs determined to keep opposing onshore wind, we're still facing a big hurdle - and we need your help.

    READ MORE

  • 03 2018

    RAPTOR DEATHS

    North Yorkshire consistently the worst county in the UK for bird of prey persecutiongrough

    RSPB Birders Group has made an appeal about the persecution of birds of prey like red kites, hen harriers, peregrines and buzzards which is a serious problem in North Yorkshire.

    READ MORE

    Nature Matters and the Nature Matters website are copyright. All rights reserved. © Michael Armitage 2003 - 2018. Page updated: 21 February 2018

EARTH HOUR

Make your promise for the Planet-WWF

We’ve reached a crucial time to protect our planet. We’re the first generation to experience the effects of climate change – and we’re the last to be able to prevent it. We’re also seeing our oceans suffocated by plastic and our food consumption decimate our forests.

Hundreds of millions of people across the world will 'switch off' their lights for Earth Hour on Saturday 24 March at 8.30pm.

For the first time we're asking you to go one step further and make a promise to protect the planet for Earth Hour. We want you to make a simple change to your every day life, such as carrying a reusable coffee cup, switching to a green energy supplier, or washing your clothes at 30 degrees or lower. It might seem like something small, but together we can make a big difference.

READ MORE