When heading for a precipice, the smart thing to do is slow down and change course – fast. Britain’s nature is heading over a cliff. That’s the conclusion of the State Of Nature report, released last month (September). But it’s not too late to change course.
A colossal effort by 53 of the UK’s nature charities – including A Rocha UK – the report reveals more than half (56%) of UK species studied have declined since 1970. More than one in ten (1,199) of the nearly 8,000 species assessed are under threat of disappearing altogether. The primary cause is changes in agricultural practice – from ripping up hedgerows to make mega fields, to intensive use of pesticides. Climate change also plays a role. It’s a human-made disaster. It’s one we can avert.
Conservation charities – supported by public donations and a small ... Read more...
It was a breakfast of champions for the environment – as more than 50 Anglican bishops joined Christian conservationists to launch Eco Diocese.
Part of A Rocha UK’s popular Eco Church award scheme, Eco Diocese acts as an incentive at diocesan level and encourages parish-level engagement. Through its bishop, a diocese can work towards Eco Diocese status by meeting set criteria.
A Rocha UK and Anglican environmental initiative Shrinking The Footprint launched Eco Diocese at a special breakfast on 14th September. Key speakers were Bishop of Salisbury Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam – the Church of England’s lead on environmental issues – Bishop of Dover Rt Rev Trevor Willmott and Bishop of Dudley Rt Rev Graham Usher.Read more...
While none of the creatures found so far on the 11-acre site is rare, they are representative of the varied habitats at Foxearth. The tyranny of intense farming across eastern England forces them to retreat to this remote Essex reserve and enjoy its complex nature of life support systems.
Foxearth is known as a haven for dragonflies. Ranger Mark Prina has been making note of other interesting species including the so-called ‘Drinker’ moth caterpillar – which supposedly sups on drops of dew – and the Golden Bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle that patrols the site’s imposing cavalcade of thistles.
‘None of the species found so far is rare,’ Mark confirmed, ‘but we have species representative of different habitats such as ponds, rivers, swamp, ... Read more...
It’s among a stream of activities as part of the Anglican parish of Nursling and Rownhams – sometimes known as ‘Twinspires’ – becomes engaged with Eco Church.
Youth and their leaders at St John’s, Rownhams, have been selling toilet paper after church at a fiver per roll. Cash raised enables them to twin the church’s WCs with toilets in Africa and Asia.
‘We reached gold award level straightaway in one section, but didn’t even have a bronze in the community and global engagement part,’ said parish administrator Claire Thompson. ‘We’ve now done enough to apply for bronze – and we’re working towards silver.’
Their eco-journey started about ten years ago when a group from St John’s spent a weekend at Christian retreat centre Lee Abbey. Guest speaker ... Read more...
They’ve influenced more than 1,500 children – plus their parents and teachers – in 60 lessons and activities from ‘bear hunts’ to play schemes, with the odd humorous impression thrown in! Feedback has ranged from ‘amazing opportunity’ to ‘great location with great people’.
Environmental Education Officer David Melville and Education Intern Karolin Kestner have seen an increasing openness to environmental issues. ‘We meet many school helpers who emphasise the importance of “doing what we do”,’ said David.
The grown-ups can’t resist taking part. ‘Sometimes when we ask the children a question, the adults answer as they’re keen to learn, too,’ David explained. ‘This is all-age education. Teachers and parents are impacted just as much.’
Positive responses came ... Read more...